Night’s Honor by Thea Harrison


ORDER A COPY: Night’s Honor (Elder Races)

Publisher: Berkley Sensations
Publishing Date: September 2, 2014
Paperback: 368 pages

Rating: 5 stars


On the run from her former employer, Tess knows that she’s vulnerable on her own amongst the Elder Races. That’s why she decides to audition to become the human attendant of a powerful Vampyre of the Nightkind demesne. But while her position affords her the safety she seeks, her protector turns out to be more than she bargained for.

The right-hand man of the Nightkind King, Xavier del Torro is both terrifying and alluring. While his true nature frightens Tess, she can’t ignore the appeal of his innate sense of integrity and self-restraint. Thrown into Xavier’s world, Tess must quickly learn to navigate the dangers—both to her life and to her heart. But the biggest threat comes from her own past.


On the night of the Vampyre Ball, Tess Graham joins the hundred of hopefuls who want to be accepted as a vampyre’s attendant. They would trade their services and their blood to a vampyre master whose bite would give them decades more of life and youth. But Tess isn’t there to be part of the glamorous life of the vampyres. She doesn’t want to be bitten either. She just needs protection of a member of the Nightkind to protect her from the wrath of a pariah Djinn who will kill her if he finds her. Her only hope is that he will not risk an inter-demnse war with the Nightkind over a lowly human no matter she did. It’s not much of a hope, but it’s the best plan she has right now.

What she never would have expected is for Xavier del Torro to offer her a position in his household. Xavier is a very dangerous vampyre. He’s the right-hand and friend of the Nightkind King, Julian Regillus.   Xavier’s transformation story is the stuff of legends and nightmares. She couldn’t ask for a more powerful protector, but if he knew why she wanted into his household, he might kill her himself for endangering his people.

Tess just has one more very important problem.  She’s afraid of vampyres. Knowing that these predators could attack and kill her before she ever realized they moved is effecting her ability to spend time in the presence of her new boss. She hasn’t been able to bring herself to make the blood offering required and therefore she hasn’t gained the ability to heal faster or move faster and her ability to train with the other attendants is suffering.  Xavier’s head of security is trying to get rid of her and he doesn’t seem to like or understand Xavier’s interest in Tess.

Xavier likes Tess’s ability to think for herself. He just needs her to understand the difference between thinking for herself and making mistakes that could get people killed.  Xavier knows how to use her mistakes to improve her ability to work with the others. But he is still having trouble getting Tess to spend time with him without reeking of fear, and unless she can give a blood donation before the end of their trial period, she will have to leave.

THOUGHTS:
This was the first Elder Races story which focuses on the Nightkind. Yes, we did have Carling’s story, but at that time, she was sent to live in isolation so we were truly not given the basic running of a vampyre household and their attendants. It was an interesting peek at how desperate people are to achieve that longevity and glamour of the vampyre lifestyle and get a chance to someday be transformed themselves.   We also see how the attendants work together to take care of the household and, at least in Xavier’s household, train to protect the master and each other.

Tess and Xavier are both characters with a strong moral code which is why Tess needs protection.   I like that Tess is afraid but she doesn’t allow that to govern her actions.  Her body says run from the vampyre, but her brain refuses to back down from him.

Sadly, we don’t get to much romance until the last third of the book.  Xavier brought Tess into his household because she is intelligent, she has spirit but she is not the usual glamorous-type who would desire to be an attendant.  He wants to use her for spying on some of the other vampyres and going undercover.  His hope is that her average looks will help her stay below the radar of the other vamps.  It is interesting that the longer he knows Tess the more he determines that her looks are too striking for her to go unnoticed.  He also knows that until she can overcome her innate fear of vampyres, he can’t put her in a situation without him.

The why of the lack of romance is again Xavier’s strong moral code.  He will not allow himself to compromise an attendant in his household and under his protection.  It is not until Tess is no longer technically an attendant, that he grabs her for a kiss and they move forward as a couple.

I loved Xavier and Tess and truly enjoyed their story.  The Elder Races is a great series for anyone who loves paranormal romance.

Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

Oh, for crying out loud. This was like some kind of modern version of My Fair Lady.

Only with vampyres.

She made herself breathe evenly for a few moments. “You’ve made your point.”

“Have I? How fortuitous.” As he lounged back in his chair, all the subtle signs of aggravation disappeared. “Then perhaps we should get back to the task at hand, so that I can determine what you have learned before going on to teach you what you haven’t.”

Okay, that went too far. One small part of her mind—the wary part, the sensible part—started to whisper, Don’t say it, don’t say it…

But the rest of her was too exasperated to listen. She flung out her hands and opened her eyes wide. “Who says ‘fortuitous’ these days?”

He just looked at her. The slanted angle of his mouth had returned, as well as the slight snap to his diction. “Apparently, I do. Now, if you are quite through, it might behoove you to remember that a successful attendant is nowhere near this argumentative with her patron.”

The devil took her tongue. There was no other explanation for it.

“Behoove,” she said.

The angle of his mouth leveled out, and his voice turned exceedingly, dangerously soft. “Yes. Behoove.

She opened her mouth. Shut it. Opened it again. Don’t say it…

Gray-green eyes narrowed, daring her to cross the line.

Then the rest of what he had said sank in.

A successful attendant. Meaning, of course, that she wasn’t a successful one. She wasn’t anywhere near it. She wouldn’t let him bite her, and she couldn’t keep her mouth shut.

Was this what he had meant when he said that some people couldn’t settle into the lifestyle of attendant, even when they wanted to?

Discouragement sagged her shoulders. With a groan, she bent her head, and put her face in her hands. “I’m sorry. I’m failing completely at this, aren’t I?”

Xavier covered his mouth with one hand as he regarded Tess’s dejected figure. “I don’t know that I would quite say you’re failing completely.

“Thanks,” she said, her voice muffled. “I find those words so encouraging.”

