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Elisa

Elisa

Human Sexuality Is Fascinating

Backstage Pass - Olivia Cunning

I really like the cast and that is the number one reason that I will continue and finish the series. Overall, Backstage Pass has good writing and a good plot. For me though, the allure is the psychology in the book, and I love that all 5 guys are very different in regards to their psychology. Plus, I am fascinated by the groupie mentality because I feel that it is the total antithesis of what I am at my core, and studying the other gets me every time. There were a few bumps with certain details but I really enjoyed myself.

Nothing But the Best for this Sequel

Through the Zombie Glass - Gena Showalter

At about the middle of Through the Zombie Glass I forced myself to close the book because it was well passed the middle of the night and I needed sleep. I should have saved my self control for another time because I ended up tossing and turning the rest of the night because I had to know what happened. Finally the next day came and I was able to finish Ali’s story!

I find I can’t write out how I feel about this book because I’m so crazy about the world, the premise, and especially the characters that all the fantastic things I want to say get jumbled and “I love it” is all that gets out. I really love this series, I think Showalter has hit a major home run with it. So I’m going to try and be objective…here I go.

Ali is finally accepting her new role in the zombie war, she’s content with her training, she’s happy with her boyfriend, and she’s learning more about her special powers. And she has a plan to get her and her Nana into their own home so she doesn’t have to live off Mr. Ankh for much longer.

Of course, everything starts to spiral rapidly down the drain.

First, Cole starts acting strange, distant. She doesn’t know how to reach him. Things get worse when two new slayers from Georgia join their ranks, one just happens to be an ex of Cole’s. Not that Ali’s jealous. Really.

Second, Ali gets bit by another slayer and weird things start happening to her. And because of her. Life as a zombie hunter was just starting to get normal and now this.

Then, she starts to become a danger to herself and others. Could it get any worse? For Ali, yes.

The second installment of Showalter’s White Rabbit Chronicles is as riveting as the first. All established parts are thrown in the blender and despite all the blood and tears shed, everyone comes out a lot more mature and sure of what they want. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better sequel, but Showalter rarely disappoints!

I'm Still Scratching My Head

Midnight Never Come - Marie Brennan
 

Finally, after spending time trying to conceptualize my review of Midnight Never Come, I have come up with the perfect metaphor for how I feel about this book. Essentially, I feel like a Chopped judge (I’m sorry for anyone who hasn’t stumbled upon the food network and watched the show). Not just any Chopped judge, mind you, but one who has been presented with a plate of food described as one thing and after one bite the judge knows that that description is untrue. In planer terms: they’ve been fed a big spiel of crap.


This book wasn’t crap, that’s not what I’m saying. I feel mislead, is the heart of the matter. This is why I have been scratching my head since reading the epilogue and trying to figure out what the heck happened with the final pages and my expectations.


Brennan’s book is not a seamless melding of historical fiction and fantasy. It is historical fiction masquerading as a fae story, and vice versa. I know that doesn’t make a lot of generic sense so I’ll put it this way: I wanted to read a story about the fae, I got a story about Elizabeth I; had I approached this story looking for a book about Elizabeth’s court, I would have been fooled into reading a book about the fae. Instead of taking me into the Onyx Court and drawing parallels with Elizabeth’s London home, because they are essentially light and dark mirror images of each other, Brennan does the opposite. I’ve studied the Elizabethan age so I know a lot about it, Brennan knows more. And I really enjoyed those parts, except when they started taking up the whole story. Really, I didn’t need to read about Elizabeth’s court so that I could draw my own dark conclusions about Invidiana’s, I should have been shown the Faerie Queen’s so that I could reconcile it with what I know about the real world. Phillipa Gregory has made the Tudor’s old hat, I didn’t need a history lesson, I needed a mythology one. You see?


I was willing to give the story, and the flaws that were ticking me off a little bit, the benefit of the doubt after the pace picked up, that is, after the entire tale was set up in 222 pages. It’s a 379 page book. Even math-challenged beings like myself can see the disparateness between those two numbers. Pretty much that left a little over 150 pages to get to the big conflict and resolution. Both were so abrupt I feel somewhat robbed. And the ending was not at all what I was expecting for this book or for the series.


Now I feel mislead in a big way. And, like many readers, I don’t really like that. I haven’t read the next book but my faith in the author is a little shaken so I’m not going to be going in with an open mind, to be perfectly frank. I’m going in because I feel that after 222 I’ve earned some more story since I do know that Deven is in the next book, the ebook, anyway. I’m just hoping that it doesn’t try to be more mysterious than it is. The Lune banishment explanation took WAY too long to be told, to the point that I didn’t even care, and I don’t see why it really really mattered. But that’s just me.


The last pages saved this read for me and I feel invested. It was a very slow start though.

A Pleasant Surprise

A Quick Bite - Lynsay Sands

I bought A Quick Bite a really long time ago (2 years according to the inside flap) and, like so many good books on my tbr pile, just got around to it. I tend to lean more towards the darker, nittier and grittier vampire ParaRoms out there; I just have a thing for those dark anti-heroes. Still, I found myself really enjoying the more comedic undertones of this story. And any book that features vampires in Canada, even if they’re three provinces away from me, is awesome in my books! Funny, quirky characters and a strange antagonist made for a nice, light read with some sizzle.

Lissianna Argeneau is more than pleasantly surprised when she enters her old room in her mother’s house looking for replacement stockings and instead finds a well-built, dark stranger tied to her bed. The bow around his neck cinches it: this is her mother’s birthday gift for her. Before yum can leave her lips, Lissianna finds herself sprawled next to him to take a quick sample of her gift, despite knowing her mother will be mad that the surprise is ruined. However, much to Lissianna’s disappointment, when her mother and cousin walk in on her little feast, she learns her gift isn’t for eating. Rather, he’s a renowned local psychologist her mother has brought to cure Lissianna of her debilitating phobia.

