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review 2017-11-23 19:22
Some great ideas that stumble in execution
Halayda (Star-Fae Trilogy, #1) - Sarah Delena White

Disclaimer: I'm reviewing an uncorrected proof via NetGalley, so it's possible the final draft changed some of the issues. Also, I made it about 10% before throwing in the towel.

Basically, something's gone wrong with the worldbuilding on this one. It kind of seemed like a second in series or spin-off series, where lots of people and places are being referenced as if to remind you of who/what/why? But I checked Goodreads, and this is a debut book, so I think the author was trying to do too much worldbuilding and it came at the cost of story and characters.

 

OTOH, maybe the problem was with where the story started. I think the author could have backed up a few scenes and let us get to know the characters and their stakes before diving into chaos and it would have given her space to spin out the worldbuilding in a more natural manner. Instead, there's just a string of extended info-dumps with a lot of running around in between and . . . I wanted to care, I really did.

 

I liked the striking cover design. I liked that there was obviously a big, fully-realized world with rules and tensely-navigated interactions between fae and humans and magic/alchemy-users, and . . . I mean, there's royalty, there's orphans with powers a la X-Men, there's lady alchemists and shady politics and freakin' faerie wings and that's all great, except in practice it just felt really dry. So, pass. Maybe a strong developmental editor could turn this around, but my tbr is too big to keep wading through all the words to find the story.

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review 2017-11-23 05:37
Attractive romance-manga retelling
Manga Classics: Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre is super well-suited to a shoujo manga format - very soapy! I liked the cute art, though backgrounds were sometimes a little sparse. The plot moves pretty quickly to cover childhood through maturity, and parts are inevitably summarized, but key events got good coverage, and the central romance was, if anything, more enjoyable in this format than others I've seen.

 

I've also reviewed Great Expectations in this series, and I enjoyed the Jane Eyre version quite a bit more. The language used is startling at first, since it's overly formal, but you quickly adjust to the classic lit tone. Really detailed liner notes and character art at the end are a nice addition.

 

Great for kids new to the title, fans of manga-style art and romances, or those looking for an accessible entry point to a classic novel.

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review 2017-11-23 01:25
Family loyalty vs her future, which will she choose?
Cuffed by His Charm: A Dirty Little Secrets Novel - Stacey Kennedy

This is the first book I read by this author. I found that I did not have to read the previous stories to enjoy this one. The attraction between Gabe and McKenna is tested greatly throughout this story. Gabe's anger changes to guilt, remorse, then to protectiveness, caring and love. McKenna has to fight her own guilty feelings for all that she has brought into his world as well as her feelings of family loyalty. I enjoyed the story of their journey very much, though I felt the intimate scenes between them were a little too emotionless. 

I received a copy of this story through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review 2017-11-23 00:54
Tugged at my heart while I enjoyed the action.
Highland Ruse: Mercenary Maidens - Book Two (The Mercenary Maidens Series) - Madeline Martin

This story had me smiling and crying. Kaid's story and that of his village and home almost broke my heart. Each time a part of the story was told, tears filled my eyes. Kaid had his vulnerabilities but found the inner strength to do what he must. Delilah's past led her on a warrior's path but never took away her heart. Her fierceness to do a job and softness for a child made me fall in love with her. The ups and downs of this story kept me reading until the end. Second in the series and I look forward to the next one.

This is my unsolicited review of a story that I received through Netgalley.

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review 2017-11-23 00:49
Be careful what you wish for as you may get it.
The Right Kind of Rogue (Playful Brides) - Valerie Bowman
This was a fun read. Meg is an interesting woman, very determined, although she was not prepared for what she got. Hart allowed his past hurts to color his views of women. I wanted to smack him for not seeing what was right in front of him. Their coming together was well worth the read, and I found this a hard book to put down.

This is my unsolicited review of a story that I received through Netgalley.

 

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