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review 2016-05-10 18:01
Forbidden Love by Karen Robards
Forbidden Love - Karen Robards

*There may be mild spoilers but everything I write about happens early on. I've left out the truly terrifying spoilers. You'll have to read the book yourself to discover them ;)


This is an oldie, the original copyright says 1983, and I had my doubts that it would be one of those hidden gems but I read it anyway.


You should probably know going in that things happen within this book that are not okay by me. There is some dubious consent, some unfair and ugly name calling, and some unpleasant slapping of all the cheeks. The hero is also a classic alpha-hole and the virginal heroine sees him as a stand-in daddy figure. Don't say I didn't warn you.


I pretty much knew I wasn’t in for sweet and romantic very early on when the “hero” says, “I will do as I please and YOU will do as I please.”


Believe him because he means it.


Megan has been the ward of 36 year old Justin, Lord of Sexton or Weston or somesuch. Anyway, he is a big shot in society and has loads of money and power and pretty much had zero to do with orphaned Megan for the twelve years she has been his responsibility. He’s simply shipped her off to boarding schools and sent her an impersonal gift during holidays. Now she’s 17 and has been tossed out of school for the third time or so and has decided that she is not going back and is staying in one of Justin’s homes. He decides to finally take some action and deal with his defiant, violet eyed minx all by himself!



But he’s not prepared for what he finds. He first spies her dancing like a hussy with his servants. He is ticked off and decides to take a bath before he fires everyone. It's then that she bursts into his room and spies his nakedness and feelings, well, they are awakened . . . She, apparently, grew up a whole bunch in the two years since he’s last bothered to see her and when they are forced to spend a lot of time together, for reasons, he simply can’t resist her lovely young flesh and seduces her. He is a virile man and he has needs, after all. This might be all well and good if he wasn’t married(!!) and an alpha-hole but he is who he is and naturally he lays the blame on her seductive little body. Even though he's old enough to be her dad and should know better. She freaks out when discovers he’s married and terrible things continue to happen until the very end of the book.


It’s too bad Justin had such a magical manroot. Megan likely would’ve had a much easier time noticing his faults and moving along with her life if he had been a dud.



But alas, it wasn’t meant to be and that body of hers continued to betray her wishes. The poor child.


“You’re a little bitch.”


Now some people may find those words seductive because this book gets five stars from many readers but I guess I am not one of them. It's only getting a 2 1/2 from me.


This book made me crazy mad and was all kinds of wrong but I only have myself to blame because I kept reading it. Justin was a jealous, despicable beast and nothing anyone says in his defense will ever change my mind and, yes, I read it to the very end because I couldn't stop myself.


I listened to this as an audiobook and the narrator was a guy that put on a snooty voice that suited Justin perfectly. I typically don’t enjoy male narrators in a romance but he even did okay with Megan’s voice too. If you must listen to this, I’d say listen to this version narrated by James Clamp.

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review 2015-08-11 18:20
Dark Prince by Christine Feehan (audio)
Dark Prince (Carpathians, #1) - Christine Feehan,Juanita Parker

I read this in 2005. It did not make the GR conversion. I'm posting it for It's a Mad Mad World because I am an awesome friend. Stop while you are ahead my dear.


How to Woo Your Life Mate by Mikhail Dubrinsky Leader of the Carpathians

1. Never call her by her given name. Always call her “Little One”. It makes her feel special.

2. Lurk outside her window in your animal form and admire her bum with your dark, burning eyes. You have super powers for a reason. Use them.

3. Infect her dreams and mind-molest her. If she says “no” do what you want anyway. Women love it when you take control. Any weeping that ensues is from pure bliss. When you are done blame her for “releasing the beast”.

4. She is yours because you have said so. If any man dares put a hand upon her attempt to end his life. You own her.

5. Swoop in and carry her back to your lair where you take control of her entire life. Ignore any token struggle she puts up. She will submit.

6. Rip her jeans and make her wear clothing that meets your approval. Real women do not wear men’s clothing.

7. Brand her with your sharp toothies at the first opportunity.

8. Repeat yourself frequently. Women are forgetful creatures.

9. Never gently take her by the hand, always “shackle her by the wrist”.

10. Remain arrogant, overly-protective, obsessive, morose, melodramatic and controlling at all times. She will think you sexy and oh-so-strong. And if that doesn’t work just compel her and bend her to your will. Again see #2.

