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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-01-20 16:23
I Has a Sad
Dragonfly in Amber - Diana Gabaldon

Confession: I've been known to cry at Hallmark commercials. When I was pregnant, I couldn't listen to the country music station because it would make me bawl for no good reason. 

 

Dragonfly in Amber left me traumatized. It is almost unrelentingly angsty and sad. I knew that going in, so I tried to brace myself by reading super fast (you know, because that helps, the way it's better to rip off a bandaid then to slowly pull it free, hair by painful hair), but it didn't help. 

 

I don't actually have much to say about the book... maybe because I read it so fast. I will give my standard miscarriage/dead baby trigger warning. (I've said before that miscarriage is as common, and as traumatizing in its own way, as rape, and I believe it calls for a trigger warning as much as rape/nonconsent does.) The loss here is a doozy, so brace yourself. 

 

Sorry this isn't much of a review. I think I'm too stunned to be coherent. 

 

Oh, and I'll count this as M is for Mom (one of the characters) in Sock Poppet's 2014 A to Z Reading Challenge, since Claire becomes a mother in this installment. 

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review 2013-11-27 15:22
Delightful (except for the Plot Moppet)
Lord of Scoundrels - Loretta Chase

I had heard great things about this book, and mostly it lived up to the hype (and isn't that rare?). The heroine, Jessica Trent, is going down on my list of all-time favorites: she's smart and snarky and able to take care of herself. The hero, Lord Dain, is a conscience-less rake who reforms over the course of this book. His reasons for being such as ass in the beginning are believable and sympathetic, and his reform doesn't happen overnight, so that's believable, too. 

 

I loved the witty, sarcastic dialogue between the hero and heroine. I loved that Jessica was so honest, confronting misunderstandings and issues in the relationship with frank conversation. (So often romances let misunderstandings fester for the sake of dramatic conflict, when an honest conversation could clear everything up.) I love that she didn't let Dain walk all over her, but gave as good as she got (maybe even better). 

 

Actually, I was loving just about everything about this book until about 80% of the way through it, when the plot moppet showed up:

(Dain's eight-year-old bastard son).

(spoiler show)

I like kids, but I don't generally like the 'plot moppet' trope -- where a long-lost child resurfaces suddenly, or the lovers take in a street urchin or other foundling. I just don't find these plots believable, because, no matter their tortured pasts or personal issues, these kids invariably clean up well and settle into their newly-priviledged lifestyles with remarkably little turmoil. Here, as is typical, the plot moppet arrives and is swiftly incorporated into the happily ever after, and I'd have liked the book better--found it pretty much flawless, actually--if that plot line had just been left out.

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text 2013-11-26 21:02
267 of 357
Lord of Scoundrels - Loretta Chase

Dang. A plot moppet. And things were going so well....

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