I'm sorry, I can't think of any other way to put it.
I was trolling my kindle for something to read the other night when I happened upon the title. As I remembered exactly nothing about the book (other than that I really liked it) I figured what the heck and re-read it.
Now I'm gonna gush.
I love Christine Merrill's writing. An author of some wit, her books are infused with a sense of it, both in the prose and in her characterizations. Not all authors have this, and when I find one who does, I glom their backlist like RIGHT. NOW.
It doesn't hurt, of course, that The Inconvenient Duchess has one of my favourite plots ever - a marriage contrived by a scheming relative bringing together the stuffed-shirt Hero and an upstart heroine. This Hero stomps about yelling at the staff and slamming doors, just the way I like 'em. He isn't so much of a boor that he doesn't recognize what a jackass he is, and this is his saving grace. The heroine is another favourite type of mine, the ruined/poor/spinster with a temper.
I laughed out loud at some parts, grinned to myself at others, and thoroughly enjoyed every second of reading it.
Good, but ultimately I felt like there was too much going on, and not enough time for the author to address it all. The reason for her scars alone would be enough fodder for an angsty romance, but SW has thrown in rock star thing, the best friend's brother thing, and a hint of the BDSM thing.
Too many "things" for me. :)
It's worth a read, though, for the subject matter (and the steamy bits). I'd definitely read more by this author.
DNF. So bummed. I LOVE Beauty and the Beast stories, and Anna Campbell is usually a sure thing for me.
I don't know what happened here, but I felt like I'd been hit by a swinging heavy bag with the plot, the characters and the writing itself. And all by about 20% into the book.
Gonna call this "Judith McNaught-itis" or "Lisa Kleypas-itis". Over-wrought, over the top. Not that I usually object to that, but in this instance it really isn't working for me.
This is another of my books that has definitely benefitted from a re-read. The theme of Callie's story - that sometimes everything you think you want is FAR from what you really need - is not a new one in romance.
Kristan Higgins' take on it, though, is charming. It is also laugh out loud funny, poignant, and is going on my keeper shelf. It's a CLEAN romance as well; while Callie and Ian have tremendous chemisty, the love scenes are all fade to black. What we do see, however, is really well done - enough so that smutty old me barely notices the darkness. (Well, to be fair, I did on second reading but the chemistry between the leads balanced it out.)
This is the second of Kristan Higgins' books I've read in the past year or so; perhaps I should glom her backlist for the stories and characters and play out the love scenes in my head. God knows I've read enough of those. :)
3.5 stars the first time I read it; a year later it's getting a 4.
As much as I hate to admit it, I quite liked the Bridget Jones books. And the first couple of Shopaholic ones. I could identify with Bridget and Becky. They kept me in stitches with their adventures as they tried to find themselves, whether it was by keeping a diet diary or being chased by letters from VISA.
Their stories were told in a distinctive, breezy British manner. The wit in the writing and the charm of the characters was what made both of those series so hugely popular.
When I found this book (for free on Amazon - dammit, I should have known better) I was hoping to meet a heroine like Bridget Jones or Becky Bloomwood. Instead, I got Grace.
Grace is a elementary school teacher. During her free time she shops. Her pride and joy is the spare room in her house, which she has converted to a dressing room. She is shallow, materialistic and generally not very likable. She is engaged to a lawyer named Mark, who is equally shallow, materialistic and unlikable. They live in a pretentious little village where they pretend to be vereh impohtant and have dinner parties with their equally important couple-friends.
Someone HAS to start telling me when I'm reading fanfic. Especially Twilight fanfic.
A friend recommended this to me (waves), I checked out the sample from Amazon, it looked like fun, so I read it. And then found out it was P2P fanfic. I've said it before with other books, and I'll say it again - I feel like Eric Cartman:
I have always been a somewhat morbid sort, so you can see why this book appealed to me immensely.
It's an easy read, with tons of gnarly detail and incisive wit. I laughed out loud a number of times while reading, mostly from passages like this, where the author is referring to the death of a kid on his little league team when he was seven:
"You always remember your first dead body. The following afternoon at the funeral home, Chucky was a waxen figure arrayed in a coffin of polished mahogany, somehow more elegant in death than he had been in life, at least on the baseball diamond, where his fielding skills left something to be desired. W.C. Fields used to call death "the Fellow in the Bright Nightgown." For me, he was always a Little League Shortstop."
Call me cracked, but that paragraph made me burst out laughing. My husband was appalled. :)