The Week: 27th April – 3rd May

Sunset Canberra Australia Sonya Heaney 26th April 2015

Canberra’s sunset a few days ago. We were driving, so it’s not perfect…

Hmm. This week wasn’t bad, but I’m going to say negative things! I’m so mad about a few things, but I also think talking about your boring, everyday, happy stuff isn’t very interesting!

But one thing: we thought my father had cancer. We found out on Wednesday (after surgery) that he doesn’t. 🙂

While everyone is going to be obsessing over if a certain baby will be called Diana, Frances, Gertrude or Brunhilda, can we please take a moment to remember Ruth Rendell, who died yesterday…

Before I get to my long rant, here’s another nice Canberra sunset picture. From last evening, just after I got home, and when I was still fuming about the thing I discuss below this.

Sunset Tuggeranong Canberra Australia  1st May 2015 Sonya Heaney .

Walt and Burley Bar Cafe Canberra Australia Oksana Heaney 2nd May 2015

The otherwise fantastic and friendly gastro pub on the lake in Canberra.

We went out for drinks and tapas yesterday afternoon, only to have a group of sour-faced Anglo-Australians from interstate sit next to us. I know with Ferguson and Baltimore Americans think “racism” means ONLY things against African Americans, but to sit there next to these awful British/(Anglo) Australian people making nonstop racist comments about Ukrainians… My mother was really upset. She has faced this in Australia her whole life, as have I, even from my father’s family – her in-laws.

I’m usually shy, but I marched over and I told them off, and then we left. How could I not?! And screw them. I don’t need racial attacks on my weekend!

I felt pretty embarrassed immediately afterwards, but I cannot regret it. It’s very upsetting hearing racial abuse in your own country! Another example of this is when my mother, and then I, walked out of a Christmas barbeque last year. My father’s sister started going on about how she was too scared to go on the school bus growing up, because there were “wogs” (a racist term for European immigrants) on board… Sometimes I REALLY hate Australians, and Saturday was one of those days.

How these people can blindly follow current fashions, which have stolen Ukrainian traditional designs for this season (just check out designers like Valentino), and then turn around and make derogatory comments about the culture they just appropriated…

I didn’t read that much this week, but I have been rereading the “Making Of” book about the 1995 Pride and Prejudice. I don’t totally, blindly love that version, but I do love the huge amount of research and dedication that went into it.

However, I’m not all that happy with my fiction reading at the moment. I know that when one book does well, publishers immediately say: ‘Give me carbon copies of this book, and that’s all we’ll publish for five years!’.

But you know what? I’m bored. I’m bored with wallpaper historical romances. The term “Navy SEAL” is now a joke. I don’t believe every small town in America (or Australia) is full of unbelievably sexy thirty-year-old men who just HATE “the city”. I’m just… bored.

I hope I can get out of this rut soon, but I think it’s the books that will have to change, not me.

Time for a lot of rereading of favourites! I’m already lining up my old paperbacks.

I’m Bored!

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Outlander 1×12

Or the episode where we wonder why everyone has stopped speaking Gaelic!

Outlander 1x12 Jamie Claire Sonya Heaney

Cover Love

The Legend of Lyon Redmond by Julie Anne Long Romance Cover

My review of Mastering Meg by Saskia Walker

Mastering Meg by Saskia Walker

My review of The Harlot Countess (Wicked Deceptions #2) by Joanna Shupe

The Harlot Countess (Wicked Deceptions #2) by Joanna Shupe

My review of Sins of a Duke by (Scandalous House of Calydon #3) by Stacy Reid

Sins of a Duke by (Scandalous House of Calydon #3) by Stacy Reid

My review of Letters Home (Letters Home #1) by Rebecca Brooke

Letters Home (Letters Home #1) by Rebecca Brooke

My review of The Unlikely Lady (Playful Brides #3) by Valerie Bowman

The Unlikely Lady (Playful Brides #3) by Valerie Bowman

Sins of a Duke by (Scandalous House of Calydon #3) by Stacy Reid

Sins of a Duke by (Scandalous House of Calydon #3) by Stacy Reid

All of the young ladies whispered about the Duke of Mondvale in hushed tones, their eyes following his tall, dark figure with barely disguised lust. For the newly-ostracised Lady Constance Thornton, he is magnetic and altogether desirable. Irresistibly so. Since her reputation is already ruined in London society, why shouldn’t she be impudent and dance with the scandalous “Lord of Sin”?

Little does she know of his plans.

The beautiful and innocent Lady Constance is no mere plaything for Lucan Wynwood. She will be his revenge. By ruining her, he will have his vengeance against her brother. Except that the Lady Constance is full of surprises…and now she could well be the ruin of him.

Sins of a Duke by (Scandalous House of Calydon #3) by Stacy Reid

I love the Victorian era, and this book is set in the second half of the 19th century. I am not a fan of revenge romances but I like this author’s writing, so I thought I’d try it.

And yes, I did really enjoy the writing, and I also enjoyed the characters.

