The bad boy meets the “nice” girl; childhood sweethearts; undying love; forbidden love; a dream come true. All of these themes get intertwined in this...moreThe bad boy meets the “nice” girl; childhood sweethearts; undying love; forbidden love; a dream come true. All of these themes get intertwined in this almost too-hot-to-handle love story between Jake and Sophie. How can the combo be bad? Instead of getting full, I’m just dying for more! Not only am I fanning myself from the inexplicable heat steaming off of the pages of the love scenes, but I’m cheering for those age-old plots that are so dear to most romance readers’ hearts.
We have Sophie – a librarian who is known as the “Nice” half of her twin pair. While everyone in her family, including her twin sister, believe that Sophie plays it safe and needs protecting, we get to see Sophie walk on the wild side for once. She may look prim and proper, but Sophie’s kitten exterior is becoming a prowling tigress. What better chance is there to take than on love? Ignoring all warnings, she may be playing with fire as she seduces her love of a lifetime, enjoying the heat way too much to fear that she may get burned.
And then, there is Jake – a pub-owning business man with a sketchy past because of his rough and unloving upbringing. He may remind readers of a poor abandoned puppy who just needs some loving care. Worried that he’s not good enough for someone like Sophie, Jake is determined that he can become all that Sophie wants and needs. He doubts himself more often than not on account of a secret making him feel too ignorant for book-loving Sophie. However, when opposites attract, they stick like glue, and the chemistry holds true for Jake and Sophie.
No joke, the untold secrets of love, multiple scenes of creatively fun desire, not to mention a complexity of characters, makes this story a rapid-reading page-turner. Pull up a comfy chair, and prepare to settle in for a romp with love. Once you start reading, putting down the book is not an option.
For any reader who is hoping to be transported to a different world, this is the book of choice. The imagination oozing from the pages of this novel i...moreFor any reader who is hoping to be transported to a different world, this is the book of choice. The imagination oozing from the pages of this novel is transcending. Along with the familiar creatures – werewolves, dragons, vampires – the incorporation of details in the world of Light with people who bleed gold and gain strength from the sun is what makes this fantasy original.
Picturing completely new worlds that are either bright beautiful and happy, or dark dangerous and full of monsters is the easy part of reading this novel. Deep descriptions of fictional creatures, be-jeweled dresses, and extravagant castles give images clearer than a photograph. And though the content could appeal to all ages, it is the younger demographic that are more likely inclined to enjoy this story.
Young love, standing up to authority (i.e. parents), and a focus on attire will greatly interest the young adult audience. Those themes that attract the young at heart are rooted in the folds of these pages.
Though fantasy and science fiction don’t typically overlap, the reference to mythological characters along with the incorporation of scientists (rather than someone magical, like a wizard) is what makes this book teeter in the sci-fi genre. However, the colors of fantasy far outshine those of sci-fi, since most of the book’s content cannot be explained with science.
“Unparallel Worlds” is not the same love story between vampires, angels, and humans. This book opens an original world of dual dimensions that hints to the making of a new series.
Spoiler alert for “Wetwire Part I”!!! Well, it may not exactly be a spoiler, but there is no way that readers can keep up with this second addition of...moreSpoiler alert for “Wetwire Part I”!!! Well, it may not exactly be a spoiler, but there is no way that readers can keep up with this second addition of the series if they haven’t already read the first part. There are too many characters, sub-plots, along with a complicated main plot, for new readers to just dive in. Trust me, the water is ice-cold if you don’t acclimate with “Wetwire Part I” first. Luckily, the first in the series is a fast read.
Many more questions are raised in this second book. Does a clone have a soul? Whether the characters have faith or not, the question of a soul residing in a man-mad human is what makes the difference for a clone to be worthy of fair treatment. What is it that makes the clones disposable? Is it their multiple selves of brothers and sisters walking around? And, why do clones view another clone of themselves as competition?
In many cases, the clones are angered and seem almost insulted at meeting a likeness of themselves, reminiscing the age-old desire for being unique and original. If you dislike meeting others wearing your same favorite shirt, then imagine meeting someone wearing your same face.
There are so many questions that arise in this book, though don’t expect to have any clear answers just yet. There’s still more books in this series, and still more time to unravel the ethical questions regarding clones.
Though prejudice may or may not be the moral of the story, there is a strong message against discrimination in this book. Clones are treated with the same hypocrisy that slaves were treated with. They’re people who are valuable in their work, but they aren’t respected as actual individuals. The clones are looked upon as property or objects rather than people. Though they are given emotions and develop their own characters and memories, clones are still treated as sub-human, despite the fact that no one could tell a clone from a regular person without doing a DNA scan.
Questions of morals and ethics get as deep as the ocean in this series. What more would you expect from a science fiction series on clones?
It seems a cruel trick for a husband to leave his well-established and popular diner to both his wife and his ex-wife. Reading the story from the pers...moreIt seems a cruel trick for a husband to leave his well-established and popular diner to both his wife and his ex-wife. Reading the story from the perspective of Georgette, it’s easy to sympathize with her grief and feel her pain at being known as a home-wrecker in the town. But, there are always two sides to a story, and watching Vanessa’s own bitterness from her divorce can tear a reader in two: Do I feel for Georgette or for Vanessa? I could no sooner pick one color from a rainbow.
