Tag: Romance Bingo 2017

Scandal by Amanda Quick

Scandal by Amanda QuickScandal by Amanda Quick
Published by Bantam on February 28th 1991
Genres: Romance
Pages: 329
Source: Purchased: ebook
Goodreads
three-stars

With her reputation forever tarnished by a youthful indiscretion, lovely Emily Faringdon is resigned to a life of spinsterhood, until she embarks on an unusual correspondence and finds herself falling head over heels in love. Sensitive, intelligent, and high-minded, her noble pen pal seems to embody everything Emily has ever dreamed of in a man. But Simon Augustus Traherne, the mysterious Earl of Blade, is not all that he seems.

Driven by dark, smoldering passions and a tragic secret buried deep within his soul, Blade has all of London cowering at his feet, but not Emily...never Emily. For even as she surrenders to his seductive charms, she knows the real reason for his amorous suit. And she knows that she must reach the heart of this golden-eyed dragon before the avenging demons of their entwined pasts destroy the only love she has ever known...

I am laughing so hard as I think of this book and what to write. Look I used to devour Amanda Quick’s older books with the one word description and usually a random object on the cover. There were some that were really good. And there were some that may be wonder about the intelligence of the hero/heroine involved. “Scandal” is definitely the latter. You have a sort of reformed rake trope taking place here (though the hero is not really a rake, he’s just an out and out ass) with a naive heroine that believes that love transcends everything. Seriously, learn to love the phrases “higher plane” and “cast adrift on love’s transcendent golden, shore”. Also she calls or thinks of the hero as a “dragon” so learn to love that word as well as the word “elf” that the hero calls the heroine.

The heroine in “Scandal” is Emily Faringdon. Emily is an aspiring writer (her epic poem sounds awful by the way) and thinks she is going to forever lead a solitary life in the countryside due to a scandal (where the title comes from) in her past. When Emily was younger, she ran away to get married and then realized on the way what a bad idea it was. Emily was not found til the next day, so of course in Regency era times this means she is considered an indiscreet young woman which no man would offer for. This suits Emily’s father since he just uses Emily in order to have her keep him and her two twin brothers (Charles and Devlin) afloat due to her investment schemes. Emily starts up a correspondence with a man claiming to have her love of literature and then one days he announces he will be staying at a neighbor’s home and they can finally meet. Emily meets Simon Traherne, also known as the Earl of Blade. Simon has his own reasons for pursuing Emily, and it’s all about revenge.

So Emily…is kind of tedious and aggravating. When Emily finally meets Simon she decides that they are soul mates (I refuse to go back and look to see if that phrase is used) and even when she is told why Simon is pursuing her and wants to marry her (to avenge himself on her father) she still marries the guy. It was beyond ridiculous. Who marries someone who tells you that your father was responsible for his father committing suicide and you are part of his master plan to get revenge on all people who wronged him.

Image result for no gif

It baffles me throughout this book how cruel Simon is again and again to Emily and she is all, but I know that he loves me, so this makes it okay. I kept half hoping Emily would brain him with something. And though I had a small smidgen of sympathy towards Simon because of what happened to him and his mother due to his father’s suicide, him going after in some cases the children of the men who wronged him gets you over that real quick.

Image result for modern family sigh gifs

Simon sucks. Seriously. I don’t know what in the world made Emily even want to be with the guy besides the fact she kept saying they had a metaphysical connection. Simon the day after their wedding forbids her to see her father or her twin brothers again. I know back in Regency days you couldn’t divorce, but I hated the fact that Quick has Emily decide to not be physically with Simon again after his announcement, and then has her run off.  Simon thinks eventually Emily will be too curious about sex with him to not want to do it again and he will end up winning his way. Due to Simon spending time in the East (and no that is the way it is referred to in the book) he has strange notions about revenge, sins of the father, and apparently knows karate. Or Judo. Or Kung-Fu. I honestly did not get his movements at all, though at one time Quick references Simon chopping someone in the neck with his hand and I died laughing for five minutes. Iron Fist this guy is not.

