Monday, August 31, 2015

In love with Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver - My Review

SYNOPSIS
With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today's foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman's If I StayBefore I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person's life can affect so many others.
For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—"Cupid Day"—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.
However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.



MY REVIEW

So, I just finished Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. When I think about this book, my heart squeezes in my chest. It's so full of emotion and meaning, which is what I LOVE to find in YA. Before I go on, let me give you the run down...
Before I Fall starts off with the main character Samantha Kingston. She's basically your typical, once, geek turned super popular senior. She's best friends with the most popular girls in school, as well as dating the boy that every girl wants. She has the life most high school kids dream of. Until one fateful night.
Sam leaves a party with her friends and their car crashes, and she dies...well, sorta. She dies, only to wake up again the next morning to the discovery that the day has somehow re-winded and she must repeat that same horrific day over again. She gets stuck in a Groundhog Day situation, where she must continue to repeat that fateful day, trying to fight her way out of it and save her life.
My thoughts: At first, I hated Sam. She was awful to everyone who wasn't popular or that she thought wasn't "important enough" for her time and energy. Her circle of friends bullied some of the other girls at school and she was truly a selfish, spoiled brat. Her circle of friends were the typical Mean Girls. But that all changes...
What I love about this book is you truly get to see Sam's transformation. As she's forced to relive the day of the car crash over and over, a magnifying glass is put over herself and her life and she comes to realize how awful she's been. She comes to realize her mistakes and appreciate life instead of just wasting it and worrying about the superficial routines of her social circle. You get to watch Sam's journey of making amends and coming to terms with the person she was in the past, while changing the person she is in the present, even if it might be too late.
Along the way, Sam makes a ton of mistakes trying to figure out how to save herself and others from the accident, but she eventually finds herself, and with this self-discovery comes so many things. She realizes that her relationship with Rob is artificial and starts to fall for Kent, her pre-popular somewhat geeky best friend. And, man, did I love Kent! I loved how sweet he was and that, even though he was a bit nerdy, the author made him strong and confident anyway. He wasn't slinking in the corners and afraid to make his move. 
The ending was so heartbreaking, but even though the reader in me wanted it to end differently-- if you've read it, you know what I mean! -- the ending was perfect. It was the only way to truly end the book. I love that toward the end, Sam was no longer trying to fight for her life, but instead to make things right. The ultimate discovery for her also became that she really wasn't afraid of dying. She was simply afraid of what she'd leave behind when the time came. And isn't that sort-of true of all of us?
In short, I loved this book. Heart-wrenching but totally perfect.

5 of 5 stars!

Friday, August 21, 2015

A Deep and Emotional Romance in the spotlight - SHARE THE MOON




SYNOPSIS
Sometimes trust is the toughest lesson to learn.
Sophie Shaw is days away from signing a contract that will fulfill her dream of owning a vineyard. For her, it’s a chance to restart her life and put past tragedies to rest. But Duncan Jamieson’s counter offer blows hers out to sea.
Duncan still finds Sophie as appealing as he had during boyhood vacations to the lake. Older and wiser now, he has his own reasons for wanting the land. His offer, however, hinges on a zoning change approval.
Bribery rumors threaten the deal and make Sophie wary of Duncan, yet she cannot deny his appeal. When her journalistic research uncovers a Jamieson family secret, trust becomes the hardest lesson for them both.
"Heart-tugging small town romance with real emotion. Struth is an author to watch!" —Laura Drake, author of The Sweet Spot.

PURCHASE



The Author

Sharon's  Website / Twitter /  Goodreads 
Novelist Sharon Struth believes you’re never too old to pursue a dream. The Hourglass, her debut novel, is a finalist in the National Readers' Choice Awards for Best first Book. Her next release, SHARE THE MOON-Book one in the Blue Moon Lake Novel Series-is published by Kensington Books/Lyrical Press.

