Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: Black Widow Trainer

Sorry this review is so very, very late. Better late than never, though, right? ^_^

Black Widow Trainer
Craig Odanovich

Genre: Erotic Adventure (from the book cover)
Source: The author sent me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 6.5/10
Buy the Book: Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million ~ IndieBound ~ Book Depository
Content Warnings: cussing, explicit sex, extramarital sex, some violence

Bored with tedium of her passionless marriage, Misty's life explodes after a weekend of mind-blowing sex with the man of her dreams. Exploring the physical limits of her newfound desire, she combines the lure of her honed, disciplined body with cunning business acumen and redefines herself as the Black Widow Trainer, a high-price personal trainer/escort. Negotiating an open relationship with her husband is the easiest part of her career move. Adjusting to the whims and demands of her well-heeled and imaginative clients, however, requires Misty to expand the limits of her sensual being.

The genre-busting novel features a cast of original, gritty characters, including an Alaskan sea captain, a pint-size satyr, and a genderbending woman, Misty's fantastic sexcapades in exotic locations around the world are hot enough to fire up anyone's sex life.

Book blurb from GoodReads.

Even though it's been a pretty good while since I read this book, I remember it pretty well. I had to skim parts of it to jog my memory of some facets. (Like the main character's name! Minor characters I can remember the names of, but not the main character. Why? I've no idea.)

I had mixed feelings about this book when I read it. I still do; I had to reread the ending to jog my memory before I could finish the review. o.O The concept is interesting; it intrigued me which was why I marked it as to-read on GoodReads. Which is what led to me getting the book.

What I Liked:

  • Misty's growth. I didn't care much for her at first, but she experienced a lot of growth during the story. However, see below... (next section)

  • Rob, Misty's husband. Other than being a pushover in the beginning, I enjoyed getting to know him in the scenes in which he played a part.

  • The settings. She visited some exotic locales for her job. There were enough details about the various cities for me to get a feel for the culture, but not so many details that it bogged down the story.

  • The secondary/minor characters. They were three dimensional and felt real. I can't tell you which ones were my favorites or that would spoil a lot.

  • The ending. It made me smile.

What I Didn't Like:

  • Misty. Though I ended up liking her (to some extent) for most of the book, she annoyed the heck out of me at first. Largely because of her treatment of her husband. Other things, too. Mostly her selfishness.

  • That a married woman would seek out such a lifestyle. If you don't care for someone enough to stay faithful, don't marry them.

  • "Passionless marriage". It takes two people to make a marriage work. It takes two people to allow one to fail too.

  • That a husband wouldn't put up a fight over his beloved wife living this lifestyle. (Note: I have a first printing. The author has informed me that scene has been changed in later editions. Just not enough for my liking. The new version is better, but not enough better.)

Knowing What I Know Now, Would I Read This Book?

I'm not sure. I knew up front what I was getting into, but some parts still surprised me. The book was good, but it could have been better. Part of me wants to read the sequel. Part of me wanted to throw the book against a wall. I haven't done that since I was in elementary or middle school, if I ever have.

Should You Read This Book?

If you love both erotica and adventure novels, go for it. Otherwise, skip it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Icons

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My choice for the week:


Margaret Stohl

Your heart beats only with their permission.

Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol's family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn't know it was fighting.

Since then, Dol has lived a simple life in the countryside -- safe from the shadow of the Icon and its terrifying power. Hiding from the one truth she can't avoid.

She's different. She survived. Why?

When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, off the coast of the sprawling metropolis once known as the City of Angels, they find only more questions. While Ro and fellow hostage Tima rage against their captors, Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the Ambassador's privileged son. But the four teens are more alike than they might think, and the timing of their meeting isn't a coincidence. It's a conspiracy.

Within the Icon's reach, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas discover that their uncontrollable emotions -- which they've always thought to be their greatest weaknesses -- may actually be their greatest strengths.

Bestselling author Margaret Stohl delivers the first book in a heart-pounding series set in a haunting new world where four teens must piece together the mysteries of their pasts -- in order to save the future.

Book blurb from Goodreads.

