Posts tagged with romance

Mar 2 2015

Such Sweet Sorrow, by Jenny Trout

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As books go, Jenny Trout's YA novel Such Sweet Sorrow is a bit of a mess—albeit an interesting, ambitious mess, with flashes of something that could have been great. I can't ignore its flaws, but let me give credit where credit is due: this story would make a spectacular video game, full of world-building and action...

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Mar 2 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Such Sweet Sorrow, by Jenny Trout

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I've had Shakespeare on the brain recently, what with my rage over anyone describing Cymbeline as an "undiscovered masterpiece" (note: I'm not sure which one of those descriptors irritates me more), so this week's Book Giveaway is Jenny Trout's Such Sweet Sorrow, a YA novel about Romeo and Hamlet teaming up in the afterlife to find Juliet. I don't understand why there's a corseted girl with what appears to be a Victorian parasol on the cover, but whatever...

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Feb 25 2015

The Girl Who Never Was and The Boy With The Hidden Name, by Skylar Dorset

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Skylar Dorset's novels The Girl Who Never Was and The Boy With the Hidden Name are mildly entertaining, thanks mostly to their unusual setting and solid romantic storyline. The series slides right down, but, sadly, there's very little in the way of memorable plot development to keep it from sliding straight back out again...

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Feb 18 2015

My favorite price!

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If you hate-watched (or read) Fifty Shades of Grey recently, you might want to check out The Boss, the first installment in Jenny Trout/ Abigail Barnette's "BDSM-themed erotic romance series". The Boss is currently available as a free e-book, and...

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Feb 17 2015

Seeker, by Arwen Elys Dayton

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Arwen Elys Dayton's Seeker feels less like an actual book and more like the novelization of a movie. Admittedly, I would totally watch said movie*, but my film standards are embarrassingly low. I expect more from books—consistent characterization, well-planned plot development, creative world-building—and Seeker falls short on all of these fronts...

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Feb 2 2015

A Vintage Affair, by Isabel Wolff

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I have some significant problems with Isabel Wolff's novel A Vintage Affair, but I want to do it justice: this would be a solid choice to bring on an airplane—briskly paced, densely plotted, and engrossing enough to distract you from the kid kicking the back of your seat...

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Feb 2 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: A Vintage Affair, by Isabel Wolff

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I was poking around the depths of our To-Be-Read pile, and I unearthed an embarrassingly dusty copy of Isabel Wolff's A Vintage Affair, which I'm offering up as our Weekly Book Giveaway pick. If you (like me) never got around to reading this book when everyone else was, now's your chance...

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Jan 28 2015

What A Lady Requires, by Ashlyn MacNamara

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Ashlyn McNamara's What The Lady Requires is the kind of fun-yet-forgettable historical romance that neither challenges one's intelligence nor insults it. I won't remember it a month from now, but it slid down perfectly pleasantly...

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Jan 12 2015

Shut Out, by Kody Keplinger

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Kody Keplinger has received a lot of attention for her complicated, thoughtful, sex-positive YA novels. Admittedly, I've only read one of her books, but so far I'm not seeing where this praise is coming from—her 2011 novel Shut Out is neither particularly thoughtful nor complex, and it's only “sex-positive” in the sense that her sexually-active teen characters aren't constantly beset by the pregnancy/marriage/infidelity crises featured on ABC Family shows...

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Jan 12 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: Shut Out, by Kody Keplinger

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After last week's over-the-top dramafest, we wanted to offer something cheerier, so our new Book Giveaway is Kody Keplinger's Shut Out. It's loose retelling of the ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata, with a modern high school setting. Parts of it work surprisingly well... and other (much bigger) parts don't...

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Jan 7 2015

Anata ni Hana o Sasagemasho, by Tomu Ohmi

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I have a soft spot for Tomu Ohmi's 1970s-Harlequin-novel-meets-Twilight manga Midnight Secretary, so I was happy to hear a rumor that another of Ohmi's works, Anata ni Hana o Sasagemashō, will soon be licensed. Nobody seems to have confirmed this, but I decided to read and review the series anyway, just in case...

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Jan 5 2015

The Year of Luminous Love and The Year of Chasing Dreams, by Lurlene McDaniel

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Lurlene McDaniel's novels The Year of Luminous Love and The Year of Chasing Dreams boast more melodrama than a Mexican telenovela. These books have everything: natural disasters! Forbidden love! Lingering illnesses! Birth secrets! Personally, I felt like I was trapped in an interminable game of “Pin the tail on the soap opera cliché”, but...

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Jan 5 2015

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Year of Luminous Love and The Year of Chasing Dreams, by Lurlene McDaniel

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This week's Book Giveaway is a twofer: Lurlene McDaniel's The Year of Luminous Love and its companion novel, The Year of Chasing Dreams. These have been collecting dust on the ol' To-Be-Read shelf for quite a while, but I've been hesitant about actually opening them—the cover art and titles read a little ABC Family-meets-Nicholas Sparks to me, and that's not really my kind of thing...

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Dec 22 2014

Waterfall, by Lauren Kate

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After reading Stacey Jay's latest novel, I decided it was time to give Lauren Kate another shot. I've complained about Kate's writing before, but Jay's book left me feeling hopeful. Contrary to some previously-held fears, YA writers can improve over time... but, alas, Kate does not seem to be one of them. Actually, I'm worried her books may be getting worse...

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Dec 22 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Waterfall, by Lauren Kate

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This week we're giving away a copy of Lauren Kate's Waterfall, the sequel to last year's Teardrop, which we complained about at length here. A full review will follow later today, but (SPOILER) we didn't like Waterfall, either, so we strongly encourage our readers to enter this drawing and pick up this book for the only worthwhile price: free...

