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Feminista

Hi everyone! I used to be a former Goodreads lover. Who has decided to move to BookLikes due to the recent changes to the GR site: that is, the decision of the management to delete reviews that talk about bad author behaviour.

 

It is important that we know of bad author behaviour and actions. We buy their books. I want to know whether Author A has decided to harass Reviewer A or encouraged fans to stalk Reviewer B.

I want to know this, the same way I wanted to know that a well known sporting good company had been using child labour in the production of some of its products. The same way the WHOLE WORLD wanted to know. 

It is irrelevant that the author writes well, or that the said sporting good company produces good quality sporting goods. Our ethics and morals MATTER!

 

 

Now to discuss my reading habits:

 

I am very picky when it comes to books. I am a feminist and I think that shows in my reading list. 

 

There are many things that bug me to death. But I'll always make an exception if the boy-girl standard is reversed. Dear world, that is MY double standard. I respect and champion authors who have the guts to do something different.

Firstly, I hate infidelity in novels. 

 

Secondly, I hate it when the heroine is a virgin and the guy is an expert and skilled lover. I hate it when the heroine, for fated reasons, saves herself for someone who has been sowing his oats. It's not only overdone, old-fashioned and pathetic, but it also grosses me out like he is violating something so sacrosanct.

 

Thirdly, I might enjoy the occasional alpha-hero tendencies, but my true love lies with beta-heroes. Guys who are loving and sweet. Who don't feel the need to push around their women to make themselves feel more manly.

Feminista's bookshelf: read

Death, and the Girl He Loves
4 of 5 stars
tagged: ya-and-new-adult and urban-fantasy
The Loneliest Alpha
4 of 5 stars
tagged: paranormal-romance
Hard to Handle
2 of 5 stars
Rating: 2 out of 5. Sadie Howard is a serial dater who never goes out with a guy on more than one date, but then sometimes she breaks her rules... Aiden Downey found out that his mother was dying and even though he was in a relationship...
tagged: contemporary-romance and arc
Mine to Hold
3 of 5 stars
Rating: 3 out of 5. Claire Kramer from Mine to Keep has been a victim of an obsessed lover in the past. It is also a past that she can’t seem to get away from. Noah York, from the previous books, is Trace’s friend. He was a part of those...
tagged: arc and romantic-suspense
Finding Never
4 of 5 stars
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
tagged: ya-and-new-adult
Keeping Never
4 of 5 stars
tagged: ya-and-new-adult
Hurt
4 of 5 stars
tagged: ya-and-new-adult
The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires
3 of 5 stars
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
tagged: paranormal-romance
Alpha Instinct
3 of 5 stars
Rating: 3 out of 5. I have been wanting to read this book for ages. But I had the wrong idea in mind. I thought it was an Urban Fantasy novel. Probably because of the cover of a female. But it is a paranormal romance. As far as parano...
tagged: paranormal-romance
Never Love a Cowboy
3 of 5 stars
tagged: historical-romance

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2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge
Feminista has completed her goal of reading 200 books in 2013!
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SPOILER ALERT!

Unbound by Georgia Bell

Unbound - Georgia Bell

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A lovely début novel, Georgia Bell introduces us to a world where a small segment of the population is immortal. Their long lives breeds a kind of madness in them. As a result, with the help of Merlin they devise a way for immortals to end their lives. They bred a line of humans who will specifically result in a particular immortal's death. Rachel was meant to be Eaden's special one. Except he falls for her. And as the story continues, they soon realise that Rachel is not like the others. Her uniqueness soon attracts the attention of other immortals.

The story between Eaden and Rachel was sweet and slow. I enjoyed that. It is not something you see very often in the current Young Adult or New Adult genres. I liked the idea of immortals and humans being specifically bred to end them. It's hard to find stories with truly unique fantasy plots, this novel definitely got that right without being outlandish.

I thought the relationship between Rachel and her deceased twin brother could have been explained better. I also didn't enjoy the insertion of Eaden's ex. I rarely do. But this one stood out more because his ex was in a whole different league to Rachel; age, knowledge, experience and power wise. It also made stark the differences between Eaden and Rachel; in their age, knowledge and experience and that was something I did not enjoy contemplating.

That aside, it was a well put together novel. I definitely looking forward to reading this author's next novel!

Copy courtesy of Georgia Bell through BookLikes Giveaways.

SPOILER ALERT!

