Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: Barrel of Monkeys

Barrel of Monkeys
Barrel of Monkeys by Tymber Dalton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Romance Review

With the world still heading straight for the apocalypse, people are still barreling into love. In Book 5 of this series, Ms. Dalton keeps the erotic ménage going with Gia Quick, Omega and Echo.

Gia Quick is in LA, California manning the station. She's keeping the peace best she can. When a riot turns ugly and her team goes in to squash it, she never expected to pull in two sexy military men. Omega and Echo are in the wrong place at the right time. Wrong because it cost them a team member; right because they find the woman they can share.

I'll be honest, the pairs of men in this series are totally interchangeable. I can't remember any of them very well. None of them are that distinguishing for me. The women on the other hand are more memorable. Ms. Dalton does a nice job of creating yet another strong woman who is going to do her best to keep the world together. Gia Quick may be a softie, but in these times, she hardened her heart and gets the job done. This is admirable because she makes the tough calls and stands by it.

The plot in this story does continue to move forward and this is what is keeping me riveted to the series. I want to know how this all turns out. Secondary characters are starting to have more air time and it seems that the sick fake Reverend may not have everything as under control as he believed. It is the beginning of his downfall. It will be exciting to see just how bad it turns out.

From an erotic ménage perspective, it's enjoyable. While it is sex with three people, it's still too tame for me. For those who enjoy ménage with two men working a woman to orgasm coma, Ms. Dalton delivers. Here's a glimpse into the pleasure Gia suffers between four roaming hands, two hard cocks and two lapping tongues.

"You ever been spit-roasted?"

She had to swallow again and shook her head instead of trying to answer. Her nipples pebbled in the cool air as he dropped the towel. He reached up and cupped her breasts, playing with her nipples, his deep brown flesh in stark contrast to her pale skin.

"How would you like to come with his cock down your throat and mine sliding up that sweet pussy of yours?"

She nodded. (pg. 128, loc. 1949-1953)

When it comes to an enjoyable smexy read, Ms. Dalton is a go to author. With the series half completed at this point, readers will still be interested and waiting to see the end game. Recommended for ménage readers who enjoy threesomes with authority.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Review: Snow Time For Love

Snow Time For Love
Snow Time For Love by Zenina Masters

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

When your own shifter animal rejects you and all of shifters species rejects you as a compatible mate, it can really kill a woman's self-esteem. Whilst everyone else in her family is happily mated with children, Nova a Siberian tigress is by herself. This is until Crossroads is opening up to fae looking for a mate. What's the worst that can go wrong? Being rejected again? Been there, done that is Nova's thought.

This story was way too short. Ms. Masters introduces the fae into series as serious contenders for mates. This one is the first book where I felt rushed. In a blink, the mating occurred. There wasn't much character development in this one which is a surprise. Plus, the animal traits which Ms. Masters so nicely brings out in her previous books are missing. It would be nice to learn more about the fae here. It would be nice to have more conflict. Although the one scene where the fae annoyed Nova was pretty awesome.

I guess what I was hoping for was to see how the two newly mated couple had to face adversity. It's mentioned in the book but never shown. It's glossed over as a foot note which is a surprise. Perhaps Ms. Masters is saving it for another book to be presented from another couple's perspective. The epilogue came just a little too quick for me. It was a nice bonus glimpse into what happens after the happily ever after, but I still felt as we jumped over too many possible scenes that could have been explored more fully. This book I was so looking forward to - it is a letdown for me. Still, I'm going to read the rest of these series because I love Ms. Masters' writing voice and this series is just so addictive. This is a 2.5 star book for me. It was a bit more than okay.

*provided by Manic Readers

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Review: Seeing Spots

Seeing Spots
Seeing Spots by Zenina Masters

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The fae want in on the Crossroads? How will this work? The Crossroads is a safe haven dedicated to shifter finding their mates. In this one, whilst the romance is between a cute cheetah and a sexy tiger, I'm more interested in the proceeding going on with the Shifter Council. How will the fae be given a chance to find a mate?

Ms. Masters changes into a new and exciting direction. Whilst there are plenty of animals she has not used yet, the basic story line does see the same. With the threat from the fae and how they are going to be integrated with the shifter world, it will inject excitement into this series.

The world building is just so good here. It's nice to see an opening left for more than just fae entering into this society. I've always been intrigued with djinn Teebie. To see more of her family show up as well as her people will be exciting too. What it really comes down to, is Ms. Masters weaves a wonderful tale of romance and magic. This is why I'm reading every book in this series and enjoying every single one of them. Each one is a variation of a good theme. Love it! This paranormal romance is recommended to readers who enjoy shifters, fae and magic all intermingling.

