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Archive for the ‘C’ Category

JR Ward – BDB 02 – Lover Eternal

Posted by Wanderer on September 21, 2009

The Challenge: Trying to get past page 1. Seriously – I couldn’t get past this page for a week. I’ve since realized it’s probably because the page starts out with dialogue and we all know how much I love the dialogue *end sarcasm*. Now, the challenge is writing my review.

The Setting: My room

The Music: Jay-Z bumpin from the speakers j/k

The Couple: Rhage (aka Hollywood, Hal E. Wood) and Mary Luce

The Surprise: The book was dedicated to me. What, you doubt me? Read ’em and weep people. Read ’em and weep:

Dedicated to: You.

In the beginning, we didn’t hit it off, did we?

See, told ya so. JR Ward obviously had Vishous prognosticate my reaction to book one, Dark Lover.

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He’s the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover—for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Possessed by this dark side, Rhage fears the times when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships, is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage’s protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. Her faith in miracles was lost years ago. But when Rhage’s intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves…

Mary and Rhage’s story starts out pretty good. I found it to be an easier read, once I got past page one, than the first book. We see how hard it’s been for Rhage to live with his beast and we meet Mary who’s had a rough life. She took care of her sick mother and watched helplessly as she faded away into death. Mary also battled leukemia and after two years of remission, may now have a recurrence. I was very interested in these two until everything got repetitive. Here’s a summary:

Mary: I’m plain, why is Hal (aka Rhage) with me?

Rhage: Your voice, it’s so soothing yet it also makes me hot.

Mary: He’s only being nice because Bella told him I’m sick.

Rhage: You’re so beautiful and you make me all tingly in my special places. Wait, even in my non-special places.

Mary: Stop pitying me. You’re way out of my league.

Rhage: But I’m so hard for you. Oh no! I’m also dangerous for you. See how my teal eyes glow for you. My secret beast wants out and will probably eat you.

Mary: Hmm….his teal eyes are glowing but that doesn’t bother me at all because glowing teal eyes are oh so normal. Oh and I’m wet for you, but you’re just being kind to the unattractive girl. See you even pull away from me because I disgust you.

Rhage: I love you! Stay here with me in my room. You’re my girl now and forever.

Mary: What? You don’t even know me, I don’t know you. We may be practically sexin’ it like monkeys but you, Mr. Hottie McNaughty, cannot love me, Ms. Demure Insecure.

Rhage: How can you think me so unworthy? I only want to love and take care of you.

Yada, yada, yada. Shampoo, rinse and repeat a couple dozen times with some breaks for kissing, fondling and feeding (food not blood) because apparently it means a whole lot in the vamp world to feed another. Whatever….moving on.

There was one part that I really liked in the first half. It’s when Rhage is reflecting on the burden the beast has been on him. I really feel for him here:

God, he was tired of being stuck inside his body, managing its demands, trying not to fall into a brutal oblivion. Sure, his stunner of a face and the strength were all fine and good. But he would have traded both to a scrawny, ugly mo’fo, if it would have gotten him some peace. Hell, he couldn’t even remember what serenity was like. He couldn’t even remember who he was.

The disintegration of himself had started up pretty quick. After only a couple of years into the curse, he’d stopped hop-ing for any true relief and simply tried to get by without hurting anyone. That was when he’d started to die on the inside, and now, over a hundred years later, he was mostly numb, nothing more than glossy window dressing and empty charm.

Early on in the book, we meet a young man named John Matthews who Mary befriends despite his stalkerish behavior. She also introduces John to her neighbor Bella, who happens to be a civilian vampire. John is mute but of course Mary, in all her holy goodness, knows sign language. While chatting/signing with John, Mary and Bella discover he is an orphan. He is also wearing a bracelet he made that has symbols he dreamt about. Guess what those symbols are? They’re old school vamp talk and Bella just happens to read OSVT. The following is what she discovers after reading the symbols. It is also the point at which I set the book down and laughed:

Putting her hands on her hips, she stared at the floor. What the hell was she going to do? When she’d searched John’s conscious mind, she’d found nothing about his race, his people, his traditions. The boy didn’t know a thing, had no idea who he really was or what he was going to turn into. And he honestly didn’t know what those symbols meant

She did. They spelled out TEHRROR in the Old Language. A warrior’s name.

Seriously? TEHRROR? Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

*picks book back up and continues reading*

So apparently John Matthews is destined to be one of the Brotherhood. I love how Tohr is with him. Again, Tohr is one of my faves from the books and I can’t wait to read more about him and Wellsie.

There’s also a part where Rhage cheats on Mary. She knows where he’s going (and why) and I see why he did it but after all his sweetness towards her, he lost many points in my book.

