Spring Forward (Catherine Anderson)

I get very distracted with Catherine Anderson's books by two things: the overly ridiculous melodramatic backgrounds of some of her characters and the incredibly artificial way that people speak in her stories.

The first one I can overlook because this is the fourth book in this series, and overall, her last 15 books have featured heroines whose back stories are just over the top insanely crazy. It's just a trope of her writing, so I just whistle past it.

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After the Wedding (The Worth Saga #2)

Note: Received as ARC in exchange for a review. For order links, see Courtney Milan's website.

Initial Thoughts & Hot Take

I thought the book got off to a slow start. The first few chapters threw a lot of information at me about Adrian's background and family, so it took me a minute to get into the story. That being said, once it got going, I couldn't put it down and I finished it in a few hours. We'd waited a while for the follow-up to the cliffhanger ending at the end of the first book, Once Upon a Marquess, and I definitely felt like After the Wedding delivered.

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Lucky Penny (Catherine Anderson)

Overall Response

So I like this book a lot even though there are a lot of reasons I shouldn't.  This book has some major red flags, particularly in the way David treats Brianna early on and I really don't think I was satisfied with how it worked out in that respect. That being said, Catherine Anderson does everyone a service in that once her initial lie is exposed, Brianna goes to great pains not to lie to David again, even when he is particularly unkind to her about that honesty. I liked the subplots and supporting cast, and I think the overall resolution was fine. I'm just not sure I'm sold on the romance. The characters and the story itself save a lot of it.

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Early Dawn (Catherine Anderson)

Overall Response

This is one of those so-so kind of books. It's an interesting story with mostly engaging characters, but there are portions of the book that just seem to drag on forever, and there are some tropes that I'm not a huge fan of. The writing is fine. I think my general lack of love for this book is more that it failed to connect with me. It's one of those subjective things where I'm sure there are lot of people who would give this book a five-star rating because Catherine Anderson writes this genre very well.
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Summer Reading

Master List for Summer Reading

The books listed below are the novels I intend to read for my summer reading project. I’m going to try my best to read them in order, review each book separately, and then review the series as a whole. That’s the plan anyway. And yes…I know there’s a lot of books here. I can usually read two or three books a day, especially since since almost all of these books are going to be rereads which makes it go faster.

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Summer Breeze (Catherine Anderson)

Overall Response

There's always been something sweet and tragic about this particular romance. Rachel is one of Catherine Anderson's tragic backstory heroines--a trope particular to her writing. Her heroines have always been through the absolute worst and are attempting to dig themselves out. I like this about her writing, but one my critique is usually that the hero doesn't ever seem to share in this trope, but this is one of the books it doesn't feel quite so tipped in the one direction. I really liked both leading characters and the path they followed to be together. The romance wasn't the source of the conflict, but rather solving the mystery of what happened to Rachel's family.

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The Pursuit Of… (Courtney Milan)

Note: This book was originally released as part of an anthology, Hamilton's Battalion, and will be released as a standalone novella on June 26, 2018. This book was provided as an ARC in exchange for a review.

Overall Response

I'm still very much dipping my toes into the m/m romance subgenre. This is not really a matter of preference, only that I tend to follow the same authors who tend to only use LGBTQ characters and romances as subplots and supporting characters. This is my third novel in this category, and the second in the m/m tradition. So that being said, I'm happy to have read this. The leads are engaging, the banter is lovely and swift and as always, Courtney Milan tackles the larger issues so deftly you don't even notice what she's doing.  There's always something deeper at work in Milan books, and her hero and heroines are always just left of conventional, which is my favorite thing about her work. I love knowing when I pick up a book from Courtney Milan, I'm about to be taken on a journey that no other author could have done.
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Keegan’s Lady (Catherine Anderson)

Overall Response

I've always liked this book. It has one of my favorite romance tropes -- a marriage of convenience -- and the hero and heroine are relatable, flawed people who give me something to root for. In addition, the plot itself is interesting and the supporting cast is strong enough that readers clamored for Catherine Anderson to write stories for the brothers. That being said, as much as I like this book, one this re-read there are aspects that bother me more now than when I first read it a decade ago. It's a good story, but I wouldn't put it in my top ten.

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General Hospital

If I Wrote GH #2: Jason Really Does Have A Twin

(Note: I’m trying to make this a regular Thursday thing. Let’s see if it works.)

It’s no secret that Steve Burton’s hyped return to the show last fall has fizzled out. After a relatively promising start (there was about two weeks where it was can’t miss television for me) sometime in December/January, the story started to take a turn. It became a story about Franco’s past, about Anna’s past, about Nathan’s past.

What it hasn’t been is a story about Jason or Drew. I have lots of ways I would have written this story, some of which are in progress, but if I wanted to hit some of the same beats the show did — i.e. turn this into a major umbrella story that revisited the back stories of popular characters, here’s how I would have done it.

Story Assignment

It turns out that Jason isn’t really Jason — he’s Jason’s twin brother whom Heather gave to Betsy Frank to raise along with Heather’s son Franco. Jason has been kept in some sort of captivity for the last five years in a Russian clinic. He is freed by Ava, returns home to dig out the truth, learns about Danny and Jake. Meanwhile, the Jason in Port Charles finds out he’s a missing Navy S.E.A.L. named Andrew Cain. Their story should involve Andre, Anna, Faison, and Nathan along with the rest of Jason’s family. Franco should also play a role in this story. 

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General Hospital

If I Wrote GH #1: Carly and Nelle

Note: This is the inaugural entry in my new series: If I Wrote GH. I write fanfiction as almost a third job, haha, and I’m always thinking about what I would do differently. Even when GH was really good (my favorite years in the 1990s and the mid 2000s), I still think about that. I don’t have the time to write the fanfiction, they’re not hiring me to write GH, so here we are).


Let’s assume that my story assignment was the following:

Nelle gaslights Carly into thinking Morgan might be alive, making her appear to be unstable and fragile to those closest to her. This culminates in Nelle throwing herself down the stairs, framing Carly for her assault, and Carly being sent to Ferncliffe after being found not guilty due to insanity. 

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