Saturday, June 2, 2018

Whatcha Reading? (June 2nd)

Things are still cocky in romancelandia, including the posting of an "open letter" to herself that is . . . uh, a hot mess, as well as the Friday trial for it all (which is on-going at the time I'm typing up this post, check Twitter for updates, such as this thread.) Update: Courtney Milan ordered and uploaded a transcript from the court case, you can find it HERE.

AAR's top 100 list also came out this week and, to no one's surprise, it is 99.999% white and cishet. With the added bonus (not) of a few books that, IMO, should not be on a ROMANCE list, ever -- Outlander (partly because the author shits on romance 24/7, and partly because that's romantic elements, not a romance) and a couple classics -- Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, etc. -- which are also NOT ROMANCES PEOPLE.

I will say this again: AAR is not some small blog that no one knows about. This list is extremely visible and will probably be one of the top Google search results for romances. Because of that, they have the responsibility to make a list that is inclusive, diverse, and oh yeah, ROMANCE ONLY. They did not, and they have no plans to do this because they continue to see nothing wrong with this process and list, trying to instead push the blame on others, especially readers, for voting like this. It's not the readers' faults. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. When your list is built around X and your fanbase is build around X, is it any surprise that your poll results are, GASP, X? This is an on-going discussion on Twitter, and frankly I'm tired of it. If you're going to be a big site for the genre, you need to own up to your shit, fix your shit, and do better overall. Otherwise, move out of the way and let others take over.

As to my week, it's been . . . well, it's been a week. Mostly it's just been one of those weeks where my anxiety brain cannot shut up and concentrate on anything, including books. So I only finished 3, and I guarantee I spaced out during all of them. Hopefully next week will be better.

Let's jump into what I read, shall we?

What I Read:

Recipe for Desire by Cheris Hodges
Narrated by Shari Peele
2 Stars

✦ Rich party girl gets in trouble, meets hero at community service
     ✦ She also works in PR
✦ He’s a celebrity chef volunteering there at the women's shelter
✦ The story itself was . . . okay? But not the greatest, not the tightest, and as it went on I had a lot of 'Uhhhh but what about--" type of moments
✦ I had some issues with this one – including the sex scenes (words used -- example: "her hot valley of desire" -- I thought I was reading a purple-prose book from the 80s or 90s, not a contemporary written in 2012.
✦ But also slut shaming, fat shaming, and some misogyny from the hero. Oh, and the hero cheated on his previous girlfriend so I'm giving him the side-eye for the rest of time. Once a cheater, always a cheater, let's be honest here.
✦ Sometimes I think this book only deserved 1 star, but then I think "Nah, I save 1 stars for the WORST OF THE WORST" and this one, while bad, was not *quite* that bad. But close at times, not going to lie.
✦ Not sure if I'll try this author again, tbh. Maybe if someone has a GREAT book of hers to rec and my library happened to get it. Otherwise, I think I'm moving on to other authors. *shrugs*

Here's a thread I did of some of the lines and issues I had

The One You Can't Forget by Roni Loren
Out Tuesday
3 1/2 Stars

✦ CW: School shooting; alcoholism recovery (hero); child abuse (teenage character)
✦ Divorce lawyer
✦ Chef hero
✦ She was his ex’s lawyer -- oops
✦ Emotional like book 1 but I didn’t love this one as much
✦ It was a bit slow/uneven pace for the story
✦ Slow burn, fairly hot though quick scenes
✦ I hated her father and what he was willing to do/how he treated her and her trauma
✦ Also, not very happy with how she feels guilty for "being the cause" of the school shooting all those years ago -- she embarrassed one of the shooters in front of the school and believes that set him off
     ✦ Can we not?! That's not how this works. And especially after the last shooting we had, where the fucking father of the shooter tried to pull that same BS about the girl who "embarrassed and bullied" his son? NOPE. Did not like that showing up in this book.

Find all the quotes I shared HERE

The Sword Dancer by Jeannie Lin
Narrated by Sarah Lam
3 Stars

✦ Sword dancer + thief-catcher
✦ A lot of action and whatnot going on
✦ Writing/romance/narration are all good
✦ Very much "it's not the book, it was my own mood". I was having a hard time concentrating this week -- not just with this audiobook, but even with any ebooks I picked up. Seriously, it's just me. Don't let my average 3 star rating make you miss this book/author!
✦ Gorgeous cover!

Currently Listening To:

Bachelor Undone by Brenda Jackson

Cop turned private security consultant is in Jamaica for work, meets the heroine; they already know (and avoid) each other because his friend is married to her friend. She's in Jamaica for a much-needed vacation.

I, uh, have already had some issues with the sex scenes, which you can find in this thread (brace yourselves for jizz talk!). I'm holding out hope that the rest of this book will be better, or even just pick up for me...

Currently Reading:

The Chateau by Tiffany Reisz

Out Tuesday

First off: this series is NOT a romance. And it's a series that people either love or hate (related to hate: avoid entirely). I happen to love it. I just do, end of story. Anyway, this goes back to show us more about young Kingsley and his training (kink, submission, etc.). I'm loving it so far!

After that, I might start Inside Darkness by Hudson Lin, a contemporary M/M that releases on June 11th.

So what are YOU currently reading? 


Until Next Time,

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