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review 2017-06-19 02:18
Pilot bait
City of the Fallen - Diana Bocco

I went into it looking for a short fast candy.

 

It was all that, but I'm not convinced.

 

Beyond the issues I have with the insta-lust/love, heavy enough to make a gal betray her species, and all the hypocrisy going on here, I do not like cliff-hangers. Specially of this type, because it makes the purpose of the book little more than foundation for a hook.

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review 2017-05-05 09:18
The more I though, the more I raged
Casino Royale - Ian Fleming

I have so many issues with this. The rampant misogyny, of course. The fact that, personally, I find the whole espionage reason d'etre detestable. And generally, the part where this was not the story I was expecting.

Let's say I waive away the misogyny with a bit of dark amusement (passing the middle-point, I just wanted Vesper to stick it to Bond; and then there is the line "sweet tang of rape" that should be killed with fire, you can get some great examples under the spoiler tag), and take the spy tale on the hope that it'll be some fast action cheap-thrill. I did not get even that. I got a lot of card-playing, torture, and then a mess... I don't even know of what category, certainly not romantic, maybe melodrama. Hell,  I though it was already cheap that a woman couldn't be competent unless she was evil, but it was something (see, even lowering my standards to not be an angry female, what a waste), and then Vesper couldn't even rate to Femme-fatal. So no, there is no way to waive the misogyny. It's entrenched into the plot.

Someone could argue it's truer to the real world and the era, either the unexciting grimness or Bond's stance. I say fuck all that. Let us please have no more Vespers in real life, no more Bonds being glorified in fiction. Let us find other icons.

 

You can find some the shout-inducing bits here

Women were for recreation. On a job, they got in the way and fogged things up with sex and hurt feelings and all the emotional baggage they carried around. One had to look out for them and take care of them.

 

Charming, huh? Another beauty:

 

And luck in all its moods had to be loved and not feared. Bond saw luck as a woman, to be softly wooed or brutally ravaged, never pandered to or pursued. But he was honest enough to admit that he had never yet been made to suffer by cards or by women.  One day, and he accepted the fact he would be brought to his knees by love or by luck. When that happened he knew that he too would be branded with the deadly question-mark he recognized so often in others, the promise to pay before you have lost: the acceptance of fallibility.

 

Women, if they defeat you, take away you self-assurance.

 

This was just what he had been afraid of. These blithering women who thought they could do a man's work. Why the hell couldn't they stay at home and mind their pots and pans and stick to their frocks and gossip and leave men's work to the men. And now for this to happen to him, just when the job had come off so beautifully. For Vesper to fall for an old trick like that and get herself snatched and probably held to ransom like some bloody heroine in a strip cartoon. The silly bitch.

 

He really likes that word.

 

'Torture is a terrible thing,' he was saying as he puffed at a fresh cigarette, 'but it is a simple matter for the torturer, particularly when the patient,' he smiled at the word, 'is a man. You see, my dear Bond, with a man it is quite unnecessary to indulge in refinements. With this simple instrument, or with almost any other object, one can cause a man as much pain as is possible or necessary. Do not believe what you read in novels or books about the war. There is nothing worse. It is not only the immediate agony, but also the thought that your manhood is being gradually destroyed and that at the end, if you will not yield, you will no longer be a man.

 

The bad guy has more respect for a woman that the "hero". Women are more difficult, not because of some chivalrous bullshit, but because men are so attached to their organ *eye-roll*. And for the WTF crown:

 

And now he knew that she was profoundly, excitingly sensual, but that the conquest of her body, because of the central privacy in her, would each time have the sweet tang of rape.

 

It's supposed to be romantic. But then, this is just the inner character commentary, you have to still contend with the plot if you can go past that. Fuck this, I'm done.

(spoiler show)

 

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review 2017-03-05 18:23
Review: "Fast Connection" (Cyberlove, #2) by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell
Fast Connection - Megan Erickson,Santino Hassell

"She shook her head. "He seems like he's the opposite of simple."

I snorted. He's completely complicated. And lost. And frustrating. But we do something for each other." I intertwined my fingers. "We fit. We need each other."

