Thursday, September 28, 2006

Another book, but not another keeper

Hmmm... What to say about this book... I don't want to give it a "formal" review, because I don't feel like it... At first, when I read the back blurb:
"First, you gotta find the perfect bottle,” the Firebug rasped. “Too hard, and it won’t bust when it hits the floor. Too thin, and it explodes on impact with the window, splashing you with the fuel mix and burning you to hell."
I thought, perhaps the book was about a genie ^^; The cover didn't really look like "romantic suspense" so I thought perhaps paranormal or fantasy. Don't you think the drawing looks a bit like a heart? Anyhow... turns out not. So where to begin? Basically, Dr. Jack Montoya is a doctor working in a hospital with not enough funding and in a bad part of the city. There is a serious problem with the quality of the air and Jack has been falsifying some reports in order for children to obtain medicine and be alive... however, it's been discovered and he's in deep trouble. Worst, it suddenly starts up trouble... a lot of trouble, esp. with radicals and political personas. Reagan used to live in Jack's neighborhood, but moved when they were small. She followed her father's footsteps and became a firefighter, much to her mother's disarray. Because her mother couldn't handle the stress and pressure, she kicked out Reagan... Reagan thus went to live with Joe, her father's captain who became Reagan's captain as well. Anyway, someone calls a news channel and tells that Jack is now burning in his house... Firefighters are sent in, but Jack is not there, he's with Reagan who cannot be a firefighter anymore because she has asthma. Joe dies and Reagan is blamed and used as a scapegoat by her friends and co-workers because suspicions are that Jack started the fire as he is part of the BorderFree-4-all radical cell.

argh, insane. First of all, I had a lot of problem with Reagan: she has asthma. face it, you can't be a firefighter anymore, be responsible and do the right thing instead of going to look for doctors who might sign your form to return to work. Then, her mother... hello, you don't kick out your child like that... you talk with her, deal with it, but more importantly, you TELL her why you don't support her... because you're scared, afraid that she'll die in the fire, just like her father. Took 6-7 years for Reagan to realize... So, come on. Then, you have Reagan's entourage... man, are they stupid or what? Okay, perhaps that Jack was a radical... what would be the point of setting fire to his own house? Of course, it is to attract firefighters to his place in the hope that the captain of his friend dies... Uh, I don't think so. So why does Reagan wind up being the scapegoat?!? The man was her father figure, would she really risk his life? The worst is that she was banned from attending to the funerals and asked by some high ranked head of department to change station, change shift. Why don't you spell it out: either ask her to resign or be a firefighter in another town. The hero is not as bad, but he does have some not so charming traits ^^;

That's few of the problems I had with the book. Basically, I thought the book was frustrating! Frustrating! The "suspense" wasn't very good either and I didn't like the "BorderFree-4-all" aspect. It pains me, but here's my grade: 1.5/5 :(

Few words about Dream Makers by Nora Roberts

Hey everyone...

quick quick before work starts (well I'm at work, but doesn't mean I have to work... yet.) Just finished reading Dream Makers by Nora Roberts yesterday night. Dream Makers is a compilation of 2 of her old books: Untamed and Less of a Stranger. I bet those books were written in the 80's :P

Dream Makers by Nora Roberts: 2.75/5

These two books are obviously Nora's earlier work, so I won't be too picky... they're cutsie stories, but nothing more. In fact, I thought they lacked depth, but that's probably because they're both really short. In Untamed, Jolivette Wilder is a lion trainer. She was born and raised in the circus and followed her father's footsteps. Unfortunately for her, her parents died in a fire when she was 5-6 y.o. Her legal guardian was Frank Prescott, the owner of the circus, and she loved him as a father. Frank just died recently and he left the circus to his son, Keane Prescott. Jo resents Keane because he never came to visit Frank (Keane is an attorney and lives in Chicago... his parents divorced when Keane was still a baby). So anyway, Keane comes to the circus and must make a decision about what to do with the circus.

In Less of a Stranger , you have Megan who's an artist (she sculpts thing) and who lives with her grandfather after the death of her parents. Her grandfather owns Joyland, an amusement park. Enter David Katcheron, Katch, who wants to buy the amusement park and you almost have the whole story already.

