Size Doesn’t Matter (102): Minx; The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright; The Museum of Heartbreak

Size Doesn’t Matter (102): Minx; The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright; The Museum of HeartbreakMinx by Julia Quinn
Series: Blydon #3
Published by Avon on October 13, 2009
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 391
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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three-half-stars

IT TAKES A MINX TO TEMPT A ROGUE...

Henrietta Barrett has never followed the dictates of society. She manages her elderly guardian's remote Cornwall estate, wears breeches instead of frocks, and answers to the unlikely name of Henry. But when her guardian passes away, her beloved home falls into the hands of a distant cousin.

...AND IT TAKES A ROGUE TO TAME HER

William Dunford, London's most elusive bachelor, is stunned to learn that he's inherited property, a title... and a ward bent on making his first visit his last. Henry is determined to contigue running Stannage Park without help from the handsome new lord, but Dunford is just as sure he can change things... starting with his wild young ward. But turning Henry into a lady makes her not only the darling of the ton, but an irresistible attraction to the man who thought he could never be tempted.

The Blydon books end on a good note with Minx. It stops just short of sheer perfection because of a stupid plot towards the end, but the rest is such a delight. It’s Quinn’s first trilogy, so I’m pretty amazed how good it is as a whole, because that was not true of Tessa Dare’s or Meg Cabot’s.

Minx is such perfection of a bantery, shippy historical romance right until the end when there’s a needless, drawn-out, stupid fight because the characters don’t use their words, despite both being direct people. GRAAAHR. But yeah, if you can set the obnoxious drama that comes after a scorned woman tries to ruin Henry and Dunford’s relationship, this book is so amazing.

I had the biggest grin on my face for most of Minx. Henry and Dunford have an unusual romance novel relationship in that they genuinely do become friends first. There’s one sort of accidental kiss because hey it’s a romance novel, but mostly they’re friends to start with. They fall for each other at the same time, and Dunford’s not afraid to admit to his feelings, which is basically a romance novel miracle.

The ship is A+, minus that bit where they don’t act like themselves to add some “intensity” or pages or something. They banter adorably. Ignore the book blurb with its “rogue to tame her” bullshit. He’s totally into her when she’s being herself, though he does show her that she can look lovely in dresses that actually fit her. The whole crew also shows up to support and ship these two, and banter is had by all. Quinn does such a nice job writing large bantery casts.

It’s a shame this one ends on a bad note, but 3/4 of this book was amazing, so I imagine I’ll be revisiting this one despite that.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:


Size Doesn’t Matter (102): Minx; The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright; The Museum of HeartbreakThe Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright by Tessa Dare
Published by Avon Impulse on December 11, 2012
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 144
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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three-stars

Miss Eliza Cade is a lady in waiting. And waiting.

Because of a foolish mistake in her youth, she's not allowed "out" in Society until her three older sisters are wed. But while she's trying to be good, she keeps bumping elbows—and, more distressingly, lips—with notorious rake Harry Wright. Every moment she spends with him, she risks complete ruin.

The sensual passions he stirs in her are so wrong . . . but Eliza just can't resist Mr. Wright.

The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright has all the humor expected of Tessa Dare, and a cute ship to boot, but it does suffer from being a novella.

It’s really a shame that this one isn’t a full-length novel, because it feels like a lot’s missing. Everything just feels so abrupt. The ship, rather than evolving in a natural way I feel like I was there for, moves in sudden fits and starts. The characters interact without you in scenes they reference later, years pass between chapters, and their feelings change off-screen. So, though the ship is cute, I didn’t have the feels about it that I would have in a longer format.

However, I still liked it despite that inherent problem, because this one’s quite funny. Also, it plays on Pride and Prejudice in a fun way. It’s not a retelling, but Dare seems to be making use of its basic structure nonetheless, but with fun changes. View Spoiler » For all its briefness, that aspect is clever. I just wish the ship hadn’t been so rushed.

Definitely worth reading, but man I wish I could have a full-length novel version of this!

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

Size Doesn’t Matter (102): Minx; The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright; The Museum of HeartbreakThe Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder
Published by Simon Pulse on June 7, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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three-stars

In this ode to all the things we gain and lose and gain again, seventeen-year-old Penelope Marx curates her own mini-museum to deal with all the heartbreaks of love, friendship, and growing up.

Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.

Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.

Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.

But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.

From the moment I saw that quirky, adorable cover, The Museum of Heartbreak most definitely had to be on my TBR. The cover actually fits this book perfectly, and, while flawed, The Museum of Heartbreak is certainly quirky and cute.

There’s a lot that The Museum of Heartbreak gets right. The friends to lovers ship is completely adorable, and I shipped it right from the start. Keats could take a hike, even when he was saying and doing mostly the right things. I’m a fan of romances where the heroine dates a guy who’s wrong and toxic and figures out what sort of romance she needs in her life. It feels so real and healthy. Plus, friends to lovers doesn’t always work for me, but this one had a sort of Jane by Design achey shippiness to it.

The friendships are also pretty well done. I’d have liked a bit more from the friendship love triangle (is this a thing?) of Penelope/Audrey/Charisse, but Leder gets across the ever-shifting, complicated nature of friendships. There’s a lot of friend fighting in The Museum of Heartbreak, and there’s a sense of how the good relationships will survive that and some just won’t. It’s all part of growing up. I also really liked Penelope’s arc of meeting new friends in Miles and Grace. Plus, Oscar totally low key stole the show.

However, I have some issues with the way this book is constructed. For some reason, the first two chapters are taken from the ending. This isn’t that odd for fiction, but the thing with it here is that they’re not labeled as a prologue, just as Present Day, which isn’t as clear. Also, they’re VERY WEIRD CHAPTERS. They threw me off for a long time. You are thrown into a deep end of dinosaurs with no explanation. Rather than hooking me and making me want to finish, those chapters at the start made me consider DNFing. That’s bad placement. Another strange element is that the last chapter’s narration is told directly to Ephraim, rather than being standard narrative first person. This was alarming and distracted me from the cuteness of the ship.

Aside from that, the plot lines followed incredibly predictable lines. The plot with Eph’s parents could not have been more obvious and was scarcely dealt with. The way everything with Keats turned out and the inevitable fight when Eph confessed his changed feelings all followed lines so predictable that I couldn’t help roll my eyes at it. The Museum of Heartbreak would have benefited from taking a step back from some of those things.

If you’re looking for some cute friends to lover ship action, The Museum of Heartbreak might be what you want. However, I’d recommend perhaps starting at the chapter that opens with a picture of Watchmen.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

4 responses to “Size Doesn’t Matter (102): Minx; The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright; The Museum of Heartbreak”

  1. Gillian says:

    How dare you put a Jane and Billy gif here

    I had things to say but I honestly can’t even focus on anything but my OWN museum of TV heartbreak now
    Gillian recently posted…The Shippy Awards 2016: The Winners!My Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Sorryyyyyyyyy. But I just pictured them so strongly, because she has a popular crush who’s wrong for her, and he’s hot but in a niche way and dates a lot while waiting for his female best friend to realize they could be a thing. HOW COULD I NOT.

  2. I need to get back to Tessa Dare. I adored her Castles Ever After series… need to get around to Spindle Cove now!
    Bonnie @ For the Love of Words recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday – Most Anticipated 2017 Book Releases (Jan-Jun)My Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      This one’s actually a standalone novella, but YES SPINDLE COVE YES. The first Spindle Cove novel’s the weakest of the lot, but it’s still super funny. 😀

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