LORD OF VENGEANCE Things Rarely Go as Planned (Audiobook Review)
Audiobook provided by Tantor Audio for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own unless otherwise noted.
There’s a lot of good action, sexual tension and exciting surprises in this story. I cannot swear to the historical veracity of the tale: nothing screamed “wrong!” to me, but this medieval tale taking place at the time of King Stephen’s reign, seemed generic to the middle ages.
I did not see how the central paradox of the book would be resolved positively. In romance this is one of my favorite things. It gives me something to wonder about. After all, Gunnar, the Lord of Vengeance wants nothing more than to kill the man who she sees as a good and loving father. But to Gunnar he is the monster who killed both his mother and father and had him left for dead.
Even Gunnar understands this as the paradox. Something has to happen, obviously it is going to be an issue. The genre demands a happy ending and we know that isn’t going to happen with the other guy. I came up with a variety of paths the story could take, but all were unsatisfactory, so I kept listening until the end to find out how we would get from point hate and vengeance to point happily ever after. Along the way, Gunnar learns that things rarely go as planned and what we think we want is often not what we really need.
But the way there has a lot of hot action on the way, and even a few fights and life lessons. Some of the sex is a little improbable, but still exciting. And a big surprise I didn’t see coming! I really enjoyed the book.
The narration: Most of the time the narration was excellent. But, the male narration of the main female character, Raina was simpering and insipid. Is this what men hear when a woman speaks — this unintelligent, weak woman? I was really disappointed with that. The male characters were well done though.
I have listened to two men narrate women’s voices and they have both been disappointing. I feel women narrate men better but, let’s face it both genders may mess it up. I am sure it is tough to do. It is so important though and makes the difference between a book being something I hit the play button cringing or with a smile.
So, yes on the book. The narration was reasonable, but please let me know what you think about the voicing of Raina.(less)
Galley provided by Publisher for Review, No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein are my own except as noted.
Sometimes we won’t see that which is directly in front of us. Or, things might be so comfortable we ignore it. Then it’s a Humpty Dumpty situation when it does break: you can try to put it back together but chances are it’s not going to work. The story is about relationships, comfortable and not, familial and other, good and bad. It can be sad, funny, sweet and sexy.
The tendency would be to blame the man, Jonathan, in this situation, and he is a little slow in his understanding. But, Rosie is just as much to blame. She knows who Jonathan is but is constantly trying to make him out to be someone he just is not.
Jonathan collects ancient and antique teacups and those are really the only things he treats with care. He never understands his relationship and expectations.
While her grandmother, Soapie, is a little selfish and, unlike most stories, was not the sweet granny raising Rosie after her mother’s death. She minded having to raise Rosie but she did it. Soapie is a tough one, but she sees Jonathan and Rosie for what they are, and that the relationship is not working.
And, Soapie is ‘of an age’ has a bunch of health issues, with worrisome events and crises. These crises force the comfortable situation to maybe not be so comfortable anymore. Facing reality is often not easy, and change is the preference of the very few.
I would categorize it more as women’s fiction with romance than pure romance. It’s a little steamy, in an almost comical way. It is a little slow but well-written with solid character development. Even though it used pregnancy, one of my least favorite plot devices, it also allowed me to easily do a “what would I do in this situation: stay or go, marry or not?
If you don’t mind a little (very) bit of sex, and like to read about characters who life goes topsy turvy in the normal ways of life (job, kids, elderly parents) rather than through things like plane crashes. then this novel about fairly ordinary people deserves a spot on your list.(less)
Review Copy provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own unless otherwise noted.
WOUNDS DON'T ALWAYS SHOW
I have been reading Laura since she started out. Even then her characters were always true and heartfelt. But with her military heroes she excels at making me feel the honor and the struggle, the light and the dark. And this novella is filled with emotion, feeling, responsibility, honor, need and hotness on top of all the noble stuff.
But, it wouldn’t be a story without angst on all sides. So Jenna feels guilty about holding her sister back. And Easy feels guilty for the death of his friend in the firefight that destroyed their military career. Jenna’s trauma was recent, and his was a while back, but not that long. He’s there for her but is having trouble with his own traumatic experience.
I love how Easy’s problems complement and contrast with Jenna’s needs. How he has to face his own problems to be the man Jenna needs him to be. And her need of him in the face of her innocence and trust gives him a reason to face his problems.