So as I said, both are cutsie and simple stories. Nothing compared to Nora's present work. My problem with these two stories is that even if they can "withstand" time... they lack the sleekness of Nora's writing and you can still tell by the way the storyline and the characters are written that it is a work in the 80's, early 90's. First of all, the two heroines are very, very naive ^^; and they easily fell in love with the guys, a few kisses and the deal was done... only, it took them so much time to realize it. What bug me more tho is that you don't get anything from the main guys. Of course, by the way they behave, you know that they're smitten too, but they don't say it and the heroines are clueless... they're not TSTL... just extremely clueless and naive. At the end, when the heroes are "I love you" they're like: "Really?!?" well yeah girls, obviously. Another thing that bug me, esp. in Untamed is that you don't get to know the heroes very well, esp. compared to the heroines. Why didn't Keane visit his father? Why does he resent his father? Finally, the stories were too short, so lack of development. You know, each year, Silhouette re-prints a couple of Nora Roberts earlier book that you can't find anymore. I have a couple of them and some were just awesome... Loving Jack is one of them... however, these two are not on par.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Review: Hunting the Hunter by Shiloh Walker

So I ordered Golden Threads by Kay Hooper, Tall, Dark and Dead by Tate Hallaway and Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder... The good news is that Golden Threads and Tall, Dark and Dead are on their way... but not Magic Study :( But then, I do have a couple of books to read so... and hopefully, Magic Study will find its way to my house really quick. Okay, onto the review... I know some were curious about this book.

Hunting the Hunter by Shiloh Walker:
plotwise 3.5/5
enjoyment: 2.5/5

So this book gets 2 grades... why? because I'm afraid of being unfair ^^;

Kane Winter is a bounty-hunter, turned vampire hunter after the day he saw his partner, Duke - a shapeshifter, getting killed by vampires. He doesn't have much memories of that night, except for this woman... Turns out that Duke is not dead - don't worry, he's not a bad guy either. He became a "hunter" as in, he hunts everything and everyone that prey on the weak and innocent. His coach of the moment is Kendall, the woman that Kane can't forget. After meeting Kendall, Kane lusts for Kendall; however, he misunderstood the situation and thought Kendall and Duke was a couple. So one year later, after having dreams of Duke being tortured, Kane sets off to find Kendall and Duke. He arrives just in time to have sex with Kendall and to help with Duke's disappearance. Turns out the "evil" in Cincinnati is an old acquaintance of Kendall...

All right, so my thoughts? First, I like the idea that the Hunters, plural, are after everything that prey on the weaks - drug dealers, rapists, serial killers, ect. It makes it a bit different than a vampire hunter among the vampires. Aside from that, I thought that the plot had real good potential and the intrigue was a good one... However, it was not well presented to the readers. I thought the story was all over the place, that it didn't have a pace. Btw the night Duke is believed dead and Kane finds Duke again, that's 2 years... then, 1 year for the dreams to bring Kane back in the story... and then, you have a story that probably spanned on 3-5 days, interrupted by sex. I have nothing against sex, but in this one, it seems to occur at wrong moment. Also, reading "pussy" a few times a page does something to my enjoyment level, as in bring it down. My other problems are not enough of characters development/background - again, you get pieces and bits here and there, but not enough to get a good understanding of them, esp. Kane... and also, not enough world building. The author introduces witches, vampires, psychics, werewolves and shapeshifters and also, the Hunters academy, Excelsior; however, she doesn't put any boundaries. All you know is that humans are different from Others, but what about Others among each other? Agnes, who is a witch is 500 y.o., Vax, another witch must be 150-200 y.o. and Kendall is 300 y.o. So yeah, no idea about this world... or maybe, maybe that the world building explanation was done in a previous book since I read that the author had some books from the same world as e-books from Ellora's Cave. Still, she could have given some more clues.

Sigh... so that's it for me tonight. Night.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

My new purchases

So I promised a list of my new books :D

Here we go:

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Fad the Heat by Colleen Thompson
Divine by Mistake by P.C. Cast
Hunting the Hunter by Shiloh Walker
Megan's Mark by Lora Leigh
Dream Makers by Nora Roberts
Don't Say a Word by Barbara Freethy
Dreams Made Flesh by Anne Bishop - read

So, read any of these?

