Spoilers in Reviews – or not having them without a warning…

One With You by Sylvia Day

It’s common sense, right? It’s rude and inconsiderate to publish a book review on or around the release date with major spoilers without any warning, giving away major character deaths and essentially ruining the book for most readers.

You’d think so, but by God, have I seen some major spoilers splashed across people’s reviews recently, and the book that prompted this post was Sylvia Day’s final Crossfire book, One with You.

Now, this was far from Day’s best book, so I wasn’t completely devastated, but as a mildly obsessive fan of the series, to have the ending completely ruined before I was halfway through was… not good.

I didn’t set out to read spoilers; it’s just that so many people thought nothing of spoiling the book for everybody else that I read it by accident.

After that, I thought: hey, it’s already ruined, so I’ll read some more reviews. Turned out about a third of the reviews I read – only ONE DAY after the book was released – spoiled every single plot twist.

It’s a bit like that Simpsons episode where Homer emerges from a screening of The Empire Strikes Back and announces to the people in the queue for the next session who Luke’s father is. Now, Homer is *supposed* to be ignorant and more than a bit stupid, but I don’t know what all these readers are thinking when they do the same thing.

Goodreads has a very easy to use function where you can hide the spoilers in your review so people have to click on them to read them.

It’s perfectly easy to add something along the lines of: **SPOILER WARNING!!** before you drop a bombshell in the middle of your Amazon or blog review.

Wouldn’t it be nice if more reviewers were considerate enough to do those things? 🙂

The Week: 11th – 17th April

Tuesday Autumn Sunset Tuggeranong Canberra Australia Sonya Oksana Heaney 12th April 2016 Sun Sky Trees Nature DSC09517DSC09515

Unedited shot of Tuesday’s sunset in Canberra.

I have NO idea what happened, but half a version of this post came up on my blog a few days ago, and I only just noticed! Whoops.

Only a few days left before we head overseas for two months. It seems like such a big effort – maybe I’ll stay at home! I am absolutely not organised, and while we’re still having near-summer temperatures here, over there it’s still almost as cold as winter. I don’t have room in my suitcase for winter stuff!

Maybe someone will sneak in the house and get all my things organised for me…

I’m also going to really miss the cat (Rex) the neighbours are looking after, who thinks he lives here and comes visiting for hours every morning, lunchtime, afternoon, night…

Rex Burmese Cat Cute

Rex

Seriously, I’m not that depressed about going! We will be back in the Ukraine for the first time since the revolution (which happened straight after we flew out the last time) and the Russian invasion immediately afterwards, so there’ll be some big changes. And then I’m hoping the sun will be out by the time we get to Italy!

Speaking of Russian invasions…

This is what Russian aggression in the Baltic Sea looks like

It’s always such an ordeal just getting to Europe from Australia. Flying to Sydney, then a ten hour flight to Asia, then hours in the airport, then a twelve hour flight to Europe, then hours in the airport, and then a few more hours on another flight to reach our destination. *SO* much fun!

I have been trying to get as much reading done as I can before I go, because I have a mountain of review books, but I’m not going to have them anywhere near finished. Hopefully I’ll get some reading done while I’m away, but you never have as much time as you think when you’re constantly on the go with other people in multiple countries.

On This Week

RT_Convention_2016Vegasbanner_v2-reduced

What goes into creating a cover for historical romance?

Duke-of-Pleasure-by-Elizabeth-Hoyt-300

My review of Mad For Love by Elizabeth Essex

Mad For Love by Elizabeth Essex

My review of One with You (Crossfire #5) by Sylvia Day

One With You by Sylvia Day

My review of You Can’t Always Get the Marquess You Want (Masters of Seduction #2) by Alexandra Hawkins

You Can't Always Get the Marquess You Want (Masters of Seduction #2) by Alexandra Hawkins

My review of Heir to the Duke (The Duke’s Sons #1) by Jane Ashford

Heir to the Duke (The Duke's Sons #1) by Jane Ashford

One with You (Crossfire #5) by Sylvia Day

One With You by Sylvia Day

Gideon Cross. Falling in love with him was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It happened instantly. Completely. Irrevocably.

