Archive | September 13, 2013

Sex Idol Shelley Munro.

Sex Idol

 

ARC provided via Netgalley.

With all the reality shows that currently dominate TV ( and they’re the reason I spend so much time reading and don’t watch TV) I thought this sounded fun. I get the impression from many of the current programmes that what they really want is to push the sex angle as far as they can without getting banned or reprimanded, so this seemed like something possible at some time in the future. Though I think current TV is dire, this would really kill it for may of us who want programmes designed for those who think and use imagination and don’t need to be spoon fed 🙂
Still, the book. Well, as I said I thought this would be fun. A bit of sexy, spicy, erotica wrapped up in an interesting story. Sadly I was wrong, and what this consists of in my opinion is simply page after page after page of sex, self pleasure, with a partner or with multiple partners, with a flimsy, feeble story as an excuse for carrying it. The plot is thin, really poorly put together, (for instance landlords of commercial properties don’t call round for a cheque days after a rent rise…it’s all BACS transactions..) with the sex part being so repetitive its actually a turn off. I ended up skim reading pages just to see what happened, and get to the end. It certainly wasn’t erotic for me 😦 Its sad really because I think its a novel idea, and could have been really fun and erotic if done in a different way.
If you really like this sort of thing you’ll find the price of £1.01 for 230 pages/369kb a bargain but for me…no – quickly deleted from my kindle.
Stars: sorry but just one.

Full Blooded. Amanda Carlson.

Full Blooded (Jessica McClain)

 

Full Blooded. Amanda Carlson.
ARC supplied via Netgalley.
I love this sort of fantasy read, shape-shifters with a romantic angle. I had some trouble initially with Jessica though – her situation just didn’t ring true. For the last seven years she’s been living off compound, and working with another shifter and a witch running their own business. She’s using an alter ego as Molly Harman, so you’d think they’d use that name all the time, but no – everyone who already knows her from the shifters calls her Jessica….and given the uproar if they’re over heard that’s a huge mistake. Then Jessica herself, she comes across as pretty selfish and almost arrogant to begin. She’s one of those know it all types with a big chip about who and what she is…then she shifts one night and the danger to her for being a female in an all male society rises exponentially. There’s a prophecy (isn’t there always !!) and of course now she has shifted the super-naturals are going to fear she’s the subject of it, which means ultimately she could rule them all. They’re not going to let that happen. Her dad – the pack Alpha – decides to keep quiet if he can, and let her continue with her life while they decide what to do. But somehow the secret is out within a short time, and there are different factions out for her life within days.
What I didn’t like – well, as I’ve noted in other novels – I have a real problem with heroines who suddenly grow superpowers, and are able to beat others hundreds of years older. And that’s Jessica to a T. Then there’s the convenience of the witch and shifter who she works with having just the right powers to get her out of trouble – that was just too convenient, and led to the problems getting cleaned away far too quickly and easily IMO. Then I carried on, and began to get “into” the story, Jessica came across better and I saw how loyal she was to her family, friends and pack, and how even though one had a real grudge on her and targeted her unfairly she still tried to play right by human rules, and work with the police if possible. The “quick witchery” solutions got less, and real action played out. Jessica was in real danger but there weren’t quick and easy supernatural solutions brought in, but more traditional fighting between factions, and her trying to outrun/hide from those after her blood. When she meets Rourke, the legendary mercenary shifter, sparks fly between them and her wolf goes crazy for him. Jessica thinks he’s well put together too 🙂 – but is much more cautious, especially not knowing whether he’s out to kill her, capture her, or protect her.
So once I got past my initial reservations I enjoyed this book, and I’ve book two – and hopefully will get book three – to read. Its often difficult opening a new fantasy series with new characters and world setting to introduce, so maybe that’s what happened with the beginning where I wasn’t really connected to it. I look forward to reading more – this “adventure” is still open with Jessica needing to best the Goddess witch Selene in the next book and retrieve someone she’s kidnapped. That’s certainly going to take some planning. Priced at £4.49 for 322 pages/517kb its around average for the genre, and if the rest of the series carries on the way the latter half of this book did it’ll join my keeper files as one to be re read. I love to have a whole series on my kindle and spend a couple of days reading them back to back.
Stars: well, if it wasn’t for that big hiccup in the beginning I’d have gone four and a half but…that was a big turn off for me so I’m dropping half a star to a four.

Daysider. Susan Krinard.

Daysider (Mills & Boon Nocturne) (Nightsiders - Book 1)

 

ARC supplied by Netgalley.

