logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: tie
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-05-19 23:58
Not as bad as I'd expected
Tender Wings of Desire - Colonel Sanders

I read this fully expecting to hate this.  I figured this would be just a hilarious hate read.   A Colonel Sanders romance?   How could it be anything but a hot mess?   The truth is that the writing was technically good; they picked an author who clearly cared about both grammar and creating a plausible story.   I did have issues, such as while this used a bunch of romance tropes, they felt exaggerated enough to be hilarious.   However, I feel like much of this was done tongue-in-cheek.   I also think at one of the big reveals at the end, the author realized there was no way to do this without being absolutely ridiculous and was just like 'okay, that's how you're gonna be gig?   Fine.'   It wasn't mocking, or overly ridiculous, but I wouldn't expect the author to poke fun at the franchise paying them, either.   They just wrote it with aplomb, as seriously as possible, but I ended up giggling throughout this part.   (I got the impression that the author knew it was going to be laughed at, but again, just rolled with it as best they could.  Or maybe I just hope that's the case?)

 

Again, either the author was gently poking fun at romance tropes, or didn't write romance, but some of this felt eye-roll worthy.  I also never really cared for either the heroine or the hero, despite being given detailed histories about both of them.  I didn't feel this was a fiery passionate love story, either.  I just felt kinda 'meh' about it all, and I think this might be part of writing for a franchise that you don't really care about.   (If you read media tie-ins, or comics, it's likely that the authors are passionate about the whole medium.   Not always, but most of the time, and that shows.   I felt like the reason these characters weren't as richly developed, though, was that the author was writing for money.   And hey, maybe I'm wrong.  Maybe they love nothing more than Kentucky Fried Chicken and dream of marrying the good Colonel.   I just got the feeling that not so much, and it was more of a good natured 'let's do this.'   What is more odd to me is the obvious care given to the character histories, the plot, and the world given that the characters were so lackluster.)

 

I couldn't stop reading this.   And it was only half morbid curiosity this time.  I actually found myself enjoying this a lot more than I thought I would.   I think part of this was unintentional comedy, but I figured it would be all that.   I read on because I was intrigued by where the plot would go, too, and that sure was a pleasant surprise.   Would I read another KFC/restaurant romance?   Yeah, sure, after this I would.  I'd be hesitant to pay for it given the issues I had; I downloaded this for free, and while my enjoyment, and the technical merits, gained it a three star, I doubt I'd pay for another one of these. 

 

I wouldn't mind some KFC, though, and may go for some tomorrow.   And I suspect that KFC would be happy for me to read another free story if it got me to eat their food, so I also suspect it's mission accomplished for them.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-05-18 08:03
Excerpt Reveal - Black Tie Optional
 
 
The Proposal meets Two Weeks Notice in Ann Marie Walker's 
new standalone romantic comedy, Black Tie Optional!
 
 
 
BLACK TIE OPTIONAL
Wild Wedding #1
Ann Marie Walker
Releasing May 30, 2017
St. Martin's Press
 

 

The Proposal meets Two Weeks Notice in Ann Marie Walker's new standalone romantic comedy, Black Tie Optional, which New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst calls, "a fun, sexy romp that will keep every reader entertained!"

Everything about Coleman Grant III oozes power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart stopping, gasping for air after you’ve screamed so loud you can’t breathe kind. From his dark wavy hair that stands in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that sear your skin, to his full, sensual lips - on the surface he’s pure perfection.
 
Too bad he's an asshole. An arrogant, uptight corporate raider hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time.
 
Everything about Olivia Ramsey screams hippie humanitarian. From her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonnaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots still splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.
 
So it makes perfect sense that they would get married. In Vegas. Stone-cold sober.Cole needs a wife. Olivia needs to save an endangered species. But what starts as a marriage of convenience soon turns into a battle of wills and sexual tension. Love is a game, and Olivia and Cole are ready to win.
 
 
 
Chapter One
 
Just like clockwork, Olivia thought. She watched the gas-guzzling SUV roll to a stop alongside the curb, its hazard lights blinking as if some sort of justification for bringing a full lane of Chicago’s morning rush hour to a grinding halt. Every day the sleek black car stopped in exactly the same location so the almighty Coleman Grant III could get the same extra hot, double shot Americano from the same big-chain coffee shop, bypassing the smaller, neighborhood establishments trying to stay afloat as corporate America runs them into the ground.
 
