Bingo @ BlueCastle, February (Or, 7 books that contributed to a new frown wrinkle on my forehead…*mutter mutter*)


I would just like to alert the judges to the fact that my reading month was TERRIBLE-AWFUL-NO-GOOD-HORRID.

Where have all the good books gone???? I think they hide and make faces at me from their secret corners.

So I am listing all the HORRIFICALLY bad books I suffered through. For  Shallowreader’s Bingo. For the World at large. For my own sanity.


Oh. Hello Pretties.

The following is a basic list of sucky readings. Ignore the poop emojis. That’s just me, venting my spleen. 😉

Scratching: The Hating Game, Sally Thorne. 💩💩

Which. I. Hated.

Oh I so wanted to like this book – it had everything that would make a most perfect movie, possibly starring a Meg-Ryan-esque type and a surly-but-hot-man figure. But I didn’t. Lucy was a frustrating manic-pixie completely obsessed with everything about herself: her clothes; her tiny feet; her librarian chic clothing choices (NOT A THING PEOPLE) her lipstick.

I can’t believe Josh didn’t just decide to strangle her with her ‘wild mane of hair’


One Beating Heart: Dragon Bound, Thea Harrison 💩💩💩

Well. Gosh Darn It. This was a nightmare of dragon ridiculousness. And I am a FAN of draconian-type things.

Pia is a magical being that no-one knows about, but which super-hot-dragon-macho-person can *smell* from miles away. What is this thing with smelling????

We’re not cats. We don’t need to sniff each other’s asses. Why do writers insist on putting this crap into books?

NO. Jeremy, You don’t smell like a pine forest with a hint of sandalwood – and women DON’T find your sweat comforting.

Trust me on this.

So Pia is magical and Dragos wants her. Pia resists. 300 pages and far too many deep smells later and Pia gives in. The End.

Yeah, I was shocked too – I didn’t see that coming at all.

Uncup Me: Amour Amour, Krista Becca Ritchie. 💩💩

I am starting to wonder if I should be wary of authors with multiple names…kind of like how serial killers seem to have superfluous middle names???

21 yr old Thora has only ever wanted to be in the circus. She meets stereotypically hawt Russian Nikolai Kotova. A circus god apparently.

The words Spellbinding and Sinful are used FAR too much.

This was like wallpaper circus fodder.

Lots of sweating. Lots of bending and yelling – so very little circus-ing. And it’s not like I am an expert in this field. My sole experiences of circuses (circi???) include:

  • Wright Bros with a sad elephant and a scary clown when I was 8
  • Watching a documentary on Cirque de Soleil.

But if my sum total knowledge of the Big Top can be counted on one hand and it STILL feels light?

That’s probably not a good thing.

Also uncomfortably rude Russian stereotyping which just made it all very unpleasant


Kind: Lucian Divine, Renee Carlino. 💩💩


CBTC. Caught by that purdy cover. Again, dangnabit.

Lucian. Alcoholic Angel. Evelyn Casey: perfection in the form of a twenty-something.

It’s like City of Angels. On Crack. Without the decency of good prose.

Instalove: Check

Slutty Best Friend: Check

Horny, Childish Angel-Men who are supposed to be a thousand years old: Check

Damn you cover.

That would be Grand: The Golden Spider, Anne Renwick 💩

Ahh Steampunk. You giant bucket of hit and miss.

It’s not that this was terrible….but…it could have been maybe 467 times better.

In essence a kind of gas-light murder mystery, only there was so much other crap thrown in, I kind of kept forgetting we were supposed to be after a bad guy.

