Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
The Earl—‘Lucky Ned’ Ashby. Pompous, preening, certain that he is beloved by everyone.
The Miller—John Turner. Proud, forced to work as the Earl’s secretary, their relationship growing ever more strained.
The Doctor—Rhys Gray. Practical, peace-loving, but caught in the middle of two warring friends.
Their wager is simple: By trading places with John Turner and convincing someone to fall in love with him, Ned plans to prove it’s him the world adores, not his money. Turner plans to prove him wrong.
But no one planned on Phoebe Baker, the unassuming governess who would fall into their trap, and turn everything on its head…
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
I'm sure a lot of us download free romance novels to read because there are SO very many of them out there. And then the little guys breed like rabbits in our eReaders. Why don't we share our reviews/impressions so we can find the best ones to read?
1. Read a free romance book (this was started for legally free eBooks, but you can count anything gifted, borrowed, ARC, etc!)
2. Review it on your blog. If you can and it's still available, share the link to the free book.
3. Link back here by using the code below.
4. Leave your link to the specific blog post (NOT your main site) in a comment on the recent week's TF post or via the linky.
5. Delight in reading reviews by real people who's likes/dislikes you can compare to and thus find a romance you most likely will enjoy :D
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Jackson Cooper used to be a tough kid. Now he's a hard man - gorgeous, sculpted by his Army service and hungry for me.
He's also my fucking stepbrother. And I can't keep my hands off of him.
He's everything I ever wanted. And everything I can never have.
Not only am I engaged to marry the biggest prick in the world, the guy has me in a stranglehold. Not even Jackson's iron fists can solve this little fucking problem I created for myself. There's no running from the thugs who own this boondocks town.
But it's my fuck-up, so I'll deal with it, right? Wrong. My captor doesn't just want my hand, he wants everything. And I'm going to have to give it all up. Including Jackson.
Why did he have to come back? It would have been so much easier without him here.
Now things are fucked up as hell.
And I can't help but want them to be even harder.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Format: Kindle ebook, purchased on Amazon
Did it feel like a full novel: oh yes!
Genre: sci fi
Dates Read: Mar 3-11, 2016
Official Blurb: In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.
One Sentence: Spectacular adventure with so much 80s stuff that you don't know where to look!
Saturday, June 25, 2016
Well folks, it seems I totally did take a long unplanned break. I think I just felt a little too busy to comfortably read as many books as I had been previously, then the pressure made me want to hide away. Have gotten back to reading again a bit, and I hope very much to continue doing reviews, though they may be twice a month instead of weekly. Seeing where I'll feel fine to keep them regular.
Monday, March 28, 2016
About Jules Barnard
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Author: Sara Gruen
Format: Kindle eBook, purchased on amazon
Did it feel like a full novel: yes
Genre: historical, romance, movie
Dates Read: Feb 24-Mar 3, 2016
Official Blurb: Orphaned, penniless, Jacob Jankowski jumps a freight train in the dark, and in that instant, transforms his future.
By morning, he's landed a job with the Flying Squadron of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. By nightfall, he's in love.
In an America made colourless by prohibition and the Depression, the circus is a refuge of sequins and sensuality. But behind the glamour lies a darker world, where both animals and men are dispensable. Where falling in love is the most dangerous act of all..
One Sentence: Felt transported to behind the scenes at this circus during the Depression
Full Review: I haven’t watched the film, and all I really know about it is that Robert Pattinson is in it. I didn’t have much interest because it looked like a star-crossed lovers romance somehow, and I didn’t know there was more plot to it. However, after reading the book, I certainly want to give the film a try!
I was very easily hooked into the character of Jacob, feeling his frustrations as he recalls things in present day, having an annoying number of problems in his nursing home. You feel for him, but you don’t really pity him. His voice felt believable to me. The other half of the book’s action takes place in the past, when he was young and joined the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show. It’s really cool, making me want to watch Carnivale and other stuff like that (recently got through American Horror Story: Freakshow). No, nothing reminiscent of Freaks (1932), rather more the drama just from workers and performers and animals all jumbled up together, being on a tight schedule. But I still liked reading from Jacob’s perspective and enjoyed his younger self. I was reading the book eagerly and enjoying every word.... up until The Romance.
It felt like it was added because it needed to be part of the story, but I could not believe, throughout the whole thing, that these two characters really loved each other. I mean, I was told they did, and I could see little things, but it felt much to quick even by romance novel instalove standards. Maybe it was also because Marlena felt kinda one dimensional? Well, not that much, but more so than Camel or Walter for sure. Even August was somebody, not just a cardboard puppet.
But thankfully there wasn’t all that much time wasted on the romance, there was rather a bit more! The traveling situation, the interactions of persons (I was curious about more rube/carniefolk interactions but eh well), the animals like Rosie and Bobo. Now all that I could easily get myself easily lost in the book again.
I am curious about Gruen's other works, but it might take me a while to pick one up, just because I don’t want another lackluster romance. Possibly it just felt that way because when you compare their relationship to a full romance novel, it’s a bit skimpy in comparison perhaps? I don’t know, but either way, it really didn’t detract too much, it was just not as enjoyable as the rest of the book.
Rating: 4 stars
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Format: Kindle ebook. Free at All Romance ebooks here.
