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review 2017-04-28 11:43
Some good ideas but all in all a jumbled mess
Addicted - Charlotte Featherstone

 

I will not ramble as much as in my last review but I will point out that I am having the shit$iest luck in picking up good books lately. This one was no different.

 

I will just jump to what bothered me because you all know the storyline: boy and girl like each other, they almost end up together, something has to get in the way and in the end love prevails.

 

 

What I see wrong with this story:

 

1. The title. Summary of this book and the title would like us to believe that they seriously dwell into the opium addiction and that our hero Lindsay is an addict which gets in the way of him and his heroine. Well no, that is for the most part not true. He is only an addict in the last third of a book and what got between him and his heroine was really unrelated to any of this. In all honesty, opium was only used when this book needed a reason to be longer otherwise it would all end in the first few chapters.

 

 

2. Plot lines that lead nowhere. We have several of those but I will mention three which are probably the ones that really struck a chord with me. First we have Lindsay's character in the first few chapters being described as this great benefactor who aides little people who weren't fortunate enough of being born into a title or wealth. That is mentioned once or twice and it seemed like this will lead somewhere, that it will give him depth, something interesting about him, especially when we see his thoughts such as:

 

"We’re born rich, the untitled man is not. He is the one who needs the chances in life."

 

But that is all we get. It is never corroborated with any evidence nor is it ever mentioned again. It really felt like the author wanted our hero to appear good and giving but later on just dropped that entirely. 

 

Then we have Anais' best friend Rebecca who ends up betraying her and coming between her and Lindsay and after she does come between them she is only mentioned once. One would think that such a villain would at least meet its rightful end and that we will get the satisfaction of seeing her punished or something but she all but vanishes and not even Anais' family ever wonders what happened to her best friend.

 

And lastly I will mention Anais' parents. They are both bad people, one right from the start and one is revealed as one later on. But both have their own bad traits and especially her father, the hypocrite, who harbours a secret which Anais learns of and does nothing with it, she does not confront him, she doesn't tell anyone, it is never spoken of again, not even if her mother learned of it and if they overcame it... nothing.

 

 

3. Characters. All characters are literally one trait. That's all there is to them. Or one quirk, as you wish. Lindsay, our hero, is an opium addict, Anais likes riding horses, Broughton is a stuck-up guy, Anais' mom is a money grabber, Anais' father adulterer, Lindsay's father is an alcoholic, Lindsay's mom is a saint for putting up with an alcoholic etc. Not one of them had something else, something more interesting about them, each conversation when they spoke of each other was about the same thing about a person over and over again.

 

 

4. Inconsistency. Something that confused me, and I am sure that I am not the only one. Lindsay says in the first half of the book that while in opium dens he had sex in his high state with whomever's body was on him, that it was normal for those places to have orgies and such and he even said:

 

"He used the opium so that he could dream of her, so that he could see her when he was fucking other women. There was no guilt that way."

 

But later on he keeps saying that unlike others in opium dens, he just can't have sex with anyone because opium rules him and he can only get up for one woman who stirs his blood and that is Anais. It kept bouncing from one statement to the other each time there was talk about opium dens. It's just...very confusing.

 

 

Now I will mention what I hated most about this book and why I almost dropped reading it, I read the last third of the book like I was chewing nails, very slowly and painfully but since it is a spoiler of sorts even though you see it coming a mile away when you read the book, I will put it under a spoiler tag.

 

I will explain what got between Lindsay and Anais. I did mention it was Anais' best friend Rebecca but I didn't mention how it happened.

On a masquerade ball Lindsay was supposed to meet with Anais at midnight and he knew which costume she will wear. Little before midnight as Lindsay was waiting for the meeting, one servant fed him some weird dessert which contained hashish which he never tried before and it messed with his mind. That servant was Rebecca and she donned Anais' costume which she stole from her and tricked him into believing she was Anais and Anais caught them making out in the hallway. And she fled. She didn't want to speak with him and made him believe she left for Paris and he followed her there when she actually stayed in his friend Broughton's cottage on his estate. 

(spoiler show)

 

And now we come to the thing I hate most about this book.

