Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Temporary Betrothal

This was a quick and fluffy read. Enjoyable, but quite shallow- both in regards to the spiritual content as well as character development. There were a few times that suddenly a character would be more mature or changed in some way and I would think to myself "when did that happen?". Also, in the beginning, I was of the impression that Sophie was an unbeliever, and then about a third of the way through (after attending church once for the first time since she was little) suddenly it seemed that she was saved...at least...that's what I gathered. The cliche misunderstanding/anti-communication plot twist was a bit illogical and I didn't understand what the big deal was. 
My favorite characters were Harriet and Brookes, and Lucy - I would like to read her story and find out how things went with ensign Rowland. :)
Overall I don't regret reading this clean and quick regency, but I enjoyed A Rumored Engagement by the same author more.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Friday's Child

Friday's Child had lots of cute elements and overall was a fun Heyer-style romp through the London season. 
Hero was an adorable heroine- sweet tempered and loyal, nearly to a fault. I usually prefer a bit more outgoing heroine, but for this story 'Kitten' was perfect. 
Lord Sheringhams friends were hilariously entertaining! The Charming Trio, containing all the personality quirks that keep things interesting; George is the dashing gentleman, romantic and willing to challenge any and all to a duel at the drop of a hat. Ferdy is a peace loving fellow- an irreproachable literalist. And last, but most assuredly not least, Gil: bachelor, mastermind, and brains of all three.
With Sherry himself I was not impressed with above half. Selfish, prone to throw temper tantrums, and neglectful to the point of driving me mad(!!!), I could not like him until well over halfway through the book, when -in true Georgette Heyer fashion- he is made aware of what an idiot he's been (thanks to the above-mentioned trio) and proceeds to begin making amends. 
Lots of other lovable as well as not so lovable characters and many laughable situations make for an interesting and entertaining story that I enjoyed (minus the bit of language).
Not my favorite Heyer, but not a waste of time, either. ;)


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The World Above

The World Above was a cute and creative blend of Robin Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk, starring Jack's practical and no-nonsense twin sister, Gen, who is in desperate need of an adventure. Being a fairy-tale retelling, there was magic (pertaining to the beanstalk itself) and everything is very unrealistic, and - being only 175 pages long- extremely short and to the point; not much detail (the plot was really well thought out, despite that!). I did enjoy it while it lasted and appreciated that it was super clean with only one brief and nondescript kiss at the end. But, shh! you can't know that yet! ;)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Certain Want of Reason

What I liked:
This book made me laugh out loud multiple times! So many hilarious situations and ridiculous banter back and forth- particularly between the "insane" hero and his servant, and also with Geoffrey.
Lucia had a commendable loyalty towards her siblings, given the difficult circumstances, and she truly loved them. Their relationship was really sweet.
The plot was fast-paced and this book is definitely a page-turner! I read over half of it last night.
The hero realizes the selfishness and deceit of his plan when he is faced with the consequences of his actions, and is truly repentant and seeks to make things right, truthfully. 

What I didn't like:
The few cuss words throughout. *sighs* Honestly, this gets on my nerves in any book! :P
The references to being unfaithful in the event of an unhappy marriage, and that no one seems to find anything wrong with it. (Even the hero, [spoiler: at the end when he has resigned himself to marrying Miss Newman to resolve the issues he has caused], states that he will remain faithful to her, as long as she remains faithful to him. What type of true hero is that?)
And then there's Miss Newman...she was...horrible. Most talk of tolerating unfaithfulness was done by her, as well as a good deal of flirting- with.every.one.- and loads of manipulation. She made a very well-played villain, but was also uncomfortably amoral. 
Also, there was some minor-but-distracting lack of editing throughout.

The plot was super intricate and came together well, and I really enjoyed the first half of this book especially; lots of wit and humor. However, I had some serious issues with certain characters and different situations in the second half.

Here are some laughs for you from a few of my favorite scenes:

“And that's how it would start. He would make a ridiculous leaping entrance back into the ballroom.” 

“He collapsed into a chair bedecked with cushions. "Pillows love me," he sighed.” 

“Edmund dashed over to the nearest window. "I'll jump off this ship!" he announced. But the window wouldn't open without more of a struggle than he had time to offer. So he made his exit through the more convenient, albeit less dramatic, doorway with Adrington and Mountdale in close pursuit.” 

“Impossible as it seemed, many of these older ladies, who never stirred from the house past sunset, had either not heard the tales of his behavior two nights ago or had not believed them.
The ones who did obviously has enough manners, or at least enough sense, to keep quiet in the presence of his mother. Had anyone said anything outright, his mother would probably have no qualms about asking the offender to choose a weapon and name her second."


Sunday, March 1, 2015

After a Fashion

WARNING: Reading After a Fashion may cause the following side effects:

-sleepless nights
-depression (you will never be as witty as Jen Turano...face it.)
-random bursts of emotion
-belly-aching laughter 
-fangirling (with side effects of it's own due to squealing, obsessing over fictional characters, etc.)
-frequent use of large words- whether you know their meaning or not
-sudden urges to jump out of moving carriages or join a circus
-a dazed look that may alarm your acquaintances (but not your friends- they'll simply demand to know what book you've just finished, and your closest will probably ask to borrow it.) 
-a desire to give your pets names like Peabody and Oliver
-aggression towards some rather nasty and slimy villains
-perhaps not-so-unrealistic expectations about riding into the sunset with your happily-ever-after
-a compelling desire to hibernate and be unsocial until side effects wear off (be further warned that afore-mentioned side effects do not wear off quickly.)
-an excessive happiness and satisfaction ...until you discover that there is more to come in the not so distant future, whereupon discovering this you will not rest easy until you've secured those as well.

Take with tea and an open- or flexible- schedule.

After a Fashion will hold you spellbound with it's vivid setting and colorful cast of characters. A must read for all historical fiction readers who love to (or need to) laugh! Jen's novels always take precedence on my to-read pile, and they never disappoint with their incredible wit and totally unexpected plot twists. You can't miss out on this wild ride through New York city- from the slums to Delmonico's!