Genre: Retellings


Friday, March 16, 2018

Cute but Needs Work: How the Cowboy Was Won by Lori Wilde

Posted by 0 Comments

Cute but Needs Work: How the Cowboy Was Won by Lori Wilde
How the Cowboy Was Won
Lori Wilde
Series: Cupid, Texas
Genre: Adult, Retellings, Romance
Publication date: March 27th, 2018
by Avon

GoodreadsPurchase
Return to New York Times Bestselling Author Lori Wilde’s beloved town of Cupid, Texas, where wedding fever is in the air . . . and two best friends discover that sometimes the perfect match is standing right in front of you . . .

Ember Alzate is a fantastic matchmaker with one big problem: she can’t find the perfect mate for herself! Alzate family legend says that when she kisses “the One” she’ll hear a mysterious humming in her head. Well, Ember’s kissed a lot of guys and she’s never heard a thing. Now, instead of searching for herself, she vows to find her best friend, Ranger Lockhart, a bride. It’s clear this smart, sexy man just needs to meet the right gal.

Ranger’s returned home to Cupid with marriage on his mind, but he’s not interested in the parade of women Ember pushes under his nose. His thoughts keep returning to his best friend—with her combustible combination of curves and sass. No one compares to Ember, but what’s it going to take to convince her she’s the woman for him?
-A copy was provided by Avon for review-

When one of my mutuals pointed out How the Cowboy Was Won was an Emma retelling, I was all aboard. I adore Jane Austen novels and I especially adore retellings of them. I don’t think I’ve seen many literary Emma retellings so it’s amusing that this year, there are two on my TBR!

So. Anyway. I have a complicated relationship with this book. There are parts of it I really liked but there were a bunch of things that rubbed me the wrong way and I haven’t seen many reviews talking about some of the things that bothered me which makes me more inclined to be critical. I want issues to be talked about. SO. ANYWAY. I am going to start with the good stuff first and break this review down into pros and cons because I am a lister.

Pros

  • The romance has a slow buildup. Not necessarily because there aren’t sparks right off the bat, but because their feelings take sometime to build up and I LOVE IT. THE SLOW BURN IS REAL, PEOPLE.
  • Supportive couple. Ember and Ranger are ridiculously supportive of one another. As friends, as a couple. I love that even when there is jealousy, it is never ever ever about their successes and they are always there for one another. There is a lot of angst in this book but like regardless, Ember and Ranger are just REALLY GOOD FRIENDS and even better romantic partners.

In general, my positive experience reading this book was centered around how the romance was written. Lori Wilde did a really good job making me feel invested in the couple and their future. However, there were a bunch of cons that did impact my overall reading experience.

Cons

  • Our first intro to Ember centers how she felt ‘other’ growing up because she inherited her mother’s fair skin and red hair instead of her father’s Native American genes. I am sorry but what? I am pretty sure that in general, being white passing has benefitted her more often that not. Also in general, I feel like the author really portrays Ember’s Native American identity in a very stereotypical way and really only uses it in this exoticized, watered down way that just felt icky and disrespectful to me. There are more books in this series and maybe things are done differently in them but since this is the only book I’ve read in the series, it is the only one I can speak to.
  • There is ableist language in this book. Especially pertaining to Ranger’s various illnesses growing up. His younger self is referred to as an ‘invalid.’ Which is problematic on a number of levels. You can read more about why the word is hurtful here.
  • So the main plot of this book is that Ember is trying to find Ranger a wife with good social skills so he can get the job he wants and not have to move to New Zealand. In comes Dawn, his research partner and this is what Ember has to say about her. “Dawn knew his world. Had great social skills. She would be an asset to any man trying to climb the academic ladder.” (note that this quote was not taken from a final version of the book, only my review copy.) Excuse me????? Dawn does not exist to only be an asset to a man who wants to climb the academic ladder. She wants to climb the ladder too and as a woman in STEM, that ladder is gonna be much harder for her to climb than a man lacking in social skills. This really irked me because it just seemed to dismissive of women in STEM.

On a larger scale, some of my cons may seem minor but these things build up and I think they are worth addressing because they are indicative of larger problems. There is good to be had in this book and the romance will be sure to win over a number of readers, but I think these issues are important to keep in mind and I hope anyone who picks the book up will do just that.

2.5 Stars
2.5 Hot Espressos

What Julie Dao Learned While Writing Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

What Julie Dao Learned While Writing Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Posted by on 10/27/2017 • 2 Comments

Hey everyone! Welcome to Xpresso Reads’ tour stop for FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS. If you’re a fan of complex heroes & anti-heroes, this book should 110% be on your TBR. Today, we have Julie Dao on the blog talking about what she learned while writing FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS.

