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review 2016-01-02 20:09
Walks to Remember
A Kiss For Midwinter - Courtney Milan

Courtney Milan writes wonderfully. Her characters are three-dimensional and nuanced, more like real people than characters. I always feel like I want the romance to happen just as much as they do or in some circumstances more. My heart was with Grantham as he wooed Lydia, and I felt deeply for Lydia. Her terrible experience five years earlier would sour anyone on romance, and I could see why her barriers were erected so strongly. I liked that Milan did give them an opportunity to get to know each other and that they had many talks which helped them to get to know each other in the deep way they needed. Grantham is a bit of an odd duck. He's lacking in social graces in that he doesn't know how to measure or mince his words, but tells it like it is. His reasons for marrying initially are barebones pragmatism, but understandable given his situation. But he learned the hard way that he needed to deal in honesty no matter what the cost.

Somehow Milan managed to make a novella feel like a novel. By the end of the book, I did feel like an entire courtship had taken place and that these two people had plenty of reason to be committed to each other. I also liked that she includes some social consciousness such as the sad state of medicine in the late 1800s, especially in light of women's health and the angst of caring for an aging parent.

This was a rich, engrossing read.

Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars

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review 2015-11-13 06:34
Er, is it a DNF when you say "fuck this!" with five minutes left?
Animal Attraction - Jill Shalvis

This book started off so well. At least much better than the first book. There was definitely a spark of something there between the hero and heroine more than sex. I appreciated that. Then when they did have sex it was the only scene for the longest time, there was even a judicious FTB. Then a flipped was switched and it seemed that suddenly Shalvis felt she needed to make up for less sex later in the book and there was more for no reason. Also, I really dislike when books end on sex scenes. It is infinitely worse when the book is needlessly extended to shove in yet another elongated, overly descriptive sex scene. Eight minutes left in the book and does the heroine take the hero to meet her family while they are in Chicago? Nope. Is there a cute little scene where she's showing him the city I doubt he's ever been to while the story sweetly fades into their HEA? Nooope.






Like another book I just finished reading. They get snowbound together. They really only just met, so do they talk for awhile, get to know each other? OF COURSE NOT. No, fifteen, FIFTEEN, pages of sex scene and then two lines at the end of the chapter that says they talked. THAT IS COMPLETELY THE OPPOSITE OF HOW A ROMANCE NOVEL SHOULD BE, DAMMIT!!!


*heavy breathing*


*glares at books*


"Romance" genre I love you, but you are on such thin ice with me. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-07-28 07:39
DNF at Page 174 — Severely Disappointed
Love Overdue - Pamela Morsi

There is nothing worse than looking forward to reading a book—especially for a long time—only to not enjoy it when you finally do get to read it. It's even worse when it is so I unenjoyable you have to flounce it.


I have been wanting to read Love Overdue for quite some time since I love library/librarian stories. But between plot elements I hate and how unlikeable I found the characters—as well as reading spoilers about the end of the book—this story doesn't seem to be salvageable for me.


First, the plot entirely hinges on the hero (Scott) and heroine (D.J.) having gross stranger sex eight years ago. You all know how much I hate that. To make matters exponentially worse D.J. did it to ~not he like herself~. On spring break, dressed like a hooker complete with plexiglass heels (who even?), encouraged by her friends she went out to find a stranger to fuck. (Here are my thoughts on that.) And she was a virgin. Just, why would you . . . just, why? That will never make any sense to me. Sorry I'm not sorry that I'm never going to find that to be in any way empowering and not stupid.


And Scott. He apparently cheats on his girlfriend in having that fling. Not that I abide or forgive cheating in any way, shape, or form, but worse—it didn't just happen, he set out to cheat. In reading other reviews apparently he had some convoluted reason: to get better at sex to please his girlfriend. Uhm. What? No . . . wait, what? I get his girlfriend made him feel insecure through no fault of his, but still! How in the world does cheating make things better??


So this entire scenario is off-putting, unromantic, and gross on a few levels. But I probably could have dealt with it as usual if the characters were at all likeable to me.


With Scott, the book had barely started when we're told he had carried on a sexual relationship with a married woman for sometime after his divorce. Given context clues, it didn't sound as if the woman and her husband had an open marriage, which makes him a homewrecker and he had no guilt about this at all. Worse, he got divorced because his wife cheated on him. What would possess him to do the same to someone else? So, between this and the previous cheating I did not like him at all. Add in what other reviews have said about the way he thought about women, particularly D.J., later on in the book and he apparently reaches dudebro levels of douchey.