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Dec 15 2014

Princess of Thorns, by Stacey Jay

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Stacey Jay's first two novels had plot holes the size of the Grand Canyon, and my hopes for her future efforts were not high. Her third book—a sci-fi retelling of Beauty and the Beast—was much more successful, and her latest effort...

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Dec 8 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Ranma 1/2: The 2-in-1 Edition, by Rumiko Takahashi

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This week's Book Giveaway is Viz Media's 2-in-1 edition of the first two volumes of Rumiko Takahashi's classic manga Ranma 1/2. We recently featured this series as part of our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide, and trust me: winning a free copy would make an even better holiday gift for yourself...

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Dec 1 2014

Now That You're Here, by Amy K. Nichols

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Now That You're Here, the debut novel from Amy K. Nichols, has an absolutely gorgeous cover and an intriguing premise. Sadly, the story never quite lives up to the promise of either cover or premise, but it's only the first installment of a two-book series, and I think things might improve...

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Dec 1 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Now That You're Here, by Amy K. Nichols

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This week's Book Giveaway is a copy of Amy K. Nichols's debut novel Now That You're Here, despite the fact that it involves parallel universes and will almost certainly lead to a lot of grousing from Nathan about iffy science. (To which I say: at least it's not time travel.) The book won't be released until next week, so...

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Oct 20 2014

Alice in Zombieland, Through the Zombie Glass, and The Queen of Zombie Hearts, by Gena Showalter

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I am a huge Alice in Wonderland nerd, but I've had some bad experiences with Alice-inspired rewrites. (I'm looking at you, Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars. You were abysmal.) After years of buying—and regretting—these novels, I swore off them for good... until I saw a “specially priced” copy of Gena Showalter's Alice in Zombieland at my local Target, and that red-and-white 20% off sticker was enough to overcome my embargo....

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Oct 20 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: Alice in Zombieland, Through the Zombie Glass, and The Queen of Zombie Hearts, by Gena Showalter

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This week we're giving away all three books in Gena Showalter's White Rabbit Chronicles: Alice in Zombieland, Through the Zombie Glass, and The Queen of Zombie Hearts. This series is a perfect October comfort read, and would go particularly well with any Halloween candy you might have already purchased... y'know, in case all the stores run out. Our full review will follow later today....

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Oct 6 2014

The Smoke Thief, by Shana Abe

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I have strong feelings about romance novels. I like stories that don't expect me to buy that the hero and heroine have fallen into deep, everlasting love in a matter of days, stories where the sexual relationship isn't forced or coerced, and, above all, stories set after 1800, where I feel like all the characters are more likely to routinely bathe. Shana Abé's The Smoke Thief is none of these things, so I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed it...

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Oct 6 2014

Weekly Book Giveaway: The Smoke Thief, by Shana Abe

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This week's Book Giveaway is Shana Abé's The Smoke Thief. It's the first of her bestselling Drakon books, a series of historical fantasy/romance novels about characters that shift between human, dragon, and, uh, smoke monster forms (but not in a Lost kind of way)...

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Sep 24 2014

Unmade: The Lynburn Legacy, by Sarah Rees Brennan

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Sarah Rees Brennan's Unspoken was one of the most promising teen romances I've read in the past decade, with an absolutely phenomenal premise. The sequel, alas, took several steps down in quality, and I'm sad to report that the final book in the trilogy is dumber still...

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Aug 5 2014

I hope that pirate one ends up in Times Square.

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According to Refinery29, MAC's upcoming Fall 2014 makeup collection was inspired by the cover art featured on vintage romance novels, and will feature "products [ranging] from vivid lipsticks to killer nail polishes to electric-hued liners". I am SOLD, particularly if...

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Jul 22 2014

I do wish the cover art was better, but...

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Rosemary Clement-Moore is one of our favorite YA writers (as indicated here and here). It's been quite a while since her last book, so...

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Jul 9 2014

Mortal Danger, by Ann Aguirre

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I have trouble imagining the pitch for Ann Aguirre's new novel Mortal Danger. ”It's like a supernatural Revenge, but in high school, and the heroine is suicidal... but there's a really hot guy in it! And a makeover scene! But also tons of people die.” The end result melds together better than I expected, but there's no denying that some of those elements work better than others...

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Jul 8 2014

HOW IS THIS STILL A THING?

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While trotting past the book section at Target, my head nearly exploded at the sight of yet another book in Jamie McGuire's Maddox Brothers series. GROSS. I wrote a vitriolic review of the first book in the series a few years ago (sample line: "I can't sign off on a happily-ever-after featuring a guy who is always just one break-up away from full-blown cirrhosis of the liver"), and...

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Jun 26 2014

Trapped at the Altar, by Jane Feather

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Before I begin, a word of warning: Jane Feather's Trapped at the Altar ends on such an inexplicably abrupt note that I found myself wondering if the e-reader advance copy I was sent was somehow missing several final chapters. But after poking around a bit online, I'm assuming my copy is fine—it seems that's just the way the story ends. However, if I find out later there's secretly another 100 pages out there, I promise to go back and update this with a more fair assessment...

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Jun 17 2014

The Lovely and the Lost, by Page Morgan

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Page Morgan's The Lovely and the Lost is the second novel in her Dispossessed series. I found her first installment, The Beautiful and the Cursed, a little over-ambitious, but fans of Morgan's elaborate mythology and huge cast will be pleased to hear that her second book is just as jam-packed as the first...

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