She writes from the friendliest place she’s ever lived, Bethel, Connecticut, along with her husband, two daughters and canine companions. For more information, including where to find her published essays, please visit http://www.sharonstruth.com or visit her blog, Musings from the Middle Ages & More atwww.sharonstruth.wordpress.com.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

For Fans of High Fantasy, comes A Dragon's Guide to Slaying Virgins



SYNOPSIS

Morgan had resigned herself to death. She had been ready to follow her true love into the afterlife, if only a certain Dragon hadn’t “rescued” her. She wasn’t grateful – after all, she was a full-fledged Lady Knight and perfectly capable of making her own decisions, without the help of arrogant Dragon Lords, no matter how good-looking everyone seemed to think they were… 

After dragging Lady Morgan from a Troll’s lair and dropping her off in another realm, Vallen thought he’d never see her again. But then an old member of his Knight Order betrays her oaths and begins amassing an army of thugs and highwaymen - in the same realm he’d left Morgan. 

Racing back with only his brother for a squire, Vallen finds Lady Morgan, accompanied by a teenage Werewolf, ready to take on this Dragon all by herself. But it will take all of them to defeat her, and little do they know that in this battle, the secrets of their broken hearts will rise up from the past and walk again… 



PURCHASE




The Author


Isabelle's Website / Twitter Facebook Goodreads / YouTube

Isabelle Saint-Michael currently lives abroad in Seoul, South Korea with a transition in process to the UK.  Writing is now her full-time gig, but she spent a number of years working in the online media industry.  (That’s when she upgraded her personality software from socialite to geek.)  Her hobbies include reading, shopping, travel, and medieval shenanigans with her closest friends.  She has earned such coveted nicknames as The Fighting Smurf, The Iz and Wiffle Ball Monkey Slayer.

From the author: “The Elven Life is a blog connecting a series of books and characters that I have created.  So many times we buy books but then must wait a year at least to get another fix.  In a world of immediate gratification I wanted to build an interactive way of storytelling for my readers.  Each book, along with the blog, is a free-standing story, but they will occasionally have connecting themes, characters, and messages for our fans to catch.  Check us out and keep watching!  Books will be available through Amazon, Kindle, and a retailer near you.”

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New - For Paranormal Romance Fans! Madison's Song.





SYNOPSIS

Her voice is enchanting; his soul is black…

Madison Carter has been terrified of Scott Lee since the night he saved her from an evil sorcerer – then melted into a man-eating monster before her eyes. The werewolf is a slave to the moon, but Madison’s nightmares are not.

Despite her fears, when Madison’s brother, Clinton, is bitten by a werewolf, she knows there is only one man who can help. A man who frightens her all the more because even in her nightmares, he also thrills her.

Together for the first time since that terrible night, Scott and Madison drive to Clinton’s home only to discover that he’s vanished. Frantic now, Madison must overcome her fears and uncover hidden strengths if she hopes to save him. And she’s not the only one fighting inner demons. Scott’s are literal, and they have him convinced that he will never deserve the woman he loves.

*Stand-alone companion to the Cassie Scot series



PURCHASE




EXCERPT

Prologue


Madison couldn't move. The only muscle in her body capable of stirring at all was her heart, and it felt like it was trying to make up for the rest. No ropes bound her. Nothing visible pressed her back and legs into the coarse beige carpet of her new rental home. Yet even as she writhed and twisted against unseen restraints, she knew she was trapped. Tied to the ground in a way that made her feel like a virgin sacrifice atop an altar.


The man looming over her, chanting spells and arranging crystals, didn't look like a powerful sorcerer. David McClellan had too weak a chin and beady little eyes. Those eyes, brown as mud and just as compassionate, told her without words that they would be the last thing she ever saw.

           

She didn't even understand why! Not that it would make a difference if she did. But she wasn't anyone special. She wasn't important. She was just an elementary school music teacher – or would be after she finished a semester of student teaching. This kind of thing didn't happen to her. To her friend, Cassie, scion of a powerful family of sorcerers, maybe. But Madison had no family connections and almost no magic aside from her beautiful, subtly enchanting voice. Why would anyone hurt her for a song?

           

A tear fell sideways into her sweat-dampened hair, joining countless others and doing exactly as much good. How long had she lain here, helpless? Minutes? Hours? It might only have been seconds. The box of “Card and Board Games” she had been carrying into the house lay on its side a foot or two away, some of its contents now strewn across the bare living room floor. There hadn't been any warning. One second she was on the way to her new bedroom to unpack her tenth or eleventh box, the next instant she was on the floor. Immobile. Helpless. Confused. Terrified.

