Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games Trilogy

By Suzanne Collins

Book blurbs:
The stunning Hunger Games trilogy is complete!The extraordinary, ground breaking New York Times bestsellers The Hunger Games andCatching Fire, along with the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay, are available for the first time ever in a beautiful boxset edition. Stunning, gripping, and powerful. The trilogy is now complete!

Set in a dark vision of near future a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdee steps forward to take her younger sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. 

I am pretty sure that The Hunger Games trilogy was my first time reading dystopia books. It was a nice change to have a little time away from romance. I could not be satisfied with soley reading dystopian books though. I do like to switch it up every now and then and toss in a different genre to read. However if it is normal for dystopian books to end like Mockingjay did, I am most certainly going to pass. I find myself angry right now. 

Lets start from the beginning. 

My teenage son has been after me for over a year to read this series. I finally did. I loved The Hungers Games and devoured Catching Fire. I burned through Mockingjay and then at the end of the book I wanted to throw it across the room. I was so angry. Mad. Disappointed. I wanted to lash out and yell at the author. I feel it was a waste of time reading the series that consumed my life this past week. I even watched The Hunger Games movie and then went to the last show at the theater to watch Catching Fire. I was so pumped going into Mockingjay. I feel...betrayed. Some may feel I am being overly dramatic but I was buried in these books and had forgotten to eat meals and go to the bathroom while reading them. 

To reveal the reasons for my frustration and anger would call for me to share a lot spoilers. Lets just say that reading this series has made me gravitate back towards romance because I need my happily ever after. I learned that about myself. I need that happy ending. I guess that is why I love romance books so much. 

I am going to still rate the series as a 5 but if I was to do them separately, 5 stars for The Hunger Games and Catching Fire but a lowly 2 for Mockingjay. Not just because the lousy ending but because it was disappointment after disappointment as I was ploughing through chapter after chapter. 

I talked about Mockingjay with my son and he says that he figured I'd be mad about the ending but it was still a good read. Right? 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Look of Love by Bella Andre

Chase Sullivan and Chloe Peterson's book

The Look of Love (The Sullivan's book 1)

By Bella Andre

Book Blurb:
Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she’s convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he? 

As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women, and whenever he’s home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is—until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love—and protect—her, but will she let him? 

Chloe vows never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Only, with every loving look Chase gives her—and every sinfully sweet caress—as the attraction between them sparks and sizzles, she can’t help but wonder if she’s met the only exception. And although Chase didn’t realize his life was going to change forever in an instant, amazingly, he isn’t the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he’s gearing up for a different fight altogether…for Chloe’s heart.

At about 60% I was ready to throw in the towel with The Look of Love. I kept going because I don't like not finishing a book. I also purchased a bunch of Bella Andre books in a package deal which were the first five books of this Sullivan series. I kept hoping and hoping that I would eventually get drawn into this story. I didn't. 

The word "lovely" was used 55 times to describe Chloe. 55 times! Chloe had a lovely face, a lovely personality, lovely toes and even her clitoris was described as lovely. Oy with the lovely already!

It was also way over the top with how beautiful everyone was. Of course Chloe was "lovely" but Chase and all his Sullivan family were all gorgeous, the models that Chase photographed were all beautiful, the guest house wasn't just nice it was breathtaking. The winery scenery was perfect. There was so much perfection oozing from the story that I found myself wanting something to go wrong just to bring some normalcy to the story. 

One of my pet peeves with books is where the author writes that the protagoists had "never" experienced what was happening to them over and over again. Each orgasm was more and more mind blowing and they'd never experienced such an orgasm before. 

Here are just a few of the nauseating examples,
"...not only has Chase never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out..."
"...Chloe Peterson had never felt so wet...."
" he'd never seen anyone or anything quite so pretty..."
"...she'd never worn clothes this gorgeous."
"She'd never been like this before, vacillating from one extreme to another..."
"never been like this before, never like this with anyone.."
"I've never been kissed like that before."
"She'd never seen anyone like Chase before."
"She'd never been able to find a man who really understood her before."
I could go on and on and on with all the experiences that they never had before. 

I was also rolling my eyes reading that they were already dropping the "I love you" and a marriage proposal by the end of their introductory weekend. What were they basing this love on? Well of course I got that Chase was drop dead gorgeous and Chloe was lovely but what else was the draw? There was lots and lots of sex but I really wasn't sure what it was that had them immediately falling in love. Lust I understood but love? It just wasn't realistic to me. Chase went from sleeping regularly with many different women to proposing all in one weekend. 

The Look of Love tried really hard but it really failed for me and I was never so happy to finish a book before. Someone please tell me that the rest of the books are way better than this first book since I already bought them. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dead Again by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Sophie and Jack's book

Dead Again

By Tracy Cooper-Posey

Book Blurb:
Ten years ago, Sophie and Jack survived a small plane crash. They fell in love in the five days they were stranded on a mountainside, but Jack’s injuries were ultimately fatal. Jack’s love and death left indelible fingerprints on Sophie’s soul and completely changed her life.

Sophie is now a stressed single mom in a small Montana Rockies town, running a cafĂ© and warding off the attention of the town’s corrupt Chief of Police when a drifter called Martin arrives in Serenity Falls. 

Martin holds the key to Sophie’s heart, along with a secret that will rip apart the town. He plunges her into after-shocks caused by the five days she spent with Jack in the mountains, stirring up state governors, district attorneys and one of the deadliest crime lords in the land. Martin’s secret puts Sophie directly in their cross-hairs. 