Review: The Black Jewels trilogy by Anne Bishop

I really hesitated whether to post this review on my blog or on Twisted Kingdom or both... but in the end, I decided both, mainly because I still can't "edit" posts that were made by others and since we've decided to lump all our reviews of the same book together, well I couldn't do it. Anyway, I know, you guys are not interested with my problems :) what you want is the trilogy's review... well here it is:

Daughter of the Blood: 4/5
Heir to the Shadows: 4.5/5
Queen of the Darkness: 4.5/5
Dreams made Flesh: 4.5/5

Overall series grade: 4.5/5

So where to start... Very brief synopsis of what's happening. In this world where there are witches and warlords, women rule and men serve them. The amount of powers depend on which jewel you are born with and with jewel you possessed after you've made your Offering to Darkness. Your Offering to Darkness will also determine what position you hold: whether you're a Queen (there's many kind), a Priestress or something else. In the land of Terreille however, no Territory Queen (highest Queen position possible) rules. Instead, it is a Priestess, Dorothea, who holds the highest position; however, the males do not rush to serve her as a Queen as she expected... Therefore, her viscious game starts in order to corrupt all the Blood (ppl with jewels I think) and other territories. As she grows powerful, other Queens are fearful and therefore adopt Dorothea's way and become tainted. Then, one day, Tersa, a high-rank witch who should have reigned over Treveille instead of Dorothea if she'd made through her Virgin Night, announces that SHE is coming. The Witch, most powerful being, that will restore peace in every realm and will restore the Blood.

It will take 700 years before the Witch makes her first apparition... as a 7 y.o. girl named Jaenelle Alexandra. Her life will affect many, many ppl, but especially three men: Saetan SaDiabolo (50,000 y.o.), her adopted father, mentor and the High Lord of Hell. Daemon SaDiabolo (1,700 y.o.)who is Saetan and Tersa's son and had been used as a pleasure slave by Dorothea... in a few words, Dorothea has lent him to many Queens to be serviced... he is to be Jaenelle's Consort/mate. Finally, Lucivar Yaslava, also Saetan's son with a Healer, who will be Jaenelle's brother and protector. Lucivar's fate is not very different from Daemon; however, because he's Eyrien (a race of human beings with wings and very hot temper who usually become warrior), he has a hot temper that've hurt many Queens in bed. In the beginning of the trilogy, Daemon and Lucivar know that they are brothers, but do not know who is their father. It turns out that they are Saetan's sons out of wedlock and Saetan's been threatened with their lives and so, Saetan cannot become involved with them.

So slowly, we follow's Jaenelle's growth. She is an exceptional magical being. A normal person will usually be born with a jewel and get another after his/her Offering. There is a selection of jewels, the darker the jewel's color, the more powerful you are. When you do your Offering, you can gain a maximum of 3 jewels power. However, Jaenelle is obviously different. She possesses ALL the jewels + 13 Black Jewels (Black being the most powerful)... With all this power, she is able to psychically travels in different realms, different territories very easily and she befriends many, many ppl: humans, but also beings that were thought to be legend only. Although she yields lots of power, she cannot accomplish the basic Craft such as fetch her own shoes and so her family believes that she has no talent, she is nobody. In addition to that, when Jaenelle talks about her adventures, they think she makes it up to gain attention and that she has too much imagination; basically, that she is mentally unstable. Because she couldn't learn basic Craft at home, Jaenelle goes to Saetan... Saetan welcomes her with open arms as he was predicted that one day, his daughter of the soul would come. So Jaenelle will often slip from her house/home to come to Saetan or visit her friends.... Meanwhile, back at home in Chaillot, her grandmother is the Queen of Chaillot, she is sent to Briarwood... an institution for mentally unbalanced kids... However, the horror that you witness in this institution are unbelievable.

When Jaenelle is 12 y.o., Daemon is sent to Chaillot to service the Queen and her court. This is where Daemon and Jaenelle meet for the first time... Daemon is shocked to learn that the Witch he's been waiting is only 12 y.o.... but he nonetheless falls in love with her. During this span of time, Daemon also discovers that Saetan is his father as well as the reason why Jaenelle still remains in Chaillot instead of going to live with Saetan. Jaenelle has an older sister whom she wants to help give her Offering so her sister will be able to protect herself, before leaving Chaillot forever. However, things do not go according to plan. During her 5 years with Saetan, Jaenelle has attracted Saetan's ex-wife, Hekatah's unwanted attention. All her life, Hekatah has wanted more and more power and she is the influential force behing Dorothea. Thus, Jaenelle presents as a threat to Hekatah that she wants eliminated... As a result, she plans to break Jaenelle's spirit by having her rape in Briarwood. The rape occurs, but it does not destroy Jaenelle because Saetan and Daemon rescue her soul and body in time... However, there is a price and Daemon slowly falls into the Twisted Kingdom where ppl become insane.

