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MEK



Joined: 09 Dec 2010
Posts: 283

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shadow's Claim by Kresley Cole B-/C+ I hate to say it, but I'm getting kinda bored with this series! When the highlight of the book is a walk on by Lothaire at the end of the book, that's not so good. I thought the Dacians would move this series in a whole new direction (or be a whole different series?). Not so. More of the same - nothing new here.
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sanalayla



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 284

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larrisa Ione's "Rogue Rider": This was a complete waste for me. I was so disappointed. The romance between the hero and heroine was boring and seemed to have no substance beyond sex. The most interesting parts were the couple that were being set up for the next book. I'd rate it a D/C-.

Kresley Cole's "Shadow's Claim": I loved this book. One of my favorites in the IAD series so far. The story of IAD didn't move forward much (so I don't think this book was NEEDED) but I still enjoyed it anyway. The love story was sweet and I adored the hero. I'd rate this an B+/A-.

Not a romance novel, but I also read Alan Sepinwall's "The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever". It's a fun read for anyone who enjoys following what goes on behind the scenes on TV shows and has been an avid TV watcher for the past 15 years. I'd rate this B/B+
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Kayne



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 909

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:49 pm    Post subject: Eloisa James Reply with quote

Eloisa James has a new e-novella out, To Wed a Rake. It was a very enjoyable hour or two. I recommend it. I don't know if its a tie in to any of her other books but it is about a couple that has been engaged since they were children. I especially liked the h. Fun mini historical.
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Leigh



Joined: 29 May 2007
Posts: 2689

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Eloisa James Reply with quote

Kayne wrote:
Eloisa James has a new e-novella out, To Wed a Rake. It was a very enjoyable hour or two. I recommend it. I don't know if its a tie in to any of her other books but it is about a couple that has been engaged since they were children. I especially liked the h. Fun mini historical.


Thanks - I didn't know that she had another short story out.
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MrsFairfax



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 1069

PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just finished Edge of Survival by Toni Anderson. Cam Young is a biologist doing an environmental impact study for a Canadian mining company. She has Type 1 Diabetes. Several of the miners are opposed to her work, and that's before she finds the dead body. Chopper pilot Daniel Fox is former SAS, coping with PTSD as a result of the events that made him leave the military. Cam's mix of independence and vulnerability brings out his protective side, awakening feelings he's been ignoring since his military career blew up. The villains are creepy, the subplot with the murder investigation has good supporting characters and Cam's health issues are handled well, from what I can tell. I'll forgive a couple of cardboard secondary characters and cliched dialog for the pleasure of watching Daniel fall helplessly in love. I have a couple more of Anderson's books lined up and I'm excited to read them.
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Kayne



Joined: 31 Mar 2007
Posts: 909

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandlynn wrote:
Just finished up "The Weaver Takes a Wife" by Sheri Cobb South"


There is a sequel to this, Brighton Honeymoon.
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CG



Joined: 27 Jan 2012
Posts: 67
Location: Central Texas

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MEK wrote:
Shadow's Claim by Kresley Cole B-/C+ I hate to say it, but I'm getting kinda bored with this series! When the highlight of the book is a walk on by Lothaire at the end of the book, that's not so good. I thought the Dacians would move this series in a whole new direction (or be a whole different series?). Not so. More of the same - nothing new here.


I'm a huge Cole fan and she's on my small auto-buy list. Unfortunately I had the same reaction as you. Boring. I found the heroine immature and annoying, which I kinda felt bad about because she is young and somewhat sheltered. The hero was interesting, but I wanted someone besides the heorine for him. The best part of the book was the small appearance by Nix and Lothaire and his hillbilly bride. I'd give Shadow's Claim a C.
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PWNN



Joined: 11 Apr 2010
Posts: 912

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Silk and Stone - a medieval by Dinah Dean.

Beautifully researched and written as usual though a longer work than I've read before by her. All the others have been Trad length like her brilliant Russian series, her English trads and another medieval Briar Rose.

