Sunday, June 29, 2008

To the Movies!

Ah! The last unemployed weekend was spent trying to relax for the big day. To completely take my mind off of being nervous about starting a new job and just being working again it was off to the movies. This summer is really turning out to be a great blockbuster summer.

Movie: WALL-E

Genre: Animated, Family

Rating: G

Movie Blurb: After hundreds of lonely years doing what he was built for, WALL-E (short of Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL-E had inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet’s future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL-E chases EVE across the galaxy a sets into motion one of the most exciting and imaginative comedy adventures ever brought to the big screen. See preview here.

Review: How do those creative geniuses at Pixar do it? They managed to make another unforgettable film. The poor little WALL-E robot is alone on earth, except for his pet cockroach, and is charged with the directive to clean-up earth while the humans are away on a luxury cruise of the galaxy. In all his time alone he has discovered a personality and is lonely for company. His whole world changes with the arrival of EVE. As to be accepted of Pixar, the story is both unique and entertaining, a perfect blend of comedy to entertain every member of the family delivered in out of this world animation. WALL-E is both a great love story and a commentary of where the earth is heading without some changes. How our lives have been taken over by machines and how easy it is to go with the status quo. Pixar has also manage to add its little bits of its hometown. Those familiar with Emeryville (home of Pixar) and Oakland California will easily recognize it as it would be if pollution manages to run amuck.

Rating: 5 of 5

Movie: Mongol

Genre: Drama, Historical, Foreign Film

Rating: R

Movie Blurb: Award-winning Russian filmmaker Sergei Bodrov (PRISONER OF THE MOUNTAINS) illuminates the life and legend of Genghis Khan in his stunning historical epic, MONGOL. Based on leading scholarly accounts and written by Bodrov and Arif Aliyev, MONGOL delves into the dramatic and harrowing early years of the ruler who was born as Temudgin in 1162. As it follows Temudgin from his perilous childhood to the battle that sealed his destiny, the film paints a multidimensional portrait of the future conqueror, revealing him not as the evil brute of hoary stereotype, but as an inspiring, fearless and visionary leader. MONGOL shows us the making of an extraordinary man, and the foundation on which so much of his greatness rested: his relationship with his wife, Borte, his lifelong love and most trusted advisor. See preview here.

Review: Truly an amazing film. A story of love and devotion even in the worst of times, of vengeance and persistence and making of a fearless leader. The cinematography is spectacular and the story revetting. It gave humanity and heart to one history's most ruthless warlords, Genghis Khan or Great Leader. As with most, his past most likely colored his future and made him into the power that ruled the largest empire every seen in history. Although accurate accounts of his life are not found, this wonderful depiction gives an account of what his youth might have been like using what little is known about him. The movie gives an excellent portrayal of his cunning and revolutionary tactics that made him the most powerful warlord of his time as well as his ruthlessness both to friend and foe alike.

Rating: 4.75 of 5

Saturday, June 28, 2008

All About ME

It all about Me today over at the DIK site. Come check it out.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Back into the Groove of Thing

After taking a break from my migraine induced read-a-lon, and still pondering where Wednesday when, and returned to my usual life of enlightening (aka time wasting) activities.

First was the monthly trip to the used book store (Bay Books), where I happily acquired more books to add to the tittering TBR piles and ate some yummy Mediterrean food for dinner.

Then off to do my internet surfing, still increasingly puzzled as to where Wednesday went, and have discovered that PatRack continues to be the best for squadering the hours away until the next feeding (mine or kitty's). In between playing PatRack (since all the items you are looking for are no longer anywhere to be found), its off to Bloggia. At my first stop, I see a quiz to take. Here are my results:

HA! I always said I would be back to haunt people for whatever deed or misdeed they have done, this simply proves it.

Additionally, I am happy to inform EVERYONE.... This Aymless is now once more among the employed! Whee! Now I too can complain about how I never have anytime to do anything and how the boss sucks, and why we HAVE to get up on Mondays! Best of all NO MOM, I'M NOT MOVING BACK HOME!!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Pimpage and Reviews

Greetings all quasi-sane personages. Once again I have survived the misery called the menstrual migraine (ugh). At least I am lucky enough to still be able to read while curled up in my little ball of misery. But enough about me.

