Thursday, September 11, 2014

August in Review

I'm alive! But tired, lol. DragonCon was a lot of fun, the recap post(s) is coming soon actually, but I got some Con crud and then managed to scratch my eyeball with my mascara wand, and it's just been  bit of a doozy getting myself back up to speed. So let's skip right ahead to the books I read last month!

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews
All Fired Up by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy
Count on Me by Lauren Dane
A Tale of Two Dragons by G.A. Aiken
Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston
Love is a Battlefield by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy
The Best Kind of Trouble by Lauren Dane
Hot Zone by Jayne Castle

And drum roll please.....Magic Breaks is the favorite book I read last month! Is anyone surprised? No, I didn't think so.


Links I Love
// "The Definitive Ranking Of Rory’s Hairstyles On "Gilmore Girls"" (and hey, did you hear that Gilmore Girls is coming to Netflix? Super awesome!)

// "Hey, Ladies -- Catcalls Lead to Gender-Based Violence! Deal With It."

// "The 6 Best (Non-Disney) '80s and '90s Animated Films

//"Men React to Plus-Size Snow White: We're Attracted to This" Somehow I'm both horrified and... pleasantly surprised by these comments? I think? 

//Robot Hugs - a super awesome web comic that you should read and share with all your friends too :D.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mini-Me: All Fired Up by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy

He’s ready to lead the way

Parker Wilson never thought he’d go from battle-hardened soldier to romance expert, but after his stint in the Rangers, that’s exactly what happened. As the owner of DreamMakers Inc., he helps other men win in the love department, using every resource available to plan the perfect date. When a routine recon turns into an unexpected night of passion, Parker’s mission becomes more personal—and he won’t give up until Lynn Davidson is all his.

She’s more than willing to follow

Lynn is a goner from the moment she lays eyes on the delectable Parker. She’s just ditched her boring almost-boyfriend and is tired of sticking to the straight and narrow. It’s time to walk on the wild side, and what better way than in the arms of the most irresistible man she’s ever met? But when their red-hot affair is threatened, it’ll take a team effort to make their dreams come true.

~~

I picked this up on an Amazon deal I think, because I recognized the name from a different military story (I wanna say it was a menage?) I read a while back. I remember liking the story well enough and since I haven't bought a new contemporary romance - let alone an erotic one - in a while, I said what the hell. And it did a fine job for what it is. It's a short, sweet little story with a lot of spice and not tons of emotional/character development. None of which I'm complaining about. I went into this not wanting a lot of drama and Arend and Kennedy supplied - pretty much everyone is an adult who owns their sexuality without any shame. There's a bit of an over the top villain at the end, but I got exactly what I wanted/needed out of the HEA so I consider it a good buy. Plus I have the second book to see if it gets any better!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews

No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

~~

I, like many others, probably consider Magic Breaks the pivotal book of the Kate Daniels series.  Since the very beginning readers have been wondering what the showdown between Kate and Roland was going to look like, and after re-reading the book (or parts of it) about a million times I think I'm finally ready to give my thoughts.

It was awesome.

And, thankfully for my poor little heart, it was not quite as emotionally wrenching as Magic Rises, even if Kate is obviously scarred by the previous events. Facing Roland has become so much more than what her foster father Voron wanted for her - Kate has a mate along with family and friends who are significantly more important than a magically fried dead man's vendetta. So instead of a prolonged battle between Kate and Roland, the book spends more time on the lead up to her decision about what she wants in her life, with much of it riding on how she handles Hugh and his sudden appearance in Atlanta and manipulation of the People. It results in a less violent book than some of the other installments of the series, but while it is obviously a bridge since the Roland arc kind of ends, it doesn't feel like fluff. Ilona Andrews has a deft hand in changing the direction of the series, and the significant amount of individual character development makes me really excited for what's coming next. Every part of the universe we've come to love is going to change because of the events of this novel, and while I've read some reviews where people have felt like more could have been done for this initial/final showdown between Kate and Roland, I'm happy that their acrimonious relationship is going to be fodder for future novels.

Overall Feeling - A+

Series - 5) Magic Slays 6) Magic Rises 7) Magic Breaks

Monday, August 4, 2014

July in Review

Happy August friends! It's been the usually hectic month for me and I think I have to accept the fact that for the foreseeable future my "books read" number is going to be low. Like reeeeaaaal low. I don't like beating myself up about the fact that I can't read as much as I used to - life's too short and I feel like there are too many of us in the same boat.  So instead, let's just continue to take a look at what I read and the random things on the internet that brought me joy.

Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston
The Search by Nora Roberts
The Witness by Nora Roberts
Sparrow on the Hill by Seanan McGuire
Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb

I picked up Indulgence in Death on major discount at Books-a-Million, and it was just wonderful. I know Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb is a comfort read for me but she just kicks ass pretty much every time and Eve and Roarke are one of my favorite couples ever.




Links I Love
//I think a lot of these 24 Life-Changing Ways to Store Your Beauty Products depend on a certain kind of home aesthetic but if I ever purge enough of well...everything...to do this, I would love it!

//If only I oculd knit - this DIY Knit Wonder Woman Sweater would be mine!

//I'm not going to lie, I really want to make this Bastardized Ramen Burger. Anybody with me?!




