Monday, August 23, 2010

"The Beast Within" Anthology review

The Beast Within Anthology by Erin McCarthy, Bianca D’Arc, & Jennifer Lyon
 Release Date: September 1st ,2010

(back excerpt)    Meet three Men without boundaries, hell-bent on satisfying their deepest desires- and those of the women who drive them wild….

The Howling by Erin McCarthy.
        It’s been six months since Sebastian vanished from Liv’s life and took all of her money. Since then she has become engaged to his brother Scarborough and everything in her life appears to be perfect. The thing is that Liv keeps having these weird dreams that seem to be telling her something. 
     It’s been six months since Sebastian was betrayed by his brother and left for dead. Ever since then he has healed and become more powerful than ever.  He’s determined to reclaim Liv and his place as head of the werewolf clan.  He’ll do this anyway he can.
    I’m going to go ahead and say this upfront that I do not tolerate rape of any kind. Sebastian basically rapes Liv in chapter three of this story. Sebastian sneaks into Liv’s bedroom in wolf form and then turns into his human form. He then crawls on her bed naked and basically positions himself on top of Liv in the sheets. Liv thinks the whole thing is a dream. She has no idea what Sebastian is really there. Thinking she is dreaming she consults to having sex. Sebastian of course accepts the invitation and then leaves. Liv wakes up thinking she had a nice dream. That is till she discovers the semen between her legs.  She spends the whole day as a nervous wreck because she thinks she is going crazy. This screams that she was not a willing participant which equals rape.  It doesn’t matter if Sebastian later fells bad because of what he did. He still raped her.  I hated him after that. I wanted Liv to push him into the stream where he could float to Forks, Washington and be with the pedophile and abusive werewolves from “Twilight”.
    The thing is that Liv does nothing of the sort. Sebastian tells her that he loves him and all is forgotten. I hated them both then. I would have left both Sebastian and Scarborough; newly made werewolf be dammed.  Course Sebastian beats his brother, claims Liv as his mate, and takes his place at the head of the pack. The end.
Final rating: 1 Bunny

Smoke on the Water by Bianca D’Arc.
     CIA Agent John Petit has a few problems on his hand. The first being his newly appointed partner Donna Sullivan. The other being that someone is making Zombies. It’s up to John and Donna to stop these zombies and put an end to their creation. They are sent down to a fishing hot spot in Tennessee to do just that.  Intelligence has put one of the zombie creators, Dr.Bemkey, as living near the lake. It’s their job to capture Dr. Bemkey and kill any zombie’s she has created.  That’s if only John and Donna can stop lusting after each other.
      I have no idea why this short story was called “Smoke on the Water”. It really should have been titled “Sex and Zombies”. The whole time I was reading it I thought I was reading a script for a porno. John and Donna killed zombies. Have Sex. Kill some more Zombies. Have sex again. Make out in front of the cleanup crew and have sex again for the fun of it. Infiltrate Dr. Bemkey’s lab. Have sex. Get ready to go on another mission, but not before making out.  John even referred to Donna as “Babe” most of the story.  I’m left with a blank stare after reading this. I don’t even know what to say.  It really and honestly felt like I was reading a porno. I don’t do porn or erotic stories.  I felt uncomfortable reading it. Therefore if you like erotic stories with a touch of zombie killing this is a story for you.
Rating:  1 bunny

Redeeming the Wizard by Jennifer Lyon.

            Mira Tate is in a major jam. Her grandmother has just been kidnapped by a wizard and all of her magic using relatives are too busy to help look for her. Seeing as she has no magical ability herself, Mira has no choice but to go seek help from “him”. Gage Remington is the last person Mira has ever wanted to ask for help from. This is because he let her parents get killed by demon.  Now she has to go ask for his help to prevent the death of the only remaining relative she cares about.  Little does she know what’s she is in store for.
          Gage Remington has been having a terrible sixteen years. It all started when his former apprentice summoned a demon and it killed two innocent bystanders.  After killing her for doing this, Gage’s magic went completely in the fritz and it hasn’t gotten better. Now this gorgeous woman has blackmailed him into helping him find her lost grandmother.  She could just be another nail on the coffin or the very cure he’s been looking for.
         This story was the better of the three, but that’s not saying much. I say this because if the last two have been a porno and a rape story this one was about the saving grace of sex. Now I’m a big fan of maho shugo or magical girls. Most of these girls have catchy themes and use the power of love and friendship to save their loved ones.  Mira has the power of the… vagina…. Yep you read that right. It was Mira’s vagina that saved the day.  Gage got all of his powers back when he had sex with Mira. Mira also got some of his power from their various sexual encounters as well.  Together they have sex and save Mira’s grandmother.  Wonder Woman and Sailor Moon are weeping. Harry Potter is turning his head from side to side.  And Gandalf just had a stroke from the stupidity of it. I have no further comment.
Rating:  2  Bunnies  


