Thursday, July 15, 2010

alice! it's not rocket science!

How difficult is it for Alice to borrow the correct book from the library for book club?

Apparently, it is incredibly difficult.

Two weeks ago, I reserved and picked up the book Devil in My Bed by Celeste Bradley. Oh man! I'm so going to read the book for this month's book club! I thought to myself. I had been horrible and had skimped on reading the book for the past two months, so now! now was the chance to redeem myself! More of, know what's going on when everyone else starts to talk about the book... it's a don't-be-completely-clueless survival technique.

I checked the evite a couple of days ago to get the address of the location of book club which is to be held this Saturday.

"Hi Everyone! Our book for July is Rogue in My Arms by Celeste Bradley. I hope to see you all there :)"

Um.. what?!

Luckily, I had placed the correct book on hold too (I must have been confused. Or drunk. Why I would browse the library catalog while drunk is a story for another day.)

Fear not, readers! I will succeed in having this book read.

I shall prevail!

Nalini Singh: Angels' Blood

Angels' Blood: D
Elena Deveraux & Raphael
Paranormal: angels, vampires

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux knows she's the best—but she doesn't know if she's good enough for this job. Hired by the dangerously beautiful Archangel Raphael, a being so lethal that no mortal wants his attention, only one thing is clear—failure is not an option...even if the task is impossible.

Because this time, it's not a wayward vamp she has to track. It's an archangel gone bad.

The job will put Elena in the midst of a killing spree like no other…and pull her to the razor's edge of passion. Even if the hunt doesn't destroy her, succumbing to Raphael's seductive touch just may. For when archangels play, mortals break…
(author's website)

When I think of Ms. Nalini Singh, I think of Slave to Sensation, the first of the Psy-Changeling series and the book that shot her into authordom. I loved that book. Loved it. I thought it was innovative and that it featured such a wonderful love story.

Unfortunately... Angels' Blood was nothing like that. I mean, I want to like this book because I like Ms. Singh, but truth be told, I couldn't take the story seriously.

I think the first disconnect I felt with the story was because our hero, Raphael, is an archangel. Yes, the strongest and mightiest being, who has control over vampires, but still, he is an angel. He is goodly and drop-dead-gorgeous with blazing blue eyes and perfect, perfect features, but .... I didn't know angels had sex. I just couldn't get over this fact. When there was heavy "sexual tension" in the air, all I could think was, but... but! He has huge wings sprouting out of his back! I don't care if they're beautiful and covered with angel pixie dust... he has wings!

Then again, what makes it normal to read about vampires (dead, immortal beings with animal-like fangs protruding from one's mouth) and not about angels? That, I can't really tell you. Regardless, I was still weirded out.

The hunt for the rogue archangel was good enough. The new fantasy world that Ms. Singh created was readable enough.

It was the characterization that I found to be lacking, especially between Elena and Raphael. Minus the sexual attraction and lust they had between them, I couldn't really say much about either without sounding like a cliched mess: Elena is fierce. Raphael is deadly and cold.

Perhaps there are only so many ways for character traits to be written, but really, the art of writing is in how these traits are shown, and Ms. Singh has failed to justly portray each character.

Bottom line: Skip.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sophia Nash: Secrets of a Scandalous Bride

Secrets of a Scandalous Bride: B+
Elizabeth Ashburton & Rowland Manning
Historical - British Regency

Elizabeth Ashburton lives behind a charming, happy fa├žade in an effort to forget her former life. But when she is forced to confront the devil from her past, her friends in the dowager duchess’s widows club can not save her, and Elizabeth turns to the last man on earth willing to help her…

The extraordinarily powerful Rowland Manning has never pretended to be anything but a bastard, in every way imaginable. Through innate grit and determination, he built an astonishing empire and he’ll do anything and everything to save it. Yet, the one thing he secretly craves . . . something even he cannot name, can never be purchased with his kingdom of riches.

Each has something to win. Each has something to lose. Only love will determine if the price of redemption and sacrifice is too high. (author's website)

Elizabeth Asbhurton has a secret. She is also running from someone who really wants to marry her, but he happens to be someone she cannot trust, so she runs into the arms of Mr. Rowland Manning (tall, dark, and handsome - why would you not run into his arms?).

I don't really remember the back-story with Rowland, but apparently he has done some low, scum-like things in previous books: something along the lines of kidnapping someone and trying to hold her ransom...from his legitimate, half-brother. But then, you find out Rowland's past and you realize why he is the way that he is.

One thing that was really interesting was Rowland's dislike of food and of hunger, in general. When Elizabeth runs into his arms, he covers for her and demands that she repay her debt by temporarily working as a housekeeper and cook in his home. Rowland works hard and spares little time and resources for unimportant things like food. She sees this and cooks him (and his men) sumptuous meals, forcing him to eat it as he tries to deny it.

It's pretty much representative of the love he feels for her.

But in the end, all of the nastiness gets solved and Elizabeth gets him, despite having sacrificed herself (in having plans to marry untrustworthy man to save Rowland).

Aw! Happily ever afters are awesome!

Bottom line: Good read. Alice recommends!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th of July

I finished reading The Secret Life of Bees yesterday while I waited for my sister to come back. It was a little difficult for me to get in to, but then... I got sucked in.

The book was more than a story about race issues in the south during the 1960s, but reading about those times once again reminded me of the struggle that people had to go through for equal rights. There are still people who are working for their freedom: freedom for their rights and independence from their struggles.

I hope that this Independence weekend will give you some of that freedom.