Crosstalk by Connie Willis is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Sooooo good.
A Little Folly I’m not sure what #2 wanted to say about this
Stormy challenge by Jayne Ann Krentz writing as Stephanie James was just bad. It was from 1982 and both clunky and with an abusive stalker “hero”. Not sure if it is the James penname or the 1982 that is the problem. Legacy was another one from the 80s with a crazy abusive stalker as the “hero”. A Coral Kiss from 1987 was pretty decent. I checked it out from the library but I wouldn’t have minded if I’d bought a copy. Grand Passion was pretty good, though not as good as her more recent stuff. I broke down and bought the first Guinevere Jones book and then immediately had to buy the next two. They are novella length and not actually worth $6.99 on Kindle, but I think they are worth the cost of the used (not new) paperback compendiums. (The first two are better than the last two.)
The Earl I Ruined by Scarlett Peckham was ok. It started off well, but kind of fell apart in the third quarter.
I discovered that the city library I’ve been getting ebooks from has a lot of babara metzger on kindle. These have been mixed. Lord Heartless started off well, but then became a mess of unnecessary complication in the second half. There was plenty of plot to resolve without adding all the rushed stupidity and drama (though of course having the drama means that we’re not supposed to notice that the main plot from the first half never actually got resolved). A Worthy Wife is pretty dumb with an unlikable hero. An Affair of Interest is one of those where a middle aged grumpy controlling perfect oldest son and heir to a nobleman inexplicably falls in love with a teenager who is always getting into scrapes that he has to rescue her from… I know Heyer did one or two of these successfully (though the woman is never quite such an idiot) but when it’s not Heyer the trope seems a little gross and completely unbelievable (and even when it is Heyer I pretend the woman is older and the man younger!). Ace of Hearts’ hero was grossly slut-shaming so I didn’t get very far. An Angel for the Earl was ok. The Duel was pretty good. The Christmas Carrolls was really terrible– the patriarch date-raped a woman while traveling with his wife and kids sick at home and got her pregnant, a teenager gets married to the father of her boyfriend… and so on. The Luck of the Devil was ok. A Debt to Delia was silly but fine, though it had a slow start. The Primrose Path was pretty funny. A suspicious affair was quite good, though it was written in a different style then most of Metzger’s work– mostly third person perspective from a bow street runner, rather than from the hero/heroine (cw: the corpse that serves as mcguffin beat and possibly raped women, including the heroine, when he was alive). Miss Westlake’s Windfall was slow and boring… it speeds up near the end, but I skipped large chunks of the beginning and middle– a TSTL heroine. The Painted Lady’s hero was so extremely disgusting in the first few pages (talking about how the hero’s mistresses think he’s a generous lover, but in reality he’s just getting to know their bodies so he can paint them nude later without their knowledge… if he were modern he’d be secretly filming them) that I returned the rest unread. Lady Whilton’s Wedding started out really well– a decent take on the engaged childhood friends trope… and then a third of the way through turned into Weekend at Bernies, which… I dunno…
Rich People Problems is better than China Rich Girlfriend.
What have you been reading this summer?