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Archive for the ‘Mistress’ Category

Movie Mutterings

Posted by Mistress on June 22, 2009

Even for the love of John Cusack, I can’t sit though America’s Sweethearts. Encore on demand, sits there on the resume/restart screen, judging me. I’m feeling like a failure atm, so happy thoughts are needed stat. I’ve watched the Secret, it’s not good to dwell on these things. I need to eff my negative mood in the eye. Shakespeare once said “Focus not on the films that doth sucketh much, better those that rock hard or that shall”, so here goes.

First Let’s to cleanse palate with romantic comedy awesome. Saw ‘The Proposal’ with my best-friend on opening night, and have plans to see it again with my mother and a 3rd time with another pal who needs cheering up. It’s the number one movie in America for a reason people = ).

When high-powered book editor Margaret faces deportation to her native Canada, the quick-thinking exec declares that she’s actually engaged to her unsuspecting put-upon assistant Andrew, who she’s tormented for years. He agrees to participate in the charade, but with a few conditions of his own. synopsis by D-Man2010

Delightful green card scheme, for the win!

Many times watching a movie and I question the casting choices. Often one person could have and others…. anyone else would’ve done it better or pulled it off as well. For example IMO Hillary Swank was the weak link in P.S. I Love You; and I believe many actresses Drew Berrymoore, Amanda Peet, Maggie Gyllenhaal, heck even Zooey Deschanel would have been a better casting choice. Such thoughts didn’t even enter mind in this instance. Sandra and Ryan have great chemistry, and their acting skill and styles make the magic happen. I Can’t think of any other actress who could have pulled this off to my liking = ). “The Proposal” is as great as “Made of Honor” was horrible. So go see it, all hail Sandy!!

Next flick that has me all giddy….

Evil genius Tim Burton is taking on ‘Alice in Wonderland’. woot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes,the kiddies will most likely be scarred by his dark and twisty rendition, but sacrifices must be made lol. And I for one, am over the moon = ). Let’s talk cast. The usual suspects Jhonny Depp and Helana Bonham Carter are down with L&c, as the mad hatter and the queen of hearts. * Channels Emeril* but then BAM!!!! Anne Hathaway as the White Queen. Pretty impressive, eh? but not quite enough to cause this level of fangurl squee… ah yes I forgot to mention Alan Rickman as the Catepillar and Stephen fry as the Cheshire cat. **Squeels, Faints,Dies **

Here’s some image goodness:



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Posted in Mistress, Talking Smack(blog post) | 4 Comments »

Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill

Posted by Mistress on May 21, 2009

All vampires except the Head Honchos are allowed only a single name. Which may prove my long held theory, that Prince is a inhumanly sexy beast. Heard a lot of squeeing to this books awesome around the net. “It’s a fresh voice” , “It’s “unputdowanable”, “It’s a brilliant new series”; they said. I highly doubted all of that was possible. But picked it up anyway, cause I loves me some vamps.

They killed me. They healed me. They changed me.

Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it was mine. I was doing fine until Chicago’s vampires announced theirexistence to the world-and then a rogue vampire attacked me. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker… and this one decided the best way to save my life was to make me the walking undead.

Turns out my savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now I’ve traded sweating over my thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan “Lord o’ the Manor” Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four hundred year old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects my gratitude-and servitude. Right…

But my burgeoning powers (all of a sudden, I’m surprisingly handy with some serious weaponry), an inconvenient sunlight allergy, and Ethan’s attitude are the least of my concerns. Someone’s still out to get me. Is it the rogue vampire who bit me? A vamp from a rival House? An angry mob bearing torches?

My initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war-and there will be blood…

Let’s set the mood, shall we.

Little Red Riding Hood was skipping *tra la la la la* through the forest, on her way to Granny’s house. She was enjoying the warm summer day so much, that she didn’t notice a dark shadow approaching out of the forest behind her. Then the wolf pops out, and well you know the rest: Nana in mah bellay, cross dressing, & the woodsman gets medieval.”

For Our purposes Red is named Merit and she’s a grad student. Walking, with no concern for her safety, through the campus at night. Then all of a sudden she’s grabbed by a vampire, who tears into her neck like a jelly doughnut then runs away. As she’s losing her life and red stuff all over the pavement; 2 men appear commenting on how purdy M is. Next thing you know, one of them is murmuring for her to be still while he laps at her wound like a hungry kitten. Mer wakes up 3 days later of the pale fanged persuasion and is not amused. Instead of cross-dressing etc. , we’ll substitute in stubborn reluctance, sexual tension, and vamp cloak and dagger drama.

