a wonderfully ideal palate cleanser for those of us that like lightly trashy fantasy in-between our srs bzns fantasy, this series opener hits pretty ma wonderfully ideal palate cleanser for those of us that like lightly trashy fantasy in-between our srs bzns fantasy, this series opener hits pretty much every note just right. there's a nicely imagined world of magical and mugglemundane people, an engaging plot, leads with solid chemistry, and villains that are deeply dastardly (indeed, if there's anything really wrong with this book, it's that everyone is pretty one-note). oh, and, hey, pretty hawt to boot. special bonus points: you know that obnoxious crap where the plot of a standard romance novel is fueled mainly by miscommunication? well, in this book right here, the heroine gets all worried over something imminently practical she's done, starts to get nervous about overstepping her bounds, and the hero says, "wow, i was such a bonehead to have not done that earlier. thanks for being awesome," and then the plot continues on just fine without the unnecessary silliness. i'll definitely be picking up more of Beardsley's stuff....more
Jade has just moved in to an inexpensive apartment over a strip club (hey, it's bourbon street, there's plenty of 'em) that's conveniently owned by thJade has just moved in to an inexpensive apartment over a strip club (hey, it's bourbon street, there's plenty of 'em) that's conveniently owned by the same team that runs the coffee shop she works at next door. keeping tenants in the joint is difficult due to rumors of ghosts in the place, which ultimately turn out to be true. by the end of this story, Jade has to figure out who the ghost is and why it's bugging her, and what she's going to do about hottie landlord.
one of the most solidly written freebies i've come across, this book has clearly seen the blessed red pen of an editor. the story works very well, being neither the comedic fluffy romance you'd expect with the back-of-book blurb, nor a horrific tale of poltergeist harassment, but with a generally nice balance between the two. characters tend to be messy and nuanced, not cardboard good guys. there are actual friendships between women, not just catty chick cut-downs (crazily enough for a romance novel, this book passes the Bechdel test!!). if it wasn't for the eye-rolling insta-romance and the suddenly silly ending, it'd be a solid 4* read....more
well. this whole thing is a hot mess, and exactly the sort of story people would point to when asked why they think a traditional publishing model iswell. this whole thing is a hot mess, and exactly the sort of story people would point to when asked why they think a traditional publishing model is alive and well in this age of easy self-publishing. the only reasons i slogged through to the end were a)i read most of it on a lazy sunday where relaxing with something brainless was a reasonable pursuit and b)sheer stubbornness of not wanting to DNF something at 70% complete.
on the plus side, this ebook was mainly typo-free, which has been an pretty frequent issue with SP books. the cover also appears to be pretty professional and all.
on the minus side... alexa is a werewolf, self-declared as the alpha of her pack. the male alpha is the only person over 20-something in said pack. with these two as examples, apparently, the sole qualification to be alpha here has nothing to do with charisma, leadership, natural dominance, or animal cunning, nope - you just gotta be a brash, selfish idiot. she works in an office where she & the gang openly take hits on secretive creatures of the night, under no kind of charter from the supernatural community (as in, other than a paycheck, i can't figure out why they feel the need to kill some murdering bloodsuckers and go out the bar with others, and i can't figure out why the hit-ees don't just bomb the joint). the plot (such as it is) keeps happening TO her, rather than the other way around. there's an obligatory love triangle that appears to be set up for the sole purpose of having alexa reluctantly-at-first-but-hey-sparks-fly-anyway shag 2 different man friends.
an unlikable protagonist is a real kiss of death for me, and this girl has the mindset of a 22 year old mall bimbo, complete with what all ass-kicking alpha werewolves go "huntressing" in: a wardrobe of playboy bunny baby tees. since a plot doesn't bother to show up until 2/3 of the way through, there's really nothing to entice you to stay in alexa's suburban world. ...more
Brooks' series of sci-fi flavored romance novels is up to a half dozen or so, of which this 4th installment was a kindle freebie.maybe even 2.5 stars
Brooks' series of sci-fi flavored romance novels is up to a half dozen or so, of which this 4th installment was a kindle freebie. it's a good intro to the series, and I'm assuming if you like what's going on here, you'd like the rest of them. there's a lot of details about couples from presumably the first 3 books, so if you don't want to know about their inevitable HEAs, save this one until later. the otherworldly elements are mixed in with a light touch, just a bit of planetary immigration and the idea of multiple species, not a bunch of sketchy faux-science & made-up words to distract with their silliness. sex scenes are graphic and (forgive the pun) earthy - if you like blushing euphemisms about gentle lovemaking, this is not your book. other than the offworld details, this is a pretty by-the-numbers romance novel: boy & girl have to overcome some silly, largely invented obstacle to their budding love. oddly, there's a strong focus on childbearing, with all of the heroines (current & past) being pretty much constantly delightedly pregnant. sure, I get it, that's some kind of shorthand for "stable forever relationship", but for the space captain, the witch, and the farmer to all want the same things out of life seems a little silly.