After Mary finally admits her feelings for Rhage things go a little smoother. There’s still a lot of repetitiveness but I was less annoyed by then. There’s a part where Rhage realizes that his beast wants to sex it up with Mary too, and she agrees to let him. So they proceed and I won’t lie, that scene was kinda creepy. It had nothing to do with the chains (they had to chain Rhage so the beast wouldn’t hurt Mary) but with the actual thought of some alien-like creature up in there too…CREEPY!


The Lessers are snoozeville for me. I don’t see them as any real threat except to Johnson and Johnson, the makers of baby powder. Have nothing else to say about them.

One of the things I really like about the BDB world is the brotherhood aspect. I like the solidarity they show towards Rhage after his punishment for breaking the Brotherhood’s rules. I LOVE the scene afterwards with Zsadist at Rhage’s bedside chanting or praying for him. I wished for more scenes of the brothers together WITHOUT the slang. That would have made a huge difference for me! I also wanted more interaction between the ladies. When Mary first arrives, Beth is there for a brief second and Wellsie is mainly in scenes with Tohr. At the very least, I would have expected Beth to befriend Mary since she was living there. She could have provided some advice on dealing with the brothers considering she was fairly new to the group as well.

I did get a little bored towards the end with the exception of the scenes with Bella and Phury, then Bella and Zsadist. It really got me interested in learning more about both brothers. I liked Bella because she was upfront, she straight up told Z she was attracted to him and wanted to sleep with him. You.Go.Girl. Very refreshing after all Mary’s wishy-washy ways. We also learned earlier that Bella has a brother named Rehvenge, probably a future member of the brotherhood.

The ending wasn’t unexpected but rather a bit unsatisfying. I seriously thought the path they were taking was heartbreakingly beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted a happy ending and knew there would be a twist but didn’t think it would be that. Since the rule was Rhage couldn’t go to the new Mary, I thought somehow the new Mary would cross paths with him and they would rebuild their relationship. I actually would have preferred it that way. Anyway……

I still have my issues with JR Ward’s writing (the names, the slang, the caveman talk – see link above for the list in my review of the first book) but I have to admit the little peeks she provides on the other brothers are enough to catch and hold my attention. My faves are still Zsadist and Tohrment. I want to learn more about what happened in Z’s past and I want to see what happens with Tohr, Wellsie and their baby. I also, want to see how they help John Matthews since they pretty much adopted him. I even want to see what’s up with Phury and why the celibacy. Oh yeah, not to mention V and his awesome yet burden laden gift of prognostication.

In short, these books are mind-crack and I have succumbed. Well played, Ms. Ward. Well played. I still need recovery time from each book so I’ll see you in another 3 months when I read the next one.

Final Grade:

Liked the premise of this book but aspects of its execution were WEAK. Enjoyed it enough to continue riding the series/author out at my own leisurely pace. Beyond the hype, this book is fine for a fluffy, generic read and has more of a library rental/swap quality rather than a keeper for my personal bookshelf.

Around The Net:

A Journey of Books: A+
The Romance Reader: 3 Stars
Love Vampires: 5 Stars
Dear Author: B
The Hope Chest Reviews: 4 Stars
Romantic Times: 4 ½ Stars

Posted in Black Dagger Brotherhood, C, Contemporary Couplings, JR Ward, Paranormal Romance, Reviews, Vampires, Wanderer, When Spoilers Attack | 10 Comments »

So tell me have you ever really, really really ever loved a woman…..

Posted by Wanderer on August 3, 2009


This book started out with a Pride and Prejudiced inspired scene. The heroine, Merriam, overheard the man she liked make a hurtful statement about her at a ball. Unlike Pride and Prejudice, though, Merriam came up with a way to get her revenge and show that man she’s more woman than he could ever handle. Looking back, the main events of this book made me think of a certain website. Merriam’s story totally fits the FML requirements. So I present to you a review of Renee Bernard’s A Lady’s Pleasure, FMyLife style.

Seeking revenge, she discovers how delicious a case of mistaken identity can be….

Merriam Everett has always been regarded as a shy, docile creature. But for one night, Merriam the Mouse has become a temptress who will recklessly take her pleasure with the arrogant earl who once slighted her, and then leave him aching with lust. A fine plan, if Merriam had not just seduced the wrong rogue!

Drake Sotherton left England amid dark speculation and has returned to seek vengeance against Julian Clay, the man he believes murdered his wife. Convinced that the masked beauty who seduced him is Julian’s pawn, Drake tracks her down and proposes that she become his mistress for the Season. Every sensual desire, every secret longing will be explored…and fulfilled.