The nice folks over at the Book Binge are wonderful summertime contest, the giveaway is a beautiful hand bag, some books and other treats. All entries into the contest must be e-mailed by June 30th. See the folks at the Book Binge for details.

In addition the wonderful folks at the Book Smugglers are having a long weekend with Loretta Chase. They will be interviewing Loretta Chase tomorrow and giving away three copies of Ms. Chase's latest release Your Scandalous Ways.

Now on with the reviews:

Title: The Song

Author: Jean Johnson

Published: February 2008

Genre: Romance, Fantasy

Stand Alone/Series: Book 4 of The Sons of Destiny

From the Author Site: Evanor, fourth-born of the Sons of Destiny, lost his voice—and with it, his powers—in the violent battle that freed his family from their greatest enemy. Thankfully, with the safe return of his twin, Evanor now knows precisely who can bring his songs back to life.

She is the enchanting widow Mariel, a Healer brought to Nightfall to help the brothers in their hour of need. For Mariel and her young son, that means leaving their beloved homeland for the unfamiliar island of Nightfall and its still-forbidden shores…and with it, risking the passion she stirs in her intriguing patient’s heart.

But a new danger looms when the Council of Katan learn there might be women on the Isle…

Review: Book 4 and still enjoying the series.

Evanor, who is the Lord Chamberlain of Nightfall, lost his voice and his magic since he is a Song Mage. Without his voice to direct his magic, he is without magical power. Since Katan still considers them exiles, no healer of sufficient power is willing to come to Nightfall Isle to restore his voice.

Enter widowed Mariel, a healer of sufficient power from Natallia and best friend to Serina, the wife of Evanor's twin Dominor, and her son Mikor. She must reacquaint herself with her skills in order to regenerate Evanor's vocal cords, with the help of the citizen-chickens. The addition of the nine year old child to the island required some adjustment for the others.

Evanor and Mariel are immediately drawn towards each other, but the courtship is awkward since Evanor can barely speak. And both tend to be reserved with very little wild swings of passion. The love story is much quieter in this book than in the previous three.

The continuing subplot takes a bigger role in this installment. The Council and King of Katan are beginning to question the unusual purchases being made by the brothers, items that seem to imply that there might be women on the island, and also the news that the brothers are charging for resources that were once free has enraged some on the Council. Again the bit of humor made the book fun to read especially the continuing joke of the "citizen-chickens" and one can't help but giggle at the title of "Councilor of Conflict Resolution".

Keeper?: Yes

Recommendation: Yes

Rating: 3.5 of 5

Title: The Cat

Author: Jean Johnson

Published: June 2008

Genre: Romance, Fantasy

Stand Alone/Series: Book 5 of The Sons of Destiny

From the Author Site: Amara of the Shifterai has good reason to be wary of mages, when mages were responsible for chasing her and her sister out of their homeland. Being on the run for so long hasn’t put her in a trusting mood, yet there is something about Trevan of Nightfall—mage or not—that Amara finds difficult to resist. But can he be trusted with her most fiercely guarded secret?

Courting such a pretty yet prickly outlander won’t be easy, but Trevan is determined to try. She may be fierce, proud, and from a different culture, but he is the Cat, and none but the most fascinating and challenging of women could satisfy him. Of course, it would help if she stood still long enough for him to court her properly…

Review: I have to say that this has been my least favorite in the series so far.

Trevan, the romeo of the brothers, is frustrated with the lack of female companionship and longs for a woman to call his own, whether she be an illusion or real. When he finds signs of a new woman on the island, he immediately sets out the catch her as his destined mate.

Amara, a power natural shifter of the Shifterai, is wary of mages due to the unusual power her twin has inside her. She was a princess and the next Queen to be of the Shifterai but due to the fates she was forced to leave her people to protect them and her twin. She is "prideful, prickly and paranoid" and a general pain in the ass for the first half of the book. She has a bit of the superiority complex, is constantly butting head with Kelly, who is now Queen of Nightfall, and is completely distrusting even though she made everyone swear by truth stone that they had no interest in acquiring any additional power than what they already had.

There was some humor in the story but not nearly as much as the previous books. The love story is weak, since Amara spends most of her time running away and avoiding the issue while Trevan tracks her down because he believes that she is his destined mate. There was no real chemistry between them, no real passion until the nearly end of the book. The subplot continues smoothly. What I found most interesting is the budding relationship between Rydan, the night-loving, antisocial brother, and Amara's twin sister, Arora. Their story will be told in The Storm.