What Julie Dao Learned While Writing Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS is about a villain’s rise to power – or at least, Xifeng would be considered a villain in any other book where she wasn’t the star. Here, she is a dark and ambitious antiheroine who will let nothing stand in her way on the path to the throne!

As a result, the most common question I get is: was it hard writing such…

Not the Persuasion Retelling My Heart Desires: The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel

Not the Persuasion Retelling My Heart Desires: The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel

Posted by on 08/24/2017 • 1 Comment

I’ve always regarded Persuasion as my favorite Jane Austen novel so when I heard about The One That Got Away, I was immediately intrigued. There is something about the angst of a second chance romance that always draws me in and I love seeing the various takes on the classic novel. I dove into The One That Got Away expecting to enjoy it and I am not sure I did? I am also not sure I didn’t.

Retellings don’t have to follow the original storyline word for word but in my opinion a good retelling is at least very aware of the word for word storyline and has a fun take on that story. I felt like The One That Got Away didn’t really do that? It’s biggest tribute to the novel was essentially…

4 Reasons to Read Geekerella by Ashley Poston

4 Reasons to Read Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Posted by on 04/04/2017 • 6 Comments

GEEKERELLA is everything it promises to be. It is incredibly cute and adorably nerdy. Did you grow up kind of obsessed with the Another Cinderella Story movies? Do you want to read a book that is at least the first movie in book form? YOU’VE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE. GEEKERELLA is everything you will ever want from a modern adaptation of a Cinderella retelling. It reminded me so much of why modern retellings of fairy tales are some of my favorite things to read.

Elle grew up watching Starfield (a Star Trek-esque show) with her father. It is one of her few connections to him now that he is gone and it is also one of her only form of escapes. It has allowed her to connect to…

Giveaway: Spindle by E.K. Johnston

Giveaway: Spindle by E.K. Johnston

Posted by on 12/05/2016 • 9 Comments

Today we are partnering with the lovely people at Disney-Hyperion to bring you a fabulous giveaway! E.K. Johnston is an incredibly talented author and I am SO excited to read Spindle. I enjoyed A Thousand Nights and CRIED while reading The Garden of Three Hundred Flowers (a short b/w A Thousand Nights  and Spindle, more info will be below) so I am sure Spindle will be even better. Exit, Pursued by a Bear (a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale) was also one of my favorite books of the year so basically, I just need all of Johnston’s books in my life :’)

About the Book About the Author

E.K. Johnston had several jobs and one vocation before she became a published writer. If she’s learned anything, it’s that things turn out weird sometimes, and there’s not a lot…

Blog Tour: Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff – Review

Blog Tour: Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff – Review

Posted by on 03/11/2016 • 4 Comments

 

Hello everyone!! I am honored to be participating in this huge blog tour for Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood. I adore fairy tales and I love retellings, so naturally I had to take part. This tour has been running for about a month and there is plenty more to come. You can refer to the tour schedule that will be at the end of this post. Don’t forget to check out the other stops for really great guest posts and fun things! For my post I am doing a review of this book.

This book was all sorts of fun. The characters were fantastic and the storyline was great. There was a bit of mystery to it as well as magic (of course), friendships, and adventure….

Blog Tour: Teen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker (High School Horror #1) Review and Guest Post

Blog Tour: Teen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker (High School Horror #1) Review and Guest Post

Posted by on 01/18/2016 • 3 Comments

Hello everyone!! I am happy to be participating in the blog tour for this book. Right when I read the synopsis, I knew that I had to read the book. So I will be doing my review and I have a great guest post with a real life high school horror story from Charlotte Huang, a friend of the author who is also an author.

To start, I really liked the characters. They were great. Especially Tor and her best friend Owen. They really were what pulled me into the story. I did enjoy this book, but had to ignore all of the things that just didn’t make sense to me. As with all things fiction, not everything has to make sense or be logical right? I can’t go into…

Review: Macbeth #killingit by William Shakepeare and Courtney Carbone

Review: Macbeth #killingit by William Shakepeare and Courtney Carbone

Posted by on 12/02/2015 • 3 Comments

I know that I have already review a few of these books, well actually all of them so far, and they are getting harder to review. I can only say how fun they are so many times. Macbeth is one of stories that I really enjoyed reading back in the day when I was in school, so I really liked getting to read it in this format. What’s even better is that the Macbeth movie comes out Friday. Yup, that’s right, December 4th and it looks pretty good. I can’t wait to see it. So, if you haven’t read Macbeth, you should check out the movie, then pick up this book when it comes out in January to see how entertaining reading in this format makes a dark story.