 
            A mountain of a man in mirrored aviator shades jumped out of the front seat to open the rear door, giving Olivia a clear view of the luxury vehicle’s interior. Two leather captain’s chairs with fold down keyboards and armrest tablet holders sat facing several television monitors mounted above what appeared to be a full-service bar.  Forget running a business, it looked as though Coleman Grant ran NASA from his back seat. Honestly, what could possibly be so important that it couldn’t keep until he got to the office? The commute from his Gold Coast penthouse to his Loop headquarters was less than two miles. Hadn’t the guy ever heard of just chilling out with some tunes?
 
            Olivia approached the car just as Grant climbed out of the back seat. He paused to button the jacket of his navy blue Tom Ford and for a moment she forgot he was an arrogant, self-righteous prick hell bent on destroying the environment one species at a time. For a moment, she allowed herself to take in the physical perfection standing in front of her. From his dark wavy hair that stood in an artfully rumpled mess, to the blue eyes that seared her skin, to his full, sensual lips - everything about Coleman Grant oozed power and sex. And not the perfunctory kind either, but the sheet clawing, heart-stopping, gasping-for-air-after-you’ve-screamed-so-loud-you-can’t-breathe kind. But then his eyes narrowed and his lips curved into a knowing smirk and Olivia remembered exactly who she was dealing with.
 
            “Mr. Grant,” she began.
 
            The bodyguard moved to step between them but Grant waved him off. “Ms. Ramsey, what a surprise,” he said, not at all surprised since this was the eighty-third day in a row she had approached him. Not that it mattered. She had no plans to stop these sidewalk sessions until he either agreed to her demands or filed for a restraining order.
 
            He made his way toward the coffee shop with Olivia tight on his heels. “You know, most people simply make an appointment with my assistant.” 
 
            “I’ve tried that, Mr. Grant. But for some reason your schedule is always full.”
 
            “Pity,” he said, his voice void of all emotion. When he reached the glass doors, he yanked one open. “Please, after you.” 
 
            Bastard. Normally he charged in like he owned the place, never mind if she or anyone else got a face full of door. How dare he try to throw her off her game by acting chivalrous. As if the man had a courteous bone in his body. Olivia stood frozen in place, debating how best to handle this latest twist in their balance of power. As she did, Cole’s gaze raked her from head to toe, from her blond hair tied in a sloppy bun, to her faded jeans with the Bonaroo patch sewn on the thigh, to her combat boots splattered with mud from the previous day’s site visit.
 
            She hated to admit it, but the scrutiny of his gaze was unnerving. And it wasn’t just the laser like focus. There was something about his expression, as if he wasn’t looking at her fully clothed in a shop brimming with customers, but rather undressing her with his eyes. She shifted in place, debating if she should call him out for his piggish behavior or simply stick to the topic at hand.
 
            “Suit yourself,” he finally said, stepping through the doors and leaving her alone on the sidewalk. 
 
            Not so fast. She took a deep breath and joined him at the service counter.  “Mr. Grant, as I’m sure you’re aware, the northern long-eared bat was recently granted protection as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.”
 
            “Rather difficult to forget given your daily reminders. Although I must say, Ms. Ramsey, you disappoint me. No visual aids today?” He turned away from the counter with his extra hot, double shot Americano to find Olivia standing behind him with an 8 x 10 glossy in her hand.  “Ah, it seems I spoke too soon.”
 
            “This particular species of bat has been the most impacted by white-nose syndrome and the resulting decline in their numbers is what—”
 
            “Those really are the most vile creatures,” Grant interrupted. “Have you ever considered taking up the cause of a more appealing animal, say a manatee?”
 
            “There aren’t any manatees in Lake Michigan.”
 
            “Precisely.” He smirked. “Perhaps you could move? I’m sure you could find some poor, unsuspecting Floridians worthy of your attention.” He raised his left hand and for the first time Olivia realized he was holding a second cup. He thrust it in her direction and without thinking she took it, dropping the photograph as she did. “You seem like the type who would order your latte with a hundred and one specifications, but hopefully skinny vanilla will do.”
 
            Olivia blinked. He bought her a coffee? What the actual fuck? Did he really think he could charm his way out of the hot seat? She had spent her entire adult life and most of her teens speaking on behalf of those who couldn’t. It was going to take a lot more than a few random acts of fabricated kindness to get her off his back.
 