           

Oh Lord! Why hast thou forsaken me?

           

There was magic in the air, growing stronger with each new crystal David arranged into a pattern only he could see. Cold, deadly magic that reinforced her every childhood fear. Her father had told her that magic was from the devil. Was this what he'd meant? Was this her punishment for brushing up against the world of sorcery, no matter how lightly?

           

David placed one last crystal before ceasing his chant. The silence felt ominous, like a lull before the storm, and when he moved away, out of her sight, a fresh wave of panic seized her. She strained anew at her bindings until the scent of incense filled the air. She had a sudden, vivid memory of Palm Sunday Mass, and of Father Owen making the sign of the cross as he wafted the same scent over his congregation. Father Owen didn't believe magic was evil; he had told her more than once not to listen to her father's “superstitious nonsense.”

           

The time had come to pull herself together. To think. She wasn't helpless. She had a little magic of her own, even if the thought of using it made her feel sick inside. God had not forsaken her. He had given her a tool, if only she could rein in her stampeding heart rate long enough to search her memory for what little knowledge she possessed.

           

First, she had to find her quiet place. Madison drew in a deep, shuddering breath and started to close her eyes, when a glint of something metallic caught her attention. She stared at the long, lethal dagger in David's hands, an ornate golden hilt largely hidden within his iron fist. His eyes drifted up and down the length of her bound body before settling on her midriff. He lowered the blade.

           

He was going to cut her. She squeezed her eyes shut, bracing herself against the expected pain. Or worse.

           

Think, Madison. Focus!

           

She took one last steadying breath. Then she counted. Breathe in one ... two ... three ... four ... breathe out ... five ... six ... seven ...

           

Her concentration snapped when cold metal bit into warm flesh. Her eyes popped open, her muscles strained once more against invisible bonds, and she screamed.

           

Wait, she could scream? She had a voice?

           

“Silence,” David commanded.

           

Her throat continued to work, but no sound emerged. She felt like a fish being gutted, choking and spluttering as David returned to the work of cutting into the soft, sensitive flesh of her belly. Yet even as tears refilled her eyes and fear devoured her heart, some part of her recognized that her guts remained intact. Whatever David was doing to her with the dagger involved tracing shallow patterns across the surface of her skin.

           

Fight the pain. Take deep breaths. Ground and center. She was not in the empty living room of a house she had not quite moved into yet, she was at church, singing in the choir. Above her, Jesus hung from a cross, a crown of thorns atop his head, a soft glow surrounding him. She usually found the magic within that glow. She reached for it...

           

“Stop that!” David slapped her hard across the face.

           

Once again her eyes flew open. She saw the dagger dripping with blood – her blood. Had her feeble grab for magic actually made a difference? David seemed to have noticed something, but what?

           

“You're just making this harder on yourself,” David said.

           

“What do you want?” Madison tried to ask. Her mouth moved, her lips forming the question, but no sound emerged.

           

She didn't think he would answer; he couldn't even have heard the question, but to her surprise he only hesitated a moment before saying, “Your soul.”


The Author

Picture

Christine's  Website / Goodreads /  Twitter / Google + 


Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

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Worldwind Book Tours brings you the hot Romantic Suspense, Blue Moon!




SYNOPSIS

From the bestselling author of Riversong...

Playboy Ciaran Lanigan was the party. Executive Bliss Heywood was the library. When they meet, sparks fly and so begins an uncontrollable attraction that neither is strong enough to escape, regardless that it’s fraught with lies, secrets and family complexities.

But ‘party boy’ Ciaran isn’t everything he appears. Lurking beneath the surface of his charming grin is a man haunted by fears. Are they real or imagined? As he slowly reveals his past, Bliss becomes less and less sure if the man she’s involved with is unstable or truly in danger. Will she learn the truth in time to save him?

Set in the fictional town of Peregrine, Idaho, Blue Moon, the second book in the Blue Mountain Collection features the youngest Lanigan brother, Ciaran. It is both a love story and mystery, with Tess Thompson’s quirky and complex but lovable characters.


