Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Review: The Red

Title: The Red
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Genre: Erotica/Romance
Rating: 3.5/5
Page Count: 235
Publication Date: July 11th, 2017

Plot (from goodreads):
Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother's art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it's in the red.

Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.

The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting...but surely her mother didn't mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red...

The Red is a standalone novel of erotic fantasy from Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief and the Original Sinners series.

First off trigger/content warnings, cause this book is a lot: dubious consent, magical drugging (possibly? definitely magic altering perspective without the person knowing fulling that's going to happen), minotaur sex(I don't know how else to describe that scene?).

I don't even know else to mention - if you're hesitant, put yourself first, but if you've got any clarifying question I don't mind answering here or on twitter. (you can even ask me to follow so you can DM me and it isn't public, completely fine).

I was enjoying this book at different levels at different points. Up until the halfway point I was just kind of like meh, the characters felt more flat then her others have, and the plot felt predictable. And, even predicting it, the minotaur sex scene was weird. And I'm good with weird, fine with weird but... it was almost weird for me? Not weird enough I DNFed the book, though, which... you have to go far for me to do that, I'm pretty meh.

I did like that it kind of fucked everything up, though, plot wise. Overall, besides that scene we're not mentioning again, the sex scenes were pretty well written. Not as good as some I've read by her, but I think that's just because she used the word 'prick' a few times, which is not a sex scene word to me and made me wince. Why. Don't use prick in a sex scene, it's not sexy.

Otherwise, I wasn't attached to either of our main characters through out most of the book - Mona and Malcolm - but, by the end, I did really like both of them. Didn't love either of them, but I would 100% read a prequel about Malcolm's life before this book, it sounds bonkers. And I'm just in that?

Tiffany Reisz I hold to higher standards then I probably should, just because I love her Original Sinners series so much - a ridiculous amount, I'm not even kidding. I'd get an eighth circle tattoo, probably, after it's been a few more years. I just love those characters so much. This was still good, even though I was hesitant to go into it because she compares it to Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty series, which I put the first book down after ten pages. Phew, those are... hard to read.

This one isn't as hard to read as that, things start off consensual and it does feel muddied at points. However, I did appreciate that when she does tell him to stop and leave, he does stop and leave. He doesn't stay away forever, but the ball is more in her court to start things again then is.

Overall, if you want a fun and weird as fuck at points erotica book that's written well, I'd definitely recommend checking this one out. However, I'd recommend checking out her other series more. Her Men at Work series - Harlequin style romance series, super cute and pretty steamy. If you don't mind a trigger/content warning list as long as my entire body, I cannot recommend Original Sinners highly enough. The characters, the writing, the sex scenes are not cringey. There is some bloodplay though in the very beginning of the second book, just to give an example of how real it gets.

If you end up checking this one out, or any of her other books - or you already have - please let me know, I'd love to talk to you. Especially if you, too, worship the ground that Kingsley Edge walks on.

Happy reading!

Barnes & Noble

Friday, September 15, 2017

Book Review: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding

Title(s): The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding (#1)
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Genre: supernatural/mystery/adventure (middle grade)
Rating: 3.5/5
Page Count: 362
Publication Date: September 5th, 2017

"I would say it's a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness."

Prosper Redding is from an acclaimed family, but he's not all that special. Redding's run the town where he lives, where he's from, and everyone seems to look down on Prosper, even his twin sister, Prue.

And then he learns that there's something inside him called a malefactor, and the story goes from there. Alastor is trying to regain power to escape Prosper's body, but that's proving harder then he expects it to be.

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'd never read anything by Alexandra Bracken before - I know, I'm a little surprised, too - but this sounded like a ton of fun. New England, fall, middle grade adventure/mystery with some demons and such, sign me up.

Overall, I liked her writing. There wasn't any part I was super in love with, but nothing really put me off the story, either. I did feel like we got bogged down in the middle, even though stuff was happening I just felt like of bored with it? This might of been my jetlagged mind or something else me related, especially since it didn't last that long, but still a factor for why I didn't give it five stars.

Let me be clear, though, I really enjoyed this book. Three point five out of five is a good book. And this one was, even though I didn't completely love it. Our characters were interesting, but didn't pull me in all the way, which is probably why I felt that drag. Although, would read a whole book about Toad. I have no idea why, and I'm not going to explain Toad, but... best.

