I really liked this book. My favorite part was that it was a happy ending love story. It was great that it was good. I thought Paige totally deservedI really liked this book. My favorite part was that it was a happy ending love story. It was great that it was good. I thought Paige totally deserved to get to know Zach by reading his diary. I also thought that the characters were very realistic. Paige starts out kind of bitchy, but her true feelings change that.
It was really good that there was a convincing mystery in the love story. If it was just a love story it wouldn’t have been as good and could have sucked. But it didn’t because of how good the author is. I didn’t see the ending coming at all even though the title.
When the book was over, I kept wondering about the characters’ future and where they’d be a few years down the road. I wish I had met my baby daddy like this instead of at my sister-in-law’s house one night when I was drunk. This was way more romantic and I bet Zach won’t just run off and leave Paige when she misses her period. Zach doesn’t even really drink I bet.
Even though the story was complete I still wanted more. It was that good. So good. It made me wonder what Paige did in between when she visited Zach like at home and school and stuff. I was dying to know what her awful friends were really like outside of what she tells Zach. I mean, they sound so mean and awful but there must be something good about them or Paige wouldn’t hang out with them so much. I felt like I actually knew her friends like they were my own friends, but the description of them wasn’t very good I guess. It made me serious.
Zach’s relationship with his dad also. It was hard. It reminded me of my own mom when I was in high school. She wanted me to finish, but I wanted to drop out. Like Zach, I think I made the right decision. Sometimes parents force their own dreams on their kids and that ruins them. Zach didn’t want to play football just like I didn’t want to go to school anymore. Except for the coma, I think Zach turned out okay. Maybe I’m in my coma right now lol.
I’m glad of what happened at the end. Paige needed to do that. She learned to live for herself by trying to impress the boy in the coma who was the ultimate in inaccessible love interests. For him, she walked away from her friends and faced ostrichism in school. And when he finally woke up, it was good because they were able to fall in love for real. That was uplifting.
It did seem kind of unlikely I guess that he would be on life support until she gave him a handjob while he was in his coma. I can’t believe that would bring him back to life. I don’t even know if that is legal or not with his parents in the house. I mean I’m glad that he came back to life from the coma but its not very likely that would work.
Maybe this book wasn’t that good after all....more
A few years ago, I made the difficult decision to get in shape. It came seemingly out of nowhere, when my wife decided to get a gym membership. I follA few years ago, I made the difficult decision to get in shape. It came seemingly out of nowhere, when my wife decided to get a gym membership. I followed suit, as, you know, it seemed like a good thing to do. For the first few months, I didn’t go very often. Watching as the money was deducted from my checking account was the closest I came to actually using my membership. But then I got it in my head that I wanted to run a 5K. The thought was incomprehensible to me. Me? Running? What about the death?
I committed to the 5K and I knew I’d need to train for it. I forced myself into the gym and went through the motions, but I got exactly nowhere. The place was crowded and I was self-conscious. It was a bad combination. So I decided to bring my own music to the place and isolate myself with headphones. It really did the trick. In particular, the music of Rise Against was a godsend. It helped me run harder, lift more, and stay longer.
Willow Tate, dog-lover extraordinaire, has to seek help from a talking house. Typically, the house is an asshole. But it likes Willow. Likes her so much that it only communicates to her in song. On one occasion, it tries to warn her of danger by singing “Collapse,” a Rise Against song that is great for bench pressing. It gets the job done for her just as well as it did for me. We did, of course, have different jobs. I was just trying to get into shape, while she was working at being a moronic, impossible-to-identify-with, unnecessarily lame, psychically powered protagonist.
I want to say it straight: this book was dumb. The writing was abysmal, and the characters seemed to have been plucked right out of car insurance commercials. The edges of the book are covered in blood from my repeated, reading-induced suicide attempts. Unfortunately, the book failed there, too.
Meet Jake and Sera. He’s got a lively rod in his trousers and her vagina produces more cream than a Coffee Mate factory. They are trapped in the snowMeet Jake and Sera. He’s got a lively rod in his trousers and her vagina produces more cream than a Coffee Mate factory. They are trapped in the snow without power. What will they do?
But wait. Sera has a terrifying secret! She’s psychic! Well, kind of. She’s an empath, which means she can feel the emotions of others and project her own. A couple of years ago, she was banging Jake and accidentally let her emotions come inside him. He was overwhelmed and, naturally, ran off into the woods. Sera was devastated, so that night she fled to Arizona.
But then she came back to confront her demons, and these are the words that happened while she was doing that:
“Cream flooded her nether lips as her pussy swelled with desire.”
“Could he convince Sera to sleep with him for the sake of breaking through his emotional wall or would she just see it as him trying to get into her pants?”
“Her breasts shifted freely under her baggy sweatshirt and his mouth watered with carnal memories.”
“Her legs straddled his thighs and the heat of her pussy felt like lava flowing over him.”
