Tag Archives: Vaginal Fantasy Book Club

Minute Review: Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge

Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic (The Dowser, #1)
Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge (The Dowser, Book 1)
My Rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

I quickly fell into the peaceful rhythm of baking, my hands moving and mixing while my mind and eyes were on the next ingredient. I was a particular fan of icing, sometimes piling it high enough to double the height of the cupcake. My grandmother often dropped in when I was baking–as I still did five out of seven days a week. She said watching me bake was like watching an adept witch work a spell. Flattery will get you treats from me every time.

I don’t think I would have picked this one up if it hadn’t been one of my February book club picks, but I’m glad that I did. While I wouldn’t call it a new favorite, the story was quick, some of the characters were intriguing, and it gave me a MASSIVE craving for cupcakes (which I immediately satisfied by making a batch all for myself). While the story was pretty simplistic, I think more depth comes in the later books.

Recommendation: Read this if you enjoy lighthearted urban fantasy, devil-may-care heroines that are still growing into their boots, or stories in which food wins the award for best supporting character.

The most important recommendation of all: READ THIS WITH CUPCAKES ON HAND!

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Minute Review: Silver Lining by Maggie Osborne

Silver Lining

Silver Lining by Maggie Osborne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The situation demanded some serious swearing and bullying, but she couldn’t let herself cut loose, not with Sunshine in the kitchen. Having a child nearby placed a severe crimp in her style.

“You are full of… horse feathers, cowboy.” Leaning over him, she stared hard into his eyes. “I didn’t work like a damned dog out there and freeze my butt off–excuse me, Sunshine–so we could just let those damned–‘scuse me, Sunshine–stupid cows starve or freeze. And we aren’t going to find a buyer for them now, that’s for damned sure–excuse me, Sunshine.”

This story can be read one of two ways: either it’s completely unrealistic and frustrating, or it’s a wacky, amusing, almost farcical Western Romance in which virtue wins out and the baddies get their just desserts. Fortunately for me, by about 30% in I knew I would highly enjoy it as one of the latter 🙂

Recommendation: Read this if you enjoy Hallmark Channel Westerns or are intrigued by a mashup between My Fair Lady, Doctor Quinn Medicine Woman, and The Importance of Being Earnest.

Review: Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire

Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1)

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire is the first book in the October Daye series, which is currently up to book 9 and is still going strong. The series is steeped in the world of fae lore, connecting creatures of many cultures, and it falls squarely in the category of paranormal mystery/adventure. In this first in series, we get to know October “Toby” Daye, a half-faerie private detective, while she investigates the murder of a friend, trying not to get herself killed in the process.

All in all, this was an okay read for me. There were things I really liked, things that started to drive me crazy, and a general sense of apathy that kept me from getting pulled into the story too deeply.

What I liked: The world McGuire built was amazing, full of way more cultural faerie lore than I even knew existed. This was especially great for starting a series because there are so many facets to explore. I also liked some of the side characters, namely Tybalt, Sylvester, and Luna – I really wanted to read more about them.

What I didn’t like: Toby really wore on me. She just seemed so bland and generally average. She was supposedly knighted due to merit, but I have no idea what she actually did to earn it. Her faerie abilities are absurdly weak, which she freely admits, and I was hoping her cunning and personality would make up for it. For me they just didn’t.

The other things that got to me were the occasional unbelievable scenarios and the apparent lack of editing. For example, when you bleed all over a bus handrail right in front of the driver, the cops are going to get called, especially when iron poisoning is dampening all of your faerie “don’t notice me” vibes. As far as editing goes, passages like this kept distracting me from the actual plot:

I didn’t see what came next. I opened my eyes to see Dare leaping onto her brother’s back, momentum sending them both crashing to the floor. The gun went off when it hit the floor…

What was that about not seeing what came next?

Overall, my interest in the world and side characters mostly balanced out my occasional annoyance, resulting in a wash. I’m glad I gave the series a try but I probably won’t read any further.

Top Ten Tuesday: Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in!

Today’s Theme: Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession (bought, borrowed, or gifted)

One thing this top ten topic taught me is that my TBR list is HOPELESS! I clearly acquire books faster than I read them. In fact, all of these books came into my possession within the last 11 days…

Here are my ten, from oldest to newest:

A Scorching Dilemma (The Rue Alliance, #2)

10: A Scorching Dilemma by Shereen Vedam – (ARC; Fantasy Romance) This is an ARC I received through Net Galley that I haven’t read yet. It’s actually the second in a series, and the ARC synopsis intrigued me so much I bought the first book, A Devilish Slumber, so that I could read this with all the right context.

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

9: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – (Library; Young Adult Romance) Featured on last week’s list, too, this is a book I’ve been meaning to read for a while and I finally did last week! Here’s a link to my review (spoiler: I LOVED it!)

Shadows Strike (Immortal Guardians, #6)

8: Shadows Strike by Dianne Duvall – (ARC; Paranormal Romance) This is another ARC that came through Net Galley, and I was thrilled to get it! It is book 6 in Duvall’s Immortal Guardians series and I’d been waiting anxiously for it since April! Here’s a link to my review.

The House on Tradd Street (Tradd Street, #1)

7: The House on Tradd Street by Karen White – (Library; Paranormal Mystery) I don’t know too much about this one, actually. It was recommended to me by a friend so I added it to my TBR list. If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought in the comments!

Dollbaby

6: Dollbaby by Laura Lane McNeal – (Gift; Historical Fiction – 1960s) Here’s another that I don’t know too much about. It was given to me after a friend finished with it, so while I’d like to read it, it’s pretty far down my list.

The Spymaster's Lady (Spymasters, #1)

5: The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne – (Library; Historical Romance) This book is the July main pick for the Vaginal Fantasy Book Club! I’ve been a member (one of MANY) for about 9 months now, and while I don’t read all of the picks, this one sounded just goofy enough to be worth it. Review to come soon!

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)  Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)  Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3)

4: The Daughter of Smoke & Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor – (Purchase; Young Adult Fantasy) I’m counting all three of these books as one because I got them all in the same awesome Kindle daily deal. I’ve heard quite a bit about these lately, and I jumped on the deal when I saw it! For those who’ve read them, let me know what you thought in the comments!

Mine for Tonight (The Billionaire's Obsession, #1.1)

3: The Billionaire’s Obsession by J.S. Scott – (Purchase; Contemporary Romance) I was also led to this one through a Kindle daily deal. I read the synopsis (basically a less creepy fifty-shades-type story featuring an insecure computer game designer) and the geek in me absolutely could not resist! I mean, 99 cents for a sexy, nerdy love story! Review to come very soon!

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)

2: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – (Library; Young Adult Romance) And here we are at book two in Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss series. Given how much I loved the first one, it’s no surprise that I immediately checked out book two. This review also to come soon!

The Beautiful Ashes (Broken Destiny, #1)

1: The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost – (Library; New Adult Paranormal) I’ve read some really mixed reviews about this book, but Jeaniene Frost is one of my favorite mature Paranormal Romance authors. Given that her Night Huntress series is wrapped up, I’m hoping that this will help fill the void.

*****

PS – Since crafting this list, two more ARCs have come through my Net Galley account: Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell, and On the Hunt – an anthology featuring Alexandra Ivy, Rebecca Zanetti, Dianne Duvall, and Hannah Jayne. So many books, not NEARLY enough reading time…

Let me know about your own top ten in the comments – I’ve got to keep feeding my hopeless TBR list somehow!