Monday, June 27, 2011

~REVIEW of Nicholas Sparks' DEAR JOHN~

5 of 5 stars

Opening Line: My name is John Tyree. I was born in 1977, and I grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina..."

You can always tell you're reading a great book when you find yourself skipping ahead into the final chapters to see how things will be resolved, even though you've vowed you wouldn't. Love doesn't always have a happy ending (especially when it comes to a Nicholas Sparks novel) and this is a wonderful, albeit quick tear-jerking romance.

Our hero John grew up with a silent, meticulously organized father that he didn't understand. In his teens he began to rebel, hanging out, playing pool and drinking. This continues for a number of years with John working menial jobs, getting several tattoos and going nowhere fast. Eventually John decides its time to grow up and he joins the army. In fact it's during 2 weeks leave that he first meets Savannah, diving into the ocean to rescue her sinking purse. Savannah is your stereotypical good-girl; raised in a stable family she's kind, pretty and hopes to save the world. It's also love at first sight for our couple despite the warnings from her tattoo phobic college friends. Together the pair plans a future together, counting down the days until John's discharge as Savannah helps him understand his father and he in turn feels contentment for the first time in his life.

On Sept 11 everything changes as John in a moment of patriotic loyalty chooses to re-up in the army, putting a hold on their marriage plans while he enters the war in Iraq. The two try to maintain a long distance relationship but the war changes John and the years apart put a strain on their deep love. When John's father grows ill he returns home but will he be too late to save both his relationship with his father and the love of his life?

I fell in love with John's character and surprisingly his father too. Each is well written and they felt like real people. I also enjoyed reading about John's military career and the reasons that take men into a war. Savannah as the heroine was a little too perfect for me but their heartbreaking love story and the regret that they both share will keep you up into the wee hours, and leave you wondering about John long after you've finished reading its bittersweet ending.

Another great read from Nicholas Sparks that I would definitely recommend. Oh, and John if you're out there, I'm single...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

~Last Movie I watched: REMEMBER ME~

Official IMDB Synopsis:
A romantic drama set in New York City during the summer of 2001, where Tyler, a rebellious young man, meets Ally through a twist of fate. Her spirit helps him heal after a family tragedy, though soon the circumstances that brought them together threaten to tear them apart.

I liked this movie a lot. Its Rob Pattinson at what he does best; broody, introspective,  tortured, beat up and in love. (Although I think he'd be great in a comedy role)  I personally love a tragedy and the ending of this was a huge surprise...did not see that coming! I also really enjoyed all the supporting roles/side stories here especially Tyler's poor bullied sister (ack the hair!) and jeez what an A-hole Peirce Brosnan was as the father.

Well Ally's cop father had his problems too. My kinda movie, a bunch of messed up, lost people that leaves you sad at the end and saying wow. Now what exactly does that say about me?

Saturday, June 25, 2011


If Angels Burn (Darkyn, #1)
3 of 5 stars

Opening line: "Got another letter from that Cyprien guy" Grace Cho said as she placed the office mail on Dr Alexandra Keller's desk."

Dr Keller is a reconstructive surgeon, and a really fast surgeon at that. She has a booming practice and with her skills in demand she can afford to choose her cases. One patient in particular, Michael Cyprian won't take no for an answer and eventually has his people kidnap Alex, flying her to his mansion in New Orleans and forcing her to reconstruct his horribly disfigured face. Due to her compassionate nature Alex performs the surgery; its quite tricky though because once cut Michael heals immediately but she's up for the challenge. After the successful surgery Michael is beautiful once again but unfortunately for Alex he's also very hungry.

Filled with bloodlust Cyprian bites the good Doctor thus infecting her with the vampire virus. Alex then spends her time trying to figure out how to cure herself as she goes through some dark changes on her way to becoming a Darkyn. Lots of attention here is also given to her brother John. A very tired priest who travels to Rome and undergoes special training with some not so nice monks known as the Breathen. Their mission is to hunt down and torture (extensively) the Darkyn, ultimately destroying the race. Bad news for Alex who is on her way to becoming one of them.

I will admit I struggled through the first half of If Angels Burn. The amount of French spoken and Darkyn language without a glossary was overwhelming and the considerable sub plots and characters confusing. It came together a bit for me in the end and I really liked Alexandra's spunkiness as well as the old fashioned speech and mannerisms of Micheal.

This was a dark, violent ride but full of adventure and well written. However I wouldn't label it a romance and I definitly wouldn't call it erotic as the cover states. Its more THE DA VINCI CODE meets medical mystery with a little vampire love thrown in. The one and only love scene (if you could even call it love) doesn't take place until almost the end of the book and even then it's pretty tame.

As a by-the-way does anyone else think the guy on the cover looks like Toby Mcquire from Spiderman? I'm just saying its a little weird.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Hidden Fire (Firefighters of Station Five, #3)
4 of 5 stars

Opening Line: "Julian Salvatore sprayed a steady stream of water at station five's ambulance, rinsing off the soapsuds and gyrating around the vehicle to "Life in the Fast Lane" blaring from the radio just inside the bay.