“‘Thank God,’ he said as a bolt of lust shot straight from his ear to his cock.”
“Jake ran his hands down her back to her sweet, sweet ass and kneaded those delicious cheeks.”
“The urge to lick the cream that ran from her body tore at him.”
“His balls were so full he thought they’d surely burst, but he hung on.”
This book had some of the most interesting and bizarre sexual descriptions I’ve read. Thankfully, Ms. Hart used the flowery euphemisms for naughty bits sparingly. But, all the same, there were some weird images that were conjured up by her language. The frequent usage of words like “cock” and “pussy” makes one think he’s reading erotica. But the plot and themes suggest something altogether different. In this case, we have two people who are in love, but don’t know how to deal with the feelings they are experiencing.
At its heart, this story deals with two very specific (if a bit stereotypical) fears. She is concerned that he’s going to leave her when he knows the “truth.” He’s concerned with being in touch with his emotions. Those two things aren’t particularly sexual. In fact, they make the sex parts kind of sad. They’re really hot for one another and all (and, clearly, they like screwing each other), but they’re just two needy people brought together by circumstance. They have a history. They spend an evening rationalizing their behavior in order to justify submitting to feelings of lust. The cream and pre-cream that follows is nice for them, but that particular ambrosia isn’t going to help them make it through their metaphorical snow storm.
I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the story was based upon a dream. Other than these naive interpretations of human relationships, there’s also this weird surreal veil that sort of covers the narrative. For example, we’ve got Cody the dog who helps Sera drag Jake toward the fire when he’s near-frozen and unconscious. I’ve only ever seen one dog do this; her name was Lassie. Also, there’s this presence out in the snow. It could be a bear, a lost hiker, or a murderer. The text hints that it’s probably the latter, but that lasts for a single scene and is never revisited. Toss in the empath business and you’ve got a reliable recipe for Weird Shit Punch.
Even the rape thing is gently touched on here. On two seperate occasions, Jake forces himself onto Sera, but it’s okay because she wants it to happen. I don’t know if that’s forcing or not. Does intent make the action? Or is the end result the only thing that’s relevant? It’s really ambiguous, because she immediately submits to him. Being privvy to romancey men's thoughts is weird.
In the end, it’s a short and, honestly, pretty fascinating read. I just finished it and I have no words to describe how I feel. The closest adjective I can come up with is “creamy.”...more
I doona ken how to start this. As ye ken, I’m a man of action, not of words. But you ken that. Yar m’fookin diary for the love of Christ.
I doona ken how to start this. As ye ken, I’m a man of action, not of words. But you ken that. Yar m’fookin diary for the love of Christ.
N E Way, I’m having some trouble. Right, I ken what yer thinking, the Laird of Donnachaidh having troubles? That can’t be. Well, let me tell you something, Diary. You don’t ken shit.
I was riding up to claim me wife from her wicked stepmother when it happened: some crazy fookin wench was riding her mare in but her chemise. You of all people, Diary, ken how I feel about a chemise. Especially a wet one. N E Way, she was riding back and forth and I thinks to meself, “Why the fook not?” I ride right up to her, spook her horse, and send the both of us plummeting down. It hurt like fook, let me tell ye. But soon enough, I got to her naughty bits, so it was okay.
But guess what, Diary! That naughty wench was me wife. IS me wife, I should say. In some ways, it’s awesome. She gets frustrated with me sometimes, but it’s nothing a peek under the kilt canna fix. Any trouble she has can be laid to rest with a jab of the old Scottish broadsword, if you ken what I’m saying.
Ye wonna believe it, Diary! When I finally got her back to me castle, the mad lass started getting into all manner of mischief. Angus almost had her way with her in the paddock, for fook’s sake. I don’t ken how I’m goonta keep her alive. I ken the silly bitch is too fookin stupid to live long. Half the time, I don’t ken whether to fook her or beat the shit out of her. I’d probably do the latter if it warnt fer her fine, fine orbs. Finest orbs I’ve felt since m’unlce’s prized ewe back before he fookin ate it.
I ken what you’re thinking, but yar wrong. I ken I love this one. I ken it. I can’t wait to see her every morning. Sometimes, when she comes down to break her fast, I’ll have already broken my own fast, but I’ll hide in a corner and watch her break her fast anyway. I ken it’s silly, but the woman kens how to break her fast like no one else. Oh to be a pastie!
N E Way, I canna find me fav plaid pin. M’plaid keeps unraveling and leaving me bollocks out in the wind. I caught Aunt Biddy lookin at them yesterday. I fear she might want to put them in one of her delicious soups! I ken she thought about it. The sooner I finna that fookin pin, the better.
I’ll write more later, Diary. Thar’s a hardness raising me plaid that I need to attend to. I hope that dumb lass hasna forgotten how to lay still.
I’m going to start this, like many do, by admitting that I won this in the GR giveaway. Usually, this is the point at which folks say that, while theI’m going to start this, like many do, by admitting that I won this in the GR giveaway. Usually, this is the point at which folks say that, while the book wasn’t what they’d typically read, it was surprisingly good. Five star good.