In every vamp story the setup is different, here’s what M’s workin’ with. There are 12 vampires houses. Three of which are in Chicago: Navarre, Cadogan, & Grey. Any vampire outside of this house system is a rogue and beneath reproach. Each of these houses has a liege/boss and is only able to “turn” 12 fledglings a year. So it’s a huge deal & a great honor to be chosen. Vamps still eat regular food and blood is more a needed weekly vitamin + tasty treat then meal. With home blood bank delivery just a call away none of the houses feed directly from the source anymore; & biting peeps is frowned upon as savage and uncivilized. Well ‘cept Cadogan house, which happens to be Mer’s lot. Add to that lots of intricate customs, rank, and histories.

Merit’s biggest point of contention is she was changed without consent and makes her in my mind rather bratty. She’s oh so very angry with Ethan for sweeping her into a life she didn’t want, though it’s not like the other option “dead” has any appeal. I empathize that it’s hard for her to give up her dream of teaching literature. Since it’s illegal for vamps to teach or even attend college (they’ve recently come out of the closet and the human world is still at ill ease). Still I spent the first half of the novel wishing she’d woman up and get with it already. Ethan ( her: savior, sire, and head of her House) expects instantaneous loyalty, gratitude, and is more than a little willing to grace her with some luvin’. Instead he’s met with, subtle disobedience with a side of pouting at every turn and a firm refusal to be his slutty chew toy; despite the serious lust going between them. The book centers on, Merit haphazardly navigating vamp society, ineffectively fending off her newly found suitors, and of course a rather transparent mystery threat.

Truth time. Did it live up to the all the hype? Not exactly. It’ll definitely appeal to the younger generation testing the water beyond the Twilight Ya-ish stuff or Para Romance readers looking to bridge gently into hardcore “kick ass heroine” UF. But to me it was just decent Urban Fantasy-lite, nothing to inspire tingles and gasps. At times: the tongue in cheek retorts were a bit much, the side characters were too chick lit kitschy, there was lagging in the beginning and middle of the novel; & TBH Ethan was a pretty 2 dimensional. On the other hand the world building was well done and surprisingly Neill makes the first person narrative work. So if the blurb strikes your fancy give it a look it’s pretty good, but that’s all the push you’ll get from me.

Final Grade:

Was a Fun ride but nothing that screamed, “Same time, same place tomorrow”. Has all the right elements but lacks a little somethin’ somethin’ to rise above the pack. Enjoyable but not memorable filler, great for when you’re between dynamic reads

Around The Net:

Wendy’s Minding Spot
– ” SOME GIRLS BITE is fang-tabulous! You won’t want to miss this one.”
Romantic Times Book Reviews – 4 1/2 stars
Darque Reviews – “engaging, well-executed and populated with characters you can’t help but love.”
Monsters and Critics – ” Packed with complex subplots, embittered family members and politics, this is an excellent first installment to what should be an outstanding series in a crowded field.

Posted in B, I Heart Monsters, Mistress, Reviews, Urban Fantasy | 4 Comments »

Eve of Darkness by S.J. Day

Posted by Mistress on May 16, 2009


As a consequence for sleeping with the wrong man, the life Eve’s created for herself has been ripped away. Finding out if she’s strong enough to survive what her life has become, is the stuff Urban Fantasy dreams are made of.

The other night I had more fun milking UncommonJen for Grey’s Anatomy Finale spoilers and talking smack, than I had watching the finale. On the logic of sharing the luv; I harassed my internal Jaded Genre Fan also known as Evan ; until he consented to grill me for my take of this book. And yes my internal jaded genre fan is male. We’ve made peace with this oddity, mostly.

Cursed by God, hunted by demons, desired by Cain and Abel… All in a day’s work.

For Evangeline Hollis, a long-ago fling with a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks just became a disaster of biblical proportions. One night with a leather-clad man of mystery has led to a divine punishment: the Mark of Cain.

Thrust into a world where sinners are drafted to kill demons, Eve knows her learning curve must be short. A longtime agnostic, she begrudgingly maneuvers through a celestial bureaucracy where she is a valuable but ill-treated pawn. She’s also become the latest point of contention in the oldest case of sibling rivalry in history…

But she’ll worry about all that later. Right now she’s more concerned with learning to kill while staying alive. And saving the soul she’d never quite believed she had.

