Friday, June 29, 2012

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

4 Stars ~Kami's Review

So many people have said that this is a knock of of Fifty Shades of Grey (which we all know was a knock off of Twilight), but I wonder if you can still call it a knock off if it was better than FSOG? You would be blind not to see the similarities between these books, but this book for me was a hell of a lot better than FSOG! The writing itself far outweighs that which you find in FSOG. I would like to suggest to Sylvia Day that she give E.L. James some writing lessons. I have read several reviews where people are bashing the hell out of Sylvia Day for writing 'garbage' like this. How they loved her other novels so they gave this one a chance and they hate it. How could she stoop so low to write something like this. How dare she copy E.L. James... Seriously??? FSOG was written as a Twilight fanfic!  And sometimes authors like to branch out and write something that is not the norm for them, this should be acceptable.

We start off with Eva who just moved to New York with her best friend and roommate Cary. She meets Gideon Cross who owns not only the building she is working in, but also the building she is living in. There is that insta lust thing going on. Eva knows she should resist him, and in her defense she does try, but in the end we all know they are going to hook up and do the funky chicken. I like Eva more than Ana and even more than Bella, she is spunky, witty, and does a good job of standing up for herself. She doesnt just let Cross boss her around, she gives as good as he does.

After a game of 'Stalk your Lover' Eva and Cross finally hook up in the limo on Eva's terms, not Cross's terms. This creates an inbalance in Cross's head and he gets distant real fast upsetting Eva. Eva ends up alone at the party they were at since she wouldnt leave with Cross when he did. After trying to break things off with Cross, she is persuaded to try and make this, whatever it is, work between the two of them.

I admit half the time I am turned off by Cross's bluntness and vulgar language, the other half of the time I am turned on by it. I think as society we spend so much time side stepping, and spouting off vague comments in hopes that others will realize what we want so we dont have to actually come out and say it, that we have lost something. I mean if you want to fuck someone, no strings attatched, why not just ask. Why play games all the while pretending to be someone you are not. I like both Eva and Cross for this, they dont pretend to be someone they are not, they are in your face honest.

After some amazing sex consisting of four orgasms for Eva later, Cross goes to shower, while Eva scopes out the hotel room they are in. Upon finding boxes of condoms, lube, and sex toys she realizes that he brought her to his fuck pad treating her just like the women he fucks then throws away. She dumps all these things on the bed then leaves the hotel, with him still in the shower none the wiser. Walking blindly she has no idea where she is when she stops at a restaurant to eat. Her phone vibrates and of course it is Cross, she tells him where she is and he meets her there. He apologizes, and she apologizes for running again. He takes her to his home, which no other woman (other than his mom) has ever been.

Gideon has a nightmare that night and Eva realizes that something must have happened to him as well. Both MC's in this book has suffered from sexual abuse as children. While we find out what happend to Eva in this book, we have to wait for the next book to find out exactly what happend to Gideon. Sound familiar??

There is a lot of cat and mouse in this book. Some reviewers have bashed Eva for always running. But honestly I understand why she runs. Both Eva and Cross have some serious issues that they still deal with. This is not a perfect relationship, in fact there is a huge chance that they wont work out at all. Eva has boundaries that she cannot let people cross, such as the invading of her privacy by both her mother and Cross. This is a huge issue for her. Everyone needs boundaries, and with their pasts, Eva and Cross just need more than others.

Eva decides it is time to share with Cross what happened to her as a child. After seeing his anger over what happened to her, which she misconstrues as him not wanting her anymore, she tries yet again to leave him. Some very rough sex later, both of them are happy and content that they both still want each other. She knows he still has his secrets and she is trying to find a way to get past that for now. She suggests that they both go to couples therapy, and he agress. However they never actually end up going in this book.

After waking Gideon up from a very disturbing dream she begs him to tell her what it was about and he refuses. This is another deal breaker for Eva, so yet again she leaves him. I think they were separated for 4 days before they run into each other at Gideon's parents house. He wasnt supposed to be there, his brother invited Eva and Cary to come. The house aparently holds some horrible memories for Gideon and he hates being there. If not for finding out that Eva was there he never would have went. After some exhibitionist sex in the library of his parents house they two make up and leave together.

Some very serious things happen in the next couple chapters which I am going to skip over here as I dont think I can form the words needed to describe it.

The couple are attending another public dinner where Eva meets Corinne, who just so happens to be Gideon's ex fiance that he never told her about. Corinne called off the engagement and married a Frenchman, only now they are getting divorced and she is moving back to New York. Corinne tells Eva that she still loves Gideon and how they still talk every day. Eva freaks out tells him that she is leaving and gives him the option to go with her. He cant leave so he takes her out to his limo, fucks her brains out, and they return to the party satisfied. This would have been a good night if he hadnt then decided to ignore her completely during dinner so he could talk to Corinne the whole time. She leaves the party and takes a cab home.

Upon her arrival home she finds her roommate Cary in a very compromising position with several people. After telling everyone to leave and an arrival from Gideon she goes to her room alone to shower. He comes after her of course, and they hash out everything. They decide to stay at Gideon's house away from Cary who is under the influence of something. And here is wher the story ends folks. Until the next book that is...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Contagious Reads is now located at contagiousreads

So since this is no longer just my blog. We have changed the blog address to:
Add it to your favorites bar...etc if you love us. We wanted to do this while we had under 50 followers.

Sorry for the confusion folks but we hope this makes it easier for everyone.

Bared to You by Sylvia Day (Lori)

I bet you're wondering why this video is here.

Well I should warn you this book contains a stalker.
I should also warn you this an adult review and not meant for youngin's. Or you Dad. So if you happen to read my reviews...just don't. Ok?
Also this is my second favorite jam from the '80's....

From Goodreads:  Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness—beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I'd never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily...

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other's most private wounds... and desires.

The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart...

Ok 3 Stars for the first half of the book and 4 for the last half. So let's just call my rating 2 stars. LOL kidding. It's a 3. Maybe? Shit. I don't fucking know. It's not a 5 star book that is for fucking sure!
I found the first half extremely mock worthy and you will see that reflected in our group read on the blog (I'll let you all know when we get that up).

This book gets a lot of comparisons to Fifty Shades of Grey. I see those similarities. Eva=Ana=Bella (kinda) Gideon=Christian=Edward (most definately). This is a book about a fucked up co-dependent relationship. You NEVER know if the characters are making up or breaking up. They are instantly in lust/love with each other and the male MC has major creep/stalker tendancies which are not hot at all. Women of the world. We are people too. We deserve space and privacy.
So you ask, what makes this different? Eva has a real backbone. She stands up to Cross. On several different occasions. However, she does have a tendency to there is that. She tells him to fuck off. Walks away from him when he pisses her off and makes demands that she actually expects him to comply with. Sometimes she gets her way and most of the time she doesn't. The arguments and solutions usually end up in Cross's favor but the fact that she is willing to slap him and tell him to go screw himself is a major step up. Cross is super creepy. Like seriously a major stalker. Is he as bad as Christian Grey? I don't know... but he is very close.

There is a very very disturbing scene in this book that was absolutely horrible. [ Cross attempts to sleep rape Eva in his and her one night. Eva wakes up thinking it's a nightmare of her former step brother raping her (hide spoilI'm trying to weigh if this is more horrible than the outright abuse in Fifty. In some ways yes and in some ways no. But mostly yes. And mostly due to the authors handling of it. It's in there as shock value. It adds absolutely nothing to the story. Sure it shows us Cross is seriously fucked up...but we already knew that. She took this horrible thing that men and women have suffer with...threw it out there and then kinda swept it under the rug. I really hope she fixes this and addresses it in a more mature way in the next book. Does it add a bit more seriousness to the story? Maybe. But not in the way it was handled in the aftermath. Literally, maybe 5 sentences are given to it after the fact.

The writing was decent in this book. There were a few clunky sentences here and there. The author likes to use big words and tends to be on the wordy side. Oh well. Are there annoying phrases repeated over and over again? Yes. The sex speak is crude and absolutely hilarious. The sex scenes get a little redundant and at one point Eva has 4 orgasms in one sexual sitting. They literally hump on every other page. I get it, he's hot and amazing in bed...but can't he mix it up. This is the order of their sex. Cross or Eva--I wanna fuck. They kiss. He sucks/bites her nipples. He goes down on her. She has an orgasm. He finger bangs her. She has an orgasm They have good ole missionary style sex. He rotates his hips. And goes so deep with his giant dong that he can feel it against his stomach from inside her. She has an orgasm. He says Eva "what the fuck are you doing to me" or "fuck Eva". Then he has an orgasm. I think she mentions them doing it doggy style but we don't see that. Also he finger bangs her butt. But (all you Fifty Haters--I'm right there with ya) there is NO fucking inner goddess. There is no mention of her subconcious. She doesn't say "oh my" or "holy cow".

