Rant, Review

Review: Husband Material by Emily Belden (2019)

Heat Factor: Barely kisses

Character Chemistry: I remain unconvinced

Plot: Charlotte finally comes to term with her husband’s death

Overall: Exceptionally irritating but, for some reason, I read the whole thing

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Recommended Read, Review Revisited

Review Revisited: Erin’s Take on By a Thread by Lucy Score (2020)

In addition to her review, Ingrid has recommended this book in four other discussion posts or listicles. And also she tells us to read it in the group chat even more than that. And so, finally, I did. I actually listened to the audiobook, and Dominic’s POV is voiced by Sebastian York, who has what I consider this perfect, er, asshole voice (Sorry, Sebastian! You’re really fun to listen to!), so when Dominic is all up in his feelings but still going through with his, er, bad behavior anyway, it’s just perfection. Erin Mallon voices Ally’s chapters, and she’s also a great narrator. So easy to listen to. Great audio. 

Okay but the book.

My primary takeaway from this book is that it addresses the power dynamics of an employer/employee relationship better than any such romance I have ever read. And that is a trope I enjoy, even if it’s problematic. Fiction is great, right? Anyway, Ingrid definitely touches on this, too, in her review, but I think it should be said again. 

Because he’s lived through the repercussions of his father’s actions, Dominic is so fully against a workplace romance – for all the right reasons! – that he actually fails to see the difference between what his father did to the women in his employ and Dominic’s own relationship with Ally. There were actually times when I was frustrated with Ally, who got mad at Dominic for his refusal to engage with her even though she was very clearly consenting, because Dominic was so utterly clear that consent doesn’t work the same way when their workplace power dynamics were in play. And yet, because Score included the component of Dominic’s dad’s sexual assault and harassment, the reader is still able to see the difference between what Dominic’s going through and what his dad was doing. As the numerous harassment trainings I’ve attended have told me: sexual harassment is not about sex; it’s about power. And that’s exactly what Dominic’s dad very clearly illustrates, but what Dominic fails to see in his own feelings about Ally. 

(Also, once things pull together, they go straight to HR, which is great, although HR really shouldn’t have allowed Dominic in the room with Ally while they were discussing the relationship, because if she were being pressured, she couldn’t say so in front of Dominic – but hey, FICTION! There’s a beautiful hand-holding moment that we would have otherwise missed out on.)

The other thing I really liked was that Dominic knows he’s being so bad but just can’t help himself. I like a self-aware protagonist. Makes the naughty behavior less gross. But also Dominic is a big softie. He wants Ally to eat, but he knows it’s not appropriate to buy her food, so he buys food for the whole department. Still not entirely appropriate, and not very sustainable, but definitely shows his soft underbelly while he’s being a, um, little stinker. 

Anyway, it’s a long one, but very well thought out. Read on for Ingrid’s original glowing review.

Continue reading “Review Revisited: Erin’s Take on By a Thread by Lucy Score (2020)”
Review

Review: When a Rogue Meets His Match by Elizabeth Hoyt (2020)

Greycourt, Book #2

Review of Greycourt, Book #1

Heat Factor: Above average historical romance sexyness

Character Chemistry: He’s smitten, she loathes him

Plot: Messalina is forced into marriage with her evil uncle’s fixer

Overall: I gobbled this up, but must admit that the resolution was rushed

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Enemies with Benefits by Roxie Noir (2019)

Loveless Brothers, Book #1

Review of Loveless Brothers, Book #3

Heat Factor: Once they get going, boy do they go

Character Chemistry: That thing where they argue all the time but their competition also pushes them both to do and be better

Plot: “I definitely don’t think he’s attractive.”

“I definitely don’t want to kiss her.”

“We’re definitely not having sex.”

“He’s definitely not my boyfriend.”

“I’m definitely not in love with her.”

“Nope. Definitely not.”

Overall: Did I immediately read Book #2 in the series? Yes, yes I did.

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Lessons in French by Laura Kinsale (2010)

Heat Factor: The time they have sex when they’re seventeen is a little too real

Character Chemistry: It’s obvious to everyone but her that he’s head over heels

Plot: First love reunited

Overall: This book is ridiculous

Continue reading “Review: Lessons in French by Laura Kinsale (2010)”