Monday, January 26

Review: Stranger

Stranger by Megan Hart.

Ames and I have not had a very good track record lately when it comes to the books that we review together. Either she likes it and I don't, or I like it and she doesn't.
Has that changed with Stranger? Read on and find out...

Note: like always, our 'reviews' here at Breezing Through are not so much reviews, but email conversations about books that we read together. There will be spoilers.

I pay strangers to sleep with me. I have my reasons...

But they're not the ones you expect. For starters, I'm a funeral director taking over my dad's business. Not exactly the sort of person you'd expect to fork over cash for the lust and urgency only live, skin-to-skin contact can create. Looking at me, you wouldn't have a clue I carry this little secret so close it creases up like the folds of a fan. Tight. Personal. Ready to unravel in the heat of the moment.

Unsurprisingly, my line of work brings me face to face with loss. So I decided long ago that paying for sex would be one of the best (and arousing) ways to save myself from the one thing that would eventually cut far too deep.

But Sam was a mistake. Literally. I signed on to "pick up" a stranger at a bar, but took Sam home instead. And now that I've felt his heat, his sweat and everything else can I really go back to impersonal?

Let's just hope he never finds out about my other life...

Chantal: I'm done!

Ames: Yay!

So what did you think?

Chantal: I liked it. It was interesting because I started reading it not knowing anything except this " I pay strangers to sleep with me. I have my reasons..." That's as far as I read the back cover before I bought it. Megan Hart is one of those authors that is an auto buy for me. I don't even read the full blurb to see if the even sounds good, because I know it will be. Did you know that Dan and Elle are from Dirty?

Ames: Was that the brother?

Chantal: Yes, Dan was Sam's brother. Well well well, what did you think? Did you like Grace? What do you think about her 'dates'?

Ames: I liked Grace. I think because I can relate to her a little bit. I regularly go on the types of dates she does.

Just kidding!! LOL

No, the way she thought about relationships (not wanting to be in one), I'm kind of the same way. So although I don't have to deal with death everyday and see the outcome and how people are hurt and grieving, I still get her thinking. I can understand her hesitancy and reluctance. I can also see though why Sam snuck in under the radar. Here's this guy she can't keep compartmentalized like she does to the men she "dates".

Now, knowing that about Grace, I get why she does go on those dates. It's the perfect way for her to control the interactions she has with men and keep people at a distance. And make sure she gets what she wants. LOL

What did you think of Jack's character? For a split second there, I was wondering if Jack was going to end up being the hero, until Sarah was introduced. LOL

Chantal: Oh, girl, you got me all excited when you said you went on those kinds of dates, lol. I liked Jack. A lot. It was cute how he started off unsure of himself, but was fast to learn what Grace wanted each time. I knew he was going to fall for her. Poor guy. When he and Grace had their last scene together I was a little sad because I was wishing that she would end up with him. Sam was the right choice, though. Grace was great. I had no problem with her hiring rentboys. Sometimes a woman just wants to have sex (with someone other than herself) I see nothing wrong with said paying for it. Of course, I come from a mindset that prostitution should be legal. I'm not saying that we should let women stand on street corners, but I am saying that going back to the days of cat houses, medical testing and actual protection is a good idea--something that I would support. Sam was pretty smart with how he courted her. Not calling too often, and catching her off guard when he did, etc. I do wonder who that blond with the kid was at the end, though... By the way, I just wanted to mentioned something about this part,
"Anger, like lice, can jump amazing distances from one person to another."
It would be a great analogy if it were true. Lice leg joints are are formed in a way that make them able to bend enough to grab on to the hair--But not to jump. Plus, the position of their legs and their heavy backsides forces them to be able to only crawl. Medical science has never once proven that lice can or do jump. Lice do not jump. Ever. They can't. Not that those little facts have anything to do with the outcome or my opinion of the story. It's just a little FYI, lol

Ames: LOL You're funny Chantal. :P

Maybe she meant fleas? Those little suckers can jump high and far. They did studies, ewwww!