Ok now that I have thought about it this is a pity 4 star review. I'm marking it up because it's NOT Fifty. It has its own issues but Eva is a surviver and a fighter and that was just awesome to me. I just wish the author would let her actions back up her words more often. It's not the character that's's what the author is doing it to her. It's time we stop expecting women to bow down to rich, handsome, and powerful men. Or men in general. I know, I know it's fucking fiction...blah blah blah. I've used those exact words to defend some seriously fucked up relationships in books I love. It's just an alarming trend to me. I thought it was new and great at first. Like--look at this. These characters have a fucked up relationship like I've had. Only they get a happy ending aww. But now EVERY book. Even YA ones are promoting co-dependency and stalkerish/possessive behavior. I'm an adult. I know there is no happy ending for this shit. But 14 year old girls? Fuck no they don't know that. So STOP FUCKING TELLING THEM IT'S FUCKING SEXY!!!! /Rant.

Oh--you want some quotes for me to mock....Well I used all my good ones in the group blog. But I think I can pull some out of my notes.
"'Oh, Eva," he crooned, running his index finger through my slick-cleft. "Look how greedy you are for me. It's a full time job keeping this sweet little cunt satisfied."--My mom would hate this guy. She hates that word for personal reasons. Me-I'm a feminist. I've come to terms with societies reality of this word. And the origins and reality-reality of this word. Just go read Cunt by Inga Musico already.I still don't love the word because of the personal connection it has for me and my family.

Oh mockery---right. Well let's just say that the way he talks is LOL worthy.
"Romance isn't in my repertoire, Eva. But a thousand ways to make you come are. Let me show you." --I literally just fucking fell on my back and wanted this guy. Wow. I mean seriously he just used a big word in a sentence while talking about sex. If that isn't seduction, I don't know what it is. Let's just gloss over the fact where he pretty much tells women he has no intrest in them as humans worth spending time with. But damn they sure are great for cum catchers.

Eva has had a trying day so she does what any sane woman does. Buys thirty chocolate candy bars and proceeds to shove them in her face. Cross corners her in the elevator and wipes chocolate from her dick trap (aka mouth) and this is the magic that happens. "He sucked on the pad (of his finger) and purred, 'Chocolate and you. Delicious.'" My 2 year old daughter does that to me when we are eating chocolate. Only I think she has more intelligence than Cross because she say yum yum yum delicioso chocolate. In Spanish and crap. She also invades my personal space. But she's 2. She has no idea what boundaries are. At 28 this dude should know you don't just fucking touch women in empty elevators. Especially when you have used your magic "I own the building key" to close the elevator to anyone else. CREEP.

Eva has turned his world upside down. He repeatedly tries to get her to "cum to him" (my words...but still it's pretty much in theme with the book) and is constantly making him come to her office. Were they can make arrangements to fuck. But when Eva finally decides that she wants a 'fucking' relationship with him (pun intended) he gets all pissy at her when she comes on to him.
"'Christ." He shoved both hands through his hair. 'It's the middle of the fucking day. In my goddamn fucking office!'"--Well stop calling her to your office to entice her with your sex goddness. He goes from being uber sex god in the beginning of this book. To claiming that he and Eva have had more sex than he has had in years. Excuse me--but I find that hard to believe from a man who has a 'fuck room' reserved at a hotel.

At the end of the day this book is what it is. It's seriously good in some parts. And seriously fucked up in others. I will be reading the second book so we can figure out what the fuck happened to him to make him so fucked up.
Fuck, I sound just like my fucking Dads best fucking friend when I was fucking growing up. That fucking man could add the fucking word fucking to almost any fucking point in every fucking sentence he ever fucking spoke. --See I added that for shock value. Does nothing to increase the value of my reivew...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

5 Stars ~Kami's Review

I read this book back in November 2011. In honor of the book cover release of The Indigo Spell (the third book in this series set to come out on February 12, 2013) I am going to fully review Bloodlines and The Golden Lily here on the blog. Bloodlines is a spinoff series featuring characters from Richelle Mead's hit series - Vampire Academy.

We first met Sydney Sage in Blood Promise, book four of the Vampire Academy series. Sydney is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. In this book Sydney has everything to prove after some un-alchemist like behavior in the last book of the Vampire Academy series. This will be hard considering she will be under the watchful eye of Keith Darnell, someone who Sydney despises with all her being for what he done to her sister. (You will find out what that is later in the book) Sydney's job in this book is to watch over Jillian Mastrano, Queen Vasilisa Dragomir's illegitimate sister. After a near fatal attack against Jill, she must disappear for a while. Living among humans is difficult for most Moroi, Sydney will need to help Jill blend in and remain inconspicuous.

Also joining us in the Bloodlines series we have Eddie Castile, and none other than Adrian Ivashkov. Ahh Adrian, he holds a special place in my heart. Adrian will be staying with a local Moroi named Clarence who has a feeder on site, while Eddie, Jill, and Sydney are enrolled in a local private school, Amberwood, as siblings. Sydney, who is rooming with Jill, is uneasy at the arrangements. She does not want to sleep in the same room as a vampire.

While Sydney and Eddie blend into society Jill sticks out like a sore thumb. She struggles to make friends, and to fit in with those around her. She is becomming depressed. Add on to the fact that P.E. is outside and the sun is very draining and hurtful to her she cant seem to find a groove. In an attempt to rectify the situation of Jill being in the sun too long she takes up the issue with Keith, who immediately shoots her down telling her he dont care if Jill is miserable and in agony.

There is something weird going on with these tattoos called Celestials. Some of Sydney's friends thought that she was so smart because of her Lily tattoo on her cheek. After convincing them that her tattoo was not like that they told her about these tattoos that give some a kinda high like feeling for a week or so, others give you an athletic boost, making you stronger and faster than normal. When Sydney mentions this to Keith he puts her down telling her to stop making things up.

Something weird is going on with Jill and Adrian, but Sydney cant put her finger on it. Jill seems to know things about Adrian that he hasnt told her. They also seem appear to have some unseen connection. One night Jill wakes Sydney up begging her to go and rescue Adrian, who is stuck at some girls house with no way to get home. She wont leave until Jill tells her what is going on. Turns out the attack on Jill was more deadly than anyone knew. Jill died and Adrian used spirt to bring her back to life. They are bonded as Lissa and Rose were, Spirit Bonded. Jill can feel and see almost everything that Adrian feel and does. This includes feeling hung over when Adrian drinks to much. Sydney is furious that she was not told about this, and even more furious with Adrian for putting Jill though some of the shit that he has. While picking him up they learn from one of the girls about another 'Strigoi' attack, oddly enough though they didnt turn her or drink all of her blood, they slit her throat too.

After one of Sydney's friends has some kind of allergic reaction to the celestial tattoos Sydney decides it is time to investigate further. Meanwhile Jill is still having problems fitting in. One girl in particular is making it exceptionally hard for her. Laurel has it out for Jill and is making her life a living hell. While driving Adrian home one night Sydney spots the tattoo shop Nevermore where everyone is getting those celestial tattoos. Recruiting Adrian to distract the man in front Sydney breaks into the back and steals some of the ingredients used for the tattoos to investigate what exactly is being used in the tattoos. Turns out they are using vampire blood in the tattoos.

Jill is forming some romantic attatchments with Lee, Clarence's son. While he is a good deal older than her, he seems to really care about her. The group approves of Lee over Micah who is Eddie's roomate, since Micah is just a mere human. Micah also happens to look almost identical to Mason, who we know was Eddie's best friend that died. Sydney's fear of all things magic makes itself known, and not just around her group, but also with a teacher who Sydney is doing extra credit for by copying latin text into english. Her teacher gives her an assignment to not only transcribe the book but to literally do a spell. In this case it is to make an incineration amulet. Torn but resigned Sydney agrees since the teacher is doing her a favor to get Adrian into college.

Sydney proves she is not one to be messed with when Laurel ups the antics against Jill. Meanwhile Jill is getting her chance to shine in the spotlight, while still remaining hidden. On a hunch Sydney decides to visit the tattoo shop Nevermore. While there she discovers the ultimate act of betrayal and enlists Adrian's help to out the betrayer. This is not the end of the groups problems though, there is another threat that is all too close to home. What some believed were Strigoi attacks turns out to be something even worse.

*Sigh* There are always some books that you get so emotionally involved with that when you finish reading them, it takes you days to recover. I couldnt even attempt to read another book after this for the next three days. I couldnt get this book out of my head. Like I already said Adrian holds a special place in my heart and I am dying for him to get some happiness in his life. Sydney, while such a polar opposite of Rose, can hold her own. I love reading the book from her perspective. She is such an awsome character and I love seeing her flourish. When Sydney first made her debut she was so on edge just being around non-humans it was a bit hard to like her. I love how far she has come.

How to snag a guy... What Lori and Kami have learned from romance novels

10.) Be a moron.

9.) Be innocent...but not too much in the bedroom.