  • Lady Amanda, studying to be a doctor.
  • Lord Thornton, her professor (who doesn’t like her because of REASONS) who moonlights as a spy for the government.
  • Gypsies who keep getting operated on and then murdered
  • Lady Amanda, who has invented a mechanical spider that can spin artificial nerves and make people walk again (yeah – I found that a little hard to suspend disbelief over as well)
  • Lady Amanda’s brother who is in a wheelchair and won’t wait for Amanda to finish inventing her spider to mend his legs
  • Lady Amanda’s father who would only pay for her medical school if she husband hunted at the same time
  • Lady Amanda’s overly emotive and slightly creepy beau
  • Lord Thornton’s dicky leg and addiction to a powerful painkiller
  • Lord Thornton, who is inventing a mechanical replacement eye.
  • Kraken swarms
  • Volcanically sulphurous lakes.
  • Overly friendly colleagues of Lord Thornton…who all have their own issues which are expounded on at large.

Wait – weren’t people getting murdered somewhere??? I can’t remember – I have been drowned in too much STUFF.

Also: Krakens. Really, Krakens? Why? You have absolutely NO PURPOSE in this story.


Black: The Darkangel, Meredith Ann Pierce 💩

‘Easily the year’s best fantasy’ Yes, well the year was 1982. I think that pretty much covers it.

But for those of you that would prefer a little more info:

Weird. Long. A sort of odd hybrid between Beauty & the Beast and a Vampire Thing that had a secret love child with a 12 Dancing Princesses and voila: this is what was cast forth.

Very little character development, lots of journeying, and a love that no-one (not even the reader can understand)

I’ve read worse.

Octopus: Never Kiss A Rake, Anne Stuart. 💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩

What is with that cover??? Is she sleeping upright against a curtain? Or lying on a doll-sized bed? I don’t get it….

Deep Breath. Because I promised myself I wouldn’t rant.

So. Bryony Russell and her two sisters are left destitute and in disgrace after the suspicious death of their father.

To prove his innocence Bryony disguises herself as a housekeeper in the home of her father’s business partner, who luckily has never seen her before.

Adrian Bruton, Earl of Kilmartyn thinks there is something suspicious about his new housekeeper. But he is too busy talking about fornicating with anything that moves to make himself feel better about being married to a beautiful but evil wife.

Bryony has scars, (which seem to magically shrink the longer she is around Adrian). She thinks she is far too unattractive to tempt the Earl. The Earl is short sighted. Doesn’t notice the scars.

So you know what is going to happen right? No big surprise there.

But really, the thing that COMPLETELY ruined this book for me (apart from its ridiculous plot, terrible characterisation and stereotypically tepid story arc), was the amount of times I had to read the word VIRGIN.

I am so f***ing tired of this insane fixation with people’s hymens. Seriously.


There are 28 references to the fact that Bryony is a virgin. That’s 1 reference every 9 pages.

I don’t even think there are that many references in the BIBLE. And if there are – well, it’s the Bible.  It’s probably allowed to.

There are apparently another 2 books in this series.

Oh look. A fork. I’m just going to stab myself in the face and get it over with.


Wishing y’all waaaay better luck in the reading stakes, than yours truely.


Valancy: did you know there are beany-baby poop emojis? I just bought two.


Header Image: William Morris Wallpaper; Strawberry Thief, Indigo/Mineral, 1833

12 thoughts on “Bingo @ BlueCastle, February (Or, 7 books that contributed to a new frown wrinkle on my forehead…*mutter mutter*)

  1. This probably makes me a bad person – but I take a perverse sort of pleasure in seeing not-so-good reviews for books that everybody and their dead grandmother seem to love. I can’t tell you how many people have told me I MUST read Dragon Bound and I’m past done with The Hating Game squee’ing. Yeah, yeah – I don’t like to yuck on anyone’s yum but….Wendy old. Wendy cranky. Occasionally a hyped-up book makes it into my TBR but those two? I just couldn’t pull the trigger.

    I also read a Renee Carlino book last month and really enjoyed it – never mind I picked it apart six ways to Sunday. I had quibbles all over the place but something about the story (Swear on this Life) sucked me in. So I’ll definitely be reading more, but probably skip the one you read because…paranormal.


    1. Hahaha – we’ll just call it the Super Librarian’s Kryptonite…. And I totally agree with you – overhyped books are such a double-edged sword, and most times I have found them under-whelming, so I tend to steer well clear of them.

