March 1, 2015

Book Review: What a Lady Demands by Ashlyn Macnamara

Summary (GoodReads)
Viscount Lindenhurst cannot seem to find a governess who meets his impossible standards—until Cecelia Sanford becomes the first woman to interrupt the widower’s brooding in years. Lind had returned home from the Napoleonic wars, broken in body and soul and longing for his wife’s embrace, only to find her changed. 

Before they could reconcile, an accident struck their son and claimed her life. Now enter Cecelia, with her soft curves and sharp tongue—a tempting distraction, it is true, but not a welcome one. 

Past the usual marrying age and haunted by a scandal of her own, Cecelia soon finds herself caring for both the child and the man. The viscount is brittle and even abrupt at times, yet she cannot deny the attraction that stirs her body in his presence. 

Moved by the deep sense of abandonment that tortures his soul, Cecelia aches to fully awaken Lind’s heart from its rancorous slumber—if she can just keep their pasts from destroying a second chance at love.


My Thoughts:
Similarly than with What a Lady Craves, What a Lady Demands left me a little cold because once again we are dealing with flimsy reasoning and an unlikable hero. Cecelia is not prepared, at all, to be a governess, but she run off from her brother to do just that - all because of a scandal they take forever to explain and that doesn't make much sense - and though she's nice to the kid and the kid likes her, she still is very unorthodox and it makes no sense that Lind would have hired her. 

Lind is full of resentments and guilt and he takes them out on the kid, that he is out for vengeance is understandable, but he never stops to see that he has gone so far that he's hurting his son who really just wants his father's approval. 

So, again, not someone that was easy to like. And his actions didn't make much sense, he was very hot and cold with everyone around him and I don't like that in a romance hero. I did find it a little more interesting than the previous book, which is something.

But, still, not something I would like to revisit soon. 
starstar

February 28, 2015

Book Review: What A Lady Craves by Ashlyn Macnamara

Summary (GoodReads)
Henrietta Upperton is about to marry Alexander Sanford when he rushes off to India to salvage his family’s fortune. Then comes the devastating news that he has wed another. Eight agonizing years later, a storm washes Alexander ashore—injured, widowed, and hunted—and one glimpse of his ruggedly handsome face reawakens the desire Henrietta thought she had buried deep inside. Her body still yearns for his touch, but she’s determined not let him wound her again . . . not this time.

For Alexander, honor always comes first. But only now does he realize that when given the choice between two virtuous deeds, he picked the wrong one. On the run with his life in tatters and a pair of daughters in tow, Alexander burns for Henrietta. He knows he does not deserve forgiveness. And yet he longs to wrap his arms around her warm body once again. What’s more, he is sure the lady craves the same


My Thoughts:
I had been looking forward to What a Lady Craves for a while now, I just loved the idea of this second-chance romance but I have to say that the book turned into a bit of a dud.

I liked Henrietta well enough, she was nice and kind and wanted to move on with her life, but also didn't fool herself into thinking she had no feelings left for Alexander. She was nice to his daughters and sought to treat them equally.

But Alexander, well, he just wasn't nice. He favored a daughter over the other (for a reason that becomes clear very quickly but doesn't makes me what he does any good), and his whole reasoning is so flimsy and silly. I mean, the thing that made him break off with Henrietta? I get why he felt compelled to do it, but I thought he choose foolishly what to do and let everyone pay the price, starting with Henrietta herself.

It just seemed like there was not much to the story. And the hero was unlikable, and didn't actually redeem himself in my book.
starstar

February 23, 2015

John Green and the Non Apology


I've been pondering what to write about this whole ordeal with the John Green misattributing a quote to himself - for years, mind you - that was actually written by a 14 year old fan.

I wanted to talk about how much plagiarism hurts, how big of a violation it feels like, but when I tried to write that post I was just ranting for about three pages. Hardly conductive to a good exercise in writing. So instead I decided to put my scientific training to use and focus on the facts.

And after reading the multiple accounts and varied opinions on the subject (I recommend reading Bibliodaze's and Cuddlebugery's posts about it), well... there are three things that don't ring quite true. 

Found at reactiongifs.com
1. John Green didn't know he hadn't written the line until recently. 
I don't buy this. How can an author not know what he has written or not? See, I might not be a big, published author but I am a writer and you can bet your ass I remember the stuff I have written.

Particularly the really good stuff that just seems to fit perfectly? yup, those kind of linger with you. I can remember my favorite line or scene of all the stories I've written - about 40 between fanfiction and original stuff - so yeah, I just can't buy that he didn't know.