Water bound by Christine Feehan

Water Bound by Christine Feehan
Release Date: July 27th, 2010

      Rikki Sitmore is not your average female.  She has strange reactions to things people may consider normal.  She only likes to eat peanut butter and broccoli and likes everything to be pristine and untouched. She might also be a sociopath because her parents, foster families, and fiancé’s houses all burned down and many of them died. But being a possible serial arsonist is not even the oddest thing about her. The winner is that she has the ability to control water (think water-bending in “Avatar: The Last Airbender” style). Rikki is therefore surprised that she didn’t sense the giant tidal wave until it was literally crashing down upon her. The tidal wave doesn’t just bring water, however, but also the most dangerous-looking and handsome man Rikki has ever seen. Against her better instinct, she decides to save him. During the rescue, she shares a moment with this dangerous man that is sure to shake her world.

      Lev Prakenskii is a very dangerous, deadly, and handsome man.  This is the one thing he knows as he finds himself slammed against the rocks after falling into the ocean. The next thing he knows, he is saved by a beautiful woman whom he can’t help thinking must be a mermaid. She pulls Lev out of the ocean and the dizziness and uncertainly causes him to react in a way that would have King Triton stabbing him with his triton. Rather than throwing him back into the ocean, the strange woman responds angrily to his actions. This rather sobers Lev up to the fact that Ariel did not save him, since she is yelling and not singing to him. Despite his dangerous behavior, the woman takes him home. Lev soon realizes he can’t remember anything except that he has killed a lot of people. The one thing he does know is that he wants to spend his life with this mermaid-like woman.
         I’m the first to admit that I’m no literary expert, but my biggest problem with this book was what I found to be poor writing. The author overuses adjectives and has the tendency to be repetitive and redundant.  I did not need to be reminded on every page that Rikki is a strange woman. I also got the point after the first fifty times that Lev is a deadly and dangerous man who has killed a lot of people.  I was tempted to start a drinking game every time I came across the words strange, deadly, dangerous, handsome, and a quite a few others. Needless to say, I would have been very drunk by the time I came to page two hundred, and the book is near five hundred pages long. Also, do we need a twenty page sex scene? A paragraph about walking into a grocery store?  This book really could have benefitted from a strong editorial hand. The weak editing really ruined the story for me.  I could not concentrate or care about the story because I kept trying to edit it in my mind.
       Setting aside the editing issue, the story was rather weak as well. I really felt no connection to either Lev or Rikki. None. I’ve never read a book where I’ve never even felt a small connection. Because I felt no connection to either of the characters, I could not care less about what happened to them. There were exciting scenes here and there, but they are quickly overridden with the overuse of repeating themes and thoughts. I really thought when Lev’s past was revealed, the story would take an interesting turn. It didn’t. The major plot points are who is starting the fires and trying to kill Rikki and whether Lev can escape from his dangerous and deadly past. Both are resolved in the most lackluster way possible.

     Oh yeah, Rikki and Lev got together at the end and I was relieved that the book was over.  Those who don’t mind a lot of adjectives and repetitiveness will probably like this book better than I did.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Small note

Just a small note. Whenever there is a lapse where there are no reviews being posted it's because i'm working on reviews for "The Season" site. I have an agreement with Bev, the wonderful owner of the blog, to review books for her site. The thing is that part of the agreement is that i can't post the reviews for the books i'm reading till they have gone up on her site. So hence the lag in posts during certain periods.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"A Kiss at Midnight" by Eloisa James Review

A Kiss at Midnight by Eliosa James
Release date: Aug 1, 2010.

