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review 2018-03-24 09:43
The Pride of the Peacock
The Pride of the Peacock - Victoria Holt

My rating is an attempt at objectivity.  Objectively speaking, this is a very well-written romantic suspense, heavy on the romance.  I believe it to be everything that was beloved of romances in the 60's and 70's.  It was very well plotted and a great deal of care was taken with both atmosphere and characterisations.


Thus ends objectivity.  I disliked this book.  It is the embodiment of everything I find tedious in romances, in spite of wanting to enjoy them.  The whole misunderstanding / lack of communication trope makes me want to set fire to the book as I'm reading it.  It would take an emotionally neglected and abused protagonist to find the romantic interest in this book romantic or heroic in the least.  He was vain, arrogant and stupid.  She was just stupid, although I give her credit for being a smart-ass.


The setting for the first half of the book was England, and the second half in an Australian opal mining town, during a time before combustion engines and electricity were a thing (no specific date is ever named in the book).  I thought at first this would be a saving grace, because I'm moderately interested in opals.  But Holt was apparently obsessed with them, and her characters were mad about them.  There was so much obsessing and evangelising about the damn opals.  Holt was too heavy handed and went too far; by the end she'd almost killed any interest I had in them at the start. 


A true connoisseur of the romance genre might enjoy this for the nostalgia if not for the good story behind it (and it is a good story).  Me, I'm going back to my wheelhouse of murder and mayhem for awhile, before getting back up on this genre-horse.


This book works for the Kill Your Darlings game card Crime Scene: Pemberley.  "Pride" being in the title of the book.

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review 2018-03-23 22:09
Dora Saves the Enchanted Forest - Sheila Sweeny Higginson,Victoria Miller
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

Cute story with nice illustrations. The book is pretty predictable and repetitive, per classic Dora. I was never really in to Dora, but I thought it was kind of weird that this one is so princess-y. Dora dons a purple dress and matching headband, which seemed to stray from her original shorts and t-shirt. I'm of the opinion that girls can wear whatever they want (dresses included), but this one seemed to be pushing the girly elements a bit much. 

Story-wise, it was entertaining. I really only picked this up from the Little Free Lending Library, because I thought the little girl I work with would enjoy the unicorn pictures.

I do wish that there was a little pronunciation guide or something in the book. I took French for six and half years and know very little Spanish. It's difficult for me to read Spanish, because I often revert to French pronunciation. A phonetic breakdown in the back would have been nice. 

Overall, an okay read. Good for kids who like unicorns. 
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review 2018-03-14 21:00
Was Doing So Well Until the End
The Time of the Hunter's Moon - Victoria Holt

I was hoping that Holt was going to surprise me with this one. Have the sensible heroine just marry the very good man that was standing in front of her. Instead we have the fact that the man had affairs and tried to rape the heroine hand-waved away by saying that she is needed in order for him to change. Bah to that noise. I really did like the plot in this one (there were two of them) and the characters were much more developed than I have found in other Holt books. Holt apes a lot of Gothic romance tropes here, but geez Louise I hated the hero in this one. I wanted him to just fall down a hole and die. There was nothing redeeming about the guy.


"The Time of the Hunter's Moon" by Victoria Holt is  another Gothic romance I can now check off my list. So far the highest rating I have given a Holt book is "Mistress of Mellyn" which I gave five stars. 


The main character in this, Cordelia, when we first meet her, is away at a school to "finish herself." She has been raised by her Aunt Patty and is looking forward to the day she is home permanently and can help her aunt run her own school. When Cordelia and her friend come upon a man in the woods, Cordelia is instantly absorbed with thoughts of him. When she finally returns home for the final time after finishing school she runs into him again and starts to think of him romantically. When he disappears without coming back to see her again she wonders what happened to him. However, she finds out that her aunt has to sell their home and Cordelia finds a position at a school which has her forced to interact with a major force in the village. The hero (I say lightly) is named Jason Verringer and he's a typical Gothic hero. Dark and brooding and just terrible. He attempts to rape the heroine at one point, and is literally shocked she cuts herself to get away from him. And then tells her if not for her, he could change. Bah dude. I wished the whole time that something would fall on his head. 


Cordelia is sensible and smart and I thought had a lot more fire than the recent batch of Holt heroines I have been reading about prior to this one.

The writing was a little too modernish at times, but I think the book is supposed to take place in the late 1800s. I don't know. Holt doesn't include any references that I can think of at the top of my head that I can use to date the book. The flow was actually pretty good until we get towards the end. Then I think Holt suddenly realized she needed to resolve two plot points and didn't do a great job with either of them. 


The ending was not set up very well. We have a mystery finally resolved about one of the male characters we were introduced to earlier in the book, but Holt throws up a couple of paragraphs and counts it as mission accomplished. I noticed with her books she was not that great at tying up loose ends in her books. 



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text 2018-03-14 19:23
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Time of the Hunter's Moon - Victoria Holt

Image result for what is happening right now gif


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text 2018-03-14 17:49
Reading progress update: I've read 61%.
The Time of the Hunter's Moon - Victoria Holt

The hero is now threatening to rape the heroine and wants proof that she can give him a son? I seriously hope he is dead by the end of this book. What gets me is that she's still a young woman who was not raised to just go along and be a mistress. He had already has one mistress installed who had a daughter that he's not interested in at all. And of course the wife that died at the beginning that many are whispering he murdered. I hope Cordelia kills this dude.


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