Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Haunted Sanctuary by Moira Rogers


Green Pines - Book 1

I'm not a huge fan of shifter books. I don't read very many, but I will read Moira Rogers' because I enjoy the way she writes, period. In Haunted Sanctuary, we have the tale of the creation of a sanctuary for wolf-shifters, werewolves, the first book in the Green Pines series. Now, as I understand things this takes place in the same universe as two other series, Red Rock Pass (the original) and Building Sanctuary (the prequel), but I have read neither - yet.

I enjoyed Haunted Sanctuary, the love story between Eden and Jay, the coming together of the pack, the transformation of Eden from woman to werewolf. All that. :) I also was THRILLED that Eden was over 30 years of age and had life and romantic experience. That was refreshing. And I really liked Jay. He seemed to me to be a quiet alpha, not overpowering everyone with his presence - well, maybe Eden, but that's a whole 'nother thing, right? :)

I liked that the refugees from the were-anarchy in the city remained frightened and concerned and not totally willing to trust all through the book. What they had been through is not something that could be overcome in just a week or two. There was a bit of thawing, a bit of relaxing, but it's obvious that there is still a lot of work for Jay, Eden and the others to do to help these people.

Interestingly, I found that even though the title is Haunted Sanctuary and we get few hints of actual ghosts during the story. Most of the ghosts are really what lurk in the minds of the abused folk from the city and the ghosts that Eden has to overcome from her past.

I found I wanted more for Zack, who we meet as Eden's cousin. I assume that this will come up in later books in the series... and this is why I hate series, it leaves what to me are important plotlines, hanging. Yes, this was Eden and Jay's story, and I appreciate that we're probably going to get a Zack book at some point, but he and his struggles just seemed to me to be so integral to this tale that I wanted more closure than what I got. (That's also a big reason why I only gave it 3 1/2 stars instead of 4.)

I realise that I've gotten this far in my review and I've not really addressed the sex scenes which, you know, are a huge part of a romance book. *LOL* Well, they are one of the reasons I enjoy Moira Rogers' writing so much. Excellent, hot, steamy, fun, intense sex scenes. (When Jay puts her on the table/counter (?) in the kitchen... OMG, HOT!!)

So all in all, a very good beginning to what promises to be an interesting series. I have put the second book on my 'to acquire' list.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Check It Out!

This is a terrific blog post by Lisa Henry and illustrates the main reason I enjoy this genre so much. :)

Boys In Our Books - BDSM Week - Guest Post: Lisa Henry

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux


Sidewinder - Book 1

Abi never disappoints. This was all kinds of sexy fun. :)

That being said, I was one of the few who never.. NEVER saw anything other than close friendship between Kelly and Nick in Touch & Geaux. I still don't, but that's okay. Many others did and were vocal about and Abi picked it up and ran with with it and we, the readers and fans, end up with another couple to cheer for, and Abi gets a terrific way to segue from Ty and Zane's story into the tales of the Sidewinder boys. And Kelly... dammit, he's on his way to becoming my all time favourite in the C&R/Sidewinder Universe. I love his crazy sense of fun and adventure, love his dirty, twisty mind and his utter boyishness.

Along with the ebook novella of Shock & Awe, came another shorty, Bait & Switch. For my money, this all could have been combined together in one Shock & Awe novella quite neatly. I don't know why Abi chose to do it this way, but she did. Both parts are terrific. Hot and steamy sexytimes. Men baring their emotions to each other as well as laughing and being silly together. This is Abi's world and she does it so well.

And Zane... baby... he came near to making me cry.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Screw the Fags by Josephine Myles


This is what I call a Shorty, around 50 pages and it was also a freebie. It takes place after Screwing the System, but can be very easily read on its own. And it should be because it's a fabulously fun little tale! 

There's some BDSM, but it's happy BDSM and I love Jo for that. Cosmo is a very bratty, very lovable young sub and Alasdair is his older, experienced dom and most probably love of his life. :) Cosmo's birthday is coming up and thereby hangs the tale. It's a fun, funny, sexy, affectionate romp and just the thing when you're looking for something light-hearted and happy.

The title is a bit of a pun, but you may have to be from the UK or aware of UK slang to get it.

Anyway, the first book, which I've not read, is going on my To Acquire list!

