lliira: Fang from FF13 (Default)
Tessa Dare, where have you been all my life? 

I'm worried, because when I start fangirling a romance author, I then read a book by her that's either 1) incredibly offensive 2) incredibly boring or 3) wildly anachronistic. I'm not a stickler for details, and I definitely don't expect Austenian language, but when you have characters in the 19th century with worldviews and ways of expressing them that make them sound like people on the internet in 2015, that throws me out of the book entirely.

But the Tessa Dare books I've read so far have all been funny, sexy, sweet, moving, well-imagined, and neither anachronistic nor overly historically accurate in a way that strangles the story. I adore them. I've only read three so far, the Castles Ever After series, but I have everything else she's published on order from the library. I'm buying the Castles series with birthday money, and with how broke I am, that means a ton. The only other book I've bought in the past year was by Lois McMaster Bujold. So, yeah, recommended.
lliira: Fang from FF13 (Default)

Well, not a review, just a recommendation. I never know how to write positive reviews without spoilers. But: Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare. It's funny, sexy, and just generally really good. It ends up being kind of a love letter to the idea of fandom. 

lliira: Fang from FF13 (Default)
 I ranted a bunch about the last two books in this series by Miranda Neville, but I do recommend the first two. The second in particular (The Ruin of a Rogue) made me really happy. Obviously romance is a very personal thing, and what hits one person's happy place isn't going to do the same for another. But the first book, The Importance of Being Wicked, is (intentionally) hilarious, and the second has lots of funny parts and I found it incredibly sexy. I also identified strongly with the heroine, who wants to unearth Roman relics. 
lliira: Fang from FF13 (Default)
Yes, that's a real title. It's the last book in the series that contained that awful romance novel with the abusive husband whose redemption I did not believe for a second. He and his perfect angel wife are in this one too, blech, but they're taking off for France so hopefully there won't be any more scenes with them in it.

But that novel did have Julian, who was awesome, and this is his novel. So far, it's amusing me. I mean, it's called The Duke of Dark Desires, I don't think I'm supposed to take it terribly seriously. Plus Julian continues to be hot, even if he is somewhat selfish. He's a little whiny for my taste, but I guess that's always been a Thing, and unlike the douche in the last book, he has a sense of humor that saves him. And he has more reason for angst. And, centrally, he takes responsibility for his own bad decisions. Plus: not abusive. (Fingers crossed that he stays that way.)

Read more... )
lliira: Fang from FF13 (Default)
 So far we have:

1) Heroine who is down on her luck and knows nothing about the fashionable world, yet explicitly separates men into "gentlemen" and "farmers and etc.," and it never crosses her mind that the latter are people to whom she could be attracted. (Hi, I'd like to introduce you to Robert Martin and Gilbert Blythe, but they're too good for you.)

2) Heroine sleeps the sleep of the dead until she's groped.

3) Hero is a massive grouch who sleeps around with women he explicitly does not respect, and he looks down on women who sleep around.

4) Hero supposedly prefers well-padded women, but cannot stop thinking about how slim the heroine is.

5) Heroine is given a huge amount of money and a personal stylist, but she doesn't want any of those things, oh deary me no, because, as the hero says, she is "not like most girls." 

6) Sentence fragments! They're not my bane usually, but there are SO FUCKING MANY like MORE THAN IN TWILIGHT my kingdom for a complete sentence!

7) Showing, then telling, then explaining what's been told. Okay, she wanted to lengthen the novel, I can dig it. Maybe she should have tried complete sentences; those work pretty well.

8) Everyone in this book, including the side characters, is obnoxious in a way that makes me dislike the author. 

9) Aren't the hero and heroine supposed to be avoiding each other? So why are they not avoiding each other? The hero despises the heroine and said he wanted them to stay out of each other's way, yet he finds her and starts conversations with her. There's no outside force pushing them together. They seem to be talking to each other because they're the hero and heroine of a romance novel, and that's it.

10) I revoke the author's right to use the word "rustic" and any variations thereof.

It's not badly written, exactly, and it's not massively offensive, precisely, and I'm laughing enough at the cliches and absurdity that I think I'll finish it, but argh. 

September 2016

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