The Runaway Wife

The Runaway Wife - Rowan Coleman

Rating: 3 out of 5

 

A beautiful poignant story about a woman who leaves behind a life of abuse, in search of something better for her and her daughter. This novel started out great and overall, it was pretty good. The trials and tribulations of life is beatutifully depicted here. The fact that one man's actions could have such great consequences, is humbling.

 

Having said that, however, I found it hard to like the characters.

 

For starters, the main character's father was a flawed man. He has ruined not only the life of his first wife and daughter, but also his second wife's, the woman he left them both for. I suppose I ought to be sympathetic, because he does regret it in the end, but regret wasn't enough. Set aside the great injustice he has done to both his wives, his daughter deserved much more than to be thrown away like a toy he had no interest in anymore... Nothing he said or has done could take back the the destruction he has caused in her life. And for reasons that were so bloody selfish...

 

I didn't like how the men in her life thought it was okay to push her around. I disliked Frasier very much. I don't know how a man could make such beautiful promises in one night and coldly take it away the next morning. All because she kissed another man, at a time when she knew that Frasier had a girlfriend. Even if she had slept with the other guy, I don't see how he could justify that. He says he loved her from the very first moment. What a lie! If he loved her so much, then why did he leave, even when he suspected that she was being abused? He left her there and then moved on with other women, and he dares to throw stones at her? He didn't even recognise her when he met her again! Not only that, but he calls her pathetic! He is the one who is pathetic and an idiot to boot. I was not okay with the verbal put down he gave her, considering her history of abuse. I wish this was a better women's novel, because I was not happy with the so-called hero. I think the heroine could have done much better. Which brings me to the heroine.

 

I didn't like that she forgives him. Did he take her back when she explained what happened with Ted? No! So why should she allow him the courtesy of forgiving him, when he couldn't extend the same thing to her. And honestly, he leaves her for such a little thing! If he really is that unsure of her, then I don't believe this relationship could ever be a HEA. I also didn't like how she forgave her father... He keeps on lying to her even throughout this book. And Tilda. Some people might consider others who forgive a better person, but I don't. I don't like how she forgave everyone who wronged her. There are somethings that are unforgivable.

 

The only person I liked was Maddie. She is such a beautiful child, and a joy to read about!

 

ARC Courtesy of Edelweiss and Gallery Books.

I bet God's a Woman.
I bet God's a Woman.

Redeeming Love

Redeeming Love - Francine Rivers

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Angel has always had a hard life. Born to a woman who was the mistress of a rich man, she watched first her mother, then herself fall prey to vile men. So when she meets Michael Hosea, her response is to scoff at the sanctuary he is offering. She has learnt to trust no one, so she doesn't trust him. Until unforeseeable circumstances force them together.

This is one of those books that has the power to take your breath away. This is also one of those books that you either love or hate. For me, it was the former.

I can say that when I picked up this book for the first time, and the second time, when I received the ARC for this, I wasn't expecting a story so tragic and vivid as this one.

This novel depicts the depravity of human nature. There were several parts in this novel that was difficult to read and stomach.

This is no ordinary love story. 

It's a story about trials and errors of love. 

ARC Courtesy of NetGalley and Lion Hudson Plc.

Wildflower

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Kate and her brother are outlaws. One day they are robbing a train and she comes across a man known as Jake Lassiter. What she doesn't realise that Jake has actually been sent to hunt her down. 

I was initially intrigued with the idea of a worldly outlaw woman but I was quick to realise how mistaken I was. Kate is supposedly this innocent young thing, God knows how she managed to remain that way, but it certainly wasn't something I found realistic nor did I value it.

The main reason why my rating of this novel dropped so low was because of the rape at the beginning of the novel. I have said this countless of times and I'll say it again. I have read books where rape occurs. But I need for the authors to address it. I felt as though it wasn't addressed at all. There was a point about three-quarters of the way through when Kate says to Jake that he 'practically raped' her. But that was it! Where was the apology and there was nothing 'practically' about it. He raped her. His only excuse is that he thought she was an experienced woman, as if even if she was, that would have made it okay? 

I thought Kate had zero backbone. Jake treated her so very poorly all the way throughout the novel, but all Kate managed to do was screech and scream. It's such a stereotypical portrayal of women, that they can only nag. And nothing happened in the rest of the novel that got rid of the distaste I felt.

Although, after having finished the novel, I looked through it's information and I realised that it was published in 1992. I also realised that the author has recently written some contemporary romances. So I think maybe her recent romances might be more to my taste.

