I read the good, the awful & all of the "meh" in the middle. I'll read most any horror, romance & M/M novel that comes my way.
Thanks Magdalena for giving me the heads up to this freebie short story which I, in my typical idiocy, decided to read while on a lunch break.
This is a gruesome little tale of revenge and goats and goat balls. Read at your own peril. It's here . You're welcome.
Tin Angel and I didn’t get along all that well but I fear it may be more of a case of “It’s me, not you”.
I found it rather cliché and generally ho-hum and it gave me a sense of “haven’t I read this many times before?” But it’s entirely my fault for reading so many of these in my younger years. Even though I found it mostly meh I kept listening so, really, I only have myself to blame.
If you haven’t read a zillion historical romances set in western times you may find this somewhat entertaining but don’t blame me if you don’t. There is nothing extraordinary or charming about it but there isn’t anything terribly awful about it either. It’s stuck smack in the middle of “mehville”.
The story is about an innocent young lady named Jessie who inherits 51% of a bar/brothel and heads out to take charge of things. Only she thinks she’s inherited a respectable restaurant. But no worries, once she realizes the truth, she doesn’t let the cleavage and the creepy men stop her from bossing around the other owner, Jake Gorgeouspants. And because Jake is a typical alpha type waiting to be tamed by the love of a feisty gal, the sparks they do fly. Deny them they do not.
Jessie AKA “Little Baggage” (Luke’s not at all charming nickname for her) does many a TSTL sort of thing, meanwhile misunderstandings and miscommunication abound but it’s all good in the end because, you know, “love” wins the day and there’s not much more for me to say.
Oh wait, that’s an untruth. You must be wary of the narrated version, lest you dissolve into a fit of hilarity. The narrator gives it her all and she isn’t terrible, by any means, but her voice is too young, too chipper and too gritless for so gritty a tale of lust in the Wild West. Her attempts at accents, especially the French accent of a jealous working girl, absolutely slayed me. Yes, I am writing this from the grave but it was worth it for this gem alone.
“YOU are the son of a Beeeeeach!”
And on that note, I shall zip it.
Things aren’t always what they seem.
A man returns home from a long day at work, hoping only to get through a painful anniversary by having a quiet dinner and watching a movie with his family.
But that doesn’t happen because a madman has other ideas . . .
After eating a surprisingly terrible meal from their usual take out place, dad, mom and their two teens all begin to feel sick and sleepy and head off to bed. When they awaken, a nightmare begins. And let me tell you, it does not let up until the very last page is turned.
This is a tense story that is filled with terrible secrets. I love reading books about families with soul destroying secrets so I was never once tempted to stop reading even though I didn’t overly care for any of these people. They go through hell in the course of the story but they’re also living empty lives and the more that was revealed about them, the less I sympathized with them. It’s a rather sad look at a family in crises, basically going through the motions and finding happiness in their own destructive ways. None of that slowed down my need to keep reading though because the writing hits you right in the gut and never gives you time to recover. I did love it so.
The narration was strong and ominous and spot on for a thriller this dark. I highly recommend the audio version if you’re a fan of them because this one was so well done. It won’t leave you feeling all happy and uplifted but we need some darkness to balance things out, right? With that said, I will leave you with this cheerful quote because it doesn’t seem to want to leave my memory.
Love doesn't die all at once, or in big steps, he thought. It dies in tiny pieces, with daily decisions that nip off bits of it like the edges of a living branch until you’ve cut away to the heart of the trunk and then that, too, is gone and there’s nothing left.
Ouch. You’re welcome ;)
*I received an ARC from Netgalley. This is my honest review."
When I started The Devil’s Detective I knew it might be a bit of a challenge. It’s been described as bleak and has also been compared to Clive Barker and though I’ve always adored Barker’s work, I’ve always had to give him my 100% attention because his stuff is rich with description and layer upon layer of dread.
I’m not going to lie. This book made me work. It’s filled with a despair that I just can’t put into words. The author painstakingly recreates Hell as a place you’d never, ever want to visit but not because there is some evil entity setting your ass on fire. No, in this version of Hell you don’t even know why you’re here so there’s not even a sense of “I was an asshole. I deserve this.” You arrive with no memory, are given a job and then you’re not allowed to do it properly. Talk about an exercise in frustration! Your existence is one of despair, tedium and malaise. And that’s all there is.
The story follows an “Information Man” called Fool who is dispatched to investigate the dead bodies that turn up in Hell (it is Hell and overrun with demons, after all). Fool catalogues endless crimes and murders but no one follows up on any of it until one day he runs across a body whose soul appears to have been eaten. Deliciousness! But that’s weird, even in Hell, so The Powers that Be get their ears all perked up and Fool is given a mission as well as a forbidden smidge of hope that maybe, perhaps this one case will be one he’ll actually get to solve.
The best part about this book is the imagery. The characters, if I’m being honest, are rather uninteresting. There’s a female or two and they’re pretty useless creatures, whining and wailing and lamenting and carrying on. Meh, go away. I have no patience for you. A livelier Fool would’ve made this one go down easier but he’s too bland for my taste. The descriptions are 100% what kept me reading but at a bit of a snail’s pace. I never felt an undying urge to keep going to see if he solved the mystery but keep going I did. I don’t regret it though because as I said the imagery and savagery is worth the time.