8.) Be blonde, tall, with good boobs, long legs and a nice butt.

7.) If you HAVE to be brunette or a red head be naive. But know how to french kiss on your first kiss. You MUST have an orgasm your first time having sex. That is the only way to overcome being "mousy"

6.) Eye rolling helps. But don't have too much of a sense of humor or be too sarcastic. That implies intelligence.

5.) Be clumsy. Guys like to feel needed. If they feel that have to catch you while you stumble around and trip over invisible objects the are more likely to stick around longer.

4.) When you get ready to look into that special someones eyes make sure you angle your head down a bit so that you are looking up to them through your long lashes. This has a very sexy appeal, will drive them to jizz in their pants if you do it right!

3.) Go pantyless when ever possible (not necessary if you are not wearing a skirt or dress)

2.) Find someone to stalk you, you need the man in your life to feel the need to protect you. The more danger, the hotter and kinkier the sex will be afterwards.

1.) Bite your lip. Drives them boys wild!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

HERE by Denise Grover Swank

From Goodreads:
Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend Monica in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before.

Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he’s volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can't ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she’s been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from.

Lori's Review: 4.5 Stars
WOW...what a book. Thanks for the recommend Rhiannon. This book is about a girl grieving her best friends death. She has lost the will to live and goes through life like a zombie until the popular boy agrees to tutor her. She starts to love again and this feels like a happy go lucky teen love story. Then half way through...BOOM. Awesome dystopia with nefarious villians and everything. Complete awesomesauce.
Denise Grover Swank wrote a real page turner. Even before it suddenly jumped into my second favorite genre I was still digging it.
What I liked:
Julia had depth. I felt her pain over losing her friend. I felt her feeling life again. I felt her cute boy butterflies.
The first half has what I look for in my cute little teen contemp romances. The second half has what I look for in my fave dystopias. Well except zombies. She does mention them though. Both guys are great and each brings something different to the party. I really want to keep talking about this book and give an even more detailed review but I fear I will give away spoilers.
Let's just say I knew where the book was going but I was still surprised at the same time. Nothing was really resolved so we know there would be a sequel. Which I am totally pumped about.
What I didn't like:
I really hate this time of the review. Especially when I love the book. I was a little upset that Julia seems to be jumping from guy to guy and we get no idea where her heart really lies. And really these guys keep saying they are into Julia but are they? Uhh I want to know now.

Easy by Tammara Webber

I am in a awe of Tammara Webber right now! This book is labeled as Mature YA. Yes there are some very mature situations in this book, but right now I just want to have my nieces read this book and they are 13 and 14. The author tackled an issue that is unfortunately all to often swept under the rug, or society turns the tables and blames the victim.
Rape - the unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse. Any act of sexual intercourse that is forced upon a person.

I dont care if someone dresses like a two bit hooker on Hollywood Blvd, if they say NO, and still have sex forced on them, it is not the victims fault. This goes for both men and women, yes men can be raped too.
I could keep ranting about this very personal subject, but if I dont stop now this will no longer be a book review.

This book starts right off with an attempted rape against our MC Jacqueline. Jacqueline was attending a party with her roomate Erin, not wanting to be at the party to begin with she decides to leave early. As she is unlocking her car she is attacked by her ex boyfriends frat brother. Had it not been for impeccable timing on Lucas's behalf, the rape would not have been stopped.

Jacqueline goes from never noticing Lucas at all, to seeing him all over the place. What follows is a true love story folks. None of that insta-love nonesense. These two are attracted to each other and slowly begin to fall for one another. After her ex Kennedy broke up with her three weeks ago so he could, and I quote "screw other girls without feeling guilty about it", she didnt think she would be falling for anyone anytime soon. Lucas is not the only man in her life though. Jacqueline is trading emails with her econ tutor Landon, whom she has never met, but feels attracted too.

Meanwhile her attacker Buck, decides that he is not going to be thwarted so easily and accosts Jacqueline in the stairwell of her dorm. Luckily with some quick thinking on her part she is able to make him leave. Buck starts some some rumors about him and her and her roomate Erin asks her about them. Jacqueline ends up telling her everything that has happened with Buck. Erin is awsome, I seriously LOVE her! Erin signs up Jacqueline and herself for self defense classes. Guess who happens to help teach these defense classes? Thats right Lucas... <3

Come to find out Landon is Lucas and since he is a tutor their 'seeing' each other is not technically allowed. Jacqueline does not tell Lucas that she knows of his duplicity, she is waiting for him to tell her. After visiting him at his house they run into their econ teacher. Lucas tells her they are over so she wont get any fallout from this.

After another party Erin and Jacqueline nurse their hangovers the next day. Erin leaves for a sorority meeting only to return with a sobbing girl named Mindi who they saw dancing with Buck at the party the night before. Turns out Buck took her upstairs and raped her. Jacqueline dont know what to do so she calls Lucas and he comes right over. They go to the hospital to get Mindi checked out. Both girls decide to press charged against Buck.

Meanwhile her ex Kennedy and some of Bucks other frat brothers are trying to pressure Mindi to drop charges to save face for the sorority. Erin sets up a meeting with her sister sorority to discuss going against the boys sorority and support Mindi and Jacqueline. Some of the girls are just cruel telling her that she really dont have a case after all she was drunk and went upstairs willingly with Buck and afterall she isnt a virgin so she shouldnt press charges. The president of the sorority stands up to all the BITCHES and tells them a story from her high school days of an ex boyfriend raping her. When all is said and done the girls stick up for one another and tell the boys sorority to go fuck themselves.

Jacqueline and Lucas resume 'seeing' each other. She is worried that he wont tell her what was so upsetting about his childhood so she ends up googling his mother and finding out more than she had bargained for. I would like to point out that this is a great example of someone coming from a bad childhood and traumatic experiences and doing something great with his life (unlike a certain Christian Grey who uses his traumatic childhood as an excuse to beat women). Lucas's story is touching and heartbreaking.

When Jacqueline finally tells Lucas that she knows about his past he tells her to leave. As she is getting into her car she is attacked again by Buck. Will what she learned in her self defense class help her to get away this time? Will Lucas hear the commotion and come out and help? Will he forgive her for not respecting his privacy? Will they get their happlily ever after? Read it and you will see....

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey, A Broken Promise, And A Not-Really Review

My sister and I made a deal. If she read Fifty and liked it, I had to read it. Ok. I peer pressure her into books all the time. Only fair. Was I happy about said deal? Oh hell no. After trying to read it twice I was so not looking forward to it.

Enter Broken Promise here. I tried. So. Hard. Third time was not a charm. I only made it as far as I did the second time (where his mother shows up at his apartment) before I wanted to rip my eyeballs from their sockets and toss them across the room. Now enter where this is A Not-Really Review. Having a pretty horrid case of ADD, with a side of obsessive tendencies, basically means for me that if I don't like a book, forcing myself to finish it is near impossible. But if I do like it, even just a little, I will read it non-stop...obsessively. Yeah, you get it. I wanted to finish it. I wanted to be able to come on here and have a full opinion of the entire book, but I couldn't. I just couldn't. So, here I am, to give my feeble opinion on what I did read, combined with some questions.

I don't get why people like Ana or Christian. I had zero emotional investment in either. Obviously. She was about as interesting as a clump of mud. He was a creepy asshole. And dear god, the scene where he's buying the cable ties, tape and rope? Am I the only one who's first thought would've been, "Oh he's up to some shit...". It was like that time at Target when the guy in front of me was buying five gallons of bleach. I put some distance between me and that fucking creeper. Maybe he had alot of whites to wash, though. It's possible. But years of Lifetime movies have taught me to err on the side of caution. Look, I get not everyone is as cautious/paranoid as I am, but come on Ana. Thank god it was a Red Room of Pain and not a Dexter-style Kill Room. Jesus.

Moving along, I have to bring up the undeniably unrealistic sex. First, let me again say I'm only going off of how much I read. But I find it so ridiculous that this chick has never had any kind of sexual experience, yet the first time she goes downtown on Grey she's deep throating like an effing porn star. And not only that, but she's fantastic at it! I know, I know, this is fiction. But I need some realism in my fiction, even if it's only on an emotional level.

I just...I don't get it. I could've made it through the horrific characters (maybe) if the writing was decent. I could've made it through horrific writing if the characters were decent (most likely).

I won't give it a rating since I couldn't finish it...but...

    This picture completely describes
 my short but painful experience. Total trainwreck.


HELPER12 by Jack Blaine

From Goodreads:
Helper12 works as a Baby Helper in Pre Ward, the place where babies spend their first six months of life before they’re tracked for vocations and sent to training. She does her job well, and she stays out of trouble. But one day, the Sloanes, Society members who enjoy all the privileges of their station—family unit clearance, a private dwelling, access to good food and good schools—come to “adopt” one of the Pre Ward babies. The Director makes a deal and the Sloanes walk out with a brand new child.

