Book Hoarders Anonymous

I have too many books. There, I admit it. I'm working on it though.

Is there anyone out there?

For the last several months, I haven't seen anything show up in my feed.  Most of the time, unless I just posted something, I get a blank page - no headers, no posts, just...white space.  Someone said things would eventually load for them.  Nothing loaded for me.  I tried turning my ad blocker off, to see if that was the issue.  Apparently not.  I don't have cookies blocked, so not that.  Today, I plopped a review down, then out of curiosity, went to look at a few followers' blogs.


I noted posts on the issues.  I noted comments on said issues.  I...was unable to like or comment or...  the links appeared dead.  Is this yet another bug showing up?


I was musing a few days ago that it would be nice if they'd just say "we're killing it" rather than let it die a slow death by ignoring it. I was musing that when the site was down, and wondering if they'd finally decided to kill it for good.  Fortunately, I've maintained my shelves on goodreads *if only because the ones here are so clunky and often incomplete*. I just wish they'd do something besides phone it in.

Wildfire In His Arms - Johanna Lindsey

I think...if I'd read these in order, I would have really been irritated with book #3. The two overlap quite a bit. time-wise.


So our H - scary gunslinger who thinks of himself as a peacemaker - has a favor called in, and finds himself acting as a US Marshall. And... he'd just spotted someone who fit the description of one of the wanted posters. ( I must interject that shortly before he came to be in this town, he was challenged by a kid in a yellow slicker. Hmmm... Did we get a glimpse of a v. young Angel?). So with a bit of deductive reasoning and a question or two, he heads off and finds himself with... well... And now he has a dilemma - does he turn her in or...?



Our h, accused of killing someone, and robbing a bank, did neither - she was making a withdrawal and the banker gave her someone else's money too by accident - we assume anyway. Is possible he did it deliberately. She's been on the run and hiding for 2 years. And now she's caught. He doesn't turn her in, for personal reasons, not that he admits that even to himself. Just says it's because she's a girl. Much adventure...ok, hunting down of criminals...later, a kidnapping by the sheriff in her home town, and his running them to ground, a hasty marriage (because otherwise the supposedly dead person has sued for guardianship of her and her brother until she's 21 or married), a bit of intimid-ahh-conversation with said not-dead-yet mayer later, and he gives in and goes to his figure out what's going on. Because...our gunslinging H is the oldest son of a *banker* in Chicago, and he apparently bravely ran away away after shooting his brother for screwing his fiance' and being ordered by dear old dad to marry her anyway.



Thoughts about it. The h talks...a lot... For someone on the run, she doesn't hide her tracks very well. Then again, he would never have seen her in the first place if her friend hadn't let her sleep late. The maybe a little too good at hiding his emotions, which leads to a lot of uncertainty on the h's part. The story, in and of itself, is good. It could almost be seen as entertaining, though I think her constant chatter grated a bit too much on me for much amusement, and the behavior of the sheriff and his deputy bothered me a lot - they treated her like a criminal and it wasn't until the H caught up to them that they came clean about the charges being dismissed and them collecting her for her guardian.

Highland Dragon Master - Isabel Cooper

Indiana Jones meets The Mummy only it's medieval and the protagonists are dragons.

If I had quibbles with this one, it's that the h seems to have a chip on her shoulder due to her not being One of Them so to speak - while it is never addressed, it seems certain her father was the ancient and far less human (and thus less empathetic) dragon who was killed in the previous book. I wouldn't find it as vaguely annoying if she wasn't 200 years old or so. That's a long time to not get over it. I also wonder where she's been over the years before she married a ship's captain. She didn't say... She obviously wasn't around the clan.

Anyway... our H is sent on a Quest to find a mighty power source that might ensure that England leave Scotland alone. He finds his way to a France I think. Why France is never explained...or it's explained only in the sense that he feels it less likely that someone in England will hear of it. And they set sail - to some mythical island west of England. Some mythical island that has... what is identified as an elk but sounds more like a moose. Must have been further west than Greenland or Iceland then. In any case, they do find the island, or rather, they get close enough to the island for said power source to find them. Much adventure and errr...interesting times...later, they hunt down said power source and deal with it.

And as with the previous book, it ends with the H/h riding off into the sunset, in this case, sailing.

Highland Dragon Rebel (Dawn of the Highland Dragon) - Isabel Cooper

Well... it made up for the lacking in book 1 - there was an actual story here. That said, one dislikes reading of everyone trying to foist their daughter on the H who is sleeping with the h at that point. Doesn't help much that the h seemed ok with it and even considered a tumble with some fae nobleman.

Beyond that, maybe I missed something at the beginning but it was unclear as to whether the H's quest had ended at the end of the book.

And that lord's son's age went from 14 to 12, then back again.

Oh, the story is that the h is the H's bodyguard as he goes to various allies with centers of power nearby and performs rituals of some sort. Along the way, there's several attempts on his life - poisoning, mercenary, and...something from beyond... before a last run-in with what turns out to be an ancient dragon.