Merriam: Today I overheard my crush, Julian, tell someone that I’m a whey-faced widow. How will I ever face him or the world ever again? FML

M: Today I went to the masked ball and my plan for revenge on Julian went awry. I was supposed to get him hot and heavy and leave him wanting but instead I had smokin’ hot sex with him. FML

Drake: Today I had sex with an unknown woman at a masked ball. She left before I could get her name and I MUST see her again! How will I find her? FML

M: Today I found out it wasn’t Julian I seduced that night, WHO THE F was it?!?! FML

Ok, so aside from the silliness of the ‘revenge’ scheme I was into this book at the beginning. I didn’t mind the set up as long as the rest delivered. I even had a brief moment where I compared Drake Sotherton to Devil Cynster from Stephanie Laurens’ Devil’s Bride. I liked his friendship with Alex and there was one conversation they had where he bit Alex’s head off but immediately apologized for it. He seemed like a decent guy and I looked forward to reading more about him. I also enjoyed reading about his search for the identity of the mysterious Mrs. Lover Lover from the masked ball.

M: Today the man I seduced at the ball found me and wants me to meet at his house tonight. He got me all hot and heavy….then didn’t finish the job. FML

M: Today I went to his house to tell him I was a respectable woman and I didn’t want what he was offering…..until he started serving it up. I’m afraid I also had seconds and thirds. FML

The author did write some good love scenes, I’ll give her that. The scene in Drake’s house that night was super hot and seductive

“Only what you bare,” he whispered, his breath hot in her ear. “Hurry.”

Read the book and you’ll know what I’m talking about 😉

M: Today I agreed to be his mistress for the season but I’m still afraid of what the public will think so we hide out at his place. FML

M: Today we finally made a public appearance in the park and OMG my former crush, Julian, came up to us which made Drake all jealous. He rushed us home, threw me over his shoulder, carried me upstairs where he proceeded to spank me….and……I kind of liked it. FML?!?!

My good opinion of the book started falling the more I read because I didn’t see any positive growth in Merriam and Drake became too possessive and overbearing. Merriam was semi-assertive in bed but if she wasn’t sexin’ it up with Drake she was back to being Miss Dependent. She never stood up for herself or what she wanted and anytime there was a hint of disagreement, they pushed it aside and went for sex instead.

M: Today an acquaintance that saw us in the park stopped by to tell me about Drake’s sordid past. He is known by all, yes ALL, the ton as the Deadly Duke!!! *gasp* Why am I always the last to know these things? FML

M: Today I attempted to ask Drake about his past yet he distracted me with more good lovin’. Could I possibly be falling for a murderer? FML

D: Today I discovered who Merriam thought she was seducing the first night we met. She was looking for my mortal enemy, Julian. Is she in cahoots with him to bring about my downfall? How can I still want someone I don’t truly trust? FML

By now, you’d think Merriam would want to know more about the man she was sleeping with and falling for yet when opportunity arose, she always backed down. You’d also think Drake would man up and ask Merriam more about her revenge scheme at the ball and what her relationship with Julian was. But both seemed to enjoy living in their little sex bubble and ignored any semblance of truth. There were times, however, when Drake was really good to her. This was my favorite part from the book:

“There is only one person’s opinion that should sway you,” he went on, lifting her hand gently to peel off her glove.

“Oh?” she asked, feigning ignorance, anticipating his reply. Typical man! He would say that his was the only one that counted and then pay her a compliment to soothe her bruised confidence.

“Oh, yes.” Drake moved her palm up to his mouth and flicked his tongue over it before kissing it. “Your own. Yours is the only opinion that matters.”

I wanted his actions to back-up those words but sadly it never happened. He was always too busy fuming behind her back wondering what her true motives were or being super jealous of her attentions.

There was also a mystery subplot about what happened in Drake’s past and why he and Julian were enemies. I figured out who did the crime but was mistaken in my reasoning for it. The whole back and forth of “You did it.” “No, you did it.” “No, you!” got old quick because that’s all we got for most of the book. It wasn’t until the end that we discovered some of the background info on the crime – right before the truth of the murder was revealed. Sorry, that was not enough to keep my interest in that storyline.

Other issues I had with the book were the overuse of words or phrases. “You’re incorrigible.” “Who is incorrigible now?” “And you say I’m incorrigible” (the last one may be of my own making but believe me, incorrigible was used way too much). Next would be the many references to the Deadly Duke. I felt like I needed the little sound effect that plays during Law & Order scene transitions every time it was mentioned. Drake also called Merriam ‘familiar’ in reference to how she got his attention at the ball – Merriam was dressed as a cat and sent a message via the butler to Merlin (who she thought was Julian) that his ‘familiar’ had arrived. It was cute the first couple of times but when it was still used at the end, it was beyond overdone.

My review is titled “So tell me have you ever really, really really ever loved a woman” which is from one of Bryan Adam’s song but this book forgets one major thing:

To really love a woman
To understand her
You gotta know her deep inside
Hear every thought
See every dream
And give her wings when she wants to fly.

