"But I do hope you are aware, my sweet, somewhere in that absurd heart, that I am ever, entirely, and quite pathetically yours."
A great conclusion to "But I do hope you are aware, my sweet, somewhere in that absurd heart, that I am ever, entirely, and quite pathetically yours."
A great conclusion to the trilogy. Wish there would be more but aside from a short story, but it doesn't look like it.
The characters in these books have become addicting. Lucien rocked in his role with speech and planning during the final battle. Him standing there in his confidence and arrogance was perfect. It’s delightful that the author plays up his eye and seriousness for fashion even more than the other books. He has sweet and tender moments, followed by severe, dominating ones, all which work. Stephen is just as easy to fall in love with - realistic self-doubts and esteem issues, an almost reverent attraction to Lucien, and a protective angry streak that rears its head at the right times.
So many ‘awww’ moments. These two together are perfect; his submissive streak is a balanced complement to Lucian's controlling one. With their conflicting personalities, definitely among my favorite romantic couples. I like how the author took two men who were completely opposites in their forms of power.
Bedroom moments aren't as steamy as the first, but they're close. I do find the dialogue during these times weak, though, they just don't work. I'll miss something that's now gone at the end of the book (spoiler hint, duh), something that's been a part of Julian since the get-go. Sure, was becoming a pain, but I was used to having that around.
Merrick is a favorite of mine, so I was happy to see he gets to shine in several scenes. The author wraps up his story well. He’s intimidating as hell. I’m not gaga over his love interest, but I dig the idea of connecting townhouses. Loyalty, it works.
The climax of this one was epic ~ tension, creative maneuvering, brutal battle without silly one-liners. Loved the creative villains with the unusual abilities (avoiding spoilers here) - wicked and disturbing stuff. The basic plot is interesting as it shows more internal politics in the justiciar, involves old foes all the way to the first book, a mild mystery involving a main character/red herring. These elements are mixed in with ups and downs in the relationship without dragging it out, becoming melodramatic and tiresome.
As with the other books, humor is present, even if it’s not as laugh-out-loud as the first. I do wish these books, especially this one, was longer. With all the action and something going on, it can afford stretching room. K.J. Charles has a way with words, her writing makes these books breeze by. Her dialogue is a major strength, especially when Lucien is talking in his sarcastic, but aristocratic way. Sure, like I said, the erotic dialogue irritated me, but the every day conversation was entrancing.
The story is not lacking in any way with tension, turns of events, and excitement. Writing flows well to highlight fun, intelligent characters. Humor mixes ideally with action. I love the magical world the author has weaved for this faux historical series.
This one concludes the series, and any hanging threads are things which will naturally be resolved by time for the characters as their relationships and personal lives progress. No annoying loose ends dangling. The author ended this series well, although I wish it could continue – there’s so much more that can be done with these characters and their adventures in her created world. ...more
“Look, I have three choices. I never see you again so I’m not tempted; I give in to temptation and milk you for power until I’m a raging madman; or I “Look, I have three choices. I never see you again so I’m not tempted; I give in to temptation and milk you for power until I’m a raging madman; or I control myself. I don’t like the first two options.”
The second isn’t as good as the first, but it’s close. Stephen and Lord Crane have returned to London, continuing the relationship they started from ‘The Magpie Lord.’ Stephen’s self-doubts and hectic work schedule interfere, while Lucien has to endure the London life he hates so much. His hatred isn’t helped when a friend starts blackmailing him. This same friend is blackmailing another person in his inner circle. He is thrust into the professional part of Stephen’s life when he assists in an investigation, one which ends up opening all kinds of cans of worms.
The story was exciting – plenty happening from the first page, I seriously can’t put these down. Between the relationship struggles, which never grow annoying, and the hectic, frantic plot, the book flies by. I wish the author would have made them longer, they have enough substance to be padded out. Besides the interesting magical system and world she’s created, this plot has the added allure of a Chinese myth of sorcery woven in.