Chantal: They have done many. Lice is SO common with school aged children. Fleas would have been a more accurate analogy.

Back to the story now (lol)

I want to know what you thought of her family. Her dad especially.
And wasn't it neat to find out the inner workings of a funeral home? I thought it was interesting. How about the little romance with the two people working for her? I thought for sure they were going somewhere. It was surprising to see that relationship end as it did. It worked, though.

Ames: I found the funeral home business interesting too. Like stuff I never thought of before - having to remove a body from a home - those kinds of things. All interesting. And the little romance between her coworkers did work. I knew that when Shelly(was her name shelly? I can't recall) approached Grace about a partnership that it would backfire. She should have spoken to Jared first.

As for the family, I find it very realistic too. I had to laugh imagining her dad's reaction to finding out about his daughter's extracurricular activities. And then him giving her money? LMAO

Chantal: What I liked the most about Stranger, and about all her other books, is that they are so realistic. The feelings, the arguments, the day to day things, etc. I always finish one of this authors books thinking that she has done great research and actually talked to people who have been in each situation that she wrote about. I don't know if she really has done that, but it comes off that way. Which is very good. As a reader I want to know that things really could happen that way.

Ames: All right, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, from the way things went down with Jack and how it all came together with Sam. B+.

Ooh, I liked how it ended! That Sam had to leave so Grace would realize she could survive without him if she had to. Very poignant.

Chantal: Absolutely! Giving her some space was the ticket to winning her heart.
I LOL'ed when her dad gave her money thinking that Sam was a rentboy, omg, LOL. It's a B from me! Reason being is that I thought there could have been more sex between Sam and Grace. Jack got into her pants more than Sam, the hero, did. The romantic in me rebels against that.

Ames: That didn't really bother me. I thought Jack was an interesting character - plus he was hot. LOL

Sunday, January 18

The Tin Star

The Tin Star by J. L. Langley.
James Killian learns the hard way that smaller towns are full of bigots. When he comes out to his father he is not only kicked out of his home but off the Quadruple J where he works as the ranch foreman. With nowhere to go and little money, his savior comes in the unlikely form of his older brother’s best friend, the man he’s been in love with for over half his life.

Ethan Whitehall is a successful rancher and a well respected man in his community. His ranch the Tin Star has been in Ethan’s family for generations and affords him a certain prestige and power in the small town he calls home. Ethan knows without a doubt that all of that could shatter if his sexual orientation were to ever become public. But when he learns his best friend’s younger brother’s banishment and the reasons behind it, Ethan can’t help but get involved. He’s always had a soft spot where Jamie Killian was concerned, and it may very well be his downfall.
Nath was supposed to review this book with Chantal and I - unfortunately, she "didn't have time." LOL We're letting her off the hook this time, but watch out Nath, we'll get ya one day!

But on with the review!

Chantal: What did you think of it? Were you surprised to find out that Ethan was gay? I had no idea! I knew it was a gay romance so I should have known, but when we found out I was kinda shocked. Weird, eh?

Ames: LOL Yeah that's weird. I wasn't taken by surprise about Ethan. But I thought it was interesting how no one else seemed to know he was gay.

Chantal: Maybe I'm thinking that way because he was still in the closet. However, it was an open closet. LOL.

Ames: So yeah, I enjoyed it. The beginning started off a bit slow, but I got into it and couldn't put it down towards the end.

I like how Ethan stands up for his relationship with Jamie at the end. I mentioned that no one knew Ethan was gay, so that was a big thing for him to come out of the closet in their small town, especially considering how people reacted to Jamie coming out.

Chantal: It was heartbreaking to see the way Jamie's father and so called friends treated him. It was nice that Ethan stood up for him so strongly, no matter what anyone thought. And when Jamie's brother found out about Ethan and Jamie I thought the reaction was a nice change from the way Jamie had been treated.

Ames: Oh yeah! I thought John would freak out something, but he was cool with it.

