Thursday, 26 June 2014

Booking Through Thursday: R. Rated


How do you feel about explicit detail in your reading? Whether language, sex, violence, situations and so on … does it bother you? Faze you at all? Or do you just read everything without it bothering you?


Hey guys, while I am packing... again to move in, I decided to take this BTT because the first part means a lot to me. Lately I've been doing some blog tours and one thing I notice is how much swearing the characters used. There was one book that I couldn't go past page 10 because there was one fuck/shit per page. I thought: I don't mind swearing, so why am I finding in every page the same curse words? Truth is, like always if you do your language right, if it fits the character nobody will notice. Imagine that the character is having a nervous breakdown or he or she just killed a person - that is a situation where you would go: well ... shit! - and that is fine, because while a book is a book it feels right to make your characters real. However if you overdo it, it feels fake and an invisible wall is set between reader and writer/story. Sometimes I really wish I could tell the author: dude, you're going too far, this needed an editor and if your editor warned you and you ignored him/her then you deserve a 1star for fucking it up.


As for sex let's be honest we all love sensual/sexual scenes where you feel the lust between the characters. I like when characters are bold without being stupid/rude. A little dirty word here and there won't hurt and it is SO much better than the cliché: you're so beautiful, when making love. Seriously don't you know any other sentences? You're making love, not in a compliment competition. Especially when you're building this sensual tension and the characters won't shut up. No need for you're lovely, you're so strong, you're so pretty, you're so sexy... That is stuff for you to say outside the sex zone. Once you're done, you can admire your partner and say I am luckiest person ever.


Violence, I'm all for gore and blood, there's never too much gore in one book! So bring it on!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

A sword upon the rose

cover45736-smallThe Sword upon a rose
Brenda Joyce
Harlequin HQN
Date of release: 24th June 2014
Add to Goodreads
3star

 

 

ARC provided by Harlequin via Netgalley for an honest review <3

[caption id="attachment_1901" align="alignright" width="150"]https://www.netgalley.com/ https://www.netgalley.com/[/caption]

A Sword upon the rose was a pleasant read and surprise. Mainly due to the fact that most HQ historical novels hardly focus on the period itself, Joyce’s newest story has everything typical of a medieval romance: war, politics and love.


The main character was most of the times pleasant and reminded me a lot of Anya Seton’s protagonists: strong, independent, victims of the period and yet controlling everything and manipulating to achieve their ends. Alana certainly swings between the acceptance of her father and loyalty to the only man who loved her (even if he is the enemy). The entire novel is written using the 3rd person however we only have Alana’s point of view which sometimes caused some distress, being almost blind to Ian ‘s feelings and opinions. He is an alpha male. He demands obedience and Alana does not bow. She does what she thinks it is right even knowing that it will anger him. Ian seems rude sometimes and their love might not be romantic, however being a medieval romance I personally think it turned out quite well (I mean I was almost wishing that Ian would die so we could have some medieval epic vibe… but this is Harlequin romance, I think the readers would hate the author if she murdered Ian).

Godfrey was another pleasant surprise. You cannot help to despise him at the beginning and for a while you believe that he is the main antagonist, but in the course of the story he changes so much that I would love to read a novel where he would be the main character. He forces Alana to have visions but only because he fears the ire of his father and when Alana is in danger or lost he helps her proving to be a great ally. I was not a big fan of the word “friend” used as today’s friend. It may be just in Portuguese language but friends meant lovers in Portuguese medieval context so it was always weird when Alana said: you are my friend. But maybe in English it was different at the time. Also I always thought that family in medieval times were not so important as today, however as a bastard I guess that Alana’s obsession with being accepted by her father is, somehow, justified. In that field, I believe that George R. R. Martin captures perfectly the essence of medieval families.

As for the plot itself it is action packed with great descriptions of battles and politics especially the use of manipulation. Alana’s visions were a great way to create expectation. If a character appears dead, we will want to know when and how in the story and not many authors can pull that out.

The only thing I would eventually change was Alana’s fears for Ian’s love. Even though it is clear that he is in battle, she feels insecure sometimes and tends to repeat her thoughts which can be tiresome for a character that has showed us she could manipulate and get what she wants.

A sword upon the rose mixes some medieval themes in a delicious cocktail of love and war with strong characters without sacrificing the authentic of its period.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Chloe By Design: Making the Cut

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(ARC copy given by NetGalley)
Author: Margaret Gurevich
Publishing House: Stone Arch Books
384 pages
Publication:  1st July 2014
Review by Lady Entropy

For viewers that love Project Runway comes a series that puts fashion at the forefront. 16-year-old Chloe Montgomery has always loved everything to do with fashion. Clothes, accessories, designing--she knows it all. And when she finds out Teen Design Diva, a new reality series for aspiring teenage designers, is holding auditions in her town, she's desperate to win a spot on the show. She knows this is her chance to finally get her designs noticed. But before Chloe can realize her dreams, she has to survive the competition.

I have to confess I liked the designs a lot more than I liked the story, but I suspect that was because of problems with pacing. Chloe was endearing and passionate and so I was, obviously, rooting for her to win, so my few issues with this book came not from the characters but rather how it was organized.

It's possible that this book would have worked better if split into two, allowing for the first part to be Chloe preparing for the competition, and the second being the competition itself -- instead, whatever little conflicts there were, they had to be diminished because the "big payoff" was still to come. Plus, the competition section felt incredibly rushed through, with multiple challenges happening on top of each other, characters being shipped off in hordes and with flimsy excuses to reach as quickly as possible to the top three - even if the book is 400 pages long and a good chunk of it was dedicated to the competition.