I’m not going to do that.
My winning this book was no act of randomness. I do not enter the giveaway often. I entered specifically to win this book. There was something in the description of the book that caused me to believe that bestiality might be a major plot point. I wanted, more than anything, to read a Harlequin with bestiality.
I am not surprised that I was let down in that regard. It was too good to be true. A lady falling in love with a stunning horse or small goat was just too much to hope for. I was quite surprised, however, at what I did find.
Almost immediately, it was apparent that I was going to be reading a charming, witty, and decently written romance. The characters were engaging and interesting. The protagonist, Justine, was a strong and intelligent lead. She was raised in Africa and, as such, wasn’t accustomed to the propriety of London’s upper class. Because of this (and because of her father’s scandalous scientific studies), she’s unabashed about taboo, and she don’t take no shit from nobody.
The nobody in question is the Duke of Bradford, a sex addict from before such afflictions were recognized. He digs her and she digs him, but they’ve got some issues. The charming rake is, initially, trying his best to not ravage his virgin bride. In the process, he does some weird shit and ends up voicing his desire to take her by force.
And I’m like, “Hold on a minute.”
What. The. Fuck. Rape? For serious? There are no fucking pirates in this story! None! I checked!
Ms. Marvelle, perhaps you can help me out here. You were kind enough to sign my book and send it to me, so it seems reasonable that you might read this. Why rape? I don’t get it. I mean, I fully understand how you use it in the plot. I get the motivation. But romance is all about fantasy, right? Why is it romantic to tame a man with rapist inclinations?
You are not the only offender here, Ms. Marvelle. In fact, you may not be an offender at all. I’ve read several romances and it seems that the majority of them include men who, if they don’t try to rape the women they’re supposed to love, they at least think about it. This suggests to me that there is some charm in the idea. I get why your readers want a sexy male antagonist. But I don’t get why he has to be abusive. In my book, Justine would’ve beaten his head in with a shovel the first time he grabbed her wrist and threatened to force himself upon her if she didn’t comply.
But that’s kind of a non-issue, isn’t it? It isn’t my book. It’s yours. You decided to include the rape thing and I can’t help but think you’ve got a good reason for it. I’d love to hear. You might be the one to answer a question I’ve had to let go unanswered for more than a year now: what’s sexy about rape?
* End Sidebar*
The rape thing added kind of a dark twist to the story. Later parts, which were supposed to be kind of funny in a husband-in-the-doghouse kind of way, were somewhat creepy. The Duke’s behavior should have been humorous, with all of his silent brooding. But he’s too big and imposing, almost the exact opposite of a sad puppy. He seemed more like the father in The Shining in those moments before he goes apeshit.
I genuinely enjoyed the banter between the Duke and the Duchess. The fact that the African raised lady had to educate the man of society in propriety was unbelievably amusing. And I thought the whole thing with the brother’s mistress was great. It added real depth and allowed for the antagonist to finally become the hero we all wanted him to be.
That bit, though. It was puzzling. The brothers are foils for one another. It’s to be inferred form the text that the brother is evil while the Duke is good. But the same behaviors are evident in both men. I have to commend Ms. Marvelle on being able to craft such subtlety. While their relationship really should have been better fleshed out, the importance of their characters was never forgotten. The Duke would just have been an asshole if not for his brother. And that subplot added quite the unexpected twist.
Final thoughts? I found this romance more enjoyable than any other I’ve experienced. It practically read itself. ...more
All my life, I thought I liked pirates. I thought I found the romantic visions of them (stealing from the rich, burying treasure) appealing, as well aAll my life, I thought I liked pirates. I thought I found the romantic visions of them (stealing from the rich, burying treasure) appealing, as well as the more true-to-life accounts of the mutinies and murders. The romanticism of pirates, to me, made pirate romances seem romantic. But, as it turns out, pirate romances make me feel kind of ill.
Raping and pillaging is great when it is fictional and former never actually happens, but pirates in romances always have to stop themselves from raping. Which would be fine, I guess, if the reader wasn’t privy to their every thought. How do you become sympathetic to a character who wants to sodomize a woman just to humiliate her (Skye O’Malley), wants to have sex with a woman against her will (Pleasuring the Pirate), or wants to possess her like an object (The Iron Duke)? Somebody’s priorities are fucked up and it’s either me or them. Because I’m me, I think it’s them.
I’ll move on from there, though, because this is nothing new. I’ve bitched about it before, but I felt it deserved some more attention. Let’s chat about the steampunk thing, which I’ve also bitched about before. I don’t care for it. When I first learned about it, I was stoked. It sounded really cool: an alternate reality where industry and invention took a different route. But in practice, I found it lacking. There’s so much Star Wars with all of the giant walking machines that I can’t make myself believe it. And the authors spend too much time reinventing modern products using gears and steam. And I, though I realize I’m probably in the minority, don’t find goggles sexy.
