June Reading

English: Alice's Statue, Guildford Riverside A...

English: Alice’s Statue, Guildford (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a confession to make.

I fell down a rabbit hole of trashy romance novels, and I’m just now fighting my way out. I discovered a fantastic site called Dear Author, where a number of bloggers review romance novels of all stripes (including my beloved ‘paranormal romances’ by Patricia Briggs and Illona Andrews). I’ve fallen out of the habit of reading traditional romance novels, with the exception of my beloved Carla Kelly, and I especially have not been a fan of contemporary romances. That said, I found Dear Author because of their favorable review of Kelly’s new book, Marriage of Mercy (released June 1). I started clicking around and came across a recommendation for a contemporary romance called About Last Night, so I downloaded a sample, was hooked, and bought the book. Continue reading

Reason # 7,125 why I love my husband.

The Bachelorette

Image via Wikipedia

Mr. is watching The Bachelorette.  I am trying not to  notice that it’s on.  The eponymous young lady (whatever her name is) is having a romantic “overnight” with one of the suitors (don’t ask me which one, I don’t know that either.)  He avers in voice over just how much he’s been looking forward to spending time alone with her.  They repair to the bed, where he basically climbs on top of her as they make out.  The camera zooms in obligingly.

Mr turns to me and says,

Yeah, I know I always feel real romantic with a camera stuck up my ass.

Aaah, my lover, the poet.

My blushes – Angela Knight’s Mageverse series

Amazon recommended the latest book in Angela Knight’s Mageverse series, Master of Smoke, and because I’m putting off Fieldwork, I bought it:

After being attacked by a werewolf, Eva Roman is now able to shift into one. Luckily she saves a handsome shapeshifter from a similar attack. Eva does not know his true identity as Smoke, a Sidhe warrior. His attacker was Warlock, the magic-imbued leader of a cult of werewolf assassins trained to destroy all others. As a war ignites between all the immortals in the Mageverse, Eva and Smoke will need more than their love for each other to survive.

Image via Amazon.com

I also downloaded and read the first book in the series, Master of the Night.  While I’m pleased to report that Knight is a better writer than Singh (whose writing continues to give me fits), the world she’s created is not as compelling.
Knight’s characters operate in a universe where Merlin and Nimue (the Lady of the Lake) were aliens who created a protectorate for mankind in King Arthur and his knights and ladies. Arthur and his knights were real, but the stories surrounding them are pure fiction – the real story is that Arthur and his knights became vampires (Magi) and the ladies became witches (Majae) by drinking from the Holy Grail.  These vampires are like nothing you’ve seen before (not even you, Sparkles) – they are good (and sexy) and they have a symbiotic rather than predatory relationship with the witches – the vampires must drink the witches’ blood to replenish their magic, and the witches must give blood to prevent a harmful buildup of magic in their systems.  Vampires (and witches) are created not by the drinking of blood, but through S-E-X.
Because, of course they are. 
The plot of Master of Smoke was woefully thin, marginally involving a vampire/Sidhe (fairy) warrior with amnesia, and the werewolf girl who tries to help him.  Oh, and sex, lots of sex.  Master of the Night is a little more (ahem) fleshed out, as it seems to be the first book in the series, and therefore spends a lot of time showing and telling the rules of the universe. (I’m not even going to try to summarize the plot, because it’s crazy – fun, but crazy.)  And loads of very, very graphic sex.
But really, the point of these stories is the S-E-X.  I do enjoy trashy romance novels, but Knight’s language threw me for a loop.  Knight uses words that frankly make me uncomfortable, including see-you-next-Tuesday. (If you don’t know, I’m not explaining it to you. Google it.)
Final verdict?  The universe intrigues me, but all the S-E-X and associated language is just way more than I can handle.  I’d like to learn more about Knight’s version of Avalon, but I don’t think my blushes will permit it. 


Ugh.  I am on a junk-reading spree.  I’ve been re-reading all of Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series – these are some seriously trashy romance books.  I really enjoy them, but they also frustrate me .  The sci-fi  premise is good, but the writing could be so much better!  For example,  Singh’s repeated use of the word “fisted” as a verb drives me up the wall:  “Her hands fisted at her sides.” “His hands fisted.”


“She clenched her fists” or “His hands curled into fists.”

Fisted is not a word that one should throw around casually.  Just Google it – go ahead, I’ll wait…  Yeah.