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review 2015-11-04 16:05
The book grinch attacks again..
A Cold-Hearted Rake - Lisa Kleypas

After much okay a little analysis I've decided to remove a star to this book.
Here's the thing: did the romance swept me of my feet?
Hmmmmmm... No, it did not.
As other reviewers have mentioned, for me the weakest part of this book was also the romance.
Or romances, as in plural. Because there's another one to which we readers are presented to, and it honestly left me scrunching my face in distaste.

Here's the thing, in a general perspective I actually liked the characters.
maybe because they reminded me a little too much of the Hathaways... o_O
And if I want to read about a dysfunctional family I rather re-read the Hathaways, and not some distorted version of them.

In this one, our main characters are Devon Cam and Katherine Amelia... only in this one Devon is a cad with a sharp tongue, and Katherine could use a little more of Amelia's strength (See Mine Till Midnight). Or age.

As secondary characters there's West _ Devon's brother_ here a "little" of Leo Hathaway( See Married by Morning). He drinks, he doesn't care about anything else... until the moment he starts caring about everything.

Helen is Katherine's sister in law, and here a little of Winnifred (See Seduced At Sunrise). Or Poppy.(See Tempt Me At Twilight)
 Unfortunately she doesn't get to have a Merripen, but an ill mannered idiot who is supposed to be some sort of Harry Rutledge.
Then there's also a pair of twins, and one of them just reminds me of Beatrix (See Love in The Afternoon).
Do you see where this is going? -_-

Thing is, I actually loved the setting. I loved the fact that this story takes place in a time when the old traditions are being challenged by a new age.
I loved the relationships between sisters and brothers.
Katherine and West's friendship was a blast to read.
But the two romances weren't that great.
Even so I preferred reading Katherine's and Devon relationship to Helen's and Winterborne's. At least with the first ones there isn't a nasty shade of abuse surrounding the thing.



We don't get to see it, but we are told that Winterborne's forces his kisses on Helen leaving her distressed about it.[/spoiler]

We don't get to see it, but we are told that Winterborne's forces his kisses on Helen leaving her distressed about it.


(spoiler show)

And I am already seeing how things are going to work out for those two. She's probably going to apologize to the idiot. Arghg.
I don't like bullies.
I don't care if he has had a difficult background: I don't like him, and I wish that Devon had let him drown.
But, and this was worth less a half a star, I also had a hard time with Devon's attitude towards the end!
Hey, jackass, if you want a dog, you should get a four legged one. Guys, who give commands by pointing fingers should have their hands broken.

On the positives I think I may like West's book when it comes out.

If only this book had been shorter, and more focused on Kathleen and Devon's romance _ I understand why it wasn't, with Kathleen being a widow _ I think I would have found less things to bother me.
Like Winterborne not being in it.

p.s- I better finish this review or by the time I'm done with it, this rating will be reduced to a one star rating. -_-

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-10-28 02:23
Bella and The Pig - Part II
Bella and the Beast (Cinderella Sisterhood Series) - Olivia Drake

Arc provided by St. Martin's Press through Netgalley

Release Date: November 3rd



DNF at 41%


Confession time:

This story provoked such a reaction in me _ and no, it wasn't a good one_ that even after deciding to DNF it, I am still mad as... hell.


Yes, I am not being impartial, because back in the day when I started reading historical romances, most guys behaved as atrociously as this did does, and I would read them and like them.


Thing is, we're in 2015 and violence against women is still the main cause of women's death. More than cancer.

Being a woman our days still means that you're probably going to receive inferior wages compared with guys.

It also means that you're probably going to be subject to sexual abuse.

And to read something that tries to romanticize this type of behaviour in our time and age, really gets under my skin.


I've honestly been going over and over in my head, trying to find a way to write this review without going into a rant, but I cannot.


I can't get over the fact, that during the first interaction between Bella and _ I've come to think about him as the Pig _ Alwynn, he lifts up her skirts so than he can see if she was a specific tattoo (the one you see on the model's ankle) . Now, you're probably thinking: Oh, its just the ankle. It could be worse...

