The Scarlet Corset

Archive for the ‘Pilates of the Page’ Category

Mission Accomplished

Posted by Wanderer on April 18, 2009

Sorry for the lateness of this post but the real world has a way of getting in the way of my fun πŸ™‚ I want to thank those who offered suggestions for my Mission Possible a couple months back. I read a few of the books mentioned as well as a couple others that I found on my own and final verdict: I read some good stories, a couple ‘bleh’ books but my favorite would have to be A Knight In Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux!

Abandoned by a cruel fate, lovely, thoroughly modern Dougless Montgomery lay weeping upon a cold tombstone in an English church. Suddenly, as if in answer to her prayers, the most extraordinary man appeared.

He was Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck…and according to his tombstone he had died in1564. Tall, broad of shoulder, attired in gleaming silver and gold, he was magnificent. Drawn to his side by a bond so sudden and compelling it overshadowed reason, Dougless knew that Nicholas was nothing less than a miracle: a man who would not seek to change her, who found her perfect, fascinating, just as she was.

Yet she could not imagine how strong were the chains that tied them to the past…or the grand adventure that lay before them….

I’ve read a couple of Jude Deveraux’s books in the past and they were just on my OK scale. Decent stories with a cute love story but nothing that stuck with me after the fact. A Knight In Shining Armor broke that mold and is a definite keeper that I can see myself re-reading in the future.

I’ll admit, the beginning started out bad for me. First of all, I have a thing with character names that make my eyes roll and this one had that: the heroine’s name is Dougless. But after seeing the name a few times, I got over it. Then the beginning of the book makes Dougless sound so pathetic with all she puts up with that I thought I had another TSTL heroine on my hands. I did put the book down a couple times but after finally getting over that beginning bump, there was no looking back.

I was happy to see that this wasn’t another lust at first sight story and enjoyed the build up of the friendship then relationship between Nicholas and Dougless. I wasn’t annoyed each time Dougless had to explain an item and it’s function to Nicholas. In fact, most of the time I found it sweet to look at things through his eyes. Actually, I was surprised at how his comments were very relevant to things going on today what with everyone trying to go green and save the earth. It’s very true how much we take for granted and waste in this time.

I loved the humor in the book and found myself smiling several times throughout the story. It was also cool to have two different time-travel aspects in the book, the second being where Dougless is transported back in time. This book even includes the Buffy/Angel dilemma – all you Joss Whedon fans know what I’m talking about. Basically, the “we want to make love but can’t because something bad will happen” dilemma. There’s a part when Dougless has traveled back and they’re about to get it on but then Nicholas stops them and he says something to her that I found heartbreaking and sweet, sad and beautiful, just a whole mix of emotions.

As for the ending, for a few moments I wished that it happened a different way but after some thought, I felt it was perfect as is.

Final grade: A-

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Posted in A Knight in Shining Armor, A-, Historical Hook-Ups, Jude Deveraux, Mission Accomplished, Mission Possible, Pilates of the Page, Wanderer | 2 Comments »

Isn’t It Romantic? by Ronda Thompson

Posted by Mistress on February 17, 2009

With Mistress tackling Historical Romance and Wanderer doing Time Travel Romance for their Pilates of the Page I decided to give Contemporary Romance one more go. I was never that big on the genre and I confess Becky Bloomwood finished me off. I’ve been putting off finding the right book for this exercise for a while now and would have continued to do so had I not encountered Ronda Thompson’s Isn’t It Romantic at a garage sale today. I started reading the book as soon as I got home lest I lose my nerve and let it get buried under my mountainous TBR pile in the study. Isn’t It Romantic? Isn’t the first R. Thompson book I own, that privilege belongs to her most recent novel Confessions of a Werewolf Supermodel, but it is the first one I actually got around to reading. So let’s get down to business shall we. First, the blurb:

They’ve never met, but Katrine Summerville and Trey Westmoreland are sworn enemies. Katrine is a romance writer who, after being abandoned at the age of five, and widowed and pregnant at eighteen, doesn’t believe in happily-ever-after.

Trey is a hard-nosed newspaper literary review columnist who carries the bitter taste of a failed marriage around with him along with a resentment toward romance novels, which he believes give women a warped expectation of love.

A case of mistaken identity, a night of ill-fated attraction, and their steamy moment captured on film catapults them into four weeks of nationally publicized Hell.