The hot Arizona setting of this novel was set up perfect from the beginning. I can almost hear the Georgia drawl and tempo of speech with some of those lines: “I miss him like a child misses hard candy at Christmas time.” As an outsider, Georgette is the only one with an accent in Arizona, which helps set her apart and develop her characterization, as well as the mood. For some reason, the heat in Arizona is more believable coming from the tone and descriptions of Georgette.
If the setting and tension between the two wives wasn’t heated enough, then there’s the conspiracy behind the mayor and contractors who want Bobby’s Diner for the land. The plot sounds reminiscent of an old southern tale about battling for land, but fighting for property is as far as that similarity goes. Aside from the danger that inevitably follows the greed from the contractors, most of the story leaves a reader’s heart aching for the ladies, rather than going pitter patter from fear.
With an unfolding mystery and unexpected friendships, sinking into this book is easier than slipping into a warm bath.
Whether you’re a romantic or a Jane Austen fan, you can’t help falling for this book. And, stumbling into this series doesn’t hurt since it has a sweet landing with a familiar plot that acts as an old friend in new clothes.
Paying homage to Austen by using a school named after the renowned author, the characters are also being set up for stories similar to Austen’s classic couples. It’s almost as if these new characters of Cecilia Gray are living in Austen’s world, bound to live out Austen’s romances. It feels as if I’m reading my favorite books for the first time!
What’s great about the Austen books, particularly “Pride and Prejudice,” is that readers learn how easily it is to misjudge people’s characters without knowing their intentions, and Gray picks up on this theme perfectly. Lizzie finds she may be misjudging everyone around her, including herself. Her friend Ellie appears to be abandoning Lizzie; the new boy, Dante, appears to be a sexy overbearing snob. Does everyone at the school have a problem, or is Lizzie just being too judgmental?
Like Austen, the romance evokes as much sentiment as a newborn kitten, while the sexy tension is just as tame. All the more reason for Austen fans to enjoy this series. Gray’s style appeals to readers of the same taste.
For the continuing books, this reader is hoping for more parallels to other Austen novels. Right or wrong, waiting for the next book in this series has left me salivating.
That’s right, the Society’s arch enemies are back at it, trying to take over Earth, again. Only this time, they are all working together, and with access to the Society’s advanced technology, no less. When it’s three against one, a fair fight is not possible as the Illuminate and Black Orchid gain major handicap with the help of the all-powerful Zoahn. Can this black hole of doom get any worse as these three nemeses “devilishly grin” in plotting against the Homeworld?
Expect lots of action-packed, shoot-‘em-up scenes throughout the book. They may be considered “space nerds,” but I wouldn’t dare call one that in a fight. Whether it’s one-on-one combat or spaceships shooting space stations, there is more violence in the galaxy than anyone predicted.
On a more sentimental scale, we get to see things heat up between Admiral Mike and his AI, Sarah. Don’t get too excited about this romance, though. The happiness of poor Sarah floats like a bubble, waiting to be popped by Mike as he views her feelings as more of an experiment than a true realization of feelings.
If this all seems confusing, don’t worry. Though, some readers carry the fear of being lost in the dark when they start a series in the middle, anyone who picks up Homeworld will be delighted to have a light guiding their way. The inclusion of new characters is a good tactic in explaining the tech jargon or society and political standings that may be confusing to new readers.
New characters from Earth, Dr. Rasmussen and Major “Dutch,” are just as confused as any new readers would feel. It’s easy to learn along with these newbies in the Society as Dr. Rasmussen learns about the advanced technology and Dutch is introduced to galactic commands and aliens.
On a side note, I particularly enjoyed the little plug for eBooks while Rasmussen fumbles with a highly developed reader, showing the improvement of technology. It’s only suiting, as we look into the future and the wonders of advanced technology. But, that’s not the only reason to enjoy this book, of course. Saving the world of mankind is a good reason, too.
Where do we go when we die? What happens to our souls when our bodies are no more? Are we better off dead or alive? These are questions that many people ponder throughout their lives, and ones that Nate continues to ponder even in Under-Heaven. Aside from poking the readers’ brains with philosophical questions, the tragic stories of both Nate and Jess will tug on your heart strings like a fiddler playing a solo.
This uncertainty and confusion that Nate feels is easily related to, leaving readers, like myself, clutching my chest at the thought of a young boy dying so viciously and meaninglessly; or, watching poor Jess get his hopes up on his drug-addicted father. If fingernail marks aren’t left on your breast, then you have a heart that’s harder than steel.
An interesting dynamic about pondering the after-life is dealing with the joy of reuniting with old family and friends while trying to accept the absence of those left on earth. While Nate may have left his dangerous life in death, his sister continues a perilous life on earth. Such a situation begs the question: Is it better to have lived, or to have died?
While most situations and decisions are not black and white, it seems that even in Under-Heaven, there are most certainly grey areas, as well as red, blue, yellow, black, green, etc. Watching Nate’s uncle from Hell be a likeable character is both disturbing and amusing. Likewise, seeing a caring boy in Under-Heaven who could dangerously be snatched by demons is vexing. Judging the good and the bad isn’t so easy, even in the afterlife.
