Thursday, October 31, 2013

Book Review: Undead and Underwater

                                         Today's review is on Undead and Underwater by MaryJanice Davidson

It isn't very often that I keep reading a book that I'm not really interested in beyond about 25% of the way through, but I kept looking for Betsy. I mean, the book has the classic Undead and .... blurp. I guess I should have looked at the cover a bit more closely.

Before even reaching my favorite vampire couple, I had to read through a less than perfect story about a new character to MJD's writing world. Super Girl features the unlikely hero Karen Kilher who works as the HR administrator for Ramouette, a company that makes iron silhouettes for shooters. She's pretty much always late for work, often has to leave for some reason and come back later, many times has to leave work early, and can eat anything and yes, I mean ANYTHING.

Poor Karen really doesn't have much of a personal life, what with HRing and Heroing, but that all changes when Jamie Linus walks into her office to fill out the new hire paperwork. And that my dear friends is where the story begins it's downward dive. About 12 pages in. What follows is nothing short of transparent. You know exactly what's coming and what's going. But besides that, it's totally rushed. Where is the character development? Where is the danger? Where is the couple's dynamic?

None the less, I kept reading. "Finally", I thought to myself when I came to Betsy and Sinclair's names. "Now this book will become interesting." But alas, it didn't. It was another let down. Yes, I loved being reminded of my hometown; Boston Rocks!, but there wasn't the usual banter, sex, banter again between Betsy and Sinclair. In fact, there was hardly any Sinclair!! It was more about Fred the mermaid and some crazy guy set out to destroy all of the undersea Folk. Even Betsy had a minimal part and that wasn't even interesting.

I guess I was just being a glutton for punishment because I continued reading. I was already more than halfway through the book after reading the actual Undead and Underwater section by then. It couldn't get worse, could it?

Thankfully Incomer; the final novella in this terrible book, was enjoyable. The plot was a bit weak, as was the danger and love/romance/sex aspects, but I could see how it could have been developed into a full length book of it's own. Except where MJD tried to connect the three stories with Laura Wyndham; the new pack Alpha of the Wyndham pack, calling both Betsy and Fred. That was simply unnecessary and didn't really fit in with the story at all. I did however enjoy the connection Laura and Jack had. Where is my wolf mate when I need him? Yes baby, lets make a mess in the kitchen!

I'm not sure if I want to read any more of MJD's Undead books. The 10th installment didn't really impress me much. I'm debating on whether I should even read number 11, but it does talk about poor Marc’s death and how it changed her future. Yeah, I guess I'll give it one more chance.

I don't know if it's just me, the number of books I read and their quality, or the diminishing quality of MJD's books; and other authors I have loved. However you look at it, I'm just not comfortable giving Undead and Underwater much praise.

2 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Book Description: via Amazon

Undead and Underwater
Betsy, queen of the undead, and Fred, the dour could’ve-been-a-princess mermaid, reluctantly team up to help a mutual friend in trouble. After all, a friend in need is a friend who, well, can really test your patience—because Betsy and Fred aren’t exactly BFFs. What they do have in common is the source of the problem: a man. And what’s more troubling than love?

Super, Girl!
Meet Karen Kilher, human resources representative and round-the-clock superhero. Born with the ability to convert anything she eats into crime-fighting energy, Karen is now faced with her toughest challenge: the sexy new hire who has a mad crush on her. But how does Karen break the news that she’s more of a Wonder Woman than he can imagine? She’d better think of something fast, because letting this guy go would be a crime.

Crying Wolf
As leader of the Pack, it’s Lara Wyndham’s job to usher her breed to safety after the cataclysmic Kardashian Riots of 2025—and fend off the advances of Jack Gardner, a sexy Packer with alpha urges and a knack for getting into trouble. No matter how bad Lara wants it, she doesn’t need it. Not that intoxicating scent of his, or his talented mouth, or that perfect ass. Then again…

Monday, October 28, 2013

Book Review: Bella Key

                                                            ***Intended for Adults Only***                                              

                                                Today's review is on Bella Key by Scarlet Chastain

Though I'm not really a girl on girl type of chick, the voyeur in me won out, and I have to say that I was a bit turned on by Bella Key.

I have always been a firm believer in the fact that the written word trumps TV, movies, and video's. For instance, watching porn may turn you on but it leaves nothing to the imagination.

When I read a book all of my senses come into play. I can smell the ocean, I can hear the rain, I can feel the caress, and I can picture everything playing out in my head. Now that; in the case of erotic books, leaves me hot and heavy.

