Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Good, the Bad, and the DNF

Mini review time, because I'm laaaazyyyyy and, well, I have barely been reading lately (slumps, they are the WORST), so let's catch up on some of the books this year I forgot to review.

The Good

Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare
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Series: Spindle Cove #4
Release date: May 28th 2013
Publisher: Avon
Length: 375 pages
Source: purchased

What’s a duke to do, when the girl who’s perfectly wrong becomes the woman he can’t live without?

Griffin York, the Duke of Halford, has no desire to wed this season—or any season—but his diabolical mother abducts him to “Spinster Cove” and insists he select a bride from the ladies in residence. Griff decides to teach her a lesson that will end the marriage debate forever. He chooses the serving girl.

Overworked and struggling, Pauline Simms doesn’t dream about dukes. All she wants is to hang up her barmaid apron and open a bookshop. That dream becomes a possibility when an arrogant, sinfully attractive duke offers her a small fortune for a week’s employment. Her duties are simple: submit to his mother’s “duchess training"... and fail miserably.

But in London, Pauline isn’t a miserable failure. She’s a brave, quick-witted, beguiling failure—a woman who ignites Griff’s desire and soothes the darkness in his soul. Keeping Pauline by his side won’t be easy. Even if Society could accept a serving girl duchess—can a roguish duke convince a serving girl to trust him with her heart?

The hilarious historical romance novels of Tessa Dare have been my greatest discovery of 2016. They are the definition of DELIGHTFUL. They're so funny and quippy and romantic (duh) but they're just absolute trope-fests in the most delicious way. Like, Tessa Dare knows what I like and she GIVES it to me.

This book felt like a gift to me, it really did. Like, what magic, Tessa? How did you KNOW I wanted a romance novel that felt like a mashup of The Princess Diaries and My Fair Lady, but sexier and with a brooding reformed rake and an irreverent barmaid? Griff and Pauline are perfection and possibly my favorite of all of Dare's couples. They're right up there with Colin and Minerva, and their first scenes together are downright sublime. If you have any inclination to read historical romance--especially if you're reading it less for historical accuracy and more to have a rip(bodice) roaring good time, I IMPLORE you to try Tessa Dare. SHE IS A GEM. Please write me 87 more books pleeeeease


Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers
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Series: Assassin's Heart #1
Release date: February 2nd, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 420 pages
Source: ARC via Edelweiss

In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

Blergh. Awesome concept, sort of whomp-y execution. I know we're getting a lot of assassins in YA at the moment, but personally, I'll never get sick of them--as long as they feel somewhat fresh. Set in a Renaissance Italy-esque world, with feuding assassin crime families and ghosts and really cool world building, Assassin's Heart totally promised to be that. And despite some good elements, I just never...connected to this? I don't know. The pace killed me. The main character who singleminded to the point of one dimensionality, and the promise of the premise just wasn't enough. I AM LE BUMMED.

One day I may gird my loins and try again, but today is not that day.

The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
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Series: No
Release date: January 26th, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Length: 390 pages
Source: purchased

Okay, so this book is definitely an "it's not you, it's me" situation. This just isn't my type of book, my type of writing (despite being deeply excellent), or my type of romance. It's hard to describe WHY without getting spoilery (especially since I confirmed it was not a Gillian book by flipping to the end because I am a BAD BLOGGER *slaps own wrist*) but maybe this precise BRAND of wibbly wobbly is not for me? Nor is a sort of insta-lovey STAR-CROSSED love-a-ma-thing really my brand either. I did quite like the main character. And, you know, the CONCEPT is neat! But i think it's a concept that I like better conceptually than....conceived.

Henry's writing style is so lovely, though, that I will definitely give her next book a solid try.


  1. Aw, lovely reviews Gillian. <3 Thank you for sharing your thoughts about these books :D I'm so sorry you had to DNF Assassin's Heart, but I don't blame you :) I haven't read it, and I don't own it, and not planning on reading it, lol :D Heard some bad things, so yeah. I don't recommend that you try it again, haha. Anyway :D I hope your next read will be aaawesome. <3 Happy reading sweetie :)

  2. Assassin's Heart was awful. I pushed through the whole thing and it was just boring. I don't know how someone can make assassins boring but it was! Oh well. I wouldn't suggest trying again. Just look the other way whenever it's mentioned :P


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