Sunday, 30 September 2007

In Defense of Bella! by J R Ward

HOW DARE all those readers disappointed with LU criticise Ward for her 'wishy-washy' heroines!

Bella is one of the most wonderful heroines ever invented. As I have said before.

WHO was able to play along with Mr O's sick fantasies even though at times she must have almost given up hope.

WHO rescues Bella from the Lessers??? Bella does. It was she who released the civilian vamp to tell the BDB of her whereabouts. She did this at great risk to her life. Fully knowing Mr O would be baying for vengeance. What did he do? He sewed her eyelids shut and carved his name in her stomach. I call that utter bravery I do.

WHO chases after Z shamelessly even though he's some sort of emotional dwarf? Bella did (in Lover Eternal)

WHO rescues Z AND Phury from Mr O, even though those two are hell-bent on some kind of dumbass matyrdom. Bella killed Mr O when Z and Phury had absolutely no chance against him.

WHO has endless patience with Z's shortcomings in the making-love department?? Bella knew instantly what Z's problem was. Did she ever let disgust or condemnation show in her eyes? That gonad squeezing scene in the bathroom took a lot of nerve imo. (And much more deliciously kinky than anything V could ever dream up.)

For Bella, Phury never existed at all. She put up with all Z's stupid strategies to set her up with his brother. Not once. ONCE. Did she shout at Z or call him a stupid a.h.!!

How many readers noticed that on the cover of LA, Z looks to be shorter than Bella?

It is totally wrong to say that Bella is not a strong heroine. What other (closed-mind) reviewers mean. Is that Bella didn't have a proper job or career, so she cannot be inspirational. Tosh.

She's a fantastic capable woman who choses to live with her man. And she is beautiful too! Inside and out.

Bella for PRESIDENT 2008. Says I.

End of.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Midnight Run by Lisa Marie Rice

Name one real life inspirational cop. I certainly can’t do it. So why is this profession so popular with writers? What’s more, cops don’t actually solve that many crimes. 20% tops. If I only did 20% of my work I’d be given my pink slip. I’ve seen some really fat slobs in cop uniform lacking even the most basic people skills. I do admit they are needed to keep the traffic running smoothly but that’s hardly glamorous work.

Anyway the hero of this novel is a police lieutenant. With a habit of getting himself shot up. The hero’s name is Bud. Personally. I think that’s a terrible name for a hero. I suppose it’s meant to signify honest-to-goodness blue collar values like hard work, integrity, loyalty. To me it signifies too much beer, rolls of fat and not being too bright. To the author I think it signifies the ability to fuck energetically for hours on end and to put up shelves. Not that we get much of the former in this novel. What we do get a lot of is the c-word. I don’t have anything against the c-word per se. However when it’s used to describe the whole woman as opposed to just a part of her anatomy I do wonder about the person using it in this manner.

The heroine is a virgin! (In an Elora’s Cave novel!) And her gentle initiation takes about a third of the story. A tiresome business. I was more interested in Bud’s descriptions of his fucking with the waitress. I also didn’t see where the romance was. Bud literally steamrollers Claire into an engagement because he’s too intimidated by her father’s wealth and social status. Presumably Claire accepted because she was grateful that he gave her a good time in bed. People have got married for worse reasons than that but it’s hardly the stuff of a good romance.

What I enjoyed in the novel were Claire’s descriptions of the personalities of the doctors and nurses who treated her in hospital while she was ill. These form only a small part of the story.

And. It needs to be said. Claire and her friends must be the most crime prone trio in the whole of Oregon. Which considering their income bracket is truly amazing.

Finally. Another poor minor character dies horribly in this novel. Todd Armstrong. The token gay friend. R.I.P.

I’m going to read another in the series. Midnight Angel. I just like the fact that the stories are contemporary and feature minor and major issues in current affairs. (In Oregon that is).

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Ice Storm by Anne Stuart.

