Book Reviews: Griffin Family- Suzanne Enoch

griffen banner

 

It´s Suzanne Enoch time, y´all! With all the Historical Romances I´ve been collecting over the years I thought it was time to write reviews for my guilty reading pleasures.

Are you familiar with Suzanne Enoch´s books? I wasn´t. It actually took me a while to discover the author or her books ( possibly because I was too caught up with finishing every Lisa Kleypas book out there ) but when I did stumble upon Suzanne Enoch on Amazon I was a happy Historical romance camper.

I remember having seen the cover of `Sin and Sensibility´ ( book #1 ), thinking I should give the book a go. Minutes later I ordered all books from the Griffin Family series. Days later, I inhaled all four books. I felt and still don´t feel any shame.

I will say this, though: Reading this series was a rollercoaster ride for me. Each book did something different for my emotional household.

Are you ready for the mini-reviews for book #1 – #4? Have a seat.

trenner

Sin and Sensibility ( book #1 ) – Suzanne Enoch

 

Sin And Sensibility #1

 

The brother´s best friend. Set in a time where etiquette felt like it was above the law, we meet Elenore Griffin, sister to overbearing older brothers. Elenore is ready for an adventure, but not ready to settle down and give in to the pressures of society. Just when Sebastian ( oldest brother ) has enough of Elenore´s wish for independence they both strike a deal. Only that deal is more twisted than it´s supposed to be.
Enter Valentine Corbett, London´s drop-dead gorgeous bad boy and best friend to Sebastian Griffin. Elenore can have her freedom IF she stays out of trouble. And what better way to make sure that doesn´t happen? One employs unofficially babysitter- namely, Valentine.

Seriously, I loved Sin and Sensibility. It´s cute and romantic and so full of emotional fluff that I can´t find it in me to find anything negative to say. I loved Valentine. His character was a true masterpiece. An arrogant ass waiting to be loved. Elenore was… As one would expect- a tad childish at times. That can be forgiven if you consider the era and how ignorant women were kept in those days. This was beautifully highlighted in this story.

So, the arrogant, worldly ass falls for the best friend´s sister who wants to see and experience the world before she meets her unwanted fate.

Best HR couple, ever. A story well told.

5 hearts

 

 

 

 

 

An Invitation To Sin  ( Book #2 ) – Suzanne Enoch

 

An Invitation To Sin #2

 

If you ever want to read a story that feels so random- Look no further. `An Invitation To Sin` will give you that feeling right from the start. Bah, my least favorite read from the Griffin bundle. If I´m honest- Elenore´s brother, Zachary, never interested me when his character popped up in the first book. It was clear he´d receive his own let´s-find-true-love story but I didn´t think I would dislike it as much as I did. His story felt so unnecessary. His supposed better half felt equally unnecessary. Not a good match. Not a great story.

Zachary gets shit from his older brother, Sebastian, the Duke, for basically being a good-for-nothing ( I could have told Zach that during book #1. But nooo. It takes the Duke to drive the point home ). One thing leads to another and we meet Caroline, the most egoistical Heroine in the book universe. Seriously, she was a pain. How and why Zachary and Caroline ended up together will forever be a mystery to me. With their lack of chemistry, you´d think she´d have cured him for life for ever thinking about a relationship.

From start to finish- I was not in the best of moods.

1 heart

 

 

 

 

 

Something Sinful  ( Book #3 ) – Suzanne Enoch 

 

Something Sinful #3

 

A Cat & Mouse read with some adventure! And definitely a far cry from being anything like the previous book.` Something Sinful` is truly a read that feels alive and… different. Was it as good as book #1? Not for me. But that´s okay. I kind of felt like the first would be the strongest of all four books.

We meet another brother, Lord Charlemagne Griffin, the “sharper” brother, who´s book feels more like it´s set in India than in London. Okay, I´m down with that. What I liked about this book was how “exotic” it felt but also hated how “exotic” it was. There was sex overload, which I wasn´t too fond of. But other than that the core of the story was interesting. As for the couple: Yeah… Meeh. Gonna have to pass.

