1 star review

Review – Falling for a Redneck by Eve Langlais

Falling for a Redneck
By Eve Langlais

So this is the second story in a row that simply hasn’t worked for me. And not just random stories, but things that should have worked. I don’t know if I’m heading into a slump or it’s just awful luck for this weekend, but whatever it is, I hope it straightens out PDQ.

Be forewarned, there WILL  be spoilers and ranting.

So generally speaking, even if Eve Langlais books don’t make my top favorites list, I can at least count on solid enjoyment. This is in fact the first book of hers that was completely wrong for me. It should have been right dang it. We have an uptight, germaphobe, white collar woman, and an earthy blue collar guy with two adorable plot-moppets to melt her icy facade. But this reprint should have stayed safely in the past.

From this point on there will be spoilers and rants, feel free to skip out, but if you haven’t read anything by Eve Langlais, skip this book and try her Freakn’ Shifters (ignore the horrible apostrophe usage) or Furry United Coalition (yes that does spell FUC). Both of them are full of humor, whimsy, and sexy times.

So, we start out meeting Marissa, the pro-Domme, in full regalia in a session. Except this isn’t her kink, it’s a job she does so she can punish men and vent her anger at all men over the horrible way her ex-husband treated her. So yeah, we have another BDSM practitioner doing it in lieu of therapy, a trope I quite despise. It actually gets worse though because her former therapist is the person who turned her onto it. So, yeah, that happened. And then she doesn’t even own it, she’s all conflicted over it. Enter the sexy redneck Dirk and his adorable plot moppets. I settle in thinking alright, this is working for me. I’m even getting into the mystery of Marissa’s stalker. And I’m especially enjoying getting to know Dirk and seeing him as a person and his back story unfold. Then WHAM, another trope/comment I abhor. Marrisa refers to her pro-Domme activities as “…as bad as prostitution”. Literally, WTF? First off, that’s just an awfully denigrating way to think about or write about prostitutes. Considering prostitutes as ” bad” is just not something I can condone. There’s plenty of ways to think about prostitutes (and that’s definitely a debate for another time), but that dismissive horrified line of thought is one that just pisses me the hell off. And secondly, if you aren’t having sexual contact with a human being for money (which she wasn’t), then it isn’t prostitution. It’s a service right up there with paying for massage, hair cuts, or spa services. Yes it’s a little out of mainstream for the general population, but it still isn’t sex for money. So she’s going to quit because she’s tired of it anyway, and her anger’s all cured by the love and care from her redneck and his magical peen. That’s a little bit of magical thinking, but I tend to accept it in romancelandia. Whatever, on with the story. So Dirk takes her to his parents house to be safe from the stalker. It’s a farm, which makes for some fairly funny scenes. We get to find out plenty more about Dirk and his kids, and both he and Marissa really open up. The plot moppets’ bio-mom even breezes in giving Dirk closure and forcing both of them to confront their feelings for each other, and then conveniently breezes right out with no real repercussions or consequences. So Dirk and Marissa head back to real life, and she’s figured out her stalker is actually one of her now-former client’s wife. She sets up one last appointment with the man to lure his wife in, and this part I actually did like, she talks the wife down and teaches her to dominate her husband as he likes to be dominated. Those two go home a happier and kinkier couple. Then Marissa finally confesses to Dirk that all her angst and anger came from the fact she had cervical cancer which resulted in a hysterectomy, and that her husband knocked someone else else up and left her. Yes, that’s very miserable, but Dirk is a sweetie who explains she’s not half a woman, she’s the other half of his heart. They get married and our formerly very starched and buttoned up clean freak doesn’t even freak over the handprints the plot moppets leave on her wedding dress. It’s sweet.

Now, if that were the end of it, at least it would have been a high note. Still not a great or even good story, but a high note. But of course I wasn’t that lucky, we then have the epilogue from hell. A year later they wake up and find a freaking baby on their doorstep. The plot moppets’ bio-mom has popped out another kid and left it on their doorstep as a belated wedding present. WTF?!?! I guess someone must think that’s a happy ending of massive wish fulfillment proportions. But personally, I just found it creepy and weird.

I think what frustrated me so much, is that there was the bones of a great story in there. And Dirk and his backstory were just excellent. He’s one of my favorite heroes so far this year. I actually kind of even liked Marissa. But the story around them just completely irked the hell out of me. How on earth does an author even write characters I like in a story I can’t stand? There’s some sort of voodoo going on here, but I’m still giving this story 1 star.

1 star review

ARC Review – The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die by Marnie Riches

The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die
By Marnie Riches

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review.

“When a bomb explodes at the University of Amsterdam, aspiring criminologist Georgina McKenzie is asked by the police to help flush out the killer.

But the bomb is part of a much bigger, more sinister plot that will have the entire city quaking in fear.