The meaning of that last line is what’s missing from this book. Sadly Merriam never wanted to fly and even if she did, Drake wasn’t the type to accept that. This is the first in the Mistress Trilogy with the next book being Alex’s story and the third is Julian’s. While I liked Alex in this book, I probably won’t be reading the rest of the trilogy.

Final Grade:

This book is decent but unfortunately I found parts of it annoying, boring, disturbing, and clichéd. Didn’t float my boat but hey, maybe it just wasn’t for me. So I’ll leave you to make your own judgment call. Proceed with caution, though: I came, I saw, I read and was not amused.

Around The Net:

Romantic Times: 4 Stars
Mrs. Giggles: 73

Posted in C, Historical Hook-Ups, Renee Bernard, Reviews, Wanderer, When Spoilers Attack | 4 Comments »

Letters From Home by Rhonda Nelson

Posted by Mistress on May 14, 2009


Your eyes aren’t deceiving you; I really did read a Harlequin Blaze book. Been engrossed in a crap load of Urban Fantasy lately( not that Im complaining) and got a little overwhelemed. So I looked for something light and sweet. This book caught me with it’s: hawt military dude, small town setting, and driftwood animals.

Subject: Levi McPherson, Army Ranger.

Current status: Active duty.

Mission: Locate a sexy, unidentified correspondent. Conduct very private negotiations!

Obstacle: Natalie Rowland, longtime star of his X-rated dreams…

Levi McPherson’s tour of duty has an unexpected benefit: anonymous red-hot love letters! Someone he knows is mailing the rugged soldier her very explicit fantasies. And he’s loving every word.

On an unexpected leave home, he discovers his sexy secret admirer—Natalie Rowland, the longtime star of his own X-rated dreams!
But he’s not letting Natalie know her cover’s blown…yet. That way, the exquisite pleasure of fulfilling each and every one of her naughty ideas is all his—and hers….

Natalie has problems. Is it her overprotective father or best friend Adam who lost his leg in combat? No, she’s about to be unmasked as a penpal hussy and wants to crawl in a hole and die. She’s been anonymously writting her best friend’s brother for months. She didn’t mean to let it go so far, but after seeing the man inside, she couldn’t stop herself. If this is all of him that she can have, she’ll take it. In typical romance fashion theres a slip up, now it’s only a matter of time before Levi knows her identity and the chips fall.

Levi McPherson has been deployed in Iraq for 10 months. It’s been a hard tour and the letters he receives from his friends & family give him the strength to keep going. The highlight being the anonymous letters he’s been receiving from a girl in his hometown. Her letters trigger all types of appetites, she tells him of home, her fantasies, her longing and never sign her letters. He nicknames her Ms. X and their correspondence has grown to something he wants to explore. He has leave coming up and he’s determined to find ms X and make the steamy letters a reality.

Natalie and Levi have been crushing on each other since their teens. Noble Levi always kept Nat at a distance because he believed, she and Adam were more than just friends. He distanced himself to avoid poaching on his brother’s territory. Nat knew she never stood a chance with Levi, since he always acted as though she were contagious. Now they’re back in the same town, with the mystery letter business unveiling their desires, but there are fresh complications. They’re both equally in love with and committed to very different lives. Where Levi needs the globe trotting soldier lifestyle, Natalie has put down strong roots in all aspects of the small town community and her drift wood art gallery.

Nat and Levi make a OK couple. Her letters ( well the snippets of them) were full of TMI. Sweet? Yes. Sexy? Definitely. But all in all, just a breathe away from creepy stalker. Everything went too smoothly. The plot conflicts came to a head with a “squeak” instead of a satisfying “boom”. Overall this story wasn’t very exciting, but I didn’t expect fireworks so I’m pretty content. My favorite character was Adam, whose book ‘The Soldier” is coming soon. His determination to not let his injury define him and the playful/competitive interaction with his love interest, makes me all giddy. And on a crass note, I have plain ole fashioned curiosity about how Nelson will handle the love scenes.

Final Grade:

Liked the Premise of this book, but aspects of its execution were WEAK. Enjoyed it enough to continue riding the series/author out, at my own leisurely pace. Beyond the hype, this book is fine for a fluffy generic read. But more library rental/swap quality, rather than a keeper on my personal bookshelf.


Around The Net:

Nada…well there was a Harriet Klausner summary pretending to be a review, but I’ll spare you. If any of you guys have reviewed this book please link to it in your comment and I’ll edit it in.