Miss Kate Daltry doesn't believe in fairy tales . . . or happily ever after.
Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince . . . and decides he's anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions.
Gabriel likes his fiancÉe, which is a welcome turn of events, but he doesn't love her. Obviously, he should be wooing his bride-to-be, not the witty, impoverished beauty who refuses to fawn over him.
Godmothers and glass slippers notwithstanding, this is one fairy tale in which destiny conspires to destroy any chance that Kate and Gabriel might have a happily ever after.
Unless a prince throws away everything that makes him noble . . .
Unless a dowry of an unruly heart trumps a fortune . . .
Unless one kiss at the stroke of midnight changes everything.

This is the second book of Eloisa's I read and it didn't disappoint. In this book Eloisa recreates the fairytale of Cinderella with a more realistic flare. Kate aka the Cinderella is not that destitute. The evil stepsister isn't evil; just air headed and a lose woman. The evil stepmother actually a past whore. The fairy godmother isn't magical. The Prince has no kingdom. And the helpful creatures are three overly spoiled Maltese. 

In all things considering it's amazing Kate ever landed the prince at all in this story. In fact rather than try to keep Kate away from Prince Gabriel the stepmother practically delivers her to his doorstep with ambiance. This is because Victoria, the stepsister, gets herself pregnant. In order to be able to marry her, her fiancée has to get the approval of his uncle aka Gabriel. Lucky for all parties the prince is holding his betrothal ball and Victoria and Algie are invited. Thus the stepmother has Kate pretend to be Victoria for the event so that no-one will see that she got pregnant out of wedlock. So as you can see Kate had everything going against her. No magic or love was to be expected. It's her own luck that everyone see's through her disguise and Gabriel is intrigued. 

My personal opinion of the book was that if it wasn't the godmother Henry it would have fallen quite flat. Kate and Gabriel really didn't have that many dimensions to them. It would have been Gilmore Girls minus Lorelei and the town people. Rory isn't too terribly interesting on her own and needed Lorelei and the extra characters. Thus was the same with the book. Henry was brilliantly funny and helped push Kate to do things she would have never done. She was also the one to set her straight at times. Gabriel also needed Wick and the rest of his crazy relatives to keep him going. Otherwise i believe he would have ravished Kate or headed to a archeological dig leaving her in the dust. Probably both in that order. 

I do like Eloisa's writing style though. I'm not a big fan of too many sex scenes and so was appreciative of the fact that they were to the bare minimum. 

So final rating: 4 Bunnies. Good story, plot, and characters. The thing was that the main characters were weak at times. 


Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Shiver and Linger" by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver by by Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date:  Aug 1st, 2009

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human ... until the cold makes him shift back again. 

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

This book came off as a surprise. I really thought when i rented it from the library that it was just going to be another badly written and over hyped book. I just picked it up out of curiosity. Now i won't say i'm bowing at the feet of the author since it had some issues, but i was really impressed. Impressed enough that i'm definitely going to be reading the next book in the series and hope they make a movie adaptation of it. 

The premise of the book is basically when she was a young girl Grace got attacked by wolves and also ended up being saved by one. This particular wolf became her "special wolf" and she started forming a relationship with it. Years later after a follow high school student gets attacked and supposedly killed that Grace finally realizes the wolves aren't regular wolves, but werewolves. This is confirmed when she finds "her wolf" in human form naked and bleeding on her front desk. Thus the story really starts.

As i mentioned earlier i was impressed with the book. I thought Maggie's take on werewolves was quite original. And written in a way that they don't have to sparkle like a fairy and look like greek gods and goddess. Now i have to admit as i said earlier i found some flaws in the book. I think this is mostly because it's directed at a younger age group than myself. Therefore i found the writing to be a bit "simple" at times where i wanted more substance. I believe though if i was in my teens when i read this i would have given it five stars and gold sparkles. It's just a matter of more mature taste. 

Final rating: 4 Bunnies
. Good story, plot and characters, but not good enough to get five stars from me. 

Linger by by Maggie Stiefvater
Release Date: July 13. 2010

In Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past…and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabel, who already lost her brother to the wolves…and is nonetheless drawn to Cole. At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love–the light and the dark, the warm and the cold–in a way you will never forget.

Before i get to my review i'm going to say something up front. This book made me cry. No i didn't cry from the tragic love story. Nor any of the characters. I cried because of the deer and the bad memories it dragged up. I shall get to this later. 

I finished the book this morning and i have to wonder what happened? The first book was really good and entertaining. In this one i felt like i was reading a teen soap opera. Oh *puts hand to my fore head* the tragedy of not being able to sleep with you boyfriend every night. Oh the horror of being popular and famous. The agony of turning human and not knowing if it is going to last. Drama. Drama. Drama. 