“He raised his head, feeling something that had to be blood roll down the side of his face. He lifted a hand to it, finding a short tear just below his hairline, another wound that would scar to a keloid ridge and add to the story of his time here, a story written across his skin in the language of Hell.”
Hi friends, here's a tossed off review but if I don't get it out now it will be gone forever.. Sorry I am so behind and can't really think straight.
I listened to this as an unabridged audiobook loaned out via Overdrive and read by Flinty Williams who has the most lovely, lilting English accent. I read this cold and I think it best if you do so too so this is going to be super brief.
It starts off a little weird and I like weird so I was hooked. It seems that children are being overseen by military men who keep them locked in cells, removing them only for their school lessons, but only after they’ve been strapped into wheelchairs. Ummm, what the hey is going on here?
I’m not going to tell you. But when you figure it out it’s rather unsettling to say the least. Sassy cats say it best.
The dulcet tones of Flinty Williams, along with the intriguing beginning, grabbed me but it was the humanization of the characters that kept me going even when some poo hits the fan and things started to get a little too bogged down in survival action for my personal liking.
This was a fantastic story with a beginning I loved and adored though I do wish more time had been spent at the “school” and it has excellent characterization. You’ll probably hate some of ‘em though (but what’s an adventure without a few baddies? BORING, that’s what!). From the beginning, you can’t help but sympathize with Miss Justineau and Melanie and they are two characters who will linger with me for a while.
There’s even some fun bits of sarcastic dialogue amidst all of the fear, anxiety and fighting for their lives. And who can't use a little sarcasm in their lives?
I will leave you with my favorite line.
“Do I have to punch you in the head again?”
We had an unexpected ER visit the other night and now I am incredibly behind. Please know I am not intentionally ignoring anyone. I am just swamped right now with work and other obligations but don't celebrate too soon. I will be back with more lousy reviews and commentary on yours someday . . . soonish?
Cool to the Touch combines two things that should never, ever go together. Zombies and sex. Yeah, you read that right. Zombie sex. Sex with zombies. Not exactly the stuff of which dreams are made.
“How consuming is love?”
Would you believe me if I told you this is a sensitive and eloquently written tale of love, loss, lust and utter hopelessness? You should because it’s true.
I quite enjoyed it. It’s not all up in your face gross as most of the “monster porn” I’ve read has a tendency to be (not that there's anything wrong with that either!). It’s sexy but not super explicit. It’s .99 cents for 12 pages of terrible beauty and if this author decides to write a full out erotic horror novel I’ll be the first in line to one-click buy it.
Read it if this is your thing. I won’t judge you. Come on. You know you want to. . . Here's a small sample of what's in store. You can blame my GR friend Tressa.
"Things were precarious just then. I could feel the aftershocks of her own pleasure clenching me at the root, as if every drop of me might bring her back from the edge of depravity that she stood upon."
Happy Easter Booklikers!
A woman awakens with a gun and a name badge and no memory of who the heck she was before this moment. She’s adaptable though, assumes the name Felice, and sets off to see what’s up.
What’s up isn’t anything good. Much of the world seems to have been burned to ashes and there are “screaming meemies” lurking about ready to suck the life out of you. Felice manages to find some food and a young boy who is also apparently suffering from amnesia. She takes it upon herself to protect him and to get to know him. I loved her then. How could you not?
So, you may be thinking this is just another post-apocalypse zombie-ish filled tale. Well, it is and it definitely is NOT. I know this makes no sense whatsoever but if I go into any sort of plot detail I’ll ruin it all for you and I’m not going to do that. I’ll only say that things take a unique turn and then another and though you may be confused here and there (or maybe that was just me) it all comes together in the end.
I love character focused books and Trooper #4 features a tough, smart and tenacious lead in Felice. She’s thrown into a confusing as hell situation and brings you right along with her as she tries to unravel everything that’s going on around her. She doesn’t sit around waiting for someone to save her or boo hoo about her situation. She digs in and figures things out on her own. She also has a snarky side which made me love her even more.
When someone gets overly complicated to show off how smart they may be she:
“Tuned out the techno babble. Really, who needed it?”
And, this description? Tell me you’ve never thought something similar about someone? (If not, you’re a nicer person than I’ll ever be!)
“The smirk on her face. The kind you wanted to smack off with sandpaper.”
Again, how could I not love her?
I listened to this book as unabridged audio and highly recommend it if you like a strong lead, twists, suspense and can deal with some plot confusion that gets cleared up. There’s nothing worse than a book that wraps up and leaves you confused, right? This isn’t that book. The story was expertly narrated by Barbara Benjamin-Creel . She has an almost musical voice that pulled me into the story from the very first scene. She does a beautiful job with Felice and the various other characters. I always knew who was who and she brought the scenes to life, something many a narrator fails to do, adding a depth to the story.
I can easily recommend listening to Trooper #4 if you’re looking for something different.
Inspired by Derrolyn. Happy Halloween everyone ;)
How could i resist this one? I get some weird requests that I share every now and again (did I ever tell you about the "boobie" shot glasses?) but this one makes up for all of it and I cannot wait to hold it in my hands!! And if it doesn't show up, for whatever reason, I am going to buy it.
Who is jealous?