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review 2014-06-18 18:24
At Least it Wasn't Strike Three
Devil's Game - Joanna Wylde

I am a horrible person. I suppose that I should feel guilty about taking so much energy to rant about the horrible sh*t that went down in book 1 and book 2, when I'm about to majorly drop the ball on reviewing this book, which I actually did like.

It's not even that pointing out frustrations is more fun (oh who am I kidding; it can be), it's just that I still haven't had the time and/or desire to want to review much lately - even for books that made me happy. 

The lead female actually used her brain more than once. I know! I couldn't believe it either, after being so disappointed with Marie and Sophie in previous books. Em was a little bit stronger, a little bit tougher, and a little bit sassier.She also knew when to walk the hell away from a situation that wasn't good for her. *applause*

Hunter wasn't a role model, and that was okay for this particular story. Even with the continuation of the kidnapping plot (which I am thoroughly sick of in MC books), I felt like we got to see an admittedly damaged man come into his own in a way which felt somewhat believable. Hunter had issues, but he KNEW he had issues. He KNEW he was a stalker. He KNEW that he had to get Em off the crazy train. How much better would most super-heavy-drama books be if the screwed up characters actually took some responsibility for their shit? 

I loved watching Hunter grow. I loved watching Hunter's buried sensitive side come out. 

There was some great sexual tension, and much of it was fueled by Em. She already knew what being in the lifestyle meant and what the sacrifices would be, which made her acceptance of everything easier to digest than it had been with Marie and Sophie, who had gone along for the ride far too easily for my preference. 

I know a lot of people didn't like this book as much as the first two, but I felt the writing and characters were stronger on every level. I would rather read something that makes sense and has true character development over reading something that has no entertainment value outside of a drama/shock factor. At least this time, I didn't feel like I was being lead around through a mad house only for the purpose of waiting for a halfway decent sex scene. 

The bantering humor was a welcome addition. The sex wasn't as mind blowing as I would have liked, but the chemistry and timing was excellent, so the balance worked for me. 

My only gripe : I was very put off by the author note at the end, almost "apologizing" for the NA character ages. I agree that NA has a bit of a stigma right now, but don't justify writing what what you want to write. It only fuels the stereotype of certain things being lesser than others. While I do feel that there's a lot of crap NA out there right now, it has not ONE thing to do with character ages, and more to do with cliched and bad writing. If your book is good, it's good, regardless of character age. If the fans can't see that, shake it off and continue writing your next adult book. Please don't make explanations for what you want to do. *soapbox off*

I'm really looking forward to Picnic's book!

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review 2014-05-05 15:57
Dusting off the Reading Cobwebs
Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
The first rule about fight club is you don't talk about fightclub.


...so I won't.

 

(I was surprised by how much the book and movie lined up. This might be one of the closest book/movie adaptations I've ever seen.)

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review 2014-03-24 06:59
Underwear is Unavailable in the Underworld
The Surrender of Persephone - Selena Kitt

Adult review for erotic content. Trigger Warning : Dubious Consent.

"Aidon, are you trying to recapture your youth with nubile young virgins? What's next, a new red chariot?"


The first thing you should know : Surrender of Persephone is PwP (Porn Without Plot) erotica. Here's where I pull out my apples-to-apples genre rating comparison because I'm only rating this compared to other PwP, not other "stories" in general. Now, PwP doesn't necessarily mean that there is no plot at all; what it generally means is that there is a higher ratio of sex to plot than a normal romance or mainstream erotica. In the case of Surrender, I consider the book to be one long rolling sex scene with some cool mythology references thrown in. Even though the story itself is sparse, the author still brought her own unique spin on the Hades/Persephone tale. If you've read into the darker tones of the myth involving the kidnap and conquering of Persephone, then you might understand why the author chose to take her story down the BDSM path.

His eyes glowed in the dimness, and he had a small, satisfied smile on his face. "You like the struggle, don't you?"


Now, as far as PwP goes, it's no secret that if I'm in the mood for it, I'll generally pick up Selena Kitt. Why? Because I like the way she writes sex. This woman writes sex how it feels, smells, sounds, etc. taking the reader to a place where it's not hard to imagine being there in the story.

In true Kitt fashion, there's always going to be a scene or two that runs over-the-top. In this case, the story's very first sex scene starts with spoiled little Persephone frolicking and engaging in a very giggly threesome with Artemis and Athena, sure to please any man's barely legal lesbian fantasies. 

They roll, tumble, twist their bodies in every position imaginable as three young, nubile young ladies get each other off over...and over...and over...

Yeah. I smile with amusement because it's kind of hot, in spite of how the girl-on-girl scenes in Kitt's books tend to run toward "oops, did I spill something on my see-through shirt?" kind of a blatant hook.

So I read through the "come on in!" intro and waited for the main event to happen - the appearance of Hades (translated to Aidon here) and his kidnapping of Persephone. Because that's when everything is going to change from giggly play to dark and dirty deeds.

"I will be the instrument of your greatest pain and pleasure."


Yep. That's where we're going. And clothing isn't optional - it's completely forbidden. 

BECAUSE IT'S EASIER TO HAVE NON-STOP SEX IF YOU ARE NAKED ALL OF THE TIME.

The sound of his palm biting her flesh made a resounding slap and she bit her lip, trying not to cry out. 

"I will be your sun...your moon...

Your day...your night..."

Persephone felt the impact vibrating through her. 

"Your heaven...your hell..."


Sure, there were cheesy sex terms aplenty. But I forgive some of it with Kitt's writing because I like the overall result. 

And for the glaring lack of plot, the mythology was surprisingly well-done. Each character's position and how they related to the Underworld was tied back to the actual mythology. The names weren't just thrown out there; each character was a fleshed-out representation of the god or being they were named after (well except for Athena and Artemis because they were just the barely-legal candy to get the party started). 