PURCHASE



The Author

Picture

Tess's  Website / Twitter Facebook Goodreads / Pinterest

Tess Thompson is a novelist and playwright. She has a BFA in Drama from the University of Southern California.

After some success as a playwright she decided to write a novel, a dream she’d held since childhood. She began working on her first novel, RIVERSONG while her second daughter was eight months old, writing during naptimes and weekends. She considers it a small miracle and the good-nature of her second child (read: a good napper) that it was ever finished. RIVERSONG was released in April 2011 by Booktrope, a Seattle publisher and subsequently became a #1 Nook book and Kindle best seller. Since then she's released five additional novels: RIVERBEND, RIVERSTAR, CARAMEL AND MAGNOLIAS, TEA AND PRIMROSES AND BLUE MIDNIGHT.

Like her characters in the RIVER VALLEY COLLECTION, Tess is from a small town in Southern Oregon. She currently lives in Snoqualmie, Washington with her two small daughters where she is inspired daily by the view of the Cascade Mountains from her home office window.

A voracious reader, Tess’s favorite thing to do is to curl up on a rainy afternoon and read a novel. She also enjoys movies, theatre, wine and food. She is fed emotionally by her friends and family and cherishes relationships above all else.

She's currently in the editing process for her first historical romance called DUET FOR THREE HANDS, which will be released in late February and followed shortly thereafter with the second in the BLUE MOUNTAIN COLLECTION, Blue Moon.


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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Living in a Construction Zone - Renovations Abound!

Chaos. That is the story of my life right now. Thinking of buying a fixer upper? Got kids? Don't. Just don't.

Okay, so maybe we don't have a tractor in our living room, but this is pretty much what the inside of our house looks like. Sans tractor. Lol.
Seriously though, it's not that bad, I suppose, but I can't help but think of how much easier this would've been had my husband and I done this years ago, pre-children. Sleeping among boxes, drywall dust, power tools, and endless amounts of lumber,supplies, and hard work, when it's just the two of you? No problem! Trying to maneuver in a construction zone with two young children undertow, all the while doing your best to reign them in from tearing into their boxes of toys? Trying to keep them from tripping over a pile of trim or a spare hammer. Preventing them from messing in the paint or tearing into the pantry while you're working? That's a whole 'nother story.

My son can't focus on anything but when we're going to start decorating his room and get him the futon we promised. Meanwhile, he keeps changing his mind on themes and colors. My daughter--5 going on 15--changes her outfit five times a day or more, shedding old garments like a snake and letting them fall wherever they may. She steals my makeup and wears my heels around the house. Not to mention, our master bedroom is now, literally, covered in a carpet of 5 year-old clothes. Oh, and as an added bonus, I get to keep them from messing in the school supplies I bought them.

Quite literally, our house is chaos. And it's starting to get to me. Just a bit.

I tell people, when they ask how it's going, that we're living in a construction zone, and we truly are. That's the best way to describe it. I think it's more the fact that certain crucial things have been delayed that's getting to me the most, rather than just the fact that the house is crazy right now. And when I say crucial, I'm talking about the drywall. Drywall repair, I am fast discovering is NOT something you should do while living IN a home. And the only room that isn't undergoing repair is our bedroom and the very back room downstairs. The living room, dining room, kitchen, both kid's rooms, hallways, and bathrooms, are all having repairs done to the walls. This means everything is in boxes or covered and piled into the middle of the rooms. Drywall dust and mud are coating the floors and most flat surfaces. We can't paint, organize, or do a whole lot until he's done. Oh, and did I mention the drywall guy is over a week behind schedule? Oh, yeah, he is. It actually was originally supposed to be done right before we officially moved in. I suppose it's not fault though...something about some pesky kidney stones....Pfft. lol

I only pray he's done this week. Seriously though, if he's not, I may have to be committed. Just sayin'.

The moral of this story? 1890 farmhouse renovations not recommended with children. Especially right before school starts. Especially not when they're changing schools and your youngest is going full time for the first time, ever!

Gah! It will be worth it in the end. Right?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Pirate's Time Served - Looks Like a Cool YA Adventure!




SYNOPSIS

Careful what you wish for...

