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ChristinasLair

Christina

I love to read and chat about books.  I'm always honest in my reviews and I enjoy  hearing varied opinions and different point of views.

Blood & Circuses - Manna Francis

As always I loved being in Manna's world. She continues to intrigue me with her new plot lines.

The only drawback was that I wanted more Warrick! I missed him. I know I'm being greedy, but I want it all.

Innocent Blood: 4.5 Stars. This was Toreth at his best. Once again he's put into an impossible situation where he has to find a way out. Add in the possibility of a mysterious new plot direction and you get one hell of a story.

Weekend Plans: 4 Stars. Fun, fun, fun. We get to see what everyone's been doing since the last book.

Constellation of Falling Stars: 2.5 - 3.0 Stars This threw me off because I didn't know what was going on at first. There should have been some link to the next story.

For Your Entertainment: 4 Stars. I was worried about reading this because I always thought B-C was kind of flat, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the many different facets of his personality come out. I enjoyed being inside his head. There's this boyish charm about him that you can't help but like. He's sensitive and is constantly questioning himself. I kept comparing his decisions to what Toreth would do and how he'd react to what B-C was thinking. This made it all the more fun :D

The Good Thief - James Buchanan

This was ok. It started off pretty well. Nate is an idealistic cop who meets Caesar at a party and then finds out that Caesar's side business is breaking into houses, which is quite the problem for the cop. Caesar and Nate end up in the middle of a dangerous investigation. I really enjoyed the first 50%-60% of the book. There was suspense and action, but unfortunately it fell flat after that. Most of the second half of the book was all sex and then all we got was a nice neat wrap up for the ending. Even though I liked both Nate and Caesar, I was bored by the end.

More Than Everything - Cardeno C.

This was a nice read, especially before the three men got together. That’s where the book lost me.

Let's start with the good. I loved the format. We got to see Charlie's life through his scrapbooking memories. It showed me a piece of Charlie's heart every time a new picture was added. Charlie is sweet as can be and proud of who he is. He makes no apologies for the way he dresses or for the things he likes. Charlie and Scott made a cute couple. Scott was the perfect boy next door. He is smart, cute, and played football. He was Charlie's first love. Then many years later he meets Adan. He's rude, insensitive, and cocky. A total opposite to Charlie, but Charlie sees something in him and gives him a chance. It was hard at first to accept Adan after the loving relationship Charlie had with Scott, but I quickly warmed up to Adan. Yes, he was a complete ass to Charlie, even up until the very end, but I understood where it was coming from. Adan was fighting preconceptions from his upbringing. I didn't like it and I hated that he hurt Charlie, but nevertheless I understood it. Charlie stood up for himself every time and never let Adan get away with anything. He gets hurt, but he doesn't compromise himself in the process.

Here's where it all goes downhill. So much was dedicated to the individual relationships in the first 70% of the book, that when all three met up again there was not enough time to work out any of the issues or they were simply ignored. It felt like the author was rushing through everything in order to get to the big sex scenes. We get a pure chance meeting between them and no explanation as to how Adan and Scott got together. We get nothing of their relationship together except their problems in the bedroom. They know right away that they want Charlie in their relationship. No discussions, no compromises, nothing. How does that work? It felt wrong on so many levels. There's a couple of scenes where they reacquainted themselves, but it's mostly about how much Adan and Scott want Charlie in bed. They make it clear that it's more than that, but that's not the focus. We get nothing of Charlie trying to work out how both his ex's are together after all these years and how he is dealing with it all. That was the most important part! We are told that 6 months go by before Charlie gives in, but really that meant nothing to me because what we saw was Adan and Scott showing up, apologizing to Charlie, and then making up. Very disappointing.

The Dangerous Seduction - A.N. Bond

This is a suspenseful story, full of intrigue and deceit. The man behind this deceit is Joseph Van Aardt. He’s a master manipulator. He’s rich, powerful, arrogant, and gorgeous. Everyone in the office fears him and he uses anyone and anything to get what he wants. And what he wants is to hire Ryan at his law firm. Ryan is an ambitious upcoming lawyer that wants nothing more to become as powerful as Joseph. Poor naïve, eager to please Ryan. He gets sucked into Joseph’s world and never sees what hits him.

