Posts tagged with romance

Oct 10 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Goal, by Elle Kennedy

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This week's Book Giveaway is Elle Kennedy's The Goal, the fourth book in her Off-Campus series. (My mother hates these covers. I admit, I'm a little creeped out to discover that it's possible to develop muscles in one's armpit.) Our review will follow shortly...

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Oct 3 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Otherworld Chills, by Kelley Armstrong

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It's October, and we've been in a very horror-lite mood lately, so this week's Book Giveaway is Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld Chills, a collection of "rare and never-before-published novellas and short stories" set in her "Women of the Otherworld" 'verse. A full review will follow shortly...

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Sep 19 2016

Betrayals, by Kelley Armstrong

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Betrayals is the fourth book in Kelley Armstrong's Cainsville series. It is also her publishers' third attempt at finding the right cover art style for these books. (The first two installments were American Gothic; the third was modern and geometric.) I really like both the look and the contents of Betrayals, so I'm hoping the ever-changing cover design...

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Aug 22 2016

Remembrance, by Meg Cabot

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Remembrance, the fifth and final book in Meg Cabot's 'Mediator' series, is her third attempt at transforming one of her YA series into a story for grown-ups. The end result is vintage Meg Cabot—brash, funny, and just a little bit lazy—but now with more swearing, violence, and sex...

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Jul 21 2016

Even more vital

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Last week, Pajiba put together a list of Jane Austen's heroes, ranked by level of swoon-worthiness. (Please note: these are the film versions of various characters, not the book versions.) Of course, I firmly believe that Edmund Bertram could be played by Sex Incarnate and he'd still be a judgmental, easily manipulated doofus, so I'm ignoring their #10, but...

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Jun 20 2016

Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho

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Zen Cho's Sorcerer to the Crown is a mildly amusing historical fantasy novel, full of nods to Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. While her book features some ambitious ideas, Cho rarely explores them in sufficient depth...

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Jun 13 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: And I Darken, by Kiersten White

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This week's Book Giveaway is And I Darken, the first installment in a new teen series by Kiersten White. This book is apparently (very) loosely based on the historical events surrounding Vlad the Impaler. I have no idea how a story about a murderous, sadistic, 15th century nutjob will translate into a darkly seductive YA novel, but I'm looking forward to finding out...

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May 31 2016

Marrying Winterborne, by Lisa Kleypas

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Lisa Kleypas's Marrying Winterborne is a massive step up from the first book in her Ravenels series, but it still falls short of her best work. It feels like a throwback to the romance novels of my teen years—books that relied on far-fetched, telenovela-style plot twists, rather than more realistic (and, to me, more interesting) interpersonal conflicts...

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May 31 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Marrying Winterborne, by Lisa Kleypas

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This week's Book Giveaway is Lisa Kleypas's latest historical romance: Marrying Winterborne, the second book in her Ravenels series. The first installment was one of the author's rare missteps, but I'm hoping this one will be better.

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May 16 2016

Shades of Milk and Honey, by Mary Robinette Kowal

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The back cover of Mary Robinette Kowal's novel Shades of Milk and Honey describes it as “precisely the sort of tale we would expect from Jane Austen”. That comment is... a little hyperbolic, to put it mildly, but Kowal's book has its own virtue...

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May 9 2016

The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle, by Rick Riordan

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While I thoroughly enjoyed Rick Riordan's 'Heroes of Olympus' series, I was dismayed by the way the author handled Nico di Angelo, his first major gay character. I applauded Riordan's efforts to be more inclusive, but Nico seemed downright tortured by his sexuality, which—considering both modern attitudes towards sex and other, far more pressing problems in the poor kid's life—felt unnecessarily overwrought. I'm assuming I wasn't the only person to complain, because...

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May 5 2016

Gothic romance dialed up to 11

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The trailer is out for director Park Chan-wook's film Agasshi (The Handmaiden), and it looks incredible—dramatic, artistic, and creepy as hell. It's a loose adaptation of Sarah Waters's 2002 novel Fingersmith, and will debut at the Cannes Film Festival next week. Park, who is best known for his 2003 movie Oldboy, has...

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May 2 2016

The Wallflower, by Tomoko Hayakawa

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Tomoko Hayakawa's The Wallflower ran from 2000 to 2015, spanning 36 volumes. That's at least twenty volumes longer than the actual storytelling could support, but there is no denying that the series' main character is one of the most memorable heroines in manga...

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May 2 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Wallflower Vol. 36, by Tomoko Hayakawa

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This week's Book Giveaway is the last volume of The Wallflower, the long-running romantic comedy manga by Tomoko Hayakawa. The Wallflower has always been a little flimsy (there was enough story for a ten-volume series, tops, but it ran for thirty six), but it also brought me one of my all-time favorite manga heroines, so I will always have a soft spot for it in my heart...

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Apr 25 2016

Night Shift, by Charlaine Harris

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Night Shift, the third book in Charlaine Harris's highly entertaining Midnight, Texas series, has the same strengths and weaknesses as its predecessors. With each installment, I grow more invested in the personal lives of Harris's characters... and with each installment, I grow more pained by her idea of what serves as romantic chemistry...