Ok, one thing that really really bothered me: Grown men calling their father "Daddy" - that got on my nerves after a while. I kept thinking, "Yeah right." Despite that, I still bought the next book. LOL

Chantal: Yeah, I know what you mean. I call my dad 'daddy', but I'm a girl-so it's okay. lol
When I think of a man saying daddy it's rather emasculating. Do they sit to pee too? It's weird.

I, too, am going to be reading more from this author for sure. She knows how to write hot man on man lovin'.

Ames: All right, I'm going to give the Tin Star a C+. It wasn't the best, but it was enjoyable and made me want to read more by the author. :P

Chantal: I agree 100%. C+. It was good, not great.

Wednesday, January 7

Best and Worst of 2008

Before Christmas, I sent out an e-mail to Ames and Chantal. Knowing that the holiday season would be busy, I thought it'd be better if we got our Best and Worst of 2008 list ready early... The always well-organized Chantal had no trouble completing the task; however... let just say it took more time for Ames and me.

Sooooo, after much whip cracking from Chantal, Ames and I finally finished our Best and Worst of 2008 list... yesterday, LOL :) By the way, for those who are wondering about a comment I made on my blog, neither of us is a rotten egg, as we completed our list together :)


Number of books read in 2008

Chantal: How many books did you read last year, Ames?

Ames: 160-ish...there were a few I didn't finish, or I finished them in 2009 (so I'm counting those as 2009 books). What about you guys?

Nath: 207 give or take a few (I'm kind of forgetful... and I have difficulty remembering what I read a few days/weeks ago). That's not counting the re-reads and the mangas ^_^;

Chantal: 96. I'm not happy with that number.

Nath: You'll do better in 2009, I'm sure of it :)


Best Book Event of 2008

Chantal: What do you mean by best book 'event'? I don't know of any events...

Nath: What I consider book 'event' is anything that happened which is related to books or romance blogland. It can be a publishing deal, a release date delayed, etc. For example, last year, our best book event for Ames and me was our trip to Toronto, meeting other Canadian bloggers.

Chantal: Ah, I get it! However, there wasn't anything I was involved with at all that pertains to a book event.

Nath: We'll come visit you again this year, Chantal :) So you'll have a best book event for 2009! What about you, Ames?

Ames: Our trip down south for sure was a great event. That's the best for me.

Nath: Well, I have many best book events this year and I can't choose just one. So I'll list them all, LOL :) Of course, meeting the Southern California bloggers :D It's always sooo much fun to meet bloggers and I had a great time... Then, receiving Twisted Creek and Mine to Possess from Rosie who had them signed to me by the authors at RWA! That was just awesome!

Another event was the re-release of the Grace Valley trilogy by Robyn Carr. I finally got my hand on Down By the River after more than a year of searching.

There was another one... but all I have on my sheet is "starting"... so I'll try to remember LOL... Wait, I remember! Duh, starting Breezing Through with Ames and Chantal! LOL. Did I mention somewhere that I'm forgetful?



Disappointing Book Event

Ames: There was no disappointing book event for me this year.

Chantal: Me neither.

Nath: There wasn't going to be any for me... till I remember Can't Take My Eyes Off You by Judith McNaught. This book was supposed to be released in 2007 if I remember correctly. Then, it was pushed off to 2008 and now, the release date is August 2009... Still, wonder if I should trust that information.


Surprising Book of the Year

Nath: All right, onto the surprising book category. This can be a good or bad surprise...

Chantal: I'd have to go with A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas. For the price (I paid over $13.00!) it was way too short! For the amount that it was I was expecting so much more. My first surprise came when I opened the box and saw how little pages there were, and my second surprise was that my expectations were not met. It was a good story, but not what I wanted or paid for.

Ames: My surprising book of the year was the Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly. I was so not expecting to get swept up into Donnelly's world and I was. I cried, happy tears of course, it was such an amazing story. I have to give honorable mention to Pinkerton's Secret by Eric Lerner and the Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. Those books also surprised me, but not as much as the Winter Rose.

