Dislusterating, whiskey-making, Ne’er-Do-Well brother. Extreme klutziness; flatulent bloodhounds. Apocalypse is coming, so the gods have a party.
DNF: A Devil in Scotland
Author: Suzanne Enoch
Series: No Ordinary Hero #3
Tags: Scotland, Highlander, childhood sweethearts, sister-in-law, brewer, widow, child, dog, revengenda
I didn’t finish this book. I was super close, though. Let me tell you, I tried.
I would say that my enjoyment of this series has increasingly waned.
I liked #1: Hero in the Highlands. Managing female + hardened soldier always makes me happy.
Then #2, My One True Highlander, was slightly more nonsensical with some shoddy character development. But whatevs because: highlanders!
But this one? Mehhhhhhhhhhhhh….
Just didn’t care about the characters. They weren’t written well enough to be real characters, but didn’t commit enough to be archetypes. Our hero comes back from America for one reason: to hunt down his brother’s killer(s). His old sweetheart had married his (stable, noble) older brother over him (for extremely reasonable reasons), and now he suspects her to be behind his brother’s death. She is equally distrusting, since he was a big old drunkard when he left and he’s a big old (sober) bully, now that he has come back. Blah blah love/hate/lust/distrust etc.
These bitches be dislusterating all over the place.
I am just not into that kind of hero. The kind that comes stomping into the story going, “I’m going to accomplish my goal, come hell or highwater, and no one can stop me!” Gurrr ARGH Rabble Rabble.
Throwing people through windows and the like.
The woman, also, was nothing to write home about. She is the daughter of a merchant, and the heir to a company and fortune, and she just blithely follows her scheming business partners into self ruin. She could have taken some agency, but she didn’t.
And when our blustering hero finally proves to her that she is being hoodwinked, she just kind of leaves it up to him to fix.
I got to the part in the end where they plan for the final battle, and then my audiobook was returned to OverDrive.
Those parts never really matter anyway. THE FINAL BATTLE means that there will be no more character development, no more relationship building, no more change, no more romance. Everything you learned about them in the previous 4/5ths of the book is inconsequential as you and the characters are inevitably pulled into the THE FINAL BATTLE with the big boss.
I mean, there may be some final twist type character revelations, but not likely.
Side note: That’s where I think sci-fi TV shows typically lose their way. The overarching conflict builds until the final episodes, and then it all becomes about the battle. Once you get to the battle, though, there is a chance the writers will never write the characters out of battlemode, and then every episode is just a bunch of actors yelling at each other and carrying swords.
I noticed this first during Season 3 of Once Upon a Time, but there have been others. Specifically, Season 7 of Buffy, Season 2/3 of Angel, Season 2 of Dark Angel, Book 3 of Hunger Games, Book 7 of Harry Potter, etc.
Author: Katie MacAlister
Series: Noble #1
Tags: Regency romance, historical romance, flibbertigibbet, moody earl, widower, child, mystery death, klutz, dogs
I thought I’d try one of MacAlister’s regency romance novels, since I got burned out on her paranormal books. I feel like this is a better fit for her because if there is one romance subgenre that you can dial up the silly, it’s regency.
And yes, it was incredibly silly. If I remember correctly, the first scene is our heroine setting fire to some ballroom curtains. So, yeah.
Klutziness! Confusion! Misunderstandings! Long trains of misfit sidekicks! A sassy marriage-obsessed cousin! Oddball, chaotic, comical scenes! And, of course, a moody stick-in-the-mud earl who is very chagrined that his orderly life has been turned upside down because he has the hots for this incredibly silly woman.
As with most MacAlister novels, there are so many supporting characters that you kind of lose track of them all, and they all blend together as one big, cheerful, supportive family. In this book, there are identical triplet footmen, a pirate butler, at least 12 Bow Street Runners undercover as household staff, two or three flatulent hounds, four former mistresses of the earl, and possibly more.
