March 8, 2012 / 9:49PM 9 notes

Timeless by Gail Carriger
So when was the last time you finished a series and felt completely satisfied by the last book? Oh, yeah. And I guess the series I read before that one ended pretty well. Okay you know what, are there ANY standalone romance novels anymore? 
Anyways. That is not the subject at hand.
Gail Carriger did a pretty great job with the Parasol Protectorate series. The first book, Soulless, is an exceptionally good paranormal romance. The rest of the books sort of zig zag back and forth between being okay and being GREAT and pretty good and then we’ve got this one, which is pretty good, but Gail Carriger even when she’s not at her best is still a highly enjoyable and amusing read. She writes in highly stylized but very jokey prose, and I probably cracked at least one smile on every page. 
In this book, Alexia Maccon, her husband, her daughter Prudence (who is an excellent character, btdubs), and a collection of actors go to Egypt for reasons that are way spoilery. Back in London, all of your old favorites investigate a murder (well, Lord Akeldama mostly watches and says italicsy things). Gail Carriger has always been LGBT-friendly, and I’m happy to share that there’s a M/M secondary romance that is very sweet. 
The end is a bit of a clusterfuck as Ms. Carriger ties together just about every loose end dangling throughout the whole series, but it’s a witty clusterfuck and in the end it’s tied up in a big fancy ribbon and served with tea and assorted pastries. 
There are no surprises here, but it’s light, relaxing reading and an airy finish to a lovely series. 

Timeless by Gail Carriger

So when was the last time you finished a series and felt completely satisfied by the last book? Oh, yeah. And I guess the series I read before that one ended pretty well. Okay you know what, are there ANY standalone romance novels anymore? 

Anyways. That is not the subject at hand.

Gail Carriger did a pretty great job with the Parasol Protectorate series. The first book, Soulless, is an exceptionally good paranormal romance. The rest of the books sort of zig zag back and forth between being okay and being GREAT and pretty good and then we’ve got this one, which is pretty good, but Gail Carriger even when she’s not at her best is still a highly enjoyable and amusing read. She writes in highly stylized but very jokey prose, and I probably cracked at least one smile on every page. 

In this book, Alexia Maccon, her husband, her daughter Prudence (who is an excellent character, btdubs), and a collection of actors go to Egypt for reasons that are way spoilery. Back in London, all of your old favorites investigate a murder (well, Lord Akeldama mostly watches and says italicsy things). Gail Carriger has always been LGBT-friendly, and I’m happy to share that there’s a M/M secondary romance that is very sweet. 

The end is a bit of a clusterfuck as Ms. Carriger ties together just about every loose end dangling throughout the whole series, but it’s a witty clusterfuck and in the end it’s tied up in a big fancy ribbon and served with tea and assorted pastries. 

There are no surprises here, but it’s light, relaxing reading and an airy finish to a lovely series. 

Gail Carrigerparasol protectorateparanormal romancesteampuktimelessbooksreviewslit

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December 28, 2011 / 6:01PM 8 notes

Faefever by Karen Marie Moning
Okay I am really over paranormal romance series whose titles are all completely indistinguishable. Seriously. I’m going to give you a few examples.
Kresley Cole (we’ve covered this, I know)
No Rest for the WickedWicked Deeds on a Winter’s NightDark Needs at Night’s EdgeDark Desires After Duskalthough her later books are more distinguishable, like LOTHAIRE.
Ilona Andrews
Magic BitesMagic BurnsMagic StrikesMagic BleedsMagic Slays 
Jeaniene Frost
Halfway to the GraveOne Foot in the GraveDestined for an Early GraveAt Grave’s EndThis Side of the Grave
Nicole Peeler 
Tempest RisingTracking the TempestTempest’s LegacyEye of the TempestTempest’s Fury
Larissa Ione
Pleasure UnboundDesire UnchainedPassion UnleashedEcstasy UnveiledSin Undone (Okay, this was helpful because the main character’s name was Sin)
I CANNOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALL OF THESE BOOKS WON’T YOU PLEASE PLEASE GIVE ME SOME CLUES. Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series has titles that manage to be both repetitive AND give clues as to the plot (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, etc. Heartless was getting a bit into the mysterious territory, but we have a good track record). Zoe Archer’s titles are descriptive of the main dudes (i.e. Scoundrel and Warrior). And here is where I have gone completely off the rails because I meant to talk about this book. Ahem.
Faefever, by Karen Marie Moning, the Part Where I Review It
Series is still going strong, although the ENDLESS! VIOLENCE! is sort of wearying and repetitive, to the point where I don’t even want to jump into the next book even though it was a major cliffhanger. Can I just have something CHEERFUL? God. It’s all rain and blood and The Dark Side of Mac and there was NO BARRONSEX and I’m disappointed but not surprised thanks to some helpful spoilers. I like that Mac is resourceful enough not to trust anybody completely, and I still think she’s a great character and enough fun that I don’t mind the first-person perspective.
Uh, that’s really all I have to say.