But it is, because not only did she not consent to it, soon enough he is grabbing her leg, and thinking about he would like to do with parts of her anatomy.He has all the power, and she has to submit to his whims.

Not hot. Not sexy.




To make matters even worse, Bella and all the other characters _ from what I read _ just felt flat to me.

I read a review in which the reviewer basically tells that if you liked the Mummy, especially Evie, you were going to love this.

I am not a fan of horror movies. I don't like to see scarabs eating people's... faces. -_-

But I've seen that movie a couple of times because I like the characters.

 I loved Evie's personality. Even Rick's. And I loved their romance.

Bella is no Evie.



So, let me recapitulate:

I hate the guy.

The woman is a nitwit who is supposed to be strong and brave but instead feels like an Anastasia.

Then I can't stop thinking that this book should be called "Bella and The Pig".

The guy has just gone to a brothel.

The guy returns home after frequenting said brothel, and decides "what the hell, I should f***k Bella as well".

She tells him no.

He decides to ignore her attempts to free herself from his unwanted attentions, because surely that's just her maiden sensibilities arising.

She pulls a dagger to his throat _ YAY! _ but only because she came second to the brothel scene. -_-


No. No. And no.

Not sexy. Not hot.


I want him tramped by a horse carriage.

And I want her shaken until her brain cells get back into place!


There: this is what this book has made me feel. I cannot be more honest than this.

I can deal with brooding, ill mannered Beasts. What I can not do, is stand abusive borderline rapists.

Also to call this a retelling of Beauty and The Beast is really, really pushing it.


First book that I've read by this author, and the thing is, I have been curious about the first book in this series for a long time now.

Now, not so much.

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review 2015-01-29 09:39
...or Now Hiring: Mistress for 28 Year Old Self-Proclaimed Conqueror of the Universe
Surrender - Melody Anne
He might have all the money in the world, and he might even have more power than the president of the United States, but he was still just a man. The bottom line was that he couldn’t force her into anything – no matter who he was.
If they’d been in certain foreign lands, he could probably have just shot her right there on the spot with no consequences, but she was here in the land of the free, where she was safe. Feeling as if she actually had a choice gave her hope.

Are you looking for yet another horrible ‘romance’ story about a cold, distant, emotionally damaged man, who should really be the villain of the story, and his unhealthy obsession with a naïve, stupid, young woman, who is constantly described as strong willed and independent? Well, then you have come to the right place! Here you have:

A story with a rich, handsome, cold, arrogant, dick-ish male character
He was twenty-eight years old and had conquered the universe – or thought he had.
No! He had.

Whenever he walked into his twenty-five-story office building in San Francisco, he felt a justified pride. He created jobs for hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world, gave them an income, made sure they went to bed each night with a full stomach and the security of more work to be done in the morning.
He gave so much – and unlike his soon-to-be-ex-wife, his employees were grateful and regarded him almost as a king.

When he got bored, he found another willing applicant. The line of women willing to serve him was a mile long – after all, he was Rafe Palazzo, and the world was his oyster, his playground.

Everyone practically bowed at his feet.

A man, who got hurt by one woman and came to the conclusion that all women are evil
Never again would he be used – never again would he put his heart out there to be carelessly trampled on.

It seemed all women had a purpose, and it was fueled by their greed. The richer the man, the better for them. They wanted to be taken care of, and they all had their price.

A story about a man who minimally respects his lovers
He respected some of his lovers, but it was only minimal.

A story with an underdeveloped two-dimensional female character, who is guilt ridden, young, vulnerable, helpless...and skinny
“You’re too thin.”
Arianna Harlow trembled as the man prowled around her, continuously circling her chair.

A woman who knows that that man is dangerous, but is inexplicably drawn to him anyway
His expression was far too knowing and she immediately felt the urge to flee. Something wasn’t right; something was telling her to get out while she still could.

