Bookit #16: Harper & The One Night Stand

Title:  Harper and the One Night Stand
Author:  R. Linda
Publication Date: April 10, 2018
Format:  Ebook (Kindle Unlimited)
Grade: B-

This is the third review of the books in R. Linda’s Scandalous series.  (Book One and Two are reviewed previously).  In this book we get the point of views of Nate and Harper.  Nate is the older brother of Book 2’s leading lady, Indie.  Harper was a guest at the wedding, and Kenzie (sister of Book 1’s Ryder)’s best friend.  She also happens to be the ex-girlfriend of Nate’s cousin Brody.

Nate & Harper have a one-night stand at the wedding, and then for three months keep showing up at each other’s houses, having a string of one-night-stands.  Harper finally ends it when she realises that they are perhaps not as stringless as they had begun.

I have to admit I found Brody’s part in this story puzzling.  In this book he is written as being still a bit in love with Harper, yet in the previous book he was pretty much brushing the relationship off as something in the past and that they were just friends.  So it seems a little weird that in the six months that seemed to have passed since Book 2 that Brody suddenly is persuing her again.

Like the others I enjoyed this as a light and fluffy romance.  The angst was there, but almost brushed over.  I wouldn’t call this book very deep or meaty, but it was a fun way to wile the afternoon away.

I do like that this book has carried over some of the background plot points of the previous books.  Johnny and Julie, the two restaurant owners who helped Ryder when he needed it are woven through the book as they are Harper’s Aunt and Uncle.  The other two couples from Book 1 & 2 are developed more in these books as they return from college.

The couples tend to prefer having odd nicknames for each other.  I felt that the use of Friend here just seemed a bit weird.  I can’t say exactly why, so maybe its just a personal preference.

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Bookit #15: Indie & The Brother’s Best Friend

Title:  Indie & The Brother’s Best Friend (Scandalous # 2)
Author:  R Linda
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Format:  EBook (Kindle Unlimited)
Grade:  B-

This is the second in a series by R.Linda called The Scandalous series (although I’m not entirely sure how any of these stories are particularly scandalous…).  The first book was about Bailey during her last year in high school.  In the second book, the author turns to Bailey’s best friend Indie as she deals with her long abiding crush on her brother’s best friend.

The author also takes a POV turn, this time deciding to do it from both the POV of Indie, but also Lincoln, her love interest.  In Bailey’s book (which I reviewed here) it was solely in Bailey’s POV.  The characters are also aged up 3 years and are in their final year of college.

I found this book just as enjoyable as the first one.  The author seems to slip more into Australian terms more oftne in this book, but unlike the first book she never mentions the setting country so Its easier to just assume its in Australia.

I will admit that I found Jack’s play acting a bit much at times.  I find the “Oh, don’t worry, he’s gay” plot a bit overused.  At least in this story Jack remains gay, unlike a book I read a few years ago that had a surprise twist that somehow the supposedly gay best friend had fallen for the main girl (The novel was a bit of a train wreck to be honest and I can’t remember the title).

There is also a bit where the happily ever after came (which I’m all for) but I found it less satisfying because there were issues the two had that they never seemed to discuss and seemed automatically resolved because they were suddenly together.

This story does incorperate more of the minor characters of the first book, even though The POV has changed.  Kenzie, Ryder’s sister returns, as does Indie’s brother Nate.  I’ve read both of them and shall be reviewing them soon.

I think it has a bit of the idealism of the first book, which may or may not be a good thing going forward.

Bookit #14: Bailey & The Bad Boy

Title: Bailey & The Bad Boy (Scandalous Series #1)
Author: R. Linda
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
Format: Ebook (Kindle Unlimited)

Grade: B

I enjoyed this book.  It was a bit cliché in some ways but it didn’t make me want to throw it out the window.  It was cute, and the characters were developed enough that I cared to find out what happened.

The main plot is that Bailey, a 17-year-old high school student, has recently been dumped by her seemingly perfect boyfriend.  During a road trip planned before the breakup, she finds her boyfriend making out with her seemingly perfect best friend.  Obviously Chace & Christina were not as perfect as Bailey thought.

Along comes Ryder, a boy who used to be Chace’s best friend.  He offers to be her fake boyfriend to piss her ex off.  She eventually accepts, and finds herself re-evaluating a lot of people in her life, including herself.   As always, hijinks and drama ensue.

