Thursday, February 28
I was trying to come up with a discussion topic when I stumbled over Kris' review of Strangers in Death. She mentioned in her review that in the book, we get an update of secondary characters that she has been wondering about... which led me to Charles and Louise. Specifically, their relationship.
**There are some spoilers, so if you don't want to know, please do not read**
So a little background on both characters. Charles Monroe is a high-class/high-end LC (Licensed Companion) which basically means, male prostitute. He's handsome and sophisticated and his job is to provide his service which range from company, conversation, escorting and sex... for a fee. Charles was introduced in the series in the very first book, Naked in Death - that means even before Peabody and McNab which are now fixtures in the series, and has made appearances throughout the series. I wonder if Ms Roberts intended for him to be a recurring character. Anyway, we saw Charles in Holiday in Death, if memory serves correctly, trying to find love through a dating agency. Even a LC like Charles wants love, stability and a good relationship despite his profession. In that book, Charles found someone he liked enough, but that person rejected him because he was a LC.
Louise (can't remember her last name) was introduced in Conspiracy in Death. She comes from a rich family and has a great deal of money herself. However, she's not the pampered, spoiled kind of woman. She's a doctor who works hard and long in clinics for the less fortunate. She's dedicated to those people and with Roarke's large contribution, has built a shelter for abused women and children.
Both characters have helped Eve in investigations, providing explanations and insight in their fields and listening to gossips, etc. They've actually met each other during an investigation through Eve, in Seduction in Death... and they had an instant attraction and connection to each other. We've seen glimpses of them here and there since Seduction in Death, but everything indicates that they're happy with each other. Eve often wonders how Louise can stand Charles' job, him having sex with other women... but Louise does and she has repeatedly said that it didn't matter to her what Charles was doing for his job.
**Spoilers alert! (Just in case you've ignored the warning at the beginning of the post **
In the latest book, Strangers in Death, we finally see Charles and Louise and where their relationship is heading... to the altar. Also, we see Charles' decision regarding his job - he decided to give it up... because he couldn't give his 100% to his clients anymore, because all he could think of is Louise... instead, he'll now be a sex therapist :P
**End of spoilers**
So what do you think? What's your take on Charles and Louise's relationship? Are you like Eve?
Did you wish for Charles to marry Louise, but continue as a LC? Do you think it would have been possible?
Personally, I was never bothered by Charles and Louise's relationship. I love both characters and I cheered so loud when they became a couple. Of course, ideally, I'd probably have preferred that Charles stop being a LC or at least, stop having sex with his clients. However, if Louise wasn't bothered, then we're all like Eve... we can only wonder, but not interfere right? So I'm happy that Charles decided to retire from being a LC and pop the question... but I wonder, was Ms Roberts a bit too conservative with this decision? Could Louise and Charles still get married and live happily without having Charles retire?
Of course, in real life, it's another issue. If I had a friend falling in love with someone who was selling himself and his body, could I support that friend? I don't know... Which is why I'm glad there's fiction and reality :)
So what's your take?
Just a quick reminder that there's about one day left for the polls. I'm not sure, but that probably means it'll end this Saturday morning. (After the day, it counts the hours and so on...) So if you haven't voted yet, please do! It only takes a few seconds... and of course, if you have more time on your hands, you can explain me your choice via the comment section or the blog email address: breezingthroughbooks @ gmail . com (without spaces)!
Some little clarification about the polls... Mainly the one about Facial Hair. For that poll, I guess I should have been more specific... I meant "real," maintained facial hair such as mustaches and beard, not stubble or 5 o'clock shadow. As for the height one, I know it's tricky, because it mainly depends on how tall we are ourselves, but please try to choose the choice closest to your preference.
Also, I'll make a part 2 for this polls series. Again, it will be focus on the hero, but this time, more about coloring. Do you prefer them blond or dark.... eyes colors and etc. If you have any suggestions of polls, they are welcomed.
Saturday, February 23
He's a Harley-riding ex-thief working undercover for the government. She's a gun-toting ex-socialite hired to protect a valuable museum exhibit. But in her attempt to stop a heist, she never anticipated having her breath and her heart stolen...
Mac Canfield was the last man Lily West expected to see again, never mind aim her gun at. But here he was, the bad boy who'd broken her heart years ago-still a thief, this time high-jacking a priceless artifact--and it was all she could do to push aside the memories of how it felt to have his perfectly chiseled body next to hers.
