Any golden dreams about Classic Hollywood I have are gone. Not that that I had many, but the ones that were there have floated away, evanescent as airAny golden dreams about Classic Hollywood I have are gone. Not that that I had many, but the ones that were there have floated away, evanescent as air. This series is well-written and beautifully illustrated, but it's dark and cynical and sad. Charlie is a hero who is deeply flawed, and he is fighting a losing battle against the corruption that has consumed the lives of those around him, and is slowly rotting him inside. With his PTSD, he's already got a lot of baggage. More information is revealed about his troubled relationship with his writing partner, Gil, and that whole situation is so messed up right there. But that's not the most messed up thing about this story, by far.
Another cliffhanger ending that leaves me wondering where this story will go next....more
I will be blatantly honest. If I was rating this book by part I, it would be getting three stars and nothing more. However, the book in whole gets fouI will be blatantly honest. If I was rating this book by part I, it would be getting three stars and nothing more. However, the book in whole gets four. The beginning of this book is probably one of the most unromantic starts to a romance I've ever read. A hero who has a serial history of paying for mistresses for six months for the better part of ten years but is so tied up and proper, they can't even call him by his first name? The heroine interviewing for him naked? No thanks! She's not allowed to touch him or be seen with him and has to call him, Mr. Nakamura. She does all the work in bed?
No is really unsympathetic and actually rather robotic at the beginning. I don't even understand why he would hire mistresses. He seems like he shouldn't even have a sex drive. He is so tied up and controlled, it's hard to believe that he could fall in love with a woman. Much less have sex with so many women. Perhaps that's his only outlet, but I would have found this more believable if he had actually been more reactive in bed. I get where the author was going with this. She wanted us to see how being with Ana changes No, and how she was different from other women. She wanted Ana to stand out from the crowd, but it was too gradual for my tastes.
Lili/Ana I liked from the beginning. I have to say she really loves her brother and niece. I don't know if I could interview naked to be some rich guy's mistress for my family. Thank God I haven't had to do that! She does have a sense of innocence, but at the same time, she is remarkably blase' about the paid sex thing. I think without her internal monologue, I would have been very confused.
Japan seems very real in this book. I felt as though the author is very well acquainted with it and rather in love with the country. I've read books set in Tokyo, but not in Osaka. It was lovely to get introduced to that city. It's always good when you read a book and it makes you feel like you're visiting the place.
Now, I am the biggest Harlequin Presents fan on the planet, and the mistress scenario is a big plot in that line. I can't say I've ever been a huge fan of mistress stories, but I'm not averse to a preposterous plotline that works well. It was certainly something different. Overall, despite it's start and some parts that I didn't gel with, I walked away from this book satisfied. I wasn't sure I wanted to read it, but I was intrigued, so I read a sample on my Kindle. I ended up borrowing it from Amazon and finishing it in less than 24 hours. That says a lot right there.
As to the sex. I think that the initial sex scenes are way clinical to me, and I didn't like the thing that No would do to make Lili climax. All I can say is 'ouch!' I didn't care much for the blunt sexual language. I'm not a big fan of that. It's not that romantic to me. I'm fine with descriptive sexual scenes, but not with some of the descriptors. Lust is easy to find, but where's the love and romance?
I really love Asian guys. It's a huge surprise to me how much No didn't appeal to me for the first part of the book. He did start to appeal to me when he gets mad and decides he wants revenge. He actually starts acting like a human being and not a robot at that point. I like pissed off No much more than Billionaire, Proper Japanese Businessman with an Erection But No Other Emotions No. I liked how he changes and thaws and starts reacting normally. I know that his family is seriously screwed up. I realize that Japanese culture is very rigid in expressing emotions and requires strict public etiquette. I liked him much better after he comes to the US to start a company with his friend and to get revenge on Lili/Ana and his father. Angry No is Hot No. At the beginning, I didn't find him attractive because he seemed so emotionless. I did kind of like how proper and buttoned up he was, but I would have preferred if he turned into a wild man in bed instead the way he has sex with Ana for their six months together. I also liked how he nursed her when she was sick and how he seemed to want to spend more time with Ana, despite his intentions. While I normally like a coldly ruthless hero, I think No didn't work for me at the beginning because he wasn't cold in the still waters run deep, but too robotic acting.
