logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: right
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-05-28 02:46
Romance

If you read my posts, specially several of the last month, you might wonder why I read romance at all when I'm liable to turn into a harpy commenter and reviewer on them.

The thing is, I love romantic novels. Even the most of ghastly harlequins have a chance with me when the mood strikes. It's like craving candy, or chocolate. It's yummy, addictive and comforting.

Thing is, also, that there is not much romance that is good. Any good.

Many shallow romances turn the silly mush fest (what I usually want) into some very misogynistic tripe, glorify abuse, rape, coercion (which is very disturbing trend and deserves a separate post).

Some have the characters make down-right stupid choices, or act in an all-around insane behavior. We are all fools in love, but there are limits people: they are a called sanity, self-preservation, laws, morals. You may go beyond all those given the right (let's say hellishly wrong) circumstances, but you'd have powerful reasons (reason is the issue, really).

Romances that tend to be a bit more thoughtful tend to the serious, sad or just plain tragic (which is not to say all those wangsty romances have any more insight than the rest, it's not a commutative equation). But love is fun and warm, and exiting, and awkward. There are a lot of negative things (insecurity, misery, loneliness, miscommunication, on-sided feelings, incompatible aims) that come with it too, and sometimes I'm up to read about those, but really? There is so much of that in life and most times I seek escapism.

It is difficult to find a lighthearted romance that doesn't became a stupidity contest. Much related to the second point.

I want to call attention to the fact that I'm not even touching quality of writing here, and barely on plot. Mostly characterization. Which is almost unbelievable when you realize romance ought, by it's very genre definition, be character driven.

Thoughts? Recommendations?

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-05-26 17:54
Mr. Right-Swipe/Ricki Schultz
Mr. Right-Swipe - Ricki Schultz

Rae Wallace would rather drown in a vat of pinot greezh and be eaten by her own beagle than make another trip down the aisle--even if it is her best friend's wedding. She's too busy molding the minds of first graders and polishing that ol' novel in the drawer to waste time on any man, unless it's Jason Segel.
But when her be-fris stage an intervention, Rae is forced to give in. After all, they've hatched a plan to help her find love the 21st century way: online. She's skeptical of this electronic chlamydia catcher, but she's out to prove she hasn't been too picky with men.
However, when a familiar fella's profile pops up--the dangerously hot substitute teacher from work (Nick)--Rae swipes herself right into a new problem...

 

This book was as it promised to be--light women's fiction with a lot of laugh out loud moments. Though it wasn't the deepest, the humour was lovely.

 

Rae's tone was absolutely fantastic--she's super witty and it's hilarious. I loved how she commented on the world and how I could very easily imagine her as someone I knew in real life. The way she interacted with the app was highly entertaining, and I adored how she and her friends were first grade teachers--not exactly what I had expected. I'm not the biggest fan of characters who are writers trying to be published simply because it's overused, but she at least had a great tone.

 

I did feel like Rae had the tendency to be quite judgemental--there was one scene in particular where she finds one guy with something wrong with him physically, and it's never quite clear if he just had a bad circumcision or some birth deformity, but nonetheless, something about how he looked was enough for her to lose interest in him despite how she had been completely into him prior. It fits with her character, but sometimes she really passed too much judgement.

 

This is mainly a book about guys, but Rae at least acknowledges that. She has an inherent mistrust of men in general and doesn't think that she'll find love, yet she seems to spend most of her time thinking about them or at the bar trying to pick one up. Quite contrarily, the ultimate message of this book seemed to be that Rae was happy when she had a man.

 

This was quite opposing to her strong friendship with fellow female teachers. Though she wasn't particularly supportive at time and seemed to want to ignore problems, she did value them quite a lot. A few of the scenes at the end of the book were quite heartening.

 

Oh, and she strangely uses hashtags all over the place... and it's really annoying. Not sure why the author decided to do that.

 

While this book will not teach you any underlying messages, it's a quick and easy book with some lovely scenes.

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-05-25 02:18
Quinn operates on a whole new level here, with a dynamite protagonist
The Right Side: A Novel - Spencer Quinn

Okay, since I first opened the pages of Dog On It 8 years ago, I've been a Spencer Quinn fan -- it probably took me two chapters to consider myself one. So it's kind of a given that I'd like this book -- but only "kind of." This was so far from a Bowser & Birdie or Chet & Bernie book that they could be written by different people.