But none of that’s new, either. How about zombies? Zombies can be well done, as I learned in my reading last year. But here they’re not. They’re boring. The way they’re created is kinda cool, with nanoagents being the catalyst for infection. But that’s about it. Otherwise, they bite and lumber and infest. Whatever. They fill in plot gaps, is what I think. “Hey, this story is fucking boring! I know, I’ll add some walking cliches! Everybody likes those!”
Authors: If you’re not going to do something original and cool with zombies, I’m going to have to ask you to leave the store.
But, Caris, there’s giant monsters! Kraken and sharks! Fucking big ones!
Yes, yes. I know they’re there in theory, but please point them out to me. Do you mean those four pages with the kraken and practically non-existent sharks? I’m calling shenanigans on that shit. Talk about build-up without payoff. Surely dispatching a sea monster can take a few more pages. Has Moby Dick really fallen that far out of style? Of have we abandoned him for super-weak, lame ass monsters and just stolen the power in his name for use in the nasty bits?
The nasty bits. You’ve read sixty pages of them, you’ve read them all. One thing I can say, though, is this one has more satisfying nasty bits, if that’s what you’re looking for. There’s no beating around the bush here. We’ve got genuine lamb skin sheaths, and plenty of vanilla copulation. Enjoy.
That’s it, I guess. This book is a compilation of everything that has ever been done before. For that, it can receive no more or less than a solid “C” rating. It was middle of the road, it was lackluster, but it’ll allow you to graduate to the eighth grade. Congratulations, you’re mediocre....more
If Shaun of the Dead left you wishing that it had been more wordy and a hell of a lot less clever, boy have I got a book for you!!!
Sarah and Dave areIf Shaun of the Dead left you wishing that it had been more wordy and a hell of a lot less clever, boy have I got a book for you!!!
Sarah and Dave are on the brink of divorce, but a zombie plague provides them with exactly what they need to stay together and make it as a couple (you know, the same thing the aforementioned film was about?). Through heavy handed plotting and poor dialogue, the two of them gradually grow closer together and learn to take on the world as a team.
In the book’s defense, I am not its intended reader. And I’m not talking the male/female bullshit here, either. I am something of a zombie connoisseur. As such, I have requirements of my zombies. My most stringent requirement is that the undead must be badass. If not, they just aren’t scary. MwZ fails in this regard, as the toughest zombies are the ones that run. If this was the 1950s, that might have passed, but today? Not a fucking chance. Petersen’s zombies are boring. Super boring. And anyone who gets killed by them deserves to die.
The folks who would choose to pick this book up would likely be fans of paranormal romance. This work might be great for them. It’s light, humorous, and easy to read. If Infinite Jest is Everest, consider MwZ one of those ridiculously inclined water slides. I just can’t put my preferences on the back burner.
As far as the romantic aspects go, I was totally bummed. This story wasn’t romantic in the least. I’m a married guy. I can easily fathom how a couple going from near dissolution to closer than ever before can be romantic. In fact, I think this very thing has been done in a zombie outbreak (please see sentences 1 and 2 – ripoff, ripoff, ripoff). But the dynamic between the two characters just wasn’t there for me. They were all about survival and not about each other. The kisses were few and the banging was all but nonexistent. Their relationship was tepid, making them resemble coworkers instead of people who are supposed to be romantically involved. This wouldn’t be a problem, but the cover features the couple and a big fucking heart, with the only zombies appearing in the background. That images promises me things that the text doesn’t deliver.
And now I’m going to complain about the writing. The characterizations were poor. I didn’t root for the protagonist or her husband. In fact, I found myself hoping that the story ended with their deaths. And if I had to read about another smile, I might have torn the book in half. Which would be bad. It is a library book. To directly quote (without any embellishment at all) a more fully realized character in a totally unrelated work, “Ms. Petersen has the emotional range of a teaspoon.”
But for all the shittiness, it had something. I wanted to keep reading and see how the story ended. It also seemed like Petersen had a really fun time writing it, which came through loud and clear. I appreciated that, as its more fun to read what was fun to write. It is because of this that she will get more stars than I usually shell out to romances. In the end, I can totally see why someone would want to read this garbage. ...more
I believe it was a wise man who said, "I don't ever want to read a book with the word ‘globe’ in it again."
Unfortunately, God knew what that man was rI believe it was a wise man who said, "I don't ever want to read a book with the word ‘globe’ in it again."
Unfortunately, God knew what that man was referring to in his heart and decided to fuck with him.
“Sure,” God said, snickering to himself. “He’ll never have to read a book where boobies are referred to as ‘globes’, but just wait until he finds that twincest book where the taut young ass cheeks are called ‘globes’! Hahahahahahaha!”
God is a juvenile sonofabitch.
So. Anyway. Twincest. Here goes the review that will come back to haunt me.