It is with great sadness that I must admit that I made none of that up. This is how Mikhail behaves. He is the leader of the Carpathians, a dying race of shape-shifting, blood drinkers whose women folk are unable to produce healthy female off-spring. When he meets the naïve, pliable human (with telepathic powers) named Raven he realizes she belongs to him. He also expects her to “save” his race. He believes she is strong enough, I suppose (though this is never proven), and he plans to impregnate her with female babies who will grow up and become the life-mates of his long-lived men. His men are on the verge of giving in to their “dark sides” and turning into true vampires. Life without a mate really sucks, I guess. I’m finished with the book now and I still haven’t a clue why he feels she is “the one” to save them and why she'll be able to endlessly birth these amazing girl babies. What if she dares push out a boy, I wonder? I shudder to think of the berating she’ll take for that one. Because, you know, it will be entirely her fault.

Anyway, while the two are working out the kinks in their relationship (basically he tells her what to do, she whines a little and then does it) there are villains attempting to put the Carpathian’s out of their misery permanently. “My women. Assassins are after them! We must protect the women.” Action ensues. People are slain and sequels that I will never read are set up.

And then there’s the narration. Juanita Parker made an unfortunate choice reading this overblown book in a deadly serious monotone for all of the characters. I tuned out more than I tuned in and did a lot of rewinding. The men all sound the same (mostly angry, always bossy) and not a one of the lot has a sexy accent. Wouldn’t a man named Mikhail Dubrinsky, having lived for hundreds of years in the Carpathian Mountains (which, I believe is supposed to be located somewhere in Europe?), have picked up a little accent in all that time? And I know this is a nitpick and someone will surely blast me for it but it has to be mentioned because this is supposed to be a professional production, right? So why on earth didn’t someone whisper to the narrator that “acrost” is not a word? There is no T in across. You have no idea how many times “across” is used in a novel until it’s pronounced “acrost”. It’s the little things in an audio that can drive you mad when the book isn’t quite working for you.

I know people love this series but I don’t think it was meant for me. Mikhail “Do Not Defy Me!” is a jerk of the worst kind, Raven is weak and easily convinced to do whatever he wants, the dialogue is stilted and repetitive and the writing is overly dramatic. I much preferred The Awakening by this author. Tell me the rest get better?

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review 2014-08-20 19:06
Biters : The Reborn (Double Down #1) by Harry Shannon & Brett Talley
Biters - The Reborn - Harry Shannon,Brett J. Talley

Oh look. Instead of nonsense I have actually written a review.


This novel contains two novellas that are not connected in any way except for the fact that they both take place many years after a world changing event occurs.


First up is Harry Shannon’s Biters. Now I’m not going to lie, I had some problems with Biters. If you loved Biters you might not want to read my words.  Many people are forgiving sorts but I’m afraid I’m not.  So when the protagonist utters the following I find it hard to go on and/or to care about anything he does pretty much thereafter.

“She was working him good now, sitting there on the seat all cute and begging. She knew how to charm a man out of his shirt, just like every other bitch he’d ever known.”




What’d he just say?  I realize he’s living in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse and he’s all hardened up and manly man and has scars on his soul but I don’t think that’s an excuse for having such a horrible attitude towards all female kind. Guys can be bitches too but I don’t despise them all for a horrible few. Sorry, it had to be said. I was hoping he’d have some sort of turnaround and I could get over my distaste but it really didn’t happen.


Can’t he more like this guy? (This one's for you Char. Okay and for me too!)



I mean, would it kill a guy to show a little kindness in his thoughts?


Perhaps it would. What do I know? I haven’t exactly suffered through a zombie apocalypse and been betrayed by bitches of any gender. What I do know is that I did not like Buck Ryan and that’s a problem seeing as he’s the lead character here. Honestly, I did not like any of the human characters. Not a one. They’re all jerks. They all deserve to have their brains eaten by zombies or to be extruded through a meat grinder to feed the poor homeless doggies wandering the landscape. Had that happened I might be a little happier.


