Monday, October 29, 2012

Quickie Reviews #3

Fifty Shames of Earl GreyFifty Shames of Earl Grey by Fanny Merkin
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I was all for reading a book that poked fun at the Fifty Shades craze (even though I did like that series), and while the beginning of this book was somewhat enjoyable, the jokes fell flat pretty quickly.

All i can say is, it was a good idea that the author chose to make this a short book because the juvenile humor was definitely grating on my nerves after a while. I actually had a hard time finishing this because I felt like the author kept making the same joke over and over again.

Not much else to say about this really. Fifty Shades is the perfect candidate for a spoof, but this book definitely fell short of the mark in my opinion.

Anything He Wants (Dominated by the Billionaire, #1)Anything He Wants by Sara Fawkes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hard to believe I actually feel the need to write a review for a novella that is only 25 pages long, but here goes.

The highlight of Lucy's day is riding in the elevator each morning on her way to work. There she gets to sneak glances at a businessman who is the embodiment of all of her fantasies. One day, the two are alone in the elevator, and the businessman lets Lucy know that she hasn't been the only one doing a little fantasizing.

The comparisons to Fifty Shades of Grey are obvious. But, that doesn't detract from the sheer steamy goodness of this quickie. I would have preferred the author to publish the entire story as a novel, instead of in serial installments, but you can't have everything. Having said that, this was a very enjoyable first course. ;)

BloodmanBloodman by Robert Pobi
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I am always looking for a good scary read, and I had high hopes for this one. But unfortunately, this was a huge disappointment.

FBI agent Jake Cole comes back to his hometown after his ailing father has an accident. He soon gets caught up investigating a series of extremely grizzly murders, and finds himself questioning what is what isn't reality.

This book is very dark and brooding, which works for the premise. However the author not only went overboard on the minute details, but the characters tended to ramble on to the point where I found myself skimming ahead several times. It is hard for me to lose myself in a book if i find myself getting annoyed by how much the story is dragging. Bloodman could have done with some heavy editing, and probably about 100 less pages.

Several people have mentioned how shocking the ending was. I went into this book knowing absolutely nothing about the plot, but I still managed to figure out where the story was going, and what the supposed "twist" would end up being within the first 20-30 pages. That probably had a lot to do with why I didn't end up enjoying this as much as some other reviewers have.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Quickie Reviews #2

One Breath AwayOne Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A man walks into a school in a small town, taking a class hostage. Outside, as a huge snowstorm approaches the townspeople struggle to not only figure out who the man is, but also the motive behind the attack.

This book knocked my socks off. It has been a long time since I picked up a book and wanted to stay firmly planted on the couch until I had reached the end, but this was definitely one of those books. The author kept me guessing as to the identity of the gunman until *almost* the very end, which is always a joy for me, since I tend to figure out who the bad guy is pretty early on (i did figure out who it was slightly before the big reveal). The story is told in alternating POV's which i really enjoyed, ad it added to the tension of the story. The end of each chapter felt like it's own little cliffhanger, which was awesome.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great whodunit and for those just looking for a good 'can't-put-it-down-for-a-second' type story.

Dark Citadel (Masters of the Shadowlands, #2)Dark Citadel by Cherise Sinclair
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cherise Sinclair has a knack for writing a great story that manages to stay firmly planted in the lighter side of the sometimes dark depths of BDSM fiction.

Kari is brought to Club Shadowlands by her over-bearing boyfriend for Beginner's Night. Kari quickly decides that while she is intrigued by the BDSM lifestyle, she has had enough of her boyfriend's bullying ways and decides to dump the SOB shortly after arriving at the club. But, before she can leave, she is intercepted by Master Dan who offers to take her under his gorgeously sculpted wing and show her the ropes.

Dan has not allowed himself to form any kind of attachment to a woman since the death of his wife, so he believes that this will be a one time thing. Of course things don't go according to plan and Kari and Master Dan form a bond and lots of steaminess ensue.

This is a quick fun read and Sinclair definitely knows how to write about this lifestyle without overwhelming anyone. I'm a big fan of this series.

Cut & Run (Cut & Run #1)Cut & Run by Abigail Roux
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

FBI agents Ty & Zane are less than thrilled to be partnered up to investigate a possible serial killer. They are both considered somewhat troubled by the bureau, so on the surface is seems like a partnership made in hell. But, before long the two men have grown incredibly attached to each other, and learn that they work very well as a team.

It has been a long time since i read a M/M romance, and I am so glad I stumbled upon this series. I loved just about every aspect of this story, and Ty and Zane are a couple to be reckoned with. They are both intensely Alpha so it is always entertaining to see their interactions in and out of the bedroom.

The fact that I could spot who the killer was almost right off the bat, didn't really detract from my enjoyment of the story, because the mystery element was definitely second fiddle to the romantic aspect of Ty and Zane getting to know each other and developing the chemistry that by the end is absolutely blisteringly hot.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Last Policeman ~ Ben H Winters

The Last PolicemanThe Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Detective Hank Palace is dedicated to his job. So dedicated in fact that even as the world is counting down the days until the end of the world, he's still committed to solving his case. A case that no one else believes needs solving.

