This Week, I Read… (2019 #17)

53 - The Fairy Tale Bride.jpg

#53 – The Fairy Tale Bride, by Kelly McClymer

  • Read: 4/17/19 – 4/19/19
  • Challenge: Mount TBR (36/100)
  • Rating: 1/5 stars

Not satisfying as a romance, a period piece, or even a fluffy piece of escapism.

Our heroine Miranda definitely qualifies as Too Stupid to Live. She makes some of the worst decisions about her health and safety a woman of her era could make and manages to come through mostly unscathed, though at times there were references to some scandal in her past that didn’t really seem to be talking about the encounter she had in the prologue, because didn’t that get effectively covered up? I was confused. (Not a point in the book’s favor that the plot, weak as it was, could be difficult to follow at times because of apparent inconsistencies.)

Our hero Simon is not quite The Worst, but he’s pretty bad. Since Miranda was such a blithering idiot, Simon continuously felt it necessary to “teach her a lesson,” and those lessons included nearly seducing her, in an early scene that was, in modern-day terms, clearly sexual assault even if he stopped short of deflowering her; later he follows her in disguise, assaults her again in a less sexual way, and robs her of the trinkets she’d intended to pawn. From these incidents and a few other more minor ones, she’s supposed to learn to not be a naive girl and put herself into compromising positions, because what if the next man wouldn’t stop! Gross, gross, gross.

As if that weren’t enough to make me throw my hands up in despair, these two morons never actually fall in love. Simon’s horrible secret prevents him from asking for Miranda’s hand five years ago, but it’s never really established that it’s a love match rather than any other sort of engagement, and we don’t have any time to see them being fond of each other. In the present of the story, they treat each other like garbage and I simply don’t believe their behavior ever equates with love, no matter what their words (or their horny, horny bodies) might say.

54 - Her Fierce Warrior

#54 – Her Fierce Warrior, by Paige Tyler

  • Read: 4/20/19 – 4/23/19
  • Challenge: Mount TBR (37/100)
  • Rating: 1/5 stars

As a military romance, I’m underwhelmed. Everyone in this secret shifter organization doesn’t seem to give a single eff about any sort of rules, up to an including the director of said organization. Yes, okay, I picked this up free and didn’t realize I was starting the series in the middle, but I quickly gathered that Angelo and Minka aren’t the first couple in this series who are breaking the non-fraternization rule.

So it’s not much of a rule at all, is it? Not even a guideline.

And without at least a token nod to military discipline, this was really just a bunch of buff dudes and shifter ladies running amok in poorly done action scenes.

I was prepared to give this a bit of a pass, in terms of plot, because it’s my own fault if I didn’t understand something because I didn’t read the previous entries in the series. But honestly, so much page time was devoted to back story that I didn’t feel lost, but it did detract from the immediacy of the romance and main plot. Also there was a B-plot romance over maybe two or three chapter’s worth of text between two semi-random people as well, who are probably holdovers from another book, or maybe a preview to a future book, but it felt really out of place. How was there room for that too?

I said the action was bad, and it was, but the non-action stuff isn’t much better. I felt talked down to. After a tense scene from Angelo’s perspective, where his observations about Minka learning to control her beast within gave me a solid handle on what she was probably feeling, the next chapter in her POV took its first two pages to rehash the scene and explain, in great detail, exactly how she felt at every point. Which was incredibly frustrating, because I already had that all figured out! Don’t tell me twice! Trust me not to be a complete idiot!

Most of the book felt the same way. I usually do fine with dual-POV in romances, but not when the author uses that structure to repeat herself in case I was too stupid to figure it out the first time.

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