 

The first book in this series, Strong Signal, was already close to perfection for me. But this? THIS WAS GODDAMNED EVERYTHING. I really don't think you can write a better story about imperfect characters with realistic problems and reasonable motivations and actions.

 

This book reminded again why the "fuck buddies-to-lovers" trope is such a favorite of mine. I just LOVE the concept of "lust first, feelings later". When what was supposed to be just a casual hookup with no strings attached becomes a regular arrangement, then feelings (oh, those damn feelings) are beginning to sneak their way in, slowly but unavoidably. With jealousy, possessiveness and all. Ugh, so good.

 

 

Usually, once the MCs got together in my books, I lose interest. Very quickly, very thoroughly. Sure, it's nice to see how they manage their everyday life (family, friends, work) now that they're in a new relationship, but I already know that life is hard and complicated and I don't want to read about it. It unnerves me.

 

But that wasn't the case here. Not at all. I loved the first part of the story (the "getting together" part) just as much as the second part (the "handling RL together" part). The sex scenes in the first half were nothing but smoking HAWT (not really a big shocker if you're familiar with these authors' other works), and the (multiple) family dramas in the second half were realistic and believable. And thankfully not too angsty.

 

 

I can't really say anything more or add anything else that hasn't been said already in other reviews. This was a solid 5 star-book for me, it goes onto my "favorites" shelf and I can't recommend it highly enough.

 

"Named a Best Romance of the Year by The Washington Post"? Well, consider me NOT surprised. Absolutely rightful and deserved.

 

Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell, I salute you.

 

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review 2016-10-25 14:56
Von einer die auszog, das Föhnen zu lernen
Fuck the Föhnfrisur: Eine Lehrerin schult um - Meike Frei

Meike ist Lehrerin und hat es nicht leicht. Die Kollegen gehen ihr auf den Senkel, die Schüler noch mehr, und nun fragt sie sich, ob sie das die nächsten 30 Jahre bis zur Pensionierung noch ertragen kann. Daher beschließt Frau Frei umzusatteln und geht ein Praktikum als Friseuse - pardon - Friseurin an.

Meike Frei schult um. Sie hat den Lehreralltag satt und geht eine Ausbildung zur Friseurin an. Statt korrigieren, belehren und benoten, heißt es auf einmal waschen, schneiden, föhnen - und sie glaubt, damit sei sie auf lange Sicht besser dran.

Großteils geht man mit Meike den eher bescheidenen Alltag als Lehrer an. Die Schüler sind vorlaut und unverschämt, sind trotz ihrer eifrigen Bemühungen der deutschen Grammatik nicht mächtig und spätestens, wenn Schüler Hassan „Hastu Arbeit gecheckt?“ von seiner Bank aus nach vorne ruft, hat sie es mit äußerst unangenehmen Kopfschmerzen zutun.

Die Schattenseite des Lehrerseins ist damit aber noch lange nicht ausgeschöpft. Es fehlt an Respekt von Schülern und Kollegen und im gesellschaftlichen Umfeld kommt man mit seinem übermäßigen Urlaubstagen auch nicht gut an. Meike weiß auf einmal, dass sie lieber etwas anderes machen und ihre kreative Seite ausleben will.

Der Roman ist in einem amüsant-lockeren Ton geschrieben und lädt tatsächlich auf jeder einzelnen Seite zum Schmunzeln ein. Denn egal, in welcher Berufsfalle man sitzt, der Jobfrust hat wohl schon jeden Berufstätigen einmal erwischt. Und grad als Lehrerin ist es halt schwierig, ausgerechnet im Friseursalon Fuß zu fassen, weil es doch eine sehr ungewöhnliche Umschulung ist.

Hier wird zwar gejammert, aber Meike Frei suhlt sich nicht in ihrem Selbstmitleid sondern geht mit bissigem, selbstkritischen Humor den Ausweg aus ihrem beruflichen Dilemma an. Meike selbst fand ich witzig, bemüht und amüsant. Allerdings frage ich mich, wie sich eine Mittdreißigerin selbst die Haare mit einer Nagelschere schneiden kann? Diese und ähnliche Szenen waren mir einen Hauch zu übertrieben, weil ich es einfach nicht nachvollziehen kann. Trotzdem ist es wunderbare Unterhaltungskost, die den Leser raus aus dem Alltagstrott und rein in das Abenteuer Lehrerin mit Friseurbedarf reisst. 