            She was about to tell him not only where he could stick his latte but how in her twenty-eight years on earth she’d never ordered a “skinny” anything, when he turned toward the door. She bent to scoop up the photo then hurried after him, fast talking her case all the way to the curb where his bodyguard stood waiting with the door already open. As usual, Grant didn’t say a word, much less defend his stance. Instead he simply flashed a grin that would have made her drop her latte, not to mention her panties, if she didn’t find him to be lacking in not only morals and ethics but quite possibly a soul.
 
            He gave her a quick nod before ducking into the car.  “Until tomorrow, Ms. Ramsey.”
 
            With that, the door slammed shut and the SUV pulled into traffic to the sound of protesting horns.
 
            “Asshole,” Olivia muttered under her breath. “Gorgeous asshole, but still.” She turned on her heel and started down the street with her head held high. Coleman Grant III might have been trying to make a mockery of her attempts to persuade him, but their standoff was far from over. A slow grin curved her lips as an idea began to take shape. She’d just pulled her smartphone out to send herself a reminder when it began to vibrate in her hand.
 
            “Are you bringing your swimsuit?” her best friend asked before Olivia had even managed a hello.
 
            “To the desert? You’re joking, right?”
 
            “I wasn’t sure.”
 
            “Cassie, I know you’ve had your head buried in cookbooks for the past few years but surely you can remember how a vacation works…lounge chairs, suntan oil, blended drinks with tiny umbrellas that make you say ridiculously inappropriate things to cabana boys.”
 
            “I have never said anything inappropriate to a cabana boy. And that’s sexist by the way.”
 
            “Cabana person?” Olivia laughed at her own joke. “I’m playing. But you’ve got to lighten up a bit. We’re headed to Vegas, Sin City, what happens there stays there and all that.”
 
            “You sound like a tourism ad.”
 
            “All I’m saying is you better be ready to party Hangover style.”
 
            Cassie snorted. “Yeah, cause that worked out so well for them.”
 
            “I promise I won’t leave you stranded on a hotel roof.”
 
            “This is a bad idea. I should be staying here and looking for a job.”
 
            “You’re the sister of the groom. You can’t very well ditch out on the
bachelor/bachelorette festivities. Besides, if I can break my ‘Harass Coleman Grant’ streak for a few days, then you can certainly give the stand mixer a rest.”
 
            “How’s that going by the way?”
 
            Olivia groaned. “New day, same story. ”
 
            “Maybe it’s time to—”
 
            “Move on? No way.” While it was true that working freelance allowed Olivia a certain amount of latitude, she prided herself on never giving up. There was no way Coleman Grant was going to blemish her perfect record. “I’ll just have to double my efforts.”
 
            Cassie laughed. “I’m actually starting to feel sorry for the guy.”
 
            “Don’t be fooled by the looks. He might be hotter than Ryan Reynolds and Ian Somerhalder combined, but underneath that perfect exterior beats the heart of an ogre.”
 
            “Sounds like someone has wet panties.”
 
            “Why Cassandra Miller, is that smutty talk I hear coming out of your mouth? There may be hope for you yet.”
 
            “Don’t change the subject. You’ve got the hots for this guy.”
 
            “Hardly. He’s eye candy all right, but he’s also a spoiled, self-centered asshole who think it’s his way or the highway. Not this time though.” Olivia nodded to herself. One way or another he was going to give in to her demands. Coleman Grant III had finally met his match. He just didn’t know it yet.
 
 
 
 
 
Ann Marie Walker writes steamy books about sexy boys. She's a fan of fancy cocktails, anything chocolate, and 80s rom-coms. Her super power is connecting any situation to an episode of Friends and she thinks all coffee cups should be the size of a bowl. If it's December she can be found watching Love Actually but the rest of the year you can find her at AnnMarieWalker.com where she would be happy to talk to you about alpha males, lemon drop martinis or supermodel David Gandy. Ann Marie attended the University of Notre Dame and currently lives in Chicago.
 
<!--[endif]-->

 
 
 
 
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-11 13:50
Aw, yeah, Flinstones comics
The Flintstones (2016-) Vol. 1 - Mark Russell,Steve Pugh

I was... never going to read this.   Never, ever.  I really, really hate Flinstones, and always have.   Mostly, it seemed insipid to me, at least when compared with other toons or TV shows I could watch.   I don't laugh at jokes when I don't find them funny, and I didn't find Flinstones funny.   And while I understand that DC is owned by Warner Brothers, and so is Hanna Barbara, and while I understand that Flinstones is popular enough to have its own series, meh.  I figured it would just regurgitate the TV show. 

