Thursday, August 14, 2014

Where I am


If you haven't noticed, I haven't been posting at all. Why?

1. I'm got a full time job.

2. I have to move out of state in 3 weeks.

3. My dog had a tumor removed.

4. We're packing up the house and trying to find a new home.

So...I've been busy. I'm still reading and I hope to resume posting at the beginning of September. So please bear with me.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Stacking the Shelves--August 9/Weekly Wrap-Up

So this was a week of absolute crazy.

1. Monday: Work, Vet visit--dog needs surgery
2. Tuesday: 7 hours of Orientation at Walmart
3. Wednesday: Errands, groceries
4. Thursday: Interview for a Job
5. Friday: Got a FULL TIME JOB! + Give Notice + Quit Walmart +PANIC (need to find a place to live in three weeks)
Saturday: Full day of work and more PANIC!

So I had a bad beginning of the week and was looking at 16 days of working straight with no breaks. Then I got a job so panic. I read two books last Sunday but didn't touch a book until today.

With that news, my posts are going to be sporadic during the next month as I find a place and move. Please bear with me.

Review

 1. Christmas with a SEAL by Tawny Weber

2. Ignited (Most Wanted Bk 3) by J. Kenner

3. Oh Naughty Night by Leslie Kelly

Purchased
  1. No Good Duke Goes Unpunished (Rules of Scoundrels Bk 3) by Sarah MacLean
2. Boomerang Bride by Fiona Lowe
3. If You Were Mine (Sullivans Bk 5 ) by Bella Andre
4. Deadly Fear (Deadly Bk 1) by Cynthia Eden
 5. From This Moment On (Sullivans Bk 2 ) by Bella Andre
6. Come a Little Bit Closer (Sullivans Bk 7) by Bella Andre
7. All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins
8. My One and Only by Kristan Higgins


 9. Flat Out Celeste (Flat Out Love Bk 3) by Jessica Park [1.99]

10. If I Were You (Inside Out Bk 1) by Lisa Renee Jones [1.99]


11. Being Me (Inside Out Bk 2) by Lisa Renee Jones [2.99]

12. Rebecca's Lost Journals (Inside Out) by Lisa Renee Jones [2.99]

13. Revealing Us (Inside Out Bk 3) by Lisa Renee Jones [2.99]

Library



1. Breathe Into Me by Opal Carew

2. Fear For Me: A Novel of the Bayou Butcher by Cynthia Eden


3. The Game and the Governess (Winner Takes All Bk 1) by Kate Noble

4. Goddess with a Blade (Rowan Summerwaite Bk 1) by Lauren Dane


5. In Your Corner (Redemption bk 2) by Sarah Castille

6. My Liege of Dark Haven (Mountain Masters and Dark Haven Bk 3) by Cherise Sinclair



7. Masters of the Shadowlands (Masters of the Shadowlands Bk 1 and 2) by Cherise Sinclair

8. Rat Queens Vol. 1: Sass and Sorcery (Rat Queens 1-5) by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch


9. Reaper's Legacy (Reapers MC Bk 2) by Joanna Wylde

10. Taking It All (Surrender Bk 3) by Maya Banks

11. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Library-Other

1. Now That's What I Call Music 51








Sailor Moon Crystal Sundays

1. Act 3: Rei

Books Read

1. Breaking All Her Rules by Maisey Yates
2. Captured by the Sheikh (Rivals to the Crown of Kadar Bk 1) by Kate Hewitt

Currently Reading

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sailor Moon Crystal Sunday--Act 3: Rei

Another two weeks, another exciting episode. I was so excited for Rei-chan's episode and it did not disappoint.



 This week featured the introduction of Hino Rei aka Sailor Mars. Last week I really enjoyed the focus on Ami-chan versus Usagi-chan and this one was the same. Like I said last week, Sailor Moon [original] often had Usagi-chan as the focus but this one seems to like to focus on the surrounding characters.

Summary of Episode 3:

Rei-chan is introduced as a beautiful woman who rides the one bus. She doesn't have many friends except a young girl who visits occasionally. One day Usagi-chan and Ami-chan are on the bus and they see Rei-chan. Usagi-chan follows her and strikes up an unlikely friendship. Later Rei-chan gets abducted by Jadeite and Usagi-chan follows the bus. As the three (yes three) senshi work together to end Jadeite.