They also walk out owning Helper12—the Director sells her to them, and there’s nothing she can do but go. At the Sloanes, Helper12 enters a world where people should be able to enjoy life—with high position and riches come the opportunity for individual freedom, even the chance to love—but that’s not what she finds. The Sloanes are keeping secrets. So is their biological son, Thomas.

Helper12 has some secrets of her own; she’s drawing, which is a violation, since Baby Helpers aren’t tracked for Art. And she’s growing to love the child she was bought to care for—at the same time that Ms. Sloane is becoming disenchanted with her impulse baby buy.

When all your choices are made for you, how do you make some for yourself? Helper12 is about to find out.

Lori's Review: 3.5 Stars
.5 stars because I really liked it but not enough to give it 4 stars. I don't know what to label this book. It definately wasn't what I thought it was. I thought it was a dystopia. I guess I must not have paid enough attention to the description.
What I liked: The MC's were interesting. There is some romance to it. Which I think is what saved this book for me.
What I didn't: While the author spent a lot of time building and showing us the class system but neglects to build the world around this class system. Why is it like this? Has it always been like this? The plot was pretty predictable. The villians were pretty 1 dimensional.It was way too short. I feel like blurb was longer than the book and just as detailed.
Overall it was an entertaining read for the evening but not something I will gush about to everyone.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Collision Course by S.C. Stephens

From Goodreads:
Lucas had it all – popularity, a devoted girlfriend, a brotherly best friend, and a loving mother who would do anything for him. His life was right on course to be a successful and fulfilling one, until the crash changed everything. It happened late one night during a sudden downpour. That evening, three young lives were lost and one life was left irrevocably altered. As the lone survivor, Lucas finds himself surrounded by swirling gossip of reckless drunkenness from the small town he used to warmly call home. Amid his own guilt and self-hatred, Lucas struggles to find hope, find peace, and maybe, even find love again.

Toni's Review: 3.5 Stars
I'm not really sure where to start with this book. Don't get me wrong - I liked it. I liked Lucas, Sawyer, even Darren, Sammy, and Lil, his two best friends and girlfriend who died. I think it was a very realistic look into survivors guilt. I think alot of books similiar to this one, dealing with deaths of loved ones, downplays how devistating that can be. Collision Course didn't do that. It get's major kudos from me for that alone. I liked the dream sequences with his friends, and I think Sawyer was really lovely. My main issue is that it was almost too detailed. So much so that I found myself skimming. Several times I felt I was reading the same day over and over. I wanted to love it, I really did. Especially considering I have a sick love of really depressing books. (It's kind of weird, I know). If a book can make me snot-cry, I am in absolute heaven. I was practically willing myself to cry, because I kept thinking, "This is really sad... it's so f'ing sad... why am I not at least tearing up? CRY DAMN IT!" Sadly, not a tear was shed. It just didn't stand out for me. Not twelve hours after I finished it I had to pop open my Kindle because I couldn't remember Lucas' name. I think had some of the less necessary scenes been taken out I'd have had more to say. As it is, it was just alright for me.       

Friday, June 22, 2012

Taking on the Dead by Annie Walls--sneak peek

Some awesome person pointed out that I am retarded and used the wrong form of peek. Thank you random twitterer. :)
From Goodreads:
Life for Kansas was perfect until the day the world changed.

She has been hiding out for four years in solitude. It's the only way to survive. The only way not to draw the living dead. Helping a small group of people, she learns the new world might not be what she assumes. Venturing out of her refuge and comfort zone, she meets Rudy, who helps her find a greater purpose. She realizes that the world has moved on without her. Only it's not what she expects. Her knowledge of the living dead grows and only makes her more curious as humanity continues to hang on by a thread. While on her search for answers she finds comfort in new friendships and love, but her past seems as if it will haunt her forever.

Kansas takes it upon herself to help other survivors, which would be easy if the famished were the only obstacles.

In a trilogy plot thick with twists and turns, it is emotional as much as it is horrifyingly gripping.

Sounds awesome right? Want to find out more? Well head on over to Annie Walls' website. and check out her sneak peek. Just click on Taking on the Dead sneak peek on the top of the page!!! You won't regret it.

Look at the Cover for Blood Song by Tamara Rose Blodgett


Book Two of the Blood Series

Coming September 2012!

Julia has been ripped from the escape she'd planned for herself. When she awakens to discover that her reality has shifted to include a supposed soul-meld with a man she hates... and who hates her, she rebels. Julia doesn't want to be Queen of the Blood Singers if it means captivity in a gilded cage.

Broken from the horrific events surrounding her friends, Cynthia migrates to the very city that Julia resides in and determines to find her as the police follow the bread crumbs she left in her wake. Detective Truman's discovery at her apartment exposed her departure for the escape it was.

The Feral has come full circle and must begin a new life from the shadow of the old. His placement in the hierarchy of the pack is uncertain when he finds that he has an integral enemy already in place and a pack member to protect. While he desperately seeks answers to what had been... what could be.

Can the vestiges of Julia's former life be restored so she might reunite with her one true love or has that door closed forever because of supernatural circumstances beyond their control?
You guys check out the cover and reveal Tamara put up on her blog. So pretty. I love Phatpuppy's work and this is no exception.
Be sure to visit Tamara's website to look at and buy a copy of the first book in the series Blood Singers book. It is a great vampire read.
Twenty-year old Julia Wade, a young woman tragically widowed, is in the middle of a bizarre bid between two mythical species who are vying for the unique properties she offers; her blood. The vampires need her to balance the food load of the human species and give them their coveted “Lightwalkers.” The Were wish to be moonless changers; a Rare One can make that a reality.

Julia wants to belong to herself.

Can she free herself and begin a new life?
Lori's Review: 5 Stars
This book is a wonderful coming of age story. Julia is incredibly strong female character that withstands more than her share of trauma. The book is well written with a very few very small typos but not enough to cause concern or distract from the story at all. The characters are realistic. By the end of the story you feel like you know them. It is definately a new take on a very familiar concept. Who hasn't read a book about vampires and werewolves? Each group is given equal page time and are amazingly dynamic. I definately was rooting for the vamps in the begining. Then I was rooting for Julia and Adi's friendship. Then I was like 'yeah go Blood Singers'. Tamara created a new story without rehashing the same ole same. The ending ahh I wanted to keep reading and reading and reading. I was like, seriously, she's going to make me wait for another book! I know that I will be rereading this before the next books come out! I would say this is another great to start to what is to be another one of my favorite series! I should also mention that this book was a gift from the author. I would have bought it myself and devoured it had she not I love her work that much!!
**On another note I would love to welcome our newest blogger Toni. She's a super reader and suggests awesome books to me all the time. I think she will fit in good around here. Thanks for joining us Toni.

A Quick Intro!

Hey, readers! My name's Toni, and I'm an obsessive reader. Like, super obsessive. Maybe pathetically obsessed. I know you won't judge me :). Lori here was nice enough to invite me to contribute to her and Kami's blog, and I figured I'd give it a go. I've never blogged, so if y'all have any advice feel free to lay it on me. I'm a stay at home mom of three kids, who are at the moment running and screaming like banshees. So on that note, I'm going to go and break up the death match that has broken out. I'm super excited to be a part of Contagious Reads, and I'll see (or, ya know, write to) you all soon!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

From Goodreads:
It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self.

To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live.

But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside.

When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

Lori's Review: 10 Stars....
Oh wow....just wow! I LOVED this book. It's not just a 5 star its, a HUGE 10 star book. This a book about surviving during a zombie apocolypse. Only Sloane doesn't want to survive. She has lost the will to live. Which makes the crisis even more riveting. I literally could not tear myself away from it. I started it around 9pm and finished at around 2 am. I only stopped to fb chat with a fellow book lover who was reading it as I was. (Book friends are the best). Toni know I'm talking about you. Anyway. Back to the book.
The good:
I was literally grabbed from page one. It was really interesting. I kept thinking huh...(head scratch) how is she going to work zombies into this. But she did. The writing was well paced. It just kept building and building.
The romance was perfect. No automatic love at first site here. But it was butterfly inducing. So refeshing.
Sloane felt real. Rhys felt real. Grace and Trace felt real. Sloane isn't kick ass. But she is brave. She doesn't spend the whole novel pulling out zombie killing tricks from her bag. She has a cool head about the whole thing...but that's because she doesn't have any interest in surviving. She literally grabbed my heart and held it the whole book. I loved it.
The bad:
There were some chunky sentences writing wise. Very, very few though. If you are a gore fan this book is not for you. There are zombies so obviously there is some bloodshed. But it's not an big blockbuster action novel. It's a sublte sneak up on you thriller type novel. I love a great gore fest. Trust me I do. I didn't miss it in this book though. She balanced the action/blood, intrigue/thriller and human emotion perfectly. This book is perfect for a non hardcore zombie fan. They are there and there is action. It's just not the theme of the book.
I know...I know. I always give books 5 stars. Honestly guys...I find the good in everything. Well,there are some exceptions. I just don't finish or bother rating the stinkers half the time guys. I swear. I do ocassionaly not love a book. I have to be careful with my money so I do serious research before I put my money into a book.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Death Inception by Tamara Rose Blodgett

Kyle Ulysses Hart and his team of scientists mapped the human genome in the year 2010. As Brain Impulse Technology came online... so did the long arm of the United States government. A covert, military-driven regime was born with genetic manipulation the key to future widespread control.