The bedroom scenes are still steamy as Stephen’s submissive side meets Crane’s dominating one. Between moments of stimulating plays are genuinely sweet, heart-squeezing ones. The scene where Lucien reveals his full feelings made me melt. His sarcasm and fashion obsession is funny, his dominance thriller, his sweet side endearing.
“I like to make you know your master," Crane Said." It's only fair. The rest of the time you've got me so thoroughly enslaved, I might as well be wearing a collar with your name on it.”
Besides the two main characters, who I absolutely love, the reveal of Stephen’s partner and her husband was nifty. The scene where they find out the truth was especially awesome. Couldn’t have been better.
I love the magical system and Victorian world K.J. Charles invented. Only wish these books were longer. There’s plenty of humor that works, but it’s not quite as funny as the first. Overall, an excellent sequel with characters I’ve fallen head over heels over. ...more
I had been hoping when Kim Harrison said at the recent book signing that Al would get the last word, that it would be in the present/future times, notI had been hoping when Kim Harrison said at the recent book signing that Al would get the last word, that it would be in the present/future times, not a past memory. It certainly shows how cruel the elves were and how the demons became so tainted and cruel. This was as much as a story from Al's perspective as Gally to a story of Newt's changing. The ending felt very abrupt and cut-off....more
An enchanting collection for children who were seeking chills when I grew up. The stories are ridiculously short, but since so are kid's attention spaAn enchanting collection for children who were seeking chills when I grew up. The stories are ridiculously short, but since so are kid's attention spans, this worked for them. The short length works as a detriment to the stories when it comes to adult focus though. I think the first section of the book shone the brightest with stories....more
This book may be aimed toward children, kind of, but it's really perfect and ideal for adults who want to make creative food for all ages. The recipesThis book may be aimed toward children, kind of, but it's really perfect and ideal for adults who want to make creative food for all ages. The recipes are the shining star in this book - tons of creative recipes with either cute or gross names. They even have the litter box cat recipe cake in here. There are over 36 recipes, from desserts to sandwiches to party drinks. They go all out with detailed ideas and creativity. These are not simple recipes just thrown together. Pretty much everything you'd ever need recipe wise for halloween treats would work for life in this book.
Unfortunately there are no pictures...but I didn't take stars off for that because of the price issue. Since besides just all these recipes, there is a CD in the front with creepy halloween music/sounds for parties AND 10 pumpkin carving patterns, the book would have to be priced too high to be reasonable if you threw in photography of the recipes in there. Have to be realistic here. There are fun illustrations for some of the recipes though.
And the stickers!
These are not just some cheap stickers, I found them creative and fun, focusing a lot on a Universal Monster type angle. Considering all the other stuff in the book, having all these stickers is a nice bonus. ...more
This lyrical novella tells an intriguing story that I don't fully grasp, but still enjoyed, with the writeThanks, Dan, for letting me borrow this one!
This lyrical novella tells an intriguing story that I don't fully grasp, but still enjoyed, with the writer's creative use of wording revving up both the creepy aspect and the tragic one. The "bad" character stood out the most, enjoyed him. When I first started reading this, it reminded of the eerie dead Indian guy walking up to the house in Poltergeist 2, knocking on the door and asking to be let in, being creepy in the rain. The ending was a surprise, twisted, dark, but marginally confusing.
Writing pace is held strongly so - while technically little action happens during the story - it's still hard to put down and flies by quickly. Gifune is talented with creating subtle tension and highlighting the harmony of how slight abnormalities can turn out to be the scariest things of all.
Psychology gives a nice nod to the ending when things are explained. Or...err, felt, shown, and slightly understood by yours truly. :)...more
Jack Getze hasn't disappointed yet - Austin Carr continues battling bad luck in the third of the series, 'Bad Mojo.'
While the second ended on a cliffhJack Getze hasn't disappointed yet - Austin Carr continues battling bad luck in the third of the series, 'Bad Mojo.'