I have to say. I think Anne Stuart has made a mistake in making Madame Isobel Lambert the heroine of the next Ice novel. For a start. She is far too old. And she smokes. I know what will happen. Isobel will completely change her character for Ice Storm. That is such a stupid practice by authors.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

The Hunter by Gennita Low

I'm trying hard not to take offense as this ghastly novel trivialises beyond good taste the pernicious issue of sex-trafficking.

Another problem is that the characters are just horrible. From the heroine and her friend who sexually humiliate an unconscious man, the hero, and then laugh it off as a joke. To the whole of the UN peace-keeping force who are, on the one hand, portrayed as being responsible for the practise in the first place. And then the reader is expected to empathise with the fact that the head of the service does nothing because of the intricacies of international politics.

The heroine is also initially portrayed as someone with dubious loyalties who sells information to anyone, including the chief baddie, for money. I'm not a person who ever admired Mata Hari. Also. The hero may bleat how he loathes being the good buddy of the sex-trafficking baddie but as an outsider looking in, I would probably consider the hero as big a thug as his boss. I don't like the setting, Central Europe either. From the beginning of the novel there is entirely too much about the motivations and actions of unsympathetic secondary characters.

In the end. This novel ended up in the trash. Because around page 95 all the lurid descriptions of young women being raped and generally sexually brutalised kick in. Which of course is the true purpose of the story.

But oh. All those nasty things don't happen to the main couple so that makes it all right. Not in my book it don't.

imo. the author is worse than a pimp. (Not that I know any pimps I hasten to add.)

My advice. Don't buy. Don't read.

Immortals: The Calling by Jennifer Ashley

A new lesson learnt by reading this book. Even experienced authors can go wrong.

By chapter three, already I find the heroine’s dead witch sister more interesting than the heroine herself. The heroine herself is a gushing idiot. Awestruck by the sight of a handsome guy’s dick. Obviously this novel is aimed at thirteen year old teenage girls. Ho hum.

Mrs Giggles must be out of her tiny mind to give this story a rating of 86. In fact. I would advise all readers to avoid like the plague any novel that features ‘glamour magic.’ That’s a big pointer that both the hero and heroine are going to be resolutely stupid morons.

Explain to me why the hero, Adrian, a man who has been around for hundreds of years, even considers having carnal relations with a non-descript, mediocre-looking woman such as Amber. Ok. Because she admires his dick. How shallow. Obviously theirs is not going to be the romance of the decade. The heroine’s friend, Sabina, warns Adrian against having a one-night stand with Amber. But, strictly speaking, that’s all Amber deserves. Because. Yes, you guessed it. She’s another ‘innocent’ hooker. I present my evidence;

“You have such innocence.” Adrian said.

Amber made an effort to blink back her tears. “I did some pretty wild stuff in college.”

He didn't laugh. "Trust me. You are innocent. It's like a shining light in a world of darkness."

I had to pick my lower jaw off the floor after reading those lines.

THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS ABOUT WILD AMERICAN COLLEGE GIRLS and really, ‘innocence’ doesn’t come into it.

All I’m saying is. If you were a slut in college. Don’t pretend otherwise. Don’t apologise for it either. The hero, Adrian, must be some kind of total retard, if he mistakes wild experience for innocence. And he’s an Immortal. Dedicated to saving the world from ‘death magic.’ No wonder the planet is in such a mess.

For some unfathomable reason I continued reading this novel. And I wish I hadn't.

About two-thirds of the way through this so-called paranormal romance changes into a very nasty, gory horror and sex story. Just the kind of story I do not like so much. So much so that I had to skip to the final chapter just to make sure of the HEA. Which turns out to be very half-hearted. The heroine is brought back to life by a goddess.

But more than anything. I really felt that Adrian's brother Tain deserved a much better ending. The poor guy is still destined to be flayed alive every 3 days. The descriptions of which were really too much for me. I'm not surprised Tain yearns for the end of the world seeing that is the only way his torture will be finished. And the traitorous vampire Septimus thoroughly deserved to take Tain's place for a few decades at least. Instead he gets to remain Adrian's good buddy. Despite the fact that he nearly drained Adrian dry of blood. So for me the ending was highly unsatisfactory. And once again no other reviewer warned me of that fact.