Our Broken Sky by Sarah Harian


ORDER A COPY: Our Broken Sky: A Chaos Theory Novella

Publisher: Intermix
Publishing Date: August 19, 2014
ebook: 90 pages

Rating: 3 stars


In The Wicked We Have Done, readers were introduced to Valerie Crane. But you don’t know her the way you think you do. This is her story…

Valerie has always been different from her identical twin Veda. Tattooed, fiery, and foul-mouthed, Valerie acts on instinct, getting even with anyone who wrongs her passive and sensitive sister.

At twenty-two, Veda doesn’t want to seek revenge against the three young men who raped her. As for Val…

Val never could manage her anger well.

As far as Val sees it, the Compass Room is simply a quicker way for her to die—payment for the crime she feels no guilt over. There isn’t a reason to fight, not until a girl as broken as she is reminds Val of what it’s like to hope…


This is a short novella to accompany the novel, The Wicked We Have Done, which was released back in March. It is a series noted as a cross between The Hunger Games and The Running Man.  The Chaos Theory series involves The Compass Room which judges criminal which have been convicted of murder. They can serve out their sentence or face possible death in the Compass Room.

One of the characters in The Wicked We Have Done is Valerie Crane. She was convicted by circumstantial evidence of the death of the three men who date raped her twin sister. Where TWWHD was told in first person by Evalyn, in this novella the story is told first person by Valerie.

I honestly don’t believe this novella was necessary. We had the idea that Valerie was guilty of her crime and she believed her crime to be justified. We get a few more details and we start the story just before her sister is raped and get a hint of family dynamics between her sister and her father and we understand a little bit more of the hows and whys.

During the first book the characters shared some information of themselves and their crimes. We also got a better understanding of their characters by watching how they interacted with each other and helped each other survive the CR.

I expect a novella to either provide a subcharacter with a story of their own or to push the plot forward. This novella really didn’t really push the story forward. Neither was this a true subcharacter story since we simply rehashed most of the information gleamed about Val already.  Other than filling out the character of Val, who we already had a good understanding about and other than allowing her a few lesbian love scenes, it just wasn’t necessary. We could have had all the same tidbits of information told at the campfire during Book 1.

Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Cage King by Danielle Monsch


ORDER A COPY: The Cage King: A Novella of the Entwined Realms

Publisher: Romantic Geek Publishing
Publishing Date: August 11, 2014
eBook: 135 pages

Rating: 5 stars


USA Today Bestselling author Danielle Monsch invites you back to the magic of the Entwined Realms with The Cage King. Esh is the undisputed ruler of the underground fight scene, but five years ago a decision not to fight cost him his best friend and the woman he loves. Now Nalah is back, a member of the Guild and in need of his help to get into the greatest cage match in the New Realms. Oh he’ll help, but it will be on his terms, and Nalah had better get ready because when Esh fights for something, he always wins.


Esh, Nalah and her brother Jac were three street kids who banded together and created their own family. They took care of each other and protected each other.

But Five years ago Nalah walked away from Esh. He refused to fight in her brother’s place and her brother lost his life. Esh let her down and she walked away from him and was found by The Guild. They trained her to build mental shields and helped her control her abilities.

Now The Guild needs her to find one of the artifacts stolen from their vault. And in order for her to find it, she needs the help of the one man who she never expected to see again. Nalah needs to get to the underground fights and the Guild wants her to get Esh, The Cage King, to accept his invitation to the Underground Tour and take Nalah with him.

Esh knows that Nalah will find a way to get there without him, but she walked away from him once. He’s not allowing her to walk away again. Especially not into a dangerous situation without him to protect her. He’ll help the Guild recover their missing magic treasure and the only thing he expects is return is Nalah. She was everything to him…she still is and he won’t lose her again.

THOUGHTS:
I love the Entwined Realms series. The Cage King is like a magical Mission Impossible. The Guild always seems to be two steps ahead and even though it seems like things are going wrong, they end up exactly where the Guild wanted them to be.

Nalah and Esh are definitely a couple meant to be together, and although it is heartbreaking that Jac had to died, I think Nalah and Esh needed that time apart in order to grow and to appreciate each other. They wouldn’t have gotten to the place they ended if they had just continued together from kids to teens to adults.

We can understand Nalah pain and heartbreak at losing her brother and her feeling that Esh could have done something to prevent it and she feels he failed her.  Then we see the same scenario with Esh’s view, trying to protect Nalah and Jac, losing Jac and Nalah disappearing and him not knowing what happened to her and it is heartbreaker to see what Esh went through.  Nalah (and the readers) are given a good shake up after Esh has been portrayed as being to blame for everything.

Although this is only a novella, it is all part of the build up of the items stolen from the Guild and all the baddies who are trying to get their hands on everything.

Great series. Great characters. Can’t wait to read more.


Favorite Scene:

Those gorgeous dark-brown eyes were wide with surprise as he rolled her under him. No reason why they should be. He told her this was where she was going to be for the duration of the Tour.

“Esh,” she started, and in response he pushed his hips against her pelvis, rubbing hard against her.

Her mouth parted. A long, deep breath met the movement while her eyes went half-lidded. Her hands went to his shoulders, her fingers half digging into the muscle, her arms both pulling him closer and pushing him away.

His Nalah was conflicted? Well, he was going to put an end to that real quick. By the end of the Tour she was going to be back in his bed and standing by his side, where she belonged now, and where she’d belonged these last five years before she’d run away.

To the Guild. Of all fucking people, she had gotten involved with the Guild. He growled, the need to mark her as his and not theirs growing in him, and he lowered his mouth to her throat.

She panted and moaned as his lips and teeth ravaged the sensitive skin below her ear, the sounds tightening his belly and ratcheting up his arousal. He wanted her to make those sounds all night, he wanted her hoarse tomorrow and embarrassed because everyone would give her a knowing look each time she spoke. He sucked the dark skin into his mouth, wishing the small bruise would show.