Though there isn’t much laughter or smiles, there is a form of peace in this story. Like walking the edge of a cliff that provides a breathtaking view, this book is both scary and beautiful. Prepare to gasp on fears and choke back tears; this novel pulls out all the stops and pays no heed to speed bumps.
It seems important to note that this book does not appeal only to sci-fi fans. For someone who struggles with the instructions of a light switch, this...moreIt seems important to note that this book does not appeal only to sci-fi fans. For someone who struggles with the instructions of a light switch, this book is still easy to follow. The technological explanations were not jarring at all. Often, scientific details can leave a person’s brain feeling like mush after getting weighed down with so much technical jargon. But, Rodgers manages to keep those details light and painless, while mixing in the conflicts and realism of daily life.
Though this book is not a romance. It does show the troubles brought on by a scientist who is more dedicated to his work than to his wife. In addition, there is also the speculation of an official who uses a clone for her personal pleasure, yet advocates for clone rights. And then there is the viewpoint from a clone with mild ESP, who wonders what his purpose in life is.
The incorporation of these characters’ complex lives is what lends the question: Do clones have souls or not? Though that’s a question heavy enough to squish an elephant, it’s fun to speculate as the characters struggle to find the answers, and us readers simply read along for the ride.
In laymen’s terms, the versatility of the themes and characters in this book make it appealing to a number of readers’ palates. Every character has their own opinion and story to tell about a world with clones.
With such a short novel, it’s easy to sample the series and decide you can’t read just one. With so much going on with lukewarm romances, scientific advancement, and clone uprising, it’s hard not to want to continue a story that leaves you on the edge of your seat. “Wetwire” Part Two gets pushed to the top of my to-read list, now!
Both Gabe and Megan have sworn off the exact people they’re falling for – each other! But, avoiding the exact person, who they want more than anything, just makes their forbidden love all the more enticing. Like any form of anticipation, stirrings rise and the heat is raised to full blast. Reluctance to falling in-love always makes the tension that much tighter, so when that tension finally snaps, a whiplash is in store for both the characters and the reader.
If anyone is looking for love this Valentine’s Day, they’ve come to the right place with this one. Just how hot are the love scenes? Steamy? Smoking? On fire? Let’s just say that you should be prepared to blush, giggle, and gasp with the recurring love-making in this novel. Bathtubs and rooftops are no exceptions!
There’s more to the book than just blistering heat, though. A friendship and respect between the reluctant lovers shows there’s more for the relationship to build off of than the fantasy of a well-built firefighter and a sexy damsel coming to life. Even the addition of Megan’s daughter adds a dash of sugar to this hot cocoa, lending some reality to the whole fantasy.
My only complaint is that Gabe’s reluctance is near to mean as his former cold shoulder towards Megan is bitingly frosty. Obviously, that all thaws and melts to a puddle at some point, but initially, it’s quite frustrating. However, it gives all the more reason to appreciate the warming flame between Gabe and Megan later on.
For those who can handle the heat, this romance is exactly what the love doctor ordered.
In comparison to the first book/memoir, “Bitter Memories,” this novel is a bit lighter in tone, though still disturbing as poor little Sarah is continually alone, mistrusted and beaten by her overtly strict and religious aunt, and dealing with blackouts from a split-personality disorder. Sarah’s situation hasn’t gotten worse, but it hasn’t gotten better either.
Olivia insists on instilling strict rules in Sarah to teach her proper manners, but she has no concept of forgiveness or any understanding of tenderness that she should be learning from her daily readings of her Bible. The word and theme that continually comes to mind is “hypocrite,” not only with Olivia’s skewed sense of a proper upbringing, but with the other people in Sarah’s life.
Uncle Henry, who loves Sarah and wants to protect and make her happy, cannot get his priorities straight. How can a police chief do nothing except yell at his wife when she beats Sarah to a point of massive bruising and welts? For a man who swore to uphold the law, he doesn’t do a good job of upholding the rights of his little niece in his own home. Turning a blind eye to his wife may be cowardice, but putting his desire for his mistress ahead of the well-being of helpless little Sarah is just selfish.
Yes, there are many more moments of frustration and agony in this story. But, luckily, there are moments of friendship and understanding between children and teachers that lend small light to the gloom. Though a complete resolution is not offered, a cliff-hanger is not exactly visible either. However, after wishing and hoping for some good to come into poor little Sarah’s life, continuing readers will be anxious for the third installment in this series.
On a scale from 1-10, the steam should be placed at an 8. The windows fog up so quickly that it’s easy to forget about the outside world. And, with a cute and sweet plot that’s hard to put down, who cares about the outside world, anyway? Unless readers are concerned that someone will see them blush as they read the naughty scenes of the book, then everything else can be forgotten.
Pristine Lilah meets bad boy Jake. Like salty popcorn mixed with sweet chocolate, the unlikely combo is more satisfying than initially expected. At first, Jake and Lilah seem to have nothing in common except for attraction, which can make a reader skeptical on the romance, initially. But, it doesn’t take long for that skepticism to be thrown out the window along with Lilah and Jake’s underpants. However, readers quickly learn that it isn’t just sexy scenes in the story. Lilah and Jake learn that there’s more than just their carnal urges to share between them.
