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text 2016-02-01 11:32
Another Great Kresley Cole Series
If You Dare - Kresley Cole

Wow! This woman, Ms. Kresley Cole, can write anything. I began reading her action packed-under and above the covers- Immortals After Dark series many years ago. I read quite a few, then put her books on hold for a while. I came back last year and have nearly completed IAD. As we Geminis love to do, we read at least five books at one time (depending upon our mood). In doing this, I thought I would try Ms. Cole's earlier works after having recently completed her new-amazing-contemporary erotica series, The Game Makers. Knowing how great she handled Contemporary in addition to Paranormal Romance, I had faith that her earlier works-The MacCarrik Brothers trilogy- would be fantastic. Well, I can honestly say that I placed my faith in good hands because this series, so far, is really wonderful. For those who like non-paranormal romance, don't mind period pieces with minimal historical details, and more detailed erotic scenes with brawny, sensual, loving, alpha-males who happen to be Kilt wearers, then this is your series. This book of three, is well written, has a good story line, is erotic but tasteful, and is an easy read! I highly recommend it. There is just a special way that Ms. Cole, and only Ms. Cole, writes sex scenes that are the most unique and erotic in general romance. I have never read anyone else that writes them like she does. It's strange because the scenes are so normal and vanilla, but they make you puddle on the floor every time. And oh yeah, did I mention there's an actual plot that takes up most of the book! I know, right?! Amazing how now we can get a two-for-one deal in today's literature. This book is indeed a "kilt lifter" not a " bodice ripper." Just to clarify ;) But not a cheesy Harlequin; one of few genres I detest vehemently. Yes, there is a clear distinction. So, check this first book out via Overdrive, it's free! You can't go wrong with that, especially if you are new to her works. Enjoy what's under the kilt, I mean cover ;)

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review 2014-04-03 11:30
Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown - Holly Black

"The tan carpet was stiff and black with stripes of dried blood, spattered like a Jackson Pollock canvas. The walls were streaked with it, handprints smearing their dingy beige surfaces. And the bodies. Dozens of bodies. People she’d seen every day since kindergarten, people whom she’d played tag with and cried over and kissed were lying at odd angles, their bodies pale and cold, their eyes staring like rows of dolls in a shop window."

 

There's a lot of blood in The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. There's a lot of fangs-tearing-throats-out, stringy gore and insides exposed to the world. But beneath it all is fluff. This book is built on a foundation of fluff. And as far as I'm aware that is not a very stable building material.

 

Tana wakes up after a night of drunken partying to find the bodies of all her friends torn apart by vampires. But then in Tana's world, vampires are a constant threat. An outbreak of vampirism has swept the globe leaving humans afraid to leave their homes after dark. With her infected ex-boyfriend and a random stray vampire in tow, Tana heads to Coldtown - one of many quarantine areas where all vampires and all infected are legally required to go to keep the rest of the population safe. What follows is a confused fumbling for some kind of point to what has happened and a rather half hearted romantic story line with some mild threat along the way.

 

Tana is a pain in the ass. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is written in the third person so it's kinda difficult to grasp what the fuck is actually going through Tana's brain when she puts a live and bloodthirsty vampire in the trunk of her car and then drives around with him just hanging out in there. Her judgement drops down a further notch from "insanity" to "officially brain-dead" when she invites him to drive while she falls asleep on the passenger seat. These are not the happy-clappy sparkling-in-the-sunlight, drinking-deer-blood vampires focussed on family unity we all came to know and hate when we had Twilight foisted upon us. These are dangerous, vicious killers. Tana had her arm ripped open by her own infected mother:

 

"That was seven years ago. The doctors told her father the memory would fade, like the big messy scar on her arm, but neither ever did."

 

And yet, Tana shows zero caution when dealing with this creature. Ditto for her recently turned and highly dangerous ex-boyfriend, her being perfectly happy for him to waltz around a very busy tourist destination on their way to Coldtown and giggling it off when he lunges for her throat multiple times. Tana spends a lot of time giggling inappropriately, like when people have died, when people are about to die and when people are in the process of dying. Death is treated with a lighthearted chuckle throughout this book. But this makes no sense. Tana has witnessed the seven years long grief of her father over the death of her mother. Why doesn't she hold more value in human life ?!!

 

"If she was going to die, she might as well die sarcastic."

 

Uhm. Okaaaay. I guess as long as Tana manages to have a right good laugh before she's dismembered and fed upon by a savage creature of the night, it'll all work out fine. For a book so packed with descriptions of open wounds, blood geysering from torn arteries and brutal stabbings there really isn't a whole lot of menace or urgency because death is dealt with so casually. I felt no more than a sense of mild alarm from most of the characters throughout and this really took the edge off the tension.

 

There's the usual relationship drama - girl falls in love with a murderer. You know what I'm talking about. I'm getting real tired of this shit. Shit like this:

 

"Allow me to explain how my whole life has prepared me for this moment. I am used to girls screaming, and your screams - your screams will be sweeter than another’s cries of love."

 

What. The. Fuck.

 

This is how Gavriel - the random vampire Tana brought along for the ride - rolls it seems. Gavriel is an ancient Russian vampire. He has killed countless people. He is self-centred, vindictive and aggressive. So Tana falls in love with him. Natch. What's with all these chicks making eyes at criminals?!! What's with all these girls who have no care for their own self preservation?!! I don't get it. Am I missing something ?!! Is there something hot about dating a guy who could jump up and murder me when I least expect it ?!!