We have other characters in “Scandal” and Emily’s father is terrible. How she ignores it also drives me up a wall. There’s a resolution about that guy at the end which made me smile. But I would have been happy with sharks being in play at some point. Emily’s brother get some more detail, but not much in this one, and it would have been nice to follow up with both of them in subsequent books.

The plot in this one is really thin though. Due to Emily’s past, no one is to refer to her scandal, and Simon is so powerful he believes he can squelch any commentary about it with threats or favors. Frankly, I don’t really get why this would matter in Regency days, marriage fixes everything, or so most of the romance books I read had me believe. And there’s a secondary plot that involves Emily’s secret being discovered that is only a couple dozen pages. Honestly, most of the book is just Emily and Simon having sex, Simon being nasty, Emily being obtuse about his terribleness, and Emily deciding that love will see them through.

The writing at times was super hilarious though. Maybe because I cannot believe anyone back then spoke like this. It felt like very bad stage directions were being given to actors a few times.

Simon gently refolded the letter and sat gazing into the fire. After a moment’s contemplation, he reached out to pick up the beautifully enameled Chinese teapot that sat on a nearby table. He poured the Lap Seng into a gossamer thin cup decorated with a green and gold dragon. As he started to lift the cup, he paused, studying the figure of the mythical beast.

The remainder of the comment was lost as Simon pivoted swiftly in the graceful movements of the ancient fighting art he had learned in the East. He knew his unorthodox, potentially lethal method would have astounded the young bloods who practiced boxing at Gentleman Jackson’s academy. They would have been even more perplexed by the elaborate techniques for establishing mental discipline and control that the monks had taught along with the physical skills.

I can’t help it, this whole book just makes me shake my head. We hear about references to China, monks, the “East” and whatnot.

The flow was up and down throughout. Like I said, there was very little plot with this one unlike with other Quick books so you are just really waiting for the hero to stop being a jerk and just fall in love with the heroine already. Or at least I was.

I do love Regency era books though. I think I get a kick out of them just because I cannot imagine a society like that nowadays. Of course you realize this was what Polite Society in England did back then, but still, these books always give you a good peek at them.

This is a romance novel so of course realize there is a HEA.

I read this for Romance Bingo 2017, and this book fits the regency romance square.

 

 

three-stars

One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #3)

One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #3)One Fell Sweep by Ilona Andrews
Published by NYLA on December 20th 2016
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 257
Source: Purchased: ebook
Goodreads
five-stars

Gertrude Hunt, the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, is glad to have you. We cater to particular kind of guests, the ones most people don’t know about. The older lady sipping her Mello Yello is called Caldenia, although she prefers Your Grace. She has a sizable bounty on her head, so if you hear kinetic or laser fire, try not to stand close to the target. Our chef is a Quillonian. The claws are a little unsettling, but he is a consummate professional and truly is the best chef in the Galaxy. If you see a dark shadow in the orchard late at night, don’t worry. Someone is patrolling the grounds. Do beware of our dog.

Your safety and comfort is our first priority. The inn and your host, Dina Demille, will defend you at all costs. We ask only that you mind other guests and conduct yourself in a polite manner.

I maybe screeched a bit while reading this the other day. It was so ridiculously good I could not keep a hold of myself. You get action, interesting new characters, new information about how the Innkeeepers mete out justice, and oh you get a really nice love scene (finally some of you are saying!) which was great. This whole thing was way too short for me. I needed more and felt really upset when we got the final page. The only thing I wish we had gotten more of was colored photos inserted in this one. I was disappointed a few scenes were not included that I thought would have looked spectacular in the final book.

Dina is coming to terms with Sean being back on Earth and her doing what she can to keep raising the stars for her inn. She’s still hoping someone will come to her inn who can shed light on what happened to her missing parents. Being awoken in the dead of night by Sean hanging about, they find an alien being that is almost discovered who comes to the inn delivering a message from Dina from her sister Maud asking for Dina to please come and get her. With that we have Dina calling Arland (you know who he is) for help and off the threesome go to an almost desolated planet.