He was a difficult man to be around while trying to maintain a distance. She could see herself wanting to spend time with him – well, if he weren’t so dang kinky.

A story about a man who is intrigued by a woman because of REASONS
“you intrigue me, Ms. Harlow. I see you try and hide beneath your ridiculous baggy clothes, and large glasses, but there’s something about you that makes me want to find out what it is you don’t want the world to see.”

A story about a man introducing a young woman to a world of excitements and exotic new thrills
“Fugu is more commonly known in the States as puffer fish or blowfish. If the chef doesn’t prepare the dish just right…it’s fatal to consume, which is part of the thrill of eating it.”

“We all seek thrills, Ari. Very few skilled chefs can leave just a tiny trace of the lethal poison on the fish”

A story about how a woman’s eyes called to a man
It was obvious that Ari wasn’t one of his typical choices. The first time he’d seen her picture, he’d passed it by, but somehow it was still on his desk after that quick perusal, and something in her pair of fine green eyes called to him, even though she tried to hide them behind thick glasses.

Arianna held an almost broken, yet still spirited look in her eyes, as though he’d just shot her beloved puppy and she were thinking of ways of seeking revenge.

A story about how a man has to learn, that this woman is special and not like the previous women he’s known
This unhappy, disillusioned fellow thought he knew what the world was about, but he had a lot to learn. Not every woman was for sale, not by a long shot.[…] Let him think what he wanted, but she wasn’t to be bought – no matter what he threw at her.

A story about the magical attraction that draws a man to a woman because REASONS
Rafe had a strict no-kissing rule, but found himself wanting to devour her naturally plump pink lips. He felt himself bending down as his will began to break.

A story about how the magic of a woman’s vagina has the power to change a man
Rafe gazed in surprise at his hand gripping Ari’s delicate arm. He’d been jostled out of his normal cool and he wasn’t ready to let her walk from the room. What startled him most was his enjoyment of it all. To be refused by this complicated woman intrigued him.

A story about how a man denies his growing feelings
He wouldn’t chase her. He just wanted to finish his meal. At least, that’s what he told himself. It was all merely a game that he must win, not a serious desire to be with the woman.

He blamed his unusual desire for the woman on his recent stint of celibacy.

A story filled with haunting tales of the character's tragic past
If only she hadn’t called her mom in panic that night.
If only she hadn’t gone to the party in the first place
If only her mother had left a few minutes later.

Now that night would haunt her, be something she’d have to live with for the rest of her life.


A story filled with all of those tropes we've loved so much before, that are totally romantic. Such as:
- emotionally deep stares
Ari finally glanced up, her eyes colliding with Mr. Palazzo’s intense stare. As hard as she tried to break the connection, she couldn’t manage to turn her head away.
- background checks
“I know everything I need to know about you, Arianna,” he replied with a slight lifting of the corner of his mouth.

It suddenly occurred to her that she’d never listed her physical address on her application.[…] Still, she wasn’t really surprised that he already knew where she lived
- ordering a woman’s meal for her
“Please have a seat, Arianna. I’ve taken the liberty of ordering."
- commanding women around
“Sit,” he commanded and watched her flinch from his cold tone.
- chauvinistic, cavemanish behavior
“I’m beginning to tire of chasing you, Ari. I said you won’t be taking the bus, so that means that you won’t. I really have no qualms about causing a scene, but since you’ve been hissing at me only beneath your breath, I take it that you do. You can either some with me willingly, or I’m going to pick you up, toss you over my shoulder and drag you back to the restaurant. It’s your choice,” he said brutally.
- creepy, rape-ish statements
“I assure you, Ms. Harlow, that if I kidnapped you, it wouldn’t be for an X-ray.”
- rape threats
“If or when I truly want to possess you, it will happen. Leave no doubt about that.”
- miscellaneous, borderline abusive threats
“You can have your small victory, but be very careful with what you say to me.”
- ‘women need a man to take care of them’ messages
No wonder the woman was too skinny. It was more obvious than ever that Ari didn’t know how to take care of herself
- saving helpless women from rapists at nightclubs
“She’s obviously, passed out on her feet, and the bastard is taking advantage of her!”
- taking aforementioned helpless woman home without her consent even though she's there with friends
“I’m taking you home!”

