I’ve just joined the Top 5 Wednesday group. I found them when I read Sionna’s response to this topic over at Books In Her Eyes. I like books and I like lists, so this group suits me well. I wish we had the freedom to go back and answer whatever random past topics appealed to us, but we’ve been told to ‘be patient, they’ll eventually come around again’, so I’ll try and just stick to August’s topics for August. I will do last week’s though, just because I can.
So, five books that I enjoyed that used tropes I usually hate. Let’s see…
I dislike the second chances trope, because I’m inclined to think that if it didn’t work out the first time, it wasn’t meant to be. There’s definitely part of me that resents all the wasted time too, time that could have been spent together as a couple. But Burn by Allie Juliette Mousseau is well worth the read. It’s the second book in the Brothers of Ink and Steel series, but can be read as a standalone. Liam and Quinn met on the streets, living rough, and quickly formed a powerful bond. They finally find safety and a group of close friends in Cade North’s group home but Liam and Quinn have a special connection. They’re going to get married when they turn eighteen. Then tragedy strikes and Quinn leaves, and Liam is left alone. When they meet again, they have to decide if they can set the past at rest and create a new beginning. Five stars.
It’s not really obvious at first glance, but there’s definitely instalove in this book. Alyssa fell in love with Dylan the first time she saw him, even though she was far too young to even know what love was then.
He turned to her, his features alight with curiosity. “Know you of love, then?”
Aye, ever since she was a child and had witnessed – from a distance – his kindness toward her grandmother, his defence of her when others repudiated her.
It’s made very clear that Alyssa takes the job as Dylan’s seer because she’s in love with him. But the story is very cleverly told, and the story is told over quite a long time (although perhaps only months if you take out the first chapter). Alyssa works for Dylan for years before he learns the truth about her. There’s an aspect of paranormal, it’s set in medieval times, and it’s a damn good read. It’s also a prelude to Dianne Duvall’s fantastic Immortal Guardians series, which is also well worth reading. Five stars.
Misguided motives is where one person agrees to do something in order to get some reward, and then of course the other person finds out they were only in it for themselves and ends up hurt. It’s very closely tied to ‘If only they’d talked’. Ugh.
I think one of the things that helps this story do well is the ‘imperfectly perfect’ trope. Wait, how many tropes can a book have? Ha ha! Lady Elyssa has a limp, and at her level of English society, that means she is destined to be a spinster. It’s a sad truth, and to cheer her up, her younger sisters create a fictitious secret admirer for her. Her brother is appalled, and seeing disaster looming, he decides to host a house party. He convinces a friend to pay attention to Elyssa over the duration of the house party in the hopes that it will get her mind off the secret admirer. Yeah, sure, that sounds like a good idea. Not. So the Earl of Charfield figures showing a young lady some attention is easily worth the chance to sire a foal on her brother’s prize Arabian horse. Sigh. I’m talking myself out of the book here, because I just detest this trope so much. But bear with me. I gave this book five stars. The way this couple interacts, and the activities they get up to, make up for all the rest. It’s a great read. Give it a chance and see what you think. Five stars.
If only they’d talked
Since I mentioned it above, this seems a good one to go with next. Kit is hiding a major secret. And she refuses to tell Logan who she is, her real name, or why she’s hiding from her past. Eventually, of course, both Logan and the reader finds out all her secrets. And we’re left shaking our heads as to why it was such a drama in the first place. And why she felt like she couldn’t trust Logan. Buuuuut, this is a fascinating story. Logan is deaf, and hasn’t talked in eight years. He communicates by sign language, and where that fails, with written notes. But Kit can’t speak sign language, and she’s dyslexic, so she can’t read his notes. But this connection between them is worth a little extra effort… This story ends on a cliffhanger and finishes in the next book. Cliffhangers are a pet peeve of mine, but this one’s worth the read. The second book isn’t as good as the first, but it’s worth reading to find out how their story ends. And by then you’ll have been sucked in and want to read the stories of all of Logan’s brothers. Ha ha! Five stars.
This is probably my most hated of all tropes. I’ve said before that I struggle even with stepbrothers and stepsisters or stepfathers and stepdaughters or whatever, but having two blood-related siblings in the same bed is icky. Icky. It shouldn’t happen. Ever. Not even in fiction. In this story, Miles and Eli are twin brothers who are also dragon-shifter kings. They’re waiting for their soulmate. The seers have predicted she will return to them, but she has been gone a thousand years.
All Diana knows is her prison cell. She dreams of men and dreams of a baby, but has no knowledge of the world beyond her cell. When Diana escapes, the world is a chaotic mystery. She knows nothing of modern, everything things that we take for granted. And everything she touches turns to ice. That means she is leaving a very obvious trail for those who wish to capture/recapture her. She follows the tugs on her heart, but will she find what she’s looking for before it’s too late? And how can she, when she doesn’t even know what she’s looking for? Four stars.