Boring: Brazen by Katherine Longshore

Mary Howard has always lived in the shadow of her powerful family. But when she’s married off to Henry Fitzroy, King Henry VIII’s illegitimate son, she rockets into the Tudor court’s inner circle. Mary and “Fitz” join a tight clique of rebels who test the boundaries of court’s strict rules with their games, dares, and flirtations. The more Mary gets to know Fitz, the harder she falls for him, but is forbidden from seeing him alone. The rules of court were made to be pushed…but pushing them too far means certain death. Is true love worth dying for? 

Source: GoodReads

I am highly fascinated with the Tudor family.

They are a bat shit insane family, and why wouldn’t they be with that War of the Roses business.

Then there’s Henry the VIII.

Oh, Henry the VIII how you are this enigmatic person who I can’t exactly pinpoint why women found you attractive back in your day.   And why Ann Boleyn liked you because you were just plain…

Ugh.

Don’t get me started with Henry the VIII.

No you shouldn’t. You really shouldn’t.

I actually was interested in this book for a different reason, Henry’s illegitimate son.  You really don’t hear much about Henry Fitzroy and was looking forward to learning about him.

But if you think Henry Fitzroy is going to be a main character.

You’d be wrong.

Wrong.

Wrong.

Wrong.

The book focuses on Mary Howard who is Fitzroy’s wife.  Again, this could be interesting, but instead it is just boring.  So, so, boring.

Because Mary is boring.

And a lot of this is probably because she’s boring in real life and Longshore was trying to right an accurate portrayal of the period unlike those Philippa Gregory where Anne Bolyen cheats on Henry with her brother in order to give him an heir.

Can you say ew!

Yeah.

But yeah, the Longshore account of what occurred is probably fairly accurate, but she probably focused on one of the more boring figures to focus her attentions to.

Seriously, why not focus on Fitzroy himself, or better yet focus on Anne Bolyen herself.  And yes, I know Longshore has a book about Boleyn in her younger years, but I wanted more about this Anne.  She was by far the best character in this book.

Because Mary was just dumb and stupid and had a Bella Swan crush on Fitzroy who she barely interacted with.

If their relationship would’ve been something, I might’ve cared.  But with 300 pages of very little to no interaction, I just didn’t care.

And again, I think that wasn’t so much of Longshore’s fault since she was going for a more historically rooted story, but at the same time it is her fault because there were more interesting characters to follow.

Hell, I would’ve liked a book about a teenage Bloody Mary.  I am sure that she would have a lot to bemoan about other than not being able to tap her teenage husband like Mary Howard Fitzroy did.

Honestly, bordom was what made me give up this book.

And I like history.

If you want to read about an obscure person in history who was really a minor figure (at best) in the whole Tudor cycle you might want to read Brazen, otherwise skip.

Overall Rating: DNF.  Though this is more or less me than the book, other than being so boring it was decently written.

 

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Amazing Premises, Lousy Characterization: Zero Day by Jan Gangset

Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping case of the decade. Addie vanished—and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.

Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the oval office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president’s daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family’s fold, but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the president’s political circle who find her timely return suspicious.

When the NSA approaches Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s childhood best friend and the son of the president’s chief of staff, he doesn’t know what to think. How could this slip of a girl be a threat to national security? But at the risk of having his own secrets exposed by the powerful government agency, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.

It soon becomes apparent that Addie is much more than the traumatized victim of a sick political fringe group. Addie has come with a mission. Will she choose to complete it? And what will happen if she does?

Source: GoodReads

Obviously, there’s been a bit of an absence on the blog.  Blame the Louisiana bar exam for that.  They don’t call it the fourth worse one in the country for nothing, ya’ll.

The good thing is the test is done, so my free time has improved for the time being.  I’m sure that could change though.    This review will probably be a quickie though for various reasons.

I read or should I say partially read Zero Day about six or seven weeks ago.  I probably shouldn’t even be writing a review at this point since I forgot a lot of details about the book, but I do remember why I DNF’d it, and that for me justifies a little blurb of my thoughts of this book.

