Glamour in Glass is the second book in the Regency fantasy series by Mary Robinette Kowal. It is one of two novels with strong romantic elements nominated for a Nebula for Best Novel (the other is Ironskin, which I've also reviewed for Smart Bitches). It is refined and elegant as a Jane Austen tribute should be, with a dash of action and a surprisingly gritty splash of traumaread more »
Bitchin' Blog Posts : Authors, H-K
I don't remember who recommended this book to me, but I vaguely remember the suggestion coming with advisement that this is one of Carla Kelly's best Regencies. I have no idea if that's true, as it's the first I've read, but holy smoking hotcakes, this book was exactly what I needed.
I started reading this the evening of the Boston Marathon bombing, after I turned off the news and the internet to try to stop that horrible compulsion to keep looking and bearing witness even though I wasn't able to bear much more without inviting nightmares. What perfect comfort reading: a story that takes place in Spain in the Napoleonic wars in an army hospital tent, with casualties and cruelties of war everywhere, right?
Surprisingly, yes. Much like the many, many posts on social media recalling Fred Rogers' encouragement to look for the helpers in a disaster, this book was a similar comfort: when the story grows more scary and awful around the characters, they become more powerful, more creative, and more admirable. It's odd to call a war-set Regency a… read more »
It would be a lot easier to write a coherent review for Dearly, Departed if I hadn't been up all last night reading it. This is the first book in the "Gone with the Respiration" series by Lia Habel and the plot starts slow but once it really kicks in, WOW.
Dearly, Departed is a YA novel with steampunky Victorian science fiction and zombies and a rebel group called "punks" and a great romance tying everything together. I have to admit that in general, my love for Warm Bodies aside, I'm really grossed out by the whole concept of zombie/human romance and I wasn't sure this book would work for me. I'm pleased to say that I was wrong. It's an exciting and original and touching story and I loved the romance.
Here's the plot description as provided by the author's website:read more »
The worst thing about The Friday Society is that it ends. I'm not criticizing the ending; I'm just saying that I had so much fun reading this book that I felt considerably depressed when it was over. It's that good.
The Friday Society is a steampunk adventure with three main characters, each of whom is a teenager. Cora is the unappreciated assistant to a famous inventor. She is brilliant and cranky.
Nellie is a Magician's assistant. She is fortunate in that her mentor does appreciate her, and she loves to perform. She is by far the bubbliest of the women but she is also talented and intelligent.
Michiko is a Japanese samurai who came to London in search of greater acceptance and instead is trapped as the unappreciated servant of an English charlatan. Michiko speaks very little English, but is determined to pursue the path of samurai despite all obstacles (and there are many). Each of the three main characters is introduced in their own chapter, and each of these chapters starts with the sentence, "And then there was… read more »
The Woman Reader is both too much and too little of a good thing. Belinda Jack takes on the monumental task of telling "A story never told before: the complete history of women's reading and the controversies it has inspired" (quote taken from book jacket).
The book beings with prehistory and proceeds through the modern day. My feeling about The Woman Reader that it while it has great scope and ambition, it is too academic in style for the casual reader, and too incomplete for the academic reader. The book is packed with content but low on entertainment. At times I was fascinated and at times I felt like I was doing homework.read more »
I believe that the best word to describe Midsummer Moon is "adorable", and I mean that as a compliment.
It dances right on the edge of being hopelessly twee, but there's a grounding element of emotional truth that makes the stakes real and powerful.
Lord Ransom Falconer...oh, excuse me. I was about to tell you the plot, but we have to pause for a moment to truly appreciate the name "Lord Ransom Falconer". Done? Then let's proceed. Lord AwesomeMcCoolname is known for being rigorously dutiful and self-controlled. He goes into the countryside to find and recruit an inventor, Merlin Langbourne. He wants the inventor to come back to his estate so the inventor can make weapons for use against Napoleon and also be protected from Napoleonic kidnappers. To his astonishment, not only is Merlin a woman, she is a severely absent minded and hopelessly naive slightly mad scientist. She has two cranky retainers, who yell at her a… read more »
Back in 2011, Carina Press released A Clockwork Christmas: A Steampunk Christmas Anthology. This anthology contains Crime Wave in a Corset by Stacy Gail, This Winter Heart by PG Forte, Wanted: One Scoundrel by Jenny Schwartz, and Far from Broken by JK Coi.
I was surprised that there isn't that much talk of Christmas (or any other holiday) in the novellas. Crime Wave is the most Christmas-y book, with This Winter Heart coming in second. The other two books keep Christmas strictly in the background. I was also surprised at how little steampunk is actually in the books - generally the authors picked one steampunk element to focus on instead of creating a fully developed steampunk world. All of these novellas are available for sale separately.