Hidden Fire is book #3 in the romantic, suspenseful and sexy firefighters of station five series. This time we get bad boy Julian Salvatore’s story. Often excluded by his fellow members in ‘A’ shift because of his aloof attitude and man-whore reputation, in actuality Julian’s hiding a terrible secret from his past and wants desperately to fit in with his crew. He’s also in love with a woman he met 2 books ago TRIAL BY FIRE A beautiful yet icy defence attorney who won’t give him an inch.

So far I’ve really enjoyed this series, I mean how could you not? With hard bodied firemen heroes, smoking hot love scenes, and exciting action-suspense storylines it’s always a great ride. Part of the fun in reading these books is also the anticipation of how many concussions/trips to the hospital/shootings/stabbings/drownings our heroes will have to endure before they get the bad guy and win the girl. Jo Davis just loves to beat up her men and it’s become a bit of a game for me counting the injuries. I also like how all the books are slightly connected with updates from past characters and continuing story arcs. Here we get to catch up with Howard, Zach and fan favourite Captain Sean’s ongoing struggle with the bottle.

Grace McKenna’s been trying to avoid Julian’s irresistible Latin charm and ongoing advances, yet despite her all work no play attitude she can’t seem to stop thinking about him. After witnessing his almost frantic reaction to her latest client Grace finally concedes to a date, realizing that theres more to this sexy stud muffin then meets the eye. Julian is of course thrilled however this former ladies man has just fallen for a commitment-phobe and its going to take a long time for her to return those 3 little words he's dying to hear.

Of course while this romance is taking place theres also a serial killer on the loose, with violent ties to Julian’s past and now it appears a hold on his future as well as he’s set his sights on Julian as his next victim. As much as I enjoyed the romance here I also really liked this chilling suspense storyline which was frightening, thrilling and in the end, with the disclosure of the killers identity, urprising too. We’re also introduced to police detective Shane who I’m hoping to see more of in future books.

My only real issue here were the love scenes which tended to read more like erotica then romance. I’m not complaining, they’re hot but they tended to also feel gratuitous and slightly out of tune with the general feel of the book. Grace receiving oral sex on the couch before they’ve even been on a first date was strange and came (pardon the pun) out of nowhere. Then they decided they were just going to be friends. There was also Julian’s weird domination/anal play issue. This just felt out of character for him especially since it was their fist time together and he had been all soft and lovey-dovey moments before. Anyways…

There are still a couple of hot firemen waiting to have their stories told, LINE OF FIRE is up next in this recommended series.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011



Leaving Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #1)
4 of 5 stars4.5

Opening Line: "I'd been waiting a year for this moment"

I don’t generally read much YA stuff however Caleb and Maggie’s forbidden coming of age romance got to me and I found myself quite wrapped up in all their teenaged angst. I guess it was the unique story idea that first piqued my interest; that of a romance developing between the offender and his victim was too good to pass up. And once you get into it the reasoning’s as to why they get together it felt realistic. I mean they‘ve both been away for a year and things have changed, they‘ve changed and none of their friends “get” them anymore. Throw in some majorly screwed up family members, a big secret and super cool old lady and you’ve got yourselves a great story.

Told with alternating POV’s for each chapter, this was a fast read and I enjoyed getting into both Maggie and Caleb’s heads, seeing what each of them thought of the same situation. We begin with our hero Caleb being released from jail. He’s just spent a year locked up in juvenile detention for hitting a girl with his car while drunk and then leaving the scene. He’s paid his dues though and is no longer the carefree popular teen that went away. All he wants now is to go home and resume his life, well that and turn back time. With getting released comes a few rules though, like 150 hours of community service, meeting with a transition counsellor and staying out of trouble. It’s all easier said then done.

Switching to Maggie we join her in physical therapy exercising her shattered leg and preparing to go back to school. The only thing that gets her through the day now is her scholarship to Spain. It seems since the accident she’s no longer one of the popular kids, they all think she’s a freak and Maggie can’t wait to get out of this town and away from their whispers and stares.
Through circumstance Maggie takes a job as a companion for old Mrs Reynolds (who turned out to be one of my favourite characters) Coincidentally she’s also just hired Caleb through his community service. I guess in a town as small as Paradise they should have expected to run into each other but what neither had expected was that it would only be the other that could truly understand what they’re going through. Caleb’s family is really messed up; his sister is a Goth ghost, his mother acts like nothing has happened and his father is just gone. And then there's his ex girlfriend, beautiful, seductive and full of poison. Maggie’s days of playing tennis are over and her overprotective Mum (eek) is dating her boss. What an embarrassment.

