Monday, April 16, 2012

~Review of Andrew Davidson's THE GARGOYLE~

5 of 5 stars

Opening Line: "Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, often violently, just like love."

I really liked this book and found myself absorbed in the world that Andrew Davidson has created. THE GARGOYLE is a multilayered tragedy within a love story and it will affect you on many different levels; horrific, sad and gruesome it is also complex, funny, thought provoking and redeeming. Unfortunately any summery you read won't really do it justice.

THE GARGOYLE has been written in a first person narrative and although we never learn the narrator's name he is self-consciously and sometimes humorously aware that he's writing a book. We begin with our good looking and self absorbed narrator (N) driving his car while high on cocaine and with a bottle of bourbon between his legs. He subsequently starts hallucinating and to avoid the burning arrows flying at his car drives off the road. N's car flips several times and catches fire, burning him alive. The next half of the book takes place within the burn ward as N begins his long road to recovery.

The car accident and most of the burn ward scenes are detailed, horrific and at times hard to read but they're also so well written that you'll be able to smell the hospital and really feel N's pain and suffering. N has been burned so severely that he no longer resembles anything close to the gorgeous porn star that he once was and as he begins his therapy it's only in the detailed planning of his suicide that he's able to get through the day. The shots of morphine that silence the snake living in his spine help too but you'll have to read the book to understand that.

One day a strange and wild woman known as Marianne Engel escapes from the psyche ward and sneaks into the burn unit. She proceeds to tell N that she has known him for 700 years, that he has been burned before and that they were once lovers in medieval Germany where she was a nun and he was a wounded solider. It doesn't matter if he can't remember; she tells him, she will prove it to him. And so begins Marianne's tales of their past lives.

The book then begins to jump between time periods as Marianne Engel tells her life story which is set in the middle ages along with several other short stories about different tragic lovers. The flashbacks became my favourite parts of the book taking us to Germany, Japan, Italy and the Vikings of Iceland. The characters from these times are exquisitely interesting and the details of the era, amazing. The research Mr Davidson has put into this book is simply mind boggling.

N doesn't believe Maryanne, concluding that she is schizophrenic, nonetheless he comes to rely on her and in their own way the two begin a relationship. Throughout Maryanne's storytelling and hospital visits she continues her lifetimes work, that of carving stone Gargoyles. We are also introduced to several characters both within and outside the hospital all slowly becoming N's friends as he changes and becomes a man of worth.

The only part of the book that `lost me' a bit would be the several chapters during N's morphine withdrawal whereupon he enters the gates of hell and confronts all the characters from Marianne's stories and quotes Dante's inferno. This was bizarre and went on for too long but did tie up all the characters from Marianne's gripping stories. For me the ending was thought provoking and perfect. Cheers!

"Only after I was born into physical repulsiveness did I come to glimpse the possibilities of the heart."

Friday, April 13, 2012


Rough, Raw and Ready (Rough Riders, #5)
5 of 5 stars

..."Torn between the love he has...and the love he’s always wanted"

Wow, with each instalment in the Roughriders series I keep saying this one is my absolute favourite; it just can’t get any better. Well I was sorely mistakin because James has outdone herself with #5 and this one really is the best yet (no really) Now I’m left lamely trying to put into words how friggin fantastic this story is.

Ever since book #1 Long Hard Ride I’ve been wondering what happened to Trevor and Edgard and hoping for their story. I was curious as to how these delicious cowboys could get their HEA especially in a homophobic and generally not alternative lifestyle appreciating town like Sundance Wyoming. I never counted on a wife being involved but lucky, lucky Chassie Glanzer. She gets the lovin of two damn fine men here. And talking about fine men; if you’re a fan of M/M lovin then hang onto your cowboy hats because this is all kinds-of-ways hot and sexy man lovin. Of course Chassie does participate on occasion and even though I’m not a fan of the ménage, this works for me because all the partners are involved equally. There’s also an amazing 3-way love story unfolding here, full of undeniable passion, emotion and heaps of consequences which are all explored beautifully. And Yes theres a whole lotta spicy sex going on too, in just about every conceivable position/combination and location possible. Yeehaw!

