This Week, I Read… (2017 #24)

77 - Know Me Well

#77 – Know Me Well, by Kait Nolan

I liked the balance in this book between the romance plot and the town-related plot more than I did the earlier books in the series, since it finally felt like the romance was the point of the book. Liam was a charmer, since I have a thing for protective types, but I thought Riley’s stubborn self-reliance was believable in her situation and made for a solid-but-overcome-able personality conflict between the lovers. Plus, it’s a childhood crush romance, and that’s always a winner for me when it’s done well.

78 - The Fiery Cross

#78 – The Fiery Cross, by Diana Gabaldon

If I were not already in possession of the rest of the published works in this series, and if I had not assigned myself finishing them for Beat the Backlist this year, this is the point where I would give up.

Over 1400 pages, and if I had been its editor, I bet I could cut at least five hundred of them.

It’s not news to me that Gabaldon’s prose is wordy, but this one takes the cake. Interesting things do happen, that made me stop skimming past paragraphs detailing extensive, superfluous family histories for side characters, but if you pile all the interesting things together, you don’t have a 1400-page book.

Even if I set aside the grossly overblown length, though, this is the weakest book in the series so far. Major events are getting so repetitive–how many times will Jamie get seriously injured and nearly die? How many times can Roger be taken prisoner before someone actually offs him? And while the “mystery” of the attempts on Duncan’s life is resolved at the end–though I’m not sure what point that entire arc served at all–the Stephen Bonnet arc remains a cliffhanger, because after spending the whole book aiming to hunt him down, Jamie and Roger fail, and its Bree who shoots him. (In the nether regions, apparently, so that’s plenty appropriate–but we see him stagger off, not die, so obviously the story’s not done with him yet. Why not? Why couldn’t he just be killed like everyone wants him to be?)

This seemed to be a placeholder book, a killing-time book, to pass some years so eventually we can get to the Revolutionary War. Eventually. If that’s not the focus of the next book, I might scream.

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