 

Sgt. LeAnne Hogan was an excellent athlete in her childhood and teen years, and then she joined the Army (deciding her West Point plans would take too long -- an oversimplification that'll do for now) and became an excellent soldier, serving multiple tours in combat zones. During her last sting in Afghanistan -- as part of a team working to build intelligence sources among Afghan women -- she is involved in an attack that leaves some dead and her injured -- physically and mentally.

 

Her memories of that fateful day are vague and dim at best, but the scars will not leave. Not only that, she lost an eye, her confidence, her future plans, and career. She slowly befriends a woman who lost part of her leg to an IED in Iraq who shares a room with LeAnne in Walter Reed. Marci dies suddenly and unexpectedly -- and that is too much for LeAnne. She leaves the hospital immediately and sets off on a drive across the country, she really doesn't have a plan, but she needs to be somewhere else.

It's pretty clear that LeAnne is suffering from PTSD on top of everything else -- as you'd expect. She comes across as angry and rude to almost everyone she runs across and exchanges more than a few words with. She eventually finds herself in Marci's hometown -- where her daughter has gone missing. For the first time since the day everything changed, LeAnne has a purpose -- bring her friend's daughter home. Along the way, she LeAnne gets adopted by a large dog who will prove an invaluable aid in this challenge.

 

LeAnne is a great character -- not a perfect person by any means, but you can see where a lot of writers (novelists or journalists) would try to paint her as one. She has huge flaws -- some of which are easier to see after the injury (and some of them are new after it, too). There are some other good characters, too -- even if you don't necessarily like them (LeAnne's mother would be an example of this -- she's trying to do the right thing, but the reader can sense LeAnne's apprehensions toward her -- and will likely share them). The people in Marci's hometown (particularly those that are related to her) are the best drawn in the book -- and I'd be willing to read a sequel or two just in this city to spend more time with them. Not everyone gets what LeAnne's going through -- some don't know how to react to her -- but those that come close will endear themselves to you.

 

The dog, Goody, isn't Chet, he isn't Bowser -- he's a typical dog, no more (or less) intelligent than any other. Goody won't be serving as the narrator in a story any time -- he will drink from the toilet bowl and ignore a lot of what LeAnne wants him to do.

 

Like I said, I'm a Quinn fan -- but I didn't think he had this in him. Funny mysteries with dogs? Sure, he's great at those. But sensitive explorations of veterans dealing with the aftermath of life-altering injuries? I wouldn't have guessed it. But man . . . he really got this flawed character, this incredibly human character, right. There's a couple of moments that didn't work as well as they should've -- a couple of moments that were hard to believe in a book as grounded in reality as this book was. But you know what? You forgive them easily, because so much is right with this book -- so much just works, that you'll accept the things that don't. It wasn't all dark and moody -- there's some hope, some chuckles, a lot that is somber and sad, too. While not a "feel good" read by any means, you will feel pretty good about who things end up.

 

This is probably categorized as a Thriller, as that's where Quinn's readers are -- but I can see a case for this being labeled General Fiction (or whatever synonym your local shop uses), it's flexible that way. This is Spencer Quinn operating on a whole new level with a character we need more like -- such a great read.

 

Disclaimer: I received this eARC from Atria Books via NetGalley in exchange for this post -- thanks to both for this.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-04-19 07:05
Release Blast - The Right Fit
  
 
Maxine and Antony are about to discover a game of casual hook ups can 
lead to something neither one of them thought they deserved—the right fit.
 
 
THE RIGHT FIT
Daphne Dubois
Released April 12th, 2017
The Wild Rose Press
 

 

When Maxine Nicholls discovers her fiancé is cheating, she turns to fast food and nighttime soap operas, but her sister has a plan—unbridled rebound sex with a stranger.
 
As one of Toronto's hottest players, Antony Laurent tallies scores on and off the ice, but when the chiseled defense man hits a slump, rumors of a trade to the minor league send him to ambush a managers meeting at a posh club.
 
That night a chance encounter ends up as an unforgettable evening of passion. But Maxine and Antony are about to discover a game of casual hook ups can lead to something neither one of them thought they deserved—the right fit.
 
