Sunday, September 10, 2017

Review: The Duchess Deal

The Duchess Deal The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Every time I try one of these historical romance novels I hope for something different. Alas, they all fall into one of two plot styles and The Duchess Deal was no exception. I'm not sure why I even bother but there's the hope that one day I'll stumble across one I really love.
The Duchess Deal lacked the complexity in plot I was looking for to make this standout. It's typical poor girl with sad back story and broody troubled aristocrat being forced together and falling in love. There's the occasional obstacle here and there but nothing majorly chaotic. It's light, on the surface and of course accompanied by smut.
The Duchess Deal wasn't bad per se, it was ok (see the 2 stars lel) but I got bored a lot of the way through. Said obstacles bored me and had me rolling my eyes.
Emma is fierce and tenacious enough, speaking her mind and the Duke is certainly broody and caring in that stereotype we see. I don't mind their characters but they didn't stand out to me.
I get these are meant to be cute, sweet, sexy and the kind of book you read when you want something to get away from the deep, heavy stuff. I KNOW that, I even expect it? But I can't help wanting more.

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Review: The Savage Dawn (The Girl at Midnight #3) by Melissa Grey

Firstly, thanks to Date a Book for this review copy <3



Date Read: August 15 - 20 2017
Date Released: July 6th 2017
Publisher: Hachette Australia (Atom)
Source: Review copy via publisher
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating:

Synopsis:
"The sides have been chosen and the battle lines drawn.

Echo awakened the Firebird. Now she is the only one with the power to face the darkness she unwittingly unleashed . . . right into the waiting hands of Tanith, the new Dragon Prince. Tanith has one goal in mind: destroy her enemies, raze their lands, and reign supreme in a new era where the Drakharin are almighty and the Avicen are nothing but a memory.

The war that has been brewing for centuries is finally imminent. But the scales are tipped. Echo might hold the power to face the darkness within the Dragon Prince, but she has far to go to master its overwhelming force. And now she’s plagued by uncertainty. With Caius no longer by her side, she doesn’t know if she can do it alone. Is she strong enough to save her home and the people she loves?

Whether Echo is ready to face this evil is not the question. The war has begun, and there is no looking back. There are only two outcomes possible: triumph or death."

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It’s always so hard to review the last book in a series. There’s so much to say and yet I can’t talk about most of it because it would spoil the journey that was taken. And what a journey The Girl at Midnight has been. From the moment Echo first appeared on my doorstep back in 2015 to the very last page of her saga in 2017, I have been invested in her story.

Once upon a time Echo was just a simple human girl in an Avicen world and all she wanted was to eat sweets. But then prophecies, destiny and an ages old war swept her up in magical mayhem and Echo is no longer simple human girl stealing sweets. Watching her become this increasingly selfless heroine was an interesting progression. It was a bit jarring seeing her throw everything down to save a friend with no hesitation at all; she hit the ground running from the first page of the book. Echo continues taking on more of the burden, the responsibility of needing to save the world solely resting on her shoulders. It was definitely exhausting reading from her POV sometimes because she wanted to do everything herself, not letting others around her in to help. But can we blame her when she’s the Firebird?

Grey has done an absolutely stellar job of including a cast of wonderful and diverse characters with their own storylines. I can tell you that a number of books I’ve read have included diversity for the sake of having it, like the author felt it had to be included to tick off a box. Those occurrences come off as forced and unnatural and honestly those books would’ve fared better without the so called ‘diversity’. This series though? Done so well. We’ve obviously got the glaring race issue of Avicen versus Drakharin but amongst that there’s LGBTQ representation throughout. And you know what? These characters aren’t cast aside, they’re front and centre, with their own stories and perspectives and HUGS ALL AROUND. I loved Ivy’s gentleness, Dorian’s steadfast and unending loyalty, Jasper’s confident fa├žade that hid his vulnerabilities.

I’m biting my lip just thinking about the romance. So much build-up throughout the series and MY SHIPS. I just… nope can’t even with the feels. Sweet and lovely and bittersweet and fleeting and enduring. I’m sorry I can’t really string together proper sentences so I’m just flinging adjectives at you. These are my emotions in full swing *massive sigh*.

The plot continues with the Kucedra’s wrath threatening the world and the Firebird racing to stop it. I’m not going to lie and say it’s anything mind blowingly complex but it’s a story that we’ve heard a lot and doesn’t tire – giving one’s people a chance, of being sick of needing to hide and the ambitious means to be great. Execution style? Not graceful or ideal but in the eye of the beholder’s clouded judgement well… Do I even make sense? I’m just going to carry on now.

ANYWAY. I love Grey’s writing style. She’s not flowerly but there’s a poetic ease in the way she writes that gets her point straight across. It’s effective and she uses that technique of bringing together many meanings that can’t be expressed by a single word in the English language, through a foreign word. I loved it and was scrambling to commit these lovely words to memory as they rolled off my tongue.

It’s a story filled with magic and heartache, lives are lost and sacrifices made. With Grey’s lovely writing directing Echo to the end we experience happiness, love, loss and in those final pages, a bittersweet edge that for now it’s the end.