Mistress: Just do it already Ev, stalling gets us nowhere

Evan: F-i-n-e, but we already know how this is going end. You’re a mean bitch who hates pretty much everything.

Mistress: Nuh Uh, I like lots of things.

Evan: Like what?

Mistress: I like Lifetime movies.

Evan: …Yeah to laugh at their pain, not normal.

Mistress: Hey I’m plenty normal. If you cut me do I not bleed, if you play Forest Gump will I not watch.

Evan: What about walks on the beach?

Mistress: What about them?

Evan: *sigh* Do you like them?

Mistress: What’s that have to do with anything?

Evan: Everything. You crisp in the sun like an albino, despite your abundance of melanin. You’re allergic to beer and hate children.

Mistress: Jeeze E, want my number or something? You’ve put way too much thought into this = /. What’s your point?

Evan: You’re a freak. I’m in your head, no digits neccessary. You iz minez ,whether I want you or not.

Mistress: Less sniping and more interviewing. Now.

Evan: Don’t be like that babe, it’s a compliment really.

Mistress: …

Evan: Um, this book sounds like your kind of ride. Did you have high apple pie in the sky hopes?

Mistress: No. I didn’t expect much from this book. The when meaningless nookie goes horribly wrong meets Cain & Abel love triangle had me prepared for vapid UF wanna be fluff.

Evan: So why’d you buy it then?

Mistress: The thrilling blurb, Jeri Ready Scott’s endorsement, and the kick ass cover.

Evan: Ohh this is gonna be fun. So how bad was it?

Mistress: Not

Evan: Not?

Mistress: Not bad, Eve of Darkness is one of the best Urban fantasy novels of 2009.

Evan: Wait pause that thought… back to the Cain & Abel Love triangle. Sounds Zexy & hussyrific, I bet it gets all mindless and porny.

Mistress: It’s not like that, well it is sorta. I mean yes, this book is sexy as hell, but it doesn’t detract from the story quality. Yes she feels an attraction to the brothers ( heck I do too), their similarities and difference are so dangerous and yummy. But Day weaves the tension and action like a pro, so it adds depth and texture to the interaction/motivation of the players in this drama. Eve’s much more than a woman drawn to 2 men, though .

Evan: Oh really, what is she then?

Mistress: She’s intelligent, endearing, realistically tough and really pissed off at her circumstances. Being drafted into protecting mankind from threats never imagined, is hard to swallow. Her focus is staying alive, which will take figuring out the ins & outs of being God’s assassin. Then finding how to regain the life she’s made for herself. And is porny even a word?

Evan: Silence Wench, I ask the questions here.

Mistress: lol, whatevz.

Evan: What about the dialouge, plot, characterization, & world building etc ?

Mistress: Thrilling and insanely brilliant. Humans ignorantly co-existing with creatures of good and evil. Uniquely fierce and amusing Baddies not down with G.O.D. Heavenly hierarchy taking shady corporate rat race shape, where even Angels have gray or dark motives. Just enough old testament nuggets to add heft and substance without going into preachy snore territory. Full fleshed out characters and motivations. It’s good, all good.

Evan: So it’s safe to say you liked the book?

Mistress: Yup

Evan: How much did you like it?

Mistress: If I had to burn this book for heat & live or freeze to death, I’d die smiling.

Evan: In english please, sans dramatics.

Mistress : Hmm well Day has reached UF auto buy status, which is a sacred conjugal involment level for me. I’ve also pre ordered the back to back releases for Eve of Destruction (June) and Eve of Chaos (July). So I liked it very much.

Evan: Hmpf. When’s the wedding?

Mistress: Soon, your invitation’s in the mail.

Evan: Lay the flaws on me. What’s wrong with this book?

Mistress: Bupkis. It’s awesome, every aspect.

Evan: I dont understand

Mistress:Neither do I, but I’m not questioning my good fortune. You should read it Ev you’ll like it.

Evan: I think I will, the biblical remix sound fun..wait, what the hell? We’re not done Mist, You can’t leave it at that. Say one non flattering thing about the book.

Mistress: But, I dont wanna.

Evan: Tough titties, spill.

Mistress: Ok ,Some readers might not be as enamored with the intimacy building aspects here and there; as myself. But it’s blended well into the Fantasy, Mystery and Horror aspects; so I hope the fellas don’t sleep on this series. Eve falls somewhere between Mercedes Thompson and Riley Jensen heroine wise, which is damn good company to be in. That’s the best I can do, unless want me to make up something?

Evan: No, I guess that will do.