Nath: Hmmm, I have the Winter Rose and the Gargoyle in my TBR pile. Guess I should get to them soon :)

My surprising book of the year was Twisted Creek by Jodi Thomas. I didn't expect it to be sooo good. Sure, Dev enjoyed it and our tastes are very similar, but the back blurb sounds so unassuming and the book is somewhat different from most romance books out there. All in all, a very pleasant surprise :D


Disappointing Book of the Year

Chantal: I went back and forth on two books for this category, and I'm afraid that my choice is Mr. Cavendish, I presume by Julia Quinn. After loving The Lost Duke of Wyndham so much, I had very high expectations for Mr. Cavendish, I presume. It fell flat. If it had started off where the first book ended, then I'm sure I would have loved it, but reading the same book in a different POV wasn't fun for me.

Nath: Chantal, I think this is all a matter of expectations and anticipation. For me, quite frankly, it's a toss up between Fire Study by Maria V Snyder and Dagger Star by Elizabeth Vaughan.

Fire Study was actually quite good, but after waiting for more than a year, I was expecting excellent. I think that among the trilogy, Fire Study was the weakest... and I still wish that Valek had a bigger role. As for Dagger Star, this was another greatly anticipated book for me. It was an okay read, but really couldn't compare to any installments in The Chronicles of the Warlands trilogy. It's also a very subdued opening to a new trilogy.


Ames: Ooh, I enjoyed Fire Study, but yeah, not quite as much as Poison Study. I can see why you'd be disappointed. My disappointing book of the year was Reckless by Saskia Walker.I've never read SW before so I don't know why I was expecting to be wowed. The book wasn't bad (I gave it a B-/C+), it just wasn't what I was expecting, thus my disappointment.


Books that met your expectations

Ames: Books that met my expectations were... well there was one big one that started a whole quest in blogland. LOL Broken WingKristieJ has not steered me wrong and I expecting to be wowed and I was. Despite all you naysayers out there, LOL.

Chantal: Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I had high hopes, and high expectations. Both were met.

Nath: I'll go with A Virgin River Christmas by Robyn Carr and Scream for Me by Karen Rose. A Virgin River Christmas, although short, was able to capture the atmosphere of Virgin River. It was a quick, enjoyable read and a great addition to the series. Ohhhh, and another book that met my expectations is Down by the River. After waiting more than a year to read it, I thought it was a great ending for the trilogy.

As for Ms Rose, all I can say is that she's delivering and Scream For Me is no exception.


Ames: The thing with me and Scream for Me...is I compare all of Karen Rose's books to Count to Ten, which I love love love beyond all others. LOL So that's my bar when it comes to KR books for me, and Scream For Me didn't reach it. I enjoyed Scream for Me, but it didn't meet my expectations. But I did enjoy it Karen Rose!!

Nath: Yeah, well surpassing Count to Ten, that is going to be hard... but I get what you're saying... it's exactly the same for Maria V Snyder and Elizabeth Vaughan.


Best New Series to me

Nath: That would be the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. I really love it... it's intriguing and funny at the same time :)

Ames: The Tairen Souls series by CL Wilson and Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.


Series I've given up on...

Nath: Dark-Hunters and Dream-Hunters by Serrilyn Kenyon. I might pick up another book based on the main characters (Fang!), but that's it for me. Time to wean myself from that series.

Ames: I can't say I've given up on anything because I'm stockpiling books in my massive TBR. LOL So everything gets plunked down into there.

Chantal: The Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton. I got up to book 10 or 11 before I gave up. I have one word for the series since Anita went through her big change. Trash.


Best Comeback Author/ Redeeming Author

Ames: Ok now best come back or redeemed author. I'm going with Charlaine Harris. It's really not even a comeback, LOL, just that her last Sookie book, From Dead to Worse was more enjoyable than All Together Dead. So she improved, which is always a good thing.

Nath: Should we do a different category then? Best improved? Maybe next year...

For me, best comeback goes to Kay Hooper. Her last two FBI SCU books were okay... but I feel that Blood Sins is more like her earlier books in the FBI SCU series even though there wasn't much romance in it.