Plus, Nina, who was the closest thing to a villain, was barely a villain -- the worst thing she did was steal a hemline cutter -- and it was so very easily replaced that it wasn't even a challenge. There were was no conflict, no drama other than the main character stressing constantly with "Can I make this". She doesn't change, she doesn't grow that much. And that is a huge pity because Chloe is likeable, has a good relationship with her mother and her friends and the rest of her family.

Still, maybe the next book will come out and we'll see Chloe at her internship and the book will feel less rushed.

Hacker: Getting Inside My Mind

Hacker: Getting Inside My Mind

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(ARC copy given by NetGalley)
Author: Ted Dekker
Publishing House: Worthy Publishing
280 pages
Publication:  10th June 2014
Book 3 of the Outlaw Chronicles
Review by Lady Entropy

 

Nyah Parks is a hacker extraordinaire with an interesting way of building her client base. Obviously, corporations don’t like it when you can hack into their systems. They pay hackers lots of money to try to exploit any flaws in their security. Nyah likes doing things backward. Compromise the system, then offer to show them where the flaws are. Except this time she’s gotten in over her head.

 

Now on the run, and under watch from the FBI, Nyah holes up with Austin, a fellow hacker whose been studying a computer unlike any other—the human brain. Austin opens Nyah up to a world of new possibilities, possibly even another plane of existence. Nyah is able to jump out of her mind like a modern-day prophet and see the future. And what she sees is personally devastating.


I made the serious mistake of reading this book and not reviewing it immediately (because a few days later I left the country) -- as I consequence I can now barely remember my feelings about it other than a big resounding..."Meh".


The book ends up being a lot more philosophical than cyberpunk (which, I admit, was what I was looking for) so maybe that is where most of my disappointment comes from. That and the frequent shifts between 3rd person narrator and 1st person narrator. Personal pet peeve of mine, and something I only allow to Charles Stross to do.

I also remember the dreadful disappointment at the cheap romance (put in, no doubt, so we'd get an emotional kick when bad things happened to the boy, but it never materialized since it was so obvious that it would happen that I just didn't care). For some reason, another scene that stuck with me that was a near "Throw the damn book against a wall" was when the FBI found the corpse of a person who ODed on heroin -- and immediately assumed he was a junky even though a friend swore he never did drugs, the whole thing was a set up from the villains. Here's the thing -- if the boy was a junky, he would have needle tracks on his arm. But since he obviously wouldn't have any (as I said, villain's doing) it should be obvious what had happened. But of course it takes the FBI forever to figure this out.

Finally, there were some cool scenes and concepts, and some heart-wrenching moments but all in all, I wound up finding the book way too forgettable for the potential it could have had.

Sidekick: Stylish (Almost)Super Heroines

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(ARC copy given by NetGalley)
Author: Auralee Wallace
Publishing House: Escape Publisher
173 pages
Publication:  1st June 2014
Review by Lady Entropy
Heroes meets Bridget Jones in this brilliant, hilarious debut novel about a girl who just wants to save the world...
Bremy St James, daughter of billionaire Atticus St James, has been cut off from the family fortune and is struggling to survive in a world that no longer holds its breath every time she buys a new outfit. To make matters worse, her twin sister is keeping secrets, loan sharks are circling, and the man of her dreams — a newspaper reporter — is on assignment to bring down everyone with the last name St James.



This is a fun, sweet, very funny book that can be considered "light reading". And I say it as a compliment because it was just what I needed at the time. The book is lighthearted and it doesn't try to be pretentious nor attempt to be more than what it is: the tale of a poor rich girl who found out her father was a monster and couldn't bear to look at him any more, so she left her world of comfort.
Also, superheroes.That's right, this very poignant and human drama is set in a city populated by superheroes and their supervillain counterparts. Our heroine has no powers (or money) to speak of, and yet, she is drawn to do the right thing, even if at a great personal cost. Her struggle is half desperate, half funny, and I think it's what makes it all so endearing. She's the proverbial woobie, everything goes wrong with her (her rent money gets stolen TWICE, she has the mafia breathing down her neck, and her boss wants her to strip) and she still keeps on, tenaciously.

The cast of characters is the strongest suit, from the villain to the heroes, although her twin sister was a disappointment -- even if set up to be very interesting, the sisterly relationship tight and unique, suddenly gets thrown out just to add more plot convenience and make the scene more dramatic. That being said, she wasn't as bad as the love interest who was the blandest, most boring and least fleshed out male interest to ever grace any book I've ever read. He was... nice. And muscular. AND stupid as a goddam brick -- he hates Bremy's dad but he's absolutely ready to believe anything he says. Really?

Still, I enjoyed this immensely and I'll definitely pick up the next volumes.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet: Remakes Done Right.

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(ARC given by NetGalley)
Author
: Bernie Su and Kate Rorick
Publishing House: Touchstone
400 pages
Publication:  24th June 2014
Review by Lady Entropy

A modern adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice based on the Emmy Award-winning phenomenon, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

When rich, handsome Bing Lee comes to town, along with his stuck-up friend William Darcy, things really start to get interesting for the Bennets—and for Lizzie's viewers. Suddenly Lizzie—who always considered herself a fairly normal young woman—was a public figure. But not everything happened on-screen. Luckily for us, Lizzie kept a secret diary.The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet

provides more character introspection as only a book can, with revelatory details about the Bennet household, including Lizzie's special relationship with her father, untold stories from Netherfield, Lizzie's thoughts and fears about life after grad school and becoming an instant web celebrity.