How had he lived without this these last years? She even smelled the same, summer nights on the beach. He told her that after their first kiss, and she laughed, saying they’d never been near the ocean in their lives.

Didn’t matter. That was what she reminded him of. Her scent was always a mix of citrus and salt where her eyes and skin glowed under moonlight. She was wondrous, his escape from a shitty life, and always had been. Her eyes alight with pride as he fought in the ring, making him a hero and a warrior instead of a thug. Or how she never stopped teaching him or acted like he was too stupid to be bothered with.

He nipped her, a little harder, teeth a little deeper into her velvety skin, and her answering moan had his cock beating against the zipper of his jeans, demanding to be let out.

“Esh, let go,” she whispered, those long fingers still digging into his upper arms.

She wasn’t saying anything he wanted to hear, so he concentrated on licking the tang from her skin and listening to that tiny hitch in her breathing.

“Warned you.” And before his brain processed, Nalah shifted, using her leg to dislodge him while those fingers twisted his body and had him on the floor.

She got off the bed and now stood above him, hip cocked to the side and fists on them, her eyes sparking in an all-too-familiar way, one that used to mean he was sleeping on the cough that night. “Damn, woman, who taught you that?”

“Who do you think? I might not be a warrior, but do you think I’d let myself be totally vulnerable?”

She was vulnerable. Any of Beylor’s men could have her on her back with either a sword in her belly or them crawling on top of her in five seconds flat. But right now, with her foot that close to his balls, he wasn’t going to point that out. Instead he rolled and got to his feet, watching her watch him the entire time.

There was appreciation mixed with the earlier anger, the way she followed the bunching of the muscles in his thighs and his arms. Nalah wasn’t immune to him any more than her was to her. “Why’d you stop me?”

“Again, why do you think? I’m not here to be your personal amusement. Already told you.”

He snorted. “When have you ever been that? If that’s all I considered you good for, do you think I’d be here?”

That stopped her, her mouth closing, her face scrunching up in a V of confusion. She collapsed on the nearest chair, her arm draped across the table. “You and I need a little clearing of the air. Cards on the table?”

Yeah, that didn’t promise a good time. He shrugged, going to sit across from her.

She waited until he was settled before she began. “Why did you agree to do this?”

Talk about denial. He met her gaze, held it, until she was near fidgeting but still didn’t look away. “You aren’t stupid. You know why. I’m not changed.”

At that, Nalah did look away, out a window that overlooked the nearby forest. “It’s been five year,” she said, her voice as low as he’d ever heard from her.

“So? Fuck does five years mean? You’re it for me, always have been. Knew it as soon as you looked at me with those big brown eyes and I told you so back then. Told you the same before we came here, though you wanted to pretend that wasn’t what it meant. If it won’t change in fifty years. why do you think five years is some magic number?”

She swallowed the movement doing little to hide the slight quiver of her chin. “‘Cause I haven’t been around.”

He snorted. “Yeah, like that changes shit.”

Friday Giveaway – Darkness Bound (Audiobook) by J.T. Geissinger

shark woody gif

Happy Friday and so ends Snark Week.   I had fun this week playing with my blogger friends and trying to being creative, but it did take up time and left little time for reading. So this weekend will be all about catching up on reviews and reading. I know. It’s a hardship, but I will suffer through it for you. :)

A great big thank you to Parajunkee.com for letting us play along with Snark Week. Hopefully you have all had a chance to check out Parajunkee.com and all the other bloggers who were playing along. They have a great website with reviews and great blog topics.

This week will be our first audiobook giveaway. It’s an MP3 disc and an easy download to your computer. You can then load it onto your Ipod and I am certain any other listening device. I have an old Ipod so don’t ask me how to do it. I’m a tech God to my mother-in-law, but a spaz to everyone else.

It’s been a long week so just say “Hi!” to be entered. Giveaway ends Thursday, August 21st. Open to U.S. residents, 18 years and older.

Tough, smart, and seriously ambitious, reporter Jacqueline “Jack” Dolan despises the secretive clan of shape-shifters known as the Ikati—and has become determined to destroy them. After she writes an editorial arguing for their extermination and turns public opinion against them, the Ikati vow to fight back. They plot to send one of their own to seduce the reporter, then blackmail her into writing a retraction.

Women practically fall at the feet of hulking, handsome Hawk Luna, and Hawk relishes the idea of conquering and destroying the fiery redhead who’s caused so much trouble for his kind. The last thing he expects is to develop real feelings for her, but their liaison awakens a hunger in him that he cannot deny. He kidnaps Jack and brings her to his Amazon jungle colony, but the two lovers are soon embroiled in deadly colony politics and threatened by a looming global species war.

As the danger around them grows closer, Jack and Hawk’s forbidden passion may build a bridge between two ancient enemies—or cost them both their lives.

My Love/Hate Relationship with the Black Dagger Brotherhood – Part 1

snark_week_banner



Today’s Topic -

Snark Bit! Be creative – your own snarktastic topic.

WARNING:  If you have not read any of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, turn away now.  We are going to have an in depth discussion of characters and plot points.

Why is this only Part I?  I am a late comer to the BDB series and so far have only made it through to Book 8, Lover Mine.  I have downloaded copies of the next three, but haven’t yet listened to them.  So if you know something that I don’t, snark back.  Do keep in mind that I listen to the BDB series so I might mistype a name, etc.

I know that ripping apart BDB is not going to make me very popular around the paranormal romance/urban fantasy circles, but there are several issues that I feel need to be discussed about this series.

