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review 2018-01-10 19:30
So long and thanks for all the fish
Bound Together (A Sea Haven Novel) - Christine Feehan

It managed a 4, in spite of itself.

 

I don't understand how readers are able to read a book in a series on its own merit without factoring in things that make it not fit right, or raise questions elsewhere. I always make note on how the book fits in the series. This one, because it essentially combines 2 series while setting up a third, will get more comments.

 

The book:
I'd said after the last one that if Victor wasn't crawling on broken glass, I was going to be upset. He didn't and I am. I feel like the h's being an empath and his bombarding her with a whole lot of emotions, coupled with the Prakinski bond, was used to sweep everything under a rug (I actually hlf expected him to use that to get in her pants at that point, even though she was freaking out and telling him to leave NOW). The only way she had of keeping him at bay was to disappear. No idea where she disappeared to as we aren't privy to that info.

 

And then...they have sex and everything is all better now. Not magic pen so much as MWOP in this instance.

 

Of course, the elephant in this particular room - why the guy who, along with his band of merry men, slipped into a house and executed her stepdad's partner, needed to USE her (yes; I did that use that word) to get close to dear old step dad in the first place, let alone how he carried out his assignment - blow the guy away right there at the dinner table - was never covered. He felt...horrible...that the h's mother (alcoholic, mentally imbalanced Sister of the previous generation of Drakes) attacked her several months later and beat her so badly that she lost their baby. He was...upset...that crazy mother had passed the letter on to stepdad's friend (that he'd laid in the middle of the bed? Why? For a supposedly intelligent man, that was rather stupid).

 

Tie-up to Sisters series...ok. I mean; I could do without his threatening his brothers, etc. And I'm really tired of the whole human trafficking/pedophile theme. In this book, I think I could have gotten utterly plastered drinking every time the word "pedophile" appeared.

 

Tie-up with both series:
Both elephants in those particular rooms are finally addressed - how 13 psychic women could live in close proximity with each other and form 2 bands whose paths never crossed, and how 6 brothers could also live in the same area and never see each other. That said, while I might believe Blythe's reason for avoiding her cousins, I fail to understand how the other 5 have avoided the Drakes, and I really don't understand how the brothers have managed to avoid a meeting before now. But then again...

 

We're told that the 6 Sea Haven books took place in the 2 months following Ella's book. Seriously? Does she realize that's a new Prakinski arriving every 2 weeks? That Rikki's book alone took longer than that? That there's no way the brothers couldn't be tripping over each other while trying to solve their women's problems *and* meeting their women? Actually, that's not 2 weeks, more like a week and a half, and we know there was more time because Victor had seen Casimir in Europe several weeks ago, along with Lissa, and Lissa was still around for the previous book. Not to mention all this psychic activity within such a short time period would have clued the bad guy in that there was some serious psychic competition here (and laid waste to the town, seeing as how it came in so many bursts in such a short time period)

 

And now, I'm done. No interest really in reading any more. I mean; the characters from the new series sound interesting, and at least they aren't all men BUT...I've had a bellyful of overbearing, borderline psychotic men browbeating women into accepting them.

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review 2017-07-09 19:23
Hard to Handle (Gargoyles Series) - Christine Warren

More of a 3.25 I think.

 

I wanted to like this one, if only because the Guardian was a female. Alas, it was done in by secondary characters.

 

I almost felt sorry for the H but... he was so whipped it was almost embarrassing and really, if I had a family like that, I might have run screaming into the night. Why he still lived close enough for certain ones to show up on his doorstep, I dunno.

 

His kid sister, spoiled manipulative little brat. I was like, "oh well" when she got grabbed. I wanted to punch her in the face pretty much every time she opened her mouth.

 

Of course we get Kylie and Wynn (those two give me a headache - they converse with each other like 4th graders).

 

Thought to ponder, has any of the wardens accepted his or her new lot in life *in the context of this series?* Seems every one of them has been in some form of denial. That sort of plot device gets old after a while, as does the snarky/bitchiness every woman of power seems to possess.

 

And of course #5 is now free. Since this particular series has a sell-by date, and there's two more, I'm assuming the last one will feature some anti-climatic battle between the forces of good and evile that somehow gets shoehorned into half a chapter.

 

Remind me again why I'm reading this? Oh; right. Gargoyle romances are rare as hens' teeth. Too bad that none seem to actually be all that. :/

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review 2017-06-30 23:05
Falling Angel (Harlequin American Romance) - Anne Stuart

I was moved to hunt down a pair of Levis to see where that silly tag is located - inner right cheek pocket. Artist put it on the outside of the left cheek pocket. Also, based on this story, I doubt the h would have owned a pair of Levis - too expensive.

 

I actually read this one three times - once out of curiosity when I pulled it from the bin to the anticipation spot, once when I deliberately left the book I'd started in the living room so I wouldn't be tempted to read and stay up too late (so much for that, huh?) and finally, when I actually read it.

 

So why the 3 stars? Let's just say that in a less capable author's hand, it likely would have been DNFed.