Mac was no less shocked to see the beautiful girl-next-door all grown up, threatening to shoot him on the spot. Little did she know she was blowing his cover-and now he had to figure out how to get her out of harm's way without succumbing to his crazy desire to take her on a hot trip down memory lane.
Unfortunately, Lily has no intention of going anywhere with Mac. Which means he has to resort to kidnapping. Unless, of course, she agrees to let him take her for the kind of ride destined to drive them both unbelievably wild...
Series: Wild Riders, book #1
Nath: Hmmmm, I discovered Jaci Burton through her previous book, Wild, Wicked & Wanton, which had a lot of success in blogland... mainly because it was HOT... Like sizzling hot LOL :) I enjoyed WW&W which is why I got Riding Wild... which I'm sure is the same reason as Ames, right?
ames: Right. :P
Nath: What did you think Ames? Me, I neither liked or disliked Riding Wild. I never got into the story. I read and finished it, but I never felt a thing for Lily or Mac. I felt like the characters weren't developed enough. They were uni-dimensional. Lily came across as a spoiled, rich girl whose life ambition was to annoy her father. I mean, great for Lily that she became a strong woman instead of letting her father bulldozed her life, but seriously... She was too gleeful about making her father mad... I even wonder if her father has been a suspected, would she have sold him out without hesitation?
Nath: And the Wild Riders? Although the idea behind the organization was a good one - having thieves stealing back what has been stolen from the government, I came to realize that I'm tired of the ultra-secret government organization storyline. You know, the government organization that nobody knows about, even the other organizations, and that even the president would deny the existence? We've seen it in the Crazy series by Tara Jensen, the BAD series by Sherrilyn Kenyon and many more. It's just getting old. And must all the "men" in it be gorgeous? Didn't you think they were a bit juvenile? That part didn't make me want to rush out and buy the next book. I know, I've complained numerous times in the past about series baiting... but seriously, the Wild Riders came off as high school boys.
ames: LOL!! I never got into the BAD series with Kenyon, so I'm not over the secret government agency like you. I don't know, I was kind of interested. But in no rush either.
Nath: There was a lot of sex in this book, much more than what I'm used to. I guess it's because it's an erotica romance, LOL :) I'm not complaining about it because it was hot and it was probably the best part of the book :)
All in all, I think this was a valliant effort by the author, but it fell short. The characters weren't developed enough, neither was the plot... and that's a shame because the idea wasn't bad. All in all, I would say the book just wasn't balance enough between the sex and the rest of the book. I think that maybe it stems from the fact that Ms Burton is used to writing shorter works, where she doesn't have time to develop plotlines and characters. I mean, look at Wild, Wicked & Wanton. That book contained 3 short stories where the focus was sex; however, I may be wrong because she does have the Demon Hunter series...
ames: I agree. This book just seemed uneven at best. But I'll still keep reading Jaci's work-I enjoy her ebooks and her short stories are good. :P This is a C+ for me.
Nath: It's getting a C from me... and I'll probably give her another chance.
Friday, February 22
First Poll: Favorite Psy/Changelings book in the series
So far the series have 4 books and a novella. Here were the results:
The results were quite interesting. I wished I had kept track of the votes during the poll. So here is a summary: for the first few days, Slave to Sensation and Visions of Heat were tied... then, Slave to Sensation took the lead and it took quite a few days before Caressed by Ice received any vote!! Then, Caressed by Ice and Visions of Heat were tied and I think it's only yesterday or the day before that Caressed by Ice received more votes.
Personally, I was surprised at how well Visions of Heat did - but I'm biased, because among the three - StS, VoH and CbI, VoH was my least favorite. I thought something was missing in that book, a little bit of ooomph. What didn't surprise me is that StS won the poll. First book of a series is usually the strongest/favorite... because of its impact I guess.
Unfortunately, Enchanted Season and Mine to Possess didn't get any votes. It is understandable for Enchanted Season, after all, it's a novella... and the story was set in the past. So although it was a very good novella, it couldn't compare with full novels. I'm surprised nobody vote for Mine to Possess though... It wasn't my favorite, but it wasn't bad either. Actually, it got quite a lot of good reviews. Do you think it's because of Talin's character? I think that Talin was the weakness in MtP...
I'll definitively make another poll after Dorian's book. Dorian is a character we've seen throughout the series and he had larger parts than Clay and Vaughn (well except for their own novel). It'll be interesting to see if his book measures up and if there's any change in the poll.