How is it that characters i previously liked suddenly became shallow and a character cut out of the angst teen. Sam had no backbone. He was like "yes Grace. You're the smartest Grace. I kiss your freaking feet Grace". Grace was all to her parents "I hate you. You don't understand me". Runs away to Sam. Isabella was just Isabella though. I didn't like her that much in the other book. 

The only character i liked was Cole and i only liked him when he was using his brain. During the parts when he was dissecting the werewolf theory i was captivated. I couldn't put the book down. He really was the only redeeming character in the whole book. Funny thing is that it was his scene with the deer that made me cry. 

I cried because the deer dying brought back memories of previous bunnies i owned dying. I still remember their screams of agony and the hopelessness in their eyes. Then being completely helpless to do anything about it. I just couldn't enjoy the book after it. It made me upset as Cole was. It's amazing how a two page scene can ruin a book for you. 

Final rating: 3 Bunnies. 


* Cruddy review i know, but i deer scene really ruined the book for me. I think about it whenever i think of the book. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Never Dare a Duke" by Gayle Callen review

Never Dare a Duke by Gayle Callen
Release Date: Dec 1, 2008

I do believe this one of those times where you can successfully judge a book by it's cover. The cover of "Never Dare A Duke" is beautiful and captivating. It was what really drew me in. I'm glad it did. 

This is because Gayle Callen's book became the first romance i've read in a long long time where i literally could not put it down. The dogs even missed a walk because i couldn't stop reading. It was that good to me. Now it didn't contain any tragic or tortured hero. Nor were the chapters leaving on cliff hangers. Instead Gayle created an amazingly witty heroine whose sole desire is to find some scandalous past on the Duke aka Chris Cabot. 

Abigale's desire for this is to save her father's floundering newspaper and prove that women could write just as well as men can. So when her best friend Gwen asks her to accompany her to the Duke's sisters house party Abigale readily agrees. Together they set forth to find out the Duke's scandalous secret. Unfortunately things don't work as well as they plan. This is because everyone and anyone is so tight lipped about Chris's past. So Abigale makes a bargain with Chris that they should "pretend to be together". She does this in order for him to get away from the overbearing misses and for Abigale to secretly investigate Chris. Now Chris, of course, is extremely intrigued by Abigale and doesn't believe her for a moment when she said she wants nothing from him. This leads him into doing a little investigating of his own. These two separate investigation leads Abigale and Chris in finding more than they ever expected from each other. 

Abigale's and Chris relationship with each other was really brilliant. You could sort of say it was Nancy Drew meets Pride and Prejudice with a touch of Emma. Neither of them trusted each other to say the least. This is especially true of Chris. Yet during the course of the book they start to realize that each other is not as they seemed. That they both were wrong in the initial judgement of each other. This later leads them to having a more open and trusting relationship. One where they are on equal terms. 

I noticed that Abigale seems to get a lot of strife from other reviewers because they don't think she learned her lesson. I actually think she did. Her character had a lot of "Emma" in her and it took for her to see the possible consequences of her actions to realize they were wrong. She also makes up for them. After the horrid article was written about Chris she makes a point of writing one that contradicts it. She does this even though Chris swears he would never forgive her for doing so. Abigale loves Chris so much that she doesn't care. So not only does she write the article, but she makes sure that the world knows it was a lady journalist who did. Thus freeing herself to be what she truly wants to be while helping the damage done to her beloved name. Chris later uses this "lady journalist" scandal to propose to her in a really cute way. 

Final Rating:
5 Bunnies. Great set of main and side characters, interesting plot, and for being a non put-downer. 


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Review

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K.Rowling
Release Date: June 2, 1999

I haven't read this book in awhile and decided to read it again. Even though this book isn't one of my top three favorite harry potter books it shall always be special for me. This is because this was the very first harry potter book i had ever read from. It all started with me wanting to read the series, but my parents convinced that it was "the devils book". Well i finally got too when i was fifteen. I was babysitting a set of twins and they were reading this book for a bedtime story. So of course they wanted me to read the next three chapters to them. I started with the chapter called "mudblood and murmers" and read all the way past the deathday party. I had to be corrected a few times on pronunciation, but i soon became hooked. I ended up re-starting the book at the very beginning when i put the twins to bed and read for the next two hours. As soon as i got home i told my parents that i had read part of the second book and planned on getting the rest. Needless to say there was nothing they could do about it since i had already started the series. The next night my father went out and got the first movie on dvd and the rest is history. ^^ So i can officially claim this book and a set of twins was my entrance into the Harry Potter fandom. I'm still the only one in my family that has read the books though. 

