Viking in Love by Sandra Hill

Viking in Love (Viking I, #8)

Viking in Love by Sandra Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A light and fun read, for those who don’t mind a cruder side of humor.
You look at this title and this cover and think this will be one of those porny cheesy romances with not much substance or credibility. I would never have bought this if I didn’t actually accidentally read an excerpt in the back of another book a while ago.
While it is still a romance, you can’t escape from that, this book is built on utterly ridiculous, sometimes entirely idiotic, humor, and this humor, even when it turns crude and sexual, is the best thing about it.
It a very well-constructed story for what it is. It is full of small ridiculous details and even brief side characters have vivid memorable personalities. The hero of this book is neither the ‘viking’ from the title, as many might have thought, nor is he a very typical romance hero, which is only a plus. He has a likable personality of someone who is very tired of other people’s shit (because it tends to fall on his shoulders), but still tries to do the right thing, if not entirely successfully. The heroine is not as unusual of a character, but still isn’t dull, boring, or annoying. Their friends and family (including the children) are precious. I do feel like I enjoyed reading this.

One thing I didn’t get about the writing were the cursive opening lines for most chapters…I’m not sure what purpose they served and have a feeling the text would be better without them—less interruption of the immersion, some of the remarks felt too modern to fit in. In fact, there were times where the text seem to lose its flavor and turn too modern from time to time in other places as well, but not enough to really bother, I think.

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Curran POV Collection by Gordon Andrews

Curran POV Collection

Curran POV Collection by Gordon Andrews

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been looking forward to reading this compilation and waited until I finished Magic Bleeds…but now I think I oversold it to myself.
I have a strong feeling the Curran in the main books gave out impression of something deeper, more intent, more awareness…in other words, it a clear case of ‘the version in my head was better’. Especially with regards to the first half of excerpts…the amount of insight they provided was a bit disappointing. The second half was better, but still…it could have been more.

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The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

The Duke and I (Bridgertons, #1)

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I never expected it to be this much fun. At first, the venomous undertone of the humor in the prologue made me a little suspicious. But then I had the hardest time stopping myself from grinning while reading (in public places), mostly because of the dialogs. The dialogs are definitely my favorite part about this book. I didn’t really enjoy the topic of the main ‘drama’ as much, but regardless, this book was still a surprise and a delight.

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The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

The Devil in Winter (Wallflowers, #3)

The Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A well-written ‘love reforms all’ story with a ‘former rake’ and a heroine who is all innocence, bravery, and stubbornness, and not a single negative element to her. This book is also self-aware of the fact that it’s very much a ‘reformed rake cliché’. There are some plot turns, but it mostly made to be sweet.

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Knight by Addison Carmichael

Knight (Sons of the Alpha, #1)

Knight by Addison Carmichael

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

While I expected to like this book enough, black wolf protectors and all, there was a number of issues that just really bothered me:
– Personalities of main characters seem inconsistent and floating. They jump from one kind behavior to another in a way that doesn’t feel natural. The heroine switches from acting like a reasonable young woman kidnapped out of her life and being hostile and suspicions, to suddenly being all accepting and understanding and kind to everyone, to suddenly playing at being the lead detective on a case and having authority, to playing at girlfriends, to cuddling with a person and propositioning them, to shutting them out and down 5 mins later… and on and on. The hero only appears to be better because there is much less text in his POV, but his personality also felt like it flipped over half way through. There’s also this ‘brainless’ disease I’ve seen a number of times before, where characters talk and act but pretend that they have no ability to analyze or comprehend why they are doing something and just exist in denial.
– A tad too much hate towards women. As in, it’s very hard to find a positive female character who is not dead. I half expected for Rachel to turn out to be the killer. Because the remaining female characters were a lying traitor who sold people out for money and an aggressive egocentric bitch who couldn’t take no for an answer. A vivid contrast to a whole collection of attractive males who also all look like they are in their twenties, regardless of their age, and of course like the main character.
– The fact that people kept forgetting and ‘letting be’ the serial murderers they had to catch. The treatment of this part of the plot didn’t seem appropriate, as it was constantly pushed behind something else, as if catching the murders before they killed again was far less important than a whole list of other things. Or at least that was the impression I got.
– While the ‘twist’ conclusion itself was not boring, something happened to writing on the last 20% where it turned jaw-numbingly cheesy and dry. The places that were supposed to make me swoon made me grimace. It’s like suddenly there was something very unsavory about the tone of the book and it spoiled the conclusion. The bare facts of which, again, weren’t actually bad on their own… there was just something about the way it all was presented.

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Has been bothering me all this time. Do people actually use the 5-star rating system in the terms Goodreads apparently wants it to be?
For the love of all bookish I see no sense in this “1 – did not like; 2 – it was ok; 3 – liked it; 4 – really liked it; 5 – it was amazing;” annotations they insist on.
I my head it was always: “1 – hated it/dnf; 2- did not like; 3 – it was ok; 4 -liked it; 5 – loved it;”.

Playing with Fire by R.J. Blain

Playing with Fire (Magical Romantic Comedies, #1)

Playing with Fire by R.J. Blain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a pleasant surprise.
This book is fun, thought admittingly sometimes to a chaotic degree, very detailed, very well-developed, and very unique.
I really can’t help but admire the author’s imagination and humor.
I gave it 4 and not 5 stars because I feel that sometimes it might have been just a bit too chaotic and crazy (and sadistic towards the main character, with whole decontamination business), and a bit too abrupt, but I still would recommend it to any lowers of fantasy who enjoy having books sweep them up and away somewhere else. Definitely a book to come back to from time to time.

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