Monday, January 26, 2015

The Truth as He Knows It by A.M. Arthur

There are a lot of triggers in this book, for me anyways. So buyer beware…I have the triggers in the spoiler if people want a look see.


First off I want to say that porn plots are not my favorite, I just don’t care for them, so I had serious issues with the main character keeping that he was doing porn a secret. I mean he was in a sexual relationship with a man who he called his boyfriend, but he wasn’t up front and honest about it. I know it is a job, and not cheating per say, but not being up front about it makes me feel that the main character felt like he was being unfaithful. This just left a bad taste in my mouth, and I just felt really bad for Noel.

That and the story is fucking depressing…Shane’s like is just a roller coaster ride of suck.

spoiler here

Maybe if I read this during the summer months I could have handled it better.

Maybe not.

I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

Rating: ⋆

- E

Scrap by Josephine Myles

Grant pissed me off so much in the last book, that I just couldn’t recover. That and Dare did NOTHING for me, he was an crass asshole.


I am having a hard time explaining more than that, other then I just didn’t like the characters. They irritated me. So this series is a great big miss for, I give up. I enjoyed Myles older work, this new stuff, not so much.

I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

Rating: ⋆

- E

Thursday, January 22, 2015

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes and Joe Layden

I have to say, first of all, that I love the Princess Bride. It's one of the few stories where I love the movie as much as I love the book. I can't remember the first time I watched it, whether it was on tv, or I rented it by chance from our local movie place. My sister, who is not a fantasy fan, loves this movie. Her best friend from high school loves this movie. When my sister had to give a speech at said best friend's wedding it was from the Princess Bride, and how they used the movie in the process of screening boyfriends. It was this speech that robbed me of the opportunity to use it at my sister's wedding, but I did get one of my favorite quotes, on the quilt my mother had guests sign instead of a album. So, when I give this book five stars, I'm more than a bit biased, but that's okay.
I really loved how the book took you through the entire process of making the movie. I liked finding out how hard it was to even get the movie made at all, and how many of the people involved had first fallen in love with the book. I have to admit I saw the movie first, and only found the book years later, when I was in high school I believe. I liked knowing how much so many of the people involved loved the book.

The information on all the people involved was interesting. I liked that he didn't just tell us about the big actors, but the crew as well. It was interesting knowing what they had worked on, and how many of them had worked closely together before this movie. All the information on sword fighting was fascinating. The respect that the author had for the sword masters that taught him was nice, and I never knew that both the actors did all the sword fighting in the movie. That they worked really hard so that they could make it look good. My sister fenced in high school, and her fencing instructor, talked bout how good the fencing in the movie looked.
Most of all I love how much of a loving tribute this was to the movie, and the process of making it. I loved the respect, and admiration the cast had for each other. I liked what they had to say about each other, and I liked how different people opened up about their fears, and insecurities. It was refreshing to read a book like this that didn't trash anyone. It was a heart warming read without feeling too cloying. How could I not love such a gracious ode to one of my favorite stories of all times.

Fortunately, the Milk . . . by Neil Gaiman Illustrated by Chris Riddell

I went into this book with pretty modest expectations. I love Neil Gaiman, but I tend to prefer his adult books to his children's books. This book, however, reminded me of something my father would have read to me as a kid. Probably complete with voices. He would love the sense of humor, and I can picture this as having been one of the books he read to my sister and I, over and over again.
I really did love it. The pictures worked so well with the story, and added so much. It reminded me of Where the Sidewalk Ends. Even the font is fun, and I liked how it was a good visual cue for fun, sound effects type words, and when the children interrupt the telling of the tale. The cast of characters is fun, and varied. The sense of humor was my personal favorite, and reminds me of everything I love about British humor. Touches that brought Doctor Who, Time Bandits, and Monty Python to my mind. It's one of those rare books where both children, and adults will laugh, if for different reasons. Like another one of my childhood favorites, The Muppets. Makes me wish, if only for a minute, that I had someone to read this aloud to.


Served Hot by Annabeth Albert

First off, I have a love for contemporary romances in or around coffee shops. I don’t know why, but it just fills me with warm fuzzies.

So reading this curled up on the couch on a Sunday in January was pretty perfect.
The book was low angst, low drama, and a nice friends to lovers story.

I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

Rating: ⋆⋆⋆

- E

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Dark Side of the Road by Simon R Green

I don’t know why I asked for this book. I mean I haven’t liked a Simon Green book since the nineties. I keep trying, maybe it’s the magic of Paris that keeps me coming back for more. I mean I tried three times to read Ghost of a Chance, but I just couldn’t get into it.
The Dark Side of the Road just sounded so interesting. Maybe like a paranormal ending to Clue, it made me curious.

The book started off pretty good, but the farther in I got the more “surprises” I got that just kept on bringing the rating down.

1. Aliens: I didn’t know this was going to be sci fi.
2. The Romance: No chemistry…none. It was just really awkward.
3. The Mystery: Really? You are really going with that?
4. The Killer: see above
5. The Aftermath: A lot of eyerolls. Lots.