This Harry Potter is really set more to a mystery than many of the other books. I say this because for most of the book Harry, Ron, and Hermione are only getting small clues into the mystery of the chamber of secrets and petrified people. It also flows more like a mystery than the other. Something i find rather funny since i believe McGonagall mentions that harry potter can't resist following on a mystery. 

In relation to the other books this was really setting things up for books 5-7. You have the first horcrux, the first glimps at voldemort's past, the introduction of the founders objects, the information the voldemort put some of himself into harry which becomes pivotal to the main storyline, volde's love of snakes, the mention that harry believes Snape can read his mind, and if you want to stretch things the early mentioning of death eaters. 

In regards to my thought they still remain the same as i said in my review for the first book. After reading and being a fan of the series for so long i now see it as a whole. Therefore it shall always be loved and get five Bunnies from me.


Monday, August 9, 2010

The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt review

The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
Release date: Nov, 1 2006

There comes a time in a woman's life when she must do the unthinkable - and find employment. For the widowed Anna Wren, that means taking a job as female secretary for the Earl of Swartingham. Secretaries are always male - never female - as Anna well knows but the real downfall of her career is the realization that she is falling in love with Edward de Raaf - the Earl. But when she realizes that he is going to visit a brothel in London to take care of his 'manly' desires, Anna sees red - and decides to take advantage of the opportunity to also take care of her 'womanly' desires - with the Earl as her unknowing lover. But the Earl has another reason for going to London. He is formalising his betrothal and trying (with little success) to forget about a secretary that has no right being female. Unhandsome, he knows that no woman wants him. Except for the mysterious lady with whom he spent two unforgettable nights at Aphrodite's Grotto, the most scandalous brothel in London. But when Anna's plan is revealed, a bit of blackmail is thrown into the mix, a proposal is rejected and even the Earl himself will be unprepared for the intrigues that ensnare them.

This book is really giving me a love/ hate reaction. In some parts I really rather liked it. In others I rather loathed it. I have to admit this was a first for me in awhile. Normally I either really like it, think it's ok, or hate the book. Not have a complicated relationship with it. Many of these feelings stream from my reactions to the main characters Anna and Edward. This is because their actions in the book really make me want to strangle them sometimes, yet cheer in others. 

My hate of the book can be summed up in these plot points: 
1) Anne going to London merely to sleep with Edward. Does so in a way he didn't know it's her because she mets him at "Aphrodite's Grotto". The most dangerous and thrilling whore house in London. 

2)The way Edward acts towards her afterwards when he finds out. He basically starts to be an ass. He's pushy, overbearing, conceited, and believe's that if he acts sexy Anna will be seduced. What is with the name Edward that produces characters that i want to pulverize. 

3) Going off from of the last point Anna because's a willing sex toy. Then again is that so surprising considering what she did in point 1? 

My like of the book can be summed up in these points: 
1) Jock. Every time the dog came on screen i wanted to die laughing. 

2) The actual prostitutes that Anna befriends. Pearl and Coral were great additions. I really love how Peal gets together with the Hoppel, Edward's estate manager, at the end. It was so cute. Then Coral also get's her rightful place as head madame at Aphrodite's. 

3) The little bursts of wit we got now and then from Anna and Edward. They were a cute couple when one wasn't being an ass or an idiot. 

4) David and Viscount Iddesleigh. I love them both and really wish they were in the book more. 

Comparing my likes and dislikes together you can see why i have such a love/hate relation with the book. I give Elizabeth Hoyt great credit for giving me such a feeling. It takes a great writer to make you so emotionally invested in a book that you feel strong emotions towards the characters. The book also made me want to read the next two (someone put the leopard prince on book swamp please!!). Despite these things, I really can't give this book a higher rating than three bunnies. To do so would be dishonest since i clearly had a lot of issues with the main plot points of the story. 

So 3 Bunnies. 


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Animal Reviewers #1 "Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Klepas.

Leah Bunny speaking here. Today me and my fellow quadruped's are here to review "Lisa Kleypas" "Love in the Afternoon". I was introduced to this book when i was sick and was laying on mommy's bed. Mom was reading her own Lisa book and she thought i'd like one of my own to read.