This book is the companion book to the NetSeries (on Youtube) The Lizzie Bennett Diaries -- which I had watched and loved. This is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, which, as a book and love story, I never particularly was a fan of, but I couldn't help but ADORE in the video format. Maybe it was the actresses, maybe it was the writing, the fact is that I loved it, and this book helped to fill some of the gaps. Obviously that 5 to 10 minutes episodes were limited in scope, so the writers had to cut out quite a lot and just leave the strictly necessary -- between episodes there was often a jump of several days or even weeks, and Lizzie would give a quick description of what had happened and move on -- plus, there was always the awareness that she was talking to "real people" so it was easy to guess the character would hold back and keep some things secretive. Especially at the end of the story when her sister's reputation is in danger, she keeps some details secret as the subject is clearly private and sensitive, so the audience is left to mostly guess what happens.
But this book presents the perfect reason to fill in the gaps, to add small details and make the main narrative awesomer. Lizzie has a quick wit, and she doesn't try to make herself look good - she's as critical to herself as to anyone else.

On the one hand, I admit, it kills off a bit of the mystique, on the other hand it does clarify and presents some awesome plot points, so I am glad I read it. Plus, it dubs very well as a stand-alone book, and a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice whether or not you have watched the WebSeries.

Still, I would recommend this to anyone with a sense of humour or who loves Jane Austen -- and I would also recommend picking up the WebSeries to watch while you read -- it's free, after all, and definitely worth it.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Deadly Curiosities: The Human, the Gay Best Friend and the Vampire

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(ARC given by NetGalley)

Author: Tim Waggoner
Publishing House: Angry Robot
464 pages
Publication:  24th June 2014
Book 1 of the Deadly Curiosity Series
Review by Lady Entropy



Welcome to Trifles & Folly, an antique and curio shop with a dark secret. Proprietor Cassidy Kincaide continues a family tradition begun in 1670—acquiring and neutralizing dangerous supernatural items. It’s the perfect job for Cassidy, whose psychic gift lets her touch an object and know its history. Together with her business partner Sorren, a 500 year-old vampire and former jewel thief, Cassidy makes it her business to get infernal objects off the market. When mundane antiques suddenly become magically malicious, it’s time for Cassidy and Sorren to get rid of these Deadly Curiosities before the bodies start piling up.


This book is a decent Urban Fantasy romp: girl with some powers needs to rely on stronger friends and allies to solve problems, while still remaining useful. It has several creature types, some truly scary and poignant moments, and manages to wrap it all up without making a mess of itself.

Unfortunately, I read it right after another, alas, far superior Urban Fantasy book so I couldn't but be left with a sense of "meh" at the end. I am sure I would have thought far better of this book were it not for the unfortunate timing.

I can say it works very well as a light read, with a refreshing character who's not supposed to be all-powerful or a bitch, that is not desired by all men that she comes across. She was sensible, smart, and a good person who (almost never) fell into the Too Stupid To Live category.

My pet peeve was the Sassy Gay Best Friend, who I felt was such a specimen of perfection and awesomeness (great cook, appreciates the arts, incredible smart, expert armed and unarmed fighter, with magical powers that dwarfed the heroine, incredibly attractive, sensitive and thoughtful to his lover) that I wondered why weren't we reading the story from his point of view, instead. It felt that the writer was trying to compensate for something, or she was so afraid to be dismissed for writing a "bad" gay character that she had to heap all the awesomeness on him to protect herself.

And also, our adventurers tended to rely too much on magical artefacts to get themselves out of problems. No, literally, there is a "suit up" scene. I couldn't but help feel that, in the process of increasing the stakes, the writer wound up coming up with a threat that the heroine simply couldn't sort.

Funnily enough, the side and minor characters (like clockman and the hunter) wound up being my favourites and I would have liked to know more about them.

Kept: Hot Stories, Hotter Settings

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(ARC given by NetGalley)
Editor: Sorcha Black
Publishing House: WC Press
Publication:  March 2014 (ebook only)
Review by Lady Entropy

From the darkest parts of the underworld, to aliens hunting on Earth, to planets far away, each of these capture-themed novellas by six bestselling authors takes you on a wild ride that will heat up your fantasies and keep you up all night long…reading.

 

I have to admit, I requested this book more out of sense of boredom and "I haven't read erotica in a while, let's see what the kids are doing these days". And boy, was I surprised.

I must state in advance that erotica is something I read every now and then, usually when some concept intrigues me (like T-red porn!). I'm not an expert, or even someone who can appreciate the finer points of the descriptions or collapse into a mass of wiggly desire.

But I was amazed by how huge the RANGE of stories (from sci-fi, to time travelling, to fantasy) was. And what amazed me even more was how complex the settings were. The authors seemed to be challenged to find all sorts of strange and unusual combinations (military and vampires! BBW and aliens! Time travelling, Domming and Scotsmen! Virgins, lesbians and succubus!) then came up with the most elaborate possible settings and worldbuild. Sure there was sex, and lots of it, but I found myself caring more the people and their world than their jolies.

This is what a well-written book (which is also erotica) looks like. I am actually quite glad I read it, even if erotica still isn't my thing. Brainier readers who want more than just the quick fix of porn will love it.