D.J. was more actively awful, at least when it came to Scott. She, deservedly, feels stupid and mortified over her actions eight years ago. Lucky for her, Scott doesn't recognize her. So she takes her prim librarian persona to an extra degree with him so he won't remember. For some weird reason she thinks her life will be destroyed if he does. Okay. But on the other hand she gets pissed at him for not remembering! What? She already acted like an ass the morning after back then when she fled without a word. Now she meets him again and treats him like crap. With outright disdain. Initially so as not to tip him off, but then she starts making up shit about him in her head that makes no sense. According to her, because he jumped into bed with a stranger he's a liar (I still can't work out how she came up with that one), and a player. Then adds on more thinking he's a bigot against the town's lesbian couple. At no point in time, at least not before I DNF'd, does it occur to her that maybe he was pretending to be something he's not that night, too. That maybe she doesn't know anything about the guy whose name she refused to even hear then let alone learn anything else about him. That maybe there is some history between him and the lesbian couple that precipitated his attitude toward them. (Granted, it is a bigoted little town, of course, but she was just looking for more ammunition to hate him for no reason. Turns out half of that couple was his ex-wife, and the other half is the woman with whom she cheated. And she did get wind of the married woman affair, but it only reinforced what she had already convinced herself of.) Her whole bitchy, dismissive demeanor toward Scott and her nonsensical judgment of him made me really dislike her, too.


At this point I'm not enjoying the book and I don't think it's going to get any better. The only thing I do like is D.J.'s dog, Mr. Melville Dewey. So I go and look at reviews and thank the Book Gods I did. Turns out the only reason to even attempt to push through the book—Scott finally realizing who she is, the big reveal, and working things out—is completely absent. Most reviews lament the sudden abrupt end when he realizes it's her and it cuts to an eight years later epilogue. The climax is entirely absent. What?! Why would you do that?!?! I . . . am SO happy I didn't waste my time finishing this book. I think everyone would have felt my indignant rage. On top of that, everything to do with Scott's mother, D.J.'s landlady/boss, is so utterly ridiculous I almost started beating my head against something hard just reading reviews! (She tries to commit suicide with a botulism pie?! WHAT ARE YOU I CAN'T EVEN!!!)


So, yes. One very emphatic and heartbreaking DNF for me. Dammit.


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text 2014-11-19 09:23
Pg. 68 — Label your damn books!
Home to Seaview Key - Sherryl Woods

It drives me freaking nuts that books that are part of a series aren't labeled at all. Or if they are there's no indication of what installment the books is.


This book is apparently a sequel but there is not one damn thing to indicate that. If I had known I would have held off reading the book or wouldn't have bought it.


So apparently people wanted more of the couple, Hannah and Luke, from the first book, which is why this one was written even though there is (supposed to be) a different hero and heroine in this one. But there is an inordinate amount of the previous couple so far. The problem is that I feel no connection to them whatsoever. So, I don't have the buffer of previous good feelings about them to color their actions in this book and quite frankly I think they need to grow the hell up. Particularly Hannah, and while we're at it, her grandmother, too.


It has been over twenty years since the heroine of this book, Abby, had a high school romance with Luke. But everyone is legit losing their shit over the fact she is back in town and how that's going to affect Hannah and Luke and what does Abby want?! As if she didn't grow up there, too. They make her sound like some man-stealing jezebel who is out to cause them trouble. She wasn't like that in high school and you all haven't kept in touch so you don't know who she is now so why all the hysteria? It's ridiculous. The worst is Grandma Jenny who not only acts like Abby is the Whore of Babylon she keeps saying she wants her gone. Why? What the hell has this woman done to anyone? Then knowing the hero, Seth, is interested in Abby—without knowing a thing about Abby! Up to and including that it even IS her!—Grandma Jenny calls her a "cougar" and accuses her of being "on the prowl". WTF?


Again, it's been twenty years since high school. They've all been married divorced had kids, even one grandkid. Their attitudes just defy explanation and I quite dislike them already.


Why is it when I want a sequel with more of the couple from the first book I can never get it??

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text 2014-11-04 13:51
47% — Er, uhh . . .
Mean Streak - Sandra Brown

I am so perplexed right now.



He has lied to her on multiple occasions. Pretty much about everything.
He's clearly dangerous as hell.
He's creepy as shit.
He refuses to tell her his name.
He admitted to watching her through his binoculars from afar before she started her run.
He said he "found" her knocked out on the trail.
He said he "found" her on the trail by continuing to watching her through his binoculars.
He took her to his place.
He said the weather prevented them from leaving.
He was in possession of the bloody rock that had obviously knocked her out.
He didn't really give a clear reason as to why he was in possession of that rock.
She is incredibly incurious about that fact.
She can't be sure that he wasn't the one who knocked her out with that rock.
She's as scared of him as she is compelled by him.
She doesn't know his name. (This bears repeating.)
She is married. MARRIED. (And, no, she doesn't know about her husband's affair.)


And yet, they're fucking.


And without a condom.




What in the bloody fuck is this book? Ugh.



(spoiler show)



This is some Edward Cullen and Bella Swan shit right here.

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