*provided by Manic Readers

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: Lucky Strike

Lucky Strike
Lucky Strike by Jane Davitt

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Ménage m/m lovers who enjoy space operas, this is the story for you. For those who enjoyed the cowboy antics of Captain Mal from Serenity and liked Inara the expensive escort, Jake and Rill will feel familiar. Jake is a captain of a space ship he won in a card game. He's rough around the edges and blurs the lines between law abiding citizen and criminal. His partner is Rill. Rill is the lover he lured from a very expensive whore house. Rill's childhood is complicated because he is a designer baby - a Nova. Nova are perfect in body and mind. As a prostitute, they are unparalleled in skill, looks and cost. These two unlikely partners take on a job which is a bit more than they can handle. Lian is an alien "gem" baby. He's a rich boy who has never had to suffer in his life. When his surprise visit to a cousin is cut short, he desperately tries to make it home to deliver life threatening news. Lian basically throws himself at Jake and Rill's mercy to take him back to his homeworld. This is where the fun begins.

Ms. Davitt creates a world of intrigue, clear socio-class distinctions and sexy hawt men. The plot of this story keeps a reader in constant flight mode. This because the threesome are trying to outrun someone who has better technology and a reason to kill them. There is a definite end game for the three and time is running out. The technology used in this story is pretty nifty. The embedded interface into a body so that it can provide instant information is something quite popular. Perhaps within the next thirty years, there will be a bio interface of this sort.

The real attraction to this book is the interaction between these three males. Jake and Rill are sexy hawtness together. Jake is the rough guy. Rill adds the smooth experience. When Lian joins this dynamic duo, it takes it to another level. Mostly, because Lian is a sweet virgin. Every old experience for Jake and Rill become new again when they initiate innocent Lian into the art of manlove. Now, there is more than just sex in this story since the sex is a small part. As the three learn more about each other, Ms. Davitt shows how each of their strengths compliment the other. It's a sweet romance despite the impending doom. The conflict which these three work together to resolve helps binds them closer together. This seems to be just the beginning of their journey together. One can only hope Ms. Davitt will return to this world with another adventure with these three troublemakers. M/m romance recommended for space opera addicts.

*provided by NetGalley

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Review: Fish Tails

Fish Tails
Fish Tails by Sheri S. Tepper

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Political, environmental and social commentary is always expected from Ms. Tepper. In Fish Tails, she delivers with a knockout punch. For those who have not read the books in this series, it is still okay to read this one as a standalone. It is going to be easiest for those who have read Ms. Tepper books previously and those who enjoy fantasy. For those who have never read a Ms. Tepper book or read much fantasy, you will be lost.

The names of the characters in this book may be hard to remember, but their personalities are memorable. Ms. Tepper does a good job of building each character to be individual voices with their own style of talking, behaving and thinking. This book is filled with several different players and it's easy to keep them straight because of their uniqueness. There are also subplots within plots. This is a trademark of Ms. Tepper which makes her book a bit meatier to read. In this latest one, I'm not sure if it is because I'm older and more jaded, but her social commentary came across more heavy handed. Whilst I understand where she's going with her agenda, I can't say that I'm completely on board.

In this particular book, she once again provides extremes and weaves a tale of comeuppance to misogynist, a mysterious force righting the wrongs and animals trying to survive despite humanity's destructive nature. What I liked about this story is how it stays in line with her views of sexism and how many patriarchal groups within society are damaging. Whilst there are some redeemable males, they are few and far between. Ms. Tepper labels the majority of males as MOBWOW - "monkey-brain willy wagger" (loc. 1000-1001). In this dystopic world, the evil technology fiends have torn the world apart with their weapons of mass destruction and continue to do so. Aliens are trying to help the world heal itself by ridding the plague. The plague and sickness equates to human beings. This nod towards Ms. Tepper's view environmental issues is also consistent with many of her previous books, including the ones not in this series. Basically, this story is conglomeration of Gate to Women's Country and The Family Tree. Both books were pivotal for me as it explores how humans treat women and animals. One could theorize that Ms. Tepper is a male-hating tree hugger. This is not a bad thing if the reader feels the same.

