June Reading

English: Alice's Statue, Guildford Riverside A...

English: Alice’s Statue, Guildford (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a confession to make.

I fell down a rabbit hole of trashy romance novels, and I’m just now fighting my way out. I discovered a fantastic site called Dear Author, where a number of bloggers review romance novels of all stripes (including my beloved ‘paranormal romances’ by Patricia Briggs and Illona Andrews). I’ve fallen out of the habit of reading traditional romance novels, with the exception of my beloved Carla Kelly, and I especially have not been a fan of contemporary romances. That said, I found Dear Author because of their favorable review of Kelly’s new book, Marriage of Mercy (released June 1). I started clicking around and came across a recommendation for a contemporary romance called About Last Night, so I downloaded a sample, was hooked, and bought the book. Continue reading

A smattering of books – January update

Smoke and Mirrors – a short story collection by Neil Gaiman I very muchEnglish: An artist's visual representation of ... enjoyed this book of short stories. I’ve wanted to try some of Gaiman’s work for a while now, and found this collection while waiting for Coraline to become available at the Library. Gaiman is spooky, funny, morbid, and eclectic. More than one story was inspired by/infused with H.P. Lovecraft themes, which are guaranteed to creep me out. Continue reading

November is for Reading (because it’s freaking dark outside)

I’m doing this new thing where I try not to spend money on books.  I looked at the size of my Kindle library, did a little math in my head, and almost fainted. Since I have lots of options for free/low-cost books, there’s no reason to squander money buying them, especially if I’m never going to read the book again.  (That’s the drawback of the Kindle e-book: you can’t sell it/give it away when you’re done with it.)

Continue reading

Catching Fire – two out of three ain’t bad

Cover of "Catching Fire (The Second Book ...

Cover via Amazon

Moving right along…

I’ve wrapped up the second installment of the trilogy, which picks up approximately six months after The Hunger Games.  Katniss & Peeta have returned to District 12 and have taken up residence in the Victor’s Village – they, and Haymitch, occupy just three of the twelve houses intended for victors of the games.  Continue reading

Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen

The eye of an asian elephant at Elephant Natur...
Image via Wikipedia

Water for Elephants is June’s Book Club pick, and the first one I’ve really enjoyed since our first novel, Never Let Me Go.

The main character Jacob Jankowski is a young man of Polish descent who is following his father’s footsteps in to the field of veterinary medicine.  When his parents are suddenly killed in a car accident just before his final exams and the family home is repossessed, Jacob hops a train in the middle of the night and finds himself serving as the veterinarian to the Benzini Brothers traveling circus. Continue reading

My blushes – Angela Knight’s Mageverse series

Amazon recommended the latest book in Angela Knight’s Mageverse series, Master of Smoke, and because I’m putting off Fieldwork, I bought it:

After being attacked by a werewolf, Eva Roman is now able to shift into one. Luckily she saves a handsome shapeshifter from a similar attack. Eva does not know his true identity as Smoke, a Sidhe warrior. His attacker was Warlock, the magic-imbued leader of a cult of werewolf assassins trained to destroy all others. As a war ignites between all the immortals in the Mageverse, Eva and Smoke will need more than their love for each other to survive.

Image via Amazon.com

I also downloaded and read the first book in the series, Master of the Night.  While I’m pleased to report that Knight is a better writer than Singh (whose writing continues to give me fits), the world she’s created is not as compelling.
Knight’s characters operate in a universe where Merlin and Nimue (the Lady of the Lake) were aliens who created a protectorate for mankind in King Arthur and his knights and ladies. Arthur and his knights were real, but the stories surrounding them are pure fiction – the real story is that Arthur and his knights became vampires (Magi) and the ladies became witches (Majae) by drinking from the Holy Grail.  These vampires are like nothing you’ve seen before (not even you, Sparkles) – they are good (and sexy) and they have a symbiotic rather than predatory relationship with the witches – the vampires must drink the witches’ blood to replenish their magic, and the witches must give blood to prevent a harmful buildup of magic in their systems.  Vampires (and witches) are created not by the drinking of blood, but through S-E-X.
Because, of course they are. 
The plot of Master of Smoke was woefully thin, marginally involving a vampire/Sidhe (fairy) warrior with amnesia, and the werewolf girl who tries to help him.  Oh, and sex, lots of sex.  Master of the Night is a little more (ahem) fleshed out, as it seems to be the first book in the series, and therefore spends a lot of time showing and telling the rules of the universe. (I’m not even going to try to summarize the plot, because it’s crazy – fun, but crazy.)  And loads of very, very graphic sex.
But really, the point of these stories is the S-E-X.  I do enjoy trashy romance novels, but Knight’s language threw me for a loop.  Knight uses words that frankly make me uncomfortable, including see-you-next-Tuesday. (If you don’t know, I’m not explaining it to you. Google it.)
Final verdict?  The universe intrigues me, but all the S-E-X and associated language is just way more than I can handle.  I’d like to learn more about Knight’s version of Avalon, but I don’t think my blushes will permit it.