Let’s start with World Building Issues:

The Brothers.   The Black Dagger Brotherhood are fighters trained to protect the general vampire citizens who are living unassuming lives among the regular old humans from the dangers of the Lessening Society.   It’s crazy that as the fighters to protect the entire vampire lifestyle there are only four of them (Rhage, Zsadist, Vishous, Tohrment).  Wrath is now blind and King and doesn’t fight.  Phury is now primale and doesn’t fight,  and technically three (John Matthew, Qhuinn and Blay) aren’t officially Brothers.
For being vampires, these guys have a bit of frailty to them.  In other series, healing begins immediately.  But here there is always someone undergoing surgery, getting a CAT scan, or taking medication.  They are always going to Havers, going to the clinic, finding Doc Jane.   Nalini Singh’s Archangels can be decapitated and have their internal organs ripped out and they go, “Just give him a few days and he’ll be fine.”

The Lessening Society.  Vampires are the good guys, so you have to have bad guys.  Enter the Lessening Society.   They are created by the Omega (the vampire’s version of the devil)  and they smell like baby powder.  Baby powder?  They are the series’s undead creatures, who have had their hearts and souls torn from their body, their blood replaced with black sludge and they smell like baby powder not say…rotten garbage.  Good call.  How the hell did she come up with that?   They also loose pigment over time so their hair turns pure white and their eyes get pale.  Yeah, that wouldn’t stand out to have a dozen strong, muscular guys roaming town all with white, white hair.  That look worked so well in Village of the Damned.

The Glymera.  I don’t know if it is more believable or less believable that the vampires still have a separate class society of aristocracy and common people.  That they still wear ballgowns, big hair and have rules for levels of perfection they subject each other to and shun those who don’t live up to it.  In this day and age and for a people who are nearly immortal, it seems odd that they haven’t gotten with the time, but then again, if you have lived centuries, maybe it’s not too far off to believe that the elite would hold strongly to those Golden Times where they were so elevated among society. I am still up in the air whether it is smart or stupid.

The Primale and The Chosen. I have plenty of issues with the Chosen, so let’s just stick with the fact that the Chosen are supposed to mothers of the future Brothers and the future Chosen.  They are all to be serviced by the Primale. Ewww.   Does anyone realize that none of our current Brothers have a Chosen mother or a Primale father?   How many decades have they been without a Primale until Phury took the job…oh yeah, he didn’t did he.  So we have no future Brothers being born and it would still take 25 years to see if they survived their transition to train.  See above “only four Brothers issue.”

Blood Drinking.  In BDB, vampires don’t drink from humans.  Male vampires must drink from female vampires and female vampires must drink from male vampires.  One mated, they will only drink from their mates.   Now this becomes a problem for me for many reasons.   First of all, if one of the mated Brothers is hurt, he will drink from his mate.  Now she is suffering from blood loss, what’s she supposed to do, take the blood back from him.  In fact, even without blood loss you have a couple only getting sustenance from passing blood back and forth between them.  They do eat food, but I have an issue when we’re not bringing fresh blood into the mix.

We also have several unmated characters like Ehlena in Lover Avenged who is lonely and has been taking care of her father with vampire-type Alzheimers.  She just goes to work and comes home to take care of him.  Part of her falling for drug-dealing, pimp, club owner Rehvenge  is the fact that they are both lonely souls.   Ummm…where’s Ehlena been getting her blood from to survive? Certainly not her Dad.  Not a boyfriend.  And we learn in the first book that Dr. Havers has been unsuccessful in creating a bagged blood for vampires to survive on.    We also had the same problem with Marissa.  She was taking blood from Rehvenge after Wrath divorced her (we’ll get to all that) but Rehvenge is different from the other vampire boys but he makes a mental comment that Marissa wouldn’t catch on to the fact that he tastes different from other males since she doesn’t know differently. Marissa was shellan (wife) to Wrath for centuries and he fed from her.  If she wasn’t taking blood from Wrath, why wasn’t she dead centuries ago from starvation?   Bella is another one who didn’t have a friend with snack benefits.  Who were all these women snacking on before they mated?

I am sure the idea of only drinking blood from your lover might have sounded hot and sexy, but leaves a great big “what about the others?”

Carving your shellan’s name in your back.   Wrath had Beth’s name carved into his back when she became his shellan.  Is that below Marissa’s name?  Is her name crossed out?  How does that work with a second wife?  Do they discuss that in Tohrment’s book?

Characters I like:

Rhage and Mary.   Rhage is nicknamed Hollywood by his brothers since he is so good looking and he constantly has sex with strange women to keep the beast he is cursed with in check.   Although some of his hot, gorgeous brothers are jealous of all the women Rhage has sex with, Rhage has come to hate the faceless women he uses.   When he meets the plain-jane Mary, he is suffering from the pain after he changed into his beast the night before.  His vision is impaired, but just the sound of her voice and her scent is enough to sooth Rhage and he desperately wants to spend more time with her.   I really enjoyed their storyline.

Butch and Marissa.   Butch is everyone’s favorite Boston-accented cop.  Butch conveniently has some dormant vampire DNA which the Brotherhood kickstarts and turns Butch from human to vampire. Thankfully this is the only character that Ward has felt the need to cheat on.  You can’t help liking the tough as nails former cop and the fact that he is drop-to-his-knees-worshiping of Marissa, who was mistreated by Wrath, her brother and the entire glymera makes him special.

John Matthew.  John Matthew is the reincarnated Darius, who is killed by a car bomb in the first chapter of book 1.  (He couldn’t teleport out?  He didn’t even try.)  So far only the readers know about the John Matthew/Darius connection.   The Brother believe the John is the son of Darius.  John is a mute so this adds to his character’s dimension in dealing with is handicap and finding out so late in his teens that he was half-vampire.   Before he transitioned into a seven foot, muscle bound vampire, John was a scrawny weakling teen who was raped at gunpoint in a stairway leaving John with issues of his own value as a male in the Brotherhood.    I felt my temperature rise every time John stared at his love interest Xhex.  You could feel his stare like a caress.    I still waffle on whether or not I like Xhex for John.

Welsey and Dr. Jane.  Lovable women, but you all know how that turns out.

