How do I approach this book? I want to be honest, but I don’t want to be too over the top in either direction. I received a copy of Marionette via the author, who is a great blogging buddy, and this is my honest response and I received no compensation for my response.
I guess I’ll just rip the band-aid off. I HATED the first half of the book. (Sorry TBM!)
I can’t put a finger on it, but I’ll call it sophomore slump. I’ll talk more later in the response, but I just could not identify with Paige even though there was a great line which convinced me I was going to! TBM’s first book, A Woman Lost, was a phenomenal debut novel, but this one fell short (at least for the first half of the book). However, with that said, the last half of the book was AMAZING (mostly :-D).
What can I say about a book like this? Not only was it giggle inducing and full of fun and even some drama, it was an easy read and left me wanting so much more on the last page! I’m honestly not sure the last time I blazed through an Austen fan-fiction novel as fast as I did with this one. I’m so happy I requested a copy from the publisher and I received no compensation for my response. Unleashing Mr. Darcy will be published on December 31 by Harlequin and EVERYONE should check it out.
So I’ll start out with my biggest concern: I was TERRIFIED this book was going to be yet another S&M/50 Shades effort, but thankfully it was not! I mean seriously, what could I think with the cover art and the title!? Looking back now the title and cover art make perfect sense and would’ve made even more sense if I would’ve re-read the back cover blurb, but oh well the dread only added to the buildup.
I planned to talk about how I wish I could say it is the romance that draws me obsessively to this novel, and in a way it is, but ultimately I know it is something much darker than that. For me this novel’s draw is its darkness, it’s the depth and light absorbing pit of Heathcliff’s devotion to his plans, no matter who they harm or what they require, throughout the years to achieve his ends. I can only imagine what this reveals about my personality and my own decisions in life.
As much as I am drawn to Pride and Prejudice (and Jane Austen in general) for its whimsy and lightness, I can’t help but appreciate and truly resonate with the depths of despair and the tortuousness all three Brontë sisters write about. And I don’t know why, it’s not like I’ve had a tragic love story. I mean sure I’ve had my fair share of unrequited love stories (more often than not), but I know that I’ll get over them and eventually find someone who loves me for me and I love them for them and we just click, but for some reason these darker novels resound with me on a deeper level. It’s as if they touch a part of me that I know is there but am too afraid to even consider bringing to the surface out of fear or terror of what I might actually feel if I let myself.
What a brief and moving novella. I’m not sure what spurred me on to request it (probably the military aspect – I grew up in a military town), as I’ve tried to limit the number of ARC, and even more so romance based ARCs, that I request, but it was a quick and enthralling read. I could easily see Valante creating a longer novel with greater detail, but this novella worked well enough for me as it was.
I received a copy of Mindscape (link to the publisher’s website) directly from the publisher in return for my honest response; no compensation was received.
As with the just reviewed After the Fall this novel was GREAT to me for the reason most readers of romance will not like it: the lack of sex. This novel instead focused on the story line (the relationship and the history of the relationship) and the war. I mean don’t get me wrong some sex would’ve been great, but it was completely unnecessary to the story (and I thus believe left out).
Now this is how you write a romance novel! There was one line that captured this for me, ”A first kiss was usually a one-way ticket to a one-night stand or an awkward exit, but this one…I didn’t know where anything was going now.”
I was worried about where the Tucker Springs series was going, but L. A. Witt single-handedly brought the series back to a great, if predictable (it is romance after all), place and pace. I was so impressed with this addition to the series that I’m convinced I should probably look into whether Witt has written any other MM romances and it left me hoping she will contribute more to the series! I received a copy of After the Fall (link to the publisher’s site) from the publisher in return for my honest opinion of the novel. I received no compensation.