Lady Derring Takes a Lover by Julie Anne Long was very good! The title is a bit misleading… I mean, yes, eventually she does, but the book is really about character growth, perfidy, and catching smugglers. cw: There is an attempted rape and rescue that seemed like a lazy way of moving the romance forward. I still recommend. The Perils of Pleasure was ok. The Legend of Lyon Redmond was fine, though it is one in which if they would just talk to each other the book would be even shorter than it actually was… I skipped large chunks of it. The rest of the books in the Penny Royale Green series have been mixed, some more worth reading than others.
I finished all the Metzgers that the city library had available on kindle. My Lady Innkeeper was ok, not great. The Diamond Key was silly but fun. Snowdrops and Scandalbroth was also silly and pretty good (if you can suspend disbelief and don’t need truly 3-d characters), and another Inspector Dimm, though less from his viewpoint this time around.
I also finished all the Jayne Anne Krentz books that our local library system has. Sweet Starfire was an extremely good sci fi romance written in the 1980s, but Crystal Flame was TERRIBLE… or rather, it started out as a really great fantasy novel and I really wanted to know what happened… but then the hero raped the heroine and it just went downhill from there. Deep Waters was ok– a little rough here and there. A decent library read.
I think I would have loved Kill the Farm Boy some 20-odd years ago when I was devouring funny pun-packed Ace paperbacks edited by Ginjer Buchanan. But I just could not get into it.
The Hidden Power of F*cking Up was a good read. I think it’s mostly aimed at teens and twenty somethings, but it was still an enjoyable and easy read. I’m glad I was able to get it from the library rather than buying it though. I might be willing to listen to it on audible for the sound effects, but I don’t think I’d want to read it again.
Tried a couple of Victoria Thompsons, but they were both too depressing and hardcore and violence against womeny. SIGH. I need more escapism in my life, not less.
Lady Osbaldestone’s Christmas Goose was a LOVELY form of escapism. Interfering matchmaking grandmother and her grandkids right all the silliness in her town AND find the missing Christmas geese. I am hoping to get the next two in the series for Christmas!
The Viscount in Her Bedroom by Gayle Callen was ok (the hero was not sweet as some of the reviews promised, at least not until he found out the heroine was a “lady” — I like my heroes to treat all women with respect, not just the gentry and not just virgins), but I could have done without the other two books I tried.
A Minor Inconvenience by Sarah Granger has been ok, but it reads very much like an early work– it could use heavy editing AND it’s a bit cringy here and there in terms of consent and other things. It did get better as it went along though.
I don’t know why I just haven’t been able to enjoy the last few Sarah MacLeans. Skipped large chunks of Brazen and the Beast. Which I think I also did with Wicked and the Wallflower. I still like rereading a couple of her other series. Thank you library for allowing me to try before I decide whether or not to buy.
DNF Too wicked to kiss by Erica Ridley. Just so rapey.
Deleted the free Unmasking Miss Appleby by Emily Larkin which had a really great premise and would have been wonderful if say, KJ Charles had gone with that plot and added a little bit of fantasy, or even an earlier Sarah MacLean, but the hero was a godawful transphobe homophobe and not that great in terms of his beliefs about women (though those do get corrected). I skipped big chunks, read the bit in which the hero figured out the heroine’s secret, and then just did not care enough to finish. What a horrible jerk. The author had to make him an abolitionist to make him have any redeeming quality. Oh, and there’s rape and incest in there too (though I didn’t read those bits) and UGH.
Which is bizarre because I liked Primrose and the Dreadful Duke by Emily Larkin enough to buy myself a copy after checking it out from the library. This book has some slow bits but no unnecessary drama and is light and happy and just a full pleasure to read. The hero is great (not at all dreadful), and he and the heroine patch up any misunderstandings early on and focus on trying to protect the heroine’s brother from a murderer. Same universe but doesn’t even seem like the same author. I wish our library had more of her books so I could try before I buy, but alas, it has just the one.
Rereading the delightful Cold Comfort Farm (also, this paperback version is super cute, though your library likely has a hardback … do make sure you don’t get an abridged version– see the one star comments for which ones to avoid). I had forgotten how horrid Flora is (this doesn’t quite come out in the movie but is quite clear in the book!)
The Rat Catcher’s Daughter (Lilywhite Boys novella/short story/novelette) by K J Charles was short but lovely! Can’t wait to get Gilded Cage! I love how she’s both such a wonderful author AND so prolific. :D