Final Grade:

Utter Perfection, I wanna have it’s babies. Can’t find fault with it nor can I come down from the bookgasmic high it induced. This is a not a test. Buy, read, and pimp this book to others, as long as there’s breathe left in your body.

Around The Net:

Katiebabs – A-


Sci Fi Guy
– “I found Eve of Darkness to have thoughtful and subtle layers that are not immediately evident until further reflection.”


Aymless
– B

Posted in A-, I Heart Monsters, Mistress, Reviews, Urban Fantasy | 3 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 »

Turn My Swag On

Posted by Mistress on May 2, 2009

Went to heaven today, also known as Barnes and Nobles. Had a chocolate cupcake induced mouthgasm, then raided the shelves to support my habit. Pretty proud of myself, only left with 9 books. Urban Fantasy,Paranormal YA, Dark Fantasy, & Paranormal Romance, oh my. I am a very happy Bookslut, my wallet…not so much.

The new additions to my harem:

Sins & Shadows by Lyn Benedict

Sylvie Lightner is no ordinary P.I. She specializes in cases involving the unusual, in a world where magic is real—and where death isn’t the worst thing that can happen to you…

When one of her employees is murdered in front of her. Sylvie has had enough. After years of confounding the dark forces of the Magicus Mundi, she’s closing up shop. But wanting to quit and actually quiting are two different things. Because when a god asks you for a favor, saying no isn’t a option.

A man claiming to be the god of Justice wants Sylvie to find his lost lover. And if she doesn’t agree to help, her family, her friends, and the world will suffer the consequences.

Tracked by real-world government agents, hunted by her many enemies of the darkness, and drawn ever deeper into a labyrinth of evil deeds and immortal powers. Sylvie must find her quarry before she finds the truth about herself. Because in her line of work, the truth can set you free… and then it can kill you

I purchased out of character today,usually research before purchase is my motto. But, despite hyper awareness of UF releases,I’ve heard no buzz about this book. So I’m bumping it to the top of my TBR, cause I’m selfless like that lol and the blurb is fantastic.

Eve of Darkness by S.J. Day

Cursed by God, hunted by demons, desired by Cain and Abel… All in a day’s work.

For Evangeline Hollis, a long-ago fling with a bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks just became a disaster of biblical proportions. One night with a leather-clad man of mystery has led to a divine punishment: the Mark of Cain.

Thrust into a world where sinners are drafted to kill demons, Eve knows her learning curve must be short. A longtime agnostic, she begrudgingly maneuvers through a celestial bureaucracy where she is a valuable but ill-treated pawn. She’s also become the latest point of contention in the oldest case of sibling rivalry in history…

But she’ll worry about all that later. Right now she’s more concerned with learning to kill while staying alive. And saving the soul she’d never quite believed she had.

Storm Glass by Maria V Snyder

As a glassmaker and a magician-in-training, Opal Cowen understands trial by fire. Now it’s time to test her mettle. Someone has sabotaged the Stormdancer clan’s glass orbs, killing their most powerful magicians. The Stormdancers—particularly the mysterious and mercurial Kade—require Opal’s unique talents to prevent it happening again.

But when the mission goes awry, Opal must tap into a new kind of magic as stunningly potent as it is frightening. And the further she delves into the intrigue behind the glass and magic, the more distorted things appear. With lives hanging in the balance—including her own—Opal must control powers she never knew she possessed…powers that might lead to disaster beyond anything she’s ever known.


Undone by Rachel Caine

Once she was a powerful Djinn. Then Cassiel defied her ruler, Ashan, who tore her very essence away and reshaped her in human flesh as punishment. Forced to live among mortals, Cassiel has found refuge among the Weather Wardens—whose power she must tap into regularly, or she will die.

Cassiel earns her keep by assisting the Earth Warden Manny Rocha on his missions—which she finds much easier than coping with the emotions and frailties of her human conditions especially her growing affection for Manny’s brother, Luis. But when Cassiel encounters a malevolent force that threatens the Rocha family, she discovers that her perceived human weaknesses may be her greatest strengths….

Pleasure unbound by Larissa Ione

In a place where ecstasy can cost you your life…

She’s a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure—but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unslakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.

Two lovers will dare to risk all.

Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his desire to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable—and let Tayla possess him, body and soul…

Need by carrie jones

Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal.

Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara.

Evernight by claudia gray

Bianca wants to escape.

She’s been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn’t fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He’s not the “Evernight type” either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

“I couldn’t stand it if they took it out on you,” he tells Bianca, “and eventually they would.”