I know that best comeback and redeeming sounds similar, but to me, there is a slight difference. Anyway, best redeeming author to me is Laura Lee Guhrke... The Wicked Ways of a Duke was a major disappointment for me... and I was a bit worried for the next installment in the series... but she came back really strong with Secret Desires of a Gentleman.


Chantal: Damn, this is another one that I have no reply for.


Best New Author to me

Chantal: Julie Garwood. I'm mad at myself for waiting so long before reading any of her work.

Ames: This is another toss up – I read so many good authors this year. Let's see, there's CL Wilson, Patricia Briggs, Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen.That's not too bad.

Nath: Jodi Thomas for sure. I went back and read all her contemporaries backlist. Honorable mention goes to Kristan Higgins and Jana DeLeon.


Best New Author 2008

Chantal: Hmm, I can't think of any authors who came out in 2008 that I am jumping up
and clapping for.


Ames: Hmm…I read a lot of older books this year, so the standout in this category for new author would be the Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson.

Nath: I think this one is between Starr Ambrose (Lie to Me) and Julie James (Just the Sexiest Man Alive) True, both didn't have me jumping up and clapping for; however, their books were very enjoyable and I can see the potential...


Best Historical

Chantal: The Prize by Julie Garwood.

Ames: Pride and Prejudice!! No one can compare to Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Nath: Best historical is between Secret Desires of a Gentleman by Laura Lee Guhrke and The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn.


Best Contemporary

Chantal: Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard

Ames: There's a few for me with this one. And I read a lot of contemporaries, just not that many that were released in 2008. Still, there's The Trouble with Paradise and Smart and Sexy, both by Jill Shalvis, All Through the Night by Suzanne Brockmann, Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James, Flat-Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy and Sex, Straight Up by Kathleen O'Reilly. The last one really stands out for me because it's a category, which I'm not fond of.

Nath: Hands down to Twisted Creek by Jodi Thomas. Honorable mention goes to Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins, Lie to Me by Starr Ambrose and Addicted to Love by Lori Wilde.


Best Erotica

Chantal: Tempted by Megan Hart. This one made me spin in all different directions. It was sexy, had a great plot and made me think.

Ames: This category for me has Tempted by Megan Hart (thanks Rosie), My Prerogative and Sexy Devil by Sasha White. Also She's on Top by Susan Lyons. And I cannot forget Charlene Teglia's Wicked Hot.

Nath: Well, I only read one and it was pretty good, LOL. The Fortune's Hunter by Jasmine Haynes.


Best Paranormal

Chantal: From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris.

Nath: Anything by Meljean Brook this year. You have the choice between Demon Night, Demon Bound and even her novella, Thicker Than Blood.

Ames: Hands down Meljean Brook for me too. Although I only read Demon Moon and Demon Angel this year, they still stand out for me.

Nath: LOL, that's like the whole Guardians series!

Chantal: By the way I plan to start the Guardians series this year.

Nath: Yay!! You won't regret it, Chantal :)


Best 3 Books of the Year
in no particular order

Chantal:

1. A Virgin River Christmas by Robyn Carr
2. Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard
3. The Prize by Julie Garwood

Nath:

1. Twisted Creek by Jodi Thomas - is this a surprise?
2. Demon Night by Meljean Brook - I have to admit, I did like Demon Night better than Demon Bound :) Charlie made the difference.
3. Scream For Me by Karen Rose - Wow, that's two years in a row that Ms Rose has a book in my top 3!

Ames:

1. The whole Mercedes Thompson series – I'm counting them all as one book (cause I'm sneaky that way). LOL
2. The whole Tairen Soul series – again, I'm sneaky and I loved them all.
3. The Winter RoseJennifer Donnelly. Again, people, read it!


Worst book

Chantal: Toss up between The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss and Goldilocks by Kimberly Zant. Hm, okay, I'll say that Goldilocks was the worst of the two. At least TFATF had a plot. Most erotics can be saved if they at least have some good sex scenes, but Goldilocks didn't even have that.

