What are we reading?

So it turns out that our readers were 100% correct that The Suffragette Scandal is the best of the Brothers Sinister books.  The final short story is also worth reading as a nice coda.  Her Turner series is also pretty good– it was touch and go there for a little while with Unclaimed, but I should have trusted that Milan would turn the Prostitute With a Heart of Gold meme on its head.  Unraveled is excellent (and only 99 cents!).

I continue to enjoy the Lady Emily books by Tasha Alexander.  Currently on book 2.

Only a Kiss by Mary Balough was pretty disappointing.  Not up to par with the rest of the books in the survivor’s series.  Lady Imogen’s character doesn’t really seem to fit the character in the earlier novels and is only superficially explored.  The hero is kind of a jerk (and a pale imitation of a specific Heyer hero, though I’m not remembering which one off the top of my head).  Formulaic without heart or soul.  (I also tried reading 3 more of her old books but so much rapity rape and hero not taking no for an answer… at least with her more modern books she’s learned the sexiness of consent.  Thank goodness modern romance novelists no longer seem to think that “no means yes over-rule me” is acceptable.)

The memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (free on kindle).  I found out on a long plane flight recently that I *hadn’t* read all the sherlock holmes stories, I still had one book in the unread folder in my kindle.  No idea how I missed it.  Anyway, this is the book with the dog that didn’t bark.  But it’s also got a nice little story about a woman who doesn’t trust her husband that has a surprisingly good moral.  Go Arthur Conan Doyle!

if you read edenbrooke as a parody of regency romance, it is excellent and hilarious.  If you take it seriously, it is horribly written, irritating and repetitive.  (Twirling?  Really?)  She does name her heroine after the irritating sister from sense and sensibility.

Was also somewhat disappointed with Bet Me by Jessica Crusie.  The heroine is really likable but I think forcing food on someone who doesn’t want it is almost as bad as telling someone she shouldn’t eat it.  Also, no means no.  I hate it when the hero is allowed to not take no for an answer.  Whether it’s physical relations or donuts.  That’s just not cool.  Trust people to have control over their own bodies and listen to what they say about them.

Also a little disappointed in Prudence.  It’s ok, but I think I won’t actually be buying a copy after I return the library book.  :/  Also the first chapter of the library edition is just swimming in typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors, though that seems to be limited to just the first chapter.  Very odd.

Lots of long plane flights, jet-lagged reading in bed at weird times, etc.  What have I read?

#2 gave me Serpentine by Cindy Pon, which I read on the plane and now I’m waiting for the sequel.  Easy to read and page-turning.

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson.  This is a series of high fantasy novels, each of which is well over a thousand pages.  I can only get through them on kindle on long long trips.  Good stuff, very evocative.

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase.  A podcast recommended this (and #2 got it for me as a wedding gift) and I liked it!  Hot.

The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig.  For fans of Richard Kadrey (which I am).

I think that’s all I read on the trip, besides several guidebooks.  Oh, and a book of short stories that was only ok.  And lots of crossword puzzles.

Other reading has included Chapelwood by Cherie Priest.  Squee!  Love this stuff.

I have a million books on deck, so exciting.  If only I didn’t keep having to go to my job!

13 Responses to “What are we reading?”

  1. monsterzero Says:

    I’m going to assume the “we” in the post title is the inclusive we.

    Exciting: short story collection by Charles Stross! Boring: a Nolo book on how to buy a house in California.

  2. Rosa Says:

    Milan’s contemporary, Trade Me, is the most actually romantic romance novel I’ve read in a long, long time.

    For me, what makes Bet Me is the moment the heroine stands up for the hero against his parents. His response is so great. And that moment when she thinks he’s mad about it – which is a perfectly reasonable thing to think, people often are.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      The heroine was really likable, and many things about the hero were likable, but I did not like the way the hero forced junk food on the heroine, even if she “really wanted it”.

      We’re working our way through Courtney Milan’s backlist! If only we didn’t have to work!

      • chacha1 Says:

        Now see, I didn’t mind the junk food in “Bet Me” because, to me, it was the hero saying “you are beautiful and irresistibly sexy just the way you are” when most everyone else in the heroine’s life was saying “you’re too fat (and too smart and too mouthy and too single and and and)”. And I’ve always thought that was the way the heroine read it too, and that’s why she was so easily seduced (by the junk food). She was tired of people telling her she was not the way she “should” be.

        To be honest, I *liked* the seduction-by-junk-food because I’ve had my own body issues and my own orbiting naggers/criticizers, and (read in the movie-trailer voice) in a world where young women are supposed to look like twelve-year-old boys with breasts, the guy who was delighted to feed me was a rare guy.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Except he wasn’t doing that. He wasn’t saying, “You are perfect, you should eat donuts if you want to, and I will support your choices.” He was saying, “Even though you have decided you don’t want to eat donuts, I am going to put some in your mouth *anyway.* And you will like it once you’ve started.” It’s taking away her agency just as much as all the people who are telling her not to eat them.

        Really we should stop trying to control people through food and body image no matter how that control is happening. Nagging people to eat is just as bad as nagging them not to eat. Complaining that people are too skinny is just as bad as complaining that they’re too fat.

        She missed the mark.

  3. A brief update | a windycitygal's Weblog Says:

    […] first patron to get my hands on it. :-) There were also several interesting looking books on the Grumpy Rumblings blog yesterday that I added to my book wish list on […]

  4. J Liedl Says:

    I do love Milan and Balogh. I’m rereading some of my Heyers now that I’ve caught up on their latest books.

    I recently had a lot of fun reading the first books Penny Reid’s romantic comedy series, “Neanderthal Seeks Human”. LOL funny. Don’t be put off by the title – the heroine sees herself as a klutzy “Neanderthal” who is doomed in love but has a happily ever after. The books can get a bit over the top but the writing is so darned seductive, you just roll along, giggling as you read.

    I will probably soon re-read “Midnight in Austenland” by Shannon Hale. I love the first Austenland book, too, but the second is my favourite for being romantic, smart and just enough gothic to make things fun.

    If you’re at all interested in YA that is not so romantic but really amazing, I heartily recommend two fall releases: “The Scorpion Rules” by Erin Bow and “A Thousand Nights” by E.K. Johnston. Both women are amazing writers but they tackle very different stories – the first is a future dystopia where children of world leaders are held hostage to their state’s good behaviour while the second is a sometimes creepy, always riveting take on Scheherazade in a compelling ancient Near Eastern setting.

  5. Mutant Supermodel Says:

    My son loved Prudence!!


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