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Josie

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Status Update #1

The Duchess War: 1 (The Brothers Sinister) - Courtney Milan

Just started this last night and got very excited when they started mentioning places in Leicester. Since I lived there for three years, it's weird when London Road, Stoneygate, Melton-Mowbray etc were all named.

 

"It's your tits." - The Duke cracked me up with this one!

 

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Right, this is an apology in advance for all the review posts that you may see from me in the coming week(s). Part of the reason is that when I imported my books from GR, some of the reviews and a lot of the reading dates didn't come through. But the main reason is that I am deleting all of my reviews from GR and making sure they're on BL instead.

 

I would hasten to add that my reviews are pretty rubbish and I highly doubt anyone other than me reads them. I don't even write that many because I'm lazy and I prefer to spend my time reading.

 

Ultimately they are not important to GR and the removal will not have any impact on them. But I feel like I have to protest somehow and this is it.

2 4
SPOILER ALERT!

I'm still favouring Holden

Grave Secret (Secret McQueen, #5) - Sierra Dean

Aw man, I'm sorry to be right. I knew

Brigit's

(show spoiler)

time was nearing the end but it was still really sad. A very emotional scene. Poor Secret, I thought she was building up a nice circle of people she could count on but it seems to be diminishing.

Secret continues to grow as a character, thinking before she acts - which is a good thing considering this book centres on the fae. Kellen, Lucas's sister, has gone missing and the clues lead to the fae realm, so off Secret, Desmond, and Holden go to try and bargain her back. I really hated Kellen in this book for some reason. She just seemed selfish and spoilt.

We didn't have to see much of Lucas luckily. He wasn't really in it, but he gets weaker in every book. I think of other alphas from different series and they're all like "look funny at the pack, you die". Lucas just seems to be a politician. Where are his balls? He shouldn't have let Callum threaten him in the last book and he should have immediately taken care of another pack in his territory. Very weak.

I'm still favouring Holden even though I think Secret will be with Des in the end. I feel there will be some big reveals over Sig soon, perhaps for the worst. Anyway, got to wait a while for the next one, I don't know whether it'll be about Peyton yet, but I think it'll be more focused on the vamps.

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 06

Day 06 - A book that makes you sad

 

So, I very rarely cry when reading a book. This could be me or, more likely, it could be that I don't read that many sad books.

 

I have two books on my charmingly named 'snot-cry' shelf. One, I don't particularly want to talk about right now (though I was thinking of writing a blog post about it because it was linked to my personal experience of the GR debacle).

 

The other is this one:

 

Forbidden - Tabitha Suzuma

 

Look at that cover! Barbed wire, how dramatic. And for once, the outside actually reflects the inside.

 

Ugh, two and half years ago I read this book and I'm still speechless. This is what a YA should be like.

 

If you've read this, you'll understand. If you don't, and you think you're brave enough... go forth....

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30 Day Book Challenge - Day 04 and 05

Day 04 - Favourite book of your favourite series

Day 05 - A book that makes you happy

 

Okay, because I'm so rubbish, I'm putting the same book for both day 4 and 5. The book does apply to both categories but it just means I'm taking laziness to new levels.

 

Since I've just finished the recently released sixth Cassie Palmer book Tempt the Stars, I'm going for this one.

 

It's epic.

 

I could probably fit it for day 6 as well since I was extremely sad when it ended.

30 Day Book Challenge - Day 03

Day 03 - Your favourite series

 

Cassandra Palmer - Karen Chance

Dorina Basarab - Karen Chance

Quelle surprise!

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30 Day Book Challenge - Day 02

Day 02 - A book that you've read more than 3 times

This one is pretty tricky since I'm not a re-reader. Plus, if I do re-read, I tend to read my favourite scenes and skip the rest.

 

So I am going way back when I was in primary school. And well done if you've even heard of this book.