Faefever by Karen Marie Moning

Okay I am really over paranormal romance series whose titles are all completely indistinguishable. Seriously. I’m going to give you a few examples.

Kresley Cole (we’ve covered this, I know)

No Rest for the Wicked
Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night
Dark Needs at Night’s Edge
Dark Desires After Dusk
although her later books are more distinguishable, like LOTHAIRE.

Ilona Andrews

Magic Bites
Magic Burns
Magic Strikes
Magic Bleeds
Magic Slays

Jeaniene Frost

Halfway to the Grave
One Foot in the Grave

Destined for an Early Grave
At Grave’s End
This Side of the Grave

Nicole Peeler

Tempest Rising
Tracking the Tempest
Tempest’s Legacy
Eye of the Tempest
Tempest’s Fury

Larissa Ione

Pleasure Unbound
Desire Unchained
Passion Unleashed
Ecstasy Unveiled
Sin Undone
(Okay, this was helpful because the main character’s name was Sin)

I CANNOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALL OF THESE BOOKS WON’T YOU PLEASE PLEASE GIVE ME SOME CLUES. Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series has titles that manage to be both repetitive AND give clues as to the plot (Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, etc. Heartless was getting a bit into the mysterious territory, but we have a good track record). Zoe Archer’s titles are descriptive of the main dudes (i.e. Scoundrel and Warrior). And here is where I have gone completely off the rails because I meant to talk about this book. Ahem.


Faefever,
by Karen Marie Moning, the Part Where I Review It

Series is still going strong, although the ENDLESS! VIOLENCE! is sort of wearying and repetitive, to the point where I don’t even want to jump into the next book even though it was a major cliffhanger. Can I just have something CHEERFUL? God. It’s all rain and blood and The Dark Side of Mac and there was NO BARRONSEX and I’m disappointed but not surprised thanks to some helpful spoilers. I like that Mac is resourceful enough not to trust anybody completely, and I still think she’s a great character and enough fun that I don’t mind the first-person perspective.

Uh, that’s really all I have to say.

review turned rantbad book titlesparanormal romancekaren marie moningfaefeverfever seriesLarissa IoneIlona Andrewszoe archerGail CarrigerNicole Peelerkresley cole

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November 2, 2011 / 8:02PM 5 notes

Really glad I joined Twitter.

Really glad I joined Twitter.

Gail CarrigerfangirlingEEEEEEweaponized parasols

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July 10, 2011 / 2:50PM 16 notes

Super Half-Ass Sorta Review of Heartless by Gail Carriger
I sort of have a thing against full-out reviews of each book in a series, but I also like to say a few things about each book I read. So this is sort of like me at a rehearsal dinner, after a few too many drinks, standing up in front of the mike slurring “I don’t really have a speech prepared but I just love you guys SOFUCKINGMUCH" and then I’ll talk for 20 minutes before someone pulls me off the stage and then I go weep in the bathroom. Not that I’d know what that’s like. What were we talking about?
Oh yeah. The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger is great. It’s fantastic. It’s some of the wittiest shit out there. It’s steampunk and paranormal and romance and filled with wonderful characters. GO READ IT NOW.
Heartless is another great addition to the series, although it wasn’t quite as fun as the first or third books, but I would still totally go get fancy cocktails with it on a Friday night if it invited me. Shit girl, I’d even invite this book out for fancy cocktails, that’s how much fun I had with it.
Once again, this is running away from me. What was I saying? I just really like Gail Carriger, you guys, and I PROMISE that you’ll love these books if you just give them a chance, man. Just give them a chance! That’s what love’s all about! Not like some paranormals, where people tell you they’re really fun but they’re just NOT and they LIE TO YOU.
Hey wait, why are you people doing up here? I’m totally fine. I’m not done talking. YOU sit down. Give me back the——-[screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech].

