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I am starting The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King.  It’s a fantasy about an orphan girl eventually becoming a warrior.

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18 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

He is a rather unreliable narrator, isn't he?

Yes, he is.

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On 4/7/2021 at 8:24 PM, truthaboutluv said:

I completed The Last Mrs. Parrish and found it mostly okay.

God, I hated this book so much because 

Spoiler

somehow I was supposed to feel that because Amber was an asshole, it was perfectly ok to sign her up to be abused by a man.  I truly felt as a reader I was supposed to be cheering that the twist Amber would be stuck with a psychotic abuser, like yeah - fuck that bitch, she's getting what she deserves!  Maybe this is naïve of me, but I don't really think there's a crime a woman can commit that the punishment should come in the form of violence from a man.  Yes, she's an awful person, but I think Daphne is an awful person too.  If the author had found another way to "punish" Amber, it would have been fine, but I can't get behind a "happy ending" when it's domestic violence.

 

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You Love Me which is the third book in the You series. I find myself reading the narration in Penn Badgley's voice 😂. So far, I'm liking it. It's Joe being Joe.

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I'm reading Sarah Baring's The Road to Station X, a memoir of her time during WWII, most of it at Bletchley Park. (Yes, I'm on a codebreaking kick.) Baring isn't much of a writer, but she doesn't pretend to be. She does have a nice voice. Baring was the inspiration for one of the characters in The Rose Code, and it's interesting to see how much of her story that author used (quite a bit).

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1 hour ago, MaggieG said:

You Love Me which is the third book in the You series. I find myself reading the narration in Penn Badgley's voice 😂. So far, I'm liking it. It's Joe being Joe.

Ha.  The reason I only read the books in the first place was because Santino Fontana read the audio books so I'm waiting patiently to get that from the library.  There were times that Penn sounded exactly like Santino's narration it was eerie.

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On 4/4/2021 at 5:41 AM, Mindthinkr said:

I just finished Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield. It was a bit spooky, but it served the story well. I also enjoyed her other book The Thirteenth Tale. The author is very nice. I belong to a Twitter book club and she cheerfully joins us and is willing to discuss her books. 

That's good to hear.  I also enjoyed Once Upon a River and The Thirteenth Tale is my absolute favorite novel (because I'm apparently dark and twisty...)

On 4/7/2021 at 10:26 AM, GussieK said:

I am going to try Jess Walter's new book, The Cold Millions.  Recommended by a friend.   I really liked Beautiful Ruins.

I enjoyed this as well.  I started looking for real estate in Spokane the moment I finished the last page.

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I'm about 1/2 way through Wild Sign by Patricia Briggs & I'm disappointed. I keep waiting for the interesting stuff to happen, but only stuff I'm not really interested in has happened so far.

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16 hours ago, tres bien said:

Currently:  My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

That is one of my all-time favorite book series.  The first book starts off a little slow, but once it gets going, you are in for a ride.  

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Blowout by Rachel Maddow. It's her account of how the mismanagement and gangsterism of the Russian oil and gas industry, coupled with the rise of fracking in the West, set up a lot of Vladimir Putin's decisions to interfere with the US elections and hack away at the divides in US society.

A lot of this stuff is well known now, particularly if you watch/listen to Rachel Maddow, but it's still interesting, and the detail here is much greater. However, I wish she had spread her focus more widely, because there's clear evidence of Putin doing this in countries throughout Europe, from Greece to France to the UK, using the same methods and playing both sides of ideological divides to cause as much damage as possible.

The fracking stuff is interesting, focused closely on Oklahoma and the businessmen who tried to suppress investigations into the sudden increases in seismic activity in areas where fracking was being carried out.

Her account of Shell's disastrous attempts to drill in the Chukchi Sea, off the north west coast of Alaska, deserves to be made into a comedy movie. The incompetence and arrogance of the oil company and its staff was staggering.

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Good Neighbors by Sarah Langhan. “Big Little Lies” meets “The Crucible” in this book when, after one of the kids of the neighborhood Queen Bee falls into a sinkhole, accusations are brought against another neighbor bring blame onto them and their family at large. Things escalate leading to violence and death taking over the block.

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Due to reading her obit in the NY Times, I picked up the first in Margaret Maron's mystery series set in rural North Carolina featuring Deborah Knott - the first one is called Bootlegger's Daughter and I quite literally read it straight through last weekend. Not very dark, highly entertaining and I have the next two in the series on the way to me - thankfully there are 20 if she sustains the quality of this first one. The central character is a lawyer who becomes a judge and has excellent detective skills. All this set well before cell phones and the interweb so our gal actually has to stop and use payphones and such; I enjoyed that aspect so much and there are also mouthwatering descriptions of Southern country food.

