Friday, January 30, 2009

Super Bowl XLIII

Apparently it's that time of year again... the one most football fans wait for all year...


How could it have snuck up on me yet again?! I guess since I don't really follow sports or have turned on the TV since the Olympics, this was bound to happen. Thanks to friends who are slightly more aware, I'm off to the Superbowl party on Sunday... here how the invitation came:

Guy Friend: You doing anything this weekend?

me: Nope.

GF: Come over on Sunday and watch the Superbowl with us. We're have a couple people over.

me: Okay. Who's playing?

GF: Uh... dunno, but the commercials will be good.

me: Okay. What time?

GF: Come about a hour before the game.

me: and that would be....?

GF: I dunno? One-ish.

That's us. Complete and total football junkies... LOL... Anyway, good times will be had, much food will be eaten and we might even watch some of the game.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Review: The Flame

Title: The Flame

Author: Jean Johnson

Published: December 2008

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Stand Alone/Series: Sons of Destiny #7 (see author site for complete list)

From the Author Site: Koranen of Nightfall is tired of the Curse—in his case, a destructive flame that courses beneath his flesh. His brothers have wives and lovers, but all Koranen has are blistering reminders of a touch that burns…unless he can find a woman able to endure the literal heat of his passion. Then the Aquamancers arrive, at last affording Koranen the chance to find his Destined Bride.

Ostracized for being too good at her job, Danau is resigned to her punishment: never knowing love. But fire and water always create steam, and things do get steamy as Danau and Koranen gradually realize they were meant for each other—even as Nightfall’s future becomes flooded with more trouble than either of them could have imagined.

Hero: Koranen aka the Flame, Pyromancer extraordinaire. Poor, frustrated, virgin brother number 7. He's quite literal, as well as figuratively, hot! Every time he gets excited he heats so that he burns everything around him. So he's never been able to cozy up to anyone, except his birthday gift from brother number 5, a magical blow-up doll and that was only on his latest birthday at that. But he gets his chance and, quite unlike the others, he's presented with choices but no hints as to which is his destined lady. I quite liked him.

Heroine: Danau, Aquamancer. Poor thing has exactly the opposite problem as Koranen (as if you couldn't have guessed), she freezes everything, and I do mean everything, when she get emotional. Talk about *ow*, frostbite on sensitive manly parts. The worst is everyone knows about it and most think less of her as a person because of it. A bit frosty but warms up to Koranen when he won't take "I don't date" for an answer.

Review: The book was a slow starter, at a beginning. Amusing but not something that grabbed me and kept me completely engrossed. Once the lead characters start getting together, about half way through the book, thing heat up (I know I'm keeping with the bad puns.. *g*). From that point on it was quite a good read. The story just sort of took off and I didn't make it to sleepy-time on time as I kept with the "just one more chapter" until the whole darn thing was read. *sigh*

Jean Johnson certainly building up to a huge climatic ending and we hope that she will deliver as she tosses in more and more problems as the storyline progresses. I will certainly be eagerly anticipating her last installment of the Sons of Destiny, The Mage, coming to us in April.

The storyline is kind of predictable as they have a Destiny to fulfill, but character just show up as they are needed/required. I guess it goes with the whole destiny-thing but its not very interesting. Some of the interesting luster of the series is fading. The romance is definitely the focus, but I keep wanting some unexpected twist or some unique solution, but alas it is all quite predictable. The one thing that keeps nagging at me is the desire that the other prophecy, only written in The Master, was also written somewhere in the book so that we could see those fulfillment as well since they have complete that one as well if they are to succeed in their bid for independence

Keeper?: Yes

Recommendation: Definitely need to read the other Sons of Destiny books in order. They build on each other and each takes the on-going storyline a bit further to what we hope will be a wonderfully dramatic climax in the last installment of the Sons of Destiny, The Mage.

Rating: 4

Monday, January 26, 2009

TBR Challenge

Thanks to many in the Blogosphere *coughkatiebabscoughkristiejcoughbooksmugglerscough* the TBR mass (no longer a pile) has become totally unmanageable, as it has overflowed the bookcase (especially acquired for it) and onto another, I must take action!


I am signing myself up for Keishon's TBR challenge. Here's them rule-things:

Rules are the same as before, 2007 and back, the older the title the better. No penalty for reading 2008 books if that is all you have. No 2009 reads (nope).Books can be of any genre, fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, etc. The day to post your review will be every third Wednesday of the month with reminders from me the week before or the week of if time gets away from me. I will keep a separate page of participants like before and again, this is all voluntary. Readers can continue to join even after the challenge has started.