bottom line: it's a quick, breezy read with engaging characters, but it's a little too silly here & there to completely hold your interest. ...more
if you pick up this sequel, try to devote the time to reading it straight through before you can think too much about the ridiculousness of what's goiif you pick up this sequel, try to devote the time to reading it straight through before you can think too much about the ridiculousness of what's going on in there. 'one foot in the grave' starts out as a fast-paced actioner, and clips along at a pleasingly speedy pace right up until our hero bones returns to cat's life, after which this becomes a silly romance novel complete with all the expected romance novel tropes. in the first book in this series, cat was occasionally hard to like because her naivete came off as stupidity. 4+ years later, at the start of book 2, she's gone through a lot more in life - she's a more worldly leader of a military-style team of vampire hunters; she's confident in her abilities to kick ass and get stuff done. when bones returns from his exile, though, cat's IQ is halved and idiocy takes over. an unnecessarily convoluted plot to free her from a big baddie (a friend of a friend...oddly, the whole "let's just ask him right quick if he'd mind not being a jerk" plan never comes up) gets tossed in the trash due to a stupid slip of the tongue. and perhaps worst of all, bones' "british accent" comes off way more austin powers than james bond (who would never say "shag" when he just wanted to f***)....more
tracking trends in romance novels is an interesting diversion. as a genre, they're generally intended to be popcoreh, 2.5 or 3, somewhere thereabouts.
tracking trends in romance novels is an interesting diversion. as a genre, they're generally intended to be popcorn - all empty calories, just fun to eat - but each style has its tropes. if this was a regency romance, it'd have someone contemplating marrying to save the family's fortunes. if it was a teen romance, there'd be a super angsty love triangle. instead, it's the start to a paranormal series, which means we get a brotherhood. actual brothers this go-around (as opposed to a black dagger sort of brotherhood), but the standard members are there. you have the honest, respectable one to ease you into this world (crikey, he's a hot BMW-driving doctor. you'd introduce him to your mom, and she totally wouldn't give you crap...well, maybe a little about the tatts), and then the next books will of course be about his bad-boy and super tortured brothers, respectively.
it's fun, some asses get kicked, some angst gets worked out, the obnoxious rape trope takes up some small percentage of the story. it's not exactly ground-breaking, but it succeeds very well as popcorn. yum....more
ok, 2.5 stars maybe. to be fair, i did stay up a hair late to finish it.
dear jr ward, why the hell do i still read your trash? don't get me wrong, i rok, 2.5 stars maybe. to be fair, i did stay up a hair late to finish it.
dear jr ward, why the hell do i still read your trash? don't get me wrong, i really like a deliciously trashy book on regular occasion (we're not in black tie discussing 'war & peace' at my house EVERY day after all), but lately, the "deliciously" part is missing from yours. gigundously hulking male rescues beautiful female from some weak baby-powder smelling baddie, epic bouts of multi-orgasmic sex ensue; good guys and bad guys hate each other for no discernible reason. rinse & repeat with the next novel. (view spoiler)[problem was with this one was that you kinda pooped all over your characters with this book and the result is just lazy as all get-out. the most interesting, complex, kick-ass, female character you've ever written (a leather-bound independent assassin iron goddess!!!!) was swiftly reduced to as much as a damsel-in-distress as any other chick in this series (and then some. seriously, she had a tortured enough past without you needing to knock her down to the hero's level by making her a rape victim). lengthening the plot by making it the standard romance novel cliche of failure to communicate just added insult to injury. sigh.
