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review 2017-02-26 23:18
Search the Shadows ★★★★☆
Search the Shadows - Barbara Michaels

Amazingly, this is the first Barbara Michaels I’ve ever read. It was a good page-turner, and the mystery was satisfyingly atmospheric in its gothicness and twisty with its misdirection. The romance, however, felt sort of tacked-on at the end. I was pleased to have a romance with an intentionally unlikeable heroine, for a change. She’s rude and selfish, snide towards all other women, and feels very little sense of guilt over neglecting her relations. She also does not hesitate to use any tools available to her to achieve her own ends, including people. But of course, she is also beautiful and unaware of it, feeling that her dark coloring makes her unattractive in comparison to her fair-skinned and fair-haired mother. This makes pretty much every man she encounters willing to

literally

(spoiler show)

walk over fire to help her.

 

I read this for the 2017 Romance Bingo. It fits the Gothic Romance square, as it has most of the elements of gothic literature, except the usual supernatural one, if you discount several characters who seem to have almost psychic thought connection or leaps of intuition. 

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review 2017-02-26 23:09
Cold-Hearted Rake ★★★★☆
Cold-Hearted Rake - Lisa Kleypas

I’m pleased to have found a Regency romance where the feisty female protagonist is neither TSTL nor grossly anachronistic, and her love interest isn’t grossly misogynist to start. It was a fun read, and I liked having a couple of male protagonists who really just needed some responsibilities and something constructive to do, to help them discover that they aren’t useless boozy boors after all.

 

I read this for 2017 Romance Bingo, for the Rogue square. The title is an apt descriptor of both the primary male protagonist and his brother,

who are both lazy, selfish, womanizers, who intend to dump an entire estate with dependent female relatives, tenants, and servants, because they can’t be bothered, but finally come around and become responsible and loving, decent men.

(spoiler show)

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive, with an excellent performance by Mary Jane Wells. I admit to forwarding over the explicit sexy times scenes, though, as I somehow find those a bit cringeworthy when read aloud, especially when it’s going on in my earbuds while I’m wandering the canned goods aisle at the grocery store.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-02-26 22:09
Book review : The sun is also a star Nicola yoon SPOILERS
The Sun Is Also a Star - Nicola Yoon

January 10- Febuary 22

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Review : This book was beautiful I loved Everything , Everything and I loved this book
Natasha's family is being deported and Natasha's working her hardest to have that not happen Daniel is a poet his family wants him to go to Harvard and be a doctor they both meet and talk and spend some time with each other I love Daniel he's caring a good poet and he cares for Natasha . They end up making out Natasha meets Daniel's family . Daniel's brother is a fucking asshole he treats Daniel like crap . Natasha and Daniel part way they fight cause Natasha tells him that she's being deported but Natasha wants to see Daniel she finds a lawer who might be able to help . She gets Daniel's number after Daniel and his brother got in a fist fight they meet back up go up to a roof and kiss and Daniel goes to his college interview which turns out is the same Lawer and he couldn't stop her deportation they have to leave Daniel goes to her house with her .Years pass they grow apart until they meet again on a plane I loved this book so much one of my new favorites .

Quotes :
Natasha is different . She believes in determinism ---- cause and effect . One action leads to another leads to another . Your actions determine your fate .
In this way she's not unlike Daniel's dad .
Daniel lives in the nebulous space in between . Maybe he wasn't meant to meet Natasha today. Maybe it was random chance after all .
But.
Once they met , the rest of it , the love between them , was inevitable

“Maybe part of falling in love with someone else is also falling in love with yourself.”

“Stars are important," I say, laughing.

"Sure, but why not more poems about the sun? The sun is also a star, and it's our most important one. That alone should be worth a poem or two.”

“We have big, beautiful brains. We invent things that fly. Fly. We write poetry. You probably hate poetry, but it’s hard to argue with ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate’ in terms of sheer beauty. We are capable of big lives. A big history. Why settle? Why choose the practical thing, the mundane thing? We are born to dream and make the things we dream about.”

Observable Fact: I don't believe in magic.
Observable Fact: We are magic.

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review 2017-02-26 22:08
Fangirl ★★★★☆
Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

I enjoyed the story of Cath and her sister Wren, two young women in their freshman year of college who are trying to come to terms with growing into adulthood. Wren is launching herself into her idea of adulthood, with wild parties and brutal separation from her family. The unsociable Cath is warding off adulthood by clinging to the tokens of her childhood and responsibilities to her family, but is 

finally dragged into the bewildering world of adulthood by the friends and boyfriend she tried not to make and her father’s insistence that growing up means creating a life beyond the safety of immediate family.

