As a two-time winner, it's that time of year when my world becomes NaNoWriMo and nothing else. With the contest, I'm releasing the cover to the newest...moreAs a two-time winner, it's that time of year when my world becomes NaNoWriMo and nothing else. With the contest, I'm releasing the cover to the newest book that I'll be writing. It's the first in the Vanishing series, and the genre is different than any I've written so far.
Before too many people become disgruntled, I know there are people who want Dark Angels (Warrior, #4), There (Still Standing, #2), and/or Deeper Than Hell (Secrets, #3), but the goal of 50k words in a month requires a fresh start. I can't participate in this marathon while writing a book full of characters and histories that have already been created because I'd spend too much time making sure the previous book(s) ticked and tied with this one. Time is not a luxury when you're writing for NaNoWriMo. With a brand new series, I'd don't have those kinds of concerns. I have a blank piece of paper and an open throttle, and that's exactly what I need to become a three-time NaNoWriMo champ.
Once again, I have Claudia McKinney of Phatpuppy Art to thank for the awesome cover design. For me, the ominous cover says everything that needs to be said about Rainey's story.
This full length novel is going to be creepy (per my daughter) and filled with horror, suspense, and thrills. It's going to have twists and turns that will be balanced out by heart-stopping moments that reinforce the fundamental assumption that eternal love does exist. The ending will be nail-bitingly suspenseful and hair-raisingly horrific. No matter what you think about the book, you will applaud my ability to spin a yarn in a way that makes your heart race, your spine tingle, and your nightmares come to life.
On 11/1/13, enjoy the cover reveal and the blurb. Later, take some time to buy, read, and rate Since Inception (Vanishing#1). It's not like anything you've ever read before, and it's not like anything you'll ever read again. All in a very... very... very good—sadistic—way.
Genre: Horror/Thriller Age: +18 years of age and older (strong sexual situations/violence/ profanity) Book cover Designer: Phatpuppy Art Planned Release Date: 12/9/14
Rainey Kay Billows:
Rainey is a woman who's been haunted her entire life. She's running low on dignity, faith, and a will to live. At least she is until she meets Carter. Something about him tells her things could be different... things will be different. She believes that until the sleepwalker returns and makes her do something she never expected to do. Not to Carter anyway.
She quickly realizes she's willing to sacrifice everything in order to protect the one and only person she's ever loved. For her, Carter is everything and his life is worth anything. Including her own.
Carter Raul Dodson:
Unconditionally loyal, Carter is a man who's no stranger to betrayal. When he meets Rainey, he's smack dab in the middle of his own personal hell. He's divorcing his high school sweetheart and firing his partner and best friend after finding them in bed together. A new relationship is the last thing on his mind until he comes face-to-face with Rainey. After he meets Stormy... Rainey's all he can think about. Morning. Noon. Night.
Luke John Espirit:
Luke is well on his way to becoming a priest when Carter, his friend since childhood and former foster home brother, calls and begs him to help a woman he knows. Luke can tell this woman is not just any woman, and her problems are not the kind that a simple confession can cure. After he meets her and hears her tale, he has to decide if saving her is worth the rules he'll have to break... if she'll tempt him in ways that will keep him from ever becoming a priest.
Will & Wilana Billows:
Rainey's cousins are stereotypical wicked twins who are unnaturally perfect. With every glare, sneer, backhanded comment, they look down upon and condescend Rainey in ways that makes her more self-conscious than normal.
When they team up and toy with her moral and ethical determination to do what's right, Rainey realizes they're after something more than their share of their Gran's inheritance. Without mercy, they take full advantage of Rainey's strengths, using them against her until she's between a rock and a hard place and has almost no option but to give in to their demands in order to save Carter from the world their pulling her down into.(less)
Honestly, Emily's story is a hard one to write, but it is one that must be told. Her life is one worth reading about and learning from in spite of the...moreHonestly, Emily's story is a hard one to write, but it is one that must be told. Her life is one worth reading about and learning from in spite of the atrocities carried out against her and the people she loves and no matter how gut-wrenching they are for us. Emily's fictional tale is a gentle reminder that there are women - in this country and others - who are not given the same freedoms that most of us take for granted... that there are men who think of women as property rather than equals.
