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review 2017-06-07 23:37
Druid Vampire
Druid Vampire PG-13 Version - KuroKoneko Kamen,Mathia Arkoniel

Title:   Druid Vampire

Author:  Kurokoneko Kamen

Publisher:  K.K.

Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean

Rating: Five

Review:

 

"Druid Vampire" by Kurokoneko Kamen

 

My Thoughts....

 

This author gives the reader quite a good read dealing mainly with Becca, Slaine and Derek.  Be ready for a lots of turns and turns as we get a very interesting thriller romantic fun read.  In the end will Becca be able to kill Derek now that she has become a true Druid Vampire Huntress? So, we are left with a cliffhanger where will we have to get the next read 'Druid Vampire Requiem to see  how the rest of the story will turn out.  

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review 2017-02-08 05:56
Jizzmas approved! ;D
The Fortune Cookie (2016 Advent Calendar - Bah Humbug) - Matt Burlingame
It's the spookiest time of the year...CHRISTMAS JIZZMAS time!!

A lot of readers are going to smother themselves in Christmas Jizz. Whelp at BMBR, we're reviewing Dreamspinner's Bah Humbug anthology - Grumps vs. Jizz Lovers (1 guess what team I'm on)



Here's my 2 cents:

4.25 Hearts--I feel!



Possibly the Jizzmas spirit? *squints*

This Santa jizz Grumpcorn was tickled by this adorably snarky story. I swallowed this load easily.

I think this year's anthology theme of Scrooges reigning supreme is great. (You can't tell me that the Scrooges don't reign) It's the only reason why I even looked at this year's Dreamspinner anthology. I felt one with this story's Scrooge, Laurence. He's 33, single and not a big fan of the Christmas commercialism. And if he shreds unwanted Christmas decorations from his office cubicle, so what? They shouldn't be invading his space. I feel he is misunderstood. He stood up to the Christmas cheery and their Christmas sugar, fought the good fight...maybe he might have been a little stern.

But he got his point across. *shrug*

Maybe too well, since he's been at it for years and this year an office mishap lands him in an office holiday planning committee. Mandatory or else. *gasp* And to make matters worse, the committee is being led by a Christmas loving ginger giant by the name of Nick Kringall. Nick tries to complete the impossible with Laurence on his team--throw a big party in a limited amount of time. The two men are forced to work together. During this short period of time Laurence thaws out, Nick seems a little otherworldly, is it a Jizzmas miracle?

NO!

Where this story wins is not the Jizzmas cheer, it's watching Laurence realize his flaws, grow as a person and open to let someone in. Also, Matt Burlingame, the author of this story has a fine hand at letting the story unfurl without letting it get lost to Christmas fluff and cheer. There was a speck of feels as there are mentions of past abuse - Trigger warning. There were also moments of cheese--hm, like Cheddar cubes--but it worked to make a well rounded story. And the romance was sweet not sticky. The laughs had a snarky tinge. Thoroughly enjoyed and will be looking for more MM romance from this author (it's his first time!)

On second thought, I don't think it's Jizzmas spirit I feel. I think it was a little indigestion. *burp* ;P

A copy provided for an honest review.
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review 2017-01-08 22:56
Books of 1916: Part One
Uneasy Money - P.G. Wodehouse
These Twain - Arnold Bennett
The Roll-Call - Arnold Bennett
Bird of Paradise (Dodo Press) - Ada Leverson
Tenterhooks - Ada Leverson
Love at Second Sight - Ada Leverson Love at Second Sight - Ada Leverson
Inclinations - Ronald Firbank
List of the Lost - Morrissey
Pride And Prejudice - Jane Austen
The Swimming-Pool Library - Diana Klein,Alan Hollinghurst

Books of 1916: Part One

 

2016 was a tough year in many ways, so may I introduce you to 1916? I think you’re going to love 1916.

 

I was struck by something I read in a (very nice) review of one of the books of 1916: —“because anything first published in 1916 that does not contain a word or thought about the First World War has got to be interesting.” Yes, you’d think so. But actually most of these novels make no mention of the war whatsoever. They tend to be historical, or escapist, or completely surreal.

 

You may notice that I’ve only reviewed about half as many books as I did last year for 1915. But last year I wasn’t done until March! So what you are losing in volume you are gaining in punctuality. Basically I began to feel this project was affecting my brain perhaps a little too much. My brother pointed out that I said in casual conversation, “I read that book in 1911.” I needed to dial it down just a bit.