Characters I dislike:

The Scribe Virgin.  The Scribe Virgin is a bitch!  I’m having t-shirts made up so everyone knows.   She is  the vampire’s goddess and she rules them with an iron fist.   You can’t ask her anything without punishment and if she deigns to offer you a benevolence, she will make you pay for it with blood.

Wrath and Beth.   Wrath only sits on the throne because of a deal he made with the Scribe Virgin so he can divorce Marissa and marry Beth.  He never wanted to take up his role as King, a role he claims as the only pureblooded vampire left.   He only stepped up as a way to get out of his marriage to Marissa and take Beth as his shellan.   I’ve always been meh about Beth.   He might be blind, but he also a little stupid. In Wrath’s story, he goes to save Beth who is kidnapped by the Lessors.  Instead of sneaking up to the building, peeking in the window and teleporting in and killing one of the two guys who are watching her, and then teleporting over to kill the other guy.  He comes screaming into the building from 1/2 mile away giving them enough time to grab knives and guns and verify that they have ammo and they sit and wait until he shows up so they can fill him full of bullets before he can kill them.  Wrath almost dies from bullet wounds.  See above “fragile vampires.”

Phury and Cormia.  The biggest draw with this series is that only about half of the novel revolves around the couple being focused.  Everyone’s substory is being played out every other chapter.   Personally, I hated Phury and his drug addiction and his obsession with his brother’s wife. Cormia lived a very secluded life was a very wishy-washy character.  I would have skipped this book, but I would have lost the subplots and this is a series you have to read in order.

Bella and Zsadist.  I don’t exactly hate Bella and Zsadist, but after hearing so many fans rave about the love story between Bella and Zsadist, I expected so much more.  I love a damaged hero, but Zsadist is another level of Fucked up.  Chained, drugged and raped for a century could do that to a guy.  He had sexual issues far beyond the norm.   A century after being free and Zsadist is still messed up in the head.  Bella truly brought him back from the edge but I can’t say that I adored this story.

I think I’ve gotten it all off my chest, but we’ll see what happens when we come back for Part 2.

If you think I’ve gotten anything wrong, snark back. :)

 

 

 

You say Sharknado… The Worst Things about Romance!

snark_week_banner


See more snarking Parajunkee.com


Today’s Topic

You Say Snarknado – I say STFU! Cheesy Tropes, Eye-Rolling Inspiring Actions, Words & Phrases
that you 
just wish would stop being used in novels.

Birth Control and Lady Grooming is my snark for today!  

Let’s start with a snark of how the hell in this day and age we are still having dozens of books titled “The Billionaire’s Accidental Baby.”   Condoms are sold everywhere.  Men usually carry them in their wallets like a lottery ticket.  Gotta be in it to win it! You might not need it, but having it on you guaranties you are ready for sex at any time.  Broken condoms do happen, but you have to say at least they tried.  Not using one at all is just foolish and you have better odds of winning (or is it losing?) that gamble.

Now using birth control pills and having statuary-worthy grooming for your private area when you are in a relationship, or if you are just on the prowl, are understandable. What makes me yell “COME ON!” is when our heroine is a virgin or she hasn’t been in a sexual relationship for a number of years and she declares “It’s okay. I’m on birth control.”   SAY WHAT?

This is always followed by a ridiculous explanation which includes controlling irregular periods, heavy flows or bad cramps. Should we discuss the health risks involved with birth control pills? Migraines, high blood pressure, weight gain, blood clots... If you are taking birth control pills for a real health concern or say maybe to prevent pregnancy, ok go ahead and weigh the risks and take your pill.  If your risking deadly blood clots because you get crampy during your period, REALLY??  Just suck it up.

really

And as far as the virgins who are meticulously groomed down south, all I can do is give you another “REALLY?”   That seems to be a lot of upkeep for an area you are not showing to anyone else. It’s like waxing your car that never leaves the garage.

Maybe I’ve just been married too long, but see me during the wintertime…
bear

Feeding Frenzy! Worst Books Ever!!!

snark_week_banner


For more of Snark Week – Parajunkee.com


Today’s Topic :

Feeding Frenzy! The Top Ten List of Worst Books You’ve Ever Read.

If the end of the world occurred, with my luck the only books to survive the apolocylpse these would be these beauties:

MacRieve by Kresley Cole - This was a great story featuring a strong, lovable heroine, a sexy, damaged hero and sexual tension galore. It was wonderful up until the moment when our damaged hero finds out that his human mate is in fact half-succubus and he is so disgusted by his own lust for this “abomination” that he vomits after taking her virginity. This is not the only time regurgitation occurs. MacRieve spends half his time lusting and half his time vomiting.  I was actually disgusted that Chloe forgave him without making him grovel–for years.

Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris – I was a fan of True Blood.  As a book lover, I know that most movies are missing all the intensity, emotion and extras that are missing from a novel.  I started reading the Sookie Stackhouse series, but I didn’t enjoy the characters or the storyline as much as I did True Blood.  When Dead Ever After came out as the final book, I wanted to see how Charlaine Harris was going to end the series. I must say as a series finale book, it was the most boring book I ever read.  The absolute worst scene is listening to Sookie listing all of items in her nightstand.    This one didn’t end with a bang, it ended with a What??

Under the Dome by Stephen King – Stephen King was the first author whose novels I ever sought out, and The Stand is one of my all-time favorite books.  Although I fell in easily with Mr. King’s writing style, I was thoroughly annoyed after meeting all of the main characters because I could easily start picking out exactly what other novel I met them in.  His characters were all standard Stephen King characters.   The nemesis in this book was suffering from a brain tumor unlike the others novels where he would have been possessed by the devil, etc., but all these characters can be found in almost every Stephen King novel.    I have always had a problem with Mr. King’s endings, that is why I enjoy his short stories so much more.   Although I won’t give away the ending to this story, I have to tell you it was the stupidest explanation for this town being trapped under this dome.  When they made the TV miniseries and it was getting rave reviews, I looked at my husband and said, just wait until they find out why.

