Last week in reading…

Rather than write one giant post about the 8 books I read in the last week and five days, I decided to split the post into two shorter posts.  I’ve been insanely busy for the last month and a bit, so my posting has been a tad irregular.  I am hoping to be back on schedule next week.  I’ve been reading a lot of romance novels lately, both because I really adore books from that genre and because there are a ton of free romance novels on nook.  Also, I’ve been really stressed out at work, and the last thing I want to do when I get home is think deep thoughts.  Romance novels are notoriously short on deep thoughts.

Cover image, Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee

My sister lent this book to me, and it was enjoyable, if a bit odd.  The writing was fairly decent, and the book was paced very well.  I would have thoroughly enjoyed the book if it hadn’t committed a terrible sin (in my book, ha ha).  I really hate it when one of the major elements of both character and plot development in a romance novel is that one of the characters is, for unexplained and/or unexplainable reasons, opposed to love.  It’s almost as annoying as the lovely “if only the characters would communicate, there would be no need for this book” device.  As much as the male character’s development annoyed me, however, I thought the female character was very well done and believable.

Cover image, A Scandalous Charade by Ava Stone

This book was free, but it wasn’t nearly as terrible as I expected it to be.  Like many free books, it would benefit from some careful editing–it’s way too long, contains unnecessary and confusing side plots, and there are some typographical errors–but it was better than some professionally published stuff that I’ve read.  I really enjoyed both of the main characters, and a lot of the secondary characters were also interesting and two-dimensional.  The oddest thing about this book is that one of the secondary characters dies very suddenly, and it’s so abrupt that I almost missed it.  After that death, the main character is spurred into flight and there is no discussion at all about her emotional state after such a sudden loss.  It was bizarre, jarring, unpleasant.  A few hundred pages later, there was finally some reference to her grief, but it was a bit too little, too late.  And I’m not kidding about it being a few hundred pages later… this thing was ridiculously long.

Cover image, The Duchess of Love by Sally MacKenzie

I understand that romance novel covers rarely have anything to do with the actual books themselves, but this one really takes the cake.  There are no playful little dogs in the book as far as I can remember… Anyway, this one is a novella by an author whose other books I have really enjoyed for their humor and for their distinctness.  Many authors, even ones that I enjoy, simply write the same book over and over again (I’m talking about you, Stephanie Laurens…).  Sally MacKenzie at least takes the trouble to write distinct characters with unique traits, insecurities, passions, etc. and to write plots that complement those characters.  The Duchess of Love, while quite short, was a very enjoyable read, though it does seem implausible that some of the characters could possibly fall desperately in love after one meeting…  Seriously.  If I had just met someone and talked to him for no longer than thirty minutes, I wouldn’t spend an entire afternoon bawling my head off because I heard a rumor the guy was married.  Don’t emotions take just a wee bit longer to get engaged?  Honestly…

Anyway, so those are the books I read last week.  More later on the slightly more interesting bunch from this week.

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