Keeper?: Yes

Recommendation: Yes

Rating: 3 of 5

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Review: Sons of Destiny Books 2 and 3

Title: The Wolf

Author: Jean Johnson

Published: April 2007

Genre: Romance, Fantasy

Stand Alone/Series: Book 2 of Sons of Destiny

From the Author Site: Eight brothers, born in four sets of twins, two years apart to the day-they fulfill the Curse of Eight Prophecy. To avoid tempting their destiny, the brothers are exiled to Nightfall Island, where women are forbidden. When a childhood friend seeks refuge among the brothers, it triggers a confrontation with their mysterious enemy.

Alys arrives desperate and afraid, but welcomed by Wolfer, the second-born brother who harbors deep feelings for Alys. But she harbors a secret: her own uncle is tormenting the exiled brothers, and seeks to kill them to secure their ancestral inheritance for himself.

Confessing her uncle's plan to the brothers puts them at even greater risk, for their resistance against the evil mage has stirred his wrath. Alys fears her uncle is determined this time to exterminate the brothers once and for all-destroying the star-crossed lovers as well.

Review: I enjoyed this second installment in the Sons of Destiny series. Alys is a bit timid, but that's understandable since she had to make her uncle believe that she had no backbone. She had been trapped and forced to help her evil uncle Broger of Devries, and current Count Pro Tem of Corvis, by caring for the mage-created animals that had been used to plague the brothers. After faking her death, she joins the brothers on Nightfall Isle and with the help of Kelly, she soon finds herself able to stand up to adversity. Wolfer, other than having a laughable that makes me think of a name a child would name their stuffed animal, spends a lot of time growling, guess that goes with the name, though he did make a great stallion.

Once Wolfer decided that she was his, the love story became quite steamy. The continuing subplot of the story was well incorporated and smoothly transitioned from the previous book. More of the magic of the world is explained with sufficient detail, but didn't distract from the story as a whole. And the "curse" part of the prophecy was made clearer to me. Humor is well incorporated throughout the story making it a real pleasure to read.

Keeper?: Yes

Recommendation: Yes

Rating: 4 of 5

Title: The Master

Author: Jean Johnson

Published: September 2007

Genre: Romance, Fantasy

Stand Alone/Series: Book 3 of Sons of Destiny

From the Author Site: Eight brothers, born in four sets of twins, two years apart to the day-they fulfill the Curse of Eight Prophecy. To avoid tempting their destiny, the brothers are exiled to the Isle of Nightfall, where women are forbidden. But when the abducted third-born brother is taken by a powerful and beautiful mage, he wonders if she is his own Prophesied Disaster, his foretold wife-to-be.

Kidnapped from the Isle of Nightfall, taken captive by slavers, Dominor is sold to a lovely mage, who promises freedom. But Lady Serina has plans for him; she needs another powerful mage to re-enact a mating ritual, to help reverse a Tantric spell cast centuries ago. Agreeing to help her, Dominor doesn’t suspect the secret she holds back from him: there is more to this magical mating than the Arithmancer has revealed.

Once the ritual is complete, he will be returned to Nightfall. But when that secret finally shatters, baring the truth behind the misunderstandings now separating them, Dominor is determined to retake possession of the woman who is his Destiny.

Review: Still enjoying the series, and this next installment was great. Arrogant Dominor, who was abducted by the women hating Mandarites at the end of The Sword, gets more indignities heaped on him when the Mandarite ship is taken by a Natallian warship and then sold in a slave market. He is bought and oath-bound by Arithmancer and Font Guardian Serina to help in a Tantric spell. So the relationship is steamy from the start. When he realizes that Serina needs a master to keep her life balanced, since she often forgets the mundane things in life like eating and sleeping in favor of her work, he knew she was for him. Dominor is definitely a competitor and loves to beat his brothers in any contest but is also willing the see that he is not the best in everything and willing to admit that Serina is smarter than he is and admires her for it.

I have really been enjoying the uniqueness in the heroines in this series. The first two were physically virgins, but educated in the art of loving making. One by being of our world and one by education by a prostitute. This heroine is not only not a virgin but has a very healthy appetite for sex. Each heroine was unique and their personalities continue to be well expressed throughout this series.