Ms. Stohl is the co-author of the Caster Chronicles. I already know I like her writing from having read the first two books of that series. (I'm so behind!) This book sounds really interesting, and I've been on a bit of a science fiction kick lately, so this is perfect for me. ^_^

Release Date: 7 May 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Series Review: Maximum Ride

I just finished reading the final book of this series a few days ago. I need to get this review out of my system before I can focus enough to write any others. o.O

Maximum Ride series 
(Books 1 through 8)
James Patterson

Release Date: various
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Rating: Varies by book from 5/10 to 9/10; Overall: 7/10
Source: Library
Buy the Books: Barnes & Noble ~ Books-A-Million ~ IndieBound ~ Book Depository
Content Warning: Violence, blood and gore

This series has also been adapted as a manga.

The Maximum Ride novels for young adults feature 6 teenagers who are 98% human and 2% avian.

NOTE: James Patterson's author note in the beginning of each books says:

"To the reader:
The idea for Maximum Ride comes from earlier books of mine called When the Wind Blows and The Lake House, which also feature a character named Max who escapes from a quite despicable School. Most of the similarities end there. Max and the other kids in Maximum Ride are NOT the same Max and kids featured in those two books. Nor do Frannie and Kit play any part in Maximum Ride. I hope you enjoy the ride anyway."
Series info from GoodReads.

What I Liked:

  • Max, Fang and the rest of the flock. Love them all.

  • The science. It's actually feasible. Mostly. With gene therapy and other such technologies coming into being now, I can actually see most of this stuff being possible in the near future. Scary as that is.

  • Dr. Martinez, the veterinarian who helped fix Max's wing in book one. She makes many appearances, and is more than just a random veterinarian, but I don't want to spoil it for people who haven't read this series. It's awesome, though. The character is awesome.

  • Ella, Dr. Martinez's daughter. See above. ^_^

  • Maya. Love her, though not at first. I can't tell you who she is because that would be a pretty major spoiler. ^_^

  • Character development over the series. Max and Fang, especially, change a good bit. Those two are my favorite characters.

What I Didn't Like:

  • Jeb. Seriously, what the heck is his mental malfunction? I don't get his motivation for pretty much anything he does.

  • Angel. The only member of the flock who has a tendency to piss me off. Why? Spoilers! So, not telling. Sometimes I love her, but other times, not so much. Or, you know, at all.

  • The Doomsday Group/ 99 percenters. Why? Just... just, why?

  • The preachy tone of a couple of the books. Book 4 (The Final Warning) and book 8 (Nevermore) have some really preachy parts. Those bits drive me nuts.

  • Dylan. He's too perfect. He doesn't appear until book six or seven, though.

Knowing What I Know Now, Would I Read This Book Series?

Yes, I would. Despite the few annoyances, and some preachiness, I would still read this series.

Should You Read This Book Series?

Do you like young adult books or science fiction books? If so, then yes you should. You may not be annoyed by the things that annoyed me. You may be more annoyed. You may be annoyed by other things. I don't know. I do still recommend the series, despite my reservations.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme for sharing the books you have recently added to your shelves. It is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

The following is by no means a complete list from the more than a year since I last blogged seriously, but I will list as much as I can remember. No pictures for now as I expect this list to be quite long. Links are to the book on Goodreads.

I've gotten several other books free, but I don't remember all of them. The ones listed are either ones I have read or gotten recently.

For those of you who are long-time followers of this blog, I am doing this as a replacement for In My Mailbox, which is hosted by the Story Siren. After the plagiarism debacle of early last year, I no longer follow her blog. I'm not sure I can trust her now. Maybe I shouldn't have trusted her in the first place. Anyway, enough about that...

There are other options for similar memes I could have chosen but I like this one best. ^_^

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I'm Back! (For Real This Time)

Seriously. I am. I promise.

I've already updated the "Recently Read" and "Currently Reading" boxes on the right side. I'm still working on a redesign for the blog, but I'm less worried about it than I am about actually blogging. Which is as it should be.

A big thanks to all those who've stuck around through my insanely long lapses. Love you guys! ^_^

It's good to be back.