 

Crossing the Line - Samantha Alexander

 

Me and my sisters loved this book, as any self-respecting horse mad young girls would. I can't do it justice but from memory, it's about a girl at a racing yard, who wants to be a jockey (incidently, I loved another book called 'Miss Jump the Jockey' about a girl called Josie - me! - wanting to be a jockey so I'm sensing a theme here...). How many times I read this book, I could not say, only that we had it more than the library did.

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30 Day Book Challenge - Day 01

Well this 30 Day Book Challenge looks like fun!

 

I'll probably konk out half way (even that's a bit optimistic), and I have a feeling that the same books/series/author will keep popping up, but I might as well give it a go.

 

Day 01 - Best book you read last year

Ah, the year of 2012. The year of the London Summer Olympics (all very exciting in the UK, probably less so around the rest of the world). Also, the year of my biggest reading tally so far. A total of 250 books. 64 of which have a rating of 5 stars.

 

And I have to pick just one.

 

Pfft, that's not going to happen so, in no particular order, I've narrowed it down to four:

 

On Dublin Street - Samantha Young

 

I loved this read. I remember reading through the night because it was really addictive. No BDSM (which makes a nice change). Just some Scottish hunks.

 

Tempt Me at Twilight - Lisa Kleypas

 

Last year, I read quite a lot of Julia Quinn and Lisa Kleypas, and recommend most of their historical romances. I think they're pretty much unanimously thought of as the best in the genre. So I forced myself to pick a favourite, which is 'Tempt Me at Twilight' (Harry is one of the most alpha-male heroes I've come across - what he wants, he gets).

 

Kiss of Snow - Nalini Singh

 

Must I even say anything about this book? It's Hawke.

 

Fury's Kiss - Karen Chance

 

I'm not even going to say anything about this one either - it will no doubt make a regular appearance so I'll fangirl over it another time.

It was all rather pointless

The Sheikh's Redemption - Olivia Gates

After finishing, I now remember why I don't read these kind of books.

 

WTF was I thinking? I'm not even sure why I even picked it up in the first place. I was in an admittedly strange mood whilst perusing the library and had a hankering for some sheikh love. Not only did I get this one out, I got the sequel, plus a book named 'The Devil Wears Plaid'. *

 

So anyway, the plot (there was a plot?) consisted of talking about events that I assume had happened in the previous series, 'Pride of Zohayd', so I would recommend reading that one first. I did get mightily confused over all the different family connections and kingdoms. The rest of the book was filled with sex, unexpected orgasms, and a heroine being a bit of a doormat. It was all rather pointless.

 

I have to admit I'm a little disappointed in my first foray into the world of sheikhs. But, I will not be disheartened. I have a few more of them in mind (not least forgetting the stupid sequel I have to read - which is about Jalal, who was incredibly boring).

 

*When I came back, my sister's exact words were, "they look like the books nan reads" - i.e. Mills & Boon

SPOILER ALERT!

So, I didn't hate it

In Flight (Up In The Air, #1) - R.K. Lilley

Status updates

@17%: A very sensible friend Stephan is letting Bianca be taken back to her hotel room drunk with a man they'd met only once before, who in fact has made it very clear that he wants to have sex with her.

 

@21%: "I'm going to tie you to my bed and take your hymen."

Good grief! Now that's sexy talk for ya! Jeez man, you just stuck two of your fat fingers up there - I really doubt she has a hymen left.

 

@30%: I do love that she paints.

 

Overall

Very 'Fifty Shades' - yes, I probably liked Bianca better than Ana since she seemed to at least try to keep the controlling to the bedroom - but the similarities are glaring -

  • the naive virgin
  • the "mercurial" traumatised-by-childhood billionaire
  • the "preposition"
  • the playroom in his penthouse
  • taking the photos portraits of her
  • etc.

I wouldn't be surprised if in the next book, he plays the piano or something.

