Friday, August 29, 2014

In Bed With A Rogue by Samantha Grace

In Bed With A Rogue

by Samantha Grace

He's the Talk of the Town

The whole town is tittering about Baron Sebastian Thorne having been jilted at the altar. Every move he makes ends up in the gossip columns. Tired of being the butt of everyone's jokes, Sebastian vows to restore his family's reputation no matter what it takes.

She's the Toast of the Ton

Feted by the crème of society, the beautiful widow Lady Prestwick is a vision of all that is proper. But Helena is no angel, and when Sebastian uncovers her dark secret, he's quick to press his advantage. In order to keep her hard-won good name, Helen will have to make a deal with the devil. But she's got some tricks up her sleeves to keep this notorious rogue on his toes...

*I received an ARC copy via Netgalley*

It's been a while since I've read any historical romance.  I gave up on them for a while because every heroine I came across irritated me to no end.  It was like every author went out of their way to make them stubborn as a mule and TSTL(too stupid to live). 

I didn't know what to expect when I requested In Bed With A Rogue, but I was sure that I was going to have the same issue with the heroine as I usually do.  I was very pleasantly surprised to find a heroine who wasn't TSTL, and I was overjoyed when the author put her in several situations when it would have been easy for Helena to act stupidly.  And then she used her head and communicated with her friends!  She was very independent and intelligent and while she didn't let Sebastian run roughshod over her, she also didn't act stubborn just for the sake of it.

Sebastian has to be one of my all-time favorite heroes.  He is a very sweet man who cares very deeply for his family and isn't afraid to show it.  He has a wicked sense of humor and I loved hearing about his past antics. He was the absolute perfect hero to match with Helena.

The absolute best thing about this book was the communication between the two characters.  They discussed their feelings and their fears.  It made their love more believable and real for me.

The only problem I have is that the book's synopsis makes Sebastian sound like a scoundrel who uses Helena's secret to get her in bed with him, and that may be off-putting to some people.

Definitely a book I would recommend for people who love historical romance.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ply-Split Braided Baskets David W. Fraser

Ply-Split Braided Baskets

Exploring Sculpture in Plain Oblique Twining

David W. Fraser


Ply-split braiding is a technique for making textiles by parting the plies of one cord (the splittee) with a needle or similar tool, drawing a second cord (the splitter) through the gap made in the first cord, and repeating the process many times over. With images, including patterns, these techniques illustrate how to make baskets using plain oblique twining, a version of ply-split braiding particularly well-suited for the art of basketry.
I received a copy of this via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
There are some very neat projects in this book.  The instructions are well done and easy to follow while also having a lot of in-depth information.  I thought I'd try them out, but I think I'll start with something a bit easier when I finally begin making some baskets. 

Swan Prince by Erin Lark

Swan Prince

by Erin Lark

Trapped between his royal heritage and swan shifter status, Oliver doesn't pay close attention during his flock's winter migration, and gets caught in the crosshairs of a trigger-happy hunter.

Careening toward the ground with no place to go, Oliver submits to his human form. As his swan's feathers recede, he seeks shelter in an old barn.

Bastion's spent the better part of his adult life caring for a bunch of bullheaded stallions, but this is the first time he's ever found a naked and gorgeous man in one of his stalls. When he asks the man his name, he doesn't get a reply. Without a wallet or a voice to tell him who this stranger is, Bastion takes Oliver in, clothes him and tends to a mysterious wound.

Oliver has nowhere else to go. Bastian is in a bind after firing a farmhand who would much rather call in sick than do his job. When passion flares, can Bastion and Oliver overcome their differences, or will this swan prince fly south?
I received an ARC copy via Netgalley in return for an honest review.
I've read a lot of shifter romances, both M/F and M/M.  I've come to love shifter stories, but they're not always unique enough to hold my attention.  I had high hopes for this one, especially after reading the first chapter.  Oliver's flight and his injury had me curious for more.  Bastian's gentle nature and their first meeting really interested me and I began to get invested in their characters. 
And then it just fell flat.  The characters didn't develop any further and there was no story arc.  The situations the characters were placed in were forced and unrealistic.  And not much happened.  I don't mean sexytimes.  There was plenty of that and I ended up skipping them eventually.  Been there, read that. 
I wanted more tension, more character development, and more of a plot.  This one just didn't do it for me.