Sail by James Patterson and Howard Roughan – I really enjoyed James Patterson’s Alex Cross series and this book had peeked my interest. It was one of the first audiobooks that I tried and I had to listen to it on CDs.   In this story, someone is trying to kill the family and when they take their boat for a sail, it explodes in the middle of the ocean.  The story was somewhat interesting and the family made it to an island and although no one else know that their boat blew up, somehow the bad guy found them on this remote, uninhabited island.  The last thing before I changed to the final CD was one of the main characters being chased by the bad guy.  I always had the next CD prepped and ready for the change and when I changed it, they were suddenly home again.  I pulled over at the first opportunity figuring I must have switched the wrong CD, but no, the story just sort of dropped off from a fight for survival to a recap of what happened from the point of the chase onward.  After a big build up, it’s like the author just ran out of ideas of what to do next.

Her Dark Knight by Sharon Cullen – The hero in this story was an immortal Templar and the heroine was the reincarnation of his love from the 1400’s.  This story was well written in that it bounced you back and forth between their former relationship and current day where he tries to convince her of their past connection and protect her once again from someone who wants to do her harm.   I really couldn’t put it down.  But her life in the 1400’s was the most depressing story.  Her husband is a sadistic bastard who rapes her just for the hell of it.   His most trusted adviser lusts after her and tries to molest her whenever possible.   Our hero is the only one who shows her kindness and wants to help her, but he is a knight for the lord of the castle and if the husband ever found the Knight near her they would be killed.   We know from the start that she was reincarnated and we know that she dies young, but reading the horrible life that she was subjected to in 1309 solidified my desire never to read any more stories from this time period.

Beautiful Disaster/Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire -  Beautiful Disaster is a first person story told by Abby.  Walking Disaster is the same story told by Travis.  These stories were getting a lot of buzz so I downloaded audible copies of both books which I intended to read back to back.  To begin with, I hated these characters.  HATED THEM!   Abby played hot and cold and spent the whole book jerking Travis around.  She liked Travis but didn’t want to get involved with another boy like him.  She kisses him, but doesn’t want to get involved with him.  She has sex with him, but doesn’t want to get involved with him.  He is on his knees, begging, crying and pleading for her to give him another chance, and she walks away.  The premise of the story is that Abby loses a bet to Travis and ends up having to live with Travis in his apartment (more particularly sharing his room).  They shared a room but didn’t have sex right away.  Because of this Travis fell in love with Abby.   Travis had a violent temper and Abby was the first woman whom he dated and not just had sex with.  Most other “dates” included quickies on his couch.  In fact, he made her understand that she was the first woman he had sex with in his bed.  How romantic!   I tried to listen to Walking Disaster, but just couldn’t listen to these two all over again just from his POV.  It was only on many recommendations that I skipped to the end of Travis’s book to get an epilogue.  I did like grown up Travis much better than college Travis, but it doesn’t make up for two novels of these two awful characters.

His Dark Bond by Anne Marsh –  The premise of this story is that there is a group of fallen angels living on earth.  They will grant your greatest wish but you have to bond your living energy with them for a period of time depending on the value of your wish.  They learn that bonding with the women of the thirteenth tribe of Israel (which disappeared) could return their wings to them.  In the first book, the heroine created a pee-on-a-stick DNA test which they forced her to use herself to determine that she was one of the descendants.  In this second book, they had a list of possible women that the non-fallen angels were using to kill the women so that the fallen angels couldn’t get their wings back.  They beat the non-fallen to the heroine, save her and then proceed to abduct her so that she can choose one of the fallen to bond/mate with so he could get his wings back, never disclosing to her that they intended for her to mate/marry one of them.  Although the head angel wanted her to pick another worthy angel and not him, he had no problem feeling her up and in fact, sticking his fingers in her hooha while taking the elevator down so she could have her speed date with 200 prospective fallen angels.   First of all, they abduct this woman and tell her she has to make a wish and bond her energy with (read:  have sex with) a fallen angel.  She declines but they force her to accept.  That it forced prostitution, making her have sex with a stranger in exchange for a gift.  Secondly, they never mention that the gift/bond must be witnessed by another angel.  So not only do you have forced prostitution, but forcing her to perform live sex acts for an audience.  Thirdly, since she is a scientist, they want her to use her skills to DNA type possible candidates so they can make their own list of other women they can abduct to get their wings back.  Hmmm…shouldn’t a fallen angel do something good to earn back their wings, not rape unsuspecting women for their prospective DNA, or is that just me?

Eternity’s Mark by Maeve Greyson –  This was a ho-hum paranormal romance involving a half-human/half dragon hero.  I am not much for dragon shifter stories, because my brain always makes them a cartoony Puff-the-Magic-Dragon type character which isn’t hot at all.   I was not overly excited by this book but I have to say two things which turned me completely off (and there will be a spoiler here):  the first was that the hero made his lady love a token of affection from his birth shell.  What???  He was hatched from an egg.  That would make his mom a dragon and his dad a human.  How–how did that work?  Is it bestiality if she’s a dragon?    Here’s the spoiler — he is killed in the final battle protecting his love, but apparently, he is reincarnated? when she dumps his ashes into her magic hot tub?

The Werewolf’s Wife by Michele Hauf –  Here is another story which was an okay paranormal romance.  I had read another vampire book from Michele Hauf that I had like so I tried this werewolf story.  I was unaware that one of her world building story points  involving the mating habits of werewolves included him turning from human to werewolf during sex so he could mate with her.  Personally, I would be pretty F’ing freaked out if the man I was having sex with started turning into a hairy beast and started biting me.   I think this one does qualify as bestiality.

