November 29, 2011

Book Review: A Midsummer Night's Sin

A Midsummer Night's Sin
Kasey Michaels
Blackthorn Brothers #2
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 3

Puck is quite literally a sexy bastard. Women want to bed him and men want to be him. However, after returning to London after a long stay in Paris, Puck finds the English are a bit more concerned with his bastard status than his Parisian fanbase.

Regina is the daughter of a status seeking merchant who intends to profit off of marrying her to a title. Only seen as a commodity by her father and left to fend for herself by her alcoholic mother, Regina just wants to have a little fun before she is sold off to the highest bidder.

This was a very quick and entertaining read. Puck was charming and completely lovable living up to his namesake nicely. His interactions with Regina were fun, but I felt she gave into him a bit easily. I was also irritated that she seemed to obey whatever he said without much of a fight. I like my heroines to be a bit spunky and not so easily attained, but I guess if my dad were about to sell me off like a horse I would run off with Puck in an instant too!

The two meet at a masquerade ball which was a bit cliche and common in these types of stories, however there was an interesting plot twist. Regina's cousin Miranda is kidnapped at the ball and she must find her with the help of Puck before Miranda is sold off into the sex slave trade. Pretty different for a historical romance, but still very predictable. If you don't catch on to who is behind it all almost immediately I will be surprised.

Recommended to romance and historical romance lovers. Fairly typical, but with a delightfully fun hero. Let's just say Puck will make you love life!

November 28, 2011

Book Review: Pride & Passion

Pride & Passion
Charlotte Featherstone
Brethren Guardians #2
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 4

Most Beautiful Cover 2011

I have been eagerly anticipating Pride & Passion ever since I finished its predicessor Seduction & Scandal this summer. The characters are endearing and the plot promises to always offer Masonic excitment. Charlotte Featherstone has quickly become one of my top authors to watch! Her smooth and scintilating way with words is sure to captivate and please readers of romance.

The Duke of Delicousness does not dissapoint! Adrian is absolutely wonderful and his back story connection with Lucy was so sweet and heart wrenching. This book focuses more on the romance between our hero and heroine more than the developing series plotline. I actually felt it was a bit lacking in that part. I got the sense that this was really a book written to bridge the series plot over to the next book. Not much happens here in the way of Masonic doings, but the romance between Sussex and Lucy makes up for it. I was actually pretty greatful to just sink into the romance and take a break from all the running around and investigating.

Pride & Passion leaves us with a cliffhanger that will leave fans of the series dying to get their hand son the next book. Temptation & Twilight which will be Elizabeth and Iian's story! I love me some highland rake and will finally get the chance to indulge when the next book comes out in July 2012

November 20, 2011

Book Review: Henry VIII: Wolfman

Henry VIII: Wolfman
A.E. Moorat
Genre: Mash Up, Horror, Dark Humor
Rating: 2.5

Henry VIII is at the height of his reign and he's hungry like the wolf...

King Henry VIII is infamous for his ability to go through wives like dirty underwear with his fickle attentions and desire for a male heir. This book tells a tale untold until now.Henry's Europe is characterized as a land balancing precariously between human and demon kind. The Vatican acknowledges the existence of demons and even promotes their existence because, "..frightened people are more likely to attend church." Seriously, that's what they're going with. The Protektorate is an organization overseen by the Vatican that attempts to keep the demons in check to an extent, but in all honesty is pretty useless.  Henry contracts lycanthropy and spends most of the book loping through England at night tearing into peasants with his great big teeth and hiding random body parts in his closet.

The title says it all, really I think readers will find an enormous lack of direction and misplaced humor. There are definitely some funny parts, but there are fairly few truly laughable moments. It is easy to see where the author tries to get a twisted laugh out of his reader and fails completely leading to much head shaking and exasperated sighing. I am a huge fan of dark humor, horror, and novel ideas. However in this case I just didn't like it. I think it is mostly because I have been incredibly spoiled by Christopher Moore and his fantastic books that mix dark humor, horror, and quirkiness superbly while still offering the reader an emotionally charged plot. His stories make you question just how fucked up your sense of humor actually is one minute and then show you that no matter how dark it gets, there is always heart at the center of it. I guess what I'm trying to say is there is a method to Mr. Moore's madness, whereas Henry VIII: Wolfman is just mad.

The pages of this book are soaked with blood and guts. I can get into that for zombies and the like, but when it comes to cracking jokes during the graphic slaughtering of children, I tend to be revolted. At one point, wolfman Henry digs up the grave of a recently deceased child, pulls of its head and limbs, and buries his snout in the gaping neck hole to feast. This is all after sinking his teeth into the ample breasts of the dead child's mother and ripping them off of her while she screams in agony. I am in no way debating morals here, I have read and enjoyed many a blood fest with novels like Z.A. Recht's Plague of the Dead and darkly humorous tales like Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job. If you can write your gore and humor with a satisfying storyline I commend you, it just doesn't happen here.

I won't lie though, the reading experience wasn't entirely unenjoyable. The text is well written and for all its sillyness keeps your reading at a brisk pace. I was brought to tears laughing at two different parts because of how absolutely ridiculous they were. That was honestly the thing that kept me reading, the twisted desire to see what crazy thing the author would come up with next. After all my criticisms for this book I did have the pleasure of reading the best irreverent death scene ever. I almost feel like bearing with the rest of the book is worth it just to read the death by fat ass scene. Don't have a cushion to smother your poor suffering patient with? Have the fattest man in the room sit on his face. Genius. I honestly mean that.

So Wicked reader, are you confused? Are you wondering right now "Did she like it or not?" The only answer I can give you is this. I didn't enjoy the story so much as I enjoyed the way it fucked with my head. I'm giving it 2.5 stars because of the butt death scene and because this book made me really think about what I liked in a book and how far someone can mess with historical accuracy before I stop taking it seriously.  And that brings me to my final advice about this book. Don't take it seriously, enjoy the insane, twisted ride it takes you on. If you are not into the darker side of fiction, this is probably not the book for you. However if you enjoy a good mind fuck now and then, I suggest you give Henry VIII: Wolfman a read. And then tell me what you thought because I am dying to discuss this book with someone.

November 18, 2011

Book Review: Tattoo

Kirsten Imani Kasai
Ice Song #2
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Rating 4

I need to clear something up in response to all the negative reviews.

This is not a book you can read without having read the first one! The world is intricate and fantastic just like any other deep fantasy book. The Ice Song books are also very dark and at times strange, but no less beautiful for these elements' existence. If that is not something you are into, and you are not a fan of deep fantasy then you probably won't like this book. So before you make a harsh 2 star or lower judgment on it, I suggest you take the time to read book 1, it is only fair to this amazing author's hard work.

With that out of the way,Tattoo is a beautiful follow up book. The characters and the morbidly beautiful world are just as wonderful and developed as you remember them. My only complaint is that the plot wasn't as well fleshed out as Ice Song. I felt like book one had a solid plot. We knew what the objective was and we were emotionally invested in the outcome. In book two, it is less clear what exactly is the objective. Soryk wants his own life free from his primary Sorykah who just wants to live a quiet life with her children.

Readers get a better understanding of some of the supporting characters like Sidra the Lovely and Dunya the dog-faced girl. We also get lessons in some of the more concrete mythology of the world. I found these aspects very enjoyable and a nice distraction from the uncertainty of the major plot line.

Overall, it is worth a read for those who have read the first book. Laying the groundwork for other prospective installments, Tattoo will continue your journey through this vividly strange world.