The sexual tension is high between them and Ryan tries to resist and stay faithful to his fiancé, but there’s just something about Joseph that he can’t stay away from. Even though Ryan is naïve, he is not by any means innocent. He made his choices. They begin a sexual relationship and Joseph puts Ryan on the biggest case of both their careers. People begin to die and lies come to the surface. More and more, you begin to question Joseph’s motives and his intentions towards Ryan. On the surface it looks like he wants Ryan, but of course it’s not that simple. He’s a bit of a contradiction. He’s fighting for the little guys and you begin to see signs that he may actually care for Ryan, but then in the same breath he seems to be using Ryan’s attraction to him to get him to do what he wants.

The last 20-30% kicks into high gear. Secrets come out and in the end I was left with more questions and not many answers. Surprisingly this didn't bother me. I usually need some answers, at least to the glaring questions, but in this story I liked coming up with my own conclusions. So be warned - there are many unanswered questions.

Also, this is not a romance. Yes, it has some romantic undertones, but it has more of an erotic feel to it, even though there isn't a lot of explicit sex.

This was a 4 star read up until the epilogue. A half a star is added for the pure shock value. I love a book that can keep me guessing and allows me to come up with different scenarios in my head. This book fit the bill at every turn.

Off Campus

Off Campus - Amy Jo Cousins I loved being inside Tom’s head. He’s a wise-ass and makes no apologies for his actions. Everything he did felt real, even when he was a total asshole. Both Tom and Reese have some serious and deep-rooted issues. Tom doesn't trust anyone, he’s paranoid, and he’s selfish, while Reese is dealing with his past abuse. Obviously, it’s not smooth sailing for these two. Even though it took forever for Tom to address his issues, I took solace that at least he recognized that he was making stupid decisions and trying not to hurt Reese. To me, this was a positive step and I had faith he would finally come to his senses.

All the characters felt authentic. I loved Cash and Steph. They were great side characters. There were no bells and whistles in this book. It was two guys trying to live their lives, but unfortunately they buried their problems and hid from the world. Eventually they realize that this doesn’t work. It was a long time coming, but that’s what made this feel real to me. It sucks to face reality and deal with these types of issues and Tom was no exception. It got to the point where he didn’t have a choice. There were many times I wanted to smack him and yell “wake up!”, but it was all part of the journey.

Sometimes the writing got long-winded, but I got used to it. If I didn’t like Tom so much, I would have got annoyed fast. My other problem is that I wished we saw more of Reese dealing with his trauma. Even though this was Tom’s book, I was invested in Reese just as much.

I wasn’t that fond of Jack, but I will definitely give the next book a try since I enjoyed this one so much.

A Taste for Poison

A Taste for Poison - Aleksandr Voinov



Sadly, I was underwhelmed by A Taste for Poison. It was a nice wrap-up to all the lingering questions, but unfortunately everything was summed up too neatly for my taste. I missed the action and tension from the first two books. I missed the intrigue and the Scorpions in the thick of battle. Everything moved too quickly in this book, and being in Kendras' head was boring and repetitive. None of the major scenes were developed, so there was no time for me to latch onto what was happening. I was disappointed we didn't get to see more of

the Scorpions reaction to Runner's identity being revealed, Graukar's capture more fleshed out, Shadow as Death, and the Rebellion.

(show spoiler)

There wasn't enough build-up in the conflicts.

I was also disappointed in some of the side characters, namely Graukar. I was so intrigued by him in the last book, but nothing came of him. He was flat. He only served as Kendras' love interest and as the final catalyst for Kendras making up his mind about Adrastes. There was nothing dynamic about him and what bothers me the most is that there was every opportunity for both Graukar and Shadow to develop into amazing characters. The storyline was there for the taking, but alas, neither of the brothers were dynamic. Lasty, I was hoping to get more from Amrash. He makes an appearance, but it was more of the same. Nothing new was brought to the character.