Before the masquerade ball Anais slept with Lindsay and of course that left her pregnant and she had the child in the cottage where Broughton let her stay and she GAVE THE BABY AWAY and no, they don't get the baby back later no, they make peace with that, that their own flesh and blood is now someone else's daughter. HOW THE F*CK COULD YOU DO THAT??? There is nothing making you do that. First she says that she gave the baby away because what would that do to her status in society? Oh what a b*tch. Then she said she had no other choice because Lindsay wasn't there and yet she was the one sending him on a wild-goose chase when she led him to believe she left for Paris. Then she says she couldn't keep her because she couldn't give the baby milk because she got sick after giving birth. Oh please, plenty of women in that time couldn't produce milk so they hired local women who had babies too to help out. Nothing she says makes any sense and most of all, what does that make you as a woman, a person.... you could have kept your child but you CHOSE not to because it was EASIER for you. After this transpired I started to hate her and I actually rooted for Lindsay to find someone more worthy but of course we can't have that because it would make too much sense.

(spoiler show)

 

 

All in all.

 

Conclusion is that first half of the book was rather boring for me, the second half I was grinding my teeth the entire time. There were some inconsistencies and characters are one-quirk characters. But the author does know how to write well and her usage of language is something that speaks to me so I will not give up on her books, I will just stay far away from this one.

 

 

“When  you  pout,  angel,  every  man  looks  at  you,  wishing  he  could  kiss  away  the  sadness  from  those lovely lips.”

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text 2017-04-27 22:49
Dewey Readathon Reading List - Spring 2017
The New Neighbor: A Novel - Leah Stewart
A Vision of Lucy (A Rocky Creek Romance Book 3) - Margaret Brownley
Deep Deception - Cathy Pegau
Forbidden - Beverly Jenkins

My TBR for the read-a-thon is very eclectic.

 

1. The New Neighbor by Leah Stewart (Pop Sugar challenge - book with eccentric character) (Library Love challenge)

           A story about a nosy elderly lady who investigates her new neighbor and tries to uncover the neighbor's secrets. Literary fiction that I really hope doesn't suck due to having a mystery plotline.

 

2. Deep Deception by Cathy Pegau (Booklikes-opoly)

           F/F romance set in space. New-to-me author, although I follow her on Twitter because she makes life in Alaska look like fun.

 

3. Forbidden (Old West #1) by Beverly Jenkins (Booklikes-opoly)

          New-to-me author, and I wanted to tackle one of her latest books to see if I like her writing style before diving into her backlist.

 

4. A Vision of Lucy (Rocky Creek #3) by Margaret Brownley

        Not in a hurry to read this book. The beginning of the book was silly, with too much damsel in distress action that made me roll my eyes. A good laundry day type of book.

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review 2017-04-25 18:57
With Good Intentions: A Historical Romance novella (Secret Identity Book 1) - Jo Huddleston

WITH GOOD INTENTIONS by Jo Huddleston
Wanted to read this book because I like how the author describes everything in such detail she makes you feel you are there.
This one starts out with William Wentworth of his father's development company and he's been sent down to Conroy, Alabama and it's the year 1959. There is just one ice cream shop owned by women who won't sell so the company can remake the whole area around the college town.
Story also follows Jean Stewart and her mother who own and run the ice cream shop. William arrives in town and gives her an alias name and does overhear their money troubles while dining at the hotel lounge one night...
He listens to her story and dreams and knows what he can do to make it all right but will she ever forgive him for lying about his name and why he's in town?
Clean romance and think another book for a series could be written about their lives today or their kids lives and how the town grew over the years.
I was given the book by the author via Book Fun (The Book Club Network) and this is my honest review

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review 2017-04-22 18:53
Review: With Every Letter (Wings of the Nightingale #1) by Sarah Sundin
With Every Letter - Sarah Sundin

This book.

 

*SIGH*

 

*great book noise*

 

Where has this author been all my adult reading life?

 

I ended up creating a draft copy of my end of the year best of list for fiction. It has one book on that list. This book.

 

So I picked this book up from Amazon's bargain/close out section and then it gathered dust on my book shelves for years. I am now kicking myself for not reading this (and the other two books in the trilogy, but I don't have a copy of those yet) sooner.

