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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.
When He Was Wicked - Julia Quinn There's a lot to like in this book. Everyone is as clever and lovable as usual, even though there are far fewer laughs. Understandably, as the problems the protagonists face are a lot heavier than most of the previous entries in the series. The dialogue and plotting, although not perfect, are both much improved over earlier books. And I know I've been known complain about Quinn's snoozy sex scenes, but that's not an issue here. I confess I clutched my pearls a time or two!On the boo side, there's very little Bridgerton action. This book's timeline is parallel to the two previous, and there are fleeting references to let you know where things are. But Francesca's spent very little time with her family throughout the course of the series, and she spends even less with them here. Penelope Featherington feels like more of a Bridgerton, frankly. A little more interference from Francesca's family might have lightened the mood a bit and broken up her tediousness some. Oops, did I say that out loud? Sorry. She IS tedious, though. While I certainly believe a woman in her situation would feel confused and paralyzed, there's really only so many pages a body can read about it without wanting to throw something. "I don't know! I don't know! I don't know!" Ye gods. And maybe it's because she's been so absent from the previous books and we don't know her very well, but a large portion of what she does and says and feels comes off as completely arbitrary.Still, this is a fun one. Well, maybe fun isn't the right word. But I'm definitely not sorry I read it!