Night Terrors: Women Who Kick Ass and the Clowns Who Help Them

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(ARC copy given by NetGalley)
Author: Tim Waggoner
Publishing House: Angry Robot
350 pages
Publication:  27th May 2014
Book 1 of the Shadow Watch Series
Review by Lady Entropy

It's Men In Black meets The Sandman.
Meet the fine men and women of the NightWatch: a supernatural agency dedicated to hunting down rogue nightmares that escape from other realms when people dream about them, while ensuring that other dream-folk are allowed to live among the regular, human population… as long as they play by the rules.


This book surprised me in so many ways: the setting was absolutely new, fresh and amazing (and finally someone came up with a setting for Urban Fantasy that isn't yet another tired take on the typical Vampire\Werewolf Mafia rules over the city. I've been waiting for this since I discovered Charles Stross's The Laundry Files, and now, finally, I have it!

Then, I discovered that the protagonist was female, even thought it was a man writing it. And honestly? He did it with respect and in no moment I felt she was a stereotype -- she read as a normal (within limit), tired person with a hard job and suddenly dragged into a situation that was way above her paygrade.

It does take a page of the typical Urban Fantasy where the protagonist (and her co-star, the terrifying combat clown, who was a cross of the Dark Knight and the Animated Series Joker) are low-paid, hard-worked agents for the local supernatural law enforcement agency (in a twist of originality, they spend more time out of the human world, than in it, and humans and fully unaware of the strange things). But it's spun in a creative, terrifying and original ways, as these agents have, quite literally, their "worst nightmare" as their trusty parters\weapons of mass destruction. I particularly enjoyed the many creative and different Nightmares that populated the dream world and the companion ones.

The plot was solid, frightening, and funny, and I definitely will check further instalments of this series. Recommended to anyone who likes Charles Stross, Urban Fantasy and is terrified of clowns.

Top ten books on Adeselna's summer TBR list

topten

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.


The Portuguese shelf

1. A filha do Barão (The baron’s daughter) by Célia Loureiro: Even though I’ve read it already as a beta, the manuscript was revised and edited and it was such a great novel that I need to re-read it again :)

2. Estou nua e agora? (I’m naked, now what?) by Francisco Salgueiro: Even though I never read anything by this author, the Publisher was kind to give me the e-book without me even asking (I love this type of kindness, especially if I’m ignored when I ask for an ebook that I really want to read);

3. Encontro em Itália (Encounter in Italy) & Inverno de Sombras (Winter of shadows) by L.C. Lavado: Both low fantasy Portuguese novels previously self-published by the author. The reviews have been very positive, so I guess that these two are a must read in the summer.

4. A chama ao vento (The flame in the wind) by Carla M. Soares: This ebook has been lying on my tablet for too long. Having read three books of this author, I know that this book is going to be awesome, although a bit darker than her others.
The “I’ve been waiting forever for you to read me”:

5. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson: this poor novel was not well received in Portugal. The price eventually dropped to 2,90€ and I couldn’t resist.

6. Mildred Pierce by James M. Cain: The great depression! Just because I never grow tired of the twenties, plus my edition has Kate Winslet on the cover!

7. The bronze horseman by Paulinna Simons: Even though I have the Portuguese edition give the high prices I might give this book and buy the English version. Everyone has told me to read it so I guess I can’t delay it much more ^^

8. A matter of sin & Beautiful distraction by Jess Michaels: A girl needs her erotica! Also I am longing to read something new by Jess Michaels.

9. Mein zweites Leben by Christianne F.: Even though I started reading it two months ago, it is a book with some heavy content. I look forward to finish it this summer.

10. Wicked by Shannon Drake: this trilogy has been literally waiting forever for me to read it! I’ll take care of it this summer.

All these books are in paperback except for Jess Michaels and Carla M. Soares. Of course those books I already started reading (with the exception of Christianne F.) were not featured on the list because they’ll be read these weeks.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Blog Tour: Above the Noise by Michelle Kemper Brownlow [Bonus Scene+Giveaway]





Hey every one, despite the headaches and all I started reading this novel and I will be putting on the review tomorrow. Today here is a bonus scene to start the Blog tour :) The giveaway is right in the end of the post so be patient ^^ Thanks to Book plug promotions


SYNOPSIS:


Becki Mowry’s journalism expertise keeps her busy as she spends her waking hours filling a calendar with gigs and public appearances for her boyfriend’s up and coming band, Alternate Tragedy. Radio interviews and TV spots result in sold out concerts and rowdy groupies hot for her guy; lead singer, Calon Ridge. But, as fame would have it, their time in the limelight also brings sabotage, rumors and false accusations. Becki and Calon try to stay steadfast on a personal journey that takes them to the depths of fear and uncertainty. And finally, the rug is pulled out from under the band when they must make a transition they never dreamed they’d be faced with.In this third book of the In Too Deep series, Becki and Calon struggle to find balance as they navigate their new relationship while living amid the rock world’s nocturnal chaos. But when life’s unexpected obstacles come out of nowhere, they focus on finding their own private solace Above the Noise.




