REVIEW Three-Fer: The Paradox Series

Fortune’s Pawn blurb via Amazon:

Devi Morris isn’t your average mercenary. She has plans. Big ones. And a ton of ambition. It’s a combination that’s going to get her killed one day – but not just yet.

 

That is, until she just gets a job on a tiny trade ship with a nasty reputation for surprises. The Glorious Fool isn’t misnamed: it likes to get into trouble, so much so that one year of security work under its captain is equal to five years everywhere else. With odds like that, Devi knows she’s found the perfect way to get the jump on the next part of her Plan. But the Fool doesn’t give up its secrets without a fight, and one year on this ship might be more than even Devi can handle.

 

If Sigouney Weaver in Alien met Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica, you’d get Deviana Morris — a hot new mercenary earning her stripes to join an elite fighting force. Until one alien bite throws her whole future into jeopardy.

I was turned on to this series by, I believe, @Has_Bookpushers on Twitter, one of the lovely peeps from TheBookpushers.com, and it wasn’t long before the first book itself, Fortune’s Pawn, had me in its grip. I felt like I was taking a gamble at $9.99 for the ebook, even with a sample to read. And at $30 plus tax for a three e-book series, I’m sorry, but it must be completely lovable. And the verdict is…never have I had an ebook gamble pay off so well and so freaking quickly! I’m going to preface the rest of the review with a big old I LOVED THIS SERIES so go out and buy it or library borrow it or Kindle borrow it (if that’s an option) or whatever your preference is and commence being pleased. Continue Reading

Review: The Undead Pool

KIM HARRISON
The Undead Pool (RACHEL MORGAN #12)
HARPER VOYAGER
URBAN FANTASY
february 25, 2014 (KINDLE EDITION)

Blurb via Amazon, which may contain spoilers for previous books:

Supernatural superhero Rachel Morgan must counter a strange magic that could spell civil war for the Hollows in this sexy and bewitching urban fantasy adventure in acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison’s Hollows series.

Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now, strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the races, between Inderlander and human, is shattering. Rachel must stop this dark necromancy before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and all-out supernatural war breaks out.

Rachel knows of only weapon to ensure the peace: ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils. And no one know better than Rachel that no good deed goes unpunished . . .

The book’s been out long enough, so, spoilers. Potentially. We shall see.

I’ve waited way too long to review this book and have no earthly idea why it’s taken so long because frankly? This book one hundred percent satisfied. If that immediate previous line was enough, that’s all I’d be writing about The Undead Pool in this space, because it’s true. Sure, I might be biased because this has been my number one favorite series since I began reading it several years ago – but whatevs. It’s fact. this book is awesome. Continue Reading

Lurv’s Essential (And Even Longer!) List of Fantasy Movies

Oh, yeah, I’d meant to get this up a while ago but a dinosaur kind of ate my hands and then a talking monkey took my computer and…well actually I’ve just been busy doing non-bloggerly things, I suppose. Like watching seasons 1 & 2 of Dexter! And apparently watching Game of Thrones on HBO screw up the gender dynamics of the books royally (This, I do not totally agree with. At all). And baking things! And sleeping (though not enough)! And attempting a summer garden with two black thumbs! And thinking about starting an actual velvet pumpkin business! Good grief! Also apparently compiling a ridiculously long gallery “list” of favorite fantasy movies. Should be interesting to see what I forgot this time.

In no particular order, these are the fantasy movies I’ve enjoyed most over the years. Some are “serious” fantasy movies (Lord of the Rings, etc.), some are pure campy fun (Big Trouble in Little China, anyone?) and others are pure classics (Big with Tom Hanks – can’t ever watch it enough!). Some are also so incredibly sad I probably won’t ever watch them again – Pan’s Labyrinth for example. It’s like a knife to the heart, but an exquisitely beautiful one, too, visually.

And here it is, folks a visual list, once again, of favorite movies, but this time with a more fantastical persuasion…

Recipe For a Perfect Read

While trying to cull the massive 60+ collection of movie posters for an upcoming Lurv’s Essential List of Fantasy movies, apparently J.R. Ward’s latest Black Dagger Brotherhood book, The King, has hit many shelves and devices. Most of my fellow Twitter reading friends seem to be reading it. Admittedly, I dropped the series quite a while ago. Plenty of reasons cropped up: the absurd slang, the never-ending pop culture and brand name dropping, and eventually the characters themselves no longer did it for me either. If ever there was a plot, I’d need a microscope to identify it. But I did enjoy them back in the day when paranormal romance was the majority of my reading time, and they were a little campy and fun for sure. Absurdity sometimes has its own comical value. Also the sex. Sometimes that was…not absurd.