Mommy laid this book in front of me because she thought i would like it since there were a lot of animals in it.

So i decided to give it a try. I have to admit i was throughly engrossed with it. Very good. 

I just had a few issues. Why no strapping man bunny with bulging bunnyceps and strong tall ears? A hedgehog? Really?  A tall dark and handsome bun would have been much better pet for Beatrice.  Just think of all the fun she could have had. Plus people love bunnies and would not have though she was strange. There is a mention of a bunny though so i give Lisa props for that.

Now some members of the canine portion of the family weights in.

Coda: Even manly dogs like me can appreciate this book. For instance take in the imagery of war. Nothing is manlier than war. Then you add in a war hero dog and you have a manly story indeed.

Izzy: *fan girl talk* Albert was so cute!! in this story. I want a picture of Albert to put upon my bed and under my pillow.

Daisy: I'm only just turned 11 months. I can't read. Mommy just shoved the book to were i was sunning myself. 


"Love in the Afternoon" by Lisa Kleypas

Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas
Release date: June 29. 2010

The first line of a review is always the hardest to write therefore i'm going to open it up with a fact: I finished and read the book mostly in the afternoon(s) and thus the title was quite appropriate. Nothing like a heatwave to make a favorite chair or spot of the bed seem like heaven with a book. 

On another note i have to admit this was the first Hathaway book i read. I have the first three on my shelf having bought them at a book sale. After finishing this book i have to wonder why did i never pick up the other three because i loved it! I particularly liked Beatrix. I could totally see myself in her more so than any other heroine. Having six rabbits, 5 dogs, and nursed various baby wild bunnies to health i could easily identity with her on her animal obsession. I could also identify with her on her connection with nature. There is nothing more calming than being out in the woods. 

Beatrice of course is described as being an odd ball in her neighborhood. I supposed in 1857 she would have been as well. In a time where girls were expected to sit proper, wear corsets and hop skirts, and be as feminine as possible she is oddly out of step. In stead she'd rather run around in her pants and boots. Training horses and helping hurt animals. Decidedly not womanish at all. It only makes since that the person she eventually marries should know her before seeing her and be a bit odd himself. 

That brings me to the point of Christopher. He's portrayed as a tortured and hurt hero. He was a well to do dandy before getting sent to war, but while there he inevitably changed. It was only the letters from "Prudence" and his dog Albert that kept him sane and moving. Course Prudence being the stuck up bitch she was refused to write to him after his initial letter telling about the war. Therefore unknown to Christopher he was receiving letters from Beatrice and not Prudence. Christopher was a great hero, but for me he was overshadowed by Beatrice. If only he was slightly more tortured or haunted. Mean. I know. lol I can't help it. I like my men tortured and having some EMO moments. Christopher didn't experience enough of them. Though credit where credit is due Christopher wasn't entirely "healed" at the end and that gave his illness a more realistic approach. 

The two had a really cute romance and i rather liked the interaction. They each pushed and pulled at each other which created great dialog and friction. It also gave some depth to their relationship. You didn't feel like things were going too fast, nor that they were progressing too slow. The relationship went perfectly. Points also to Lisa for prolonging their relationship into a couple of months. That fact makes it even more believable. 

Final grade: 5 Bunnies. Positively brilliant in almost every way. Only few small nit picks and complaints. I do hope that Mark Barrett and Aubrey get a book. ^^ 


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone review

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone review
Release date: 1997

There is no point in putting a summary of the plot of this book because everyone and their brother has read it or heard about it. Therefore this review is most going to concentrate on my thoughts and stuff. 

I wish i could say I began my Harry Potter obsession with this book, but i can't. I actually read part of the second book first. Instead i can officially say that the movie adaptation of this book got my parents away from the belief that the series was "from the devil and evil". That's a long story and better saved for the review of the second book. I actually saw the movie of this before i read it so i kinda of knew the plot before hand. Therefore for those characters introduced up to book two the movie gave me my imagined characterization of them. 

Though i was sort of introduced to the magic through the movie i still fell head over heels in love with the series with the book. Mainly because it was the first Harry Potter adaption that i read fully. Books like this are rare. I can truthfully say that i have never read a book series before or after that comes close to what J.K. Rowling created. 