And,it would be really difficult to trust a feeling like that when you just met someone. But adversity often acts as a crucible for forging relationships. So the story, the connection, the emotions are written in a way that makes it believable.
I have a lot of respect for our military and I am sure the type of crime Becca’s father perpetrates on the team of Green Berets Laura writes about in this series happens to some of our soldiers. But what I know happens all too much is PTSD, survivor guilt, and being changed by one’s experiences to the point where a veteran doesn’t recognize him or herself anymore. The stress on oneself, and one’s family must simply be enormous. It’s not new, it’s been happening since humans first took up arms against each other, but it is finally being recognized as an illness with often tragic outcomes.
In addition to the PTSD, or maybe the two are intertwined, Easy feels survivor guilt. According to statistics Laura cites, guilt, stress, loss and depression with PTSD leads to the loss of 22 veterans everyday. So, while Easy’s and Jenna’s story is rich and hot on a character level, the story has an important message. That Laura can do it without being pedantic or sermonizing; that she really brings it home says a lot about both her ability and her connection to the material and the message. Part of the profit from the book’s first two weeks will be donated to a national not for profit that assists veterans.
While interracial relationships aren’t as much of an issue today as they were when I was growing up, recent events point to race continuing to be an issue in our society. So it is interesting that on top of the PTSD issues, Laura decided to add that to the mix. I ask Laura about this in my interview with her which will be posting on the 25th.
It’s hard for me to find anything I did not like in this book, except of course that veterans have experiences like Easy’s. Laura writes cleanly, sincerely and with heart. I highly recommend the series and this novella is a great addition to the series.(less)
Galley provided by Publisher for Review, No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein are my own except as noted.
If only people would talk to each other, then we’d have to have real issues in stories other than refusing to talk to each for whatever reason: he yelled at me, I am mad at him, he’s treating me badly, I have been sick. Maybe because it is in the first person, it feels very self absorbed.
Brittni ((Shudder)) is judgmental and has a tendency to jump to conclusions. Justin seems to play it cool, and under stress become a jerk. I found it hard to care much about either character. They both behave badly.
I just did not understand how people could possibly be as obtuse as the couple in this book. Of the two Justin is more mature, but they are both emotionally immature. It is steamy when they hook up, but a little too young for me. I did think most of the plot was plausible and my disbelief alarms didn’t go off for it. But it is definitely new adult and sometimes felt like YA.
Not for me, but maybe a younger reader would appreciate it more.(less)
Audio CD provided for review by Tantor Audio. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
This is the first male narrated novel I listened to and let me just say that if this is an example of how women are voiced in audiobooks then I think men are better voiced by women, than women are by men. The women’s voices were simpering and stupid sounding to my ear. I was painting and occasionally had to muffle a snort at the sound of the woman’s voice.
The story was enjoyable — complex with a bit of something for everyone: family, sacrifice, sports, fashion, hot sex, crazy stalkers. I thought the story of two people with family issues and how one’s experience helps the other was unusual and brought a lot of emotional content to the novel.
The story of Shane, his father and his younger brother was really touching. At first Shane seems a little inhuman in his inability to have any good thoughts about his father, and that seems like hyperbole. I think the hyperbole is probably a necessary device, but that and Shane’s standoffish demeanor, as well as his tendency to jump to conclusions, combine to make him a less than sympathetic character
What about Carly? Well, to my ears the narrator’s attempt to voice a woman with a subtle accent such as Carly is described as having made it hard for me to get a bead on her until the last quarter of the book where she shows what she is made of and the character becomes more than the voice of the narrator.
Looking at the story aside from the narration, Solheim creates flawed and human characters who, although famous, are accessible and make errors in how they handle each other. I also like that their issues aren’t about communicating, but are more real issues (even though for most of us escaping the paparazzi is not a big issue).
The hook-ups are hot and steamy, the attraction is impossible to ignore. Nothing kinky goes on, but it is unmistakably sexy and powerful. It was funny when I was listening on earphones during a painting class. Yikes! Were my cheeks red! If the other ladies in the painting workshop could hear what I was we’d have had a collective hot flash!
I have since listened to another book narrated by a man where the woman as voiced was not how I think of our voices sounding. And, if that’s how a man thinks women sound he needs a hearing aid. Maybe men shouldn’t try so hard when voicing a woman. I think female narrators usually do a better job voicing male characters, although I have noticed that when they do jocks the women often lean to the dumb-jock side of the scale while when men voice women they lean to the tentative, Barbie or little girl sound.
