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review 2017-09-19 18:16
My Forever, My Always
My Forever, My Always: Men of Crooked Bend Book 1 - Taylor Rylan

Phew. I skimmed the last 10% because...I was exhausted and just over this couple.  This book unfortunately did not work for me.

 

This book is nearly 400 pages and compared to most MM books, that is about 150 pages too much.  This one could have used the cut.

 

Overall, I was curious about this author. I have had conversations with her several times and she is a sweetheart.  And for a first time novel, this one has its pros.  But there is no doubt that a lot can be learned from this first one.

 

  • Not every man in the book needs to be gay.  I mean I love gay men but at some point good grief...I could use a straight character.
  • The entire story does not need to be told.  We went from hook up to quick relationship development to moving in to meeting families to engagement to bachelor party to wedding to honeymoon, to an epilogue...which did not close anything but brought up more storylines about other characters. It just becomes too much.  Much of the last 50% of this book could have been reduced.
  • While there was nothing overly irritating about these "Architects" there could be some improvements on what Architects actually do that would help readers like me avoid eye rolling.  But for those who are not Architects, none of these items would matter to them at all.
  • I love getting glimpses of couples that will be brought forth in future books but this was painful.  Too many instances of "I wonder what is going on there" or "I'll have to ask him what happened" only to get more questions and no answers. Yes, I get books are coming but this is rather painful as a reader, especially when the couples that interest you are books away.  Introduce these characters but avoid drawing them too much into the current story or risk irritating your reader and drawing away from the main couple too much. I found myself more interested in wanting these future books than I was about this couple.
  • I wish there had been a Gay Romance Checklist of attributes, sexual positions, storylines, etc. attached to this book, because I think every box would be checked. We don't need everything.  And the warning about Rape at the beginning was completely unnecessary because we never got anything more than "he was raped, beaten and stabbed".  I assume when we finally get to this character's book we will get more.  At least I hope so.  
  • There is no need to overuse a character's name repeatedly in conversation between 2 people.  I am talking to you, I don't need to use your name.  This became irritating because how often do you really use a person's name when you are having a conversation with them.  Very little.
  • Overall this couple was rather blah.  There was no tension, no heartache, no dark past or anything.  These were just 2 lovely men who loved each other.  And we heard about it a lot.  I just kinda lost interest. 

 

Now all that said, will I continue?  Yes.  As I mentioned above, I am actually much more interested in these other couples who appear to have a little more grit to them than these characters did.  Plus, I am eager to see how this author grows and develops.  She has the abilities there is no doubt. I just hope she can structure her next book in a way that keeps me more engaged.

 

 

 

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text 2017-09-18 18:56
Reading progress update: I've read 88%.
My Forever, My Always: Men of Crooked Bend Book 1 - Taylor Rylan

 

Oh my god and no damn wonder...I just noticed this fucker is nearly 400 pages.  400 PAGES!!!!  

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review 2017-09-15 00:47
Riverbend, Ciara Knight
In All My Dreams (Riverbend Book 3) - Ciara Knight

I enjoyed this clean, sweet novella Romance, Book .05. I received this for free and I voluntarily chose to review. I've given this a 4.5* rating. This would make a good case for the absent minded professor saying. Both the hero and the heroine were a little bit like that.This is a nice sweet love story.

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review 2017-09-06 13:37
My Fair Baron by Licie Laine
My Fair Baron (Romance Remade Book 1) - Licie Laine

I initially read this story in its original form, when it existed as fanfiction. 

 

Will and Claire are completely different characters compared to the source material. As such, it is not difficult for me to read this as a work of original fiction.

 

On the strength of this story, I have always liked the fake marriage trope. Lady Isadora gets some humourous lines;  displayed some kickass gun shooting skills, and totally deserves a novel of her own.

 

The story flow is good, it is easy light reading, and the cover picture is very pretty. In essence, it's about two (slightly) broken dented characters helping each other heal, letting go of their respective sad pasts to find happiness together. And that is always the sort of story worth reading.

 

In short, I think this series has potential, and I definitely have The Meddling Madame on my waiting list for when it comes out next year.

 

- - - - - - -

 

Now, I am going to nitpick on the historical inaccuracies that bother me. Please feel free to stop reading at this point because whenever I do this to my friends, their eyes glaze over.

 

Disclaimer: I never criticise fanfiction because most fanfic writers devote their free time writing out of love for a fandom, and they tend to find it demotivating to receive (unsolicited) criticisms. That said, published novels are an entirely different game, and I definitely criticise novels when I review them. 

 

Firstly, baron is a rank, not an appellation. In the novel, Will and Claire addressed each other as Mr. & Mrs Knightley. Given that they hold the ranks of baron & baroness, they should be Lord & Lady Knightley. In society, he would have been presented as Lord William Knightley, Baron of _____ . Not Baron William Knightley. 

 

There were hardly any mentions of servants. The lady's maid performs the duties of a butler in addition to her own, Claire doesn't wear mourning colours, she gallivants around London unaccompanied by a maid or footman, there are no footmen in Claire's house, (footmen were supposed to be everywhere!), Baron Knightly has no valet, and they are completely unchaperoned (Lady Isadora, being unmarried herself, cannot be considered a chaperone, even if she is middle-aged, which she is not). They even live in the same house as an unmarried couple. This is the stuff of scandal in those days.

 

 

Third, no patroness launched Claire into society, no presentation to the royal court at the beginning of the season. Underaged, but no appointed guardian (a legal requirement). No mention of fortune hunters. And yes, I know I am getting ridiculous at this point, but we're talking about a time era so ritualistic in nature that non-adherence to the rigid customs caused scandals and led to ostracisation from society, so it stretches my suspension of disbelief just a little too much.

 

And about the 'restoration' of the barony ... I don't think that's how it works, but I don't even want to get into that topic lol. This post is already long enough as it is.

 

- - - - -

 

All these, however, do not detract from my enjoyment of the novel (much) and I look forward to future books by this author. :)

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review 2017-04-02 13:20
Goodnight My Angel - Sue Brown

"Are you shitting me? We get blown up again?"
 
Yes, that's the kind of book this is. Guns, knives, car chases and things getting blown up or set on fire.

Josh and Cal are once again chasing unknown bad guys killing off Agency people or their partners. No one's talking and there is danger around every corner. This whole cat and mouse game was highly entertaining.
The romance takes a back seat to the suspense but it is still there; not just for Josh and Cal but for Jesse and Dan as well who continue to play large roles in the story.
I really love all of these guys.

And then there was the ending. Ah, the ending. Major spoiler:

Which does NOT deserve that name because major f... CLIFFHANGER! I f... hate that! If I know a book has a cliffhanger, I don't touch the series until all books are published. In this case, I unfortunately didn't know and will now have to wait months for the next part. Months during which this one will fade in my memory and I will waste a lot of energy on 'where were we?' when the next one comes out and that is just so seriously annoying.

(spoiler show)

 

 

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