 

So, I didn't hate it. I know a lot of people have said this but I did love Bianca and Stephan's friendship. Maybe though I just don't like reading about BDSM since it always seems so dangerous when the person is "fucked up" (quote Christian and Bianca). Apparently no "normal" person with a happy childhood can be into it. Depending on the price I might read the next one but if it's just 'Fifty Shades #2' then I doubt I'll keep going.

SPOILER ALERT!

The crankshaft and crankcase got old fast

Happy Hour (Racing on the Edge, #1) - Shey Stahl

ETA: Just seen that not only was this pulled to publish (which I like to know in advance), the author has been caught plagiarising from Twilight fanfiction


*Note that I'd already given the book one star anyway*

 

In fact, it has been downgraded to a 1/2 star because this is BookLikes and I can do what I want.

 

DNF at around 73%

 

Really poor spelling and grammar.

 

I often felt like I was reading a car manual, especially at the start of each chapter. All the car sex talk was incredibly annoying - yeah, do it for one or two scenes but not the whole way through the book. The "crankshaft" (penis) and "crankcase" (vagina) got old fast.

 

Plus, the fact that Sway was more worried about her boyfriend than her Dad dying was just ridiculous. And the constant giggling made her seem like a 13 year old not the adult she was supposed to be.

 

And Jamieson? He was so spoilt - just because he could pay for the damage, that suddenly meant that he was allowed to trash everything just because he had a temper tantrum. He needed to grow up.

SPOILER ALERT!

She should've punched him in the face

Forgiven - Jana Oliver

Beck's attitude really pissed me off.

He has irritated me throughout the series but he went to another level in this book.

 

!!!!**Why on earth was Riley apologizing?**!!!!

 

It's not like she knew the truth about Ori before she slept with him. So what, at the age of 17 she had sex with a guy who she thought she loved. Yeah what a slut she is *rolls eyes*.

 

Beck and his stupid double standards! In this book, he sleeps with that suspicious reporter, and mentions two other girls he's shagged, and he's all judgemental about Riley. And that scene when he's saying he wants "respect" for all that he's done for her - how is sleeping with another guy "disrespectful" to him? Beck, who has never made it clear that he wants to be with her, and has even blown her off quite a few times?

 

She shouldn't have said sorry. She should've punched him in the face.

SPOILER ALERT!

He ended up being a coward

The Ugly Duchess - Eloisa James

Absolutely loved the 'Before' part of the book. Everything about it was perfect:

  • James and Daisy being best friends before realising their feelings
  • Daisy's lively character
  • the fact that James had little experience in the bedroom so they experimented together with Daisy telling him what she liked etc.

 

I just loved them both and it was honestly heading towards a favourite 5 star read.

 

Until the 'After' part. Don't get me wrong, I admired Daisy Theo for making something of the Dukedom and herself. I know people change but I was still upset that she wasn't Daisy from 'Before'.

 

And James? He ended up being a coward. Your wife is understandably upset and "throws" you out of your house and you disappear for 7 years? He should've been begging at the door the very next day! People always say things they don't mean when upset/angry, and for all he knew, she was just hurt and expected him to come crawling. Not become a bloody pirate!

 

And when he did come back? It was such a convenient time that I wondered if he'd come back for her or for his title.

 

In fact, all this cowardly behaviour, I probably could have forgiven (it would've been better though if he hadn't waited 7 years) if not for one thing. And the people who've read this book will no doubt already guess what I'm referring to.

 

His infidelity.

 

Oh hold on. James would like to emphasise that they were "mistresses" and not "lovers". That makes it all okay.

 

Actually, I thought this stupid distinction made it worse - personally loads of one-night stands seem "better" than continually visiting the same women long-term but what do I know? He then proceeds to blame Daisy Theo and is not even sorry for his "lapse" (his words of course)!

 

"I stopped thinking of you as my spouse some years ago, as I'm sure you did of me."

 

Well, I wanted Daisy/Theo to go through and divorce him and find someone with some balls. As you'd expect, she forgave him without him being too contrite and it showed in their sex scene, which was no where near as special as the one in the 'Before' part.

