Tag Archives: TBR Challenge Review 2024

Team TBR Challenge Review/Rant: 暴君请放手 by 一抹初晴

暴君请放手 by 一抹初晴
(Tyrant, Please Let Go aka “Beauty’s Fault“) by Yi Mo Chu Qing
Beauty's Fault Hoopla Audiobook Cover

他擁有絕美的容顏,卻因此淪爲仇人的玩物;她爲報救母之恩,替他承歡於他的仇人身下。終有一天,她助他得以飛出囚籠,重獲新生。本以爲可以從此自由,誰料他殘忍下手,揮劍刺向她的胸膛。“怎麼,想離開我,回到他的身邊去?”他絕美的脣角掛着陰鷙的冷笑,長劍的劍尖上還淌着殷紅的血。他的劍,怎會刺進她的胸膛?這樣的結局,是她始料未及。他冷冷地指着她:“你逃不了!我不會放過他,也不會放過你!”
He has a beautiful face, but because of this he becomes the plaything of his enemies; in order to repay the favor to her mother, she acts his body double and makes nice with his captor on his behalf. One day, she helped him fly out of the cage and regain his life. She thought she could be free from now on, but who would have expected him to be so cruel that he stabbed her in the chest with his sword. “Why, do you want to leave me and go back to him?” There was a sinister sneer on the corner of his beautiful lips, and the tip of the long sword was dripping with red blood. How could his sword pierce her chest? This ending was something she had never expected. He pointed at her coldly: “You can’t escape! I won’t let him go, and I won’t let you go!”

First of all … I spent too much time hunting down the actual book blurb, and “translating” it – TBH I obviously used google translated and edited what it spit out … What it says in Hoopla is this:

“Canon grave” is based on Jiang Feng as the main line, wrote about the jiangs pawnshop in three hundred years throughout the country. The story took place in different times. The Jiangjia Pawnshop before liberation and the Jiangjia Pawnshop after liberation were staggered.

… which is obviously fucking wrong. Also I started listening to the book in my car so it’s not as if I could’ve tried to find the source material and plug it into a translator. Anyway I’m salty AF. Especially since all the [Chinese] sites I’ve found it on label it as a romance. A ROMANCE! NO!

While the prompt for the TBR challenge this month was “furry friends” I’m ignoring it because I need to rant. (Also I considered writing a review of a book I enjoyed that had a dog, but look … I need to talk about this goddamn book more.) Calling the … I don’t even want to call him a “male lead” – even in my notes I just called him “dude” other than my descriptive “13 year old shitprince” … anyway, calling him a dog would be an insult to dogs. And not just because I LOVE dogs. I felt insane while I was listening to this book. I didn’t DNF it because I’d DNF’d like eight books over the weekend – so many that I didn’t even bother putting them all into GR. I kept listening because the first part was ok, and more I kept hoping it’d get better. I kept thinking, “it has to get better, right? Everything is going to turn around.” Well, I WAS WRONG. I think this might be the most “what in the goddamn fuck” book I’ve ever read in my life. Continue reading

Team TBR Challenge Review: It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager (宫斗不如当太后) by by September Flowing Fire (Jiu Yue Liu Huo, 九月流火)

It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager (宫斗不如当太后) by by September Flowing Fire (Jiu Yue Liu Huo, 九月流火)
Historical romance published in 2021

It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager by September Flowing Fire Book CoverTang ShiShi was the number one beauty. She was arrogant, domineering and aggressive. She accidentally acquired a book and learned that she was just a vicious female second lead in a palace struggle. Later, she would fight for favor with the female lead, and eventually she was ruined and died miserably.

Now, they have just entered the fief of Jing Wang, and the first meeting of the male and female leads has not happened yet. There are two paths before Tang ShiShi. The first is to hold the heroine’s thighs tightly and join the female lead camp early; the second is to please the male lead and steal the favor of the female lead.

Tang Shishi chooses the third way.

Tang Shishi knew that the male lead’s adoptive father Jing Wang seemed to be low profile, but in fact he was overly ambitious. In the near future, he will invade the capital and proclaim himself emperor before the imperial court, but it is a pity that he passed away before passing the throne to the male lead.

This year, Jing Wang is twenty-four years old, still young, and has yet to marry a wife.
Anyway, she already in the game. Instead of being the concubine of the male lead, it is better to be his adopted mother, the empress dowager in one step.

————–

Zhao Chengjun had no intention to get married, so he adopted his subordinate’s son as his heir. He thought he would be with his army his whole life.

Later, the imperial family sent a team of beauties to Prince Jing, and the leader was named Tang ShiShi.

His young, adopted son and his subordinates also persuaded: Your Highness, this is a beauty trap.
Jing Wang: I know.

The so-called beauty trap was merely a bait for those who wish. – lightly edited from Novel Updates

The prompt for this month was “Once More With Feeling” and I figured since this is the only Chinese romance novel I’ve re-read so far, it fits. We’re going with loose interpretations here. It’s Better to be the Empress Dowager features another delightful mad romp of a story with a loveable heroine, a grumpy but entirely devoted hero, and a frustrating cast of characters you love to hate. I described the heroine as an utter chaos muppet, and I stand by it. She’s such a delightful mess handicapped by what she thinks is a “life cheat” and it makes her constantly second guess herself and make the “wrong” choices that ultimately of course turn out to be entirely right. Continue reading