When pharmaceutical laboratories, funded by the Graysheets, discover a way to unlock paranormal potential through compulsive inoculation, their exploitative dream is realized.

Clyde and Caleb's lives are predestined to intertwine as they cross paths, his history becoming Caleb's future.

A lone teenager named Jeffrey Parker, falls prey when he manifests the rare, Affinity for the Dead.The Graysheets abandon all pretense of stewardship, ripping him from his family for their nefarious purposes.

Can Jeffrey remain who he was destined to be in an environment exclusively built for mass control?

Lori's Review: 5 Stars...did you think it would be less? Silly you.
We all know my love affair with Ms. Blodgett's work. It is borderline stalkerish. However, I had serious doubts about me loving this book. I knew I would like it...come on, it's like Tamara guys. She's awesomesauce. Why, you ask, did I doubt my love then?
Well, let me tell you. I hate prequels. Period. Remember V.C. Andrews? Her estate wrote a bunch of prequels to most of her her original (written by her) series. Which was the Flowers in the Attic Series and Heaven...although I think she might have outlined Dawn...anyway I digress. That's not allowed and I am reviewing wrong. My apologies. I HATED them. No it's not because I didn't like the new ghost writer. I had no trouble following "V.C." through the Dawn Series, Ruby, and Melody. (Hey, I know that's not what the series are actually called. That is just how I think of them. Get off my back.)
I was, also, worried that without Jonesy, Caleb and Gramps that it wouldn't "feel" like a Death novel.
Boy was I WRONG. Not only are some of the gang in the book...but they are adorable. I can't say more. I'm trying not to be a spoiler hag.
Clyde alive and free...oh my. He was thee man! Whew, sensitive alpha male right there. He got stuff done even back in the day. Woo-wee. Clearly Clyde dies. That is not a spoiler guys. He's a zombie...Hello. It was sad. But awesome too. I love zombie Clyde. But I wish he could have finished his life too. It's a complicated thing folks.
When I finished I was like....that's it. Really? I want to know what happens next. Facepalm...Lori you's called Death read it already!!! (And loved it. Of course. What kind of stalker would I be if I didn't).
Overall, this book is a great addition to the series and gives a lot of background. I feel like I understand much much more of this series and I am excited to see what happens next for the Death Crew.

Monday, June 18, 2012

How to support your favorite book/author!!!

So you love a book. You loved it so much that you tell your friends about it. Word of mouth is awesome and really is the best tool authors have. Especially those self published authors (Gotta Love 'Em)! But there are many other ways to support and spread the word about your new favorite read. And no you don't have to go out and devote a whole blog to it like I did.

Tell your friends. But don't just stop there. Mention that you loved it on facebook/twitter/whatever social media you have. Chances are you don't talk to your hundreds of fb friends on a daily basis. Guess what some of those random fb friends might be readers looking for an awesome new book.

Like the author's fan page/book page.

If you know any book bloggers it wouldn't hurt to throw them a suggestion. Most don't have the time to read and review every request they get but spreading the word never hurts. Follow the bloggers who love the same books/authors that you do. Many of them have breaking news, updates, cover reveals and giveaways where you can win great swag. Most have contact with lots of self published and traditionaly published authors.They are there to support their favorite authors too. You never know when they might turn you on to something new.
Also most of your favorite authors have a blog. Follow it.

Leave a review on Amazon. Barnes and Nobel too if you want. Amazon is really the powerhouse though. Use the "like" button next to the book title on Amazon. Add new and useful tags that will help other readers find this (indie) book.

Leave a reivew on Goodreads. We may not be professionals but we have power to move books. The more active I am on Goodreads the more I see my friends picking up books that I have rated highly. Sometimes you can turn a friend on to a new genre. It's an awesome thing to behold. Books bringing random strangers together.

BUY the book. If you like it then BUY some of the authors other works. No it's not all about the money. However, the more money the author makes from writing the more able they will be to actually devote their lives to writing. Also, self published authors don't charge you $15-$30 bucks a book. More like .99 cents to 4.99. Some are 9.99 but the majority are under that. Also, the first book of  some series are free or .99 cents. Many have 'thank you/celebration' specials and will offer books free or for a reduced price.

Don't judge authors and books by their covers. With social networking it is easier to find "authors behaving badly". However, realize they are human and sometimes their emotions get the best of them. Everyone deserves a chance. (Trust me I have interacted with authors that have been accused of being horrible and they are absolutely nothing but nice and supportive of their fans).
Getting awesome professional covers is expensive. I know I recently did some research on this. Read book descriptions you never know what you might be missing that isn't covered up by a phatpuppy creation. (do check her out ).

Contact the author personally. I don't know about big names like Stephen King and JK Rowling but I have had nothing but postive interactions with ALL of the self published authors I have met and friended through Goodreads and Facebook.

Wondering where to start exploring self published authors? Try Tamara Rose Blodgett, Jamie McGuire, Rhiannon Frater, Kody Boye, Tammar Webber, Emily Goodwin, Alexia Purdy, Abbi Glines,Tiffany King, Jessica Park, Annie Walls and many many more!!! Also check this lady out. I read an ARC of her first novel and loved it...Katie Andrews Potter

Outside By Shalini Boland

Book One in The Outside Series.

The future is divided by Perimeters: high-security gated communities where life goes on as normal. If you’re inside you’re lucky. If you’re outside, life expectancy takes a nose dive.

Riley is fortunate to have been born on the right side of the fence. But her life of privilege comes crashing down when someone breaks through and murders her sister.

She forsakes her own safety to go in search of the killer. Luc decides to go with her otherwise she’ll be dead before she’s past the security gate. But what awaits her outside is more unbelievable that she ever imagined.

Cut to the present day where Eleanor's world is falling apart. This time next year, civilisation won't be quite so civilised...

Lori's Review: 3 to 3.5 Stars
*contains some spoilers

This was a good solid book.
This is an interesting take on what happens after the world ends. The main story follows a young lady named Riley and Luc, her neighbor/love interest, as they venture outside their secure protected compound to search for a man they think killed her younger sister.
The characters are well written. The character of Luc was the most lacking depth wise. I really get no feeling about him. Does he like Riley back? Well, obviously, he does because he risks his life in the dangerous outside world to go on a wild goose chase. That is the only evidence the author gives us into his feelings prior to his actual declaration. She never has him give Riley a second look until then.
Riley does a bit too whinning for my taste. She shows some promise in the begining but just utterly wimps out in the middle of the book. In the end she shows us that brave tough side again.
The best part of the book is the author's description of the outside. It is utterly realistic. She describes my worst nightmare of modern society at its end. Well maybe not worst there are no Zombies. Riley and Luc encounter some pretty scary bandits. They also meet a seeming "nice" couple who lost their children to an alternative religion (aka cult). They encounter the cult and stumble into an even worse situation with remanants of the army.
I was pretty amazed that a 17 yr old boy and 16 yr old girl could outwit so many adult do badders. The author then casually mentions that all children in the compound are trained in self defense and the use of weapons. Ok, I get that, it makes sense. It just would have been nice if we had seen that in earlier chapters.
Throughout the novel the author throws in random chapters about a young woman named Elenor. These are flashbacks to the terrorist bombings that ended the world and the days that led up to them. At first these flashbacks are a bit jarring and confusing. Mid way they start to make sense and started to flow with the other timeline. I actually started looking forward to these little chapters. The author threw little clues in them that help the reader figure out Riley's families past and what her sisters suspected murderer really means to her.
Overall this book was a fairly good read that could use a little more character development. Look forward to seeing more work from Ms. Boland as she matures as a writer.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Easy by Tammara Webber

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she’s single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, stalked by her ex’s frat brother, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Her econ professor gives her an email address for Landon, the class tutor, who shows her that she’s still the same intelligent girl she’s always been. As Jacqueline becomes interested in more from her tutor than a better grade, his teasing responses make the feeling seem mutual. There’s just one problem—their only interactions are through email.

Meanwhile, a guy in her econ class proves his worth the first night she meets him. Nothing like her popular ex or her brainy tutor, Lucas sits on the back row, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. At a downtown club, he disappears after several dances that leave her on fire. When he asks if he can sketch her, alone in her room, she agrees—hoping for more.

Then Jacqueline discovers a withheld connection between her supportive tutor and her seductive classmate, her ex comes back into the picture, and her stalker escalates his attention by spreading rumors that they’ve hooked up. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.

