Wyvernfriend Reads

I read a lot of books, I like fantasy, romance and some non-fiction

I work as a librarian, I'm an avid knitter. I collect Dragons, fountain pens, notebooks and filofaxes. And Yarn, lots and lots of yarn.

hmmm

The Major Meets His Match (Brides for Bachelors) - Annie Burrows

Now I really want to read Zeus's story.  This is the story of several friends who nicknamed themselves with Greek classical names, so we have Zeus, Ulysses, Atlas and Archimedes aka Archie. Ulysses is Lord Becconsall and he literally falls at the feet of Lady Harriet Inskip who is out for a ride to try to feel somewhat free from the strictures of Regency society.  She's used to life in an unconventional family and doesn't expect that stopping the horse and going to the rescue of a man is going to result in a stolen kiss.  She hopes that this is the last she will see of him but he's interested and her ability to see him interests him. She is also interested in this man who seems to think that she's interesting and worthwhile spending time with after a lifetime of being ignored by everyone.

is this the end?

Blue Lily, Lily Blue - Maggie Stiefvater

Nope, another book in this series. Well it was to be expected with that end.  The troupe find out more about each other and how they are going to work together. All this team care about each other, often is little ways but they care deeply for each other. They all also know and this story reinforces it, that death is possible for anyone and that this is serious business.

 

It was interesting to see the team building and the characters being more themselves as others accept them.

 

Looking forward to the next book...

I keep reading these books instead of blogging

Blogging For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) - Amy Lupold Bair

The more of these I read the more convinced I am that my blogging issues exist between keyboard and chair.

Excellent overview of starting blogging with some reminders of issues and ethics and it includes a chapter on anonymous blogging with copious reminders of how difficult it is.

conflicted

An Innocent Maid For The Duke (The Society of Wicked Gentlemen) - Ann Lethbridge

Yes I liked this story, yes there was a huge power imbalance between the characters and occasionally it did feel a little awkward, but at the same time the author pointed these things out and amde the characters very firmly strong, I was rooting for the characters.

 

When scullery maid, Rose Nightingale, mended a red dress in the Gentlemen's Club Vitium et Virtus from one of the entertainers there, she couldn't resist trying it on, and dancing. Her dancing attracts the attention of one of the owners of the club, Jacob "Jake" Duke of Westmoor, who has inherited a title and guilt about his inheritance.  The two share a kiss and he's entranced and she's interested but the power dynamic...

 

He finds out who she is and offers her a job as his grandmother's companion, living under the same roof leads to more complications.

 

It's a nice romance, some minor issues, but mostly the author addresses them. The ending felt a little rushed.

Lots happening here

Breath of Fire - Amanda Bouchet

In fact sometimes I felt like I was missing book.  There were several adventures in this story all leading up to a bit fight at the end and the Deus ex machina was used liberally, quite literally.  The Gods have a plan and it revolves around Catalia "Cat" Fisa.

 

I can see the author playing with some tropes in Fantasy and I hope she continues to poke gentle fun at some of them. Cat is a great characters and seriously does not take your rubbish, her sarcasm is huge fun for me, even if it's occasionally over the top, but having see glimpses of her family life I can understand why.

Good Librarian related short stories

The Library Detective Returns - James Holding

Hal Johnson is a library detective, he hunts down missing books (oh the bliss) and it feels like James Holding was very good friends with a member of library staff, or possibly volunteered or worked in libraries himself.  Again it's a set of short stories featuring the Library Detective and various murders and mysteries he encounters on his beat.

 

Fun light stories in the main, even though many of them involve murder.

mixed bag

Conquest - John Connolly

This doesn't feel like a complete polished John Connolly novel. However there are moments of nasty that feel quite well thought out.

 

This is an alien invasion book with some echoes of other books and is an interesting read.

reader, I bought it...

Motherfoclóir: Dispatches from a Not So Dead Language - Darach O'Séaghdha

Actually I bought two, on the basis of the library copy. One for me and one as a Christmas gift for my dad who loves Irish. That was after getting about half way through and realising that I had a load of pieces of paper to mark the interesting words.

 

When I was a kid I remember the green dictionary that was written in the older script (cló Gaelach) - which, by the way, I can read, that had regular blank pages for you to add in words and meanings and it was covered by notes by both my grandfather and father and a few other hands.  Words have always fascinated me and I loved the idea of words that needed explaining in other languages. This book is a meandering stroll through a variety of words, sometimes words that sound like them and the usages. There's also a chapter about neologisms and a section on Irish pronunciation.

 

It's a very very geeky book but I enjoyed it hugely, I listen to the podcast, despite the terrible rendition of the national anthem either end.

No more to go

Slightly Dangerous (Bedwyn Saga #6) - Mary Balogh

I've been reading this series on and off for a while and just recently binged on the last two and it reminded me of the best of romance, the meeting of two people who at first seem incompatible but turn out to bring out the best in each other and find that they miss having the other around, no matter how much the other infuriates them sometimes.

 

Wulfric Bedwyn agrees to go to a house party and Christine Derrick agrees to go too, they're not a couple, in fact she is not suitable Duchess material at all.  But he can't stop looking at her, being attracted to her and occasionally rescuing her from her good-hearted impulses.  She was happily married until her husband started to doubt her, now she lives in poverty and tries to be insignificant. Then Wulfric asks Christine to be his mistress and she refuses.

 

He wants her in his life but he's not sure that she's a suitable wife. Can he survive without her?

 

Charming and entertaining and worth reading.

playaway listen

Wine of Violence -  Wanda McCaddon, Priscilla Royal

It got an extra half point for potential. There were some rough bits in it but overall it was a good read, or rather a good listen.  The pre-amble putting things in context was interesting and the social interactions between the characters was interesting.  I would like to read more in this series and see what happens between the different characters.