I also believe that Emily's trials and tribulations are ones that she must endure (and we must bear witness to) in order for us to appreciate the risks she takes, the sacrifices she makes, and the lengths she will go to make sure all women - not just her and Tess - of the commune have basic rights.
The fact that there are people outside of the commune joining her in her fight gives me a strong sense of justice and reinforces the fact that there are people in the world who do not look away when they see people who are in trouble. They are the characters who give me hope that Emily's life will one day be different.
For your entertainment, I've included pictures of the main characters as I envision them and a brief summary of the traits and characteristics that make them amazing!
Emily Ador Riddle
Emily is described as tall and naturally beautiful. Her puppy dog eyes are so sad that everyone who meets her feels the sorrow that's such a part of her that it might well be a second skin. Unfortunately, the things Emily's seen prevent her from being the happy-go-lucky girl she would be if she weren't a slave to the men of the commune and she hadn't been made to witness atrocities that have changed her life forever. Like any good hero, Emily uses the injustices she's witnessed and the ones she suspects are occurring to strengthen her resolve. She insists on a better life... not just for herself but also for the other women of the commune, and she takes matters into her own hands to get what she wants.
Emily's life is so miserable, her world is so horrific, and her losses are so great that readers will not be able to keep themselves from pulling for her and hoping and praying that the men of the commune get their due. Even more than revenge, the readers will want to see Emily get her well-deserved happily ever after.
Elijah Tope Bryson
Tope is dark, brooding, and brunette. Here's the thing... he is so much more than the sum of his physical characteristics. The characteristics most important and most difficult to convey are the ones that make Tope a character that will have people coming back time and time again. Rather than tell the reader that Tope is kind to anyone and everyone, that he has the patience of a saint, and that he has a protective instinct when it comes to Emily, I've created actions and reactions that prove what a wonderful person he is. With them, the readers see that he is absolutely worthy of becoming a book boyfriend favorite.
Noah R. Babineaux
Noah is the tattooed biker boy who wants what he wants, and he wants Emily. Unlike the other men, he doesn't buy into the notion that the commune needs to be patriarchal. He's convinced it would run better if the women were allowed to make their own decisions and be treated with the respect they deserve. Like Tope, his morals and his ethics make him endearing (no matter how cocky he is). His determination to protect Emily from the men of the commune... to sacrifice himself in order to do that... will have readers falling for him and wondering which man Emily should chose. (less)
I'm excited to reveal that I've written the first book,Left, in a new series,Still Standing.Leftis not a book I'd planned to write. It's a story tha...moreI'm excited to reveal that I've written the first book, Left, in a new series, Still Standing. Leftis not a book I'd planned to write. It's a story that found me and would not let me go until it was done. In fact, I was nearly finished writing Underground (Secrets #2) (84k words) when I had a dream... one that haunted me for the entire day afterward. I tried to stay focused on Underground (Secrets #2), but Left's(Baylee's) story couldn't be silenced. I decided to take an hour and write the first chapter, see if the story was as good as it seemed in my head, send it off to my beta-reader, and let him decide if the story lived or died. His words: "Stop everything you are doing and write this book. It must be told." Because my gut was telling me the same thing, I followed his advice.
I wrote morning, noon, and night. I was so consumed with this story that it woke me in the middle of the night and insisted that I get back to work writing. I've never written anything that went as quick and easy as this book. In four weeks, the book was conceived and written (while working at my full-time job during the day). You read that correctly. This 87,500-word book was written in four weeks. Two weeks later, I've read, re-read, smoothed out some rough patches, and sent it off to the editor (GATHERING LEAVES - Cassie McCown). I'm not sure how long it will take for her to finish the editing, but she and I have agreed on a release date of 9/1/13.