Although Saetan and Daemon were able to save Jaenelle, it will take time for her soul to heal and come to her body. Meanwhile, Saetan took care of her body and become her legal guardianship. Daemon tried to save Lucivar who at that time was a slave, but Lucivar thought that Daemon was the one who raped and killed Jaenelle and so gave the last push necessary for Daemon to drown in Twisted Kingdom. Jaenelle finally makes it back to her body, but she does not remember anything of the trauma and has forgotten Daemon. Slowly, she becomes once again who she was and reconnect with all her friends from different realms and territories. Dorothea and Hekatah will later figure out that she's still alive and scheme for her downfall once again. Few years later, Jaenelle saves Lucivar and he comes back to SaDiabolo Hall and becomes her protector. Jaenelle is living a peaceful life till the day when the Queens and Dark Council in Terreille start invading lands that they say are "unclaimed" by humans. However, these lands are habitated by kindred animals which are animals born with Jewels and who can contact humans, if they will and if humans are listening, psychically. The Dark Council, which is under the influence of Hekatah, announces that if the lands are really claimed by kindred, then they need a human representative and under her current status, Jaenelle cannot be the representative. Although Jaenelle has power, she never wanted to rule, but she has no choice... She becomes Queen and set her court which is composed of many, many Queens and Warlord Princes who all yield their lands and territories to Jaenelle.

Before becoming the Queen, Jaenelle, through Tersa, remembers Daemon and tries to save him by guiding Daemon back to the real world. Although she is successful, she still needs to wait for him to come back to her one day... This occurs about 5 years after she officially becomes the Queen. Jaenelle might be the Queen of Darkness, Daemon finally returns as her Consort, Saetan is her Stewart, Lucivar is her first Escort and her court is powerful... however, Hekatah and Dorothea are still alive. They might only rule Terreille, but it is still enough to stir trouble. In her dreams, Jaenelle sees that the Blood is going to war against Terreille.... she also sees the consequences: very few of her friends will survive. However, she is pushed to engage in the war as Lucivar and his family, as well as Saetan are kidnapped by Hekatah. Jaenelle needs a way to be able to make the difference between the Bloods and the Bloods who've been tainted by Hekatah and Dorothea... she finally finds a way, but needs time. As a result, Daemon is sent as a decoy to Dorothea's court where he creates illusions that he betrayed Jaenelle, with the promise that when he comes back, when they've won the war, Jaenelle and him will marry. Because of Daemon's past, his stay in Twisted Kingdom and his behavior, Jaenelle's court does not trust him and the distrust becomes worst when Jaenelle gives them the interdiction to engage into war, because this goes against their nature. Finally, Jaenelle goes to war on her own with an army of dead-demons, so all the living Blood is spared. The plan is successful, everyone is freed, but Jaenelle is gravely injured...

In the end, Jaenelle will heal, but her condition is very fragile. She's also lost all her jewels and instead, have a new one, Twilight Dawn. Both Jaenelle and Daemon dance around each other for awhile, but finally, they will get married... and they will leave happily ever after.

Reviewer's opinion: that was a short synopsis right? well that's the shortest I could make and I left a lot out. The story is very good, although sometimes, I think it might exceed some boundaries. Not that I mind, but it can become very violent, brutal or crude. I like the fact that we follow Jaenelle' s growth from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. It is a very intriguing story and you want to know what happens. I really liked Jaenelle's childhood (except Briarwood), but what I really luv in this book was the relationships and personalities. I think that my fav. character is Saetan :) I've always been a sucker for those almighty characters with so much power, but face with someone they care for, they become grumpy old bear :) So the story was almost perfect, but sometimes, I got confused and that's why the 4.5 instead of 5. And I understand that Jaenelle and Daemon were meant to be together; however, you do wonder when did Jaenelle start loving Daemon... and by the way, what's their lifespan? cos Daemon is 1,700 y.o. and Jaenelle is not even 30 y.o. In addition to that, the world in which it happens is bit hard to understand, cos it's really Moyen-Age-ish, but they have nail polish, mud mask? Also, my advice is that if you are going to buy the trilogy, don't forget to include Dreams Made Flesh, because it contains the conclusion of the trilogy. It also have three other short stories worth reading :D

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Estatic news!!!

