Review

Review: Going Public by Hudson Lin (2022)

Jade Harbour Capital, Book #2

Heat Factor: Gentle and affirming

Character Chemistry: The buildup was great, but maybe there was a little too much of a jump into the recognition and acknowledgement of feelings

Plot: Elvin is Ray’s long-time EA at a financial investment company, Ray is tasked with auditing an asset, everything personal goes well while everything else goes sideways

Overall: Decisions were made here. They’re good decisions, but are they romantic decisions?

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Recommended Read, Review Revisited

Review Revisited: Holly’s Take on A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong by Cecilia Grant (2014)

Hey you! Yeah, you! 

Are you feeling Grinchy right about now? 

Would you like your heart to grow three sizes?

Yes? 

Then please go read A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong immediately. It might be the perfect Christmas romance. It’s utterly charming and includes just enough of the obligatory “let’s do Christmas cheer” activities without being twee. It features two protagonists for whom *everything* goes wrong (#relatable, what’s up 2021!), but things end up just right in the end (and my heart goes pitter-pat).

I agree with everything Erin wrote about the characterizations in her review. What she doesn’t discuss is how crisp the writing is. Not just on the level of plot and characterization—because the way Grant builds up the tension between these two crazy lovebirds is masterful—but also on the level of word choice. 

Here are the first two paragraphs:

The trouble, Andrew Blackshear would later reflect, might have all been avoided if he’d simply kept to the main road. His first glimpse of the girl would then have been indoors, seated, with her hair bound tidily back, and their first dialogue would have been an inquisition so tedious as to temper the allure of those great swooping clean-edged curves that made up her prodigal mouth.

But with no way of knowing what lay in store, he hadn’t any reason to avoid the detour. The clouds broke above him, he turned down a lane whose towering yews promised a bit of shelter, and trouble found him, in torrents that put the winter squall to shame.

“Trouble found him, in torrents that put the winter squall to shame.” Just sit and savor that clause. I am egregiously bad at text analysis, so I can’t explain how amazing it is, but I can feel it, in my guts.

Look, both Erin and I thought this book was really really wonderful. You should probably just trust us. (Read on for Erin’s thoughts on the characters, plus general squeeing.)

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Rant, Review

Review: Night’s Illusion by Amanda Ashley (2021)

Children of the Night, Book #8

Heat Factor: Purple prose fading to black

Character Chemistry: Well… 

Plot: There’s a meddling vampire family and a vengeful sire and just a lot

Overall: It’s not tightly written

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Rant, Review

Review: Witch Please by Ann Aguirre (2021)

Fix-It Witches, Book #1

Heat Factor: She climbs him like a tree, so that’s fun…but I would have liked a little more communication beforehand

Character Chemistry: They were so not on the same page but also so into each other

Plot: So many drama shenanigans 

Overall: Oof

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: Strange Love by Ann Aguirre (2020)

Galactic Love, Book #1

Heat Factor: There is sex, but not the way we usually imagine it. 

Character Chemistry: Zylar is the kindest, gentlest, giant cockroach alien ever. He calls Beryl “Terrible One” and it’s adorable.

Plot: Zylar kidnaps Beryl, kind of by accident. And then they compete in a dystopian mating competition. 

Overall: This book is WEIRD AF and I am so glad I read it.

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