Tuesday, May 29, 2012

 Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander


Nightshifted by Cassie Alexander

I must be the only one that bought read this book and then had a few issues with it.  It was a great book, don’t get me wrong. Nevertheless, the fact that there is no world building threw me off quite a bit.  The reader is almost left wondering if there were previous books that they had never heard of.  You have no clue where this is taking place so you have nothing to let your imagination ride with. All you really have are the bare facts of the story.
I was never quite sure if the entire world knew if supernatural creatures existed or if the ‘humans’ are in the dark.  You get the feeling humans do not know and you are *almost *positive they don’t know, but you are never quite 100% sure of it.
The writing and dialogue is quite stark and it works in this instance, yet it left me feeling a little unsure of myself. Perhaps this is a good thing.

Like the synopsis says---Edie Spencer is a nurse, but she works in a “secret hidden ward” of the   County Hospital.  Here she will cause an incident that may end up with her death …that is unless she can find a very young looking Vamp named Anna who was a witness to what Edie had done.  Mystery, suspense and horror come together to blend in this dark urban drama/fantasy.
 You also get a bit of romance. However,  don’t worry, the romance is not the focus of the book, although quite a bit of time is spent on it.  You actually may need a box of tissues by the end of the book and will be a bit like me and be antsy to see what the next book will be bringing to Edie.

As I said, this is not a horrible book; and perhaps it is only my quirkiness that needs a little more world building.  Maybe future books will be expanding on the world and eventually make me surer of what I imagine the world to be. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I am trying to understand what I have missed in this novel since I’m so unhappy with it.  I don’t mind allowing the author to make me stretch my disbelief.  However, the point that this author forces the issue makes me feel like overly stretched taffy.  I am ready to snap.

When Natasha steps into the office of her new boss for the very first time, she finds him in a very compromising picture on top of his desk with a woman who was supposed to be interviewing him.  So Natasha puts her foot down and sets up conditions    in order for her to feel comfortable with the situation. You see, Damon is charismatic, sexy, bad-boy, egotistical and just plain annoying.

Natasha has finally had enough-enough breaking up with his girlfriends for him , bailing him out of jail and difficult  situations and covering his butt. She finally quits while Damon is in the midst of a very difficult situation.  And with Natasha gone, Damon’s luck has fallen into a spiral.  He can no longer talk or finesses his way out of bad things, and oh my so many bad things are happening to him. 
Strangely very good things are happening to Natasha now.

What bothered me the most is, I must be missing a few pages in my download or perhaps I skimmed something important…but how can anyone not notice that their personal assistant is pregnant or had gone through a divorce?    This is just one of the flaws I found with this book.

Damon is written like he is slightly learning impaired and I wonder how can someone so shallow,  inane and sexually promiscuous have the time to run a multi-million dollar company. .Ms Plumley’s writing style or rather ‘voice’ does not change when she is writing for Damon.  He speaks somewhat like a twenty-two year old girl (a bit like Natasha).   In addition, occasionally he speaks and has the libido of a 16-year-old boy. 

Damon and Natasha both grow towards the end of the novel, but not enough to keep me interested.

*ARC Supplied by Publisher*

This is a slow moving book and we have a lot of opportunity to meet many of the characters that will make up the main and secondary characters in the next two books.  Have patience with this novel, since the second third is well worth the wait.
In this opening novel in the Parable Trilogy  we meet Sheriff Slade Turner who is the illegitimate son of a deceased wealthy and respected rancher. Joslyn Kirk is the step-daughter of a man who was also rich, but who had run a pyramid scam in which much of the town of Parable lost everything.
Joslyn has done her best to atone and to make reparations.
There really isn’t any sort of plot sconce this is a relationship driven story.  Everyone you meet is in some sort of pain and Ms Miller isn’t afraid to let us know this—repeatedly.  This book not only reveals past misadventures it at time will flog it like a dead horse.  Fortunately, the book really does pick up in the second half.  We get our typical happily-ever-after and I was left anticipating reading the next in this trilogy. The secondary characters in this book such as Slade’s stepdaughter, and Opal, the Kirk’s former housekeeper, make this book a much easier to read and less slow moving in the second half of this novel.