I have read a lot of erotic pieces and had the opinion that all should have hot and descriptive sex. Now, with the help of this non de plume author, I have a better understanding between the erotic genre and erotica genre. As she said, "The beauty of erotic romance (versus erotica) is varying heat levels. Some stories warrant a fierce thunderstorm complete with lightning bolts, others require a rain shower." Bella Key is one that requires the rain shower.

Maddie Jacobs seems to have it all. She has a great job and the perfect boyfriend. But no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. Though she knows that her boyfriend totally adores her and he treats her like a princess, there's just no spark and she doesn't really know why.

Between her mother's constant reminders about her biological clock and the proposal of marriage from her boyfriend she realizes that it's just to much. Her fight or flight instincts kick in and she "runs away". On a whim, Maddie decides to head to Bella Key for the weekend. Little did she know that this spur of the moment decision would forever change her life.

Once she's at Bella Key, Maddie heads out in search of a place to stay. After a quick check on the internet she decides to stay at Sunny's Bed and Breakfast only to find that it's closed awaiting repairs to the A/C.(Living on an island myself I can relate to "everything being slow, including the workers.") All is not lost however, she is offered to stay free of charge by Sunny herself.

The two women become fast friends and Maddie is given the chance to explore and experience her attraction to other women.

Though I have never read anything written by this non de plume author, I'm heading over to Amazon to check out her other books in the erotica genre. If this tickled my fancy I can only imagine what the others will do to me.

Hot and Heavy here I come!

4 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Book Description: via Amazon

Maddie Jacobs must be crazy. At least that’s what her mother thinks. Professionally, she’s confident and secure; personally, she’s a hot mess. Not even a marriage proposal from a man who adores her can quell her search for something more.

In need of an escape, Maddie flees to Key West’s most southern island, Bella Key, to rest and recharge at Casa Bonita. She almost gives up on the weekend retreat when the Bed & Breakfast is closed for repairs until Sunny Rojas, the inn owner, extends an offer of friendship, sweet tea and a room. Still reeling from a breakup with her longtime partner, Sunny is thankful for the diversion from her own broken heart.

The arrival of a fierce storm forces the women’s emotional journey to a head and leads them into each other’s arms. But can Maddie throw her hangups to the wind and go with her heart? The magic of Bella Key teaches her that passion cannot be placed neatly into boxes labeled right and wrong, because love knows no boundaries.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Review: Circle of Lies

     Today's review is on circle of Lies by Sara Dailey & Staci Weber

I was hoping there would be some growth with this second installment of the Red Ridge Pack series, and while there were no inconsistencies like the first it still needs a little work. In fact, I feel that this one seriously lacked some originality.

In the first book we learn that Allison and Aiden's mother is a werewolf and that they are too. While book one focuses on Allison finding her true mate, this book focuses on Aiden doing the same. The only real difference between the two is that Aiden's true mate is a human. Sound like what happened with his mom and dad? Exactly!! Not to original.

We also learn that Marcus is actually Aiden's father, not the man who raised him. And as the eldest son of the Alpha, Aiden is expected to become the next in line. What does that mean for Cade? What happens now? Well we don't really find out until the very last sentence that pretty much tells you what is going to happen in book three. Talk about giving to much away.

The crisis of this story does have some merit but not very much. It lacks any real substance and falls apart to easily. Don't get me wrong, it did pique my interest if only for one chapter. Perhaps if the authors spent less time on copying almost the exact events from book one and more on the "bad guy reveals that werewolves are real" part, the overall book would have been better. I guess we'll never know.

2.5 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Book Description: via Amazon

Aiden Wright is trying to figure out who he really is, but the truth could cost him his true mate—or his life.

Life has always been easy for Aiden Wright. He’s smart, athletic, funny, and the ladies adore him. But when tragedy strikes, Aiden discovers the truth about who he really is and his whole world comes crashing down around him. Aiden thought that being a teenage werewolf was going to be awesome, but it might just cost him the one girl who could make him whole.

Since her mother’s disappearance, Teagan Rhodes’s life has been littered with her father’s empty beer cans and his hollow promises to change. Convinced that others would only let her down, she keeps everyone at arm’s length—but resisting Aiden’s charm is proving to be more difficult than she thought. Throw in a psychotic werewolf hunter out to terminate the species and one wrong move, one wrong decision could destroy everything.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Book Review: Pack of Lies

      Today's review is on Pack of Lies by Sara Dailey & Staci Weber

I'm a bit conflicted with my opinion of Pack of Lies. On the one hand I actually enjoyed it. But on the other...well, there's a lot of room for growth. There were some inconsistencies that just bug the hell out of me. There were also quite a bit of times where there should have been contractions used. I mean writers should write how "normal" conversation flows right?