'lo :)

another quick drop-off, because my sister is waiting for my computer... I don't know why, since she has one in her room... ah well...

anyway, I had the best, best, best news of the day for a while... so, my sister just told me that in November... an Indigo bookstore will open near my house... like 15 min. by car... yep, an Indigo shop on the South Shore of Montreal... YES! I was just telling my sister I needed to start a petition for one... that's like the best news cos I've waited for it for soooo long! *natuschan flying around*

All right, what else... I've finished the Black Jewels trilogy and also the "conclusion" story in Dream Made Flesh... I'll be reading the two other stories in it before writing a review... so expect one tomorrow or this week-end.

okay, have to go...

cheers :D

Very quick update

Hello everyone,

just a very quick little update about me. I've been quite busy with my new job and that makes me tired once I get home and as a result, I have less time to read :( However, I'm still reading :D At the moment, I'm reading the Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop (recommended by Kailana, DC and Mailyn :D) You can already read their reviews at our new blog, Twisted Kingdom (I know understand the title!) By the way, the link is in the side-bar, just scroll... cos I'm too lazy to make direct link from the post. I've also bought a couple of books this week, so I'll post my purchases up :D (unfortunately, I couldn't find Slave to Sensation... damn).

Oh and just to clear out matter: I am not the same Nath that is posting at Dishing Diva in the comments section. Girls from Sanctuary's Finest, I hope you know that... I declare myself neutral over the subject matter, with only this comment: rabid fan girls are scary.

Hmmm, did I want to say anything else... oh yeah, Cindy, I love the new look of your blog :D been wanting to comment, but didn't have a chance.

latah everyone

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Some not so recent reads...

Hello everyone,

I'm a bit behind in my blogging... not that I've been reading a lot lately. it's more like books that I've finished a while ago and forgot to blog ^^; So I'll catch up on those. Lately, I've been so busy... started the new job. it's quite interesting, but I'm still figuring out what time I should work. The schedule is flexible, as long as you work 8 hours + 30 min. if you take lunch... The thing is the traffic... it would probably take 40 min. from my house to there if there wasn't any traffic... but instead, it takes me 1h15. To come home, it's even worse... can take me 2 hours ^^; One of my co-worker lives near me and she works 6:30 am to 2:30pm... It sounds strange, but at least, she misses all the traffic... but can I wake up that early? no idea... and then, I still didn't get the pass to get access to the building.

So yeah, I've spent most of my time in my car lately, not fun. Esp. since I can't read. Then, once I get home, I do this, watch that... and end up having no time for reading. sigh... if this is the work life, I'd rather remain a student.

Okay, enough about me...

The Comeback Kiss by Lani Diane Rich: 3/5

This book was a decent read, but I was a bit dissappointed by it. I've read some reviews of it in blog land and everyone seemed to enjoy the book a lot. Maybe I was expecting too much or maybe it was the mood in which I read it. So many stuff seemed unreal as I read the book. I know, it's fiction and it's romance... not realistic often happens, but in this book. I think it's because the author tried to tell a story and she wanted it to be realistic, but what she came up with... It really didn't grab my interest and makes me want to read it again. Howeever, the characters are quite attaching and likable and the book made me laugh at some point.

One Forbidden Evening by Jo Goodman: 3.5/5

So I bought this book after reading Kristie's good word for the author and review of the book. I've been reading a lot of historicals lately, much more than I normally do. So what to say about this book? I liked it because it was quite original... For once, the main character (female) wasn't a virgin! Yes! She even seduced Ferrin :P Anyway, the setting was quite a surprise for me and I have to say, it worked. What didn't work tho was the part where Cybelline went to the countries and Ferrin followed her, but under his best friend's name... The whole country part was a bit unnecessary in my opinion... Also, I don't agree with Tara Marie's opinion that the intrigue was superfluous. I thought it was a nice and interesting twist. I also liked the Cybelline's brother, Viscount Sheridan and so I'll probably look for that novel.

So basically, the story was quite good, altho perhaps a bit dragging in the middle. I enjoyed it and liked how different this book was from the zillions other historicals.

You Made me Love you by C.J. Carmicheal: 2.5/5

This book wasn't bad, but I think it wasn't enough. It seems she had so many characters that the author tried to develop that she neglected the plot a bit. I liked the characters because they all seem quite realistic. The setting of the books wasn't bad either, but quite frankly, I didn't like Simone, the dead wife. I didn't like the ending, because it was quite predictable. The murderer turned out to be the only one in the group of friends who didn't get any attention.... no much suspense.

