Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fall Into Reading : Weekly Question (#3)

I'm finally on time with this question *pats self*. Fall Into Reading is a reading challenge hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days. This week's question for the Fall Into Reading challenge is:

Where do you love to read? Do you have a favorite chair, a favorite room, a favorite place…somewhere that inspires you to put everything else aside and pick up a book?

There are few places that really get me into that reading mood. It doesn't have anything do to with noise or how many people are around me, it's mostly related to how comfy I feel.

Where I read: I love reading in my room, in bed, under a very warm blanket (if it's cold, otherwise no blanket for me :P). I love reading in bed because I can sit however I want for how long I want, especially since my bed in kinda huge.

I also love to read when I'm at the beach. The sound of the waves hitting the shore is the perfect soundtrack for almost any book. I also love reading when I'm on a bus or a train, even if I sometimes forget to check the station, see if I passed the one I was supposed to arrive to.

This might make me a bad student, but if the class is boring, I'll take out the book in my bag and start reading. I haven't gotten caught before, lucky me. But it's either be silent and read or leave the classroom and loose time doing nothing. I choose reading every time.

What inspires me to read: Well,  it depends. Like I said before, I love the sound of waves, so that's one source of inspiration. Also, the sound of rain makes me want to read. Old music makes a good soundtrack for books, mostly because some of them are slow and they don't distract me with catchy beats. I find it difficult to read when I'm feeling like I just got locked into an oven. If it's really hot outside, I can't exactly concentrate. I prefer either just warm or somewhat cold weather for reading. I know, I'm weird like that :P.

Where do you like to read?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Review: Make Me, Sir by Cherise Sinclair

Make Me, Sir (Masters of the Shadowlands, #5)

Author: Cherise Sinclair
Series: Masters of Shadowlands #5
Blurb: (from Goodreads)

Her job is to make his life miserable. His job is to make her submit. Whose heart will surrender first?
Across the country, rebellious BDSM submissives are being systematically kidnapped, one from each club. When her friend falls prey to the slavers, FBI victim specialist Gabrielle volunteers to be bait in a club not yet hit: the Shadowlands.
She finds that being a bratty sub comes naturally, especially when she gets to twit the appallingly conservative Master of the trainees. But she soon discovers he's not as stuffy as she'd thought. Or as mean. She'd expected punishment, even humiliation, but she sure never expected to fall in love with a damned lawyer.
Courtesy of a prima donna ex-wife, Marcus loathes disobedient submissives. When the club owner insists he admit an incredibly bratty trainee, he's furious. But as he comes to know Gabrielle and sees the alluring sweetness beneath the sass, he starts to fall for her.
Unfortunately, Marcus isn't the only one who believes the feisty redhead is a prize worth capturing. And in the world of the slaver, such treasure is worth a hefty fee.

While waiting for the next Master of the Shadowlands Club, Master Raoul, to get his story, I've decided a little re-read is in order. Though I reread some of the scenes that I liked most in the series before, this is the third time I actually read the entire book, without skipping any scenes.

The thing I like most about Master Marc is that he is nowhere near perfect. Yes, he's gorgeous and yes, he's a successful lawyer. But he's the kind of guy that makes mistakes. I think the ones who've read the book can imagine the scene that made me want to shake the guy. And yet right after that he apologizes and tried to make things better. But, let's face it, all of Ms. Sinclair's heroes are charmers. What I totally loved about him was the fact that he surprised me so much. When he was first introduced, I couldn't see him as someone who could easily turn his dominant side off and just have fun. Maybe it was Gabi who made him be more playful.

Gabi is a very complex woman. I think she's the best friend someone can have, the kind of friend that would do anything for those she cares about, even if it means putting herself in danger. Gabi doesn't care that she has to face two sets of demons (the really bad guys and her past traumas), she all she cares about is her friend and rescuing her. I liked that about her. I also loved her sarcasm and her humor. I think she's the best girl for Marc. She forces him to relearn how to have fun and I'm sure Marc needed that.