While the second ended on a cliffhanger which shows the main character's financial fortune may finally be turning around, this continuation of the story shows that particular journey is always perilous and on the brink of being lost.
While Carr holds back a little with his trademark 'full-boat grin' being written in' he's as likeable as ever. Unless it's my imagination, his previous brushes with danger have given him more of a backbone now when facing foes who want to beat him to a pulp or worse. He's still as tempted by dangerous women, however, which almost always gets him into some kind of trouble.
Mama Bones has a stronger firmhold on the story as she dabbles with superstitious creations, resulting in the heart of this book's humor. Louis is as clever and captivating as ever, even if he may have finally met his match.
I enjoyed Austin's parenting woes with his aging daughter, Beth, especially in a funny exchange at the bar and grill. These funny touches are a delight to read, but even if the humor is removed, there's always something happening and pacing is strong to the end. I can almost hear TV show theme music playing in the background as Austin either saunters or flees from one adventure to another.
Mystery wise, there's a nice twist or two at the end I wouldn't have guessed, as well as a clever save that results in yet another turn-around in Austin's life. The series continues to improve with each book, with this one being the best of the three. Can't wait to read more!...more
This book was definitely something I was in the mood for after the serious and depressing trail of another series that was emotionally wringing me outThis book was definitely something I was in the mood for after the serious and depressing trail of another series that was emotionally wringing me out.
This book definitely exceeded my expectations and I can understand the high average rating - the story is a good one. True mystery to boot, following clues, being led astray, and a great battle at the ending. Top this with personal drama from past issues playing in the current situation at hand on the side of both parties, and the story gets even better.
Besides the interesting story, I loved the magic built into this world and regency time period. Difference between sorcerers, warlocks, and 'practitioner's, all with their personal legal system. The magic used was subtle but unique and I'm curious about seeing more of it. The background of stiff London society, then small town countryside prejudice, with the speeches of her time in China and the differences then, well...all of it added to it.
Besides the story, I seriously laughed out loud more than once. The humor works naturally - the two mains are perfect. You have the one practitioner who is not the traditional hunk - he is barely five feet, poor, dresses terribly, feels insecure and shabby, and not in social standing. He's up against an English Lord with a horrible reputation who doesn't want to be back in London, but must for a time to tie up estate issues. He's attractive, desirable, tall, and each of his suits would cost more than the others complete wardrobe. Besides that, he has foul language and tattoos hidden underneath his 'proper attire.'
His companion Merrick is a delight, and I kept laughing about the rude butler Graham. Really, it's just awesome. I loved all the playing characters. The ghost scene, investigations, all worked. I did think some of the remorse was overdone on Vaudrey's part, but otherwise that is the only flaw I can fine.
“There is something very old and odd and quite unpleasant about this house."
"Yes, its Graham."
Besides finding the story actually romantic - they didn't care for each other at first, progressed into having fun at friends, then small attractions despite their differences, I found some of it steamy as well. It wasn't overdone and worked well, saving the best for laugh.
High five to the author for her dialogue skills, natural humor, steaminess that's different, and convincing, non-conventional personalities. Definitely will get the next two in this series ASAP....more
All have disappointments in life - for me, this book turned out to be one of them. The movie has always seemed an art form, the perfect and in-your-fa All have disappointments in life - for me, this book turned out to be one of them. The movie has always seemed an art form, the perfect and in-your-face warning to stay off the drugs, kids, they're just no good. I was beyond excited to finally read the book that turned into such a (at least to me...) well-done movie.
Disappointing. :( And, after looking at other reviews, I'm apparently in the minority.
The main issue is the writing style. It just doesn't work with my brain. It's supposed to be artsy and different and...well, I really don't know. I'm not getting this art. At all. What I get when reading this is no logical structure, annoying dialogue that just makes it a headache to decipher, annoyance, everything running together without enough pause, annoyance. I did find a key to it after reading a while -read slow. Can't read fast. Have to read slow and it becomes more tolerable.
The dialogue is all mixed into the narrative. There are no spaces or regularly followed structures. There aren't many quotation marks.
