Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Thoughts: Mr. Ridley

Mr. Ridley

by Delilah Marvelle
Book 1 of The Whipping Society

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  4.5 Stars

LEATHER.  CIGARS.  ROPE.  COCA.  SEX.
Meet Mr. Ridley.
BOOK 1 of 3, all roped together by one man and one woman bent on twisted passion: making the other writhe.

LONDON, ENGLAND - 1830
Criminals fear the iron fist of justice he delivers.  Scotland Yard will do anything to get their hands on his mind.  Whilst women?  They crawl in the hope of becoming his.  But only one woman is about to hold his career and his body and his mind hostage.

Jemdanee (Kumar) Lillian Watkins is a botanical savant from India who ends up getting arrested for a crime she didn't commit.  Only one man believes her: Mr. Ridley.  Drawn to him and the rope he knots in her presence, she quickly realizes this regimented dark hero hides nothing but his passion.

Themes include Dark humor, BDSM, mystery, and romance.


This book is definitely a breath of fresh air in comparison to the historical romances I'm used to reading.  In truth, it's not the best written book in the world and could benefit from a bit more editing, but you soon forget that there are any quibbles and flaws in the face of how much fun it is to follow the interactions between Jemdanee and Mr. Ridley.  This couple is brilliant together, and even as some of the dialogue can be a bit incredible and tacky, the banter is to die for!

While I love that Jemdanee is a gem of a heroine--sunny disposition even in the face of everything that's happened to her, and a smart tongue that makes you smile--I honestly feel like it's Mr. Ridley that stood out for me more.  I'm so used to the broody, mysterious alpha heroes.  And in a way, that's what Mr. Ridley is, except that he's so much more.  To be honest, his fatalism got a little frustrating at times, but his blunt, straight-forward actions and mannerisms just made him a bit more refreshing than the typical historical hero.

Don't get me wrong--I loved Jemdanee as well.  She's basically everything I love about strong heroines with a level head on her shoulders, a heart of gold, with appropriate flaws, as well as some girlishly adorable quirks.  She's young, but sometimes you forget how young she is because of how mature and worldly she acts.

Meanwhile, I wish there had been a bit more about the murder mystery, and I wish we could have seen more of Jemdanee using her botanical savant skills for the investigation.  But it's quite apparent that this book was more about the slow developing lust and romance between our main couple.  There was also a heavy emphasis on the BDSM proclivities of our hero, but the theme is fairly underplayed compared to other romances I've read (and I honestly haven't read many) with this theme.

And to be fair, I'm not as interested in BDSM as much as others may be, so the honest truth is, I probably wouldn't have picked up this book anytime soon based on the summary, if not for some of the high praise, and lots of interesting quotes, I saw from a trusted reviewer I follow (a quick shout out to Whiskey and her Romancies for 2018, which is where I made the decision to read this book!).  Even if this book really does come off more BDSM-lite.

I'm quite glad this book caught my attention in this fashion, though, because in the end, it's the interactions between Jemdanee and Mr. Ridley that really made me fall for it.

This is my first favorite read of 2019, with hopefully more to come, and a good outlook for the rest of the year!


Monday, January 28, 2019

24in48 January 2019 Readathon: Wrap Up


... with an 'It's Monday!' twist!!



My reading progress over the past week had been quite pathetic, and the truth is that I did most of my reading over the weekend during the 24in48 readathon.  So, with my determination to try and do a weekly update on my reading life via the 'It's Monday!' meme, I present a joint post this time, which is much more fitting... and also serves my laziness in creating only the one post for two updates together!

Anyway...

After my last update a little before midnight on Saturday/Sunday, I crashed to a sleep and didn't wake up until around nine or so, Sunday morning, and completely missed my Hour Thirty Two Update.  After piddling around for a bit and getting ready for the day, I decided to just make the most of my morning and hope to have some progress by Hour Forty...

Well, then my brother and his wife asked if I wanted to join them for lunch.  And me, being a food fanatic, decided that that would be an excellent idea.  Following, I spent a good chunk of the afternoon hanging out with him, mostly helping him assemble a newly bought exercise machine.

As the day wore on, I figured I'd finally get some time to do some reading...

Which also didn't happen due to other family socializing that was calling my attention.

As is per usual during a readathon, I let myself be distracted.  But oh well, it's the thought that counts and I still think I did quite well for all the progress I made on Saturday, but didn't make on Sunday.  I spent that last two hours of my Sunday night diving head first back into Mr. Ridley and almost lost track of the time spent reading that I was tracking for the rest of 24in48.  Then I proceeded to continue reading the book after midnight until I realized that, maybe I needed to get to sleep if I wanted to be bright and shiny for Monday at work.

We all need to be bright and shiny for Monday at work, otherwise it just feels like a bad omen for the rest of the week.