Second Poll: Do You Think Kaleb is the Ghost?
Zeek asked who was the Ghost. I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying that the Ghost is a Psy who is rebelling against the Council. If I'm correct, his goal is to stop Silence or at least rehabilitation to free the Psys and that means taking down the Council. He makes his first apparition in Caressed by Ice.
So far, his identity is unknown. All we know for sure is that he is Psy, has access to a lot of confidential information and is very loyal to the Psy. With the events in the last book, Mine to Possess, it seems to me that Kaleb might be the Ghost... however, what do others think?
Yes: 41.2%, No: 16.6%, Unsure: 41.2% (Total no. votes: 17)
Those who are certain of their opinon seem to lean towards yes, rather than no. I guess that most people, just like me, have been swayed by Mine to Possess; however, many are still unsure. I guess we'll soon find out. In a Q&A post at Book Binge, author Nalini Singh said that she would started dropping more clues in future books and that most readers will be able to guess his identity... So I guess we'll find out soon... if not, we can always wait for his book :D
So what do you think of the results in the polls? Are you surprise? Do you agree? Did you change your mind after seeing the results (Kaleb's poll)? Feel free to let us know :)
Poll series no.2 will soon be up. Either later this afternoon or tonight. The polls will be about heroes' physical appearances - what you like, dislike, etc. If you don't mind a little bit of extra work, could you send me (breezingthroughbooks @ gmail . com -without spaces) a little explanation of your vote? It doesn't have to be for all categories... Thanks!!
For eg: I don't like chest hair and I know I'm the exception. Unfortunately for me, it seems that all heroes have chest hair, ugh - however, not the male cover LOL :) However, I think this is an Asian thing... because not many Asian males have chest hair...
Thursday, February 21
Just a quick reminder that today is the last day to vote in the 2 polls about the Psy-changeling series by Nalini Singh. I'll be doing a follow-up on the results tomorrow :)
*** I've realized that some of you haven't read the whole series yet and therefore, have not vote.
EDIT: Turns out that I can't edit a poll once ppl have cast their votes. It's nice to know. So if you have not vote because 1) you have not read the series at all or 2) because you haven't caught up with the series, please let me know in the comment section. Thank you.
Tomorrow, I'll be starting another series of polls as well, about heroes and their physical appearances. Initially, I wanted to do a post about it, but it's easier to write it when you have an idea of what others think as well. So far, I have 4 categories: hair , chest hair, facial hair and height. If you can think of any other physical characteristics that attract you or that you dislike, but you keep seeing all the heroes having those features or wish they would have and you'd like to know what others are thinking, please feel free to e-mail me at breezingthroughbooks @ gmail . com (without the spaces) or post it in the comments :)
Have a nice day!
Tuesday, February 19
Anyway, I was bored on last Friday and decided to go the UBS. See, it's been a while since I last went to the UBS and there's nothing at the bookstores that I want/need to buy. Mostly because I've pre-ordered most of the books I'm looking forward to and already own whatever looks interesting to me. Blame it on boredom. Okay, so I was at the UBS and suddenly, I didn't feel like buying anything. Everything looked meh or blah. Then I asked the UBS lady what was the last GOOD contemporary romance she read. She came up with nada. Well actually, she came up with some suggestions, but most either contained some paranormal elements or I have read them already or I didn't enjoy the author.
Go to a bookstore and cruise through the aisles. There's tons of historicals, a lot of paranormal romances, a fair number of romantic suspenses... but straight contemporary? Where do I have to go to get those?
On top of my head, here are the straight contemporary romances authors I can name that are still writing straight contemporary:
Okay, so the list goes on and is longer than I thought it would be. However, these authors all come out with one book a year... perhaps two. That makes the wait very long and once you've read them, what can we look forward to?
So why are authors writing less and less contemporaries? Because paranormal romance is hot right now? Because the market for it is down? Because the authors are not interested in writing it? Also, why is historical still going strong?
What do you think? and do you have the contemporary blues like me? By the way, if you can think of new authors or suggestions, feel free :) I would love to get some :)
Sunday, February 17
Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father—the one responsible for ruining her mother’s life. Then she’s captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.
In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She’s amazed she doesn’t end up as his dinner—are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn’t have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.
Chantal: I finished Halfway to the Grave. I have SO much to say. Don't even know where to start.