Like every book I've ever written, Left has amazing characters and exciting twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat. Since no story is complete without them, there are tragedies and injustices that will break your heart and make you want to kill characters off yourself. Left is a complicated book that can't be described with just one word. There are times when the characters are warm and emotional right before they become hot and passionate. The story vacillates between heart racing and deeply disturbing.
Characters (as I envision them):
is woman who loves as deeply as she hurts and who is as loyal as she is naive.
is the man Baylee has given the last four years of her life to only to find that he's not nearly the man she's made him out to be in her heart.
is enough of a knight in shining armour to step in when he sees a woman in need and stay with her until she finds her way back from despair.
Let me start the review of Grave Bound by saying this book is an adult contemporary written for audiences 18+. The genre is solid without even a hint...moreLet me start the review of Grave Bound by saying this book is an adult contemporary written for audiences 18+. The genre is solid without even a hint of paranormal, fantasy, or Christian.
There were two reasons for me to make a change with this series. First, I was ready to explore new challenges creatively. Grave Bound absolutely satisfied that need. Second, as soon as I got into these character's lives and their minds, I knew there was no way to do justice to Emily's story - the inequalities, the passions, the betrayals she endured - without removing the boundaries associated with the young adult genre.
Without limitations, this story unfolded easily and every one of its characters instantly became multi-dimensional... layered in a way that made the characters more real (endearing, hateful, desperate, etc.) than they would have been if I'd have stopped the progression of the scenes or filtered the discussions in order to avoid offending. As soon as you begin reading Grave Bound, you will find there are no filters on this story, and I did not play it safe. It and its characters are frank, open, and real, and I hope the risky scenes are, at minimum, viewed as tasteful.
The Warrior Series will always hold a special place in my heart, but The Secrets Series is fast approaching my favorite. I began it for NaNoWriMo 2012, and successfully wrote >50k words in the month of November. Over the course of the next two months, I've made some significant changes, added voices, and finished the first part of Emily's story.
Everything about Grave Bound and its characters were a test in what I could do. 1) How fast can I write a novel? (Answer: 3 months while working a full time job, commuting, and being a mother.) 2) Can I write intimate scenes that don't feel rehearsed or sterile, taking the character's interactions with each other to a level that allows the reader to understand - maybe even feel - exactly how the character feels? (Answer: Of course, the verdict is still out on this, but I gave it the old college try, making sure to ignore my comfort zone and push through so the readers could see... truly... see what Emily was dealing with.) 3) Can I write a story that is not Allison La Crosse's? (Answer: Thankfully, I can. For me, Emily's story is as powerful as Allison's, but the two characters have different hurdles to cross and outcomes to maneuver. Regretfully, Grave Bound took me away from Dark Angels of the Cross, but I'll go back and finish that story. I promise.)
Now, let me talk about the characters. Emily is quietly desperate, determined, loyal, strong, and holds her feelings and opinions in until they can't be ignored another minute. Levi is Emily's knight and shining armor. Levi and Emily's attraction is immediate, and their passion is SUPER-HOT! Tope is strong, silent, and fiercely loyal. He loves Levi enough to give his life for him, and he hates the world Emily lives in enough to go against the grain and fight for what's right. Lorenzo is sick, twisted, and perverted. He's Emily's fiancé as determined by her father and brothers and without her input. Emily's need to get away from the commune has as much to do with getting away from him, as it has to do with anything.
I can honestly say that I love Grave Bound, its characters, and the chain of events we follow. I hope others feel the same. In fact, it is all I can do not to begin writing Underground, today. I want to see where Emily's fate takes her and how she's going to handle her next challenge.
Ella and Micha... could two young people be more messed up yet compliment each other more perfectly? I think not.
Jessica Sorensen has a rare talent w...moreElla and Micha... could two young people be more messed up yet compliment each other more perfectly? I think not.