So I think I have learned my lesson. Green and I just need to part ways…but we will always have Paris.

I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

Waiting for the Flood by Alexis Hall

I received this ARC from Netgalley for an honest review.

I love the cover of this.

I really liked parts of this story, but then a part would come along and confuse the fuck out of me. It left me with a feeling like I was missing the punch line in a joke or the key points of a conversation.

Oh well. It was short and sweet with a boot scene ending. No sexcapades here.

Rating: ⋆⋆⋆

- E

Monday, January 12, 2015

Heir to the Jedi: Star Wars by Kevin Hearne

Beware: There be spoilers ahead.

Wow, what a letdown, I was so looking forward to this book too.  I mean Kevin Hearne doing a Star Wars book, what is not to love about that.

Well for starters the book was just plain boring. It’s pretty much Luke racking up some SkyMiles, going from planet to planet picking up things, and talking to people.

I mean I went in thinking this was going to be exciting and action packed with a lot of Hearne’s witty banter tossed in.

No it was Luke running errands for the Alliance.

My husband and I used to play Everquest II, and in that game there were what we dubbed “Gnome Quests”. These quests were pretty much goose chases, or the fucking quest giver asking for items for a recipe one thing at a time.  

In the beginning Luke gets a quest to go meet up with some people to get a pricing list for weapons and such for the Alliance. So he borrows a nice anonymous ship from, you guessed it, a pretty girl. Cause we got to have some romance here. So off Luke flies off, cue cut scene, where he just happens upon a ship in distress whom he helps out even though it risks him and the whole Rebellion.  Anonymous ship not so anonymous anymore.

*face palm*

He arrives get the list, and does a little side quest and achieves a new weapon which was total bull shit. I played SWTOR, a purple lightsaber is a bitch to get. He gets back and finds out that the Alliance is broke, and that he needs shiny upgrades to his borrowed ship before he can do his next quest. Oh look another side quest time. So off he goes with the pretty girl to make some money…along with all the fucks I gave for this book.

 I mean I finished it, and really I didn’t HATE it. It was just so not what I expected, and not what I wanted.  Ok, I need to stop ranting now.

Rating: ⋆⋆

- E

Tame a Wild Human by Kari Gregg

I received this book as an ARC through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

I suppose if I had been able to take this seriously I would have found this book one of the most offensive things I've ever read. Make no mistakes about it, this is non con. Wyatt may be resigned to his circumstances, might even get it worse back in the human lands, but he in no ways consents, or is even able to consent. This doesn't change. There is some silly non-sense with Alpha blood, mates, evil humans, and Wyatt's own good, but, in the end, Wyatt never really, with a clear head, consents.

Which is terrible, it really is, but I think why I was able to read it without losing my mind was just how over the top ridiculous is was. I just could take anything, or anyone seriously. Cole, the alpha. I know he was supposed to be big, and bad ass, but really? Part of me wondered if the author was trying to subvert the tropes of the genre by upholding them, but probably that is just me.

If you are looking for a deep meaningful book, one without gang rape, rape, and other sort of potentially triggering incidents look elsewhere. If you are, like me, looking for something mindless, dirty, and easy to read this is the book for you. The sex is a bit silly, yes, but it was just the sort of raunchy read I was looking for. I didn't have to pay attention, didn't have to worry about plot, or characters, or anything else. I could just sit back, and get lost in smut. Mmmmm....unapologetic smut. Perfect for a day when I was stuck home in bed, miserable with a cold. On a different day, in a different mood, maybe not hacking up a lung, I probably would have rated this book lower, but today is not that day.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Served Hot by Annabeth Albert

I received this as an ARC though Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a nice romance story. I liked that both Robby and David have their own issues an insecurities. Neither man is fixing the other, and they both have to learn how to be in an adult relationship. There are misunderstanding, but no silly big understanding. I liked that while Robby can be jealous, and insecure he takes ownership of his feelings, and understands how many of his problems with David are really Robby's own problems. I do have a few issues. I would love is m/m authors stopped using statements like "I'm not a girl" especially in an pejorative manner. I see it a lot, and I wouldn't miss it if m/m stopped reinforcing traditional ideas of female passivity, and emotional weakness. I also wouldn't have minded a little more awkwardness in the sexual encounters in this book. I think it would have felt a little more honest to the characters, and a little less romance novel than too perfect sex. The plot was simple, and perfect reading for my cold. When I don't have quite the attention span to pay attention to anything too deep, or involved.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

I received this book as an ARC through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
I was a little bit apprehensive when I requested this. It sounded like a really good premise, and I wanted to read it, but I didn't love the author's first series, it wasn't badly written, just too relentlessly dark for me. So, I waited before I started this. What was I thinking. I really loved this book, and sometimes it's hard for me to write a review for a book I really love, but I will endeavor to do so.

First of the world building was really well done. The setting was so well drawn it felt like a real place to me, and I loved the complexity of the society, and religion. I especially loved how the religion was structured. It felt different, and I appreciate that it wasn't an existing religion reformatted for a fantasy setting. The writing was engrossing, and it was one of the books I found myself getting lost in, and I love that.

