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review 2017-07-15 17:10
HUS'ABARON: The Warlord's Reluctant Bride (Sky Protectors Book 2) by Clara Hart Review
Alien Romance: HUS'ABARON: The Warlord's Reluctant Bride (Sky Protectors Book 2) - Clara Hart

His warriors want her dead, the Council wants her dead, in fact, his entire planet wants this uninvited visitor dead for good…

He turns to the rest of his men. They all await his command, and why wouldn't they? He is not just Abaron, not even H'Abaron. He is Hus'Abaron, he is the High Hador, the Great Hunter, Lord of Hunters, and he answers only to the Council, and sometimes not even to them.

Yet Hus'Abaron doesn’t understand why he would stop at nothing to protect this earthling and claim her as his bride.





Sigh. This book had a lot of promise but fell flat. Hard.


The writing was actually a nice mix of show and tell with good dialogue and smart main characters.  The plot of a science fiction romance staple of stranded on a planet meet a new culture but I love that. 


A fated mate romance, yes, but not insta love on the part of the heroine. The heroine is a linguist anthropologist and we get to actually see her be a genius (as opposed to being told how intelligent a character is with no evidence at all) and interpret  the world through these lenses. Awesome! 


The hero is reasonable and interesting. 


So, what happened. Oh the strangest of typos everywhere. It feels like scanning errors. The cover doesn't look anything like the hero is suppose to look. 


But mainly, the book just gets to a certain point in the romance, they are together, and it quits. The world building ends and there is really so much story to go but it runs out of stream. Sad and frustrated. 



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review 2016-06-22 12:39
Interesting but even book that would be better as a magazine long-read.
The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu - Dan Jurafsky

Why do menus or TV ads always use buzzwords to make foods sound better (juicy cuts of steak, fresh vegetables, locally-sourced products, etc.)? What's the origins of ketchup? Why do we propose a toast?


Author Jurafsky proposes to take the reader though the origins and histories of foods. Some of it is quite interesting (the origins of ketchup for example) or looking at how someone could/should look at a menu for the quality or expense of the eatery. However, a lot of it really isn't.


There isn't a lot here that really couldn't have been condensed into a magazine long-read. And it could have been edited much better. As noted elsewhere, "San Francisco" is misspelled (with another "s" vs. a "c" in the middle). His wife Janet is mentioned but it's not clear who she is at the first mention and seems like a rando name dropped into the text. The writing seems disjointed and while some of the information is really interesting (the origins of ketchup) the writing really isn't very good. It almost feels like more than one hand wrote this and everything was combined together in a sloppy effort to make a coherent narrative.


Some of the information (such as the menu tricks) can also be found elsewhere. The idea overall was a good one but Jurafsky definitely didn't quite get there. I bought this as a bargain book but I'd recommend you get this at the library if you're really interested. It's not a keeper and is more of a book to skim than a good source to keep on hand.

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review 2015-06-05 19:15
Local Custom
Local Custom - Steve Miller,Sharon Lee

This is a great story with a lot of subtle layers.

It is at it's base a love story. A rather intense love story.

But then you add in some intercultural challenges. Er Thom is an heir of the prime clan on the planet Liaden. Anne is a simple scholar from Earth. They meet and have an intense relationship for a bit before he must leave Earth to continue on with his life and the duty of his station on his planet. Both Er Thom is drawn back to Anne, unable to forget her. As they reconnect he and Anne struggle with doing what is right for both of them and their child. But Er Thom has the added fillip of needing to fulfill the necessary obligation to his line, his clan and his honor.

Include a dash of soapy goodness. It is a secret baby plot! They have a child together. As per her 'local custom' she gives the child his father's surname. When Er Thom discovers he is a father, he has an obligation to make sure his child is acknowledged by his clan on his planet as per his 'local custom.' But they are unsuited as the Liadens generally look down on Terrans. And his mother is NOT pleased with his jumped up girlfriend. There are some a few great confrontational scenes that could be worthy of any glitzy soap.