 

Lt Philomela Blake (Mellie) is an Army nurse working on the experimental Air Evacuation section of the Army-Air Corps. She wants adventure, she wants travel, and she wants to move up in her career. Mellie is a damn fine nurse, and a fine person - but she is lonely because she never could make friends, especially female friends due to her childhood. Mellie is half-Filipino and half-white; she was too Asian for American school kids to like and too American for Asian kids to like. She has been instructed to learn to make friends and get along with the other women in her squadron or she will be removed from the Air Evacuation team and sent back to hospital work. She decides that part of this new "make friends and influence people" plan is to write anonymous letters to a male pen pal in her supervisor's husband's platoon.

 

Lt Tom MacGilliver is the son of an executed killer who just wants to be accepted for himself and be the best engineer the Army needs. He is working with the Airfield Battalion, hopping from location to location to lay down airfields for the Allies in North Africa. He too is lonely, so he answers Mellie's letter, staying anonymous. She goes by "Annie" and he goes by "Ernest".

 

Tom and Mellie form a deep bond through letters, even when Mellie's unit deploys to North Africa. They do meet, neither of them knowing that the other is the pen pal. At the end of the first meeting, Tom gives away a little of his identity and Mellie figures out Tom is her pen pal. She keeps this knowledge to herself, hoping to keep letter writing going. Both are falling in love with each other via letters, but Tom is also starting to fall for Mellie when she comes to his airfields to pick up wounded soldiers. He is very conflicted about his feelings for the "two" women throughout the second half of the book, but in the end he decides on "Annie" over Mellie, because "Annie" knows him deep down while Mellie he is physically attracted to. When he finally (FINALLY!!) figures out that they are actually the same woman, he mows down anyone in his way of him getting his woman.

 

This romance tackles racism, ethnic tensions, sexism, and how to deal with long hair when in the combat theater and you are rationed water supplies. Honestly, the deft hand when dealing with these issues plus the emotional baggage Mellie and Tom bring to their relationship is amazing. The story is rounded out with a variety of characters, some good - some bad - some ugly. But all the characters felt real. And the setting was aptly described; the reader is taken on a tour of North Africa including Casablanca, Oran, Tunis, Algiers, Youks-les-Bains, Constantine, Tabarka, and a few places in Sicily. This is an inspie romance, non-denominational Christianity. However, the religious aspects are really well-woven into the story, with no lecturing or long monologues or selfish praying. 

 

Tom adopts a stray dog early in the book. The dog is still alive at the end of the book and still working and living with Tom's unit.

 

I am definitely making it a point to read the other two books in the series and read the author's backlist (she tends to write in trilogies, all WWII). HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

 

 

 

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review 2017-04-21 13:37
F*ck no, no no no no and no !
Dark Fires - Brenda Joyce


This is a book made of plot holes, too many freaking conveniences, jumping to scenes unrelated to the ones we're currently in the middle of, jumping to a few years later, having 5 separate endings and characters who are made of one generic trait and show no other depth.

 


Dealing with some personal family issues I was sadly away from books and reading for the last few months and now that I have returned to one of my two favourite things in the world - reading (and anime) I thought to start with a good uplifting historical romance since this could be called my guilty pleasure genre. I even picked a book from an author revered as the 'queen of the historical romance genre' and the summary of it was quite intriguing.

 

All my hopes died a very slow death as I was reading this.

 

I am not being nitpicky here, don't get me wrong. The entire book is one big mess with only a vague idea of what the characters should really be like but no effort was put into actually making them so. This book is way too long for its content. The majority of it is just characters pondering and doing the exact opposite of what they're thinking and feeling. Why? Because there is no other story which would propel the story along so we resort to characters acting like the stupidest people who ever lived just for convenience's sake.

 

 

Let me summarise the story:

 

A 17 year old girl resembling a 12 year old is put in care of a 33 year old man who is suspected of murdering his wife whose body was burned beyond recognition (see where I am heading?) but there wasn't enough evidence to convict him of anything. In two days she arrives at his estate, they are both head over heels in love with another. Within a few days they leave for London where he sleeps with her completely unaware of his actions because he was apparently asleep and thinking he dreamt it (dear author, don't think your readers are that stupid). Then he says I need to marry you now because I deflowered you and he doesn't add to that because I also really want to so she thinks it's just about obligation and leaves him to join some theatre and he doesn't follow her. Cut to 2 years later. She performs in the theatre, has a 2 year old baby girl (yes, really really) and he suddenly comes back just because. And he pursues her, finds out about his kid, marries her but plot twist, his first wife comes back from the dead, then the second wife takes her baby and leaves him AGAIN without even talking things through and leaves for America with his best friend but this time he follows her and gets her back and she's also pregnant again. Then they leave for Texas where he needs to set some things straight with his family. Then she has a baby and they go back to England. The f*cking end.