Sarah Schilling’s twelve year-old brother is wicked smart. But this? Pure genius. Brian snagged an invitation to spend the summer with their favorite aunt and uncle on St. Croix. Uncle Jack tells them, “There will probably be some swimming, some diving. We like to run. There’s a range, so maybe you’ll learn to shoot. Cooking. Your Aunt Helen is a classically trained chef. You knew that, right? There’s the Mallard seaplane, so maybe you’ll learn something about flying. T
hat sort of thing.”

That sort of thing sounds like too much work for Sarah Schilling’s summer on the beach. Until Brian’s scuba regulator mysteriously fails sixty feet underwater. Her training snaps into laser focus. During Brian’s rescue they unearth the 250 year-old secret of Black Bart—the pirate and his ghost. The discovery launches them into a hurricane of peril at the hands of modern-day pirates. The Schilling family will not survive unless Brian and Sarah discover the most powerful weapon that is within themselves.

A Pirate’s Time Served is a YA thriller of a ghost story. It shows how two teens can dig deeper than they thought possible, discovering what it means to lead, to follow, and to never ever give up—especially on family.

A Pirate’s Time Served is my third novel. I wrote it while attending Stanford’s Writers School, Continuing Education. My second novel, God’s Banker, reached number eight on Amazon’s suspense list. I have also written eleven business books published by Simon & Schuster, Putnam, McGraw-Hill, Wiley, and Adams.




PURCHASE





ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Chris's  Website / Twitter / Goodreads 

Chris Malburg is a widely published author, with work spread over 11 popular business books--including How to Fire Your Boss (Berkley) and Surviving the Bond Bear Market (Wiley, March 2011).  In his other life, Chris is a CPA/MBA, a former investment banker and now the CEO of Writers Resource Group, Inc., providers of professional financial literary content to corporations (www.WritersResourceGroup.com).  That’s the professional side of Chris’ career.  The fun side began when UCLA’s Writers’ school taught him to transition from biz-speak to fiction. GOD’S BANKER and the first installment in the Enforcement Division series, DEADLY ACCELERATION, both combine Chris’ natural talent for story telling with his professional command of the high-stakes investment world and what money and power do to some people. 

GOD’S BANKER  came to fruition from Chris’ hospital bed while recuperating from an athletic injury.  As a long-time endurance athlete, Chris is no stranger to the surgeon’scalpal.  Over 130,000 words later, GOD’S BANKERwas complete.  “It just poured out me,” says the author.  “I carried my note pad to physical therapy; made plot notes during the hours in the gym doing rehab; even while on my long bicycle rides through the hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean where we live.  Slowly endurance returned and with it, GOD’S BANKER.”

Chris Malburg lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Marilyn.  Their hobby is raising service dogs for Guide Dogs for the Blind.  As of this writing, they have raised eight Labrador retrievers and have had three make the cut for placement with their disabled partners.


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Friday, August 14, 2015

Review of New Adult Romance SAY SOMETHING and my rant on sex in books!

So, I know it's been a while. That's probably because last week we were in full-mode move swing, plus we finally closed on our old house (it's officially sold!) and are getting ready to close on the farmhouse, so I had little time to write, but a LOT has happened since we last chatted. We have the two other bathrooms in the farmhouse put together. The one just needs a door and paint, and the other needs tile and paint. That's it!! Plus, due to demands from the appraiser we have gotten a jump start on the siding and are having the garage portion of the house done, as we speak!! We have to wait for the rest of the house until the windows we ordered come in and are installed. Plus, we need the rest of the roof done first, but that wee bit of siding gives me a glimpse of how awesome the house will look once it's done. And. I. Can't. Wait.

Anyhoo... I didn't just bring you on here to blab about siding. I have a new book review! Note: the review will be followed by a mini rant below. Pssst.. Don't miss the rant. It involves sex.  :)

So, here's a bit about the book:

SYNOPSIS

Twenty–two-year-old Ari Munoz prefers to keep men at an arm's length. So when her best friend Vonne guilts her into going to a frat party, she couldn't think of a worse way to spend her night. That's until she sparks the interest of love’em and leave’em Ben Rodriguez. She knows she shouldn’t trust him, but the electricity she feels when they lock eyes is something she's never felt before. 

