38 Following

Brita Addams

Fettered - Lyn Gala I enjoyed this story, save for a couple of niggles. I felt that Vin was the more compelling character, so I would have liked to have had Vin's POV as well as Dylan's. I would have liked to have known more of his background, what really made him tick. Inner thoughts in his quieter moments, when he has Dylan in the closet. What Vin felt like, etc.

I would have liked a firm resolution to the situation with Gary, instead of the wheels of justice grinding slowly. I thought that was an interesting, if not disturbing underlying story. Well done save for the resolution.

The rating is based upon the story as presented, which was very good. I'll miss Vin and Dylan, but feel that something was missing relative to Vin.

I'll definitely be reading Ms. Gala again.
The Duchess War - Courtney Milan I can't rightly rate this book as I didn't finish it. What I read was well written, there was too much rambling in the beginning, which stymied me, bogged me down in Minnie's cause, which I had no interest in. I wanted more of Robert, who was exceedingly charming in the very beginning. We have the great aunts who really aren't, or one isn't, and her name isn't really her name.

I'm sure if I could get past the very long set up, I would receive a nice reward, but I simply couldn't.
Dreams of Eli - Van Heerling I couldn't get past the present tense, first person format. The bouncing around in time bothered me as well, came at inconvenient times. Not for me.
The Governess Affair (Brothers Sinister, #0.5) - Courtney Milan Excellent story. Can't wait for the next in the series.
The Beloved One - Danelle Harmon I liked this one a degree better than The Wild One though I found the dialogue stunted and unbelievable at times. In many instances, the dialogue sounded like exposition.

People don't really draw their fists to their forehead, or knuckle their eyes. The melodrama quality of the writing set me outside the story, as did the multiple POVs, which I understand was okay to write in the '90s. Omniscience is fine, at times, but I was put off by the, "But Charles never knew," or "Amy never saw..."

I understood why the author felt that Charles shouldn't have any feelings toward Charlotte, but that flew in the face of the honorable man he was purported to be. The plot devise was simplistic, in that if he didn't have feelings for Charlotte, then he wouldn't have feelings for Juliet, who bore her. But, how does one as compassionate and beloved as Charles, not love his own daughter, sight unseen?

I'll forego The Defiant One. Not much interested in Andrew. Dislike Lucien and can readily understand why he isn't married. The entire family knows that Lucien manipulates, yet they fall for it every time.
Tarnished Gold - Brita Addams photo HonorableMentionSM_zps1c66f38d.jpg
The Wild One - Danelle Harmon I've struggled with this book for over a week, mostly with apathy to be honest. I wanted to like Gareth and Juliet but couldn't muster anything more than benign meh. Hated Lucien and Gareth's buddies, but wished to know the dead Charles a lot better. (am I to suppose that Charles isn't really dead? Bummer that.)

Gareth has few redeeming qualities and those he does have, he questions in himself. Juliet is wishy-washy and though I'm halfway through, I won't finish, because I don't care about either of the main characters enough to see what happens.

I am bothered by the writing, in that the story takes place in the Revolutionary War era, yet very much reads as though that is an affectation. The casual way folks speak in this belies the fact that these people are supposedly born of nobility. They curse in front of the lady and not a one of them seems to care about honor or integrity.

The childish antics of Gareth and his posse got old very quickly. Gareth recovers from a gunshot wound in a day. Juliet travels unannounced, with her illegitimate child, to England, where she ends up on her dead fiance's brother's doorstep, and he, the duke, acts a fool from the start, all with an ulterior motive. To my mind, take the money away, and the immature Gareth would shape up. Machinations of Machiavellian proportions seemed a bit convenient.

Does a duke really ride out at all times of the night to follow his brother, who at one point he catches painting the genitals of a statue purple? Doesn't he have minions for that?

The omniscient POV is prevalent, telling us about someone lurking in the shadows,etc. There is a lot of "someone did this, but Juliet didn't see it...." I always thought I liked omniscient, but in reading many older books, I find that I don't at all. I much prefer the clear cut POV, where the reader discovers things as the characters do.

This is "vintage" in that it was written in the late '90s. Everyone has a POV, which was the fashion in writing then, but it is distracting, particularly when I didn't give a flip for most of the characters.

Massmarket or not, I didn't enjoy what I read. My rating is strictly based upon the likability of the characters, which for me, was next to nothing. I trudged on in the hopes that it would improve, but at 50% on my Kindle, I concluded that it wouldn't.

I did buy the second book re: Charles and will read that one, as he seems to be the only one of this group that had any sense at all, and that was to leave the family home and join the army. Maybe getting away was the best thing.
Tarnished Gold - Brita Addams photo HonorableMentionSM_zps1c66f38d.jpg

River of Tears

River of Tears - Michele L. Montgomery I received this from the author prior to publication.

Excellently written. Hats off to Ms. Montgomery!
Passion and Pride (A Historical Romance) - Amelia Nolan I received this book free from BookBub.

I love historicals, as anyone who knows me can attest. I liked the blurb for Passion and Pride, so all was well. Until I read the first few pages. Since I can't find a publisher listed, I can only assume this is another foray into self-publishing that went desperately wrong on many levels.

