Tag Archives: romance

Guest Post by Sara: Book Review – Painted Faces

Title : Painted Faces

Author:  L.H. CoswayPainted Faces

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Date Published: December 16, 2012

Pages: 358

Stand Alone or Series: Stand alone

Three Words: Romance, Cross-dressing, hilarity

Red Flags: some sexual situations, some language and did I mention there was cross dressing?

The Blurb (from Amazon):

Come forth with an open mind, for an unconventional tale of love…

Dublin native Freda Wilson considers herself to be an acquired taste. She has a habit of making offensive jokes and speaking her mind too often. She doesn’t have the best track record with first impressions, which is why she gets a surprise when her new neighbour Nicholas takes a shine to her.

Nicholas is darkly handsome, funny and magnetic, and Freda feels like her black and white existence is plunged into a rainbow of colour when she’s around him. When he walks into a room he lights it up, with his quick wit and charisma. He is a travelling cabaret performer, but Freda doesn’t know exactly what that entails until the curtains pull back on his opening night.

She is gob-smacked and entirely intrigued to see him take to the stage in drag. Later on, Nicholas asks her if she would like to become his show assistant. Excited by the idea, she jumps at the chance. Soon she finds herself immersed in a world of wigs, make-up and high heels, surrounded by pretty men and the temptation of falling for her incredibly beautiful employer.

In this story of passion and sexual discovery, Nicholas and Freda will contend with jealousy, emotional highs and lows, and the kind of love that only comes around once in a lifetime.

My review:

I can admit that I am a walking cliché.  I am the stay at home mom of two kids and I read a LOT of romance novels.  A ridiculous amount that I think I’ve not even admitted to Trina, but she must know (or does now!). However, it is books like “Painted Faces” that allow me to go forth and state loudly and proudly that I do, indeed, read romance novels.    That’s right folks…it’s not all tawny skin, muscled perfection and huge members, it can be a multi-faceted and nuanced tale of two people who fall in love.  It can be unconventional and it can be entertaining and hilarious.

Freda (aka “Fred”), our heroine, is delightfully irreverent.  I can’t tell you how many times I had to highlight her monologues throughout the book, and I’m not normally a highlighter.  She’s pudgy – yet sexy –, self-deprecating and just real.  Her take on life is fresh, witty and I have to say that I felt comfortable and invested in her story from the get go.  She’s a very well-crafted character.  She meets our Hero, Nicholas (aka “Viv”), when he moves into the flat (yes, it’s a tale from Ireland that uses great words such as “flat”, “crisp”, “posh” and “snogging”) next door to her.  It’s not one of those “love at first sight” tales.  Fred and Viv meet, form a friendship, are wildly attracted to one another, but take their time to truly know each other…all the darkness and light that makes a person who they are.

Nicholas is a cabaret performer, and here’s the twist – he’s a drag queen.  He’s not gay…but he dresses up in women’s clothes to perform.  That is part of what makes this story so refreshing…he’s an unconventional hero, and I think the stories that challenge our preconceived notions of ideas of convention and societal norms are some of the best.  This book really kept me engaged and engrossed in the story to see where it would go and how it would all work out.  One of the most surprising books I have read in a while and an 8 shoe read for me!

Rating : 8 shoes

This sounds like such a different and surprising read! I’ve definitely put it on my TBR list. Thanks for another awesome review- Sara!

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Filed under book review, eight shoes, guest post, Romance

Book Review : Jane

Title : Jane

Author : April LindnerJane

Publisher : Poppy
Date Published : October 11th, 2010
Pages : 373
Stand Alone or Series : Stand Alone
Three Words : Classic retelling, romance, mystery
Red Flags : some sexual situations, some language and drug use

Summary : Jane Moore has not had a happy couple months. Her parents died in a car crash, she is forced to drop out of college and her siblings don’t seem to care too much about her circumstances. She is forced to sign up for a job with Discriminating Nannies, Inc. Her serious demeanor wins her points with the interviewer who is looking for somebody for a special job – working for the uber famous rock star, Nico Rathburn. Although initially turned off by his arrogant demeanor, she can’t help but be fascinated by him. She starts to realize that beneath his brooding exterior lies a magnetic personality and a kind heart. But Jane must contend with more than just this forbidden romance, there is a mystery at Thornfield Park. Something is going on, but you don’t know what is….do you Miss Jane?