Characters

1. Rei-chan: Like Ami-chan, she is much more closely related to her manga character. She has violet eyes and long violet-black hair. She also was a tad more composed than her anime counterpart. The animation was a lot better with Rei-chan and it made her appear willowy. It worked.

2. Nephrite: He was only introduced in passing as someone ribbing on Jadeite.

3. Zoisite: He (yes he) was only introduced in passing as someone involved with Queen Beryl.

Transformation

 I really loved how they showed respect to the original transformation but used the fire a bit different.

Similarity to Manga:

Pretty similar.

Similarity to Original Anime:

1. Rei-chan is not so forceful: She is much more soft-spoken and composed.

2. Zoicite is a man. Yay.

3. A specific little girl went missing instead of Rei-chan just being accused of being involved in the disappearances.

Outlook for Episode 4

I love the Masquerade episode so much and cannot wait for it. I found it to be one of the most romantic chapters in the manga.

Trailer for Episode 4

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Stacking the Shelves--August 2/Weekly Wrap-Up



This was a pretty uneventful week for me. I got some books, read some books, dealt with some drama on Twitter (See Sunday Discussion), and worked. I know, nothing exciting but that's life. What did you guys get up to this week?

Review


1. Beloved Healer by Bonnie Dee

2. Marriage Reinvented by Kat Cantrell

3. Rock Addiction (Schoolboy Choir Bk 1) by Nalini Singh

4. Keep Me Safe (Slow Burn Bk 1) by Maya Banks





Library


1. Ascension (Guardians of Ascension Bk 1) by Caris Roane

2. Fast Track (Buchanan-Renard Bk 12) by Julie Garwood

3. The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

Purchased


1. Captured (Fallen Siren Bk .5) by S.J. Harper [FREE]

2. Revealed (The Blue Raven Bk 1) by Kate Noble [.50]







Library Book Sale Purchases [Total $2.25]

1. Seduction in Silk (Mallorens & Friends Bk 13) by Jo Beverley
2. Must Love Dukes (Tricks of the Ton Bk 1) by Elizabeth Michels
3. When You Give a Duke a Diamond (Jewels of the Ton Bk 1) by Shana Galen
4. What I Did For a Duke (Pennyroyal Green Bk 5) by Julie Ann Long

5. Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins
6. One Pink Rose (Claybornes Brides Bk 1) by Julie Garwood
7. One White Rose (Claybornes Brides Bk 2) by Julie Garwood
8. One Red Rose (Claybornes Brides Bk 3) by Julie Garwood
9. Deadly Fear (Deadly Bk 1) by Cynthia Eden


Weekly Wrap-Up

Reviews

1. Going Under (Falling Under Bk 1) by Jeffe Kennedy [4 Stars]
2. The Book of Life (All Souls Bk 3) by Deborah Harkness [5 Stars]
3. Rock Hard (His to Claim Pt 3) by Opal Carew [1 Star]

Memes

1. Top Ten Tuesday--Authors I Own the Most Books

Misc.

1. Sunday Discussion--Pricing, M. Pierce, and Twitter

Books Read

1. I Just Want to Pee Alone by Mommy Bloggers
2. Kiss Me Like This (Morrisons Bk 1) by Bella Andre
3. Beautiful Oblivion (Beautiful Bk 3) by Jamie McGuire
4. I Hate This Place: The Pessimist's Guide to Life by Jimmy Fallon/Gloria Fallon
5. Thank You Notes by Jimmy Fallon
6. Whisper Falls (Destiny Bk 3) by Toni Blake
7. Rock Hard (His to Claim Pt 3) by Opal Carew
8. The Best Kind of Trouble (Hurley Boys Bk 1) by Lauren Dane

Currently Reading


Friday, August 1, 2014

Review--Rock Hard (His to Claim Pt 3) by Opal Carew

Rafe Ranier was my boss and secret crush. A rock musician by night and head of a billion dollar empire by day, Rafe could have any woman he wanted. But I was just the shy secretary he never noticed. For years I obsessed over him, until I finally realized I had to walk away. I needed to break from the secure life I’d always known to discover who I really was.I never expected Rafe to follow me.









Okay so I was totally taking a break from serials after reading so many absolutely terrible ones. Well I caved when I saw "His to Claim" Pt 1-6 available on NetGalley. It sounded fine, a rock star and a girl next door type. Well so far it has been one crazy ride and I'm only halfway through. I'm curious to see where it goes.

