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Search tags: part-of-a-series
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review 2018-10-12 04:38
A Kiss for Midwinter (The Brothers Sinister #1.5)
A Kiss For Midwinter - Courtney Milan

This is the first dud in this series for me. It just never really seemed to gel with me and I even contemplated not finishing it but it was short enough that I powered through. The ending is a bit better than the beginning, which was very repetitive. A good ten pages could have been shaved off this without missing anything - or better yet, those pages could have been used to better development this relationship.

 

Jonas is a nice enough bloke, in his blunt, socially-inept way. But he's still following around a woman with no interest in him, who he falls for in literally a second. And she hates him, but of course that's only because of how he makes her feel and blah blah blah. I just didn't feel the chemistry, and the relationship development felt by-the-numbers. I guess expecting Ms. Milan to write an historical Christmas novella while also avoiding trope pitfalls was asking too much. 

 

I did like Lydia's father, and felt for Jonas's situation with his father. I would have liked to see more of them.

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review 2018-10-05 03:24
Acts of Faith (Cost of Repairs #4)
Acts of Faith - A.M. Arthur

 

When the seven-year old is the most mature person in the room, you've got problems.

 

Massive problems.

 

Mostly irrational, overprotective, miscommunication-because-your-head's-stuck-up-your-butt drama llama problems. 

 

My GOD! I wanted to smack Rey so many times. Sam isn't spared either. He gets some stern finger-wagging. 

 

And how do you not look in the car!

(spoiler show)

 

Add in the hilariously distracting typos (talk drink of water, mandolins in kitchen cupboards) and the Reign/Sam and Samuel/Rey naming device on the POV switches, and this was one annoying read.

 

I don't care enough about David to read his story, and I'm not feeling compelled to go back and read #3 with Gavin and whats-his-name, because if the grown men can't even act their age I have no hopes the teen boys will be any better. So this is it for me and this series. And probably this author.

 

3 stars because Faith was adorable.

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review 2018-10-03 02:51
Restless Spirits (Spirits #1) (Audiobook)
Restless Spirits - Jordan L. Hawk,Greg Tremblay

My review of the book is here and not much has changed. I did like the relationship development between Henry and Vincent better this time around. Not sure why, but it did. I still can't believe how idiotic and naive Henry was at times, and the fact he and Vincent never figured out the real-life human threat until the end - geez, it was so obvious! And I'm not just saying that because I read it before; I'd actually completely forgotten this part of the plot. So please, guys, don't quit your day job and become detectives. You would suck at it.

 

I decided to reread this since I barely remembered much about it and I'm planning to read the other two in the series soonish. Since this was just released on audio, I figured now was the time for a reread. This is also the first audiobook by Greg Tremblay I listened to. He did a decent job. I wasn't blown away by his narration, but I wasn't annoyed either. His range for voices seems limited, but I was mostly able to keep track of who was speaking when. He was easy to listen to and spoke at a speed that didn't require me to speed up the playback very much.

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review 2018-09-30 19:50
The Governess Affair (The Brothers Sinister #0.5)
The Governess Affair - Courtney Milan

Oh, what fun!

 

It was a joy to see how Hugh and Serena first met and fell in love. Knowing already from The Duchess War that they'd end up HEA did help me when reading some of the things Hugh did to try to thwart Serena's attempts to disgrace Duke Clermont. If I had read this first, I might not have been so quickly forgiving. But then Hugh's such a giant goober and a softie that I might have forgiven him just as quickly anyway, lol.

 

Their interactions had a very Beatrice/Benedict vibe to them, and for once I didn't mind the insta-love at all. They were both evenly matched (well, Hugh might have been a little outmatched) and they both needed something from the other that they didn't even know they needed. 

 

There's also a short little scene of Robert and Marshall meeting at Eton at the very end. It doesn't really add anything that we don't already know, but it was nice to see "live" as it were.

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review 2018-09-22 22:16
A Death at the Dionysus Club (Lynes & Mathey #2)
A Death at the Dionysus Club - Amy Griswold,Melissa Scott

This is a solid sequel to Death by Silver. There is still no steam here, and while there is some focus on Julian and Ned's relationship, this is first and foremost a mystery. Anyone looking for romance and smex will need to either look elsewhere or adequately adjust their expectations before diving into this. 

 

The mystery here had several layers to it and took awhile to untangle them all. The suspects were many, and the motivations just as numerous. It was fun following along as Ned and Julian tried to figure out what was going on, and learning more about how the magic in this world works. There's old magic, or non-conforming, now considered uncouth. And there's the new magic, or conforming magic, that's been designed to be more humane (no need for animal parts or blood, for instance). Of course, the two systems don't clash well at all, and when a particularly nasty bit of non-conforming magic starts to kill off men, it leaves Ned, Julian and Hatton in a bind on how to handle it, much less even figure out how it works and who is working it.

 

Complicating matters further, it seems that the culprit is part of the Dionysus Club, and Julian and Ned have every bit as much of an interest in keeping connections to the club and its membership away from the police investigation. They could face jail time or hanging themselves in their private inclinations become publicly known. This is not a world progressively-minded people or "as long as you're happy" platitudes, and these men have to be very careful who they trust with the truth, and even those who might know and support them - or at least be willing to turn a blind eye - aren't reckless enough to come out and say it.

 

We get to meet one of Miss Frost's friends, and more of Julian's crowd from his wilder days. Miss Barton is a hoot, and Julian didn't exactly have the best taste in men in his youth to say the least, lol. And then there's Challice, who I couldn't help feeling sorry for. 

 

This is a tightly-written book, with smart characters who are actually good at their jobs (so many books that claim their characters are the best in their fields are actually filled with rampaging idiots) and who know how to communicate with each other when they discover things the other needs to know. Fancy that! They're not as good as communicating when it comes to their relationship, but Ned and Julian find ways to do that as well, no matter how uncomfortable it might make them. 

 

This could have used another pass through by an editor, since there was some unnecessary repetition and a lot of missing words. A less misleading title wouldn't have gone amiss either.

There never is a death actually at the Dionysus Club, but I guess "Deaths of Dionysus Club Members" doesn't have the same ring to it.

(spoiler show)

But those are my only quibbles.

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