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3 hours ago, isalicat said:

and there are also mouthwatering descriptions of Southern country food.

Always a plus! LOL

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Finished The Road to Station X and enjoyed it. I've moved on to Real Life, by Brandon Taylor. It's set in an unnamed Midwestern college town, but it's clearly Madison, WI, where he went to school, as did I. I'm barely into it, but I'm liking it so far.

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15 hours ago, isalicat said:

Due to reading her obit in the NY Times, I picked up the first in Margaret Maron's mystery series set in rural North Carolina featuring Deborah Knott - the first one is called Bootlegger's Daughter and I quite literally read it straight through last weekend.

Bootlegger's Daughter was the Edgar award winner for that year.  I loved this series!  After I read the last one, I started reading Maron's first series with Sigrid Harald.

Edited by sugarbaker design

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20 hours ago, isalicat said:

Due to reading her obit in the NY Times, I picked up the first in Margaret Maron's mystery series set in rural North Carolina featuring Deborah Knott - the first one is called Bootlegger's Daughter and I quite literally read it straight through last weekend. Not very dark, highly entertaining and I have the next two in the series on the way to me - thankfully there are 20 if she sustains the quality of this first one. The central character is a lawyer who becomes a judge and has excellent detective skills. All this set well before cell phones and the interweb so our gal actually has to stop and use payphones and such; I enjoyed that aspect so much and there are also mouthwatering descriptions of Southern country food.

I'm from NC and read her books because of that. She did a good job of the city/country part of NC. I remember her saying they found Bojangles(fast food) litter on the farm. That's so true. 

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Reading You Love Me, the latest YOU book and wow. Shocked that though he does some pretty heinous things, Joe

doesn’t actually murder anyone this time

. Definitely a page-turner but his victim act is getting pretty old.

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On 3/18/2021 at 1:41 PM, isalicat said:

I just finished the seventh book in Jane Casey's Maeve Kerrigan series (Let the Dead Speak) and I am so glad I started reading this series from the beginning - they just keep getting better and better, and the character development of the principals is outstanding. Number eight is on the way to me, and then there is only one more (sob!) until she writes some more. If you like murder mysteries with a super intelligent, self aware woman detective/police officer, I recommend this series (start from book one!). And thank you so much to whomever originally recommended this author to me - some brilliant person on this very forum!

I know that I have recommended Jane Casey in the past, so I'm happy to take credit as  the brilliant person 🙂   She is one of my favorite authors and I too eagerly await her next book. 

It's interesting to see that others are reading about WWII code breakers since I've been on that kick myself.  It started several weeks ago when I was dusting my bookshelves and I picked up my copy of Between Silk and Cyanide by Leo Marks, written about his experiences with SOE during the war.  After re-reading that, I requested a few books on Bletchley Park and code breaking from the library.  

 I enjoyed Margaret Maron's books, especially the SIgrid Harald series.  I was grateful that near the end of her writing career (and sadly her life) Maron wrote one last Sigrid book, more than 20 years after the previous one.  

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I'm reading A Fire Upon the Deep, by Vernor Vinge. An SF classic. But I'm just not feeling it. Some interesting ideas in there, though they're buried under other stuff I don't like. When I bought it, I was eager to dive in. Yeah, a hundred pages a day. Easy. I managed 85 the first day, and it's gone down from there.

All right, I only bought it for one reason. Different parts of the galaxy having different physics imposed. Like, certain technology doesn't work in some places. I want to know if there's any explanation as to why that is. Should I keep banging through?

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I finished Into the Drowning Deep  by Mira Grant last night this morning.  It's been described as mermaid horror, but I didn't think it was actually a horror novel.  It was more like a monster movie.  I enjoyed it--it wasn't art, but it was fun.

I also finished The Adventures of Tom Sawyer this morning.  No, I had never read it before.  It was enjoyable, although I wish it had a more concrete plot.  I also wonder what I would have thought of it if I had read it as a teenager.  As an adult, Aunt Polly totally stole the show.  That poor woman...

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Read the first three novellas in Terry Goodkind's Children of D'hara series today and made it about a third of the way through the next one. I had gotten them all for Christmas this past year after he passed away suddenly, been a huge fan of his Sword of Truth series ever since Wizard's First Rule was first released, and was waiting to get the novellas until they were all released (I don't wait between books of a series very well, LOL). Just hadn't taken the time to start reading them until today. I knew that once I started I wouldn't be able to stop, ha ha. I was right. If I had started them this morning instead of late afternoon I probably would have finished all five of them in one day.