 

As you can see, I was disappointed with the second half of this book but probably more so because of how much I loved the first part.

SPOILER ALERT!

There was a random Ian Beale reference

From Rags - Suzanne  Wright

There was a random Ian Beale reference which was kind of weird, completely irrelevant, but amused me.

 

I liked what the author tried to do with the heroine (give her some backbone and sense) but I heard waaaayyyy too much about how she's so beautiful and everyone loves her but she's so unaware of this blah blah blah...

 

Plus I like a straight talking girl but telling a police officer something about ripping off his bollocks was a bit much, and probably would be something you'd get arrested for. Talking of the police, the whole "let's not call the police about the break-in, harassment and attempt to do bodily harm, because it will be giving the stalker what he wants" - are you serious? Such a plot device to make sure she's kidnapped.

 

Another thing I couldn't understand was Connor not contacting her for 8 years. I don't think we ever got a believable answer to that.

 

Overall, everything was a bit unrealistic. The author has the potential to be great, IMO she needs a good editor to guide her and tighten everything up.

I worked out the mystery pretty early on

Archangel's Storm - Nalini Singh

Even though I much prefer the Psy-Changeling series (and I didn't get on at all with 'Archangel's Blade'), I actually quite liked Jason's book.

 

I didn't love it and I worked out the mystery pretty early on, but I liked the setting.

 

I would prefer for every character not to be damaged in some way. It's like for them to be a strong person, they have to have seen their family butchered or something equally extreme.

 

However I will carry on with this series though I doubt it will be my fave (I loved the first book but since then...meh, not so much). I am intrigued with where Nalini Singh is taking this because it seems she has a plan.

 

[Read for Fantasyland: Round 1]

SPOILER ALERT!

Weird secret magic

Rainshadow Road - Lisa Kleypas

*SPOILERS FOR 'BLUE-EYED DEVIL' AND 'SUGAR DADDY' AS WELL*

 

This is the second book that I've read quite recently by Lisa Kleypas that has left me a bit unsatisfied.

 

See, the other one, 'Blue-Eyed Devil', was built up for me as one of the best LK books. I looked forward to it with admittedly high (too high?) expectations and feel the problems I had with 'Blue-Eyed Devil' were present in 'Rainshadow Road'.

 

So to explain, the beginning half of the book builds up all of the character's problems (which are many). For example:

 

Blue-Eyed Devil

  • Heroine: rape, domestic abuse, divorce, father and abandonment issues
  • Hero: father issues, abused as a child

 

Rainshadow Road:

  • Heroine: cheated on, horrid sister, ex getting married, non-existent relationship with parents, weird secret magic
  • Hero: alcoholic parents, commitment issues, weird secret magic

 

I feel like there's too many issues to deal with for a 300 page book. This means that there's less development on the main characters and on building a romance. I didn't feel I really knew Sam (from 'Rainshadow Road') and the only reason I knew a little about Hardy (from 'Blue-Eyed Devil') was because I'd read 'Sugar Daddy' before, where half of the book was spent on Liberty at age fourteen crushing on Hardy.

 

In 'Blue-Eyed Devil', I think there was an important issue with Haven's father and his lack of input and concern for her. I found this played a crucial role in her life. I mean just because he didn't like Nick, is that a reason to have nothing to do with Haven? Perhaps if she wasn't so alone then the abuse would not have gone so far? I think this issue between father and daughter deserved more than the page that it got at the end, where not much was even resolved between them.

 

I thought this was exactly the same with Lucy and her sister in 'Rainshadow Road'. Her sister, Alice, was a big part of the book and even though I don't expect some unrealistic change, it was once again only a page at the end, with Alice feeling sorry for herself and them making up. Really?? Alice was a horrible, selfish person.

 

I do like the issues, I'd just like a bit more time spent resolving them and for it not to overshadow the romance and character's personalities.

 

Having said all that, I will still no doubt always read anything LK writes.