Posted in C, Contemporary Couplings, Mistress | Leave a Comment »

The Nymph King by Gena Showalter

Posted by Mistress on May 3, 2009


This time on The Young & The Restless: The haughty Nymph King finds & steals his mate, who isn’t the woman sized puddle of lust and gratitude he expects. Dun dun dun dun…

Enter a mythical world of dragons, demons and Nymphs…enter a world of dark seduction and powerful magic…enter Atlantis…

He is Valerian, the most darkly seductive male ever created. He embraces every aspect of his sensuality, reveling in his erotic powers. No woman can resist his potent allure. . .until he steals cynical Shaye Holling from modern day earth. Valerian’s hunger for Shaye is soul deep – but she is to be offered up to his men…

While Shaye claims to want nothing to do with the mighty warlord whose touch is like fire, she is inexplicably drawn to him. For underneath the warrior’s arrogant beauty lies a complex and powerful man. A man she is finding hard to resist…

Valerin wakes up post orgy tangled in 3 sleeping women; one for each hair color of course. He had tried to selflessly pimp them on his soldiers, for you see nymphs need sex for survival. But the soldiers’ manslut karate is no match for V’s kung fu. So they ignored the other perfect (if slightly worn hunks) and all 3 threw themselves at him in tandem. When the Nymph army had set off for their latest exploit, he ordered all the women stay behind, it was too dangerous and they wouldn’t be gone long. But now after they’ve settled and sent for the women, they’re missing. Feeling guilt over this and his selfish manwhore actions last night while his men suffered, he agrees to let them use the magic portal to earth.

The plan if they choose to accept it, is: to kidnap as many earth women as possible quickly and take turns choosing later; since earths’ environment is toxic to them past short durations. V goes to supervise promising not to claim any of the earth women for himself. All that changes when the prerequisite mate scenting happens, and he realizes Shay is his. He can’t go back on his word because of honor stuff. So he throws her in T&A pageant line up anyway, praying no one picks her. Shaye is not amused at the circumstances and wants nothing to do with any of his men or V. She’s determined to escape back to earth and the life she’s made for herself. And thus the battles of wills begins, that is sure to end in lurve.

Shaye’s a plucky heroine, who doesn’t feel love is an excuse for idiocy. She runs a Anti-cards business, cards for those who want “to tell someone to fuck off in a round about way”; I liked her instantly. There was a delightful playfulness to their courtship. And I enjoyed Valerin’s initial confusion & vulnerability upon realizing he has to woo her, when she doesn’t fall on her back legs spread; as he’s accustom. The minor love triangle plot, with Brenna (another captured woman, with a dark past) and the 2 soldiers she’s drawn to on very different levels; is by far the high point of the novel.

The plus column ends there for me, since the rest was sprinkled in generic cliched fairy dust. You know how it goes : declarations she’ll beg for his touch, if she attempts to escape he will “punish” her in some kinky orgasmic fashion, the overuse of the word “mine” in mental dialogue, lots of spirited rebuffs on her part though she’s quivering woman jelly for him on the inside, somehow despite being 25 and jaded from boyfriends past – she’s untouched *gag*, and he comes to the brilliant realization that she doesn’t know what she wants, because she’s never had sex …so less talky more ‘getting it on’.

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Heart of the Dragon. I keep reading in hopes the next addition will measure up, no dice yet. All the above mentioned cliches make me tingle like any other Para Romance enthusiast when well executed. But the Nymph King lacked effort; the characters were new, the story recycled. Fingers crossed The Vampire’s Bride will be an improvement, when I eventually get around to reading it.

Final Grade:

Liked the Premise of this book, but aspects of its execution were WEAK. Enjoyed it enough to continue riding the series/author out, at my own leisurely pace. Beyond the hype, this book is fine for a fluffy generic read. But more library rental/swap quality, rather than a keeper on my personal bookshelf.


Around The Net:

Lurv A La Mode 3/5 scoops “this was entertaining enough to pass the weekend with, but it was unfortunately in no way memorable, nor interesting enough to want to read the previous two.”

Book Loons
“those looking for a bit more plot and character development may find this isn’t their cup of ambrosia.”

Romantic Times “Readers looking for a plot beyond the typical cat-and-mouse game for sex may find this novel hard to finish. The action and conflict do not appear until the end of the book, which makes the first 270 pages hard to get through. Showalter’s latest doesn’t live up to its promise. “

Riley Reviews “In truth, Brenna’s story was more interesting to me. Shaye’s and Valerian’s story smacked a little too much of Stockholm Syndrome for my taste, which is a danger when it comes to fated mate stories…..Despite my misgivings, I still enjoyed my return trip to Atlantis, and I look forward to going back again.”

