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review 2020-04-06 00:28
Mid-series thoughts
Prince's Gambit (Captive Prince #2) - C.S. Pacat
Captive Prince - C.S. Pacat

Man, gotta say, this series reminds me very strongly of Kushiel's Dart:


  • Elegantly written
  • Packed with court intrigue
  • In a high fantasy setting that
  • is at least partially modeled on Renaissance Venice


And also:

  • Packed with sexualized violence and sexual violence
  • That often rides the line of what I, personally, am willing to tolerate in fiction
  • And for sure is over line for many readers
  • Though I don't get the impression either writer is being prurient or provocative for its own sake. 


Weirdly, it was when the main relationship -- one between the titular captive prince and his captor -- shifted to a dynamic of more equitable standing that I kind of freaked out and had to stop reading at about 90% of the way through the middle book in the series. Still not sure what that was about, though I suspect that I freaked because their previous relationship -- one that was, in a word, abusive -- had been so normalized in the text that the shift made that abuse obvious. I'd been Stockholm syndrome'd along with the captive prince.


This isn't maybe the most interesting thing to do -- just observe how many people treat Humbert Humbert like some kind of romantic hero, and his relationship with Lolita as a grand love story, and you can see how easily readers will dupe themselves into siding with abusers. What's interesting is unmasking it for what it was, and then trying to move on from there.


So. Onto book three, I guess. 

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review 2019-12-21 20:45
The Theif’s Gambit. By Sarah Makela and Tavin Soren
The Thief's Gambit - Sarah Mäkelä The Thief's Gambit - Sarah Mäkelä

This is in the paranormal genre. It was a fast paced read. Moved from the beginning supernatural occurrence, with a side of steam and romance, well the romance was a quick aside. A lot of action and a interesting read. 

Source: mybagofbooks88.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-thiefs-gambit-by-sarah-makela-and.html
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review 2019-10-11 15:13
Ninefox Gambit - Yoon Ha Lee

This is one of those stories that afterwards lingers and makes you rethink how you see the world. It took me a while to get into the story but then it flew.

Captain Kel Cheris is disgraced by unconventional tactics; her chance to redeem herself is to host the mind of long-dead tactician Shuos Jedao normally this would subsume the original mind but together these two work on the siege and form a new alliance that will change things.

It's an interesting read and I'm glad I read it, I didn't continue reading this series when reading the Hugos as I felt I needed some breathing space between me and the next book in this series..

I have to admit that I found it a bit difficult to get into but compelling once I was there.

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review 2019-03-01 14:06
Prince's Gambit (Captive Prince #2) - C.S. Pacat


This book was much better than the first one and I started to see what everyone is talking about.


For the first few chapters I was dragging myself from chapter to chapter just to finish this book and get on with it, but as I got more into the story it started to get better and I finally felt something a connection between the Mcs at last, it wasn't palpable but it was there and as the story grew it grew with it and I even started to like laurent a little more.


The writing was better in this one also, it was deeper and more informative, and this time I am actually looking forward to read the last book.

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review 2019-01-07 18:34
The Husband Gambit by L.A. Witt 3.5 Star Review!
The Husband Gambit - L.A. Witt

Marry me for 1 year. Payment: $1.2 million.

Hayden Somerset is convinced the ad is a joke, but he responds anyway because, hello, $1.2 million. He’s broke, living in a tiny apartment with two roommates, and exhausted from praying his ancient car survives just one more week. His skyrocketing rent and crushing student loans aren’t helping either. At this point, there isn’t much Hayden wouldn’t do for that kind of cash.

The ad isn’t a joke. Jesse Ambrose is absolutely serious. His father, the charismatic patriarch of a powerful Hollywood dynasty, has his eye on politics, and he’s counting on California’s liberals and progressives to elect him. But Jesse knows what his father believes when cameras and voters aren’t around. As the election looms, he’ll do anything to force the man’s hand and show the public who Isaac Ambrose really is.

Anything, including marrying a stranger so his father will make good on his promise to disown Jesse if he ever takes a husband.

Now he just has to wait for his father to take the bait… and try not to accidentally fall in love with his fake husband.




I love a good Marriage of Con plot and this book delivers. 

Hayden and Jesse are a good match and the reasons for the marriage are intersting. 

There is a bit of repeating of ideas (Hayden's poverty) that take up space which could have been used for better elements but I did enjoy the look at what the true impact of such a set of action might be.

I liked that Hayden had a support network and it was good to see Jesse's character grow. 

There are some plot strings that dangle but overall an enjoyable read.

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