The relationship that develops between this unlikely couple is sweet in the way each character lends a hand to the other’s problems. Lilah needs a strong arm to hold her up after the humiliation of her fiancé dumping her; and, Jake needs someone in his corner rooting for him after returning to a town where he has a bad boy reputation.
To any romance reader who is looking for a steamy new read, you will not be disappointed with Lisa Alder’s novel, “Jake’s Wild Bride.” Be prepared to have this indie author sweep you off your feet. This reader is still searching for her sense of balance… and her shoes!
The realism of these characters and their issues are what make this story so easy to follow and relate to. Most everyone is familiar with the pangs an...moreThe realism of these characters and their issues are what make this story so easy to follow and relate to. Most everyone is familiar with the pangs and consequences of jealousy, family drama, and young love. So, it is easy to follow along with the differing feelings of each of these characters, seeing how each person’s side of the story has a reason to fester and rot like an infected wound.
Ali’s inferiority with Tessa, and Tessa’s grudge with Ali are so sad because they remind readers, like myself, of family and friends who can’t see the other side of an argument. Like most fights, their issues could be solved if only they understood what the other person felt. It’s too bad people are so reluctant to walk in another person’s painful pair of shoes.
Then there’s Sam, the handsome gentleman and sweet father who is easy to love but can drive a reader crazy. What’s with his aversion to saying “I love you”? And why is it so hard for him to assess his own feelings? Unfortunately, these traits are more common than any of us would like to admit. Readers, don’t be surprised if this gives flashbacks and a good reason to take personal offense to Sam’s avoidance.
What makes this story so great is how Freethy relates to the reality of young love’s feelings without seeming didactic. Yes, some loves continue to grow and flourish with strong roots. But, others are merely beautiful memories that are hard to let go of, even after each petal falls. Sometimes we can’t accept that people change, that feelings change. So, who is really in-love with Sam, and who is merely holding on to a distant memory – Ali or Tessa?
Touching, sad, and relatable, readers can feel as if they had a therapy session by taking a glimpse into the lives of a family who struggles to understand each other and themselves. (less)
This book pulls no punches when it comes to the stomach-turning details of an abused child’s upbringing. “Upbringing” is not even an acceptable word to use for a little girl who was raised with physical and sexual abuse at every turn. If anyone ever had any doubt about the possible ugliness in the world, they need only read “Bitter Memories” to look into the cruelty that is capable of beating in the hearts of people.
Instead of the typical rise and fall of bad events before Sue’s life gets better, the little girl’s life merely continues to spiral with a hurricane of grief, abuse, and a seemingly loveless life. On a journey with her abusive Daddy, who she can’t help but love and trust, Sue is constantly meeting new friends and relatives of her father to add to her misery.
Starvation, beatings, molestation – it seems most everyone gets a chance to abuse Sue at some point. While Sue continues adding notches to her horror stories, the only person she should be able to turn to – Daddy – is one of the worst pieces to this puzzle of an ugly childhood. With no one to turn to, what else is a little girl to do but make up her own heroes in her head? Readers may interpret the people Sue sees as imaginary friends, multiple personalities, or guardian angels. Either way, the only escape afforded to the little girl are these friends that no one else in the world can see. In times when she can’t take anymore, Sue is lets go of herself, allowing her other personalities to take over her body and shield Sue from the abuse. What may seem as a side-effect of Sue’s torment is actually what spares and possibly saves her.
Though there is no upside to the story of an abused child, reading a book like this will at least motivate more people to become child advocates. After reading this story, it is nearly impossible to ignore that inner mother bear, or papa bear, that roars against injustice towards innocent and helpless children.
There’s more than meets the eye with a brief description of this book. War, romance, deceit, family scandal… there is a lot going on in this novel. Readers might think there’s too much going on for just one novel, but that’s why fans can expect to be satisfied by more to come with this series.
The steamy romance scenes would be rated on the higher end. From 1- 10, an 8 seems about right. The friction between Lauren and Creed’s love-hate relationship is what seems to add to their scorching flames. To the more reserved romance reader, you’ve been warned. Blushing is in order. However, the book is not overrun with sex scenes, as the ongoing civil war and conflict with the Sioux natives give the story a rich plot full of action.
With the beginning of the civil war, be prepared for some detailed violence and the need for a hanky. There are many characters to get attached to, and since fighting inevitably comes from the wars and battles, expect to say good-bye to characters. There’s no spoilers, here. Everyone should know that with war, deaths are imminent.
It’s historical books, like this one, that remind us readers how much simpler life and love is, today. Marrying a man for convenience instead of love is not typically expected any longer, and fighting for your life when your home is suddenly ambushed is not a typical day in the United States anymore, either. This depiction of the civil war era may seem typical in some aspects, but this gun-slinging period is spiced up, lending thrills that enable the modern reader to still appreciate a side of history.
With the family factor involved, the steam rating for this romance is more on the PG side. However, what the story lacks in hot sweaty scenes, it makes up for with sweet romance.
Maybe it’s the influence of the holiday season, but the tension and hope of a happy ending for Cameron and Rina had me wrapped tighter than a gift under the tree. Cameron is a loving father who deserves to fall in-love; Rina is a caring and unselfish woman who is worthy of having her love returned. What’s not to love about this little package of a romance?
