Monthly Archives: April 2020

Review of Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary (Channeling Morpheus/Sweet Oblivion #1-5), by Jordan Castillo Price

I received an Audible code for a copy of Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary, by Jordan Castillo Price. It’s a series I’ve wanted to dive into for a while. I even have an ebook copy of the first novella. So, It was great to get a chance to listen to the first five stories together.

Description from Goodreads:

Michael is a waif in eyeliner who’s determined to wipe vampires off the face of the earth. Wild Bill’s got the hots for Michael and will stop at nothing to go home with him. Forget about moonlit castles and windswept moors. These bad boys haunt all-night diners and cheap motels, cut-rate department stores and long, lonely stretches of the interstate. Ride along with Wild Bill and Michael as the twists and turns of Channeling Morpheus for Scary Mary unfold in America’s heartland.

Review:

Five stars, five full stars.

Other reviewers have mentioned that there is a lot of sex in these novellas. I’ll go a step farther and say these books are like 85-90% sex. But I don’t think I’ve ever read an erotica (straight or queer) that managed so much character growth and plot progression with so little. Bill and Michael seem to work all their problems out in bed (or the van or the graveyard or the shower………..). But they work them out. They tackle tough issues and personal demons and I adored them, Bill especially. Despite all his jaded ennui, you could just feel his desperation for human warmth (and I don’t just mean physical warmth).

This audiobook (which Gomez Pugh did an amazing job narrating) is a compilation of the first five novellas. It brings the story to a satisfying conclusion and a natural stopping point. I finished wanting more, but not feeling slighted to not have the next several novellas at my fingertips. In fact, I think I want to wait for them to come out in audio. I enjoyed the narration so much.

Again, five stars.

Review of The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics (Feminine Pursuits, #1), by Olivia Waite

I won a signed copy of The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics (by Olivia Waite) in a giveaway Rose Lerner was running on Instagram. I was super excited both to get this book and to get anything from Rose Lerner!

Description from Goodreads:

As Lucy Muchelney watches her ex-lover’s sham of a wedding, she wishes herself anywhere else. It isn’t until she finds a letter from the Countess of Moth, looking for someone to translate a groundbreaking French astronomy text, that she knows where to go. Showing up at the Countess’ London home, she hoped to find a challenge, not a woman who takes her breath away.

Catherine St Day looks forward to a quiet widowhood once her late husband’s scientific legacy is fulfilled. She expected to hand off the translation and wash her hands of the project—instead, she is intrigued by the young woman who turns up at her door, begging to be allowed to do the work, and she agrees to let Lucy stay. But as Catherine finds herself longing for Lucy, everything she believes about herself and her life is tested.

While Lucy spends her days interpreting the complicated French text, she spends her nights falling in love with the alluring Catherine. But sabotage and old wounds threaten to sever the threads that bind them. Can Lucy and Catherine find the strength to stay together or are they doomed to be star-crossed lovers?

Review:

I thought this was a really sweet romance. I liked both the heroines and the feminist plot. I did think the pseudo-villain’s change of heart at the end was unlikely. I think his truer response in the circumstance would be embarrassment and anger. So, the sudden contriteness felt saccharine and artificial. But I saw why the author chose to do it.

My only real complaint with the book was that there didn’t seem to be enough meat beyond the romance to really keep me interested. At one point, I set the book down to do other things and didn’t pick it up for over a month. Now, I wasn’t reading other books, I just didn’t make time to read. (I’ve been working on my ebook cull, if you remember.) But the fact that this book sat there unfinished for so long attests to how little it held my attention if I wasn’t actively reading it. I enjoyed it when I was and forgot about it when I wasn’t.

All in all, not a bad read. But a perfect example of why I tend to lean toward X-romance (sci-fi romance, paranormal romance, romantic thrillers, etc. Normally historical romance works, but apparently it wasn’t enough here.) I just seem to need a little something more.

Review of Frost Burn (Fire and Ice #1), by Erica Stevens

I received and Audible code for a copy of Erica Steven‘s Frost Burn.

Description from Gooreads:

After years of running, Quinn has finally found a town to settle down in while she searches for the man who tore her life apart. Despite her every intention not to, she’s started to put down some roots and make friends. However, the small bit of solace she’s found is quickly shattered when a group of vampires walk into the bar where she works and turn her life upside down.

Looking only to stop for a few nights and have a good time, Julian never expected to stumble across someone like Quinn. Determined to keep her free from the vampires looking to use her as a weapon, Julian is stunned to discover himself starting to care for the mysterious woman with a dark past she’s unwilling to reveal. It doesn’t take him long to realize that the vampires after her are only a part of the problem. This quiet little town is hiding a violent secret of its own; a secret that not only threatens the town, but Quinn in particular.

Review:

(slightly spoilerish)

Honestly, I just didn’t like this. I thought Julian was an arrogant a-hole and Quinn a bit of a limp rag. It’s not that she was a weak heroine, there just kinda didn’t seem to be much to her. I didn’t feel their relationship grow and I was often annoyed.

What’s more, the book starts with the mystery of Quinn’s origins and why vampires are after her. Then, it immediately swerves off into an unrelated and immensely less interesting human investigation. The fact that these two end up being related is merely luck on the part of the characters and felt like nothing more than a manipulation of the plot on the part of the author.

I do want to address the fact that this is the first book in a spin-off series. I have not read the original series, but the author assures us that we don’t need to have read it to enjoy Frost Burn. I call BS on that. Yes, I could follow Frost Burn. But the characters and events of The Kindred Series are so often referenced that I 100% felt that I was missing out on vital information. What’s more, Julian so often reminded the reader that he’d been a bad man that I believed him. That’s part of why I didn’t like him. Maybe if I’d read the previous series and seen his moral transformation I would feel different. And there is absolutely no character development of side characters. I assume that is because they are known from the previous series. So, I recommend reading The Kindred before this.

Lastly, I think I have to give in and accept that I don’t like Meghan Kelly‘s narration style. That’s not to say it’s objectively bad, just not for me. I’ve listened to several of her books and while they are competently done, I find I just don’t like the way she voices people.

All in all, just about nothing worked for me about this book.