Friday, July 31, 2020

Bringing Down the Duke



England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women's suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain's politics at the Queen's command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can't deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.

Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn't be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn't claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring...or could he?

Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke.... - excerpt from Goodreads

Bringing down the duke by Evie Dunmore was praised to be the future of historical romance but I did not feel especially fascinated by it. I have read many of books in this genre and the thing that sets it apart from others is the message behind the book. No doubt having an issue to highlight in a fiction is a good move but sometime I just want to immerse myself in a brainless, funny, swoon-worthy story. 

The classic hierarchy, social circles and ranks will always exist in genres like this because that's how that era was built on. Royalty or anyone close to it will always be on top of the social circle. So when our heroine appears to be a nobody and trying her best effort to recruit men to fight for women's right, she had to stumble upon someone who is the most powerful Duke in England. 

Both lead characters are interesting people with interesting past. A good amount of attraction exist because of opposite traits and personalities. Their status itself makes it a trope, someone low class falling in love with someone out of reach. I enjoyed the alternating perspectives from the characters as it focuses on different situations of the story. Sebastian the male lead had really good growth in the book as Annabelle manages to bring out the best in him. As for Annabelle, I would say that circumstances and life lessons truly shapes her, resulting in her actions. The way she acts at times are agreeable, at times you would feel a tad annoyed because there is much stubbornness. 

I would say the plot of this book is driven by events happening in the book, such as a peaceful demonstration, dinner parties and many more. Through these, our characters are tested in many ways even though this is just a romance book. The struggles of a lady in that era and also men who tries to support them are not acceptable in society. Side characters plays a strong part in supporting the leads, some being reasons of actions, some being the "villains" that changes their path.

Overall, this is just an okay book for me as it focuses more on the message the author is trying to share, feminism. I would not comment on this subject because everyone has their own opinions on how to go about this. I am not fascinated by it as many historical romances has always urge the same topic, we woman are not objects for men to parade around and we have strong opinions too. A woman with great personality makes a good wife and also brings out the best in men themselves. So if you're looking for something sweet and sweeps you of your feet, this is not the one for you. You want to read about women empowerment, this is up your alley.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Vengeful


MAGNETO and PROFESSOR X

SUPERMAN and LEX LUTHOR

SDYNEY and SERENA CLARKE

VICTOR VALE and ELI EVER

Great partnerships, now sourced on the vine.
But Marcella Riggins needs no one. Flush from her brush from death, she's finally gained the control she's always sought - and will use her newfound power to bring the city of Merit to its knees. She'll do whatever it takes, collecting her own sidekicks, and leveraging the two most infamous EOs, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other once more.

With Marcella's rise, new enmities create opportunity - and the stage of Merit will once again be set for a final, terrible reckoning. - excerpt from book.

Vengeful by V.E Schwab has been a long awaited sequel to Vicious. I first fell in love with her writing through the first book and has ever since followed her writing career which has yet to disappoint me. This year I started reading her novels again that has been sitting for long time on my shelves. She has always been an auto buy author for me and somehow I had not caught up with her books as I can't bear that bitter sweet feeling of finishing her novels. I am always on awe upon completion, wanting to go back to those emotion rollercoasters. 

There is so much to say about this book but since I write spoiler free reviews, I'll keep it as simple as I can. Starting off with the characters, there are multiple point of views for anyone who is significant in the plot line. You'll get your favourite from the first book, as well as some new main and supportive characters. I was blown away on how epic each characters' power came to be, never the same, never a dull moment. The uniqueness and assortments of powers feels infinite when it comes to the author's imagination, it definitely reminded me of the TV series "Heroes". This does not feel like a copy cat at all if you're thinking of X-men, superheroes of any sorts, a refreshing take on anti-hero. Dark and twisted thoughts that turned into actions is what you'll find in the characters, but if you sympathise with them, you might understand why.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Undercover Bromance



Braden Mack thinks reading romance novels makes him an expert in love, but he’ll soon discover that real life is better than fiction. 

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart... even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned. - excerpt from Goodreads.

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams is the second book in the bromance book club series. Although it's not the continuing story for Gavin and Thea, it's people that have appeared previously. Braden and Liv definitely make a fun combo to read about. Their clashing personalities brings out maybe the worse or probably the best of their current self. In terms of dynamics, these two have more banter and more sass and it's adorable to read about it. Rom-com is at its best, the author has capture my heart as a new favourite. 

The cliches and tropes of a rom-com is definitely present but that's what I want and I loved it. It's not something that happens in real life but it isn't a fairy tale as well. What I meant is that Braden is written like every girl's dream come true yet he is still single. From his yearnings and obviously a secret about his past, you get to the present day Braden, explaining why is he single. Even Liv herself have a little something to hide from the readers. I love it when characters have a mysterious past which slowly unfolds, definitely a good hook me in element. Liv is the type of character that might get on your nerves through her reactions of every situation thrown at her, there will be times of "Why are you doing this??".
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