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Search tags: trashy-romance
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review 2018-02-26 08:41
A Bride for All Seasons
A Bride for All Seasons - Margaret Brownley,Debra Clopton,Robin Lee Hatcher,Mary Connealy

Four short stories, each set in a different season of the year, featuring the mail order bride trope. The common thread between the stories is each story's couple had sought a partner through the Hitching Post catalog where the interfering editor rewrote letters between couples to play matchmaker. They inevitably discover the deception early in the story, but of course the marriage (or some kind of chaste partnership) must continue and eventually feelings develop.

 

Each couple has a different backstory and set of circumstances which was interesting. It is all terribly cliche, of course, but in a nice cotton candy sort of way. Happy endings all around. I believe this is technically under the Christian romance sub-genre and there are no sex scenes in any of the stories - although there are a few saucy sentences!

 

It was a cute and comfortable dozing-off-in-bed kind of read.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-07-12 07:45
Marriage of Inconvenience
Marriage of Inconvenience - Cheryl Bolen

I don't remember why I wishlisted this. I have a thing for regency romances, I think. (Hello, Mr. Darcy.)

 

Quick read, or rather it is better as quick read. Don't slow down to think about how the motives of the heroine to get married change radically between one page and the next. It is a bit annoying that the male protagonist figures out the heroine's "super secret identity" in the span of about 3 paragraphs when no one else in the country ever realized it, yet he keeps the secret for the majority of the story only to hold it over the heroine's head at the end. Sigh.

 

I liked the focus on development of the characters (even if their motivations and internal monologues were so wishy-washy at times) and emotional romance instead of physical romance. Also, it is adorable that winning over a large family of step-children is one of the heroine's goals. (Spoiler: she succeeds!) I wasn't particularly keen on the blatant Americanisms thrown in - no, it is not cool to move to England with the sole intent and purpose of tearing down their cultural system because it does not jive with your contrived American sense of "freedom and equality" and the way you intend to accomplish this is by fulfilling your princess countess fantasy by marrying a peer with influence with the government. WTF.

 

But, ahem, other than that, and with a great deal of reminding myself that it is just wish-fulfillment  historical romance fiction, it was a cute story. :)

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2015-09-07 03:40
Cover pictures that don't match are annoying
The Taming of Lady Kate - G.G. Vandagriff

So this was like 150 pages of historical inaccuracy from the get go. Glad I read this on Kindle so I could look up all the archaic vocabulary. I love when period-appropriate language is used in historical novels, but there has to an emphasis on the appropriate part. It just seemed like there may have been an "English slang from early 20th century and earlier periods" thesaurus in use. Some of the words were used circa the Middle Ages and they were being used in a story ostensibly set in the Victorian era (?!) so I'm... I'm not sure how I feel about that.

 

I lost about two or three days worth of free time to reading old handbooks on appropriate etiquette for debutantes during the Victorian era online, purely because I almost threw the Kindle across the bedroom at certain parts with exclamations of "She can't do THAT! It's too scandalous!!!"

 

Once I got over the inaccuracies and just speed read for the funnies, it was pretty entertaining. Quick read. Also, I like the Mary Sue logic thing going on, making me all nostalgic for days of fandoms past. Punctuation and the choppy scenes towards the end were annoying but, eh...

 

Things that I actually bothered to highlight:

 

-- "She noticed this time that he had a pronounced widow's peak. Maybe this accounted for the sinister cast to his features." Widow's peaks = evil, it's true. See any anime ever, but maybe first try Dragon Ball Z.

 

-- "He went to the card room and promptly lost fifty guineas." WTF, how?! Did you throw it at someone's face? You can't be that careless. That is a ridiculous sum of money.

 

-- "Kate was standing behind his bent figure. Whipping the knife out of her stocking, she held the weapon above her head." I had this hilarious mental image of a gown with the equivalent of hammer-space holes to allow her to be able to do that without alerting the guy she's standing behind. Yeah, those Victorian dresses? Few dozen yards of fabric in the skirt alone, not counting petticoats and undergarments. Ah, magical wardrobes, gotta love them.

 

-- "I am going to remove your waistcoat and shirt, as well. Potter has taken off your boots, but I will leave you your breeches, never fear." / "Are you absolutely certain you have no designs on my virtue or my life?"

 

-- "Yes, and her reward is somewhat dubious. She is to be saddled with me for a lifetime. But it is a sad fact that life is not fair." Where is my period-setting Hallmark movie with this line uttered by a handsome B-list actor?

 

-- "A man need not love a woman to make love to her. But a woman? How could she allow herself to be conquered in the most intimate of ways if she knew the conqueror's heart was not involved?"

 

I suppose I should have known a book of this genre would also follow the usual trashy stereotypes. He likes her, she likes him, but never at the same time or even the same chapter. One is always teasing the other and leaving them sexually frustrated. They have literally known each other less than a week, but that's okay! However, modern views of consent and love of Warm And Fuzzy Feelings means that of course he shall not force himself upon her when he thinks she feels nothing for him, husbandly rights be damned! Of course she will vow to remain celibate in a loveless marriage for eternity to save her younger brother because self-sacrifice is the epitome of unrequited love/lust!

 

Sigh. At least the author realized this and poked fun at the tropes throughout the text, or at least I hope that was intentional satire anyways.

 

-- "It's the newest [revolver] I have. Releases several shots at once. Especially suited for self-defense, but not good if your mark is in a crowd of people." W-what is this store? Assassins-R-Us? Most disconcerting line in the whole book.

 

-- "You have guests," the butler informed them. / "What the devil?" Jack said. / "Yes, my lord. Precisely." I love butlers like this. Favorite minor character archetype: Discrete, Sassy Butler.

 

-- "[I knew I loved you] when I was trying to remove your coat and you were abusing me thoroughly." / "It seems I spend a lot of time doing that." / "You do. And I have no idea why I put up with it. It is one of the great mysteries of the age."

 

-- "Freddie was evil and conniving. She should have known that when he insisted on sending Joey to Eton." Because sending away your sibling to an esteemed boarding school for boys of his age and rank to receive a respected education is the height of villainy.

 

-- "How can you have allowed things to come to such a pass?" / "[He] is Italian..." / "Oh, Italian! I understand."

 

-- "Don't you dare change. What makes you think that after surviving this fever and a devilish wound, I want to die of boredom?" At least he's got his priorities right!

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