Moving right along...

My totals for 24in48 are as follows:
  • Total Time Spent Reading:  7:33:15
  • Total Pages Read:  415
  • Total Minutes Listened To:  57
  • Total Books Read:  0
So I finished no books over the readathon weekend, which in turn means that I managed to finish no books at all the entire week leading up to readathon weekend.  This 'It's Monday!' post now ends up fairly lackluster indeed.

But no fear, as I'd already stated, I think I made very good progress over the weekend anyway.  Meanwhile, this post was supposed to go up earlier, but I ended up caught in Mr. Ridley, flying through the rest of the book and finishing it, and now stuck in a hangover of FEELS.  I am DEFINITELY getting the next book, and sort of wish that the third book was already published so there would be no waiting.

Following, I'm going to jump back into Lethal White next, and maybe give The Disappearing Spoon a couple chapters each day until I finish it.  Being that Lethal White is an e-book borrow and is due back by the first of February before it cycles back into a long hold/wait list, I'm actually more determined to get it read before it gets auto turned in... which then I will have to probably wait another two or three months before I can check it out again.

Following, I only have around two and a half hours of The Neverending Story to finish, so I will also be getting back to that book as well, with the hopes that I can make full marks on my Reading Assignment Challenge for January.


Books Read



I didn't actually finish reading Mr. Ridley in time to count it for either books read last week nor 24in48, but I'd like to acknowledge it as read anyway since this post is going up later than I'd intended.


Currently Reading




What's Next



Obviously I'm not going to be getting to all of these books in the next week.  But February is rolling around the corner, and that begins a new round of Amanda Quick books and Historical books.  Being that I don't know which book I'd like to start first (I will probably employ a monkey post-it random book draw again), I'm just listing all the books I'm planning on getting to soon.

February also marks the beginning of the next Discworld read, so I AM going to try to start Equal Rites when February starts.  I'm also itching to get my hands on The Devil is French, all the while knowing that the last book won't be released for a while and that I can't just jump right into it... so I'm going to try to restrain myself.

But that's okay.  I can always find joy in Amanda Quick books, and I will also be reading Pamela Clare's Blakewell/Kenleigh Family trilogy for Professor Genre's Reading Assignment in February.  And I've always enjoyed Pamela Clare, even if they were usually contemporary, so now I'll get to see how well I like her historical books.

But before any of that, I've still got three books to finish...

Until the next readathon, folks!  =D


Saturday, January 26, 2019

24in48 January 2019 Readathon: Hour Twenty Four Update


A little less than an hour until midnight, but here's my update anyway.

Beginning at 12:01am on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, readers read for 24 hours out of that 48 hour period.  You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, 4 hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six 4 hour sessions with 4 hour breaks in between; whatever you’d like.


So I had thought to maybe read until about 30% or so of Lethal White, then moving onto Mr. Ridley, figuring it would give me a chance to finish reading at least one book this weekend.  As much as I hate to admit it, Lethal White is super long and the chances of finishing the whole thing before the readathon is over doesn't seem like a probably feat for me.

HOWEVER, the book just keeps getting better and better, and the next thing I know, I'm already halfway through it, so I'm kind of determined to see myself to the end before I move onto another book.  Really, did I expect otherwise?

Of course, between the two dysfunctional romantic relationships going on in the book, though, I AM sort of craving a more HEA guaranteed story... as much as I'm enjoying this quietly thought-provoking crime novel, I'm still not digging the wisps of romance surfacing between Robin and Strike, especially when the two seem bound and determined not to communicate with each other properly on a personal level.  Though since they still work so well together investigating murders and searching out dark secrets, I still love them as partners in crime fighting.

Running totals:
-- Time spent reading:  5:47:52
-- Pages read:  190
-- Minutes listened to:  57
-- Books finished:  0

I feel like I've read more pages than that, but I suppose I didn't really.  Surely, when I finish Lethal White, my numbers will be drastically more impressive.


Books Read


As of this update, I have not finished reading any books.


Currently Reading



The Neverending Story by Michael Ende // narrated by Gerard Doyle
822 minutes / 559 minutes listened to pre-readathon
Progress:  616 minutes listened to
-- 0 minutes listened to @ Hour 8
-- 57 minutes listened to @ Hour 16
-- 0 minutes listened to @ Hour 24

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
656 pages / 92 pages read pre-readathon
Progress:  282 pages read
-- 33 pages read @ Hour 8
-- 6 pages read @ Hour 16
-- 151 pages read @ Hour 24

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
346 pages / 114 pages read pre-readathon
Progress:  114 pages read
-- 0 pages read @ Hour 8
-- 0 pages read @ Hour 16
-- 0 pages read @ Hour 24

Mr. Ridley by Delilah Marvelle
282 pages / 56 pages read pre-readathon
Progress:  56 pages read
-- 0 pages read @ Hour 8
-- 0 pages read @ Hour 16
-- 0 pages read @ Hour 24


24in48 January 2019 Readathon: Hour Sixteen Update


Been less than productive, but still made some reading headway!