I can't believe she left him. ARGHHHHHH!
What grade would you give it? I'd give it a C+, and the plus is for Bones. LOL
Chantal: C+ Because it's not very original, there are noted inconsistancies. The + is for Bones. He is so hot!
Ames: The big inconsistency for me was Cat. She was very annoying and I felt like the author couldn't make her mind up about her. And the sex? MEH. Plus the description about them kind of ruining the hotel room in their sex, that doesn't fit the character because she was so damn modest. I mean, I doubt she'd get over the bad sex in her past that fast. And I couldn't stand how she hid Bones from her mom. And the stupidity of Timmie being her pretend boyfriend so Bones would get jealous BLAH.
Chantal: Cat didn't bother me. I mean, she did at first because the modesty annoyed me, but I thought she grew into herself over the months rather well. I liked Bones. A lot. his jealousy over Timmie kinda made me hot, LOL.
You are so right about the trashed hotel room, I didn't buy into it either.
What did you think of the ending? I don't like how she picked her mother over Bones. Ugh. I would not have been sad if the Vamps had killed her mother a long with the grand parents.
And that chick who tried to kidnap and shoot Cat, I forget her name, well didn't you find it weird that she acted shocked when Cat told her her real age when she knew it the whole time? (Because it was listed in the computer) Just a little inconsistency I picked up on.
Seriously, I like Bones. He is strong, mean and romantic.
What parts of the book did you like the best?
Ames: When Bones kicked Cat's ass at the beginning. LOL
I didn't feel like Cat grew into herself - there was no character development. UGH. And I just couldn't understand why Bones fell in love with her! This book just rubbed me the wrong way all around. LOL
Ordinarily, any jealousy on the hero's part would make me hot too, but it was so contrived with Timmie. Like we could see it coming a mile away.
And yeah, her mom could have died and saved Cat a lot of misery. Do you like where this series is obviously going? Using her special abilities to hunt down the paranormal for the government? She's just too immature to be put in charge of her own squad - and her toughness is so fake. She's just a scared little girl who wants her mommy's approval.
Yeah, I have strong feels against Cat. LOL
Chantal: Her mom reminds me of one of those parents who disown their kids because of sexuality. That attitude disgusts me.
Otherwise, how do you feel about Bones?
Ames: He's yummy except for the fact that he fell in love with an idiot. LOL I really didn't believe his love. I mean, he doesn't show his love in any way before he tells her how he feels. So we're supposed to believe it because the author tells us to? Plus, I don't think he would have pussyfooted around Cat the way he appears to. I mean, why did it take him so long for him to tell Cat that she was half vampire and that it's her reality.
What do you think about the way this series is looking to go?
Chantal: I don't like where the series is going because I don't believe it. She may have gotten over her embarrassment of seeing a *gasp!* penis, but it's a joke to think that she can head her own group or squad. It's comical, really.
Will you read the next book? I might, for Bones. Even though I don't have a hate on for Cat like you do (LOL) I don't like her enough to seek out the next book without a whole lot of Bones. I believe it is called A foot in the grave. Wouldn't it be nice to have the next one just from his POV? Yeah, that would be great.
I'll flip through it at the bookstore and see how much of role Bones has in it, then I'll decide on buying it or not.
Ames: I don’t think I’ll read the next one. I’ll see what you think though! LOL
Friday, February 15
published by Berkley Sensation in February 2008
Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack, he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed...and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man and losing his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead.
Talin McKade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror. Now a new nightmare is stalking her life--the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead. Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the darkest secret in her heart and returns to ask the help of the strongest man she knows...
Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again, his hunger to possess her, a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past...or lose everything that ever mattered.
Genre: paranormal romance
Series: Psy-Changelings, Book #5
Nath: Okay, let’s be brutally honest - I enjoyed the book and liked it, but I didn't love it. Not like I love Slave to Sensations and Caressed by Ice. I think I didn't like Talin all that much, I couldn’t bond with her. I had a mental block when it came to her character… Yes, she’s a strong heroine and all; however, I don’t agree with many decisions, no matter how well explained and rationalized they were in the book. However, Clay… Clay is very, very yummy.
Chantal: There isn't anything I didn't like. Every time Clay used his claws to take off Talin's clothes I swooned. One thing I noticed as I read was that I kept touching my DH. We are an affectionate couple who do a lot of hand holding, hugging, kissing, etc, but while I read Mine to Possess, I seemed to need the 'skin privileges' even more. I love how the book seeped into my real life that way.