2 hearts

 

 

 

 

Sins Of A Duke ( Book #4 ) – Suzanne Enoch

 

Ha! We´re back on the love-gush train. `Sins Of A Duke` was exactly what I had hoped it would be- A challenge for the Hero.

Sebastian- Oldest brother of the Griffin lot, match-maker extraordinaire and almost most powerful figure in London receives his own story. And it´s a quirky one, too.

When Sebastian is set to marry a Princess from a new country he turns on his killer Duke wits and senses fraud. Of course, it doesn´t help his case that the phony Princess is beautiful beyond words.

The best thing about this book is to read about someone as controlled as Sebastian loses his composure and the iron grip he had on many things. I love when the perfect becomes flawed.  This is kind of like watching an opera where the actors drop their masks after every act.

A worthy conclusion to the Griffin Family series.

4 hearts

 


 

As a whole, I´d say the Griffin Family series deserves a 3 – rating. There was a strong start with book #1 and a floppy middle with book #2 and #3 but book #4 picked things up again. Thankfully.

Suzanne Enoch´s writing is great. Smooth and engaging. Character development was satisfying. Details were spot on. Sadly enough, I haven´t had enough interest in checking more of the author´s books out. Maybe that´ll change in the future, though.

 


 

Would I recommend this series? Yes and no. It really depends what a Historical romance reader is looking for.

Would I reread this series? I´ve already reread book #1 and book #4. The others weren´t really my cup of tea.

 


 

 

Purchase Links

( Books in reading order )

Sin And Sensibility  ♥ 

An Invitation To Sin

Something Sinful

Sins Of A Duke

 

 

 

 

 

What I´d Like To See More Of In NA Romance Novels

NA Romance-

If there´s ever been a genre that´s loved and hated in equal proportions then it´s definitely New Adult Romances. NA romance books are often tacky and full of unrealistic, unrelatable fluff no one needs- That´s what I´ve heard.

As a devoted NA Romance reader, I have to agree. There´s often too much of everything often squeezed into 350 pages. These books carry topics any of us would gladly walk away from without batting an eyelash yet we crave these things in our NA romance books. Weird. The usual tropes?  Virgins, rich characters, unrealistic sex, love heals the mentally unhinged, and instalove. In some cases, it´s a combination of all.

 

But do we really crave what NA romances offer?

 

I often wonder what NA romances would be like if there were less drama, less intensity, less cheesiness, less explosiveness. Would it really hurt to give the mountain gorillas disguised as gorgeous and powerful CEOs a break? Do characters always need to have dark pasts for us to love them? No and no.

I also wonder what kind of effect it would have on authors and readers if characters were suddenly 100% relatable. I mean- Let´s take the average Joe. He´s full of flaws and above all- doesn´t have an ass in his weird fitted jeans. He comes home, orders take-out then falls asleep on the sofa before the delivery guy arrives because he just came home after a 12-hour workday. Do authors want to write about your average Joe, who´s life is just as exciting as a slice of toast? Probably not. A reader could mistake them for someone they´re trying to forget while reading. Escapism is a thing.

Authors provide an outlet for readers with their stories. They offer us a way to forget our mundane lives and be a part of something that raises our blood pressure. This is done in the form of exaggeration. By amplifying emotions, reactions, and actions. Things are often so intense that a reader can often thank their lucky stars that average Joe is snoring in the next room.

But, what if…? Is there a possibility people could actually like a romance story they can relate to?  Would it be so terrible to read about an insta-attraction and to watch that form into more rather than being hit with an instalove? Hmm… I think it wouldn´t be terrible at all. Not sure what other readers think, though.

Personally, I like to see less exaggeration and more relatable stuff. Call me dull but sometimes less is more. Less drama can still have a positive effect on readers.