And the killer has a very special part for George to play…”

Theoretically, this should have been right up my alley, thrilling and with a brainy heroine. I mean, there’s plenty going on, people blowing up, a serial killer, assaults, kidnappings. But somehow it was just boring and plodding. I didn’t care, I felt no urgency. And some of it was because I couldn’t care less about the characters. George and Ad fell flat for me, George seemed a little less than advertised, and the villains weren’t any more engrossing.

Frankly, I found myself skimming trying to get it over with. I even jumped to the end to see if seeing the ending could inspire some interest (sometimes for me it will), and that wasn’t any more successful. There was nothing, so far as I could tell, technically wrong with this book, I just found it uninspiring.

1 Star
4.5 star review

Review – Mate Bond by Jennifer Ashley

Mate Bond

Fair warning, there may be spoilers, either for the previous 6 stories or this one. This is the point in the series where I don’t know how to do this any other way.

Jennifer Ashley turned the feels up to 11. While I knew she would never pull a J.R. Ward, I was emotionally invested in this couple in a way that does not happen often for me, I felt anxiety, and heartbreak and despair, and of course joy. Previous books in this series I read for the fun and smexy times. I enjoyed them but was starting to have some doubts with the last book Wild Wolf, but this one took it to another level.

Bowman and Kenzie’s relationship hurt them, mating for 15 years without ever feeling the mating bond. Always fearing the other would bond with someone else, and that would take away the person they love most. And I hurt right there with them.

“You think I can stand knowing any second you could walk away from me and I wouldn’t be able to stop you?” His fingers bit down. “That if you feel the mate bond with another male, you’ll go-and you won’t care? Do you know what that does to me?”

Bowman released her to put his hands to his chest, digging into his sweatshirt. “It tears me up inside, right here. It messes with me until I can’t sleep, or think, or feel anything but wanting to grab you and keep you with me no matter what. I’m fucked up because every time you smile at another male, it fucks me up even more. So have a little pity, all right, Kenz? You’re killing me-a little bit every day.” 

Shades of Nalini Singh’s Tangle of Need anyone? Only this time it is the man who has to bare his heart, who has the fear of having it all ripped away.

There is this lovely push and pull in their relationship, they’re a couple who knows each other so well, they function as a team and each brings balance to the other, and the smexy times are hot. But as a couple they are just so loving. I think this may be the most romantic story I’ve read all year. I was so glad to see Jennifer Ashley go back to a more relationship driven story.

That’s not to say the overall story arc and world building has been dropped. Not at all. I’d say it has been refined and refocused in a really excellent way. Disparate story lines that we thought weren’t connected suddenly make sense. Characters I wasn’t too sure about now have their place. It is just very cohesive. In the midst of tracking mythical monsters and rooting out the enemy, Bowan’s mate and cub are taken, and clarity comes to the soul. Feelings are admitted, and a wider conspiracy is revealed.

I just loved it really. Typically the fated mates trope seems like a short cut, or a cop out. But here it worked, it was something to be worked around, or worked within, or some sort of reward. The way these two navigated the issue just fit for me. When we met Bowman previously, I did not much care for him, but being in his head was amazing. And man, Kenzie just rocked. 

4.5 stars

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News, Thoughts and Opinions

Why husband and wife writing team Ilona Andrews is so fabulous.

It is no secret that I adore Ilona Andrews, the husband and wife team who write paranormal/urban fantasy/romance/what the hell is this? I don’t know but it is really super great! books. Besides the fact that I adore their writing, their heroines, and the way they blend myth with fuition, their blog is just a hoot. They interact with the fans, they post extras. Basically, they are just really accessible to their fans, in a completely non-creepy way. Well, right now they have two books that are competing in the finals of dabwaha.

Burn for Me

Magic Breaks

So yeah, their covers aren’t fantastic (it’s a curse really-but now it’s part of the fun), but the books are just excellent. If you haven’t already read them (They are both series, but Burn for Me is the first in a series and Magic Breaks is book 7), I really can’t recommend them enough.

And if you have already read them, but are on the fence about which to vote for in dabwaha, Ilona Andrews has just the thing to help make up your mind.

In short, check out the blog, follow it, and read the books, all of them. In addition to these two series they have a variety of short stories, another traditionally published series The Edge (which I really need to go back and review), and Self-pubbed serial Innkeeper Series.


Goodreads "Ask the Author" – Maryjanice Davidson

I really enjoy Goodreads’ Ask the Author feature. It’s such a low key, stress free way to communicate with authors. And I’ll admit, despite the fact this is open to everyone, I get a little giddy when an author answers me. Yes, I’m a big old book geek. My latest answered question comes from Maryjanice Davidson. 

Erin Burns asked MaryJanice Davidson:

Whatever happened with Boo after Wolf at the Door? If there was mention of that in Undead and Unsure I completely missed it.

MaryJanice Davidson She went back to Boston. No worries, we haven’t seen the last of her, or the Boy Blunder.

So, squee! An author actually acknowledged my presence on this earth! (Yes, my threshold for joy is very low, don’t judge.) And double squee, more Boo, aka Ghost. An albino vampire slayer, what’s not to love?