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Archive for the ‘Medieval’ Category

That Time of the Month

One of my guilty pleasures is The Jealous Possessive Hero. It is one of the many things I would not accept IRL but in romances, I find it kinda delicious. [insert blush] So based upon recommendations on Amazon, I read The Maiden Bride (1996), a medieval by Deborah Simmons. I graded it a B. It wasnt bad but it was one of those books where jealousy read as insecure & socially inept rather than badass. No biggie. Very few authors not named Charlotte Lamb can pull that off well.

But there was one thing noticable – maybe even remarkable – about this book however: it had a scene where the Heroine casually set up the bathtub to make love in, instead of the bed, because she was having her menses. The Hero took her up on it, BTW, in case you’re wondering. I had to read the scene twice to make sure of what I was reading. It was the first time I have ever read a conventional romance where there was sex during That Time of the Month. I always appreciate something different and have always wondered why I have never really come across any instances of it in over 20 yrs of reading romances.

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If Loving You is Wrong

Lady of Fire (1987) by Anita Mills

Grade: B-

Setting: France & England, 1085-1093
Sensuality: PG-13
Pages: 423
Series: 1 of 5
Reason for reading: Last attempt at liking Mills. Forgot who recommended her.

Plot: At 12 years old, Eleanor’s beauty already entrances Prince Henry (son of William the Conqueror), Belesme (our villain), and Roger, her HALF-BROTHER. Eleanor and Roger have always been very close. Then Roger finds out that he is not really related to Eleanor and decides that he wants to marry her and goes away to make his fortune for the next 7 years while Eleanor is hidden away in a convent.

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Due to lingering fondness for Mary Spencer’s Wager Trilogy, I decided to dust off the her medieval Stavelot Series from Mount TBR. Which is all of two books. Mary Spencer currently writes paranormal Georgians as Susan Spencer Paul.

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Lord of a Thousand Night (2002) by Madeline Hunter

Grade: B-

This Medieval may be the worst Madeleine Hunter novel I have ever read. Either this one or her Lord of Sin.

Which means that Hunter needs to stay away from spin-offs with the words “Lord” and “Of” in it. Still, bad Hunter is 80% better than any other historical romance you are going to find on the market, which is why I am giving this a B-. The reason that I am disappointed in this book is not just the fact that the H/H didnt engage me. That is always a crapshoot whether a character is gonna engage you or not for whatever reason. I think it doesnt help that the Heroine is one of those (spoiler) Virgin Widows and this isnt even a frickin’ Avon novel for crying out loud! It also doesnt help that Hunter dropped a couple of plot threads like the Hero saying he will confront his brother and sister-in-law at the end and then . . . nothing. Also, there was a weird bondage sex scene done medieval style that seemed to come out of nowhere. Just very, very weird and just shows how Hunter is off her game. All this grumbling is still not gonna prevent me from buying Lessons of Desire the first day it will be available in September, however.

Her Scandalous Marriage (2006) by Leslie LaFoy

Grade: B (DNF)

This is one of those Amazon.com recommendations based upon my buying habits. I picked this because it’s the first of a trilogy. I like trilogies. Great for people with short attention spans like me. Authors who write series that go on forever (Quinn, Laurens, Gabaldon) annoy me quite frankly. When that happens I usually just read the first 3/4/5 books and that is IT. Series had ended for me (I dont care if the author sez otherwise).

The first 70 pages of this LaFoy was great. The characters were very witty and intelligent. The book was cute (without being cuteSY). I thought this was gonna be a winner. Then the author made what I would consider a HUGE plotting mistake on page 90. For the next 100 pages afterwards, LaFoy made no romantic progression whatsoever. Instead, she kept on introducing more and more new characters instead of advancing the plot. After 100 pages of nothing but the characters renovating the castle — 100 pages!! — and falling asleep twice trying to muddle through, I decided to not finish cause I just didnt care anymore.

His Secondhand Wife(2005) by Cheryl St.John

Grade: B-

I am so NOT the type of reader for this type of by-the-numbers small-town Americana romance. The only author who does them, that I can stand and even love, is Pamela Morsi. I adore Morsi’s gentle humor. It’s very winsome to me. On the other hand, I happen to find L. Spencer, the pioneer of Americana Romances, pretty boring and I would categorize this book as more in the Spencer style than Morsi style. This is a nicely written, calm, steadily-paced novel about a hideously scarred Virgin Hero who marries his sis-in-law after his no-goodnick brother marries, beds, impregnates, and abandons her and dies womanizing with other wimmen. The Heroine is one of those indomitable sweet-tempered waifs who unaccountably cant be satisfied enough with being the pampered Lady of the Ranch after being a laundry slave since she was 12. That and the interfering mother-in-law from hell seem to be the only (paper-thin) conflicts in the book. Because it’s a nice book. About a nice small town full of nice people (in case you wanted to read the nice related books about them. Cause they are so nice, you know.)

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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