My problem with the revenge trope is that I don’t see how we’re supposed to like a man who is fine with ruining an innocent woman’s life right up until the moment he decides he’s in love with her. He shouldn’t have to be in love in order to do the right thing!

So I went into this one worried, but in the end I think the author drew out the revenge thing just as long as she could before I started hating the guy. I think he came to his senses early enough I could cope with it.

It’s still not a trope I love, but I think some do it better than others.

Even though things moved fairly (well, really!) fast with the physical side of the relationship, I do think that time was taken to show the characters actually falling in love.

A solid read.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week: 21st – 27th April

 Kangaroos Queanbeyan Australia 25th April 2014 Sonya Heaney.

A few of the few thousand kangaroos around our part of Canberra/Queanbeyan.

Mixed week for many reasons, not the least because of what’s happening Ukraine. It feels an age ago that it was Easter, when in reality it was only a week! In Australia, we also had Anzac Day on Friday. Here in Canberra we had Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and three Victoria Cross winners as our big stars. But I find it pretty offensive some idiots in power decided to have reenactors playing World War One veterans – in costume and everything! They were getting the applause and appreciation meant for the real soldiers.

 Ukraine

Russia continues to decimate Ukraine while the world looks on ‘with concern’. Many people are missing and later turning up dead, helicopters are being shot down by Russians. Russian Special Forces soldiers have been identified as the ‘locals’ who are stirring up all the trouble in the east (the same bloody men who did this in Georgia in 2008).

At what point is the world going to consider this a war situation and do something?

 ukrainians-tortured-and-murdered-by-russians

The two latest Ukrainians tortured and murdered by the Russians.

I accidentally came across the crime scene photos from the latest murders. A nineteen year old boy and a city councilman were abducted, tortured, weighed down and drowned.

Tomorrow I’m going to be blogging rather extensively on my utter disgust with the current trend in the romance genre for Russian criminals as heroes.

 Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs

In books, I’ve been reading a bit of everything. From suspense to contemporary romance to historical romance to some urban fantasy. Some good, some bad, some in between. I’m getting really tired of a few tropes, and have been avoiding them when picking review books. No more wedding planners, PLEASE!! No more women getting pregnant to her brother’s best friend at a wedding, PLEASE!! No more SEALs going to their hometown to help rescue the child of their high school sweetheart, PLEASE!!

 Romantic Suspense is Dead?

Kaylea Cross Pamela Clare Cindy Gerard Romantic Suspense Book Covers

My review of Taken with You by Shannon Stacey

Taken with You (The Kowalski Family Book 8) by Shannon Stacey

My review of How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days by Kate McKinley

How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days What Happens in Scotland #1 by Kate McKinley

My review of The Scandalous Love of a Duke by Jane Lark

 The Scandalous Love of a Duke by Jane Lark

My review of Fifty Years in Polygamy by Kristyn Decker

Fifty Years in Polygamy Big Secrets & Little White Lies by Kristyn Decker

My review of The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding by Stacy Reid

The Duke's Shotgun Wedding by Stacy Reid

My review of Break for Me by Shiloh Walker

Break For Me by Shiloh Walker

The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding by Stacy Reid

The Duke's Shotgun Wedding by Stacy Reid

Victorian Era England…

As far as rash decisions go, it was formidable. But Lady Jocelyn Rathbourne’s will remains strong. If the only way to save her family’s estate and reputation is by aiming a small pistol at the Duke of Calydon, then so be it. For Lady Jocelyn demands satisfaction – and she will have it at any cost. Even if it means demanding the hand of the intense and foreboding Duke himself…

But she’s made the first move against a very dangerous opponent…

For Sebastian Thornton is no stripling to be trifled with. The lady has played her hand. Now it’s his turn. For Sebastian is in need of a wife. And to find a wife with spirit and fire – even if she means to only marry for his money – would be a great prize indeed. And he intends to thoroughly take his pleasure with her… and demands his own satisfaction in return.

 The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding by Stacy Reid

I nearly didn’t read this one because of the title. I don’t know who is responsible for it (the publisher, I’m guessing?) but using shotgun wedding (a 20th century Americanism) in the title of a book set in 19th century England didn’t promise much in the way of history in the reading experience.

Like many of these smaller press books I’ve read recently, this is a short read. Things happen fast – you know, if the title didn’t give that away!

The historical accuracy is nowhere near as bad as the title suggested. This is an “antic” book, with heroine holding hero at gunpoint at the start, which leads quickly to a kiss. If that sounds like your kind of thing, you’ll enjoy this one. I tend to prefer slightly more serious books, but I made it through this one very fast.

Something I’m happy about is seeing more and more Victorian era romances appearing (this one is set in 1882). As much as I love the Regency, the Victorian era is at least as fascinating. Unfortunately many readers aren’t as interested in a time period they see as being darker. However I’m all for lots of darkness in my books!

The Duke’s Shotgun Wedding is on the lighter side of the Victorian era, so don’t let the time period scare you off.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.