Beginning at 12:01am on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, readers read for 24 hours out of that 48 hour period.  You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, 4 hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six 4 hour sessions with 4 hour breaks in between; whatever you’d like.


I spent most of the morning playing Wordscapes on my phone, somehow managing to waste away about an hour and a half of my time that could have been spent reading.  But oh well... the heart wants what the heart wants.

I finally deigned to crawl out of bed a little before noon (thank goodness for weekends off), in which I got myself ready for the day, then spent some more time surfing the internet... and somehow managing to buy $20 worth of Kindle books just for a $5 credit towards my account (deal lasts until 1/28, I think).  Following, I went out to lunch with my Dad, then hung out with my parents for a little while before slinking back to my reading "duties."

It's funny how one always laments not having enough time to read... and yet, given a whole weekend off, with plans and a readathon... I end up looking for other things to do.  I'm not sure how my mind works, but I'm only slightly miffed by my own procrastination.  Every time 24in48 rolls around, I vow to spend at least ten or twelve hours the first day reading so that I have a fighting chance of reaching twenty-four hours of reading by the next day...  But every time, I end up getting distracted and only get about four hours of reading done.  By then, I have no chance of reaching that twenty-four hour goal.

Aw well...  It's all in the fun spirit of the game anyway.

Of course, while I was doing laundry and splurging on books, I let my audio book play in the background (stuff in Fantastica is getting a bit sticky!).  So at least I've made a little bit more progress.  I've even read another chapter of Lethal White, which used nine minutes of my time only.

As far as stats go, I spent about another hour reading (1:06:46 hours, to be exact, give or take a few seconds).

Running totals:
-- Time spent reading:  1:59:35
-- Pages read:  39
-- Minutes listened to:  57
-- Books finished:  0

If I can stop being distracted, I hope I can at least get another four or six hours of reading done.  At the least, I'm kind of hoping to make some more progress into Lethal White as well as getting back to Mr. Ridley.  But as First World Bookish Problems go, I can't read both books at the same time, so I'm going to have to find a comfy compromise somewhere.  Maybe getting to 30% of Lethal White then jumping back into Mr. Ridley... or jumping back into Mr. Ridley, breezing through it (since it's a pretty short book in comparison), then getting back to Lethal White.

Decisions, decisions...


Books Read


As of this update, I have not finished reading any books.


Currently Reading



The Neverending Story by Michael Ende // narrated by Gerard Doyle
822 minutes / 559 minutes listened to pre-readathon
Progress:  616 minutes listened to
-- 0 minutes listened to @ Hour 8
-- 57 minutes listened to @ Hour 16

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
656 pages / 92 pages read pre-readathon
Progress:  131 pages read
-- 33 pages read @ Hour 8
-- 6 pages read @ Hour 16

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
346 pages / 114 pages read pre-readathon
Progress:  114 pages read
-- 0 pages read @ Hour 8
-- 0 pages read @ Hour 16

Mr. Ridley by Delilah Marvelle
282 pages / 56 pages read pre-readathon
Progress:  56 pages read
-- 0 pages read @ Hour 8
-- 0 pages read @ Hour 16


24in48 January 2019 Readathon: Hour Eight Update


... for real this time!

Beginning at 12:01am on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, readers read for 24 hours out of that 48 hour period.  You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, 4 hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six 4 hour sessions with 4 hour breaks in between; whatever you’d like.


I have conveniently scheduled this update to go up at Hour 8 of the 24in48 readathon, if only because I stayed up way later than I had anticipated, doing such things as reading, watching YouTube videos, reading news articles, and playing mobile games.  Knowing full well that I was ready to crash and that I wouldn't be awake by 8:00 A.M. to post this much coveted (coveted by me, really) update, I'd decided to just finalize and schedule it for posting, then go to sleep.

In the past, I would plan for updates to go up at 8 hour intervals, but my plans are always foiled.  I'm determined to have an Hour 8 update this year!  (My rationale... there is none.  So don't mind me.)

Meanwhile, I had meant to read from Mr. Ridley, but ended up immersed in chapters of Lethal White instead, reading about 33 pages (~5%) of the book in around 53 minutes.  In the grander scheme of things, I'm sure that doesn't sound like a whole lot, but the book is 656 pages long (Kindle edition), so I feel like I've made a bit of progress.

Once again, I'm tracking my hours read with a stopwatch this time around, so the exact time I spent reading, give or take a few seconds, was 52:48:59.