Prosper, our main character obviously, is interesting, though. Coming from a large, rich, successful family and being... not successful, having the worst luck. It was so... not pitiful, at no point is he pitiful, but he is kind of something. Sad? Melancholy? His voice is a little melancholy, we see from his POV in third person, and there's something about it that makes me think melancholy. But I really liked that about him, and about this book.

Al was also a great character, possibly my favorite, which says about me then I am comfortble with but I do love a good "villain."

Overall, I think this was just a solid book. Good writing, good characters, dragged for me but I don't mind that too much. And I'm definitely going to pick up the second book, hopefully next year? And I think it'll be drastically different in tone then this one, that's for sure, and I am super excited about that.

If you pick up this book, or have already, let me know! Especially if you've got thoughts.

Happy reading!

Barnes and Noble

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Book Review: Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power!

Title(s): Lumberjanes, Unicorn Power! (Lumberjanes #1)
Author: Mariko Tamaki, Brooke Allen (Illustrator)
Genre: Adventure, Urban Fantasy (Middle Grade)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Page Count: 256
Publication Date: October 10th, 2017

This is an original story staring the five main characters of the BOOM! published comic series Lumberjanes - created by Noelle Stevenson. And I'm a huge fan of it. We don't get exact ages for the girls but I'd say between ten and thirteen? They seem older sometimes, for various reasons, but the comics, and this book, are marketed for a younger middle grade audience.

This one starts off with them trying to earn the Living the Plant Life badge when they see a unicorn and Ripley takes off after it because, well, unicorn. And the adventure takes off from there with classic Lumberjanes shenanigans and mystery.

(If you haven't read the comic, you can read this book no problem but the comic is amazing)

I enjoyed this book a lot, but I did have problems with it. We're going to start with the problems, because there's only a few - and all of them are pretty minor, considering - but then we can end on a high note. My first problem with it was the fact that it was younger middle grade - which is fine, in itself, but my problem with that was the way it talked down to the reader. Explaining when a bigger word was used, kind of thing. Kids are smart, if they're confused by a word they can - figure out the meaning, look it up, or ask. It drove me a little crazy, and it would of as a kid, too.

So, obviously, I am not the age range this book is targeted but besides that I found it really cute and sweet. I forget, sometimes, the comic is all ages just because I don't think about it. However, I'd recommend both for, like it says, all ages.

The way the pacing of this book is, is a little weird. We meet the unicorns right away, and then it just felt a little weird the in between moments? Besides that, though, I just plain loved it. I might be biased because of my established love for the comics, I've read all the current out volumes and normally rate then 4/5 stars.

The girls are, of course, my favorite. They're so strong/good together, and it makes me so happy to see such great friendships shown between girls. Who aren't talking about guys all the time. I mean, sure, they're young and they also go to a camp for hardcore lady types but still, most others would of probably added that in since there is a boys camp near by.

Speaking of gender! We get a nonbinary or genderqueer character in this book - it's not specified which in the text just says they prefer they/them pronouns. And, actually, they're a character that we've seen in the comics that use to go to the boys camp and is adorable and amazing, and apparently makes really good cookies? So that was cool, even though we don't see them much in this book, hopefully they'll pop up more in future ones.

We still have Mal/Molly happening, like in the comics, which I kind of want more of because they're so dang cute. They seem to be living in this summer forever - it's even mentioned in one of the comics, time seems to run weird - but I'm hoping we do get to see them get older, and also at home, what it's like when they aren't at camp. And I feel like these books might be better suited then comics for that, because we can be shown/told how they're feeling easier through a novel then through a comic.

So I'll definitely be picking up my own copy of this when it comes out in October, and am excited that it seems to be planned to be the first in a novelized series. I'd recommend this for anyone who likes hardcore lady types, adventure, and magical realism/portal fantasy? The magic is weird, follows it's own rules, and I love it.

Monday, September 11, 2017

August 2017 | Monthly Wrap Up

This is a little late because I was in London/Dublin for the last week of August, and first few days of September. Which I'm planning on making a post about but I just love both of those cities possibly an unhealthy amount, and am already planning my next tattoo (one I got in Dublin). (Another reason why this wasn't up right away, hard to type when you've got a tattoo healing on your wrist).