Finish it up with some solid world-building. We learn a lot about the Liaden culture and peoples through their language. Anne is a linguist and she understands how the Liadens communicate and many of the nuances in their language are integral in how the society interacts. But even so, she manages to miss some cues and this causes some misunderstandings between her and Er Thom. I loved that the author used language as the way to convey the cultural differences between Er Thom and Anne. It was an elegant way to introduce a system.

This was a really good, solid science fiction romance that does what SFR is supposed to do, it balances very well both the science fiction and the romance and seamlessly integrates both into a wholly satisfying story

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text 2015-02-16 14:18
The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu - Dan Jurafsky

I really enjoyed this collection of linked essays about the history and taxonomy of food words. In fact, I finished it over one weekend of travel--it was accessible and breezy enough to be read continuously on three-hour train rides.


Each essay examines either a grouping of words (salad, salsa, sauce, salt) or a genre of food writing (menus, reviews, etc.), although the essays are well-connected and refer back to one another. About half the analysis is linguistic and makes use of specially written software to produce a quantitative report of when and how certain words are used. The other half is historical, tracing the evolution of certain words as they travelled from country to country centuries ago. The latter is interesting, but the former is useful, and I think I'll be incorporating some of the book's linguistic observations (such as how the sound of words influences perception of meaning) into my own writing.

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review 2014-07-24 17:52
Widdershins - Jordan L. Hawk

So I decided to step my toe into the m/m romance arena.  (BTW, thanks to everybody with the recs, keep 'em coming)


Anyway, there could not have been a better book to start with.  This one hit all my happy places.  It has two very appealing protagonists who have chemistry to burn and compliment each other wonderfully.  It has really good supporting characters that add to the plot as well as act as interesting characters all on their own, it has an interesting setting, and finally it has antagonists with believable (if stupid) motivation.


The book is told from Whyborne's (he dislikes being called by his first name, Percy) first person narrative.  Whyborne is the youngest son of an incredibly wealthy business magnate.  He has rejected his father's ideas of what he should do with his life, choosing rather to use his formidable intellect to become a philologist at a local museum.


Whyborne doesn't have the most forceful personality.  His father is overbearing and makes no bones about the fact that he considers Whyborne a disappointment.  His older brother has been somewhat of a bully. And Whyborne keeps himself somewhat repressed because of his nature.  He is attracted to men and doesn't quite know how to negotiate this fact given that it was dangerous to be so.  And his best friend, with whom he'd been desperately, unrequitedlty  in love, died during a late night lark during their teenaged years -- a circumstance for which Whyborne blames himself.  Suffice to say, Whyborne has some self esteem issues.


I could have been exasperated by him, and in some ways I was.  He put himself down a bit in the book, wondering how the the handsome, wonderful Griffin could want someone like him.  Deriding his 'Tall, gawky self' over and over.  And yet, I liked Whyborne.  Even amidst some of the self-effacingness there was a quiet assurance and strength about him. 


Griffin is a great compliment to Whyborne.  Handsome and dashing, his bright waistcoats paint him the peacock to Whyborne's more sober peahen (Whyborne always wear brown or grey).  He has the self confidence that Whyborne lacks, and yet he does have his own vulnerabilities which are revealed rather vividly.  I liked how the two slowly came together and how the relationship developed.


As far as the plot, it was a mix of gothic horror and paranormal that moved briskly and was really rather entertaining.  As mentioned above I love how the motives of the antagonists for getting involved in what they were doing felt realistic and understandable.  The main villain was a little bit farther along the evil scale than his companions.  What saved him from being a total mustache-twirler was he was  a very intelligent person who valued intellect.  And rather than treating Whyborne like an oddity he respected him.  There was a great scene in the end where the villain and Whyborne got their geek on together for brief moment.  Whyborne laments that he would have liked him if he wasn't trying to destroy the world.  LOL.


I can't not mention the fabulous Christine.  She is an archaeologist who works at the museum with Whyborne.  She is sharp and has lovely pithy observations.  Through her we get to see the frustrations of a smart, educated woman in a male dominated society.  She is also an awesome friend and handy with a gun.  I hope she remains a big part of the series.


Definitely gonna pick up the next book if only to see how Whyborn and Griffin develop and to hang with Christine some more.



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