I received an ARC of Rosemary Rey’s novel Stained Glass Shards via Netgalley.
This novel is a romance/erotica that switches viewpoints between former long-time lovers Griffin and Elyce, who had a 50-Shades-of-Fucked-Up-Even-Though-That-Isn’t-A-Saying relationship until Elyce abruptly grew a backbone and ended it.
Griffin is a movie star. Insanely good-looking, great actor, went to school in Boston with Elyce, which is where they met and became friends-with-benefits.
Elyce is the gal who secretly wanted Griffin to fall in love with her and marry her, but didn’t think it was within the realm of possibility until she realized, well, fuck, if he’s not into it I should dump his ass and find someone who is. So she breaks up with him, and writes a thinly-veiled fictionalization of their relationship which becomes a bestseller. That is optioned for movie rights, and furthermore, is actively picked up to be made into a movie. I think you see where this is going…
This novel was not quite my cup of tea. Rey’s writing is a bit too literal to me, reading a bit woodenly. Also, Elyce kind of got on my nerves.
BUT I also thought Rey did a great job of taking a storyline that was starting to read like a fan fic, and delve into the relationship a bit more. The stained glass metaphor was painfully drawn out, but I get why it’s in the book. Rey is dealing with appearance vs. reality, and her characters actively grow and change. Perspective is a major component of this book, which I loved.
I would recommend if you are in the mood for some sexy fluff. I don’t recommend as a romance, but I do recommend if you want to escape a bit.
Have you read Stained Glass Shards? What did you think? Who was your favorite character?
I recently received an ARC of The Sunflower Cottage Breakfast Club by Lynsey James.
This novel is a chick-lit book from the UK, part of a series James writes that occur in Luna Bay. The cover is adorable:
The story, meanwhile? … perhaps too adorable.
The beginning is strong. Good writing, strong and funny protagonist. Emily Reed is having one of those days that snowballs – just when she thinks it can’t get any worse, something worse happens to prove her wrong. The icing on the cake? Family secrets come out that make her question everything, including her identity.
Desperate to escape her office, where a poor salesgirl has trumped her to a promotion by becoming intimate with the boss, Emily escapes to Luna Bay, which offers her some work (because who doesn’t want to work for her crooked boss instead of taking a real vacation?) and the possibility of gaining closure regarding the family secrets that have recently come to light.
Somewhere in the middle, the protagonist turns into a wish-washy mess who constantly has to tell the reader what she’s usually like, because her actions throughout the rest of the novel are going to run counter to these statements.
The love story that weaves throughout much of the novel is first, predictable…
… and then, overly adorable.
The ending, unfortunately, does not redeem the muddling middle.
As I mentioned previously, this book is part of a series. It is possible that the first novel in this series, The Broken Hearts Book Club, is considerably better. I actually haven’t read it, but often, the first book in a series is the best book in a series. But I do not recommend The Sunflower Cottage Breakfast Club.
Have you read either of these novels? What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments!
One of the publishers at Netgalley was kind enough to allow me an advanced reader copy of K.C. Held’s Holding Court.
A short, YA mystery about Juliette, a teen with “Psychic Tourette’s Syndrome,” which means she often randomly blurts out phrases that seem illogical and odd, but are actually prophetic.
Juliette lives in an odd town, the kind where when your mother leaves to be an antiques guru in Europe, and you can get a job in a castle that had been brought over from Europe, purchased from the original American procurer by a man who wants to pretend to be Henry the Eighth.
But her crush, Grayson Chandler, works there, and she needs some cash to get a car.
Unfortunately, her first day at work, Juliette stumbles across a dead body, and isn’t sure anyone believes her. Desperate to prove she’s telling the truth, Juliette flexes her Sherlockian skills as she makes money, gets terrified, and gets much closer to her crush than anticipated…
Overall, I thought this story was entertaining and fun. It’s a quick, light read, and long before the story has wrapped up, you know how it’s going to end. Yet the author is having fun, and the result is a fun read. I recommend this novel if you are looking for a light beach read.