ARC Courtesy of NetGalley and BelleBooks

Parasitology

Parasite - Mira Grant

Rating: 5 out of 5.

 

When I got the ARC for this book, I was so excited. I couldn't believe my good luck. As a previous lover of Newsflesh Trilogy, I was keenly awaiting the release of this book (or the ARC as it happens).

 

And I am happy to say that I was NOT disappointed.

 

Mira Grant creates a beautiful but scary world. A decade from now, the world is a different place. Medical advancements have been made through the introduction of a genetically engineered parasite that allow humans to have a healthy functioning body. Once the parasite is in, you are just about guaranteed a good long life. Who doesn’t want that?

 

Except behind this medical advancement are dark secrets that may prove to be a threat to humankind.

 

Not only is the science fiction plot beautifully done. But her characters are as usual, remarkable. Her characters have complexity that makes them so very real. I enjoyed the main characters: Sally and her boyfriend Nathan. But I also appreciated the roles of the secondary characters.

 

There were so many things happening. So many shocking revelations that made me break out in Goosebumps.

 

Although, I totally saw that ending coming!

 

ARC Courtesy of NetGalley and Orbit Books/Hachette Book Group.

SPOILER ALERT!

Private Arrangement

Private Arrangements - Sherry Thomas

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book is one of the few exceptions to my no-cheating/adultery novels. I had this book listed under my never-to-read shelf. 

The reason why I was particularly easy to persuade to read this book was because:

Heroine cheats first. And they are both virgins for their first time together! 

I probably don't need to say this, but this is a rare circumstance in historical romances. So very intrigued, I decided to read this book.

I was pleasantly surprised. The author has a distinctive writing style that I enjoyed. I also liked how she drew a parallel with how the heroine felt when she was young and (dare I say it?) obsessed with the hero, and how the hero felt 10 years later in his overwhelming need to keep her his.

But I thought the hero was too harsh in his dealings with the heroine. He kept on punishing and wanting to punish her. I thought the hero needed to grovel more. I understand what she did was reprehensible but in her argument she was quite young and foolish, and completely head over heels for the hero. What's more is that the hero knew about it before the wedding. He could have stopped the wedding and jilted her, much to her embarrassment and humiliation. I thought that he lost his higher ground when he decided to still marry her. And 10 years! All those the years wasted on bitterness. My God, the angst and the heartbreak!

Alpha Instinct

Alpha Instinct - Katie Reus

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I have been wanting to read this book for ages. But I had the wrong idea in mind.

I thought it was an Urban Fantasy novel. Probably because of the cover of a female. But it is a paranormal romance.

As far as paranormal romances go, this one was pretty average to me. It had it's ups and downs. One of its ups was that, I liked the hero's fidelity to the heroine for all those year.

One of the biggest downs was: I didn't like how submissive the heroine was. She was supposed to be an alpha, even though she isn't an Alpha (yup apparently there is a major difference there with the capital letter). But she didn't show any or much in the way of alpha-like tendencies. There were several times she wanted to argue with the hero, but she ends up letting it go. The hero initially says that theirs would be an equal partnership. But it's as unequal as it gets. She ends up telling him everything, whereas he refuses to let her in on his decisions for the pack and kept secrets from her. He had good intentions apparently, but that still didn't make their relationship any more even.

Honestly, I felt like December, the human bookshop owner, had more fight in her.

SPOILER ALERT!

Hard to Handle

Hard to Handle (Love in the Balance) - Jessica Lemmon

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Sadie Howard is a serial dater who never goes out with a guy on more than one date, but then sometimes she breaks her rules... Aiden Downey found out that his mother was dying and even though he was in a relationship with Sadie, he decided to act as if he was still married to his ex-wife so that his mother wouldn't worry.

This just wasn't the book for me.

I found the hero and heroine a bit childish. For example, if the heroine did something the hero would be amused. Firstly, I didn’t find any of the situations he was smiling for, funny. There was this part where he tells this guy that they are married. I mean, hello, just dating would suffice or boyfriend at most. And then he finds it funny when she gets irritated by what he did. Also, the heroine would stamp around and secretly watch the hero and all I could think was, honestly, if you are that into him, just get with him already! There are times when I enjoy such chase and sullenness, but that wasn’t the case for this book.

I also didn’t like how most of the writing was about how attractive one found the other. It made me feel like the hero’s apology was too lust-related. Yes it is good that they find one another attractive, but so much description watered down the sincerity of their ‘love’ for one another.