Anyway, not a bad book, but could have been better. Also, quite a forgettable book. It doesn't impact the readers much.

So, last but not least...

Match me if you can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips: 3/5

This is the book I managed to read this week and quite frankly, I didn't read it all. Why? Well, I read the ending, which I quite enjoyed. Then start the book over and didn't really like the beginning. So basically, I've read from the middle to the end :P
I liked Annabelle, but poor girl... to be stucked with that kind of family? Argh... I understand the parents, but even the big bros... all her family makes her sound like she's mentally retarded instead of , not independant, but rebellious. As for Heath Champion, he was an okay guy.... but what a work-alcoholic. Lucky they had that prenup contract :P So yeah, the story wasn't so bad, but the beginning wasn't so interesting either. You have the usual: guy's looking for a wife and he has an image in mind, but he ends up falling in love, altho he can't admit it, with the complete opposite of what he was looking for.

By the way, I know ppl like to read series and I guess it's easier for the author to write them, but please... when is it too much. I mean, how many couples did we have to re-visit in this book? 4-5? man... and she keeps introducing football players! argh! Oh, and Pippi (altho, very ugly nickname) and her cell phone fetish was hilarious. So was the Smurf part too.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Review: The Protector by Gennita Low

Where do I start with this book? Oh yeah... I'll start by saying this: I read books for pleasure, for enjoyment... that's probably why I never enjoyed the books we were assigned in school. I read fiction, because I think it's light and fun, because they are stories. I particularly like romance, because what's better than seeing two persons fall in love and get together? I don't care what other ppl think of romance, I don't care that some of my friends laugh at my choices of reading... I read to have fun and that's it. I have enough work, stress and other stuff to worry about. I don't want to read anything too deep, to heavy... I don't even like reading classics (even if they are romance)... I find them too much for me... too serious. So you'll never catch me reading books about philosophy, sciences, religion or even biography... Do you think less of me? Well I hope not, but if you do, that's your problem, not mine... and your loss too.

So why start by saying this? Because it's explain why I didn't enjoy The Protector.

The Protector by Gennita Low: 2/5

Here's the blurb of the book:
When the best of intentions gets Jazz arrested overseas, he couldn’t be more surprised to find Vivi Verreau ready to spring him out of jail. Obviously more than the civilian she claims to be, he’s sure Vivi is hiding an agenda... and he’s determined to stick by her side until he uncovers all her secrets.

A covert agent who shrouds herself in disguises, and who fearlessly jumps into dangerous situations without thoughts for her own safety, Vivi has no need for a protector. But if she is to have any hope of completing her most important mission, she’ll have no choice but to recruit Jazz and his men.
Huh? That blurb is complete BS and it really doesn't give a clue of what's going to happen in the book. I had so much trouble getting into the book and so much trouble with the book... I'm going to try to be coherent, but I'm not even sure I completely understood the book. So Jazz, real name Zola Zelingue, is overseas... somewhere in Asia, if I got that right - I'm not even sure... He's a SEAL and is enjoying some time in a bar after a mission. He sees a woman being harrassed by two other soldiers and come to her rescue... Jazz is not your hard heart man... he's mellow. So he gives the girl some $$, hoping that she won't have to prostitute herself for a couple of day and for some reasons, they end up in a room... and Jazz gets arrested by Interpol (?!?) because they think Jazz is buying the girl for sex...

Vivi Verreau is from GEM (unknown acronym), acting as the liaison between Interpol and an organization, I think it's something like the Third World, who's goal is to stop American military to buy the favors of young girls that are forced into prostitution by their family because of their poverty. That organization is trying to get funds from the UN, so every soldier that pay a woman counts. Anyway, Vivi is trying to "save" the girls from their faith, altho she knows she can't do much. So Vivi ends up helping Jazz out, because she needs him and his team for some mission: arresting an internation pimp and extracting the girls the pimp intend to sell.