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Ok.  Finally done with Jane Mayer's Dark Money.  
Only 380 pages.  Thoroughly researched and documented.  
Tells the story of the wealthy Right's drive to turn government toward their two goals: minimize taxes on themselves and their businesses, and minimize regulations on their businesses. You can agree with their goals or not, but I believe you have to applaud their sharply focused programs, long range plans and programs.  Their funding emanates from a relatively small, uber-wealthy group: fewer players  helps keep things on track.   They really, really played the long game.  A good companion to Kochland.  It would be interesting to read a similar book that addresses funding on the Left. 

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I just finished Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore.   I liked a lot of it but sometimes got frustrated with repetitive conversations between the leads.   I thought the conflict addressing  real woman’s rights issues of the time period was good.

 I am going to start Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron. The novel is set 200 years after Cinderella has married the prince.  Girls have to attend a special ball when they turn 16 where they are either selected to be brides or are never seen again.  The lead of this book is trying to resist being forced to participate in the ball.

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I finished Hamnet yesterday.  It lived up to the hype, the writing is exquisite.  But because Maggie O'Farrell is such a superb writer and so perfectly portrays grief and the way it changes one's life down to the smallest element, it left me exhausted, completely wrung out.  It's definitely worth reading but be prepared to be haunted by it.

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I'm reading Troy by Stephen Fry. The third in his trilogy of Greek myth and legend. It's written with his customary wit and levity, and this is the story I know best, having read various adaptations of the Iliad and surrounding works before. 

Fry is adding details that I hadn't known before, but clearly uses some versions that I'm not familiar with, for certain parts. I'm most eager to get to the 'fact or fiction' section at the end, to see what he has to say about the historical provenance of the story. 

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3 hours ago, Danny Franks said:

I'm reading Troy by Stephen Fry. The third in his trilogy of Greek myth and legend. It's written with his customary wit and levity, and this is the story I know best, having read various adaptations of the Iliad and surrounding works before. 

Fry is adding details that I hadn't known before, but clearly uses some versions that I'm not familiar with, for certain parts. I'm most eager to get to the 'fact or fiction' section at the end, to see what he has to say about the historical provenance of the story. 

I love Stephen Fry. Thanks for letting me know about these books!

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I gave up on Torrey Peter's Detransition, Baby earlier this week.  There were parts of the book that I really liked.  I want to read works of fiction that poke and prod at gender.  There were passages that riled me up and then forced me to look at myself and my ideas of gender.  The main character is messy and complicated and extremely unlikeable in the best way possible.  But, the narrative was all over the place.  The book never came together.  I found myself skipping to the end and reading backwards.  

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19 minutes ago, peacheslatour said:

I love Stephen Fry. Thanks for letting me know about these books!

They're a lot of fun. Retellings of Greek myth from the birth of the gods through to the end of the siege of Troy, but done in a conversational tone, as the Greeks themselves might have told these stories around fires two and a half thousand years ago.

Fry did a stage show of the first two books a couple of years ago, which was great. Hopefully he'll tour again with Troy, when theatres have all reopened.

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2 minutes ago, Danny Franks said:

They're a lot of fun. Retellings of Greek myth from the birth of the gods through to the end of the siege of Troy, but done in a conversational tone, as the Greeks themselves might have told these stories around fires two and a half thousand years ago.

Fry did a stage show of the first two books a couple of years ago, which was great. Hopefully he'll tour again with Troy, when theatres have all reopened.

I would totally go see that. One of my fondest memories is of seeing Vincent Price's one man show as Oscar Wilde.

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Just finished Live Bait by P.J. Tracy. The "author" is actually a mother/daughter team and this is their second novel (its a murder mystery set in Minneapolis) and I think from 2004. I found it quite by accident in a thrift store and the book itself was pristine - carefully preserved in a plastic cover and then I discovered it was signed by one of the writers, so whomever bought this originally must have gone to a signing or something. If you can find this, I recommend it highly - very twisty story involving the murder of a group of elderly Holocaust survivors - not gruesome though and full of good banter amongst the detectives investigating the crime.

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On 4/7/2021 at 10:26 AM, GussieK said:

I am going to try Jess Walter's new book, The Cold Millions

I read it earlier this year and loved it. Haven't cried so much about a book in a long time.