Trevor and Chassie have been happily married for one year. Trevor loves his wife and life on the ranch is good but he’s never quite been able to forget about his old roping partner and he knows that sometimes Chassie can sense his longing. Trevor never expected to see Edgard again though especially after it became clear that he couldn’t be the kind of man that Edgard needed but now his secret Brazilian lover is walking right up the dusty driveway, looking as fine and sexy as ever and hoping to sort out their tangled past.

With the kind of sparks that are flying between this pair of cowboys it doesn’t take long for Chassie to catch them together (and damn those first mergers are aggressive and scorching hot) Chassie thought she knew everything about her husbands chequered past but this is really pushing things. However before she can come to terms with the fact that Trevor and Edgard were lovers she has to face the fact that she might just be losing her man because its not just lust she see’s in their eyes its unbridled love too.

Trevor promises he won’t leave but she doesn’t want him to stay out of any sense of duty, she knows he’d be forever missing his Latin cowboy and she’d be living half a marriage. So Chassie does the only thing a girl could do in this kind of situation she asks if she can watch them together and then she joins them. Of course for this arrangement to succeed theres all kinds of issues to work out and they are slightly worried about what the townsfolk are gunna think down at the local feed store but the more time they all spend together the more passion and raw emotion comes to the surface. Trevor and Edgard finally feel complete and damn if Chassie doesn’t too.

Thursday, April 12, 2012



Sins of the Flesh (Kith & Kynn, #1)

4 of 5 stars

 Opening Line: "Immortality was within his grasp, if only he'd reach for it."

Devon Carnavorn is bored with his immortal existence. He's also lonely having lost his creator and love of his life Ariel, a hundred years before. The orgies and endless string of nameless, faceless partners are wearing him out. However being a Sexual Vampire or 'Kynn' Devon needs the energy and connection obtained from the sexual act to survive. So what's a gorgeous, undead nightclub owner to do? He's considered suicide, walking into the sun would be quick and easy but he's never quite had the courage for his final act. Instead Devon coasts through decades of multiple partners both male and female in a vain hope that one day he will find his other half, his 'she-shaey'.

Just when it seems like he can't face another night the lovely but down on her luck Rachel walks into his Goth nightclub and applies for a waitressing job. Devon is immediately entranced and, Bonus, she bares the birthmark denoting her to be his other half. He wants her like no other, he wants her for eternity but he's going to have to play it cool; he can't scare her away and will defiantly have to ease her into his alternative lifestyle. Unable to keep his eyes off her as she works, Devon stares down from his office windows and visits her as she sleeps, having ghostly dream sex with her willing body. He even swears off woman, now having sex only with his protégé Julian. Devon then tries to woo Rachel with roses and gifts but she's not having it.

Rachel's had a hard time of late; she's just lost her business and is flat broke and this Goth scene isn't really her style. The uniforms are too revealing and the patrons too wild. She's only taken this job to get out of debt. Rachel has also been burned one too many times in love and even though she immediately desires Devon wanting him, fantasising about him while in the bathtub. She also has a rule she won't date the boss.

I enjoyed this book. It has an interesting story line and the characters and situations are detailed and well written. It's also quite romantic for erotica and contains a touching love story. The initial sexual encounter between our heroes doesn't take place until well into the book which I appreciated, reader foreplay if you will. The sex scenes are explicit though and for the most part dark with just about anything your into being done including; massages and sponge baths, mastrubation, bloodletting, multiple partners and male on male. So it's sure to please all...or some.

However SINS OF THE FLESH wasn't without its faults. Devon as the hero is very inconsistent in his behaviour. At times he's nervous and bumbling and in the next event becomes a masterful alpha male. Rachel has also been written as shy and nervous then turns into a bit of a gutter mouthed tramp. She's also way too trusting. For instance after waiting well over a hundred years for Rachel, courting her and now unable to live without her Devon surprises Rachel by inviting her to an orgy then tells her she must choose; if she loves him she will have sex with a lot of strangers and if she leaves she can never come back, its over. There's also a really strange scene in a public park involving a knife which would have had me screaming and putting up a fight instead of saying okay cut me, I trust you even though I don't really know you.