Marrying him was a dream come true. Staying married to him is the fight of my life. Love transforms. Ours is both a refuge from the storm and the most violent of tempests. Two damaged souls entwined as one.

We have bared our deepest, ugliest secrets to one another. Gideon is the mirror that reflects all my flaws … and all the beauty I couldn’t see. He has given me everything. Now, I must prove I can be the rock, the shelter for him that he is for me. Together, we could stand against those who work so viciously to come between us.

But our greatest battle may lie within the very vows that give us strength. Committing to love was only the beginning. Fighting for it will either set us free … or break us apart.

 

One with You (Crossfire #5) by Sylvia Day

The Crossfire series, that started off with two spectacular, addictive books, was supposed to be a trilogy, and then got extended – and extended. Were five books necessary? In a word: no.

One with You is getting mixed reviews, for obvious reasons. It reads like a first draft that has been patched together haphazardly.

While I still love the world Sylvia Day has created: wealth and power in New York City, with people who (unlike in the Fifty Shades series) are convincing in their lifestyles. They work, they wield that power, and they truly live that lifestyle. What gave Eva the edge over Fifty’s weakling Ana is that she was in every way an equal to her man.

In this book, however, the characters waffle around doing nothing, rehashing issues that were dealt with and put to bed a couple of books ago, attending lengthy, boring psychologist’s appointments, picking fights with each other and arguing like immature teenagers.

And what the hell is with that important engraved bangle that disappears after one scene??

One thing I was SO glad of: the author didn’t rush into babies and rainbows. I know many readers like their pretty bows and endless pregnancies in every book; I am the opposite. Who starts having babies after only being together a few weeks? Wasn’t it bad enough Eva has already given up her career?

And then, just when you feel like the book isn’t going to have its own plot, the author hits you with a sledgehammer. (See spoiler #1 at the bottom of the review.) It comes totally out of the blue, and by the time it DOES happen there’s no time left in this overly long book (apparently the longest book the author has ever written) to deal with it.

So, because the author has to drag us back to some sort of happy ending after that sledgehammer, she has characters bizarrely laughing and joking and screwing and discussing other things when they should be dealing with the tragedy instead.

Some of the times the characters think about sex is just weird. At the lowest point in the entire story, instead of just caring for Eva, Gideon seems to have sex on his mind:

“I knew a bath was a risk considering how rare it was for me not to join Eva when she took one.”

Eva, who cries so frequently throughout the series she is really starting to annoy me, had next to no reaction to the most dramatic thing that has happened in the entire series.

Day has shocked me before in a good way (see spoiler #2 below). It was one of the best twists I have ever read in a book, and happened in book two. I think she was going for something similar here.

This entire five-book series happens over the course of only three months. The author only introduced Gideon’s social circle recently – where were they in the earlier books? And it’s very odd that Eva’s wedding is all about her acquaintances she’s just met since moving to New York, instead of people from the other twenty-something years of her life turning up. I don’t know why the timeframe had to be so truncated.

Apparently One with You was rewritten a number of times (which would be why it was released more than half a year after the promised date, and seventeen months after the previous book), and the book does have a feel of a story the author could just not pull together no matter what she tried. There’re so many threads left open, there’s so much left unresolved. And an editor should have insisted Day chop out all that rehashing of psychobabble so that there was time to tie up all the loose ends. Even taking a pair of scissors to the overly flowery – and constant – declarations of love would have helped:

“There aren’t words to tell you what you mean to me.” He opened his hand again. “But I hope that when you see this ring on your hand, you’ll remember that you shine as brightly as diamonds in my life and you’re infinitely more precious.”

Look: I’m Australian, and we’re sarcastic. We’d laugh hysterically if a man spoke like that, using that much cheese!

Additionally, like some sort of BDSM master, Gideon fastens a bangle onto Eva using a screwdriver – so only he can remove it. It’s mentioned in one scene, and then never again. In fact, later on she mentions she isn’t wearing any jewellery, and I’m thinking: what about that thing that was fastened onto you and you cannot remove?? (One of the many examples of non-existent editing in this book.)