No book character has to lose their job, their best friend since Kindergarten, their left leg and their unborn baby and have to deal with infidelity in 230 pages. Each of these things can be traumatic events on their own if delivered properly and with care. I mean- We often experience chain reactions in life but none as drastic as some authors like to paint out. Or, I´m just a fool living off the grid and have no flipping clue about real-life dramatics. Could be – Who knows. I´m no expert.

Losing your job can have a negative effect on someone´s relationship. This can lead to depression or break a marriage. I can see a second chance romance from this storyline.

You can lose your best friend if that friend has a new relationship that´s toxic. Let a new Hero swoop in and whisk the best friend off her feet.  This can be turned into a New Adult romance that includes abuse.

You can have an accident and be forced to become disabled. This can definitely be traumatic for any romantic relationship. I can see this as a new beginning NA romance.

Pregnancy loss or infertility has been a reason why couples split. Why not include this topic into a romance and draw that cruel event out?

Adultery is another topic that has no problem standing on its own. Cheating isn´t great but authors sure as hell can work this one into a romance and draw it out in a trilogy.

Or how about this: How about writing a  story about a couple who´ve grown apart? Simple. Effective. Realistic. People forget how to love each other if they´ve been together for some time.

 

 

 

I guess what I´m saying is that authors don´t need to stick with the usual tropes. They don´t need to bombard their characters with so much tragedy. One tragic event is enough to send average Joe to therapy.

Speaking of average Joe. He can be a desirable and flawed character if an author´s willing to make their readers see him as such.

Authors don´t need to over-exaggerate events for the sake of wanting to touch a reader´s heartstrings.

Less is often more. Simplicity can have a greater impact on readers than anything too intense.


 

For the record: Yes, I know there are authors who write less dramatic NA romances. Trust me when I say that I´ve read their books. But I think it wouldn´t hurt if more authors tried their luck with something as simple as a simple NA romance.

Also good to know: I´m not fully against overly dramatic NA romances. I´ll still read them if they sound interesting. I prefer simple stories, though. There are quite a few readers who wouldn´t want to change anything about the majority of NA romances… and that´s perfectly fine.

 


 

What do you think? Do you agree? Are NA romances too over the top or do you believe they´re perfect the way they are? What would you like to see more in NA romances?  Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat ❤

 


 

As always, I appreciate the time you´ve taken to read this blog post. I hope you enjoyed.

 

Much bookish love,

Morgana

 

 

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

A huge shoutout goes to Jonny @Jaunts & Haunts for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! I´m sending you loads of virtual chocolate and giving you many hugs for even thinking of me in the first place.

 

 

If you haven´t already make sure to shower Jonny with lots of love because he deserves every ounce of it.

 

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

 

The Rules:

– Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.

– Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.

– Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

– List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post/or on your blog

 

#1   What was the last book you strongly disliked?

Oooh, that would be `You` by Caroline Kepnes. It was one of those books I completely forgot I bought but then spotted it again, got excited, had high hopes, then ended up being so disappointed that I had to call my mom.

 

You

 

 

#2   How does your star rating system work for your reviews (if you use one)?

I use a 5-star rating system for my reviews that´s hopefully easy to understand.

5 stars: The best book existing.

4 stars: T´was great.

3 stars: Could´ve been better / Could´ve been worse.

2 stars: Nope.

1 star:  Nope nope nope nope.

 

#3   What are your favorite pizza toppings?

I´d say pizza with extra cheese and sausage. Or pizza with prosciutto and thick chunks of shaved parmesan. I would actually kill for a pizza right now.

 

#4  Would you rather read a great plot with mediocre characters, or a boring plot with amazing characters?

Since I would end up giving either a lower rating I´d say neither.

 

#5   How many books are you currently reading, and which one is your favorite so far?

I can´t read more than one book at a time. I get confused really quick.

 

#6   What was the last book review you posted?

The last review I posted was for Book Review: How The States Got Their Shapes – Mark Stein

How the states got their shape

 

Not necessarily a genre I typically review but.. a book is a book, right? And this one was worth writing a review for.