If you're looking for unique erotica involving vampires where just about anything goes then you will enjoy this dark love story.

And how yummy is it to see Alec O'laughlin from Moonlight again, damn I loved that show,

Sunday, April 8, 2012

~LOVER REBORN spoilers from March 31 B&N Cincinnati Book signing~

My friend Mahlet was lucky enough to attend Ward's book signing on March 31st so I can't take ANY credit for this. She posted her experience on Goodreads    
I've stolen the good bits to share here as well.

Contains a ton of goodies, *spoilers* and the occasional F-bomb!   

JR’s publisher was in attendance, videotaping the whole thing, plus the crazy morning crowds and snake lines all over the building (9am wrist band distribution line)

There are a few Lover Reborn spoilers in the signing Q&A.

I think I pulled a muscle jumping out of my seat, screaming and high-fivin’ my neighbors after that first question.

Qhuay’s book is next year’s HARDCOVER BDB BOOK...not novella....BOOK!!!! :) When pressed about the name of Qhuay’s book, JR joked that it would NOT be called Lover Goes Down (hahaha!)

Bonding scent if for ONE person....but that doesn’t mean Tohr can’t love No’One and be with No’One for the rest of his life.

JR cried @ the end of Lover Reborn.

JR made hand motion of feeling/holding balls when explaining why she was too busy to think about graphic novels right now.

Murhder will come out soon and be a part of this world, but she doesn’t know if it will happen but ...she just doesn’t know when.

JR wonders if Sympaths is going to be the third party that reunites BOB with the Brothers. She thinks that would be interesting...and she can kind of see that.

Thank fucking GOD. There will be NO threeway with Layla Qhuinn and Blay and in the next book. We all gave this question asker major sideeye for asking....JR said she must be “fucking nuts” and did the question asker want her to be killed (JR). But I am actually so glad the question was asked because we received confirmation that that’s a big fat NO :)

But we COULD have a 3way in Qhuay’s book, she joked....I can’t tell if she was serious or not. Something about size not mattering? with regard to a 3way? I didn’t quite get that.

Assail fascinates JR. She thinks he’s very hot :)

She doesn’t know if we will meet Butch and Manny’s father.

JR again confirms there will be books about Trez & Iam (do these people not read previous signing threads???). JR says people will be mad about Trez’s mate...It’s controversial.

We will get a new induction into the Brotherhood soon, but she confirms that it will NOT be John Matthew.

She’s too busy with the books to do much with the movie stuff, and who the heck would play them? But her TEAM is encouraging this with her...they want her to at least TRY

Pretty much confirms that Layla and Xcor will get together. JR gave an...oh it’s so obvious DUH! kind of answer to this question...without actually using the word “yes”....does that make sense? That’s why I say... “pretty much”

JR won’t comment on Saxton right now.

Again confirms that Lassiter gets his own book. She still doesn’t know which series it will be (BDB or Fallen Angels).

On the SV? “Bitch needs some psychiatry” LOLOL!

at the previous Fallen Angels signing, JR said something was going to make us very upset in Tohr’s book. JR was the Layla/Quinn sex. That’s what she knew would piss us off.

On where is the SV? When will we see SV? Wrath is the most important vampire to if Wrath is in danger? That’s going to bring the SV back.

We WILL see Eddie back. And she wants him coupled up :) But something major is going to have to happen to bring Eddie back.

JR would love for Jose De La Cruz and Butch to see each other, without Butch wiping his memories afterwards. At a previous signing, JR said just the opposite. I like this new idea better.

Mating ceremony is about marking while a fading ceremony is about mark eradication. Hot poker used during fading ceremony makes a pattern and seal on TOP of the mating ceremony mark. The combination of the two becomes a mourning pattern. When Tohr mates Autumn, her name will go UNDER Wellsie’s name. And that mating ceremony WILL happen. No’One works so well for Torh because being #1 isn’t important to her...rather, she values most being with Tohr in the present and coming full circle with him. Those are what’s most important to No’One. Anyone that would be mated with Tohr would need to understand they would never get in the way of Wellsie.