And I LOVED that Hephastus was put to good use making epic sex toys. This was never covered during my read of Percy Jackson (it was a joke, people - don't freak out). 

Do I have any Complaints? It's probably the usual one for books like these. I prefer my PwP to be shorter in length, if I'm going to read simply for titillation's (I can't even write this word without laughing) sake. It's always sort of strange to start a steamy read before bed, then find that you need to break and pick up the second half the next night. It's much more enjoyable if you can tackle the entire thing in one shot before drifting off to sleep and possibly some interesting dreams.

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review 2014-03-14 02:25
It's What Floats Her Boat
Hammered by the Hydra - Persephone Parsons

Adult review for erotic and/or questionable content. I apologize for the day-o-weird-erotica. I'll be back on the normal books tomorrow.

She was transformed by the love of one perfect monster, with three sexy heads and one fantastic heart...


...and the crowd goes aww...

Right? Uh...right?

No matter. I don't think this is meant to be an aww moment. Or maybe it is and I can't tell. Maybe EVERY little girl dreams of that moment when her very own monster will come and sweep her off her feet - scales and multiple heads and all. It's just like a Disney movie where the princess waits for her handsome prince.

WHAT IS DISNEY TEACHING US?!? LOOK at these monsters. Mike's giving the thumbs up...Sully's got that "you know you want me" look. 

Am I the only one seeing it?

I'm sorry, was that off topic? Just a little?

Back to the hydras. This chick named Dixie (yes, I did go there) went looking for her sister in this mythical place where hydras and other creatures exist. I think it's a park, or a zoo, or some other such nonsense. Supposedly, after dark, the creatures go on the hunt. 

Brave Dixie battles the dark in search of her sister. No, she's not stupid. Not at all. This is monster porn. There's no such thing as stupid in monster porn. 

She walks in on her sister getting pleasured by multiple hydra heads. What does she do? She WATCHES. DUH. Doesn't EVERYONE want to get aroused by watching their sibling get off?

You didn't know this was 2-for-1 slightly incestuous porn, didya? Score?

Never fear, the sisters do not actually want each other. They each get their very own hydra-prince-charming to pleasure them sexually. 

And it was kind of entertaining...in a disturbingly funny way. 

Hey, if these women want to be consenting adults with mythical consenting adult monsters, then who am I to judge? Apparently, these monsters have hearts, and brains...and multiple mouths. And are hung like monsters. If you can get past the weird monster-look thing, it's probably a good deal. Did I buy that one of the three hydra heads was a passionate kisser? Probably not. Yes, there was a point where it became too far-fetched. *snort*

So what if you don't speak the same language? The hydra can put images into your brain and show you what they want you to know. Same thing.

I would say don't knock it until you've tried it, but I can't say that I would know how to find a hydra to try out. I guess I'll have to stick to humans.

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review 2014-03-13 13:41
REVIEW: “Bloodraven” by P.L. Nunn
Bloodraven - P.L. Nunn

NB:  Review originally posted on GR @ Fall 2012.  Minor edits/clean-up after import to BL.

 

NB: This is a dark epic fantasy + paranormal.  220,735 words @ 300/pg = nearly 736 pages.

 

Simply put, BLOODRAVEN is one of the most riveting books I've read in a long, long time (1st read @ Jan 2009), and it came to me out of the blue. Having second thoughts after buying it, my friend asked me to "test" it first. At the time, P.L. Nunn was completely unknown to me but my friend described the book as a LOTR-type epic fantasy involving ogres and fey. (Yeah, he forgot to mention the graphic aspects of the book, as well as the M/M relationship.) After multiple re-reads, my only major complaint remains the same: the ending begs for a sequel. Hell, I'm begging for a sequel, even after all these years.

 

Reviews already discussed the plot, characters, and the graphic nature of this book so I'll just lay out my reading experience. I didn't look up the book so I blindly stepped into the unfamiliar realm of M/M, graphic violence and torture (including rape), and other firsts... and immediately fell into the abyss of Nunn's incredible world. Within a few pages, I'm mumbling holy sh*t and reaching for my drink and then a non-existent cigarette, as I proceeded to literally devour the pages until I fell asleep. Woke up the next morning, made coffee, and promptly hid until I finished the book.

 

BLOODRAVEN is a throwback to the old days of books; at 600+ ebook pages, it's hefty and meaty. But Nunn's vivid narrative, a potpourri of multi-layered characters, and near effortless storytelling combined to achieve that rare occurrence—transporting a reader into the story. I was too busy journeying with Yhalen and Bloodraven (and squirming a bit uneasily at times) to notice the rapidly passing pages and hours until I finally reached the end and sat back exhausted.

 

Did I have a few "whaaa?" and "nooooo" moments? Yeah. So my advice to future readers: If you're squeamish and/or have an inviolable comfort zone, this book may not be for you (yet). If you've never read M/M before, this book may not be the one to pop your cherry. (But then again, if you're familiar with present-day erotica... although I have a hard time considering this book as erotica per se, even though the sex scenes are erotic, helping to make BLOODRAVEN one of my personal best enemies-to-lovers stories). Also, BLOODRAVEN could seriously spoil you vis à vis other dark/erotic fantasy books, even Nunn's other works.

 

If you do decide to try this book, plan accordingly. Don't start it on a weeknight; you may not get much sleep. Don't think you can do your laundry while you read, and above all, don't try to cook up a meal somewhere in-between. Be safe and order take-out. Oh, and don't read it when children may be about; choice words may well fly out of your mouth at certain points. :)

Source: karmabites.booklikes.com/post/823630/review-bloodraven-by-p-l-nunn
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