 

#7   Do you prefer MG, YA, NA, or adult books?

YA, NA, and adult books have ( more or less ) always been my go-to genres. Nowadays I´m not really feeling any YA love so I´ll go with NA and adult books.

 

#8   Is there a popular author you’re NOT interested in reading anything by? (Elaborate if you’re comfortable doing so!)

I´m going to team up with Jonny on this one. J.K. Rowling. I have yet to read one of her books. I just can´t be bothered. The world she created is probably great but it doesn´t interest me… like, at all. I did try to watch the movies, though. Paid good money to fall asleep 3 times in a row at the movie theater.

And Cassandra Claire. Although, I think she´d fall into the “popular author I´m not interested in reading anything anymore” category.

 

#9   What marginalized rep would you most strongly like to see more of in books?

Again- I´m with Jonny. I´d really love to see more LGBT characters in books.

 

#10  Do you listen to music while reading?

Aaaaaaah! No. * hides face * I suck at multitasking. I can do one or the other but never both. But when I take blog breaks I tend to listen to music. Does that count?

 

#11  Do you prefer book twitter or bookstagram?

 

Bookstagram + Me

=

 

 

Twitter + Me

=

 

I´ll go with Twitter. Lol.

 

That´s about it, my dear bookish Padawans. I hope I didn´t bore you too much.

I Nominate:

Everyone. I´m terrible at nominating anyone in particular. Besides- Doesn´t everyone deserve a Sunshine Blogger Award?

And because I´m so original *snorts loud* I´m going to copy Jonny´s Questions. Don´t forget to tag me so I can see your awesome answers ❤

 

  1. What was the last book you strongly disliked?
  2. How does your star rating system work for your reviews (if you use one)?
  3. What are your favorite pizza toppings?
  4. Would you rather read a great plot with mediocre characters or a boring plot with amazing characters?
  5. How many books are you currently reading, and which one is your favorite so far?
  6. What was the last book review you posted?
  7. Do you prefer MG, YA, NA, or adult books?
  8. Is there a popular author you’re NOT interested in reading anything by? (Elaborate if you’re comfortable doing so!)
  9. What marginalized rep would you most strongly like to see more of in books?
  10. Do you listen to music while reading?
  11. Do you prefer book twitter or bookstagram?

 

 

 

Mug Monday & My Next Reads

Hello and welcome to another Mug Monday.

For this week´s feature, I thought I´d share my newest Mug addition: Cat mug.

 

20191012_181054416766291077815980.jpg

 

Also known as my recent favorite piece of ceramic. It´s also the most wanted mug in the house at the moment. Why? It´s pink and a cat´s head is on it. I have two girls. You may do the math and imagine the mug war that´s been going on in my house.

 

 

Over a single mug. MY mug. * sigh *

Anyway- Let´s talk about books.

I´m not sure what´s been put in the water lately because romance authors have been releasing books left and right. Everywhere I look I see an author announcing their new releases or throwing publication dates out into the world. Tons of cover reveals are happening as well. Right now, all I´m feeling is a sense of hopelessness because I certainly don´t have the money to buy all the books that are coming out… at the same time. How cruel is that?! For almost a year I´ve been complaining about how quiet it´s become in the romance world and NOW everyone decides to release together.

 

 

In this case, I have no other choice than to read all the unread books I already have on my shelves ( I swear, book bloggers have such a hard life. lol ). In the mug feature you can see ( well no. You probably can´t since my camera refused to cooperate ) a few paperbacks that are just waiting for my attention. Actually- the whole shelf above my mug is filled with unread treasures from my TBR pile. I should be occupied for a while.

 

With all the bookish goodness happening lately, I can probably get to these and ignore every other new release. I just have to stay strong for a hot minute and keep away from the internet.

Fingers crossed I´ll be able to read half of what I aimed for. 11 romances and 1 fantasy novel.