Having said that! I've totally missed January! ACK! Must do better for rest of year! Wish me luck!


Ack! and Ick!

This flu sucks and on top of that I got strep throat too! Haven't been this sick since I was 12! Had to miss lots of work so no money there (in fact it cost me since I had to cancel hotel reservations and had to pay for it anyway... non-refundable... grrr...). Didn't read much as I kept falling a sleep or making tea or running off to the bathroom. Hope to have another review out sometime this week.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Review: Murder Games

Title: Murder Games

Author: Christine Feehan

Published: January 2009

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Stand Alone/Series: Ghostwalker #7

From the Author Site: Games should be fun, but for two expert teams across the country, they’re murder – because the winning team is the one that gets the most kills. The participants in this violent challenge rumored to be GhostWalkers. And Kadan Montague isn’t happy about it.

Kadan is a GhostWalker and he’s determined to clear the GhostWalker name of the rumors. To do it, he’s going to need the help of psychic Tansy Meadows. But as soon as he sees her, he knows his mission will be more complicated than he imagined – and the “murder game” may not be at all what it seems.

Hero: Kadan Montague is shielder with lots of other interesting physic and physically modification. He's known for as unemotional and as a man who will stop at nothing to get the job done, doing whatever it takes. When he finds Tansy, all his emotions go crazy and he has to try to balance all this new emotion, protect Tansy from everything (even herself) and still get the job done.

Heroine: Tansy Meadows is a very strong physometricist as well as a empath of enormous strength. She has found peace with her skills by becoming a wildlife photographer of great skill. She's happy with her life and all is well, until this mountain of a man finds her and demands her help. After getting a "taste" of the latest puzzle piece in the Murder Game, she has to complete the puzzle in order to find peace again.

Review: All of Christine's heroes of late seem to be all the same. Cool, calm and collected where everyone is concerned except their heroines. Then the turn into dominating towers of sculpted muscle. I expect them to start carrying clubs, grunt a lot and start dragging their women along by the hair!

The book was okay. Wasn't a page turner and it was not DNF either. At times it was enjoyable, but I mostly read it because I couldn't help myself. A series junkie that I am. *sigh* Maybe I need help but I guess there are worse thing to be addicted to, and I know if thing continue on this downward trend Christine will fall off the "must buy" list to the "if I in the used books store" list before making the "do not buy" list.

Keeper?: Yes because it part of the series.

Recommendation: Yes, If you've read the other Ghostwalkers you will enjoy it. As as stand alone, it's okay.

Rating: 3

Monday, January 12, 2009

Review: Dark Curse

Title: Dark Curse

Author: Christine Feehan

Published: September 2008

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Stand Alone/Series: Dark Series 19, see author site for complete list.

From the Author Site: Born into a world of ice, and slave to her evil father, Lara Calladine knew only paralyzing fear as a child—and escaping with her mysterious gifts unbroken would be the only way to survive her great Carpathian heritage as a Dragonseeker. Human, yet mage, she was of the blood of three species yet belonged to none. She walked her chosen path alone, guided by the wisdom of her aunts—to blend in and let no one know of her ancestry and powers. And never trust anyone. For beyond the frozen hell of her youth was a world of even greater mysteries and dangers.

Today Lara is the leading expert in the field of ice cave study around the world and the healing microorganisms that thrive in them. She’s also in search of something else: the source of her nightmares—the cold dark corners of her childhood. Only one man has the will and the powers to help her: Nicolas De La Cruz, for whom centuries of hunting and killing have long since taken their toll. Dangerous and arrogant, he still longs to feel sensual love without the hunger for blood. Now, between Lara and Nicolas, a tenuous trust has emerged, and a passion neither has ever known before as a melody of dark promise begins.

But as each scales the treacherous land of the Carpathian in search of their past, they also harbor a secret that could save or destroy them. And as each may be desirous of a new beginning as lifemates, they are also haunted by the unknown dangers of a dark curse.

Hero: Nicolas De La Cruz is very much the same as many other Carpathian heroes. Commanding, rigid code of honor (which probably is what's keeping them from becoming vampires), macho with definite ideas what where a woman's place is, that is usually hiding from all enemies, waiting for her hero to come home. Blah! At least Nicolas sees that he is macho and tries to take Lara's feelings and skills into consideration.

Heroine: Lara Calladine is the daughter of Razan and great-granddaughter to the evil Xavier. While as a child she was protected by her great-aunts who are forced to stay in dragon form. She's a woman who knows what she wants (to find and rescue her aunts from their icy prison) but she runs into Nicolas who preceeds to take over her life. Shes doesn't like it much but eventually give in.