He strode to his car and put her on the front seat, where she quickly passed out again.
- victim blaming
Rafe was furious. What was she doing at a club on a Friday? And how had she allowed herself to get into this position? If he hadn’t been there, she could have been getting violated at that very moment. This was why she should just accept his generous offer, he told himself. She clearly wasn’t able to protect herself on her own.

...and so much more...

The writing was horrible. The characters, well, Rafe was such a condescending asshole all of the fucking time. He had absolutely no redeeming qualities, unless you count him being hot and rich which I don't, because they are neither character traits nor redeeming qualities. While the reader is constantly told how smart, strong-willed and independent Ari is, she never acts this way; she's stupid, spineless, insecure and constantly plagued by guilt. The plot devices used were equally absurd and just plain unbelievable.

Honestly, I can’t even seriously review this book. I mean it was fucking ridiculous. It should get points just for making me laugh so much. He frigging takes out an ad to find his next mistress!
Seeking full-time applicants for Palazzo Corporation. Must be willing to work seven days a week, long hours. Must have no other commitments – no family, second jobs, or school. Salary 100k a year plus expenses. Hand-delivered applications only.
No other commitments? I'm pretty sure that that’s the first thing a serial killer finds out about his intended victim; whether or not someone will be actively trying to find them after they go missing. I'm just saying. And 100k a year? What a cheapskate!

And who the fuck hires their mistress through their company? I mean, are you fucking kidding me? Maybe for tax reduction purposes, but still...Imagine actually working for that company:

Employee: 1 “So I saw an ad in the paper for a new position, I didn’t know we were hiring. Has a new position opened up?”

Employee 2: “Oh no, that’s just the boss looking for a new mistress.”

Employee 1: “ … Wait! What?”

Employee 2: “Oh, you haven’t heard about that yet? Yeah…He employs his mistresses though the company.”

Employee 1: “That’s disgusting! And everyone knows?”

Employee 2: “Well yeah, not like you can keep a thing like that a secret if you hire your mistress through your own company and don’t even try to be subtle about it. Plus he goes through mistresses like I go through beer. It's a common occurrence really.”

Employee 1: “I…can’t even…I mean. Is that legal?”

Employee 2: “Well… Suffice to say that there is an ongoing bet about that. Want to place a wager?”

Employee 1: *stares speechlessly*

Employee 3: “Hey, are you guys talking about the new personal assistant for the boss? *winks* I think applicant 23 has real potential… If you know what I mean.” *winks*

Employee 2: “Yeah, I would totally hire that!” *winks*

Employee 1: ”That is just disgusting! How do you know what that poor applicant looks like anyway?”

Employee 2: “What do you think? Since the boss only wants hand delivered applications, we can totally watch every applicant make their way to the boss’s offices.”

Employee 1: “I am beyond disgusted.”

Employee 2: “We call it ‘The Walk of Desperation’.”

Employee 1: *stares speechlessly*

Employee 3: “Well what do you expect from employees who are okay with their boss hiring his mistresses here and having them work for the company?” *winks*

Employee 1: “I no longer see my future with Palazzo Corporation.” *stands up and leaves*

Employee 3: “Told you she wouldn’t last long. ”

Employee 2: “Oh, well. Hey, looks like some new applicants have arrived!”

Employee 3: “Sweet!”

Employee 2 & Employee 3: *stands up and walks to the front desk*

This play was brought to you by my overactive imagination. It can be performed in any office type environment.