Then we reach the end, which seems (? I have no idea) to jump forwards in time so that everybody is more or less over the main drama.

WAS there an editor? I’m not joking when I ask. Did the author even proofread it? Because it looks like one of my manuscripts when I’ve been writing out of sequence and intend to go back and edit it – only this one was never edited!

I guess, in the end, the author wrote this in a hurry, and with no proper outline of the book’s structure. Stuff, happens, and then it’s forgotten forever. And then other stuff happens, and it’s forgotten forever.

I think the first and second books in this series are amazing. I don’t usually go for the Fifty Shades-type books, but the first two were special, superbly-written, and surprising at every turn. However, as the series continued to be extended and extended it lost its way. I feel sad that people will remember these books as average to poor instead of how they were at the start.

 

****SPOILERS****

#1 The big thing that happens in this book is that Eva’s mother turns out to have a secret identity – but before this is tackled, the woman is MURDERED! It comes completely out of the blue and makes no sense considering the rest of the series.

#2 In the second book, Gideon murders Eva’s long-term stalker and childhood rapist. She doesn’t know this until the very end of the book.

The Week: 28th March – 3rd April

Canberra Australia Sunset Sonya Heaney Autumn

One of our (unedited!) sunsets in Canberra this week.

I hope everyone around here remembered about daylight saving! I know it’s easier now with so many devices updating themselves, but it seems every year I hear of a funny mistake!

Apparently we’re not going to have autumn this year. It’s still in the high twenties (Celsius) and the leaves aren’t really changing colour.

I had a dismal reading week this week. So many historical romances I tried to read, but couldn’t cope with; some I could not finish. Maybe that means I’m due for some good books now!

Parliament House Canberra Australia 2nd April 2016 Sonya Heaney Back-Burning..

Smoke over Australian Parliament during fire reduction burns in the city over the weekend.

The entrepreneurs bringing the Great Moscow Circus here – again – have been obscenely spamming the streets with advertising, and paying many people to put huge signs up on their own houses. Whole streets in Canberra and neighbouring Queanbeyan are lined with the things – three signs per house. Sad that people have already forgotten Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (and Georgia, and the bombing of civilians in Syria, and the human rights abuses, and the extreme homophobia, and the… you get the picture) and will do anything for a few dollars. Even the house next to my late (Ukrainian) grandmother’s has them.

So some people who will remain unnamed have been adding some things to a few of the signs:

 protest for ukraine anti-putin great moscow circus advertisementsprotest for ukraine anti-putin great moscow circus advertisements.

The collapse of the Wisconsin State Capitol

In one of history’s more successful April Fool jokes, in 1933 it was reported in the Madison Capital-Times that the Wisconsin State Capitol had collapsed. 1st April 1933.

One week until One With You

One With You by Sylvia Day

No more copies of Fifty Shades of Grey!

But now it looks like everyone’s love affair with Fifty Shades of Grey is well and truly over.

My review of Edge of Surrender (At the Edge #1 Part 2) by Laura Griffin

Edge of Surrender (At the Edge #1 Part 2) by Laura Griffin

My review of The Hunter (Victorian Rebels #2) by Kerrigan Byrne

The Hunter (Victorian Rebels #2) by Kerrigan Byrne

My review of Portrait of a Forbidden Lady by Kathleen Bittner Roth

Portrait of a Forbidden Lady by Kathleen Bittner Roth

One week until One With You

One With You by Sylvia Day

One With You, the final book in Sylvia Day’s incredibly popular Crossfire series, is out next week.

Pre-order Links:

The Book Depository (free shipping!)

Amazon Australia

Amazon US: Paperback Kindle

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

The final chapter in the global blockbuster Crossfire® quintet.

Gideon Cross. Falling in love with him was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It happened instantly. Completely. Irrevocably.

Marrying him was a dream come true. Staying married to him is the fight of my life. Love transforms. Ours is both a refuge from the storm and the most violent of tempests. Two damaged souls entwined as one.

