Tag Archives: romance

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. Then, it was promoed on Sadie’s Spotlight, which was a reminder to actually read it instead of letting it get lost on my book shelf.
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.

Nightwalker title

Book Review: Nightwalker, by A. J. Llewellyn

I purchased a paperback copy of Nightwalker, by A. J. Llewellyn.

In Los Angeles, Lauro is a working psychic with a secret…he is a Nightwalker, a man with an ability that allows his spirit to roam the streets late at night in search of people who need help and healing. Descended from the ancient, persecuted Benandanti that worked in Northern Italy, and born with the caul covering his face, Lauro learned the legends of his birthright from his mother.

Now, when a hot young model, Alex, comes to him for a reading, Lauro is torn by grief at being unable to see nothing ahead for the man. Confiding his concerns to his lover, LAPD detective Madrigal, Lauro fears for Alex’s safety.

But Lauro soon learns his client gave him a false name. And he now knows his recurring dream is real. Alex has been kidnapped, and somewhere in his nightly “walks,” Lauro comes into contact with the man’s abductor, a frightening and evil man who will stop at nothing to kill his prey. As Lauro gets closer to the truth, he starts to experience long-dormant memories of his centuries-old life, terrified that what befell him during the Roman Inquisition is a horrific prophecy of the future…

my reivew

I found this surprisingly enjoyable for something so short. Usually I dislike ‘books’ shorter than a hundred or so pages because they don’t manage to tell a whole story. But here, I felt Llewellyn managed it. Could it have been expanded into a full novel-length book? Sure, I feel like the plot could have been stretched and beefed up to fit (and I’d have probably liked it more, just because I like longer stories) but it doesn’t feel lacking as is, just different.

I liked Lauros and his integrity. I liked Madrigal and his struggles to accept and not feel inadequate in the face of Lauros’ abilities. I liked the mother. But I felt like the book gave unnecessary detail at times, causing the plot to drag a bit. And I oddly felt the explicit sex gratuitous. I say odd because I generally like me some down and dirty time. But in a piece so short, I think the page count dedicated to several detailed sex scenes felt out of proportion to the whole.

All in all, however, I enjoyed the writing and will happily pick up another of Llewellyn’s books.