Ms Miller writes with her usual in depth descriptions of her characters and giving her all to bring us to vividly see in our minds eye, the land which she so loves.  Even I am now feeling the need to go to Montana and find me a cowboy and a ranch!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

*ARC Supplied by Publisher*

This is a book about second chances It is about when life hands us a ‘do-over’ do  we have the depth of character and maturity to take a chance on getting things right the second time around.  It is about Mason’s integrity and his abiding love of a family business that will keep a town from going under. It is about Annajanes ability to love and trust someone that she has a few doubts about.

Annajane and Mason have just such a chance, when Mason’s marriage to his new fiancé is interrupted by his little girl Sophie having a hot appendix and being rushed to the hospital.  You see, Annajane and Mason were once married, but they didn’t quite make it.   Now Mason is getting married to someone who is most definitely NOT the one he was destined to be with the rest of his life.  Annajane is engaged to a musician now, but even though Mason is her ex-husband, she has been invited to his wedding to Celia.    

One of the main issues this story deals with is the Bayless’s family business Quixie soda, a regional product, and the possibility that the family company will be taken over by a much larger company. There is more to it but I don’t want to ruin the story for you.

After the somewhat slightly lackluster release of last year’s “Summer Rental”, this book was just such a pleasant surprise.  I was worried that Ms. Andrews would keep on with the notion that those of us who like Southern chick lit would be appeased with another book like “Summer Rental”
What she gave us with “Spring Fever” is one of the most delightful, witty, charming stories I have read in ages.  The characters are so well defined that you could swear you’ve met them before or at least people just like them.  Everyone knows a couple that was just perfect for each other, but too stubborn to realize it themselves.  I’m sure everyone has know a back-stabbing SOB like Celia is or a money obsessed person like Mason’s brother.  And this is just one of the things that makes this novel such a delight to read.  The descriptions of the area, the factory, and the secondary characters are all richly written and 100% believable..  The dialogue is believable and so is the story.  The ease of reading this novel was truly pleasant for me.

This will defiantly be a book I will read repeatedly every springtime.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I have not read anything recently by either author so I can’t judge this book by any past books of theirs. All I can say about Guilty Wives is ‘wow’.  If anyone is looking for something that will keep your brain engaged and  keep you on the edge of your seat, then I cannot recommend this book enough.

If just one tenth of what these authors wrote about Frances legal system is correct, then I have to really thank God for ours, no matter how it can seem unfair to some people at times. This was a very fast-paced novel written in the first person.  Everything is seen through the eyes of Abbie Elliot and I think that this creates a wonderful tension throughout the entire book and especially through the courtroom scenes and her incarceration.

Abbie and her three close friends are going away for a girl’s weekend in Monte Carlo.  They are rich and very privileged women.  They have also been somewhat mistreated by their husband’s, and in one instance even abused, so that gives them a bit of leeway to act as they did when first arriving in Monte Carlo. In the first part of the book, leading up to their arrest and for even a time afterwards, you will not feel that you will ever come to like or sympathize with them.  You may even feel contempt for them as I did, until the the horrors of what they are facing starts and the unspeakable happens.  Now they are involved in a murder investigation and implicated in the murder of a high powered person, one I would never have thought to be in a position TO be murdered!

 The fast pacing, wonderful descriptions and well-written trauma bring to life what is most likely every persons nightmare.  Being thrust into a situation that you have no control over, being abused and kept helpless by some of the people that should be protecting you, people whom you’ve trusted, this is some of what these women faced.

I hate to use a cliché, but this was one heck of a gripping read. I could not put this book down and if it is  any reflection at all of what Mr. Patterson and Mr. Ellis can accomplish together, then I hope they will collaborate again in the very near future.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

*ARC Supplied by Publisher*

This is a book where you have to read more than a few pages or even a few chapters to appreciate what this author was doing.  At first I was seriously going to give up after the first few chapters.  After all these characters, not only didn’t know each other, they pretty much actively hated each other, yet naturally there were sexual sparks.  I wish authors who were writing books like this waited a little longer than a couple of chapters to pull out the ‘sexual spark’ plot line.

