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Books, You Guys!

I read a lot of everything. Mostly fantasy and sci-fi, or speculative fiction or Slipstream or New Weird or whatever we're calling it now, some comics, some literary fiction, mysteries, la dee da. And...well. I do like a kissin' book.
Taken by the Wicked Rake (Harlequin Historical) - Christine Merrill The Silk & Scandal series is good enough for me to give the conclusion four stars just on principle, but I think this book earns them on its own as well. The hero benefits a great deal from being having been a major figure in the previous seven books, and is easily the most complex and fleshed-out character in the entire run. It makes it much easier to get invested in the romance, which is a tasty bit of Gypsy kidnapping fun. The heroine is brave and true, and doesn't spend a whole lot of time dithering about and feeling sorry for herself. The romance itself is handled a little differently from the rest of the books, and I was glad for it. Not so much of the old "we're going to misunderstand each other for one hundred pages and then wrap it all up by confessing our feelings for five minutes" nonsense that plagues the rest of the series. And I was thrilled to see Magda again!There's not much suspense, as any reader with keen eye would have spotted the villain by the second or third book, but it's still a satisfying conclusion. The overarching mystery is the series' biggest strength, and is very well-plotted. Really just a good time!