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.

Return of the Procurer

From Courtesan to Convenient Wife - Marguerite Kaye

Now Procurer is a bit of a problematic title and usually has certain implications but in this story it's a woman who finds women who need help and match them to men who want a no-strings attached woman.  There's a promise of no non-consentual activity but this is a romance novel and we all know that there will be nookie, eventually.


Jean-Luc Bauduin is a wealthy wine merchant but there is a possibility that he's also the heir ro an aristocratic title, lands and a promised wife.  He is not interested in an arranged marriage so he hires the Procurer to find him someone who will help.  Lady Sophia Acton is out of luck and almost destitute, playing the wife is easy enough but leaving him once he's finished investigating things?  That could be a different story.


I liked it, you could see where the tension arose with them, however, no woman in posession of a brain in the period would fritter away monies that were her own, no matter how much they trust their husband, the question is would they trust that his heir would treat them kindly if he died suddenly.


Even today, a woman should take good care of her own finances and know that paperwork after death is a royal pain.

well done graphic novel

Rivers of London: Body Work - Ben Aaronovitch, Lee Sullivan Hill, Andrew Cartmel

Loved this tale of a man who drowns in the river which leads to a haunted car. The single page glimpses into the life of Peter Grant and his colleagues are also very good.

Peter in this is a bit of a babe... 


As Peter is dating a River and also there's a drowning featured I'm going for Fear the Drowning Deep.  It could also have been Spellbound, Relics and Curiousities, Ghost Stories, Genre Horror, Supernatural and Suspense.


City of Blades - Robert Jackson Bennett

So this is an older female hero who has retired from the army to find that she still has some service owing, so she's sent to a small outpost where their god is dead. like most of the gods in this world, but godish stuff seems to be happening.  There's also a substance that appears to conduct electricity and amplify it while conducting it and a previous investigator has disappeared, apparently the investigation caused her to lose her mind.


Our hero thought she was done and that she was going to be able to pickle her liver in peace, but no, a last mission, dealing with old friends and enemies and everything in between, including her PTSD.  Everyone, including her, have their own motive and it's quite messy.


It took a while to get really going but then I just couldn't put it down, I'm also curious what's going to happen next.


Using this for the Doomsday Square, though it could have done for Drowning Deep, Deadlands and Ghost Stories.

Nope, nope, nope

The Warrior's Viking Bride - Michelle Styles

.I can't keep reading this, it's winding me up something rotten. Her borrowed dress is torn, she's riding on horseback and the "hero" is trying to convince her that dresses are better than her warrior clothes for their journey. He's also leaning towards gaslighting her into believing that everything she believes is wrong. He has no value for her opinions or thoughts. The latest was him trying to convince her of the advantage of dresses for easy sex access and I just can't keep reading this.


Any agency she has and any backbone she might have developed is being eroded ready for the "hero" to rescue her from her father rather than her being the strong person she is and choosing her own path rather than the men dictating to her. This woman was a battle leader.


I deserve better, she deserves better, my brain doesn't need this in it.


P.S. I've ridden a pony on a modern european saddle, with saddle blankets in shorts, ONCE. Bad idea, that was some epic chaffing.  Trousers, thick trousers are the way to go with horsehair.

Halloween Bingo Catchup.

Beyond the Empire (The Indranan War Book 3) - K.B. Wagers Murder In Thrall - Anne Cleeland A Dangerous Place: A Maisie Dobbs Novel - Jacqueline Winspear The Last Namsara - Kristen Ciccarelli The Reapers - John Connolly

So far this month I have read 5 books.

Some of them are easy to put into a square and some are difficult:


Last Namsara falls somewhat into Doomsday; it involves stories so I think A Grimm Tale would be pretty apt but it is about Dragons so Cryptozology is the best slot.


A Dangerous Place is set in Gibraltar which I'm pretty sure counts as a Small Town, it could also have been Genre Suspense, just about Fear the Deep (she arrives on a Liner from India) and most of this series qualifies as Cosy, the first few pages are quite Gothic, Maisies mental health is not the best here and that's most of the terror in the tale... but Terror in a Small Town is the best fit.


Beyond the Empire is more space opera than anything else, the only thing I have that it fits into is New Release 


Murder in Thrall falls into Genre Suspense, Supernatural a little, Modern Noir and Gothic; I'm going to use Genre: Suspense here.


The Reapers has elements of Genre Suspense, Modern Noir and Supernatural; you could also argue Southern Gothic and Terror in a Small Town (where the final battle takes place and most of the gore) I think I'll go with Modern Noir here.


