Tuesday, 7 May 2013

BOOK REVIEW: On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

BOOK REVIEW of On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

This book came as part of my ‘Novels That Are Kinda Like 50 Shades’ mission.
And I’ll admit that it was actually pretty good.
The overabundance of dominating men (a particular favourite of mine) in books nowadays could get tiring and overdone. But they all seem to have different issues, the thing that makes them so ultimately masculine. It’s usually through some hard knock life and they end up with tons of money and are super successful. A bit annoying if those qualities are the only reason they’re dominant.
Four years ago, Jocelyn Butler left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Edinburgh. Burying the grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without any real attachments has worked well for her so far but when Joss moves into a fantastic apartment on Dublin Street, her carefully guarded world is shaken to its core by her new roommate’s sexy older brother.

Braden Carmichael is a man who always gets what he wants. And what he wants is Jocelyn in his bed. Knowing how skittish Joss is concerning any kind of relationship, Braden proposes a sexual arrangement that should satisfy the intense attraction between them without it developing into anything ‘more’. An intrigued Jocelyn agrees, completely unprepared for the Scotsman and his single-minded determination to strip the stubborn young woman bare…to the very soul.

On Dublin Street has those qualities, and yet the edge to Braden Carmichael is alluring. He’s possessive and dangerous, and confused about what he wants, yes, but he goes after what he realises he wants with great tenacity once he discovers it. I liked this book, I read it in a few sittings and where it wasn’t a glued-to-my-seat story, the sexuality and unwilling attraction between the heroine, Jocelyn, and the hero kept me wanting more. I needed to know if they could figure it out, through all the differences and hardships.
Misunderstandings abound in this book, they’re everywhere and I caught myself eye-rolling at a few of them. I’m not so keen on couples that I want to shake until they see sense, and just when you think, oh, they’ve finally sorted it and stopped being dicks, they find something else to misconstrue. Where is the trust? These two had serious issues.
Saying all that, the sex was fiery and passionate, both angry and tender and all consuming. How it should be when the protagonist and her man keep butting heads. The entire novel is well written, descriptive and engaging and funny, if not delightfully cheesy in some places.

I recommend it to people looking for a tempestuous love story with a whole heaping of erotic scenes.

I awarded this book 4 Throbbing Hearts and a heat rating of Sinfully Hot.

Disclaimer: Own bought copy
Available from Amazon

Monday, 6 May 2013

Commutes and Book Binges

I never thought starting a new job would give me MORE time to read, but it seems I was mistaken.
For a few months, I have had a backlog of books to read, a stack of ones I've bought and haven't got around to or felt inclined to start.
And then I got a new job, and getting there sees me stuck on a bus for an hour and a half with sketchy phone signal that I have to wait to man up before I can reply to my friend. For the first few days, I just plugged myself into my iPod and anxiously watched for my stop. The following week, I packed a book from the top of my pile.
I'm a fast reader. In that hour and a half, I was half way through and hadn't missed my stop, curled across two bus seats and oblivious to the world. Music and reading is therapy, I swear.
I didn't manage to finish the book that day, the return journey saw me tired and unable to focus on the words, but that's the good thing about travelling to and from work. You know you'll have to do it again and are guaranteed to finish.
I have almost emptied my reading list. I no longer have a stack of books, I have a few left and need more.
Going to work is a total book binge.
I will try and review the ones I read.

BOOK REVIEW: Lover At Last by J R Ward

BOOK REVIEW of Lover At Last by J R Ward
I couldn’t not say something about this. Quite a few books manage to divide my opinion and this one was no different. I’d hoped it would be. I’ve been a fan of the Warden’s work for a long time but her latest few in the BDB series have been falling short for me.
Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another.
Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it's about time: the male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young - just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It's hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he's learned first-hand.
Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions . . . but as the battle over the race's throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage . . .

Lover At Last didn’t hit me where I was expecting it to. It didn’t wow me. If anything, it confused me and infuriated me.
The slang, for one. I’m not American, I’m British, and I totally understand the slight differences but I’ve never had a problem keeping up with American colloquialisms in other books. Finding myself googling a lot of them, or just plain making up my own meanings, was irritating. She went overboard.
For two, I enjoy a complex plot, a mystery, however, I do not enjoy a bazillion plots all piled into a book that should have been dedicated to the main couple.
The tendency to keep adding story lines to her BDB series have been increasing the past few novels and this book was chock full of them. I found myself skimming for the Qhuinn and Blay plot, barely reading the others, the way I used to skim the lesser parts in earlier novels.
It was a very long book, and yet, the Qhuay parts couldn’t have amounted to more than novella length if they’d all been smushed together. I think if she had published it as a novella, it would have been amazing.
A lot of the conflicts between the couple have been seen in previous books and the arguments and constant misunderstandings became a bit tiresome after awhile, rehashing what had already been hashed. I get that it was for friction but it rubbed me the wrong way. I got annoyed.
Onto the sex.
Though not generally a reader of M/M, I have to admit the scenes were hot, and not too full of entrances that pucker and tight assholes. Something I cannot stand when it comes to describing anal sex. The lack of lube was slightly concerning, but if the boys like a bit of burn...
Overall, the sex was awesome, in spite of the emotional detachment, or anger that came with the situation. If they’d both been in the same headspace whilst doing it, the connection would have been much more intense. Angry sex is good and all that, but it can wear a little thin after a while.
And what was with all the denial?
Why did Qhuinn have to be gay? He seemed to have an issue labelling himself, when he didn’t have to.
He could have been bisexual, he’s certainly had enough experience with both to be such, or he could have been Blaysexual. Much better than tearing his hair out over sexual identity.
It's a good enough read, but if I wasn't already invested in the characters and the BDB world, I probably wouldn't have had the patience to finish it.
I awarded it 3.5 Throbbing Hearts and a heat rating of Sinfully Hot.
Disclaimer: Own bought copy
Available from Amazon