Novel Review: MacRieve by Kresley Cole


It’s probably been a year since I’ve read any books for personal pleasure. It’s odd. Reading had been such a large part of my life, I almost feel a since of wrongness by not doing it. A little straight talk before the review.

I officially log 2013 as the worst year of my life. I spent pretty much the first half of the year depressed and in tears. It’s amazing how depression can sap the motivation right out of a person. Though no longer depressed, I spent most of the last half of 2013 recuperating from the first half and trying to get my feet under solid ground.

And here we are today. I only mist a little when I talk about the first half of 2013. I love what the future holds. Lately, I’ve been reintroducing the things I enjoyed in the past into my life. I smile and laugh spontaneously. And now… I’m reading again.

Since I’ve been out of the book world so long, I didn’t want to ruin the experience by choosing just any book. So, I went with my favorite author… Kresley Cole. And, I tell you… she didn’t disappoint.

I picked up MacRieve last week and finished it this morning. So my thoughts.

This story didn’t progress The Ascension along as much as I’d hoped. In fact, I can’t say it did anything for the big picture. Well, I learned of a couple behind the scenes deaths… or maybe it was one. We get a bit of a cliff hanger of a major player from Torture Island. Other than that… nothing really to progress the overall plot.

As for the romance (Chloe & Will), there wasn’t anything unique or special about it. Nothing to stand out. It was Kresley Cole’s basic, guy finds life mate and screws things up royally with her. He treats her like trash because of his past but won’t give her up. Then he has to find a way to win her over again. Same old, same old. 🙂

The sex seemed a bit different. It was more like something I’d imagine in a porn movie. Spankings, dirty words, and rough.

So if nothing is unique about this book, why did I like it? Well, it wasn’t bad… just not overly special. I think I liked it so much because I’ve been out of the book world for so long. It’s like watching horror movies to the point that nothing phases you. Then going on a horror movies sabbatical for a few years, only to cringing at everything. I think that’s where I am.

So I’ll give this book 3.5 stars. It’s definitely not my favorite. However, it was well written and enjoyable.

On another note. I told my husband I wanted another book. He said, “Maybe you should savor books rather than reading it all in one sitting.” What gives?

Novel Review: The Zero Knot by K.Z. Snow

I’ve been really slacking on reviews. Well, today, I’m going to try and knock out some of the ones I promised but failed to deliver. First up, The Zero Knot by K.Z. Snow. I picked this book up from the NetGalley thinking it was a young adult M/M novel. 🙂 Before my reception, the blurb from Ms. Snow’s website:

The Domino Club — a teenage version of a secret society, formed by four small-town friends to explore their bisexuality. Two years into his membership, Jess Bonner has had enough. He isn’t bi, he’s gay, but he’s just been afraid to admit it. He’s also an 18-year-old bound for college and bent on making a break from pretense.

When Dylan “Mig” Finch admits he’s also gay and fed up with the club, he and Jess give in to a mutual attraction that’s been building for years. Mig isn’t college-bound, but he’s one of the finest people Jess has ever known.

As the young men struggle to define their relationship and determine their priorities, forces they can’t seem to control keep tripping them up: sexual appetite, personal insecurities, fear of discovery, and more.

They need clarity. They need courage. Just as they’re on the verge of finding both, an act of vindictive jealousy sends one of them to jail. All their hard-won victories are in danger of falling to dust. 

The only way to save what they have is to recognize and declare it for what it is . . . and fight for its integrity. 

I’ve been dying to try a young adult M/M romance. I’ve read a few m/m adult romances and have had a hard time getting into them. I’d hope adding the young adult element would pull me in where other novels had not. What I found was although this is a coming-of-age novel, it is NOT a young adult novel. Yes, the protagonists are young (18), but the sexual scenes are very adult. While the level of sex in the novel surprised me, it didn’t detract from the work at all. In fact, I loved the realism, which really helped make it into a discovery, coming-of-age novel. Well done, Ms. Snow!

When I first read the prologue, I was apprehensive about this piece. The prologue didn’t grab me at all, and after reading the entire book, I wish it’d been omitted. If nothing else, it would have been nice for me to the type of person to skip prologues. After the first chapter though, the book had me hooked.

One of the passages I loved from the Zero Knot was:

“You weren’t a Freebird who’d soon be earthbound. You were an alien, and you’d never be anything else.”

It’s such a beautiful truth. A big part of adolescence and even life in general is about finding yourself, trying to fit in. But what happens when you figure out you’ll never fit in the way society expects you to? No matter the outside image you portray, you’ll always be you inside… and that you is different from the established norm.

That sums up The Zero Knot in the nutshell — young men, despite living outside the social norm, coming to terms with who they are. Throughout it all, Ms. Snow splashed enough humor to keep me laughing when I wanted to cry about the injustice of an unfair world.