While I enjoyed her other medieval this one was far more satisfying. The heroine's continued blindness about the hero's worth and feelings in Briar Rose was frustrating. Here there is a far more equal and satisfying romance between two highly likeable, talented, kind and strong people. And while Dean manages a richness of detail in all her work it's even greater here as she has a larger canvas to explore the story and characters, major and minor.

The hero and heroine are both artisans so there is a great deal of fascinating detail on sculpture, churches, and embroidery. Since he's English and she's Norman and it's the mid 12th c there are also cultural, class and religious issues.

I'm not religious, and don't care for most Inspirational fiction because it usually proselytizes, but this isn't an Inspirational Romance. Rather it's a realistic Historical Romance showing how imbedded religion and the Church was in medieval life and psyche.
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stl_reader



Joined: 03 Aug 2011
Posts: 234
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm only part-way through Jessica Sims' Desperately Seeking Shapeshifter (the follow-up to, IMHO, the totally forgettable Beauty Dates the Beast) and I can already tell it's light-years better than its predecessor.

As a humorous contemporary paranormal, it works pretty well. Glad I decided to read it after disliking the first book in the series so much.
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Blackjack1



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Posts: 796
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Secret Pearl, Mary Balogh (C) - I delayed writing this mainly because it's such a fan favorite. I can say honestly that I disliked it and found very little resemblance between this book and others like More than a Mistress, which I found engaging and romantic, especially in the sharp and often barbed encounters between two prickly characters falling in love against their wishes. So, at the risk of offending fans, here goes...the two protagonists, Fleur and Adam, have to be among the most victimized and martyred couples I've read. Some readers compare this book to Bronte's Jane Eyre, which made me quite interested to read it as an avid Bronte reader. Needless to say I found very little in common except for the very basic of plot lines. Rochester is so much more thrilling and dark and complex compared to the one-dimensional Adam. The plot here is so heavy handed that I could foresee nearly everything in advance. [some spoilers...] Adam pays a prostitute for sex and the event troubles him for the next four hundred pages, despite the fact that he is married to an utterly selfish and immature women who has refused to consummate their marriage. And his conscience is plagued despite the fact that he didn't know that his prostitute was a lady fallen on hard times, or that he paid her three times the amount she was asking, searched high and low for her afterward, installed her as a respectable governess, protected her from every harm he could manage, and adored her from afar. Fleur is just as one-dimensional in that she is repulsed by Adam for 350 pages for an act that she participated in. She hates herself too, and so that makes her victim-hood more complete. The long-awaited reunion takes place after the piling up of numerous (and ridiculous) burdens on both characters, including Adam's need to respect a year of mourning for his dead wife. This is the same wife that held him in contempt and despised him for the entirety of their marriage. Secondary characters offer no respite from the one-dimensionality as Adam's wife, brother, and the villain hounding Fleur have no substance other than their single attributes of villainy and selfishness. It was hard to finish this book but I wanted to read it given it's place in Balogh's body of work. Why am I giving it a C? Well, there were a few good scenes, particularly the final scene where Adam shows up to claim his new bride, finally. Otherwise, this was a depressing and mawkishly sentimental book; but even worse, it was dull.
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Posts: 528