I think the book is a good, heart-warming read. Listen to it with an ameliorating ear for the female characters and don’t write them off because of the narrator. There’s a lot more to the story than the narrator’s ability. I recommend the book whole-heartedly, but the narration not so much.(less)
WEIRD [Girls] Wednesday: A CURSE AWAKENED! On Tour!
I really enjoyed getting to see the “beginnings” of the Weird sister’s story. Having read the other books in the series I felt it filled in a lot of history and gave me insight into the characters’ personalities. Plus, it has some very clear plots that are very well spun in the short format. It is action packed, full of loyalty and what you will do for those you love. The women are as yet unmarked by the experiences they have in the rest of the series, although they have had a hell of a time anyway.
I really felt their desolation and desperation in the face of evil and power. They make neat work of a few nasties and learn much about the honor of master vampires.
There’s one dreamy sex sequence that I think is precognitive to future relationships Celia will have. I think, or it could just be a sexy vamp toying with her. Celia Wird, is the oldest sister and she was cursed or gifted with the ability to shift into a tiger form and shift through the earth. As far as the action scenes, I found it hard to keep track of whether Celia is in a tiger form, human form or a combination. I would like to see a connection between the curse which we learn about here and the earth shifting ability. If there is no connection it feels a little deus ex machinated.
We also get to meet Celia’s former beau and brilliant family pal, Dan who comes to the women for help. He’s already researcing the origins of their curse, and its extra curse that was meant to bind their powers. Having a geeky friend comes in handy for them!
Cecy is very clever as she writes this prequel, it gives a ton of information on the sisters and their pasts — things I didn’t realize I wanted to know but that I believe offer a fuller experience and which tell me that Cecy imagined this world quite deeply before she ever wrote the stories down.
I liked it, it was quick, action packed and maybe a little “Weird.” it falls more on the ‘Urban Fantasy’ side of the fence between that and ‘Paranormal Romance.’
Clever plays on names and such like Weird and Wird, are often just clever puns or hooks to catch your interest. But with this series the “Weird Girls” thing and the last name “Wird” is both a clever device and actually adds to the story. If anyone ever made fun of you for a family thing like your name (try having a verb as a last name like I do) you will feel a real kinship with these young women.(less)
Galley provided by publisher for honest review. No remuneration exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own unless otherwise noted.
While this story doesn’t have the dark, immediate, and compelling twistiness that the first two books in this series, belonging to the characters Tenly and Hayden, it does offer a much more sympathetic view of a character I really did not like at all from those earlier books. Chris, Hayden’s co-worker, always seemed immature, lacking in the social graces, and a total jerk. He seemed like a bridge between the nasty, low-life element which previously defined Hayden’s life and the tattoo parlor they both are part of. Here we get a glimpse of a much more caring man in love-ish with a woman.
The woman is Sarah. an MBA student determined to get through school without loans or help. To do so she waitresses in a strip club, with all the attendant grabbiness, and pressure. And, she appreciates Chris’ care and attention. The thoughtfulness he extends to her is a “crack” in his armor. And she has some kind of crust that is holding her back too. I never thought of her as more than Tenley’s annoying neighbor — there but not too helpful.
It’s apparent they are the next couple up in this series will have Tenly and Hayden peripheral, off in whatever kind of shaky bliss two disaster survivors can have, and we’ll learn of Chris’ and Sarah’s personal traumas in the story of their romance. Since Chris was not my favorite character, this is going to be even edgier than the first part of the series.
Audio Book provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own.
Wryly narrated by Alicyn Packard, I enjoyed this unlikely tale of half-sisters, their father, their very, very good friends and their lovers, landladies and employees. I loved her delivery of ironic line after line. At a time when people could reinvent and invent themselves, before everything got so specialized, licensed and regulated — a bootlegger could become a college professor and then something else. A teenage talent show winner could be a starlet and discover her sexuality, and a young girl, intelligent but without means or direction, can drift through strange situations a rolling stone, but the moss gathering variety.
This is literary fiction, and looks at love in a lot of forms. It also looks at issues surrounding bias against homosexuals in mid-century Hollywood (I call this LGBT Issues in my icons). With the exception of one scene where it is absolutely in context, there's no graphic sex. The clothes come off but most of any interlude occurs off page.
