Monday, May 28, 2012

Her Best Worst Mistake by Sarah Mayberry

Why I read it: This book is Ms. Mayberry's first foray into self publishing and all those on her mailing list (of which I am one) received it free as a thank you for subscribing. Of course, the reason I'm a subscriber is I'm a fan of her work.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  She thinks he's stuffy. He thinks she's spoilt. Then the gloves come off and so do their clothes!

For six years Violet Sutcliffe has known that Martin St Clair is the wrong man for her best friend. He's stuffy, old before his time, conservative. He drives Violet nuts - and the feeling is entirely mutual. Then, out of nowhere, her friend walks out just weeks before her wedding to Martin, flying to Australia on a mission of self-discovery. Back in London, Violet finds herself feeling sorry for suddenly-single Martin. At least, she tells herself it's pity she feels. Then he comes calling one dark, stormy night and they discover that beneath their mutual dislike there lies a fiery sexual chemistry.

It's crazy and all-consuming - and utterly wrong. Because not only are they chalk and cheese, oil and water, but Martin once belonged to her best friend. A friend Violet is terrified of losing. What future can there be for a relationship with so many strikes against it?

This book is a spin off from Sarah Mayberry's Blaze novel,
Hot Island Nights. Both stories can be read in isolation and still make perfect sense.

What worked for me (and what didn't): In case readers here haven't noticed before, I tend to be long winded.  Never say in 10 words what you can say in 100!! :D  It is with something like awe then that I look upon category length or short books or novellas which tell a complete and engaging story in so few words.  Her Worst Best Mistake was just about 140 pages on my reader, so fairly short, but that just meant that there were no wasted words. I can't say that I thought it needed to be any longer - the story was complete and fulfilling just as it was. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Governess Affair by Courtney Milan

Why I read it: I loved the Turner series and bought this one the day of its release.

What it's about:  (from Goodreads)  She will not give up…Three months ago, governess Serena Barton was let go from her position. Unable to find new work, she’s demanding compensation from the man who got her sacked: a petty, selfish, swinish duke. But it’s not the duke she fears. It’s his merciless man of business—the man known as the Wolf of Clermont. The formidable former pugilist has a black reputation for handling all the duke’s dirty business, and when the duke turns her case over to him, she doesn’t stand a chance. But she can’t stop trying—not with her entire future at stake. 
He cannot give in…Hugo Marshall is a man of ruthless ambition—a characteristic that has served him well, elevating the coal miner’s son to the right hand man of a duke. When his employer orders him to get rid of the pestering governess by fair means or foul, it’s just another day at the office. Unfortunately, fair means don’t work on Serena, and as he comes to know her, he discovers that he can’t bear to use foul ones. But everything he has worked for depends upon seeing her gone. He’ll have to choose between the life that he needs, and the woman he is coming to love…

What worked for me (and what didn't):  This novella is the prequel to Ms. Milan's new Brothers Sinister series, the first 2 of which I believe are due for release later this year with the third and final one in 2013.  As much as I enjoyed the Turner series, I thought this story was a bit thin.  The start felt just a little bit clumsy to me after the smooth beginnings of the other books I've read and the romance wasn't as well developed as I would have liked.  I agree with comments I've read about the place that this could easily have become a full length novel and I think I would have enjoyed it much better had that been the case.  After the first chapter or so, however, either I settled into the story or it improved and it was certainly an enjoyable read.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lord of the Fading Lands by CL Wilson

Why I read it:  I picked this one up on special at Dymocks recently ($5!) and I'd heard a lot about it.  I actually started listening to this on audio but, as interesting as the story was and as good as the narrator was, the production values were so bad (strange editing cuts, abrupt scene changes and background noises like shuffling paper and coughing!) that I gave up on the audio and picked up the book instead.

What it's about: (from Goodreads)  Once he had scorched the world.
Once he had driven back overwhelming darkness.
Once he had loved with such passion, his name was legend...
Now a thousand years later, a new threat calls him from the Fading Lands, back into the world that had cost him so dearly. Now an ancient, familiar evil is regaining its strength, and a new voice beckons him--more compelling, more seductive, more maddening than any before.
As the power of his most bitter enemy grows and ancient alliances crumble, the wildness in his blood will not be denied. The tairen must claim his truemate and embrace the destiny woven for him in the mists of time.

What worked for me (and what didn't): Ellysetta Baristani is the adopted daughter of Celierian woodcarver. He and his wife found her abandoned in the woods as a baby and her origins are therefore mysterious and unknown.  She has been afflicted with violent seizures since childhood and has terrible nightmares.  Rain Tairen Soul is shown her face in the mystical Eye of the World when he begs for a way to save the dying Fey and Tairen races.  He travels to Celieria to find her and when he realises that she's his Truemate, he's stunned, to say the least.  No other Tairen Soul has ever been truemated.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

April Reads

on Paper/eBook

Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino - B- Brad Feller is a college student on a fraternity and athletic scholarship who, at the beginning of the book, realises there's no hiding from himself anymore - he's gay.  Sebastian is a TA for one of Brad's history classes and after Brad buys a paper online to get his attention, they start a relationship.  I found the second half of the book much more enjoyable than the first.  I was really struggling to get through the first half, but persisted because Sarah at DA liked it so much.  I didn't really get the humour in the first part of the book and I did not like the phrase "the nail in the coffin" which Brad's dad used when he was giving an example of why he thought Brad was gay - that seemed very negative to me.   Some of the phrasing confused me and I had to read over it a few times to work out what was being said and that threw me out of the story at times.  It's a fairly gentle story with not a lot of conflict - Brad's coming out is fairly easy from what I could see in the book and any struggle he may have had with being gay had been resolved before the book started.

However, thes scenes when Brad came out to his friend Kyle and later, to the frat itself, were very funny and the sex was definitely hot.  It's a short book - only 165 pages but it retailed at $6.99 which I thought was pretty pricey.  Between that and the title, I don't think I would have picked it up at all if not for Sarah's recommendation. It was one of those rare books where her tastes and mine didn't quite mesh - go figure.    Am I sorry?  Well, no.  But, I wish I'd managed to buy it on special somewhere.

Marathon Cowboys by Sarah Black First off, I really like this cover. Did I like the book though?  Well, I did. But.