We also get some glimpses into the lives of the couples that already had their stories told. I love it when an author manages to do that, when even if their book is over and they're not the main characters anymore, the past heroes and heroines aren't forgotten.

The next book in the series, To Command and Collar, is only 14 days away. I can't wait for Master Raoul's story.

My Rating:
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Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser today is from Lethal Remedy by Richard L. Mabry:

Lethal Remedy (Prescription for Trouble, #4)

Three hours later, John Doe lay on a gurney in a corner of the ER. An IV ran into one arm, a blood pressure cuff encircled the other. Spittle dripped from his open mouth and dotted his unshaven chin. His eyes were open and staring. 

Remember my review of the book Diagnosis Death by the same author? Well, Lethal Remedy is the fourth (and latest) book in the series Prescription for Trouble. Hopefully, this book won't be the last. I really liked the previous book.

So that's my teaser for the week. What's yours?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Book Review: Cedardale Court by Nathan Lee Christensen

Cedardale Court

Author: Nathan Lee Christensen
Blurb: (from Goodreads)

Cedardale Court is a neo-gothic murder mystery with enough fools and old flames to keep you happily mixed up for most of a long weekend. When Canner Connelly and his daughter, Chloe, move in with their Uncle Henry, and a simple drainage problem turns a normal Sunday morning into a slightly darker affair, it's not easy to tell where everyone might end up, or if they'll even make it at all.

About the book

Picture a small town, where everyone knows everyone. You know when your neighbor is having a fight with his wife, when the old lady living next door is cooking, when somebody new is into town or when your neighbor is physically abusing his wife. Every day is the same and news travel really fast. So when a body is found chopped into hundreds of pieces after an accident, everyone knows about it. The victim is a school teacher with a lot of secrets.

The characters in this book are amazing. You have the grumpy old guy in love with his neighbor, the nice old lady next door, the couple that fights every single day, the depressed guy who doesn't have the will to "not die". In the middle of this town full of colorful characters Canner Connelly and his daughter, Chloe, try to find peace, to escape from the suffering that has been haunting them for the past 10 years.

What I liked

I loved how the author managed to get inside every character's mind, the way Mr. Christensen leaves the reader to get to know all of them better. And I think he does it wonderfully. It didn't leave me with a sense of exhaustion or with the feeling that I didn't need to know a certain detail. And he did so, while keeping the mystery and the suspense up to date and it didn't feel like the action wasn't moving. You have many subplots that develop or are revealed while the main plot is moving forward. Even if at times a subplot forces you to turn back in time, you actually understand the reasons for that.

Every character has a voice and I think it's what gives this book a complex feeling.

What I didn't like

It's not exactly a thing that I didn't like, it's more of a question of how I viewed Chloe. She didn't seem like a ten year old girl to me. I felt her more like a twelve, even thirteen year old girl. And it's not because she's more mature than the other girls her age. Maybe it's because of her story and the story of her parents, that may have forced her to act like she's older.

I think this is a good book and for being a debut novel, I think it's even more amazing. I definitely enjoyed reading this book and I can't wait for the next book by Mr. Christensen.

My Rating:
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fall Into Reading : Weekly Question (#2)

Fall Into Reading is a reading challenge hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days. This week's question for the Fall Into Reading challenge is:

Is there a book that has had a tremendous impact on your life? One that made you look at life in a whole new way, or caused you to completely change something in your life?

There isn't a book that has changed the way I view world but there is a book that changed my life, so to speak. I was a very lucky kid and teenager. The reason for my luck was that my parents never bugged me about my reading - or lack of it. They never forced me to read, not even the books the teachers wanted us to read at school. If I was to read a book, it was because I felt the need to read. So they pretty much let me discover the world of books on my own. I won't say I'm very proud of my younger self and my "fear" of reading, because I'm not. But like I said earlier, I discovered it alone, without being forced into it.

