Books I read this week 1/28/17

The Hunter

Author: Kerrigan Byrne

Series: Victorian Rebels #2

Tags: Regency Romance, Victorian

Rating: Ummm….


This book was a lot o’ the rapey. Oodles of rapey. Rapey themes, and an actual rape (in flashback). I ended up skipping that part, and that is something I rarely do.

I’ve read the other two from this series The Highwayman and the The Highlander. This one was definitely the most rapey of them. Second comes The Highlander (attempted rape), and third is The Highwayman (just rapey themes).

I mean, I enjoyed the book, but it was pretty extreme. Not just that, but also the emotions and danger and other stuff. Why do have to go there, really? I like a man with a scarred past as much as the next lady, but not, like, THAT scarred. Like maybe someone called him a bad name or something. Let’s do that, shall we?

He slept in a Harry Potter closet to feel safe! Sad face!

I give this the rating of “will read another of the series if it comes my way in audiobook form, but will not seek it out otherwise.” Is there a shorter way to say that? WRAOTSIICMYIAFBWNSIOO

Nope, acronym fail.



Author: Gail Carriger

Series: Parasol Protectorate #1

Tags: Steampunk, Victorian, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Vampires, Werewolves, British Humor, Romance, Managing Forthright Spinsters

Rating: SUPER YAY!

This book made me laugh, giggle, titter, chortle, snort indelicately, and snicker. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It’s set in a fictional Victorian Era where supernaturals live public lives among normal people. There is a whole government system set around them. So you get a little bit of intrigue, along with good natured jibes at Victorian society.

I want to say it’s about a detective agency, but that’s not really true. Miss Tarrabotti, a managing forthright spinster (my favorite kind), is mixed up in a murder that brings in the supernatural side of the law… and a growly werewolf Earl who she spars with flirtatiously. They unravel the mystery, and hijinks ensue! Werewolves! Vampires! Secret Societies! Dirigibles! Hideous hats!

It’s great. It’s also one of those books that just throws you into the world. Not much explanation. I love that. I’m not an idiot. I can catch up. Sure, I TOTALLY know what a dewan is. All my best friends are dewans.

I’m sorely tempted to check out the rest on ebook, even though it’s a little less romance than I would like. They are together now, so the initial will-they-won’t-they dance is over. I read the fourth one on audiobook and it was similarly hilarious.


Dark Challenge

Author: Christine Feehan

Series: Dark #5

Sub-genre: Paranormal Romance, Vampires

Rating: Yuck.

This book apparently deserved a Dear John, where I rant about the stupid world building, and then break up with the series. Because even when the book is bad, it’s fun to tear it apart.

Breaking up with the Dark Series


Cream of the Crop

Author: Alice Clayton

Series: Hudson Valley #2

Tags: Contemporary, Humor, Steamy, City girl vs. small town, plus size heroine, food?

Rating: Yay!

Another home run from Alice Clayton! This is the next in the series after Nuts, that I read last week. Swap out Chef with Commitment Issues for New Yorker Girl with Weight Issues, Nut Farmer for Dairy Farmer, and you have #2 in the series. Fun, funny, steamy, sassy.

I will say, though, that I was not excited about the weight issues part of the book. Ughhh, why do we have to make this a plot device? This is escapism, after all. I would like a new plot trend to be “She’s a size 18, and she never had a problem with it, and no one ever made fun of her about it, and she forgets about her size because she finds strength in herself and others and does important things unrelated to jean size. The End.”

It wasn’t as bad as others I’ve read. At least she was happy about her size in present tense, and those times were fun and empowering to read. But then, of course, the Past Emotional Baggage had to do with her size. That coupled with some verbal domestic abuse, and I found myself pressing the Skip button real fast. No thank you.

I can understand the inclination to make body image a plot point. In today’s image-obsessed world, it would be a little weird to write a contemporary novel and not have body image come up. It’s also a universal experience. Who hasn’t felt like that kid going through an “awkward phase,” or the adult who’s surprised at what their body has become? Because bodies are weird, and we have little, if any, control over them, and it’s a little awful to have little control over something.

I avoid weight issues as plot points for the same reason that I avoid awkward teen years as plot points. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. The t-shirt fits weirdly, and is made out of that scratchy cotton, so I’d rather not get another one.

I am, however, excited about #3 of this series. Now that we have conquered weight-as-conflict, the next girl in the series is going to have some other kind of baggage. And it’s about cinnamon rolls! #3 is titled… Buns. Of course.

I am not a foodie particularly, but I have a special place in my heart for novels that have a side love of talking about food. Have you noticed how prevalent that is? That should be a sub-genre: Romance Novels About Food.

There is a hilarious scene about a butter churning contest. Just sayin.


Winter Moon

Author: Dannika Dark

Series: Seven #7.5

Tags: paranormal romance, shifter, Christmas, SHIFTER SANTA CLAUS

In the tradition of Christmas specials, this little book has absolutely no conflict.

All of the characters have already been brought together, so everyone’s fine. It’s just a little reunion of your favorite characters to make you go, “dawwwwww I remember them!”

Also, SHIFTER SANTA CLAUS. With absolutely no explanation.  Just a cheerful older shifter bestowing a treasured gift in the nick of time.



Add this to another one of those times that I am listening to audiobooks in my cubicle at work, and I very quietly and SUDDENLY GET EXTREMELY EXCITED for the most ridiculous of reasons. It involves a lot of me whipping my head around and mouthing words for a minute or so.

I believe in Shifter Santa Claus….

Epilogues and Christmas Specials




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