 

PURCHASE LINKS:


AMAZON **  B&N ** KOBO

 





 


Bonus scene




Calon


    My body burned with desire as I imagined her body pressed against mine. She was all I wanted. When her lips moved against mine in a sultry dance of tongue and flesh, all I could think about was being inside her. She exhaled my name against my mouth and raked her nails across my back --- I needed to stop daydreaming because we were in public.
It was a thirty-three hour trip from Knoxville to Los Angeles and we’d decided to drive straight through. Spider drove and Manny and Bones switched off and on for shot gun. Becki and I had taken up residence in the back bench seat of Spider’s van. We were on our one of many stretch-your-legs-and-piss stops after hitting traffic heading into Bullhead City, Arizona. Apparently it was their annual River Regatta weekend and we could either sit in highway traffic or pull off into one of their shuttle parking lots and enjoy the festivities and finally grab some food that wasn’t drive-thru crap.
I leaned back against the picnic table I was told to save while everyone got their food. I sucked in a deep breath and took in the view. Becki stood in line at a lemonade stand not more than twenty feet from me. I watched the gentle breeze lift the very bottom of her short strapless sundress. I prayed for gale force winds but none came. Everything about her was gorgeous. From her long golden-brown hair that curled at the ends to her etched collarbones that drew my eyes down to her cleavage. I couldn’t keep my thoughts under control.
Becki and I kissed for the first time the night before we left Knoxville which was well over thirty hours ago and I was dying to kiss her again. But, I was told kissing in the van with the guys around would be in bad taste. So, it was definitely inappropriate for us to do what I wanted to do in the back seat of the van as we made our way west. I wasn’t sure my balls had ever been this shade of blue.
Baseball. Baseball. Baseball.
“Hey, handsome. You look so pensive. What’s going on inside that creative mind of yours?” I glanced up into the sun just as she blocked it with her beautiful face, then sat down on my lap. So much for distracting myself from how attracted I was to her. She wiggled her hips on my thigh, smiled, and seductively slid the straw between her lips.
Good lord.
“I was watching you and thinking about how—“ I wasn’t sure how I was going to finish that sentence when Bones interrupted my thoughts.
“Guys! Guys!” Bones was carrying a tray of food and barreling toward us at a pace that had me concerned he wouldn’t be able to stop. “Look! Gator-on-a-stick! There’s a stand over there by the main stage!” And with that, he tripped and everything on his tray spilled down the front of Becki and all over my legs.
Becki shrieked and shot off my lap. She stood, mouth agape, shaking her head and looking back and forth between the gristle and grease dripping down her chest and Bones.
“Uh, um. Becki. I’m so, so sorry.” He slowly slinked backwards, preparing to use the tray as a shield if he needed to. His eyes were as wide as saucers and his body turned away but he kept a close eye on her over his shoulder as though he was afraid for his life. “I’ll go get you some napkins. Shit. I’m so sorry.” And then he ran. Fast.
The next ten minutes was a flurry of napkins, bottled water and a lot of swearing. Becki was beautiful but she had a mouth like a sailor if you doused her in meat juice. But whether he was holding fresh napkins or bottles of water, every time Bones inched toward her, she’d scream obscenities and he’d slink back toward the picnic table.
“I have to shower. I can’t breathe. Every time I breathe, I smell dead things.” She turned her head and tried to sneak a breath or two that didn’t smell like gator.
“Becki, we are at a festival and our home is a van until we get to LA. You can’t shower.” Spider tried very hard to hold in his laughter so as not to get on Becki’s bad side…ya know, the side Bones was on.
“I don’t care if I have to strip down in the rest room and climb into the sink. I need to get this shit off me! I smell like MEAT!” She stomped a couple times, stuck out her bottom lip and looked up at me with her hands fisted at her sides. She was adorable.
“I have an idea.” I took her by the hand, told the guys to find something she could use as a towel and then head to the place I pointed out when we pulled down the long lane to the lake. Becki grumbled and cursed the whole way. I was sure she was casting spells on Bones.
“Calon, where are we going? There could be snakes in these tall weeds.” She looked around nervously.
“Relax. I’ll protect you.” I said it all goofy-like hoping to see her smile. It worked.
“If you can protect me and find a way to get this sticky stench off me, you will be rewarded generously.” She winked and raised one eyebrow.
“Your bath awaits.” I pushed aside the thin branches of some brush and opened up a space for her to see a deep pool of water hidden within a small grove of trees.
She bounced up and down and clapped then looked around to see if anyone had spied us. She kissed me on the cheek and gripped me by the shoulders. She turned my back to the trees.
“You can’t look.” She grabbed my forearm and pulled it out perpendicular to my body. “Keep your arm like this to hold my clothes. If they hit the ground, I’ll kill you.”
“Got it.” I smiled and rolled my eyes. She hung the strap of her sandals over my fingers. I shook my head. She was about to get naked and she was expecting me not to look. I wanted to be respectable. I wanted her to be able to trust me this much but I so wanted to see what was beneath that sweet little sundress.
“Your generous reward is void should you steal a glance.” Her voice was sultry. She stood behind me and pressed her body into my back. “Promise me you won’t look.”
Shit.
“I promise.” I was surprised by her adamant request because the Becki I’d been accustomed to seemed brazen and daring. But over the last couple days, something had changed between us and she was more private and even a little shy which was incredibly sexy.
“Thanks.” She laid something across my arm. I heard her take a couple steps and then there was a splash. She giggled and squealed at the cool temperature of her own little hidden oasis.
When I looked down and saw her tiny little sundress hanging over my arm goosebumps raised all over my body. And that’s when it hit me. I was only holding shoes and a dress. Nothing. Else. Holy Hell, she was going commando under that short dress. I closed my eyes and talked myself into remaining honorable and not peeking. I took a couple deep breaths but kept my eyes closed as a means to help with my resolve. I lost track of time as I stood and listened to her quiet moans and splashes as she cooled off and scrubbed away the stench of what Bones spilled on her.
“Oh shit, Cal.” Bones spoke slowly.
My eyes flew open and caught Bones gawking. My hands shot out in front of me and made contact with his chest and he and Becki’s dress and shoes hit the ground.
“CALON! Did you just let my dress touch the ground?!”
“You did NOT just sneak a peek at Becki naked!” I glared at him as he stood back up and brushed the dirt from his ass. I was ready to throttle him for the first time in our lengthy friendship.
“Shit, Cal! No! I didn’t get to see her knockers… but they did!”
I heard movement in the water and a gasp that came from what sounded like multiple people, not just one Becki. I turned and saw a bunch of shirtless guys standing on a berm just beyond the deep pool Becki had been bathing in. I yelled her name so she would be aware of her onlookers as well.
“CALON! You promised! BONES!” Becki’s voice was shrill and her annoyance was palpable. She only saw me and Bones but not her peeping Toms.
“Becki! I didn’t peek! I swear!” I tipped my head back so she could see I was diverting my gaze. I really didn’t see anything. I didn’t have time to. I was stunned by the number of guys silently gawking, my eyes hadn’t left their shit-eating grins.
“Oh, he looked Becks. He looked you all up and down. I saw it with my own eyes.” Bones nodded.
“I did not! Come on, man!” I turned back around so Becki didn’t think I was trying to steal a wayward glance.
Bones chuckled and took off running toward the guys staring at Becki. “Hey! Get outta here you assholes! This isn’t a peep show! This was a private viewing! Go! Git! Go get your own naked girl. This one’s ours!”
“Bones! Man, she’s gonna kill you.” I squeezed my eyes closed. I was trying my damnedest to keep my word. But it was so difficult knowing she was naked and wet right behind me. Dripping. Wet.
“No, you’re gonna kill me.” I wasn’t sure what Bones meant by that but I didn’t even have time to question him. His hands hit my chest and I was falling backwards. My back hit the water with a loud slap and I quickly sucked in a deep breath before I went under. I flailed a little, got my feet under me and stood, all the while keeping my eyes closed like a perfect gentleman.
“Funny, Bones. Nice one.” I waited for a comeback. Bones always had a comeback.
Nothing.
“Becks?” I spun slowly and tried to get a feel for where she was.
Nothing.
I peeked out of one eye and found myself alone in the little pool of water. I scrambled to the bank and pulled myself up with the exposed roots of the trees that had parted for our entrance to what was a private little hideaway. Bones and a fully-clothed Becki were headed back to the festivities. He carried a towel and her soiled dress.
“HEY! Wait! Bones! Did you see her naked?” I shook the water from my hair and wrung out my t-shirt. “Becki! How did you get your clothes without him seeing you? Wait! Guys! Wait up!”
“Now, who’s the gentleman, Cal? Huh? Looks like you might have some competition. Looks like your girl may be diggin’ some Bones.” Bones threw his arm in the air and flipped me the bird. He chortled and dropped his arm across Becki’s shoulders.
Becki turned to me, flashed me a smile that stole my breath. She winked, blew me a kiss, but kept walking.