I’ll be honest, plot wise it kept me intrigued.  But the characterization has been so horrible, that I could not stomach continue reading it.

It was really sad, because the plot was pretty interesting if a bit cliche and a little too over the top.

Full disclosure, I do like political thrillers and stories about kidnappings, so this really should have been up my ally.  But there was really nothing unique about the set up and everyone felt so wooden that it failed.

I think had the book just been a political thriller, it would have been fine.  While I do like my characterization, with politics you can’t expect a lot of emotion.  Can’t say the same about kidnapping stories though.

With kidnapping stories, the emotions should be raw.  You should be able to connect to the characters on a certain level.  But here I could not feel for Addie or any of her friends and family, they just felt wooden.

So, so, wooden.

Who knows, maybe they improved as the book progressed.  But this is one of those cases where I just didn’t bother finding out.

Overall Rating: DNF.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Histoircal Periods

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

History was probably my favorite subject back in high school.  Yeah, it usurped English.  However, at the end of the day I majored in English because History in College and I didn’t mix.  Blame, a really bad World History course that was focused primarily on religious philosphers-blah.  Religious philosophy and I don’t mix (this was probably an indicator I would end up in law school that and way too many viewing of The Practice when I was younger-why can’t any lawyers actually lo0k like Bobby Donnell, I ask).   That being said though, I do love reading about history.   Here are ten periods that I love to explore.

10) The Russian Revolution: Because never was there not a more turbulent period in history than this.

There’s an AU that takes place in Russia where the Revolution is impaired and imperial Russia continues.  It’s interesting seeing how this is explored though.

9)  The Exploration Period:  This is one period, that I wish would be looked at more.   There is a meeting between two cultures, two different worlds for the first time and  there’s so much to explore.   Only…haven’t really seen a lot of stuff.

8)  The Renaissance Because it’s the renassiance and the fashion choices are just a bit on the bizzare side.

Haven’t read this one but it fits into the period.

7) Ancient Greece: I love Greek mythology, actual Greek history is just as interesting.   However, you see mythology more than the actual history exploited more in YA.

6) The Victorian Age: There’s just something scrumptious about stuffy manners and rigid propriety.

Another AU History, but it does convey enough about the period that you can get a good idea what the author  is trying to convey.

5) Regency: So many Harlequins feature this period.  And it’s such a fun period too with parties, tight breeches, and Mr. Darcy (yes, I know he’s fictional).

There are actually a couple of YA Regency themed novels out there.   I really plan on indulging in them after the bar because February is like Unofficial Regency month for me.

4) The American Civil War: I haven’t seen this era exploited that much in modern YA, but there are some embarrassingly good Historical Romance bodice rippers that feature this period.   There’s just so much angst and disturbing history to explore in this time frame.

Yeah, it’s sort of embarrassing that I’m putting this one in here.   But, I like it.  Admittedly the hero is a dick (it is a Woodiwiss book, it’s sort of an expected thing) but there’s something about it that works.

3) Tudor Era: The Tudors basically got a glorified soap opera named at them and rightfully so.   This period is filled with crazy rulers, beheaded wives, and intrigue.

I am eagerly anticipating this novel because look at the authors and it’s said to be in the vein of The Princess Bride.   So need this one.

2) Edwardian Era: My Downton Abbey heart wants more of this era and the WW1 era.  Because it’s such a period of change and there are lords, ladies, upstairs, downstairs, and at the same time the beginning of progress.

Although, utterly cliche.  This one is sort of Downton Abbey lite.

1) World War Two: Never was there as messed up of a war as World War II.  There is just so many bat shit crazy things about this era that are terrifying and fascinating to read about.  And while there are some good books out there, I’d like to see more books exploring lesser known aspects of the era like the internment camps in the USA during this time.

 

This book takes an interesting perspective of WW2 history.  Well, it’s actually pre-WW2 but it deals with the build up to WW2.