Dedededede (cranberrysheep) wrote,

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Faith and romance novels

Having watched the first four episodes of Faith I'm cautiously optimistic.  It seems to be a pretty solid mixture of drama/comedy/fantasy.  I'm not in raptures over it, but I think the cast is pretty solid.  And while I find court politics endlessly boring the intrigue here is at least more high stakes than the snoozefest that was Rooftop Prince's modern day equivalent.  The mustache twirling evil of Gi Cheol has potential.  And I'm pretty psyched about the dynamics between the King and princess.  Lee Min-ho is doing a very nice job, though I'm not really clicking with his character quite yet.  I loved the back story we got in episode 4 though.  But I'm pretty sure most of my interest is geared towards Eun-soo who I'm really enjoying.  She's got great comedic timing and I'm enjoying the balance set between her non-chalance about random things (like giving the princess a makeover) and stress over going back in time.  It's pretty great.

I also started Rich Man, Poor Woman, but I'm only through the first episode so I'll reserve my opinion for the moment. 

Recently I emerged from a romance novel binge.  I absolutely inhaled Julie Anne Long's Pennyroyal Green series.  They are an absolute BLAST.  Anyone who enjoys historical romances full of humor and sexiness, definitely check it out.  It's centered around two warring families, the Everseas and Redmonds (with a plotline that runs through all of the books that keeps getting built on) and features some truly, truly excellent female characters.  I'm eagerly anticipating the next installment in November.

Instead of plowing through the rest of Long's books I decided to venture out.  Unfortunately, there were a few missteps, like picking up a contemporary because it was written by a local author (AWFUL writing).  I also gave Eloisa James another shot, after absolutely despising Potent Pleasures.  But, I'd heard good things about the Desperate Duchesses series, so I thought I'd give it a try.  I read the first and fifth (because it dealt with a couple introduced in the first book) and just wasn't that enamored.  The problem, I believe, lies in James' writing style.  I just don't like.  At all.  She is so impressed with her own intelligence, dropping Shakespeare and French all over the place.  It's distracting and I don't enjoy it.  Besides, the retconning regarding Elijah and Jessa's relationship for the fifth book was distracting.  They couldn't stand each other in the first book, he hated everything about how she presented her in public (she was outrageous!  he was a stand-up politician!  his reputation would be ruined by her behavior!), but that was all horribly toned down by the time their book came around.  They were secretly in love the whole time, blah blah blah.  Didn't buy it.  The only reason I read it was because I wanted to watch them fall in love and that's not what I got.

I DID get that in Sherry Thomas' Ravishing The Heiress, which is all about two young people who are forced to marry, because he is an earl with no money, and she is an heiress who's father wants a title in the family.  The hero, Fitz, is of course in love with his childhood sweetheart and hates that he'll never be able to be with her.  Millie, our heroine, falls in love with him immediately, but hides her true feelings.  They make a pact to not consummate their marriage for eight years.  The books flashes back and forth between the present and important events in their marriage, showing how the affection they have for each other blossoms.  It's horribly romantic, though I didn't want to shake both of them.  But I thought it was a truly lovely story.  It's the second in a series, and I just loved it so much, the first installement paled in comparison to me.  Though from reviews I've read most people like the first better.  I'm excited to read the third, and final book.

Anyway, if you read romances, check out Julie Anne Long and Sherry Thomas!  
Tags: eloisa james, jdrama: rich man poor woman, julie anne long, kdrama: faith, romance novels, sherry thomas
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Eloise James is very hit or miss and I find it very hard to fall in love with her stories. The last novel I liked from her was actually in the duchess series and it was the third book, Duchess By Night - it's the only one I read from that series actually - but I'm a sucker from crossdressing romances so it's hard to go wrong with me for those.

I've read Like "No Other Lover" by JAL and my notes for it were that I liked the characters and they had a nice romantic chemistry. So I'll probably try the other ones. I'll have to check out Sherry Thomas.
I'll definitely check out Duchess By Night at some point. I was interested in Harriet's story after reading the first book in the series. Of course, the first book made me want to read the fifth one, This Duchess of Mine, because soooo much time was spent on Jessa and her duel chess games with her husband and Villiers. And that didn't end well :/ Of course, I'll probably also read A Duke of Her Own, just to get closure on Villiers story.

Do you have any other crossdressing romances you'd recommend? I don't know that I've ever actually read one.

Wait! I take that back "Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake" had a crossdressing scene, so that counts!
The last one I read was Georgette Heyer's "The Masqueraders" and it was pretty fun once you got used to her writing style. It was a nice change of pace from regency's I normally read these days.

I've read so many gender benders over the years that it's hard to remember how good the older ones actually are so recommending them is difficult in this case, heh.

Did you have anything in mind? I don't know if I can recommend something in terms of how good it is but I can tell you some titles that might fit what you're looking for.
Oh, no big deal if nothing springs to mind. I'm always in the market for new books to read. I have severe amnesia when it comes to romances tbh. Especially if it's a series. I'm always getting siblings confused.
I loved, loved, loved Sherry Thomas' Not Quite A Husband and Private Arrangements--two of the best romance novels I've read in quite some time. I remember thinking the author was a bona fide rising star. I didn't enjoy her follow-ups as much (His At Night, or that first book in the Fitz trilogy), wasn't quite as invested in the characters, but there's still much to enjoy about her writing and I haven't given up hope. :) Just not sure if I want to plunge right away for the 2nd book after two mild disappointments in a row, even if the mixed reviews are more of the '4 star rather than 5' variety. But glad to hear a 'second' opinion. :) I'll finish trilogy eventually in any case, unless the reviews for the final book are horrible. She's too good not to deserve that much of a chance.
Oh, I'll put those Sherry Thomas books on my to-read list. I loved Ravishing the Heiress so much, that when I was disappointed with Beguiling the Beauty I became hesitant to try more. I got burned with Sarah MacLean, when I fell in love with her debut novel (9 Rules to Break) and all her subsequent books have been kind of blah. I'd love to find an author I am guaranteed to love. I flit around so much in the romance genre, it's difficult to remember what exactly it was I liked/loved.
I'm going to check out the Pennyroyal Green and Ravishing the Heiress books!

I read the first of the Desperate Duchesses series. I know that there are several books revolving around different characters, but man, it just seemed like there was so much going on that there were times I had difficulty keeping track of who was who. And it was totally creepy how the cousins hooked up together. I'm thinking of the right book, cousins and chess, right? Have you read When Beauty Tamed the Beast? I thought that one was alright. She has a few other fairy-tale books out. Another I read was A Kiss at Midnight, but I honestly do not remember a single thing about it. I know she just came out with a new one called The Ugly Duchesses. Saw it at Walmart and Target today.
lol, cousins and chess!

The cousins thing didn't bother me because they were very distantly related. It reminded me of Mary and Matthew on Downton Abbey. It's so distant as to not really be a factor.

BUT YES, there was so much going on in the book, and I felt so much of it had nothing to do with the main couple. Which is annoying because that's what romances are supposed to be about. Anyway, I got REALLY tired of reading about chess. I don't play it, so I definitely don't want to read about it. DULL.
What grossed me out is the dude kept bringing up the fact that they were cousins. "Oh, you've never been kissed? Well then, let's make out. It's okay, we're cousins!" Totally agree about the chess stuff being boring too.
~keeping it in the family~

I really didn't buy their romance at all. It didn't feel earned. He was just all of a sudden intent on sleeping with/marrying her and she was positive she wanted to marry someone else until suddenly she didn't. Meanwhile: CHESS!
cautiously optimistic - that's my take on it, too. So far so good but for some reason I'm terrified it's going to be the type of angstfest I usually avoid. Whereas Arang is just creepy & wacky so I'm hooked.
I may eventually check out Arang, because I just adored Shin Min-ah in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, by My Girl has soured me on Lee Jun-ki pretty hard for the moment. I just can't bring myself to watch it.
Truthfully, I keep forgetting it's Lee Jun-ki. Maybe it's the historical clothing and hat always tied around his chin. Plus he spends 90% of each episode doing this:
ahaha - I just noticed you can totally see his pierced ears!! :D Yep, this drama is making very little effort to even try being accurate to the time period.