Just today on Twitter, one of my friends retweeted someone who’d said that after about the first 30% of The King, she was finally able to get into and enjoy the book. Others already seem to share the same opinion. This reminded me that I’ve often wondered what makes a book a perfect read, despite some flaws or a slow beginning quarter third or half. I know I myself have ended up enjoying some books that didn’t start well for me, but I still tend to take into consideration that the first third was staggeringly boring, annoying or plain bad, and this reflects in what grade I give in a review, and it definitely gets a mention. Good ending or not, it’s usually a downgrade.

We see the opinion all the time that complete crap gets published and seems to flourish – so at what point are we not willing to look past flaws and proclaim a book wonderful? At the same time, what do we willingly look past in order to enjoy a book? I think reader reactions are rather fascinating in this way, which may be one reason that, even though I don’t read Ward’s work anymore, I still love to read how people are reacting to her books. Many seem to agree that the slang, brand names and other details are lame and tiring, but they usually also seem to end up loving the book anyway.

What’s your recipe for a perfect read? What especially bad things have you looked past when something especially good came along after? Can you overlook some bad things in a book to proclaim it a perfect read later? Are we simply more forgiving of the books we anticipate the most?

Lurv’s Essential (And Long) SciFi Movie List

I was briefly discussing scifi movies on Twitter with a couple of friends and after noting that I feel Hollywood does a mostly terrible job with the genre, one of my friends expressed surprise at this. She briefly listed some of her favorites, and I had to admit that, sure, there are definitely some good ones. I stand by my sentiment that there are plenty of bad ones, though. Keeping subjectivity in mind, I decided to amass a list of some of my most favorite/notable scifi movies I’ve enjoyed over the years. It’s a big list. A long list. Maybe too long. But at least it’s a graphical list, so yay for the eyeballs.

I don’t feel any of these movies are perfect (what movie could be, except for perhaps the original Star Wars series before they went back and added that ridiculous Haden Christensen to the damn ending of Return of the Jedi whyyyyyyy sob stabby sob) but I enjoy them all for varying reasons. Starship Troopers for its campy, over-the-top-ness. Kirk and Spock saving the whales in Star Trek: The Voyage Home and, hence, humanity. And I love “natural disaster” weather movies, so The Day After Tomorrow gets a mention as well. Don’t judge me. I’ve got my don’t care meter turned up to plaid.

In no particular order…and I cheated and made them all into a gallery (graphical, yo), so yay for space saving! I feel like I’m forgetting something obvious, though. What are some of your essentials/favorites when it comes to scifi movies?

An Essential Fantasy Movie List coming soon!

Review: Satisfaction

sarah mayberry
satisfaction
Small Cow Publishing
Contemporary ROMANCE
february 28, 2014

Maggie Hendricks loves her life. Great job, amazing friends. Everything just how she likes it. There’s just one small problem. When it comes to sex, Maggie can’t quite get there. No fireworks, no screaming orgasms. And while she tells herself she’s fine with that, she can’t help wanting more.

When her friend shares the intimate details of a one night only fling with an extremely talented lover, Maggie makes a desperate pact with herself. She will seduce this man and if he can’t get her there…well, then she’ll hand herself over to medical science. A simple enough plan. What could possibly go wrong?

Within minutes of meeting Rafel Oliveira, Maggie knows the answer to that one: plenty. Rafel turns out to be far more than simply talented in the bedroom. As he takes her on a journey toward the ultimate pleasure, Maggie finds herself craving a lot more than his beautiful body. But can she win the one thing that will leave her truly satisfied…his heart?

Well, to say the least, the title is apt. In more ways than one, too! I received my copy via the author (there’s your full disclosure), who said the book was, and I quote, “dirrrrty”. Ha! Indeed. Love it. Given that I’m already a huge fan of Sarah Mayberry romances, I was really just beyond excited to be reading another one, let alone the promise of good ‘ole romance dirty times. What really gets me about her books are the characters, and when they mesh as well as Mayberry characters typically do, well, the more intimate parts of her books just work all the better. Satisfaction was no less so. At all. Ahem. Continue Reading