Besonders gut hat mir gefallen, wie die Autorin zeigt, dass jeder Job seine dunklen Seiten hat. Egal wie sehr man sich bemüht, ein simples Dankeschön kriegt man nur selten als Lohn, und der Jobfrust ist eine Phase, die jeder mal hat.

Mir hat Meike Freis Abenteuer am Arbeitsmarkt sehr gut gefallen, mich durchgehend zum Schmunzeln und etliche Male zum Lachen gebracht. Leser, die sich über den Berufswechsel, die Stimmung an deutschen Schulen oder den Leidensweg einer Lehrerin bzw. angehenden Friseuse -  pardon - Friseurin informieren wollen, finden darin ein nicht ernst gemeintes Grundlagenwerk. Wer einfach mit Meike Frei auszieht, um das Föhnen zu lernen, hat damit ein humoristisches Basiswerk. 

Ich war gern mit Meike in der Schule und im Friseursalon unterwegs, bedanke mich für heitere Lesestunden und für die Einsicht, dass es Jobs gibt, die ich noch weniger als meinen wollen würde. 

 

© NiWa

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review 2016-08-24 19:11
Review: "Not Safe For Work" by L.A. Witt
Not Safe for Work - L.A. Witt

"In the office, he was miles above me. In the bedroom, he was on his knees below me. And afterward, when the work day was over and the dust had settled, we landed on level ground."

 

 

First of all, I want to say how AWESOME it was to have a book about two guys in their 40s. Nothing hotter than two mature hunks with a lot of life experience getting down and dirty with each other.

 

And as hot as the cover is, that guy doesn't exactly strike me as being in his 40s. So I'm more than happy with the cast that Julie and I decided on for our MCs the very moment we've read the blurb (which was months ago!).

 

Jon...

 

 

...and Rick.

 

 

Now having said that, this was probably the most vanilla BDSM book that I've read so far.

 

In fact, I wouldn't call this a BDSM book at all, since the sex between Jon and Rick was more vanilla than anything and only marginally touched the subject of a D/s relationship.

 

Sure, they talked A LOT about BDSM and what they want to do with each other. But nothing really came of it. There was no spanking, no flogging, no subspace, no aftercare etc. All there was was a little wax play, a fuck machine (yeah, baby!), a Wartenberg pinwheel, a little rope play and a cock cage. That's it. Practically sex with some toys involved, but no real power exchange. Hell, even I have done more kinky stuff in my bedroom than these two.

 

 

So the BDSM theme was a fairly light one. Personally, I have no problem with that, but if you pick up this book expecting a dark and heavy BDSM fuckfest, you'll probably end up disappointed.

 

What you CAN expect though is a lot of kissing. So much kissing. And then some more kissing. And guess who's not complaining about that either?

 

 

The story is told in Jon's first-person POV. Unfortunately, we don't get Rick's POV too, which is a shame. The first-person POV is the most intimate one for me, because I'm directly in the head of the character, witnessing all his thoughts and feelings. So if I only get to see those things from one MC, the other one automatically remains superficial and shallow. Rick came across as the perfect boyfriend with no edges or faults. Which I'm pretty sure he wasn't but I'll never know.

 

Authors, if possible, please only decide on the first-person POV when it's also dual POV!

 

 

As for the rest of the story, I really liked it. Thanks to their maturity, Jon and Rick were pros in the communication department (yay!) and they made a really nice and sweet couple. A couple that loved Golden Girls marathons and frozen pizzas! What's not to love?

 

Fucker!

 

There was a little (unnecessary) drama at the end which pretty annoyed me at first. But it was resolved quite quickly in the course of a day, and the glorious epilogue also made up for it.

 

Would recommend this, though more for its sweetness factor than for its kink factor.

 

Thanks to Julie for another great BR!

 

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