More of the world's magic and general history is explained as well as the Curse of Nightfall, not to be confused with the Curse of the Sons of Destiny. We also get to see more of the night-loving brother Rydan and his secrets. Humor is again a great part of the story and is well incorporated making the book fun to read.

Keeper?: Yes

Recommendation: Yes

Rating: 4.5

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Off the TBR: Jean Johnson

After finishing the Lora Leigh, I was looking for something new to start. Meljean Brook's Guardian series was on top of the pile, but as I was reaching for it, the mail arrived and with it was The Sword by Jean Johnson. Having ordered it after reading Kristie(j)'s review of the book, I was eager to start. To say the least, it did not disappoint. So on with the review:

Title: The Sword

Author: Jean Johnson

Published: February 2007

Genre: Romance, Fantasy

Stand Alone/Series: 1st of the Sons of Destiny

From the Author Site: The first novel of the Sons of Destiny...a romantic tale of magic, superstition, and a love that transcends dimensions.

Eight brothers, born in four sets of twins, two years apart to the day-they fulfill the Curse of Eight Prophecy. To avoid tempting their destiny, the brothers are exiled to Nightfall Island, a land where women are strictly forbidden. But, when the youngest of the mage-brothers rescues a woman from another universe, their world is altered forever.

Kelly Doyle had wanted to get away from the world. Threatened, attacked, and accused of witchcraft, Kelly had enough of her narrow-minded small town. And now she has somehow landed in another, magical dimension-the only woman in a realm inhabited by eight men who are desperately in need of a woman's touch.

Review: I loved this book. It was funny, witty, and the characters were enjoyable. The feisty heroine, Kelly, gets rescued and, like any sane woman, wakes up fighting when she finds herself in unfamiliar surroundings. She finds herself in a strange world full of magic and living in a castle with eight powerful bachelor mages, one of which seems to be a "Mr. Grumpy". The battles between her and Saber, the eldest brother, is highly amusing and well thought out. It wasn't love at first sight, the heroine doesn't fall into the hero's arms for no apparent reason other than "fate/destiny/soul mates/whatever". The relationship actually builds in a believable manner. Reading how Kelly bullies the brothers straightening up the castle when she realized she was stuck with them for awhile and that they were "lousy housekeepers, lousy grounds keepers, lousy gentlemen, and lousy hosts" is a real joy. Because what real woman wants to live in a bachelor pad.

The world building was well done. The magic was believable and well constructed. Each brother had he own unique personality and magic, how the magic worked was described but it wasn't a distraction from the story. The only overall question I had at the end of the book was, what is the Curse of the Eight Prophecy? There is a Song of the Sons of Destiny, last page of the book, describing how and to whom each brother will fall in love, but it doesn't really satisfy the reason for their exile to Nightfall Island.

Keeper?: Yes

Recommendation: Yes. Its has a lot going for it, romance, humor and a great story line.

Rating: 4.5 of 5

Monday, June 16, 2008

Review: Lora Leigh's Breed Series

Finally finished all the Breed books, Lora Leigh. Here's a review of all ones I haven't reviewed yet:

Elizabeth's Wolf

Author: Lora Leigh

Genre: Romantica (Romance/Erotica)

Stand Alone/Series: Series (but can be read as a stand alone) - Feline Breed (even though Dash is Wolf Breed) or Breed

From the Author Site: Elizabeth is running for her young daughters life, and losing the race. But when her daughter takes up correspondence with a Special Forces soldier overseas and he learns the danger they’re in, all the fury of a Wolf Breed fighting for his mate is unleashed. And secrets are revealed that could destroy a child’s life.

Review: I enjoyed the story. But it was the basic knight in shining armor who sweeps in the save the day and he only has to convince his damsel in distress that he is a good guy. Dash is dashing (*grin*). Elizabeth was a strong female character but she falls quite easily into Dash's arms. Bit unbelievable, she's been betrayed numerous time but ends up trusting a total stranger with very little struggle, inner and outer. Cassie's cute but unbelievable powerful, but there is no explanation for her physic gifts. Overall the story was interesting but a bit formulaic.

Keeper?: yes

Recommendation: Only for people who enjoy erotic. Lora Liegh is very steamy.