But it's hard to say this is about anyone thing, love, families of the most unconventional nature, acceptance, loyalty, tragedy, getting along. I think there are two "umbrella" themes: moral ambiguity and chosen family. These sisters make a conscious choice to be together. And, then through their lives seem to collect people. But there really is something askew. Bloom really captures the era, the atmosphere, its complicated simplicities. The oxymoron I just used is, I believe, apt: personally things were simply what they were, but in combination they caused large life changes.They could choose a profession, steal a car, declare themselves an educated person. At the time it seems one could do any number of things that would be difficult to accomplish today (for non-hackers). But acting on impulse, one action could alter the lives of so many.
I thought the narration was excellent, but I am not sure a book told in this way: in chapters, letters and vignettes, is best shown in the audio format. I found it hard to understand the complicated relationships between characters and who was speaking, reading , writing, and when it was happening. And this has more to do with the type of writing in combination with the form of delivery than it has to do with either item on its own.
The story is told in letters, as Eva's first person recollections and occasionally those of others. The format is unconventional but I believe it works rather beautifully. It's a story you will think about long after you close the cover on its text (or turn off your listening device) and its characters and their stories will leave you wondering and imagining their futures.
E-Galley provided by Publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own except as noted.
I really enjoyed MY NOTORIOUS GENTLEMAN, the sixth book in this series. Sure it seemed a little far fetched but it was enjoyable, and the girl who thought herself plain and unmarriageable, wins the day.I wasn’t as happy with this one. It’s a little more far fetched especially where travel and paying for expensive operations occurs with just a fifteen year old earl and the hero who has no money.
The emotional vacillation is believable, and the change from one type of relationship to another is well explained through actual denied desire being allowed rein via a certain means. It’s not the flip of the mattress, but a long standing attraction on one side and an instant attraction on the other. When the love interests hook up it’s hot and tipsy and with an uncertainty of any future relationship.
One end, while technically left untied was irritating, but I satisfied myself that the end got knotted off the page and that maybe it wasn;t important enough to really care about. I thought the characters didn’t always stay in character. Virginia, in particular devolved a little into a more typical woman, but then she gets her spunk back and does some stuff pretty unbelievable for a woman of the Regency.
There’s a sweet side too as a long time unrequited love is, well, requited! Fun, unusual, story filled with love, heat and adventure! It’s an enjoyable read that takes you a grand tour!(less)
E-Galley provided by Publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own except as noted.
I am going to keep this short because there is a lot of stuff going on here today. Not the least of which is that I have gone off to my first painting workshop in many years. More than I care to think about anyway.
I really enjoyed this book about the rare couple who has the opportunity for a second chance. The characters are written such that each realizes their part in their break up and their own strengths and weaknesses. The setting is the beautiful area around Aspen, Colorado; and the site of the first book in the series, THROWN. I enjoyed the setting of her best friend, Amanda and her Mega Star husband Grady's estate in the Rockies. And the characters are all perfectly likable, not too seriously unexpected or unusual, but pleasant.
I was a little less sure of the big secret: I just didn't think it was that big a deal or that it would be taken as personally unless the character was looking for a reason to sabotage a relationship. I did seriously like the ending where Finn gives Avery what she asks for and needs. And, when she whines her friends remind her that it IS what she asked for. And, the rest of the ending is even better. If you are a rider, or just like a hot love story this is a great option for your to be read list.(less)
Galley provided by publisher for review. No Remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own unless otherwise noted.
I didn’t know whether I would like this book at first. The main female character, Helene, at first, felt a bit dumb because even with past experiences with the fae, she takes her time coming to the conclusion that she has a fae problem. But, like Helene, found myself falling under a spell just like those cast by the powerful fae sorcerer Miach, the main male character in the book. And, her seeming stupidity is a by-product of the fae nastiness.
As someone who was involved in Fund Raising and Development, and museum work I was immediately drawn to the setting and character of Helene. Plus, it takes place in Boston, which is fairly nearby.
The sexual attraction that always lurks about the fae (sometimes I think they are really emotional vampires because of the way they feed off human emotions) is thick and honeyed in this book. As much as she tries to resist the sorcerer she turns to for help the attraction is too strong.
