Friday, December 27, 2013

Until There Was You... Means There's No More Me

Kristen Higgins has cured me of a many year addiction to chick lit. In fact, it's safe to say that after reading Until There Was You by Ms. Higgins, I will not read another chick lit novel again.

I always enjoyed chick lit. (And for those of you who believe Ms. Higgins is straight romance, I don't. She fits the chick lit category in my mind although more romantically inclined.) But I enjoyed the modern women, the humor, the life lessons and the happy endings.

Not any more.

I haven't been enjoying the chick lit novels I was reading and slowly have been weaning off them but I saw that Carolyn and I had a bunch of Higgins titles on the Kindle and I needed something to read so I read this. And um... ewwww.

1. The heroine's name is Cordelia but everyone calls her Posey. Why? Both names suck.
2. The heroine and her brother are adopted. For 3/4 of the book, I thought she was Chinese. She wasn't. He was Vietnamese. Their parents were German.
3. The brother was gay. The way he interacted with his partner (not to mention everyone else), he might as well have been invisible.
4. The hero had phobias.
5. The hero Liam (really, why that name?) fell in love with Posey because... um, I don't know why. There was no connection between them really.
6. In high school the mean girls called Posey Anne Frank because she was super skinny. Um, most girls envy super skinny, they don't mock it.
7. Nobody was really interesting in any way. They were all caricatures. In fact, Posey had an architectural salvage firm, Liam build custom motorcycles and the brother was a surgeon who got a boner whenever he could amputate something... and not a single one of them was believable.

I'm done. There's such a bad taste in my mouth from this book that I think the chances of my ever reading another book of the same vein is slim to none.

Jill Mansell wrote characters who were nasty, bitchy and bitter and gave them undeserved happy endings which started turning me away from the genre. Now Higgins has killed the genre as dead as it can get.

And one more time: ewwwwww. Seriously, bad reading.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happiest of Holidays

Carolyn and I want to wish everyone the happiest of holidays and the warmest of the season.

We're grateful to all the friends we've made on this blog and we're delighted to be facing a new year with you all.

What? You were expecting a jolly fat man?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare

What's a duke to do, when the girl who's perfectly wrong becomes the woman he can't live without?

Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, has no desire to wed this season--or any season--but his diabolical mother abducts him to "Spinster Cove" and insists he select a bride from the ladies in residence. Griff decides to teach her a lesson that will end the marriage debate forever. He chooses the serving girl.

Overworked and struggling, Pauline Simms doesn't dream about dukes. All she wants is to hang up her barmaid apron and open a bookshop. That dream becomes a possibility when an arrogant, sinfully attractive duke offers her a small fortune for a week's employment. Her duties are simple: submit to his mother's "duchess training"... and fail miserably.

But in London, Pauline isn't a miserable failure. She's a brave, quick-witted, beguiling failure--a woman who ignites Griff's desire and soothes the darkness in his soul. Keeping Pauline by his side won't be easy. Even if Society could accept a serving girl duchess--can a roguish duke convince a serving girl to trust him with her heart?
~ ~ ~ ~

This book is a true example of a romance as a fantasy. It has a split personality.

I started it because Lori liked it so much even though I've never been able to get 'into' Tessa Dare. Her first series (Goddess of the Hunt et al), I didn't care for the heroines and although I bought her books because I intended to try again (and Lori liked her), I've never read another (so many books, so little time). And then I read this one.

Okay, first the positives.

She's a wonderful writer.

Lots of humor.

The protagonists were very likeable and I absolutely loved the hero, Griffin.

The sexual tension is great and the sex ... wow. I mean - WOW!

The negatives.

Implausible plot and I do mean implausible. Not sure I would have read it if I'd seen the blurb. (Yes, I bought a book without reading the blurb.) I was going to go into detail, but hell, just read the blurb.

I wish I could say the positives outweighed the negatives, but they didn't, not for me. Of course it does have 4.5 stars on Amazon, so what do I know?

