Monday, November 11, 2013

Haberdashers Series Spotlight: Reviews + Author Interview

Trials of Artemis (The Haberdashers, #1)
Release date: May 12, 2013
Publisher: Graythorn Publishing 
Genre: Historical (Regency) Romance
Series: Haberdashers #1

Loving Lord Lucifer...

An independent bluestocking sneaks into a library to read rare Greek texts and ends up with a husband instead.

Jacqueline “Jack” Walters loves archery and Greek military history. In her third season she has failed to inspire so much as one marriage proposal and is planning to settle into the quiet life of a spinster.

Gideon Wolfe, Earl of Harrington, has been avoiding marriage but a case of mistaken identity in the library has left him saddled with an argumentative and unwilling fiancee.

Athena's Ordeal (The Haberdashers, #2)
Athena's Ordeal (Haberdashers #2)

The Duke of Beloin mistakes a Viscount’s daughter for a fallen woman, an error he can hardly afford while trying to divine which of his enemies is blackmailing him.

Sabrina “Sabre” Bittlesworth has practiced the sword since she was eight years old. When a mysterious visitor in her brother’s house offers to make her his mistress, she challenges him to a duel, even after she finds out he’s a duke.

Quincy Telford, Duke of Beloin, has hated Viscount Bittlesworth as long as he can remember. Now the man’s daughter is constantly in his path. Can he escape her temptation and avoid peril in the increasingly dangerous game of cat and mouse he is playing with his blackmailer?

My Rating for Trials of Artemis: 4 Roses

A lovely historical romance, Trials of Artemis was an enjoyable read. Definitely a great romance.

Jack was a fun character. She was sassy and refused to let anyone walk all over her, without falling into the trap of just being mean. I liked her. She was a strong character and one that was really likable.

Gideon was also great. He could be a jerk at times, but he was very sweet at heart. He might have a habit of pushing people away, but, when it came down to it, he was intensely loyal to those he cared about. I really liked him. I thought he was great.

The romance was lovely. Jack and Gideon were perfect together, balancing each other out. The heat between them was definitely steamy. I thought they were lovely together.

The plot was fast paced. I was kept interested the entire way through and I really enjoyed the story. There was a twist near the end that I never saw coming. It held a few surprises and it game the book some thrill, which I liked. The ending held some problems for me. There were a lot of issues that could have been explored. The difference in political opinions between Jack and Gideon, Gideon's distrust of women that stemmed from his neglectful mother. But, it was all introduced, yet not resolved. It was more like they all suddenly decided that none of those issues were a problem anymore. We don't see any of the resolution, just, boom, it's all fixed. That really messed with the book. I would have absolutely loved this book if I had seen that resolution. But, without it, it felt like the book ended abruptly and I was left with a lot of questions. It didn't ruin the book but it definitely knocked it down a few notches.

Trials of Artemis was a lovely historical romance. It wasn't perfect, but it was definitely a great read. Lovers of romance, you should give this book a try. 

*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review

My Rating for Athena's Ordeal3 Roses

A good read. Athena's Ordeal was an enjoyable historical romance. I had high expectation for it, since I liked book 1 so much. It didn't quite meet them all, but I still enjoyed the book.

I'm going to start with the good, since the bad are several minor problems that became a major one when put together.

I liked how Sabre was so bold. Normally, impulsiveness in a character would annoy me because it results in the character getting him/herself in a stupid situation. But, in this case, it worked for her. She was strong, fiery, knew what she wanted, and wasn't afraid to take it. So, overall, I liked her.

Quince was sweet. He was a very calm, quiet kind of character, which was a nice chance from the alpha heroes, as nice as they are. I liked him as well.

The romance was okay. Sabre and Quince were sweet together and there was definitely some hot chemistry.

The plot was steadily paced. I was kept interested the entire way through, though there were some slow parts. I enjoyed the story and I liked the ending.