Okay, maybe I was a little annoyed at how blind Cameron is to Rina’s feelings, not to mention the way he takes her friendship for granted. Every romance needs to have some sort of conflict for the couple to work past, but Rina is babysitting the daughter, cooking meals for the family, and spending nearly every day with McKenzie family. Rina does most of the duties of a mother and wife already, yet Cameron doesn’t see this? Come on!
Cameron’s reluctance to a romantic relationship was the only bad apple in my bushel, though. I didn’t even mind the corny parts with the young daughter giggling over silly jokes. The story was as warm as a fuzzy Christmas sweater for the cold chill outside. It’s not always easy being satisfied with a shortened romance, but I’m feeling quite content.
It’s normal to see the vampire world as scary and gruesome when readers typically look through the eyes of a human. Normally, I have little empathy for the walking dead, but, in this novella, we get to see the world from the perspective of Bree. It’s hard not to feel sympathy for the vampire on hearing Bree’s side of the story. All we get to see of her in the previous book and movie is the attack on Bella, which doesn’t give her much of a chance for empathy.
Who expects a vampire to be afraid? A creature that preys on humans, heals instantly, and can live forever, should have little to worry about. But, watching Bree as a newbie, it makes sense that are things for her to fear. The unknown is scary, and many things are unknown to Bree as a new stalker of the night. Vicious vampires, secretive leaders, and myths of survival are hard to grapple, even for those who could live forever. Watching a vampire learning about her true limits as the undead is like watching a cat walk on two legs – humorous, yet sad.
Bree experiences adventure, love, regret, betrayal, and fear in such a quick spurt that it almost feels like she doesn’t experience anything strongly enough. If I sound sympathetic of this blood-draining beast, it’s because I finally understand the struggle and confusion of a newbie vampire.
If readers knew nothing about Bree Tanner from the Twilight series, they could still enjoy this book for the sheer genius of looking at the world from the opposite side of the mirror. Of course, if you haven’t read the Twilight series, after this novella, you’ll want to. And, visa versa. It’s a viciously fun cycle.
What is so appealing about the bad boy image? Is it that thrill of rebellion by being with someone you know you shouldn’t? Is it the cool exterior tha...moreWhat is so appealing about the bad boy image? Is it that thrill of rebellion by being with someone you know you shouldn’t? Is it the cool exterior that makes all the girls drool and all the guys wish they were him? Or, is it that hope that underneath that wild boy’s surface, there’s a soft spot that only one special girl can bring out? Yeah, for Posey, it would be the latter. But, in her case, she may be right about her assumptions.
What’s cute about this book is watching high school dreams come true in a realistic way. However, I may have to ignore the common sense in me that says, “Yeah right! That would never happen!” but I can ignore that inner voice for the sake of enjoying my romantic fiction. Ignorance is bliss, in this case.
Yes, Liam was the jerky stud in high school that every girl wanted, including Posey. The problem is that, for Posey, her crush seems warranted when she sees that softer side of Liam. Yup, Liam’s tough shell is really only a thin candy coating for that soft squishy marshmallow underneath as he dotes and raises his teenage daughter.
Though this may only happen in our school girl fantasies, for once we can watch the spindly unpopular girl outshine the beautiful prom queen, winning over the most-desired hunk in town with her natural charms.
The only uncomfortable part is watching Posey’s puppy crush as a child that is uncontrollable even as an adult. It’s tough to watch, but easy to understand. Sometimes crushes are creepy; other times they’re sweet. The scales tilt both ways at different points for Posey.
None the less, I couldn’t put the book down. With fun, funny, and familiar characters that are easy to relate to, it’s hard not to smile with my nose between these pages.
There is such a thing as too much information. Sometimes a lot of knowledge can make a reader feel smarter at the end of reading an information-packed...moreThere is such a thing as too much information. Sometimes a lot of knowledge can make a reader feel smarter at the end of reading an information-packed book. On the other hand, too much information can just feel overwhelming and bog down the entire plot of the story. The latter was my own personal impression of this book. My brain felt so weighed down with technical and biological lectures that my brain felt too tired to run with the sporadic speed of the intermittent action.
I’m sure some people would enjoy the science aspect of the book. However, if I’m reading a book for enjoyment, why do I want to be lectured in the middle of my fun time?
Aside from the heavy layers of science, there were action-packed chapters intended to get readers’ hearts racing at the speed of the zipping bullets within the scenes. These parts of the story were the highlight of my reading, which is what would allow the book to appeal to science and action enthusiasts.
In addition to action, there are many twists and turns in the plot of the story. As soon as the reader thinks he or she knows what’s going on, they find themselves duped into assuming the wrong thing. Yes, if the scientific lectures weren’t enough, the author also insists on making the readers feel even dumber by adding last-minute twists to discombobulate readers even more.
Don’t get me wrong; I do enjoy and applaud smart plots with surprising endings, but I appreciate having a heads-up, so the sudden U-turn in the story doesn’t make me fooled with the whiplash. I believe Creative Writing 101 taught us to NOT make readers feel stupid; make them feel smart, instead.
So, call me a dunce, because I will now be sitting in the corner, wearing the cap that rightly deserves that name. The smarter and possibly more intellectual readers will enjoy this book.