Once Upon A Romance “The Nymph King is all about finding the one – and that search is not easy or simple as this. If you want a funny, romantic book that is not senselessly erotic, then I recommend this one. “

Posted in C, I Heart Monsters, Mistress, Paranormal Romance, Reviews | 2 Comments »

JR Ward – BDB 01 – Dark Lover

Posted by Wanderer on May 2, 2009


I’ve had JR Ward’s books in my TBR pile for a long, long time and upon finally reading book 1, I realized why. The character names are rhediculous. No, no, no that was no spelling error, that was in honor of Ward’s characters: Wrath, Rhage, Zsadist, Phury, Vishous and Torhment. Cheesy names aside, the book started out interesting.

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

The hero is Wrath, the King of the vampires and the last purebred of his line. He also happens to be blind. He is part of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a group of specially trained warriors who protect the vampire race against a group called the Lessening Society (aka vampire slayers). The other members of the BDB also have some sort of physical imperfection. The descriptions of the characters drew me in and made me anxious to continue reading and discover more about these flawed mens’ lives.

The heroine is Beth who doesn’t know she is half vampire. Her father, Darius, is also a member of the BDB but has only watched his daughter grow up from afar. He wants to approach her now because she is reaching the age of her Transition, where she will become a vampire. Apparently a Transition isn’t a guaranteed thing and some do not survive the change. In order to give his daughter the best chance at survival he wants Beth’s first drink during the change to be from Wrath-of-the-pureblood.

So the story goes thru the meeting of Wrath and Beth. I found it funny that she never questioned his name or any of his brother’s names for that matter. Basically, he say’s “My name is Wrath” and she’s all “Hi Wrath my name is Beth”. Guess Wrath is the new Michael? I liked the fact that we got to see how Wrath experienced the world using his other senses. There’s a part where he first scents Beth and he says “she smells beautiful”. I thought that was sweet, it’s like the Jerry Maguire “you had me at hello” line. They get it on early in the story and eventually Wrath tells her about what he is and what’s about to happen to her. After some disbelief, thankfully it wasn’t too drawn out, she accepts what he says as truth. Through all this I didn’t really like Wrath until much later in the book. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate him but I didn’t feel the fondness I normally would for the hero of a book. Part of it was his treatment of Marissa, the female vampire who was his one and only (in blood exchanging only) until Beth came along and he got the blood/sex/lust/love TKO combo. Then there was how he treated Fritz, the caretaker of the house and the brotherhood, and the comments he made to Tohr about Wellsie. In fact, I liked Torhment more than him for a while and even Zsadist made me laugh at one point.

Beth also has a human cop friend, Brian “Butch” O’Neal, who warns her against Wrath. He thinks Wrath is a drug lord but eventually is told about the vampire’s existence due to his first meeting with Marissa and something that happens in front of him. We also learn about the lessers and one of the main guys, Mr. X, is out recruiting for new members for the vamp slaying society. He finds one kid in particular who has all the right moves but aside from one battle where Rhage’s beast makes its appearance, I didn’t find the lessers much of a threat to the brotherhood. Maybe future books will have more interesting battles between the two groups?

Anyway, after the initial intro of the main characters I didn’t get caught up in the story again until about the last third of the book when we get to Beth’s Transition. The emotions of that part of the story and the way Wrath treated Beth finally won me over.

Overall, there are definite pluses and minuses in the world of the BDB. I found the death ritual Wrath performs and the Fade to be interesting. The concept of the Brotherhood is cool and I like the reverence they show Beth later on in the book. That scene reminded me of the end of the Return of the King movie. I found the slang annoying (outie, whack, you feel me, pimp juice, off the chain, true?, rap music references) and at times it made the story comedic. I didn’t like the terms Mating and Needing, kept making me think of animals in heat. Then we have the villain’s of the story, the Lessers, whose scent is….baby powder. Huh?

I’ll keep the rest of the series in my TBR pile but I’m thinking of skipping to Tohr and Zsadist’s books since those are the two that caught my attention in this story. For those who have read all the books, do they need to be read in order? Also, I checked Ward’s website for Tohr’s book but it doesn’t look like he has one. Why is that? I would love to see how he and Wellsie met or even what happens with the baby.

On a completely random personal note, I grew up with a dad who loved WWF wrestling and the BDB reminded me of the old school wrestlers. With over the top names and the slang, especially them calling each other “brother”, it’s definitely the WWF era redux. So without further ado, I present to you my WWF/BDB comparison (they don’t necessarily fit look-wise but characteristically, this is how I’d match them up). Enjoy!

Wrath = Hulk Hogan

Rhage = Jake the Snake

Zsadist = The Undertaker

Phury = The Ultimate Warrior

Vishous = Sting

Torhment = Macho Man Randy Savage and Wellsie = Elizabeth

Butch = Bret Hart

I was on the fence on the grade for this one. My gut reaction after completing the book was a C but then when writing the review and realizing it reminded me of the WWF (and good memories of dad) I wanted to bump it up to a B-. But alas, gut reactions are absolute truth for me so…..