Jessica Sorensen has a rare talent when it comes to building sexual tension between characters, and The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1) perfectly exemplifies her ability. She hooks you at the beginning by creating characters you instantly adore. Then, she builds a world filled with dysfunction and reality that Ella and Micha must overcome... together.
I actually downloaded this book a few weeks ago and popped it open when I needed to kill some time before an appointment. I found myself wanting to find out what happens to them and between them so I went home and finished reading it. Lucky for me, it is a quick, easy read because I have very little time (most of my books are 'read' via audiobooks on my commute to work).
Go ahead and take a few minutes to fall in love with Ella and Micha AND Jessica Sorensen. You won't be disappointed.
If healing a dying person could kill you, would you do it? That is the question Dr. Allison La Crosse must ask herself every time she gives in to her...moreIf healing a dying person could kill you, would you do it? That is the question Dr. Allison La Crosse must ask herself every time she gives in to her compulsion to save people who are near death. By saving them, she agrees to take on their every symptom... even if those symptoms could kill her.
Journey with Allison as she learns about her ability, falls in love, almost dies, and endures heartbreak. There is no stone left unturned when it comes to the trials and tribulations she must endure. Every one of them more unbelievable than the other and more exhilarating to read.
Colleen Houck has done an incredible job of maintaining The Tiger Saga's excitement, adventure, tenderness, and passion with Tiger's Destiny. I've sai...moreColleen Houck has done an incredible job of maintaining The Tiger Saga's excitement, adventure, tenderness, and passion with Tiger's Destiny. I've said before that this is one of my all-time favorite series, and with its final book, that statement still holds true.
Colleen Houck's ability to tell a great story that is unbelievable—yet believable—is one of her many talents. She is just as phenomenal at creating characters who are so relatable that the reader has no choice but to laugh when the characters laugh, cry when the characters cry (very real crocodile tears), and love when the characters love.
I'm not going to give anything away. This saga is too special for someone (other than Colleen Houck) to tell about it. In order to fully enjoy Tiger's Destiny, you must read it, experience it, and fall in love with it yourself. That can't be done if you get bits and pieces because they will absolutely spoil the adventure and rid you of the angst you must feel as you try to theorize about the character's destinies as the story plays out.
In my opinion, Colleen Houck wrapped the series up perfectly while leaving the tiniest opening for it to continue should she ever want to resurrect The Tiger Saga. For that, I'm thankful because as soon as I finished, I felt that familiar letdown that has followed the ending of every one of the The Tiger Saga's book. No matter how nicely everything was wrapped up, I still want more Kelsey, Ren, Kishan, and Durga.
The Immortal Rules is one of those books that takes you - first - by surprise and - second - for the ride of your life. It is anything but another vam...moreThe Immortal Rules is one of those books that takes you - first - by surprise and - second - for the ride of your life. It is anything but another vampire book. It's a romance that leaves you wanting more... hoping for more.
Equally amazing for me is the fact that Julie Kagawa wrote The Immortal Rules. I read and loved The Iron King, The Iron Daughter, The Iron Queen, and The Iron Knight. If I didn't know Julie Kagawa was the author of both series, I never would have suspected. Everything about them (the writing, the characters, the switch from fantasy to paranormal) is so different. Don't get me wrong, The The Immortal Rules is as good as any book in The Iron Fey Series. This book just shows how versatile Julie Kagawa can be and what a wonderful author she really is.
Allison Sekemoto reminds me of Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. She does what she needs to do to survive and protect the few people she loves. Then, there's Zeke. What can I say about him? Morally and ethically he's her equal, but unfortunately, he's been brainwashed his entire life to hate that which she's become. I don't want to give anything away, so I won't elaborate. Just trust me on this. Allie and Zeke's journey is one worth taking!
I'm embarrassed to say that I purposefully avoided Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) for a long while. I'm not a fan of the whole Cinderella story being to...moreI'm embarrassed to say that I purposefully avoided Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) for a long while. I'm not a fan of the whole Cinderella story being told and retold. Mistake. Big mistake. Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) is so deep and so unique that there is barely any way to compare it to Cinderella... or any other book.