Friday, November 15, 2013

When In Doubt

So, when in doubt about what to read - something that occurs after every installment of The Flesh Cartel for me - I end up heading for a shorty. So I'm reading Jo Myles' Screw the Fags. I really need to add more of her stuff to my library. :)

The Flesh Cartel - Permanent Record by Heidi Belleau and Rachel Haimowitz


The Flesh Cartel - Episode 11

I really enjoyed this installment of The Flesh Cartel. We got more into both Mat's and Dougie's thought processes about where they're at now. It's more Mat's story this time around, I think. About how he feels about Dougie's (seeming to him) betrayal, about Roger and about all his thoughts, fears and resignation for the future. There's also some time in Dougie's head and I find it totally fascinating to see where the boy is now as compared to his arrival at Nicolai's, for instance. I also think it was a very wise move on the part of the authors to remind us that Dougie is young. 24, I think? And we learn more about what will be expected of him by his new owner, Allen.

As well, we are introduced to Nate, the detective and his partner Louise. He's had a crush on Mat for a long while and he finds the disappearance of the brothers to be... unsettling. :)

I dread the next installment. It's not going to be easy to read, I don't think. But that's part of why I love this serial. It's tough, it makes you want to turn away, it's fascinating in it's horror and it continues to break my heart.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wild Card by Moira Rogers


Down & Dirty - Book 1

Well that was quick. :)

Wolf shifters in a post-plague world. Sexy, sexy MCs, both Ginny and Jack. Their connection is electric, their bedroom romps sexy, heated and fun, their every-day conversations laden with tension. The pairing worked really, really well.

Oh yeah, there was a bit of a plot. :) Something about rogue members of the pack, of which Jack is the alpha, out for Ginny's ... something. Land? Cattle? Herself? And then another bit where the young female of the bunch, Hazel, is coming into her first wolf shifter heat. It seems like there aren't as many female werewolves as there are male. And I post myself the question... in Romancelandia, are wolf shifters the same as werewolves?

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this novella. It wasn't great, but damn, it was hot, sexy and fun. I would have liked to know the reasons behind Ginny staying away from Jack for so long and I would have liked to know more about this post-apocalyptic world and how the pack functioned etc... which is why it lost a start in my rating. :/

But I'll tell ya.. I do love Moira Roger's sexytimes scenes. :)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rush by Maya Banks


The Breathless Trilogy - Book 1

Well, Rush was not exactly a rush, if you know what I mean I was really looking forward to reading this one, it came fairly well recommended by folks whose opinion I trust, so I was expecting something special. Sadly, it was a case of Lunchbag Letdown.

Here we have another young woman meets successful billionaire - BDSM ensues - emotions enter the picture - misunderstandings take place - BDSM goes wrong - confessions of love - everyone's happy and OH LOOK... sequel fodder!

What bugged me about the book? Well, first off, the first third seemed to be a total rip-off of that other book, you know, the one that started this bullcrap. Did Ms. Banks write this in response to the success of that book? Was this supposed to be tongue in cheek? I have no idea, it was never hinted at, so, for me? Rip-off of the same material, but thank God, the writing is better.

Also... is there a rule book somewhere that says that young, submissive female heroines in BDSM erotica books that are involved with older billionaires NEVER KNOW ENOUGH TO EAT PROPERLY! WTF is that?? You know, to make a hand-feeding scene sexy you don't have to have your sub be dining-challenged. As a matter of fact, it kinda works better if she/he loves food.

Another thing that bugged me throughout the whole books was the author's use of "cream". I'm guessing "cum" grossed her out? Fine and dandy, there are other words, but "cream" sounds like something out of a bad porno read to me. Which reminds me, there was a scene where the hero takes the heroine in his office. She orgasms all over the place until "cream" is dripping from her, then he fucks her and there's more "cream" and it reads like there's a flood of ejaculate everywhere and all I could wonder was who was going to clean up the puddle of cum on the floor. (Hint - nobody does.)

Gabe is the hero. God, he was unlikable. I don't care how many times we're told that he feels so guilty for not taking things slow with Mia (and what, is Mia the name for the early 2010s?), he never, EVER does... unless they're "making love" which means no real BDSM interaction. He's selfish, he's greedy, he's a navel-gazer, he's spoiled, he lacks empathy, in fact, the only thing going for him is really that he looks sexy and has lots of money. All he can think about is fucking Mia... fucking her all over the place. And while I like my heroes to be somewhat obsessed with my heroines, this ... it was too out of control for me to find enjoyable.

Which brings me to the big turning point in the story. There is a scene with three other men... now... Gabe is supposed to be Mr. Uber Dom? I don't care HOW fucked up he is over how he might be feeling about Mia, he is NOT going to put her through THAT. It was a totally distasteful scene and in my opinion, really had no place in an erotic BDSM romance. The other big scene, when Mia's brother, Jace, and the third man in the Friend Triumvirate (It's a trilogy, after all), Ash find out what has been transpiring between the sweet, little Mia and Uber Dom Gabe frankly had me laughing as if it was a slapstick comedy.