Rating: 4 of 5

Title: Kiss of Heat

Author: Lora Leigh

Genre: Romantica

Stand Alone/Series: Series Feline Breed or Breed

From the Author Site: Sherra has kept the natural mating heat breeds and their mates experience under control for far too many years. Its been ten years since the lover she was torn from in the labs returned. Ten years that’s she’s been forced to confront him nearly on a daily basis. And the heat is growing out of control. The woman’s emotions and fears are tearing through her. Now, she won’t be able to run from her mate much longer as old fears and deceptions begin to fade away beneath the love and aching need she never forgot for one man.

Review: There really wasn't much of a storyline other than the struggle between the hero and heroine. I found myself most annoyed at the heroine. Sherra continues to hold a grudge against Kane even though she finds out that he didn't betray her and that he thought she was dead. Kane was good hero. He pressured but didn't wasn't overpowering. Loved his little quips at the Felines Breeds.

Keeper?: Yes, but only because it's a part of a series.

Recommendation: Only if they were going to read the series.

Rating: 3 of 5

Title: Wolfe's Hope

Author: Lora Leigh

Genre: Romantica

Stand Alone/Series: Series - Wolf Breed or Breed

From the Author Site: Hope believed Wolfe was dead, but he was only waiting for the right time to claim her. The scientist who created him, Hope’s mother, has forced his hand. She wants her creation back, and she wants any children he may breed on her daughter. He is a man whose DNA was altered, infused with the genetic code of the wolf. His unique genetic makeup has created a male unlike any other and will make itself known in the most surprising ways. Now Hope must convince her mate she hasn’t betrayed him, and they must defeat the plans of a scientist gone mad.

Review: This was a very short story and as such everything very condensed. I didn't get a feel for the characters and the story wasn't gripping. Not being able to connect with either the story or character made this just a time filler. Really the most interesting part was the teaser at the end leading into the next story.

Keeper?: No

Recommendation: Only read if you want to read the complete series.

Grade: 2.5

Title: Jacob's Faith

Author: Lora Leigh

Genre: Romantica

Stand Alone/Series: Series - Wolf Breed or Breed

From the Author Site: Jacob left Faith six years before, unaware that the mark he left on her also left her in an agony of sexual heat that never dimmed. Now Jacob and Faith are together again, but surprises lurk around every corner and dangers as dark and deadly as their very creation surround them in more ways than one.

Review: Most the story was the struggle been Jacob, who can't figure out where the sweet girl he knew went, and Faith, who is pissed at Jacob for leaving her. Nice tension and Faith puts up a great struggle and gets her way, mostly. I'm not much for the hero who leaves to give the heroine time to 'grow up' when they've already been intimate and without telling the heroine why he's leaving. I wished that had been more about the search for the Genetic Council Lab. The book again ends with a teaser about the next book.

Keeper?: Yes

Recommendation: Only if they enjoy erotica.

Rating: 3.5 of 5

Title: Aiden's Charity

Author: Lora Leigh

Genre: Romantica

Stand Alone/Series: Series - Wolf Breed or Breeds

From the Author Site: But can the human heart accept and adapt as easily? Can Charity bestow the love and the acceptance that has always been a part of her, to the man whose very survival depended on the hardening of his heart, of his soul? And can Aiden maintain that cruelty now, in the face of the sacrifices she made? Only time and nature can tell…

Review: The first half the book was spent on the hero and heroine staying away from each other and not accepting of their fate. Annoying, he blames her for 'betraying' him and there is no satisfying reason as to why she is staying away from him. Once Aiden decides that he doesn't want to fight fate, which in my opinion took too long, everything just dominoes along predictably. Wing Breeds, introduced at the end of the previous books, disappear after the rescue and some cryptic remarks so perhaps we will see more of them later in the series.

Keeper?: Yes if you are reading the series.

Recommendation: Yes if you are reading the series.

Rating: 3 of 5

Overall: It's not the best or worst series I've ever read. But there are many discrepancies. Ms. Leigh acknowledges this on her site. I found the Feline Breed books were more interesting.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Is Friday the 13th an evil, unlucky day?

How it all started. During the aftermath of the First Crusade of 1096, in the middle ages, a group of knights founded the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, better known throughout history as the Knights Templar. It was originally founded to ensure the safety of European pilgrims to the Holy Land.

