Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunday Soup - July 5

In The Soup This Week... Scribd, re-reading Jacqueline Carey, Selena Laurence, Emma Barry...

Soup Dish: 
Be a peach. Love this from Alison Tyler. (Warning: clicking through to Alison's site may be dangerous to your TBR pile.  I almost never leave there without spotting something in the sidebar that I MUST HAVE RIGHT NOW.)

Who knew that romance readers would read so darn much?  Um, errbody? I don't see this as disrespect for romance authors so much as a flagrant lack of due diligence on the part of those who set up Scribd's initial business model.

I'm a Jessica fan from way back, and I loved this article of hers.

What I'm reading
I've been feeling really meh about a lot of my reading lately. In desperation, last weekend I turned to a re-read, and chose one of my all time favorite books, Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey. I immersed myself in Terre D'Ange, and it was delightful. I've never re-read it before, and now I can say it holds up wonderfully.

A Lush Betrayal, by Selena Laurence.  I'm gearing up for RUDCon, and Laurence is a featured author.  I'm going to do my best to read something from each of the authors before October.  I'll do a bit more of a feature on Laurence, uh, SOON, but I'll say I did enjoy this rock & roll contemp (that might be redundant, I suppose?). The titular Betrayal, and the conflicts addressed in this book are pretty dark, but I really liked the heroine and they way she came through the Black Moment.

I tried Bella Andre for the first time this week. There was a ton of buzz about Andre's Sullivan books a couple of years ago but I never got around to sampling them. I picked up The Way You Look Tonight, which apparently begins a Seattle spinoff to the northern California original series. I thought it was OK, but it didn't knock my socks off. A nice, sweet contemp without a ton of conflict; a little predictable but not a bad read.

Special Interests, by Emma Barry. It seems like this one should've been better than it was. I had a little trouble getting into it, but it had some really unique elements. Set in the nation's capital, with a jaded hero and an idealistic heroine, the politics made for a fresh backdrop, and the heroine's recent backstory about having been in a highly publicized hostage situation was also really different. I got a little frustrated with the "come closer, back off" dance that both characters were doing, but there is a really good chance that my problems with it are a me thing, rather than a this-book thing. If the premise is interesting to you, I'd love to hear what others thought.  This book was included on the Smashwords thumbdrive from RT14.

I DNF'd another Smashwords entry, Stripping Her Defenses, by Jessie Lane at 25%. The minute the author switched into the hero's viewpoint it became a wallbanger. I couldn't stand the hero and the first person viewpoint turned into the ultimate "telling not showing."

That's it for this week. Hope you're having a lovely summer, and that nothing you love caught on fire last night.


Kaetrin said...

I haven't read Cushiel's Dart although I've heard many good things about it. Does it have a romance, Nicola, and, if so, is there a HEA/HFN?

Have you read Radiance by Grace Draven? It's from earlier this year and I really enjoyed it. It's a fantasy romance. There's another book coming where no doubt the MCs' love will be tested but the ending of book one leaves them pretty happy and definitely in love.

Nicola O. said...

Hi Kaetrin,

The romance in Kushiel's Dart is very understated compared to the erotic component, if that makes sense. I think if you read it for the romance you might be disappointed. It's an epic adventure powered by sex and politics. By the end of the first book in the trilogy, there's a declaration of love, but the heroine is not monogamous pretty much ever. The hero is almost a secondary character -- he's very important, but he definitely has a supporting role rather than a main one.

I will definitely check out Radiance. You liked it?

Kaetrin said...

Oh, thanks for that Nicola, that's helpful.

As to Radiance, yes I did. It's a cross-species love story and there is very little internal conflict - for all their differences the couple fall in love very quickly and they are brilliant at communicating which I loved. The conflict is almost all external - but there is plenty of it so the book is in no way boring. It's very satisfying from a romance perspective and I thought the world building was good too. I think I gave it a B. There's a review on my blog if you are inclined to look.


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