As with the movie, the mother shone as the star of the story. Sad stuff. The more I stayed on her viewpoint, the smoother the sailing. When it switched to the troubled youth and their disjointed thoughts, followed by even worse dialogue, the reading grew rougher again. I felt sympathy for them all and by the end had warmed to them more, but it took too long for me to get there.
Overall the story truly is excellent - the characters aren't special people, but they're not bad. They're everyday victims of drugs, misled lives, loneliness, and bleak despair. The story would likely hit people's hearts less if it were about the fortunate and the special. This is a tale of what happens to so many average citizens - and how sad it that?
The second half of the book was much better than the first. Maybe I was more used to the writing style, but I think the tale had livened up and I felt more consumed by the madness and spiraling descent into destruction that the characters themselves were feeling.
I have to give kudos for an excellent story, but the sludging along through those lagging parts, accompanied by the sometimes tedious writing, lowered the rating a lot. It's impossible not to feel for the characters though, as they struggle to hold on to their dreams and aspirations while they destroy themselves. Haunting, sobering stuff there.
I'm surprised to say the movie is the winner. Besides having an excellent cast, that score by Clint Mansell just can't be beat.
“When she smiled it was as though she embraced the world.”
One may assume an anthology with six mere stories would be a little short or lacking, but s “When she smiled it was as though she embraced the world.”
One may assume an anthology with six mere stories would be a little short or lacking, but since she leans towards longer anthology pieces, it works out well for the length. I was excited to read this, especially being such a fan of Rebecca and Daphne du Maurier's gothic ambience. Simply must find more of her stuff, and soon.
The Birds ended up a great story that doesn't disappoint. True to the word of other reviewers, it is much different than the film, but while I loved the detailed movie story, this one works well too. It's a pretty short story as far as her others go, and focuses on a man who is trying to take care of his wife and two children during the birdpocalypse. He is the first one who notices things amiss, and one of the only in town who takes the thing as seriously as it should be taken when the first bird strikes. No goriness, but there is a creepiness in this story that is missing from the motion picture.
Great stuff...it gets me thinking too that if birds did start attacking like that, we would be screwed. As Nat himself thinks, what can man do? Planes were tried and wrecked as the birds and gulls mass suicide into the things, the glass windows, the engines. Navy and the water wars would be effective only against the gulls and sea birds if they stayed put. Ultimately people would have to be poisoned or blundered for immediate action to take place, which is obviously counter-productive anyway. 4/5
She wrote Monte Verita beautifully - du Maurier has the perfect gothic touch in her writing, and so her lyrical prose complimented this unusually fantasy-rich story well. The story was creatively structured with a bittersweet ending. A mountain group (cult?) blessed by immortality - or is that only in their heads and we are all fools after all? Unfortunately it only worked so far because it was too bloody long - shorten it by half and it would have been another star earned. 2.5/5
'The Apple Tree' - loved it. At first it seemed like bizarre humor - and it is funny. But then it turned bleak - and it is bleak. It has moral message. I wobble between just seeing him as a selfish man who did not appreciate what he had, to a woman who brought down the life and spirit. Really it's a combination of both. At times funny, but mainly just sad, it's a creative, artsy, long story. Excellent and just different. Ties with 'The Birds' as a favorite - while the famous story is creepier and exciting, The Apple Tree has a slower pace that works because it is sobering, deep, and unusual. 4/5
'The Little Photographer' was actually crappy. Despite DuMaurier's stunning writing style, the plot turned out to be as shallow as the main character. At first it was intriguing, held promise, but the end ruined all, especially when I started hated the main. Felt bad for the photographer. At least karma visited at the end. 2/5
I dug "Kiss me again, Stranger." At the cemetery I started thinking it would have a paranormal jibe. A little slow on the start but it was worth continuing. The ending isn't fabulous or anything, but it was an enjoyable enough story. 3/5
'The Old Man'...no idea what to think of this story. I suppose 2.5/5. I don't fully get it. At least it's short. The narrator was definitely a nosy soul.