Author Recommendation: Mature Young Adults (language, drinking, sexual situations). From Goodreads.

Warning This Review is Slighty PSA-ish!

Lori's Review: 5 Huge Stars!!!
I'm a closet contemp romance reader. (Well not so much now on goodreads you obviously see what I read). I have chosen to stay in the closet because normally when I finish reading one I feel dirty for having enjoyed the book. Yes, even more dirty than reading monstererotica. There is so much that can be wrong with most contemp romances. Tammmara Webber got it right. I don't feel dirty loving this book. I feel proud to be a fan of this genre. Feel that folks, smell it....that's fresh air. Fresh air is refreshing, cooling, clean and HEALTHY!!! That is what this book is. It is a healthy relationship. Lucas does a little stalking. But it's harmless crush stalking. All people do this. You go to places you are likely to encounter your crush to try and get them to notice you. Or work up the nerve to talk to them.[ Some could argue that Lucas stalks Jackie. I say he wasn't creepy stalking, he most definately wasn't Edward Cullen/Christian Grey stalking. He was crush stalking. Girls do this all the time. You go to restraunts, coffee shops, bars etc that you have seen your crush at before. You just want to run into them and see them. It's harmless. (hide

Lucas doesn't beat up every single person that looks at Jackie. He doesn't encourage her to drop all contact with her friends and family. He doesn't demand all of her time. He doesn't buy her expensive things to get her to sign a sex slave contract. This is a sweet love story. That's not say that this book is all sugar and teddy bears. Both MC's have horrible things happen to them. Lucas has as troubled childhood as Christian Grey. He turns to alcohol and fighting in his teen years like Christian. He cleans his act up in a healthy way though. (I AM NOT ARGUING REAL BDSM IS UNHEALTHY!!! FIFTY SHADES OF GREY IS NOT AN ACURATE DESCRIPTION OF BDSM!) He teaches self defense to women. He does not enjoy beating little brown haired girls that look like his mother. He doesn't intimadate and scare Jackie. He doesn't make her do anything she isn't comfortable doing. And Jackie doesn't DO anything she's uncomfortable doing. She is not a blank slate like Ana Steele. She has back bone. She has a learned her lession about letting a boyfriend dictate where her life goes. I could keep listing all the wonderful HEALTHY things about this book and relationship but in doing so I would be forgetting one very important aspect of this book.

This book addresses a very emotional and taboo topic. Rape. Not simulated rape. Not BDSM. This is not an abusive relationship between two (sorta) consensual adults that is mislabeled something it is clearly not and shoved down our throats as fantasy. It is actual rape. When the book started with a rape scene in the opening chapters I thought 'Oh no, we are going to be told to forget about this. The author is just using this as a tool to bring the two MCs together. Then she will forget about it.' Nope, I was wrong. Tammara Webber did not use this as a tool. She addressed this in a mature and healthy way. I was proud to be a contemp romance fan for once!

When I was in college I was an anthropology major. I focused on Feminist theory. I view the world thourgh a feminist lens. I read with a feminist lens. I want to tell you a little statistic I learned at the University of Iowa. I want you to think of four women you know. Have those women in mind? ONE in every FOUR women are sexually assulted. Physically, mentally and emotionally. ONE in FOUR of us is made to feel worthless, devalued, and had our power stripped away from us. I have a daughter. This is unacceptable to me! Miss Webber has a warning about the sexual content of this book and the use of alcohol. This book is labeled YA-M (NC-17). I however, urge mothers of young women in their teens (15+) to consider using this book as a tool to talk about this with your daughters. Teenagers drink, they have sex, the suffer from bulling and peer pressure. Education is the tool that you need to arm young people with. They need to know what rape is. Rape is power and control. Not sex. They need to know that it is never okay to take someones' power or control away from them. Ever. Thank you Ms. Webber for showing young and old gals that a healthy relationship is sexy. Plus guys with brown hair, tattoos and lip rings have always done it for me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Last Bastion of the Living by Rhiannon Frater

From Goodreads:
A walled city surrounded by lush land, protected by high mountain summits, and fortified by a massive gate to secure the only pass into the valley, The Bastion remained humanity’s last hope against the fearsome undead creatures known as the Inferi Scourge. On one fateful day, the valley gate failed and the Inferi Scourge overran and destroyed the human settlements outside the walls, trapping the remaining survivors inside the city. Now, decades later, the last remaining humans are struggling to survive in a dying city of dwindling resources…and dwindling hope.

Vanguard Maria Martinez has lived her entire life within the towering walls of steel. She yearns for a life away from the overcrowded streets, rolling blackouts, and food shortages, but there is no hope for anyone as long as the Inferi Scourge howl outside the high walls. Her only refuge from the daily grind is in the arms of Dwayne Reichardt, an officer in the Bastion Constabulary. Both are highly-decorated veterans of the last disastrous push against the Inferi Scourge. Their secret affair is her only happiness.

Then one day Maria is summoned to meet with a mysterious representative from the Science Warfare Division and is offered the opportunity to finally destroy the Inferi Scourge in the valley and close the gate, reclaiming the lost lands and energizing the populace with renewed hope for the future. The rewards of success are great, but she will have to sacrifice everything, possibly even her life, to accomplish the ultimate goal of securing the future of humanity and saving it from extinction.

Lori's Review: 5 Stars
I finished this last night. I am still speachless. This book was supreme awesomesauce. When I am being judged at the pearly gates by my zombie loving god (he's my god) asks my what my favorite zombie novel was. The Last Bastion of the Living would HAVE to be my answer. I'm not sure how I feel about that. It feels traitor-ous to say that. I LOVE so many other zombie novels. I feel like I am downgrading them or betraying them. It has nothing to do with that. Rhiannon Frater literally just blew this shit out the water though guys! You cannot compare this to other zombie novels. It is in a league of its own. It was even leaps and bounds more awesome than her ATWD series.
The Good:
The writing was perfection. You are IN this story. I would look up and get culture shock when I looked around and saw MY beautiful Maria sleeping in the bed next to me.
Maria Martinez was just the right mixture of kickass warrior and real girl. Sometimes female character are just too badass to be believable.
The dystopia was also completely realistic. I loved it. These people aren't thriving. They aren't even surviving.
The villians are not one dimensional. They are a mixture of good and bad. You see their motivations for their devious ways. (Well some of them)
The zombies aren't really zombies in the traditional sense. Rhiannon created a whole new world. EVERYTHING is new.
The not so good:
This is a stand alone novel. Once you finish it. You are finished. Rhiannon has stated more than once she is DONE with this world. She leaves this future in our hands to imagine what happens next. I'm going to be honest. I don't have even a tenth of her imagination. My musings WILL fall flat. I want MORE but I have to be happy with what I have.
There is one story line about a cult that was introduced but nothing happened with it. We never find out if they are still around. I guess this is one of the things she left up to our imaginations.
People kept comparing this cover to Kate Beckinsale and the Underworld movies. I guess that would be MOST young people's frame of refernce for a kickass black leather clad female lead.
I'm not most people. I don't think of Underworld. I think of Aeon Flux. Although she always wears skimpy outfits. Which is awesome. I'm not sure if Rhiannon is a fan or not but I sure am. Maria Martinez could do a lot worse than being in the company of these two ladies.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A HUGE thank you!!

I know we have been pretty quiet around here. Life has gotten in the way a little bit. Plus we are still reading reading reading for you!! I just wanted to take a minute to thank all of you for stopping by and following, commenting and reading our reviews. We appreciate it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lookie Lookie at what Tamara put up!!!

OMG look at what I stole off of Tamara's blog. This one is going to be amazing guys. Alpha males. Kickass females. Supernatural. Oh My!

When parallel worlds gain technological advance at a rate which exceeds their morality, an inter-dimensional police force, manned by Reflectives, step in to balance the precarious scale of the worlds.

Those born Reflective are the only beings with the ability to jump between worlds. With The Cause firmly entrenched by years of highly stylized military-type training in combat of every kind, they use their natural born ability for inter-dimensional travel to police worlds where wrongdoing has overtaken civility.

As an elite Reflective, Jeb Merrick finds himself partnered with a rare female Reflective. Merrick is convinced that she can do nothing but slow him down. Beth Jasper is small, in both stature and mindset. It is too dangerous for females to traverse the worlds; they could be killed... or worse. When they are thrust together as partners, Merrick vows that she will receive the same neutral treatment as a male. He is on a mission: to find his prophesied soulmate. Merrick cannot allow the unlikely union of Beth Jasper to get in the way of that objective.

Beth trains as a half-breed female while in constant ridicule from a force that is male-dominated. She must fight for every ounce of respect. When she finds out that she must partner with the cockiest of all the pureblood Reflectives, Beth struggles to maintain her composure with a hostile partner whose loyalty she doesn't possess.

