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Spaceships and Love

I'm lazy about reviewing but industrious about reading :]

Currently reading

Blood of Elves (The Witcher, #1)
Andrzej Sapkowski
Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë
Confessions of a D-List Supervillain
Jim Bernheimer, Fiona Hsieh
Desert Blade - Ella Drake 4 Stars

This would have been SO MUCH better if it were a full length novel. Too short! Too short! I liked the premise and the survival aspect- the hint of a love triangle and the struggles. The author could have easily made this a full length book with the material she had. If only. Well I'm giving it 4 stars even though it's a super short novella because I really loved the story.

Rena's Cowboy

Rena's Cowboy - Agnes Alexander 4 Stars


I love stoic cowboys! Oh and I love time travel. Plus this was HILARIOUS at times. Rena is a petite bad ass Mary Sue. She will kick your ass and ask questions later and shoot your face and is the smartest girl a cowboy has ever seen ok? Some of the incidents in this book totally cracked me up- I would only recommend this to time travel addicts like myself. If you love rough around the edges cowboys and a female character that can do everything and anything except cook here you go.

The Last Wish - Andrzej Sapkowski I enjoyed this book quite a lot and I'm giving it 3.5 stars technically. As far as the actual last wish..I may have to reread that unless someone wants to point me in the right direction? I have several guess but I'm still unsure exactly what it was ....

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2) - Marissa Meyer Briefly for now: apparently every book is going to have a wtf ending? Also cliff hangers suck, switching perspectives in this book between Wolf/Scarlet to Cinder/Kai was jarring to me. Also well we have two more books to come and hopefully the things we know we are all wishing for actually occur within those 2.


Dust - Elizabeth Bear Weird. Interesting. Could have been better but wasn't bad. Agreed with other reviewers that character development was lacking. Will read the rest of the series to see the conclusion.
Pirates - Linda Lael Miller If you like ultra brooding male love interests- with black hair in a queue and billowing pirate shirts and sexy boots than this is for you.
Love, Eternally - Morgan O'Neill This book was fluffy time travel fun. I must point out that I was laughing at a super famous in demand flutist as the heroine. Also I swear god you should read just for these few lines:

"How did you incapacitate him?" Queen Verica asked. "Poison, perhaps?"

"I kicked Honorius in the balls- twice."

Given what I've read about Honorius- I hope someone really did kick him in the balls more than twice.
Return in Time - Tricia Linden Here's my quick take: I love time travel romances- I'm addicted. This was pretty good- there is some serious romancing going on. The biggest issue for this book however is that everything is couched in relationship coaching speech. Seriously. Otherwise a nice fluffy romantic read.
Beyond Gavia - Crystal Parney I'm being generous with 2 stars here. /sigh.

The Nitty Gritty short list here:

1- I consider this "YA" although the heroine is in fact 24- she acts rather like a teenager.
2- The premise of the entire plot- could have been really interesting and fun but ended up being stupid.
3- This has ultra stupid instalove issues. While I can normally stomach instalove because I pretty much caught that disease when I met my beloved husband 20 years ago simply hanging out with him- there is very little going on in the first half of this book to distract you from that instalove feature. Those that are far less tolerant than I about this kind of romance trope will hate this book.

If you go past this line, there will be Spoilers, and I mean all of it is Spoilers. You have been warned. Do not enter if you're a freak about Spoilers ok? Thank you.

Courtney has cancer and is dying. The start of this book was relatively interesting and promising to me! Then mysterious alien man Antioch kidnaps her. What the hell for? Who knows. At the very least Courtney does try to find out repeatedly- 2pts for her. So then Antioch and the super advanced alien humanoid doctor in fantastic robes cures her of her terminal cancer. Why? Here is where the story just gets dumber and dumber. Antioch tells Courtney that they cured her because they wanted to check it out yo! You know, we advanced beings wanted to see if our souped up meds would cure your cancer and all, that's why we traveled across the universe to kidnap your dying body. Ok so then Courtney also finds out not only was she super duper lucky getting this super cancer cure but she's also lucky because for some reason (they ran into "trouble" that is literally the explanation she gets) they didn't kidnap a second girl. Who cares? And why would these super aliens even need to do that? Oh because as you find out by the end of the book Courtney is supposed to be the future ambassador to Earth. Really she was supposed to be a great guinea pig for The Doctor but since there is only ONE human she gets to be cured and gets to marry the "prince" and gets to be the ambassador.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The planet of Gavia is just not entirely believable as a "futuristic" or advanced society. Really it has fantastic air conditioning and that's about it. And shiny cities. And rebels that live in hovels and an evil dictator that lives in a palace. Predictably said dictator cackles with evil glee, rapes women, kills children mercilessly and get this: STAGES a freaking execution ceremony in public to make Courtney break protocol. Yes I am not joking. You see- evil Dictator that is known as The Ruler is a sociopath. The Ruler knows that Courtney the stupid little dog human Antioch brought from Earth could never REALLY follow all of Gavia's oppressive protocol and he just *knew* she would freak out when he was going to stab a pregnant rebel on a huge execution pedestal:

"You are sick bastard," I grumbled.
The Ruler shrugged stared at me, with an awkward glance, as if he were making heinous plans for me. "I was against Antioch taking an Earth woman as his wife, as I've said before. I thought why would anyone want do that; marry a woman from Earth would be like marrying a dog. Why not marry an Alantisian? It disgusted me, but then I thought of the exciting things I could do to the Earth woman. See, I knew this would happen. I knew you would never be able to present yourself as a true Gavian and I knew eventually you would break the law. I knew executing the rebel woman in public would finally break you, make you commit treason, and then you would suddenly be at my mercy."
"You are sick," I mumbled as my eyes as my eyes became thick with tears.
The Ruler shrugged. "Yes, I am a monster, and frankly, I truly enjoy it," he stated cocking his head.
"Antioch will never let you get away with this. If you hurt me, he and ..." I began, but I didn't want to say too much.

The Ruler laughed again cackling like a witch flying off on her broomstick.

Gosh I don't even know where to start or stop- there's the fact that The Ruler has forbidden anyone from calling him by his original name, he's only known as The Ruler. Or how about the fact that Courtney's only moxy as it's presented is just a few angry conversations with Antioch. Granted she DID try to save the pregnant rebel in her own futile stupid way. I realize she didn't have much power. All the women in Gavia were submissive Stepford wives because: The Ruler says so. They must walk behind the man, hands clasped behind their backs and eyes downward.

Antioch himself is an issue- he's a roller coaster. One moment admiring her, the next moment furious with her, the next moment pitying her and then alternatively bringing up "I saved your life Courtney!". Well even Courtney was aware enough to gripe mentally that geez why does he keep on bringing that up.

Anyway- if you are remotely discriminating skip this book. I'm a lenient junk food reader. I just want to be entertained and I read a lot of self published books and I overlook a lot of noobie mistakes but this book was just disappointing. Great ideas lurking around and hints of ideas but the execution is terrible.

Centauri Twilight - Cynthia Woolf This is the deal: I love futuristic sci fi-ish romance stuff. I'm a total addict. But I unless this is handled a specific way I cannot stand the whole "we have both experienced torture and we'll find our way back to love and life together" kind of trope in a love story. In this case- literally torture. Just BLAH. Anyway if you don't mind that you might like this book- I just could not finish this one.
Of Flesh and Blood - Adrienne Wilder Liked this- love this series- but still to many questions unanswered for my liking!
Blood Bonds (City of Dragons, #1) - Adrienne Wilder I had a hard time giving this only 4 stars! This book was far better than I expected it to be.

The things I loved:

1- World building was excellent in my opinion. Wilder doesn't give you infodump after infodump and you just learn things along the way and this is the way I prefer it.
2- Her Dragons are different- interesting- horrific, sexual and man eating.
3- In this universe the Female Dragons..or Kin are the dominant. That in itself is unusual to run across unless you're looking at specific erotica categories.
4- I believe this is firmly in UF land vs PNR. While there IS love in this book and it is a fine beautiful thing- it doesn't seem to be the overriding factor? I am questioning myself because perhaps other people will think I'm wrong. I don't know- it felt really very balanced to me. Usually PNR just sees the romance as the journey and the destination versus truly being interweaved into a more in depth plot.
5- The characters. I really enjoyed all of the characters!

The reason why I took off a star:

I'm very picky about endings! If an ending destroys everything I will rate badly. The ending of this book is great- the ONLY real issue I had with this book is that there are what I see as major plot items that were left unanswered by the end. I could include my list of those things, but then I'd have to spoiler tag those..if you TRULY want to know you can always PM me :).

I am reading the second one now!
Herb-Wife - Elizabeth McCoy RTC: I read this because I had to find out. I felt that the first book bothered me and got under my skin the wrong way so much I owed myself the answers. What..a masochist I am.
Herb-Witch - Elizabeth McCoy This book- if I had two words to describe it- oh hell two phrases: interesting concept with huge doses of frustrating frustrating!

So, Kessa and Iathor.

Kessa is a low class gutter raised "herb witch". She has a chip on her shoulder approximately the size of the universe. She's ugly and has vomit spit dog shit eyes I tell you! I probably shouldn't tell you that though because you will be reading that phrase and variations of about a billion times to describe her eyes and also everyone's reactions to her barbarian eyes. That's- frustrating to me. I GET IT. She has ugly eyes and she's ugly. So a half breed urchin raised to run petty crimes for her guardians is targeted by the esteemed and noble blooded Lord Alchemist himself- because she's immune to alchemy.

Iachor- its hard to get a sense of him even since he's just wincing and reacting to Kessa the entire book. He's a kind enough man although according to Kessa's thoughts he's high handed, irritating, arrogant etc. I didn't find him to really be that way at all which just gives you another hint to how completely maladjusted Kessa is. Iathor is at least likable if practical in his approach to Kessa. His hugest flaw is totally coddling his clearly good for nothing brother, Iasen.