Nath: Hmmm, worst book is complicated. I have a few DNF... but I don't know if it would the worst books. Among those I finished, I'm thinking Sweet Talk by Susan Mallery, Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips or Grimspace by Ann Aguirre.

Ames: Oh wow, that's really harsh. LOL Isn't there another book you didn't like even more than those three? Did you go through your blog to see your reviews?

Nath: LOL, of course! Those three were my lowest graded with Ds. What about you?

Ames: Although I didn't finish this book until a few days ago, the majority of it was read in 2008. And that book would be Untouchable by Linda Winstead Jones.


So that's it, our best and worst for the year 2008 :) What do you think?

Monday, January 5

Broken Wing Dueling Review

Back in October, KristieJ blogged about a Very Special Book. That book was Broken Wing by Judith James. I was gnashing my teeth to get my hands on it ASAP but it wasn't available in Canada until a whole month later. But I wanted other people to read it too, so when a discussion between Nath, Chantal and I sprung up about books to read for this blog, I suggested Broken Wing.

*side note* Chantal suggested The Tin Star by J.L. Langley. LOL We ganged up on Nath on that one. *end side note*

Nath got her copy super early in the States (I was jealous about that) and Chantal and I had to wait like everyone else for a copy. But we all finally got it, and we all finally read it. So here's what we thought! And as usual, there are spoilers.

Broken Wing by Judith James
published by Medallion Press in November 2008

Abandoned as a child and raised in a brothel, Gabriel St. Croix has never known tenderness, friendship or affection. Although fluent in sex, he knows nothing of love. Lost and alone inside a nightmare world, all he’s ever wanted was companionship and a place to belong. Hiding physical and emotional scars behind an icy fa├žade, his only relationship is with a young boy he has spent the last five years protecting from the brutal reality of their environment. But all that is about to change. The boy’s family has found him, and they are coming to take him home.

Sarah Munroe blames herself for her brother’s disappearance. When he’s located, safe and unharmed despite where he as been living. Sarah vows to help the man who rescued and protected him in any way she can. With loving patience she helps Gabriel face his demons and teaches him to trust in friendship and love. But when the past catches up with him, Gabriel must face it on his own.
Becoming a mercenary, pirate and a professional gambler, Gabriel travels to London, France, and the Barbary Coast in a desperate attempt to find Sarah again and all he knows of love. On the way, however, he will discover the most dangerous journey, and the greatest gamble of all, is within the darkest reaches of his own heart.
Genre: historical romance

Chantal: I started it. I'm only on chapter nine, but already it's a very deep read. It's easy to get sucked into Gabriel's head and feel his emotions. The dude is messed up. It's interesting to read about a cutter in a historical read. Normally I think of cutters as emo teens who wear black lipstick and listen to head banging crap music. Or I think of my cousin who had a serious problem and cut herself, not for attention, but to be in control of something, anything in her life. I'm still early into the book, so I'm interested in seeing where the author goes with this cutting issue.

My only complaint, so far, is that I don't know what year this book takes place in. It's a historical, I know that, but what year? I'm constantly flipping to the first page trying to find out, but the year does not magically appear like I want it too. LOL


Nath: You'll be disappointed, Chantal, because I don't think the author wraps us the cutting issue.

So what did I think of Broken Wing...


Ames: Wait, I don't want to say anything until Chantal is finished. LOL

One floor mopped, one crying baby boy and a day later…

Chantal: I'm finished. Finally found out around which year the book takes place... on page 340.

Nath
: LOL. All right, can I go now?

I enjoy the first part of the book where Gabriel was adapting to the Huntington's household. That part was the best in my opinion. Once Gabe left to become a privateer, I don't know why, but I lost interest in the storyline. Okay, it doesn't help that once again, I read the ending and knew what happened ^_^; Overall, I really enjoyed Sarah and Gabriel's relationship.