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blackjack1 wrote:
The Secret Pearl, Mary Balogh (C) - I delayed writing this mainly because it's such a fan favorite. I can say honestly that I disliked it and found very little resemblance between this book and others like More than a Mistress, which I found engaging and romantic, especially in the sharp and often barbed encounters between two prickly characters falling in love against their wishes. So, at the risk of offending fans, here goes...the two protagonists, Fleur and Adam, have to be among the most victimized and martyred couples I've read. Some readers compare this book to Bronte's Jane Eyre, which made me quite interested to read it as an avid Bronte reader. Needless to say I found very little in common except for the very basic of plot lines. Rochester is so much more thrilling and dark and complex compared to the one-dimensional Adam. The plot here is so heavy handed that I could foresee nearly everything in advance. [some spoilers...] Adam pays a prostitute for sex and the event troubles him for the next four hundred pages, despite the fact that he is married to an utterly selfish and immature women who has refused to consummate their marriage. And his conscience is plagued despite the fact that he didn't know that his prostitute was a lady fallen on hard times, or that he paid her three times the amount she was asking, searched high and low for her afterward, installed her as a respectable governess, protected her from every harm he could manage, and adored her from afar. Fleur is just as one-dimensional in that she is repulsed by Adam for 350 pages for an act that she participated in. She hates herself too, and so that makes her victim-hood more complete. The long-awaited reunion takes place after the piling up of numerous (and ridiculous) burdens on both characters, including Adam's need to respect a year of mourning for his dead wife. This is the same wife that held him in contempt and despised him for the entirety of their marriage. Secondary characters offer no respite from the one-dimensionality as Adam's wife, brother, and the villain hounding Fleur have no substance other than their single attributes of villainy and selfishness. It was hard to finish this book but I wanted to read it given it's place in Balogh's body of work. Why am I giving it a C? Well, there were a few good scenes, particularly the final scene where Adam shows up to claim his new bride, finally. Otherwise, this was a depressing and mawkishly sentimental book; but even worse, it was dull.
Oh, yes, they both raise victimhood and angst porn to new levels, don't they? Also, I've never understood why the hero put up with his wife's crap for so long - as an aristocratic, rich male during that time period he had all the power in that relationship and could have simply banished her before she conveniently died to free the way for the HEA.
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Blackjack1



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Posts: 796
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaime wrote
Quote:
"Oh, yes, they both raise victimhood and angst porn to new levels, don't they? Also, I've never understood why the hero put up with his wife's crap for so long - as an aristocratic, rich male during that time period he had all the power in that relationship and could have simply banished her before she conveniently died to free the way for the HEA"


Yes, and though I was expecting angst, which I tend to like if it's emotionally stirring, here it felt maudlin and unrealistic. Mind you Jane Eyre was written in the mid-1800s and contained more risque themes than The Secret Pearl! Rochester had a child with his French mistress and hires Jane as the child's governess. He's not ashamed or tortured by it. Society overlooks it because of his social status. Prominent and well-to-do women want to marry him regardless of his less than reputable past. Even Jane overlooks his past and falls in love despite her very proper upbringing. The Secret Pearl by contrast is strangely quaint and anachronistic and I had trouble understanding the morality here. At the risk of espousing my own politics, I don't really care if Adam hired a prostitute. I certainly though don't think he needs to torture himself for his lapse for the entire novel. Fleur's loss of virginity casts a pall over the entire novel. Both characters' sense of honor is too self-righteous for my tastes. And you're right in that his marriage could have been handled much differently. Balogh wants to condone Fleur and Adam's sense of honor and morality, whereas I found it quite off-putting.
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stl_reader



Joined: 03 Aug 2011
Posts: 234
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was not too thrilled with The Secret Pearl myself. And some of the dialogue was really artificial.

I much, much preferred Balogh's A Precious Jewel, because that story was refreshingly different from your typical romance. I'd give APJ a B or a B-, though it certainly had its flaws (as you'll see if you read it).
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chris booklover



Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Posts: 322
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never understood the popularity of The Secret Pearl. I found it to be a depressingly sentimental and moralistic novel. A Precious Jewel is a much better written book.
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Blackjack1



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Posts: 796
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's interesting as a fairly new reader of Balogh's books that The Secret Pearl rates so highly as one of her best. I found the writing itself to be stilted and clunky, but worse, the story itself was not very romantic. Fleur finds Adam repulsive for most of the novel, which is so unpleasant to read. It's not that I don't have sympathy for the event that caused her so much trauma but what a depressing "love" story Sad

I will though keep reading more of Balogh's writing and have heard good things about A Precious Jewel. Thanks!
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