 


MEET THE AUTHOR


Michelle Kemper Brownlow has been a storyteller her entire life. Her debut was on the high school cheerleading bus granting requests to re-tell her most embarrassing moments for a gaggle of hysterical squadmates.
Earning her Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in Art Education and then marrying her very own “Jake,” she moved to Binghamton, NY where she taught high school. After having two children she quit work and finished her Master’s degree in Elementary Education at Binghamton University.The Brownlow family of four moved to Michelle’s hometown of Morgantown, PA while the children were still quite young. A few years after moving, her family grew by one when they welcomed a baby into their home through the gift of adoption. The family still resides in PA, just miles from where that high school cheer bus was parked.

Michelle has been an artist for as long as she can remember, always choosing pencils and crayons over toys and puzzles. As a freelance illustrator, her simple characters play the starring roles in numerous emergent reader books published by Reading Reading Books.




Stay connected with Michelle:


Visit my Author blog: MICHELLE KEMPER BROWNLOW


Follow me on Twitter: @MK_Brownlow

 

"Like" me on facebook: Michelle Kemper Brownlow/ Author




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Sunday, 15 June 2014

A sad post: vision problems :<

So as you all know I am trying my best to read per week 4 books, I even signed up for a few challenges to see if I could read more books... Problem? My sight is basically getting worst. I can barely read an entire book (let's say something with 95 pages) on the tablet without getting a massive headache and this week I've been sick a lot of times. I've been experiencing some time confusion (I'm guessing my body wants me to return to Portugal so bad that he's playing tricks with me) and the headaches are driving me insane.


Therefore, I'll be reading very slowly until I can put my hands on something that is not a TFT screen and hopefully the reviews will come in time (of course having ARCs, I'll be reading them just not as quick as before).

I have some great ARCs copies to read by Megan Hart, Jess Michaels, Erin McCarthy, a sneak peak of Isla and the happily ever after and of course I'll have to finish the wonderful "The Cascade", but they will be read very slowly. Also this week from 19th June to 22 I will be in Krakow visiting Auschwitz and the city (hurray) and I will get some times to read the Paperbacks I brought and rest my eyes a little.


Saturday, 14 June 2014

True (True Believers #1)

17332551True
(True Believers #1)
Erin McCarthy
ebook, 222 pages
Published May 7th 2013 by Penguin Group
Add to Goodreads
4star

 

ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and approved by Penguin

[caption id="attachment_1901" align="alignright" width="150"]https://www.netgalley.com/ https://www.netgalley.com/[/caption]

As soon as I’ve realised this was a New Adult book, I kind of waited a long while to start reading it as I thought that all NA books are starting to sound the same: same plot/same characters. It was a relief when I started reading True and somehow it did not felt like the others. I actually regretted that I haven’t read it sooner. But no use to cry over spilled milk! I own McCarthy an apology for doubting that her book would be amazing: it was.