Feel free to tell me I'm wrong.

The Reapers - John Connolly

I read this at this time last year.... read it again and skimmed some of the gory parts but still found it an interesting read.


A Dangerous Place: A Maisie Dobbs Novel - Jacqueline Winspear

After the last few novels and Masie having to make choices about her future and the author pulls the rug out from under her in the first 10 or so pages, I found it somewhat jarring and discomfiting.


Maisie goes from Canada to India and sails back (via the Suez canal) to England but when the boat stops in Gibraltar she decides to stop off and stay ther for a while, feeling a huge pressure to deal with the past and present. And then she falls over (quite literally) a body.  She is sure that the dead man is not as he seems and with the Spanish Civil War next door she gets involved in complex politics of the era and human drama as it plays out.


The beginning jarred but overall it was an interesting read.

Read this first

Their Finest Hour and a Half - Lissa Evans

Well I saw the film and the book and film are close cousins but honestly the film engaged me more.  It's an interesting read with interesting characters, but doesn't add anything to the film experience.  


I never thought that a film about propaganda films during world war II would be such a good experience but it was, the cast did a good job of interacting well and bringing the story to life, I cared about the characters and wanted them to succeed and it was the same with the book.


Murder In Thrall - Anne Cleeland

It was an interesting mystery and I liked Kathleen Doyle, however Lord Acton is a stalkerish creep.  I honestly didn't get the romance of it. Quite apart from the disparity in class and wealth, and yes this shouldn't matter but when she's Irish, living from paycheque to paycheque and a rookie and he's an English Lord with a lot more seniority and is quite wealthy.  He follows her and basically doesn't take no for an answer.  I didn't find it romantic, I found it troubling to be honest and while I might read more in the series I hope the author addresses the problematic issues as the series goes on.


This is fairly classic abuser behaviour and I could see other people having problems with it, I didn't really see a build of romance but our views of the story are coloured by the voices telling it.


Overall it was quite readable and while I had problems I did finish the book quite quickly


Encounters of Sherlock Holmes - George Mann, Mark Hodder, Paul Magrs, James Lovegrove, Eric Brown, Richard Dinnick, David  Barnett, Cavan Scott, Mark Wright, Stuart Douglas, Kelly Hale, Mags L. Halliday, Nick Kyme, Steve Lockley

As always with a set of stories this is a mixed bag, but there's a love of the stories of Sherlock Holmes that comes across from all of the stories.  Little details like the Persian Slipper become stories.  There's mashups from other stories (H G Wells War of the Worlds for example) and they often take an interesting twist.


None of the stories are terribly memorable or made me want to hunt up more by the authors but none were terrible and would suggest to me to avoid those authors.


I took two weeks off and didn't really engage with the internet much.... so there will be a few catchup posts over the next few days.

Bad Decision Book Club

The Last Namsara - Kristen Ciccarelli

Starting this book when you want to go to sleep early, Bad Decision.


Read it through when I should have been trying to sleep but it was an excellent read.

Hail the Empress

After the Crown - K.B. Wagers

Now she's the empress and she has to try to keep her empire in one piece while also wanting to change things for the better, but there's another empire determined to kill her and survival is her biggest hope.


Myself and my husband are reading these and enjoying them.

Must try harder

Lord Ravenscar's Inconvenient Bethrothal - Lara Temple

I get it, consent was a bit more problematic in the period but nowadays you have to respect the "no means no" line in a story.  Our hero failing to win the heroine with words but breaking into her room at night and knowing that despite her protests she wants him, to be honest wasn't comfortable reading.


Despite some problems I had with it overall I enjoyed it, the problematic bits jarred me from an otherwise good read.

Cat with murder

Classified as Murder - Miranda James

Librarian - check

Cool Cat - Check

Rare or unusual books - Check.


A lot of my catnip here, a murder mystery with all of the above is not a hard read for me.  It was more about the relationship between Charlie Harris and his son who is back in his life looking for a new life.


Entertaining and gentle this was a fun read.

lots of supernatural echoes

The Lovers - John Connolly

Charlie has lost his PI licence and is working as a Bar manager but his life is still complicated by the wierd (and I apparently missed a book). He decides to look into his past and his father's apparent suicide after killing two teens.  There's also a journalist looking into his story.  There is also something hunting Charlie, what he discovers during this story will change his life.


It's interesting to see Charlie looking into his own problems for a change and it looks like his bumps into the supernatural are going to get more complex.

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