Fangirl_15: So This Is What MetaFiction Looks Like

22858073
(ARC copy given by NetGalley)
Author: Aimee Roseland
Publication:  8th July 2014
Review by Lady Entropy

Chloe is in love with Lucien.

He’s enigmatic, compassionate, generous and intelligent. Likes classical music just as much as kicking ass and knows his way around a kitchen, though he’d never admit it. He’s gorgeous yet humble and can’t see past his own scars.

The only problem is that Lucien is a character in a novel.

The Dark Riders is one of the best selling paranormal romance series of all time, and it was destined to have eight installments, one for each of the brothers-in-arms. Except the writer died. Worse yet, book seven was finished by some poser that thought killing off one of the main characters would bring a more modern twist to the finale.

Chloe is absolutely devastated by the news that one of her “friends” is dead and that the series is canceled. A midnight escape from the locked office lands her in a deserted parking lot after hours where an unseen force has been waiting.  This supernatural assault strands her in an alternate reality where the Dark Riders are real and the horrible ending created by the publisher hasn’t happened yet.

The greatest strength of this book is how meta it is: an almost obsessive fangirl of a famous romantic urban fantasy series (coughBrotherhoodoftheBlackDaggercough) lives a boring life, wishing she lived in the books she so much loves. Her favourite author dies, leaving another author nobody likes, to complete the series and ruining it forever. And, then, she wakes up inside her beloved series, and proceeds to impress everyone with her secret knowledge of the world, gets adopted into the family and a life of luxury, and ends up finding her amazing powers (and romance with her favourite male character (coughZsadistcough) and never being the victim ever again.

As far as wish-fulfillment fantasies go this is the typical one (a better life + superpowers + wealth + a clique + hooking up with favourite character + being seen as beautiful), but I actually found myself liking how it was pulled off. Now, I know a lot of readers will be turned off by what amounts to Brotherhood of the Black Dagger self-insertion fanfiction (let us not kid ourselves, it is what this is, to the point where I was already addressing the book characters by their BoTBD counterpart’s names in my head — despite the nod to the Dark Hunter series). However, it is still written in a way that I could not fault the writer for, and I still empathized with the main character – certain parts were heartwrenching (I can totally relate to seeing someone taking a favourite book series of yours, and handing it to someone who basically ruins it while desperately trying to get more money out of it – the Chronicles of Amber comes to mind.)

I think the author tapped into a very specific aspect of being a fan of a series of books and managed to put into words things that we all felt before, and that is, I feel, the strong suit of the book.

Ultimately, I think I would recommend this to BotBD fans, because if you take away that particular aspect of the novel, it ends up losing most of its entertaining value, and you miss most of the nods to the main series.

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A May bride

18626241A May bride
(A Year of Weddings 1 #6)
Meg Moseley
124 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by Zondervan

ARC provided from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review

She’s prepared for her wedding all her life … but she forgot a few things.

This novella is not really a romantic, I think that the series have started to focus more on religion/God than the romance itself, which is a shame because the authors have forgotten to develop the relationships and feelings.
In a May Bride, Moseley focused on the theme of religious extremist that can lead to sorrow and bitterness and tear a family apart. Continue reading

A March bride

18168249A March Bride
(A Year of Weddings #4)
Rachel Hauck 
120 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Zondervan

ARC provided by the Publisher through Netgalley for an honest review

I found that in a series of 12 novella, not enjoying one is normal. Actually I am surprised that I haven’t only given one star so far given that this is series of Christian novellas. However, this one was a big nono 😦

The beginning started off a little shaky but I understood the conflict and it seemed like a fairly good one… until the author lost track of what she wanted to tell.
Susanna was for 80% of the time weak because the author wanted her to be like that for plot convenience, Nathaniel was cliche and a lousy king to be pretty honest, even the citizens of Brighton lacked in personality. Continue reading

Mini review: A February bride

18168277A February Bride
(A Year of Weddings 1 #3)
Betsy St. Amant
120 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Zondervan
ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review

Compared to the previous book, the bride from January, Allie is not such a great protagonists. She is conflicted and sure that she will fulfil the curse from her family just because all women had failed marriages in her family. In this one you could feel the influence of Christian messages. Nevertheless I wish Allie would have been different, more bold and courageous! She was the one creating her own problems with almost no need. Like Merida said in Brave: there are those who say fate is something beyond our command. That destiny is not our own, but I know better. Our fate lives within us, you only have to be brave enough to see it.