One thing that made this book stand out, but in some ways had a problematic execution was the thread of suspense/thriller that ran through it. I had no idea how cutthroat the Japanese businessworld is, at least based on this book. I don't know how much of that's true, but the fact that No's family is samurai on both sides gives their behavior an authentic feel. When you find out how truly heinous the behavior of a certain person is, it's chilling. This makes for a much darker than book that one would expect. I think it was problematic in that some of the action aspects weren't well described. I'm picky about action scenes, because it's a huge love of mine. And when you throw in katana-wielding ninja and samurai, my expectations go up very high. But, despite that, I found it charming.
I like over the top when it's done well. The OTP in this book was done charmingly. I could have been a little better executed, if I'm honest. But despite that, I did have a smile on my face when I finished the book.
I have been hard on this book, and i realize that. I do think Ms. Taylor is a gifted author. I have such a deep love for interracial romance, I am hard on the genre. I hate that the romance part seems to be taken for granted. I think Ms. Taylor seems believe in romance, but with a bit of a more jaundiced eye than I would like. I'm excited to read His Pretend Baby: 50 Loving States, Oregon...more
This was a very interesting idea. A retired black ops assassin falls in love with a young ballerina and considers settling down with her. But that's wThis was a very interesting idea. A retired black ops assassin falls in love with a young ballerina and considers settling down with her. But that's when another younger assassin comes after him and his lover. But here's the catch: the assassin on his tail is a clone of him.
Straight up spy suspense with a sci-fi twist. The game of cat and mouse is very tense. Because the character is running from a younger, more ruthless, and more sociopathic version of himself. I felt like I didn't really get to know the dancer. She seems to react to the situation more than to have an ongoing story arc/inner life. The story is more centered on the lead character and his entanglements with the other assassin.
I gave this 3.5 stars because of the fact that I was missing more of a viewpoint from the girlfriend. The artwork was good and the storytelling was suspenseful. This would be an interesting ongoing series....more
This was okay. Kind of hard to keep up with the story. I wasn't that keen on the artwork. It looks too cartoonish for me. Also, this is one of those bThis was okay. Kind of hard to keep up with the story. I wasn't that keen on the artwork. It looks too cartoonish for me. Also, this is one of those books that you are lost if you haven't followed the series closely. I wish I had been able to write my review sooner, because I've forgotten aspects of the story....more
I was verra much enamored with this book. A great match between the very tortured hero and heroine. I like my Highlanders brawny and intense, and LiamI was verra much enamored with this book. A great match between the very tortured hero and heroine. I like my Highlanders brawny and intense, and Liam definitely fits the bill. I have found another historical romance series to follow!
I saw Captain America: Civil War and it majorly kindled my interest in T-Challa, who goes by the guise of Black Panther. T'Challa is the king of WakanI saw Captain America: Civil War and it majorly kindled my interest in T-Challa, who goes by the guise of Black Panther. T'Challa is the king of Wakanda, and he is also the latest Black Panther, a costumed fighter and righter of wrongs. Wakanda has incredible natural resources, being the only location in the world that has a store of vibranium, a very powerful metal (and what Captain America's shield is made of).
My trusty library had a copy of this, so that was fortuitous. I read the foreward, and the writer's thought processes made a lot of sense. He used a unique POV to tell this story, an unlikely and in some ways unreliable narrator. This adds a sense of absurdity to the story that I wasn't sure I liked. I did like the fact that this narrative device was used as clever way to maintain mystery about Black Panther. One side effect is that it makes this book more of a satire and leaves it up to the reader to divine who and what T-Challa is. I feel that a lot of narrative assumes that the reader has prior knowledge about his backstory and some parts of the Marvel Universe that are pertinent to his character. That made some aspects confusing.
I found the glimpses into Wakandan culture interesting, and a spotlight on the complex social issues going on in Africa with a focus on how they impact Wakanda, and vice versa. I would have liked more of that. There was a plot of intrigue about a charity sponsored by Wakanda and some ugly dealings including the death of one of the children it helped. Of course, we go to see Black Panther do some buttkicking. I like his style. I like his female bodyguards very much.Not only are they gorgeous, but they are lethal.
I love the idea of T-Challa, and what I appreciate about him from this read. I would like to read more about him, and I'm supremely jazzed about the movie that was greenlighted, which will again star (the may I say scrumptious) Chadwick Bozeman and the lovely Lupita Nyong'o. I hope to read more of his series.