The beginning of the story starts out with the heroine, Allison Wright, engaged in a fight at school. While the principal takes the other girl, Allison is to report to the counselor. Seeing that this is her third fight since the beginning of the school year, and it's only October, I can't see her being sent to the counselor in today's times or in the past. Even if she wasn't the one to start the fights.

So what happens in the counselor's office? The counselor tells Allison that this is basically her last chance before being sent to an Alternative Education School. Though she doesn't want to say it, she also offers Allison some advice and life lesson. All the girls at school hate her because “Females can be catty, conniving, evil bitches. And for the most part, we don’t like women who are better looking than we are.” Then she continues by saying, "you are taller, stronger, and more beautiful than any other girl in this school, and let’s face it child, you have a killer body too." Now yes, the first quote is extremely true of high school girls and lets face it, a lot of adult women as well. But what counselor would say that?

Poor Allison is at the end of her rope by this time. She has no friends; while her brother Aiden is Mr. Popular, and she doesn't know why she can't seem to control her anger. But that's about to change. After years of secrecy, their mother tells them that she is a werewolf and that both of them are too. As if that isn't a big enough shocker mom tells them that in order to "help" them deal with this new information the family is moving to Red Ridge to live with their pack.

Blah Blah Blah happens and then Allison experiences her first shift and finds that it not only feels comfortable being a wolf, but that she finally feels like she is home. Then, while running around the estate, she bumps into another wolf whom she instantly falls head over heels for. But this is no ordinary guy. He's the Alpha's son Cade, the soon to be Alpha. Not only that, he's also spoken for.

Kendall Stuart, Cade's girlfriend as well as intended mate, is definitely an Alpha. An Alpha bitch that is, and she will do anything to maintain her status in the pack. When she finds out that Cade and Allison have been "seeing" each other her claws really come out. With the help of a rogue werewolf, Kendall may have her way as well as her revenge.

Here's where the biggest problem of the book lies. This rogue werewolf shows up in the story all mysterious and tough, but then he turns out being a stupid flunky. What happened there? He's suppose to be all badass. He was kicked out of his own pack!! Villain 101: Badass stays Badass.

I'm scheduled to read the next book in this series, Circle of Lies, and I'm hoping that there is some improvement and growth in the writing. Besides that, I have to know what happens next. A book series has to be pretty bad for me not too.

3 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Book Description: via Amazon

Seventeen-year-old Allison Wright is convinced she’s losing her mind. Uncontrollable mood swings, hot flashes, and the urge to punch anyone who gets in her way are suddenly becoming everyday occurrences. Before her erratic behavior gets out of hand, Allison’s mother finally comes clean about her dark secret. Mom is a werewolf, and soon Allison and her brother Aiden will suffer the same fate. When Allison reaches her breaking point, the family leaves their life in Texas to move to Red Ridge, New Mexico where they rejoin the pack that Allison’s mother left behind almost 20 years ago.

Unfortunately, not everyone in Red Ridge is thrilled about Allison’s arrival, especially when she attracts the attention of the very handsome, very taken, soon-to-be alpha, Cade Walker. Little does Allison know, her mere presence is causing a rift in a once unified pack. Not only has Cade been forbidden from being with Allison by his father, the pack’s alpha, Cade’s girlfriend, Kendall Stuart, will stop at nothing to get Allison out of the picture. Well on her way to becoming the next alpha’s mate, Kendall expects to rule the pack by Cade’s side even if it means teaming up with a rogue werewolf with an agenda of his own. Determined to get rid of Allison permanently, when Kendall and the rogue join forces, all hell breaks loose and no one in the pack is safe, especially not Cade and his true mate.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Book Review: Jax & the Beanstalk Zombies

****CONTENT WARNING: Fans at the ready, please. Graphic sexual content bound to steam up your e-reader!****

Today's review is on Jax & the Beanstalk Zombies by Avery Flynn

I have had the pleasure of reading several books by Flynn. Temptation Creek, Seduction Creek, and Up A Dry Creek. With that being said, when she asked me if I would be interested in looking at this short, I jumped at the chance. True to Flynn's style and flair, Jax & the Beanstalk brings all the sexy without being vulgar or degrading.