As you can see, mixed ratings. Even the stories I stamped a 2 star on were enjoyable on levels to read because her writing is just that awesome. I didn't hate any of these. The anthology shines too because it showcases her writing talent by dishing out samples of such different stories. The plots, story tone, and characters are all individuals.
I recommend hunting this down, it's worth it....more
3.5 stars - I really liked this book up until the end. The very end almost made me give it two stars. Before the last chapter or so, I was tempted to3.5 stars - I really liked this book up until the end. The very end almost made me give it two stars. Before the last chapter or so, I was tempted to give it 4.5 or even 5. Love the author's writing style and can't wait to seek out more of her stuff. The movie was actually better, which I figured because this book was so short and the movie so brilliant and indepth. There are some differences, but the main things remain the same. A beautiful and psychologically rich story, wonderful characterization, although McLeod seemed a bit more wooden in written form than he was on screen played well by Mel Gibson. Charles is convincing, and his dysfunctional family dynamic intriguing. Worth reading if you enjoyed the movie (or haven't seen it, whichever), although the end is souring. Sexuality is more focused on with the book rather than the film, with an almost confusing bend. What really bugged me during the last pages is what happened to a main character. It's like an uplifting surge of the heart through growth and recovery from the past, through friendship and understanding, to unfairness and being sold short.
As to the very end, no, I don't think he was molested. (view spoiler)[ I think the writer was saying he was ashamed as he had an...err, normal teenage boy reaction that embarrassed him after the trauma and then having close contact. Homophobia is a major theme in the book, starting with the mother wanting her son to avoid boarding school because the previous stepfather insists it turns boys into homosexuals. Charles later worrying about that and asking his teacher. Charles at the end of book was ashamed and didn't want to speak about what his body did, the writer delicately putting it in the only way she could as the character begins to realize he's gay. McLeod admits he is also gay but I don't see any sign they did anything. McLeod was telling him it was a natural reaction and not to worry about it "for years", which is why he wanted to talk about it then and not avoid the conversation. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>...more
Basically the book's brownie points are NOT baked by being exciting and layered, but by 'cute episodes' in the life of Jane.
Humorous and almost bor2.5
Basically the book's brownie points are NOT baked by being exciting and layered, but by 'cute episodes' in the life of Jane.
Humorous and almost boring ~ this one needed life sucked into it. Seriously, by page 90 the only things that had happened were uncertainties about a wedding her best friends are having, mild suspicions about her boyfriend, and a few debates with her mother. 90 pages that does not a plot make.
To make it worse, the story continues to 376 pages, with little else happening. More wedding uncertainties, a tiny mystery sneaks in which has little bearing on the character's lives, some more boyfriend struggles, and a death that's made okay because of the afterlife existing.
Sure, I like Jane - she's awesome, after all. She LOVES books so I can't hate her - she used to work in a library, and now is part-time in an occult bookstore. How cool is that? She begins comparing her love life decisions to the characters from Sense and Sensibility. She quotes epic movies. She recognizes Harry Potter lines. She has cute cow pajamas. What's not to like as a person or character? Sadly she isn't interesting as an effing vampire!
Her vamp sire and main squeeze is likeable, too - Gabriel is almost nudging over being more interesting with fangs, but he doesn't make the cut either. None of them do. If you took the vampire angle out of the equation, you could still almost have the same book and story. They are as low key and mild as I've ever seen vampires portrayed. The weres were at least more interesting as they tended to act a little more like the traditional stereotype. The country theme is just funny - their "jokes" on Zed made me laugh a few times.
The families are godawful. Seriously, Jane's sister is terrible. The grandmother too. I would totally cut off that side of the family and not speak to them again. The father is the only one worth a damn. And Jo's family torturing Zeb? No matter how much I loved the fiance, I'd walk. In-laws like that just mean permanent misery, I've learned that painful experience years ago.