True is a character-driven novel, the characters lead the plot and it all goes from what they do, the decisions they make. Rory is a lovely female character: she is shy, intelligent and while she never had a boyfriend, she believes that one day someone will notice her. She comes from a middle-class world where difficulties are scarce. You can say that she is a little protected from the real world but she is in no way childish or innocent.


Tyler on the other hand, makes a grand appearance: there is no better way to present your male character than with a rape scene. Rory almost gets raped by a friend of a friend and Tyler appears in the scene and “rescues” her. While Tyler is a sex-buddy of Rory’s friend, they break apart and Tyler starts to get closer to Rory. He says that she is genuine – I agree. Maybe we enjoy Rory so much because she is a simple creature – she wants to be loved and Tyler gives her that chance, to feel loved. She struggles inside her about her virginity and whether Tyler is good enough for her. She starts as a shy college girl and ends as a brave and caring woman. By making her own choices Rory will shows us that relationship can makes us fearless to struggle for those we love.


Tyler is a lot more complicated than Rory. He has a certain bad boy look at the beginning, but as soon as Rory starts getting to know him, he feels real. Having a drug addicted mother, he has to work (and not focus on his studies) and protect his brothers from her. McCarthy portrays the characters as human and gives them an aura of honesty that we don’t get in other NA novels. Tyler problems are real; they actually exist and Rory could be one of us.

Dare I say it that True was my favourite New Adult read so far? Well, yes indeed, I do. By exploring the themes of sex, family and even self-esteem (as Tyler believes Rory is too good for him and Rory believes Tyler is too hot for her), the first novel establishes a level of quality that is rare in other stories. Instead of presenting us with lots of sex scenes, McCarthy prefers to focus on the struggles and fears of her characters. And for that we say: thank you for giving us a great novel!

Crossing the line: I've been waiting for you all my life *.*

20416706Crossing the Line
Megan Hart
80 pages
Expected publication: June 17th 2014 by Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin
Add to Goodreads
Buy online via Harlequin


ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
<3 you Harlequin for approving my request


4star







[caption id="attachment_1909" align="alignright" width="150"]https://www.netgalley.com/ https://www.netgalley.com[/caption]

*sigh* I have reached the conclusion that Megan Hart will never disappoint me! It is physically and psychological impossible for this author to let me down. Even when she explores themes that I thought were saturated in our literary market, she finds a way to approach it a new way.

First of all let’s give Hart a great applause for not making the male protagonist an arrogant cocky son of a bitch! YES! Finally in the world of BDSM finally someone decides that a male: a) can be a sub; b) he can be hot and like to be in control without being a maniac/stalker; and c) women can have the power!
And I’m not saying this because I am a feminist, however it felt so good to finally have a woman in control.
“No,” she said. “I told you, I’m going to kiss you.” (p.47)


Can this be true? A woman kissing a man? A woman taking the lead? My God, burry me now and send me to Heaven because I don’t want to read another BDSM book!
Caite is a strong and determined woman who also happens to be a… well let’s not bother with names because:

“Dominate,” Jamison coughed on the word, his cock losing some of its thickness with the word.
“Some things,” Caties said quietly, “don’t need to be named to enjoy them.” (p.78)


So clearly she likes to be in control inside the bedroom while Jamison, being her boss, likes to subdue inside the bedroom but be in control regarding business. The fact that they don’t bother with names makes this so much better.

For once there is a book about BDSM that does not list rules or is more of a fictional guide do the word of bondage. For once the characters do what they want because they enjoy it and want to pleasure each other (even if it’s in a very kinky way). Jamison clearly states that he cares about Caite and Caite keeps showing that she wants what’s for Jamison’s best. There ya go, a healthy relationship with some bondage where none of the part is weak, manipulative, “stalkery”.. etcery? If only erotica writers would take a look at Megan Hart’s book, I would die a very happy redhead woman.

Let’s stop fan-girling and get to the point:
Crossing the lines is THE bondage book that I’ve been waiting for! It’s an amazing erotica experience where both characters show their fears and still remain loyal to their identities and beliefs. While the theme of bondage is explored, Hart chooses to show the reader that a woman can make choices, take control (without going too far) and men can enjoy being subdued and still remain “manly”. After all, bondage is about pleasure and in the world of BDSM there are no pre-defined roles. Megan Hart teaches us a great lesson: explore your sexual desires and that you can cross the line.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A culpa é das estrelas

A Culpa é das Estrelas
John Green
256 páginas
Edições ASA
4star


Bem só demorei um ano até pegar no livro…
Num artigo recente foi dito que os adultos que gostavam de ler livros Young Adult deviam de ter vergonha por estes livros não serem para um público mais adulto. No entanto, livros como Hunger Games e The Fault in our stars conseguem transbordar a etiqueta de Young Adult e tratar de temas que são universais e intemporais.


O tema da efemeridade da vida e o quão frágil o ser humano pode ser não é algo que confronte os jovens de hoje em dia quase semi-despreocupados. Ser jovem é ter o mundo com os braços abertos à espera que os sonhos se realizem e raramente pensam que algo mais pode acontecer. A culpa é das estrelas ainda que tenha um toque bastante leve e bem-humorado no início, passa a mensagem que um dia todos desaparecemos (uns mais cedo que outros) e que podemos fazer algo de importante com as nossas vidas de forma a não cairmos no esquecimento.