Final grade:

Liked the premise of this book but aspects of its execution were WEAK. Enjoyed it enough to continue riding the series/author out at my own leisurely pace. Beyond the hype, this book is fine for a fluffy, generic read and has more of a library rental/swap quality rather than a keeper for my personal bookshelf.

Posted in Black Dagger Brotherhood, C, I Heart Monsters, JR Ward, Reviews, Wanderer | 9 Comments »

The Better to Hold You by Alisa Sheckley

Posted by Mistress on April 23, 2009


Neil Gaiman is Magic. When you have a comment from him scrawled on your book, you need to come with your A game; Ms Sheckley , unfortunately did not. At times the novel had a pleasant gothic flare, but mostly it stays in the underwhelming angst slut B movie realm.

Product Description:

SHE KNOWS WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE.

Manhattan veterinarian Abra Barrow has more sense about animals than she
has about men. So when her adored journalist husband returns from a
research trip to Romania and starts pacing their apartment like a caged
wolf, Abra agrees to move with him to a rural mansion upstate in order to save her marriage.

But while there are perks to her new life, particularly in the bedroom,
Abra soon discovers that nothing in the bucolic town of Northside is
what it seems. The local tavern serves a dangerous, predatory
underworld. Her husband has developed feral new appetites and a roving
eye, and his lack of humanity isn’t entirely emotional. As the moon waxes full, Abra must choose between trusting the man she married, taking a chance on a seductive stranger, or following her own animal instincts.

Poor Abra Barrow, staring at odd men on the train and having marital difficulties, just isn’t what it used to be. Her masochistic responses to conflict make for a tale full of woe when her husband comes back from a trip behaving oddly. Hunter admits he betrayed her, then demands she uproot her life to go live in the sticks. Abra is: lied to, fucked senseless, plays peek a boo with the only possible explanation of whats happening to her life/marriage,and feels sad. Wash and repeat, again and again. After the day is won the villains are sent to bed without dessert, the end. Probably in preparation for sequel, I wont be reading.

The writing style is decent, I enjoyed some of the world building aspects. But the dialogue is inconsistent; shifting between engaging conversations, rushed comic book bad guy overshares, and a healthy dose wtf. The scenes of intimacy were sexy, yet each had a off putting spot that knocked me out of the zone, and left me shaking my head. Add to that a few annoying repetitive themes, we get it already: Abra is nun like, Abra is downtrodden, Abra has no self esteem.

Abra twice refers to herself as animal smart, people stupid;and I agree TSTL indeed. Who will Abra choose her husband or the enigmatic stranger? Wont spoil that conundrum for ya, I just wish she would’ve choosen herself. I took a peek around Romancelandia and this book was well received, but I’m with the Amazon folks in giving it a verdict of bleh.

Grade:

Posted in C, I Heart Monsters, Mistress, Reviews | 11 Comments »

Nice by Jen Sacks

Posted by Mistress on January 4, 2009

I adore John Cusack. I really really do. His physical similarities to one of the characters in Richelle Mead’s Succubus series is one of the reasons why I started reading the books (although I do now based on it’s own merit) and Grosse Pointe Blank is one of the the top three Cusack movies I like best. Nice by Jen Sacks (1999) reminded me of that GPB magic. I was sooo sure that it was my “THE BOOK” find of 2008. With a blurb like this, it HAD to be:

First there was Clay–it just sort of happened.
Then there was Pete–he was becoming way too attached.
Ben, well, he totally had it coming.
And then there was Sam…

Grace is nice to a fault. She never picks fights, and doesn’t like to criticize or hurt people’s feelings. Problem is, the men in her life never seem to take a hint. And she just can’t bear to tell them outright when she isn’t interested. So she kills them. A clean break–no messy emotions, no heated arguments. But someone is onto her. His name is Sam, and he and Grace, with one very dangerous thing in common, make a killer couple. It’s a match made in heaven-as long as they can both survive the relationship…

Awesome, yes?

The premise is quirky and uncommon and has ginormous potential to be a great read. Unfortunately, it never really took off from there. It was like being served flat tap water when you order Pellegrino with a twist of lemon. No matter how much I wanted to, I just couldn’t get into the story. Maybe it was the length of the novel; the machine-gun type of prose didn’t really work. It has 55 very short chapters which volleys between Grace’s and Sam’s point of view. The characterization of both narrators just seemed so lacking that they ended up unsympathetic to me. I really couldn’t be induced to care. One might reason that it’s hard to relate to murderers but it really isn’t (hard), actually, at least for me. The rapid interval between narrators was also pretty jarring; before I could really get into the heroine’s (or hero’s for that matter) perspective I would be jolted out of it by the switcheroo. Maybe it would have worked better if it were told from a third person perspective. I don’t know, the prose just didn’t flow.