For Sophie, life is about to change all over again…

I've had Dead Again sitting on my Kindle for a long time. I'm trying to go through and read some books that I've had for a long time before I buy some new ones. What a great decision because I just loved Dead Again

Dead Again is a great story. The premise is romance since it is about Jack and Sophie becoming an eventual couple but the journey to their successful relationship was all the meat and potatoes of Dead Again. It was a fabulous ride!

Dead Again starts out with a plane crash and how they survived for five days with serious injuries and rationed supplies. This part of the book was amazing. Very creative ideas the author invented for Jack and Sophie to make it through. I actually wished this part of the story was longer. 

I was a little taken back that after I enjoyed the plane crash chapters, the story jumped ahead eight years. I admit to being a little miffed at the change in direction but understood where the author wanted to go. It did take me a while to warm up to the next parts of the book. Some of the story-line was way off for me regarding the town sheriff but it did add some additional drama elements to the story that were missing. The middle part of Dead Again did drag a bit along but I knew by the tidbits the author was providing that it would eventually sped up and get really good. And it did. 

The ending was lightly suspenseful and I felt some true vindication on behalf of the deserving protagonists. I was really cheering for Jack and Sophie for a successful ending. They deserved it! 

A big draw for me towards Jack and Sophie was how real they were. Jack was not some mysterious ops, ninja, seal, alpha hero. Sophie was striving to survive as a single mom, run a cafe and find some happiness. I adored them as a couple and when they finally kissed, I fist pumped the air. 

Teasers: mountain guardians, conversations under a tarp, awesome winter descriptions, vindication

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair

Master Z (Zachary) and Jessica Randall

Club Shadowlands (Masters of the Shadowlands book 1)

By Cherise Sinclair

Book Blurb:
Her car disabled during a tropical storm, Jessica Randall discovers the isolated house where she's sheltering is a private bondage club. At first shocked, she soon becomes aroused watching the interactions between the Doms and their subs. But she's a professional woman--an accountant--and surely isn't a she?

Master Z hasn't been so attracted to a woman in years. But the little sub who has wandered into his club intrigues him. She's intelligent. Reserved. Conservative. After he discovers her interest in BDSM, he can't resist tying her up and unleashing the passion she hides within.

I adore author Kallypso Masters' BDSM romance books and I often see her pimp out another BDSM author, Cherise Sinclair's books. Club Shadowlands was on sale for free on Amazon and I snatched it up. I am always interested in reading a "new to me" author that has been highly recommended by another author I respect. 

Being as Club Shaowlands was book 1 in the series, this first book is the introduction to the club and this story is about the Club Shadowlands owner, Master Z or Zachary. 

I have read plenty of BDSM romance books and I would say that Club Shadowlands was a bit on the soft side. I would suggest that it would be a great book if someone was interested in reading a BDSM book as an introduction to the genre. I admit to thinking that since the story was about the club owner, Master Z, that this novel would be a lot more heavier. Regardless, it was a good read and Master Z was a stellar Dom. 

I was on the fence about Jessica. I liked her in some aspects and in others, something about her annoyed me. As Jessica was completely new to the lifestyle and all that it entailed, I felt her puzzled emotions and her hestitated decisions were all justified. I thought her confusion between abuse and BDSM was totally valid. 

The intimate scenes between Jessica and Master Z were awesome. Actually my favourite part of the story *big grin* The scenes were well written and really hot. As steamy as the scenes were, they were not heavy BDSM. Yes there was bondage, toys and one very short spanking scene but the rest was basically super hot vanilla. As I mentioned, a great introduction into the BDSM genre and I'd happily recommend Club Shadowlands to someone who was curious about BDSM stories. 

Teasers: extremely hot medical scene, Doms aplenty, outside swing sex, first aid to the rescue

Monday, November 4, 2013

What Happens in Scotland by Jennifer McQuiston

Lady Georgette Thorold and James McKenzie's book

What Happens in Scotland 

By Jennifer McQuiston

Book Blurb:
Lady Georgette Thorold has always been wary of marriage, so when she wakes up next to an attractive Scotsman with a wedding ring on her finger, it’s easy to understand why she panics and flees. Convinced that Georgette is a thief, her may-be husband, James McKenzie, searches for her. As both try to recall what happened that fateful night, they begin to realize that their attraction and desire for each other is undeniable. But is it enough?

What Happens in Scotland is cute and has some humourous moments but lacked the momentum to keep my interest for long periods of time. I found I read a few chapters then put it down to read a bit more later. I am not a fan of couple miscommunications as the main baseline for the story plot. Having said that, the story was quirky and unique and I can't recall reading anything similar. So bonus points for creativity!

Even though the story is based in Scotland, I was getting no Scottish vibe from the book. I was disappointed about that because the reason I decided to read What Happens in Scotland was due to my pinning for a Scottish romance. 

The characters, Georgette and James were likable enough and I had enough dislike of the villain to make me happy I read through to the end. I loved that the entire book is just one day so there was something happening with each page/chapter. I especially liked that Georgette seemed to grow as a person and became a stronger woman as the day went on. Awesome that it wasn't a man to bring it out of her either. 

It seemed liked the story was plotted out nicely and the missing segments of time from their mutual drunken amnesia night seemed to come together like perfectly fit puzzle pieces. 

The supporting characters were all excellent and helped carry the story through chapter to chapter. Each of the main protagonists needed the sidekicks in order to make that happen. 

Cute and sweet story. 

Teasers: chamber pot head injury, corset clue, delusional cousin, long overdue father and son reunion