Now that I've had my Hour 8 Update, I will strive for an Hour 16 Update... maybe.  Again, my stubborn determination makes sense to no one... probably not even me.

Happy reading everyone!


Books Read


As of this update, I have not finished reading any books.


Currently Reading



The Neverending Story by Michael Ende // narrated by Gerard Doyle
822 minutes / 559 minutes listened to pre-readathon
Progress:  559 minutes listened to
-- 0 minutes listened to @ Hour 8

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
656 pages / 92 pages read pre-readathon
Progress:  125 pages read
-- 33 pages read @ Hour 8

The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
346 pages / 114 pages read pre-readathon
Progress:  114 pages read
-- 0 pages read @ Hour 8

Mr. Ridley by Delilah Marvelle
282 pages / 56 pages read pre-readathon
Progress:  56 pages read
-- 0 pages read @ Hour 8


Friday, January 25, 2019

Read-a-thon: 24in48 July 2018 Starts Now!


... or rather, in a little less than an hour, but we're counting down!

Beginning at 12:01am on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, readers read for 24 hours out of that 48 hour period.  You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, 4 hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six 4 hour sessions with 4 hour breaks in between; whatever you’d like.


I've been sadly absent and distracted this week... nothing serious, just kind of got myself hooked into one of those addictive mobile games.  -_-  The only reading goodness that came out of that was that it gave me a reason to spend time on my ongoing audio book, The Neverending Story.  Given that I usually have about three books going (one audio, one e-book, and one hard copy), the only time I spend listening to an audio book is during my drive to and from work, or if I'm doing some multi-tasking in which I cannot actually focus on reading text.

So I managed to get pretty far in The Neverending Story, which is still a bit flat for me, but is proving to at least have some interesting adventuring going on, even if some of it seems a bit dragged out.  But I only have about three hours of this thirteen hour book left, so I DO feel like I've made SOME progress this week.

On that note...

At the stroke of midnight...!

I shall stay awake and read for at least two hours... or at least I'll try.  And then I shall wake up in the morning and post an update about it around 8:00 A.M.  At least I'd like to think I will.  We'll see.

As of current, I'm still reading these books:


Realistically, my goal would be to finish the above books.  How I can even think about other hopeful reads is a bit of a reach.  HOWEVER, on the off-chance that I figure out a loophole around our space/time continuum, I would really like to get to the following other books.

Readathon Hopefuls:


What is everyone else reading this weekend?


Monday, January 21, 2019

It's Monday! What are you reading? | 1/21/2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself.  It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile!  So welcome in everyone.  This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey.  Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.  And here we are!


I haven't done an official 'It's Monday!' post in a long time and just felt like throwing one out there!

Meanwhile, as I'd mentioned in my 24in48 announcement update, I decided to employ a handy book draw method using my lovely monkey post-its once more!  But this time I made it simpler--all I did was write down the titles of five different historical novels, fold the post-its up, then gathered them in my hands, did a bit of a shaking mix up, tossed them on my desk, turned my head to the side, and randomly selected one.  (Sorry, no photos this time 'cause I got super lazy.)

This method typically does not work all that well, because I rarely feel in the mood to read the first selection I get... probably because there was already a particular book I sorta, kinda, wanted to read, but I somehow convinced myself to let the odds of random book draw decide for me amidst a few other books I also want to read.  So then I always end up drawing again.  -_-  And again...

HOWEVER, apparently my mind and the fates have aligned on this occasion.  I ended up choosing Mr. Ridley by Delilah Marvelle from a selection of five, with only one other book being one I actually wanted to read at this time besides Mr. Ridley.  So I'm quite content.


Truth is, it was really a choice between the anthology Rogues Rush In and Mr. Ridley, so maybe I should have just flipped a coin or something...

Anyway, moving along to my week in reading...


What I Read Last Week




What I'm Currently Reading




What I'm Planning to Read Next




Other Plans On the Blog

With 24in48 coming up, as well as my sluggish reading as of late, I'm really only seeing that I'll be more active over the readathon weekend.  Unless I finish another book between now and then, there probably won't be another review coming out.  There may or may not be an update for The Disappearing Spoon, just as a general "How are things going?" for The Flat Book Society... or maybe even an update if I stumble upon interesting quotes for either of the other two books.

The only reason I haven't started reading Mr. Ridley yet is mainly because I wanted to focus on The Disappearing Spoon and Lethal White over the weekend.  Now that I've made more progress with them, at least with The Disappearing Spoon, I might go ahead and jump into Mr. Ridley.  As for The Neverending Story... that one's kind of slow going, but I'll take some time at some point to do some mind-numbing activity as I listen to it.

Otherwise, I'm foreseeing a rather quiet blogging week, really.