What are we reading

do not recommend sweetest scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt.  What could be a fun story is ruined by graphic details of sexual abuse when the heroine was a child.  Very 1980s and destroys the fun.  Also lazy on the part of the author. :(

Also do not recommend Only Beloved, Mary Balogh’s odd end to the otherwise cozy Survivor’s series.  Really she should have just made it a novella or have it run through the rest of the series with the hero and heroine as secondary characters.  Then she could have cut down the boring repetition of the cozy middle aged folks falling in love and removed the stupid sordid back story (which she telegraphed early on) and the stupidity of the heroine’s life being put unnecessarily in danger by the icky villain.  The part that fits with the rest of the series drags.  The “excitement” part doesn’t fit with the rest of the series given its ickiness.  At least Balogh seems to have given up rape in the past decade.

how the duke was won by Lenora bell was fun ($1.99 on kindle!).  Recommended only if you’re good at suspending disbelief and don’t get caught up on historical accuracy.  It is a bit of The Bachelor Regency Edition.  Her voice is similar to Sarah MacLean’s.

one night in London by Caroline linden dragged and was just kind of boring.  A good editor would have cut it down by at least a third.

christmas revels four regency novellas by Kate Parker, Louisa Cornell, Anna Allen, and Hannah Meredith was fun.

Cold Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas was great until the last couple/few chapters.  She just did not stick the ending.  The book would have been a lot better if she hadn’t decided to do the Elizabeth Hoyt thing and drag out the secondary story into the second book.  Or maybe she could have handled that better without putting unnecessary drama in.  Ugh.  C’mon, stick the landing.   Still, I guess I’ll be reading the second in the series even if I no longer plan to buy the first.  At least our red state library seems pretty stocked with romances even if it has pretty much nothing else in adult fiction so I’ll still be able to try before I buy even though I won’t get off the wait list in time in Paradise.

The first Ribbon Ridge book by Darcy Burke, also not worth it.  This is a modern romance (free on kindle).  Without spoilering too much, the hero has issues and really needs a therapist before he can be in a relationship and it’s bizarre that the heroine doesn’t get creeped out about him acting like a creep most of the times they meet (really only the first meeting is him not acting creepy).

Read the first three Shelly Adina books.  The first one is free for kindle, but it’s really like the first part of the second book, and has some boring bits to skip through plus you have to suspend a lot of disbelief.  The second book is excellent and well worth having read the first.  The third book is just not very good (thankfully it was a library book).  I’m wondering if the fourth book is as good as the second or if it’s boring with bad stuff happening like the third…

Ugh.  Got any recommendations for books that are light and don’t have super creepy heroes?  Also please no rape, incest, child molestation, etc.  *SIGH*

Ima reread To Say Nothing of the Dog now.

17 Responses to “What are we reading”

  1. ChrisinNY Says:

    No recommendations (that’s what I come here for :D ), but my sympathies re finding good titles. I actually went back to reading Regency romances because of one of your recs about two years ago. I had read them 20 years ago but got bored. (I have a lot of time to kill at work, but not a lot of work. Online titles through the library are a godsend.) I recently kind of gave up on many of the writers I liked (e.g., Balogh) and their current books (even Julia Quinn who I really like- her last left me flat). I moved on to some paranormals (not all- many are really icky)- Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series has been enjoyable. (One of those later titles does have a rape, but it did not bother me much because it was not for any romance related reason and made sense in the context of the story and the perp was in no way sympathetic and Mercy handles it.)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I really like the way that Seanen McGuire has promised no rape. Though TBH her most recent InCryptid is such a bloodbath I’ve been stuck at 3/4 done for a few months. I’ve taken a break to reread some Barbara Michaels… but she’s feeling her age too. What seemed like edgy feminism back in the 1980s now seems dated. Which is good, I guess? But not so good for re-reading. So that’s been a bit of a slog as well. (Also the one I picked the ghost was probably raped back in the day which is part of why she became an evil spirit, though it’s all speculation. *sigh*. It would be nice if I could get through one week without a reminder of sexual violence against women/children. There’s enough of that in reality (reading the news in between positive Trump coverage and Clinton coughing– I should take a news hiatus like #2 has).)

      • ChrisinNY Says:

        I mostly go back and reread Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle from the 1980s if I can’t find anything else. (Her later stuff- eh.) I too have adopted a news moratorium. I figure worrying about Trump winning serves no purpose.

  2. chacha1 Says:

    I just haven’t been reading much romance lately, I’m more in mystery mode. A new-to-me author that I’ve liked a lot is M. Ruth Myers – series featuring a 1930s female gumshoe whose father was a cop; set in the Midwest.

    Have been on a news moratorium for approximately 15 years. I recommend it.

  3. Rosa Says:

    it’s been a while since a romance really grabbed me, so I’m back on SF and some mysteries. This summer I discovered an old series of tart noir I had never read. I’m not sure I’d recommend them – I liked them a lot but it’s a style/time period I like (’90s arty girl murder mystery, very specific! Part of the chick lit explosion, I guess, complete with a focus on now-dated name brands, music, etc.) Lauren Henderson’s Sam Jones books, starting with Dead White Female.

    Tart Noir I do wholeheartedly recommend, though i’ve probably recommended them before, are all Sparkle Hayter’s books. If you like Paretsky at all (I don’t remember if you’ve ever said you read mysteries or not) I bet you’d like them – they’re like VI Warshawski books but shorter, snappier, and without all the real-world tie ins.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      My mom is a big fan. Maybe I should try some mysteries. My mom used to leave a bunch every year but she hasn’t visited in ages and now does kindle so it has been a while. I was reading/rereading classics for a bit but the early ngaio marsh aren’t very good. Shouldn’t have started at the beginning.

  4. J Liedl Says:

    Have you read any of Jennifer McQuiston’s recent historicals? Valerie Bowman doesn’t handle too many of those themes that have been putting you off.

    For contemporaries, have you read the “Knitting in the City” series by Penny Reid? Knitting is a very minor element. I was in stitches right through the my reading!

  5. Rosa Says:

    relatedly but about the internet – are there any PF blogs, not on your blogroll, that you recommend?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Not really… Are you looking for something specific? I can throw this up as an ask the grumpies next week. (I think we used to read the same pf blogs)

      • Rosa Says:

        nothing specific, i’m just down to you guys and Donna Freedman (and she’s not posting much) and the Nonconsumer advocate. There’s been a lot of attrition.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Yeah, the other folks are more like 2x/mo. I’m glad Leigh is commenting still even though she isn’t posting. Miser mom, planting our pennies… Occasionally club thrifty and afford anything. Evolving pf has returned.

        I really need Leigh’s level of finance stuff but most blogs that post regularly are either 101 or how to live in poverty. Or selling stuff.

        A lot of old places are still around– squirrelers, budgeting the fun stuff, step away from the mall, retire by 40, financial Sam, little house, etc. but they don’t really have much for me at our point in our life.

  6. Debbie Says:

    A Curious Beginning , author forgotten, Veronica Speedwell is the heroine set in 1880’s—second one comes out in January–really enjoyed

  7. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    I’ve been re-reading old Laurie King (Russell, not the violent and disturbing ones). I got nothing.

  8. delagar Says:

    I can’t remember, have you read The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion? It’s adorable. From the POV of the fella, who is neurologically atypical in some unspecified way, and set in Australia.

    It does have *one* kind of creepy guy in it, who is the MC’s mentor (sort of) but we’re meant to know he’s creepy, and he gets told, so.

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