Review: The Dark series was a must buy for me up until they started coming out in hardback! What's up with that?! And in general the series has been going down hill for quite some time. All the heroes seem to be the same, dominating, my-way-is-the-right-way, and most "perfect". And the heroines no what how strong the start out, they seem to end up clinging to their hero and need them to keep them "safe".

Nicolas does eventually see and admits that he has been demanding Lara change to accommodate him but that he has not been doing to same, making changes to he's behavior so that she will want to stay with him. And he does make some effort to include her in decision making and such.

As far as the overall story-line goes, we do learn some new interesting facts about Razan and Xavier. Dominic of the Dragonseekers is off to spy on the enemy with the virus donated by Destiny before she was cured. And Lara is able to shed light on the cause of the high infant mortality rate among the Carpathians. Other than that there is no real movement in the plot.

Keeper?: Yes because I have the rest of the series.

Recommendation: If you've liked the Dark Series, then you will like this one too. As a stand alone it's not a very interesting read.

Rating: 3 of 5

Monday, January 5, 2009

Review: The Wild Road by Marjorie Liu

Title: The Wild Road

Author: Marjorie M. Liu

Published: July 2008

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Stand Alone/Series: Dirk & Steele 8 (see author site for complete list)

From the Author Site: Lannes is one of a dying race born to protect mankind. And while most see a beautiful man, this illusion is nothing but a prison. But when he finds a woman covered in blood, with no memory or past, he will be drawn into a mystery that makes him question all he knows.

Hero: Lannes Hannelore, gargoyle and mage. I really couldn't connect with him. He's too goody-goody for me. No rough edges, no brooding, no bad habits... all around a really nice guy. Even his inside voice was boy scout good *yawn*. I get that he's a protector and has a driving need to protect but he needed attitude! He just wasn't that interesting. I like my men feisty and bad! Gimme some mood!

Heroine: Lethe aka Alice, but nameless for the nearly half the book. Why are all the weird heroines named Alice? Okay so she wasn't as weird as Alice from Demon Bound. But she was still a bit strange to me. First she doesn't know anything about herself but still remembers trivial things like art, geography and weapons. And it looks like everyone is out to kill her, except Lannes. She might fit in the too-stupid-to-live category.

Review: Lots and lots of "huh?". Usually I like Marjoire's stuff (okay maybe not The Last Twilight), but there's only so much that could be believable even with my imagination. Take the first scene with hero and heroine... she's covered in blood and trying to steal his car and what does he do? Approaches her and takes her to his elderly friend's house without a fuss, except maybe her repeated telling him that she is bad news. And it kept going from there. Unbelievable scene after another.

Even so I liked it. But it was not a page turner or something that kept me interested for long periods. I found I could put it aside and do other things (like read another book! *gasp*) and not completely driven to finish the book. Which was nice for a change. I found that I really do like eating with both hands and looking around while doing so. An interesting change of pace.

The story I want is Koni's! What an interesting character, lots of mood with him. And of course there is Roland (agoraphobic clairvoyant director of Dirk & Steel) and Rictor (what is Rictor besides immortal anyway? the mystery that is Rictor continues).

As for the overall storyline, it seems to be directionless. Where is Marjorie taking all this? I find I like series with an overall story arc, the endless series are getting a bit too much. I want to see progression. I want to think that there will be a big finale somewhere in the future even if it never gets there. I would like a sense of it.

Keeper?: Yes, because I have the rest of the series.

Recommendation: If you've read the rest of the series, your bound to like it.

Rating: 3.5

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year all!

Here's to hoping this year is better than the last.

Okay it that time of year where we all delude ourselves and make promises to do things that we'll probably quit doing or forget about by the end of the month:

1. Exercise more... like that's going to happen. So maybe I'll put the books on the other side of the bed... that way it will take more steps to reach it... hmmm....
2. Go on that diet to lose the "holiday" weight we gained... too bad it was already there before the holidays started... *sigh*
3. Stay in touch... I am better at doing that virtually... mostly... too bad mom insists on hearing me on the phone and e-mails don't count... grrr... wonder why she never calls my brother or sister...
4. Send birthday cards on time... belated ones count as on time... right? after all they do say "Belated" on the card
5. Read more off the TBR than added per month... but I NEED those books... there must be some I don't have yet... and the new ones... I NEED them

That's all I can handle... and if I get to mid-February or early-March... or get past 1, it'll be a good year!

How about you? Whatcha gonna do or pretend to do?

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