Desire the Night by Amanda Ashley – This book started out pretty interesting.  A witch captures a vampire and drains his blood to drink to keep her youth and beauty.   Whenever he is weak and close to starving, she tosses him a pretty girl for dinner.   This last time, the girl she abducted was a half human/half werewolf .   He holds back his hunger because he know if he waits until the full moon she will be strong enough to break them out.  A friendship develops between them which buds into romance.   Upon their escape, the plot points of this book go all to hell.   I’ll believe that your vampire can turn into mist if that’s what you want to write, but you can’t make me choke down things that don’t make sense.  Her Alpha werewolf father hates humans.  So first of all, why was he dating her mother whom he got pregnant and had to marry?  Hmmm?  If he was so controlling, why did he allow the heroine to leave the werewolf compound to live with the humans for a year, especially when he planned for her to marry the son of another local Alpha?  Then, the witch can’t use magic to find him since as a vampire he is dead, but she could find him through the heroine.  So to keep her safe and to keep the witch off his back, he sends her back to the controlling father for safe-keeping, who takes her over to the other Alpha.  They then disavow her marriage to the vampire, and force her to marry the Alpha’s son who then forces her to have sex with him.  Since the vampire can’t go where he isn’t invited, he can’t get onto the compound to rescue her.  *Spoiler*  Her mother commit suicide as a distraction so her daughter can escape, and then our heroine returns to the compound to attend her mother’s funeral!   (Thanks, Sweetheart.  Glad I died for you.) That’s just a few issues I had with this story.  Plot wise, this story made no sense.

Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon –  Now, I haven’t read Styxx and at this point, I have no plans to ever change that. I am a huge fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series, but I haven’t had to time to squeeze in the 836 page Styxx when it came out last year, but I do have a copy of it which I loaned to one of my friends.  Styxx is the brother of the main Dark Hunter character Acheron whose story was released in 2008.  I probably read Acheron in 2010 since I was a late comer to the series.  After reading a few chapters of Styxx my friend came to me and asked about the relationship between Acheron and Styxx.  In Acheron’s book, Styxx is presented as the pampered prince and Acheron was the unwanted son sent to his Uncle’s who raped him and made him a whore.   The first half of Acheron is horrible and depressing and I hoped to never read it again, although I did skim through it when I wrote an article for HeroesandHeartbreakers.com about the relation between Acheron and Styxx. My friend asked me specifically about the brother’s relationship because in Styxx, it is presented that Acheron and Styxx were once best friends. I re-read Acheron’s Book as well as Night Embrace (where Styxx makes an appearance) looking not only for quotes about their relationship, but also I was looking for some indication that Styxx felt any regret for Acheron’s suffering at the hands of their father or their Uncle. I found nothing.  NOTHING!!  Not a look, not a utterance, nothing which would indicate that Styxx cared about Acheron’s suffering at all.  My friend also indicated that Styxx made reference to Styxx living his whole life feeling all the pain that was inflicted on Acheron, so anytime Acheron was beated or whipped, Styxx also felt the pain, but couldn’t react to it without being subjected to his own punishment. Not only do we learn in Acheron, that after Styxx’s actions in Night Embrace, Artemis punishes Styxx by subjecting him to all Acheron’s memories of his past, but you would have thought if Styxx felt all of Acheron’s pain, he would have made the effort to stop the scene where their father had Acheron castrated. I absolutely hate that Sherrilyn Kenyon tries to respin the entire history of these brothers at such a late point in the series in order to make Styxx a likable, vulnerable character. I have read several series where the bad guy is made into a good guy and I am amazed how much I like him. In this case, I think the author is cheating in rewriting the history that we were already given of these characters to make us sympathetic to Styxx when he was so far painted as a heartless villain.

Snark Attack! Too Many Books. Not Enough Time.

snark_week_banner


Check out Parajunkee for more snarking. :)


Today’s Topic:

Snark Attack! Tell us how you really feel about a particular blogging subject. Let it off your chest. This is your chance to just EXPLODE!

Like any other hobby, book blogging has it’s up and downs.   How can getting a buttload of free books be a problem, you ask?   Too many books. Sometimes it’s just way too many.  Although I try really hard to be selective about the books I take, they always sound sooo good and I am a notorious book hoarder.  (My name is Lucy and I am a Book Hoarder.) If it wasn’t for the fact that most of my books are now digital and go on my Nook, you would be seeing me on one of those Hoarder shows where they would be digging a dead cat out from under a collapsed stack of Nora Roberts novels. cat box

Truly the only thing better than getting approved for an advanced digital copy of the next book from your favorite author is coming home to a surprise advance paperback you weren’t even expecting from one of your favorite authors. *happy dance* I have tried to seek help for my addiction, but it always turns into Book Club. (We meet on Thursdays.)

But the real torture of book reviewing is the Advance Review Copies. Sometimes I stare at those ARCs with tears in my eyes. I might have a copy two months or more before the release date of a book I am dying to read, but I have a TBR list of 10 or more books that are going to soon hit their release dates that have to be read and reviews need to be posted. That’s where my mother comes in. Like a shark smelling blood in the water, she swooped in the other day and stole a Nora Roberts books that I had for a whole 20 minutes. For the next months she will ask me if I’ve gotten to it yet so we can talk about it.

As if the books I choose aren’t already overwhelming, I receive a barrage of requests from authors or from these new blog promoters out there who have started a business promoting for self-published authors by creating blog tours. Although I would love to help out every author looking to get their book noticed, I have to go back to the simple statement “Too many books.  Not enough time.”   I have had a moratorium all year on book review requests, but I still received dozens of e-mails each week requesting a review, an interview or a promotion.