 


My thoughts. Again.

 

These plot contrivances are so annoying, so unbelievable, so poorly written that I cringed every time I turned the page. I cannot believe how bad this reading was and I have read dozens and dozens of historical romance novels.

 

I have so many issues with it that I can't even list them all so I'll just mention a few.

 

1. Characters. Generic characters, very bland, poorly written. The author didn't succeed in establishing them as believable because she did noting with them so the readers could pick up and tell from their actions how our heroes should be like. It was told to us. For instance, everyone calls Nicholas a savage but he does nothing that would suggest others seeing him as one (I do not count him walking in his dirty boots in his own house). Also, they are very contradictory, Jane keeps saying about herself how she is very sturdy and not a crybaby and such and every single time she talks to Nicholas she cries. It's mindblowing really.

 

2. Characters being as$holes. First we have Nicholas who should be this dark Texan turned English man suspected of killing his wife and being very crude and manly and whatnot but he is actually such a sweeheart at heart, yeah right. In reality he had a great life with his family (except for that one secret they kept from him but you'll see that's also poorly written) and he was brought up well yet he intentionally gallops with his horse every single day through his well kept lawn just so his gardeners would have to set up all the grass back and clean it all day long. He walks with his dirty boots throughout the house just so his servants would have to clean after him. He f*cks his maid which almost seemed like rape because she is scared s*itless of him.
Then there is Jane. I will just say that every time anything remotely difficult happens she runs away because that is apparently the only thing in the world she knows how to do. And she doesn't even tell him he has a child. And when she's pregnant the second time and runs off to America she was thinking of not telling him, yet again!

 

3. All the unnecessary as$holish sex. Nicholas is sleeping with everything that moves apparently. But heyyyyy, he is such a sweetheart at heart you know. As soon as his character is introduced he is pissed so he practically rapes his maid then when Jane arrives he keeps on banging his mistress even though he really did fall for Jane I mean it's so clear in his actions non. Then when he marries Jane he STILL KEEPS SHAGGING HIS MISTRESS ! We also learn that he slept around when with the wife number 1. I mean, come on. And I am supposed to be smitten with him and root for his relationship with Jane to work? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

 

4. One plot hole that still keeps bothering me. When Nicholas takes Jane to London and they arrive she clearly points out that she should have taken the (raped)maid with her because she's taking a liking to her and she could use the company in London. Then when we cut to 2 years later and Jane recollects how she ran away from Nicholas she clearly says that she only had to ask that maid once to run away with her that night and she did. How the hell did that happen? Did you take out your cell and called her up and had her teleport to London from Dragmore? Or did she magically appeared there right before you decided to run away just in case you might do that and she could go with you.

 

5. Lindley. Jonathon Lindley is Nicholas' best and only friend (oh I wonder why) and when Jane arrives at Nicholas' estate he arrives there like 2 days later (she was only there for a week or so before going to London being there for 3 days then running off and voila 2 years later). Lindley will sleep with anything with a skirt so he makes a pass on Jane, Jane accepts the play to make Nicholas jealous and kisses Lindley. Then Nicholas punches him and Lindley is out of the picture until they meet him in London and greet him and his current partner at the theatre. So Lindley only sees Jane (and vice versa) two times. But 2 years later Lindley suddenly decided he is in love with Jane and seeing they were always "such good friends" Jane keeps accepting his advances. What is wrong with you, dear author??? She met him twice and didn't hear anything about him for two years and now they are suddenly best friends. It's the same at the end when she is in America. She is there for a few weeks and after seeing Grace (Nicholas' brother Rathe's wife) she is her best friend and confidant. I will shoot myself. There is absolutely nothing established between them other than one sentence, 'we became best friends'. Where, how the hell in such a short period of time??? Argh!

 


Conclusion.

 

I have many more issues with this book but I'll stop my rant here. I only gave it 1.5* because I gave Twilight one and everything is better than Twilight so that is the only small compliment I can give this book. Don't read it, don't waste your time.

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