Kendras grated on my nerves as well. I never minded him doubting his abilities or questioning himself as the Officer, but in this last book it irritated me. I really wanted him to be more forceful and standup to Adrastes with more authority. He did what he had to do and faced Adrastes, but it always felt like he had his head between his legs. And why did he take so long to deal with Blood? Geez.

It's one thing to gather enough evidence, but it's another to allow him to stay weeks when he was the one who caused Graukar's capture and would probably continue to feed Adrastes information.

(show spoiler)



Even with all my problems with the book, it was nice to be back in the Scorpion world. I enjoyed the prophecy surrounding Kendras. That was an interesting touch. Of course it's always fun to have Widow and the other Scorpions around, but again I yearned for more from them.

To sum up, I got the answers to my questions, however it wasn't in the fashion I would have liked or have come to expect from Voinov, especially since I love his works!

Flight of Magpies

Flight of Magpies - K.J. Charles
2.5 Stars

Bored through the first half, but the entertainment value picked up during the second half. I enjoyed the mystery, but I got sick of Crane complaining about Stephen's job. It was borderline whiny and I got tired of it fast.

A Picture Perfect Holiday

A Picture Perfect Holiday - Z.A. Maxfield 1.5 stars

Vixen's Valor

Vixen's Valor - Charlie Cochet 1.5 Stars

Characters were boring and the story was predictable.

Bad Behavior

Bad Behavior - K.A. Mitchell I finished this about a week ago and for the most part I liked it. Tai and Beach are a perfect match. Tai is a long time Dom and has an innate need to take care of people. Beach discovers his submissive nature and is in serious need of direction. Tai provides the control Beach desires. What I found lacking was how Beach dealt with this new lifestyle. It was mentioned that he was conflicted and at times even felt ashamed, but that was as far as it went. The story didn't delve far enough for me. I wanted to see Beach dealing with his feelings more and Tai helping him sort through the lifestyle.

True to Mitchell's style, it sizzled, albeit on the repetitive side, but I was hoping for her to dig a little deeper into Beach's psyche.

Coming Home

Coming Home - Jay Northcote
2.5 Stars

Fantasies: Christmas

Fantasies: Christmas - Cassandra Gold 1.5 stars

Boring and repetitive. Every sex scene was exactly the same.

Shawn's Voice

Shawn's Voice - Project Amy This didn't work for me. For the most part I liked the story, but the execution fell short. All the head-hopping and typos removed me from the enjoyment of the story. Both characters were endearing when they were young, but I felt a detachment once they finally got together. Although Ryan was always a bit controlling, I was hoping for more tenderness at this point.

The King's Men

The King's Men - Nora Sakavic
4.5 Stars

This was my favorite book of the series. It had everything I love - action, suspense, major character growth and yes, lovin! I was on the edge of my seat for the entire book.

All the characters have strong and distinctive personalities, and I love them all. Although this series is about Neil's journey, it was Andrew who captivated me from the beginning. Every gesture of trust and feeling Andrew expressed tore right through me. Both Neil and Kevin made personal strides as well, but it's Andrew I needed to come through this the most. The author made the progress of these characters believable. There was no magic love cure for these characters. They basically still have all the same issues, except now they have some hope.

Here's my only niggle. I felt like some of the plot issues were resolved too easily. For the most part, everything was tied with a nice neat bow. I would have liked a loose end or two. I know, I know, I'm crazy to complain about something like this, but to me leaving a little bit of uncertainty creates more mystery and keeps the characters alive.

I love the feeling of camaraderie Exy brought out in these highly dysfunctional and unstable guys. It was an exciting ride!

Return on Investment

Return on Investment - Aleksandr Voinov
3.5 Stars

Fantasies: Thanksgiving

Fantasies: Thanksgiving - Cassandra Gold
2..5 Stars