This book is about hate, deception, lies, and loathing – it is also about -  self-hate, self-loathing and self-deceptions and not judging books by their covers.  It is about admitting the truth to yourself, manning up, or pulling on your big girl panties (depending on the sex of the character!)

This story has been told before and I was afraid that this book was just going to be a trite cliché, but something in the writing kept me reading and I am so glad I did.  This author pulled me in and made me eventually care about the characters no matter how churlish they were being.  The characters are well fleshed, the dialogue while at times harsh, it truly believable under these circumstances.  The character behave in what I think, is an entirely believable manner given the circumstances of their lives, and how they were manipulated.

This was quite a satisfying read and I do so look forward to reading the next in this trilogy - -“Can’t Hurry Love” In July  and the third  book will out in  November -- “This Can’t Be Love”.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

 How to Date a Werewolf -  by  Rose Pressey

This is one of those kinds of books that you are either going to love or hate. I'm afraid I fell into the later category.

As I was reading this book I had to keep asking myself if these characters were in the ninth grade or if they were adults. Unfortunately they are adults but you would never know it.

Rylie is a werewolf and the owner of a dating service based in New Orleans. We get our first glimpse of this when a werewolf, Lily, comes in to voice a complaint on the match that was made for her by Rylie. It is not a pretty meeting to say the least. At the same time a new and handsome man is moving in next door, and has Rylies hormones going wacko. Various harrowing things happens to Rylie putting herself, Jack, and her roommate Jennifer into some interesting situations. However, these situations are never interesting enough to keep my attention for very long. Suffice it to say that Rylie is not one of those kick-butt heroines, she is more of a babbling clueless idiot at times. And her so called friends decide towards the end of this novel that she may need professional help of the padded room variety.

The characters are not well fleshed out at all and are not believable even in a speculative fiction way. The mystery of who is after Rylie is tenuous at best and silly at the very least. The presumably comedic bits are not funny, as a matter of fact I found them down-right silly (not in a good way) and served to do nothing for the story. Pacing for the plot is nonexistent and the narration is choppy with unbelievable dialogue.

The characters all spoke as if they were in junior high school and even some of the situations are of that age bracket.

It was a very fast read, and it may serve well for those who are looking to get away from books that have characters with more depth and intricate plots and just want something light and breezy to pass the time.

Friday, May 11, 2012

 Anne is a governess and Daniel is a recently returned from exile, Earl.  When they meet at a Smythe-Smith musicale, some small sparks start flying.  We know as well as they that nothing can be done about these sparks; after all think of the class system in England -  an Earl and a Governess?  Well stranger things have happened and so the story begins!

We learn a lot about Daniels’ exile and return very early in this book, but we don’t learn anything about Anne until later and I love how that seems to make the story much more interesting.  When evil things start happening, it is assumed that Daniels ‘enemy’ is behind it, but can he really be sure.  After all he doesn’t know that there is someone out there that may like to see Anne dead too.

“A Night Like This” is told with Ms Quinn usual style; combining romance with humor and wit, a lot of mystery and excitement and a sensuality that can make you shiver.  Perfectly fleshed characters allow you to visualize them with no trouble, although this book doesn’t have Ms Quinns usual brisk pacing and some parts of it sort of lag, things do pick upon to an almost fever pitch in the second half of the book.  

A wonderful and worthy read for anyone who has loved  Ms Quinn’s earlier works. In addition, this may be read as a standalone book, since nothing that may refer to earlier works will muddy the reading of this one.

 My Wicked Gladiators by Lauren Hawkeye

This book if filled with all the sorts of sexual practices you may expect from this time-period in Rome. M/F/M, M/M, masturbation, dominant-submissive play, voyeurism, group sex etc. Coarse language is used that I must admit I was a bit surprised about since I didn’t think that these types of words had come into use yet during this time period. But I have to trust the author to have done her research if she is going to be doing Historical Fiction.

