When Good Authors Go Bad (Or Stop Being Automatic Buys)

Posted on

online forex trading platform Every month, I sit down with my calendar and check Amazon and author websites for release dates for my favorite authors. It’s an odd OCD habit, but I enjoy it and it means I miss very few authors. Using Amazon, I am also able to find related books, coming across new authors. Occasionally, authors even recommend new authors to me, which is why I am forever grateful to Julia Quinn, who recommended Tessa Dare.

That being said, over the last two years, several authors have fallen off my automatic buy list. I still faithfully note down new releases to check out plot summaries and customer reviews in hopes that I will pick a new book up and my love is rekindled — this happened with Stephanie Laurens, but with several authors, I am gunshy to spend some of my small book budget on their books.

Karen Hawkins
forex brokers I found Ms. Hawkins through her Scottish series–the MacLean curse, with the first book. I immediately spent a lot of time tracking and devouring her backlist. For that entire series, she was an automatic buy, no questions asked. She wrote two contemporary novels which I rate among my favorite in that genre. And then she wrote the Hurst series. I stuck with her through the entire set, but by the end of it, I wondered where she had gone. The plots were thin, the characters were either cardboard or merely uninteresting. I’ve skipped her last books entirely, which may or may not be a mistake considering it’s a new series with new characters. I’m just wary of spending money after several unsatisfying purchases.

Eloisa James
I love her books, for her complicated plots and intricate characters. She lost me a little bit with her Desperate Duchesses, only one of which I pick up again (Duchess By Night), but the first two books in her fairy tale series were quite enjoyable. Then came The Duke of Mine, and her developmentally challenged side character, Rupert, the bethrothed to the heroine Olivia. The way in which Ms. James handled his character left me with such a distaste in my mouth, I cannot imagine going back to her books.

Karen Ranney
forex account I still like her books and her writing. She’s too dark and depressing, however. The serious tone in all of her books has become melodramatic and I simply can no longer subject myself to them.

Julie Garwood
The elimination of this author makes me particularly sad, as I still reread her historicals and remember the love I had for her. She broke into contemporary some time ago, and while the first book was great, the next few offerings declined until I could barely finish them. I didn’t even buy the last three, instead reading them through Advanced Copies for review.

Catherine Anderson
Ms. Anderson rests on my we’ll see list. I didn’t buy her last contemporary because her attempt to delve into religious heroes has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Some of her Harrigan novels have been okay, but out of four, I only liked two. Her historicals though, remain strong, so she’s not lost her touch there.

I thought about writing about Lisa Kleypas, but the only reason she’s off my automatic buy list is that she’s changed directions in her writing with her contemporary novels. I’m not a huge fan of the specific genre she writes in now, but I’m sure her writing remains the same quality. I’m not just not interested.


Review: My Notorious Gentleman by Gaelen Foley

Posted on
My Notorious Gentleman (Inferno Club)

For the majority of the book, I was relatively happy. I genuinely liked the leads, Trevor and Grace, though Grace seemed a little too perfect at times. That being said, until the last quarter of the book, it just plodded along. The best thing about this series was the excitement — the first four books, even the fifth, was the adventure and action. That was entirely missing from this book — until the ending. At because the final quarter of the book simply didn’t match the pacing, I was dissatisfied.
Continue reading »

Life = Insane

Posted on

So to say I have done no writing in the last five months would be an accurate term, other than countless papers and homework assignments. My schedule last semester was ridiculous and hopefully, I’ll have a better handle on my life this semester as I gear up for graduate school applications, graduation requirements, and finishing up my last year of undergrad. We’ll see.


The Value in Audiobooks

Posted on

A few years ago, I found audio books but didn’t quite settle into them at the time. I came back to them earlier this year, first with nonfiction and then recently with fiction I had read before. I enjoyed listening Devil in the White City particularly, bringing the story to life in a way that maybe print couldn’t have. I still have to buy the print edition to find out for sure.

Recently, with the business of my semester, I haven’t had the time for reading. So I picked out a few audio books to try them again, beginning with Nora Roberts’ last few novels and I discovered something interesting.

In 2011, she published Chasing Fire, which I liked okay at the time but didn’t really love the way I’d loved others. I put it aside and only read it once more. The audio book changed how I felt entirely. The scenes that seemed to drag the most in the book — those of Rowan and Gull fighting the massive forest fires–were the most exciting read aloud. The narrator was fun and did a great job with the dialogue and the pacing.

I’ve listened to Angels Fall and rediscovered it as one of my favorites. And Northern Lights? The beauty and majestic setting comes alive in a way that just isn’t available read to yourself silently. It’s also one that I enjoyed having read to me by a male narrator, solidifying Nate as one of my favorite heroes.

That’s not to say that every audio book is a joyous experience. I started the recent Inn Boonsboro trilogy, but the narrator–another man–was awful. He tried to achieve the female voices, but only succeeded in creating characters that sounded whiny and too much pitched falsetto. I preferred Gary Littman in Northern Lights who only changed his intonation and pitch, rather than actually trying for the voice.