Who I’d recommend The Zero Knot to? That’s a tough one. I want to say everyone because the story line was so touching and provided such understanding. However, the graphic nature of some sex scenes makes this work suitable for adults. Parents should definitely read this one through before they consider passing it along to their teen.

Bottom line: I loved it. I’ll definitely be looking for more works by K.Z. Snow.

The Zero Knot is Available at: Barnes & NoblesThe Book Depository

Novel Review: Tomorrow Is Today (Tempest 0.5) by Julie Cross

After reading Tempest by Julie Cross (see review here), I head over to Goodreads to see when I’d get my next fix. Would you believe she already had a short story prequel? Woot! I dug right in. The blurb from Goodreads:

The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, throws lots of parties, is interested in a girl he can’t have, and oh yeah, he can travel back through time.But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

This was a short read; this will be a short review.

I read this and totally wanted more. I absolutely love Julie Cross’s style of writing. The humor is fantastic. My only issue with this prequel is it left me sort of hanging. I’d hoped to find out how Jackson and Holly became an item, but it was more of a snippet of their relationship while Holly was dating David.

So basically, it was a decent read, but missed the mark in terms of filling in the “how did it happen?” elements from Tempest.

I’m really looking forward to the sequel of Tempest.

Tomorrow is Today is a free read. PICK IT UP!

Novel Review: Wild & Steamy (Anthology)

Mind Games by Carolyn Crane (see review here) was one of my favorite reads of 2010. I believe I only had 3 books in 2010 which hit my favorite reads that year. Well, when I saw this anthology, I snagged it. I feel like I’ve had it on my to-read list forever, but it’s only been out since August 2011. Before we get to the review, the blurbs from Goodreads:

The Blushing Bounder by Meljean Brook – An Iron Seas novella of 15,000 words: The search for a killer puts Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth’s life in danger and her assistant, Constable Newberry, in the line of fire. But Newberry faces a danger of another kind: to his heart, by the woman forced to marry him. What will it take for this prudish bounder to convince his wife to stay?

Vixen by Jill Myles – A shifter novella of 15,000 words: Miko’s denied her were-fox nature for far too long and turned her back on her vixen heritage. But when she meets two very sexy cat-shifters, she has to decide if she truly wants to give up on her frisky side, or embrace it. Because the were-fox in her doesn’t want to choose between both men…it wants them both. 

Kitten-tiger & the Monk by Carolyn Crane – A Disillusionists novella of 20,000 words: Sophia Sidway, Midcity’s most dangerous memory revisionist, seeks out the mysterious Monk in the wasteland beneath the Tangle turnpike, hoping for redemption…but it turns out that the Monk is not all that pious, and the turnpike is no turnpike at all.

This anthology was quick enough, I was able to knock it out in a day. Definitely what I needed at the end of 2011. I might make my Goodreads Challenge yet!

The Blushing Bounder by Meljean Brook ~ My first introduction to a Brook’s work was in the Burning Up anthology. Brook’s work was entitled Here There Be Monsters (see review here). I totally loved her writing style. Later I picked up The Iron Duke (see review here). Though I’m not a fan of detective stories, her writing was still A+.

Once again, Ms. Brooks does an excellent job with bringing her Iron Sea world to life in The Blushing Bounder. Brooks definitely has style when it comes to writing. My biggest gripe with this work was it seemed incomplete. The romance was cold then hot. It really lacked any sort of build up. One moment the heroine was standoffish and completely uninterested. Next thing I knew, she was in love. In my prior experience with Ms. Brook, she presented herself as a STRONG mystery writer. In this story, the mystery lacked substance and was only solved on a basic level. What was the motive?

Vixen by Jill Myles ~ If I’m not mistaken, this was my first encounter with a Jill Myles work. It wasn’t bad and I may or may not look for more of her works. One thing for certain, paranormal romances are a tough sell these days. It seems like everything’s been done. That’s the issue I faced with Ms. Myles’ story. Like I said, it wasn’t a bad read, and still entertaining, but the story lacked freshness and was quite predictable. Still, the sex scene was quite steamy.

One item which has me all twisted is the idea of wild cats with a fox… odd to say the least. I wonder if her other books mix and match like that.

Kitten-tiger & the Monk by Carolyn Crane ~ Of the three stories, Ms. Crane’s work was the weakest. I was actually rather bummed, because she was the main reason I purchased this anthology. Majority of this story was backstory… I wouldn’t be surprised if 75% of it was backstory with the remaining working on the relationship between Kitten-Tiger and the Monk. Even the relationship portion was highly predictable.

One interesting item about this work is it’s in past tense. I remember Mind Games throwing me for a loop when I first started reading it. I don’t recall ever reading a book in present tense before Mind Games. It took some major adapting for me. After reading Kitten-Tiger and the Monk, I kind of wished Ms. Crane had stayed in the present tense. It might have discouraged her from loading the work with backstory.

I’m not sure if Wild & Steamy was a free read when I picked it up, but it might be now. I know it was last week.