I think that the "good" secondary characters were all likeable as well... and it was a pity that Jamie was written out of the book completely. I also think that Ms James should have given us more glimpses of Gabriel's interactions with other men; actual scenes instead of just telling us passively.

Oh, and I thought stupid that Gabe didn't return to Sarah immediately.


Chantal: It started off strong, but like Nath, I lost interest after they were married and he went to sea. This is usual for me but I also skipped to the end to find out how it ended and then went back to finish the rest of the book. I admit to doing a lot of skimming--although some parts were very entertaining, there were too many that were slow and uninteresting.

Not going to see her when he lived that close to her for so long is unforgivable. Sarah was a good heroine in my eyes until the moment she forgave the excuses he fed to her. There needed to be A LOT more grovelling before his actions were redeemed.


Ames: Like you two, I enjoyed the first half of the book more. Sarah breaking through Gabriel’s shields, letting him know he’s deserving of love.

Sarah’s brother got on my nerves, constantly bringing Gabriel’s actions into question – I mean Gabriel was forced to do what he did, he didn’t set out one day to work in a brothel. I think Sarah was great in figuring that out right away and making others see it.

And yes, it’s too bad about Jamie disappearing almost completely. If the family was so hell bent on finding him after 5 years, why would they be so quick to send him off 6 months after they found him? He still could have had normal interactions with other youth but still live with his family.

The second half of the book, where Sarah and Gabriel are separated – although it wasn’t my favourite, I still enjoyed reading about it. His friend too, the chevalier Jacques, I really liked him. And Nath, you mentioned Gabriel not having much interaction with other men, I have to disagree. He trains with Davey and then he has the chevalier.


Nath: Right, he does interact with other men, but I meant we don't get to read it. His training with Davey happened so fast, it was a blur.

I really thought it was unfortunate that Jamie was written out. I mean, he's the reason they met.


Chantal: Yes, I didn't like that Jamie was written out, and I also found it odd that there was no reunion scene for Gabe and Davey. The two became close, and according to Sarah, Davey was terribly heartbroken when Gabe 'died'. I wish the author had let us in on the two of them reuniting.

Nath: I thought that Ms James had a good thing going, if she only focused on Sarah drawing out Gabriel and making him believed. If she had focused more on all the relationships and interactions between Gabe and Sarah and all the other secondary characters. I would have liked to see a scene where Gabriel would stand up in front of Ross and ask for Sarah's hand.

That scene where Ross walked in on Gabe and Sarah having sex - it could have been very funny. Instead, Ross walks in... then walks out full of anger and Gabe runs out to become a 'privateer.' I think the whole 'Gabe was captured and killed de Sevigny' was just too much. I wouldn't have minded if he was rescued and then returned... or if he left to make his fortune and came back...


Chantal: They were not having sex when Ross walked in, where they? I thought she was just straddling his lap while they kissed and fondled each other.

Nath: All right, perhaps not having sex.... LOL :) can't keep up.

Chantal: It would have been a better read, I think, if Sarah had been captured with him. For a book as long as Broken Wing, the H/H didn't spend very much of it together.

Nath: Ohhhh, you're absolutely right, it would have been much better and more powerful if Sarah has been captured with him. In all consideration, the ending was a bit rushed if you think about it.

Ames: As for Sarah and Gabriel getting captured together - it wouldn't have worked at all! First of all, de Sevigny would have tortured Sarah to make Gabriel cooperative. Or even earlier they would have been split up in the slave market. And the whole point of Gabriel going out on his own was to make himself his own man and be able to support Sarah all by himself. He had to prove to himself that he could do that for her. And he does, I mean, he's super rich by the end. LOL

Chantal: Okay, so maybe it would not have worked, but it's not like it worked how it is now. The second half was really not that good. I mean, how often do I skip to the end? Never! You know I think it's weird to do that (Sorry, Nath-LOL) I did it to see when and if something would happen to keep my attention.

Ames: I didn't mind that Gabriel didn't immediately return to Sarah. He obviously felt like he didn't deserve her anymore after all that he had done. Again, like his upbringing, he was doing things he had no choice to do. So that wasn't who he was. And despite the fact that he felt he didn't deserve Sarah, he still went to London and kind of put himself in her way. I mean, she was going to hear about him eventually.