I am a huge fan of western and Scottish historical romances. It's a lovely double whammy to get both in the same book. I liked Fletcher's authenticityI am a huge fan of western and Scottish historical romances. It's a lovely double whammy to get both in the same book. I liked Fletcher's authenticity (and sometimes crassness) and Rosalyn's feistyness. They made a good couple. This felt a little short to me. I was like, "is that it?" when it ended. I would definitely keep reading this series.
I was interested in reading Big John and Connie's story because they seemed intriguing from the later books in the series. I liked the idea of a heroiI was interested in reading Big John and Connie's story because they seemed intriguing from the later books in the series. I liked the idea of a heroine who is very shy and how that would play out in a romance. It was different from what I thought. I don't think that calling Connie shy is adequate. She not so much shy as socially awkward and withdrawn from others. Because of her father's death and their lifestyle, Connie has never connected with others very well. People get a mistaken impression of her and her withdrawn nature and her extreme brilliance puts people off. John at first, doesn't like Connie, but he's fascinated with her. The more time they spend together, working side by side as mechanics in the SOAR unit, the more they get to know each other, and a romantic relationship develops.
My problem was that Connie stays too remote in the book for me. I didn't feel connected to her, and so that made it hard for me to buy into the relationship on a deeper level.
The action was good, although most of it was later in the book. There are some very tense moments as the team has to deal with some nukes in the wrong hands. I liked how Connie stepped up to the plate and gained a big win for the team, and also it did help her to see that John was worth taking a risk on. People die, all the time, but withdrawing and refusing to feel doesn't necessarily protect you from loss. You just end up being alone.
Another volume of excellent Batman mysteries. Loved the artwork and the storyline is snappy and active, but also emotive. I think Dini's Batman volumeAnother volume of excellent Batman mysteries. Loved the artwork and the storyline is snappy and active, but also emotive. I think Dini's Batman volumes tend to be my favorite. ...more
This was a really good volume of the New 52 Justice League. Darkseid is just one of the Justice League's problems. There are many and their villains aThis was a really good volume of the New 52 Justice League. Darkseid is just one of the Justice League's problems. There are many and their villains are ruthless with no respect for life. The JL has their hands full and I really thought most of them were goners more than once in this book. I hope my library gets the next volume soon....more
I enjoyed the motif of classic literature running through this cozy mystery, and any person who loves books as much as I do feels like a friend. ThisI enjoyed the motif of classic literature running through this cozy mystery, and any person who loves books as much as I do feels like a friend. This was a good book and a well-plotted mystery, other than a bit of a pacing issue. The villain is a real nasty one (considering). I'd definitely continue to read this series.
I actually read this a while ago, but forgot to mark it read on Goodreads. It was pretty good. I ship Batman and Wonder Woman, so it was nice to see tI actually read this a while ago, but forgot to mark it read on Goodreads. It was pretty good. I ship Batman and Wonder Woman, so it was nice to see them team up on a case in this. Unfortunately, I don't remember a lot of this, so I'll just have to leave it at I enjoyed it. :)...more
This is set in the aftermath of discovering that there is a parallel earth where the Justice League is bad. The JL has Superman's arch-nemesis Lex LutThis is set in the aftermath of discovering that there is a parallel earth where the Justice League is bad. The JL has Superman's arch-nemesis Lex Luthor clamoring to join, and doing good deeds (for his own intentions), and a young woman is claimed by the Dark Green Lantern Power Ring (one that feeds on fear instead of will). The JL steps in to help her before the ring destroys her and those around her, and a virus is released from Lex's lab that causes humans to manifest metahuman power. It also attacks members of the League with disastrous consequences. Obviously, the League has their hands full.
I didn't find much to dislike about this volume. Plenty of action and suspense, and some nice twists....more
This was a good graphic novel. There were a lot of twists and turns in the storyline as Batman followed Breadcrumbs and realized that a particular chaThis was a good graphic novel. There were a lot of twists and turns in the storyline as Batman followed Breadcrumbs and realized that a particular character wasn't the one pulling strings, and everything is leading to a puppet master behind everything. A parallel storyline is Bruce's relationship with Thomas Elliot, a childhood friend who has suffered losses just as Bruce did, but went in a different direction. What I didn't like so much is that the main character who is behind everything really isn't revealed in this volume, even though you can easily surmise who it is. I'm glad my library has Batman: Hush Returns. I liked the artwork and the storytelling is good, just too abrupt an ending....more