This historical is not for me unfortunately

Sweet WilliamSweet William by Dianne Hartsock

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a bit messy because there isn’t enough time for the story to develop and there’s a whole load of exposition thrown at the narrative.

It’s also a bit off for a historical in that William’s behaviour is wholly out of keeping for a man of his standing and the laws as they pertained to homosexuality at that time.
He’s reckless in his potential exposure of his nature and within the first few pages has been in compromising positions with three different men.

I’m afraid it just didn’t work for me as too many elements felt placed in just for the sake of it as a plot point rather than being an extension of where the story was going.

Both men felt too young as well, at aged 19 and 22 (if I worked it out correctly) for the positions they were in and the conclusion felt rushed. I believe this is a new edition of a previously published work but I’m unsure if anything has been added.

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

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Nope, not for me, overt feminism in a surface level only way

The PowerThe Power by Naomi Alderman

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Not for me. A clever idea which I can appreciate but the narrative felt detached, way too preachy and a lot of – oh look isn’t this horrible/shocking/perverse and yet men do this to women “all the time” – kind of over the top feminism.

The story jumped too much, I think perhaps it would work better in a visual medium as it had a reportage style to it and I would just get interested in one person’s story before it would then switch without warning to someone else. In addition, I didn’t find all of the character’s stories compelling, I found the male viewpoint more interesting – perhaps that was a deliberate choice – and some of the others were just tedious.

In another review, the author of that has likened this to reading like the script for a TV series box set and I’d have to agree with that.

I’m also reminded of the scenes where the women in Saudi Arabia, possibly one of the world’s most repressed in a patriarchal society, gain The Power and suddenly embrace all of what’s generally considered to be the freer “Western world” culture by going out and having sex with strangers. It felt a little bit insensitive and perhaps misunderstanding of the Islamic culture to make an assumption that it is only male repressive behaviour which stops them from going out on a “free love” kick. I suspect that’s not the case at all.

The book raises questions and then lets the reader draw their own conclusions which is, on the one hand a tried and tested method of writing, but at the same time is increasingly frustrating when a narrative ends with no conclusion. The affectation of having the book “wrapped” as a manuscript being sent to someone else and it all being from a male perspective also just rubbed me up the wrong way.

I think, like this author’s mentor Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale, The Power is a case of “it’s probably not the book, it’s me” as I felt absolutely no desire to pick it up and continue reading it but as it was my book club’s choice to read, I dislike not finishing a book.

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Didn’t work for me at all

To Love and ProtectTo Love and Protect by Kay Simone

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

 

I usually love Kay Simone’s books but unfortunately this one with Jason Collins was a dud for me.

The plot just didn’t stand up and was so muddled, the book felt like it went on a bit too long and the relationship between Hank and Ben was all on the surface.

The stalker plot really made no sense, neither did the big reveal and there were just too many story threads all over it.

Sadly not for me and I nearly DNF but I hate doing that. Please don’t dismiss it on my account though, if you like sweet books with a hint of a mystery it might work for you.

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A kink too far for me

Curious BeginningsCurious Beginnings by M.A. Innes

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

While I can appreciate the ability to write about this particular kink, I can’t say I enjoyed the story at all as I didn’t feel or buy into the fairly instantaneous connection between Mark and Sebastian.

Also the whole age play infant thing, definitely not a kink that does anything for me although I do love a good daddy/boy romance.

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