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Pump Six and Other Stories
Paolo Bacigalupi

A Lady by Midnight

A Lady by Midnight - Tessa Dare I thoroughly enjoyed the heroine and at least thoroughly believed how much she loved the hero, even if I stayed upset longer at some of his shenanigans than she did. I just have no truck with the whole "I did/didn't do a thing for your own good, which I know better than you!" thing. I'm also not super-keen on the "she's so magnificent and above me, I'm not wooooorthy" moaning by heroes in general, but this guy was far better than usual. Also, total bonus points for an ending that didn't involve everything being fixed by a fabulous inheritance and gentrifying (er, literally). At least until the epilogue.

Mostly, though, I am deeply cranky at the "wacky" climax (not like that) of the plot where the hero and the sequel-bait second cousin swordfight and joust for the heroine's favor, even though she has explicitly asked them not to and attempted to intercede. It all smacked very much of "let the men sort things out between themselves, honey, and you'll take whatever the outcome is and like it," which seemed woefully out of tune with the rest of the novel. Sure, Dare saves it at the end with the heroine coming up with her own pair of scissors to cut through the tangle of inheritances and affections, but I had to skim the fighting scenes, I was so put off by it.

Also, if the sequel-bait second cousin does get his own novel, he's gonna have to deal with those possessive, anger management issues real quick, or I will have none of it. None. Eurgh. Seemed like a decent enough fellow on some occasions, but the "quirk" of his anger was deeply offputting.

However, I love love loved the female cousins who showed up, especially Harry the lesbian in a snit with her lover. I would read a book just about them and their tempestuous but eternal and sheetscorching love in a heartbeat.