Super Half-Ass Sorta Review of Heartless by Gail Carriger

I sort of have a thing against full-out reviews of each book in a series, but I also like to say a few things about each book I read. So this is sort of like me at a rehearsal dinner, after a few too many drinks, standing up in front of the mike slurring “I don’t really have a speech prepared but I just love you guys SOFUCKINGMUCH" and then I’ll talk for 20 minutes before someone pulls me off the stage and then I go weep in the bathroom. Not that I’d know what that’s like. What were we talking about?

Oh yeah. The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger is great. It’s fantastic. It’s some of the wittiest shit out there. It’s steampunk and paranormal and romance and filled with wonderful characters. GO READ IT NOW.

Heartless is another great addition to the series, although it wasn’t quite as fun as the first or third books, but I would still totally go get fancy cocktails with it on a Friday night if it invited me. Shit girl, I’d even invite this book out for fancy cocktails, that’s how much fun I had with it.

Once again, this is running away from me. What was I saying? I just really like Gail Carriger, you guys, and I PROMISE that you’ll love these books if you just give them a chance, man. Just give them a chance! That’s what love’s all about! Not like some paranormals, where people tell you they’re really fun but they’re just NOT and they LIE TO YOU.

Hey wait, why are you people doing up here? I’m totally fine. I’m not done talking. YOU sit down. Give me back the——-[screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeech].

half-assed reviewgail carrigerparasol protectorateseriesparanormal romancesteampunk

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June 29, 2011 / 7:52PM 25 notes

beastsbitesbooks:

The first three books in Parasol Protectorate are available in bundle for $9.99 on Kindle today. Great steampunk series.

Y’all know how much I love these books. Get on that shit.

beastsbitesbooks:

The first three books in Parasol Protectorate are available in bundle for $9.99 on Kindle today. Great steampunk series.

Y’all know how much I love these books. Get on that shit.

Gail CarrigerPSAparasol protectoratebookssteampunk

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March 4, 2011 / 11:08AM 28 notes

Romance Authors as Food Items

For no reason at all, several reviewers and I have decided to make a list of what foods romance authors would be if they were foods. Feel free to disagree or add your own in the comments/reblogs!

Jeaniene Frost - Domino’s Pizza. Say what you will, but I’ve never seen anybody turn down a slice. I could even go for some right now, actually.

Eloisa James - Berry pie. It’s deceptively simple and sweet, but it’s pretty difficult to get just right.

Jennifer Crusie - Like Ali said, mashed potatoes. They pretty much taste the same every time (with different toppings, for variety), but seriously, who doesn’t like mashed potatoes? 

Loretta Chase - I suggested ratatouille (warm, hearty, comforting), but I think Melinda nailed it with red velvet cupcake. Rich, delicious, and super satisfying - but a bit naughty.

Leigh Greenwood - Sweet Texas BBQ. Even when it’s not great, it’s pretty damn good.

Laura Kinsale - Rachel says “the world’s finest souffle.” I think she’s a fan.

Naughty Nooners - Conversation hearts. They sound better than they taste. But you can’t stop eating them, because they’re THERE. And you probably got them for free.

Stephanie Laurens - Instant mashed potatoes. You think it sounds tasty and comforting, and then you start eating and UGH
.

Kresley Cole - Rachel suggested edible body chocolate and haggis. No. I say movie theater popcorn AND Milk Duds.

Gail Carriger - Petit Fours. Delicious and intricate and a bit old-fashioned and completely addictive.

Zoe Archer - Greek salad. Okay, this might have been influenced by the fact that one of her books was set in Greece, but it’s light, refreshing, and way more exciting than most salads.

Shana Abe - A single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat.

Marian Keyes - Homemade mac and cheese, complete with those buttery breadcrumbs on top. Some people think it’s a side dish, I call it dinner.