Gregory Hewitt can’t believe he crawled into the trunk of some woman’s car, walked into her house, and essentially lay down on a bed and allowed her to tie him to it. Fearing he’s suffering some break from reality, he decides he must be dreaming when a gorgeous blonde enters said room and starts to seduce him. Much to his disappointment, he learns he isn’t destined to be her sex slave; he’s been (willfully?) kidnapped to cure her of her hemophobia. Angered he missed out on his first vacation in decades to cure someone of such an irrelevant phobia, Greg convinces Lissianna to let him go. But then a few things he overheard in her house full of relatives starts to click and he finds himself entertaining the thought that vampires might actually exist.

Can Greg help Lissianna get over her phobia and convince her that they could have a future together? Can Lissianna save Greg’s strong mind from the council and get over her fears?

Perfection

Come, Thou Tortoise - Jessica Grant

After mulling over Come, Thou Tortoise for hours, this is the best summation I have managed to come up with: this is why we read. A great intellect walks you through this story but never lords it over you, instead, you get to enjoy the cleverness the ride is made of. The characters that make their home in Grant’s novel are the kind of wonderful people who wrap around your heart and never let go. Rather, they gently squeeze from time to time to let you know they’re still there.

I'm the type of reader who loves to gobble up the tales they love as fast as possible; I found myself slowing down and savouring every page with this one. I’m still stunned by the perfection of this book.(

A Solid Capper

Blue Noon - Scott Westerfeld

The end of Blue Noon was not the ending I was expecting for the Midnighters series. I never know what to expect with Westerfeld, so I never have expectations, but this was not the way I thought things would go! Which is a good thing, although I will admit I was a little sad with how the long midnight went down. A tense read from start to finish I couldn’t have asked for more.

The midnighters managed to save one of their own at the end of Touching Darkness and they just might have an edge because of it when things manage to get even stranger in Bixby. The group of teenagers never thought the small Oklahoma town could get odder, but when the blue moon rises at different times during the day, they know something big is coming. And it’s not going to be good.

It’s a race against the clock, as usual, but a lot more is at stake than getting caught outside during curfew.

The creatures out in the desert are celebrating every time the midnight hour comes not at midnight, if that isn’t enough to scare the midnighters and get them to put their thinking hats on, nothing is.

I Love a Good Book Two

Touching Darkness - Scott Westerfeld

A very strong sequel to The Secret Hour and a fantastic middle book as I make my way to Blue Moon, the Midnighter’s finale. I am basically hit and miss when it comes to the second book of a trilogy. This is because it’s either a laboured attempt to make the plot plod on until things can be concluded or it’s a nail-biter that adds more twists and turns and I’m bouncing in my seat to finish the series. Touching Darkness was definitely the latter.

Melissa and Rex are the “original” Midnighters, at least this generation’s, anyway. They have so many secrets from the others that Dess felt like a complete third wheel until Jonathan and Jess showed up to add to their small numbers. They have secrets that would make the other’s blood run as cold as the blue time that freezes anyone not born within seconds of midnight like them.

Dess has some secrets of her own though, and using a borrowed device that helps her plot out the limits of the blue zone using geostationary satellites, she discovers something that could truly aid her and her friends in their fight against the Darklings. Because the threat of Jessica, the flame-bringer, isn’t enough to the keep the trouble at bay anymore. Normal humans are involved. And that means normal-time is no longer safe.

The creatures and their human minions want something. Can the Midnighter’s figure it out before it’s too late?

Another Stellar Series Opener from a YA Master

The Secret Hour  - Scott Westerfeld

I think Midnighters is Westerfeld’s second published series, and I’m not sure what order they were written in compared to his other earlier series per se, but I’m loving what I’m reading. As a huge fan of Uglies, my very first exposure to Westerfeld, and of anything Scott Westerfeld lays claim to, I adore seeing the evolution of his writing and creative mind. I can tell The Secret Hour is an early work, it’s a bit rough around the literary edges but that is no major criticism, the emotional connections, the characters, and the scary monsters are all there. This was such a great read!

Jessica Day knew that moving from Chicago to small town Oklahoma was going to require some adjustment. But after a series of strange dreams where the earth seems frozen around her and one creepy incident with a luring killer kitty, she knows something weird is going on in the town of Bixby. Having encountered the very cryptic Dess earlier, Jess decides that maybe she shouldn’t dismiss the goth girl so quickly.

Eventually, Jess realizes she’s one of a very small group of teenagers with the ability to be conscious during a secret hour that starts at the stroke of midnight. What the group doesn’t know, or fully realize at first, is just how many enemies Jess has during the midnight hour –and possibly beyond it.

The Midnighters need to discover Jess’s talent quickly because the creatures of the secret hour want her dead before she can figure it out, and they're coming out in numbers never seen before to do it.

Learning the Old and New

How to Write Hot Sex: Tips from Multi-Published Erotic Romance Authors - Shoshanna Evers

This is such an invaluable collection of essays for anyone who wants to start tackling writing sex scenes or hone their skills. There was useful info in each piece, it took me so long to finish How to Write Hot Sex because my eReader couldn’t highlight everything I wanted fast enough.

 

Overall an educational and entertaining read!

Time for a Little Shmultz

Tender Is the Storm - Johanna Lindsey

Tender is the Storm is everything the title and cover suggest: a smaltzy, closed door romance featuring a rough and tough guy out of the wild west and a city girl who gets into more than she bargains for. It was a fun, easy read that I thoroughly enjoyed; Lindsey’s writing makes for a quick read while her characters with their unique dispositions and the story’s plot make you continue to come back.