What can I say people. I maybe fangirled the entire time while reading this. I was a bit eh regarding book #2, but that’s because I thought the whole thing had a lot going on (characters from previous series) and part of me thought that Dina needed to push back more than she did once she realized she was being manipulated. Book #3 definitely showcases Dina’s strength and even though she finds herself in love with Sean (and denying it, badly) she isn’t going to let him push at her to do what he wants like she’s some weak woman who just takes orders. We get to see how kickass Dina is throughout this whole book. And I got an even better understanding of her powers (yeah baby). I want to be an innkeeper so bad.

Sean I enjoyed a lot more. Still not my favorite male character (he is third behind Curran and Arland) but he definitely is given more to do in this book and not just be some foil for Dina. I could see how their relationship would work though I agree with Dina, he needs a cloak. Come on dude. Wear a cloak!

Dina’s sister Maud is now my new favorite in this series. Seriously. She is number one, with Arland as number two, and her daughter Helen number three. We need spin-offs people! Spin-offs. Because the little taste we get to hear about Maud and Dina growing up was not enough. I need some prequels. Also Maud reminds me what Kate Daniels would like like if she fell for a vampire and had a kid. She was fantastic. Can I keep going on about Maud? I am going to keep going on about Maud. I sympathized for her and wanted her to bring her husband back to life so she could punch him in the face. I definitely get why Maud was down on ever having a relationship with another vampire again, but her husband sucked.

We get old favorites such as Beast and Caldenia. And of course we get Dina’s new cook, Orro whose recipes need to start being included in these books. Don’t care if they are fake, it would be hilarious.

The writing and plot for this one for once was quite easy to get through. The last book left me so confused at times. We have Dina off to get her sister and niece and the next thing you know the whole group when they return to Earth are also involved with the possible eradication of an alien species. The ending to this made me dance with glee (I needed pictures people!!!) and I wanted to maybe go in your face to the big bad in this one. As I said above, I just really wish for more pictures. I got this via Amazon Kindle and my new Kindle Fire HD is my favorite thing right now. I was worried though something was up since I wasn’t seeing any pictures. I realized though that the book only really had two pictures inside of it which left me a bit disappointed.

 

The flow was great and I have no comments about it. I just wanted longer and longer and more information. I don’t know how I am going to wait for book #4 and hopefully the meet up with Dina and Maud’s brother.

FYI I read this book as part of Romance Bingo 2017! This book fits the Urban Fantasy Romance square.

five-stars

Romance bingo books for the non-romance reader!

At various times in my reading life, I’ve been a fan of romance. I read Harlequins by the pile when I was still in high school, and then, about five years ago, I became thoroughly addicted to historical romances, and read dozens upon dozens of them over the course of about a year.

Having said that, I understand that there are a lot of people who don’t read romance, but who might still want to play along with the romance bingo game! In furtherance of that goal, I’ve put together a few non-romance reads that will qualify as romance for purposes of the game (i.e., they meet the terms of the category and love is a significant theme). So, without further ado:

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. This is a thoroughly charming book narrated by Cassandra Mortmain, who lives with her eccentric family in a crumbling castle in the middle of nowhere. Their lives are irrevocably changed when two young men show up in the neighborhood, attracting both Rose, Cassandra’s more conventional sister, as well as Cassandra herself.

This one would qualify for “New Adult,” “Historical Romance,” or “Guy/Girl Next Door” categories.

Katherine by Anya Seton. First published in 1954, this is a piece of historical romantic fiction that tells the story of the love affair between Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt. Epic in scope, their relationship spanned decades. If you are a fan of stories set in the high middle ages, this will be right up your alley.

This one would fit nicely into the “Historical Romance” category, along with “Blown Away,” “Second Chances,” (Katherine is married when she meets John of Gaunt) and “Wedding Bells”.

The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye. This is a classic sweeping epic first published in 1978, and was one my favorite books growing up. Set in India during the Raj, it chronicles the forbidden love between Ash Pelham-Martyn, a young British boy brought up as a Hindu (this character is modeled on Kim, from the Rudyard Kipling book of the same name) and Anjuli, Indian princess. It is long, but is a heart stopping, heart pounding adventure.

This one would fit nicely into “Historical Romance,” and, possibly, “Interracial couple,” since the two lovers are forbidden from being together because of their cultural/racial differences.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Obviously, this is one of the most beloved romances of all time, so it fits right in with romance bingo. Lizzie and Darcy are two of the finest couples that any author ever put to paper, and this is one of my favorite books of all time.