Did it feel like a full novel: nope
Cliffhanger: serial ending in the middle of the story
Genre: erotica, gay male, reluctant (based on the character; in real life would be non con/rape)
Dates Read: Feb 24-25, 21016
Official Blurb: Secret agent Randal Blake has been captured by the enemy, soon to be tortured and held in captivity. Or so he thinks - until his captor makes it clear that he's interested in more than information or ransom. Bold and sensual, the mysterious kidnapper offers Blake a unique alternative to traditional torture - and the drug he slipped into Blake's food is making it seem all the more enticing. Will the straight spy decide to become another man's sex slave?
One Sentence: Supposed to be fascinating but can't be taken seriously
Full Review: The idea sounded incredibly hot! I wanted it to be good! It's not so much the writing which failed, but the plot layout and the incredibly quick narrative that is just too ridiculous to believe. The hero is boring, and seems ridiculously calm about his sexual capture, and accepts it way too soon. There's a fisting act, but it's very step-by-step and then over so quickly, you don't have time to care. For being a badass superspy guy, this dude is a complete pushover. And I just HATE the way he's told he's a "natural submissive". Sorry, but someone's preference to be submission doesn't have anything to do with enjoying being with just anyone against their will. Though I guess, the hero isn't acting very 'captured' anyway, bleh. It just reminds me too much of those het stories where the girl meets the guy and finds out she's a sub and loves everything her Dom does to her despite not wanting to do any of it previously in any other situation.
Rating: 1 star
Friday, February 19, 2016
Do you all ever feel like you don't want to read for longer than a few days? How do you snap yourselves out of it?
So I'm not saying goodbye; hopefully I can continue my posts come next Wednesday! But if not, then I'll post out another note about it. Fingers crossed though, heh.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Sunday, January 24, 2016
I’m wrapping up Part One of my first novel Shearwater – an epic YA mermaid romance – and I want to do something fun and meaningful for my book launch: raise money for ocean conservancy and to protect marine wildlife.
During launch week, not only will all earnings be donated, but I’ll further donate $1 for every sale. My goal is to sell 1000 copies at 99cents each, which which will raise about $700 + a $1000 bonus.
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Thursday, January 21, 2016
MOVIE REVIEW & DISCUSSION - The Court Jester (1955) [AKA: Why I may like a certain male/female dynamic]
Gwendolyn wants romance and true love, but that's a decision she's made by herself. She doesn't have a lot of negotiating power against her father, which is why she has to threaten her own life to demand she get what she wants. But then she also threatens her dear Griselda's life TWICE because she wants that love (the first because she thinks Griselda has been lying to her, and the second for Giacomo/Hawkin's life). This is a serious, goal oriented princess who will not let her ambitions be denied.
And then Griselda acts more like one of the evil characters, but more for her own protection than other gain. She doesn't wiat for others to do something, she gets stuff done herself! She sees her chance when she first hears Giacomo around, and she enchants him to fall in love with the princess. She doesn't care about his wants (and dare I say, his consent), only how this can benefit her. She hasn't done this before, so maybe she was waiting for Gwendolyn to find someone on her own to fall in love with, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Oh yeah, and poisoning the three guys without even a blink of an eye.
These three women are not the norm when it comes to period films. Despite two of them having some moral ambiguity, they are all strongly written in that they have goals they work towards. Two are towards a man, and the film does fail the Bechdel test, but you could see they are certainly not just sexy lamps in this. The film is far from perfect, but it does give quite a different feel to the more traditional romantic storylines and gender roles. Though Gwendolyn looks like she's reconsidering Griswold at the very end, it could be construed as being merely one of those scenes for the entire cast to be in. They all did just swear fealty to the baby-king, but not one is trying to tar and feather her or the former king, right?
Speaking of gender roles... Hawkins really just wants to get through all this madness, hopefully by initially looking like a super cool fighter so he can either impress Jean (not that likely in that she'd still outrank him), or just prove himself at least minimally competent (more feasible). He has to let Jean handle a violent situation that looked like it make him uncomfortable or maybe even queasy. He lets Jean make the decisions because she has a better mind for plans. Though he loves her, he doesn't let himself get too carried away, remembering his mission and his need to protect the baby-king. But he also doesn't just listen to every little thing Jean says. Remember up there in that pestle video where Jean says, "It's so easy I can say it" and he doesn't skip a beat before replying, "Well then you fight him." While most of this is likely irritation that he can't remember the rhyme, probably a bit is that he's bitter that she really can't for him, since he would probably sure she could kick his butt. Remember how the Black Fox says "each man serves as best he can"? There's no way Jean could have made the position of captain if she hadn't proven herself able.
Near the end, the two are cornered by Ravenhurst, and he tries to shield Jean with his body. She does a little of the damsel-clench thing, but it's not like she has a weapon so there's not a lot she could do anyway. But Hawkins is still unarmed and still tries his best. Flipping over Ravenhurst though uses his own natural self, he didn't gain new strength or anything like that (he's been quite physical throughout this whole film, and you can guess he was maybe an acrobat or tumbler from the hints of his circus past). Jean is still the one to flip him via the catapult, and I wonder if it's because Hawkins still wouldn't have the stomach for it.
So yeah, I can see how this may have laid a good foundation into "guys I like" just as I was hitting puberty. The men don't have to be the biggest and baddest. Their romantic interests can be stronger, and they aren't threatened. They still want to protect them and be devoted, but not in an annoying or stalker way. And they still have a way to do so, even if it's not in a way that is comparable to others.