I really liked Yarvi. He was a complicated, and deeply flawed character without being a complete ass. It was refreshing reading about someone this clever who has been trained to always look for an opening, or an opportunity. Someone who doesn't spend 90% of the book whining about how his life didn't turn out the way he wanted, and how horrible his situation is. Not that he doesn't have moments where he feels bad for himself, he is young, but the book isn't entirely comprised of his bitching, and complaining. 

The secondary cast was well developed, and interesting. No one, not even incidental characters, felt like stereotypes or archetypes. There were no simple mustache twirling villains, or simpering, innocent maids. Characters had a diversity of motives and personalities. I really loved the way the characters interacted. It was smart, clever, and funny. The banter was a highlight for me, and reminded me a lot of the Princess Bride, high praise in my book. I also loved the bond that develops between Yarvi and his company. They have to learn to trust in each other, and I enjoyed seeing that develop. The lack of focus on romantic relationships was refreshing especially considering the situation they were in.

The plot was well drawn, and I loved the twists and turns. It felt authentic without feeling to relentlessly bleak or happy. I can't take a book where it feels like the author has to crush every momentary happiness the characters might happen to feel. On the other hand I hate when a book tries to convince you that the characters are suffering, and it feels more like that they are only mildly inconvenienced. The last twist was well done, and it fed into the ending really well. I really loved that ending. It was happy, but in a more unexpected sort of way. I'm sad to see it end, but I can't wait to read the next one.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Three the Hard Way by Sydney Croft

I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

So, I went into this expecting something, fun, sexy, and pretty light on plot, and character, and somehow I ended up with three men I grew to really like, and many feels. The plot is pretty simple, and it was easy to understand the background, and what was going on even without having read any of the seven books that came before it. Maybe reading them would have given me more of an idea who the secondary cast was, but I didn't feel lost without that knowledge, and I felt like I came to know them pretty well though what I saw of them in this novelette. 

I really liked the main cast of characters. Things between them might have developed fairly quickly, but it felt authentic to me. It was more about them making a decision to make a relationship work then them falling instantly in love. I liked that it took compromise on all of their parts, and that had to make a very clear decision to listen to, and trust each other. I liked that the relationship, while sexy, wasn't just about physical connection, but the support, and trust they have to each other. I liked that it wasn't about one, or two men taking care of a weaker man, but about all of them taking care of each other equally. It was sweet, and I appreciated that.

I liked the writing style, It was simple, and it made the emotions seem that much more real to me. Nothing too flowery, or purple even when it came to the sex scenes. I liked how the author phrased things, and the last lines really did me in especially from a book I didn't expect it from. I'm such a sucker for books about families, especially families of choice. Overall a really great read, especially for a very cold day.


Monday, January 5, 2015

Heat Trap by J.L. Merrow

Thank you Netgalley for letting me read and review this book, I really enjoyed it.

If you go into this book looking for a twisty mystery like the first installment you are out of luck. This book’s who done it was pretty easy, well at least for me it was. Then again I ditched a lot of High School to stay home and watch Quincy. I hated High School. It was like the characters had signs over there head saying this here be the red herring, and this here be yon criminal.

Anyways it wasn’t the mystery that made this book for me; it was the relationship progression for Tom and Phil. Oh the feels in this book, these two alpha men talk about their feelings and grow as a couple! It was just too yummy.

I hope Merrow isn’t done with these guys.  I enjoy reading about them very much.
 Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆
- E

Unwept by Tracy and Laura Hickman

I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

I really, really wanted to like this. I mean the cover was so pretty, and I had such high hopes. The problem is this book was SO boring, and I just couldn’t get into the characters.  Then that ending happened, and it was a cliffhanger, and I just really didn’t care. There was no emotional connection for me to care to find out what happens in the next book.

I guess I was looking for the magic Hickman had with Weis in the Dragonlance Chronicles and it wasn’t there.

Rating: ⋆

- E

Friday, January 2, 2015

Nothing Like Paris by Amy Jo Cousins

I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.

I didn’t find this installment of the bend or break series nearly as enjoyable as the first one; it was mostly a miss for me.  I found myself skimming past the sex scenes, because I was only interested in the drama. I just couldn’t get myself to fully forgive Jack, even after finding out all the gory details about his life.
The story annoyed me a few times when it mirrored book one just a little too closely for my taste. There is a scene in Off Campus where Tom breaks his cell phone in a fit of rage, and in this one Miguel breaks his credit card machine when he gets pissed off at Jack. By itself it I would have been okay with it, but I just had too many déjà vu moments.  Also what is with the calling people kid Jack, dude he is like three years younger than you. I understood Tom doing it to Reese as a coping mechanism in book one, but enough already. You come across as a condescending prick….oh wait you are a condescending prick.
Maybe if I read this book first I could have liked Jack more, so if you have issues with forgiving bullies I recommend doing so.
 Rating: ⋆⋆
- E