I would strongly argue for placing this book in the “New Adult” category, as Lizzie is 20 and Darcy is 28. In addition to “New Adult,” it fits into “Wedding Bells” and “Second Chances” (Bingley gets a second chance with Jane), as well as “Blown Away,” since Darcy is bowled over by Lizzie and her fine eyes.

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. This is a lovely retelling of the Six Swans fairy tale, set in Celtic Britain of a distant, mythological past. Sorcha is a remarkable heroine, and her love interest is suitably swoony, if somewhat taciturn, hero.

This book can fill the “Fairy Tale Retelling” and “Young Adult” squares.

This is a few books that are not traditional “romance novels” than can fill some of the squares on the romance bingo card!

Romance Book Bingo 2017: Blown Away Square

Blown away can mean the cover shows the man/woman or man and woman being blown away, someone being blown away in the story, or even being blown away by love. There are a lot of fun ways to do this one.

Here are some books and by the way these covers are awesome!

 

 

These covers are awesome. Seriously. I may have cracked up. Like a lot. But I also think they work since they show a sense of being blown away by wind.

 

 

I love that most of these book also fit our Pirates Argh, Historical Romance, Man in a Kilt, and Rogue square. Heck I think this may even fit the heaving bosoms and eyeshadow square.

Other books that work for this are also:

 

I definitely think that “The Thorn Birds” counts as blown away by love. And I read the Escape to New Zealand series and the first book definitely would count towards that.

Happy reading!

Romance Bingo 2017

For those who follow me on Booklikes you may already know that we are going to try another bingo in the new year. We are going to be focusing on Romance Bingo 2017 for January through February 2017.

For those on wordpress feel free to follow along! If you want to follow along via wordpress just let me know in the comments and I will follow you via WordPress and enter you along in the monthly drawing as you complete bingos.

Please see below for Rules and FAQs.

Start Date of Bingo: January 1, 2017. That means that a review posted to fit the bingo has to occur after January 1, 2017.

End of Bingo: February 28, 2017. So please make sure that you have your bingo card all filled out so we can include your name for the drawings.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs):

1. If you are going to be participating in the bingo, please add a comment down below. That way I and other participants can follow you.

2. We are going to be using “Romance Bingo 2017” as the tag for the bingo contest.

3. Only one book counts towards a bingo square. The middle square (the heart) can be filled with any book as long as it fits the romance genre in some way.
4. You can get a bingo by reading five books across or down. You can get a bingo by going diagonally as well. I saw some people saying that they thought you could get a bingo by just reading the four corner squares, but for the purposes of our bingo, that doesn’t count. You would need to do four corners and the middle square in order to bingo (5 books).

5. You do not need to black out the whole card to participate in the bingo contest. If you do though, you can join in for the blackout contest.

6. Each bingo that you get is good for one entry in the contest with a maximum of five entries per person. We plan on having one drawing for each month (January 31, 2017 and February 28, 2016) with a blackout drawing occurring on March 1, 2017. That means there is a total of three drawings.

7. Once you win, you are out of the bingo drawing. That way we can make sure that everyone reasonably has a chance to win.

8. For the blackout drawing the prior two winners can still participate.
9. Once again I am not playing to win, since hey I am hosting this thing.

10. If you have any questions concerning a book that you think should count towards a bingo square or just general questions, feel free to comment here, or message me on Booklikes or at my Goodreads profile. It is easier for me to respond via Goodreads so just keep that in mind. You can also message in the group discussion Booklikes Bookish Bingo Club.

11. Re-reads absolutely do count.
12. Have fun!

See below for the bingo card!

 

We are also having a great time on Goodreads discussing some old romance reads. So even if you are not participating in this bingo, do you have any romance reads you would recommend? Any that you would warn people to stay away from. Because I am mean as anything sometimes, I created a poll for our group to select a group romance read for January. I maybe added Whitney, My Love on that list. I still always bring that book up around romance loving friends of mine because all of us have so many feelings about that book.

© 2017 Bookish Pursuits

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