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Mar 31 2016

Nah.

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ProgrammingInsider just announced that A&E TV and Harlequin Books have formed a creative partnership to produce original scripted movies, web series, books and digital content. They're promising "several scripted dramatic movies based on original stories and bestselling novels that will include a narrative of mystery, romance, thriller, suspense and more." My hopes are not high...

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Mar 3 2016

The ABC's of Kissing Boys, by Tina Ferraro

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If Beth Reekles's The Kissing Booth had been written by an actual adult, it probably would have resembled Tina Ferraro's The ABC's of Kissing Boys. The two books have a lot in common, but Ferraro's novel is smarter, more substantial, and infinitely less cheesy...

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Feb 29 2016

Let Sleeping Rogues Lie, by Sabrina Jeffries

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I have read and reviewed three romance novels this month. The first one was straight-up ridiculous. The second was irritatingly flimsy. I don't want to sound like Goldilocks, so I'll just say the third—Sabrina Jeffries's Let Sleeping Rogues Lie—is unquestionably the best of the bunch...

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Feb 29 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Let Sleeping Rogues Lie, by Sabrina Jeffries

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This week's Book Giveaway is Sabrina Jeffries's 2008 novel Let Sleeping Rogues Lie, the fourth book in her long-running 'School for Heiresses' series. A full review will follow later today, but here's a spoiler: of the three romance novels we've read recently, this is DEFINITELY the pick of the bunch...

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Feb 22 2016

Raging Sea, by Michael Buckley

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The horror in Michael Buckley's Undertow trilogy is largely evoked via ghastly migrant camps, bigoted politicians, and intense racism. These books should have been deliciously pulpy YA sci-fi/fantasy, but considering the current political climate, large portions of them feel uncomfortably realistic...

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Feb 16 2016

Reforming a Rake: With This Ring, by Suzanne Enoch

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Suzanne Enoch's Reforming a Rake: With This Ring is lazy, cynical, and as predictable as an Applebee's meal. It is also about 1000 times better than the last romance novel we reviewed, partly because Enoch is a far better writer and partly because when it comes to romance novels, I don't mind a little predictability...

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Feb 16 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: Reforming a Rake: With This Ring, by Suzanne Enoch

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This week's Book Giveaway is Suzanne Enoch's 2009 novel Reforming a Rake: With this Ring. After reading this, I find myself in need of a historical-romance palate cleanser, and Enoch is the kind of consistently amusing writer who can be depended upon to provide one...

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Feb 10 2016

The price is right

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Harlequin Books is running a Valentine's Day special: they're offering a bunch of books recommended by the popular romance blogs Dear Author and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, all...

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Feb 4 2016

To Lure a Proper Lady, by Ashlyn MacNamara

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When I reviewed a previous Ashlyn MacNamara book, I gave her writing a lukewarm but honest endorsement. Unfortunately, her upcoming novel To Lure A Proper Lady is the kind of hot mess that undoes a lot of preexisting goodwill...

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Jan 29 2016

At least it's creative.

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And speaking of webtoons, this weekend I started reading Witch Workshop, the latest effort from Goong author So-Hee Park. (English-translated chapters are available here.) So far it's not as instantly charming as Goong, but it's worth reading for the magical curse besetting one of the main characters...

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Jan 27 2016

The Deal, The Mistake, and The Score, by Elle Kennedy

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I recently read Elle Kennedy's The Deal, The Mistake, and The Score, a collection of fun, loosely-connected New Adult romances set in the college hockey world. In The Deal, aspiring singer Hannah Wells sets out to overcome a past trauma with some no-strings-attached sex with her new pal Garrett Graham, the captain of her school's championship-winning hockey team. In The Mistake, Garrett's teammate Logan...

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Jan 25 2016

By Possession, by Madeline Hunter

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On a recent trip to the beach, I picked up a battered copy of Madeline Hunter's 2000 novel By Possession from a Little Free Library. As longtime readers of the site know, I rarely read pre-Regency romance novels (I can't get fully invested in any sex scene when I'm wondering when the participants last bathed), but hey: I'd already finished the books I brought with me, and the price was right...

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Jan 25 2016

Weekly Book Giveaway: By Possession, by Madeline Hunter

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This week's Book Giveaway is Madeline Hunter's historical romance novel By Possession. Please note: I picked this particular edition out of a Little Free Library, and it is trashed. Totally readable, though, and at least we're recycling...

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Jan 21 2016

Cheese in the Trap, by Soonkki

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Today we're going to review something a little different: an ongoing Korean webtoon by Soonkki called Cheese in the Trap. Normally I would wait to cover this kind of thing until it was finished and fully translated, but A) I'm not that patient, and B) this story is so interesting, you guys—it's totally worth the inconvenience of reading it online...

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Jan 6 2016

Autumn's Kiss, by Bella Thorne (and Elise Allen)

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Once again, I am staggered to find myself endorsing a novel “written” by teen actress Bella Thorne (along with co-author Elise Allen, whose name only appears in teeny-tiny font on the title page). This is totally damning with faint praise, but Autumn's Kiss, the sequel to...

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