Torn is a novella about a pair of identical twin brothers who like to bang one another. What’s more, they’re totally in love.
As one might expect, there are several explicit sex scenes to be found in the (strangely liquid damaged) pages of this book that karen sent me (out of the blue and completely unprompted). In fact, if a regular M/M erotica reader were to get his/her hands on these sex scenes out of context, he/she would probably be pretty satisfied. And the plot, strangely enough, wasn’t the worst I’ve read and was fairly engaging.
The brothers experience no small amount of shame and embarrassment as result of their situation. No one expects to wake up one morning and find themselves sexually attracted to a sibling, but these things happen. While they are worried about being found out, they’re also concerned with having their feelings hidden from those they care about, namely, their older brother. And, no, this doesn’t end in a brotherly love dude sandwich. The twins are in love and they want their brother’s acceptance and understanding.
And that was kind of heavy to me. What I thought was going to happen was the guilt-free, narcissistic sex that is stereotypical of the gay scene. That these brothers felt human emotions divorced from lust and longing was surprisingly real and, to be honest, kind of heartbreaking. Think of coming out to your family, but in the biggest, most earth-shattering way possible. It’s intense. What these brothers felt was love and their emotions were no weaker than the greatest of literature’s romantic entanglements.
The book really knows its audience. From what I gather, twincest is mostly geared toward females. And this makes sense to me because this isn’t just straight-up erotic fiction. It has all the markings of a good romance, just firmly entrenched in the taboo. This is an instance of two human beings coming together (hahahahaha), in spite of all the odds stacked against them, because of love. And that part is hard to not identify with.
I am amazed at how many of my assumptions were dismissed in these eighty-or-so pages. But that’s not to say they were unfounded. The poor editing screamed fly-by-night porno publisher. There were these nonsensical page breaks that were horrifically distracting and prevented me from ever getting fully involved with the narrative. And there was one line where the perspective shifted from third-person to first-person (or something like that- it was several sex scenes ago).
Oooooooh yeah. I almost forgot. The sex scenes. Totally weird. They focused a lot of attention on some odd body parts (specifically the urethra) that surprised me. It was just not the sort of thing I would have considered putting into my twincest novel. Or any novel. My guess is that those were written for a very particular type of person who is aroused by said part. I learn new things every day.
To sum it all up: it wasn’t too bad, it defied expectations, and it was about two cowboy brothers doing each other. ...more
Medieval stuff is cool. I actually enjoyed Le Morte D’arthur a great deal, believe it or not. There’s something about knights and their quests that’sMedieval stuff is cool. I actually enjoyed Le Morte D’arthur a great deal, believe it or not. There’s something about knights and their quests that’s just fun. I like going to the Renaissance festival when its in town, where I can drink my Coke, eat my bread bowl, and watch a bunch of goof balls in tights make asses of themselves.
So, I’ll admit, I wasn’t totally appalled by the idea of reading a medieval romance, though a good piece of twincest would have been more preferable.Alas, we can’t always get what we want.
This one, as other romance sub-genres have, focuses on a specific type of fantasy. I know I’m generalizing, as I’ve only read one medieval romance, but I certainly hope it’s the case. This story features a woman who does not trust men. She has been abused at their hands and refuses to allow herself to be dominated by them, no matter what the cost. She has a scar across her face (and many more on the rest of her body), which, to her, makes her ugly. Can you think of any women who think themselves ugly, but aren’t? Can you think of any women reluctant to trust men?
And here is where the fantasy comes in. This poor woman meets a knight, a truly gallant and moral man. He is sent, like all the others, to dominate her. Much to her surprise, he doesn’t seem to want to. And, what’s more, he seems to actually care about her. When she starts to reciprocate those feelings, she’s scared. I mean, what wouldn’t she be? She’s been burned so many times before, it would be stupid to blindly trust this big, muscle-bound (though there are, of course, no gross knots of muscle or anything) asshole.
But there’s the thing: he’s not like those other guys. He’s willing to wait for her to come around. When she needs space, he gives it. But he’s always there to tell her that he’s into her and that she’s wonderful and stuff. And, when she finally comes around, he doesn’t make any assholish demands of her, preferring her to remain the same woman she’s always been. It’s really an uplifting sort of story.
Of course, there’s still some bullshit. The thing I disliked the most was all the talk of ownership. And it wasn’t from Fulk. Jehanne at one point, thinks about marriage as a form of reciprocal ownership. I didn’t like this one bit. If this story was written for, say, middle-aged, divorced women hoping to love again, it seems absurd that the author would put shit like that in her heroine’s head. Talk about repeating the cycle. It’s a good thing that Fulk is more honorable than his lady friend, or she’d be fu*ked (had to do it at least once).