 

And then I read the reviews, saying this was a surprise hit.   I read about how no one would expect something so real and true and smart from a Flinstones comics.   And while my sister and I were talking about old cartoons that had hidden depths, and that she wasn't surprised this comic would be done so well.  I said I was still surprised because Flinstones was not part of this tradition. 

 

Still, I hesitated.   What if the people who said this liked the original show and there was some kind of bias?   Still, I clicked borrow on Hoopla and ended up flying through this volume.   Love, love, love!   It wasn't bias at all.   This was clever and hip, and spoke to the human condition, including hypocrisy, fear, and all things that aren't that lovely about us.   On the other hand, it does talk about redemption in some ways, and it talks about love and how deeply we can love our fellow man, or our families.   

 

I was especially impressed with Bamm-Bamm.   I didn't really expect much to come of him, and even though the comic was setting up his origin, I didn't see it until the reveal.   I love what it says about Barney and Betty, and again, particularly Barney.   It doesn't come out and say it, but I think there's a huge redemptive arc with him - and I'm a sucker for those.   

 

This is seriously worth checking out and I can't wait for volume two to come out on Hoopla. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-04-08 19:10
Steven Universe ongoing
Steven Universe (2017-) #2 - Melanie Gillman,Katy Farina

I missed the first issue and it wasn't at Newburys during the buy one, get two free sale.   I had one spot open for a four dollar comic, so I got this.   I love this comic so much: Stevonnie, Steven and Connie when they are all mashed up, literally get run into by a girl who wants to date them. 

 

They have to come up with a decision of if they'll continue dating her when they split apart at the prom; stuck, Connie suggests that instead of talking about what Kiki wants to do, they talk about what they want to do. 

 

It's as adorable as one of the episodes and I absolutely love this series!

Like Reblog
show activity (+)
review 2017-03-05 16:34
Night of Knives (Malazan Empire #1)
Night of Knives - Ian C. Esslemont

 

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot,, Booklikes & Librarything and linked at Goodreads by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Night of Knives
Series: Malazan Empire #1
Author: Ian Esslemont
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 308
Format: Digital Edition





Synopsis: Spoilers


On the night of a Shadow Moon, when the division between our world and the world of the Warrens thins, Kriska and Temper have an adventure.

 

Kriska is a young thief who wants to join the Claws and get off of Malaz Isle. But nobody takes her seriously and even her aunt wants her to stay inside this night. Getting caught up in the battle between Kelenved & Dancer and Surly. Also involved in the mix is Tayschren, master mage, Surly's cadre of Claws and a group of cultists dedicated to Kelenved as a god. Kriska has to survive the night and all the terrors it holds.

 

Then we have Temper, a former soldier of the Malazan Army who has deserted. The desertion saved his life, as he was one of the Shields of the Swords, a might warrior protecting Dassem Ultor, the First Sword of the Malazan Empire, the mightiest warrior alive. The problem was, Surly doesn't want heros in her army and she has begun to purge them. Temper runs to Malaz Isle to become a lowly guardsman to survive. But others know his secret and on this night of Shadow Moon, Temper will be used once again, just as he was before.




My Thoughts:


Man, I had forgotten, or never realized, just how much foundational information Esslemont packs into this book. There is a lot about Dassem that I didn't realize was important but will definitely impact my read of future Malazan Book of the Fallen books. Chronologically this comes before Gardens of the Moon but I wouldn't recommend reading it before unless you're doing a re-read of everything Malaz.

 

There are some great battles here. Hounds of Shadows everywhere, monsters springing out of various Warrens, magical assassins fighting magical cultists, a hidden group of people trying to protect the whole Isle from some underwater threat, it all weaves together into one night of blood the likes of which the Isle has not seen in ages.

 

This was a short book, clocking in just over 300 pages. For a Malaz book, that is practically a short story. But as I was reading, it was dense. It had so much packed in that I felt like I had read a 500 page book by the end. I didn't mind that feeling at all, but others might and it is something to keep in mind if you decide to delve into this universe.

 

One downside, which is typical of the Malaz books, is that there are no real answers to any of your questions. Inferences, asides, round about explanations of Subject X which reveals bits about Subject Y. Nothing direct, nothing concrete. It is building a bridge in your mind. Esslemont gives us the materials and a rough architectural plan but it is up to us, the readers, to actually build the bridge and succeed or fail on our own. Some will see that as a weakness and others as a strength of the writing. I'm ok with it but have to admit, I'd prefer a bit more concrete facts baldly stated. Oh well, I'm not going to get it and neither will anyone who reads these books.

 

.

 

 

  1. Previous Review from 2010

 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?