 

Prioress Eleanor has been newly appointed to Tyndal Priory where she is encounters Brother Thomas who has been exiled here for falling for a friend and he is lucky that that's all that happened to him.  A shadowy figure is using him, and he has no idea what for (here's hoping the author has plans). 

 

When a monk in the community is found dead, horribly disfigured, Eleanor and Tom feel a need to help the investigation, particularly when a second body surfaces.  

 

Shows some teething and first novel issues but I'm looking forward to more in this series.

I giggled a lot.

Slightly Sinful (Bedwyn Saga #5) - Mary Balogh

The situations people find themselves in, the characters, the revenge meeted out, all so satisfying. Yes, the main female character had moments of silly and the male occasionally was a bit too determined that his way was the best, but the women kept showing him different ways of approaching problems and poking gentle fun at his assumptions.

 

Knocking himself out and waking up in a brothel doesn't sound like a bad plan to a lot of men, but no clothes and no memory is a problem.  Waterloo has just happened and the chaos has caused a few problems, not least of which is how to get back to England and how to get revenge on a man who robbed several of the characters.  In order to fix things Rachel York decides on a plan, but Lord Alleyne Bedwyn (known as Jonathan Smith for a lot of the story) wants to help, and his help complicates things.

 

I really liked the cast of characters and would love to see it filmed.

Dark Crime is right

Edge of Darkness - Maggie Shayne, Lori Herter, Christine Feehan

This book is 390 pages long and 216 of them are the Christine Feehan story.  I realise that there are a lot of deep Feehan fans but I find the stories disturbing, full of consent issues and undermining of strong women. I admit that I read many books where consent and agency are problematic but Feehan seems to push many of my buttons and make me quite cranky. 

Some authors pull you past issues and allow you to keep reading but I just can't with Feehan, my internal editor rears her head and spends the entire story pointing at things that irritate rather than going with the story.  She often creates characters that I like initially and then they fall in love and seem to be undermined and turn from strong to weak and stop being the people I liked.  Which is probably most of what I dislike about Laurel K Hamilton. There's also an amount of "this is what women are really like" subtext that rubs me up the wrong way.

 

Blaze is about to take on the men who killed her father and rings the number on a card to tell the person on the other side what's about to go down and instead he comes to her to try to persuade her to live, and that she's his mate and then he fails in woo and adulting. Sorry, I tried, it just annoyed me so much every time they talked.

 

Dead by Twilight by Maggie Shayne starts with some minor slut shaming and then continues into a detective novel with a vampire who has found ways of hiding in the police force and using her night-time skills well and who realises that there is a place and maybe a partner.  I found this a much better story with a lot more agency for everyone.

 

Cimarron Spirit by Lori Herter did show some inexperience but as a story of an old vampire and an archaeologist trying to choose between safe and dangerous men.  It was a good glimpse of possible better stories.

Maggie and Lori to the rescue

Edge of Darkness - Maggie Shayne, Lori Herter, Christine Feehan

Well Christine left me with a lot of bad taste in my mouth but Maggie and Lori made up for it. Apart from the minor slut-shaming at the beginning of the story the Maggie Shayne was much better than the Feehan story,  Lori Herter's story was good but showed some beginner issues. 

 

 

Must expand on this tomorrow, right now I need to go home.

Issues but overall good

A Promise of Fire - Amanda Bouchet

I have read a few reviews that have issues with the kidnapping and I agree, consent is damned important, a god declaring that he's her prize for being good still isn't consent. However, overall the story drew me in and kept me reading and made me want more.

 

Griffin is an interesting character and good foil to Cat (whose patron god, Poseidon, apparently gave him to her for healing). Maybe he should have put some effort into seduction then maybe, just maybe, things might have been a bit easier all round, though the sarky reaction to the kidnapping is entertaining.

 

About eight years before the beginning of the story Cat ran away from her abusive, powerful family and joined the circus and now she reads fortunes.  Sometimes she knows a little too much about what's going on with a person but she dismisses it as coincidence, mostly. She also can tell when you are lying.  In a world with Magic users who have most of the power and the commons who are starting to question the world order, she is straddling both sides, not really interested in power but often forced to use it.  Powerful enemies on all sides and she has to try to find the least worst.

 

Despite issues I enjoyed the read, Cat is fun, even if she does protest a little too much occasionally. She also is deeply aware that she can't ignore the problems around her.

Daisy jinxes another holiday...

Fall of a Philanderer (Daisy Dalrymple, #14) - Carola Dunn

..well I suppose technically Alec does as the body isn't found until after he joins them on holiday.  But still, she's like Jessica Fletcher for people dying around her.  Though it must be said that there were enough suspects for the death of George Enderby, who is a serial womaniser, and all round lech (there's a scene with Daisy, where he just basically won't take no for an answer that made my skin crawl, and from the reaction, Daisy's too).  The investigation is complex and interrupts the lives of all involved.

 

It's fairly typical but I did enjoy the read.

Pretenders and complicated lives

A Poisoned Season - Tasha Alexander

Mr Charles Berry is being feted in London as the pretender to the French Throne, a direct descendent of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. At the same time heirlooms of the ill-fated queen are going missing in houses around town, a cat burglar is at large and they have forged a connection with Lady Emily Ashton, who is also been plagued by malicious gossip.  In order to ease her way away from the gossip she has to investigate who is behind it, but it's all very complicated.

 

I enjoyed it, I like Lady Emily and how she approaches life. The complicated cat burglar was fun and how he played with her was interesting, if a chunk stalkery, but I love how Colin regards Emily as competent and smart and capable, feh and grrr to gossip mongers!

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