There is so much to love that I'm not sure where to begin. I think I will start with the fact that Marissa Meyer created a heroine who is physically impaired. Those very flaws are those which make her the most endearing. Cinder's fixation with hiding parts of her that have made her who she is forces you cheer for her to embrace it, shout her pride from the highest rooftops, and trust that anyone worth loving will not care.
I can't help but believe that this story could and should be an inspiration for people of all ages who are suffering from their own deformities, stumps, and burns. As a former pediatric intensive care nurse, I understand how important it is for those young adults to have role models, even if they are fictional characters.
Making Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) as wonderful as anything is the layering of this story. Marissa Meyer does not shy away from anything no matter how uncomfortable. She reinforces our beliefs that 1) all relationships are complicated, 2) world health is every one's responsibility, 3) social injustices are unacceptable, 4) unconditional love is a basic necessity, and 5) world (universe) peace is worth dying for.
I highly recommend everything about Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1).
Insurgent is one of those books that messes with your psyche and makes you question every character, their motives, and their actions. Veronica Roth i...moreInsurgent is one of those books that messes with your psyche and makes you question every character, their motives, and their actions. Veronica Roth is so talented that those who betray Tris might well have betrayed me because the acts felt so personal and were so unexpected. At the same time, I love the way she takes Tris's worst enemies and turns them into humans who are capable of good and proves this theory by giving them unexpected (and important) roles in Tris's journey.
Insurgent is as amazing as Divergent, and the ending can only be described as jaw dropping. I, for one, can't wait for Untitled (Divergent #3).
Clary, Jace, and Simon are back and better than ever in City of Lost Souls. Sebastian does a great job at replacing Valentine and manipulating Jace......moreClary, Jace, and Simon are back and better than ever in City of Lost Souls. Sebastian does a great job at replacing Valentine and manipulating Jace...much to Clary's dismay. Clary is as headstrong and committed as she's ever been...much to Simon - and her mother's - dismay.
Truly, I loved City of Lost Souls and felt as if I'd been transported back to the day when I first read City of Bones and immediately deemed it one of my favorite books of all time. It is that good.
As always, I am enviously amazed at the way Cassandra Clare uses her talents to draw us into every one of the character's trials, tribulations, and emotions (love, hate, fear, and insecurities). She has a masterful way of making you feel like you have a stake in each of their challenges.
In City of Lost Souls, love... blood... betrayal... revenge definitely collide and every lover of paranormal/fantasy will want to take part. If you haven't begun this series, you should. If you've read every other book in the series except this one, you should right that wrong immediately. You will not be disappointed.
Tiger's Voyage is another wonderful book within one of my favorite series to date. Colleen Houck is a phenomenal author who has done a great job writi...moreTiger's Voyage is another wonderful book within one of my favorite series to date. Colleen Houck is a phenomenal author who has done a great job writing a story filled with heart-squeezing romance, unbelievably believable fantasy worlds, and spine-tingling adventures. Honestly, I can't say enough positive things about this timeless saga.
The characters. From the main ones to the supporting ones, they are created and molded until they are perfect. Their every action and reaction believable...frustrating...and amazing. Kelsey, Ren, Kishan, and Mr. Kadam have come to feel like old friends.
The settings. Each and every one of the fantasy worlds traveled to during this version of the quest are described in a manner where I can easily visualize its traits, its magnificence, and its dangers.
The love triangle. Oh my Goodness! What can I say about that? It's masterful. One minute, I'm pulling for one brother. The next, I'm pulling for the other. I'm not sure Kelsy could lose with either Ren or Kishan. There is definitely only one who can hurt her to the core. When he does, I feel her ache as if it were my own.
I love this series so much, I've spent several weeks reading and re-reading it. This is important to mention because I almost never re-read a book. I have so little leisure time that going back over a book where I already know the final outcome is rare. I've made the exception with The Tiger Saga because of all the great details that I missed the first time. The excitement and anticipation prevented me from appreciating the lengths Colleen Houck went to to create this fascinating story.