 

Uneasy Money by PG Wodehouse

 

PG Wodehouse is always a delightful treat. I’m so happy there are more than fifty books still to come! I went by the US publication date in order to include this book, which some may consider cheating.

 

Lord Dawlish has a title but no money, so he is delighted when an eccentric millionaire leaves him all his money just because Lord Dawlish (aka Bill) gave him a few golf pointers once. But when Bill discovers that the eccentric millionaire has stiffed poor but deserving relatives, he sets out for Long Island to try to set things right. There is beekeeping, romance, people pretending to be other people, and lots of hilarity. The only sad part is something that happens to a monkey. In the end, everyone ends up engaged to the right person. On the final page we are at the train station in Islip, Long Island, which today is a gross and unappealing town, but apparently 100 years ago was a bucolic spot where the rich built mansions. If this book doesn’t make you smile, your soul is in mortal danger.

These Twain by Arnold Bennett

 

This is the third book in the Clayhanger series, and my favorite. In These Twain, the somewhat-starcrossed lovers from the first two books, Edwin and Hilda Clayhanger, embark on married life. They fight a lot. I read this book in the 1990s and haven’t re-read it, but what I remember most vividly are the descriptions of how angry they get at each other. Edwin Clayhanger thinks how he’d like to strangle Hilda, but then he goes for a walk and after a while he calms down, and when he comes home, he loves her again. At that time I was dating someone who made me really angry fairly often, and I thought These Twain was incredibly realistic. Bennett’s World-War-I-themed book (The Roll-Call) will come up in 1918, and is the last in the Clayhanger series.

 

Love at Second Sight by Ada Leverson

 

My hardcore fans (yes, both of you!) may remember that two years ago I was unable to review Birds of Paradise because I mislaid it and therefore couldn’t read it. (It turned up in the end, in a knapsack I never use.) I was eager to rectify my mistake by reading Ada Leverson’s 1916 offering, especially as this was her last novel.

 

Love at Second Sight is the last book in the Little Ottleys trilogy. Although I didn’t read the first two, it was easy to see what must have happened in them—in book one, the main character Edith must have married her husband, and then in the second one both Edith and her husband fall in love with other people but remain together thanks to Edith’s bloody-minded loyalty.

 

As this novel opens, Edith’s family has a guest in the house, and it’s unclear who she is, why she’s come to stay, and how long she plans to be there. But Madame Frabelle exercises a strange fascination over all of them. This book is terribly amusing and I’m not even going to tell you what happens, other than it’s a scream. The protagonist is thinking funny things about other people all the time but since she’s kind and fairly quiet, people don’t realize that she’s amusing and smart. The husband seems like the most annoying person on earth, and he must be drawn from life because how could you invent a person that annoying?

 

This is one of the rare books that has a contemporary setting during World War I. The husband was not called up because of a “neurotic heart,” which seems to be like PTSD. Edith’s love interest from the previous book returns home from the war, wounded. This novel’s realism allowed me to see all kinds of period details. For example, when the characters need to look up train timetables, they use things called the ABC and Bradshaw, which must be the apps they had on their phones at that time. Edith also had an Italian composer best friend who I thought might be based on Puccini since (according to Wikipedia) he and Ada Leverson were great pals.

 

I really was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen, and guess what? Everyone gets a happy ending!

 

Ada Leverson’s Wikipedia page says cattily that after this novel, she worked on ever-smaller projects. Just like me!

 

Inclinations by Ronald Firbank

 

Firbank is a riot! This book reminds me a bit of Morrissey’s List of the Lost. Of course, that should be no surprise really, since both of them are directly related to Oscar Wilde on the literary family tree. What sets them apart is Inclinations is unalloyed comedy and nearly all dialogue.

 

What kind of inclinations does this novel concern itself with, you may ask? Well, it’s about a middle-aged writer Miss Geraldine O’Brookmore, known as Gerald, who brings a fourteen year old girl (Miss Mabel Collins) on a trip to the Mediterranean. There’s basically no description of anything or explanation of what’s happening or who is speaking, so you have to be okay with feeling unsure about what’s going on. One of the characters is shot and killed and it was chapters later that I finally understood which one. Plot is not what this book is about. This book is about lines so funny and with such a nice ring to them that I will just give you a small sampling for your enjoyment:

 

Miss Collins clasped her hands. “I’d give almost anything to be blasé.”

***

“I don’t see Mrs Cowsend, do you?”

“Breakfast was laid for four covers in her room.”

