Monday 25 March 2024: Book review

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It wasn’t too bad at the dentist on Friday. A little painful, a little sensitive. But not too bad. I came away with the cleanest teeth I can ever remember having and a goody bag filled with little brushes and tubes of toothpaste, and so on. No toffees, which was only a small disappointment.

When she hit me with the bill, I did *feel* mortally wounded. But I recovered. Eventually. It was still cheaper than a visit to the vet right now.

Back home, I had the breakfast I didn’t have before going out (it was too early, and I was going to the dentist). First job when I hit my desk was today’s blog post, starting with the book review below. By the time I’d sorted that out, it was time for an early dinner. The poet had a gig Friday night, which meant an early tea, and if I eat too late in the day, then I don’t feel like eating too early later on.

For the previous few days I’ve sat at my desk for my dinner, but I’ve been reading on the Kindle for desktop. That’s what I did on Friday too, and I almost got carried away, almost forgot I still had work to do.

I’d already collected around a dozen books for review. I’m not actively asking for any new ones, but if any arrive unbidden, I’m taking them, plus there’s a massive backlog of books I still have to read and review.

First job after dinner, then, was transferring the titles to my Trello board. I list the date I downloaded them and the date of publication, then I check off a load of different stages, such as ‘convert to generic epub’, ‘send to Kindle’, ‘upload to Google Books’, etc.

I like to have them on Google and Kindle in case one or the other isn’t working for whatever reason or I can’t access it. I have coloured labels that correspond with the stages too.

For the rest of the day I decided to crack on with the new editing job. The sooner I get that done, the sooner I can concentrate on other things. (And the sooner I can send the invoice off.) I did start to wilt after a few hours (early start, late night ahead), so I closed it down for the week and turned instead to hunting for a bookkeeping package.

The poet had a gig Friday evening and he planned on cutting the grass at some time over the weekend. We both finished early in the end, though, due to having to get ready to go out early.

Book review: THE LADY THIEF OF BELGRAVIA by Allison Grey

This feature is in association with NetGalley.

Many thanks to NetGalley and to Storm Publishing for letting me see an advance copy of THE LADY THIEF OF BELGRAVIA by Allison Grey.

This is the book review I wasn’t going to do because I worried it might be too negative and I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Then I remembered I’d been sent the book on the understanding that I would do a review, and when I saw that other reviewers had said pretty much the same as what I would, I decided to do it after all.

So, here goes.

I really did like the premise behind this story. I enjoyed the setting. The writing itself is excellent. And yes, I liked the characters too…

However, I did feel a bit deceived by the cover, the title and the strapline. I thought this was going to be a nice historical caper with a mystery or two thrown in. Yes, it is historical, but there are several historical inaccuracies, including the way English people will have spoken in Victorian England and the words they would have used and the words they wouldn’t have even known yet. Meaning the Americanisms.

No, I have nothing against Americanisms, I really don’t. But if I was attempting to write an American historical mystery set in the wild west, I’d jolly well make sure I learned the lingo, both for the period and for the location.

I believe that American readers are quite capable of reading British English, especially for stories set in the British Isles. They really don’t need to be spoon-fed. Likewise, English readers are quite capable of reading stories set in America using American language.

My final gripe with this story, and perhaps the most important one, is there is far, far too much gratuitous graphic sex. There were entire chapters of sex. And when one chapter filled with sex finished, another one, also filled with sex, started. Honestly, if I wanted to read porn, I’d buy clearly labelled material off the top shelf of newsagents. If I wanted to read erotica, I’d choose erotic novels.

The blurb promised a delightful romp about a notorious pickpocket who’s hired to do a specific job, and she simply falls in love along the way. I was not expecting the story to be padded out with so much explicit sexual detail. Take it away, and you have a novella, not a novel. Gratuitous sex is NOT ‘sparkling romance’.

Disappointed it didn’t live up to expectations.

Three stars.


Plan for today

I’m off to the dentist again first thing today, but this time I’m taking the poet as he’s having an extraction and probably won’t feel like driving afterwards. Here’s how the rest of the day looks:

  • dental appointment
  • Writing Mastery Academy
  • short story #2 for 3-story call for submissions
  • continue new client edit
  • tomorrow’s blog

What are you up to today?

2 thoughts on “Monday 25 March 2024: Book review

  1. It’s very annoying when books are mis-genred. It’s unfair to the readers.

    Of course it doesn’t help that marketing teams rarely read the books they’re promoting anymore. Marketing was much better when publishers demanded the marketing team actually read the book (when I worked for a publisher we ALL had to read all the books on each season’s list).

    Glad the dentist went well, and have a good work week!

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