I admit that I skimmed a little on the way to the end because I just didn’t want to spend any more time with these people. It isn’t really a zombie story and it definitely wasn’t a story meant for the likes of me.  It’s more a story of betrayal that reminded me a bit of the old Tales from the Crypt comics and that’s all I have to say about it. You may love it. I see lots of people did. So don’t listen to me.


I give it 2.5 stars only because of Dog . Dog was awesome.


The other story is The Reborn by Brett J. Talley. Now this one here hooked me immediately. It opens with a shocking and brutal scene that stunned me. I didn’t think it would go there but it did. I had to keep reading and didn’t stop until I finished.


“It is the late summer of 2050, seventeen years after the end of the Great War, and twenty-five years after A-Day.”


The world is now very different than the one we all live in. Crime has become nearly extinct, so much so that police officers have little to do and are getting laid off.  But underneath the false sense of utopia there is a dark undercurrent of betrayal, corruption and brutality that may be pure evil.


Marcus just lost his job with the police force and is approached by a man who offers him a sweet new position with a top secret organization. He’s kind of desperate and accepts without asking too many questions. What “The Shepherds” do and why they do it are revealed in bits and pieces throughout the story. I’m not going to give it away but trust me it’s harsh and horrifying and it’s awful and by the time Marcus figures it all out he’s in too deep to bow out easily.


This story is action packed. Now I’m not an action fangirl by any means but unlike the previous story I was interested to see what would happen to Marcus. Marcus had compassion and questioned the system and that’s why I kept on reading.  The concept was chilling and creative and I enjoyed it immensely despite all of the action and war talk.  4.5 stars  


*The FCC (or is it the FTC? My brain is not working) makes me declare that I received this copy from the author. I hope he doesn't regret it. 

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review 2014-06-20 12:30
Wolfe's Hope by Lora Leigh
Wolfe's Hope (Breeds, #10) - Lora Leigh

I read this awhile ago and am still fixing/updating my GR reviews one by one and will probably be 90 or so by the time I finish this project!


I’ve only read one book by author Lora Leigh. It was called Menage A Magick and I picked it up because of the catchy blurbage that delivered on the promise of the heroine being “the filling in a wizard sandwich”. Tell me, could you have resisted?

Anyway it was okay, nothing special, nothing awful so I decided to try this one when it turned up in audiobook format. I’ll read anything on audio and I mistakenly thought this was Book 1 in the Wolf Breeds series but I think it’s actually Book 10. It doesn’t really matter because the author spends a good amount of this 70 minute audiobook explaining how “The Breeds” came to life when an evil scientist created them in a lab to create an indestructible army and to mate with human women who are barren.

Hope is the daughter of the mad, cold-hearted scientist who plans to breed her to her creation named Wolfe. She forces an aphrodisiac on this barely 17 year old girl and throws her in a cage with Wolfe to “breed”. Wolfe marks her with a bite but doesn’t do the breeding dance because she’s too young. His mark, however, keeps her safe from other men and marks her as his property. Soon after, a fire happens and the would-be lovebirds are separated. Hope believes Wolfe has died and for six long years suffers from an arousal she can’t quench (has she no right hand, I have to wonder?!). Every time another man touches her she pukes and then Wolfe shows up. But alas all is not bliss . . .

She faints in some sort of fit of unconsciousness when he touches her and when she awakens finds herself tied to a bed and half naked with an enraged Wolfe lurking over her. Oh my! What’s a girl to do? Beg for release from the restraints, perhaps? Instead she begs for release from her sexual frustration begging for his cock. She must have it now! She has waited oh-so-long, after all. Instead he proceeds to torture her with sexual titillation but refuses to give her an orgasm because he thinks she’s a liar. He berates her, he accuses her of terrible things and all the while he continues to touch her and she is weeping from her eyes and her, well you know, from the frustration of it all.

Can you dig it?

I can’t. This was narrated by a guy which just made the whole thing feel seedy to me (sorry, but it’s true). He paused a lot and his reading was rather lifeless, the few times he perked up and acted out Wolfe’s anger just didn’t feel right and pulled me out of the story. My head started to throb from the repetition, the constantly clenching vagina, the ridiculous accusations made by his assholiness and the bad behavior being explained away by “genetics”. There was also a complete lack of characterization. I was annoyed by the entire scenario and 70 minutes of this stuff was too much to handle. I sure as hell hope the other books are better than this snippet, They must be, right?