“For four!”

“Or perhaps it was only three.”

***

“She writes curiously in the style of one of my unknown correspondents.”

***

[Talking about a costume ball]:

“Oh, Gerald, you could be a silver-tasselled Portia almost with what you have, and I a Maid of Orleans.”

“You!”

“Don’t be tiresome, darling. It’s not as if we were going in boys’ clothes!”

***

“Once she bought a little calf for some special binding, but let it grow up...and now it’s a cow!”

***

“Gerald has a gold revolver. ‘Honour” she calls it.”

***

“Is your father tall?”

“As we drive I shall give you all his measurements.”

***

“I had a good time in Smyrna,” she drowsily declared.

“Only there?”

“Oh, my dears, I’m weary of streets; so weary!”

***

“I’m told she [Gerald] is a noted Vampire.”

“Who ever said so?”

“Some friend of hers—in Chelsea.”

“What do Vampires do?”

“What don’t they!”

 

If you find this sort of off-putting, these lines really do make more sense, somewhat more sense, in context. In a chapter that is eight words long (“Mabel! Mabel! Mabel! Mabel! Mabel! Mabel! Mabel! Mabel!”), Miss Mabel Collins throws off the protectoress-ship of Gerald and elopes with a count. The final section of the book is different, slightly more conventional and somewhat Jane Austen-esque (“I’ve such news!” “What is it?” “The Chase is let at last.”) In this part, the Countess (Miss Collins-that-was) returns home to England with her toddler and there’s question in some minds about whether she is properly, legally married. I’m looking forward to Firbank’s next novel in 1917.

 

I’m only just now realizing that Firbank is the author that the main character keeps reading in The Swimming Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst. I guess I thought Alan Hollinghurst just made him up. The thing is that his name sounds so made up, just “Fairbanks” with some of the letters taken out. Ugh, I learn everything backward.

 

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review 2016-09-10 17:25
Gentleman's gentleman
The Jeeves omnibus. volume 3 - P G WODEHOUSE

The classic meanderings of Bertie Wooster and his long-suffering manservant Jeeves are so quintessentially English and laugh-out-loud funny that every library should own one. P.G.Wodehouse's iconic creations are so creatively intertwined and the language so florid that the stories evoke a wondrously different era of gentlemen, gentlemen's clubs and formidable matriarchs. Wotto Bertie!!

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1521144978
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review 2016-07-27 03:26
A different sort of fae/shifter story. Wished it was longer
Faerie Riddles (2016 Daily Dose - A Walk on the Wild Side Book 10) - Cassia Rose

Three Hearts--If you love puzzles, fantasy based stories that features all sorts of magic and finishing the story without feeling you fully know the answer, let me introduce you to "Faerie Riddles" by Cassia Rose.




Alastar is a human researcher who studies all information he can get his hands on about magical creatures, namely the fae and changelings beyond the Great Iron Wall. The Wall separates the magical creatures and humans as fae are deathly allergic to iron. Changelings are as well. Changelings are special as they share a soul with an animal. (This is where the shifter requirement kicks in) Changelings choose their animal when they are ready to reach maturity.

Alastar gets to leave the Wall to study the magical beings every moon and he befriends Gadhar, a changeling who is a mule-sized dog and loves to tease Alastar with riddles. They travel through an enchanted forest, where they travel for days to changeling settlements.

As a first time author, I think Cassia Rose did a good job on setting a basis for the world created. However, it was too condensed to achieve the magic I think this story could've been. The writing style isn't my favorite and doesn't normally work for me. But I can see it being a better fit for readers who don't mind less romantic, high fantasy - there is only fade to black and mere kisses.

The romantic elements lacked chemistry for me. Not due to the fade to black scenes but Alastar didn't really seem to crush on Gadhar until late. I mean if you're gaga over a guy, wouldn't there be some hint closer to when you finally get to seem him after a month (or however long the moon cycle is in this world)? Gadhar read lackluster too in the romance department. I think the story would have worked without the romance as the main problem of the tale is short length.

Sometimes it can work, but there were changes that happened too quickly to rush through tacked on feelings. The setting however is the best part, though it too could have been stellar with about 5-10K of story, less time with riddles more time developing the main characters. I finished this with more questions than answers and it ended weird.

Definitely read worthy but not suggested for every reader.

Loved the cover, it was very fitting of "Faerie Riddles."

Find the unicorns reviews here for #ShifterSundayFunday!



A copy provided for an honest review.

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