TBR Challenge Review: “Lovely Rita” Month Saw Miss B. Read Marion Lennox’s HER ROYAL BABY

Her_Royal_Baby

Charming cover: check out Tammy’s flipflops!

Miss Bates is content to return to her neglected TBR Challenge! Check it out chez Wendy here. This month’s theme was to read a nominated, or winning Rita title. Because Miss Bates is pathetically slumping along to Ros’s Summer Big Fat Book read-a-long, she chose a category romance. They’re short and she’s already behind the BFB, and summer reading piles litter her apartment and slow down two e-readers. (Way too much time on Twitter for Miss B.; also lolling, gazing at sunbeams, and sleeping in. It’s a feline life.) Reading Rita winners was one way Miss Bates segued into romance: their annual nominated and winning title lists provided tried and true romance reading as Miss B. figured out what she liked and didn’t in the genre. (Shudder PNR.) It was with nostalgia for her early romance reading days that she looked at titles she’d added to the TBR from these romance reading baby steps. Marion Lennox’s Her Royal Baby won the 2004 Best Traditional Romance. Woot! thought Miss B., category, baby, Rita winner, and an author that she’s wanted to read for ages thanks to some nifty reviews over at Dear Author lauding Lennox’s more recent category novels. The whole royalty thing is not to Miss B.’s taste, no blood is blue she says, but she liked the cover. Miss Bates doesn’t regret her choice, but boy oh boy, was this ever a flawed and floundering effort. Continue reading

REVIEW: Rachel Hauck’s PRINCESS EVER AFTER, Or Inspie “Roman Holiday”

Princess Ever AfterMiss Bates is not a fan of the Disney princess, nor did she ever deck her five-year-old self in pink tulle and trailing strands of costume jewelry to play dress-up princess. Mostly, she reads a lot of romance fiction and plays at Emma‘s Miss Bates, a definite not-princess.  She was taken in, however, by Rachel Hauck’s Princess Ever After cover, with its hint of frivolity, beautiful dress, and promise of happily-ever-after.  Because what Miss Bates loves is Roman-Holiday Audrey Hepburn and all things Grace Kelly, so the idea of an American girl living her dream restoring vintage cars who finds herself the princess of a fictional duchy is a pretty attractive premise.  What she found instead is a novel light on the romance and heavy on the inspirational element, a story more about identity, heritage, and destiny than finding love and wearing pretty princess clothes.  An uneven read, Princess Ever After has strong passages to recommend it and is competently written, but it’s slow (could have been told in half the length) and contains one too many peculiar woo-hoo moments for Miss Bates’s taste.  Miss Bates’s was foiled in her pursuit of a flaky little read for something more serious, albeit told with a light touch but, in the end, less appealing. Continue reading