Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book: The Fetish Box, Parts One and Two by Nicole Camden

Formatting kinda sucks, and that matters to me.

Part One and Part Two are both pretty short, so I'm unclear on why this series is being published as separate parts.  I imagine Part Three is also fairly short.

Part One ends right when Mary gets in the house with John, the same day she arrives.

Writing is a bit uneven, with places where words are overused and there’s extraneous detail.  Point of view jumps a bit, even within chapters, though it got less confusing the further I read.

Part Two starts out at the exact moment that Part One ends, with the sexual encounter between John and Mary, and gets right to business.

It also ends at a critical point in the story, the day after she arrives.

The plot is different - young girl inherits a couple of businesses from a mom she never knew, and moves lock, stock and barrel across the country to run them.  They are not really what she expects, though the surprise is a pleasant one, and she is up for the challenge.  The secondary and tertiary characters are interesting enough that I'd like to get to know some of them better, though the two parts I read focus on Mary, John and Max.

Much as I might like to get to know these characters better, I don’t enjoy waiting for bits and pieces to roll out, divided at unnatural stopping places.

Book: Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

Received a digital copy of the book via NetGalley for the purposes of review.  The book is available for purchase 02/12/2013.

Fun. Well-written. Only caught two errors. Reworked fanfiction (don't know what fandom), but in a completely different class than Fifty Shades. Aside from the lack of kinky fuckery, this is what Fifty Shades wished it was, and I liked FS, too. There’s kink here, it’s just less obvious, and frankly, somewhat hotter.

The relationship between Bennett and Chloe reminds me of Battlestar Galactica's Lee and Kara, my all-time favorite fictional couple; they fight like cats and dogs, but underneath they actually care about each other, and take far too long to figure it out and admit to it, then once they do, the relationship is still not all sunshine and roses and puppies.

There's another book expected out late spring, and I look forward to reading that one as soon as possible. This author duo has my attention.

Book: The Moon Stealers and the Quest for the Silver Bough

I received a digital copy of this book, to review for Addicted to Books.

I think this is a YA book, and it’s a pretty good example of why I don’t read much in this genre: it’s by turns simplistic and overly expositional, written for younger teens and tweens, without much appeal to an older audience.  There is some attempt to counteract that with a B story about an MI-6 agent and aliens, and those chapters are markedly different in writing style and tone than the ones that focus on the main plot.  I'm not sure how the disparate stories are intended to connect with each other.

I had trouble making myself read this one - there are too many “main” characters and the story itself wasn’t very compelling to me.  I found myself skimming paragraphs, trying to find a more interesting piece of the puzzle.

In addition, it ends at a very odd place, not right in the middle of a scene, but close to it.  Obviously, the author plans to release a sequel or sequels; I am not interested enough to read more.

Book: Already Home by Susan Mallery

Got a print copy of this book from the author, in exchange for a review. This is more stream of consciousness than review, so not up to my usual standards. Sorry.

Jenna is a complex character, a woman with a real flair for cooking and a serious inferiority complex in the kitchen, thanks to her ex-husband. She packs up her life post-divorce and moves back to her hometown, where she decides on a whim to open a kitchen/cooking store. Running said store is not all she thought it would be, and the trials and tribulations can be funny.

She has a great relationship with her adoptive mom and dad, and has never had any interest in searching for or getting to know her birth parents. Guess who shows up right in the big middle of her remaking her life? I figured out what her birth mother's agenda was pretty quickly - it seemed logical to me, though I don't think it was telegraphed much - maybe not at all. I have to confess to not really liking her birth mother, even by the end of the book. Maybe because I had a mother like that, and it pushed too many buttons for me.

The B story of her getting back into dating was not as satisfying for me for some reason. I didn't really connect with Ellington - he seemed too good to be true, and even at the end of the story, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and for him to turn out to be some jackass.

The other B story of her store manager Violet's relationship woes is actually pretty compelling, and I'd like to read more about her. She's got a convoluted backstory, and I look forward to learning more about that. I adore Jenna's dad's solution to her big problem.

Jenna's birth brother Dragon is very interesting, and I definitely want to read more about him. He sounds like just my kind of not-quite-bad boy.