Tag Archives: NA

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Book Review: Rest in Pieces, by Lucinda Dark

I received a signed copy of Lucinda Dark‘s Rest in Pieces in the December Supernatural Book Crate.
rest in pieces lucinda dark
Ashes to Ashes. Dust to Dust. If vampires kill your entire family, vengeance is a must.

I can’t say my parents never warned me about vampires. I just never believed them. Not—that is—until six months ago when vampires broke into my home and killed my family. Thanks to all the skills my parents taught me, I managed to escape but I couldn’t save them.

Two vampires down and the rest of the world to go.

My bid for revenge is going to have to wait, though, because until I turn 18, I’m being placed in the loving care of Elizabeth and Jonathan McKnight—godparents I didn’t even know existed. The clock is ticking until I can get back to my goal of eradicating the vampire race. But something is amiss at my new high school. According to my parents, vampires can’t walk in daylight. So, why then, does Torin Priest? If he’s not a vampire, then what is he? Because unlike the obnoxious asshole, Maverick McKnight, who sees me as some sort of bloodsucking leech on his wealthy family, Torin Priest is most certainly not human.

To stake or not to stake, that is the question.

my review
This book starts with a Joss Whedon quote and then continued it’s Buffy cos-play from there. I say that with a little bit of snark, but no real venom. I didn’t dislike the book. But I do think the Buffy comparisons are unavoidable (and probably purposeful). Unfortunately, Barbie is no Buffy.

I didn’t come around to enjoying this book until well past the half-way mark. But by the end I was ready to continue on to book two. I found Barbie needlessly prickly for the first half of the book, and most of the other characters over-wrought representations of their character archetype. In fact, that last point carried through. The bitchy rich girls stayed stereo-typically bitchy. The sex kittens stayed stereotypical sex kittens. The dude-bro jocks stayed assholes. The kind and loving parents stayed kind and loving. There wasn’t really much depth to any of them and cliches and stereotypes were the words of the day, apparently.

Past halfway, the book finally drags at least one wheel out of the familiar Whedon-esque “I’m a sarcastic badass with a bruised heart” to allow the plot to progress. And at this point I enjoyed my time with the book.

I do have to say that it feels like it’s all going to take a very Anita Blake turn, though. This book has some sexual tension, but only one real (fairly mild) sex scene. But if I had to guess the series’ direction, I’d guess it will be soft porn before too long—given the ending. Which is fine. Some people might take issue with the heroine being 17 and the book containing on page sex. But my only true issue with it was that the idea of 17-18 year old boys who look at sex with a goal of pleasing their partner and know how to do it was almost more fantasy than the vampires. Just sayin’. Well, I suppose it also really muddles the genre classification. I don’t know if this is meant to be YA, NA, adult UF/PNF. I don’t sense that the author knows either. It felt more like she’d just forgotten the age of her characters at some point. Honestly, this genre confusion starts even at the cover.

All in all, I don’t think I’d buy book two. But I’d read it if I could get it at the library or as a freebie, etc.

rest in pieces photo


Other Reviews:

Paranormal Romance Guild Review: Rest in Pieces, Lucinda Dark

Audio: Rest in Pieces by Lucinda Dark

 

 

 

 

prince of never

Book Review: Prince of Never, by Juno Heart

Prince of Never

I won an Audio copy of Juno Heart‘s Prince of Never from the author.

about the book

A fae prince with a poisoned heart. A mortal girl with a magical voice. Neither one believes in fairy tales.

City waitress Lara has the voice of an angel and no idea she’s marked as the fated mate of a silver-eyed royal from another realm. When she falls into Faery and meets an obnoxious huntsman who mistakes her for a troll, she’s amazed to discover he’s the cursed Prince of Air in disguise. Ever’s mother, the queen, is less than impressed. The opposing court of techno-loving Unseelie wants her as their very own pet. And an evil air mage wishes her dead.

Held captive by Elemental fae in the Land of Five, she’s certainly hit rock bottom.

But songs wield power, and Lara happens to be a true diva. Now if only she can use her newfound magical skill to make the Prince of Never a little less attractive. The first thing she wants is to find a way back home, and the last is to fall in love.

Ever and Lara think they know what they want, but destiny and an age-old curse have other ideas.