Twenty-two-year-old Ben Rodriguez has it all, and his senior year marks the beginning of even bigger things to come. He's a football star, fraternity president, and his endless pick of beauties makes him the envy of all of his frat brothers. So why is a pair of long legs and hazel eyes making him want to throw out his rules? 

Ari has her secrets.

Ben has his rules. 

What happens when both your pasts threaten your future? 

Say Something... 

*This novel contains adult themes and language. 18+ please. This is book one in a series and contains a cliffhanger. 


PURCHASE




MY REVIEW

This book was a bit of a disappointment to me. Although, I do give it 3.25 stars, I'll tell you why. First, more about the book.

You have Ari, the female MC. She's the typical, not-so-typical, college aged character, who's different because she's not super into partying and is normally pretty reserved and conservative. She doesn't date much, nor does she have a huge interest in finding love, until she meets Ben. Enter Ben. He's your typical, frat, player who dates and sleeps around, but never forms a solid connection with anyone and is completely uninterested in any sort of commitments or attachments. Until he meets Ari, of course, and all that changes.

So, it sounds like your typical plot, right? It is. But it wasn't the predictability of the plot, nor the fact that it has been done already, because, hey, people do read the same plots and themes over and over. We like them, even if we say we don't (most of us). Those themes are universal for a reason. I'm okay with books that have been done before. Pretty much everything has. What counts is whether the voice is great and if they can put their own spin on it. I feel that, for the most part, this book did have it's own spin that it offered in the issues surrounding Ari. I don't want to say what they are. I'll let you read, if you're interested to find out.

The beginning of the book (though a bit cheesy) really drew me in. It did hook me 100%. Here's what dissapointed me: After the first few chapters, the conflict just fizzled out for me. I don't know. There was conflict brought in by Maria, a girl Ben had been messing with that tries to sabotage his new relationship with Ari, but it just felt...trite. It just wasn't enough to provide the tension needed. And there were like 3 scenes from her POV, which I thought was weird and unneeded. Quite frankly, I didn't care why Maria did what she did, and I feel the book/writing would've been stronger had the author showed this in the scenes with Ben. We didn't need her telling us through Maria

Some things happen, like Ben's grandma getting sick and his mother disliking Ari, but they all missed the mark for me. None of them added the conflict to the story that it lacked. Because of this, the story fell a bit flat. Also, it made the fact that (IMHO) there was too much sex and not enough depth to the characters' relationship. There were times when a sex scene ended, just for another two in a row to follow, with little in-between. I call this erotica, not romance. Maybe erotic romance would be a better genre for this..? I realize that part of New Adult and a continuing theme is sexual exploration, but this shouldn't be the ONLY thing that happens. A great example of someone who did hot sex, yet had an emotionally gripping plot, is Jessica Park, with LEFT DROWNING. Great book!

Anyway, I gave this 3.25 stars and I do still recommend it for huge fans of NA, despite the things I said because I think you'll like it.


Now for the rant....

Let's see. What shall we call it?

MY RANT ON SEX IN BOOKS

Okay, so this rant is coming about because it occurred in the above book and annoyed me. Plus, I have seen it in other books, as well, which irritates me, just a bit. :)

First, the frequency of sex. Shall we discuss this? First of all, I am not a prude. I am not one of those readers/people that dislike sex in books or think that it should be glazed over. I feel that sex should be added to a book if it is NEEDED. First of all, isn't that point of everything in a book? All content in a book should be content that is crucial, in some way, shape, or form, to the novel. That doesn't mean that every scene needs to be some super suspenseful, mind-boggling plot twist or discovery of some sort. It can be minor things too. It can something as simple as an old memory, or some small scene with friends at coffee shop that reinforces their bond. As far as sex goes, it can be needed for different reasons... Maybe to show that character has violent tendencies, or has been abused in the past. Sex can even be needed, quite simply, because it is the natural progression of the couple's relationship. It would be bizarre in a lot of cases for the reader to not see that the characters have taken their relationship to the next level. But when it is scene, after scene, after scene, with hardly anything in-between, to me is gratuitous in anything BUT erotica or erotic fiction. For example, if I pick up a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey, I expect (not just because of its reputation) that the book is loaded with sex scenes. If I pick up a copy of a book in the romance genre, such as, Nicholas Spark's latest, or Susan Mallery, or Nora Roberts I can expect some sex, but I know that there will be much more to the book than the sex. Do you get what I'm saying? I have no problem with books that are 350 pages long and 275 of those pages are sex, but label it so!!

