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review 2016-07-02 13:52
The Pirate of Fathoms Deep (Tales of the High Court) (Volume 2) - Megan Derr

Fantasies aren't usually my thing but I somehow stumbled upon The High King's Golden Tongue and absolutely adored it wherein I then went and got lucky with this ARC (thanks netgalley and publisher!) and I loved every bit of it.

This is Lesto's story, the strong commander with the eye patch who loves to boss around the king. Though he may seem like a hard ass Lesto is in fact quite a softie and I adore him. In the first book there was a fleeting mention of a pirate who had dared punch the high commander in front of hundreds and in this book we hear more.

Shemal is a retired pirate as in he used to be a pirate but has now decided he's done with a life of crime and just wants to live peacefully, but trouble wont let go and when some halfwit thugs wind up on his doorstep asking for help with a kidnapping his life gets upended once more, for the "noble" the idiots thought they'd acquired is none other than the high commander Lesto Arseni, the same man he’d punched and then had a quick and hot encounter with and hasn't been a been able to get out of his mind. There's no way he's letting this sexy Commander get hurt even if helping him means endangering his own life.

Lesto hasn't forgotten the sexy Pirate and now here he is again, this time Lesto's not going to let him run. The pirate of Fathom's deep is his, who cares how much his brother and the king will needle him about it. Once an Arseni makes up his mind there’s no changing it.

Both Lesto and Shemal are such sweetheart loveable characters with hard exteriors like M&Ms!

I really enjoyed this book it was shorter than the first but that just means it had less long winding story and had much more sex, who would have thought The High Commander Lesto Arseni of Fathoms Deep was such a hungry little bottom. I've really enjoyed this series honestly Megan Derr is not an author I've had much interaction with maybe It's time that changed for this series has been great and I plan on reading the next one as soon as It's out.

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review 2016-04-03 06:31
The Horror Story Behind the Fairytale.
The Rival Queens: Catherine de' Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom - Nancy Goldstone

Wow, what an amazing story! French history is every bit as rivetting as English history (at least at a distance of four hundred years). To be a royal female in Europe at this time you really needed to keep your head. A remarkable story, entertainingly told.

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review 2014-10-28 18:25
Review: The Plantagenets: Warrior Kings and Queens who made England by Dan Jones
The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England - Dan Jones

Dan Jones has done something with this book that is not usually achieved. He has taken almost three centuries of history and made them accessible and understandable to the non-historian. His style of narrative nonfiction was at times as captivating as any novel with brilliant analysis of what drove people to the roles that they played.

Beginning with the loss of the White Ship in 1120, Jones details the rise of the Plantagenets to power through Matilda, daughter of Henry I. Covering the war for supremacy between Matilda and Stephen would have seemed enough for some authors, but Jones takes on the charismatic kings all the way to the usurpation of Henry IV.

It is no small task to give adequate coverage to prolific characters such as Henry II, Richard I, Edward III, and all who came in between in one installment. Jones does so with just enough detail of each king to understand their reign without including so much as to overwhelm the reader who is looking for an overview of the dynasty.

This book ends with Henry IV taking power and initiating the divide in the monarchy that would become the Wars of the Roses, the subject of Jones' next book. That Richard II was a poor king is undoubted, but Henry of Bolingbroke could not have envisioned the course that he had set his family upon when he determined that right to kingship came from ability rather than solely bloodline.

This was very easy reading for such comprehensive nonfiction material. It is a book that I would not hesitate to recommend to someone who does not already have a foundation in Plantagenet history. I am eagerly moving on to the next installment: The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors (also sold as The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses and the Rise of the Tudors).

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review 2014-10-07 00:00
Kings and Queens and Jokers, Too
Kings and Queens and Jokers, Too - astolat Listened to the podfic. An excellent humourous short fanfic from Astolat.
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review 2014-03-10 00:00
The Kings and Queens of Roam
The Kings and Queens of Roam - Daniel Wa... The Kings and Queens of Roam - Daniel Wallace,Angela Brazil I made it through four discs then called it quits.

The problem I had was that, to me, this is a mediocre story made worse by the wrong reader.

The book had originally intrigued me for many reasons: It has a slightly magical description, there's a cute little fairy house on the cover, and most-important, it's about sisters. I love stories about sisters. From the first description of them, though, I was put off - the oldest was apparently the most hideous child ever birthed, so ugly that no one in town would even look at her. That seemed weird to me. I don't think I've ever seen a child so homely that I couldn't even look at it. However, her parents loved her ... so, really, why did she even notice at such a young age the actions of the townsfolk? Shouldn't she have been secure in her place in the world because her parents didn't treat her like the ugliest child ever created? Shouldn't it have taken her a whole lot longer to notice that everyone's eyes avoided her? This isn't something she should have picked up on at, what, age three?
But whatever.
Seven years later, her little sister, Rachel, comes along and this second child happens to be the most beautiful girl in town and probably the county. Sadly, a childhood illness strikes her blind and she has no idea she's stunningly lovely or that her sister is hideous.
So we're starting out with a fairy tale and one that never sits well with me - the ugly older sister and the fetching younger one.
Helen, the grotesque child, hates her sister based solely on their outward appearances and takes to emotionally torturing little Rachel. So now we have exterior facade matching interior motivation and the whole story is centered on looks, jealousy, and who can see which truths in which tales.

It's also a broader family story, pulling the past - the story of the manipulative and abusive town founder - toward the present - Helen and Rachel - via the relatives in between such as Helen and Rachel's parents. This is fine, lots of stories do this, not a problem...until other people start getting pulled in and now there are too many stories to keep up with, stories that aren't necessary, stories that could have been told somewhere within the context of the family line, not as break-out stories of their own. This became a huge problem for me when I started to feel manipulated into appreciating the quirkiness of the Roam/Arcadia area; it felt forced, these multiple perspectives of wacky people and their interchanges with other strange folk and so I stopped caring.

I might have trudged through the book, letting it play in the background and not really paying attention, had there been a different reader. However, this reader seemed to be maybe the worst possible choice. She sounded, to me, as if she were reading this story while hiking up a mountain with a group of not-very-bright third-graders. The cadence of her speech was odd, flowing at a conversational pace and then slowing down for SERIOUS ENUNCIATION then she'd start yelling words at random...the speech patterns were similar to Captain Kirk's, actually. None of it made sense, it didn't fit with the story, and it distracted me to no end.

I'm turning this back in today and my ears will thank me for it on my drive home tonight.
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