Her descriptions are vivid and each place pops into high definition. The storyline may be confusing unless one is used to Ms. Tepper's tendency to hop back and forth between timelines and subplots. It is like reading several books at the same time. This makes it interesting for me because each piece is a puzzle to the larger picture. When it all comes together, it makes sense. Ms. Tepper leaves no thread loose on its own. All the questions are answered and the higher purpose for the common good is revealed. Is this a bit of a lecture? Perhaps. It's still an enjoyable adventure. Could there be scenes that should be been cut out? This is hard to say. Because the story did drag at times. However, if some of these scenes which dragged were left it, it would have made the story harder to follow in the end. Could this have been edited down to a tighter story? Possibly, but I'm not a good enough editor or writer to begin to recommend to author of Ms. Tepper's level of writing talent. Overall, this is a good if a bit arduous of a read. Recommended for those who enjoy fantasy with unmistakable feminist leanings.

*provided by Edelweiss

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Review: The Saint's Wife

The Saint's Wife
The Saint's Wife by Lauren Gallagher

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

People with a terminal illness seem to receive a pass for all their bad behaviour past, present and future. In this story, Joanna McQuaid is a woman of amazing resilience. Her marriage of hell cannot end any faster. In wedding vows, there is a clause with "until death do us part" and it is never more true for Joanne.

This is a very frustratingly upsetting story. I'm so angry reading this one and I want to kill Chris, Joanna's abusive husband. I've always found that emotional abuse is worse than physical ones. For the most part, physical abuse will heal. With emotional abuse, it's more sinister because it's not easy to see the evidence in addition, it is harder to heal from. What is worse about this abuse is that Chris doesn't even see it. He doesn't realize what he's done to his wife and denies it ever happened.

From a character perspective, Ms. Gallagher does a lovely job creating each of these characters. Each character shows their perspective for the reader to slip into their shoes. Joanna's is the hardest one for me because it's heartbreaking. David, Chris's best friend since childhood is the one suddenly sees things differently and it makes him sick to his stomach. It's interesting to see how people interpret body language based on their own biases. I really liked how Ms. Gallagher showed this through David's eyes.

The plot of this story is simple at first glance. However, as the plot moves forward, it's an unveiling of a horror movie. Each layer pulled back is another painful slice of the skin. Joanna is Chris's whipping boy in so many ways. She may not be the best wife, but really, who is? Chris on the other hand is one of the most heinous types of husbands. It makes me wonder how Ms. Gallagher created him and who he is based upon. As a side note - some of his controlling manners, terminal illness as well as his innovation reminds me of Steve Jobs. The conflicts and the inner turmoil for Joanna is so hard watch because at every turn, those who are supposed to support her are actually slapping her down. For someone who isn't an ally and more an enemy to step up to the plate, it makes for a sweet story.

This is ultimately a story about forgiveness and new beginnings. Recommended for romance lovers who enjoy angst and redemption.

*provided by">NetGalley

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Review: Flying Fur

Flying Fur (Shifting Crossroads, #22)Flying Fur by Zenina Masters

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sugar gliders are seriously cute animals who can fly from one tree to another.  A sugar glider shifter who also works as a covert agent with the Shifter Council to find "collected" shifters, it's a great mix of animal shape and skill sets.  Misty is one of the hunters who can get into fae homes and seek out trapped shifters.  Her family is "indentured" into service for a criminal mistake generations old.  This one piece of the story didn't make much sense to me, but it worked for the story line.

This book is another one which takes a darker look into the fae who like to keep shifters trapped as animals.  Ms. Masters writes only happily ever sweet romances so this book wouldn't go too dark.  But seriously, if someone wanted to write a dark book on what happens to these enslaved shifters, it would be smoking hawt.  It would be of course non-con and probably a lot of depraved sexual torture going on, but it would be scrumptious guilty pleasure.  However, this is not to be so instead, the reader learns how sneaky Misty can be to help save those imprisoned. 

Misty's latest mission is completely successful and she rescues a male cougar.  What she doesn't know is that this is her future mate.  Samuel is a very successful business man who's been missing for months.  When he's returned to the real world, it's a bit surreal.  This story moved pretty fast from rescue to mating to uncovering the culprit behind his capture.  One could say it felt rushed but really, it is just the right speed.  This is an action packed story which reveals more about the desperation of the fae.  It helps to set up the next couple of books. 

Ms. Masters once again blends magic, shifters and romance into a thoroughly enjoyable read. These books are smooth and silky from start to finish.  It's a satisfying reading.  This paranormal romance is recommended for those who love their happily ever afters.

*provided by Manic Readers

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