In “The Texas Ranger” (the first of the two stories in this book)there was passion, mystery, and lots and lots of repetition. Is it just me, or is it insulting when the same information is repeated over, and over, and over? Either the author believes readers have the memory-span of goldfish, or there is simply nothing new to tell in the story. The pages repeatedly get filled with the same drivel that was originally stated.
Okay, “drivel” may be a harsh adjective. But, after reading the details of Jossette’s betrayal by Marc, more times than I can count, how else am I supposed to look at that information? I get it already; Marc was a jerk, there was a misunderstanding. Yada, yada, yada. If you say the word “love” ten times fast, even that word would lose all spark and appeal. That’s how this plot felt.
In actuality, the one shining light in this whole novel was the passion between Marc and Jossette. Though most of their activities were building up to the big moment, those sexy scenes were as enjoyable as an unwrapped gift with shiny paper and ribbons. In that respect, the intensity couldn’t have been played-up better. Though I cannot say the same thing for the second story in the novel, where the passion fell limper than wet hair.
“The Garden Cop” is a short story of Mary and Curtis, a pair who also work in law-enforcement. Though this story did not repeatedly hammer the same information in my head – Thankfully! – it did feel rushed. Yes, short stories are supposed to be short, but they should also be believable. The chemistry awakened too quickly from the initial quarrel. A flower does not grow overnight, after all.
Perhaps there was just too much plot to shrink down into 80 pages. The crime and romance just weren’t compatibly matched in this race. How can the turtle of a mystery keep up with a romance with the speed of the road runner?
Though I do believe romance and crime-solving can make a great recipe for pleasure, my own tastes found much lacking in this particular concoction.
The cliffhanger from the previous book, “Crescendo,” left all of us readers wondering what happened to Nora and Patch when they were ambushed and who was behind it all. Dangling by our fingertips, we waited for answers, feeling the same way Nora felt when her kidnappers released her in “Silence.” Lucky for us, we didn’t forget what happened when Nora and Patch first met… but, Nora did.
The trauma that ensues from Nora’s captivity is an admirable trick used to induce a form of camaraderie between the reader and Nora. As she attempts to unravel the mystery of her recent past, the readers try to divulge the reasoning behind the whole debacle. In this case, the shared ignorance between Nora and the reader acts as the superglue that binds us together, keeping fingers stuck to the pages in our quest for answers.
Nora’s lack of memory also gives her and Patch an excuse to rekindle their passion anew. There’s nothing like the heat from a new flame, and their passion raises a couple of bars, and my eyebrows, this time around. My shock at their seemingly quick reconciliation fizzled out quickly by my sense of satisfaction – Ahh, young love. Besides, how can Nora NOT fall head-over-heels for a gorgeous angel who would literally give up his wings for her?
Though I did feel relieved to have less of a cliff-hanger this time around, I was disappointed at the absence of one particular portion that was referenced only briefly in “Silence” – Nora’s dead father.
In “Crescendo” there were a handful of mysterious sightings and feelings from Nora’s dead father. However, here in “Silence,” those occurrences did not reoccur; they were briefly referenced. Nora’s biological father plays a strong and cruel role, but not the sweet and loving father Nora grew up with.
Since this book is not the last in the series, I can wave off my minor disappointments and hope my questions will be answered in the next round. Will Eve and Patch’s wings-of-love romance continue to suffer? Probably, but we’ll have to impatiently wait for the next book to know for certain.
There is so much to admire and enjoy from a story of child-hood sweethearts. Not only is there the inevitable playfulness and immaturity that comes fr...moreThere is so much to admire and enjoy from a story of child-hood sweethearts. Not only is there the inevitable playfulness and immaturity that comes from young memories brought to the present, but there’s also the humor of watching a couple awkwardly adjust to their new playing field as adults.
I admit to being a sucker for romances, but honestly, this story could turn typical lovey-dovey haters into appreciators of the art of love. The humanism, relatable characters, and humor make readers turn the pages at whiplash speed, wondering whether Vanessa will mend fences or completely tear them down.
What is a romance without struggle, right? Though many romances can turn me off by simply struggling too much or for all the wrong reasons, Vanessa and Brady’s struggles were believably balanced.
Neither character could deny their new-found attraction and feelings, which was a relief from the typical “do they, or don’t they?” plot. Their difficulties were founded more on adolescent misunderstandings and struggling to understand themselves as adults. In effect, their conflicts were more amusing than annoying. Fighting one minute, then establishing a date within the same heated moment is more realistic than it seems. The pain in my side was caused by laughter, not anxiety.
Yes, there is the back plot of Vanessa finding herself after her father’s death and reconnecting with her mother, which moved me enough to flick away a tear. But, everything pales in comparison when Vanessa and Brady start getting hotter and heavier than a pot full of fondue.
There’s a reason Nora Roberts is so well-known and beloved. This book is an example of her finely tuned skills that enable her to sneak in and steal your heart. You may need a security system to protect yourself from this one.
