Normally I find it easier to write great rave reviews than scathing ones - seriously, folks, so stop laughing - but there are two reviews that I can't write even now. They are for Eloisa James' An Affair Before Christmas and Elizabeth Hoyt's To Taste Temptation. I've tried many times to write the reviews, but I just can't find the words to express myself.
You see, I love these two books. The strange thing is, I don't love all of the story for each book, only parts of it so, so much.
In Eloisa James' An Affair Before Christmas, I have such an embarrassingly huge crush on Leopold that I feel sheepish just wanting to put it down in words. His scenes have me laughing and crying that I'd come off like a mad person if I write all that down. But that's how I feel. And yet, at the same time I get really put off by the author's abrupt turnaround later in the story, creating a few twists so that Leopold will be left hanging and I will want to read more just to find out what will happen to him in the end. Given that I know he'll be paired to some random woman at the end, probably some too-young dim-witted twit in the last book of the series, I am not sure if I like the heartbreak that will be in store for me. The author hasn't been able to sustain a series in the past, with each series eventually degenerating into an unsatisfying mess of foolish behavior, and I don't think I can bear it if Leopold is paired with the author's usual dim-witted too-hard-on-herself moron heroines that always show up in the later books in her series. Therefore, sometimes I feel that I love this book, sometimes I wish that I don't. It's all so confusing, heh.
As for Elizabeth Hoyt's book, I love the romance. I thought the way the author portrays the relationship in subtle nuances instead of breathless bodice-ripping passion makes the relationship more erotic than it otherwise would. There are some strange readers out there who feel that the heroine is "rude" because she isn't willing to speak to a man beneath her station as if he's her equal (imagine that), but I think the heroine is an excellent example of a woman of her time who eventually comes to appreciate the hero. Even the kid is adorable rather than irritating. But yikes, the subplot of this story is terribly handled and I think the hero is the worst Hardy Boy wannabe ever. This is one book where I have such mixed love-hate feelings for that I find it hard to articulate completely how I feel about this book.
Maybe I should just link to this blog entry for those books, heh.
At any rate, I'll try to get the reviews done before the year ends. Or in Ms Hoyt's case, before her new one arrives at my doorstep - given that Amazon now takes more than a month to send my parcels to me (I wonder why), that may give me more time to think and ponder on what to write.