What can I say? It’s the best Harlequin I’ve read, but what the hell does that say (other than that the course of my life took a wrong wrong turn a few towns back)? It was shitty, but in a good way....more
Now, there are going to be some spoilers here, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If you’re sitting there in front of your computer, lookingNow, there are going to be some spoilers here, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If you’re sitting there in front of your computer, looking over reviews and trying to decide what book you’d like to pick up from the library this afternoon, it may seem like the words that come later will ruin the plot of the story. But, I swear to you, if you have half a brain (like our protagonist), you’ll figure out how this story ends within ten pages.
The most supremely sad part of this book is up for debate. Some might see the internally justified domestic violence as truly gutwrenching. Others might see the misguided sexual adventures as the proverbial shit on the carpet. If you chose either one of these (or some of the others), you’re absolutely right. That’s the beauty of this book: it provides so many instances of a life poorly lived that potshots can be taken at virtually anything.
Give me a moment while I load my gun.
If you were to ask me, I think Sandy’s choice of not-quite-in-lovers is the most depressing thing this book has to offer. Her life is so stagnant, so limited, that she reaches out/eventually relents to the advances of 1) her gynecologist 2) her sister’s husband 3) her best friend’s husband.
The fun thing, though, is that her special parts seem to be magic. They make men fall in love- with their wives. It’s a blessing and a curse, Sandy would tell you that. In fact, she does. In Ex-Wifey, the book’s highly anticipated sequel (due out in 2014), Sandy eventually divorces Norman and puts her junk to good use as a couples therapist.
In a real life situation where a woman is so sheltered, I can see turning to those who are familiar to her. But in this book? She should have had a fling with her slow golf caddy. She should have done it on the lawn with her pants-less veterinarian. She should have done it with her best friend, not that woman’s husband. Judy Blume gets an F for notFuckingthinking.
Seriously though, I get hooking up with her long lost love (even though he’s the one who gave her gonorrhea), but I do not get hooking up with her gynecologist. That just baffles the shit out of me. I guess the awkwardness at being naked in front of him would be minimized, but is it really worth it? How do you do that and not file a formal complaint immediately after? Is there no wonder if you may have mistaken drool for petroleum jelly on previous visits?
While it’s already been addressed in probably all of the other reviews of this book, I’d like to point out that this book is not the slightest bit romantic. Blume gets close, when Sandy and Shep are away for the weekend, but ruins everything when each of them call their spouses to check in. Reality never looses its hold in this fantasy, which, honestly, is unforgivable. I’m not sure who the audience for this book is. It holds no escapist value, nor anything therapeutic. It’s sexual, but not sexy. It’s a failure in almost every way imaginable.
I give the book one star for the plot, one half-a-star for the characters, two-thirds of a star for the stars and stripes helmet, a quarter of a star because Norman reminds me (again) of Kahn from King of the Hill, and five stars for the marriage-saving vagina....more
I hate vampires. I have a strong dislike of werewolves, but I fucking hate vampires. Robert Pattinson, yeah, I think he’s dreamy, but I wouldn’t hesitI hate vampires. I have a strong dislike of werewolves, but I fucking hate vampires. Robert Pattinson, yeah, I think he’s dreamy, but I wouldn’t hesitate to put a stake through his fragile, airbrushed chest. I wouldn’t shed a tear as he muttered those incomprehensible little nothings with his dying breath.
Because vampires are stupid. The whole mythology has been driven into the ground. It’s no longer romantic. Shit, it’s not even interesting. It’s easy. Way, way too easy.
And that’s why Carriger’s effort is so impressive. Somehow, she managed to make both vampires and romance readable. And I think it’s because she didn’t really focus on either. Instead, she opted to craft a clever little plot that forces the story to move.
Don’t get me wrong. At many points, it’s put-your-eyes-out cute. I mean, she writes herself in as the main character, often refers to werewolves as puppies, and includes that atrocious happy ending. But all of this, I think, can be forgiven. She’s writing within the confines of about a million different genres, as other reviewers have pointed out. But I think it’s these genre rules that save her. She can’t really write a traditional romance, because she’s got those werewolves to contend with. And then there are those vampires who have to coexist with that steampunk business. And let us not forget about the sci-fi and the political satire.
My point is, for better or worse, it seems to work. By giving at least a little attention to each of her genres (granted, some receive a lot more than others), she keeps any one from getting stagnant, which, in my opinion, is the biggest problem with genres. All of the romances I’ve read have had this problem. They get too wrapped up in themselves and become completely uninteresting. But this book is never gets to that place.
I am experiencing no small admiration of Carriger’s mind. She is a very clever woman.
Now I’m starting to feel bad. I think I’ve said too many good things. Hmmm.
So she’s got this parasol, right? And it’s really important. It’s ugly, but important. The significance of this accessory is so pronounced that the series is named for it. She uses it to defend herself against a vampire, then to shield herself from the sun for a while. And then she forgets it, but keeps thinking about it, wishing it were near.
Try to name the book each the following quotes was taken from.
1. One is wearing a black side-buttoned notched-collar wLet’s play a game.
Humor me here.
Try to name the book each the following quotes was taken from.