 
 
 
 
 

She dropped her gaze and stared at his hands. God, they are big hands. Big hands, big… “Do you want a coffee?” she blurted out.

 

A coffee? Non.”

 

Or maybe you need the washroom?” She pointed down the short hallway that lead to her bedroom.

 

He looked down the hallway, then back to Maxine. “You want me to use washroom?” he asked seriously.

 

No.” She backed up a few steps until she reached the kitchen counter. The heat under her dress was now slick and uncomfortable. She glanced down and saw a mint leaf sticking out of her cleavage. Classy lady.

 

The romance cover model ran a hand through his hair again, making his biceps strain under the t-shirt sleeve. Maxine suspected he’d practiced that move in the mirror a few times. “Then what do you want?” he asked.

 

A burst of nervous laughter escaped, but then her smile faded. “No one has asked me that in a very long time,” she said. Slipping off his jacket, she laid it on the counter, letting her finger trace the stitching along the zipper, trying to build up her courage. “Why did you follow me into the cab?”

 

Because no one has ever run away from me before.”

 

Rolling her eyes, Maxine looked up and saw that he was smirking. “Rejection is a new thing for you, I’m guessing.”

 

Is that what you call inviting me here?” He tossed the ball cap and it landed perfectly on the dining table. The floorboard creaked as he took a step closer to her. There was a spark of anticipation in his eyes.

 

Hold on, cowboy,” she said, putting a hand on his chest. My God! His muscles are rock hard under his shirt. Who the hell is this guy? She cleared her throat. “What makes you think you can kiss me again?”

 

He was still as stone under her touch, but Maxine could feel herself falling into his stare. “You kissed me,” he said, his voice ridiculously smooth. “There is a difference, I promise.”

 

It wasn’t only the French accent, but the confidence in his voice that made her knees almost unhinge. Her hand was flat on his chest; his racing heart was keeping time with hers. “That sounds like a proposition,” she said.

 

It can only be decided one way.” Then he repeated his earlier question. “What do you want?”

 

He was so close she could see the faint brown and black colors of his stubble. There was a cleft in his chin. What do you want? An image of the long white box hidden in the closet was ignored; all Maxine wanted at that moment was to mold herself into his arms and forget about the last four years. “Kiss me,” she said.

 

His fingers grazed her cheek, tucking a wave of hair behind her ear. “Un moment,” he said. “A man should be prepared.” He peeled the last mint leaf off her chest then placed it in his mouth.

 

Maxine giggled through a surprised expression, which faded into a sigh.

 

Then, with deliberate care, he brought his lips down to hers, perfectly fitting their mouths together. He gently moved his chin starting a slow pace, controlled but with a sense of held back urgency.

 

This was nothing like the hastily stolen kiss at the club.

 

The cautious seduction was almost too much for Maxine. She wanted to taste him fully, kiss him back hard—tackle this moment like Alexis Colby.

 

 
Daphne Dubois writes contemporary romance and believes the right book at the right time can make all the difference. When she's not putting her characters in compromising positions (ahem), she works as a registered nurse. A member of the Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia, she lives in Eastern Canada, the most romantic place in the world.
 
 
 
 
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-15 02:01
The Right Fit by Daphne Dubois
The Right Fit - Daphne Dubois

NHL defenseman, Antony Laurent, meets, esthetician, Maxine Nicholls, who is on the rebound after catching her fiancé cheating on her.  This sports romance takes place in Toronto and Florida.  It is suitable for adult audience.

 

I felt bad for Max.  Her ex-fiancé, Johnny, really messed with her self-confidence.  Anthony is much better for her.  I love that he likes her the way she is.  I like Anthony.  He feels guilty for his brother’s accident.  He’s worried about being sent down to the minors.  He pushes himself hard to take care of his family.  I appreciate that Max and Anthony both have issues they overcome in this novel. 

 

They have interesting friends and family.  I like Carmine. He gave Max good advice and was a sweet man.  I like how the characters evolved in the story, especially Marc toward the end of the novel. 

 

It took me a little while to get into this story.  I enjoyed it more as I kept reading it.  I like the nail polish names and their significance throughout the book.  I also thought the name Max considered for her business clever.  I enjoyed the ending.  It made the story feel well concluded.  I would like to see a sequel with Marc and Kayla. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?