Aparte das personagens e da plot em si, o que fica de A culpa é das estrelas são as diversas mensagens e lições para os adolescentes reflectirem. Se pensarmos bem, é um bocado chocante lidar com a morte tão cedo, mas apesar de tudo a vida é mesmo assim e a idade da inocência encontra-se cada vez mais esbatida ao ponto de adolescentes serem chamados jovens adultos (talvez um retorno da ideia pré-vitoriana que as crianças não eram mais que adultos em ponto pequeno).


A culpa é das estrelas é um livro que transmite emoção, sentimentos fortes e talvez seja o primeiro contacto de alguns adolescentes com os temas acima referidos, o que resultará em lágrimas, sentimentos de revolta por o mundo ser, na verdade, um lugar cruel e injusto.


Okay?



Apesar do milagre da medicina que fez diminuir o tumor que a atacara há alguns anos, Hazel nunca tinha conhecido outra situação que não a de doente terminal, sendo o capítulo final da sua vida parte integrante do seu diagnóstico. Mas com a chegada repentina ao Grupo de Apoio dos Miúdos com Cancro de uma atraente reviravolta de seu nome Augustus Waters, a história de Hazel vê-se agora prestes a ser completamente rescrita. PERSPICAZ, ARROJADO, IRREVERENTE E CRU, A Culpa é das Estrelas é a obra mais ambiciosa e comovente que o premiado autor John Green nos apresentou até hoje, explorando de maneira brilhante a aventura divertida, empolgante e trágica que é estar-se vivo e apaixonado.

John Green é autor de vários bestsellers do New York Times, e de entre os muitos prémios que recebeu destacam-se o Printz Medal, um Printz Honor e o Edgar Award. Foi por duas vezes finalista do LA Times Book Prize.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Mr. X by Clarissa Wild cover reveal + giveaway link




 


Title: Mr. X

Author: Clarissa Wild

Publication Date: July 2014

Genre: Dark Romance (18+)

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21948425-mr-x




** Author Note: This is not your avarage romance. Some people will kill for love. **



He’s come to kill me.


I’m a user and abuser of my own body. In the darkest hour I sold my soul to the devil and now I must pay the price. With his gun to my head I have no choice but to listen and obey, but I refuse to go down easily. Nothing is stronger than the will to survive. My instincts kicked into full gear the second he stepped into my motel room.


Except when I look at him I see my own heart staring back at me. A history tainted by blood.


I don’t know his name, but I know he wants me. To save myself I’ll sacrifice my sanity. My body. My soul. Something tells me the x-shaped scar that marks his eye is the only escape I have. He is Mr. X; the man who comes to claim my life. Can I save myself before he demands my heart?WARNING: This book contains very disturbing situations, dubious consent, strong language, drugs and alcohol, and graphic violence, which might be considered triggers.









 
Clarissa Wild is the Amazon Bestselling Romance author of FIERCE, a top
200 and top 15 New Adult Romance novel. She is also a writer of erotic
romance such as the Blissful Series, The Billionaire's Bet series, the
Doing It Series and the Enflamed Series. She is an avid reader and
writer of sexy stories about hot men and feisty women. Her other loves
include her furry cat friend and learning about different cultures. In
her free time she enjoys watching all sorts of movies, reading tons of
books and cooking her favorite meals.



Want to get an email when the next book is released?
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Monday, 2 June 2014

O livro perfeito para os portugueses

illu_refl
Hoje saiu a entrevista do autor João Barreiros relativo ao Projecto Adamastor, onde se fala de clássicos e onde o autor diz e cito: Ninguém lê. Ninguém lê por gosto.
Achei a citação curiosa porque pelo que tenho visto ultimamente a literatura tem sido consumida por aqueles que GOSTAM de ler. Eu gosto de ler erótica (bastante), gosto de ler romances, gosto de ler fantasia, gosto de ler um bom livro de terror e gosto de ler um bom livro de ficção científica. No entanto quando li a frase lembrei-me que há dias a blogger Pipoca mais Doce teve a infelicidade de criar um post onde dizia que a autora Sylvia Day era uma espécie de E. L. James porque vendia livros como quem vende pães. Se essa é a definição da nova L. James, o Samarago com as edições da Porto Editora certamente destronará a Sylvia Day rapidamente.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Livros lidos em Maio | May reads

Books read | Livros lidos:

  • A girl walks into a wedding

  • A March bride - review

  • An April bride - review

  • A May bride - review

  • A noiva proibida (The Greek’s forbidden bride) - Harlequin Challenge

  • Branca de neve e suas irmãs

  • Direitos de sangue - review 

  • Girl least likely to get married - Harlequin Challenge

  • Ligeiramente perverso - review

  • The mistaken - review


TOTAL: 10 books |

Books read previously but reviewed in May | Livros lido antes com reviews em Maio:

Books not finished | Livros não terminados:

  • The echoes of love - review

  • Love is a thief

  • Leverage


Books to finish | Livros a terminar:

  • Cascade

  • Obsession

  • The demon’s lover


Ebooks provided by the Publishers | Ebooks ofercidos pelas editoras:

  • Estou nua e agora? (LEYA)

  • A June bride (Zondervan via Netgalley)


TOTAL OF REVIEWS: 12 <- This needs to go up, up, up!