I'd be reading, enjoying the characters, and then some anomaly would hit me over the head. Three women going unescorted to a ball. An unmarried female 'guest' going to Vauxhall with a Duke who has the reputation of a rake - without a chaperone. Or even going to Vauxhall period. If I remember my Heyer, it wasn't the 'done' thing for aristocratic ladies. I don't know what that says about the Dowager Duchess who was going with them but begged off due to an 'illness'. Wink, wink. (she wants grandbabies.) I remember the Dowager Countess in The Quiet Gentleman and ... I shouldn't compare Tessa Dare or anybody to Heyer, but couldn't I at least hope for a smidgeon of authenticity?

The whole book is an anachronism. I loved the characters but I would have loved them more in a contemporary setting. Why write an historical if you don't at least try to be true to the era? Of course, then this book and a lot of others wouldn't have been written.

I would have to give this book a C if I were grading. The historical errors were egregious and came one after the other. If you don't know a damn thing about history and care even less, then I can recommend this book. Otherwise, be prepared to wince a lot and if you're reading in paperback, it may even be a wallbanger.   :-)

This is a true example of a mystorical, as designated by DA. (did I spell that right?)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I'm Depressed

I'm depressed. Down in the dumps. Boo-hooing all over the place.

I've been reading too much lately. And the more I read, the more I realize I'm just not a very good writer. Or not as good as they are. They are. You know.... them. The ones who write the books that I'm gobbling down and loving and then making me question if I should even keep writing.


Kristen Ashley. Tessa Dare. Kristen Higgins. The good writers.

My God, I just read Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare and it was wonderful. Witty, sexy, fun. And I reread Sweet Dreams by KA and even though it was full of her hiccups, it was really kick-ass. Hell, I just read Reaper's Property and even though I really didn't like it that much, it was still well written and probably better than anything I can do.

So I got depressed. And I stopped writing. And then tonight I started again.

Because I'm not as good as those women and that's okay. I might never be. I probably will never be. But I can still tell a story and sometimes strangers read my books and they like them. (I have three Amazon reviews for Yesterday's Headline, all strangers and all good. And I know three isn't a lot but hell, that's a real ego boost right there).

So I'll keep writing and I'll keep trying to get better. I'll let Tessa Dare and KA and Ms. Higgins influence me by doing what they do so well.

I'll probably get depressed again too. And that's okay.

I'll just write through it.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


As Lori mentioned we've been glomming KA.

Unfortunately, I'm beginning to feel just a tad insecure.

Most of her heroines are in their late thirties, early forties, which pleased me because I do like an older heroine - and hero, for that matter. But then it dawned on me that these people were like horny teenagers, in bed and out of it too.

The male gets hard at the slightest thing; the way she says his name, her slightest touch, thoughts of her nekkid or non-nekkid. Now, I'm not a male, so this may be perfectly logical and an honest representation of male-type action but it does seem a little overboard and

And theses over forty heroes can go all night, no problem. Not only that, but they can get back in the saddle minutes after they dismounted from the last ride.

Plus, they all have six packs, even those with teenagers.

The ladies, they are a fountain of sexual fluids. No KY for them. They should be wearing panty liners, because they flood if he says her name a certain way, at his slightest touch and at thoughts of him nekkid or non-nekkid. Also these women have the most sensitive nipples in the known universe.

They also have multiple orgasms, 3-4 per episode, which is just plain cruel to the reader (me). And they're always ready to go again, never too tired or sensitive to go through another 45 minute session.

We must all remember these are truly fantasies, just as much a fairytale as Snow White and Cinderella. I suppose there are people out there who are like this, but a whole damn town? Tell me now so I'll never move there.  ;-)

And I do promise I'll be commenting on other authors and books. Bet Lori will too. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Glom

Sadly, or perhaps not quite sadly, Carolyn and I have both been lost in the glom. It's an exciting place to be but ultimately scary as you lose sight of the real world and are navigating through the world of an author's creation.

Carolyn can talk about her glom since she's been in a few but mine has mostly been KA (yeah, her again). I discovered the Unfinished Heroes series which were her answer to 50 Shades, I guess, because two of the books, Raid and Knight were very bondage/discipline. Knight was icky because he liked to be called Daddy when having sex.