When pressed about movie/tv deals again, JR joked that she was thinking of the SPICE channel :)

Where’s Qhuinn’s brother? we WILL find out in Qhuay’s book. She again hints that he might not come back as a vampire.

She can see a Zsadist subplot in Qhuay’s book....but she hasn’t outlined their book yet, so don’t hold her to that...

She explained her cryptic Facebook video, about the next book making her so nervous. She is dreading and super worried about writing Qhuay’s book because expectation is so very high. It will open up as a tear jerker. Something super game-changing and profound happens at the beginning of Qhuay’s book. Qhuay’s book begins right at the end of Lover Reborn. Me speaking: She wants us to treat it Qhuay’s book like the other BDB books and not have insane expectations).

When someone wants to know if we’ll get new characters, JR says she’s careful about not adding too many characters because she won’t be able to give them enough attention. But she thinks we’ll get new characters after the BOB era.

when will Jane and V get mated? Answer; Jane and V are technically already mated. It’s a year later JR needs to figure out how to show us that.

JR has an idea but will not reveal....the favour SV demanded of Wrath in Dark Lover. IT WILL come to play in later books.

Layla Quinn Xcor dynamics? not so good. Xcor has never had a family; Layla’s going to change his world. But it’s not going to be overnight!

On Layla: “She wants to bang the guy that wants to kill the king!” LOL! JR makes an eharmony joke :)

JR’s favorite Lover Reborn scenes were funny moments with Lassiter (she named a few good ones). She also liked the scene with Autumn looking at the field of snow...and that shadow comes out? And she really loved some of the sex scenes, too :)

People need to believe that with HEA’s, it’s not always good, but the couples will always be husband and wife. Tohr’s story broke this rule. So JR was nervous. But she believed it and felt good about it in the end.

Tohr’s son is up in the Fade, and she doesn’t want to leave her son. Tohr will have to wait until he dies to see his son. JR doesn’t see Tohr wanting more kids and going there again. he kind of has Xhex and of course (JM).

No more Layla feeding everybody with her pregnancy! Her Chosen sisters are going to have to step it up and fill in more.

Regarding Throe’s sister: Fade ceremony doesn’t have shit to do with whether you get into the Fade. That’s more to help you, personally, move on. So the idea that you can’t have a “fade ceremony” if you commit suicide? is bullshit.

Lots of Marissa in Rhage & Mary’s baby novella.

How is Xcor going to handle Throe love triangle with Layla? Duh. not well.

when asked about whether we would see more battle women, JR says she can see a training class of both men and women, together, coming through. (goes back to Wrath changing old traditions)

More visions from Qhuinn? JR jokes, in a sexy voice, that he will have tons of visions (eluding to sex with Blay of course) :)

she won’t answer whether JM/Qhuinn/Blay will be inducted TOGETHER. But she does add, look to Qhuay’s book on that.

you can have valid matings, even with SV being present.

on “did Tohr love No’One before he loved Wellsie?” When they 1st met, they were both in bad places. Tohr’s dad had kicked him out; newly transitioned. She had just been raped. He was very emotionally involved with No’One before she killed herself. Concerned about her health, etc...Her burial was tough on him...Was it romantic love? JR doesn’t know. But JR thinks that if No’One hadn’t killed herself, Tohr & No’One would have probably moved in that direction....But Tohr was promised to Wellsie, met her and fell in love. Basically....with more time together and different circumstances (no suicide)...the answer could have been yes.

She won’t answer whether Qhuinn and Blay will each put the other’s name on their backs during their mating ceremony. She wants to save stuff for us to read about.

The score in Fallen Angels is STILL 2 to 1, even though Mathias is coming back. Once you score, you score; there’s no taking back points.

For Fall AND for Spring (Fallen Angels and BDB books) , there will be 2 local signings for each on back to back weekends. (there were nearly 1000 books signed today...some people who came later in the day, but before the signing began...couldn’t get their books signed). JR doesn’t want that to happen again. One of the 2 Qhuay signings WILL be at this same B&N Cincinnati, OH store. She hopes she doesn’t end up with 1000 people 1 weekend and no one the next weekend :)

It makes JR sad to think of Saxton having to rewrite old laws to make Qhuay possible. It’s going to be very hard on him; Saxton really does love Blay.