//"50 Incredible Tattoos Inspired By Books From Childhood" (strangely this makes me want to get a Totoro tattoo, even though that story was never a book from what I know and I'm not even sure how old I was when I first watched it

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mini-Me: Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire

{Since I'm having such a hard time jumping back into reviewing lately, I thought I'd do a quick look back at a book I read a couple months ago.}


When Alex Price agreed to go to Ohio to oversee a basilisk breeding program and assist in the recovery of his psychic cousin, he didn't expect people to start dropping dead. But bodies are cropping up at the zoo where he works, and his girlfriend—Shelby Tanner, an Australian zoologist with a fondness for big cats—is starting to get suspicious.

Worse yet, the bodies have all been turned partially to stone...

The third book in the InCryptid series takes us to a new location and a new member of the family, as Alex tries to balance life, work, and the strong desire not to become a piece of garden statuary. Old friends and new are on the scene, and danger lurks around every corner.

Of course, so do the talking mice.
~~

One of the best things Seanan McGuire ever did for my sanity was write a whole blog post about why she chooses not to include sexual violence in her books. It means that when I'm feeling down or want to read something that's multi-layered with a complicated and possibly dystopian setting, I don't have to spend the whole time preparing myself for something that'll give me nightmares. There are quite enough terrible things happening in the world right now, I don't need it in my books too.

Instead when I read something like Half-Off Ragnarok I can concentrate on the characters and the relationship building, and the hidden connections that I haven't deciphered yet that make the "who dunnit" clear. Or the fact that Shelby actually went off to rescue Alex from himself only to find a completely different situation than the one she was prepared for. REGARDLESS, it's all awesome and I highly recommend this series - which I think might be kind of important to read in order as some things happened in Midnight Blue-Light Special that pick up here.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

June in Review

And now it's July! The world continues to move at super speed so I'll refrain from complaining about it, ok? But maybe you can pretend I did so we can all feel the catharsis that only comes from complaining about things we can't change and that seem to get worse as we get older, lol. I didn't read a lot of new books this month but I reread Shield of Winter possibly 8-10 times so I think I'm going to just call it a draw.

Lady Wild by Máire Claremont (B)
Count on Me by Lauren Dane (B)
Never Enough by Lauren Dane
Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh
Pia Saves the Day by Thea Harrison (A)
Peanut Goes to School by Thea Harrison

My favorite of the month is actually a tie, despite the many times I read SoW, because Pia Saves the Day was just so good! 



Links I Love
//"D.I.Y. Book Clutch" - so cool! And surprisingly easy? Well it looks that way anyway so I think I want to give it a try.

//No should be surprised that I want one of these Scarves Printed With Pages From Your Favorite Books. What a perfectly apropos fashion statement!

//"First Trailer For The New Sailor Moon Anime Shows Off Her New Look"

//"Photos: The Jazz Age Lawn Party Takes Governors Island Back In Time" - I always say I'm going to do this one year and so far that just hasn't happened. But look at these outfits - I want to fit in there!


//"One of America's Favorite Comics Just Took a Huge Step Forward for Diversity" - I never read Archie but I love the fact that they're taking steps to become more inclusive and welcome of the diversity that actually exists in the world.

//Whoa Disney, watch out, cause I think these Rejected Princesses might be coming after your thrown.

//It's not nearly cold enough for me to pretend I need a hoody from Rarity's Boutique but this Totoro one is calling my name!


//I've already got some outfits in mind for DragonCon this year but next year I may have to convince my friends that Retro Sailor Moon is the way to go.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Pia Saves the Day by Thea Harrison

Pia and Dragos’s magical young son Liam (the Peanut), is growing at an unprecedented rate, and if that isn’t enough, he is also exhibiting new, and unpredictable, magical gifts. To protect him, the concerned parents decide to move to upstate New York.

Both Dragos and Pia relish the idea of leaving behind the city. They finally have the space to indulge their Wyr side, and Liam can grow in safety. It’s a breath of fresh air—literally—but their idyllic situation is shattered when Dragos is injured in a freak accident.

Stripped of his memory and bereft of Pia’s taming influence, there’s nothing holding back Dragos’s darkest side. And in order to restore her family and save her mate, Pia must confront the most powerful menace in Elder Races history.

It’s going to take more than a penny to fix this

~~

Since Pia and Dragos are and have consistently always been my favorite couple in the Elder Races universe, I knew I would enjoy Pia Saves the Day. What I didn't expect was for Harrison to take a (comparative to her other novels) short story and use it to introduce a huge bump in the road to her entire series.

And it's a bump only sort of related to the couple themselves. Pia might have to work to reconnect with Dragos, but for a paranormal romance series, you knew they were going to find their way. Now, navigating the relationship between a unicorn and a millennia old dragon who doesn't remember anything isn't the easiest thing to accomplish I grant you, but hey - that' the fun of the story. My heart broke a little for Pia at the end when she was reunited with Liam, because it was yet another unexpected change to their circumstances instigated by a horrible accident. But in the en,d the actions in this story will have an immeasurable effect on the Wyr world in future books. I can't wait to find out what happens next in Peanut Goes to School (July 2014)!

Overall Feeling - A

Series - 5) Lord's Fall 6) Kinked 6.5) Dragos Takes a Holiday 6.6) Pia Saves the Day