Treasure Hunter Victoria Kwon was in the store trying on her bridal gown when her fiance called to break up with her. Yes, I said called. What a major J-E-R-K! Although she was devastated by this turn of events so close to the actual Wedding Day, she was able to not only pull herself up, but she opened her own business and had become quite successful.

Southern, ex-fiance, Jax Taylor is also a Treasure Hunter, and a drop dead, sex on a stick, handsome one at that. He's been trying to juggle his treasure hunting business with taking care of his mother. He only takes jobs that are close to home and refers all the others to Victoria, with one caviat. The customers cannot tell her who the referral came from.

Antoine is not only a dear friend to both Jax and Victoria, he was their mentor as well. Now he's calling in a favor, and it's a favor that could cost the former lovers their lives. That is if they can keep their hands to themselves *wink, wink*.

I love it when an author takes a crack at rewriting a Nursery Rhyme and makes it their own. I like it even better when it comes out good, and Flynn does just that with her rendition of Jack and the Beanstalk.

A great short story! Now can you do one with Cinderella for me?

4.5 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Book Description: via Amazon

You know there’s trouble ahead when zombies aren’t your biggest worry.

The treasure hunter… Veronica Kwon is determined to be the only person in control of her destiny. After surviving a broken engagement and turning her back on her wealthy manipulative father, she’s started a treasure hunting company and is ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

The ex-fiance… Jax Taylor is a Southern charmer with enough sex appeal to melt the polar ice caps. He disappeared three months before their wedding and swore he’d never cross paths with Veronica again.

The magic beanstalk… Brought together again by their dying mentor, who has found three enchanted beans, Veronica and Jax agree to an uneasy partnership. Together they’ll climb a magic beanstalk to the cloud kingdom, but will their destiny be the riches they so desire, the passion they thought dead…or will the undead get them first?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Book Review: Talon, Come Fly With Me

                                     Today's review is on Talon, Come Fly With Me by Gigi Sedlmayer

Talon, Come Fly With Me is the first book in Sedlmayer's Talon series and is the first book that I have read by this author. Due to the obligations, illnesses, and daily life events that come with being a mom, it has taken me a long time to finally sit down and read it.

My first impression was that there were some formatting issues between the copy that I was given and the Kindle edition that is for sale on Amazon. That, in and of itself, doesn't really impact the story line, it just makes it more difficult for the reader. It interrupts the flow of reading and therefore should be addressed. And yes, young children do read on their parent's, or sometimes their own readers.

Matica and her Missionary parents move from Australia to a remote village in Peru. Though the native Indians generally accept her parents and younger brother, Matica is not accepted. She has a growth disability that makes her different from everyone else, and it is this disability that keeps the villagers at an arms length.

With no friends, Matica turns to the mighty condors and finds “someone” finally accepts her. It's not until her condor friends need help protecting their egg that the villagers finally begin to let go of their fears. They begin to see Matica in a different light, making her a very popular girl.

Geared towards the elementary school reader, Talon is an underdog story that I think many kids may enjoy. After all, there's poachers, danger, and dead lizards. What's not to love?

3 of 5 stars
Available at Amazon

Book Description: via Amazon

Talon: Come Fly With Me, is about the life of nine-year-old girl, Matica. Matica lives in a remote village on a dry plateau in the Andes of Peru. She moved here with her Australian missionary and schoolteacher parents when she was five years old. Ever since Matica could remember, she faced cruel rejection because of a growth handicap that traps her in a body a two-year-old. Because of her appearance, the local Indians wouldn't accept her into their community or allow her to play with their children. Under the watchful eyes of her parents, lonely Matica explores the plateau of the Andes. She found a pair of condors soaring near the mountains and with patience and a sense of adventure she befriended them. She named the condors Tamo and Tima and a strong bond and love developed between them. The adventure of this book begins two years later, as Matica helplessly witnessed poachers stealing the condors' egg from their nest. After a dramatic fight between Tamo and the poachers, the poachers abandoned the egg leaving it far from its nest. Being unable to bring it back to the nest, Tamo and Tima sent signals to Matica to take care of their egg. Later on, during Matica's tenth birthday, the condor egg hatches. The hatchling is called Talon and this story focuses on the self journey of Matica, as she teaches the little hatchling to fly. This experience changes her life completely and enables her to see a positive side to her handicap.