The original nine Knights Templar, led by Godfrey de Saint-Omer and Hugues de Payens, requested and were granted headquarters on the Temple Mount. Temple Mount is above what is believed to the remains of the Temple of Solomom. During their time there some believe the knights unearth a great treasure. This treasure is proposed to be the reason to their rapid rise of power in the Catholic Church. With the help of Bernard of Clairvaux, the Knights Templar were official sanctioned by the Catholic Church in 1129.

With the endorsement and blessings of the Catholic Church, the Knights Templar quickly rose in power and wealth, as well as prestige. The Knights Templar were granted additional power in 1139, when Pope Innocent II exempted the Knights Templar from obedience to local laws. This allowed the Knights Templar to move freely and exempt from taxes and all authority except that of the Pope.

As Muslim forces were beginning to win land and battles, the Knights Templar split into two Orders, the Knights Hospitaller and the Teutonic Knights. The Orders military mission became less important and support began to fade. When the Crusades were lost, the Order expanded their business ventures.

In 1305, the two Orders began to discuss recombining the original Knights Templar. This was not favored by then Pope Clement V and King Phillip IV of France, who at the time owed a great deal of money to the Knights. King Philip wanting to free himself from debt pressured the Church into taking action against the Knights.

On Friday, 13 October 1307, King Phillip ordered the arrest of the Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay and all other Templars in France. The Templars were charged with heresies and tortured to extract false confessions of blasphemy. Using these confessions King Phillip of France burned the Templars at the stake.

The horrors that followed the arrest made on Friday the 13 of October 1307 were so great, the unluckiness of the day is still remembered today. Although the exact date is rarely remembered, Friday the 13 still incite feelings of unrest and discomfort to some.

Is Friday the 13 unlucky? It is not unless you are a Knight of the Order of the Temple with an angry, vengeful king who owes you money after you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

DIK Page Up and Running

For those who have been following the DIK (Desert Island Keeper) and HLO (Heroes Liberation Organization), a new blog has been created to combine our love of books and characters (heroes) into one blog. Come check it out.

The DIK blog has a listing of all the DIK Ladies and for the next couple of weeks each will be introducing themselves and tell us all a bit about themselves. Come and join the FUN and madness that is DIK!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Going Out in the Real World

Contrary to popular belief, I do sometime venture out of my pajamas and into the great outdoors for something other than food and drugs. The summer movie rush is well on its way with a wider selection of blockbusters. The summer movie season is definitely looking good.

Movie: Ironman
Genre: Action/Adventure
Movie Blurb: Paramount Pictures and Marvel Studios’ big screen adaptation of Marvel’s legendary Super Hero Iron Man launched into theaters on May 2, 2008. Robert Downey Jr. stars as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the story of a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who is kidnapped and forced to build a devastating weapon. Instead, using his intelligence and ingenuity, Tony builds a high-tech suit of armor and escapes captivity. When he uncovers a nefarious plot with global implications, he dons his powerful armor and vows to protect the world as Iron Man. The film also stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Terrence Howard and Jeff Bridges and will be directed by Jon Favreau. See preview here (Quicktime required).

I really enjoyed this movie. This is definitely what we look in a summer blockbuster movie. Lots of action and comedy throughout the story. The storyline was well developed and seamless. If you enjoyed the comics then you will not be disappointed with this film. It stayed true to the Marvel comic story line, with an update for this generations 'forces of evil', as well as the general feel of the classic comic. It was not all action, though there was plenty there to satisfy and not over done as some action films. A lot of comedy was sprinkled throughout the movie to lighten the tone. The casting was superb. Robert Downing Jr was perfectly cast as Tony Stark/Iron, he was the comic book hero brought to life. Ironman creator, Stan Lee, also makes a wonder cameo.

Rating: 5 of 5

Movie: You Don't Mess With The Zohan
Genre: Comedy
Movie Blurb: A comedy from screenwriters Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel (Triumph the Insult Comic Dog), and Judd Apatow (Knocked Up), Sandler stars as Zohan, an Israeli commando who fakes his own death in order to pursue his dream: becoming a hairstylist in New York. Dennis Dugan directs. See preview here (Quicktime required).

