Impossible Saints

I really never felt so much agony for the main couple ever at all. It is different from my expectations and even what I expected it will go into.

This is a tale of romance that stretches, that will make you feel sad and hope for something. That their seperations are because of their ideology rather than some unfortunate events. It isn’t because of any tragedy the main couple cannot get together, it is merely a matter of ideals, personalities. And this is where I just fell in love with all of this.

Lilia was definitely born in the wrong century, she is the modern woman we know today able to make her own choices and flaunting it. She will not be an angel in the house, and she will fight her way for the vote. From the beginning, she captivated me and her journey was not about love and learning to love. She never compromises on her beliefs and it leads to all sorts of interesting discussions.

As for Paul, he is a clergyman. And eventually he also decided on his own path temporarily but eventually will get together. But he has his own ideals than he can’t get over, and by the end he has changed. Even more than Lilia, but I will still like her for her views in how she never deviates nor ever changes from them.

Even more so was how the book had so many moments where wit was included in such an interesting way that definitely caught my attention and made me laugh in such a way that I never expected it too, nor even the way I recognized how true it was.

Overall, this was just really enjoyable. This isn’t the normal romance, but it is very true. There is changes and compromises on both sides, but never deviating too far. As for the ending line, I loved it. It was perfect. And finally, this just never was what I thought it will be. But it proved to be what I needed most.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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A Rebel Among Us

DNF @46%

I really tried to read this book, but it just really dragged on for too long.

I did like the beginning with David and the whole entire scene where he wakes up and learn about them. I found that entertaining.

Although I was expecting a romance, but I just didn’t expect it to take this long for anything to happen. I was expecting a lot more of questions, and a lot more of suspicion. I mean the title is a rebel among us. I expected a little more tension.

What I really got was mostly a little romance, some obstruction. But nothing that really lights up my mind or makes me want to read on. Almost halfway through the book I just couldn’t hold onto it anymore. There is very little reason why I want to read it.

There is almost no real character exploration or really understanding. And the romance, I just didn’t feel the chemistry together. Although I liked how they were kind to him. But I just wanted more than this, it just didn’t satisfy my tastes enough.

Perhaps this is for you, but it just isn’t for me.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Playing By Heart

Well, this was a surprise. I never thought I will be able to love historical romances again, or even think of it as anything remotely touching. But this was the right one for me.

I mean, Emilia wants to be married and not bound to a convent. She wants more than some Tom, Dick or Harry. And she is willing to go ways for it, to ensure that she has a stable place in life and nothing to worry about.

What made me really care about her is her willingness and flaws, she can be envious. She is envious, but when things really comes down to choices she will still place her sisters above all else. And she will still sacrifice herself for her family, and when she does love I really like her. I guess it her was strength and the want to be able to control her life and not just leave it to chance, even if it means a lot of time spent talking to people. Finding plans. But you know what, this is the kind I really want to read about more. Emilia works for her own future, she may love someone beneath her but she never gives up hope of ever seeing them together.

As for all the women, I really like Adrianna. I mean, she is a great mother even though she is more like their sister instead. Another note is that she isn’t what we always see, she is sensitive and does quite a bit to help Emilia and Maria. Especially knowing them well enough. As for Maria, I guess she had fell a little flat apart from her single minded devotion to God but never really doing much to suggest to her father that going to a convent was for her. But she did do what she did for god when she learned that she could not become a nun. But that’s about it.

As for Antonio Bellini, I just really like him. He may be a musician, but he does have some past which becomes relevant. It is rather understandable why he will want to do that. And why he doesn’t want the title, it does make me understand him very well. And I just really like a guy who won’t compromise himself too much, and is well aware of his own standing. Not to mention, willing to take time to gather a fortune because he loves Emilia and goes through all the ways of the time and respecting her.

As for the ending, it was what I did expect of such a book. And it really made me like them, perhaps it was just the main characters who really clicked with me and the writing which worked so well for me to get into their heads. And really, I will fall in love with a girl who takes an active part in her life rather than just hoping for her wishes to come true.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Duke Of Treason 

I found myself barely able to connect with almost any of the characters at all, there was barely any reason why I kept on reading except that I was expected to since I got a free copy of this.

The romance and characters were flat, and they became a bane to read. As it went to romance pretty fast, even though Annabel is a sort of spy or secret agent meant to search for his traitorous activities. Although I do know that Annabel wasn’t born into this, and the way she chose it was sensible. As for Romulus, the man she was supposed to check, I really couldn’t feel their chemistry together. Or even think they were a fit. But they are quite alike in some ways, and can work. Just that I don’t feel it.

However, she never really clicked with me much. It was just hard for me to get into, and really hard for me to relate. The entire problem lay there. Although the writing was good, I couldn’t really care much about the characters. And the plot was straightforward and the ending one that is happy. Like any typical historical fiction.

This just wasn’t for me, I couldn’t find myself loving it or anything. And that was the one thing that failed me in this book. I won’t say much more than this, but overall I do say still check it out. It just wasn’t my taste.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 2 out of 5

These Shallow Graves 

Now this is how you do a historical fiction with mystery, and a lot about feminism. And Jo, was the perfect character to start with. 

She is a naive girl, but who isn’t. Almost every girl in those times were raised to believe they would either marry, or end up working in dead end jobs. There were no in betweens. And I loved it, the realistic way Jo was created. She felt real for the period she lived in, taking and challenging it in every aspect. And it isn’t just in word, but also on actions. And that is a true feminist. 

Right by her side, to help her with this is the reporter who has a reason to go after this story. And slowly, you could say romance happened. Even in the end, it is still more of an open ending rather than a happy one. But to me, it’s the best of both worlds. Jo gets her dream, and I do think that their romance still needs more time to grow. More time to develop. 