The other thing that annoys me is some of the terminology used during these scenes. I realize that if you have 150 pages of intercourse, you're going to have to get creative with your words. I understand that you have to mix it up. After all, no one wants the same boring scenes. But the word "nub" and "mound" are two, in my opinion, that should be banned from sex scene use. In case you were wondering, this is referring to the female anatomy. Mound isn't as horrible though as *gasp* nub. And I have actually seen nub used in more than just the above book.

I mean, "nub"? Really? To me, a nub is like my pinky toe, NOT that little, important piece on a woman's anatomy. (Ahem, you all know what I'm talking about? Begins with a "C." If not, you really need to study an anatomy book.) In the dictionary, "nub" is defined as "a lump or small piece" and even uses a piece of coal as an example! Really, people? What in the hell kind of "nubs" do these women have? Are they like super human? Are their internal sex organs monstrous also? I'm going to assume not, since most of these books don't result in pregnancy. We need some better word choices here, authors! Please! I'll even help ya out and give you an example. I'm currently reading a book--that admittedly used "nub" once, but I really like this author and series, so I'll look past it! All is forgiven Tessa Bailey!--and she used a word for this same part of the female anatomy that I loved. "Bud." Isn't that great?! It's feminine, and sweet and conjures the image of something tiny, and delicate (as it should be!) A much, much better word choice.

So, authors, I know, it's difficult. In fact, I can't even think of any other terminology off the top of my head for you to use. But the next time you're typing away and are tempted to used the word "nub." Don't. Just don't. Replace it with "bud." Because, remember, "nub" is just one tiny hair away from the word "stub" and that's just creepy.

Until next time ;)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

My Review of If You Dare - Romance by Jessica Lemmon


SYNOPSIS

He'll make her a bet she can't refuse...

Lily McIntire is in the creepiest mansion in town. Alone. At night. Because she's an idiot-and can't ignore a dare from her cocky and infuriatingly hot co-worker, Marcus Black. But she'll be damned if she's going to give him the satisfaction of winning.

Marcus has had a thing for Lily for ages, and he has no intention of losing this bet. His plan? Scare her out of the house, and into his arms. Once there, scaring her turns into protecting her and soon after, into seducing her. And his plan is working...

Lily is having trouble relegating Marcus to the role of "asshat" as easily as before. He came to her rescue, and he's actually funny. Charming. Sexy as sin on a stick. But Lily has a strict no-love-in-the-workplace rule, and even one night of the best sex ever won't make her change her mind. So she's calling everything off...

Surviving a night in the mansion might just be the easy part. Surviving Marcus's increasingly convincing advances is going to take everything she has. Losing is not an option...


PURCHASE





MY REVIEW

This book was okay. Although I wasn't entirely disappointed, I feel sort of dispassionate about it. The beginning was great. Marcus, the male MC, has had a thing for Lily, the female MC, for quite some time. He makes a bet with her that she can't spend the night in a haunted house and a huge trip to Hawaii is at stake, so of course he goes to the haunted mansion to kind of scare her off. 

It gets a bit predictable and cheesy from there. The couple ends up having sex, then the story just sort of fell flat for me. I actually ended up skimming a couple chapters because it didn't hold my interest, but it does pick back up again toward the end. I don't know. I would give this author another shot because the book held my interest enough for me to finish it, but it just fell a bit short. I read in the intro (or somewhere) that this story had been a shorter story but the author added content to beef it up and make it a full length novel. Part of me wonders if that's the reason  the story seemed to get boring and fall flat. A really good full length novel is a skill and an art and takes a lot of care and consideration to have the right amount of conflict and story arch. I think it's extremely difficult to take a short work of fiction and add to it to make it a full length novel and have it work. I'm guessing that's what happened here... This probably should've remained in its shorter, original state.

3 of 5 stars