2. No one noticed before now.
Found at reactiongifs.org
See I'm a fangirl of many fandoms and if fandoms are good at something that is NOTICING STUFF, I can't remember how many times Sarah Dessen has published a book and within hours of publications we had Master Lists of all the easter eggs she dropped for long time fans. 

Libba Bay has commented that continuity errors that escaped her, her copy writer and her editor, have been discovered by fans in a similar fashion. 

So, I don't buy that no one noticed before, I just don't... which ties in with my third point:

3. No one spoke up before, save for the real author and her friend. 
reactiongifs.com
This is really fishy, as I said, fans speak out. In the age of Internet, I can't believe that this went on for close to six years without someone other than the original author of the quote and her close friend speaking out or just looking into it.

Reports said that the author got negative emails about her claiming the quote, so WTF? why no one commented it on a large venue before? Also, she tried to contact DFTBA and John Green several times to no avail!

It seems like John Green's fans were just sweeping it under the rug. 


And, to top it all off, there was never a concrete apology, not a public one which is the type this kind of thing deserves. His video amounts to an Oopsie! like this was something that just happened, not like something that he was actively doing for years. It's not an error of omission, it's negligent. 

And so, my disenchantment with the Nerdfighter community and John Green (of whom I can't say I ever liked 100%) continues.

But that's just me, let me know what you guys think.


Also, thanks to Sandy @ Pirate Penguin Reads for helping me find gifs. All gifs were found with google /bing image search and do not belong to me.

Note: Yup, I'm not liking to John Green's video because I don't think he deserves to get more views out of it, but Cuddlebuggery posted it on their entry, if anyone is interested. 

February 22, 2015

Book Review: Dashing Through the Snow by Paige Rion

Summary (GoodReads):
Wynn Murphy has been in love with Zane Anders since the day she laid eyes on him. But just when she begins to hope their casual relationship might turn into something more, a misunderstanding pushes her away.

At first sight, charming and handsome, ad executive, Zane Anders has been secretly infatuated with bake shop cutie, Wynn Murphy. This Christmas, he's determined to tell her.

Join Wynn and Zane in this delightful holiday novelette as Zane goes dashing through the snow in an effort to capture Wynn's heart.


My Thoughts:
Well, this was delightful short story about two people who were perfect for each other but had to work a bit at getting together - mostly against themselves, because they were being too cautious and too shy. 

Zane was such a decent guy, who so wanted to have a real relationship with Wynn and loved going to visit her bakery (he even ate his least favorite dessert everyday because it was what he had ordered by mistake the first time). 

And Wynn was a nice person, who just wanted to make her cookies and pies and be happy. I loved how close she was to her family and that she loved Christmas.

Like I said, Dashing Through the Snow was a happy little novella, perfect for an hour or two of fun. Fluffy and sweet like the treats Wynn made in her bakery. 

February 7, 2015

The Misselthwaite Archives is Awesome

Confession time: I love The Secret Garden!!!!

I just do, it's one of my favorite stories and I'm kind of sad I don't re-read the book more often. I love the movie, in fact, it's currently playing on my TV. I just love the story - and in my head, Mary and Dickon end up together, you can't tell me they don't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!- and, so, I was super happy when I discovered The Misselthwaite Archives a few weeks ago. 

And after the painful disappointments I have suffered at the hands of Frankenstein M.D. - Victoria gives us women of science such a bad rep! - and The March Family Letters - Urgh, no, just NO - I'm so happy to say that, in my book, Misselthwaite Archives is getting it right. 

We meet Mary Lennox as a 17 year old who is forced to move to her absentee's uncle Art's place after her mom and dad die in a car crash (her Mom was a beautiful model, by the way), and we get to see her in all of her snarky glory as she sends video-letters to her former therapist Dr. Burnett. 

But that's only part of the story, the self-aware part per se, where Mary talks straight to the camera; but we also get the other part, where we are looking into her life without her knowing (like you would do with a movie) and I LOVE those parts, they add so much dimension to the story, giving it a sense of time and place.

Another thing I love? Even though this is also a trans-media story (with tumblr posts and twitter involved), we are not asked to interact with the characters the way we did with Emma or Lizzie, like they are Real People. 

Mary talks straight to the camera sometimes, but she's not 'posting the videos to youtube', they are personal letters to the only adult she trusts. She is not catering to a fan base and we are not expected to act like we don't know what's coming next. I LOVE this. Seriously. 

With other trans-media stories I often feel like I'm faking it each time I have to pretend I don't know exactly who the characters are and what's going to happen. But maybe that's just me. 

Anyway, don't miss The Misselthwaite Archives (by Pencil Ink Productions) which updates Wednesdays and Fridays.  And yes, this is a Personal Favorite already Personal Favorite  (because I know y'all had missed Kissy Bear)