There is little reason to like Kessa. Sympathize a bit, yes! But all she does is gripe about the fact that Iathor wants to marry her..to own her she feels. She worries about being a brood mare etc. Understandable, yes, but as I say often enough that doesn't make it enjoyable to read about. I guess my frustration stems from the repetition.

Redeeming factors:
Some of the character interactions are charming.
Her writing is very good- its just that the story frustrates.
The cover- yeah I like the cover! So sue me- anyway it looks like watercolor work and it's pretty.

I'm already reading the second book. I have reasons for sure- while I didn't LOVE this book- I needed some answers. Who the hell are the Shadowmasters and Guild? And it is very obvious who the criminal really is in book one and I for one would at least like to see them get the justice they deserve. Also - since the book ended the way it did, well I want to see the development of that thing. I in fact do not understand why this was broken up into two books- but fair enough.

This by the way ISN'T romantic. It's more fantasy- and heavily laced with very earthy and repugnant ideas of alchemy and herb witchery. For those that are easily disgusted I'd say stay away.

HeartFast - Linda Mooney This book is..strange. Ok firstly it took me a couple of weeks to read because of the weirdness. I started and stopped. Then I saw it in my reading queue on my phone (where I do most of my reading until I get my newer Kindle..so I can read at night) and I hate seeing unfinished books and thought "I should attempt this again!". Unless a book is murdering my soul or boring me so badly I'd rather clean I will finish it!

I liked this book because there are certain moments that are kind of nice, the relationship between Master Hunter/Udo and Starlight/Terrin is kind of amazing at times. I enjoyed the utter sensual romance moments actually. There was an issue of a bit of instalove- but I guess given they were co workers and friends for so long you can naturally explain that away. That occurs in real life often enough, so no issue there in my opinion.

The strangeness involves the general character of men vs women in this book I think. I felt really grossed out reading this because I feel like 1/3 or hell maybe even 2/3rds of the book revolved around how everyone thinks Starlight is a slut because she wears a really body conscious outfit because of her superhero work. I'm not joking. I'm serious. There are entire conversations about Starlight and how she's so beautiful and she has sex with the whole football team Guardians and everyone knows that about her DUH! Because look at her outfit! Naturally she's a HOBAG! Yeah! I find this disgusting. A lot of the male characters are disgustingly lascivious, slut shaming wanna be rapists and it just made me shudder. Well guess what? The answer, the saving grace of Starlight, is that she's a virgin. How dare people accuse her of being a slut when she's a pure pure pure virgin! It's just so gross. That part really ticked me off. I guess my feminism really kicked in- now I read all kinds of crazy erotic space trash- but the crowds of men leering at Starlight and just all the conversations and slut shaming just truly disgusted me. If you're sensitive you will feel offended I think. I'm not even remotely sensitive about almost any kind of erotica or romance scenario (except you know, CERTAIN THINGS) but generally I'm super tolerant. You like chains and whips? Why not! You prefer five men and one woman! Yay! You want tentacle sex with harpists playing with dildos? I would not bat one single eye. But these guys in this book really creeped me out. If I passed by a crowd of them in real life I'd be tempted to record them on my iPhone and post it on Youtube for feminists to tear apart. Ugh, now that I've wiped that ickiness off of my book reading soul..

This book reminds me of a Fantastic 4 movie. All the characters have superpowers, its completely space magic-ed up like a mofo. They can fly, the can emit incredible matter melting heat, absorb Starlight, blah blah. They all have monikers that reflect their superhero powers. Master Hunter seems majorly sexy for the most part but I know given a different angle/ reader he will just come across as a super stalker perhaps. He is incredibly romantic and I enjoyed him with Starlight, but there is ONE scene where gosh- I kind of wanted Starlight to give him the bird. And I don't mean the dove of peace.

And lest I forget- because of the weird dynamic between Starlight and ALL males in this book- and some of the word choices, I found myself double checking the publishing date repeatedly. I looked on Amazon a couple of times just to verify this in fact was written post 2000..in 2008 actually. The thing is- I thought it was written in 1959 or 1960 or something. I've read a lot of more classic sci fi from those eras, I'm not saying this qualifies as some sci fi classic status, I just mean the that issue between the sexes struck me as antiquated.

I liked this- the parts that I preferred- but the overall atmosphere of the war of the sexes thing going on in this world pissed me off and grossed me out.
Ashes of Honor (October Daye, #6) - Seanan McGuire I'm too tired to review this, I have to make dinner, I have to dye my hair, I have to do some straightening up before my husband gets home, and I have to force my 11 year old to do his homework. Convincing my son to do his homework is more like a job for a prison warden, but alas, I have to do it w/out that proper training. So what I'm saying is: this book was pretty awesome. I liked it. I don't know wholly how I feel about it. I do have a major gripe. I feel like I have to say, well I pretty much always do except when I'm being a fan girl. I do love this series! McGuire is a fabulous writer for many reasons. I just think she needs to stop using the kidnapping plot. Yes, please, McGuire, stop it, find some other compelling reason for adventure. Until I can suss up the proper energy, go READ THIS if you're a fan! It's a no brainer, it's a must, you need to and it is GREAT. It's just as human as Toby is.