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can’t be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she’s ever believed.

Wake by Lisa McMann

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people’s dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie’s seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can’t tell anybody about what she does — they’d never believe her, or worse, they’d think she’s a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn’t want and can’t control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else’s twisted psyche. She is a participant….

Evermore by Alyson Noel

Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste…

Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies

Posted in Mistress, Swag | 1 Comment »

Red-headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells

Posted by Mistress on April 30, 2009

Saw this book for the first time, strewn on a table at Barnes & Noble. Above loomed a “If You liked Twilight” sign. The tweens must have went apeshit, cause everything was awry. So while fixing the books into neat little piles (yes, I’m one of those, lmao) this book caught my eye.

I ooohed as expected at the eye catching cover; then spun it around like a cheap date to check out the goods. The Blurb was impressive, lots of interesting conflict potential, not frilly, and brief. So like any bookslut worth her salt, I brought it home to join my harem.

In a world where being of mixed-blood is a major liability, Sabina doesn’t really fit in. And being an assassin – the only profession fit for an outcast – doesn’t help matters. But she’s never brought her work home. Until now.

Her latest mission is uncomfortably complex, and threatens the fragile peace between the vampire and mage races. As Sabina scrambles to figure out which side she’s on, she uncovers a tangled political web, some nasty facts about her family and some unexpected new talents. Any of these things could be worryingly life-changing, but together, they could be fatal…

Vampires are the living decedents of Lilith and Cain (as oppose to being the evil undead), and as a result all vampires are gingers. Sabina is a mixblood assassin for the Dominae, the counsel her Grandmother heads which rules the Vamps with an iron fist. You’re thinking sweet deal right? Mixed abilities, Nana looking out for you & getting to kill things. Well that ain’t the case.

Sabina has a complete disconnect from her mage heritage and is just as racist as the average vampire. Why? Well, Vamps and Mages loathe each other, like the opposing street dance crews. While her Grandmother did raise her after the death of her parents, she did so in the apathetic commanding way she does everything; so no warm fuzzies. On the up side she does get to kill things, but any hesitation, refusal, or questioning their choice will render her equally dead.

So despite her prolific vamp bloodline and her pest control contribution; she’s never fully been accepted among the Vampire community and will continue to suffer for the sins of her parents. All that leaves us, a Bad Ass killer with epic little girl issues; determined to prove herself worthy, no matter the cost. Which drives her to accept a dangerous mission infiltrating a cult that is threatning the Dominae’s power base. It’s all very Anita Blake meets alias. Nothing is as it seems and everyone has ulterior motives; survival will require rexamining: who she is? Who she’s fighting with? and what she’s fighting for?

Sabina’s a funny, lethal, and flawed heroine; just how I like em. The world building was decent, but there were occasional gaps.
For Example Sabina sleeps in the day and wakes at night, but no mention is made of how vamps react to sunlight. Are her sleeping habits just cultural or would she sizzle like bacon at noon? Though I realize even if there are sleep patterns/sunlight rules that it probably wont to apply to her; I still would have appreciated the clarity.( Readers: if I missed where this revalation, please shed some light, I promise not to bitch.)

The colorful cast of side characters were amusing, as was the dialogue. Sabina’s issues give credibility to some of her actions, more than it detracts in a whiny sense. I even like the sidekick she acquires, but the jump from foes to friends was too instantaneous for my tastes. My other grumble is, Sabina was agreeable to illogical degrees when dealing with the enemy. I get that she needed to infiltrate the rival organization, but c’mon. Any assassin that you approach with a vague job offer, that agrees to be led somewhere unknown to meet, by your henchmen… blindfolded and disarmed…is either retarded and isn’t worth hiring or ding ding ding is a enemy mole, lol. what about accepting a job without any discussion of payment or whats expected of you? I assume hunting vampires would take umpteenth cognitive reasoning and awareness skills, so why is Sabina in many aspects so naive?

“Digging graves is hell on a manicure, but I was taught good vampires clean up after every meal.” With a darkly amusing opening line like that, I anticipated a thrilling ride. Did the positives outweigh the flaws? Do I look forward to the next novel? Will I pimp it to the legion Urban Fantasy fans? Yes, yes, and yes. Despite the hiccups, Red-headed Stepchild is a fun fast paced read & a damn fine addition to the genre. Congrats Mz. Wells, you’ve done good.