I won't give anything away, but Tiger's Voyage ends in such a surprising manner that fans like me will be rabidly awaiting Tiger's Destiny's release. I for one...I can not wait!
Tiger's Quest (The Tiger Saga #2) had so many parts to it that I literally felt as if I'd read three seperate books once it was over...all equally ama...moreTiger's Quest (The Tiger Saga #2) had so many parts to it that I literally felt as if I'd read three seperate books once it was over...all equally amazing. I said with Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga #1) that Colleen Houck had instantaneeously morphed into one of my favorite authors. This book solidified my devotion to her and her phenomenal story-telling ability. Even my eight-year-old son has shown an interest in reading the Tiger Saga. I'm going to encourage him with his plan to read it as virosiously as I would if he'd planned to read the entire Harry Potter series.
Because I loved the characters so much in Tiger's Curse, I'm glad Tiger's Quest (The Tiger Saga #2) provided more, more, and more of Kelsey, Ren, Kishan, and Mr. Kadam. These are all characters who will soon be as well known as Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, Cato, Primrose Everdeen, and Gale Hawthorne. Once this happens, I'm confident everyone will agree that this series is equally deserving of that level of attention.
Without adding spoilers, Tiger's Quest (The Tiger Saga #2) will make you feel like your heart has been ripped from its cavity, and it's done in such a way and at such an unexpected moment that you are all the more shocked when it happens.
Stay tuned for my review of Tiger's Voyage (The Tiger Saga #3).
This is an AMAZING... PHENOMENAL... WONDERFUL series, and it has instantly shot to the top of my personal all-time favorite series list. I should ment...moreThis is an AMAZING... PHENOMENAL... WONDERFUL series, and it has instantly shot to the top of my personal all-time favorite series list. I should mention that I have three series tied for the top spot honors, meaning I could never choose between them. All are equally great in their own way.
In awe of this story, I could go on for pages and still not do justice to Colleen Houck 's brilliance as it relates to this series. Instead, I will say Tiger's Curse is a perfect beginning to this amazing story. You can't keep yourself from falling in love with the very meek, extremely gentle, and absolutely endearing characters. I'm in love with every last one of them: Kelsey, Ren, Kishan, and Mr. Kadam.
The story is as intriguing as the characters. We are not forced to like anything about it. The aspect which makes this better than the rest is the way Colleen Houck allows us to fall in love with each and every character through their actions, their stories, and their love of each other. Also, she has a talent for making the reader curioius. I found myself mentally planning a visit to India because of her beautiful descriptions.
This is another one of those stories that can easily be appreciated by anyone. The book gives us plenty of action and lots of wonderfully intimate moments. There is nothing (sex or profanity) that would make me shy away from recommending to avid readers younger than eighteen. Honestly, Tiger's Curse is a great read for anyone and everyone. As I said earlier, there are few that I would recommend higher.
Torment is a strong follow-up to Fallen. In it, we are reunited with our favorite characters (Luce, Daniel, and Cameron) and are introduced to several...moreTorment is a strong follow-up to Fallen. In it, we are reunited with our favorite characters (Luce, Daniel, and Cameron) and are introduced to several new ones (Miles and Shelby), who are memorable enough for us to long to see - much - more of them in future books.
Torment's greatness lies in the way the readers are gradually and gently introduced to Luce's abilities, her new world, and her and Daniel's history. There's is one filled with love, passion, and grief.
As with Fallen, I'm constantly perplexed about which characters to trust and love and which ones I should distrust and hate. I'm completely sympathetic to Luce's dilemmas when it comes to particular conflict. At the same time, I enjoyed the level of suspense creating by the unknown because it makes this story more amazing and tender and tumultuous.
For those looking for a young adult series that can be read by almost anyone, the Fallen series is for you. It's filled with love and action. It rises above other stories by proving great books don't have to be consumed with sex and profanity in order to get the world's attention. For that, I applaud Lauren Kate.
