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review 2017-12-04 02:15
What-the-Dickens by Gregory Macguire
What-the-Dickens: The Story of a Rogue Tooth Fairy - Sarah Coleman,Gregory Maguire

Synopsis: When a lone, lost, and dangerously naive fairy named What-the-Dickens,
is born out in the world, he must survive and find a home and become the tooth
fairy he was born to be.

Review: What-the-Dickens is actually two stories. One story is of some kids and
their older cousin alone in an empty house in the middle of a dangerous
thunderstorm, who tells them the other story of a rogue tooth fairy lost in the
world. Its a lighthearted story, although I wouldn't call it funny necessarily.

What-the-Dickens is an endearing character who spends most of the first half of
the book trying to make friends with everyone he meets. A large, hungry cat, a
larger bengal tiger, and a motherly bird. Eventually he meets Pepper, another
fairy who reluctantly introduces him to Northwest Sector, Division B, less
formerly known as Undertree Commons.

 

I liked the character development in this book. Everyone has a lot of
personality (the mama grisset who thinks What-the-Dickens is her child was particularly
endearing), and there are a host of others as well. Including a mouse riding
fairy aristocrat, his butt kissing assistant, and a flighty fairy celebrity.

My gripe with it is, though, it didn't really know where to go with the plot. Or
maybe it did, it just didn't go very far. I'd love to see a sequel where What-
the-Dickens and friends take on some bigger challenges and expand the plot, but
sadly it doesn't look like a sequel is forthcoming anytime soon. Its a shame
because I really liked many of the characters. The other story with the kids is barely even worth mentioning; it's dull, to say the least.


Next up is Ursala le Guin's 'The Tombs of Atuan' a fantasy classic from her
Earthsea Cycle (the 2nd of 4). Its short and I'm trying to get through some of
those before the year's end.

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review 2017-09-13 12:08
This will certainly not be the last of J.D. Carabella's works I'll read!
Nocturnal Voyeur - The Complete Series: A Tale of Passion, Pulp and the Paranormal - JD Carabella

I am not sure why this would ever be broken into five shorter stories and sold seperately. This works so well as one larger work, I really can't imagine only being drip fed the story. If nothing else, it would have stopped the nice flow the story has, and made it more difficult for the reader to rejoin the characters on their journey.

Speaking of the characters, they were quite enjoyable, even though Mack does fall into a few of the trope pitfalls. I really enjoyed Fiona's character with all her stubborness and foibles. I would have liked a little more development for Fiona, and Mack needed more room to grow as well (no pun intended). Fiona really makes the story, but she's given so little time to develop in between all the action (both in the bedroom and out of it) that it did feel like we were racing after her in the story so didn't have time to learn what we needed about her.

The mix of Native American Indian mythology, magic and the paranormal regulars (were-animals/shifters), provided a delightful paranormal flavour to this romp through the 1930's timeline and gave the story a uniqueness that has been missing from some of the paranormal romance/erotica stories I've been reading. I'd have loved some more time to explore the history, mythology and explanations of the magic system, but we're only really given but a tiny glimpse of it.

The story left me with some unanswered questions; ones I hope can be answered with another story following Fiona and Mack. Or, perhaps some of the answers are explored in J.D's other series in the same world - Arrested by Passion. I'll have to check them out to see :)

While the writing wasn't perfect, the overall feel of this piece was quite polished and the story provided a quick, entertaining read for those who like a bit of bite with their erotic reading. Unfortunately, the insta-love aspect niggled a bit. It wasn't a total mess, but it wasn't flawless either. I think a little more character building and development would help with the feeling of it all being a bit rushed and make the insta-love seem less clunky and more 'destined lovers'.

The sexy scenes were provided in large quantities and quite varied in sexual preference, tastes and kinks. This was nicely done, though at times I did wonder if they were all really needed, or if it was a particular penchant of J.D. to enjoy writing smut, so she came up with a plot that allowed for a lot of the short snippets to be present and still fit nicely in with the story. That's not a complaint, merely an observation. 

In terms of hotness, not all of them floated my boat, but given the quantity and varied content, I'm sure almost all erotic readers will find a scene or fantasy to please their tastes within the covers of this book. 

One word of warning: this book does contain what some would call dub-con or non-con elements, along with some pretty brutal tentacle rape scenes, is littered with foul language and some intriguing, yet extremely depraved scenes. 

This will certainly not be the last of J.D. Carabella's works I'll read! 