Nora Roberts - French toast with real maple syrup, and a side of bacon.  Followed by a nap and mind-blowing sex. This was Ali’s suggestion, and I immediately put several Nora Roberts books in my TBR pile.

pointless exercisesromance novelsfoodzoe archergail carrigerLeigh GreenwoodJeaniene FrostJennifer CrusieShana AbeEloisa JamesLoretta Chasenaughty noonerstephanie laurenslaura kinsalekresley colenora roberts

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February 8, 2011 / 3:43PM 14 notes

Ch-ch-ch-changes (or, time may change my poor reading taste, but I can’t trace time)

Changeless - Gail Carriger

Changeless, by Gail Carriger

This is the second book in the Parasol Protectorate series, following Soulless, which Jayne has praised. I’m one of those people who took her recommendation, and I’m so glad I did. It has a kickass female protagonist, sexy werewolves, fey vampires, and absurd steampunk contraptions, all within a fantastic and immersive alternate historical universe with supernatural beings as part of Victorian London society fabric. The dialog is witty and incisive, and overall it’s a wonderful combination of romance, mystery, and adventure.  So with that said:

Have you read Soulless? You haven’t? GO AND READ. SERIOUSLY. DON’T READ THIS REVIEW UNLESS YOU HAVE READ SOULLESS OR NEVER INTEND TO because in talking about Changeless, I will spoil the shit out of Soulless. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. Don’t blame your disappointment tears on me.

~*~*~Spoiler Sparkles~*~*~

Changeless picks up where Soulless left off, which is with the newly minted Lady Maccon and Lord Maccon getting weresexy (I’m making that a thing, and if Stephanie Meyer tries to rob me of it, I will cut a bitch). But with Alexia’s role as muhjah, a preternatural advisor to the Queen on the Shadow Council, which oversees supernatural affairs, and Lord Maccon being somewhat occupied with his pack deciding to camp out on their estate, they don’t get a lot of time to settle in as newlyweds. And you barely get time to settle into the story – one thing I love about these books is that they’re fast paced, and don’t dwell on things like the chiseledness of Lord Maccon’s jaw [rest assured, it is very chiseled] or have overly flowery prose about how much Alexia’s bosom heaves. Though we do know she has a sizeable rack, which in those days was considered a liability. Why must fate be so cruel as to place me in these modern times that do not value those of us who are less bosomly gifted? I DIGRESS. TO THE STORY.

There’s a problem happening in London – ghosts are disappearing. Werewolves can’t change. Vampires are being made mortal. Something is causing the disturbance, and no one knows what or why. As head of BUR (Bureau of Unnatural Registry), Lord Maccon has to get to the root of it, but he’s suffering under the affliction as well. And as the head of the Woolsey pack, he has to take care of his men – and on a voyage back from Egypt, they were unable to change into werewolf form at all. But his old pack in Scotland is suffering as well – without an alpha to guide them, they’re lost. Plus, there’s indication they might have some of the answers to what’s plaguing London.

So one day, after some sexytimes, Alexia wakes up and finds her husband nowhere in sight. She’s a bit annoyed with having to deal with his whole pack on the lawn, a rakish third-in-command who intentionally provokes her, and his lack of communication regarding his departure. She does get a message to visit a hat shop where Madame LeFoux, the cross-dressing proprietor, turns out to have more…under her hat. Ha ha! (I pictured her as the Victorian-era version of Annie Lennox in the Sweet Dreams video. Or as SWINTON. Or David Bowie. But you can choose any androgynous celebrity.) Madame LeFoux is a genius inventor who gives Alexia her gift from her husband: a rather unsightly parasol with some hidden weaponry, kind of like a Steampunk artillery…parasol. She loves it, and will get plenty of use from it.

After a bit of debating with Professor Lyall, her husband’s beta wolf, and some consultation with her FABULOUS vampire friend, Lord Akeldama, she makes a choice. She’s off to Scotland, to find her husband, with her friend Ivy, her maid Angelique, Madame LeFoux, and some rather annoying family in tow as well. Of course, she flies dirigible (the Steampunk transport method of choice), feeling a little airsick and fending off a few murder attempts, but she takes it in stride. Why? She’s Alexia fucking Maccon nee Tarabotti and she takes no shit. She finds her husband, has a few choice words, and then…