This was an Amazon freebie and not fucking worth it...and this review has become way too long, so: Just.No.Fucking.No.
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review 2014-12-18 11:12
Fighting Destiny - Amelia Hutchins



The hero Ryder is a rapey, abusive, controlling psychopath. The heroine Synthia takes TSTL to a whole new level. She constantly gets herself into situations where she is owned by the Ryder, sure she whines about it for a little while, but pretty soon she’s okay with not having a free will and getting forced into situations where her only choices are between having sex with Ryder or being hunted down and raped by a bunch of wild fae.
„Run fast. He isn’t marking you for death, Syn. He’s earning the right to claim you as our ancestors have done for millennia. When he catches you-and he will, you will have to decide.”
“Deicide what?” I howled, shivering as Zahruk and the rest of the men smiled coldly.
“If he is worthy to have what he has caught. If not he will release you for the next hunter to claim. Just remember, not all follow the honor code Ryder does; some won’t care if you scream no.”

“I know when to fight; just like I know when I’m fucked. Right now, it would be futile to argue or fight. Either way I do this, ends up with me inside of Faery with Ryder hunting me down. I could kick and scream if it would make you feel better?”I smirk


Not only is the line between rape and consent so blurred non-existent, but Ryder keeps trying to control Synthia’s every fucking move. I could go on, but what’s the point, the whole 'I watched you sleep', 'I killed your lover in order to have you' and the years of stalking her all pale by comparison.
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review 2014-07-04 14:56
DarkShip Thieves - Sarah A. Hoyt

This is the second science fiction book I've had to DNF in less than a week due to stomach-turning ableism. 


I mean, not that that's the only problem. There's some misogyny vaguely disguised as pseudo-feminism, fucktons of gender essentialism, some mind-boggling Libertarian-esque politics that make no sense at all (a society that has survived 250 years with no laws, just contracts? How are those contracts even reinforced?), an anti-polyamory attitude (loving more than one person? how weird!), and a heroine with a supposed--and inexplicable--knack for making trouble and having people hate her wherever she goes (no in text evidence of this is ever really presented) and an even more inexplicable name of Athena Hera Sinistra. 


Early on in the book, however, I found myself flinching as the main character thought, basically, why be born with a disability if you don't have to. This is an atrociously ableist attitude, especially since most things that are disabilities are disabling due more than anything else to societies inflexibility. It's basically saying entire groups of people should cease to exist so that "normal" people can continue to always be catered to. I winced and tried to move on.


Then this happens:


The parking attendant made me flinch, because she was obviously mentally deficient. I'd seen mentally deficient people on Earth before, of course, but none with six arms [...]

(The arms, for clarification, are part of a freaking suit that assists her with her work, not part of her body. Athena is just ignorant of this.) Okay, first of all, fuck you. Second of all, FUCK YOU. Mentally deficient? Mentally deficient!? Just how fucking gross can you be? Athena literally flinches because OMG a person with a different brain than hers! Noes! You wouldn't think it could get more disgusting, but it does:


As we walked out of the garage I was silent, filled with horror at what had been done to this poor woman. Given the ability to bioengineer your children in the bio-womb, why have a deficient one at all? And if you chose to have one, why have her so grotesquely...dehumanized?


I reiterate: FUCK YOU. Excuse me? Her having extra arms (which again, she in fact does not) is "grotesquely dehumanized" but calling her mentally deficient and questioning her right to exist isn't? Just...just...



Nothing is more dehumanizing than this attitude. It's horrible. And then it turns out that the reason this woman is "mentally deficient" is because she wasn't bioengineered, which is spoken of much in the same way sensible people would criticize parents who won't vaccinate their children or refuse to get them medical care due to religious reasons. Like it's irresponsible to allow neuroatypical people to exist in the world. Like it's worse to let people be themselves than to completely eradicate entire swathes of neurotypes.


Of course, the suit with all the arms is there to assist the disabled woman in her job, which "allows the poor thing to earn a living." Because let's devalue her further by insisting her life is utterly worthless if she can't make money.


Joy, a society that eradicates disabled people and treats them like shit when they do exist. Fun fun. Did I mention there are no people of color in this society, because all the bioed people who escaped Earth 250 years ago were apparently white? 


Excuse me, I have to figure out whether I want to puke or cry. 

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