(spoiler show)

 

I liked that both characters grew over the course of the book, but still retained their essential selves. I liked that the consequences for recklessness didn’t have to include sexual assault as a plot device, as so commonly found in other books. I thought the “Simon Snow”/Harry Potter knockoff was funny, and having been a reader of HP fanfiction myself, I enjoyed the whole fanfic subplot as well, although I found it a little incredible that a popular author of fanfic would be naïve enough to turn in her fanfic in a college-level creative writing class, and to be hurt and surprised when her professor called it unoriginal and plagiarism.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive. Rebecca Lowman provides a terrific performance, with Maxwell Caulfield reading all the “Simon Snow” excerpts.

 

I read this for the 2017 Romance Bingo, for the New Adult square. I think it could fit these other squares:

Young Adult: I genuinely think this belongs in New Adult, but because the main characters are still in their teens, the “voice” is that of teens, and there’s no explicit sex, you could argue that it fits YA too.

Key to My Heart: She falls in love, almost against her will, and through this new relationship learns to open her heart to others.

Twins: Cath and her sister are identical twins, and there’s even a few scenes with college douche-bros doing the whole, “whoa, twins, my sexual fantasy” thing, and even better, some decent guys calling them on it.

Fairy Tale Retelling: A bit of a stretch, but I’d argue that the “Simon Snow” tale is a retelling of and AU Harry Potter, and Cath’s fanfic is a retelling of an AU Simon Snow.

Guy/Girl Next Door: Cath’s new boyfriend

is literally her roommate’s friend and a constant visitor in her room, and he definitely has that boy-next-door persona

(spoiler show)
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-02-26 17:01
Embers
Embers (Common Law) - Kate Sherwood

And here's the unprofessional-professional, and here's where I check out of this series. 

 

*sigh*

 

I don't understand Jericho or what Sherwood is doing with his characterization. She wants me to believe this dude survived eight years in the Marines, four tours in Afghanistan, and went on to be a beat cop for the LAPD and eventually made detective. But here's the thing: Jericho's in idiot. He has no balls, no backbone, no brains; he's constantly being shoved around in one direction or another by everyone around him, not just his ubercrush Wade, and he does nothing about it except dig himself in deeper. Oh, but he has authority issues. If that's the case, how did he make it through boot camp? He survived four tours and eight years as a Marine but can't figure out how to get a gun out of someone's hand whose standing a mere three feet away from him? Really? He has authority issues but willingly lets himself be manipulated by Wade even after Wade says straight to his face that's what he's going to do? Jay needs to grow a pair and grow up.

 

At least Hockley shows some flexibility here and doesn't just keep up the "I'm a fed so I'm a jerkface for no other reason than I'm a fed" nonsense that he's had going on in the last book, but frankly, I'm getting close to being over the "locals vs the feds" nonsense that fiction writers just love to drool all over. There is at least an explanation of sorts in this one about why they're being such major tools. Kayla's tough and decisive where she can be, but really, by the time the feds are done with this town, I doubt she'll have anything resembling respect from her subordinates the way things are going right now.

 

As for the biker wars story - please. Just...that was the most convoluted plotline I've seen in awhile. And Nikki and her kids - honestly, I don't understand why Jericho gives a crap about any of them, when Nikki is constantly taking advantage of him and the kids are so horrible. Clearly, the only conclusion I can draw at this point is that he's a masochist. Which brings us to:

 

Wade Granger. Why am I supposed to give a crap about this dipshirt and Jericho's star-crossed obsession with him? If it really is star-crossed since Jericho's just barely pretending to act like a cop at this point. And is Jericho serious about his "if they made drugs legal then they wouldn't be a problem" logic? I guess he's a-OK with elementary school kids being used as mules and pushers, and teens getting hooked on this stuff and people OD-ing left and right and throwing their lives away for a high. But hey, if they're legal, then his ex-boyfriend would have a legitimate business enterprise and it'd be all good for them. Well, except the illegal weapons running and whatnot. Shoot, I guess we're just going to have to make that legal too. (And even if Wade ends up being revealed as being undercover (unlikely) or an informant (somewhat more likely) that still doesn't excuse Jericho's behavior up to this point.)

 

Writing is still good, but I have get off this stupid train.

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