Now, the bad.
1) Sabre's character didn't always make sense. Why did she challenge Quince to a duel just because he propositioned to her? He didn't know who she was and didn't make any untoward advances. He literally just asked her to be his mistress. Nothing mean about it. So, I'm not sure why she was so offended. I could understand a little, but not up to the point that she took it. Then, right after the duel, she suddenly decides she wants to marry him. What? That was random and a complete 180. And, finally, it annoyed me that she ran away from Quince. Twice. What happened was that Quince was trying to find his blackmailer and wanted to ask Sabre's father. She didn't want him to, so she left. And claimed that he was the one who broke her heart. Again, what? She didn't even argue about it, which was out of character for her. She left and somehow Quince became the bad guy. It seemed to me that all the problems in the relationship were her fault but Quince got blamed for them.
2) Speaking of Quince, I had a slight issue with him. In book 1, I really liked him. He was witty and honest and confident. He was a fun character. But, that didn't carry over all the way into this book. Several times, I wanted to tell him to man up, get some life back in him. He was kind of passive. It didn't fit the Quince we saw in book 1, which annoyed me because I liked that Quince.
3) And, finally, Sabre's brothers. I thought it was really weird that her brother had no problems with her moving in with Quince to get him to marry her. What? That is definitely not something a normal protective older brother would do. It didn't make sense.
All of these problems would have been minor if they were alone. But, put them together, and they became a big problem. It didn't ruin the book because I still enjoyed it, but it did set it back quite a bit.

Athena's Ordeal was a good historical romance. Despite the issues I had with it, I still enjoyed it. Lovers of romance, I don't know if you should run out and buy it, but you might want to look it up.

*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review
Author Interview:

Sue London
Sue London began writing short stories about horses and teen sleuths when she was seven years old. After that she traveled to distant worlds, fought with swords and sorcerers, and played with a few undead things. As you might have expected, this means she went into accountancy. Well, maybe that was an odd plot twist, but that’s the difference between real life and fiction – fiction has to make sense.

In her twenties she developed a deep affection for romance, especially enjoying the work of Nora Roberts, Mary Balogh and, most recently, Grace Burrowes, Lauren Royal, Danelle Harmon, and Diane Farr. You can thank those authors for leading a sci-fi tomboy into writing historical romances.

For more on Sue you can check out her twitter page, Sueniverse, Goodreads page, or be her fan on Facebook.

Welcome to Imagine a World! I’m so glad you could be here :)
Thanks for having me, Farrah!

What is the hardest part about writing for you? The easiest?
There’s a great quote from Dorothy Parker that applies here “I hate writing, I love having written.” The hardest part is the discipline to sit down and focus. Ideas are important, but the book doesn’t happen until the execution stage of “hand to keyboard” and making it happen. The easy part, for me, is wandering around and coming up with all the ideas. I have scenes in my head that won’t happen until ten books out in the series. If we can ever data-dump our heads I’ll be able to write a book a week.

If your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play your characters?
This conversation has come up a lot since the first book came out and has been a lot of fun. What we have so far is Henry Cavill as Gideon, and maybe Eleanor Tomlinson as Jacqueline “Jack” Walters. Quince could potentially be played by Joseph Morgan with perhaps Georgie Henley as Sabrina “Sabre” Bittlesworth. And I think Dakota Fanning for Georgiana “George” Lockhart. But really I’d rather that there be a casting call for relative unknowns.


What do you do when you get writer’s block?
This actually goes back to the discipline I was complaining about earlier. I’ve found that if I can make myself sit there with the thought “it doesn’t matter what you type, it can be the silliest thing ever because you can delete it later” then start typing it’s never as completely dumb as I think it’s going to be. (And if it is? I can delete it.)

Are there any authors in particular (living or dead) who inspire you?
Probably all writers are readers first, right? So I have long lists of favorite authors. But inspire? Oscar Wilde comes to mind first. I can only hope to have half his wit. Douglas Adams. So funny and absurd and brilliant. Nora Roberts. Love her books, but am especially inspired by her discipline. Then the list gets so long, especially for living authors, that I hesitate giving it here for fear of boring your readers and leaving someone out because I am prone to Blonde Moments.

Do you have any upcoming books you’re working on? Can you tell us a little about it?
The Haberdashers will be a series of twelve novels, plus some associated novellas. The first two books are out and right now I’m working the the third novel, Fates for Apate. It focuses on the third and final girl in the club as she falls in love with what she believes is an opposing spy, and all that happens against the backdrop of the Congress of Vienna in 1814-15.

If you could go back in time (to any time at all), what time period would you go to and why?
I’d want to meet Richard III and find out what really happened. So somewhere around 1370-1380. Now I’m all “How long can I stay? What can I pack?”

Summer or winter?
A little of each. It’s been 90 degrees all week so I’m craving some cold. If I have to pick ONE season, though, it would be autumn. Give me those crunchy leaves, chilly nights that need a sweater, marshmallows over an open flame as we tell stories in the backyard… Yep, autumn.

Cat or dog?
Cat AND dog.

Tea or coffee?
Yes, please! Earl Grey if it’s tea, plenty of cream if it’s coffee.

Book or movie?
Book AND movie. Unless it’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Then just the book, please.

Bad boy or boy next door?
Boy next door. No question.

Thanks for coming!

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