**spoiler alert** WHAT A FINALE!! Really...I'm not sure it could have been any better!
I loved the way E.L. James began Fifty Shades Freed. Instead of...more**spoiler alert** WHAT A FINALE!! Really...I'm not sure it could have been any better!
I loved the way E.L. James began Fifty Shades Freed. Instead of walking us through the 'same old, same old'. She moved us ahead and let us relive some of the not too far back memories in a way that felt refreshing and new (just like everything else with this series).
E.L. James has a way of telling a story that prevents you from walking away from it. Every chapter ends with cliffhanger, and every book (even the last) ends in such a way that you have absolutely no choice but to download immediately the next and keep reading. Be prepared to sacrifice sleep and ignore the family while you zoom your way through this unique and endearing story.
My biggest complaint has nothing to do with this heartwarming series, its realistic characters, or the phenomenal author. It has everything to do with the people who hate this genre and feel the need to make their very negative opinions public. My favorite negative reviewers are those coming from the people who hated Fifty Shades of Grey so much that they bought, read, and rated every book in the series. With those reviews and in my mind, I quote Shakespeare, "The lady (man) doth protest too much, methinks."
I'm just not sure who in the world can hate (with so much passion) a book that's underlying message is unconditional love. This is the story about a man who was beaten, battered, and abused - the reasons for his very, very dark nature - finding that unconditional love can help him be the man that he wants to be. It is powerful to see his transformation from a man embracing turmoil and darkness to a man who is in love and carefree...a man who concludes that he does not have to live the life he witnessed as a small child or let the affects of it shape him as an adult.
I can only speak for myself personally, but when I think back on this very moving series, my favorite parts of the book have nothing to do with the extremely detailed sex scenes. Honestly, there were some that I just had to skip. Instead, my heart remembers fondly the sweet and bonding moments that were unrelated to sex and had everything to do with falling in deep and meaningful love.
I'm not sure there has ever been a series like this...but I'm sure there will never be another. It's unique qualities can't be reproduced. Despite this book's predominant genre, I don't regret one minute I spent reading it. Great job and congratulations, E.L. James!
**spoiler alert** As much as I loved Fifty Shades of Grey, this book is where the series hooks you. We begin not only seeing but also becoming angry o...more**spoiler alert** As much as I loved Fifty Shades of Grey, this book is where the series hooks you. We begin not only seeing but also becoming angry over every childhood tragedy behind the darkness plaguing Ana's beloved Christian. Believe me, it doesn't get much darker.
Christian was born and raised for the first four years of his life by a drug-addicted prostitute (left with her dead body for four days before being discovered), beaten and burned by his mother's pimp, and sexually abused as a teenager by one of his adopted mother's best friends. Man, who wouldn't be fifty shades of messed up after living through all that. (All of this comes to light in book one and pretty early in the second book. so I don't really consider this information a spoiler.)
Through Ana's non-stop probing, we find out all these things gently and gradually so that not one of them is too overwhelming. With his responses and her reaction to them, we understand completely how she can fall in love with such a domineering man. Like her, we accept 1) the fact that he still believes he is the little boy who was put in uncontrollable situations, 2) the reasons he never wants to go back, and 3) how difficult it is for him to understand that he must evolve if he wants kind, sweet, and gentle Ana to stay with him forever.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the slap heard around the world in this book. There will not be a reader who regrets the way E.L. James masterfully embeds it into the storyline.
One of the reasons this series is great is because there is always so much more to everything than that which meets the eye. There are reasons behind every action and reaction. I, as a lover of great books and an author, I adore books like this. I appreciate how difficult it is to write people, scenes, and settings that are this layered and complicated. This series is more than an erotica. It's a romance (which makes your heart race with love). It's an action and adventure (which makes your heart race with excitement). It's just plain amazing.