What a nincompoop Adrian turned out to be. He searches for Tain for hundreds of years and then when he finally finds him he gives him up for the sake of 'true lurve' with a former college good-time gal. Who btw turns out to be a lot more capable and grounded than the hero. I'm just grateful my freedom doesn't depend on him. I felt that Adrian and Amber's dubious HEA came at too high a cost. (But actually it's all a 'buy the sequel' strategey.)

Unusually I feel obliged to comment on quite a weird sex scene. Ostensibly between the main couple. They are at the same time, infused with the spirits of the hero's mother and father. As far as I could make out. So, actually, it's a sex scene between a mother and her son. Or maybe I read it wrong. Very strange. It also could be interpreted as a sex-in-public scene. tbh. The novel could have done with more of that kind of thing. Instead of all that pussy m.a.g.i.c. crap.

This story also features lots and lots and lots of pretty useless trivial magic of all forms. Just bring along a few weapons next time dearies.

Overall. Not too bad.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum

I have watched and thoroughly enjoyed all 3 Bourne movies. Because of this, someone kindly lent me their copy of The Bourne Identity novel. And do you know what? I'm struggling to get through it. First of all. I have no idea how after about 6 months recuperating, Bourne was so easily identified as a target. Second. Bourne slaps Marie around in the novel. For no reason at all. And she puts up with it. Nothing like that happens in any of the crappy paranormals that I've read. Personally. I'm not really interested in stories like that.

It's very hard to return a book to a friend and say "Actually. I didn't read it."

Lover Unbound - V and Caspar.

Ok. I've been to the spoiler sites. How very sad it is to see an author ruin a good series.

Still. Can't say it came as a surprise. The signs were there in Lover Awakened. Who knows the reasoning behind it all. Frankly. Who cares. If the author doesn't, why should I?

I probably won't even bother with a review. Sorry.

V and effing Caspar??!!! Whose stupid idea was that!!! What kind of a pussy is the author that she agreed to it????

Friday, 14 September 2007

Reviews and ARCs of Lover Unbound.

I hate those bitches. You must be aware that some people have already bought Lover Unbound from on-line bookshops. But are they giving away details of the plot? Those bitches keep schtum. I really don't think Ward is giving them commission so what's the big deal? How about some consideration of readers instead of brown-nosing authors and publishers all the time.

Please anyone. Use the comment option on my blog to write a spoiler. What I want to know is does V get a happy ending. I'm begging on my knees.

Can you believe that Rhevs book is to be published in hardcover?!! Thank-you. Just the reason I need for not buying it. I object to being exploited. And anyway. I like the Ice series much more.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Ice Blue by Anne Stuart

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

I was half enjoying this rather slow-moving romantic suspense. Doing my best to ignore some lapses in pc-ness, when on page 152, I was hit by the most gigantic bulldozer of an offensive ethnic stereotype. I had to stop reading and start writing the review. In retrospect, the stereotyping started long before then. In fact it started the minute the hero, Takashi O’Brien, rescued the heroine Summer Hawthorne. Not to mention the token African-American best friend who gets killed for no good reason at all.

Although the word is not used in the novel, Takashi, exemplifies the word ‘inscrutable.’ I just chose to ignore that fact. What I couldn’t ignore was when on page 152 he declares that his special skill is that he 'knows how to fuck.’ Oh brother.

Time for my first poll.

a) I carry on reading.

b) I feed this crap down the trash disposal chute.

It goes without saying. My admiration of the author of Ice Blue ends. HERE AND NOW. (Not least because in this novel she succumbs to 'female author using a child abuse theme for entertainment purposes only' syndrome.)

In addition. I hereby appoint myself Official Spokesperson of the Society for the Prevention of Unnecessary Cruelty to Minor Characters in a Novel. Usually, completely innocent and harmless minor characters who are brutalised and deemed disposable purely for the sake of plot development. Only a reaching author resorts to such a strategy.