A huge meteor is barreling towards earth and there is seemingly no way to stop it. So, people all over the world have decided to stop going to work, stop paying their bills...stop living every-day, normal lives. They have pretty much given up all hope in the face of what seems to be a definite end date to the human race. The death by hanging that Palace is investigating is just considered another suicide, but Palace is determined to prove everyone wrong and isn't going to let a little thing like the end of the world stand in the way of getting to the truth.

What a truly wonderful & original Ben H Winters has created. In Detective Palace, Winters has created a truly likable and relate-able character. He is a simple man who chooses to deal with the impending apocalypse by throwing himself into his job. By fighting for the memory of a man that most people considered forgettable.

This book exceeded all of my expectations and I am anxious to see where Winters takes the story in the next installment.  

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Devoured ~ Emily Snow

Devoured (Devoured, #1)Devoured by Emily Snow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

A few thoughts after finishing Devoured.

1. Lucas. Holy Hotness Batman, that man was my favorite kind of uber-alpha hero. He was beyond yummy and definitely the reason I read this one so quickly.

2. This book was shorter than I expected, and in many ways certain parts of the story felt a bit rushed while other times i found myself thinking 'okay, let's get on with it.' In fact, i would have to say that 75% of this book was build-up...which is fine, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that i kinda wished we had more (a lot more) Si/Lucas time and less of the cat & mouse game. Having said that, when Si finally does decide to give herself completely to Lucas their love scene was well done...if a little short and less descriptive than I would have liked. I mean come on...considering this book is about a man obsessed with the idea of this woman being his submissive, I was expecting a LOT more in the sex scene dept. Not exactly Fifty Shades kind of descriptive, but...just more. In all honesty it felt a little like Snow wanted to gloss over the actual love scene and focus instead on the unconventional love story she was building up to. Which is totally fine. Just being honest with what my expectations were going into this.

3. There were several typos, but nothing out of the ordinary for a self-published book.

4. Okay, one thing that really did bug me? WHY is it that every time I read a book like this (i.e. alpha male Dom tries to get a hesitant woman to be his submissive) there is ALWAYS a psycho ex girlfriend/wife/lover etc in the man's past?!? I mean it is in every freaking one of these books I have read. GAH!!!

5. But in the end....none of my little nit-picky problems with this book really matter because I truly loved this story overall, and I have 2 words for you...THE. ENDING. Probably one of my favorite endings I have read all year. It was sooo well done and perfect. And even though I am thrilled that Si & Lucas' story is going to continue, I would have been okay with this being a standalone, simply because of the beautiful ending.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Easy ~ Tammara Webber

EasyEasy by Tammara Webber
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After finishing this book, I can describe it perfectly in two words.

Swoon Worthy.

If ever there was a book that could be labeled as Swoon Worthy, it is most definitely Easy by Tammara Webber.

Jacqueline is on her way home from a frat party one night when she is attacked by one of her ex-boyfriend's friends. She ends up being rescued by mysterious, fellow college student Lucas. Jacqueline doesn't remember seeing Lucas around campus before, but Lucas has definitely noticed her. The two embark on a friendship and a romance that is truly wonderful to experience as a reader. Webber writes the story in such a way that you feel like you are experiencing everything right along with the characters.

Jacqueline is one of the most endearing and memorable female leads I have come across in quite some time. Even though she struggles to deal with what happened to her at the party, she is by no means a victim. She is a fighter. And thank heavens she didn't turn out to be one of those female characters who goes through a traumatic experience and ends up pushing everyone around her away. She wants to be with Lucas. She wants to be close to him, and with the exception of some mild trepidation in the beginning, she embraces that fact. She realizes that Lucas enables her to be even stronger, and they end up helping each other in so many different ways through the course of this book.

And that leads me to Lucas. I have basically had the same list of my Top 5 Favorite Male characters for a looooong time. It never changes. Well, someone is getting bumped, because Lucas has shot to the top of that list. He is pretty much my idea of the perfect guy. He's sweet, Caring, Empathetic, intelligent, artistic. He loves with every fiber of his being and he doesn't care what anyone else thinks of him. Yes, he has his demons. But, unlike many other characters i could name (*COUGHjacewaylandCOUGH*) he doesn't deal with them by being a complete asshole to the people in his life (for the most part anyway). The way that he cares for Jacqueline he is constantly pushing her to be able to defend take care of HERSELF, not just trying to swoop in and be the hero...oh my GAWD! That is swoon-worthy right there! And did I mention that the boy is all kinds of insanely hot? Tall and lanky, dark hair...tattoos. A lip ring....he even makes a lip ring sexy.

Okay, Full Disclosure time: The whole Lucas/Landon aspect...was a bit silly. I could see how that was going to play out from the beginning. However, i LOVED the text/email banter, so it kind of made the distracting plot twist worth it in the end.

Also, this book is listed as YA, but it would definitely have to be considered MATURE YA. Not only because it deals with the subject of rape & attempted rape, but also because the love scenes between Jacqueline/Lucas are...beyond steamy. Like off the steam meter. So just keep that in mind.

One of the main things that kept running through my head while reading this book was why i had never read anything by Tammara Webber before. This may have been my first book by her, but it definitely won't be my last.