The entire mystery, although was predicable, I figured out the murderer before I was even halfway through. Yet, when she suspected other people, it was because she didn’t want to suspect someone so close to her. So close to her. And she believed in his moral character. If she did, she wasn’t intelligent, she’s heartless. And the way she let it go, was entirely like her. Since she loved him so much. 

It becomes clear that here, she flaws are also relevant. Yet, they also complement her. She is someone that knows the rules of society and tries her best to defy but not get into trouble. That takes intelligence either way. And to me, is much more better than just stating her opinion. It is so much better to do that, as it makes her sensible and willing to preserve herself. Something I prefer over outright defiance which gets her into trouble. 

And to me, she was perfect. Not flawless, but real and true to her time. That was her charm, the fact that for her family she threw everything out the window. For her father, she broke all of societal norms. She believed that it is worth it, and that is what I love about her. 

Even so, behind in the background are awesome girls. Fay really comes to mind, since she is an awesome pickpocket and helps out Jo so many times. And so many times, saved her. And above all, they were friends. They felt like friends. And I love female friendships, they are a lot more awesome than that. And she had a lot of relevance to the plot too, which is another bonus. 

Although the villain was obvious, but the execution had me on my toes all the time. All the time I was guessing what became relevant. All the time thinking about what really happened. It was a really wild ride to guess it all out, and then revealing that not all people were good. Not all were bad. Some did it to survive, others did it for greed. Some sink deeper into this, and I loved every bit of it. The truth hurts, it is ugly. And this is where Jo shines, in the fact that she would rather see the truth published than lie and have a comfortable life. 

And this is why I loved it, because of the way it handled all the themes here in a way of its own. And I enjoyed it because of the way it handled Jo, it handled the mystery. And this is why I loved this story. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

Jane Steele 

Jane Steele is surprisingly good, given that Jane here despite all her faults, despite all her murders managed to be sympathetic. She managed to make me feel for her situation. And I couldn’t turn away from her story the moment I read it, where everything goes downhill for Jane very quickly. 

Jane, whose mother may be a lunatic was sent to a schoolhouse where its headmaster is even worse. I really enjoyed how the author portrayed Jane Steele. As a murderer, she doesn’t regret too much. And most of them really deserved it, the fate that they got through the abuse of their power. I really enjoyed that part where Jane murdered them, and at the same time there were consequences for them. 

Even though she murdered one to save herself, the other to save her vest friend. The third for a woman who took her in. Her motives felt real, it felt plausible. And for her who already has her hands stained from the very beginning, she didn’t too much. At best, she was getting rid of another trash for the world. And I really like that. 

And then comes in Charles Thornfield, a man who also has his fair share of secrets and vices. And the moment at the end, where Jane and Charles have a long talk and she reveals all her secrets, I loved every inch of it. There is this charm about him that makes him fascinating, and that he is someone that accepts Jane for who she is. For me, I agree that most of the people she killed had it coming for them eventually. 

The plot is rather simple, and at the same time filled with plenty of obstacles that Jane encounters. Be it from those she killed, or those that she killed for. But it begins to change the moment she becomes a governess at the household she used to work at. Where Charles is introduced, and his character becomes interesting in the way he managed to keep Jane at a distance, yet still grew fond of her. And Jane, wanting to know more or finding the house strange. 

As for the style, where sometimes it breaks the fourth wall given that Jane sometimes speaks to the reader instead. But I found it quite endearing and interesting as an element to the writing. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book for what it is. Jane being a murderess and one that felt bad and at the same time didn’t look back on her victims. Charles who took in all she was, at the end. All the while looking at the society with all their problems, from headmasters abusing their power, to husbands deciding to marry another time. I would say that this is rather interesting and paints the Victorian world a lot less glamorous and lush than it seemed. Unless of course, you were of the nobility. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

Duels And Deception

I think that this authors has improved in her writing, or perhaps I have finally gotten used to her style of historical fiction for the young adult genre. Regency romance with a tinge of comedy. Such as having a main character becoming engaged in situations which puts her reputation at risk, and having the guy in some way save her, yet giving her enough agency too. 

Lydia, here thinks that she would inherit. She would marry someone of nobility. And I liked it when she realised who it was to quickly change things. And also, realising that she does have feelings. To me, I guess that this book focuses on the real Regency. The historical fiction without fantasy in it, and in its own way it is rather interesting. Lydia resigns herself to marry someone for the sake of her family, then realising that she had someone she liked at the end, and the guy she was about to marry had been a complete jerk. 

All the while, she is also bound by society norms since she is a heiress. And really, I like it when she throws it all out the window at the end and decided to follow her heart. 

As for Robert, I would say that he is okay. A pretty good decent male character, works hard. But nothing really underneath all that. 

As for the villains here, I could see why they would eventually just decide to go after money. Since they were in desperate need of it. But it makes no sense unless they were delusional or something. They knew that she would have this much money, they knew that they would only get it after she married inside. What’s the point of going after money that belonged to Lydia in the first place. 

In fact, I would prefer if it had been a scheme and she simply found out and ruined it. Since it makes me more intent to think that they should be heading to an asylum for hallucinations and psychopathy instead of jail. Would do them a lot more good. 

Generally, I would say that this book is meant for those who want to read a Regency romance. There is no fantasy here, nothing about intrigue either. Just a fun ride with Regency. So, I would say that this is a book you should read if you feel very heavy, since it’s light, easy and doesn’t take too much of your time. Overall, I would say that I liked it, even though it does have some flaws of its own. And that the main leads are likeable characters, one who simply needs to marry for the sake of her family, the other just following his heart without any signs of the typical jerk we see so often in the young adult genre. 

Rating: 3 out of 5