The Witness may be another favorite. The narrator there gave emotion to Abigail’s dialogue that seemed cold before, giving the character a depth that just didn’t quite happen on the page. In contrast, listening to Tribute, the narrator had a strange voice for Cilla, that made every piece of dialogue sound almost like a question. The intonation for Cilla was just slightly off. I finished the book, enjoying it almost as much as I had in print, but it threw me off a bit.

I decided to try an experiment along the lines of Chasing Fire, to deliberately pick Nora Roberts’ novels that haven’t always struck me as at her best. I’m beginning with her vampire trilogy, from 2006, and Morrigan’s Cross. So far, the the narrator has a great Irish accent, and he’s a man. After the first few chapters, my opinion has gone up a bit. The language more poetic than I remembered it.

Let’s see if audio books can save the Signs of Seven trilogy which was so awful I thought about setting my books on fire.


Review: Wed to a Highland Warrior by Donna Fletcher

Posted on
Wed to a Highland Warrior (The Warrior King)

I waited a long time to write my review for this book, after I think the book has been released. Donna Fletcher is an odd author for me. I’ve read all her books and genuinely enjoy them, but I would never put her on a list of authors who are excellent, who write quality fiction. I approach her books expecting a lot less from her than I do other authors in the same genre like Julia Quinn or Courtney Milan. Because I don’t expect much, until now I have been sincerely entertained. Her Sinclaire series was fun, and until this last entry, I thought her Warrior King series was her best work. But the final entry, the last one for the series, leaves me cold inside and I wanted to stop, give the book some breathing room and reread.
Continue reading »

Review: There’s Something about Lady Mary by Sophie Barnes

Posted on
There’s Something About Lady Mary

I wanted to like this book, honest. The plot itself was intriguing and I liked the details — a woman running around as an unlicensed surgeon, old time medical malpractice. There was a lot of promise in the premise.

But I couldn’t identify with Ryan or Mary. Neither of them were offered any qualities or personalities beyond what was happening on the page. Mary was at times annoying, stubborn and stupid. Ryan was priggish, inconsistent. I didn’t believe his emotions at any point. He never drove the action, neither did Mary. They were just a long for the ride.
Continue reading »


Never Take 21 Credits In A Semester

Posted on

I registered for seven classes this semester, three of which were in a foreign language and another that required writing a 16 page paper. That’s not counting the other two classes that required reading at least four or more books for each. Word of advice: Just never do that. Ever.

I’ve written about 2000 words since the semester started, for my in progress novel and my aborted attempt at NaNo. As long as I’m a college student, I may have to give up on the November outing and just make my own Nano during like…January.

Anyway, the semester will be over in about three weeks and we’re down to the end of it. The last few exams, the last few papers. Hopefully the most difficult portions are past me, once I finish my Senior Seminar paper in two weeks. I’ll be back to writing full-time after that.

What I feel most guilty about is that through Edelweiss, I’ve been granted access to amazing books with the intentions of reading them and I’ve only done about one in the last few months. I’m going to get that taken care of on my Thanksgiving break and get this blog back to what I love doing — talking about reading and writing :P


Review: Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks

Posted on
Never Seduce a Scot: The Montgomerys and Armstrongs


After reading her first trilogy, I fell over myself at the chance to read her next one, hoping it would live up to the quality and expectations I now have from Ms. Banks. Could I really add her to the list of authors whose novels I pre-order?

The answer is a resounding YES. Eveline is not a typical heroine, Graeme not a typical hero and nothing they face together is similar. Though I’ve read other medieval type novels in which the heroine is disabled (Christina Dodd’s blind heroine Saura comes to mind), Eveline’s inability to hear is more tragic due to the circumstances in which it transpired.

Her story with Graeme is beautiful and touching. I picked the book up in the morning and couldn’t put it down until I had found out how the story ended. I’m so happy this appears to be a series so I can revisit these characters over and over again.

Apologies for the lateness in posting my review, I know it’s not very useful now, but I wanted to relate how much I enjoyed this story and was thankful for the opportunity to read it.


Review: The Lady Risks All by Stephanie Laurens

Posted on
The Lady Risks All

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to rate Stephanie Laurens at a full 5 stars, though her last three novels were at 4.5. Her stories are always solid and exciting, well-plotted and fun to read, but occasionally, I was frustrated because her characters remained the same. She seemed to be varying that with the Cynster sisters trilogy, and with The Lady Risks All she steps out of her mold with her leads. Miranda Clifford and Roscoe Neville have shades of similarity, but have qualities that set them apart and put this novel a cut above the rest. Bravo, Ms. Laurens, you’ve got me firmly back in your camp.
Continue reading »

Review: The Way to a Duke’s Heart by Caroline Linden

Posted on
The Way to a Duke’s Heart: The Truth About the Duke

A satisfying ending to a well-executed series. One of the hardest types of trilogies to tackle is that which the impact event happens in Book 1 (One Night in London) and interest in reaching the conclusion must extend until Book 3, without slowing down the pace or feeling as though it’s been deliberately drawn out. Caroline Linden tackles this tricky balance by having pieces of her books happen simultaneously (the first few chapters of Book 2 begin while Book 1 is finishing, and Book 3 begins as Book 2 is closing). So everything is on top of one another. Each brother is well-defined and unique, and the final solution to the Truth About the Duke is rooted deep within character flaws, that push The Way to a Duke’s Heart forward.
Continue reading »