AND THEN I CAN’T SAY ANY MORE, REALLY. Why? This is a review, not a recap, and I’m not going to ruin this book for you. Because I want you to read it. As you may have surmised, it’s a bit less romance, a bit more adventure (but don’t fret – there’s a fair amount of wolfsexing and some surprising sexy tension along the way) – and it fits how the story should go. There are fun inventions, there’s plenty of enjoyable repartee, lots of wolfly brooding, sexy men, a good amount of mystery, Egypt!!1 stuff (which I love) and

AN ENDING THAT WILL MAKE YOU WANT TO THROW YOUR E-READER

OR PAPERBACK

Orrrr maybe that was just me. BUT. Be warned. You’ll be reading along, happily heading toward a satisfying conclusion, and then be like “What the HELL, (character name withheld). Why would you (do thing that character did). I fucking hate you, (character name).” And you might be inclined to be like I HATE YOU FOR RECOMMENDING THIS. AND JAYNE FOR RECOMMENDING THAT YOU RECOMMEND THIS. Well, don’t hate us. Rather, have Blameless lined up so you don’t spend more than a week being mad at Gail Carriger. Like some of us may or may not have done. Because TRUST ME. Changeless is a great book but Blameless? Is even better. And it did not make me want to throw things. So do this, and consider yourself forever in my sexy debt for giving you this life tip.

No. That was not just you. The ending will make you want to hurl something, whether it be this book, any other books in the vicinity, your cat, or an antique Ming vase. Thanks again for another stellar review, Melinds. The rest of you: GAIL CARRIGER. GET ON IT.

submissionMelindsGail Carrigerchangeless

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January 20, 2011 / 11:42AM 36 notes

Back when I was more easily shamed by haters, I almost recommended this book to about forty different people but stopped when they’d say “What’s it about?” and I’ve have to respond “It’s a steampunk paranormal romance!”Now that I am way cooler and less giving of fucks to those who don’t deserve them, I have no qualms whatsoever about recommending Soulless to everybody. Even you, haters. Shut up and read it. Alexia Tarrabotti, the heroine, is a smart and exotically sexy Victorian woman who is always outfitted in the best clothing descriptions since Claudia Kishi (seriously). She’s also a bluestocking (sciencey Victorian person), a term that I had never heard until Gail Carriger taught it to me. The hero is Lord Conall Maccon, a Scottish Alpha werewolf.Let’s repeat that. Scottish. Alpha. Werewolf. If that description doesn’t melt your butter already, then I don’t know why we’re friends. There is not a whole lot of straight-up sexxxings in this book, but the few scenes are more than worth the ride. Also, the secondary characters are fucking dynamite. For example, Alexia’s two BFFs are a foppish vampire who calls her things like “My divine crumpet” and Ivy Hissellpenny, the owner of many horrible hats. The writing is super clever and often hilarious, and the steampunk adventure scenes are just as much fun as the romance. There’s mystery, intrigue, and a lot of other vague nouns. You will love this book. The best part? It’s a series.

Back when I was more easily shamed by haters, I almost recommended this book to about forty different people but stopped when they’d say “What’s it about?” and I’ve have to respond “It’s a steampunk paranormal romance!”

Now that I am way cooler and less giving of fucks to those who don’t deserve them, I have no qualms whatsoever about recommending Soulless to everybody. Even you, haters. Shut up and read it.

Alexia Tarrabotti, the heroine, is a smart and exotically sexy Victorian woman who is always outfitted in the best clothing descriptions since Claudia Kishi (seriously). She’s also a bluestocking (sciencey Victorian person), a term that I had never heard until Gail Carriger taught it to me. The hero is Lord Conall Maccon, a Scottish Alpha werewolf.

Let’s repeat that. Scottish. Alpha. Werewolf. If that description doesn’t melt your butter already, then I don’t know why we’re friends.

There is not a whole lot of straight-up sexxxings in this book, but the few scenes are more than worth the ride. Also, the secondary characters are fucking dynamite. For example, Alexia’s two BFFs are a foppish vampire who calls her things like “My divine crumpet” and Ivy Hissellpenny, the owner of many horrible hats.

The writing is super clever and often hilarious, and the steampunk adventure scenes are just as much fun as the romance. There’s mystery, intrigue, and a lot of other vague nouns.

You will love this book. The best part? It’s a series.

gail carrigersoullesssteampunkWOLFSEX

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