Why I read it: I heard a lot of buzz from trusted blogger and Goodreads friends about this book by debut author KJ Charles, so I bought it. Of course.
What it’s about: (from Goodreads) A lord in danger. A magician in turmoil. A snowball in hell.
A Charm of Magpies, Book 1
Exiled to China for twenty years, Lucien Vaudrey never planned to return to England. But with the mysterious deaths of his father and brother, it seems the new Lord Crane has inherited an earldom. He’s also inherited his family’s enemies. He needs magical assistance, fast. He doesn’t expect it to turn up angry.
Magician Stephen Day has good reason to hate Crane’s family. Unfortunately, it’s his job to deal with supernatural threats. Besides, the earl is unlike any aristocrat he’s ever met, with the tattoos, the attitude…and the way Crane seems determined to get him into bed. That’s definitely unusual.
Soon Stephen is falling hard for the worst possible man, at the worst possible time. But Crane’s dangerous appeal isn’t the only thing rendering Stephen powerless. Evil pervades the house, a web of plots is closing round Crane, and if Stephen can’t find a way through it—they’re both going to die.
What worked for me (and what didn’t): There were many things I liked about The Magpie Lord – I thought the concept was interesting and unique (at least to me), the build of dramatic tension toward the final denouement was great and the world building was deft. I didn’t feel bogged down by a lot of details but I understood what was going on and there was enough to give me a picture of a very different Victorian world than I’m used to reading about. There was only one place I was a little confused but that became clear very soon after so it was not a big deal.
with an audiobook review of Drawn Together by Lauren Dane, narrated by Lucy Rivers. I enjoyed the narration for the most part but I’m an outlier when it comes to the story I’m afraid.
with an audiobook review of My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron, narrated by Kate Rudd. I found a new narrator to
Why I read it: I was provided with a review copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
What it’s about: (from Goodreads) “Wardrobe malfunction” doesn’t begin to cover it.
With a rip louder than the “I dos,” Hayley’s hideous bile-yellow bridesmaid dress explodes. She’s always had enviable curves, but nearly naked wasn’t quite the look she’d been going for at her ex’s wedding.
She’s rushed from the altar under the best man’s designer tux jacket. Hayley’s expecting a blast of icy disapproval from sexy, sophisticated Niccolò Rossi—his usual reaction to anything she does. What she gets is a kiss that nearly melts what’s left of her polyester nightmare gown.
It’s impossible on a million levels. Exuberant engineer Hayley and buttoned-up lawyer Nico have never seen eye to eye—but skin to skin? Oh, mio… So when Nico shows up at her flat on Christmas Day to give her a fabulous gift—himself—Hayley’s delighted to do the unwrapping. But it’s just a holiday fling. By New Year’s Day, she’ll come back to her senses…unless Nico’s sensual skills tear away all her resolve.
What worked for me (and what didn’t): Oh, this book was a lot of fun. We’re into the action straight away as Hayley (from whose 1st person point of view the story is told) is giving snarky internal commentary at the wedding of her ex-boyfriend and a former gal pal. She’s a bridesmaid for pride’s sake. If she had refused, it would have looked like she had a broken heart and was home moping and lonely. So, she stuffed herself into a hideous puke-yellow “condom” dress, too small for her and way too small for her breasts and ovaried up to the wedding. The best man is Nico Rossi, a man who is sex on legs but Hayley is convinced he doesn’t like her.
with a review of Take Me On by Cherrie Lynn, the newest book in the Ross Siblings series. It’s out on December 17.
**NB This review first appeared in the November ARRA newsletter.**
I Dream of Johnny by Juliet Madison – B- This short story wasn’t what I was expecting. I thought it would be funny and it was but I also thought something different would happen with the Geek God Mandy conjured with her modern magic lamp. To know what actually happens, you’ll have to read the story to find out. The Geek God Jonathan Fortran Schnecklmyer, is every geeky nightmare of bad fashion, bad hair and bad taste one could imagine. But even he has his good points. The story is probably more “chick-lit” than romance, with the focus being more on Mandy’s journey of self-discovery but it has a hopeful romantic ending and it was certainly a bit of fun to while away a half hour.
I’ll have reviews of Ripped by Sarah Morgan and How I Met Your Father by LJ Gregg up in December as well as a post about my most romantic scene.