I love fantasy and especially vampire romance novels. I had some trouble starting this book though, the world introduced is typically dystopian, and as the environment and people are so different I had to keep referring back to see what the characteristics of the different types of people were, and exactly which side each belonged to. It was a work of suspense and adventure where Dhampire Alexia Fox is sent out on a covert mission with another person, and she meets Damon, a vampire, but of the type known as Darketan. Various things happen and Alexia ends up teamed with Damon, and her partner has gone off alone. It’s part of a plan they’ve come up with not trusting Damon, but it has repercussions beyond that which they envisaged.
For much of the early part of the novel the only characters are Alexia and her partner Michael. I thought that this would have allowed me to get to “know” them, but I never really felt I did that. Michael remained an enigma to me, and I couldn’t feel any kind of empathy for Alexia. I don’t know why – but it did mean that the novel never really took off for me. I did like Damon, what I knew of him, and he seemed, ironically, the most trust worthy of the three to me. There’s lots of trickery and double dealing, and I got to the place where my gut was trusting Damon but I really hadn’t a clue who else was telling the truth, and what was actually happening as opposed to the versions told by various others we met. The first half of the novel really doesn’t seem to have much occurring, Michael and Alexia go into the Zone, a sort of neutral no mans (or vampires) land. They meet Damon as I said earlier, and other than scouting back and forth, and being attacked by unknown others there doesn’t seem to be much real action, or anything relevant progressing the story . There’s lots going on but it doesn’t move the story forward for me.
Sadly this is a novel that hasn’t worked for me, I was just too uninterested in what happened to the various factions. There’s lots of double dealing and betrayals, a smattering of romance and a big reveal at the end, but it all left me unmoved. Its just not the sort of novel I enjoy – but then I don’t like Pratchett, Eddings, Rowling, Showalter etc. and yet millions of readers love them. Its an example of a good, well written book but one that simply doesn’t resonate for me. That doesn’t mean others won’t like it – thankfully we all want different things and that leads to a fantastic selection of novels and inevitable some will appear to be ones we’d like but in reality not work out. My rating is personal, based on my enjoyment – others will form a different view.
It contains 368 pages for £4.74 on kindle, a good lengthy read and another reason I thought I’d enjoy it. Its such a different world with so many types of character that a shorter novel wouldn’t allow any understanding of them. It needs to be that length, I’m just sad it didn’t work for me 😦 On my VFM scale its good value, and for those who enjoy it and re-read as I do with favourite novels it works out a bargain.
Stars: just two sadly, I just didn’t like it – a reflection on how it fits – or doesn’t – my taste though and not on the book itself.

The Angel Stone (Fairwick Chronicles 3) by Juliet Dark

the angel stone

The Angel Stone (Fairwick Chronicles 3) by Juliet Dark

  NB Now named Dark Possession

ARC supplied by Netgalley.

I’d read parts one and two and loved them, so dived straight in to the final part. I love this trilogy, Juliet has the way of drawing the reader into the story and making me feel I was there with Callie.

This book follows on from the ending of last book and the takeover of Fairwick College. Times are tough for the paranormal inhabitants of Fairwick. The new administration are out to takeover not just the College but far more and everyone’s lives are in danger. Callie is missing Liam/Bill badly and yet she needs to focus on rescuing her friends and finding another door onto Faerie. I love Callie – she’s been through so much danger and heartbreak and yet still tries her best to do what’s right for others. Once again there’s a terrific casts of Otherworldly people from witches, vampires and succubus, to the dangerous and deadly Nephilm. Juliet manages to make the reader forget these are actually mythical creatures though, and I felt I was there with them in the story, and I took as normal their supernatural abilities. Callie has come such a long way from the beginning of the first book, where the supernatural world was still part of folklore for her…now she’s got strong powers herself and needs every bit of them if she is to save Fairwick and its inhabitants.

Its a beautifully crafted novel, full of fabulous creatures that feel so real I can believe in them. The world of Fairwick became for a while the world I was living in, and I laughed and cried (lots of tears ) with poor Callie. She’s found and lost love, and misses so much that great passion she had with both Liam and Bill. She’s heartbroken that Bill has died and yet can’t help hoping there’s some way to find him still…and I was hoping with her.

Juliet takes the fairy tales we know and weaves a passionate story full of danger and adventure, love and laughter. I’m always amazed at how good writers weave little parts into scenes that gradually grow into a major plot. I loved this book – I’ve loved the whole series and will miss Fairwick – but its one of those fabulous tales that can be read over and over even knowing the ending as its go so much of interest in it. I just know I’ll see things I missed first time round and I’ll love being back in Fairwick with all its strange and otherworldly inhabitants.

Its a five star read for me, and made me ponder on what I think makes the difference between four and five stars. Its partly length – I love longer books as they are able to get deeper into the characters and plots. Then there’s the dialogue – so many books now seemed to be dumbed down to words of three syllables or less. That does the reader a great disservice, we have a beautiful language and it deserves to be used to its fullest extent. Its just not possible to replace some words with simple ones without losing some of the beauty and minute nuances of meanings.

If you enjoy fantasy books with a romantic element, that will take over your life and transpose you to another world for hours you’ll love this series. Its definitely one for the keeper files. Its 288 pages in length – pricing info not currently available but the publication date is sept 2013.

Stars: a very definite well deserved five.

Right Now. Marie Hall. currently free :)

 

I was lucky enough to get the second book for review – so as I had this on my kindle I thought I ought to read it first. It’s a great book, stand-alone (hurrah) with the characters appearing in book two, but the main part of that is Ryan’s cousin Alex’ story, and this story is all Ryan and Liliana. The descriptions of them and the dialogue makes you feel in there with them, and as if the actions are happening to you. That makes a great read for me, and when the drama hits and I feel tears form then I know I’ve a book I’ll want to re read. It’s not quite a five, almost there though and a fantastic read for romance lovers who want more to the story than boy meets girl and thats it. There’s multiple angles here, but all wrapped up very neatly. What initially put me off was I thought the stpry would be continuing from Lili being 14 and pregnant, but in fact she’s 21-22 (?) when the story kicks off with the pregnanat at 14 bit being just an explanation of her history.

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