 

That´s it for this week. I hope this Mug Monday wasn´t too snooze-worthy.


 

Tell me: What are your November reads? Have you read any of the books in my November batch? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤


 

Wishing each and every one of you a wonderful start of the week.

Feel hugged,

Morgana

 

Why I Don´t Accept ARCs Anymore

ARCs – Advanced Readers Copies…

 

… are probably the second or third most popular reason why book bloggers become book bloggers – Because of the “free” books.

Aside from the fact that we get to read a book… What a privilege it is to be that person to read a book before it hits the market! Or to be that person who was asked by a publisher/author to read a book after it´s been published?

I remember my very first ARC. I can recall how excited I was to be able to read something before it was properly published. I even have the little note the author included.

 

My very first ARC

 

It was a special moment I´ll never forget. Fast forward a few years and I can say I´m not so hot on receiving ARCs anymore.

 

A little note before we continue…

KR2


 

 

Why I don´t

 

 

reason 1

Communication is key for those who want to communicate. I learned this the hard way. If you receive an ARC but have questions you can always contact the publisher/author, right? Yes, of course. Send emails. Hound them down on social media. There´s no guarantee they´ll reply, though. They´re busy people, you know? But God forbid you don´t read & review within two days after having received an ARC. Only THEN will a publisher/author contact you… To ask where the review is.

This wasn´t always the case. I´ve worked with wonderful publishers/authors before but every once in awhile I´d be in a situation like the one I mentioned above and that sucked. My life is too short to deal with this idiotic back and forth.

 

 

 

reason 2

Unlike other people, I don´t have that special luck when picking my next reads. I gravitate more towards books that aren´t my cup of tea. It´s not that I´m looking for awful reads. I always pick books I think I´ll like. At some point, I wondered if that´s my calling – To be THAT person who´s supposed to read books that aren´t satisfying. But then I realized I´m just picky. So, unlucky and picky.

When you´re as doomed as I am you really don´t feel the need to continue as were. For me- Something had to stop. Advanced Readers Copies had to go. Now I´m free to only complain about the books I buy.

 

 

 

reason 3

Back in the day, Advanced Readers Copies came in different formats. Paperback, PDF, e-book… I belong to the bunch who received ARC paperbacks, then PDFs…  until e-books took over. I get it. E-books are much more efficient for publishers/authors as well as they are for book bloggers.  I don´t really reach for my Kindle much ( if at all ), so…

ARCs in paperback format are still handed out these days but not as much as before. You´re more likely to receive an e-book copy. Without wanting to come across as ungrateful: I´d rather hold a paperback in my hands. I haven´t warmed up to e-books yet ( and probably never will ).

 

 

 

reason 3.5

That dreadful TBR pile? There´s a special pile for ARCs, too. One hardly any book blogger talks about. Just go hop on over to NetGalley and request a few book titles. The problem with this is: You get blindsided by all the wonderful new titles and request more than you can read. You have to be careful or else you´ll fall into the Netgalley ARC collecting trap.

This has happened to me a few times back in the day and I´m sure it´s still happening to other book bloggers. Luckily- This isn´t a problem for me anymore. No ARCs = No additional unread books. YAY.

 

 

 

reason 4

ARCs come with a policy. When you accept an ARC you´re basically committing to read and then give feedback. Bah. I´m at a stage in life where I´d like to read and review how/when/if I want to. ARCs don´t give me that freedom. I can´t be bothered with giving that kind of commitment anymore.

 

 

 

reason 5

This ARC thing is an exchange, right? And after the exchange, the deed is almost done. Almost. There´s still that social media shout-out ( another exchange ). Of course, this is completely optional but it´s kind of puzzling when a book blogger has invested so much time and effort with the ARC ( reading and giving feedback via chat/review or whatever ) then goes to share on social media and realizes that´s it. Imagine Grandma having 25 grandchildren. Every grandchild calls and leaves a message on the answering machine, including you. Granny calls them all back except you. She doesn´t call back but you keep hearing from your cousins that Granny called and invited everyone over again. This is how it feels when publishers or self-published authors don´t react to the final step on social media.