 

But, hey !! In this reality - murder is cool. It's glamorous. TV shows and Youtube videos are being made about life inside Coldtown, depicting it as one epically rad non-stop partay. These Coldtown vampires are celebrities, admired and loved by all for their bloodlust and swagger. I really don't get this either. These creatures have torn the world apart, have killed loved ones and destroyed communities and yet there's message boards and forums and whole websites for people who want to be just like them. Why ?!! Please help me understand - why would anyone aspire to hunt down and savagely kill people by biting them to death ?!! I'm very confused.

 

I'm also very confused about what the fuck actually happened about two thirds of the way into this book. The story seemed to implode into a giant black hole of nothingness. It became very convoluted with a lot of flitting from one place to the next without actually getting a whole lotta shit done. And the twist ?!! Crap. Epically crap. One of the most boring surprises (if I call it that) in literary history. I did not give a single fuck. Not one. Behind all the gore and all the atmospheric lighting there's really not a whole lot going on. The plot moves at snail's pace because there's not enough of it to drive the story forward. There's a helluva lot of info-dumping, long and meandering backstory and running, just running without any substance. Extra characters were thrown in, it appeared to try and add some urgency but really no. Just no. This only made for a poor attempt to grasp at some meaning and reason for Tana's ridiculous actions. I wasn't buying it. Especially as the conclusion basically added up to Tana murdering a guy and then immediately heading down the disco with all her mates to party the night away. What the actual fuck was that ?!!

 

My two stars are awarded for Holly Black's great writing. The description was awesome and the dialog was tight. But other than that this read a lot like another tired, well trodden story of a bunch of "cool" vampires prancing around and chowing down on humans with little consequence. I was not amused.

 

See y'all after !!

 

x

 

 

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review 2014-03-23 15:19
Review: Splintered by AG Howard
Splintered - A.G. Howard

Shit. Pretty much complete shit.

 

If you enjoy sexist bullcrap with an emphasis on over-bearing and aggressive romance coupled with a meandering, tissue-paper thin plot and populated with wisps of smoke on the breeze in place of supporting characters overseen by an unsettling puppet-master third-side of a hideous and oppressive triangle of love then by all means - be my guest and get ready to fall in love with Splintered by AG Howard. If, however, you are not a fan of fiction-for-the-insane and would prefer not to read a shoddy rehashing of Tim Burton's 2010 movie Alice mashed up with American McGee's awesome video game of the same name then this is really not the book for you.

 

Alyssa's family has a history of insanity, beginning it seems with Alyssa's great-great-great grandmother who was the inspiration behind Lewis Caroll's classic story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. With Alyssa's mother incarcerated in the most ridiculous asylum I have ever had the misfortune of reading about (if a nurse were to casually wander around with an unprescribed and loaded syringe of some unspecified sedative just chilling in her pocket, believe me she'd me struck off sharpish) Alyssa dives back down the rabbit hole to Wonderland to right the wrongs of the past and break the curse of madness her family appears to be struck with.

 

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review 2014-02-03 00:00
REVIEW: Melting the Ice (A Play-by-Play Novel) by Jaci Burton

28y.o. fashion designer wants to resist her one-time lover and brother’s college best friend from 10 years ago so she can fully focus on her new fashion line.

But she’s still very attracted to 30y.o. hockey player Hero who agreed to be 1 of her male models. And he’s decided to pursue a 2nd chance with her. Their affair fulfills their passion for each other and heroine doesn’t expect anything long term from it, knowing his dating history. However, Hero hints at more. Yet, when she really needs him to be there for her, he shuns her. What caused Hero’s change of heart?

I love second-chance romances and this one was fair. I liked that Hero apologized for his mistreatment of heroine 10 years ago & tried to be a better person with her now. But I didn’t like the emotional imbalance between them. Heroine was always the one who cared more. And Hero knew it and was cocky about how she wanted him, especially when she tried to fight it. His decision to pursue her now was more out of convenience than it was because he loved her. Heroine had her good and bad moments too. I liked her independence and focus. But I did not like her fickleness and playing coy with Hero. It made her seem weak. The steam factor was hot and sex scenes were explicit and plentiful. Emotional tone was middling overall but it did get a bit angsty when Hero had a change of heart.**

Moderately recommended.

**A more detailed review with SPOILERS is on my blog. Click here.
*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
 

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review 2014-01-21 00:00
REVIEW: Kiss And Tell (Revenge Is Sweet) (Harlequin Presents) by Sharon Kendrick

24y.o. model invites her ex-boyfriend Hero over to finally tell him that they have a 5-month-old son together.

But she lets their strong passion sweep them away since she believes that he’ll want nothing to do with her romantically once he knows the truth. Famous scriptwriter Hero is livid over what she did and confronts her about it. It opens up their unresolved past problems. How can they work on their irreconcilable past problems now? Are their betrayals too much to be able to have a future together?

I had mixed feelings about this Kendrick book. On one hand, I like the realistic portrayal of the couple’s issues and their reactions to them. On the other hand, it was a little too real. Hero and heroine had a lot of irreconcilable differences in the past due to heroine’s immaturity and Hero’s seeming indifference to their dying romance. Adding a secret baby to the mix seemed like a recipe for an explosive present reunion. But, due to Hero and heroine doing some maturing in the past few years, they were able to discuss some things reasonably well. They both confronted his betrayal and her subsequent betrayal.** The ending didn’t make me sigh though. Instead it made me wonder about their future. The way things ended seemed a lot like how they came together in the first place, driven by strong passion. An epilogue detailing Hero and heroine happy a few years later would’ve reassured me.

Sufficiently recommended.

**A more detailed review with SPOILERS is on my blog. Click here.
 

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