That man needed a shrink more than he needed a woman. **shivers**

Raid was an interesting hero since his woman got the shit beat out of her and was in the hospital and he took off after the guys who did it and never saw her in the hospital once.

Wait... what's that I hear? A team of shrinks being called in for these guys.

The third book was Creed but I read that before and its very meh.

Now I'm reading one of her books with a virgin girl pool hustler which is different. We'll see how that goes.

But I also reread Motorcycle Man and this time it was **shivers deliciously**  Then I read the story of Lanie and Hop and loved that one too.

After these I have some Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins to read as well.

More serious glomming coming on.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sommersgate House by Kristen Ashley

BlurbDouglas Ashton is the cold and unfeeling owner of the gothic Victorian Mansion, Sommersgate House. Julia Fairfax is his stubborn American sister-in-law. After tragedy strikes, Douglas and Julia are forced to live together at Sommersgate and raise his newly orphaned nieces and nephew.

Douglas has no desire to raise his dead sister’s children nor does he want the distraction of the tempting Julia living under his roof. Julia is struggling with grief and trying to make a go in a new country without much help from impossibly handsome but even more impossibly remote Douglas. Not to mention, she has to deal with the active hostility of Douglas’s frosty, Attila-the-Hun-in-a-skirt mother, Monique.

Douglas decides the best way to give the children what they need, get his mother to behave and give himself what he wants is to marry Julia. When he tells her (yes, tells her) she will be his wife, Julia thinks Douglas is (probably) insane. And anyway, she’s decided if she ever has another husband (since the last one wasn’t so great), he was going to be short, balding, have a paunch and worship the ground she walks on (none of these characteristics define Douglas in the slightest).

One more thing, Sommersgate House is haunted by the ghosts of the man who built the house and the woman who was the love of his life. They both died mysteriously at Sommersgate months after it was finished. When they did, a curse settled on the house making it seem strangely alive. And the only way for the beautiful but frightening house to rid itself of this curse is for its owner to find true love.
This book was definitely a surprise. It was not the Kristen Ashley we've come to know and love and it was definitely not crackalichous. It's not a bad book; in fact it was better written than some of the Colorado and Rock Chick books I've read.
Most of her writing tics are gone: no repeating names ad nauseum, no 'then's' beginning three or four sentences in a row, and the result is a surprisingly well written book. The plot takes place in England and even the spelling is English, for example - colour, favourite.
There's a Gothic tone over it all and small mysteries and nice people. The plot is very simple: two people falling in love and overcoming some trivial problems during the process.
I liked the ghost angle, although they seemed to be very alert ghosts. It was a fun read albeit a little draggy in places.
The author bio with this book states Kristen Ashley lives in England, in the West Country, so that would be before she came back home and wrote the Rock Chicks?  Were her tics deliberate?
Don't know what I'm saying, it's 3:20 a.m. here and I think I'm finally ready for bed. Be so glad to hear from Ashley fans who have read these very different books..;

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holiday Schmoliday

I'm going to be a cranky old fart and pfft! on the holidays.

Okay, truth be told, I'm a complete and total dewdrop when it comes to the holidays. I totally love everything about them. I decorate, I bake, I wrap everything in festive holiday wrap and give myself warm snugglies like a crazy bitch.

I am a Christmas Ho-Ho-Ho.

About the only thing I don't like about the holidays is my family. Ha! We're not especially close and we kind of force ourselves to do a pretend lovey-dovey ding-dong thing that I could live without.

Otherwise, get me some eggnog, Elf, and keep the fire crackling!

I always feel like writing holiday stories that I rarely complete. I buy Christmas romances that I never read. I do however, watch all the Lifetime Christmas movies and masturbate with some mistletoe in a holiday buzz.

Carolyn, I will point out, is a grinch. Wish her a Merry Christmas and she'll start snarling that when she was a girl they had to eat reindeer to get through the Canadian winters and Rudolph would made a damned fine red-nosed roast.

So around this time of year we'll just tiptoe around our Southern Canadian cutie and hope no carolers come to her door. Hopefully they learned from the last time when she turned the hose on them and pelted them with mutant gingerbread men.

Ho ho ho indeed.