Also, if the hero was that upset that he had lost the heroine, then why wasn’t he doggedly pursuing her? Not only did a year pass after his mother’s death, but after the wedding scene he lets her go on her own way knowing that she loved him. I didn’t think the hero grovelled enough…

Then the final unbelievable twist. She is a virgin! So she is this ‘serial dater’ who never dates anyone more than the first date. I don’t know what the point is, but maybe she wants free dinners? And then you find out that she dated her ex-fiancé for 2 years and she never slept with him. I mean come on… There is a good twist, like ‘oh wow I didn’t see that coming’ and then there is just a ‘are you kidding me with this unbelievable far-fetched twist’ that did not, for me, add to the enjoyment but completely ruined the book with its fancifulness.

Having said that, I understand that some contemporary romance readers might like this book, so give it a go!

ARC Courtesy of NetGalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

SPOILER ALERT!

Tempt the Stars

Tempt the Stars  - Karen Chance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

 

To say that I am disappointed would be an understatement. I finished reading this book last night and I decided to give myself a couple of hours to calm down. It didn't help. I am as upset and disappointed as I was last night.

 

I remember reading a review for this book, where the reviewer said that this book felt pretty much like a filler to her. I can see where she is coming from. This is especially frustrating when the author releases a book from this series, one every two years.

 

Because a lot happens in this book, but I felt like nothing really happened. Sure there were lots of action scenes and the plot was so twisted, a couple of hours later, I couldn't even tell you what really happened. But I felt like with the ending, we came back to a full circle with this novel. Like the Novel started at Point 0 and came back at Point 0. Sure under different circumstances, but it was still Point 0.

 

The descriptive writing and plot is sometimes fun to read. It may sometimes make the reading a richer experience. But when the description is about something inane, that doesn't really matter, then it ended up taking away from my enjoyment of this book.

 

There were so many times when conversations consisted of paragraphs of saying: "What?" And the other party replying with "Oh, I shouldn't be the one telling you this. You should wait for X to explain it to you." And Cassie replying with a "Tell me now!". But this basically goes on for pages! It was so damn frustrating! Who cares! Well I certainly don't. Not if this inane chatter and description comes at the expense of the real story, the real issues THAT WERE NOT SOLVED.

 

Like Mircea for example. <spoiler> He didn't show up in this novel. Like physically show up in real time. Yes there was this one shower fantasy part but he didn't physically manifest. And Cassie and him weren't talking when he showed up, they were busy doing other things, if you know what I mean.

 

I mean, this man is barely there in ANY of the novels. He lies to her, he doesn't give her any information (which she realises in this novel, is because knowledge is power and he doesn't want her to have any).

 

So why is Cassie still with him? She keeps on referring to him as boyfriend, lover, etc, whenever she thinks about him. Even in the end! And am I the only one who finds it disturbing that Mircea not only knew her as a baby/toddler/child/teenager, but he also interacted with her a lot. I mean come on,this man praises little Cassie for her childish drawings! And now a couple of years later, they are in a romantic relationship? He was like a pseudo father/uncle to her, well not really, but Tony sure as hell wasn't a father figure to her. And if there was a man who she felt safe with and wanted to spend time with, it was Mircea.</spoiler>

 

Cassie never really resolves the issue of how and why Mircea keeps things from her. It made me crazy and feel like there was not an issue. But there is, isn't there? I mean is it okay, even in an Urban Fantasy setting, if your boyfriend lies and keeps you in the dark intentionally?

 

And there is Pritkin. <spoiler>I was really excited when Pritkin appeared at the beginning of the novel. But a) He wasn't the real time Pritkin and b) Nothing really happened.

 

And when she meets the real-time Pritkin, they are too busy trying to save themselves to have any real conversation. Until they do, at the end of the novel. Except Pritkin is too busy trying to tell her, that he had a lot of time on his hand, while he was down under, so he thought about "it" a lot. But he never gets to the point, because the whole world isn't going to wait while he decides to describe, in detail, inane things before he gets to the point. </spoiler>

 

And so what happens between the obvious love triangle (or not so obvious to Cassie) between Cassie, Mircea and Pritkin?

 

Answer: NOTHING...

 

Cassie does not even think about it! This was another area where I thought I was going nuts. Is there or isn't there a love triangle here? If there is, why isn't it being addressed?

 

While reading this book, I had one of the: I-am-so-frustrated-I-want-to-chuck-this-book-out-of-the-window moments, and realising that I-can't-because-it's-not-a-book-it's-a-kindle!