We have bared our deepest, ugliest secrets to one another. Gideon is the mirror that reflects all my flaws … and all the beauty I couldn’t see. He has given me everything. Now, I must prove I can be the rock, the shelter for him that he is for me. Together, we could stand against those who work so viciously to come between us.

But our greatest battle may lie within the very vows that give us strength. Committing to love was only the beginning. Fighting for it will either set us free … or break us apart.

Excited about in 2016

I used to be much more on top of upcoming releases, and followed a lot more series religiously. However, with all the review books now I tend to just take what is offered. I’m out of the loop more now I blog so much than when I wasn’t!

So, this is by no means a comprehensive list of what’s coming up this year. It’s just a few books I thought of…

Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas

 Marrying Winterborne (2016) by Lisa Kleypas

The first book in this series created a fantastic secondary relationship and then left us hanging! When the book finished, their engagement had been broken off.

I don’t know how I will stand the wait to read the rest of the story. Lisa Kleypas is and always has been (since I started reading the genre) one of my favourite authors.

One With You by Sylvia Day

 One With You by Sylvia Day

True, the last book wasn’t… good… but I discovered this series less than a year ago, and so binge read them all and became a little obsessed. This is the final book in this entertaining series about an obsessive relationship.

However, if the author impregnates Eva, I’m going to be seriously annoyed!

The Summer Bride by Anne Gracie

 The Summer Bride (Chance Sisters book 4) by Anne Gracie

This is the conclusion to a fantastic series. Each book so far has been really good, but I do think this is one of those series you should read in order.

Anne Gracie’s mix of light and fun and the occasional dark moment makes her one of the most entertaining authors around.

Taking Fire by Cindy Gerard

Taking Fire (One-Eyed Jacks #4) by Cindy Gerard

Cindy Gerard is the author who made me fall in love with romantic suspense. I am not up to date with this series, but I certainly excited about this book!

The Wicked Duke by Madeline Hunter

The Wicked Duke (Wicked Trilogy #3) by Madeline Hunter

The third in a series I absolutely LOVED in 2015, Madeline Hunter has never once disappointed me with her books. She’s one of those rare authors who captures the era and makes you believe her characters really live there.

The Many Sins of Cris de Feaux by Louise Allen

His Housekeeper's Christmas Wish by Louise AllenHis Christmas Countess (Lords of Disgrace #2) by Louise Allen

I really love this series. I’m a big fan of Louise Allen, but this series in particular has been really great, in my opinion.

The Week: 16th – 22nd November

Canberra Australia Sunset Sonya Heaney 18th November 2015 Sky Spring Clouds Garden Nature

Weird Wednesday Sunset

Phew, what a hot week. With more to come. What a change from the weather we put on for the British royals!

Hot Day Canberra Australia 19th November 2015 Garden Spring Sonya Heaney Umbrellas Trees

It was too hot to be working on the deck on Thursday afternoon, but I tried it all the same!

Paris attacks could 'kill' Tour de France and cycling Michael Rogers

Paris attacks could ‘kill’ Tour de France and cycling: Michael Rogers

The Frankfurt Grand Prix cycling race was cancelled after German police arrested a married couple who had allegedly planned an attack on the May Day race.

According to reports, police found a bomb, a firearm, ammunition and chemicals for making explosives.

I actually went to high school with Michael Rogers, a world champion bike rider and Olympic medallist. We were featured together in a newspaper article as stars of the future. He became a star, and I dislocated my knee too many times to continue with ballet!

Canberra Australian Parliament lit up in French colours to support Paris.2

Canberra this week: Australian Parliament lit up to support Paris.

14th November 2015 Syrians against Assad and russia

And if everyone could remember that Russia invaded Ukraine and Georgia, and shot down MH17, and is bombing civilians in Syria… the people of Syria sure aren’t enjoying Putin’s “assistance”. You can’t be a terrorist in other countries, and then condemn it in France!

Magpie Tuggeranong Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 17th November 2015 Bird Garden Spring NatureUntitled

Here is one of our magpies. This one (she?) follows you around all day. I took this picture from the back deck on Tuesday afternoon, where I was working at the table. She spent the afternoon running laps around my legs, sitting on the chair next to me, and watching the view from the railing of the deck. She really seems to think she’s a dog or a cat!