      I could see the raving over The Hating Game, even whilst I didn’t like it…but Dragon Bound was THE WORST. Seriously. I haven’t read such a stupid book in a really long time.

      And Carlino — I have read some of hers before and I definitely get the quibbles – but I do get sucked into them – I don’t know what it is about them – they shouldn’t work – but I still end up really rooting for the characters.
      (As a random aside: I wish there was a post like thingie on your blog – you say EXACTLY all the things I am thinking about a book – so a comment seems redundant…but I still want you to know I really liked it… dang blogspot….
      I am just going to have to make up an acronym : ILTP-YSEITAI- smiley face

      (I loved the post-you said everything I thought about it 🙂 )


      1. Ask and ye shall receive! Well, sort of. Blogger calls them “reactions.” I’ve turned them on and you can now see “like,” “preach!” and “so wrong” buttons just above the comments link. I have no clue how they’ll work (for example: I can’t figure out if it will tell me who does the liking etc.) – but heck, it’s worth the experiment.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Well that is SO cool (it is true – you ARE a super-librarian – I never doubted it for a second 😉 ) I am going over there right now to try them out!!!


    1. Yes!!! This exactly – it was so well written – which is why I finished it – but the characters (Lucy in particular) are so awful. I could never be friends with her (which is how I tend to judge most heroines…) she was petty and self absorbed – and Josh – I could get no handle on his character to start with, and then after he was all moony and love lorne… tres ridiculous!


  2. Having worked in libraries for 17 years now, I can definitely say that there is no “librarian chic.” 🙂 Not that there aren’t stylish librarians, but on the whole we’re a pretty staid bunch. Also, it’s ALWAYS FREEZING so we’re usually bundled up.

    I’m sorry you had lousy luck in February. That’s a real shame! I hope March is kinder to you!


  3. Bwahahahaha!! I love a good hate review. 😀 I really liked The Hating Game but I can see your criticisms and why you didn’t like it. I added the books on this review that are KU to my wish list because sometimes I love to read what someone else hated.


    1. ooh – I do that too!!!!! I think possibly a third of my TBR is things that other people hated…like you, I love to read them to see just which bits they hated, and whether I feel the same about them!

      I lOVED the writing and the concept of The Hating Game…it’s just Lucy is so incredibly tiresome…I wanted to slap her a little; and Josh?? Grrr. But I will TOTALLY read anything else by Sally Thorne – there is another one out in July this year…definitely on my auto buy… 🙂


  4. I remember going all swoony-eyed at Drago’s alpha-ness when I read that book all those years ago, but I can’t help laughing at the point you make about all the smells! How fabulously ridonkulous! I quite see your point! “We’re not cats. We don’t need to sniff each other’s asses.” 😀

    Is the golden spider of the book related to that artificial spider the heroine invents? How appropriate! It sounds like there is a LOT going on in that book!

    Lol @ pretty much every you say but especially this: “‘Easily the year’s best fantasy’ Yes, well the year was 1982. I think that pretty much covers it.”

    And SHE IS SLEEPING AGAINST THE CURTAIN! :O (and Byrony? really? IDK why but I’ll take anyone with a name like Byrony with a pinch of salt!)

    Oh, and I was sitting on the fence about The Hating Game. I think I’ll just pass up on it for now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol – I know! I mean, it usually doesn’t bother me that much, but it seemed like every time he did/thought something her ‘unique scent’ came up (Ick)

      Yes! The spider is totally the golden one. You have solved the mystery without even cracking the spine 😉 … well done! And I even left bits out because there was just.too.much (!)

      Re curtain-sleeper: I DON’T KNOW!!!! I can’t work it out!!!!
      It is seriously odd use of people and fabric… 😒 also: YES – totally agree re Byrony – it’s a ridiculous name that sounds like she’s supposed to be smarter than you think…alas we were all disappointed…

      And I think maybe one has to be in a particular mood to really like The Hating Game… and I am a little sad that I wasn’t – maybe you’ll feel exactly like it and pick it and love it (*fingers crossed *)

      Liked by 1 person

what are your thoughts?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s