The Sorcerer's Stone really introduces the magic. You almost feel as Harry does learning everything about the magical world. It's breathtaking. I will be the first to admit that i wish the world was real so i could go and enjoy the magic. I'm that type of fangirl. ^^ 

The interesting thing about the book is that you can read it either as a author first learning to write or as the thoughts and perspective of a eleven year old boy. I prefer the later. This way you can read the series as a boy maturing in mind and thought. The writing is really simple in this book, but yet brilliant at the same time. 

I say brilliant i mean Brilliant. There are many one liners and thoughts that become major players later in the series. Some notable ones is the mention of Sirius Black, hints at the prophecy regarding Harry, the observation that Snape "really hates" Harry, Snape swooping around like an overgrown Bat, Harry's mouth touching the snitch, the Centaurus mentioning mars (the planet of war)hinting at the upcoming war, the hinting of immortality and Voldemort, the obvious harry understanding the snake, hagrid mentioning Lily's and James's friends, and a few others that i made mental notes, but forgotten (Might need to physically write them down next time). These drops just shows how great an author J.K.Rowling is. 

Nothing really much to say. After all. There are only so many times you can say "brilliant" without it becoming repetitive and redundant. 

So 5 stars with gold sparkles, fireworks, and marching bands. ^^ 


"Home is Where the bark is & Passion Becoms Her" review

Home is Where the Bark is by Kandy Shepherd
Release Date: July 6th, 2010

It’s a doggie dog world out there and no-one is learning this better than Nick Whalen. A recently retired FBI agent and new private investigator, Nick’s newest case has sent him to the “Paws-A-While” doggie day care and spa. His job is to investigate the owner for possible identity theft. Nick is convinced, since many of the recent victims have been clients of the business, that there has to be a connection. So armed with his aunt’s Yorkie Poo Bessie and his determination to crack the case, Nick enters “Paws-A-While” only to come face to face with the loveliest woman he has ever faced. The case has just entered a direction Nick was not planning on heading in. 

Serena Oakley’s new business is booming. At least it was. Lately a lot of her clients have been pulling out due to “financial troubles”. Therefore she is determined to make sure her new client stays, and when he does it’s for more than one reason. Nick Oakley and Bessie are the weirdest dog-child and human pairing Serena has seen since she started her business. Nick is way too masculine of man for a fru fru dog like Bessie. One thing Serena knows is the moment Nick came into her shop is that things are going to be getting fairly hairy quite soon; just how hairy Serena could never guess. 

I have to say I rather enjoyed this book. Living in a house with five dogs I found myself laughing at the doggie humor in Home is Where the Bark Is. I found myself relating to Serena’s dog-kid talk and Nick’s “a dog is a dog” talk at the same time. Speaking of Nick and Serena, their relationship is masterfully planned. There is some lust at first sight, but it took a while for the characters to realize they trusted and truly loved each other. Serena had to get past her issues as the result of a crazy stalker and an ex who dumped her by email on Valentine’s Day. Nick has to stop seeing Serena as a possible suspect. It was sweet seeing them bond over Mack and the other dogs in the story. You could almost track their relationship as progressed over the weeks. Truly nothing brings people together like animals and this story exemplifies it. 

The stories side subplot of indentify fraud is well written as well. You really go through all the motions believing that one person is guilty only to find them cleared. Then as you get nearer to the end of the book, you start getting suspicious of one particular character. So suspicious you find yourself mentally yelling at Serena to listen to Nick and stay away from said person. The big reveal at the end is wonderfully written and really brought things full circle. So if you’re a doggie person that likes mysteries with romance, than this book is for you. ~

Rating: 4 Bunnies

Passion Becomes Her by Shirlee Busbee 
Release date: July 1st 2010

What does a highly skilled thief do after retiring? This is a question that Asher Cordell ponders as he executes his final theft. He is not cut out to be in the clergy, nor quite eager to join the armed forces. The only thing left for him to do is become the gentleman farmer everyone believes him to be. The last thing left to do is to steal the Ormsby fabled jeweled necklace to get back at the bastard for killing his grandmother’s beloved dog out of spite. Asher does not plan on having his theft foiled though; certainly not by a young lady intent on stealing something from Ormsby as well. Asher is thoroughly surprised to learn the young lady he grabbed to prevent his discovery is his old neighbor and childhood friend Juliana Greely. He is even later more surprised when Juliana shows up days later and asks him to steal some letters her sister had written to Ormsby. Perhaps retirement won’t be so boring after all. 