I mean- No one´s asking for a pajama party, you know? I would understand someone´s reluctance to reply or react if that were the case. To avoid this type of heartache I don´t read ARCs anymore. Not reading ARCs means you don´t have to mention or tag someone for possibly nothing.

 

 

 

reason 6

I have a busy life. I´m not saying I´m the only person who´s super busy but I can say that many book bloggers don´t have the kind of stress I have. ARCs come with demands that don´t fit into my busy schedule anymore. With time I realized that book blogging isn´t only about authors- It´s about book bloggers, too. Author´s think they have a busy schedule? Try talking to a book blogger about life and blogging.

 

 

reason 7

ARC reviews have lost their touch.  7 out of 10 reviews I read start with ” I received an ARC in exchange for…” That´s when I let out a sigh and move on. This is not me disrespecting the reviewer. I would never do that. This is just me feeling tired of having to see this line. Who the hell cares if someone was gifted an ARC in exchange for an opinion? I don´t. As it does NOT add any value to the review I think this doesn´t need to be mentioned at all. I know some publishers and authors ask to be mentioned in reviews… but this doesn’t benefit a reader in any way. Unless we´re all writing our reviews for publishers and authors… But we´re not. We can thank whoever gifted us an ARC privately. I heard emails are still a thing.

 

 

reason 8

The cheaper option. Avid readers have an itch that needs to be dealt with. Books are expensive. ARCs are truly a cheap option when someone is living on a low budget. No one should ever be judged for reading ARCs because they can´t afford to buy books ( no one should be judged PERIOD for not wanting to pay high book prices ). Me? I don´t mind paying for books. I don´t have money growing on trees ( yet, still working on that one ) but I´d rather pay for a book if the price is within reason. I think this can be blamed on a few things:

 

  • I´m not in a hurry. If I see a book I REALLY want I´ll buy it. If I see a book I´m not so sure about, I´ll give myself a few days to think about it. Nothing is running away. This isn´t a book reading race. Does it really matter if I read a book now or later? Nope. Before I commit to ARCs I´d rather wait a few weeks.

 

  • When an author gifts me a copy I´m only supporting them via review. I chose not to go that route because I find reviews only help to a certain degree. I go directly for a book purchase. I´ve been offered ARCs post-publication date but often declined because it was obvious those offers came from authors who thought they needed reviews to generate sales. Those authors weren´t entirely wrong. Although I declined their offers I always said I would rather buy their book. Which I ended up doing. That way, I supported the author AND was able to read & review freely. I know many can´t afford this option but it´s suited me. It still suits me.

 

  • I don´t read THAT much anymore. I used to be able to read 2-3 books in a week. Now I´m lucky if I can find time to read 1 book in 2 weeks. Years ago I wouldn´t have been able to afford to buy that many books. Now? 2-3 books a month isn´t a problem. So, this is, for me, the better option.

 


 

 

Even after all my reasons for not wanting to include ARCs in my life anymore, I can still see the appeal. I mean- who doesn´t want to feel that special something when receiving an ARC? Who doesn´t want to belong to a selected few who´re able to give feedback before everyone else? Edelweiss and NetGalley offer a huge selection of ARCs pre and post-publication date.  But because of all the above, I´d rather pass.

 

On a friendly note: I don´t judge anyone who loves to read ARCs. Advanced Readers Copies are a wonderful thing that make any publisher/author and book blogger happy. With good reason, too. I also don´t judge readers who rely on ARCs because they´re low on extra cash. Whatever works for others is perfectly fine. If it floats your boat then that´s the way it is and should be.

 


 

What about you? Do you read ARCs? How many do you accept per month? What are your experiences with Advanced Readers Copies? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤

 

Thank you so much for reading this post. I fully appreciate it. I hope you enjoyed.

Much bookish love,

Morgana