1. One is wearing a black side-buttoned notched-collar wool jacket, wool-crepe trousers and a fitted cashmere turtleneck, all by Oscar de la Renta; another is wearing a double-breasted coat of wool, mohair and nylon tweed, matching jeans-style pants and a man's cotton dress shirt, all by Stephen Sprouse; the best looking one is wearing a checked wool jacket and high-waisted wool skirt, both from Barney's, and a silk blouse by Andra Gabrielle.
2. His shirt was the purest white silk, his doublet of deep-blue velvet, embroidered discreetly in silver. His hose were striped silver and blue. And he wore a heavy silver chain with a silver and sapphire pendant.
3. He smiled to himself. She would never know how close to rape she had come.
4. He's wearing a linen suit by Canali Milano, a cotton shirt by Ike Behar, a silk tie by Bill Blass and cap-toed leather lace-ups from Brooks Brothers. The other is wearing a lightweight linen suit with pleated trousers, a cotton shirt, a dotted silk tie, all by Valentino Couture, and perforated cap-toe leather shoes by Allen-Edmonds.
5. "Yeah," he says, moving on top of her sliding his dick gracefully into her cunt, kissing her on the mouth hard, pushing into her with long fast strokes, his cock, his hips crazed, moving on their own desirous momentum...
6. He places the camel -hair coat back over her head in case she wakes up screaming…with a pair of scissors he starts to cut off her dress and when he gets to her chest he occasionally stabs at her breasts, accidentally (not really) slicing off one of her nipples through the bra.
7. Seeing the grim purpose in his silvery eyes, she fell to her knees…pulling her to her feet, ripped the white linen nightgown from her. Catching her in his arms, he kissed her deeply, forcing the narrow lips open. She fought him, clawing at him with surprisingly sharp nails, squirming wildly.
8. Excited, he slaps her, then lightly punches her in the mouth, then kisses it, biting her lips.
9. Afterward he felt disgusted with himself, and with her as well.
10. His breathing quickened and became harsh. He pushed her forward over his arm, and his free hand roamed her bottom. But when he attempted to insert his finger within her she squirmed away from him crying…
11. Before she could cry out, his hand clapped over her mouth. He pushed himself into her…He grunted his pleasure while, beneath him, her eyes reflected pain and fright. She tried to lie still, hoping to ease the pain, but she couldn’t.
I could keep going, but I’ll stop there. These quotes came from two different books. I altered them only to make them all third person. One has faced strong opposition by some members of the public due to what is claimed to be a misogynistic attitude towards women; the other is much loved by women (and young girls) who have enjoyed it since 1980. One features a narcissistic, sociopathic murderer as a protagonist; the other parades itself around as a romance and focuses on the romantic entanglements of teenage girls and adult men. A little more than half of these quotes were taken from Bertrice Small’s Skye O’Malley, the rest were lifted from the pages of Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho.
If you have not yet realized that there’s something wrong with this picture, it is time for you to change therapists.
Skye O’Malley is the kind of strong female lead who is raped repeatedly. That’s not a spoiler; that’s the plot. She moves from man to man throughout the course of these five hundred or so pages, sometimes breaking hearts, but, more often, leaving a blood trail (and not the kind occasioned by swordplay). Almost all the other women in this book live in this same world, where their bodies are claimed by whatever man, or worse, is passing by.
Bertrice Small has done a tremendous disservice to womankind. I’ve read a few romances now and I’d almost come to terms with the fact that these writers seem to suffer from some serious self-loathing. This shit, however, takes the cake and rapes it until there’s frosting everywhere. Let me jump back a few paragraphs to where I suggested that young girls have enjoyed this book for the last thirty years. More than one, if that is subtle enough, Goodreads reviewer claimed to have discovered this book at age fourteen. Right. I know. Big fucking deal. Playboys in Dad’s closet. Whatever. But these girls learned about sex from this shit.
I can understand giggling at sex scenes. Who can’t? But who can giggle at the thought of a girl’s first exposure to sexuality being the graphic depiction of rape? What of those girls being exposed to characters who enjoy being raped?
If you are okay with that, please stop reading. You’re a fucked up and profoundly disturbed person.
But doesn’t Small have the right to write whatever she chooses? Sure. She has the same rights as anyone else. Hitler was allowed to write about his hatred of the Jews, why shouldn’t Small be able to write about her hatred of women? Things can be written, but it is up to us to read them. And read them. And read them. Until they’ve been reprinted more times than the Bible.
Before I stalk away from this experience in self-righteous indignation, I’d like to point out one point I found to be interesting. Throughout the story, Skye has two personas: pirate queen and submissive wife. These different roles are marked by costume changes. When Skye wears pants, she is treated with respect. When she wears skirts, she is sometimes sodomized. Is this Small’s attempt to redeem herself through social commentary? I sincerely hope so.
