Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 10-24-23
Adult - Historical Romance

The Duke Starts a Scandal- Sophie Jordan: When she was young, Susanna Lockhart made one mistake that changed her life and has worked hard to make a new name for herself. She worked her way up from maid and is now the housekeeper to a grand estate. Lucian, the new Duke of Penning, has a lot to prove. He craves respectability, and he knows the only way to go about it is to find a suitable wife. The only problem? He can't keep his eyes off his feisty housekeeper. Susanna knows romance isn't in the cards for her, especially with her employer, but that doesn't stop her from craving his touch. Both have secrets that would ruin them, but isn't love worth the risk?

I've enjoyed this series so far, but I have to say, this one is my least favorite. It just felt so bland. It felt like so many other historical romances I've read with the same premise. The pacing felt off, and the resolution wrapped up too quickly. Another thing that bothered me was that Susanna and Lucian kept saying how they would be ruined if their pasts got out, but then once they did, it was like no big deal. I did like a few things, like how headstrong Susanna was and Lucian's relationship with his family, but that was it. It's a shame because I enjoy Jordan's writing, but this one didn't work for me.

Rating: 2/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 9-19-23
Adult - Sci-Fi

Starter Villain- John Scalzi: To say Charlie's life didn't turn out the way he expected would be an understatement. He's divorced, working as a substitute teacher, and squatting in his childhood home that his siblings keep trying to sell. Charlie's dream is to buy the local pub he and his father used to spend time at, but the bank doesn't seem thrilled to approve his loan request. Then Charlie learns his estranged uncle has passed, leaving him his business. His villain business. Charlie's uncle was a bad guy (complete with an island lair with an active volcano), and now his enemies are Charlie's. To win the war his uncle started, Charlie must embrace his new role and all the strangeness that comes with it.

I've only read one other book by Scalzi, but I love how cheeky his writing is. Everything about it is so tongue-in-cheek which makes for such a fun reading experience. With this one, I think I liked the premise more than the execution. I wanted Legion of Doom. I wanted Dr. Evil with sharks with freakin' laser beams. What I got was a little boring. There was too much dialogue and not enough action. I was thoroughly entertained by all the animals, though. I did like how quippy the banter was, but I needed something else to balance it out. It's not a bad book, but I wanted a bit more.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 9-5-23
YA - Fantasy

The Library of Shadows- Rachel Moore: Radcliffe Prep may be the third most haunted high school in America, but it's Este Logano's last chance to feel close to her father. Before her father passed away, he used to tell Este about his time at Radcliffe, so Este hopes that going to the same school and even staying in his old dorm will help her get some closure. On her first day, Este meets Mateo, a handsome upper-class man who convinces Este to break into a secured section of the library. When Mateo vanishes with a rare book, Este has until midterms to track them both down or risk expulsion. Este quickly realizes in her search that Mateo is most definitely a ghost, and following in her father's footsteps may be more dangerous than she thought.

I think that for a debut, this was pretty good. It was fast-paced, and I enjoyed the paranormal elements. I loved the academic setting and how it mostly took place within the creepy library full of ghosts. I thought Moore nailed the atmosphere. The whole thing felt like a chilly, gloomy autumn day, and I was a fan. As for the plot, it was enjoyable but could've used some work. Some bits didn't make sense, while others were super predictable (I guessed the twist within the first few chapters.) I also had a hard time believing the romance, and not just because one of them was a ghost. Este and Mateo had zero chemistry, and the pairing felt forced. I liked the cast of characters and their dynamic, but how Este treated Posy was so frustrating. If you want a book that's just vibes with little plot, then I'd say check it out.

Rating: 3/5

2 comments:

  1. I love the premise of Library of Shadows and I do love a vibes book here and there so I'll have to save this one for when I'm in that type of mood!

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    1. I'm interested to see what you'll think of it!

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