Final Grade:

Is everything I hoped it would be but not a pinch more. Better than average, hit the spot like a tall drink on a hot summer’s day and is in no way a stale retelling. But didn’t dazzle me with shiny unique or transcendent content. A smidgen formulaic but doesn’t detract from maximum entertainment value.


Around The Net:


Love Vampires
4.5/5 Stars

Reading with Monie 5/5 Stars

Darque Reviews – “Well-written with easy to visualize detail, Read-Headed Stepchild is a fantastic opening to this trilogy and should be at the top of every urban fantasy reader’s wish list.”

Trollitc – “The novel’s not groundbreaking or high literature (but then, that’s probably a good thing as so much high literature tends to be unfathomable and unentertaining) and people who aren’t fans of the genre are not likely to enjoy it especially, but it is a good solid example of urban fantasy/horror, a pleasant read with promises of better stories to follow”

SFF World – “In summary, this is not a bad debut novel. I get the impression the author had a lot of fun writing it. It reads fairly smoothly. It’s not deep, nor particularly significant, but then it doesn’t try to be. Unlike some, it’s not explicit vampire porn (though there are insinuations to sex), nor is it pretentiously ponderous either”

Fantasy Book Critic – “Even though Jaye Wells’ “Red-Headed Stepchild” doesn’t really distinguish itself from other urban fantasy/paranormal romance novels—aside from the vampires—the book is fast-paced, charming and fun. Add it all up and “Red-Headed Stepchild” is a book that I expect will do quite well…”

Persephone Reads – “If you enjoy urban fantasy that feels fully realized – even if it’s not laid out at your feet in the first outing – you’ll definitely enjoy this book. And if you like swift action, serious sexual tension, and a solid dose of intrigue you’ll like it even more.”

Fantasy Literature 3.5 /5 “I will read the sequel to Red-Headed Stepchild. Not because there’s anything really original about this book or its characters, but because Wells makes the well-worn exciting and sometimes that’s enough to make a book worth reading. Wells knows how to take you for a ride.”

Posted in B, I Heart Monsters, Mistress, Reviews | 2 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 »

Small Town, USA

Posted by Mistress on January 16, 2009


I’m the definitive city girl. I don’t know anyone in my neighborhood by name; who hasn’t lived there for more than 15 years, not even my neighbors. I direct murderous thoughts at tourists during the Holiday season when their gawking slows me down. Nature is not my friend, though I like to pretend. One Summer, a friend and I decided to explore Prospect Park every weekend. We planned to follow the different routes till we’d been to every landmark and area. Our venture lasted all of 3 hours, when we broke for lunch at a pinic table, that I discovered 15 mins later was infested with ants… EVIL RED BITING ANTS.

The jewel on the clichéd NYC gurl crown is my hobby of surrounding myself with people, then talking to no one. I shit you not, I’m one of those freaks who will stay at a crowded café for hours reading, studying human behavior, or blogging. I enjoy few things more than the prattle of life flowing around me nonstop; with no need/expectation for me to engage in it. It’s my meditation and never fails to entertain. It’s very hard to picture myself anywhere else, this level of anonymity is addictive.

So it boggles the mind, why I lurve small town contemporaries so much. I ❤ tales about a city girl forced to move to a small bum fuck town for whatever complicated circumstances. I’m even willing overlook usual annoyances like secret babies, cowboys, single mothers, and series about brothers. Bring on the cheesy town names Temptation, Texas; Justice, Tennessee; West Bubble Fuck, North Carolina; or Scandal, Maryland. The struggle to find their place in the fishbowl/create their own business, pie competitions/recipes, the square dances, and costume parades; (though I normally wouldn’t give a fig) tell me more I’m fascinated. Oh and I can’t forget the hunky down home boys who got away. Can there ever be too many naughty small town sheriffs or mayors? Nunh uh says I.

I’m coming our of the contemporary niche closet, I dig small town romance. They’re the book equivalent of watching a Sandra Bullock movie.