And the two characters are very hot together. Helene is frightened and in serious danger of dying about every five minutes, but, she is also very resourceful. Her transformation from development director to kick-ass heroine is assisted by having grown up with brothers. She is not bold at first, but she’s no shrinking violet. Miach is oddly well-intentioned for a fae, but is also, at 3,500 years of age, more than aware of his own nature. He can’t really promise Helene more than a temporary relationship even though he is somewhat obsessed with her.
The action is non-stop and all the characters are imperiled. The writing is a little more telling than showing. Expository writing is more acceptable these days. And the relationship goes from don’t! to don’t stop! pretty quickly.
The good fairies of sanitized, childhood stories do not make an appearance here. Instead we find complicated, violent, selfish, tricksy, hedonistic, and nearly amoral immortals. You would not come out of any transaction ahead of them, and you do not want to run across one in an alley.
While there were a lot of references to the first book in the series, which I did not read, I did not feel that I had lost too much backstory and felt competent in traveling the landscape of this book. It is probably the information about the first book that makes it feel expository.
I enjoyed the book’s gritty sensuality and think it is a great read. I hope to read more in the series.(less)
This is the second Jaci Burton audio book I have listened to recently. I enjoyed the storyline, and the determination of a browbeaten beauty to reclaim her life after marriage to an asshat. Good for her, she had a miserable childhood, obeying her mother and being sheltered in someways and exposed in others. She marries a controlling man whose only saving grace was that he let her go to college. But he was a nasty, hateful man. When you hear how nasty and evil he was you will think she should have gotten all his money and not just the large settlement she did get.
She has had the dream of owning a ranch although she has no experience with them. She had never even been up close to a horse. She has the money to do it so she finds a ranch that needs investors and she’ll invest short term if they will teach her how to be a rancher.
Here’s the problem, after their initial meeting and first evening in the family meal where he is an asshat, he calms down and long as Sabrina does everything Kyle thinks is okay and nothing he doesn’t he’s pleasant moving on to hot to trot. But this is a man with a temper, quick to anger, chips all over his shoulders, huge ego, idiotic machismo. Sabrina is amazed she doesn’t feel physically threatened by him when he is angry.
I really enjoyed Sabrina changing from this sheltered girl whose husband just wanted her to stay still during sex, to a sexually fulfilled woman. And, speaking of heat, while it takes a while to get to skin on skin, the heat starts right away.
I have a problem with her being with him, he is not physically violent but he is an emotional jackass and I think a bully. I would not have her end up with a man with his issues until he got some help or took something. I have known of too many women where the guy ‘gets all nice’ temporarily, until something sets him off and he becomes a jerk again. Love will not change him like that. It may help him decide to get help but he needs anger management classes.
On the other hand, it is an idyllic ranch; she names all the horses, and feels bad for the calves being castrated. She is resolute in her wish to make her dream a reality. When they get together it is hot. I would just say that for a woman who had been treated poorly this is more of the same and I just didn’t see them being together as a good idea or realistic. The family is sweet, I loved the feel of the sibling arguments and then affection. If she had gone after the younger brother I would have felt better about it because he is easy going. But for an emotionally abused woman this felt like more of the same. Some of the ranch events seem a little too much, their execution is naive. I’ve planned a lot of events and nothing as complex as this and it’s just written as happening too easily.
The narration was great. Easily understood, a pleasant timbre, good voices. It may have been the voicing of Kyle’s part of dialogue that made me feel he had problems and that I wouldn’t wish him on any woman. There may be a lot more to talk about, but this is what really stuck out to me.
What do you think, is missing a woman going to change a man from a hot head to a nicer man?(less)
Provided by Publishers for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own except as noted.
With skilled narration and writing, this story has a lot to offer. It has a rhythm of place and theme. It has a villain who really isn’t a villain just being destroyed by circumstance, and that leads to understanding the plight of the governess. But, he is helpless to change his course.
I loved the way Noble uses setting and diametrically opposed situations to develop her themes. It is very effective in affecting how we see the characters and in allowing the characters to change believably. For, in returning to home, we can regain our roots and humility.
I especially loved how Noble describes Ned’s coming into his mother’s home and how this creates an upswelling of memory and emotion in his life. That was really brilliant and moving.
Between returning to his childhood home and switching places with his secretary, Ned gets both a glimpse of how lucky he really has been, how much he has forgotten and how he allowed his life to be swept away on the current of his entitlement.
The character and relationship development is also outstanding as each of the three main characters comes up against the circumstances of the plot. The relationship develops slowly and quite believably. And it brings both characters back to themselves and out of what has caused them to shelve their hearts in the first place.