This month I went on a bit of a NetGalley spree - I've had my account for a while but haven't used it until now - so a good handful of things I read aren't out yet. But I have reviews up here, or on goodreads (and they will be up here).

  • Deceptive (Illusive #1) by Emily Lloyd-Jones (3/5)
  • Lumberjanes: UNICORN POWER! by Mariko Tamaki (3.5/5) (full review this week!!)
  • Takeover (#1) by Anna Zabo (4.5/5) (review)
  • Just Business (#2) by Anna Zabo (4/5)
  • Edgedancer by Brandon Sanderson (4.5/5)
  • The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su, Kate Rodick (4/5)
  • Grinder (Seattle Sharks #1) by Samantha Whiskey (3/5)
  • Enforcer (#2) by Samantha Whiskey (2/5)
  • The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnston (3/5)
  • Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison (4/5)
Graphic novels/comics:
  • If My Dogs Were a Pair of Middle Aged Men by Matthew Inman (3/5) (goodreads review)
  • The Little Red Wolf by Amelie Flechais (4/5) (goodreads review)
  • Lady Stuff by Loryn Brantz (4/5) (goodreads review)
  • The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill (5/5) (review)
  • What Does Consent Really Mean? by Pete Wallis, Joseph Wilkins (4/5) (goodreads review - will be up on blog soon)
It was a weird, but good, reading month. I really only read for about 3/4 of the weeks of August. It was good reading month, though, I feel like. I got through a good amount of review things - which, hopefully, I can do again this month because I'm behind. 

All the romance/erotica I read - which I didn't realize I'd read four in a short period of time - was probably because of travel stress, and all was fun. The Anna Zabo was even really good? (Got annoyed at Samantha Whiskey's second book, so annoyed).

I am mildly obsessed with The Tea Dragon Society - which I got through NetGalley but because I recognized the authors name, liked her previous graphic novel. I already preordered the physical book and I kind of want more set in this world? Listen, adorable tea dragons is something I am all about. 

Down the Rabbit Hole was something I was sure about - I picked it up on audio on a recommendation - and it was... a lot of fun? I'm not sure if that's the right words, but it was just so interesting to me because it feels so ridiculous? Just because, obviously, my life is nothing like this and I just really enjoyed it. It was pretty well written, it was fun, highly recommend checking this out if you enjoy memoirs about people leading such insanely different lives (unless you are also a former reality TV star).

Overall, good/fun reading month. And crazy, fun times traveling. Let me know what you read this month, especially if you've got any feelings about what I read, and just generally how your month went!

Happy reading!

On the Blog:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Book Review: Takeover (#1)

Title(s): Takeover (Takeover Series #1)
Author: Anna Zabo
Genre: Romance/Erotica (m/m romance) (BDSM)
Rating: 4/5
Page Count: 229
Publication Date: January 1st, 2014

This is a story about Michael and Sam who meet and have a fantastic one night stand in Curacao. Michael wants to let some steam off, as does Sam. Before Michael returns back to his job he's passionate about but being screwed over in, and not in the fun way. And Sam returns back to fixing companies and being firmly in the closet.

And then Michael's new CEO ends up being Sam. What will they do? Try and stay as professional as possible? Sam might not be able to get work if people know he's gay, he's seen it happen. But is it worth it to be unhappy if that means missing out on Michael?

(Trigger warnings, for this book and review(at end): assault, homophobic language, internalized homophobia, D/s + sadist/masochist (healthy relationship but still could be triggering) )
If I've missed any - for book or review, please, please let me know
This book. whew boy. It's hot as hell, first of all. If you're not into sex scenes, this book - or series, isn't for you. But if you don't mind them, carry on.

Honestly, some of the best scenes were the two of them flirting, while trying to remain professional but also plainly flirting. There's a lot of chemistry and some feelings, but I really don't think this is an insta love story. Instant lust, definitely, and maybe some infatuation, but this book takes place over quite a few months and I was interested with how it moved forward.

Sam and Michael are both fantastic characters, I loved both of them, and I'm so glad we get to see them more in the rest of the series because I would of honestly missed them if that wasn't the case. I already want to go back and reread this one because of that very reason and it's barely been a week.