A few things I noticed:

7% - a few erotica faux pas (everyone being sex Gods and Goddesses and rolling continuous orgasms) - admitedly pretty common in paranormal romance/erotic stories, but weirdly I still expected more from J.D.
9% - ...I know Theo was fond of you, (delete space)"
10% - ...and lie(lay/laid) awake for a few hours...
12% - Mack still stood still (awkward wording consider revising) 
32% - ...shortness of her shirt(skirt), which ended above the knees...
49% - they had been Cheekbones and Silence previously, not Smiler 
94% - Mack was large in ever(y) sense of the...

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**

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review 2017-08-04 19:23
Cold Hearted
Cold Hearted - James A. Hunter

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

I do believe I liked this second instalment in the series more than the first one (usually, it’s the contrary).

Still packed with action, a little less noir and but with perhaps a bit more grit towards the middle , and also more female presence this time (not the Damsel In Distress kind either—she’s the one saving his ass more than the contrary... and at the same time, she’s also the way through which he can realise he may be a better person than he thinks). A dash of potential romance, but it's light, and follows the no-nonsense I'm getting used to from Yancy, and from the other party as well: they both know they live in a world that isn't what it seems, that is more often than not hectic and unforgiving, and so they're going with a carpe diem attitude rather than the usual sappy 'true love forever'.

The plot felt a little tighter than in the first book, although I could’ve done with a few less flashbacks (we already know about Yancy’s past family and time in ‘Nam from book one, so having him think about it -and- tell another character about it was redundant). Here there are more hints of a meta-plot that I think is going part of the next books in the series for now, considering a certain name dropped during a conversation, and which is bound to resurface. So far I like the world the characters evolve in; the author keeps going with other supernatural creatures than the usual vampires, werewolves and ghosts—there is a sort of werewolf, but only in appearance, and that creature’s nature is actually really cool in my opinion. The Guild of mages is prooobably full to the brim with corrupt people, and I bet it’s going to end in Yancy and a couple of good guys having to save the world or something (if the ones appearing good aren’t the most corrupt of the bunch!), which would be predictable, but also fitting in that kind of universe. I’m not sure I’d like to see it otherwise anyway.

While the main antagonist was more of the pitiful kind, all things considered, he was a good reminder than sometimes one doesn’t need to be truly evil at hear to do evil... and thus, anyone in a moment of weakness may end up turning to means they shouldn’t envision. Yancy included (good thing he plans for failsafes).

Conclusion: It still reads in some places as if it could do with another editor’s pass, but all in all the story and the characters were entertaining (in a good way, that is).

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review 2017-06-30 19:24
Cold Hearted River - Keith McCafferty
McCafferty has penned another great mystery. The series follows the adventures of Sean Stranahan, an artist/fly fisherman/private detective. This time, the story incorporates Ernest Hemingway into the fold. The author is a wonderful writer, his descriptions (especially of the rivers Stranahan is fishing) make you feel like you are there. The character development, even of the minor ones, is thorough, you are made to feel like you actually know the people. The stories flow very well, and I especially appreciate that McCafferty manages to wrap up all the loose ends in his books, and doesn't leave you hanging at the end. 
The only complaint I can make about this book is that the main character, after several books, is getting a bit stale. The eventual seduction of every interesting woman he meets is cliche, almost like the author wants him to be James Bond. Other than that observation, the book is very good. 
Cold Hearted River is the latest in the series, but it could be read as a stand-alone book. 
I received an advance copy of this book from "First To Read" in exchange for a fair review.
 
 

 

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review 2017-06-24 00:24
[REVIEW] Cold-Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas
Cold-Hearted Rake - Lisa Kleypas

My review got chewed up by GoodReads. The pain is real.

The short version: if you can get past the first 100 lackluster pages and lower your expectations, the book isn't too terrible. I hated the hero and the heroine for a good measure of the book. They didn't have an ounce of chemistry for those first 100 pages. Hell, the heroine had more chemistry with her horse than with the hero. They fall in love completely out of nowhere. While the sexual chemistry appears late in the game, it is there and it is pretty steamy.

The secondary characters (West is the best, Helen is a sweetheart and Hamlet is so cute) save the book from being a total disaster.

The book felt like a giant prequel for the second book, with the main couple at times taking a backseat to Helen and Winterborne. After what Winterborne did near the end, I have my reservations about him, but because I am trash, I'm reading the second book.

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