Witch of painted sorrows

The Witch of Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose

M.J. Rose’s new novel, The Witch of Painted Sorrows, feels more like a very long draft of a novel rather than a fleshed-and-thought out story.

Along those lines, Sorrows does not pick up until the last 100 pages or so. Up to that point, it’s a horrible slog, not just a slog like the last 100 pages.

Furthermore, the plot elements introduced at the beginning to propel the main character to Paris, where the book takes place, feels haphazard at best and the very first draft at worst. Her husband is described as “dangerous.” He is a killer! Except he’s not. The main character’s treatment of her husband, meant to be a plot point, appears more like she’s actually crazy because of the level of hysterical thoughts and feelings attributed to him.

“But I would not live with a brute who had my father’s blood on his hands.”
Hysterical.

Also, there’s a sleep rape scene perpetrated by the female main character against her male lover, which is portrayed as totally OK. Switch the genders and it would not be OK.

Sleep rape is not OK.

All in all, not worth reading.

This book (an advanced uncorrected proof) was received, free of charge, from the Goodreads First Reads program.

Skinny bitch gets hitched

Skinny Bitch gets Hitched by Kim Barnouin

Sloppily and condescendingly written, “Skinny Bitch Gets Hitched” asks the reader to suspend the disbelief, not in aliens or artifacts or magic but rather, in how people act and how the world works.

Personally, I don’t understand the appeal of the “skinny bitch” moniker.

The “skinny bitch,” Clementine Cooper (Clem for short) is a vegan. And don’t forget it, because if you’re not a vegan, well, prepare to be preached at with flimsy arguments and pointless rhetoric.

So Clem, at an improbably young age, runs her own restaurant and is dating the millionaire-owner-chef of a steak house.

So, Barnouin (author) set up the tension for us in the structure. Lest ye be interested in people who make only moderate amounts of money, the aforementioned millionaire boyfriend is, well, a millionaire. Tapping into the shades of money without the sex, submission or anything even remotely fun.

The millionaire (who will propose to Clem, hence the title of the book) has a horrible, horrible mother whom he wants to reconcile with. He is, of course (please, start parading out the tropes so they may strut their stuff on the catwalk) blind to his own mother’s idiocy.

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Happily ever after

Happily Ever After by Elizabeth Maxwell

Crafty
Elizabeth Maxwell, the author, uses two separate devices to tell her story. The first, which is only used to get the story started although it becomes the plot, is a writer telling a story, switching back to her life, story.
The second one, which works but I doubt will ever work for any of Maxwell’s readers a second time, is the use of craft to tell a story.
That is to say, using information about the craft the narrator is engaged in to further propel the story. Think USA’s “Burn Notice.” In that instance, a spy of sorts engages the viewer with it, with its background, with its creation and destruction, as a means to further his own narrative. Maxwell does the same, but for something she engages in: the writing of the romance novel.
This isn’t a knock on Happily Ever After (which is a terribly generic title.) It works in the context of the book. It’s fully enjoyable. The problem arises with, it’s a one-use-only kind of device, and one that used in this more narrowed instance, ruins all future uses by any other authors for readers.
That is to say, I don’t ever want to read another book that uses a telling of the craft of romance writing to propel a novel because, how many novels worth of craft are there to write about? There is a certain plateau, beyond which, everything is just jargon.
Others have made comparisons to the film “Stranger Than Fiction.” Certainly, the comparison is apt. They’re the same kind of stories, the same sub-genre of sorts. Really, that’s where the comparison should end.

Exceeded expectations
I assumed when I started the book, but after I had read the reviews, I would hate it. I don’t trust the overly positive, but short, reviews and the negatives one seemed to parrot what I’ve seen as warning signs for other books.

(Click link to read the rest of the review):

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Madame picasso

Madame Picasso by Anne Girard

Madame Picasso is . . . Cute. It’s enjoyable. It is not deep. It does not leave a lasting impression.
It is well written and a quick read but it does not rise above the mediocre. I do not doubt it was never meant to rise above the mediocre.
Since it seems necessary for a plot synopsis you, the reader, has already read: here you go. Picasso’s one true love, Eva Gouel, from her first time in Paris to her untimely death.
The book’s main problem is its length. It does not need to be 400 pages, short as those pages are. In the middle, it starts to drag quite a bit.

This book was received, free of charge, from the Goodreads First Reads program.
All quotes are taken from an advance uncorrected proof of the book and may, or may not, reflect the final commercial edition.

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Ghouls rush in

Ghouls Rush In by H. P. Mallroy

Book Review: Ghouls Rush In by H. P. Mallroy

With a name like H. P. Mallroy, with both her first and middle names obfuscated, one would think she would at least try to live up to the paranormal credentials she is, admittedly, inadvertently throwing out to the world.

Alas, alas, alas, she does not. Rather, she offers up a repetitive, lackluster and ultimately boring romance that isn’t really a romance, but more a story of never-quenched lust dressed up as romance.

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