Nothing to see here. Move along.

I'm just poking around while waiting my estimated 52 hours for my books to import from Goodreads.  In the meantime, I leave you with this:

 

 

Cheers!

Lady in Red - Maire Claremont Had it not been for the dreaded Magic Peen syndrome, this book would've been a 4.5 -- it was deliciously dark and full of Very Bad Things.

I just couldn't get over how quickly SHE got over all of that trauma, so in the end, 3.5 - 4/5 Stars

Full review to follow.
Sins of a Wicked Princess - Anna Randol Mmmmm forbidden romance between a Princess and an ex-spy born from the gutters? Yes please!

4.5/5
If Wishes Were Earls - Elizabeth Boyle I was a little put off by the numerous flashbacks in the book, as they occasionally became confusing.

Still, a decent read, with the Childhood Friends To Lovers trope that I enjoy so much.

3.5-4/5
The Incorrigible Mr. Lumley (Bridgethorpe Brides, #2) - Aileen Fish Very sweet (and I don't just mean because there are no love scenes) -- a misunderstanding that could have been avoided though it did come with the benefit of a groveling hero.

3.5-4/5 Full review to follow.
The Incorrigible Mr. Lumley (Bridgethorpe Brides, #2) - Aileen Fish Very sweet (and I don't just mean because there are no love scenes) -- a misunderstanding that could have been avoided though it did come with the benefit of a groveling hero.

3.5-4/5 Full review to follow.
Chimera (MetaWars, #4) - Kelly Meding I really shouldn't have skipped the last few books in this series... It wasn't intentional -- I just never really got around to them. Thus I found myself a bit lost a times, even though the author did a pretty good job "catching up" new readers.

I wasn't too keen on the hero though -- he didn't get as much character development as I would have liked, and the whirlwind romance didn't help matters any.

Still, it was a good read -- plenty of action, quite a bit of character development on the part of the heroine, and an obvious continuation of the series' story arc.

Right now, 3.5-4/5 Stars, with a full review and final rating to follow.
Devil In My Arms - Samantha Kane I do love me an abused heroine, and throw in a courtroom drama and I'm hooked.

4.5/5 full review to follow
Styxx - Sherrilyn Kenyon This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.

Expected Release Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Macmillan
Imprint: St. Martin’s Press
Author’s Website: http://sherrilynkenyon.com
My Source for This Book: Amazon
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 23, Dark-Hunter Series
Series Best Read In Order: Yes
Steam Level: Steamy
Pet Peeves: Torture Porn
Favorite Tropes: Physically Imperfect or Scarred

Despite my discomfort and disgust at not only the explicit details of Styxx’s ordeals but also the sheer volume of incidents (which in the end cost the book a half-star in the rating), I still found myself thoroughly enjoying this one, which I admit, surprised me. I was very hesitant to even read this, because of my experience with the author’s penchant for torture porn as well as my relative dislike of the last two novels in the Dark-Hunter series.

I always have a problem rating the newer Sherrilyn Kenyon books because to me, they very often cross the line of creating a sympathetic, tortured protagonist (usually the hero) and instead fall firmly into the realm of torture porn, which is just not my thing.

I ran into this in Born of Silence (the League Series), in Acheron, and again in this book.

While all of the Very Bad Things that happen to Styxx as a youth do indeed make him a sympathetic character, I think it also does him the disservice of making him fairly unbelievable in the idea that he could still be humble and selfless to the point that he should be nominated for Sainthood.

Though I tried to take the forward from the author to heart, where she says (I paraphrase) that sometimes horrible things happening to someone can make them a horrible person, so can it instead make their inner strength and goodness shine. To me, though, so much happened to Styxx that it simply made it very difficult for me to believe that his Inner Good Guy would have survived.

That said, I have to say that Bethany was the perfect counter-balance to all of the very explicit horrible things that Styxx was put through.

I think that having Bethany and Styxx meet and fall in love in his relative youth, rather than making having him meet her and falling in love thousands of years after the abuse that he went through made it much more believable that he would have had the inner strength to get through everything he was subjected to.

I was, however, very thankful that Ms. Kenyon found a way around Bethany being reincarnated. That’s a trope I struggled with in an earlier book from this series, and was thrilled that it wasn’t an issue in this one.

As a bit of a side note, I would not recommend this book to those not already familiar with the series. I think it would be okay for those who had for whatever reason skipped Acheron, but once the book reached modern times, it moves very quickly with a lot of characters and events that you really need to be familiar with beforehand, else you could easily become hopelessly lost.

That said, for any fan of the original Dark-Hunter series, and definitely for fans of Acheron, I can say with all confidence that this is a must-read.

A very solid 4/5 Stars
Gareth - Grace Burrowes Kind of a wild premise (but that was explained towards the end of the book), but still quite enjoyable, despite the author's apparent deep and abiding love for thesaurus.com and the somewhat cliche events that happen towards the end.

4-4.5/5 Stars, full review to follow.
Intimate Betrayal - Adrienne Basso Predictable, oversexed and melodramatic, but still a decent way to pass the time.
Lash - L.G. Castillo Just couldn't get into it. I may come back to it later.
The Gilded Web - Mary Balogh

This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.

Expected Release Date: November 28, 2006
Publisher: Bantam
Imprint: Dell
Author’s Website: www.marybalogh.com
My Source for This Book: Local Library
Part of a Series: Book 1, Web Series
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy
Pet Peeves: Overly Stubborn Heroine
Favorite Tropes: Marriage to Avoid Scandal, (Emotionally) Abused Heroine

Mary Balogh books have always been very hit or miss with me. I either really enjoy them or end up completely disgusted with them. Unfortunately, this one falls into the latter category.

The heroine, Alexandra, had such potential — having been raised in an unloving, ridiculously strict environment, and being forced into an unwanted marriage to a stranger because of something that was completely out of her control, this was her chance for her to really shine. Instead, she acted like a spoiled brat, even going so far as to refuse to marry the man she’d fallen deeply in love with because everyone else told her she had to marry him. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!

Don’t get me wrong, I could understand how she would chafe at having her entire world turned upon its head by a thoughtless prank of strangers, and how frustrating her situation had to have been, but there comes a point where you have to pull up your big girl knickers and make the best of what you’ve got. Alex did none of this, and while I could forgive some of her behavior, the sum total left me with nothing but disgust for her character.

Not only that, I found myself far more interested in the burgeoning relationship between James and Madeline, as well as that of Dom and the lovely young Susan. This was most unfortunate for me since, despite the many pages dedicated to these side romances, none of them got a happy ending. Practically everyone in the book ended up miserable, as did this reader at having wasted all that time on a disappointing tale.

1.5/5 Stars

The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks - Josh Lanyon A definite favorite. 4.5-5, full review possibly to follow
Fair Game - Josh Lanyon 4.5
Her Ladyship's Curse - Lynn Viehl Expected Release Date: August 12, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Imprint: Pocket Star
Author’s Website: http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com/
My Source for This Book: Edelweiss
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Disenchanted & Co.
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy
Pet Peeves: Cliff Hanger Ending
Favorite Tropes: Enemies To Lovers, Everyday Magic


Look at that first line of the blurb — “In a steampunk version of America that lost the Revolutionary War…”. Right then and there I was already hooked before I even turned to the first page. Luckily, Ms. Viehl has the unparalleled skill to take that wonderful premise and turn it into an action-packed, slightly gothic, and completely engrossing tale that had me quite literally yelling my frustration at the cliff-hanger ending.

Brilliantly done, and I can’t wait for the next installment, due out in October.


4/5 Stars