Bound together by the tragedy yet forbidden by their parents and a court order to be together a tentative friendship begins, quickly developing into something neither of them had expected or can stop. A bittersweet, moving love story, now I only wish I had RETURN TO PARADISE because the ending here leaves you hanging. I’ll definitely be reading more from Simone Elkeles. Cheers

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

~REAL LIFE VAMPIRE COUPLES- love at first bite?~


Whats the deal with all the real life Vampire couples?
It seems that if you're starring in a vampire themed movie or TV show these days then you're bound to hook up with with your co-star. I don't know what the reason is? All the blood, the sexy fangs, the teenage angst? Maybe its just the hot men playing said vampire?
But with the recent outing of Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerholder from The Vampire Diaries that makes three real life couples from three of the biggest Vampire shows going today. Hmmmm.

#1-Our original Vampire couple from True Blood Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, they even got married

#2-Official non couple Twilight's Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.

 #3- And now we have The Vampire Diaries Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerholder.


 Honorable mention...

 Twilights Ashley Green and Vampire Diaries Ian Somerholder give us a Vampire mash-up.

 Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner give us something else all together.

And I can't forget Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise from Interview With The Vampire. What they were a couple weren't they?


Hmm, that Ian sure gets around, here we have a vampire ménage à trois

Monday, June 20, 2011


Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7)
 5 of 5 stars Big Stars

And with these four words so begins J.R Wards 7th instalment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I couldn't wait to read LOVER AVENGED and at 642 pages Ward does not disappoint. She has encompassed it all; Surprises galore, evolving storylines, several POV's, plot-twists, humour, action, romance and of course heartbreak.

I won't give away too much here, I'll just give you a brief rundown of all the goodies involved in this intricate story. First off, and this was important to me. All the brothers make an appearance and are all involved to some degree within the story. So yes, we get shots of V, Butch, Zsadist, Rhage, Phury, Tohrment and Wrath, Ah Wrath...

Although pegged as Rehvenge's book, LOVER AVENGED belongs equally to Wrath and his continuing story. And oh how sweet it is to be back with the King. We haven't seen much of him since DARK LOVER(Book 1) but his character takes up a significant number of pages here as Wrath goes rogue from his royal duties and ultimately has to pay the consequences. John Mathew and Xhex also get a fair amount of attention and in secondary roles we have Blay and Quinn, Tez, iAm, and Payne. We are also introduced to George, a new companion to the King. Lassiter is back as the hilarious fallen angel, sidekick of Tohrment and the battle continues with the Lessers. Speaking of the Lessoning Society, Lash is simply awesome as their evolving leader taking things to a whole new level of evil.

I've never really been a fan of Rehvenge (he kind of creeped me out) but I have to say my opinion of him has now changed. His and Ehlena's love story is well done and surprisingly sweet. Ehlena makes a worthy mate but alas their romance never takes center stage (much like Phury/Cormina in (LOVER ENSHRINED.) Ehlena is a nurse from the clinic who treats Rehv after he develops sepsis from repeatedly injecting the dopamine he must take to hide the fact that he's a sympath. It's an unlikely pairing that somehow works even though Rhevenge is still a major drug lord/pimp and has his hands full running the nightclub Zerosum and being a leahdyre on the council. We do get to see a whole new side of him however and gain a much greater insight into the world of sympaths. JR manages to weave all her POV's and storylines together for one nail biting and (literally explosive finale.

My one and only gripe would have to be that JR's brotherhood language has evolved. I don't mean the terms (but yes there are more of these as well) but the actual street lingo that the brothers use when speaking to each other. I occasionally found it hard to understand what they were talking about and had to re-read their dialogue several times before I could figure it out.

I can't imagine how you could ever start the series with this book, so please don't try. The BDB is so involved and complex with so many major characters, interweaving stories and POV's that you would be utterly lost plus you'd miss out on the other 6 great books in this fantastic series, but if you're a fan you won't be disappointed, true. The brotherhood undergoes some changes and there are major developments in all ongoing storylines but the hilarious banter we all love, the intensity and excitement are all still here. LOVER AVENGED made me laugh, made me cry and I didn't want it to end yet JR has done a great job in setting things up for the next book which is to be John Mathew's story ( LOVER MINE.)

Rhev rockin the fur

Sunday, June 19, 2011

~WILTW (Van Damn edition)~

Here's what I loved this week...

  • Well in all honesty there wasn't a whole lot to love this week. I live just outside of Vancouver and our hockey team losing to Boston was the least of the problems as I watched a riot rage downtown for 5+ hours afterwards. There just aren't any words. Still I've tried to find a few bright moments amidst the rubble. See ya next year Canucks, it was a great season!

Thanks Lou!

A police car is randomly decorated with love and thank you notes following Wednesday nights

    Thousands of messages are left from Vancouverites on the “Wall of Love” outside the boarded up broken windows of the Bay 
    Mayor Gregor Robertson and Premier Christy Clark look at the memory wall
The "kissing couple"

....and not so much

We also lost Betty Fox this week. Which just makes me want to cry, what a special lady.