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review 2013-11-15 19:49
Rush by Maya Banks (audiobook)
Rush - Maya Banks

alpha-hole (courtesy of Broughttoyoubymybrain)


the alpha hole is very often confused with the alpha male. They have the same characteristics of the alpha male only they are assholes. The Alpha-hole always takes things too far. He often does and says unforgivable things, has a 'black out' temper, is possessive to the point of insulting, and never grovels. The alpha-hole is usually matched up with a nice doormat who'll take his shit with a smile.


Gabe the hero(?) is an alpha-hole. If you like that type of thing or are a forgiving sort you might be able to enjoy this book more than I did. If you don’t you should heed all warnings steering you away. I wish I had.


Many of my book friends warned me but I read it anyway. Unabridged on audio. In my car. Where there is no escape. I really enjoyed Never Seduce a Scot by this author and was holding out hope that everyone else was wrong. Deep down I sometimes like me an anti-hero. And like the sheeple I am I believed the reviews that said he gave good grovel at the end.  

I think I must’ve completely tuned out and missed that bit because I didn’t hear much groveling going on. Where was the pain? Where was the suffering? Where was the kick to the nuts?

(spoiler show)

I wish I had DNF’d this because I didn’t enjoy any of it. By the end, I felt nothing at all besides a little lingering rage.


So here’s the gist. Mia has always been “forbidden fruit” but that didn’t stop Gabe from secretly wanting to take a bite. Now that she’s 24 and the fruit has ripened sufficiently Gabe decides it’s time to make his move on his best friend’s little sis. To hell with a lifetime of trust, friendship and important business ties. Gabe is 14 years her elder but the gap doesn’t seem quite so wide now. Though it might be when he’s done (ugh I’m sorry, this book has scarred me).  Anyway, he can’t hold out much longer and he’s a man who always gets what he wants.


Gabe is a billionaire businessman who has been publicly burned by his ex-wife and he won’t ever let it happen again.  Because of the public shaming where his kinks were revealed he has shut off his emotions and deals with his sexual needs the same way he deals with any business venture. Instead of putting up with messy emotional entanglements he writes up a contract that flat out says he will own Mia until he tires of her.  He coldly admits that he does this with all of his lovers. It’s nothing personal. Mia must give up her life and work for him as his, ahem, “personal assistant” doing whatever he wishes, mostly while out of her undie pants and she cannot tell her brother. Her brother has raised her and he is the one person she feels closest to in the whole wide world.


Sound sexy to you?


Mia thinks so. She signs the contract after asking very few questions and getting very vague answers.  He’s hot, he’s out of her league, he can have anyone and yet he wants her so she jumps at the chance to become a paid sex slave. Well, who wouldn’t, right?


Thus begins the border-line kinky sex and because there wasn’t any emotion tied to it I found it incredibly boring and started to tune out. During (or after?) their first time together I do believe I even heard him call her “little baggage” as in “get over here Little Baggage”.  Ooo, now that’s how you woo a lover. I was hoping with everything in me that it was my imagination because I was only half listening but then I clearly heard him say “Keep your fucking arms where I put them” so perhaps my brain wasn’t unfairly putting ugly words in his mouth.


FWIW, at least he shows his assholish tendencies from the get go and stays true to character. Mia is just a little too forgiving and a little too bland for me to get behind though.


The rest of the book is filled with bossy sex, some silly dialogue “you’re a tigress. Ferocious!” and one scene that is truly unforgivable though it is very true to his character . . . There is spanking, butt plugs, anal sex and light bondage but it’s hard to find any of it sexy because Gabe was just such an angry prick. If you’re curious how this sort of scenario can be sexy and far more balanced you should check out James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary.


Narration Notes: This book was narrated by Adam Paul.  His voice rarely strays from bland-monotony except when Gabe is really angry (because honestly Gabe is always angry) and then the tone changes to bland-angry. At times he reads the words as if he’s in a hurry to end this gig as quickly as he can,which was fine by me because I pretty much felt the same way.

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