Book 1, a standalone with a HEA in the Y.A. interconnected series, each one starring a different cruel prince and his human fated mate.

For lovers of Faery. Above all else, romance rules.

my review

Not bad at all, but also not anything too new and exciting. I liked Laura. I liked that the author showed her thought processes. Rather than having her just talk endlessly, for example, we know she’s made a conscious decision to make a point to irritate someone by talking. I liked Ever and enjoyed that the author did a good job showing his feelings change and his own confusion with them. The writing is clean and easy to listen to, and the narrators both did a good job.

However, I’m bummed that the villain and the plot hinge on the cliched spurned woman. *yawn* Laura’s personality mirrors so many other female YA character—kind and giving above all else—so, seen a hundred times before. And Laura seemed able to mouth off to authority without consequence, an irritating trait in YA heroines. Or rather, not in the heroines themselves, but of the authors and writings of such heroines. I always notice when heroines are allowed behaviors no one else is and want to know why. Especially when the hero then loves that same trait in them. Chicken and egg, anyone?

All in all, I enjoyed it and I’d be willing to read another of Heart’s books.

prince of never

 

Moments in Time

Review of Moments in Time (Moments in Time #1-3), by Karen Stivali

I won a signed copy of Karen Stivali‘s Moments in Time (#1-3) from Just Love Romance. I read it as part of my #DiverseRomanceBingo challenge, as it contains a bi character, Jewish characters and is written by an #OwnVoices author.

Description from Goodreads:

Moment of Impact
Beyond Collin Fitzpatrick’s dorm room, the students of his conservative college think he’s straight, as does his Catholic family, who’d disown him if they learned the truth. Inside, he’s safe with his sexy roommate Tanner D’Amico. Tanner wants to show the world how much he loves Collin, but Collin’s not sure he’s ready for the impact stepping outside will make.

Moment of Truth
Collin expected to spend another summer fixing cars and working at the college pizzeria. Instead, he’s living in a beach house on Fire Island, and for the first time, he and Tanner can publicly be known as boyfriends. Being “out” takes some getting used to, and doubt and jealousy threaten their happiness. Collin and Tanner must confront the truth or risk losing it all.

Moment of Clarity
Spending the summer on Fire Island brought Collin and Tanner closer than ever, but back in their conservative college town, new challenges confront them.

When Collin’s relationship with Tanner becomes an issue in his brother’s custody battle and Tanner struggles with feelings for his heartbroken friend Wendy, Collin wonders if everyone would be better off without him. In order to save them both, Tanner must make it clear his love for Collin is all that matters.

Review:

Hmm, there is plenty to appreciate here. It’s a sweet read about two university-aged guys falling in love. And it is sweet. It’s nice to see a confident bi character. It’s nice to see Catholic and Jewish characters. It was nice that the guys didn’t go from virginal to straight porn sex in an instant and that sex could be something other than penetrative. I liked that there wasn’t a lot of angst about who did what to who and what that did or didn’t make them. I liked Collin coming exploring himself for the first time and Tanner’s patience with him. And I just plain liked Collin and Tanner.

However, the plot often felt like little snippets of life between extended sex scenes. There was far too much sex for me. Not that I mind a lot of sex, but the balance of sex to plot felt too heavily weighted toward sex. I got bored with it. I thought a lot of the conflict felt contrived (and often predictable) and the easy way everything miraculously resolved itself in the end was too pat and easy to be believable.

Lastly, I had major concerns with the representation of women in the novelettes. There are basically only six women in the whole book. One is the classic saintly mother. Of the other five, one was willing to abandon her friends for a boyfriend and willing to steal another’s lover. A second was a wife/mother who cheated on her husband, abandoned her children and was vilely homophobic. A third was a homophobic mother that disowned her gay son and the last was a girl who actively pursued a man she knew to be in a committed, monogamous relationship. I get that this is a book about men loving men, but why does that mean women are so often only presented as the enemy? As if we can only be saints, which less face it removes them from the human realm and consideration, or dangerous to the male characters in the book?

For the most part however, I enjoyed this and have no real qualm recommending it to readers.


What I’m drinking: Loyd: The Magical Experience Flowery Earl Grey (seriously, that’s what it’s called!) I’d add a link, but it’s kind of frightening, in this day and age, how little web presence Loyd tea apparently has.