3 star review

Unlikeable Demon Humter

Bridesmaids meets Buffy with a dash of the seven deadly sins.

The age-old story of what happens when a foul-mouthed, romance impaired heroine with no edit button and a predilection for hot sex is faced with her worst nightmare–a purpose.

Ari Katz is intelligent, driven, and will make an excellent demon hunter once initiated into the Brotherhood of David. However, this book is about his twin Nava: a smart-ass, self-cultivated hot mess, who is thrilled her brother is stuck with all the chosen one crap.

When Nava half-drunkenly interrupts Ari’s induction ceremony, she expects to be chastised. What she doesn’t expect is to take her brother’s place among the–until now–all-male demon hunters. Even worse? Her infuriating leader is former rock star Rohan Mitra.

Too bad Rohan’s exactly what Nava’s always wanted: the perfect bad boy fling with no strings attached, because he may also be the one to bring down her carefully erected emotional shields. That’s as dangerous as all the evil fiends vying for the bragging rights of killing the only female ever chosen for Demon Club.

Odds of survival: eh.

Odds of having a very good time with Rohan before she bites it: much better.

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.

I would call this a Kate Daniels Buffy mashup with a train wreck and a side of new adult stupidity. So maybe more like Buffy than I would like to admit, the only thing is I was at A VERY different life phase when I was so enthralled with Buffy, and even then I sometimes got irked with the BS.

But this? This is a hot mess on so many levels, just like the dislikeable heroine. The premise was excellent; a secret society of Jewish demon slayers so blinded by their misogyny they missed their chosen one was the female twin? Sheer catnip. The writer’s voice which was clear and full of snark (excepting the sex scenes both solo and two player which were both just not great to me-particularly Nava’s name fer her vagina, bleck). Perfect.

The characters and what they do though? Stupid, and not often in a fun-loving way. You know how they say of young soldiers that they have to be young, dumb, and full of… to throw their lives away like that? Yeah, these kids (even though ones who are ostensibly full adults) struck me that way. Which just screwed with the plot for me, since I couldn’t get behind their motivations so much of it didn’t make sense. Don’t get me wrong there was some deep stuff going on, but for me it was overshadowed by exclamations of “damn it, are these @ssholes 20 or 12 for crying out loud.”

I don’t know though. It was like a freaking train-wreck that I COULD NOT look away from. I read it in one sitting, just devoured it, I had to know what would happen next. So that has to be worth something. And I remind myself the Kate Daniels series didn’t exactly set my world on fire that first book either. So I am going to give this a cautious 3 stars, see what happens next, and maybe suggest that this might be more of a hit among firm lovers of the New Adult paranormal genre.

The Unlikeable Demon Hunter (Nava Katz, #1)
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2.5 star review

Review: Confessions by L.M. Mountford

**A copy of this eBook was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review**

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When Mina returns for her stepbrother’s 21st birthday, she thinks her days of lusting after him are over. Caught up in the heat and passion of the moment, she is stunned to find them back in bed together; their feelings clearly far from resolved.

 

Well, where to start? Not much in the way of printed works causes me discomfort, but this short novella had enough taboo to skate the edges of social and personal acceptability. While the author provided a disclosure related to the consensual nature of the sexual acts contained, the events that played out seemed to hedge more along the lines of rape, than consent.

For the duration of this quick reading, I am sure my face was flushed with shock. The beginning was smooth, with a nice introduction to our main character, but quickly and unseamlessly fell into a dark pit of kink. I can get over the dalliances between the step-siblings, but the brutal scenes that unfolded soon after started to cross a line I didn’t know I possessed. I am all for an enthusiastic romanticized tryst, but the gang-attack of this 20-something model was a bit much. While I understand her initial stance was one of consent, Mina’s continual second guessing was enough to make me think that she wanted to withdraw that consent, but feared for her career.

Consent obtain through threat, is sexual assault.

This is my first experience with this author’s work so I can not comment on his writing abilities much more than I have already. For a dirty afternoon, or steamy evening read this would fit the bill. If you were hoping for complex character development and a solid plot,  you won’t find it here.

 

 

 

 

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2 star review

Review – Dark Ghost by Christine Feehan

Dark Ghost

He wasn’t civilized or tame. He had his own code and he lived by it.

Monk. Bounty hunter. Vampire slayer. Andre Boroi has spent centuries battling the undead, holding out against the dark with honor. But now, gravely wounded by master vampire Costin Popescu, Andre will be easy to track—his spilled blood marking the killing trail for Popescu and his hungry band of underlings. Andre’s only chance is to disappear into the gray mist of the Carpathians. To wait. To hope.

She had a healing touch and a scent that was his lifeblood.

In the mountains in search of a precious crystal, geologist Teagan Joanes suddenly finds herself hunted by those she once trusted. Then she comes across the warrior—wounded, wanting and irresistible. Andre has been craving her for an eternity: his lifemate. Her warmth envelops him. Her scent pulsates. And with every beat of her heart, Teagan surrenders to a passion she can’t possibly comprehend.

Now they are bound by destiny, but is it enough to keep them safe from a stalking, relentless darkness that threatens to swallow them alive?

This is book 28 in Feehan’s PNR series. There have been ups, and downs, and general WTFery, and I am not sure I have really loved anything since Dark Slayer. But Feehan has some sort of hold on me. She was one of my gateway drugs into paranormal romance and I find myself still being dragged along.