Can the Reflectives uphold The Cause, reach a point of compromise and find their chosen soulmates?

check out more Tamara awesomeness at her blog:
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Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Vincent Brothers by Abby Glines

He may have given her up without a fight, but Sawyer Vincent is far from over losing the girl he’s loved all of his life. Instead of giving up his best friend and the girl he thought he’d spend forever with, he gave Ashton and his brother Beau his blessing. However, adjusting to seeing Ashton wrapped up in Beau’s arms isn’t easy. Complicating everything even more, Ashton’s cousin Lana is in town for the summer. Sweet, kind, soft-spoken Lana, who gets under his skin. Just being near her makes him forget all about Ashton and his broken heart. Lana is everything he wanted Ashton to be except she isn’t Ashton. She lacks the backbone to stand up for herself and confidence that Ashton wears like a crown.

Lana McDaniel has lived her life in her cousin's shadow. While Lana struggled with her grades no matter how hard she tried, her mother praised Ashton's intelligence. She hadn’t been blessed with Ashton’s blond hair and flawless skin, but that didn't keep her mother from lamenting her naturally red hair and freckles. But none of that would have mattered if Ashton hadn’t always had Sawyer Vincent wrapped around her finger -- the only boy Lana wanted. Once Ashton let Sawyer go, Lana had been so sure that he’d move on. Determined to make Sawyer finally see her, she'd talked her mother into letting her spend the summer with Ashton. But Sawyer is still in love with Ashton, and Lana isn’t going to be anyone's rebound girl. No matter how yummy Sawyer Vincent’s kisses taste.

Lori's Review: 5 Stars
I've been thinking about what to say about this book. Of course I finished it late last night so everything witty and thoughtful I had to say has now been lost.
What I liked:
I really want to call this story cute. But it is way more than cute. It is passionate and heartfelt. I competely fell in love with Sawyer in this book. I'm pretty sure I just added him to my fictional boyfriend list. (I can't be the only person lame enough to have one of these? Right?) Lana was perfect just the right amount of spunk and innocence. I think I loved this book even more than the first one.
The writing definately improved in this one. I was not only drawn into this story I was in love with it. I was emotionally invested. Everytime Sawyer did something stupid I groaned. I thought...seriously how stupid can you get. But then he has totally sweet and I was all awww. Really what girl doesn't want something like this said to her "Lana. I think about you every minute of every day. When I'm with you, my world is complete. When I touch you, I understand the meaning of life. When I lost you, I completely shattered. You. Own. Me."
Sawyer's protectiveness was a little overdone. But also realistic. Lots of young men are like this with their girlfriends. I loved that Lana stood up to him. It made me smile to see the heroine not bow down to the boy she likes.

What I didn't like:
Ashton. She was even less sympathetic to me in this one. I get that she is a bad girl. But she really needs to start thinking about others before she acts.
Wow see I just acted like she was a real person. That is really the only thing I can think of that I didn't like about this story.

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

Being the good girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Ashton Gray has grown weary of playing the part to please her parents, and to be worthy of the town’s prince charming, Sawyer Vincent. Maybe That’s why she’s found herself spending time with Sawyer’s cousin, Beau, while he’s away for the summer camping with his family. Beau is nothing like her perfect boyfriend. He’s the sexiest guy she’s ever seen, dangerous in ways she’s only day dreamed about, and the one guy she should stay away from.
Beau never envied Sawyer his loving parents, his big nice home, or his position as quarterback. He loves him like a brother. Which is why he's tried everything in his power to keep his distance from Sawyer’s girlfriend. Even if he has loved her since the age of five, Ashton is Sawyer’s girl, so therefore she’s off limits. But when Sawyer leaves for the summer, Ashton, the one girl Beau would move Heaven and Earth for, decides she wants to get into trouble. Stabbing the one person who’s always accepted him and stood by him in the back, is the cost of finally holding Ashton Gray in his arms. Is she worth losing his cousin over?.... Hell Yeah.

Lori's Review: 5 Stars
OMG I loved this book. Ashton and Sawyer seemed to be the perfect couple. But Ashton is in love with Sawyers cousin/best friend Beau.

What I liked:
I love an angsty love triangle. This book was one of the best love triangles I have ever read. All three of the characters are great and you cheer for each and everyone of them.
The story is told from Beau and Ashton's point of view so you get to see both sides of the story. You get to know all the secrets before the characters do and groan when they make stupid descions.
Abbi Glines is a fantastic writer and makes us care about these characters. This is a relatively short book and she manages to grab the reader from the get go. A few short pages into it I was sucked in.
Beau and Sawyer are both dreamy. Seriously both guys have a lot going for them. It would have been easier if Ms. Glines had made Sawyer horrible then Ash's decision would have been easy and we wouldn't feel so heartbroken over Sawyer.

What I didn't like:
Not much. Maybe the length was too short. But that's not too bad. There were a few typos but that doesn't affect my rating.
I didn't like the name Ashton (I keep picturing a boy when I read it).
Ashton was the least sympathetic of all the characters to me. She was a little too whiny in parts but she wasn't horrible.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cinderella and Zombies by Emily Casey

"More than anything, King Richard feared the zombie outbreak. Now, they neared his palace with every passing day, in growing numbers. One thing was clear to the King: his son must marry a zombie-killer."

What happens when you take a classic fairy tale and add a few zombies to it? Cinderella goes from being a pretty-faced pushover to being the best zombie-slayer in the kingdom. But will that be enough when she's decked out in a ball gown and glass slippers?

Lori's Review: 4 Stars
I loved this quirky take on Cinderella. I was a little worried that it would be like pride and predujice and zombies. But it wasn't. This was unique re-telling of Cinderella's story. She is no longer a girl that we should feel sorry for. Cinderella is tough, skilled and smart. She knows everything there is to know about the undead. Think for Resident Evil than Disney when you picture this heroine. I strongly recommend this short zombie story to fans of the genre. It was fun!

The good:
The writing is entertaining and never dull. Emily Casey did a good job of giving the reader the right amount of information in this novella.
Cinderella is just the right amount of kickass without being over the top.
The Prince is not just a pretty face either and matures quite a bit in a short amount of time.
The zombies are awesome. They are allergic to fresh vegetables. Not sure about fruit before. I have never encountered this weakness in zombies before.

The bad:
It was short.
The action scenes are a little scattered but were still entertaining.
I missed the evil step mother.

*I recieved a free copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

Surviving Passion by Maia Underwood

4 Stars
I put another book that I was reading on hold so I could read this one, and I am glad I did it.

After the fall of civilization know as The Crash, people are struggling to survive. With no government, and no one to uphold laws, surviving the elements is not the only thing that you have to worry about. Selena has been on the run alone for 4 years, since the death of her father. She has not even talked to another person in all those years. Being a woman in this new and uncivilized world is scary. When a bunch of horny men get together, and women are slim pickins, a certain group mentality takes over. They will take what they want, when they want, and no one will stop them.

Selena narrowly escapes being captured by her worst nightmare, a group of men so savage that the kill people simply for the fun of it. During her escape she is grabbed by another man Dan, who in all aspects kidnaps her to take her back to his 'camp'. Dan is a good guy though, and is only trying to protect her. However while I was reading these parts I wanted to punch Dan for this manhandling of Selena. Yeah he was doing what was in her best interest, but jeez he basically kidnapped her.

Anyway, after 4 years of being on her own she does not easily fit in with those at 'camp'. While most are giving off genuinely good people vibes there are a couple that have her worried. Clint is one of many of bad guys in this book. In an attempt to prevent an attact from the band of scavengers, the group decides to attact first rather than waiting for them to catch them unawares. Selena teaches some of her slills to the other women in the group and everyone goes into battle.

Selena is slowly falling for Dan and she does not know how to process these feelings. She is intimidated by him. Everything she is feeling is so foreign to her she cant handle it anymore and decides to leave the group. THis decision is made after a horrible encounter with Clint. She tries to sneak away but Dan sees her and follows. Out in the woods all alone he catches up to her and.....

Returning to camp, Selenas emotions are a whirlwind. She confides in Bear and Blaire about Clint's attempts against her, and they agree to speak to him in private. Selena does not want the others to know, she does not want to feel like the victim. Unbeknownst to everyone Clint's treachery runs much deeper and nobody is safe when he decides to take action.

Kidnapping, betrayal, murder, and a gang beatdown are soon to follow. Will everyone make it out alive? Or will some be damaged beyond repair?

This book was great. I loved it. I understood to a point what Selena was feeling, and I was definately lusting after deep, silent, deadly Dan. Considering there isnt an ounce of paranormal in this book, it is definatly not something I normally read, but I am very happy I did. I will be starting the next book in the series Surviving Seduction very soon. The writing was good, maybe not as much dialogue as I prefer, but enough that I was always intrigued and it kept me reading. Definately an author to watch. I look forward to reading more of her work.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

50 Shades the Handcuff edition by EL James

Warning Graphic Review ahead. I cuss a lot. Sexual situations are implied and discussed. As well as a crude picture or two. Not meant for kiddos.

