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review 2017-04-29 06:04
Quick Thoughts: Storming the Castle (novella)
Storming the Castle: An Original Short Story (Audio) - Eloisa James,Nicola Barber

Storming the Castle
by Eloisa James

audio book narrated by Nicola Barber

Fairy Tales #1.5 (novella)



What Miss Phillipa Damson needs is a good, old fashioned knight in shining armor.  What she has is a fiancé she never wanted and a compelling urge to run away.  But if she manages to escape, will she find her happily ever after?

This novella started strong, and truthfully, I had been thinking that I liked it more than I liked it's preceding book, A Kiss At Midnight.  Because, truthfully, A Kiss At Midnight was just riddled with romance plot clichés and over dramatic angst, even if the book itself was pretty enjoyable.

The conditions of which Phillipa leaves her family and her betrothal to pursue a life for herself was exciting.  In fact, it was the best part of the novella, because it helps establish Phillipa's character outside of just being a Romance Novel Heroine, where everything revolves around a man and her love life.  I loved that she has a self-revelation about not wanting to continue being told what she should feel, how she should think, what she should want with her life, or how lucky she was to have her future taken care of for her.

That she took the initiative to step out of that mold to find her own way in life drew me in, and made me intrigued at what was in store for her.

That she would find Jonas Berwick, majordomo extraordinaire, in her future was also a bonus for me since I absolutely loved him from the first book.

The insta-lust that took place as soon as she enters the castle to become a nursemaid was not surprising.  And I was actually looking forward to the potential love story between her and one of my favorite characters from A Kiss At Midnight, Prince Gabriel's half-brother, Jonas Berwick.  Since the first book, I had found Berwick's character to be much more attractive and interesting than the main male character and had secretly wanted Kate to fall for him instead.

I had hoped he'd get his own book.

But a novella will have to suffice, I suppose, though, to be honest, after finishing this novella, I feel like Berwick deserved a much better story.

The moment we get to the castle, the story kind of plateaus and stops being exciting.  The love story feels supremely lukewarm, and while I like that Phillipa and Berwick don't fall in love at first sight, I never felt the chemistry between them.  I felt more chemistry between Kate and Phillipa, or even the castle's French cook and Phillipa, than between our resident main couple.  Berwick was severely underused in this novella, and honestly, I repeat, he deserves a full length novel and a better story.

When we get to the concluding chapter and find out that Phillipa had, yet another reason for not wanting to marry her betrothed Rodney... I guess that was it for me.  Because simply wanting the freedom to make her own choices wasn't enough?  I couldn't fault her for that.  But she announces another, much more superficial reason to her father, barely even mentioning the fact that she was tired of being strung around like a puppet by the people in her life.  No, Phillipa's reasons for not wanting to marry Rodney had more to do with the fact that Rodney isn't exactly the most physically appealing person, despite the fact that he was never a bad person to begin with.

That conclusion severely set Phillipa's character development from the first couple chapters backwards, and I stopped feeling bad for her that her father kept trying to force her into a life she didn't want.

Anyway, I can't deny that despite everything I disliked about this novella, Eloisa's writing style for the Fairy Tales stories are written in a distinctly "Once Upon A Time" like whimsical way that I like.  It truly feels like I'm reading (or in this case listening to) a fairy tale being told.



Roll #4:  (A third double landed me in Jail.)
Read 138 pages to add onto my 300 page Jail sentence.

No increase in Bank.

See Also:  Fourth Roll Activities





Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/04/quick-thoughts-storming-castle-novella.html
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review 2015-12-21 23:24
Rapunzel: Based on the Original Story by the Brothers Grimm
Rapunzel: Based on the Original Story by the Brothers Grimm - Sarah Gibb

The story is very close to the original Brothers Grimm fairytale minus the out-of-wedlock pregnancy and twins so it was pretty much your average Rapunzel story.


The illustrations were beautiful, especially the silhouette style of art. Gibb doesn't draw faces terribly well, but she does okay. And there was one panel that the people were supposed to be horrified, but they mostly just looked like they were pulling out some wicked dance moves. (Jazz hands, yeah!)

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quote 2015-11-08 08:21
Dead. He was dead.

I gasped, but Marta covered my mouth before I could scream. I recognized the dead man as one of the men who worked with my father in the forests.

But I was not prepared for the face of his attacker, as it settled outside the window it’d just thrown the body through.

I recognized the face of the creature. I knew it all too well, but it didn’t match the harsh look of the body of the thing the face belonged to. A winged creature, a hard shell of skin the color of a cloudy sky. Its eyes were completely dark so that no whites would show. Slim and sharp teeth protruded from its mouth, as it hissed and revealed a long tongue that just barely dipped past its jaw. Long talons on its hands and feet, hard palms set against what was otherwise sagging and wrinkled skin.

So how was it that I recognized this creature when I'd never set eyes on anything like it before?

Because it had the face of my mother.

I'm just a bit over 11,000 words on my NaNo project.


Yeah, this scene's setting up for some problematic things to occur, understatement. Not really a spoiler since it's the set up to where my protagonist will begin her journey.  I'm putting her through the emotional gauntlet in just the first chapter.  


But I'm on a writing roll. I'm actually backtracking a couple of chapters in to add details to the start of the story.


Getting out my pom-poms and cheering everyone else on their writing journeys for NaNo. See you guys in a little while.

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review 2015-03-09 13:07
Charlotte & Leopold: The True Story of The Original People's Princess by James Chambers
Charlotte & Leopold: The True Story of The Original People's Princess - James Chambers


Happy Bunny, me. Nabbed a hardback, large print beauty.
Withdrawn from Liverpool Libraries.

For Josephine

Description: The tragic story of the doomed romance between Charlotte, heir to the English throne, and Leopold, uncle of Queen Victoria and first King of the Belgians. A story that Jane Austen famously declined to tell, declaring: “I could no more write a romance than an epic poem.”

Charlotte was the only legitimate royal child of her generation, and her death in childbirth resulted in a public outpouring of grief the like of which was not to be seen again until the death of Diana, over 150 years later. Charlotte’s death was followed by an unseemly scramble to produce a substitute heir. Queen Victoria was the product.

Opening: No one knows better than a medical man how to kill himself. Sir Richard Croft did it very neatly. He slouched in a tall wing chair and put a pistol in his mouth. When he pulled the trigger, his blood and brains were caught by the back of the chair. Only the bullet tore on through into the wall.

This book lacks a context. It is one thing to willingly look up pictures and additional trivia snippets to flesh out a read, quite another to have to do it just to keep the story straight in one's noddle.
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review 2014-09-17 00:00
The Tailgate: An Original Story
The Tailgate: An Original Story - Elin Hilderbrand The Tailgate by Elin Hildenbrand
Love this author and realized I had not read this one. Daphne and Clen were high school sweethearts.
Now that they are at college they don't get to see each other so often. She often catches the ferry on Friday nights to return to the island for the weekend when Clen wanted to spend time with her.
Last year he had shown up with his friends at her college, for the football game. This year she hopes to surprise him by showing up at his college, for the game.
She realizes he's changed so much as he wrestles with the guys on the yard and isn't shaving.
She is able to take on her fear head on by going to the game, with her friend....and now he's got plans to return to his journalist job after the game and not go on their dinner date.
Game is going well til others come between them and Daphne wonders about Clen and his new friends....til she discovers what's going on and she knows she has a choice to make: stay or go.
This is the pre story to The Matchmaker by the same author where their story continues... Love the aura she sees around others who are dating=-she can pair them up fr a lifetime...
Excerpt of The Matchmaker is included.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

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