With some interesting twists and turns, the story follows a genre-typical path, but it’s a lovely road upon which we get to travel. And, it can be amusing, though it is mostly heartfelt. Towards the end, the story got quite heated.
The real villain of the piece is really a rather nasty lady. She’s titled by marriage, not birth, but you would think she’d been “to the manor born.”
The narration is skilled and doesn’t overdo the voices of the men – not too much artificial deepening. It was very pleasant and well done.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this story. It has so much to love.(less)
Disclosure: Audio Recording provided by publisher for review on my blog from which this is copied. No remuneration exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
The athlete in this story is representative of the supreme confidence some men are thought to, or indeed do possess. I personally don’t know anyone with the kind of confidence (bordering on arrogance) that Trevor seems to have. But, we’re looking at a fictional athlete; it is likely we would not find someone with this particular brand of arrogance, combined with his likeability, good looks and his own personal issues.
Haven is a little watery — her character seems to flow to the type of person Jaci needed to make the story move forward. She starts off as some one in trouble — she has not recovered emotionally from her father’s death. She’s in a dream career but she seems uncommitted to it. And, despite her intentions she goes from “professional” to sex-kitten in the blink of an eye.
This is one of those “I like him but he doesn’t see me,” and vice-versa stories at the start. A failure to communicate and a BIG secret also make the relationship tenuous after the initial unrequited lust is overcome. There are some business associate who know his big secret who should have found ways to assist him, but they do not help, or perhaps Trevor would have fired them. What do you think, are you tired of Big Secret stories? Trevor is a guy who only churns through women because he has this secret and if he were in a relationship he would have to trust a woman with it. He’s polite, thoughtful, respectful, helps children’s charities and is an all around great guy.
But, when Haven does something that would make his secret come out Trevor gets very pissed. But honestly, I would have been pissed just because of what she had done — even without the secret.
It’s hard to tell, because I listened to an audiobook, whether my experience of the writing is because of the writing or the narration. I suspect it’s the narration. The way Trevor was spoken, he sounded a bit like a lummox, a big old dolt, dumb. I get that the narrator was going for the deep vocal tones of an athlete with a voice powered by his fitness and testosterone (naturally occurring). But, it made me think of Moose, the character in Archie Comics. And, Havens mother sounds about 75, when she is probably somewhere between 55 and 60. Now, I am 53 and I don’t sound like an shaky-voiced little old lady. And, even the ‘little old ladies’ I know don’t sound as old as Haven’s mother. Another thing I had a problem with was her pronunciation of ‘room;’ to me it sounded like ‘realm.’ after the first few times I figured it out.
Otherwise,. I liked having the story to listen to. I may actually take more away form shorter books I listen to rather than read. And the hotness in this was guaranteed to keep my attention riveted. Even though this was the eighth in a series, I really think it stands perfectly well on its own. In retrospect, some of the supporting characters were from one big family and probably some of of the other books. I just thought they were buddies.
I got this as an Mp3 CD which was fairly easy to put on my iphone.
If you like super spicy sports fiction then this is a must read!(less)
Galley provided by publisher for review purposes. No remuneration was received and all opinion presented herein is my own except as noted.
This novella is a series starter filled with more sexual tension and fantasizing than sexual activity. Sure, there’s a little, but it’s “self-serve.”
I thought the character development was some of Joey’s best, although, whew, how repressed is Madison after all? And, the rest of the series promises strange emotional content as Madison goes back and forth on her needs.
I find the idea intriguing, of being left any kind of business with the whole “you need to work it for a year.” idea. That’s pretty D/s right there. After all the late sister is assuming she knows better what Madison needs than does Madison. I guess that was the first test — whether she stays.
There was at least one point involving a deck of cards I did not understand, but in the end it is explained and was an interesting way for the character to explore her thinking. All in all, like everything Joey writes, it’s a thoughtful exploration of a persons sexuality. I look forward to more shorts like this!(less)
Last winter I read a book by Mina Vaughn with a similar titling scheme, HOW TO DISCIPLINE YOUR VAMPIRE, so I thought this would be another paranormal romance book with a bdsm theme. While there are hints of paranormal to it, specifically Greek Myths, they aren’t explored or defined.
