Tour’s Books Blog

September 26, 2009

Book Reviews: Two Historical Romance Reviews

There seems to be contest going on for the title of The Most Disappointing Book of the Year and a second one for Most Over-Hyped Author.  For every pleasant surprise and happy find, there are 3 mediocre entries that get disproportionate praise among reviewers or readers.  I learned long ago to use great care when taking recommendations from friends and acquaintances for restaurants and books.  Some people think Olive Garden serves great Italian food and The DaVinici Code is the best book ever.  It’s worse than what passes for pizza in some places!  OK, yes, I’m a pizza snob, but anyone who grows up around NYC is bound to be.  And yes, I can certainly be harsh about books and authors that are more popular than good.  After well over 5,000 books, you know the good stuff when you read it.  There are a lot of undeserving bestsellers out there. (more…)

July 17, 2009

Short Review: Don’t Tempt Me by Loretta Chase

  • Title: Don’t Tempt Me
  • Author: Loretta Chase
  • Type: Romance
  • Genre: Regency
  • Sub-genre: Spunky girl overcomes odds marries duke
  • My Grade: C+ (3.25*)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Where Available: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Dear Author did a superb summary of the thin plot of Don’t Tempt Me that can be read here.  Zoe and Lucien were interesting characters, but shallow compared with the bulk of Chase’s work.  Your Scandalous Ways was a far better book with more original characters and a great plot and wonderfully over-the-top villian.  It was a story with layers and depth and worthy of the A- that Dear Author gave it.  Having re-read Lord Perfect and Mr. Impossible in the last couple of months then Your Scandalous Ways, then Julia Quinn’s overrated fluff, What Happens in London, just 10 days before Don’t Tempt Me, really put this book in context for quality.  Zoe is ‘spunky’ and Lucian is ‘closed off emotionally’.  That’s it.  Oh, there is a moderately threatening fraudster.  There is more plot, character depth and wit than Quinn’s What Happens in London, but just barely.  Zoe’s harpy sister’s, Lucian’s feckless ways, the usual shallow ton – all standard issue. Like Quinn’s book, the villian was more eye-rollingly contrived than believable and frankly added nothing really except an excuse for Lucian to indulge in long overdue self-assassment of his chosen life style.  As epiphanies go, it was trite.  I love Loretta Chase and many of her books are on my keeper shelf,  but this book left me underwhelmed and goes to Paperback Swap.

July 13, 2009

Short Reviews – More Romance and Erotic Romance

Here we go with a bunch more reviews, mostly ebooks – novellas, short novels, and full novels.

  • Title:  The Joy of Ex
  • Author: Brit Ryan
  • Type: Romantic Suspense
  • Genre: Murder Mystery
  • Sub-genre: First Book Lily MacInnes series
  • My Grade: C- (2.8*)
  • Rating: PG:17
  • Where Available: Samhain

This romantic mystery by new author Brit Ryan had a terrific start and initially I liked Lily MacInnes.  Unfortunately, the story got choppy and nearly unintelligible at points and Lily behaved like an idiot in a ‘too-stupid-too-live’ chick-lit book.  The worst was when they suspected she’d been slipped a ‘roofie’ and her new police superintendent boyfriend, Paul Mascara, insisted on a blood test and she threw a tantrum that would have annoyed me in an eight year old.  On top of that, the moron who drugged her may end up partner in her (more…)

July 4, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: What Happens in London by Julia Quinn

  • Title: What Happens in London
  • Author: Julia Quinn
  • Type: Historical romance
  • Genre: Regency
  • Sub-genre: Humorous
  • My Grade: C (3*)
  • Rating: PG-13

Somewhere between To Catch an Heiress and the about the middle of the seemingly endless Bridgerton series, Julia Quinn lost her mojo – for me at least. Her stories became so shallow and contrived – and repetitious – I just gave up. She was always an Amanda Quick style writer, favoring what became increasingly slim stories with wit and charm. I did read The Lost Duke of Wyndham and thought it OK, but having read the reviews of Mr. Cavendish, I Presume, I skipped the second book. What Happens in London generated enough buzz I bought it – and read it cover to cover in record time. Was it that good? Ummmmmmm NO. It was that slight and shallow, no brains required. (more…)

June 28, 2009

BOOK REVIEW: Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase

Every so often I need the equivalent of a palate cleansing course in a meal when it comes to books. I keep a re-read pile for a good reason, it’s there that I find just the perfect ‘flavor’ to clean my taste buds and remind what really good writing is all about. Last month I re-read Lord Perfect. This month I chose another Carsington novel, Mr. Impossible. All I can say is thank heavens for Loretta Chase.

Rupert Carsington is the ne’er do well son of the Earl of Hargate. Charming, brawny, carefree, affable, a man with a strong sense of right and wrong, he’s never been the brains of the family, but he’s not dullard most think. He does have a talent for attracting trouble that borders on genius and has cost his father a small fortune. Hargate cuts Rupert’s allowance off and ships his hide off to Egypt to help the consul general to do something useful for a change. Mr. Salt feels like he’s been given a terrible burden, not help! He’d like nothing more than to ship Rupert back, but then he’d likely land somewhere at the end of the Earth for annoying Lord Hargate, so he’s stuck with paying yet another bribe to get Rupert out of the Pasha’s dungeon. (more…)

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