It is the first of the Pregnancy & Passion series, and if Bryony’s opening punch out of Rafe doesn’t get readers out of their seats, then the pass...moreIt is the first of the Pregnancy & Passion series, and if Bryony’s opening punch out of Rafe doesn’t get readers out of their seats, then the passion between the two of them will. On my own personal scale, the heat from this romance would be rated 7 out of 10 – steamy, sultry, and seductive. I didn’t know how to NOT blush while I read some of these scenes. And that included Bryony having a baby bump! Though, that’s not a complaint. I just wouldn’t want anyone reading over my shoulder when I got to the good parts… or do I mean the bad naughty parts? That’s for each reader to decide.
Bryony’s character is as easy to relate to as a close friend. Her frustration, hope, and patience keep readers rooting for her the whole book. Her strength of character balanced well with her fragile physical state. Most pregnant women tend to earn a bit of sympathy, but that also added to the dynamic of this story. It wasn’t just the struggle of memory loss that the romance competed with, it was the weight of a future child that made Bryony and Rafe’s situation so much heavier.
Seeing both sides of this mixed up story is easy when one of them is enraged from being jilted, while the other has no memory of what he’s done. Being biased isn’t easy when you hear both sides of their stories. Call me a banana split, because I was so split on whose side to take that my hair dripped with chocolate syrup.
With the inclusion of Rafe’s buddies/business partners in the story, we can already tell where the rest of the series will be headed. I’m just waiting to see which character will have his own lover story unfold, next. In case you missed that hint, I’m anxiously awaiting the next book.
With so many vampire and were-animal fantasy stories out there, it is refreshing to see a new twist on the whole take of this popular theme, keeping t...moreWith so many vampire and were-animal fantasy stories out there, it is refreshing to see a new twist on the whole take of this popular theme, keeping the story individual and fresh. Though I may personally prefer wolves to cats (don’t hate me because I’m a dog lover), I can’t deny my fascination in a story that centers on a form of were-cats in the mix of the vampires.
The whole mix of vampires mingling with other paranormal creatures is always intriguing. Like peanut butter with chocolate, the combination makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable. Throw in a little magic and I get completely submersed in the fantasy world, with only a smile resembling smears of chocolate on my face as evidence of my enjoyment.
With the various creatures introduced in the story, there are also a multitude of characters to familiarize with. Luckily, each character has a couple of individual traits that help them stand out, like the overly strong and clumsy vampire, or the jokingly playful Gulon. It is characteristics like these that not only differentiate the personalities, but give depth to them, causing the reader to care for them, as well.
As the third book in the series, the reader is thrown in the middle of things, or en med res, as the Latin term is phrased. However, all of the pieces eventually come together, like a magnetized jigsaw puzzle, once scattered across the floor. But be warned, it isn’t enough to read only one book from this series. A single novel will not quench anyone’s thirst for more adventure and thrills – blood sucking or otherwise.
Poetically written, readers who are familiar with scripts or reading poetry will appreciate this read. Descriptive lines with symbolism, depth, and th...morePoetically written, readers who are familiar with scripts or reading poetry will appreciate this read. Descriptive lines with symbolism, depth, and the use of alliteration makes this story a form of epic poetry. So, if you enjoy reading plays or works like “Beowulf,” this story probably belongs on your book shelf or in your eBook reader.
Ben is introduced as the musician with a song that moves people to the core; almost literally stealing the heart of Renée. Unfortunately, Ben is not the creator of that riff. Sadly, he is merely the thief. Seeing the reactions of his girlfriend to the music, it is no wonder that someone would want to claim themselves as the artist of such a powerful riff. The music sways souls the way it sways bodies to dance.
Mystical music strums throughout the tale. Is the riff a blessing or a curse? Just as other songs are claimed to move moods and inspire listeners to certain acts, so does Ben’s stolen melody. However, such a powerful riff should instill more fear in Ben, since the true creator, Riff, is even more powerful than the song.
Like a future doctor cheating on his final exams, no good can come from a stolen piece of music. Because when it’s time to perform and the musician must show all that he is worth, his true talent, or lack-there-of, will be revealed. For Ben, he is not a real musician. Not a talented one, anyway.
And so, Ben must learn his lesson the hard way. Thieving may appear free, but it comes with a price. In the end, Ben knows he must pay the piper… the real piper of the riff.
If anyone is looking for a shoot-em up Sci-Fi adventure, here’s the place to find it. Sure, the actions behind the space travel are driven for diploma...moreIf anyone is looking for a shoot-em up Sci-Fi adventure, here’s the place to find it. Sure, the actions behind the space travel are driven for diplomacy, but the riveting fight scenes inside and outside of the ships are anything but a lulling speech.
Of course, there’s more than just action in this book. True, the little romance between couples – Sarah and Michael are my main squeeze – may not be enough for any sexy and steamy seekers, but it adds a nice dynamic to the characters, creating more 3-dimensional characters out of the flat pages we discover these spacemen hiding in. Real life people have multiple layers, like a frosted cake with jam in the center. I think Lake cooked up this aspect nicely.
There is a lot of creativity revealed with the various aliens presented from different planets. Bird-like, cow-like, and cat-like creatures are always eye-popping. It’s also nice to see how the varying species reflected a small parallelism to people’s prejudice towards other races. It was nothing blatant or didactic, but the subtleness was an admirable attribute.