Kat is a likable heroine. She isn’t annoying, whiny, or in constant need of rescue. She doesn’t bumble around like an idiot nor does she dwell on her past like it’s the present. She isn’t perfection personified either and has enough self-awareness to recognize when she is in the wrong. Trey doesn’t stand out as much as Kat does but successfully holds his own in their interactions. Unlike many other books, the secondary characters do not detract from the story nor did they annoy me. I even enjoyed the interaction the characters have with Kat’s daughter and Lord knows how I feel about children in romances.

Within the first chapter I suspected that I was going to enjoy this book very much. Initially I was worried that it would have a strong start but would have no follow through but I couldn’t be more wrong. The plot isn’t that much different from the movie “How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days” but I enjoyed reading Isn’t It Romantic? significantly more. The dialogue between the characters sparkles. The tongue in cheek allusions that skewer fun at the romance genre – especially the historical kind – sets this book apart from similar novels. Heck, I lost myself enough to laugh out loud several times. I startled my sleeping dog awake which I never ever do for the peace I get from him are few and far in between. This book isn’t only a straight up love story but a wildly entertaining comedy as well. It’s probably one of the funniest books I’ve read in years, if not ever. I’ve been reading romance since, well, I grew out of my beloved Archie Comics (ok, I haven’t quite grown out of them yet) and of the many different reactions I have when reading these books, this one evoked the best of them all, my laughter.

Grade: A-

Reader

Posted in Contemporary Couplings, Pilates of the Page, Reader, Reviews | 6 Comments »

If at first you don’t succeed….

Posted by Wanderer on January 18, 2009

destroy all evidence that you tried…….hehehehe πŸ™‚

A recent post by Katiebabs about goals had me thinking not only about life goals but about my reading goals too. While I won’t be able to join this reading challenge, I realized I could challenge myself in a different way. Like my sister-blogger, Mistress, I seriously needed to take a course in Pilates of the Page. For 2009, I will attempt a reconciliation with a certain type of romance novel. The bane of my reading existence?…..(drum roll please)…. Time Travel Romances. Yep, that’s the Joker to my Batmam, the Lex Luthor to my Superman, the frizz to my curly hair….you get the idea!

What I’ve already tried:
1. Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning – I believe the review speaks for itself.

2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I did not complete this book once I discovered the beating scene. That is NOT an idea of romance to me and I found it even harder to believe that a woman from these times would react the way Claire did.

I’m hoping third time’s the charm. Do you have a favorite time travel romance?

My literary no-no’s: hero beats heroine, rape or BDSM stories. I’m up for anything else: highlanders, cowboys, magic, fantasy, supernatural…bring it on!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to post a book suggestion below and Mission Possible: The Wanderer Chronicles shall begin.

This message will self-destruct in 10 seconds……

Posted in Mission Possible, Pilates of the Page, Wanderer | 8 Comments »

Pilates Of The Page

Posted by Mistress on December 18, 2008

Pilates is all about strengthening your core through extending and lengthening exercises. It does a body good I hear…so I’m hoping for similar results when applied in a bookish fashion.

We all have at least one genre that gives us the willies for whatever reason and limits us as a readers or reviewers. In this reoccurring segment we’re going to stretch ourselves by reading genres and/or authors we β€˜re uncomfortable with to try to become stronger readers. We won’t review the books since we’re biased, instead we aim to share our laughter, gripes, joy, and pain with you conversationally and we hope you’ll chime in with your thoughts on the books we work-out, your genre no nos,and suggestions for us to read. Heck, maybe you’ll accept the challenge yourself share your findings here or link to your blog post about it.

What do we hope to gain from this?

1) to discover awesome authors we’re not reading.

2) to overcome our general distaste for a particular genre

3) to, if we’re lucky, glean enough of the genre feel to review other books like this

So to get this ball rolling I’ll be wrestling with Historical Romance. Scarred by the truly toxic ” To Whitney, My Love” at the tender age of 16; I’ve avoided it like the plague for 8 years, until now. I’m getting some great suggestion on Twitter to start with and am open to more.

My conditions:

1) a strong & intelligent heroine is a must

2)No Higlanders need apply. Reading brogue makes me vomit.

3)No B&D ( bondage and discipline), D&S ( Dominance and Submission)…..or rape = /

4) Nothing too Angsty

those aside, I’m game for any and everything.

Mistress

P S
Just in case it helps, so far I’ve liked Mistress by Julia Quinn (my current fav of this experiment) & The Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens

Posted in Mistress, Pilates of the Page | 1 Comment »