I mean, that’s all fun. It’s the kind of klutzy characterization of the heroine is SO pronounced, that you kind of wonder if she was dropped as a child. Almost. Just a teeensy bit unbelievably obtuse in ways that serve the plot well, but shake your confidence in her abilities as a character.
Since I favor genius, witty, but overly awkward spinster heroines, this particular flavor of heroine can get on my nerves.
But yay! Shenanigans!
Reminds me of Catherine from Northanger Abbey. I always sort of feel bad for Tilney at the end (she is so dumb!). At least she’s young. Maybe she’ll grow out of it. Maybe.
Anyway, that all was fun and games. The son was cute, the situations comical. The only real problem I have with it is the…
Not sure if there is a word for this…
Our hero’s dead wife liked to receive pain, and his friend liked to give it, but instead of going off to do their own business, they use their friendship to abuse children, and manipulate. Eventually the wife dies from their games. Fast forward to the end of the book, the hero’s friend goes conveniently insane.
Ohhhhh MacAlister. She wrote this in 2017! It’s not okay anymore to just site S&M behaviors as the reason the villains are villainous.
“People like that are sick. They are broken.”
Getting a strong strong vibe of anti-BDSM coming from this book.
That is weird to be coming from a paranormal vampire romance author.
Author: Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Series: Accidentally Yours #5
Tags: Paranormal romance, gods and goddesses, soul mates, stick-in-the-mud male, invisible, time travel
What a fun romp!
This series is apparently (this one is the first I read) about a group gods and goddesses that are struggling to save the world/find mates. And no, they aren’t any one mythology in particular. They all have their own names, and reference different religions briefly, but don’t follow any particular structure, it seems.
The bad-ish character is Semille (?) the goddess of chaos (?), who lights up the narrative with insane, giggly quips. She has man eating (possibly invisible?) unicorn named Minky, and Semille is responsible for many atrocities, including Spam and American Idol.
Semille predicts the coming of the apocalypse, and sends her god brother Maax to go fix it by finding a woman in 90s Mexico and making sure she doesn’t die.
She ends up dying.
He has to go back in time several times to make sure that he saves her while she is still alive.
Also, Maax is invisible. So he’s just walking around naked everywhere, knocking things over with his insta-erection when he falls in love with our heroine.
Fun times with invisible shenanigans, both humorous and steamy.
At one point, they can’t stop the apocalypse, and what do they do? Throw a party, of course! Diety party with Bacchus as the bartender, and What’s Her Name, the goddess of forgetfulness, as DJ. Fun!
It’s funny and silly, and I wish there were more in OverDrive! Just this one exists in the audiobook library, so far. There is a weird number books that in OverDrive that are the very latest/last of a series, and that is the only book available. I bet it has something to do with the packages they buy.
I wonder if I would be sick of the series at this point if I had in fact read the books in order. There was some insta-love with the whole soul mate thing, which has its time and place. Sometimes the first book of the series works hard to develop that mate bond love thing, and then the subsequent books are just feeding off of the previous work. Since this is #5, perhaps there is more romance development in the previous books.
Semille was at certain moments a little too quippy, which was fine for now, but I could see myself getting sick of it. She’s the kind of character to throw in a gleeful “Talk to the hand!” if the dated reference was punny enough.
And the end is (spoiler) six simultaneous births, as the women of the gods they were paired with go into labor all at the same time.
Overall, though, I enjoyed it very much. It was funny, and silly in a kitschy way. I would wholeheartedly try another audiobook by Pamfiloff if it came my way.
On the Radar
Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole
The Intuitive Eating Workbook: Ten Principles for Nourishing a Healthy Relationship with Food by Evelyn Tribole
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
The Color of Magic by Terry Prachett
Hard Core by Tess Oliver
No Other Duke Will Do by Grace Burrowes
The Covert Captain: Or, A Marriage of Equals by Jeannelle M. Ferreira
Last Night’s Scandal by Loretta Chase
Lord Sebastian’s Secret by Jane Ashford
A Lady’s Code of Misconduct by Meredith Duran
A Lady of Persuasian by Tessa Dare
Fortune Favors the Wicked by Theresa Romain