I admit I was nervous to start it because I was not at all impressed with Caressed by Ice. I felt nothing for Judd, and I was afraid that I would not be able to connect with Clay either. I did connect with him though.
Nath: I was worried too... I was worried I had too high expectations and it would ruin the book for me, like it happened so many times before. But it didn't. Which is all to Ms Singh’s credit.
Another thing that bugged me a little is Clay and Talin’s relationship. I don't know if an 8 years old girl can from such an attachment. It seems that the connection they have would have been more believable to me if Talin would have been a bit older.
Chantal: I wasn't surprised about that attachment Talin made to Clay at that young age. I have kids, and I have seen them form those attachments to people other than DH and myself on several occasions. I even would have believed it if Talin was younger than 8. So yeah, the attachment issue was believable for me.
Nath: Yeah, maybe it's because I don't have kids. I mean, it's not that I don't believe Talin getting so attached to Clay... However, it seems to me that it wouldn't translate into love and such strong love at such a young age... but then, now, I wonder if Clay didn't recognize Talin as his mate when he was young and just didn't realize it. I don't know if you remember but I think it's in Caressed by Ice, Hawke says that when he was a kid, he had a childhood friend and he knew she was going to be his mate. Perhaps it's the same for Clay, but because he wasn't raised in a pack, he didn't know he was going to have a mate and didn’t realize that Talin was it.
One thing I’m sure about though is that I would have liked to know more about Clay and when he joined the pack. We know that Nate picked him up, but why did he choose to be so loyal to Lucas. Any events in particular?
Chantal: Good point about Clay and his role in Dark River. When I think about it there may have been a moment where I wondered the same thing. Also, when did Faith and Clay get so close? They had few interactions in Faith and Vaughn's book. I even just flipped through to see if I missed something.
Nath: Well it was said that Clay came to have dinner at Faith and Vaughn’s place at the end of Visions of Heat. That’s the only clue we’re given… but I think it was also said that this was a rare occurrence to Clay. That it surprised everyone and I guess it meant that Clay and Faith started to have a connection too.
I have to admit, one thing that made Mine to Possess so good to me was that the book is moving the story arc along very well. The whole rebellion plot is taking shape and it's very interesting. I like how we discover new elements about the Psy-changeling world in each of the book, without having the feeling that Ms Singh is just dumping information to her readers. All the new information is well integrated in the storyline and is easy to follow. So kudos to Ms Singh.
Any supposition as who is the Ghost? I'm starting to think Kaleb, but wouldn't that be too obvious?
Chantal: The Ghost part is messing with my head, LOL. Every time I think I know who it is my mind changes. I can't wait to find out.
What did you think of Dorian this time around? His flirting with Talin was cute. I'm a fan of Talin's, but too bad he didn't get the chance to dunk her in cold water like he threatened, lol.
There was a lot of laughter for me while reading Mine to Possess. Most of the time it was Dorian and his back and forth banter that made me giggle. I may be more excited for his story than I am for Hawke's now!
Nath: Well at least, you won’t have to wait for long, since Dorian’s story is next! I guess she prepared the readership very well for the next book, but again subtly. There was almost no mention of the Snow Dancers in this book… so I guess it took away a bit of the anticipation for Hawke’s story and focused it all on Dorian.
Chantal: Just waiting for one of the gals to get knocked up now!
Nath: See, that’s something I find it refreshing too… Although we’re in book 5 of the series, there’s still none of the previous heroine pregnant! How rare is that! LOL.
Chantal: What would you give Mine to Possess? An A from me, for sure.
Nath: I'm giving it a B+.
psssst - take a look at the polls :)
EDIT: Polls are up, but the font is white! Arghh!
you can wait till I change the color to vote or you can highlight and see! Sorry for the inconvenience.
Thursday, February 14
Plus we still really want to do some of those joint reviews! LOL
As Nath and I have been moving forward with this blog, we decided to ask Chantal to join us for a couple of reasons. The first being, she really wants to do a threesome with us.
Now get your mind out of the gutter!
She wants all 3 of us to do a couple of reviews together, so that's cool. Also, I had lots of fun with that guest post I did on her blog about cheating. So we figured we'd do threesomes and discussions here - and it would all be centrally located, instead of scattered around the blogoverse.