I assigned an average grade of C to the collection as a whole, but the entries varied widely in quality. Here's the breakdown by novella:read more »
The Scientific American Book of Love, Sex, and the Brain by Judith Horstman -Guest Review by CarrieSby CarrieS | December 05, 2012 | Wednesday at 2:03 am | 3 Comments
It's time for...SCIENCE! That's right, I finally got a copy of Scientific American: Love Sex, and the Brain. This non-fiction book summarizes the results of studies that were written up in Scientific American magazine regarding, well, love, sex, and the brain.
Although the book doesn't talk in detail about the methodologies of various studies, it does have references to all the original articles, which presumably contain more information.read more »
I thought I would love Asher's Invention. It's a steampunk romance with an enigmatic scientist hero. It has a great cover and a clockwork dog.
But, alas, it suffers from boring characters and a lack of plot, and I have Things to Do, so this was a "did not finish" for me.read more »
Some of you recall the incredible awesomeness of Jim C. Hines, who attempted to re-create poses from science fiction, fantasy, and romance covers. In doing so he taught us all a little something about gender politics and the limits of human anatomy and permanently won the adoration of the Internet. Jim has a relatively new book out, Libriomancer (it was released in August as an eBook and in hardcover). This book has gotten all kinds of raves from the geek community and it has just enough romance in it to justify my reviewing it here.read more »
I received an email about this book from Kate who wrote:
I found this series by accident. I glommed. I felt compelled to review it, so that someone else would read it and love it too. It is the "Elemental Mysteries" series of 4 books by Elizabeth Hunter. It is REALLY good. Seriously. I have no dog in this hunt, no ax to grind, no one paid me, I just have to find someone else to share it with. Here is my review of sorts: The Lost Weekend
Mr. GG has been out on a fire detail for a while, so it’s just me and the cat keeping the home fires (heh) burning. Mostly we’ve been eating (and the vet says the cat weighs 18 pounds and must lose a half pound a month to get to his goal weight. Do I have to do Weightwatchers for Cats? How many points is kitty kibble?). And I have been reading a lot, so the cat keeps me company as… read more »
Susan contacted me about her love of Carla Kelly books, and told me that she loves Kelly's writing so much that she followed the author into writing Mormon inspirationals, even though inspirationals are not Susan's most favoritest type of romance. I thought her review was very thoughtful and interesting, and wanted to share it with you.
I think many people (myself included) are wary of inspirationals for fear of Too Much Preaching to the Reader, and also the possibility of actual Deux working some Ex Machina in the denouement. Reviews for the Rita Reader Challenge in the Inspirational category have made me rethink my own wariness, and Susan's review does as well.
My Loving Vigil Keeping is the third of Kelly’s Mormon/inspirational romances following Borrowed Light ( A | BN | K | S) and Enduring Light ( A | BN | K | S). It is the story of Della Anders, a poor relation… read more »
This review was written by Renee. This story was nominated in the Contemporary Series Romance category.
Nanny Holly O'Mara has formed a close bond with her late cousin's little twins. When their estranged father, rough, rugged Australian cattleman Gray Kidman, arrives to take them home to the outback, Holly senses that he is out of his depth. Holly soon falls for mysterious Gray.
Seeing him light up his children's world makes her spirits leap and even begins to heal her own emotional bruises. Yet something is making Gray push her away….With her help, will he find the courage to love again?
And here is Renee's review:
First of all, let me say writing a review is HARD. I totally have new respect for those of you who do it on the regular.
Okay, if I had to describe this book in one word, the word would be warm.read more »
This review was written by Thalia. This story was nominated in the Best Inspirational Romance category.
As a social worker, Alison Taylor has a passion for protecting children and seeing that justice is served on their behalf. But when she starts getting harassing phone calls and bizarre "gifts," it seems she may be the one in need of protection. When her tormentor's attentions take a violent turn, her brother Cole comes to her aid, along with his new partner, an ex-Navy SEAL, Detective Mitch Morgan.
As her relentless stalker turns up the heat, Mitch takes a personal interest in the case. Protecting Alison has become more than just a job—because his own happiness now depends on keeping her safe. Chock full of nail-biting suspense and heart-melting romance, Deadly Pursuit is Irene Hannon's storytelling at its very best. Fans old and new will not want to miss the next story in this series starring siblings fighting for justice.
And here is Thalia's review:… read more »
This review was written by SB Sarah. This story was nominated in the Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category.
Winter descends on the town of Magellan, and new evil comes to call. Racing her motorcycle down a lonely winter highway, Stormwalker Janet Begay feels the ground collapse beneath her feet. After tumbling two hundred feet into an underground cavern, she manages to escape with help from her sexy dragon-shifter boyfriend, Mick--but not before they disturb dark forces.
As Janet contends with a hotel inspector intent on putting her out of business, and her grandmother, who's taken up residence, Mick's behavior becomes strange and erratic, until he is a clear danger to Janet and her friends. Janet's drag-queen, attitude-ridden magic mirror insists that Mick has been "touched by shadows," and Janet realizes that someone is out to enslave her dragon.
Now she must free Mick before he kills her . . .… read more »