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Search tags: romance-historical
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review 2018-02-16 16:31
Wonderful by Jill Barnett
Wonderful - Jill Barnett

***eBook used to be available for free on Kobo***

She's been waiting for him for six years, two more than he promised when he offered for her. And to make matters worse, she's been waiting closed up in a convent!

But now he's back, and it's her turn to make him wait. And if he goes a little mad in the process...Serves him right.


This could've been a great story, a perfect mix of romance, drama, angst, and humor. Unfortunately, the heroine ruined it all for me. I guess she was supposed to be endearing, determined, and a little quirky, but all I saw was a bratty, self-centered, airhead who was too stupid to live.
At first, the antics were humorous, but the more the story progressed, the more the heroine grew annoying and her "antics" cringe-worthy.
I didn't even buy the romance, because Merrick (the hero) sure didn't come across as a moron who would fall for such a brat. Yet, inexplicably, he did, and I still don't know why. Through the story, as I got to read about him, understand him, I got the love from the heroine's side—the guy was protective, tender, caring, a brute when he needed to be...And a saint for putting up with the chit.
Her better qualities only appeared toward the end of the story, when it was already too late. I wanted the Welsh to sacrifice her to the dark gods by then.

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review 2018-02-15 06:42
In the Shadow of the Storm by Anna Belfrage
In the Shadow of the Storm - Anna Belfrage

***copy provided by publisher through NetGalley***

DNF @ 20%

This is supposed to be a historical novel with a romantic undertone, but except for it being set in the Medieval times and featuring a female and male protagonists, there wasn't much "history" happening.

There was an arranged marriage, a switch of bride with a husband not being very gentle on the wedding night because he thought his new wife wasn't a virgin, some wife-beating, jealousy coming out of the left field, inability to communicate, silent treatment...All in the first 20% of the book with the supposed historical environment and background conspicuously absent.

The hero was an asshole, most of the heroine's family were hypocritical bastards, the heroine was quite a shrinking violet, both protagonists were suddenly in love...And I was bored.

There was nothing really wrong with the narrative style (except for the rather jagged feeling in some scenes; it looked like there were pieces missing like they were ruthlessly edited without bothering to smooth out the edges), it were the characters and the story itself that were the problem, so I threw in the towel.

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review 2018-02-05 14:13
ONE SHINGLE TO HANG by Deann Smallwood
One Shingle to Hang - DeAnn Smallwood One Shingle to Hang - DeAnn Smallwood
  Lil leaves her family in Denver to move to Chesterfield, Colorado, to open her own law practice. She's one of a handful of lady lawyers in the country. Before she has even opened for business she has her first two customers, one a local rancher accused of cattle rustling. She figures out a way to save him and ends up falling in love with Drew.

I loved this story. The characters are well defined. Lil is outspoken and feisty. Drew is a product of his times but he begins to see where he may be wrong. Around them they build a family but not a traditional one. The villains are hiss worthy. Her parents are a piece of work. I loved when she stood up to them. There is a subtle humor running below the surface. I felt happy while reading this. The only thing missing was a clear resolution on the rustling charge but it doesn't change the story or my feelings towards the tale.
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review 2018-02-04 15:58
The Lotus Palace (Pingkang Li Mystery #1) by Jeannie Lin
The Lotus Palace - Jeannie Lin

Yue-ying is the personal servant to the most beautiful and accomplished song girl in the pleasure center, Mingyu. As such, she is not owned by the madam and can come and go as she pleases. Her birthmark (a read cresent on her left cheek) makes her noticeable in town, but her association with the Lotus Palace protects her as well. I liked Yue-ying - she is observant, practical, and a sweet heart without being overly sweet or fake.

 

Bai Huaung is one of Mingyu's admirers/constant patron (minus the sex part), and the flower prince of the pleasure quarter. His reputation as a flakey, shallow man who enjoys life's pleasures over his responsibilities (such as passing the imperial exams and getting a job); he is fine with this reputation, as it allows him to do his real job without notice. When two dead bodies turn up a connection with Mingyu, Yue-ying and Huaung partner to solve the mystery and fall in love.

 

The murders are the kind you find in cozy mystery series - light on gory details, the focus is on the motivations and who-dunit. Also the mystery takes a back seat to the romance. There isn't any suspenseful scenes, it is a mellow kind of mystery. I found it was just enough mystery to give the book a fresh take on the historical romance subgenre.

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text 2018-02-02 12:00
Friday Reads - February 2, 2018
Gambled Away: A Historical Romance Anthology - Isabel Cooper,Jeannie Lin,Rose Lerner,Joanna Bourne,Molly O'Keefe
A Bollywood Affair - Sonali Dev
The Bollywood Bride - Sonali Dev
A Change of Heart - Sonali Dev

I don't care about either team, the half-time show, or the Super Bowl in general plus it comes on here in England at 1am Monday morning and I have got to wake up and get the kids to school on Monday. (Also, English commentary on American football is ridiculous on a level that is comical when it doesn't raise your blood pressure.) Needless to say, I am just going to read and cross stitch the weekend away, and may the team with the lesser obnoxious fans win.

 

First, working on finishing Gambled Away anthology by the end of next week (I have 3 stories left). Then finishing up A Bollywood Affair and moving on to The Bollywood Bride and A Change of Heart. Those covers are gorgeous!

 

This week coming up is the last week of the second phase of COYER Winter Switch; on February 10th, I am moving on to just reading print books. 

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