This book is definitely about a D/s relationship and it was a hell of a good one, in my opinion. If you're wary of picking this book up because of that, feel free to ask me any questions here - in the comments or, if you don't feel comfortable with it being public, my private email in in my abouts (mostly for review requests, but feel free to use it for things like this, as well).

I have never entered into a D/s or a sadist/masochist relationship, so I can't speak for that. However, none of it came across as abusive or manipulative to me. They're both consenting adults, and they're really damn enjoying themselves. There's some abuse in Sam's past but it's not related to a past relationship.

I highly, highly recommend this series. It's a ton of fun, hot as hell, and the characters are all fleshed out really well (in my opinion).

If you've read this, let's chat in the comments, or if you're planning on picking it up let me know. (if you think I missed a trigger warning, let me know.

Happy Reading!


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Book Review: Every Heart a Doorway

Title(s): Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1)
Author: Seanan McGuire
Genre: Fantasy (Young Adult)
Rating: 5/5
Page Count: 169
Publication Date: April 5th, 2016

This is an incredible, beautiful book about kids post coming back from other worlds. AKA: what happens post all of your fav portal fantasies. High nonsense or high logic?

Our main character just came back from an underworld-esque world and can stand so still she appears to become a statue. The women of the home has gone back and forth between her world and ours, but can't now she's an adult - though it's made her age faster. And all the kids are amazing

I'm not super in love with portal fantasies, so I really didn't expect to love this book as much as I did. It's freaking incredible. And I cannot wait until we end up back at the school in the third book, because I think it's so interesting being surrounded by these people.

One of the main things running through this book is that people normally only get a door once. It's very usual for their door to appear again so they can go back, but that's what everyone wants. It's about how their parents sent them there because they aren't getting use to being "home," when all of them feel like they've left home and are somewhere strange.

And I just - my heart, I loved them all. These poor damn kids.

Our main character is ace, which shout out for that, and then there's a tran side character - who I adore? And I want more about and his world, as well.

Overall - love this book/world. It's so simply made but so interesting, and I definitely recommend checking it out. They're short, yes, but they're so good.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Recently Read, Watch, Other | August 14th, 2017

I've read quite a few things this first two weeks and I just wanted to quickly talk about some of them, especially because I did reviews - either here or on goodreads. And I really miss doing weekly wrap ups? It's so much fun to talk about what I've read and watched or whatever, but I think every two weeks might be a better plan?

Reading: (finished this week)
Deceptive (illusive #2) by Emily Lloyd-Jones (3/5)
I'm really sad this didn't get more books in the series, because I feel like they could of gotten much better, and there's definitely stories I'm sad we didn't get. (I ship Kit/Magnus and no one can tell me that didn't happen). And this duology wasn't amazing, but it was pretty good, fun, and interesting.

If My Dogs Were a Pair of Middle Aged Men by Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal) (4/5)
I reviewed this on goodreads - mostly fun but not incredible.

Lumberjanes: UNICORN POWER! by Mariko Tamaki (3.5/5)
I'll have a review up closer to the release date, but mostly: enjoyed it a lot. If you're a fan of the comics, or not, I'd suggest checking it out - but if you haven't read the comics, I highly, highly recommend them. They're all 4/5 or 5/5 for me. (goodreads link)

Takeover (Takeover Series #1) and Just Business (#2) by Anna Zabo
I've got a review for the first in this series going up this week - will be linked when up - but overall this is a fantastic m/m BDSM erotica series so far, highly recommend. The first one is mostly fluff. but not all fluff, and the second one almost made me cry a few times. Both very good (any questions about trigger warnings let me know, and I'll try to answer your questions to the best of my abilities, this goes for any book, really)

The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais
Goodreads Review - this is an adorable graphic novel that turns the little red riding hood story on it's head, and is out October 3rd!

Edgedancer by Brandon Sanderson (5/5)
Takes place in his Stormlight series - I'd say universe but... cosmere - and some have said you don't have to of read Words of Radiance to read this one but I highly disagree? There's.... so many spoilers, but it's also so damn good. Lift is a fantatic character and I hope we get more of her in Oathbringer.