My main issues with this novel were the setting inconsistencies.  At one point it is mentioned that it is based in California.  However, the main characters have a 2 month “summer” vacation over Christmas.  Given the Author is in fact from Australia, it makes more sense to pretend I just never saw the mention of California.  I also don’t see how teenagers can just disappear from school as much as these kids seem to.  Cutting out of their classes with seemingly no consequences for that.  The one character leaves for a month.  At my high school, you’d be risking being held back and repeating the grade.

I also think that is a bit idealistic, but that’s okay.  I plan on reading the next book, Indie & The brothers Best Friend next.  We will see if it continues to be enjoyable.  I did not have that experience with the Holiday HIgh series I started to read/review earlier this year (hence why only one got reviewed in the end).

Bookit Review: The Girl I Used to Know

Title:  The Girl I used to know
Bookit #11
Author: Faith Hogan
Release Date:  2017
Medium: Kindle Unlimited Ebook

I found this book on the Kindle Unlimited service while looking for something different to read.  This book actually was better than I anticipated.  For one thing, the romance of the book was minor and almost a background story point. THe main focus on the story is the two main characters whose POV switches back and forth.

Amanda King is a forty-something mother of two who has suppressed her dreams to help her husband get ahead in his career.  Throughout the book she is forced to see how little of herself remained after all these years, and start to live on her own terms again.

Tess Cuffe,  a sixty something women who lives in Amanda’s basement has her own issues.  She had a falling out with her sister forty years before and never really allowed herself to get over it.  She is forced to reevaluate her life as well. 

This story is as much about friendship then any romance.  It has a happy ending for both Amanda and Tess, but its focused on them, and not their romances.  It’s a good story, although sometimes I felt the sentences were a little stagnant.  I definitely recommend this book and gave it a B+

The only issue I had with this book is that Richard and Douglas both made me want to throw my kindle.  Particularly Douglas and his “a girl like Tess.”.  He leads Tess on, and then blames her for everything and convinces her sister of the same.  Richard is a little easier to handle, though the way he tries to manipulate Amanda into what he wanted in a wife also is hard to take at times.

Bookit Review: Love Bites

Title: Love Bites
Bookit #10
Author: Skye Turner & Amanda Lanclos
Release Date:  November 11 2017
Medium: Kindle E-book  (Kindle Unlimited)

When I spotted this book on the ‘You May Like’ list, I thought it sounded cute and decided to read it.  It sat in the not-read pile for awhile but I finally got down to reading it this month…and I was disappointed.

The book description warns you that it is a book for adult readers.  Normally this doesn’t bother me as I am an of age reader.  However, by the end of the book it was too much.  The book was almost all sex scenes, with very little plot.  What little plot there was wasn’t very good and the whole book comes out as a shallow story.  While I don’t mind the occasional love scene, I prefer it to compliment the story, not be the entire story.

The story at first seemed to have some merit, but it soon stopped being a story.  It jumps time with no warning, and most of the non-sex scenes are just a few paragraphs leading to a new sex scene.  And I didn’t think they were written all that well.

I don’t know if it was perhaps the 1st person narration (Done with two characters alternating) or the fact that it just seemed rushed and nothing holding it together.  Either way, this book gets a strong C-.  I feel it could do alot better if they had added more to the plot so it didn’t seem like out of nowhere at the end, and developed the characters a little more so I actually cared about what was going on.

I may give the authors another chance individually, but I don’t see myself continuing this series when they do continue it. The other reviewers on Goodreads apparently disagree with me, so perhaps it was just me.

Ship & Let Ship

This post is actually linked to my last writing post.  The villainization of characters is a common trait among ship wars, and that is a part of today’s post.

Fandom in general is a fun, happy place for people to join together and enjoy something.  Be it a sport, a book, a movie or a TV show. If it’s a collection of fans of something, its a fandom.

However, particularly in the fictional work driven fandoms (Tv, books, movies etc) there is a dark element that pops up from time to time.  It’s called a Ship War. A ship, for those who are wondering, is a term for a pairing you prefer to see in a relationship. Most people have ships and have no problems letting others have their own ships.  Some, however, do seem to have a problem and make fandom less friendly, less happy and less enjoyable.

My first experience with a ship war was in the Doctor Who fandom.  I was late to the game, having watched but not been sucked in till I rewatched season 1 of the second series (or Nine’s tenure if you prefer) after catching an episode of Torchwood and Season 2 of Doctor Who.  I found myself really enjoying it, and immediately started shipping Rose/Doctor. I found that the Doctor Who fandom is thriving and has many little niches and sub fandoms. There was a lot out there, from fanfic, to fan made videos, and academic meta.  You can find a lot.

But one day, while surfing through various social media and fanfic sites, I started noticing something.  A strange undercurrent in the fandom. It turned out there was a division in shippers who prefered Rose and those who prefered Martha, his next companion, as a romantic interest.  I personally love Martha, though I found her season a little hard to watch. I found fanfics where either Martha was downgraded to a women who clung and became obsessed with the Doctor, totally ignoring the kickass character you saw on-screen or Rose likewise turned into a caricature of her characterization.  It just depended on what the author/video editor decided was the ship of choice. People took it further than that, and it made me back off for a while and want to rant about the fandom.

Sherlock, a television series based on Sherlock Holmes, was another fandom I saw this in.  However this fandom war made me completely drop the fandom. It made me uncomfortable enough that I have yet to go back and watch the show after season 2.  In particular one following of a ship decided to not only be horrible to other fans, they were horrible to actors whose character had, in their point of view, got in the way of their ship.

More recently I have come across a shipper war in The 100 fandom.  I came into the show, enjoying it. I liked the show, liked the books.  I was (and still am) a Bellarke (Bellamy & Clarke) shipper. I could argue why I felt they were the endgame couple.  On the screen, Clarke and Bellamy both had various other love interests. In particular, Clarke fell in love with Lexa, a character I didn’t care  for that much due to some writing issues. However I saw shippers on both side go to extremes to fight each other on it. Bellarke fans would exaggerate Lexa’s bad qualities, and Clexa shippers would state that Bellarke shippers were homophobic (whether they are or not as individuals can be debated.  It’s a poor generalization of a ship following however). They threw petty insults towards each other, but not in a fun “we all love each other anyway” sort of way. To the point I avoid the main 100 threads and tags because I’m always finding something happening.  And I’m not alone. I have heard stories from various fandoms where someone choose to leave or just stick to very specific tags because of overall tension due to a ship war.

There is a difference between good-hearted debate between shippers and shipper wars.  I have had conversations with my friends who have had different ships. For example, one of my best friends and I often disagree on shipping Jack & Gwen in Torchwood.  It’s good-natured debate. I have several friends who ultimately hate Trip/T’Pol from Star Trek: Enterprise. Yet when I write it/talk about it, they shrug and it’s the same when they talk about their prefered ship (Trip & Hoshi is a popular one).  The point is – we ship and let ship. We have our ships, our OTPS, our crackships and our “they are cute, so maybe” ships. They aren’t always the same. But we enjoy the same fandom, enjoy our friendships and our mutual love for whatever it is we are fanning.   We don’t go warring against each other over a disagreement with a ship. We don’t attack the actors who are just doing their job for getting in the way. We don’t let our shipping take over our lives, and our fandom enjoyment.

If you do not like a ship, do not read it.  Don’t write it. Treat your fellow fandomers with respect, and let others ship what they want to ship.  Yelling at them won’t change their mind, abusing them certainly won’t, and abusing characters in your writing will just make people avoid it.  It can also make people just peeking into the fandom run away from it.

If you don’t like a type of ship (be it slash, femslash, or het) don’t click on fics that use it.  Don’t target authors who write a ship you hate and give them bad reviews. I actually had this happen to me as a writer.  I saw a review, and got excited that someone had taken the time to leave one. When I opened the review up, I found a rant on how my couple was disgusting and how I should be ashamed to ship them. I was bewildered, and I know of others who have gotten similar reviews.  Once a friend and I decided to do a fic exchange. I wrote (well, am writing as I never finished it….meep!) a Jack/Ianto fic while she wrote a Jack/Gwen fic. She got a review that called her a homophobe for writing a bisexual character with a woman. Beyond the fact that it wasn’t even changing the sexuality of the character, it was confusing as to why this person took the time to seek out a Jack/Gwen fic and berate someone.  

So in the end, enjoy your ships and let other people enjoy their own.  Fandom is supposed to be fun, not somewhere someone is made to feel uncomfortable, or berated.