Have you read any enjoyable beach reads lately? Let me know in the comments below!
Deerstalker cap: By Cyril Thomas [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Remember that book I read awhile back, that I initially liked, before becoming bored and disinterested? No? That’s okay – it doesn’t matter.
What does matter is that I like this particular quote from the book. It might be slightly cliche, but most romance, when you boil it down to it’s bare bones, is, and this one still touched my heart.
That’s as much sap as you’re getting out of me today. What do you think? Love this quote? Hate it? Want to share a favorite romantic quote of your own?
Awhile ago, I read ,The Forgotten Room: A Novel, written by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig, and have been meaning to review it ever since.
Let’s start with the pros.
The book handled 3 different and accomplished writers in a smart and engaging way. Since these 3 writers have their own, distinctive writing style/voice, which the fans of these individual writers rather enjoy, the collaboration that is this novel consists of having the novel switch between the viewpoints of 3 different women, all different generations of the same family. And if you are thinking that you don’t like novels that switch viewpoints every chapter, that is probably because you have never read one that is done well. The Forgotten Room, on the other hand, IS done well. So you should probably read it.
Another pro, which is potentially a reiteration of what I have already written, but bears repeating, is that each writer in this collaboration (Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig) writes well. The words they use, the flow of this story, make it easy to become invested in the story, and makes the reading of this novel a generally pleasant pastime.
[insert pic of man reading, thinking hm this experience is rather pleasant]
Which brings us to the cons. One of the downsides of writing well and drawing the reader into your story is that the reader becomes invested in your story, and notices potentially squeamish material such as potential, though accidental, incest (which is addressed,but only after the reader has been questioning it for awhile), or the fact that your narrative was wrapped up too quickly for some of the characters.
One of my personal pet peeves, the love at first sight trope. So if you are a fan of it, keep in mind that you may well derive more enjoyment from this novel than I.
Having said that, I did, in fact, derive quite a bit of enjoyment from reading this novel, and do recommend it, despite some of its problems.
Have you read it? What did you think?
I recently finished Maggie Shayne’s Eternity, and despite the novel’s title, it didn’t take me that long to read.
But… it also wasn’t that good. It wasn’t terrible, either. It fell somewhere in that mediocre range, but ended on a positive and poorly written note.
I have read M. Shayne before – specifically, I read Twilight Hunger, which I guess is part of a series, though I had no idea when I read it.
I remember enjoying Twilight Hunger more, although it is not necessarily any better written. One thing Twilight Hunger did better than Eternity? Sex scenes.
Shayne does a decent job of pulling the reader in to her story. The beginnings are great. The middle and the end? More lackluster. I did not have a favorable impression of the end of this book, I saw most of the twists coming, and the main characters came off a bit preachy and were not a bit of fun. (Although I may have a thing for my literary bad boys, so, you know…)
Overall, I would recommend this book if you have a propensity for predictable romance novels. It begins on a strong note, the ideas contained within are fairly interesting, and the sex scenes are not very good. But some people enjoy books that fit that description, so it might be right up your alley.
So… partially because I’m out of blog post ideas, partially because I’m excited, I’m going to talk about the current work-in-progress.
Answer: Inspired by a Jezebel article about a Paranormal dating site, my anthology features stories about some of the people who might use such a site. I am really having fun writing these stories, which merge my love of romance, sex, and the supernatural. If you check my Goodreads page, you will notice that I read a lot of Christopher Pike and L.J. Smith as a teenager, the latter of whose writing I described as “supernatural horror romance books.” The world is a crazy, scary place, and the idea of the potential for something more than is readily apparent can be appealing and scary.
So far, I have a story about a werewolf, a witch, and am working on one involving poltergeists.
I have a few other stories percolating in my coffeemaker of a brain, but am mainly trying to enjoy my writing time.
When is the last time you wrote something that you truly enjoyed writing? Were you happy with the results? Or do you want to talk about the paranormal? Please comment below!