Since WordPress rolled out its God-awful new upgrade this week, I have had a few tantrums. Everyone is so busy making things phone-friendly these days (Goodreads, I’m looking at you and your big ugly buttons!) that it’s impossible to use sites on an actual computer!

Romance Authors React to Harlequin Advertisements

Romance Authors React to Harlequin Advertisements

The final Crossfire book finally has a release date!

One With You by Sylvia Day

Anne Gracie’s Upcoming Book

The Summer Bride (Chance Sisters book 4) by Anne Gracie

Goodreads Choice Awards 2015

Goodreads Choice Awards

My review of I Spy a Duke (Covert Heiresses #1) by Erica Monroe

I Spy a Duke (Covert Heiresses #1) by Erica Monroe

My review of More Than Comics (Chasing the Dream #2) by Elizabeth Briggs

More Than Comics (Chasing the Dream #2) by Elizabeth Briggs

So, the final Crossfire book finally has a release date!

One With You by Sylvia Day

It seems Sylvia Day finally has a release date for her final Crossfire book. After so much waiting, the 5th of April 2016 really doesn’t seem like that much longer. I hope this date is not going to change again!

Read more HERE (including an excerpt).

Gideon Cross. Falling in love with him was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It happened instantly. Completely. Irrevocably.

Marrying him was a dream come true. Staying married to him is the fight of my life. Love transforms. Ours is both a refuge from the storm and the most violent of tempests. Two damaged souls entwined as one.

We have bared our deepest, ugliest secrets to one another. Gideon is the mirror that reflects all my flaws … and all the beauty I couldn’t see. He has given me everything. Now, I must prove I can be the rock, the shelter for him that he is for me. Together, we could stand against those who work so viciously to come between us.

But our greatest battle may lie within the very vows that give us strength. Committing to love was only the beginning. Fighting for it will either set us free … or break us apart.

Heartbreakingly and seductively poignant, One with You is the breathlessly awaited finale to the Crossfire® saga, the searing love story that has captivated millions of readers worldwide.

The Week: 12th – 18th October

Friday Sunset Gowrie Tuggeranong Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 16th October 2015 Spring Sky Clouds Grey Pink Orange Nature

Friday sunset in Canberra.

Garden Gowrie Tuggeranong Canberra Australia Spring Lilac Sonya Heaney 16th October 2015 Flowers Purple Nature

The gorgeous lilac is coming out in the garden. It smells so nice!

1999 Ballet Giselle Act Two - Sonya Heaney

Sixteen years ago this week since I danced the full-length version of Giselle for the first time. Wow, that’s a long time! The picture is from the dress rehearsal the night before, and the one the newspapers ran with in the end.

I guess you could say I like serious books now because I always preferred ballets where my character faced a tragic end!

Hotel Hotel Canberra Australia Entrance Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney 25th July 2015

We had lunch with Ukrainian embassy staff on Thursday, at Hotel Hotel. Got news on the war everyone has forgotten about…

Russian propaganda in an occupied region of Ukraine this week, explaining why Russia should be fighting and killing in Syria.13thOctober20152

Russian propaganda in an occupied region of Ukraine this week, explaining why Russia should be fighting and killing in Syria.

Surf life savers rescue drowning kangaroo in Lake Burley Griffin

On Friday morning, Canberra-based surf lifesavers rescued a drowning kangaroo that had been swimming in the lake in the city centre. I have no idea why the kangaroo was in the water!

Reasonable expectations of authors.

Sylvia Day Crossfire Series Books 1-4

Twilight Take #2 – Take #2!

Stephenie Meyer E.L. James

Cover Love

Falling at the Surgeon's Feet by Lucy Ryder

How to annoy a Jane Austen fan!

How to annoy a Jane Austen fan in three easy steps.

My review of Tall, Dark and Wicked (Wicked Trilogy #2) by Madeline Hunter

Tall, Dark, & Wicked by Madeline Hunter

My review of The Amish Midwife by Patricia Davids

The Amish Midwife by Patricia Davids