Rhythm and Bluegrass

Rhythm and Bluegrass - Molly Harper

Rating 3.5 out of 5

The second novel in the Bluegrass series, Rhythm and Bluegrass can be read as a stand alone. Although, I can say that I have been really really wanting to read My Bluegrass Baby, for which I received an ARC that expired before I could read it. And sadly enough, Amazon has no kindle copies of the first book. Anyway, back to this second book.

I like Molly Harper's writing. She writes quirky characters and conversations. Her lighting is light. But I found myself slightly disappointed in this book. Maybe because I had a lot of expectation. But I found the same quirkiness repetitive. Her heroines tend to think in a similar pattern. Also, I found the hero's actions, in the second half of the novel, distasteful. But the heroine does not confront him. Although it could be said that she has engaged in a similar distasteful manner, she had good intentions when she did it. The same cannot be said for the hero.

Overall, the novel was good and I will definitely keep on reading Molly Harper's books.

ARC courtesy of Edelweiss and PocketStar.

Tall, Dark and Devine

Tall, Dark, and Divine - Jenna Bennett

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

 

Heartbroken after his wife left him, Eros the God of love takes refuge in alcohol and ambrosia. His matchmaking business isn't doing so well. Human divorce is on the rise.

 

Until one day his employees browbeat him into a night out at his friend's club. There, he meets Annie, a woman he was trying to set up with an accountant.

 

There were several things going well for this book. This book was light and meant to be humorous.

 

There were some times, however, when I wanted to pull my hair out in frustration. Eros, for a God, wasn't very smart. Annie, well, I would say she was a bit on the gullible side and I tend to like heroines made of stronger stuff. There were times when she was hurt and wanted to confront Eros, but ended up making nice with him.

 

But overall this story was nice.

 

ARC Courtesy of NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC.

A Bandit's Stolen Heart

A Bandit's Stolen Heart - Michelle McLean

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

In 1856, there were three sisters who secretly were the Blood Blade bandit group. Their goal is to achieve justice and earn some money to survive.

But when an evil half brother wants the house that belongs to them because of their mother, Cilla, the second sister, comes up with a plan to get her eldest and pregnant sister married to Leo Forrester.

Except she finds herself falling in love with him...

It was a good read. The novel had elements of romance, action and a bit of adventure. But it just wasn't my kind of story. I need a bit more intensity whether in the romance or the plot. 

ARC Courtesy of NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC.

Heart of Obsidian

Heart of Obsidian - Nalini Singh

Rating: 5 out of 5.

 

This was hands down the best Psy-Changeling Book I have read so far.

 

I loved loved absolutely loved the hero. Out of all the heroes, I have to say, I prefer Psy men over Changeling men. I like their cool control. It makes them a dangerous but loyal group.

 

I loved the heroine and I loved their story.

 

 

“Rebuild your shields and I’ll set you free.”
It was a lie.
He would never let her go.

 

 

Theirs was a story born from innocence and darkness. What it matures into is one of the greatest love stories of all time.

 

A hero who would do anything for the heroine. Destroy the world for her.

 

 

“Don’t be afraid of me, Sahara.” Bending his head, he spoke with his lips against hers, the contact igniting a thousand tiny lightning strikes in her blood. “I’d line the streets with bodies before I’d ever hurt you.”

 

 

A heroine who can't remember all of her past. The most important thing, but she just can't remember.

 

It was honestly off the charts.

 

I am definitely rereading this one!

Exposed by Laura Griffin

Exposed (Tracers) - Laura Griffin

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When I started this book, I was expecting an okay-ish read. But I was pleasantly surprised because of the characters' three-dimensional existence.

Maddie Callahan lives a mediocre existence after the death of her daughter. She has thrown herself into work from doing wedding photography to forensic CSI work to framing pictures. She has little time for anything else. But when she is mugged and her camera taken, she finds herself embroiled in a FBI investigation case.

Brian Beckmann is one of the FBI agents involved in the case. From the first moment, readers are let to know that Brian is very much interested in Maddie. But from the get go, the poor guy gets the brush off because of his age. He is a couple years younger than Maddie. Not to mention the fact that Maddie has willingly closed herself from the joys of life. But Brian has patience, a lot of patience, and he slowly worms his way into her life.

For me, the suspense plot was secondary to the development of the characters. However, just as a warning. The romance is very slow to develop and you need lots of patience

ARC Courtesy of Edelweiss and PocketBooks.

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