The Scarlet Corset

  • Tweet Promiscuity

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

  • Wanderer

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

  • Reader

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Archive for the ‘Paranormal Romance’ 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

Advertisements

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

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 »