Book review round-up for the week

I posted a bunch of book reviews on Amazon this week but they were mostly short reviews so I thought I’d collate them all in one post. Most of these are or were free, so the 4* ones are definitely worth checking out 🙂

The first is for King by L J Dee, available here:

3* – a fair representation of the genre

I did actually enjoy this book. It was refreshing to read something where the dominant half of the relationship stayed on the right side of reasonable. King was funny and sexy and very alpha male.

Smith was also an interesting character. It was really nice to see a female lead that wasn’t weak willed and 100% submissive. When things mattered, she stood up for what she wanted, even when it hurt. It was refreshing to see a female character written in a submissive position that actually has more than a shred of self respect.

I liked the insight into the world of advertising too – the fiercely competitive nature of pitching and the devious things the execs will get up to in order to make their way up the business.

I had two problems with this book.

The first was that the book fell prey to the, by now totally cliched, completely avoidable angst of a miscommunication. I seem to be finding it in every book I read at the moment. The situation of him not telling her why he was beholden to Tamsin Lloyd just seemed a little bit too ridiculous and contrived. It let down an otherwise really good read. It was just too unbelievable. Given the chemistry and history between them, I just can’t believe that King would have walked away without explaining. It wasn’t like he didn’t have plenty of opportunities to speak to Jasmin about Lottie and ask if he could put her mind at rest.

The second was that the editing was atrocious. There were several times where I found myself wondering if the author was going for the world record for longest run-on sentence in fiction. I counted one that lasted 12 lines on my kindle. 12 lines. *shakes head*. Some of the grammar made the sentences almost unreadable, particularly when it came to misplaced commas. There were also several occasions where the author used wrong words. I could always figure out what she meant, but they should have been picked up on an edit.

To be fair, if you follow my reviews you’ll know that I’m harsh when it comes to editing issues. The fact that I was absorbed enough in the story to mostly ignore it tells you how much promise this book has.

In closing, I’d like to say how nice it was to read a standalone novel. I was getting a little fed up of series.

Book 2 was Unexpected Gifts by Elena Aitken, available here:

4* – a sweet story

The blurb pretty much tells you everything you need to know about this book – 2 strangers, reeling from hard knocks in the school of life, end up sharing a villa over Christmas and somewhere in the middle they develop feelings for each other.

There are the standard complications of ex-lovers and insistence that they’re on the rebound and aren’t looking for a relationship, but truth be told this book was exactly what I needed at the time. It’s a sweet, occasionally poignant, fluffy little Christmas romance and sometimes that’s just the perfect balm for the soul.

Book 3 was Kissing in the Dark by Wendy Lindstrom, available here:

4* Sweet story

I have to be honest and say I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I did the last Grayson brothers book I read, (reviewed somewhere on here!) but it was still very good and I would recommend the series to anyone who enjoys a bit of period drama 🙂

Faith is running from her past with her “aunts” and her two kids (one is her brother). They’re never going to settle into the town because they’re too outlandish, but when the town sheriff falls for Faith, she’s in a terrible position – does she risk losing the security she offers by telling him the truth, or does she allow him to marry her and find a decent time to break the news later on?

In the end the decision isn’t hers to make and things fall out in a way that’s satisfying. I think what I like about Wendy Lindstrom’s books is that they’re not overly saccharine. Things aren’t perfect and endings aren’t always sickeningly sappy. She balances sacrifice with reward and I can connect with that on a base level. When Duke thinks he has to do something that’s against the law, he gives up the thing that means the most to him because it’s the only way to satisfy his sense of honour. I half-expected Lindstrom to set it all to rights for the perfect happy ending, but she didn’t and I respect her all the more for that. Life isn’t perfect.

I thought the aunts were a brilliant addition to the story, with their antics and particular brand of wit. They lightened a thread of the story that could easily have been too dark.

I would recommend these books and keep meaning to download the rest of the series!

Book 4 was White Tigress by Jade Lee, available here:

3* – it was okay

I read this a while back and then kind of forgot about it, which probably says a lot about my response to the book! It was okay. I thought the characters were mostly pretty good and it was interesting that both sides of the race divide viewed the others as barbarians. As a character piece it was a good read, especially with the letters from Ru Shan’s female ancestors to each other explaining the family history. As a step into another world it was good.

I just…I think maybe I’d have enjoyed it more if I’d had any idea what they were going on about. I didn’t understand the whole process of trying to pass through gates etc. I kind of guessed it was like enlightenment but I wasn’t sure and the confusion did taint the large majority of the book. I think I lost sight of the mysticism somewhere because when they do finally have that amazing mystical experience, it felt a little bit like the book had derailed. To me it felt like it was supposed to be about a real world relationship and suddenly we were heading off into the territory of magic.

It was okay but I don’t think I’ll read the rest of the series. It just didn’t grab me like I was expecting it to, based on all the other glowing reviews.

And finally, book 5! Strictly Business by Aubrianna Hunter, available here:

1* – did not finish

I’m sorry but I got 5% into this and gave up. I know that’s probably judgemental but I got really irritated with the writing style – it’s got every cliche there could be in the first few pages – the whole mirror scene where we find out that our beautiful heroine looks like architect barbie, the fact that she’s a 29 year old virgin (seriously?) and the whole back history info-dump.

I wasn’t harsh enough to delete it from my library altogether, so I may go back one day and try and get over it enough to pursue the plot, but right now my feeling is that life is too short for lazy fiction.

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