Q: “How did Xhex & Murhder meet? Did they meet because Murhder is Revh’s cousin?” JR only heard the 1st part of this question (shit). She won’t answer Q on how Xhex & Murhder hey met; but it’s a good Q.

Wrath going blind? Sorry, but that’s kind of what happens with inbreeding in royal lines. Recessive genes magnified. Wrath is really going to want to know about the color of his child’s eyes...JR almost tears up discussing that.

who is 4th of original brothers? is it Murhder? Answer: Maybe. And good spot to end Q&A.

And that’s all I got folks!

Monday, April 2, 2012

~Review of JR Ward's LOVER REBORN~

Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood,#10)
5 of 5 stars 

 Opening Line "The bastard 's taking the bridge! He's mine!"

Wow, I honestly don’t know where to begin with this review. To say that this was good is an understatement. To say that it knocked me on my ass and left me a drained, emotional wreck, is far closer to the truth. Yup, LOVER REBORN did me in, talk about your gauntlet of emotions, I mean I expected some angst but jeez! I cried (I mean really cried) I laughed, I sighed, I swore, I groaned and I gasped but in the end I also smiled.

As much as I was anticipating this book it was also with a heavy dose of apprehension; was I ready to see Tohrment find love again? Was he ready? Were any of us really ready to let Wellsie go? And most importantly could Ward make me believe in this new love? The answer is a resounding yes, I think in part because it doesn’t happen quickly (or easily) Reborn has been broken into 4 sections (1 per season) so that this book takes place over the period of a year. And it was over that year and all the shit that goes down (and oh does the shit ever go down) that Ward made me believe.

Starting where Lover Unleashed left off and with her usual flair Ward throws us into “Spring” and right into the action and pain that is Tohr. Chasing down a group of Lessers, Tohr is now relentless in his pursuit of the enemy, basically only drawing breathe to “ahvenge” his murdered wife and son. Tonight’s hunt sees Tohr launching himself off a bridge as John and Qhuinn watch helplessly from below, John issuing a silent scream as Tohr falls. And so it begins. Through 572 pages Ward proceeds to give us everything we want and then some…

Without going into spoiler territory (which is going to be hard) I can tell you of course that this is Tohr and No’one’s story. These two have a long history together and are both equally broken so it makes sense for them to get together. Lassiter is helping to move them along on the love train (in his own way) and as it turns out with a sense of urgency. John and Xhex also play key roles in their story, giving us some absolutely filthy-hot love scenes as well as showing us a marriage in transition.

Xcor and his Band Of Bastards are back and gaining strength in Caldwell. They do things here that… can never be forgiven. Sending one Brother on a mission under a decree of death. New and mysterious characters are introduced (Assail) while others are fleshed out (Throe and Zyphor.) We’re still all mixed up in the whole hot-mess that is Layla/Qhinn/Blay/Saxton; however that’s all about to change:) The Blind King still kicks ass, Ward throws a “needing” (or two) our way and gives us details of a ceremony that absolutely broke my heart. We also bare witness to a battle that gave me heart palpitations for all of its 60 pages and left some Brothers with life threatening injuries.

 Somehow through all this Ward also manages to give us time with each and every member of the Brotherhood mansion. We get to see everyone doing their thing, giving us some special moment with each of them and that in itself says something because there are so many characters now. There also aren’t any “lesser” POV’s to suffer through; we don’t travel back to the old country or to the other side to hang with the chosen (verily.) And I have to compliment Ward on toning down the product placement and Wardisms. This book just flowed beautifully.

In fact I would have to say that Ward has hit her pinnacle with Lover Reborn. The balance here is just right; the romance, the action, the surprises and the healing. I honestly never knew where this was going to go and when that happens you’re guaranteed a great ride.

And now for the good news Blay and Qhuinn have been officially announced as book #11! That’s right the wait is over. It looks like Ward has worked a miracle with her publisher because their story was originally to be a novella and now they’re getting their very own Hardcover instalment. Way to go boys. See you Spring 2013.
"Thats right, buddy. Our future has come."