The message that humans have evolved enough to desire knowledge instead of conquering the world, or galaxy, is also a refreshing notion. And yet, it is realistic to see that NOT everyone in the galaxy feels that war is useless.
The mystery surrounding who is after destroying Earth, and what is the advantage of achieving such a feat, is the engine that drives this locomotive forward. Nothing and no one is what they seem in this book. A friend can turn into an enemy just as easily as an enemy can turn into a friend. All of which easily stretch this saga further, leaving readers anticipating the next move on Earthfleet.
From civility to brutality – that is the backwards evolution of this book. And, instead of giving a feeling of recession, this change in character is...moreFrom civility to brutality – that is the backwards evolution of this book. And, instead of giving a feeling of recession, this change in character is portrayed as a means of progression. Since when is a civil society looked upon as a bad thing? I’m not sure I agree with the whole outlook, but somehow, Williams makes this perspective on life work for the story.
George is an educated man who believes in being rational. Succumbing to brute force with people is animalistic in his eyes. Of course, when he is faced with either dying or protecting the lives of his family against barbaric men, George’s natural will to survive kicks in, like a giant boot to the butt.
As a great means for literary discussion, the story entertains how hundreds of years of people’s evolution and sophistication gets thrown out the window lives are threatened. Survive at any means necessary – that’s what was figuratively and literally beaten into George. Beat or get beaten.
Then again, what other choice does George have when he resides in a town that’s so backwards its townspeople can’t help tripping on everything in their path. The odd part is watching George and his family think more highly of themselves for reducing themselves to physical violence. Pride and admiration seem odd prizes for brutality, but really, what other choice is there when his home is under attack.
Intriguing concepts of civility kept the wheel in my head turning like a hamster in a cage. In contrast, the explicit aggression and hunger for violence that the townspeople have is jaw-dropping and eye-popping. In short, this is anything but a dull read.
There are too many emotions and too many characters to roll up this novel in a simple string of adjectives. While the book is like a multi-level mansi...moreThere are too many emotions and too many characters to roll up this novel in a simple string of adjectives. While the book is like a multi-level mansion of complexity and rich layers to explore, there are also the characters’ versatile and evolving dimensions. Bear with me as I try to do this book justice in describing my tumultuous feelings wrought while reading this novel.
Esteban is a fist-clenching character. Not only does he have a habit of raising his hands to others, but he made this reader so mad that I couldn’t help whitening my own knuckles with his stubborn and unjust nature. And yet, I cannot hate him. Sometimes I do, but overall I can’t because I watch his character, as well as others, evolve over the years. Is Esteban an overbearing brute? Yes. Is he devotedly sweet to his granddaughter? Another, yes. Like all of the characters in this book, none of them could be depicted as flat stick figures.
Despite the involvement of other characters, as well as their varying first-person perspectives from different chapters, I cannot help zoning in on Esteban. If I described Clara with her whimsical personality and extrasensory abilities, I inevitably have to mention Esteban’s relationship with her and his obsession to possess his wife in a way that he does not deserve.
The same goes for Blanca and her relationship with Esteban – the controlling father figure, who disapproves of his daughter’s true love. Or, Alba – Esteban’s cherished granddaughter, who is the offspring of Blanca’s illicit love.
Though Esteban is not the main character of this book, he plays a vital role in everyone’s lives because of his controlling and outspoken nature. However, as Esteban’s children and grandchildren grow older, watching the influence of the patriarch switch in power with his descendants’ influence on politics and government is an amazing flip that makes my pancake crisp and delicious as a whole.
If you want a simplistic and predictable plot, don’t read this book. If you want complexity and insightfulness, you have found the right novel.
Good premise, lukewarm romance, bad follow-through. As much as any other hopeless romantic, I enjoy the typical romantic plot – couple’s obvious attra...moreGood premise, lukewarm romance, bad follow-through. As much as any other hopeless romantic, I enjoy the typical romantic plot – couple’s obvious attraction, reluctance to get along, outside difficulties preventing easy relationship, pending happy ending. However, if I have too much confusion to trip me up, I can’t enjoy the rocky ride that builds up to the romance.
It felt like I was going in so many circles that I felt dizzy from the same conversations about Maggie and Josh worrying about whether they’d fall in-love or break each others’ hearts. And, with everyone putting in their two-cents about Josh and Maggie, the couple should have been rich by the end of the book.
Friends and family members play so many head games in order to try to match up the stubborn couple, I felt like my own head needed therapy after all of the confusion. Does the friend want the couple together or is she warning them off? Are these characters worried that Josh and Maggie will hurt each other, or are they just playing reverse psychology, again? There’s so much contradiction and interference from everyone that I almost forgot who the main characters were… oh yeah, Josh and Maggie.
What was worse was watching Josh and Maggie second-guess themselves so many times that “hundredth-guess” should now be the term for characters as indecisive as them. Yes, there is plenty of flirting; enough to almost make up for their bickering. So, in essence, the novel was justly named.
The tension that was supposed to be the “disaster,” which both Josh and Maggie were trying to avert, lost appeal to me when so many people tried to warn the couple off of each other. At that point, I felt as rebellious as Maggie and Josh; I just wanted them to throw caution to the wind and get past the flirtation, already. Flirting with frustration would also be an apt description.