Either way, Small has penned a work that can actually be considered to be a detriment to society. As a woman, she wrote a book about vulnerable women being attacked solely to entertain idle females. To her sex, she has committed treason. Smite her mightily, Lord. ...more
Barely forty seconds ago, I finished PtP. It is 12:25 am and I wish I was sleeping, but at this poinListen closely.
Do you hear the retching?
Barely forty seconds ago, I finished PtP. It is 12:25 am and I wish I was sleeping, but at this point I am finding there is no risk of that happening. Not after leaving this bizarro Disney movie, anyway. How can I be expected to sleep when I’m worried I’m going to choke on my own vomit?
I’m going to start with the ending. It was fucking stupid. Spoiler, sorry. It all reminded me a bit too much of Pirates of the Carribbean. Publication of this book? 2008. Theatrical release of the movie? 2003.
The relationship between Dick…oh, sorry…Drake and Lyn made me feel ill, but I fully expected that. Perhaps Lyn isn’t to blame for the distaste I felt toward her…friend. His thoughts made me angry. I know, he’s a pirate. It’s romantic for a pirate to rape women. I get it. I just don’t support it.
But, you say, what was so romantic was that he didn’t want to rape her.
Of course not. He loved her. That’s why he was so often convincing himself not to rape her. The man has some serious fucking self control. No pun intended, but if it’s there, fuckin’ hey.
What a pirate wants, a pirate takes. No, I can’t! Not with this one…
Ever the gentleman, Pirate Dick rammed through his lady’s maidenhead gently. And he pinned her to the wall against her will and fondled her breast lovingly. And he sodomized her with the jagged edge of a broom handle tenderly. What the fuck ever. This dude clearly got off on being in control. He was an abuser. I feel bad for their…you know…that thing that happened at the end.
I am concerned for Ms. Bryan. She seems to have a skewed fuckin’ view of romance. A quick search for documents containing “correlation between rape and romance writer outcomes” in both PubMed and PsychInfo brings up nothing, but that shouldn’t be. Why, Ms. Bryan, does your sexy hero always have to stop himself from raping this woman he’s so fond of? And why, Ms. Bryan, does he smell so goddamned good?
I lamented in a status update upon my desire for a favorite character. I found it: Meriweather’s magic toe.
Oh my god. Fuck everything. I am going to bed, vomit be damned. ...more
The experience of weight lifting off my shoulders that I experienced during the last few pages is difficult for me to expresMon Dieu, in-fuckin'-deed.
The experience of weight lifting off my shoulders that I experienced during the last few pages is difficult for me to express. But I'll try. Imagine Andre the Giant, complete with a scantily clad woman on each arm, on my shoulders. Imagine his big ass cracking my poor, thin bones to a powder that is quickly reabsorbed by my body, leaving me with no shoulders at all and just a big fuckin' guy sitting in the mush on top of my rib cage. And then, for some reason or another, he's gone. Poof.
The witch is dead.
My complaints about this book are many, so I think I'd like to start with what I actually enjoyed. As a big fan of witty banter, these characters kept me entertained for several minutes. There were places where I laughed aloud and others where I sat back and genuinely appreciated Heyer's skill. Her dialogue is downright clever. The writing as a whole wasn't too bad either. But there was a point where I found myself cursing the book's construction. The text is too soundly built, like a two bedroom, one bath with an HOA.
I disliked this book for more subtle reasons than I am used to. It didn't do anything bad. But that, I think, was precisely the reason I couldn't enjoy it. I like my books a little bad. I want them to be daring, even if it means they come across a bit slapdash. But Heyer didn't dare. In fact, she didn't even think about daring. She has given me a book to recommend to little old ladies who want a love story without all the cursing and sex.
I was surprised at the near absence of sex, what with this being a romance and all. Oh, wait. Was this a romance? I'm not convinced. It was romantic, to be sure, but I wouldn't call it a romance. I am willing to acknowledge the possibility that I don't understand the mechanics of the genre, but I think this book has been unfairly classified. If you ask me, it's an adventure story, plain and simple. There's fighting and horses and murder and a little bit of flirting.
But no one gets banged. No hair flows in the wind. No men wear loose fitting tops unbuttoned to the navel. And no one gets banged.
So I'm saying, firmly, that this was not a romance.
Now, on with it being a regular book...
It was boring. Sooooo boring. If it hadn't been for the innuendo embedded in the text, I would have likely fallen asleep. Everybody just talks and talks and talks about nothing of any pressing importance. Tolstoy, he's a talky fellow, but you get the feeling that it's going somewhere (even if, sometimes, it is boring). It seemed that all the talking was just there for the sake of its cleverness. This, unfortunately, turned the best thing about the book into something unbearable. Hence the reason for Andre.
That said, I've officially read me a romance (even though I don't consider it to really be one). Am I looking forward to the next one? Nope. Am I going to read it anyway? Yep.
Because that's just the kind of guy I am.
*cue wind and horse*
The kind of man who isn't afraid to read romances.