After putting in many hours of research for my historicals, I tend to notice glaring problems in authenticity. In this book, there are many. Despite many sites that simply require a simple search, the author did not do her research with reference to proper forms of address. In the afterward, she admits that she isn't the greatest researcher and that readers should email her "to save your fellow readers from my faults!" Seriously? How insulting and cavalier.

We have Baron Phineas Blake. His son goes by the last name Blake, which clued me in to the fact that Blake was the surname and not the title name. Phineas would not be Lord Blake, but would adopt the title name, ie: Phineas Blake, The Right Honorable Lord Rothchild (or whatever.) Likely the estate would be Rothchild (or whatever)Manor, Hall, Estates, etc., and not Blakewell, as it would be entailed and therefore would belong to the title and not to any particular man.

Then we have another character, the Marquis of Ashford. This surname is Pemberly. The author refers to him as Lord Pemberly, which is incorrect. He would be Lord Ashford. There may be more, but I gave up any hope of accuracy.

Easily researched by googling proper forms of Address. I did that for her here: http://laura.chinet.com/html/titles12.html

If you are writing a historical, and using titled nobility as characters, your FIRST obligation is to research proper forms of address. Passing it off on you not being the best researcher is simply saying you couldn't be bothered. (Yes, this issue irks me and yes, it does matter.)

The beginning rambled and then the lack of editing continually threw me out of the story.

The incorrect use of the word discretely, which means - apart or detached from others, was used instead of discreetly, which means - respecting privacy, which is the word the author wanted.

This mistake was made again a few paragraphs after the first time.

One of my particular pet peeves is parenthesis in romance fiction. Some may think it is all right, but it is author intrusion, plain and simple. In this case it was used liberally, with cutesy asides.

Aesthetically, parenthesis are distracting and have no place in a romance novel. Some authors can't help but interject themselves into the story with bits of snappy repartee, but show a lack of understand of their readership.

The hero and heroine meet, yet she goes off to France to become a courtesan. An egregious breach of romance novel etiquette. Once the hero and heroine meet, they don't play around.

A slow story, poor writing, dragging plot, unlikable characters, unlikely circumstances, and poor research made this novel a major fail.

I will say it again. Self-publishing is a wonderful advent, if done properly. Through self-publishing, anyone can produce a book. However, that doesn't make it good. Research, research, research OR don't write a historical (or a contemporary for that matter, because research is a major part of the writing experience.) Admitting you aren't a good researcher accomplish anything but open you up to criticism.

As for the poor writing - study, study, study. That can be fixed by not taking your own council or that of your friends. Believe me, no editor worth their salt would have let this book be published as is.

If you spend the time writing, you owe it to yourself and your readers to do it right. Even if you self-publish, hire a professional editor to give your book the scrub it needs. No writer can self-edit because we know the story so well, that we become text blind and your friends and family won't tell you the truth. Remember, your name is on the cover and if you want to garner a following, you don't want to put out a sub-par book.

I'm glad I didn't pay for it, I would be demanding my money back.

Texas Twilight - Caroline Fyffe I truly liked the first book in this two book series, but it occurred to me yesterday that I had stopped reading this one, as it simply didn't hold my interest. I didn't get a true sense of the characters and the story rambled a bit too much for me. Sad really. I did like John, so that makes my affection for the MacCutheons complete. I just didn't care for this story too much.
Montana Dawn - Caroline Fyffe Excellent, if somewhat predictable story. The characters are believable, though the "should I tell him the truth, no I can't" was a bit over the top. Other than that,a thoroughly delightful story.

Moon Of The Falling Leaves

Moon of the Falling Leaves - Diane Davis White Terrific story. Keeps you turning the page. Great characters. Seems to have been written when multiple POVs were okay, and it works so well with this story. Love it.

Where The Wild Wind Blows

Where The Wild Wind Blows - Nancy Morse The main characters aren't pleasing to read and the story rambles a bit too much for me. I got that Black Moon hates whites, but that fact was repetitive to the point of distraction. He was sullen, which isn't my kind of hero and I never got a true sense of Katie at all.

Some of the names seemed improbable - Bone Bracelet, Good Deeds, Claw,Pretty Shield, Kettle, Big Belly, No Neck, Iron Shell, Two Scalps, and Hail Storm in particular. Yellow Hand to a lesser degree. If I'm not mistaken, men are give their names after their vision quest. Some of these above are men's names and simply don't fit--Big Belly? No Neck?

The various tribes are referred to in plural - the Cheyennes, the Oglalas, the Crows, and I believe that should be singular.

There was some POV switches, particularly to omniscient and much author intrusion, which a good editor would have recognized and had the author eliminate. There is much telling as well, another thing editing would have fixed. A rival kidnaps Katie and jams a knife into the ground where she would have slept. Katie tells the reader, that the gesture leaves no doubt that she was taken and by whom. She can't know that because her captor didn't tell her that? Author intrusion.

Missing words abound. Whoever edited this book really let the author down. The story could have used serious developmental help, but the punctuation and missing words definitely put this into a negative category for me. Another sad venture into self-publishing land that wasn't a pleasant one.
The Story the Soldiers Wouldn't Tell: Sex in the Civil War - Thomas P. Lowry Wonderful book for my research. I too wish the chapter on m/m relationships during the Civil War was more detailed, but otherwise, really terrific.

Ride Proud, Rebel!

Ride Proud, Rebel! - Andre Norton Very dry reading for me. Great descriptions, but rather dry. I won't read the sequel.