I just finished Cat's Eye. Took me a long time, but I'm glad I stuck with it. Completely different from anything else I've read by Margaret Atwood, but really well-written. "Quietly devastating" I guess I would call it.

Next is A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. I've only read one other book of hers, Manhattan Beach, which I thought was good but not great, but I liked the first chapter from the Kindle preview.

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If you want another good mythology retelling, the Sita’s Fire Trilogy by Vrinda Sheth is fantastic and gorgeously illustrated. I just finished the final one, Destroyer of Sorrow, and it’s great.

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After much considerations, against my better judgement,  decided to continue with the Witcher saga. Yesterday began the fifth book "Chrzest Ognia" (Baptism of Fire). I think that I'm gonna finish it in a couple of months time, cause Sapkowski, despite gradually increasing in quality with every book in the series, is still a dull writer.

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I'm almost done with Real Life, by Brandon Taylor, and here's another book that got rapturous reviews (it was also shortlisted for the Booker Prize) that leaves me saying "huh?" It's not that I didn't like the book—I did—it just didn't knock my socks of the way it did so many others.

I always wonder where the disconnect is for me when that happens.

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I'm just about done with The Great Gatsby and I'm kind of shocked to find out that Daisy is

Spoiler

a brunette.

From watching the movie versions it's jarring. You have this picture in your mind about what this character looks like and it makes you re-visualize the whole scenario.

Edited by peacheslatour
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20 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

I'm just about done with The Great Gatsby and I'm kind of shocked to find out that Daisy is

  Hide contents

a brunette.

From watching the movie versions it's jarring. You have this picture in your mind about what this character looks like and it makes you re-visualize the whole scenario.

How did you escape reading it in high school?

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1 minute ago, GussieK said:

How did you escape reading it in high school?

In Post WWI literature we read Wolfe, Dreiser, Lewis and Fitzgerald's short stories. We never read Gatsby. I'm glad because the reason it took me all these years to get around to reading it was because everyone always bitched about it. I don't think teenagers have the maturity to appreciate it.

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5 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

In Post WWI literature we read Wolfe, Dreiser, Lewis and Fitzgerald's short stories. We never read Gatsby. I'm glad because the reason it took me all these years to get around to reading it was because everyone always bitched about it. I don't think teenagers have the maturity to appreciate it.

I read The Great Gatsby when I was in summer school* and LOVED it. I was 14. We then watched the movie after we had read the book and discussed it. This was in the mid-80s.

*My Mum made me take summer school because she thought I was a year behind as I took kindergarten twice-once in New York then again when we moved to Maryland. Turned out she enrolled me a year early. Don’t ask me how that happened. But I refused to graduate a year early. The one book that was a SLOG to read was The Grapes of Wrath. Not even the movie helped-nor the hotness that was Henry Fonda.

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I finished You Love Me which was the third book in the You series. I enjoyed it. Anyone who has watched the show or read the books knows what I mean when I say it was Joe being Joe doing Joe things. I'm not sure if she's planning on writing more You books but I hope she doesn't. I think this one ended just fine and there is no need to write more on Joe Goldberg because I fear it would just get repetitive. 

Started on His & Hers by Alice Feeney

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12 hours ago, GHScorpiosRule said:

I read The Great Gatsby when I was in summer school* and LOVED it. I was 14. We then watched the movie after we had read the book and discussed it. This was in the mid-80s.

*My Mum made me take summer school because she thought I was a year behind as I took kindergarten twice-once in New York then again when we moved to Maryland. Turned out she enrolled me a year early. Don’t ask me how that happened. But I refused to graduate a year early. The one book that was a SLOG to read was The Grapes of Wrath. Not even the movie helped-nor the hotness that was Henry Fonda.

I simply could not read TGOW. Luckily my English teacher knew I was a voracious reader and not faking or lazy so he had me read Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin instead.

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Decided to try something lighter than tales of corporate greed and political shenanigans (Kochland, Dark Money), so I picked up Claw Enforcement by Sofie Ryan. 

Just the right thing for these troubling times, eh?  Well, no.  The cat featured on the cover does next to nothing to move the story along, unlike the dog, Chet, in the Spencer Quinn mysteries.  The Claw book starts well, but then wanders around with digressive descriptions of refurbishing second-hand goods for a resale shop.  There are some themes of  potential love life, but they just did not grab me, nor did they move the mystery along. 
Oh well, maybe it's just me.  <<<sigh>>>

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I just finished Jeffrey Archer's latest book, Turn a Blind Eye.  This is his third book in his Inspector William Warwick series.  William Warwick is the fictional character created by his character Harry Clifton in his Clifton Chronicles series.