I had already read Harry Potter, and a few other books before that, but they weren't enough to convince me to read. They never were. So a year after reading Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone a friend from school convinced me to try Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. I had already seen the movie The Fellowship of the Ring and he swore to me the book was better than the movie. I finally decided to try it about three or four months after seeing the movie. The trilogy represented a lot of firsts for me at the time: the first book I've ever bought for me, from my savings, the first big book (or books) I've read until that point, the first book I read in about two weeks. And it also made me realize that the world of books was a fascinating one and a world that was worth exploring.

So that's my story. What book changed your life or your view on world?

There's also a bonus question this week:

How is your Fall Into Reading coming along? Are you on track? Ahead of schedule? Falling behind?

Well...*sheepish* I'm a little behind. I've read more than I had in min, that's not the bad part. The bad part is that out of the books I wanted to read, I only read one. I still have time, and I intend to use that time reading only the books I wanted to read. I'm also about 30 books behind my annual reading goal, so I have to get on track here. I can say that I honestly have no real reason for falling behind on the Fall Into Reading challenge.

How about you? How's the challenge going?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser today is from Cedardale Court by Nathan Lee Christensen

“Oh my God.”
“Yes, sir. When we began this morning, we thought we might find a body that happened to be missing hand. But, after some of the sewer sludge was cleared away, this is what we got.”

Cedardale Court

What's your teaser this week?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Into Reading : Weekly Question (#1)

I'm a little late at the party, having completely forgotten about answering the questions. Alas, I will start answering with the latest question:

When it comes to fiction, are you more of a “plot person” or a “character person”? If you had to choose, which concept would win out when it comes to picking and loving a book: plot or character?

I'm a very picky reader. The first thing I notice in a book is the plot. I usually read the blurbs after ogling at the covers to figure out if the story feels interesting to me. If I decide that I might like the book, the two concepts are at the same level when it comes to their importance. I love a well-developed plot. It doesn't have to be suspense or mystery or anything. It just has to be there and it has to be good. Or it can be less than good, but without plot-holes, without those moments when you frown and realize there seem to be chunks of story missing. At the same time though, the characters need to be well developed too. 

Picture the best book you've ever read, in terms of plot. Now take out the characters you know and put some new, poorly developed characters in the story. It seems lacking to me. I need to like the characters to be fully able to enjoy the plot. I can do without one or the other, but for me a good book is the one that has both.

And this works in reverse too. I have to like the plot to enjoy the characters. You may have the best characters in the world, if you don't have a plot that does justice to those characters, the story lacks something.

What about you? What would you choose between plot and characters?

Book Review: The Heart of a Killer by Jaci Burton

The Heart of a Killer (The Killer, #1)
Author: Jaci Burton
Series: The Killer #1
Blurb: (from Goodreads)

Before the Special Forces hero has even unpacked his bags from twelve years of active duty, he's embroiled in murder—corpses bearing the brutal trademark he's seen only once before—on the worst night of his life.
The last time Detective Anna Pallino saw Dante Renaldi, they were in love. Now, he's part of the connection to a string of fresh homicides and a horrible assault Anna only survived thanks to him.
More than anything, Anna wants to trust Dante. But as the bodies and the coincidences stack up, Anna will have to decide, and fast: Is the man she owes her life to the very same one who wants her dead?

I've been reading Ms Burton's books for years now and I've never encountered a book that I didn't like. This book is no exception.

The first book in the series The Killer, The Heart of a Killer is a wonderful story of teenage lovers reunited, second chances and a serial killer. If there's one author that can make this story work, I think that's Jaci Burton. 

First of all, I loved the fact that I couldn't figure out who the killer was. I was absolutely shocked when the killer was revealed and even more when his motives surfaced. I did not expect that. And I think that's what makes a good suspense, or at least for me. The not knowing something. It's not suspense for me if I can anticipate, you know?