Here are some of my favorites:

Nobody’s baby but Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Physics professor Dr. Jane Darlington spends her 34th birthday in tears. She wants a baby, but not a husband. Where can she find an average or, preferably, stupid man? She decides that Cal Bonner, legendary quarterback for the Chicago Stars is perfect. Jane sets her plan into action and after some trail and error she succeeds. But the results are more than she bargained for when Cal discovers her duplicity. How can a football player with an interfering family and a nerdy professor who has never known family love ever fall in love? With lots of honesty, understanding and a whole lot of humor. Don’t miss this one! It’s filled with engaging characters, laughs galore and a feel-good ending.- Amazon.com Review

Truly Madly Yours by Rachel Gibson

Delaney Shaw plans to get in and out of her hometown in the time it takes to attend her stepfather Henry’s funeral, read the will, and refill the tank of her Miata. Even the pleas of her mother and the tension of an unfinished fling with Henry’s bastard son, Nick Allegrezza, can’t keep her in Truly, Idaho. But Henry had other plans in mind: Nick and Delaney’s inheritance is contingent on her staying in Truly for a year, and him having no “sexual relationship” with Delaney. What’s a girl to do? Delaney digs in, starts up a hair salon and prepares to grit her teeth for as long as it takes.
Small-town life is everything that Delaney fears it to be: high school rivalries and old rumors about Delaney and Nick resurrect themselves with predictable immediacy. Gossip nears the truth as the sexual sparks fly between Nick and Delaney. Nick’s reputation as a ladies man hasn’t changed, either, and Delaney reminds herself that he can love her and leave her just as brutally as he did 10 years ago. But when the two find themselves in close proximity, all their best intentions fly out the window and intense passion consumes them. – Amazon.com Review

Pretty Bad by Shirley Jump

Madison Worth may be your average over-the-hill, overpaid top model, but she is not a diva. The cake throwing incident at the New York Fall Fashion Show? Completely justified. It wasn’t her fault Kate Moss’ face got in the way. But the fallout has her deep in social Siberia – literally – on a dairy farm in Podunk, Massachusetts. Why? To get a job of course! As spokesmodel for the Cheese Pleese Company. (Talk about eating humble pie.) And her new boss, Jack Pleeseman, leaves a lot – six-foot two inches worth – to be desired…Rugged and tanned in a deliciously hard-earned way, not to mention runway gorgeous, Jack Pleeseman wants to overhaul his 160-year-old family business. After some lengthy research in the pages of the “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue”, he’s found the ideal candidate for a spokesmodel. But after running his eyes up her 20-story legs, what he finds is a beautiful, tall, spoiled rich girl in a need of a major attitude adjustment. A farm could be just the charm school to set her straight. Trouble is, the cocks are crowing, the cows are mooing, and sexy Jack can’t help from wooing…

Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

It wasn’t every day a guy saw a headless beaver marching down the side of a road, not even in Chicago Stars quarterback Dean Robillard’s larger-than-life world. He slammed on the brakes of his brand-new Aston Martin Vanquish and pulled over in front of her.
The beaver marched right past, her big, flat tail bouncing in the gravel, and her small, sharp nose stuck up in the air. Way up. The beaver looked highly pissed . . .
She was definitely a girl beaver because her beaver head was missing, revealing sweaty, dark hair pulled into a scraggly ponytail. He’d been praying for a little distraction from his own depressing company, so he threw open the door and stepped out onto the shoulder of the Colorado road . . .
Funny, sexy, and touching—Natural Born Charmer is the unforgettable love story of a golden boy who might be losing his luster and a spirited woman who’s learned never to depend on anyone but herself.

Do they make your heart smile also? Or do I need help and a firm slap? Am I missing any other feel good Small town contemporaries, on your list? Suggestions are always appreciated.

Posted in Contemporary Couplings, Mistress, Talking Smack(blog post) | 4 Comments »

Defiling The Classics: River Lady by Jude Deveraux

Posted by Mistress on January 13, 2009

The universe has made poor unfortunate Leah it’s bitch. She’s poor, starving, overworked and abused. The only man she’s ever loved doesn’t even know her name and he’s about to get married, then head for the wild frontier never to be seen again. What’s a girl to do in such dire circumstances?

The correct answer is A) give him the nookie immediately

Handsome plantation owner Wesley Stanford would barely recall the poverty-stricken young girl named Leah Simmons who adored him from afar years ago?.Now, in an unexpected twist of fate — a chance encounter on the Virginia riverfront — he will become Leah’s reluctant husband. Determined to forge a new life in untamed Kentucky, Wesley discovers that the bride he hopes to abandon is passionate, proud, and brave — and may be the woman he cannot live without.

The child he once gave a gold coin has grown into broken young women. The only thing getting her through the hell she calls life are fantasies of Wesley, while she rubs the above mentioned coin like a genie’s lamp. When she learns of his impending marriage she grasps at her only chance to “be” with the man she loves, even if only for a moment. Sweet right, too bad his response to her offering is: taking her virginity roughly, calling out his fiancé’s name while he gets his jollies off, making a snide remark about her hygiene ,and walking away throwing a coin to the ground sans a single look back.