Basically the plot is scarce and not exciting, but there are funny times that made me chuckle. The characters are likeable, even if I'm not into the watered down supernatural stereotypes. I'll be continuing with the series to see if the third book improves....more
Hank is an everyday boy who loves his father - a man who faithfully runs a small grocery store in Chinatown. His mother, an unhappy woman, gets it intHank is an everyday boy who loves his father - a man who faithfully runs a small grocery store in Chinatown. His mother, an unhappy woman, gets it into his mind that her son should become a superhero and spice up their lives. Hilarity - tragedy - and bizarreness ensues.
I ended up loving this one - the humor worked well without any force, making me laugh out loud - I LOVED the mother, she cracked me up. The art was quirky and fun, in the beginning being dim and gray and slowing brightening to color. The character's faces - and some of their chins - added to the experience. I loved the theme for the superhero and the different costumes they went through to get there. The effects of the mother trying to turn him into a superhero = priceless. There was some tragedy, as there is in a lot of superhero origins. The background story for the main family was not only funny, it made sense and was interesting. The China guardians and animals spirits - not sure what else to call them - were also intriguing. There was culture, humor, realism, and fun fantasy for this graphic novel. I'm not the biggest fan of superheroes from the street without many powers, at least not as into the actual powered ones, but this is still a fun, fascinating story I enjoyed reading....more
A sweet story set as the third sequel of the series by Penny Jordan about the Lobardi family. Not as intriguing as it's predecessor, this third boo3.5
A sweet story set as the third sequel of the series by Penny Jordan about the Lobardi family. Not as intriguing as it's predecessor, this third book is still creative with some of the outside plot wrenches tossed in - how she got the baby (the half-brothers rape), and her fear of her step-brother. Even if he doesn't seem wholly real as a person, Falcon is a good hero for the harlequin line. Maybe a little too narrow minded sometimes, and I prefered Alessandro by a smidge, but still a well-enough rounded harlequin lead. The heroine is likeable enough, I guess, but she does need some strength thrown her way. I was intriguied with Colin - what is his deal exactly? Since it started in childhood I thought it was some weird molesting thing at first, but then I figured it was because he wanted to steal her inheritance, now...I just don't know. An interesting villain.
I'd have liked a longer epilogue - how come for the third book and wrap-up we see a few instances of the brother and his wife from the first book, but nothing from Alessandro and his wife from the second? Not even in the epilogue do we see the three couples together, which seemed a little cheap and rushed to me.
The book concentrated a little much on the lust chemistry, had some melodrama with emotions that got annoying, but the dialogue worked and overall it was a good follow-up story. ...more
Ah, those harlequin couples can be so silly with their ridiculous ideas, false theories, and back-and-forth misunderstandings. Lynne Graham continuesAh, those harlequin couples can be so silly with their ridiculous ideas, false theories, and back-and-forth misunderstandings. Lynne Graham continues her usual strange virginity and baby obsession. Still, it was enjoyable as the story moved along quickly, had spunk/spark, and I dug the mains. Sophie was sweet, different, fun, and feisty. The hero was a good one as well, liked his traditional approaches and sense of humor. Not particularly steamy but I wasn't that interested with that for this story, so that didn't deter from the story. Lydia as the existing baby wasn't annoying and was cute, kept well in the story. The beginning especially shone. Not a big fan of the arranged marriage but here it works well enough....more
While Lynne Graham does write different plot scenarios into her romance fiction, she does follow predictable cliches and formula. Here it's no differeWhile Lynne Graham does write different plot scenarios into her romance fiction, she does follow predictable cliches and formula. Here it's no different, and that gets taxing as it pulls away some of the unpredictability. The hero is likeable enough, especially with the description and emphasis of the golden eyes with black lashes. The heroine is also decent; Graham writes vulnerable heroines among the best of them. The ending is sweet, but a little abrupt with it's change, guess the book had to wrap up to the inevitable conclusion. There is some tension, although not much, and the storyline is decent but not overwhelmingly exciting or anything. ...more