Okay... as I say, I read for my enjoyment. I usually have no problem when my books contain murders and crimes. I actually like when the goal of the characters is to catch some very very bad guy... you know, the characters achieve something and at the end, they're all happy because they've done something good and readers are also happy, because well the story ends well... you know that what was the problem is over... but poverty and prostitution in a third world country?!?! How in the world do you end that? I mean, at the end of the book, poverty and prostitution still going to happen... I guess the author want to sensibilize her readers to real issues: prostitution, poverty and we're not talking about industrialized countries poverty... we're talking about a poverty where the ppl are doomed and probably won't ever be able to get out of... and also, military abusing their powers and status overseas... Very serious issues... that I don't want to know about. Maybe I'm heartless, but after reading a book like The Protector, I feel as powerless as Vivi and I feel guilty because I'm living a good life. Yes, I'm aware of those problems, but it is NOT my cause.. I'm sad when I hear about it, shake my head and wish someone could do something... I'll probably donate money for the causes, but will I actively get involved... no. Am I a bad person? Dunno.

So yeah, didn't get my "high", great feeling after reading this book. As for the love story, because after all, this is a romantic suspense book... I didn't see the chemistry between Jazz and Vivi... at all. I actually thought Vivi was quite annoying. I'm not sure I enjoy the GEM agency either. I have no problem with women in the army or any agency, but hey, you're still women. don't start acting like guys please.

So this is a book I'll definitively be passing on... Now, my dilemma is that I still have 2 other books by this author. Do I skip completely or give her another opportunity?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Into the Storm

Hello everyone,

sorry for the lack of updates lately... but it should pick up again soon :) US Open just finished, (Maria Sharapova just won against my fave Justine Henin-Hardenne... NOOOOOOOOO!!!) Anyway, that means I'll have more time to read. In addition, I just finished my internship for my master degree :D That means that I'll be more free, even if I'm starting a new job Monday. The new job doesn't require me to think too much, so more time to read. Altho I still have a seminar and thesis to prepare for the winter, I'm going to take a short break :) So youppi! more reading! I have a couple of books in my TBR pile to finish, so I'll try to do that ;) Meanwhile, I read Ames' review of Into the Storm and got curious so I bought the book (yes, bought... I'm impulsive, what can I say?) and here's what I think of it.

I don't want to grade this book, because it wouldn't be a fair grading to the book... So here we go:

Into the Storm by Suzanne Brockmann

I can't muster the same enthusiasm for this book as Ames and I did try a lot. I like the review Ames gave, but I had a lot of difficulty to get into the book. My first problem is the number of characters. I haven't read all the books by Ms Brockmann and so I lack a lot of background and details... and believe me, you'll need all of them, so her books are really not stand-alone, but that, I knew already. By the way, if you really want a synopsis or an idea of what's happening in the book, I'm directing you to Ames' review.

So about the story, I thought a lot happened and nothing at the same time. Contradictory? Yeah, that's howI feel about this book. I mean, it's not like NOTHING NOTHING happened, it seemed a bit forced. They do special training, simulations and it's like a game between them... The readers are aware of the bad evil guy, but not the Troubleshooters or SEALS... It seems the evil guy was added just to have something happening at the end. To put some pressure, some feeling of danger. If she'd taken another route, I think the book would still be as entertaining. If you're not going to run or track the evil guy, by the way, this guy was really, really evil, then why have him in it at all? So yeah, the plot was okay, but nothing really catchy.

If the book was to win my heart, it would be for the relationships in the books. However, it got me more confused than anything else. Jenkins wasn't a bad hero, but he wasn't all that appealing. I'll give thumbs up to Lindsey tho :) however, I think that she should have dealt with her doubts about her origins earlier... but then again, if her father didn't, why would she? I also wonder why in most of the Troubleshooters/SEALS books, why can't the relationships be more straightforward? why always put obstacles in the way.... because most of the time, Ms Brockmann put HUGE obstacles in the way. Anyway... Dave, Decker and Sophia... my god, what a love triangle. Personally, I'm rooting for Dave and Sophia, but I doubt my wishes are going to come true. So yeah, I thought there was too many relationships problem going on: Lindsey+Jerkins, the love triangle btw Dave, Decker and Sophia, by the way, what's up with all the men hitting on Sophia? and Izzy and Tracy... too many characters, again, Ms Brockmann is setting up her future stories that we might or might not read in her next novel.

Basically, my opinion on the Troubleshooters/SEALS books stand: I'm not a fan. I tried reading Into the Night as well... boy, not my favorite either and it started well, but it just went downhill. So if you're a fan of the Troubleshooters/SEALS, you'll probably enjoy this book. If you're new to Ms Brockmann books, you might want to read them in order to enjoy them better.

ps - One thing I really liked, altho I wish Ms Brockmann would have expanded on it, Mallory and Sully got married :D by the way, do they appear in any of the other books?


