Tag Archives: fade to black

An exceptionally good debut from Allie Therin

by Allie Therin

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

This book is exceptionally good.

It hit pretty much every note I’d expect in a historical paranormal mystery romance, from a great sense of the time period, to a unique interpretation of magic abilities, to a decent set of villains and some sweet relationship development.

My only criticism, and it comes down to personal taste only, is that I really dislike fade to black or sex scenes referenced as happening off page.

It takes away an aspect of relationship development – that of the trust which comes with a sexual exchange – from the reader and, again in my own opinion, means you have a slight disconnect between the affection happening on page and that layer of build-up.

This is especially important to see for me as a reader in a period where homosexuality was not only frowned upon but could, in certain parts of the world, still mean imprisonment or death, as it demonstrates the emotional connection between two men in spite of the dangers.

That said, it really is my only niggle, because everything else just absolutely worked. I adored Rory and Ace, the secondary cast of both heroic accomplices, and villainous former friends, were brilliantly outlined and detailed.

The magical world is New York with a twist, it has a steampunk feel to it while mostly being rooted in the 20s Prohibition Era and I loved the paranormal elements.

Annoyingly for me, book two isn’t due out until next year because we’re left with a sort of cliffhanger and a lot of loose story plot ends which will be running through the series and I’m dying to find out more!

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Enjoyable contemporary with an Austen twist

True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop (Lonely Hearts Bookshop #2)True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this one, which was a surprise because it’s rare these days that I read any hetero relationships or chick lit but this certainly didn’t have any annoying alpha males or simpering females.

I thought both Verity and Johnny were well crafted characters, believable and real, human and alternatively frustrating and fascinating. Very’s obsession with Pride & Prejudice was neatly woven into the whole story narrative and never felt like a deliberate plot device and it worked well as the hook to hang their unconventional relationship on.

The introduction chapter was one of the funniest and most engaging I’ve read in a contemporary chick lit romance for a long time and actually had me chuckling out loud. Very’s mad family and bunch of friends meshed well and provided a nice contrast with Johnny’s, who were a bit posher and – at times – much more standoff ish.

Marissa, the technical villain of the piece, never became a caricature, I’ve met a fair few Marissa’s in my long years and she played true to type, a narcissistic selfish woman who couldn’t bear to let go of her devoted suitor.

The resolution was lovely but the epilogue was a bit of a waste, far too short even if it was quite sweet.

#ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review

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