The list currently includes;

Micah from this novel. (We didn’t even find out he was black until he was dead)

Leanne from ‘If Angels Burn.’ (That poor girl. I completely despised the heroine for placing Leanne in danger.)

Of course. I did finish Ice Blue. And I think to myself. How predictable the plots for this series are becoming. I wouldn't say I know what will happen in each novel. I definitely can predict the order in which events occur however. Ice Blue is a pale pale shadow of Cold As Ice. Takashi would probably have done better with his Japanese intended. A movie I always vaguely remember seeing is Throne of Blood. Since then I just totally fall at the feet of scheming Japanese females.

Ice Blue is rather tame really. The first half is basically spent riding around in 3 different cars. I had difficulty in seeing what other reviewers have objected to. Is it that Takashi tries to murder Summer? Well. Both Peter and Bastian did pretty much the same in their novels. Of course in Cold As Ice, Genevieve gets retribution in that through her efforts to help Peter she nearly gets him killed a couple of times. Neither Summer nor Chloe managed to do that. But then, unlike Genevieve, they were pretty passive heroines. Another reason why Cold As Ice ROCKS!

Or that Takashi gives Summer the big O and then leaves her lying in a boneless puddle on the floor. At one point I thought these two were NEVER going to get it together. What was the point of the little sister and the weird cousin? Please don't let either of them have their own novel. And tbh the way Takashi treats Summer is a lot more interesting than the baddie part of the plot. You just know that on the day Summer presents him with their first child Taka-chan is going to have the most massive nervous breakdown as he remembers what he almost did.

Looking forward to Ice Storm. Out in November.

Friday, 7 September 2007

If Angels Burn by Lynn Viehl

Unremitingly sordid and nasty.

I've got to page 157 of this 300-novel and the hero is still at the 'you are my subservient slave' stage whilst the heroine has halted at the 'I hate your guts' gate. So forget about this being a paranormal romance. Apart from that. The heroine, despite being a highly qualified and successful surgeon, talks and thinks like a trucker. I feel sorry for her. She reads like a victim of spousal abuse. I hate it when authors can’t create a proper heroine type. For instance. The heroine's name is Alexandra. But she lets a casual fuck-buddy call her 'Al!' Later on the heroine calls the hero, Mike, when his name is Michael. But it's said as an insult. So where's the consistency? And the former lover, who is also a doctor, gets to treat and internally examine Alexandra when she is seriously injured. Charming. Can’t say that I like the hero either. As the heroine says. She helped him. And then he attacked her. But only because he was a 'helpless' victim of 'rapture and thrall.' Hur, hur. I'll look out for that one next time I read any info on wife-battering. Only a repeat cycle eeejut would look to build a future with that kind of guy.

The main theme of the story is torture, torture, torture. Everyone gets tortured. Men, women; young and old; innocent or guilty. Even the torture of a child is described. I only skim-read what seemed to be a passage detailing sex with a pretend minor. But that’s what prompted me to give the story a bad review. Generally. Throughout the plot, sex is used to humiliate and over-power various characters. You have to wait until page 243 of a 300 page novel for the first sighting of pleasureable consensual sex. Sorry. That's too little, too late for me.

Male vampires who give off a strong smell of flowers!!?? Whose stupid idea was that? This is the worst kind of multi-racial novel. Where 2 main characters, both people of color, are treated abominably. (By the author.) For instance, at the beginning of the story, the heroine, Alex, a woman of color, has a high status job with an excellent income. By chapter 5 she's lost both, has become a double murderess and is dependent on the slimy hero for pretty much everything. Her brother, John, comes across as a total moron with absolutely no back-bone whatsoever. I felt contaminated just reading about his life.

No one on this earth can force me to read Mein Kampf. And I also refuse to read any more of this revolting garbage either. Please. Don't tell me 'the second half of the novel is much better.' Actually. The second half seems to be WORSE than the only mildly interesting first half.

Excuse Me. I need a bath.