 

Ok.
The H is dead - no really - and is in what amounts to purgatory, waiting for...something. It was unclear but I guess he needed to give them a reason to move him on. He gets sent back into a new body, and I have this mental image of the NSA going apeshit about a truck magically appearing in the middle of nowhere (ALIENS!!). It's either that or he's possessing someone else's body. He's charged with fixing 3 lives he ruined in his previous existence. The h is obvious, the family who he ends up boarding with is the second, and there's some kid whose issues are indirectly his fault. It's odd that he never really goes back to his old habits. His new body is preprogrammed to be a carpenter...from Boston...that finds itself in bumblefartnowhereville Minnesota

 

The h wears a hairshirt made of...I dunno...porcupine quills, poison ivy, and doghair from some wirecoated critter. She got on my nerves so bad... See, she was a dancer, went to college and studied dance (uh...that's all?), took off to NY - as you do - to show off her talents, only to fail miserably and rather than come home, get a job as a secretary...with the H as her employer. She falls for him because she's sure she can fix him (uh oh), and because she's naive and has no clue what he really does, offers up the one company in her home town for his expertise. Then she catches him drunk, sleeps with him, discovers the next day that he'd closed the company after gutting it for its equipment, also discovers she's fired (because he doesn't sleep with the help - one point in his favor I suppose) and storms out in front of a taxi. Now she's running herself into the ground, in penance, refusing help. Because it's all her fault you see. Too wrapped up in her martyrdom to see that her behavior is causing her friends and neighbors distress. Oh, she's aware of it, but if anything, frustrated because they keep worrying. Well dear, if you don't want them worrying about you, make an effort to take care of yourself.

 

Things that bug me - and this isn't unique to this book - why does everyone with a bit of talent run off to NY in hopes of being discovered? All larger cities, and quite a few smaller ones, have centers for performing arts.

 

Why, upon discovering you aren't as good as you thought you were, would you remain in a city like that? See above - smaller pond = greater chance of success.

 

Secretary? Really?! Doesn't that require at least some clerical skills? Typing at the very least. He thought of her as incompetent. Was she hunting and pecking? She said she'd focussed so much on her dancing she hadn't learned any other skills. Uh...

 

And yet, she sells quilts. That's a skill. Why, with that in mind, didn't she apply at an alteration shop? Or as a waitress or sales clerk...see, these sorts of jobs would make sense. A secretary, not so much.

 

And yet, it was very readable, mostly because we were in his mixed up noggin most of the time.

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review 2017-05-31 14:26
Take the Cannoli: Stories From the New World - Sarah Vowell  
Take the Cannoli: Stories From the New World - Sarah Vowell

I can already tell I'm going to want to read this again. Essays, I love them. Plus, in my mind, I can hear Vowell as she must have sounded on This American Life, which is where most of these began. There's a few bits of growing-up interspersed throughout, a lot of history, the blackest of humor. Great stuff, perhaps especially on the Trail of Tears and how many different emotions that trip spawned.

So much humor, though.

On the one hand, I think Vowell would be an awesome friend to hang with, laughing at Choo-Choo and working it into every comment because of the way it sounds ("spleen" is a personal fave) on the other, she would someday drag me along on the least appealing road trip ever. Hotspots of the Teapot Dome scandal? Tippecanoe? Some other phrase I only dimly recall from American history, but can't actually place in time or space? She's already done The Hall of Presidents, so I'd be clear of that one. Yet no matter how little the idea would appeal to me, she'd make it fascinating: full of humor and humanity. Maybe we can just get her and Kate Beaton and Bill Bryson to filter all of history for us?

Library copy

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review 2017-04-12 17:03
Coffee at Luke's: An Unauthorized Gilmore Girls Gabfest - Jennifer Crusie 
Coffee at Luke's: An Unauthorized Gilmore Girls Gabfest - Jennifer Crusie

work library has it. Trying to get it downloaded onto a device I can read it on. So much aggravation.

I have it on my phone, now. W00t! If I can get it on my Kindle I will be a very happy person for about 5 minutes, until something else comes along to annoy me. Fingers crossed. I wanted the Fire specifically to be able to take advantage of the extensive work elibrary.

Now I've run into problems getting the sundry devices onto the Wifi network. Sigh. It's not a big problem, just a little niggling one that's going to drag this whole thing out for the entire day.

Not to name names, but the app for reading this on my phone was not convenient.

But the essays, they are intriguing. But also, collectively a little clueless. So many contrast New England culture against [place where the author is now] which is utterly unlike Star's Hollow, for good and ill. Seriously? I realize that Connecticut is the Land of WASPs, the place where Pilgrims get all the attention, but seriously, the lack of history re the entire rest of the nation was off-puttingly White-minded and just wrong. No one should ever again get a book chapter out of ignoring 1) millennia of First Nations, 2) five hundred years of Norse, and English, and Irish exploration and settlement, mostly for the cod 3) French settlement in Acadia 3) more than two hundred years of Spanish exploration and colonization. Seriously, Plymouth wasn't even the first permanent English colony in what is now the USA during the 17th century: there were already three in Virginia.

Generally I love a pop culture essay. I enjoy someone taking a tv show seriously, seeing what it says about society, family, religion, adulthood. Of course, there are problems: backstory is incomplete, sometimes contradictory, often open to interpretation, and that's when these essays get really good. Because there is no objective reality, everyone ends up writing not about the show, but about themselves. It's a Rorschach test. Humans are social animals, and it desire to examine the related between us is just as strong when we're talking about imaginary people. In real life a person rarely has to choose between two romantic prospects, but as a mental exercise it makes us consider what is most important: do we prefer similar backgrounds, or shared passions? Charm or loving actions? What do we need to be content?

So, here I am, nothing like Lorelei, except I do live in a charming old small town, and I like junk food and old movies and coffee, and books examining what this all means.

Library copy 

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