It wasn’t bad really, it was, to put it concisely, meh.

*edit* Heard this book was optioned into a movie. Hopefully it translates better on film than it did on paper.

Posted in C, Contemporary Couplings, Reader, Reviews | 5 Comments »

Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning

Posted by Wanderer on August 9, 2008

LOVE a good highlander romance and thought I’d be in for a treat with this one. It not only has the romance but also some paranormal aspects with the royal court of the fae adding their magic to the mix. There is also some time travel which I thought could make it even more interesting. Little did I know!

First off, the heroine Adrienne is a twit. Her background story is too ridiculous to believe yet I’ll share it with you because I’m that kind of a person 🙂 She’s a 20th century gal who is apparently on the run for the murder of her ex-fiance who is supremely stupidly named Eberhard. Mr ex-fiance was a “beautiful” and rich man who sent Adrienne on all kinds of fancy vacations………alone. Ding, ding, ding – clue #1 that something isn’t right yet she continues to go because her man is so wonderful and thoughtful to give her such extravagant gifts. Well it turns out he was using the twit to smuggle something……I honestly don’t care enough to even try to remember what it was. But she finds out when she comes home early and overhears him laughing at how stupid she was. (Psst….he wasn’t the only one laughing). So from then on she proclaims her HATE of beautiful men and how she’ll never fall victim to one ever again. Yeah, um….ok lady you do that..

Now for the hero – he is known as the Hawk and is renowned because he’s apparently hung like a horse and has the stamina to match (who actually came up with that analogy and knows the stamina of a horse?). Ok back to business…..all the women want him and one goes all psycho after he’s married and tries many times to kill twit. Anyway, so widely known is his prowess in bed that even the Queen of the fae wants to get a piece. This makes the King jealous and he sends his jester….super smoking faery guy Adam to go make the Hawk’s life misera
ble. The king’s plan is for Adam to find a woman that will turn the Hawk down at every turn. The one woman that will be able to say NO to him. Well since he is a magical being, Adam travels to the future and hears twit’s proclamation against beautiful men and decides he’s found the perfect match for the Hawk. So twit gets sent back in time and I’ll skip all the “where am I, how’d I get here” drama and move along to more fascinating (NOT) stuff.

So twit and hung get married by proxy (he sent his friend in his place for the actual ceremony) yet when they’re in each other’s presence she’s all “stay away from me, oh wait but kiss me, oh wait I hate beautiful men get away”. And he’s all “you’re the one, come take a ride and I’ll make you forget the men from your past” blah blah blah

I honestly didn’t care where this was going and I read what has to be the cheesiest line I’ve ever come across in a book. At some point during one of the love scenes twit proclaims “Take me to Valhalla”! Really? That actually got printed? All I can say is take me back to the moment before I decided to read this book. I have officially renamed it: Beyond the Ridiculous Twit!

Posted in C, I Heart Monsters, Reviews, Wanderer, When Spoilers Attack | 3 Comments »

The Devil You Know by Jenna Black

Posted by Mistress on August 7, 2008

Something is inside Morgan Kingsley and it still makes me somewhat nauseous.I had a heap load of bones to pick with the first book in this series and no intention of enduring this one. But I decided for you, dear readers, to lie down and think of England. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected but it’s earned its place on my never read again list. That said lets get this party started

So “ The devil inside” ended with Morgan’s brother in a catatonic state, Morgan still hosting the mighty demon king, the 3 musketeers saving her boyfriend from evils clutches, and me gagging over all the disgusting torture gives Adam a woody scenes. So you wonder, what’s going on in “The Devil You Know”? Well little miss exorcist is still the Kings host. Surprise surprise her bro wakes up then proceeds to be as unhelpful and whiny as possible. Of course the scary villain with a chumps name (I mean c’mon it’s a lil hard to tremble in fear at the coming of the Dastardly “ Dougal”) is still after Lugh,his kingness, which results in Ms. Morgan trying to outwit some big muckity muck Demon uber hunter.

To add to the fun she moons over her love for Brian incessantly while refusing to make any attempt to be with him. It probably says something about me how many times I wished for irksome Brian’s demise; but I’m only human. Thankfully Adam keeps it in his pants so to speak; so no nasty pain porn. Which resulted in me actually enjoying his presence in this novel.Actually “enjoy” is too strong a word. Let me rephrase; things were more interesting when he’s around. All that said there were some notable improvements: more action in this novel (which was sorely lacking in the last book) and we learn more of Morgan’s past.

This book was OK, better than the first and undeniably shows promise, but not one my favorites.


Posted in C, I Heart Monsters, Mistress, Reviews, When Spoilers Attack | Leave a Comment »