Oh, things are not going well for Juliana Greely. Her foolish younger sister has written scandalous letters to Lord Ormsby when she was in school and now he holds them over her. He demands that Thalia marry him or he’ll make the letters public and ruin her sister's engagement to the Earl of Caswell. Juliana’s father does nothing but fret and thus it’s up to her to get the letters back. Juliana decides that the perfect place to steal them will be at the ball Ormsby is holding. She just doesn't plan on getting accosted by a stranger in her attempt to find them, nearly getting caught by Ormsby himself, and getting dragged out onto the terrace by so stranger. Imagine her surprise when she discovers the stranger is no other than her long time neighbor and former childhood friend Asher Cordell. The person it seems may be her only hope at securing the letters and preventing her sister from ruin. 

I’m a bit on the fence with this book. I really liked the plot and the characters. It’s just that sometimes during my reading I felt that things went too smoothly for the characters all of the time. Everything happens to perfection and no ill or troubles seem to befall them except the stealing of the letters and an untimely murder (which is solved rather too quickly and easily). It felt like a bit of a sellout. I wanted more intrigue, more suspense, more…. substance. Things were a bit too happy go lucky. I almost expected to see the care bears come down from the sky sometimes. Perhaps I was expecting too much. White Collar rather spoiled me with the plot theme of a professional thief turned good guy. I was expecting a storyline along with what the show produces in historical context. That’s not to say the book wasn’t a good read. It was. I rather enjoyed it. I just can’t give it a high rating because there was too much happy go luckiness and perfect coincidences that happened at the right moment. Nobody has that much luck. I would recommend this book to those people who like Amanda McCabe. If you like her writing style you’ll like Shirlee Busbee's

Rating:  3 bunnies


The Wallflowers 1 "Secrets of a Summer Night" by Lisa Kleypas

The Wallflowers 1 "Secrets of a Summer Night" by Lisa Kleypas 
Release Date: Dec 1st, 2006

Four young ladies enter London society with one common goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So a daring husband-hunting scheme is born. 

Annabelle Peyton, determined to save her family from disaster, decides to use her beauty and wit to tempt a suitable nobleman into making an offer of marriage. But Annabelle's most intriguing -- and persistent -- admirer, wealthy, powerful Simon Hunt, has made it clear that while he will introduce her to irresistible pleasure he will not offer marriage. Annabelle is determined to resist his unthinkable proposition ... but it is impossible in the face of such skillful seduction. 

Her friends, looking to help, conspire to entice a more suitable gentleman to offer for Annabelle, for only then will she be safe from Simon -- and her own longings. But on one summer night, Annabelle succumbs to Simon's passionate embrace and tempting kisses ... and she discovers that love is the most dangerous game of all.

So after much persuasion and a delight jaunt into Lisa's world with "Love in the Afternoon" i decided to start the Wallflower series. Instead of started at the very end like i did with the Hathaway series i decided to start at the beginning. 

I have to admit i wasn't as big of a fan of this book as i was of "Love in the Afternoon". It was an "ok" book for me. I rather liked the entire Wallflower set together. I adored and laugh at ever one of their scenes.I also really liked the banter between Simon and the Lord of Westcliff. The thing is that i found Simeon and Annabelle to be merely ok when they were alone or together. I really can't even state why. They were merely "ok" characters. Nothing about them stood out to me to make me like or really hate them. I guess the best way to phrase it would be they were like your feelings of most side characters in a story. Your fine with them, but don't really care about them one way or another. It's only when they're with a group of their friends do they stand out. In that manner of phrasing i wish there were more scenes with Annabelle and the rest of the wallflowers and Simon and Westcliff. 

The most significant thing that stood out to me in this book was that the main characters weren't in the aristocracy. Something that was an interesting change. Instead Simeon is an entrepreneur and the son of a butcher. He's at the head of the industrial revolution and the great change that is about to be heralded in to the world. A world were the aristocracy has always ruled and are now becoming obsolete. It actually took me a bit to get my head around this since most historical's i read are when the aristocracy are in high fever. I also have to admit it took me a bit to get used to all the "American" talk in a book set in England. Something rather strange since i am an American. I'm just not used to see them mosey their way the English environment. 

All in all this book was 3 1/2 Bunnies for me. It had a nice story and some great moments, but not enough to be four stars.