Just testing, it seems my blog is acting weirdly... sigh...


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Review: Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas

So, another late day at the lab... I'm waiting for various stuff to happen, so I'm quickly going to write my review for Dreaming of You. This book was a favorite of KristieJ and also, Dylan and Isabelle from Sanctuary's Finest have recently given this book great reviews and so I got curious to read it, esp. after being disappointed by Devil in the Winter.

Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas: 4.5/5

I have to say I can quite understand why the book is one of Kristie's favorite and why it has received great reviews. Can I say: Finally, a good/original plot for a historical romance?!?!

For once, the hero and the heroine are BOTH NOT PART of the aristocracy :) This came as a good surprise and a nice change of pace... can I say I was getting tired of dukes, viscounts, marquess, etc.? As for th heroine, altho she was innocent, she wasn't a young naive girl whose goal in life was to find a wealthy, handsome husband... ahh, an original plot! :)

So the heroine is Sara Fielding who comes from a village near London. She's a writer (yes, she works!), who is published, and has had great success with her novel Mathilda, which is about a girl falling into protistution. anyway, Sara is doing some research for her new novel about gambling which leads her to gambling clubs and some bad parts of London. One night, she sees a man being attacked by two others and so, she takes out her pistol and shoots one of the attackers and saves the life of Derek Craven, owner of the most frequent and popular gaming club.

Eventually, she gets permission to do her research from Derek's club and gets to know Derek and his past better. Unfortunately for her, Derek doesn't trust women but little by little, Sara wins Derek's affection... however, there's one of Derek's ex-mistress looming behind and only waiting to destroy any happiness that can exist between Derek and Sara.

So, I really liked the book. Derek is a very nice hero... you know, the way we all like it: alpha, reformed rake, a bit tortured, doesn't believe in his worth, etc :) and Sara is an extremely interesting heroine. I also find the plot quite refreshing and I like the fact that there is no misunderstanding between Derek and Sara once they get married. You know, Derek is not able to say "I love you" to Sara, not yet; however, he loves her and she knows it... no misunderstanding, no doubting, just love and patience and understanding which is quite different. Another pleasant surprise, at least for me, is that I read Devil in Winter first and so you do have some connection. Derek's club is mentioned in DiW and the fact that it burnt down and that he didn't re-build it, we also see Ivo Jenner... so nice connections :)

Review: Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

hello everyone :)

so, how was the labor day week-end? I was quite busy and so I'm a bit behind blogging the books i've read, updating my side-bar, visiting other blogs and leaving comments :) I'll try to catch up tho, promise. The good news is that i've been reading a few books and i have some reviews :) so here we go:

Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward: 4/5

Lots of ppl were anticipating the book, lots of ppl have been cruising the book stores to get their hands on it and lots of ppl have read it over the week-end. I wasn't anticipating the book that much... altho I did love Dark Lover, first of book of the series, Lover Eternal wasn't that good and so I wasn't counting down the days for Lover Awakened release. Of course, it was on my "To buy" list, but I could have waited... only, I needed to buy 6 books in order to reach 50$ and use the gift card I got during August and so I bought it :P

So, Lover Awakened basically picks up where Lover Eternal left off: Bella has been kidnapped and Zsadist is going berseck. In the end, all you need to know is that Bella is rescued and that eventually, she'll mate with Zsadist... Yes, I know, this synopsis is not really good, but it's better than the blurb of the book... and can't say much without spoiling the book too much. Anyway, if you want to discuss the book, I think that Sybil has a thread (or many threads) going on at her blog, so you can go there.

My opinion? I enjoyed this book and liked it better than Lover Eternal, altho I don't think it can beat Dark Lover. Those who loves tortured hero, Zsadist is one... even his name is a give away :P Why did I enjoy this book so much? I didn't care much for the romance in the book, but what I liked was Zsadist evolution and also, the story is moving and there's much more interactions between the characters than in Lover Eternal. You get to know Phury who so far has received very little attention, altho what he turns out to be surprised me a bit. I really like John Matthew, altho his world has been rocked again by a major event. So yeah, the plot is moving, the story is going somewhere and I'm glad. I'm not sure about Butch story yet, but it's getting quite interesting...