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review 2017-05-18 21:23
Love Spell
Crystal Cove - Lisa Kleypas

We started this on audio, but I finished it on kindle. I liked this one a lot more than many of Kleypas fans. In fact, I liked it quite a bit. I probably helped that I didn't have high expectations. I liked Justine from the other books, but I wasn't particularly attached to her character. She seemed a bit shallow but kind in the other books. I have the feeling that Kleypas didn't have Justine's character fleshed out initially. She must have spent some time with Justine in between Dream Lake and this book and came up with who we see in Crystal Cove.

As Kleypas continues the magical realism theme in this series, this one is very much "Practical Magic." I love the book and the movie, and Kleypas does it justice, with her own spin. Justine is a hereditary witch. She's not heavily into it, although she does at times do some minor spellwork. Justine realizes that the reason why she's hasn't had luck with love is because her mother cursed her to never fall in love. Justine does a spell of her own to remove the geas. This backfires. In the meantime, she meets Jason Black, a billionaire badboy tech genius who buys up Alex Nolan's land to build a retreat for his business. Jason stays at her inn and there is an instant attraction between them. Jason is the kind of man who is dangerous to a woman. He has no concept of love or commitment. And he has a good reason. He has no soul. I can't say that all of Jason's issues arise out of his souless status. It's moreso due to his abusive father and how he treated his mother. I liked that Jason is part Japanese and this culture is part of who he is. They both share some family trauma. Justine's mother is a horrible person. Jason's dad is a horrible person. Both have been shaped by their horrible parents.

What an interesting combination.

I didnt' really get the whole no soul thing. It was pretty darn real. It doesn't make sense for my own spiritual perspective. But okay, I just went along with it. The witchcraft thing is something that you can idea ignore or embrace, but if it's a hard limit, this isn't the book for that reader. Since Kleypas is going with "Practical Magic", it's hard to not have it in this book.

Like always, Kleypas' writing is beautiful and immersive. Jason has a bit of a kinky thing going on with the bedroom, but it's not out of my personal comfort zone. He has some control issues, and that thing he's into delves into this aspect of his personality. Out of the books in Friday Harbor series, this book is the most sexually explicit, but it makes sense with the characters in the book.

I have to admit, I really believed in the love that developed between Jason and Justine. They are both cynical about love, so it's so beautiful the way it develops between them, and it's a sacrificial love. The conclusion is both strange but also very beautiful.

I liked this book a lot more than I expected. I ended up falling for Justine and Jason. While witchy romance isn't my favorite kind of paranormal romance, I think that Kleypas served up a lovely one here. I definitely preferred this to Rainshadow Road. The character of Jason has so much more substance than Sam, in my opinion. I think I prefer Justine to Lucy as well.

My Friday Harbor Book Preference:

1. Dream Lake
2. Crystal Cove
3. Christmas at Friday Harbor
4. Rainshadow Road

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review 2016-11-07 14:37
A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas
A Study In Scarlet Women: The Lady Sherlock Series - Sherry Thomas

This was awesome. I can't even write a review properly, no clue how to put that in words. I read this in one day. I was drawn into the world, the lives of the characters and didn't want to leave.
Then I get to the end and it says the next is out in fall of 2017 Wahhh????

*wimpers. I want it now.

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review 2016-04-03 18:03
The Dirt on Ninth Grave
The Dirt on Ninth Grave - Darynda Jones

Tough one. I was not too happy about the last one. Not yet liking where this story is going at this point.


I loved this series in the early books. That kind of humor just works for me with still having serious tones throughout.

 

I really didn't like some parts of this book, loved some poignant scenes at other times, sometimes liked the humor banter with the group, other times it felt just not true. Left me a bit cold.

 

And most of all, for me this book is a perfect example why 1st person is not my favorite thing at all. I usually don't like it at all, but lots of UF is written in 1st, so I don't have much choice. But this story in this book especially, highlighted to me the big shortcomings with it. I needed the POV of the other characters. It was like half of the story was missing without that. I don't want to put spoilers down, but it just didn't work as much for me, partly of the 1st person in this particular installment.

 

It worked fine in the early books. I think I get fatigue much much faster with a series that is in 1st person. At some point I just feel closed in and the character starts to annoy. But it is what it is.

 

This and the last book is not up to what the early books were. I might continue, or I might not. We'll see.

 

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review 2016-01-31 18:07
Origin In Death by J.D. Robb
Origin in Death - J.D. Robb

Out of all the books in series so far, this has been the most terrifying to me. And there have been some ugly and horrible murders in other books. But this story creates a deeply human horror in me that will stay in my head a while I think. And even with that, it was probably one of my favorites in the series.

 

When many series go off the rails after so many installments, this one just keeps going and getting better and better.

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text 2016-01-16 17:47
Cold Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas
Cold-Hearted Rake - Lisa Kleypas

Oh dear this is difficult to review. First I am so so happy to have Lisa Kleypas back to writing historical romance. 


Issue I have here is that the hero starts out so unpleasant and wimpy and just changes on the flip once he lusts after the heroine. I had such a hard time warming up to her and just really feel their actual romance, beyond just lust. He wants her, in bed. But I just don't get a sense of why he "likes' her.

Then of course enters Winterborne. And from that point on all my feels go there.
That moment when Winterborne sees Helen for the first time, that one brief glimpse, told me more about the character of Helen through Winterbornes eyes than the whole book managed to convey about the actual heroine Kathleen. I don't know how to explain it. It was the same when one moment Helen looks into Winterbornes eyes later when she helps him pick something up. That look, so much potential and feels.
I never really got a sense of the essence that are Kathleen and Devon. But with just a couple of looks and lines, I am fully invested in a secondary potential coupling.

I kept writing Katherine instead of Kathleen in this review, that is how much I never got her. :)

I do like the cast of characters over all, if I look at it as a assemble cast book. Love West the brother of the hero, love the twins and the servants. But as a romance between 2 people, it just didn't work for me as well, with those particular people.

Overall I liked it, just not the couple in this book as much as the other parts. Their ending and HEA was a bit rushed, but oh boy the set up for the next book really really intrigues me. Looking forward to some meat to dig in. :)

Very much want the Winterborne book now.

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