Saturday, March 25, 2017

Reading Update: 50%

Meeting her own eyes in the tiny mirror on the wall, she took a deep breath. “I am not my scars.”

Friday, March 24, 2017

Review: Storm and Silence

Storm and Silence Storm and Silence by Robert Thier
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Positive - This may have sucked any will I usually have to want books to be longer. For at least a month. Still me we're talking about here.

I'm a huge fan of Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23 and as I read this, I was constantly thinking about this scene.
This story is extremely, EXTREMELY long and there were still no payoffs. The main couple somewhat acknowledge an attraction but we only get some smooches and cheek touching. The romance part of this went in circles, repeatedly.

The mystery/searching/villain part was interesting but was drowned out by how much needed to be edited out, pointless scenes and the slow, going nowhere romance. It's first person from the heroine's point of view, so we know her character a bit more. In the beginning, I was seriously wondering if this was satire, tongue-in-cheek, or a male rights activist treatise on feminist women. The heroine calls all men chauvinist (this word is used so much I'll probably have nightmares) and basically the militant hate all men because they are men, that people who rail against feminism like to constantly talk (invent) about. This exaggerated anti-male attitude disappeared as the focus of the heroine's personality about half way through, thank goodness.

The hero mostly stayed in the shadows as we got no point of view from him and never really learn anything about him. I'm guessing in the next book we'll get more his background story but here without it, he never made a big impression on me.

There was a secondary romance with the heroine's sister but it was so childish, exaggerated, and over-the-top with the conversations and proclaimed love between the couple that started skipping any pages/scenes dedicated to them, I just couldn't, y'all.

I didn't see a young adult categorization but I would place it under that. There were footnotes on a decent amount of historical words/events mentioned in the story that it felt like an acknowledgement to beginning readers. Also, the only thing that makes this historical is because the author placed it during English woman's suffrage. The speech/language of heroine and characters is extremely modern.

This was a Goodreads best of 2016 nominee, obviously I'm in the minority but I won't be continuing in the series because:
I've read, like, 600pgs and I don't even feel romance.
Oh, that's because there's no love or sex in there.
So I'm just reading, like a kid?
What is happening at these best of romance rewards is ridiculous.

View all my reviews

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Review: Mackenzie's Mission

Mackenzie's Mission Mackenzie's Mission by Linda Howard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

This couple was basically:


With added Air Force uniform and a bit of a rushed relationship. Some might find the secret plane project talk too interrupt but I found it interesting/cool. I think we all deserve a Joe at some point in life to think back fondly of.

View all my reviews

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Review: Wild Wicked Scot

Wild Wicked Scot Wild Wicked Scot by Julia London
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

***Deal Alert*** This is only $.99 for Kindle (deal also on B&N and other sites). The hero is a doggy lover, don't miss out!
Amazon Link

4.5 stars

I read this for the Man in a Kilt square for Romance Bingo.

She was afraid of him, disgusted by him, attracted to him.

Without the sweeping epic saga war components, this reminded me of Pride of Lions by Marsha Canham. As with the heroine in that one, Margot grew up extremely spoiled, sheltered, and is incredibly naïve. I personally am not the biggest fan of reading about perfect people, I love growth and journey. When Margot first meets Arran she is only 16 and after only two more meetings they are married after she turns 18. She is then immediately taken out of her home in England and brought to Arran's home in Scotland. Margot is an extreme fish out of water and her elitist ways and attitude definitely don't jive with the clan structure. She tries to help in her known English ways, but it only works to distance her more from Arran's people. Now, Arran may be completely different from the fops she grew up around and liked but we still she her attracted to him but she doesn't quite know what to do with it because she doesn't know him. I liked the fact that Margot wasn't blinded by insta-lust and just because she found Arran attractive she didn’t instantly trust him and it didn’t solve all their problems. Margot's just too young, too scared, and too bitter about not being able to marry someone remotely of her choosing and she ends up leaving Arran after only a couple months of marriage.

"I remember that your list of complaints was quite long."
She could feel the skin of her chest heating beneath his study of her. She had to look away or be devoured by that penetrating gaze. "Were they complaints? I always rather thought them pleas to help me reconcile to my new surroundings."
"Ah, is that what they were, then?" he mused.

Arran is more instantly likeable but while he has about 9 years on Margot, he was almost as clueless to marriage. He's the one who is struck by first sight and he knows as soon as he sees Margot he wants to marry her. He doesn't think about anything else except having her as wife, and doesn't think about how truly different they are. He's extremely caring to her in the bedroom, the one place they do connect, but baffled by her in every other measure. When he brings her to his home he doesn't help or explain to her how she can connect with his people and disappears for most the day doing work or traveling; he lives his life exactly the same way he did before marrying. Later on in the story there is a great conversation between the two where we learn that his parent's both died when he was young and Margot's mother died young also. We see that these two weren't modeled or taught how marriages work in a basic sense. In the beginning, Arran does do more little things to try and make it work but Margot's youth, fear, loneliness, and other issues I talked about cloud and create misunderstandings with their communication. These two simply married too soon and too young.

I'm usually a linear person but the switching chapters from past to present so worked for me. I loved how it set the tone and gave a clear understanding of how and why Arran and Margot felt the way they did, while also adding some drama. This was mostly a character driven story and our couple had the major chops to carry it; I devoured the first half of this absorbed into their story. I think it was around the 56% mark that the Reason I Read Romance conversation between the two happened. A couple lines, I refuse to spoil by putting them here, are spoken by Arran and let's just say I made sounds that probably only happen at the Cheesecake Factory when they bring me my red velvet cheesecake. They're crosses between gasps, sobs, happiness, and heart palpitations.

The second half and ending involving family and Jacobite drama didn't fully work for me, it wasn't flushed out enough. Especially, the quick and off screen way it was wrapped up, ended up feeling unneeded to me because of its lack of substance. Some secondary characters could have been fleshed out more like Arran's friend Jock and Margot's brother Knox. I guess I'm saying I wanted this book to be 200 pages of more because I loved the story so much.

I also felt the ending bringing together between Arran and Margot felt a little off. Arran had a quick to anger moment over something Margot did and then was just as quick to forgiveness, making it feel angst for angst sake. Then at the end when they have time to really have it out and come together, there was this kind of awkward lingering distrustfulness from Arran and unsure from Margot that felt overdone. At this point in the story and after certain things had been done, they should have had a united front.

Still, I gobbled this story up. Margot's growth was evident and I enjoyed how she went from a spoiled, scared, and naïve girl to a woman finding and testing her own strength and mind. Arran matured into a man who learned to open his clueless eyes and pay attention to his wife, while not trying to mold her into what he thought she should be instead of who she truly was. I'd read about this couple all day.

Arran loves dogs and my crazy dog lady feelings couldn't handle it.

She was suddenly reminded of a young dog here at Balhaire who'd been badly injured by a trap that had been set illegally. When the gamekeeper determined the poor dog could not be saved and, furthermore, would suffer in his last hours, she had watched Arran scoop the dog up in his arms and carry him from this very hall with tears on his face. He'd taken the dog into the woods and mercifully put it out of its misery. She shivered at the painful recollection of how he'd grieved for the dog.

Not going to lie, reading this and then how three gray muzzled dogs sleep on the bed, the only thought running through my head was Shut it Down, Shut it all Down. Any Romanices Hero of 2017 talk is over.

View all my reviews