It was not as funny as I expected it to be. It was enjoyable but some of the jokes were overused in the film (Adam's well padded underwear). Its a film that you have to been in the right mood to fully enjoy. If you enjoyed Adam's other films (Mr. Deeds, The Waterboy, Happy Gilmore) and are looking for more, you will enjoy the film. Adam does a wonderful job of playing an Israeli commando trying to make a new life in America as a hairstylist. There are many cameos from the SNL casts that Adam was a part of as well as other well known faces.

Rating: 4 of 5

Friday, June 6, 2008

Reading My Life Away

Hello all. Well after not sleeping for 2-1/2 days, I am happy to say the sleep pattern has return to normal (but the dreams are pretty strange). So other than reading and not retaining anything (good thing there are always the old standbys - Psy-Changling series by Nalini Singh this time around) everything is just peachy.

Back in the so-called sane world, life moves on.

Lately I have been reading a lot of Lora Leigh lately. So I am reviewing the first two books in the Feline Breed series.

Feline Breed Book #1: Tempting the Beast

This book is published by Ellora's Cave Romantica Publishing and is definitely romance/erotic. The love scenes are intense and describe in detail.

Author Blurb: Callan Lyons is a genetic experiment. One of six fighting for freedom and the survival of their Pride. Merinus Tyler is the reporter who will tempt him, draw him, until the fury of the “mating frenzy” locks them into a battle of sexual heat there is no escape from.

Deception, blood, and the evil Genetics Council are hot on their trail. Callan will use his strength to try and save them both…and do all in his power to keep his woman in the process.

The story was very well incorporated with the love scenes, it did not feel awkward as in some erotic were the sex seems quite gratuitous. The storyline was interesting and kept me interested in were the story was heading. Tension, love, action, betrayal... what more could you ask for in a book?!

Rating: 4 out of 5

Feline Breed Book #2: The Man Within

This book is published by Ellora's Cave Romantica Publishing and is definitely romance/erotic. The love scenes are intense and describe in detail.

Author Blurb: He had protected her as a child, filled all her teenaged fantasies and stole her womanly heart, only to break it.

Now, fifteen months later, the news has released. The man she loves is one of the genetically altered Feline Breeds who have shocked the world with their presence. He’s also her mate. The mark on her neck attests to that. The fire that rages in her heart and in her body further proves it. But he hadn’t wanted her then; does he really want her now?

Deceit and treachery, born in the past, now haunt the present as Taber and Roni fight to make sense of a sudden bonding. The mating of heart, body and soul as the man and the beast within merge; both battling the forces raging against the union and dominance over the woman he claimed.

This story was not as riveting as the first and was also less romantic. For the first half of the story, both hero and heroine spend much time thinking about how the other left them just when things where heating up. The story was a bit weak and the love scene were less smoothly incorporated into the overall storyline. Felt like there should have been more of something. The love scenes seemed more "wham bam thank ma'am" rather then romantica.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Reading is NOT a cure for Insomnia

Sleep who needs sleep. Good thing I am unemployed at the present since I would not be able to function at work. That whole not sleeping thing really seems to interfere with normal life (whatever that is). At least all the extra time is giving me more time to read... not the TBR pile seems to be decreasing, thanks to a number of reviews (not naming names...*mumbles* kristie(j)/katie(babs) ) ... and wondering if books count as carbs or fiber.

So instead of sleep, I read Phury's book,
Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward. As much as I was looking forward to this book, I have to say it was a disappointment. The heroine is mediocre and mostly "fluffy", had no real substance . The hero is tortured, annoying and most of the time you want to slap him to set him straight. The romance part of the story just wasn't present, no real chemistry. Almost thought the story would have been better off without the hero and heroine.

The really great parts of the book involve side characters of the book and evolution of the general storyline of the series. It does make one wonder interested in what happens next, keeps the reader's attention (as long as the hero/heroine was not involved... kept trying to skim those parts and had to go back when I missed something about the storyline *sigh*) and the general story itself has great twists and turns.

I wouldn't recommend this as a romance, but as general vampire novel. Unfortunate part of that is without the beginning of the storyline, told in the earlier more romantic novels, the storyline and characterizations need additional explanations that are not given in this novel. I've had more enjoyment re-reading some of my older novels.

Rating: 3 out of 5.


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