Bad Sex Writing Awards 2018

Bad Sex Writing Awards Elizabeth Bright

You can head over to The Guardian to read quotes from the all-male lineup of writers nominated for the worst sex scenes of 2018. The first one below is particularly awful, and the second one is revolting. And over at the link you can read a passage from Haruki Murakami, where his “hero” is raping a woman in her sleep…

The tweet above deserves a lot of attention and respect.

Bad Sex Writing Awards

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The Week: 26th November – 2nd December

This has been a dramatic week both personally and for the world, and so I’ve run out of time to even take a picture of my Christmas decorations! Maybe next week…

Darth Putin is a parody account the Russians periodically try to get banned.

This week Russia’s war in Ukraine finally made it back into the news.

Tomi Adeyemi apologises to Nora Roberts

Tomi-AdeyemiTomi Adeyemi apologises to Nora Roberts

My review of The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4) by Janna MacGregor

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4) by Janna MacGregor

Release Day for Mary Balogh

Someone to Trust (Westcott Book #5) by Mary Balogh

Helene Young: ‘I chose a career as a pilot over motherhood. I don’t regret a thing’

Shattered-Sky-Front-Cover1-190x300

Behind the Scenes of a Harlequin Cover Shoot

Go Behind the Scenes of a Harlequin Cover Shoot Falling for the Wrong Brother,

Release Day for Mary Balogh

Someone to Trust, the fifth book in Mary Balogh’s Westcott family series, is out now.

Someone to Trust (Westcott Book #5) by Mary Balogh

During a rare white Christmas at Brambledean Court, the widow Elizabeth, Lady Overfield, defies convention by falling in love with a younger man in the latest novel in the Westcott series.

After her husband’s passing, Elizabeth Overfield decides that she must enter into another suitable marriage. That, however, is the last thing on her mind when she meets Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges, at the Westcott Christmas house party. She simply enjoys his company as they listen to carolers on Christmas Eve, walk home from church together on Christmas morning, and engage in a spirited snowball fight in the afternoon. Both are surprised when their sled topples them into a snow bank and they end up sharing an unexpected kiss. They know there is no question of any relationship between them for she is nine years older than he.

They return to London the following season, both committed to finding other, more suitable matches. Still they agree to share one waltz at each ball they attend. This innocuous agreement proves to be one that will topple their worlds, as each dance steadily ensnares them in a romance that forces the two to question what they are willing to sacrifice for love…

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4) by Janna MacGregor

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4) by Janna MacGregor

A lady with a noble mission. A duke looking for redemption. A forbidden love that cannot be denied…

Lady Daphne Hallworth is ready to celebrate the holidays with her family. But when they accidentally leave her home alone, Daphne uses the time to work on her dream—opening a home for unwed mothers. But her quest isn’t problem-free: She’s in a battle to win the property for the home against her brother’s best friend-turned-enemy, Paul Barstowe, Duke of Southart. And that’s not all: someone has stolen her personal diary, which holds secrets that could devastate her family. Daphne has always harboured private feelings for the man her family scorns…though perhaps striking a bargain with the handsome Duke will solve both their problems?

Paul, long considered good for nothing, aims to open a hospital to honor his brother and restore his reputation. So when a conflict over the land brings him straight into Daphne’s life, they make a deal: He will help her find her diary if Daphne can change her family’s opinion of him. But before he can win her family’s affection, he has to win hers first. Maybe love was the answer to their family feud all along?

The Good, the Bad, and the Duke (The Cavensham Heiresses #4) by Janna MacGregor

I read Janna MacGregor’s debut novel last year, and commented that the author had talent, that the opening of the book was brilliant, but that it was a little confusing when it came to all the characters.

Because I liked the description of this one, and wanted to give MacGregor’s work another try, I picked up a review copy of this, the fourth book in the series. Again, I found the author’s writing to be solid, but I also had some issues with the overall structure of the book.

For me, it’s always problematic when an author provides no date for the setting of their book. Even if I’m to assume The Good, the Bad, and the Duke is set in the nineteenth century – when? Is there a George on the throne, or Victoria? Are the characters’ portraits painted, or photographed? Can they travel by train or automobile, or is the carriage still their only option? Must they write to each other, or are telegrams and telephone calls available now? Has Napoleon been disposed of? Is there a war in Crimea?

As we were given no date, I have no idea.

Again, the prologue was very well-written. However, the heroine is nine in that scene, but came across as twenty-nine. Even so, it was a sweet little scene.

We then jump forwards about a decade and a half to pick up the main body of the story, and that’s where I started getting confused. This definitely isn’t a book that can be read as a standalone. There are characters I was unfamiliar with everywhere – and their offspring. Right from the first few pages there are references to things that happened in past books that I had no idea about. If they had to be mentioned, I don’t think it should have been so early on.

After several chapters, I realised my mind was wandering. Fans of past books in this series are probably going to really enjoy this one, too.

For me, however, it couldn’t hold my attention.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Widow of Ballarat by Darry Fraser

The Widow of Ballarat by Darry Fraser

1854, Ballarat, Victoria. When Nell Ambrton’s husband is shot dead by a bushranger, there are few who grieve his passing, and Nell least of all. How could she miss the monster who had abused her from the day they wed – the man who had already killed his innocent first wife? But his death triggers a chain of events that seem to revolve around the handsome bushranger who murdered him – a man to whom Nell, against her better judgement, is drawn. But Nell has far more than a mysterious stranger to worry about. With a mess of complications around her late husband’s will, a vicious scoundrel of a father trying to sell her off in matrimony, and angry relatives pursuing her for her husband’s gold, she is more concerned with trying to ensure her safety and that of her friend, goldfields laundry woman Flora, than dealing with the kind of feelings that led her astray so catastrophically before. After the violence on the goldfields, Nell’s fate also hangs in the balance. It seems that, after all, she might need to do the one thing she has avoided at all costs … ask for the help of a man.

The Widow of Ballarat by Darry Fraser

Anybody who has been to school in Australia has learnt about the Eureka Stockade (a rebellion on the gold fields). However, Darry Fraser’s take on one of the most (in)famous events in Australian history is so richly researched I was astonished by the detail.

There’s a common misconception Australian history has nothing to offer, but – in reality – we had all the dangers, the drama, the outlaws (bushrangers) you could possibly want.

Marketed to me as historical romance, but published under the MIRA line, The Widow of Ballarat is as much historical *fiction* as romance.

The early chapters were gripping in their originality. Each time I thought something would happen a certain way, it changed. I was really impressed with those scenes.

My only criticism is that occasionally all the characters’ internal debating went on for a bit…

However, it was great to read a book with these themes.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.