Cut to his wedding day where the scandalous drama unfolds as romance drama often does. A pregnant and barely recognizable Leah is dragged into the chapel. Her evil religious father has beaten her within an inch of her life and if the father of the baby doesn’t marry her; he’ll blow her brains out. “Wonk Waaah” is the sound of Wesley’s dreams dying as he condemns himself to ” that thing”. Saving her through marriage is Wesley’s the only unselfish act.

After marrying her, Wesley (whom I’ll now refer to as Dubyah) dumps her on his relatives claiming he needs time to come to terms with his burden. He leaves for months, during which she has a miscarriage, endures a painful my fair lady makeover, and through it all is willing to brave anything to become a wife he can be proud of; the wife he deserves. Of course she turns out to be the most “beeeeeauuuutiful & graceful woman evah”. But that’s not enough for Dubyah, his time away has bred his disdain into intense hate. When he’s not ignoring her existence, he treats her like shit. When he’s not treating her like shit, he has public hissy fits about how much he hates being tied to her. Privilege be damned, she refuses to remain when she’s not wanted. Leah’s pride, the only thing not beat out of her, prompts her to make him a offer. They’ll travel to Kentucky (with his ex- fiancé, I’ve nicknamed her Priss) pretending to be relatives. When they reach Kentucky they’ll get their marriage annulled and both be free. So they set off for the frontier spitting venom and longing all the while.

Wesley is a fickle and selfish jackass. After taking an interest, then dropping her like trash too many times to count; he decides to keep her. Then instead of wooing her or attempting to prove he’s trustworthy and loyal; states (Me paraphrasing) “Forget about the deal, you izz mine. I don’t love you, but Priss is boring. This is what you wanted, so you’re welcome.” When she flips his edict the bird, he forces her on a hunting trip that will last until she submits to stay his wife. By the way, he knows she’s terrified of the woods, wild animals, and hunting. Awwwww, romantic gestures cause me to cry glittering crystal tears… of “Whatevz Sparky”.

Although I can emphasize with being mulishly stubborn and wanting what you want, how you want it; my gag reflex cared naught. His dumb and cruel plans lead to him being wounded and her blackmailed for his safety into slave drudgery; under the constant threat of rape and worse. Yet even as she suffers while he heals, Dubyah’s still all bitchy bitch about her being too competent and never asking for help. Just shut it Dumb Dumb, maybe she doesn’t let you help because you’re dimwitted and eff everything up. At some point he informs her that her problem is that she has too much control and starting now she’s going to take the obey part of her vows seriously. Then more sex (where as foreplay, he at times insinuates she’s a evil Ho), drama, mystery, and couplings (that IMO outshine the main story) unfold; the end.

This book rawked my socks as a tween. I recently recommended it to Jen the Ginger Kid and since I’m now on friendly terms with Historical Romance as a genre; the time seemed right to check if the magic was still there. This reread was illuminating, the magic in question has been replaced with snarky amusement on my part. And it demonstrates more how I’ve changed as a reader and a woman, instead novel quality. What sold me in my youth is still present, but the many vomit inducing elements are impossible to overlook.

The Good:

* Leah’s Pluckiness. Her willingness to move on with her life when Dubyah casts her aside and not waiting for, nor needing to be saved.

* Mz Deveraux’s writing style is always full of win. I would read a story about a dog falling in love with a paper bag if she penned it.

The Bad:

* The constant harping on Leah’s lack of worth since she comes from a family known as for whores. I get it she’s from the wrong side of town, enough already

* Wesley’s method of wooing stank suspiciously of date rape logic

* W’s ex fiancé was a so one dimensional she wasn’t believable

* Dubyah’s brother goes from despising Leah as a conniving gold digging whore (that marked his bro as her first client); to adoring her within a week… all because she turns out purdy, gag me.

* Yes, we all have our Achilles heel, and Leah’s is shouldering too much responsibility. But at times the way she allows Dubyah to address her or outright bully her, doesn’t fit.

* I don’t think a clear case is made why she stays with him. It’s obvious how she won his love, but IMO he never earns her love or respect in earnest. But I guess that doesn’t matter since in his own words ” Whether I deserve her or not, She’s mine!”.


My Apoligies Mz Deveraux, I still wuvs ya , but this is “defiling the classics” ; )


Posted in Defiling The Classics, Historical Harlots, Mistress, Reviews | 6 Comments »