The story in a nutshell, and I have to admit there really wasn’t much story and even less action to move the plot along, just pretty much the sex and that’s about it. Alba (this story is written in her point of view) seems to be pretty bored with her life even if she won’t admit it (or at least the author doesn’t come out and say it). Her attention has turned to one of her husband’s Gladiators; Lucius runs a training school for Gladiators, and she orders one of them to have sex with her. Soon she learns that she is to mate with a gladiator of her husbands choosing so she can get pregnant since her husband cannot do the job. (it is quite complicated). Eventually Alba begins to love both of her Gladiators, who also love each other, and tries to find a way to be with both of them.

Naturally this being a ‘romance’ it does give us a happily ever after. The historical aspects are quite interesting. The sex scenes, while steamy have been drawn out almost to the point of frustration and the road to their HEA was a tiny bit boring and somewhat unbelievable. The descriptions of life were lush and interesting, but the characters were not ones that had a lot of depth.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ms Hamilton may have finally found her lost niche after all!  Erotica, or well...maybe NOT!

I am very much like the other dissatisfied customers of this very short piece. I cannot believe that I paid $2.99 for less than 15 minutes of reading and most of that was some spoilers for her next book.  Most other authors, ones thast aren't taking their customers for a ride, would have either given this away for free, or at the very least only charged .99 cent for it. 

 I know, I know...the author's hands are tied by the publishers.  Well since Ms Hamilton seems to want to concentrate on the sexual acts in her last few  books (what ever happened to Anita Blake Vampire Hunter?  She has become Anita Blake Vampire Fucker) then she might as well switch genres. Unfortunately for the erotica loving world Ms Hamilton doesn't seem to have the knack for that genre either! 

 Oh she get the BDSM in there, I guess that is to prove that  Anita's  world is still violent.  I am impressed as to just how many screaming (and I mean that literally) orgasms Anita has per chapter.

At any rate her is my review of: Beauty: An Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Outtake by Laurell K Hamilton

I am very much like the other dissatisfied customers.  I cannot believe that I have paid 2.99 for 15 minutes of reading.

If you want to read a menage scene with many of the BDSM elements being used now-a-days and you are afraid of going to a new author, the this short story may be right up your alley.

 Once we  get down to the the nitty-gritty sex scene (and that is ALL this 'book' is), Claude and Asher decide the are going to top Anita, but naturally Claude and his stronger personality becomes the top to both Anita and Asher---then the men reverse their sexual positions----Anita has multiple screaming orgasms---the end.

Well, that is the entire book in a nut-shell.  Save your 3 bucks and just take my word for it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

*ARC supplied by Publisher *

I was surprised to find that I loved this book.  Why?  Because I don’t usually like such emotion filled novels.  I’m a selfish reader and I loved being entertained, I don’t like living someone else’s horror and I thought that by reading a novel of a woman who lost the man she loved a few weeks before her wedding that I would be reading something really depressing.  My mistake -- and thank goodness that I kept reading.
Yes this is an emotion filled novel, but it is also filled with humor, love, caring, strong family values and some surprises along the way. I think I may have found a new author I willneed to track for future publications.

Clara’s fiancé is killed in a car accident  9 days  before their wedding.  Sebastian was a remarkable man and one that many women would love to find in their lives.  Well, Clara is not dealing very well with this loss.
She is emaciated, has tried every kind of therapy known to human kind and some that are even so farfetched that you have to laugh.  It has gotten so bad that she is going to lose her job and has even tried to commit suicide.
Somehow, all this changes when she is on a visit to her mother’s house and comes upon a box with the time capsule she buried when she was ten and decides during a very poorly thought out kiss, to do the things (or most of them) on this list.

As the synopsis says ---with the love of her wacky and caring family, a clear goal and a very good friend from the past, things just may get better.

Robin Gold has created an almost touchable group of characters; my heart went out to Clara at the same time I wanted to shake her bit to get her out of her fog.  This novel has terrific dialogue, vivid descriptions, clever plotting and a story you will probably just get lost in as I did.

I really appreciate  good writing, this will be something you finish quickly, but wish had lasted much longer.