Second, the characters were amazing and complex. Dante was a bad boy as a teenager and twelve years haven't changed him that much. He's still a bad boy, only his lethal now. The army polished him, making him more dangerous, sexier and more mature. He is still in love with Anna, even after not seeing her for over a decade, and he's willing to do anything to protect her. He's also very fond of his foster brothers, even if he didn't keep in contact with them. I'm guessing he didn't do it because of the temptation of coming back.

Anna is very different than when she was a teenager. If she was shy and innocent and sweet before her attack, now she is tougher, more serious and more careful about who to trust. Even so, I think she too couldn't forget Dante, although I'm sure she tried. 

I think this series will be a very good one. I can't wait for the next book, see if we're going to find out more about Gabe. 

My Rating:
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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Book Review: The Guardian by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The Guardian (Dark-Hunter, #21; Dream-Hunter, #5)

Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Dark Hunters #21; Dream Hunters #5
Blurb: (from Goodreads)

Dream-Hunter Lydia has been charged with the most sacred and dangerous of missions: To descend into the Nether Realm and find the missing god of dreams before he betrays the secrets that could kill her and her kind. What she never expects is to be taken prisoner by the Realm’s most vicious guardian…
Seth’s time is running out. If he can’t hand over the entrance to Olympus, his own life and those of his people will be forfeit. No matter the torture, Seth hasn’t been able to break the god in his custody. Then there’s the beautiful Dream-Hunter Lydia: She isn’t just guarding the gates of Olympus—she’s holding back one of the world’s darkest powers. If she fails, an ancient curse will haunt the earth once more and no one will be safe. But evil is always seductive...

Finally, the day of a new release in the Dark Hunter realm has come. I think I should've read slower, but here I am, about 10-15 minutes after I closed the book. The book was good, but like all the Dream Hunter books, this one confused me. I can't exactly decide if it takes place exactly after Retribution or it's way ahead in time. It could also be the fact that some of the details in the entire series are a bit lost to my memory (hence the Dark Hunter series reread I'm doing currently).

I loved this book for a number of reasons. First of all, Ms. Kenyon manages to create the best tormented heroes out there. All of her Dark/Were/Dream Hunters are scarred, all of them have painful pasts, but very few of them are truly tormented. So when I read Seth's story, I couldn't help but think about Acheron and Zarek. Seth's story is just as painful and heartbreaking as their stories. Even having all the goodness and kindness tortured out of him, Seth could still feel enough compassion for those his master told him to torture and beat. He also saved Lydia from having a very painful end at the hands of Noir and even gives her the one thing she craved most: her voice. Granted, he might have an ulterior, egoistical motive for protecting her, but he did it, even after all he's been through. I do believe he had a code of honor even before he met Lydia, otherwise he would've told Noir she was inside his domain.

Lydia was different than I expected. I think she's very insecure, so she lashes out very often. I would've liked to know her a little more. I think she kind of grows up with the story. She has a big sense of loyalty and she's willing to die for those she loves, but she also is very afraid of losing those she cares about so she keeps herself a little distant.

We meet Jaden again and I really want to know more about him. I feel like Jaden's a bigger mystery than Ash was and I hope we'll be getting his book sooner. We're also see Solin. I love that guy. I hope he gets his HEA someday.

The book was good, but it felt rushed at the end. Also the timeline confused me. Is this book right after Sundown's story or is this more in the future? Then again, I am rereading the entire series, so maybe after I've read them all I'll be able to have a better timeline and I'll understand more.

Next book in the Dark Hunter series is Time Untime and we have to wait until August, 2012 to read it *pout* But I'll have time to read the books slowly and thoroughly, so I don't really mind waiting this time.

All in all, I do think this is a great book and it's fresh and another of the reasons I love Kenyon's books. It's different, but I wasn't disappointed.

My Rating:
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