the best part about it was a thoroughly delightful subplot where the sweet gay kid finally gets sophisticatedly seduced by someone who's pleasantly right in the head...and then after chapters of pounding hetero sex, ya cut away without even the slightest suggestion of how that sweet seduction went down. sigh. (hide spoiler)]
you can do better than this. hell, you HAVE done better, and that's probably why i'm still sticking around, hoping you'll do so again.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
by now, we're all familiar with the world of vampire-and-were romance (maybe too familiar at this point, where so many of those worlds seem to be pretby now, we're all familiar with the world of vampire-and-were romance (maybe too familiar at this point, where so many of those worlds seem to be pretty much the same). Singh therefore gets bonus points for shading that into some less-travelled territory with her sci-fi flavored novel. she's deleted the vamps, and added a handful of Anne McCaffrey's psionic talented people to create an interesting spin on the "2 worlds colliding" sort of PNR novel. our heroine is a psy, raised to be purely analytical and without emotion, but her training didn't quite work out and so she's hiding her emotional heart from the autocratic psy hierarchy. she meets a ferocious shapeshifting leopard, sparks fly, passions blaze, and solving a murder mystery is tossed in to boot.
the book throws you right in the action, leaving the reader to piece together what's going on in this world as the story unfolds. it's a familiar literary set up to sci-fi readers, but not at all what I was expecting in a romance novel. the world Singh builds is interesting enough that I may check out future installments, but unfortunately, her writing style can be a bit annoying - she's a fan of short sentences that build on one another ("they were out for blood. psy blood."), which gets real old real quick. a ruthless editor would have made this a marvelous book. ...more
i strikingly similar re-tread of the first "black dagger brotherhood" book, minus the bizarre spelling. a human woman "who never quite fit in with heri strikingly similar re-tread of the first "black dagger brotherhood" book, minus the bizarre spelling. a human woman "who never quite fit in with her life" is swept into a clan of bad-ass vampire warrior buddies sworn to rid the world of the evil vampires. she is, of course, destined to be the life mate of the head bad-ass, necessitating she give up everything to be his one & only (in these sorts of books a woman's life isn't all that interesting until she finds her Destined Big Man). nothing great, nothing horrible, but then again i didn't care for the first BDB book as much as the rest of the series either....more
i had an interesting experiment from this latest trip to the library. i was one of those people that fell totally in love with this se2.5 stars, even.
i had an interesting experiment from this latest trip to the library. i was one of those people that fell totally in love with this series several years ago when LKH was starting out with it. and like pretty much everyone else who was reading along from the beginning, round about book 9 or 10, i finally got frustrated enough to toss that thing across the room and give up on the badly written porn.
the experiment was that i haven't read any of her stuff in a couple of years now (well, except for a re-read of the first 4 or 5 books last year), and i wanted to see if it would still ignite some sort of rage of betrayal response. the answer is, pleasantly enough, nope. at this point, it's all silly fun instead of tragic disappointment.
there's some ballet dancers on the front cover, but people don't make it to the ballet until the last 40 pages or so. no major plot point gets resolved in the least - a bunch of new master level vampires that have shown up for said ballet never leave the city or get their business with the head vamp concluded. what we do get in this tome is several instances of our heroine having extremely satisfying (to the reader!) moments where a lightbulb goes off in her head, and she apologizes for being a hypocritical asshole to her bed buddies & friends. thanks, anita, now if we could just squeeze a little more plot in there, in between random hurried sex sessions, it'd be a whole lot more entertaining for everyone....more
there's a great reason this has been called "the restoration gone with the wind", right up through the WTF ending. fun times romping through 1600s engthere's a great reason this has been called "the restoration gone with the wind", right up through the WTF ending. fun times romping through 1600s england with a farm girl turned courtesan are mostly fun for the lush setting and wonderful sense of place. equally as unlikable and just as compelling as scarlett, amber bounces from bed to bed, making and loosing several fortunes. all the smut scenes are "fade to black" or "and then she rose up from the bed satisfied", which makes it all less tawdry while still being titillating for "Banned in Boston!!!!"
interesting, but not essential, and most definitely the sort of book you can savor chunks at a time while more intently reading another handful of books....more
don't let the blurb in the back of book 1 ("darkest night") fool you - this is not any better of a book. a wayward chaos goddess + the demon of deathdon't let the blurb in the back of book 1 ("darkest night") fool you - this is not any better of a book. a wayward chaos goddess + the demon of death should = a fun and exciting ride, but it's all same-ol same-ol, nothing you haven't seen before, with really uneven sex scenes....more