Mostly I was just bored. The good included much less of her “precious” language, and no WTFery from the infernal triplets. Andre and Teagan were mostly alone for this book, so there was a ton of navel gazing on both their parts. And quite a bit of their early relationship kind of squicked me out. I am not sure precisely why, because isn’t wasn’t as overt as Cat’s Lair, but still, it left me feeling queasy. And then when he converted her, he was somehow completely unaware of how painful it would be? How the heck could that possibly happen among a telepathic race? He got the message that a psychic woman could be converted through 3 blood exchanges but never information about how it occurs? Completely unacceptable at this stage in the game.

Mostly though, the story left me feeling bored. Which is a shame because if I remember correctly Andre was one of the most obnoxious when it came to the newly mated females, which could have opened the door to all sorts of interesting exchanges with other characters, but none of that happened.

Feehan did open up to another group of ancient males in the monastery, so there may be room for more interest. But somehow I doubt it. If Gary’s story goes the way I expect it to go then that may finally be the story that enables me to let go.

2 stars

Dark Ghost (Dark, #28)
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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.


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Review – The Immortal Who Loved Me

The Immortal Who Loved Me
by Lynsay Sands

I am absolutely flabbergasted. If I were talking instead of writing, I would be practically speechless. We’re up to book 21 in the Argeneau series, and while Sands has at times struggled to remain fresh and coherent, it has still been an enjoyable series. But this book? I had problems with this book. Don’t even bother reading if you don’t want spoilers, because that is all I am going to be doing here.

The book starts off kind of novel, lots of drama and violence, and Stephanie (the teen Edentate i.e. vampire without fangs who isn’t crazy from previous books) is the heir apparent in finding life mates. And this time, instead of maneuvering, Stephanie is very up front, hey vampires are real and this is your life mate, this is what a vampire is, all of that, it is right out in the open. Consequently, I think a new reader could actually start here, which is unusual for such a long running series. Everything was going along fairly smoothly, and while Sherry and Basil’s chemistry wasn’t the best (nothing like Basil’s bother Lucien and his lifemate Leigh) I was enjoying this more than the previous couple of books, and then we hit the first speed bump: the hero Basil, has been having babies every 100 years or so over the past 3000 years with a friend of his, and as recently 25 years ago. Ok, that threw me for a loop. But he explained and while I was still not precisely thrilled with it, I understood his motivations, life is boring and they found having children fulfilling. So on we went. Then we got closer to the end and we started realizing Sherry had been controlled by a vampire her entire life. Turns out her father, while an effed up drunken immortal 19 year old, used mild mind control to convince Sherry’s happily married mother to have sex with him. Later he found Sherry’s mother in a hospital after she tried to kill herself over a pregnancy from an infidelity she couldn’t understand, and he used mind control on them to try to fix his mistake and he stuck around. When Sherry’s parents eventually divorced, he stepped in as an uncle. As Sherry aged, he wiped his image from her mind to show back up as her best friend. Later he did it again and got her to hire him for her new business. And all the while wen she went off the rails, so to speak, he would control her or wipe her mind to “fix” things. Naturally, Sherry was completely devastated and righteously angered. But then Elvi, who seemed a reasonable and sensible person in her own book, turned into a sociopath and explained how what Sherry’s sperm donor did was alright because mortal parents would do it if they could, and the rape really wasn’t that bad because it wasn’t a violent violation. WTF? Then Basha (from a previous book also) finally had to/got to kill her own son Leo, who is the true villain of this current story arc. And Sherry realized everything is hunky dory and she looks to go rescue her dad from the horrific punishment he is due (violent though the punishment was, it seemed like an appropriate one to me). Sherry and Basil admit their love, they find out Sherry’s paternal grandfather will be showing up, and the book basically ends. 

So basically, I am not at all pleased with this book. I am not pleased with the way this book handles consent, and I am not pleased with this lopped off ending. I honestly don’t know if I am finished with this series, but unless something spectacular is happening in the next book I am doubtful I will continue. I am sorry to say, but this story has negatively colored the entire series for me. No rating from me, only disappointment.

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2 star review

Review – Viper Game

Viper Game
by Christine Feehan

Viper Game


WTF did I just read? No really, WTF? The first chapter or so, I kind of heaved a sigh of relief, I could maybe put this series down. This is almost a spin-off of the spin-off of the series. She’s introducing new characters all the time without finishing the ones we already have. And the evolution of the powers and manipulations have become more and more off the wall. I don’t think I have really LOVED this series since Deadly Game and Conspiracy Game (books 4&5 which I went back and re-read those two this weekend and I still love them).We’re on book 11 now, and all I can say is WTF you guys.

We have viper assassin toddlers, y’all. I’m not even playing with you, so let me say it again y’all – VIPER ASSASSIN TODDLERS. I could probably just stop right there, but that isn’t the end of the WTF-ery. We also have a heroine who is addicted to sex, but the hero can temporarily “cure” her if she gives him blow jobs. Yep, so that happened, and it gave Feehan a reason to amp up the whole why are they even having sex during this TSTL moment? We also have a man who can walk THROUGH walls, and mutant zombie cyborgs. Yep, that happened too. Furthermore, there was virtually no cohesion with the rest of the series or past characters, just a whole bunch of sequel bait potential heroes. And Whitney’s reach has just grown unbelievably vast and his scope so psychotic that I am just waiting to find out that he is being controlled by Xavier, Xaviero, and/or Xavyion, and that the animals he spliced into the Gostwalker genes are actually from the leopards or werewolves, and that Zenith is based off vampire blood. It is THAT crazy.

Unfortunately, for me, I literally could not put this down, and the sequel bait totally worked, because I really must read the next book to see what she pulls out of her hat next. So yeah, I am still in, but I am not exactly happy about it, nor is it for any really good reason.

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