Highland Dragon Warrior (Dawn of the Highland Dragon) - Isabel Cooper

This is essentially a prequel trilogy of the highland dragon series.


Hmmm... Well, it's not a bad read. OTOH, it could do with some more...meat. I do like the time period better in the previous series - medieval Scotland is a popular (possibly overdone to be honest) setting and as such, only the idea of dragons got me to buy this.


Our h is visiting the home of our friendly neighborhood dragons to do experiments on their scales. Our H is home convalescing after a run-in with a sorcerer (actually, warlock might be the proper term here) She asks for scales, he says sure - if she'll help his friend who is slowly a nazgul. Much meandering later... potions were made, but we were only privy to a few. The guy isn't quite so invisible, but he's still not himself. The sorcerer has made several psychic attacks on the h...


They figure out where he lives and come up with brilliant idea of paying him a visit before he gets home. Figure out who he is, take care of the problems, etc.


The real complaint I have here is that it takes place over several months and you only get bits and pieces of that, most of it random. It's...disjointed, particularly compared to the books that came before. You see the H/h being attracted to each other, but they don't seem to be around each other much. Add to that, a background that could be delved into more, but isn't, a castle that theoretically is the same one seen in a later book but doesn't really seem the same, and something that does bug me a bit - a Jewish person delving into magic (something that's specifically spoken against in the OT). There was something else mentioned briefly - a dragon who apparently had kids with more than one female.


Bottom line - as background for the highland dragon series, you feel compelled to read it, but then you wonder why.

Night of the Highland Dragon (Highland Dragons) - Isabel Cooper
That was a v. enjoyable read. And...unusual. Why? Well, the time period for one. It's set in 1898. The h is dubiously considering having the castle wired for electricity. Most historicals are vaguely regency (some more than others, presumably because authors can't be bothered to research the time period). The other unusuality is that the *h* is a dragon, and the H merely a suspicious human who happens to work for an agency aware of "other" things.

The plot is simple - a dead person sought out someone having a seance and clued them in to his being ritually sacrificed. The H is sent to investigate. Comments from locals at a nearby town suggest the lady who lives at the castle never ages, and the village is...odd. The lady in question's meeting with him sets off warning bells with both of them - she, because she doesn't believe a word he says (well, I guess if you're a nearly 200 year old dragon, you've probably learned to sniff out deceit), and he, because what he'd already heard coupled with well, something was off about her.

Eventually they do manage to figure things out, both personally and professionally. It is...amusing really...when he does finally learn her secret. I'm not sure what he thought she was prior to that as we're not privy to his inner speculation but he had to have been a little suspicious after the alley fight.

There was one line that had me a bit baffled. I'd have to get the first two and read them but I don't recall another sister.


Its actually bugging me a lot that I *still* only see my most recent post on the feed - and nobody's that I follow.  And that's only if I just posted something.

Kill the Farm Boy - Kevin Hearne, Delilah Dawson

I liked it but...? I mean; the idea of skewering fables and fairy tales works for me. Having an agenda...not so much. The afterward says plainly it had a purpose for existing besides just being amusing. Perhaps they should have just let the book exist on its own merits.


Eh, enough about that. Sticking to the contents therein, the various characters ranged from amusing to irritating. I think, to be honest, the goat and the sand wich were the most interesting. So we have the farm boy who is told he is the Chosen One, we have the goat who *is* the Chosen One, we have a bard who is turned into a rabbit mutant by a curse laid upon a castle by a sand witch (ahem), we have a warrior who wants to just grow roses, we have a wannabe Dark Lord whose main power seems to be making bread from thin air, we have a rogue who "breathes so loud you could shoot her in the dark", we have the sand witch who...laid the curse upon the castle to prevent the daughter from getting involved in something that would embarrass her family... I mean; it sounds like a D&D party.


And they go adventuring to take out a magician or wizard or something who has the nasty fairy/pixie/whatever she is, who anointed the goat and lied to the farm boy in the first place, on retainer. Stuff happens, a couple of party members don't make it, the Chosen One eats a magic boot, fulfills his destiny, and we have an ending of sorts where he's now king, the castle is mostly awakened, and strangely enough, the daughter seems to be still under a curse.


This is part of a trilogy I think. I might read book #2 if I find it while book shopping.

A Shift in the Sky - Suki Selborne

Stares stonily.


Allow me to say that I loathe first person present with the fire of a thousand suns.

So much time spent on character interaction that world building was an afterthought. It was in space i guess but no idea what the ship(s) looked like, inside or out. Not much description of the characters either for that matter - she was red headed and curvy. He was tall and shifted into a lion. That's pretty much it.


Also, there was a section where it's the H's POV then mid-stream-of-conscious, it's the h's POV, then back again. No break, almost like the author stopped to do something else, forgot *who* she was writing, and just went from there, only to do it again half a page later. Did no-one proofread this? How was that missed?


Will I read anything else by the author? Based on this, not likely.

Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins - Matthew V. Mercer, Matthew Colville

Critical Role is, to quote Matthew Mercer - DM - a show where a group of nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons and Dragons. Vox Machina is the band of heroes from Campaign 1. The show itself starts well into the campaign so we don't get to see the beginnings. The graphic novels are a way of "fixing" that. Truthfully, we have no way of knowing how much of this is from the game and how much was made up for the novelization. Is very entertaining though.


Is amusing how the band of misfits manage to meet, blunder into each other, and eventually become a team.

Panda and the Kitty - Eve Langlais

It struggled for that 3, much as I struggled to even get into it.


Our H/h, both shifters, and apparently mates, met way too young I think. He had family obligations, and she had the understanding of a gnat. She spent way too much time dwelling on his "letting her down" when she knew the family he was from to start with so what exactly did she expect him to do?


He took up drinking apparently because of this and was a nasty drunk. Enter mommy dearest who flat out tells him she has no feelings for her family, then disappears him for over 3 months where she experiments on him, then dumps him at the family compound. He eventually leaves and disappears for a bit, then after an apparent arrest attempt, finds himself shifting into a completely different animal.


Things that bug me... ah...most of the book? Nobody stopping to think maybe he had a tracker on him courtesy of his "loving" mother? Nobody ever stopping to consider the orphan might have come from the lab? Really, she could hide her scent. The h's attitude towards the H. The fact that we get a second round of some evil person experimenting on shifters. The lack of any real humor...

'Roo and the Angel - Eve Langlais

The later books in this series aren't as entertaining as the earlier ones. Oh, the previous one had its moments but to be honest, I think a large part of it is the whole "same plot, different antagonist" bit. Well, that and this book seemed to be rather light on the actual relationship development. Time was skipped, with the characters apart for various reasons, and what time they were together seemed to be in the middle of some sort of drama. IOW, how did they fall in love? They weren't together enough to even know what each other's full name was.


And really, I'm not sold on the whole "create mutants via experiments" theme when they seem to do just fine with that via interbreeding (the sabertoothed giant bunny from book 1 for example). In this case, they've created a mythical beastie which makes me think of the chimera series by the same author. Seems redundant.

Oaths - Lindsay Buroker

Yeah...not really feeling this one. I think perhaps there was one too many books, or not enough ideas. Well, that and yet another round of Cas/Tolemek emoting. Really, I do grasp that the temple needed built, Ridge's mom needed to be told, etc., but... the first part of the book was largely a rescue mission to free what must be the most inept former pirate ever (how did he ever survive as a pirate? Seriously), while his love interest panicked because even though they're living together now, they still can't seem to actually relate to each other and she'd bolted and wasn't there to help. He's finally rescued, though I'd imagine it would only be a few weeks before some other topic came up that caused her to bolt.

In the meantime, Ridge's mom has stumbled across a sleeping dragon, saw a kid levitating rocks, and is convinced Ridge is pulling some sort of elaborate hoax on her. It was almost funny until you realize she actually saw this stuff and still doesn't believe it.

Fortunately the wedding takes place (and half the book) and is actually amusing. So is the short story tacked on to the end.

Shattered Past - Lindsay Buroker

Interesting... so crankypants' issue with magic wielders stems from the late queen's parents' treatment of him.


The adventure in this incident involves a discovery of bones, an old betrayal, and... I can't help but wonder though if perhaps things still managed to be misread. It was centuries in the past though,


Amusing part - h asking her cousin to put in a word for the H so he could be assigned a position closer so she could have sex with him. Rather blunt there. But then, this story was unusually blunt. I suppose it's fitting that this H uttered a curse or two.

The Fowl Proposal Bonus Scenes (Dragon Blood) - Lindsay Buroker



Ridge has decided to propose to Sardelle, so he asks advice - from 2 people. He gets it from his mom, unasked. One person panics, thinking their SO is about to propose, and the other (plus mom) suggests a nice restaurant and well, a formal affaire. IOW, NOT what he'd been thinking about. He decides to ignore most of the advice, only to discover that his asking around had taken too long and Sardelle had made her own arrangements - involving a dragon. Hahah!


As an aside though, it would appear that mommy might have trapped daddy into marriage there. That being the case, perhaps I'm not so sure I feel a lot of sympathy for her.

Soulblade - Lindsay Buroker

Problem #1 The party is split up
Problem #2 The.Party.Is.Split.Up
Problem #3 THE PARTY IS SPLIT UP!!!!


Ok, essentially our merry band of adventurers is split into 3 storylines here. storyline 1 is where most all the fun stuff happens and where most of the group is. Storyline 2 is in search of storyline 3 and consists of one of the adventurers, an amusingly delusional dragon, and an officer who doesn't actually like the star of storyline 3. Storyline 3 consists of the missing, presumed dead H, an amoral, power mad sorceress, and her increasingly disenchanted soulblade.


I had issues with storyline 3 because of what happens. The collision of all these storylines happens over/in the castle. Fortunately, the good guys prevail, likely because the unhappy soulblade refused to protect his mistress.

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Johanna Lindsey