As with the previous book, my big complaint is that Archer once again drops us into the continuation of the previous story, and that it once again ends on a cliffhanger.
 

Archer is one of my favourite authors and I still consider him one of the World's Greatest Storytellers.  But I really miss the days when his books were self-contained, original stories.  I'm not sure if when he started the Clifton Chronicles if he intended they would be a 7 book series.  And now with the William Warwick stories, it seems this series is open-ended.

I just really cannot stand how I have forgotten almost everything that happened in the previous books.  The volumes also seem a bit thinner than his earlier works.  I want to see Archer to writing a good dynastic saga like "Kane and Abel".  I feel like in his advancing years, he is just on autopilot.  Keeps writing these massive open-ended stories with no defined end, and then the publisher just decides to cut off a book at a good stopping point.  Seems like a money grab for all involved.

I am now reading Ready Player Two... just started, but the nostalgic 1980s references (such as Max Headroom, 8675309, is it live or is it Memorex) already have me enjoying it.

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3 hours ago, blackwing said:

I just finished Jeffrey Archer's latest book, Turn a Blind Eye.  This is his third book in his Inspector William Warwick series.  William Warwick is the fictional character created by his character Harry Clifton in his Clifton Chronicles series.

As with the previous book, my big complaint is that Archer once again drops us into the continuation of the previous story, and that it once again ends on a cliffhanger.
 

 

Ah heck.  I was going to start reading the Inspector Warwick series, but not if they're not self contained. 

When I finished the first book of the Clifton Chronicles, I was so annoyed that it ended on a cliffhanger that I actually threw the book at the wall and then waited until the series was complete before buying any of the others. 

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2 hours ago, Ceindreadh said:

Ah heck.  I was going to start reading the Inspector Warwick series, but not if they're not self contained. 

When I finished the first book of the Clifton Chronicles, I was so annoyed that it ended on a cliffhanger that I actually threw the book at the wall and then waited until the series was complete before buying any of the others. 

Yep.  I don't like these open-ended series books where the story carries over from book to book.  I generally like series, but most series have actual self-contained stories and then the effects of those stories will sometimes be felt in future books.

Here, the book literally picks up from where the last one left off, and then it ends on another cliffhanger.  By the time the next book comes out, I have completely forgotten what happened in the previous book.

I wouldn't be as annoyed as I am if he would just include a brief synopsis of what happened in the earlier book.

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The Maggie Hope mystery series by Susan Elia MacNeal is like that, and it's so aggravating. Especially once you've caught up to the current book. 

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7 hours ago, peacheslatour said:

I simply could not read TGOW. Luckily my English teacher knew I was a voracious reader and not faking or lazy so he had me read Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin instead.

We all had such a difficult time with that book and the teacher thought watching the movie would help. It didn’t.

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I just started Lover Unveiled by JR Ward.  I really enjoy the Black Dagger Brotherhood books but am feeling a little weary.  The last book in the series killed off a character I had assumed was going to get featured in their own book at some point.  I thought there was some potential for a story for them.   So I was kinda disappointed.  Still the world of the series is getting  bigger and bigger and many new characters added so it makes sense that some characters aren’t going to get their own story and will either remain a side character or leave the narrative in one way or another.

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3 hours ago, Luckylyn said:

I just started Lover Unveiled by JR Ward.  I really enjoy the Black Dagger Brotherhood books but am feeling a little weary.  The last book in the series killed off a character I had assumed was going to get featured in their own book at some point.  I thought there was some potential for a story for them.   So I was kinda disappointed.  Still the world of the series is getting  bigger and bigger and many new characters added so it makes sense that some characters aren’t going to get their own story and will either remain a side character or leave the narrative in one way or another.i

I read the first half dozen or so of that series.  I had to give it up because it started feeling like the pairings and the endings were specifically to subvert expectations and not repeat herself.  It got to the point of feeling really formulaic in how hard she was working to avoid a formula.

Also, I vaguely remember one of the books ending with one half of the couples becoming a ghost or some such shit.  It was a stupid ending to a book I otherwise liked.  It wasn't the last book I read but it was the beginning of the end for me.

So bright side, death doesn't stop a future book for that character whomever that was.

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Death has been handled inconsistently in the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  Some were permanent and others were worked around like your example of a character continuing in the series as a ghost.  So I guess there’s a possibility that the character I mentioned could return but the way things were handled made it seem this was a permanent one.  But who knows.   Almost anything is possible in this series.

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