Lori's Review: 1 Star
When unworldly student Ana Steele first encountered the driven, damaged young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and ultimately repelled by Christian’s singular sexual tastes, Ana demanded a deeper commitment; determined to keep her, Christian agreed.

Now, together, they have more – love, passion, intimacy, and a world of infinite possibilities. But Ana always knew that loving her Fifty Shades would not be easy, and being together poses challenges neither of them ever anticipated. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own integrity, identity or independence; Christian must somehow overcome his compulsion to control, and lay to rest the horrors that blighted his past and haunt his present.

Just when it seems that together their love can conquer any obstacle, misfortune, malice and fate combine to make Ana’s worst nightmares come true. Alone and desperate, she must face down the poisoned legacy of Christian’s past.

Seductive, shocking, sad and funny, Fifty Shades Freed is the compelling final volume in the Fifty Shades trilogy.

I almost gave this book a "pity" 2 stars but I just can't let my relief of being done with this crap skew my final judgement. Let's be honest here. I will probably offend some die hard fans but this series is utter and total horse shit. The writing is bad, the charcters are crude rip offs of another authors work, Anastasia Steele is completely out -of-her-mind-stupid (retarded).* I mean that. She is a stupid, horrible character, a bad friend and just as selfish as her Fifty. At least Christian has reasons for being a horribe excuse for a human being. Ana has none.
Maybe her mothers' third husband caused her some trauma.. Seriously we learn everything about Ana...we know that she is seriously handicapped stupid. We know everything about Christian. Everything. The author teases us with this little detail. This was part of my motivation for reading this. I wanted to know about the FUCKING third husband. Maybe they talked about him mid-sex and I missed it. I skimmed the sex scenes. After two books of horrible unchanging sex I couldn't stand anymore. So if they did answer this detail during their horrid two minute sex somebody please let me know.
Ok so here is my review/rant in the form of an email to Anastasia Grey

To:Anastasia Grey
Subject: I'm going to spew my hate about you!
From: Lori Parker
You are giving me twitchy palms. I really really really really REALLY want to beat the living hell out of you. But you I won't because you are a fictional character. Even if you weren't, you suffer enough abuse at the hands of your fucked up Fifty. Yes, you stupid whore, he is an abusive manipulative asshole. Letting someone walk all over you like a doormat is not a fantasy. It's not sexy. It's a fucking nightmare. Myself and many real women have lived with controlling men like Christian Grey. It's not amusing, it's not cute, it's not something you just deal with. It's something you fucking run from and run fast. NO ONE should have complete control over your life and your body. NO ONE has the right to punish you from behaving "badly". That's right. I'm calling your character out for setting a horrible example for women. Your character portrays what many women barely survive and then shoves is down our throats while calling it a fantasy. I realize that all (really only some of) the hitting you experience is consensual. That is not the abuse I am talking about. I'm talking about Christians' mental abuse of you. He treats and makes you feel like a child. Repeatedly. You spend the first month or so (out of this less than a year long relationship) being scared of him. The first time he spanks you, you refer to it as a beating. That implies violence against you. You are constantly scared of speaking your mind. When you do you always bow to him and give up. YOU ARE FUCKING DOOR MAT!!!
I have nothing against with the BDSM lifestyle. Really, rough sex doesn't bother me. I was raised to be open minded and spent four years of my life entrenched in cultural relativism as an anthroplogy major. Cultural Relativism=judging cultures on their own terms: the principle that people should not judge the behavior of others using the standards of their own culture, and that each culture must be analyzed on its own terms.
Nothing shocks me. Hell, I can watch documentaries on genocide while eating twizzlers and drinking Dr. Pepper with out feeling quesy.
You are a horrible heroine and not a person any person should fanatsize about being. I wish people would stop reading this crap. To offset the horrible example you are setting for women I am going to suggest readers go out and buy the most hardcore feminist works that I can think of: Please for the love of our future generations of young girls read one of these! Ana- If you were a real person I would mail you a copy of each.
An ancient title of respect for women, the word "cunt" long ago veered off this noble path. Inga Muscio traces the road from honor to expletive, giving women the motivation and tools to claim "cunt" as a positive and powerful force in their lives.
*warning Inga is not for the faint of heart. This woman has real balls. She is completely open about her life and tells it like it is. I think there is an apt sentence in this book that Christian should be read.
To paraphrase Inga states "Men who refuse to wear condoms deserve to fucked in the ass by another man who refuses to wear a condom".
If this strikes you as to hardcore then I suggest checking out this book. No, I demand you read it. Carol Queen is smart, funny, and educated. It shows women can be empowered in their sexuality. It's a postive account of a woman who is involved in the BDSM lifestyle. Really Carol Queen is a goddess (not just an inner one either).
Whether writing about the joys of being turned over her lovers knee and spanked into erotic bliss, partaking of the pleasures of the new safe-sex clubs, or attending a California Mens Movement gathering to lobby for the pro-pornography platform, Carol Queen is personal, insightful, and delightfully candid. This new edition of Real Live Nude Girl includes four new articles and a new introduction by the author. The thinking persons sex queen, Carol Queen is a real live brilliant girl. Annie Sprinkle

One more rant, for both you and Christian, and I am done. NEVER EVER let a man make you feel like shit for missing your birth control. It takes two people to make a baby. Two. If he was that worried about it than he should have used more caution. Taken some of the responsibility upon himself and worn a condom. So what if you hate them. You and only you have the power to make sure that doesn't happen. Besides depo-provera is not the most reliable form of bc out there. If you were going to dictate she get a long lasting non pill bc than you should have done more research. Implanon works for 3 years and your "idiot" of a wife wouldn't have to worry about forgetting it.

Please for the love of god never-ever come back into fiction. I'm begging you and your story to just please please please go away.
x. Lori
Lori Parker
Blogger at Contagious Reads...

Now for some quotes:
Another first. I gape at him, my heart pounding...the mile high club. I've heard about this. -Ana pg 21.
So has everyone else in America over the age of 14. Ms. James please for the love of god do better research of Americans-the way we speak and of our culture. It is clear that you didn't even bother learning anything about us.

We're going to need a safeword. Grey
What? Ana
Stop won't be enough because you will probably say that, but you won't mean it. Grey
No. Stop means stop. Always. I don't care if you use a safeword. But you should ALWAYS pause whatever you are doing during sex when a woman says stop. Having had someone disregard your plea of stop is a horrible experience. Trust me.

(It) feels weird--being trussed up and helpless--on a boat. Ana.
Oh as opposed to the kitchen counter, an airplane, the red room, a couch, hotel rooms, bathrooms, your bedroom? Really the only thing weird about that is being on a boat. Is that because you're afraid you will piss your new husband off and he will throw your trussed up ass in the ocean and leave you to the sharks?

I have hickeys! I am married to one of the most respected businessmen in the United States, and he's given me goddam hickeys. How did I not feel him doing this to me? I flush. The fact is I know exactly why--Mr. Orgasmic was using his fine-motor sexing skills on me. Ana
Hmm.. not sure why I highlighted this now. An example of the awesome writing in this book? The fact that Ana can get pissed about hickeys on her chest so she can't sunbathe topless? The cringe worthy writing--oh I already said that. Hmm...

The R8 shoots forward, slamming us both into the backs of our seats. The speedometer whips up to seventy-five miles per hours.
LOL wow, Ana, you dare devil 75. On an interstate. You rebel. I bet there is no one else that drives THAT FAST on an interstate.

How can the sound of a drawer render me a quivering mess? It makes no sense. Ana.
No, no it doesn't.

Stay strong Grey. Holy fuck, I can't even remember my name. Ana.
LMFAO---she's finally starting to realize just how stupid she really is.

Uggh I can't think about this book anymore. So I am going to leave us with a nice little image to wash this shit out of our brains.

*(retarded) It was pointed out to me that I shouldn't use this word. I TRY to be as fair and PC as I can be. Obviously I am a human...and sometimes crude. ^^^^^^^^^ I failed at fairness and compassion in this review. Why leave it i?. Because I want to apologize for using this word. I don't mind being offensive as long as it's in a playful (sorta) way. Do I really HATE these books? Of course. Do I go overboard with it. HMM Yes. But I am, mostly, joking. My sarcasm is real, my half-assed wit is real. My intelligence is real (LOL I seriously search some words to make sure they are spelled correctly. And I am well aware my grammer sucks). But I blow it waaaayyy out of proportion to entertain you guys. And I want you to be entertained, not mad because I fuck up and use 'hateful' words. forgive me. Please?
So from here on out....No more usage of 'retard' from me! I can't promise I won't use fucktard though. Sorry guys. I have limits. Hateful words have now become a hard limit. Fucktard is a soft limit and I will use it only when absolutely necessary. Ok? Ok. Have a wonderful night.