Previously On:

Melanie and Rafe have a decent make-out session in the apartment before being interrupted. Melanie is invited to watch Rafe perform and goes. She meets the band and is introduced to Travis (Jessica's brother and potential love triangle bait). Rafe and Melanie have sex where he immediately (afterwards) claims to not want a relationship. Melanie agrees and then promptly goes on a lunch date with Travis.

And Now:

Rafe storms into the Travis/Melanie lunch date and freaks out. Melanie gets mad and Rafe apologizes and says he wants to be exclusive. Melanie is excited and goes on a date with 'Storm' which is Rafe but whatever. Melanie goes on another lunch date with Travis after helping him buy his sister an engagement gift. There he offers her a job as a groupie on their tour so she can see the world and figure out what she wants to do. He also wants 'Storm' to come along. Melanie brings it up to Rafe and he shoots her down for himself. Later after she gets fired from the coffee shop she tells Rafe she needs to be dominated. He refuses and she tells him she's headed on tour with Travis and he forbids it. She's going anyway.

Review:

This serial is ridiculous. There I said it. Seriously it is a level of insanity I was not expecting even though I expected crazy sauce. Here's why:

1). The sex: It is totally unnecessary and adds absolutely nothing to the story. It seems like it's supposed to be spicy but it actually comes off as perfunctory.

2). Rafe and Storm: I mentioned this on Twitter but I was really confused by the concept of the name-switching. Storm is like an alter-ego at night only and he randomly shows up when it isn't necessary. At the same time Rafe shows up randomly too. I was so confused everytime it happened and I just wanted it to be over.

3). Can we discuss the whole 'I need to be dominated' thing: Melanie randomly informs Rafe/Storm that she needs to be dominated and wants to be spanked. I'm all for conversing with your partner but it seemed random and frankly with Rafe having abuse triggers, it seemed like a really bad idea. I hope this doesn't devolve into some sort of D/s story when it's not authentic.

In Sum:

Still crazy sauce and spiraling into DNF ranges.

1 Star
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
June 10, 2014
42 Pages
Provided by: NetGalley


Related Books:
1. No Strings
2. Savage Kiss
4. Wild Ones
5. Breaking Storm
6. Perfect Rhythm
*The Complete Novel [September 2, 2014]


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review--The Book of Life (All Souls Bk 3) by Deborah Harkness

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches—with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency. In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences. In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.


Can we take a moment and just breathe in the awesome?! Okay I took it and now onto the show.

This is one of my favorite series of all time and before I get into the review, I want to give a brief history of my love of the series. Back when the first book came out "A Discovery of Witches", I picked it up through an online book club (called Zooba and then BOMC2). It sat on my shelf for months and I randomly picked it up. I got to the point where Matthew leaves Diana at Sept-Tours and she experiences witch-water and then I put it down. About two months before book two was coming out I picked up book one again and read it for about two days straight. Then I marathoned book two "Shadow of Night" in about 36 hours. Then I waited TWO years for this one.

Previously on All Souls:

Matthew and Diana traveled back to the 1500s to find answers on Ashmole 782. There they met Matthew's old friends (Raleigh, Marlowe, etc.) and Matthew's family (Phillip, Louisa, Benjamin, and Gallowglass). While searching for information Diana had the opportunity to learn more about her magic and to find out just what she was capable of with it. At the same time when Diana and Matthew came back to the present they brought back a pregnancy and the determination to end the fight.

And Now:

Diana and Matthew set out to find 'The Book of Life" with help from their family. Diana and Matthew flee to her family home to regroup and come up with a plan. Matthew comes to the realization he needs to form a branch of his family line with him at the head, leaving Diana during her pregnancy to do what is necessary. As familiar faces, both friend and foe, seek out the Clairmonts, the groups faces an evil they were not prepared for in the way of Matthew's son Benjamin. They race to find 'The Book of Life' to stop Benjamin and end the hunt for Diana and Matthew once and for all.

The Review:

I rarely love the ending of a series. I'm often left disappointed in how it was handled or for the things left unanswered. Well that was not what happened here and I was so thrilled to get to the end because it was well worth the journey. I felt everything was explained, left open just enough for some consideration, and gave me happy feelings.