I'm left feeling pity for those who are superficial and can't appreciate the masterpiece created by E.L. James. It would be comparable to someone saying that they hate Pretty Woman because Julia Roberts was a prostitute. I promise you that if you say you like Pretty Woman...no one automatically assumes you want to be or bed a prostitute. It means that you like a good love story. That theory holds true with the entire Fifty Shades series. Take it for what it is and don't hate yourself for liking it.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again...I'm in awe of E.L. James and her ability to make this villainous man not only human but a lovable human.
Fifty Shades of Grey should absolutely positively NOT to be judged by its c...(uh. um.) genre. If you do, you will miss out on one of the best series...moreFifty Shades of Grey should absolutely positively NOT to be judged by its c...(uh. um.) genre. If you do, you will miss out on one of the best series and the most endearing, interesting, polarizing, and passionate characters I've ever encountered. Having read many, many books, this is a profound promise.
First, let me get my disclaimer out of the way lest anyone thinks I'm into reading or writing erotica. Fifty Shades of Grey is not a book I would have traditionally purchased (certainly am not recommending for young adults) because - like the rest of the world - I had stereotyped it. Erotica is a genre I don't read. I read (and write) paranormal and fantasy romance, and I'm pretty exclusive with them.
Regardless of what you've read, heard, or assumed, you should always remember that this is a love story before it is anything else. Unfortunately, that very important point is overshadowed by the erotica and BDSM (I don't even know what that stands for and am afraid to look it up) categories prominently tagging the series.
As an author, I'm always curious about a book (series) powerful enough to blow past books like the Hunger Games Series and win the honors of the coveted best selling spots. With apprehension, I began my research and headed straight for the reviews. Most scathing. Others praising. The negative reviews were so passionate I knew the series had to have something within its covers to make these people feel strongly enough to take time to leave a review. Now, I know I was right. I was shocked repeatedly by this story line but never disappointed.
I can without question relate with some of the reviewers' complaints. There were things in this book that made me uncomfortable. In fact, I told my husband I wished there was a 'clean' version of it. But, my agreement with the people demeaning this book/author stops right there. Ana and Christian's story requires details, and believe me, the sex scenes are not just there to be there. Each and every encounter had a well thought out and beautifully told purpose. They bond these characters in a way nothing else could. E.L. James is masterful at what she does, and I'm in awe.
The ending of this book is such that I'm left saying 'What the heck?' and immediately downloading Fifty Shades Darker.
This novella is more about Ash and Puck's relationship than anything. Making it all the more special is the fact that it is told by Puck and his point...moreThis novella is more about Ash and Puck's relationship than anything. Making it all the more special is the fact that it is told by Puck and his point of view. Summer's Crossing gave us a glimpse into Puck's mind and made him even more endearing.
With this book, we were able to see the battle between Leanansidhe and Queen Titania while enjoying the latest adventure for the Prince and Goodfellow. Actually, King Oberon's absence and jealousy gives us some insight to him as well.
By way of a short story, this is great fix for those desperate for more of the Iron Fey series and Julie Kagawa.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The Iron Fey Series is a great series. The Iron Knight does not disappoint when it comes to action (especi...moreI've said it before, and I'll say it again. The Iron Fey Series is a great series. The Iron Knight does not disappoint when it comes to action (especially the action), adventure, and love.
No longer abstract or vague, 'the end of the world' has a whole new meaning after reading The Iron Knight. For the rest of my life the phrase will immediately remind me of Julie Kagawa and love trials.
As has become customary, there are new faeries to fall in love with, and the morals and ethics and love are buried so deep into the storyline, they feel just like another of the endearing and familiar characters.
My one and only complaint - and God knows I hate to complain about a phenomenal book - is the absence of my favorite heroine, Meghan, throughout the majority of the book. I understand the reason AND the importance, but I missed her like I would miss a dear friend whose house I was visiting while she was away for the weekend.
In the end, I found myself longing for the day when a new adventure - including Meghan, Ash, Puck, Grimalkin, and...the Big Bad Wolf - gets published.