I really loved the male love interest, Keaton; he has a great personality and knows more bout Thea than you could learn from a background check. It’s in that knowing the paranormal lurks on the story’s fringe. He’s a rocker who is a great guy to bring home to mom and dad too.
Thea’s a good character as well, until she is driven into being the Domme du Jour with no sexual experience and very quickly. It was an abrupt and startling change in the character’s personality and I didn’t believe it. There just wasn’t enough time given to her character development.
This is a cute love story that would have benefited from having a longer format and less mystique.
This is a Review Redux from February 4, 2012. On July 21, 2014 featured with Review of Mina Vaughn's HOW TO REPRIMAND YOUR ROCKSTAR
Miranda Puckett is a bit of the family screw-up. A string of unsuccessful businesses and jobs has lead to a job chauffeuring vampires around the country in a specially fitted batmobile for Beeline, a new vampire concierge company for the “life-challenged” from Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky. Her first client, Collin Sutherland is on a deadline with and has a hard-candy shell. During the many mishaps Miranda seems to haplessly encounter we see her slowly dissolve his shell to find the rich, gooey vampire underneath it all. I flat out loved each of the 192 pages in this all too short spin off from Molly’s “Nice Girls Don’t” series. Unless you hate both Chick-Lit type stories and Paranormal Romance then this is a Must Read. It’s fun and light but not without its sweet moments. Miranda is someone with whom I, older than the character’s mother, could easily identify. It was a little harder to get in touch with Collin Sutherland and his eventually turning into a good guy was a little harder to see. I like Molly’s style. It’s lightly sexy with a healthy dose of respect for the readers and the characters.
No sense making the review longer than the story; at a $1.99 you can’t really go wrong.
FLYING by Megan Hart: Can You Ever Run Away from Your Issues? Giveaway!
E-Galley and Audio provided by publishers. No remuneration was exchanged. All opinions presented are my own except as noted.
Megan’s stories always leave me in intense admiration of her abilities as a writer and story teller. They are always gritty and push boundaries, and they always have lots of sex. She is incisive, surgical, unflinching as she exposes the heart and souls of her characters in all their beauty and ugliness, often through their sexuality.
It’s hard to like Stella; she’s closed off from herself, from everyone. The only time she feels anything is having sex with a stranger. But, who is she helping or hurting in the scenario? It’s equally hard to like her son, her ex, her friend Craig, or Matthew as we only really see them through her eyes which really don’t see anything with pleasure.
Something awful has happened to Stella, but it takes a long time for Stella to tell us what it is, and even then she cannot believe she has. Until then she did not even tell her best friend. We get very brief glimpses; clues, really once in a while, but it is not for some time that we learn her secret.
When Stella “flies” and “meets” men, she often wears another persona. But, when she goes home her life is still the same with this tragedy closing her off from the world, from herself.
Megan’s books take you past the body parts and the sex acts to the heart of the matter. The sex, when humans are most naked and vulnerable, is the foil against which she operates. The book is not about the sex.
It really is rather amazing. It’s not always pleasant. And, it sure as all hell is not a “romance novel.” Her books are rarely “romance” and I don’t know that I would say they are erotic. The sex scenes are tools for the dissection, the sex is her scalpel.
The writing is excellent, the imagery superb and the dialogue is spot on, genuine, true. The book touches on grief, sex, belonging, admission, pain, loss, love. If Stella never loves again, she will never have to fully face her terrible secret. She can leave this part of herself at home every other weekend, right? Can we ever leave our emotions somewhere, though? Can we fly away from ourselves?
While the ending is uncertain, I certainly wasn’t expecting it and it felt more hopeful than the rest of the book.
I had a hard time understanding what time line the story is in when Stella meets up with her old friend Craig. I think she was reminiscing, but then I am not sure. It was confusing and may have more to do with having listened to the book rather than reading it. At times I liked Abby’s narration and other times I found it grating. Of course, I would find Stella grating at times too. Sometimes she is normal and other times she is shrill, and hard. The language can be rough. If you are completely opposed to hearing the “C” word then you should be prepared. It is used 14 times in the 10.5 hour long narration. Once I got used to it it was okay. Occasionally Abby feels a little too breathy. Other than that she does a good job.
If you have read Megan Hart, you know that in operating on her characters’ hearts she is also entering yours and flaying any part of you with a similar broken quality, and failing that (you have no broken bits) you will feel for the characters. Beyond erotica, her books are just damn good! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!