Diana and Matthew were once again flawless in their love. I really enjoy how realistic their love is and how they deal with the issues. The thing is they deal with magical issues but they actually deal with issues every couple deals with. They deal with crazy family, having babies, supporting each other, long distance relationships, trust, etc. It's always enjoyable to see a relationship portrayed realistically and happily.

I don't want to give too much away other than to say it was amazing. The writing was perfection and the story enchanting. I wish there was more but at the same time I enjoyed the ending. I wasn't really left with any questions or desire for more explanation. I think it is worth it to pick it up. Read book one first though.

5 Stars
Published by Viking Adult
July 15, 2014
561 Pages
Provided by--NetGalley


Related Books:

1. A Discovery of Witches
2. Shadow of Night

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review--Going Under (Falling Under Bk 1) by Jeffe Kennedy

Knowing all too well the damage online trolls can inflict, game designer Emily Bartwell takes privacy seriously. Living in solitude and working remotely under a male alias gives her a sense of security. The sexy writer renting the house next door ignites desires she’d forgotten she had, and when he invites her to play games of a very different sort, Em is ready and willing. Even if it means breaking all her own rules to abide by his. 

Undercover tech reporter Fox Mullins is so close to the biggest scoop of his career: finding the elusive programmer Phoenix. An increasingly erotic adventure with his reserved but passionate new neighbor is the ideal way to heat up the chilly Pacific Northwest nights as he tracks the brilliant gamer. 

At first Fox is happy to help Em explore her newly awakened kinky side, no holds barred, no strings attached. But as they push the limits of intimacy, both physical and emotional, Fox discovers he’s not the only one keeping secrets. And revealing hers may mean betraying the one woman who embodies everything he desires.


I've been a huge fan of Jeffe Kennedy's since I read "Platinum" over a year ago as a review copy. It was totally accidental I even downloaded it but it was amazing. I've been reading through each of the new releases for the past year and stumbled across this one on NetGalley. It was FANTASTIC!

Emily knows about online trolls and she is not going to deal with them if she doesn't have to. While hiding out on an island, using a male persona, she meets Fox. Fox says he's there writing but he is really there looking for 'Phoenix', the guy behind the hottest game online. While there he is intrigued by Emily and they begin a 'no commitment' relationship but soon their mutual secrets threaten to rip them apart.

First of all, I'm a gamer. I'm not an online gamer but I love sitting down with a controller and having a whole lot of fun. I was really excited to pick this book up and see what the gaming side was like. While the character was heavily invested in the gaming world and programming, the actual gaming aspect was nearly non-existent other than the conversational aspects. Emily spent very little time doing anything related to gaming. It was a nitpicky complaint but I wanted to mention it up front for those looking for that sort of story.

The relationship was explosive. I was expecting a forced obsessive relationship with lots of insta-love but I was really surprised in a good way. Sure the two experience instant attraction but I can get behind that. I was really excited by the way Ms. Kennedy handled the sexual relationship between Emily and Fox. They didn't jump into bed immediately. They also recognized mutual needs and played with control quite a bit. Fox had a night in the driver's seat and then Emily got a night. Emily who didn't know a lot about dominance, got some guidance from Fox. He wanted to show her and explain what to do and what was safe. I really applauded that. It's not typical to see that kind of consideration and respect in romance with regard to discussing a sexual relationship.

 Back when I began reading this book I made a comparison on Twitter which I still stand by. I informed Ms. Kennedy, I felt the book read like a Nora Roberts novel with more sex. I stand by that distinction because of two things. First, the setting was nearly a character in itself and as a reader I could picture the surroundings. I always feel that happens in Nora Roberts books (think "Whiskey Beach"). Secondly, the relationship followed a similar track with the general meeting, discussions of setting and general daily events, some dating, some issues, some downtime, some magic, and a whole lot of realism. Plus we got 'competence porn' where both characters were exceptional at their jobs. That's another thing we get in Nora Roberts books. So I do still support my original feelings.

Finally, I wanted to mention how the concept of online trolls were handled. In this day and age in internet relationships, I see this more and more. I've dealt with some harassment and hatred online and I can only imagine most others have as well. This book played a bit with how cruel and scary online harassment can be when Emily dealt with it in her past. Her version was particularly frightening and I thought the discussion and portrayal of this was handled incredibly well in this book.

I'm eager to see what book two will bring in the future and I urge everyone to try this book.

4 Stars
Published by Carina Press
July 14, 2014
226 Pages
Provided by: NetGalley