Seriously, what this book ended up saying, to me, was that, once again, true romance, true love, cannot be found within a BDSM relationship. And I KNOW that's not true. Maya Banks is a good writer, she writes good sex scenes (except for that cream shit), her characters are okay enough, she could make this work, but she falls back on the mainstream perception that BDSM is for the flawed, that it is flawed and no true love can be based on it. She doesn't come right out and say it, but it's implied by the path the narrative takes. It would have been so much hotter to see Mia bloom under Gabe's tutelage, to see them both come to embrace and enjoy the lifestyle side of their relationship in a healthy, fun and satisfying way. Kit Rocha does this with her "Beyond" series. Her characters are more full and rich and develop over the span of the book, unlike Gabe and Mia who, for me, stayed cardboard cutouts until the end.

I was disappointed and won't be spending my $ on the other two in the trilogy.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Long Time Gone by S.E. Jakes


Hell or High Water - Book 2

You know a book is good when you get angry at yourself for not making more time to read it. I even went to bed early the night before because I was dying to read more about Prophet and Tommy.

A true adventure story, this one seems a little less grand than the tale that introduced us to Prophet and Tommy, To Catch a Ghost, the story a little more personal, probably because we're taken to the small Louisiana parish where Tommy grew up. We meet friends, family, enemies and find out some of what makes Tom, Tom, and we're treated to a mystery from the past that rears its ugly head in the present.

I love how S.E. writes her characters. These are guys and their conversation and banter is PERFECT for this type of buddy adventure story. I love both of them. And I truly love the way that they're falling in love with each other and are addicted physically to each other in the most SEXY of ways. And the conflict! Oh my Lord, these boys are not going into this relationship easily! And I love it!

One of my favourite shows these days is Strike Back and I find that same 'black ops' adventure flavour present in this "Hell or High Water" series as I do in the show.

I would highly, HIGHLY recommend both books (because you really need to read book #1 before reading this one) to anyone who enjoys buddy/adventure m/m type of tale. I can tell you that I'm going to add S.E. Jakes to my 'gotta read' list of authors and am kind of thrilled that she has a bit of a backlist for me to get through. :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

You Know What? A Rant

I posted this over at my daily blog, but since it's mainly about reading, I should post it here too. :)

When did we become such a society of non-risk takers? Even worse, when did we stop allowing ourselves the pleasure of being surprised by our entertainment? When did it become de rigeurto know everything about a book, movie, TV show before reading or watching it? And I'm not talking about spoilers, folks.

Just look at the fervour with which people tried to suss out the details of the latest Star Trek movie. The world was going to end if we didn't know which villain Benedict Cumberbatch was going to be portraying. And really, did the knowing make the pain of the let down of that movie any easier? And really, if you're reading spoilers etc.. about Scandal, then you're missing a HUGE treat when you watch the week's episode.

I read a lot. I follow a lot of reader blogs and author blogs. I use Twitter a lot to follow these folks too, because they're interesting and funny people for the most part. I have come to realise that these days, part of marketing a book is to put half of it out there, all over the internet, in sample chapters or previews or teasers. There's also a big deal about cover reveals (more on that later) and authors are interviewing all over about books that aren't even going to be out for months! I mean seriously! There is one series I read that the 4th book is just going to be out this week and the authors are interviewing about the following book! And this is the norm these days, not the exception.

Don't people want to be surprised any more? I don't want to know about what I'm going to be reading, that's no fun! I don't want to lay down $ for something I already know all about. I do my best to avoid all these things, I don't read the interviews, I don't read reviews that come out before the book is available to the general public, I don't read reviews of books I know I want to purchase until after I've read the book! And as for tweeting those little snippets of your book that was published months ago, the same snippets over and over and over again? Well, I won't be buying that book. Sorry, you've turned me off any interest I may have had.

There's just too much pre-release information out there in my opinion. The surprise is gone. The delight of discovering what your favourite author has done with your favourite character while you eagerly turn page after page long after you should have been asleep, is gone. The anticipation of what you're going to see up on the big screen that will make you gasp or cry or laugh is gone. It's all so damned SAFE these days. I suppose it's a result of the internet age and ebooks and the rise of indie, small and self publishing, but, call me old-fashioned, I don't like it.

And as for covers! Let me tell you. A favourite book that I (and many others) term as a psycho-sexual thriller, that has SO much deep and violent shit in it... should NOT have a damned cover that looks like it's a new Harry Potter book!