What started out as a hobby has have turned it into a very busy, unpaid job where I need to keep track of deadlines, postings and release dates.   Am I ready to call it quits? HELL NO! I just need to figure out how to read more. I already use digital and audiobooks to double my reading, I am starting to seriously think about finding some way to directly download to my brain. book brain

Friday Giveaway – Festive in Death by J.D. Robb

It’s Friday again. Oh so happy. :) We’re going to be playing with some other bloggers next week and joining Parajunkee.com’s Snark Week. So we’ll be snarking and complaining next week about bad books, bad tropes and book blogger issues. I am also posting a blog that I keep discussing with my friends — My Love/Hate Relationship with the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

So if you have some book issues that you want to get off your chest, stop by next week and gripe with us. *game face – Grrr* 

snark_week_banner

***NOTE:  I had a spaz moment and my Rafflecopter ended too early.  Leave a comment below (or just say Hi) to be entered.******

We’re gonna be snarking next week. Is there anything this summer that’s pissing you off? Not enough me time? Not enough beach time? Your anticipated new book sucked? Snark for us. *Grrrr*

This week’s giveaway is a hardcover copy of the upcoming release Festive in Death by J.D. Robb. Giveaway open to U.S. residents. 18 years and older please.  Giveaway ends Thursday, August 14th.


Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition. If you didn’t count the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who’d been loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler’s enemies, she’s also dealing with her Christmas shopping list—plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband’s upcoming holiday bash.

Feeling less than festive, Dallas tries to put aside her distaste for the victim and solve the mystery of his death. There are just a few investigating days left before Christmas, and as New Year’s 2061 approaches, this homicide cop is resolved to stop a cold-blooded killer.


The Promise by Robyn Carr

The Promise (Thunder Point, #5) height=190


ORDER A COPY: The Promise (Thunder Point) (English Edition)

Publisher: Harlequin
Publishing Date: June 24, 2014
Paperback: 363 pages

Rating: 4 stars


Scott Grant has a bustling family practice in the small Oregon community of Thunder Point. The town and its people have embraced the widowed doctor and father of two, his children are thriving, and Scott knows it’s time to move on from his loss. But as the town’s only doctor, the dating scene is awkward. That is, until a stunning physician’s assistant applies for a job at his clinic.

Peyton Lacoumette considers herself entirely out of the dating scene. She’s already been burned by a man with kids, and she’s come to Thunder Point determined not to repeat past mistakes. When Scott offers her a job, at a much lower salary than she’s used to, Peyton is surprisingly eager to accept…at least for now. She’s willing to stay for a three-month trial period while she explores other options.

Scott and Peyton know the arrangement is temporary—it isn’t enough time to build a real relationship, never mind anything with lasting commitment. But love can blossom faster than you think when the timing is right, and this short visit just might hold the promise of forever.


This is the story of Peyton Lacoumetter and Dr. Scott Grant. Peyton is a physician’s assistant at loose ends since her cardiologist boyfriend tossed her out as both his fiancee and office PA. She had lived with him for three years and tried to help raise his two obnoxious children who hated her. She stops in Thunder Point and applies for a job in the clinic there until she can decide where to go from here.

Dr. Grant is a widower with two young children. She refuses to get stuck in that trap again. His children are respectful, obedient and lovable. Peyton is still leery of getting involved. Peyton finds the town and the people friendly and caring but she still wants more. She is offered a PA job at much more money and prestige and is torn between what she thinks she wants and staying in Thunder Point. The doctor is in love with her and tells her to follow her heart.

In the meantime, her old fiancee returns and wants Peyton back saying he made a big mistake letting her go. Now she must decide between Ted, who is wealthy, charming (when he wants to be) and good looking and Dr. Grant who is also attractive, but broke and kind to everyone.

Should she return to the fiancee or stay at Thunder Point?

THOUGHTS:
This is the third book in the Thunder Point series, but it works well as a stand alone book if you haven’t read the first two.

If you have been following the series, we are re-introduced to many of the people you have already met from the other books.

One thing that did make me angry is that Ted’s horrible daughter begs Peyton to come help her after she makes a horrible decision that will screw up her life. She treated Peyton horribly, but has no problem asking her to drop everything and rush to her rescue.

This is an interesting book and it is nice to see what happened to the other characters in the series.

Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

“One last game of Candy Land?” she asked the squeaky clean kids.

“Yay! One more!”

And then it was quiet time. They wanted to “camp” with their Kindles and crawled under the table. “Peyton, you can come in, too, if you want.”

“Think I can fit?”

“You have to make yourself small. And be careful about your head,” Jenny said.

“What the heck,” she said. down on all fours, she crawled into the tent, ducking her head for the wooden braces where the leaf fit. “Just for a little while. I should put the tent away before your daddy gets home.”

“It’s okay. It doesn’t make Daddy mad,” Will said.

“He’s a very good daddy,” Peyton said, once inside. Will and Jenny slid apart, putting her in the middle. “Very nice,” she said. “You can live here.”

“We have a real tent,” Will informed her.

“For camping?” she asked.

“Uh-huh. We camp in the backyard, but pretty soon we’re going to camp on the beach before it gets too cold. You can come, too if you want to.”

“That is so sweet,” she said, carefully lying down on her back between the two of them, her feet sticking out of the tent. “Sadly, I will be busy that day. So, now what do we do?”

“We watch,” Jenny said.

She held her small screen to share with Peyton while Will was not so charitable. He rolled on his side, his back curled against Peyton, watching his screen privately. She snuck a peak to make sure it wasn’t inappropriate; he was into dragons, it appeared. “Well, I guess I’ll watch with you. What’s this?”

Up,” Jenny said. “It’s about balloons.”

Indeed. A balloon salesman who had a very satisfactory life selling the, married to a happy wife, growing older gracefully if not completely fulfilled since he missed out on some adventures. But he was mostly content. And then his wife died!

“He’s going to cry now,” Jenny pointed out.

“I think I”m going to cry,” Peyton said.

Jenny turned toward her and gently stroke her cheek with her small hand, turning her beautiful big brown eyes up to Peyton. “It’s okay. I’m right here.”

Oh, God! did she really hear right? She’s four!

Stop, Peyton, stop! Do not fall in love with these children! They belong to the boss!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 746 other followers