Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cheating Chance by James Buchanan

Title: Cheating Chance
Author: James Buchanan
Series: Taking the Odds #1
Age Group:  Mature adults
Rating: 8
Couple: M/M

Synopsis: Nick meets Brandon at a goth convention and sparks fly.  After keeping in contact, Brandon heads out to stay a weekend with Nick so they can have a few more days together.  When someone is murdered at the club they were at, things may become too complicated for this little relationship to make it.  They will need to learn to trust that the other person will be there when everything is said and done.

Review: The story was really adorable.  Nick was a great character to get to know and Brandon was so mixed up on something that it made you want to hug him to make it better.  The couple's interaction with each other made for enough tension to keep the story interesting but there was very little doubt about how they felt about each other. For the most part, throughout the story Brandon is a little standoffish and seems to not have as much invested into this relationship with Nick.  But at the end, when Brandon needs to get Nick out of trouble, there is no amount of pleading or negotiating that is too much.  This type of character development is SO nice to see.  Even if some other things are a little over the top.  Nick driving a hearse and Brandon giving in so easily in the ropes scene.  Overall though, it makes for a nice getaway from every day life.  It was serious, funny, hot and heartwarming all at the same time.  Well done.

Cautions: There is graphic sex.  Quite a bit of it.  Don't read it if this is not your thing or if two men make you uncomfortable.

Series: The first in a series of three.  I have not read the others but I am anxious to.

HEA: There is more of a happy for now.  They are only able to have a long distance relationship and Brandon is still not out by the end of the book.  I am hoping this stuff is resolved in the continuing books.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Series: Matched Series
Age Group: Young Adult to Adult
Rating: 8
Couple: M/F

Synopsis: In this unsuspecting 'utopia' people have all of their decisions made for them. Down to what they wear, what they eat, what recreational activities they do... and who they marry.  When a young girl finds out who her match is, she is very satisfied with her choice.  It happens to be someone that she has known her entire life.  When she gazes at his picture and it flashed to different boy, things only go downhill from there.

Review:  It was amazing.Ally Condie really sucked me into this world.  I found myself telling everyone about this book as I was reading it.  There were so many things that I was shocked to learn about, but it totally made me believe in this world.  Certain events in the book made me laugh and cry and shout with anger.  The entire book was a roller coaster of emotion while watching a little girl in this society grow in a woman who wants to do something about the things she sees wrong.  The people you meet in the book are so life like you are thinking of them as your friends and family by the end of the book.
I was at a slight disadvantage though when I started this book.  I had no idea it was a trilogy.  So I got to the end of the book and was PISSED.  Mostly because it was not an ending.  It was merely a break in the story telling.  I am as excited about this book as Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instrument installments.It does not come out until November.  So until then, I am holding my breath.

Cautions: Things are messed up.  If the reader is too young for this book, you will know why the way they do not imagine that that way of life is anything different than what they already experience.  At a younger age, a parent will choose what you eat and wear and hang out with.  That's all normal.  When freedom is introduced is when this book will be a mind blower.

Series:  This is a trilogy and this was book one.  Of course.  Book two (Crossed) comes out in November with the conclusion (not yet titled) a year later.  If everything goes right.

HEA: Nope.  Not even close.  There's not even anything in sight that can make me believe there is going to be one.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Eternity's Many Loves by Jayme Evans

Title:  Eternity's Many Loves
Author: Jayme Evans
Series: Eternity's Vampire Series
Age Group: Teen to Adult 
Page Count: 353
Rating: 7
Couple: M/F

Summary: Ethan has lived for eternity.  Or at least that what it seems like to him.  Throughout his time he has fallen in love with a few women.  All of them have broken his heart and he refuses to love again. He has resolved that he will find a way to cure his vampirism so he can live out his life the way it was intended to do.  Then he meets Kristen and everything changes.  She is able to slip past his defenses and make his feel again. 

Review: The story was really good.  There was great personalities with all of the secondary characters.  The plot was really fleshed out so you knew exactly what was happening without it giving anything away.  I admit, I was pleasantly surprised the way everything worked out at the end.  Once it got there I saw it coming (though it didn't take away from the story) but you didn't know about this through the whole book.  I liked that Ethan had emotional baggage that he had to get over in order to trust again.  This shows growth in a character which makes for a really great story.  Kristen didn't change all that much but the little progress she made was essential.  There was kind of a 2D bad guy which was a little bit of a let down.  I mean, I wanted more from the antagonist.  Even the small change at the end for his seemed forced.  I think that would be the biggest issue with this book.  Things seemed to be forced.  Ethan's love for her seemed forced.  Maybe more sudden than forced.  But he couldn't explain to himself why he felt the way he did, so he automatically related it to love. Then out of nowhere, when faced with a terrible decision, she doesn't want to see him go... so she loved him.  The dialogues between the characters in the book seemed a little awkward more than anything.  A lot of old phrases that didn't translate well to the story as well as words of passion which were more like words of cheesy.  Those were really the only things in the book that I could have asked to flow better.  Other than that a nice read.

HEA: There is a hea at the end.  Which we all know is what I look for in my romance books.  It worked out differently than I thought it would.  But it was still kinda... forced.

Cautions: There is blood play.  Not a lot.  But they do use him drinking her blood as a sexual act.  Not overtly though.  There is barely sex in the book.  However, something to be aware of.

Book aquired through Romancing the Book.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Of Wishes and Myths by Staci Brush

Title: Of Wishes and Myths
Author: Staci Brush
Publisher: Brush Publishing
Page Count: 284
Source (where you got the book): Romancing the Book
Rating: 5
Couple: M/F

Summary/Blurb: A little girl has grown up listening to stories her father told her.  When one night, she realizes that maybe they weren't stories- they are memories.  A young man stumbles upon an older man in the woods and is told to bring the body home to his people.  Without knowing why, the young man complies with this request.  Meanwhile, sisters are learning how to live without each other and finding true love. 

Review: The book starts out with a ten year old's pov.  That's fine.  Sometimes it can enhance the story.  Not in this case.  I had to read the beginning a couple times in order to figure out how old the kid is.  She did not think and talk and write like a ten year old. She was a great character, but she wasn't ten years old.  I felt this took away from the story.  Then you meet the young man.  The telling of him running into the old guy was LONG.  I was about ready to give up before he found him.  Wandering around the forest makes for a great story when there is still something happening.  It makes it hard to stay enthralled when he is just wandering and hungry and thirsty for a couple day with no one but a dog to talk to.  Then you meet the sisters.  They were really mean to each other.  And the mood swings that were generated were... out there.  Then the dialogue between one sister and the love interest.  It was awkward.  It wasn't bad, just awkward.  And sudden.  I think that was the idea, but it almost seemed hurried.  One chapter the sister wondered if he even loved her, and in the next chapter she was talking marriage.  In fact, this was a problem through most of the book.  Things were hurried or they were really slow.  Not a lot in the middle.
However, the idea for the story was good.  Competing faerie courts that were alike with some key differences.  They way the alliance was made.  The human randomly being drawn in.  All that was good in theory.  It was the fleshing of the story that needed work.  I am sure with editing and expanding and cuts this can be a much better book.  But as it stands, it was lacking.

HEA: Yes, there is one.  Of course.  But it is a little strange.  The kid brings the happily ever after.  Without the kid, the girl might not have forgiven the guy.  It almost seems like they are together because of the kid.  And that's not right.  But maybe I have this totally wrong.

Book aquired through Romancing the Book.  Review originally posted through them. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Fallen Angels
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments (Book #4) 
Age Group: YA to Adults
Rating: 9
Couple: M/F

Synopsis: A couple months after Valentine was killed, Clary and Jace are trying to live their own version of a normal life when evil attempts to hunt down Simon.  Relationships are tested and what you thought could never happen... happens.
That's really all I could put into the synopsis.  Cassandra Clare did not post anything about the plot of the book before it was released because it was so much better as a shock.  So I started reading the book without really knowing where it was going to go. 

Review:  This was an AMAZING book.  Cassandra started writing the Mortal Instruments (TMI) as a trilogy.  After the conclusion book came out, she had ideas for a fourth- which would have been fine.  But then she went on a writer retreat and came home with ideas to fill THREE more books.  Now, while I waited for the first conclusion, now the happy endings I had before are nowhere to be found.  I guess this is a gift of a great author.  She was able to finish a series, decide to expand upon it, and make it happen without it seeming like it was strectching the story. I managed to fall in love with the characters all over again while meeting new characters and loving and hating them as much as the originals.  Not to mention the way she ties this in with her other series, the Infernal Devices, to make us want to read that one to make sure that we aren't missing anything.  I am now biting my nails in anticipation of book #5 which will not be out until NEXT May.  Dammit.

Cautions: Only the usual when you talk about a series.  Each one is tied together.  It really makes it difficult to understand everything if you have not read all of the books.  However, this being the beginning of a new expansion, it would be possible to read and understand it well without reading the others. However, you would be denying yourself the full potential to this book. 
Also, the main couple is m/f.  But there is a gay relationship in the series and someone else I am pretty sure is a lesbian.  Now, this does not bother me.  I think it makes it extremely realistic as far as the diversity of people.  However, some people are not thrilled and it is something to consider when looking at this book.

Series: Already went over this a little.  But I will refresh.  This is #4 in a planned trilogy.  Yes, she expanded it.  Bitch.  Lol. Here starts a new problem with a new antagonist and new obstacles to get over.  Watch out, it'll get sticky.

HEA: No.  There is no hea.  It is book #4 (for like the seventh time).  However, at this point I am doubting a hea for the last book. O well.  This is what I get.  I will wait two years to rejoice or cry.... I need to stop reading series.

Misc. Information: As as far as doing this just for the readers, you couldn't ask for a better author.  A huge online joke made its way to her a few months before the book was to be released and she added in the joke.  And not in a way that would have made a difference, or you had to be a follower (because it didn't stand out- it flowed perfectly to the book) to get it.  Also, at certain follower intervels on her twitter, she will write different excerpts for us to read and enjoy.  Example- at 30,000 followers she is writing a scene for us that is not directly related to the series.  Amazing.  If I were an author, I would like to be one like her.