Tag Archives: romance

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Book Review: The Scouts, by Kasia Bacon

The Scouts, by Kasia Bacon, was promoed on Sadie’s Spotlight and the author sent me a copy for review.

the-scouts-cover

Lochan and Ervyn—an assassin and a sharpshooter—remain in service to the queen as part of an elite reconnaissance unit.

The Scouts are ghostlike. Elusive. Deadly.

They strike at enemies of the Crown without mercy. They get the job done, leaving no loose ends or witnesses. When Magic Supremacists threaten the safety of Elven Country, they do their duty—whatever it takes.

Lochan and Ervyn belong to each other, but will serving together as comrades-in-arms strengthen their bond as lovers or tear them apart?

The Scouts is the third book in the Order Series. In this volume, Ervyn loses control, Lochan stops fighting his feelings and Verhan… well, remains Verhan.

my review

Oh, I have such a fraught relationship with Bacon’s writing. I love her characters and jovially informal narrative style. But I’m a dedicated binger. Be it reading a novel in a night or watching an entire season of a show on Netflix, I want all of a story. And Bacon’s publications are far closer to a serial than a series, in my estimation, which I find incredibly frustrating.

I say all of that because it would be unfair to judge my review of her works without factoring in this strong preference on my part. But I do still keep coming back, even when I know what to expect. Because these short works are also full of the feels and, as I said, I like the characters and writing style. I’ll add world too. I find the world, with all it’s Elvin races and cultural norms intriguing.

I did find the occasional phrase felt anachronistic and there are quite a lot of characters for such a short book. But those are my only critiques. No doubt, when next Bacon publishes, I’ll be in in line to read it too.

the most eligible viscount in London banner

Book Review: The Most Eligible Viscount In London, by Ella Quinn

I won a paperback copy of Ella Quinn‘s The Most Eligible Viscount In London through Goodreads.
the most eligible viscount in london

Viscount Gavin Turley is convinced that love matches cause nothing but trouble. Still, after months of courting, he’s fallen for Miss Georgie Featherton. He’s passionate about her, in fact. But words of love are not an indulgence he will allow himself. When he presents Georgie with his marriage proposal, he will lead with his head—not his heart. His qualifications as a husband are excellent, after all. What could go wrong?

No sooner does Gavin kneel on one knee than Georgie’s heart goes aflutter with joy. Finally, the proposal she longed for had arrived. Yet Gavin seemed to be listing his credentials for a business partnership, not a romantic union. Without a declaration of love, Georgie can only reject his offer—unless the ladies of the ton, and Georgie’s grandmama, have anything to do with it. For sometimes it takes a wiser eye to see the love behind a guarded heart—and a clever scheme to bring it out of hiding…

my review

I found this beyond frustrating. It is an entire book that could have been resolved with one simple conversation. But then then the characters commenced going horseback riding together, to town fetes, winning problematically entitled treasure hunts, eating meals together, etc and not having that conversation. It’s all either character thought about, but they didn’t speak of it. And frankly I found the whole contrivance stretched credulity far beyond believably.

Do you know what it felt like? It felt like 10 pages of set up, 262 pages of filler, a page (page 272) in which The Conversation finally occurred, another 7o pages of further filler, and then a rushed obligatory Baby’s birth tacked on. None of that was satisfying. I didn’t feel any true love between the characters. I didn’t feel any true tension in the plotting or enjoy any of the filler events. It was dull and unbelievable.

I’ll admit that the writing and editing are clean, as you would expect from an author who has published a billion books with big 6 publishers. But I thought this a huge waste of time to have read.

Awakening: The luriel cycle

Book Review: Awakening, by Melanie Nilles

I’ve owned a copy of Melanie NillesAwakening since in 2018, though it had a different cover back then. I believe it is now a perma-freebie (or it just happens to be free right now), but I think I won a copy before it went free. (I have no real memory of any of that, but I have it marked as “won” on Goodreads. Thus all the “I believes” and “I thinks.” I’m not 100% certain.)

awakening melanie nilles

Lilly has been marked for death by daemons from a hidden world, a place known as the Shadow Realm. Within her has awakened the spirit of their enemy, one of the luriel. Such beings are myths to her, but one man is out to prove that they exist. The daemon slayer, Mychel, will introduce her to a world of shadows and light hiding beyond the comfort of science and technology, where ancient myths are real and an eternal war rages on, a war in which she has now been conscripted to fight.

One daemon is doing his best to destroy her before that happens. In human form, Darrac is able to get close to her and soon realizes that she is different—through Lilly, an ancient power has revived, a terrible power than can end the war…by eliminating both luriel and daemons. But destroying that power would mean sacrificing the one who has changed his heart.

Time is running out as the luriel within Lilly matures and her powers grow. One choice will determine the fate of two realms.

my review

Mawage.
Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday.
Mawage, that bwessed awangment,
that dweam wifin a dweam…
And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva…
So tweasure your wuv

Let me tell you a story of marriage. A week ago I noticed that I own several books essentially titled Awakening, seven of them were unread. So, I set myself a challenge to read them all. I even cleverly titled it the Awakening Challenge…OK, maybe not so cleverly. When I told my husband about it, he laughed and said, “You know you’ll DNF at least one of those, right?” I responded, “Well, I certainly won’t NOW!” Because I dislike not finishing books generally and I hate doing it during a challenge (it always leaves me feeling like I didn’t really complete it). But to DNF a book and prove my husband right? THE HORROR! There is no chance any book in my Awakening Challenge will go unfinished.

But then along came Melanie Nilles’ Awakening, the third Awakening book to be read in my challenge, and I could tell very early on that this book and I would not get along. I wanted to DNF it at about page 25 and again on every page after that. But I persisted, finally finishing it by the strength of my stubborn determination not to let the marital unit get a free “I told you so” out of the deal.

I think Nilles had an interesting kernel of an idea, but the emotional whiplash kills the book. The main character constantly goes back and forwards. “I saw a monster…no, no, that’s not possible.” “I miss Rian…no, don’t think of that.” “I feel safe with him…I can’t trust him.” On and on and on and on and on, back and forwards, back and forwards, back and forwards. The whole first third of the book is nothing but repeats of this cycle. All of it is worsened by the fact that Nilles apparently lacks the ability to write emotions subtly. It all just hits you in the face and Lilly comes off badly for it.

Then there are all the truly stupid decisions Lilly makes, prioritizing things that make no sense. And there is her desperation for a man, any man. It’s pitiful and uncomfortable and made me dislike her A LOT. Darrac (even outside of being a demon, which was super obvious and unbelievable that Lilly didn’t believe) was emotionally manipulative and a bad boyfriend. But still Lilly clung to him like he was more important than her own life (literally).

But worst of all, I think, is the way everything was so repetitive. The narrator would tell you something was possible, then the ‘good guys’ would say, “I’m afraid this is going to happen.” Then the villains would have a conversation saying, “This is my plan.” Then it would happen. I’m just grateful we didn’t have to also get an “Ah-ha, this is how I did it” or “I was afraid that would happen” recap too.

All in all, I feel like the book did improve as it went along. But by that time I was so put off by the whole thing that I just wanted to trash it and move on.