Happily ever after guaranteed. Allie left the love of her life at the altar—to save him from a lifetime of heartbreak. When a Valentine’s Day wedding brings them back together, she struggles against her family’s destructive history. Can Allie ever realize that a marriage is so much more than a wedding dress? History repeats itself when Allie Andrews escapes the church on her wedding day—in the same dress passed down for generations and worn by all the women in her family—women with a long history of failed marriages. Allie loves Marcus, but fears she’s destined to repeat her family’s mistakes. She can’t bear to hurt Marcus worse. Marcus Hall never stopped loving Allie and can only think of one reason she left him at the altar—him. When the two are thrown together for his sister’s Valentine’s Day wedding, he discovers the truth and realizes their story might be far from over. Can Allie shuck expectation and discover who she is as a bride and in the Bride of Christ? And if she ever walks down the aisle, what dress will she wear?

Mini-review: A January bride

18168267A January Bride 
Deborah Raney
(A Year of Weddings 1 #2)
Published December 24th 2013 by Zondervan
3star

 

ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review

Ahhh my favourite so far! Madeleine chemistry with Arthur is amazing. The plot conveyed by Raney gives us a good humour small novel with misunderstandings and lots of feelings. Arthur is a gentleman and Madeleine is an endearing female protagonist. The author managed to slowly build their romance in the few pages she had and, once again, without noticing the “Christian” part. I will be looking forward to read more books by Deborah Raney.

Who can work in a house that’s overrun by contractors and carpenters? Not Madeleine Houser, a successful novelist who gladly accepts the help of her octogenarian friend, Ginny, to arrange for a temporary office in the charming bed and breakfast owned by Ginny’s friend, Arthur. Maddie’s never met the innkeeper––but a friendship grows between them as Maddie and Arthur leave messages for each other each day. To Maddie’s alternate delight and chagrin, she seems to be falling for the inn’s owner––a man who’s likely many years her senior––and who she’s never even met.

Mini-review: A december bride

18221496 (1)A december bride
Denise Hunter
Published November 26th 2013 by Zondervan
120 pages

3star

 

 

 

ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review

This novel was all cute and lovely!
A December bride is an endearing novella, perfect to be read during Christmas time. Seth is a male character that many female readers will appreciate for his dear personality. He protects her without overwhelming her and treats her right. That’s right, you can read a sweet novel where the protagonist is not an asshole and still enjoy it!
I then found out that these books were Christian romances and I even liked it more! Although I am not a religious person, I like when a book conveys religious messages without being too aggressive.

What started as a whim turned into an accidental – and very public – engagement. Can Layla and Seth keep up the facade in Chapel Springs this holiday season – for the sake of her career . . . and his heart?

Under normal circumstances, Seth Murphy, the best friend of Layla O’Reilly’s ex-fiance would be the last person she’d marry. But the news of their upcoming (and phony) nuptials convinces a big client that Layla may be high-society enough to work for his agency, a coup that would put her fledgling home-staging business on the map. Seth has secretly loved Layla for years, even when she was dating his best friend. Maybe she’ll never forgive him for the way he hurt her back then, but he has to try. And Layla is willing to keep up their engagement farce until she’s landed her client. For Layla, it’s the chance to save her career. But for Seth, it’s his last chance to win her heart.

Do céu, com amor

Do céu, com amor
Michelle Holman
Quinta Essência
408 páginas
Lido em ebook
Publicado em Abril de 2013

Do céu, com amor é uma leitura breve, intensa que satisfaz o leitor e transmite valores e mensagens bonitas através de personagens cativantes, situações engraçadas e diálogos repletos de humor.

A atribuição de quatro estrelas a livros de chick-lit não é muito comum neste blogue, no entanto a obra de Michelle Holman merece todos esses pontos. São raros os livros que têm uma protagonista feminina tão rica, cuja relação amorosa é ao mesmo tempo terna e sensual. Holman tem uma escrita simples adequada ao género com vocabulário característico da Nova Zelândia, dando uma componente mais regional ao discurso. A escrita neste caso foi essencial para a fluidez da leitura com um ritmo narrativo sem qualquer falha e é aqui que muitos livros chick-lit falham: ou são demasiado curtos sem tempo para aprofundar uma relação, ou engonham com repetições dos pensamentos das personagens. Continue reading