Tag Archives: historical

Review of Slippery Creatures (The Will Darling Adventures #1), by K.J. Charles

I received an ARC of K.J. CharlesSlippery Creatures from the author. I don’t accept a lot of books for review anymore. I simply have too many already. But Charles is one of my favorite authors, so of course, I sought this one out. But with all the shuffling of books and such between the old computer and the new, this almost got lost. That would have been a shame and embarrassing.

Description from Goodreads:

Will Darling came back from the Great War with a few scars, a lot of medals, and no idea what to do next. Inheriting his uncle’s chaotic second-hand bookshop is a blessing…until strange visitors start making threats. First a criminal gang, then the War Office, both telling Will to give them the information they want, or else.

Will has no idea what that information is, and nobody to turn to, until Kim Secretan—charming, cultured, oddly attractive—steps in to offer help. As Kim and Will try to find answers and outrun trouble, mutual desire grows along with the danger.

And then Will discovers the truth about Kim. His identity, his past, his real intentions. Enraged and betrayed, Will never wants to see him again.

But Will possesses knowledge that could cost thousands of lives. Enemies are closing in on him from all sides—and Kim is the only man who can help.

Review:

I generally really enjoyed this. I adored Will and Kim, though I don’t felt I knew Kim as well as Will since he wasn’t a POV character. I wondered how the situation would be resolved until the end. The writing was marvelous as always and I look forward to more.

I only have one BIG complaint that keeps this from being rated higher for me. (Sorry this will be vague to avoid too many spoilers.) The synopsis refers to betrayal and I don’t think many will be surprised by it. But afterward, there came a point that Will made a decision I couldn’t accept. It’s not that I didn’t see how he might do it, certainly, Charles painted him into a corner and I could imagine a man doing what he did. But as a reader, I was still angry and didn’t want him to. What’s more, given his and Kim’s last conversation, I wouldn’t have expected a warm human welcome, but a professional one. So, the decision Will made and the action he took (while instrumental to move the plot along) didn’t feel right to me.

All in all, however, I loved this.

Review of Trial by Desire, by Courtney Milan

I won a copy of Courtney Milan‘s Trial by Desire through Goodreads.

Description:
SHE CANNOT FORGET THE FIRE HE IGNITED …

In the three years since her husband left her, Lady Kate Carhart has managed to forge a fulfilling life for herself. But when Ned Carhart unexpectedly returns, she finds her tranquility uprooted — and her deepest secrets threatened. Though she has no intention of falling for Ned’s charms, Kate can no longer deny the desire that still burns in her heart.

OR THE PROMISE OF HIS LOVE …

Ned is determined to regain his wife’s trust by using unbridled seduction. But just as Kate surrenders to Ned’s passion, her carefully guarded past threatens to destroy her. Now Kate must place her faith in the only man she’s ever loved, and the only one who has ever betrayed her …

Review:
OK, I won’t say this is a bad book. I know Milan is quite popular. I’ve even read and enjoyed some of her books. But the simple fact of the matter is that I DID NOT LIKE THIS BOOK. That’s the truth of it.

I found Ned horribly selfish, from start to finish. Yes, I understood that he was young and fighting demons, that he regretted having left and was trying to make amends. My problem was that he returned just as selfish as he left. I didn’t find his fear a good enough excuse for the fact that he allowed his own wants to overshadow Kate’s openly expressed desires, over and over again, hurting her repeatedly.

Further, I didn’t understand why she continued to trust and love him. And that after the simple fact that after a 3 year absence (in a three month marriage), I wouldn’t have been inclined to forgive him in the first place, let alone over and over again.

Then, there was the domestic violence aspect. Milan spouts all the right words about it not being a woman’s fault, etc. But then she sculpted a heroine who laughed in the face of an abusive man. Yes, he was going to hurt her regardless, so why give him her fear. But it totally glossed over the fact that he very well could have killed her and purposefully antagonizing him isn’t admirable. Placation isn’t weakness if it keeps you alive. And of course the abused woman eventually stands tall and confronts her abuser. While I understand how this was supposed to be a triumph, if you really look at the inverse of it, regardless of what Milan espoused in the narrative, it all suggests that women who don’t laugh in the face of their abuser or stand tall because they’re so strong must in fact be weak. I was offended by the whole storyline.

Review of The Ruin of a Rake (The Turner Series #3), by Cat Sebastian

I won a copy of The Ruin of a Rake, by Cat Sebastian in a Facebook giveaway. You can find my reviews of the first two books in the series here and here.

Description from Goodreads:
Rogue. Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London.

Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.

As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love.

Review:
This was sweet and entertaining. I liked both the main characters, the writing was good, and it was fun to see the couples from The Soldier’s Scoundrel and The Lawrence Browne Affair make an appearance. But it was no where near as good as those first books, IMO. I found it repetitive and sloppy.

Also, as I said above, I won a copy from the author in a Facebook giveaway. I don’t recall it being referred to as an ARC (it’s been published 8 months), but I hope it was and I’m keeping the possibility open because there were quite a few editing mishaps. (The chance that it wasn’t is why I mention it, instead of just chocking it up to being an ARC.)

All in all, If I hadn’t read book one and two and wasn’t comparing this one to them, I might have liked it more than I did. (Keeping in mind that I didn’t actually dislike it.) I’ll no doubt read more of Sebastian’s writing. This just might not ever be one of my favorites.