My Take : If the plot seems extremely familiar to you….congratulate yourself dear Reader, it IS a retelling of Jane Eyre. If you read my previous post then you know that Jane Eyre is my top favorite book OF ALL TIME….so the stakes were high for this one. I actually ended up really liking this one. Now, if you are expecting something that is as good as Bronte’s version, then you should probably not read this. Come on, we are dealing with one of the classics here… but if you are looking for something fun, something romantic, something interesting and new, then please read this book. I enjoyed Linder’s writing, it was quick paced, didn’t drag at parts and meshed the old time themes with modern vernacular. I thought it was a stroke of genius to make Rochester a rock star, because truly what could give you both money and fame in this world, making you attractive to the wrong kinds of women. Jane is her usual recalcitrant, serious but deeply passionate self. My only real issue with the book was that it seemed to almost follow Jane Eyre too closely (which I know doesn’t make complete sense). I found myself occasionally wondering why I was reading this book if it was basically the same thing as the original just in a modern setting. But this was only occasionally and I found myself wanting to finish it. I give this one eight shoes.

Anybody else read this? Did you enjoy it or did it just make you long for the original?

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Trina

 

 

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Filed under book review, eight shoes, Jane, Linder; April, YA

Book Review : Grave Mercy

There must have been a directive from publishers to authors : We need strong female leads!! We need to cash in on this whole Hunger Games thing. If possible they should be deadly. This must be the reason why I keep finding lady assassin books everywhere in YA right now. Luckily all of the books I’ve read have been pretty awesome so I’m not complaining. Just sayin’…

Title : Grave MercyGrave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)

Author : Robin Lafevers

Stand Alone or Series : #1 in His Fair Assassin series (although as far as I can tell each book is about a different person while still being interconnected)

Three Words : historical, romance, YA,

Red Flags : sexual situations, some language, violence (still YA but maybe the older end of that)

Summary : Seventeen-year-old Ismae Rienne is about to be married off to the Pig Farmer Guillo. He is violent, brutish, not to mention extremely rapey. Luckily she is rescued before this can happen and taken to the convent of St. Mortain. There the sisters serve the old gods, specifically Death, under the guise of Christian saints. They are tasked to train the sisters to serve Death, including sending those bearing his marque to their final sleep. Ismae passes their tests and become one of the initiates. She learns how to make poisons, how to swordfight, knife fight and kill with her bare hands. Basically become a super bad ass. Now she has been assigned to the Breton court of the Duchess, where she is to pretend to be Gavriel Duval’s mistress. She is supposed to learn who is plotting against the Duchess and dispatch them. Things get all sorts of complicated when she discovers that Gavriel is not only intelligent but kind-hearted and super hot. Plus she is woefully underprepared to deal with all the court intrigues, etc… Will she follow through with her task? What if Gavriel is the traitor?

My Take : I liked many things about this book and I disliked many things about this book. Dislike : Ismae does not seem all that deep of a character. For being a bad-ass, she has a lot of self-esteem issues. Somehow that didn’t jibe with the whole becoming assassin thing. On the other hand, Ismae going through the whole trying to decide if the convent is on the side of right or not seemed very compelling and true to the character. Dislike #2 : I wasn’t all that excited about Gavriel…just hoping for a little more substance not just hot and kind. Dislike #3 : Some plot points seemed a little too contrived…really? Somebody is thought to be a traitor so instead of taking off, he hides in the secret passageways of the castle. This is making it sound like I hated this book but I actually really liked it and am excited to read the next book in the series. I really liked following Ismae in her initial training at the convent. I loved the court intrigue, the interesting historical context of Breton and the light fantasy elements that were woven seamlessly into the story. I hoped for a little more depth and interest in the characters but the world that Lafevers has created is enough to draw me in. I give it seven and a half shoes :  gladiator shoes – not always practical but with certain outfits – really fun!

Trina

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Filed under book review, Grave Mercy, Lafevers; Robin, Romance, seven and a half shoes, YA