What bothered me was him thinking that Sarah would have moved on. Sarah's character is the definition of steadfast and true.


Nath: You know, what annoys me with Gabriel's plan is that once again, Sarah had to do all the work. She had to "hear" about him then "come" to him... Poor woman!

Okay, we've been through the story... what did you think of the writing? I have to say that Ms James has a very good and engaging voice.
I enjoyed it very much... I thought it was very fluid, very gentle - despite what is happening :D Even though it's a historical, she did not focus too much on the historical facts and situations... she focused on her characters and it just flowed. I'm looking forward to read something else by her... although it'd be fun if it wasn't something as dark.

Ames: I look forward to Ms. James next book very much. I enjoyed Gabriel’s journey and triumphs very much.

Chantal: I don't think I will read anything else because I'm not fond of her writing style. At first I could look past it because the book started off so good, but once the storyline went downhill it was hard to ignore the way she wrote.

There were a lot of expectations that I had for this book. I thought it was going to be a fabulous love story with lots of entertainment and excitement... that didn't happen.

I don't want to be a total sour puss, there are things I liked about it. Like Davey. He reminded me of a good guy friend, a good gay guy friend. And I liked hearing about Gabe's exploits as a whore. Plus the first night that Gabe and Sarah spent together when they were star watching was very romantic.


Nath: True, true. I like that scene - the star watching.

Ames: I love the star watching scene too. That's a very pivotal scene for Sarah and Gabriel.

Chantal: I love alpha males, but Gabe was so far from alpha that it's not even funny. I guess that's good for girls who like guys who are not alpha, but I'm not one of them. What is the opposite of an alpha man, by the way?

Nath: Beta? However, I don't think Gabriel was a beta hero either.

Chantal: Yeah, I don't think he was beta either. There were times when Gabriel tried to act all alpha, like when he pushed her up against the wall to kiss her, but it felt fake. Like he was pretending to be macho. then at the end, when he was living with whats-his-name, he lost totally lost his persona. It wasn't even alpha, it was just mean.

Nath: The thing with Gabe is that he was used to act different persona for his clients... so that's probably why when he acted alpha, it felt fake. I think that the man was soo tortured and at such a young age that even he didn't know who he really was. Personally, I think that the way he acted with Jamie, that was the real Gabe, very deep down...

Ames: I don’t believe Gabriel was set out to be an Alpha hero.

Chantal: What was he then?

Nath
: Tortured hero.

Ames: LOL. He was who he was. You can't label Gabriel. Whore, privateer, renegados, gaming hell operator - he was those things, but he wasn't at the same time. Does that make sense?

Chantal: Yep, it makes sense. He was for sure a complex man.

For Broken Wing, I'm giving it a C-. As much as it started off strong it took a sudden turn that wasn't at all pleasant. A long with the constant head hopping the author did, I don't like being left wondering things, nor do I like the fact that I had to skim just to find some good parts. I wont ever re-read this and I do not recommend it to anyone. (Although the first several chapters were good)

Ames: I'm giving Broken Wing an A because I really enjoyed it. Gabriel was awesome, hands down. :P

Nath: LOL, I'll split in the middle and give it a B-. I did really enjoy the first part of the book. By the way, don't you girls think it's strange that Jamie was Ross' heir and there was no conversation about Ross marrying and producing his own heirs?

Sunday, January 4

Welcome back to Breezing Through

Happy New Years!

A new year means time for change, so we have a beautiful new look that we hope you will like as much as we do.

Coming within the next few days, a menage-a-trois review of Broken Wing, our post of our Best and Worst books of 2008, and all three of us have decided to make an effort to post more here.

We are putting our heads together to come up with fun and exciting things for you all to participate in.

Please take a look at and answer our new poll on the side bar. Are you pleased with the amount of books you read last year?

From,
Chantal, Nath and Ames