Lady Stuff: Secrets to Being a Women by Loryn Brantz (4/5)
Goodreads Review again! (trying harder on this) this is pretty fluffy, and kind of feels like a might lighter version of Hyperbole and a Half, but still enjoyed)

The Tea Dragon Society by Emily O'Neill (5/5)
Blog review, and also on goodreads. Basically: in-fucking-credible, I'm definitely going to be picking up a copy on October 31st when it comes out and so should you. The author has another graphic novel you should check out in the mean time but this one - SO GOOD.

What Does Consent Really Mean? by Pete Wallis, Thalia Wallis (4/5)
Review will be up on blog closer to release date but already up on goodreads, too many things to say to sum it up. Complicated feelings, but overall: super fucking important.

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su, Kate Rorick (3.5/5)
If you haven't heard of the Lizzie Bennet Diaries it was a webseries and it is really, really great. This is a book, written by two of the writers of the webseries, that is based on the videos but has more in-depth in the thoughts. I think I'm going to write a full review of this one but I'm still not sure yet?

Grinder (Seattle Sharks #1)  by Samantha Whiskey (4/5)
This is just almost boring m/f romance novel about this single dad hockey player and yet.... I loved it? Second time reading it because there was a sequel that came out and wanted to dive into that (more on that below). I go back and forth on doing a review on this but - it's a ton of fun, the child is adorable, it's a little melodramatic but I honestly would of been disappointed if it wasn't, and I didn't cringe too much through any of the sex scenes. I just had a craving for a silly romance book and here this was!

Stuff: (currently-reading, watching, crafting, such)

I'm currently reading a few things, so I'll be quick. Enforcer, the sequel to Grinder, which is twice as long but I am enjoying so far? It's just a lot different and not what I was expecting, but I don't think in a bad way? seems more complex.

I've started Dear Martin by Nic Stone, which is amazing so far but I had to put it down because I've already almost cried a handful of times and it made my chest heavy? It's a heavy, important book but, whew, is it hard to read. So important, though, and I'm really enjoying the writing style.

I've read probably literally less then 10 pages of There's Someone Inside Your House as I'm typing this, but I'm hoping to get further before the day's over. I am enjoying it so far, though? I've seen some negative reviews but... my expectations are a Steph-esque slasher and that seems to be what I'm going to get, so I'm so damn excited.

And, finally, I'm also currently reading City of Strife, which if taking me a ridiculously long time and I'm not sure why? I'm loving it but it is heavy high fantasy. However, also (I believe) all the POV/MC's are queer, which I am so into. I'm really, really loving it so far just... I don't know, guess I'm having a hard time concentrating it on because life.

For watching - this week I watched The Wedding Party on Netflix, which was fun but not as fun I expected (it's not a good movie, though. I'm someone who may or may not seek out not great movies to watch because they're entertaining.... no judgement, right? And if you've got recommendations...).

Speaking of things that aren't good, Pretty Little Liars ended, so I decided to give it another shot. I only got like 3 episodes in the last time I tried, but this time I'm like 7/8 episodes in. It's definitely not good but it's entertaining, fun, I like that there's some diversity. (I cringe at the teacher/student thing but, ah well, pretty sure it'll be there forever). It does have some good stuff, at least stuff that could be good, I'm hopeful.

As always I'm watching RoosterTeeth/Achievement Hunter stuff and also YouTube stuff - booktubers primarily but also other people, I don't think I've done one of these since I started watching Simmers, but I watch those now. Ah, how fun. My favorite BookTuber at the moment, has been my fav for a while and is: BooksandLala. She's fantastic, highly recommend her readathon vlogs.

For crafting, I'm still crocheting. Currently working on a large granny square blanket - which will never end probably - and some hats. Do any of you guys craft? I'm really working on moving my blog not just book focused, although It'll always primarily be books because, well, I love books a lot. Especially talking about them.

I'm also thinking of taking part in a month long (about) readathon kind of thing that's like DnD but for reading? It's called The Reading Quest and was created by readatmidnight (info post), and it is super cute. However, I'll also be traveling for 10 of the days during it so we'll see how that goes.

What've you been reading, watching, or whatever?

Happy reading! (and watching, crafting...)

On the blog: