It’s Wendy the SuperLibrarian’s Reading TBR Challenge time again and this month the theme is a book that has been recommended to you. Now most of my library loans tend to be the books I have sought out due to someone’s recommendation. I am loathe to spend money on a recommendation unless I have tried it first as I read way too much to purchase books without a thought. I am soooo far away from a One-Click reader but I do end up chasing library copies down constantly and this leaves me with reader anxiety.
A fortnight ago I stood at my shelves looking at my library loans trying to decide what I was going to read next when I was overwhelmed by the number of books I had amassed. With 28 library books to choose from, I knew I had reached that moment of terror that so many avid readers experience – I was about to declare reading bankruptcy and return every single book to the library just to rid myself of the pressure of reading and reviewing each one. And then I realised – I am a shallowreader and I don’t need to engage with my books in a critical manner. I just need to read them. So I embarked on a book-a-day reading bonanza! As of today, my library loan TBR now stands at 18 items! Yay! Of the 10 books that I read recommendations came from that wonderful (and at times scary) space Twitter where I have met so many like-minded readers who have recommended these authors to me such as: Miss Bates and Roz and Anna Campbell and Rachel Bailey and SuperWendy herself as well as probably many other people. And I thank them all! And yes – I will quickly run through all 10 books that I read:
His Wife for One Night
So this one had a mashup of my favourite tropes: friends-to-lovers, marriage-of-convenience, cowboys (well…cowgirls?). Jack had married his BFF Mia 5 years earlier but he is a bit thick and doesn’t pick up on her “I lurve you” vibes until she asks for a divorce and suddenly they are having hot sex. Mia walks out on him and there is a big bomb blast and lots of damaged characters and lots of healing to be had. It was an angsty read and despite some loose ends that I would have liked to have seen resolved, I enjoyed this book and I particularly liked its ending.
My pleasure reading disappeared in December of last year. After posting my 2015 Favourites at the beginning of the month, though I planned on continuing reading, my physical self took a big long sigh, caught a summer virus that left me in bed for 3 weeks during which I didn’t pick up a single book. So, just like bike riding and swimming, when I reentered my reading shallows I did so with my favourite type of reading – category romance novels by the venerable Lynne Graham which luckily also matches the “We Love Shorts” theme for SuperWendy’s TBR Challenge 2016! I read Graham’s interconnecting novels The Greek Demands his Heir and The Greek Commands his Mistress, featuring the consecutive romances of two Greek half-brothers Leo and Bastien Zikos and their English rose heroines Grace Donovan and Delilah Moore.
The Greek Demands his Heir
“Don’t be silly, Leo. Strangers don’t get married.” Leo Zikos should be celebrating securing a perfectly convenient fiancée, but it’s left him cold. Instead it’s stranger Grace Donovan’s impeccable beauty that fires his blood. So he decides to pursue one last night of freedom… But that night and the two little blue lines on the pregnancy test that follow blow Leo’s plans apart. Now he must break with his fiancée and marry Grace. She might resist marrying a man she barely knows, but Leo will claim his legacy and has all the riches and influence he needs to ensure his demands are met!
Grace Donovan, a medical student who is indebted to an uncle and aunt who gave her shelter (but not much love) from when she was eleven, has been coerced to go on a holiday to Marmaris Bay in Turkey with her spoilt cousin Jenna. She is a tagalong and once her cousin hooks up with a guy, Grace finds herself sleeping in their hotel’s foyer. After several nights of this, her cousin insists they go clubbing where she catches the eye of club owner and Greek billionaire Leo. The sparks fly, Leo (unbelievably) claims that he cannot dance but hells yes he is up for one last hook-up before he marries Marina, his betrothed. The reader meets Marina in the opening chapter and already knows that their engagement is a business agreement between two friends who have agreed that having intimate liaisons with others until they actually marry is fine. Leo, considering his hook up with Grace as a one-night stand doesn’t mention his engagement to her. The two of them get down and boogie and oooopsies! the condom they are using breaks. (In classic Lynne Graham dry delivery) Leo accuses Grace of “straining it” because…you know…her virginity was so tight the latex couldn’t take it. Continue reading
After several false starts, I have finally finished reading Tessa Dare’s Romancing the Duke from the Castles Ever After series for this month’s TBR Challenge. And to avoid even more false starts (particularly of the blogging kind), I’m going to do a quick blurb cut-and-paste:
As the daughter of a famed author, Isolde Ophelia Goodnight grew up on tales of brave knights and fair maidens. She never doubted romance would be in her future, too. The storybooks offered endless possibilities.
And as she grew older, Izzy crossed them off. One by one by one.
Ugly duckling turned swan?
Abducted by handsome highwayman?
Rescued from drudgery by charming prince?
No, no, and… Heh.
Now Izzy’s given up yearning for romance. She’ll settle for a roof over her head. What fairy tales are left over for an impoverished twenty-six year-old woman who’s never even been kissed?
Spoiler alerts early on in this review:
I enjoyed this book. Isolde inherits a castle but it comes with a duke (Ransom) who was not aware that his castle had been bought as he has been in a self-imposed exile to recover from injuries he received in a duel. He is mostly blind and he is adapting to life without full sight. Izzy is the daughter of a famous (now deceased) English author who wrote stories of romance and adventure with Izzy as the central character. Though she has been left destitute, there is national goodwill toward her and she has a strong, though a tad overthetop fans who follow her to her castle. Ransom has never heard of her father or Izzy and treats Izzy like an adult unlike most people who she comes across in her life. Ransom wants Izzy to leave his castle immediately but homeless Izzy refuses to give up her inheritance even if it seems to be an illgotten gain. Izzy decides to help Ransom tackle his paperwork which has not been read in months due to his inability to read. She becomes his eyes and reads aloud all his correspondence in order to uncover how his castle was sold without his knowledge. Continue reading
As part of SuperWendy’s TBR Reading Challenge I picked up this Charlotte Lamb novel that has been waiting on my shelf for several months. I am totally obsessed with Ms Lamb and she has once again delivered a strikingly dark story. Here is my (rambly) review:
by Charlotte Lamb
published by Mills & Boon, 1981.
The back story is that Caroline had escaped her cruel and violent husband Peter. He was an alcoholic that used to beat her up but Caroline and his mother, Helen who lived with them, would make excuses for his behaviour and would cover up Caroline’s injuries so to protect him. But when Peter started hitting their daughter, Caroline leaves Yorkshire for the anonymity of London. Three years later, Caroline finds out that Peter has died and her former mother-in-law wants to see her granddaughter again. Caroline and Helen have a deep love and respect for each other. It is Helen’s nephew (and the hero of this story), Nick that finds Caroline and coerces her to return to the Yorkshire village. Nick is a menacing and mean. For a hero, I found him too rough and a tad violent in his first scene with Caroline. Though he does not hurt her, he certainly does his best to intimidate Caroline. He is convinced that his cousin’s alcoholism and subsequent death was due to his wife having left him.
All human beings are a tangled web of contradictions and confusions