Book Review: Cut and Run

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“A series of murders in New York City has stymied the police and FBI alike, and they suspect the culprit is a single killer sending an indecipherable message. But when the two federal agents that are assigned to the case are taken out, the FBI takes a more personal interest in the case.” (From Amazon.com)

Enter Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett. The FBI partners them together and sends them to the city to solve the mystery and bring the murderer to justice. The only problem is that Ty and Zane can’t stand each other. They bicker and fight with each other while trying to understand and discover the killer. But soon they both realize that while they still can’t seem to stand each other there is an intense attraction neither can deny. Sparks fly until they get taken off the case and four months later the killer is back and now he’s after Ty and Zane.

What I Thought:

I don’t think I’ll be able to form enough incredible adjectives to describe this book. Hands down this is the best M/M romance I’ve ever read and certainly up there in the top best books in general. I was immediately sucked into the story and the characters. Ty is fly by the seat of his pants, cocky and an ex-marine, making him the best man for the job. Zane Garrett is a recovering alcoholic, serious, and focused on the job at hand. They clash right from the beginning but also have a strong attraction to each other. The sex in this book is some of the steamiest and sexiest that I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a LOT) but it doesn’t detract from the story which was equally as exciting.

The murderer they’re after is offing people in New York City and it’s seemingly random. But Ty and Zane know there has to be a pattern. He’s leaving trinkets and tokens behind after every murder but even they don’t seem to have a connection with one another. The case is almost impossible to crack as it is but then it seems like the killer turns his attention to Zane and Ty. I loved the fact that the mystery wasn’t entirely obvious and it did take me about 3/4 of the way through before I had a good idea who the killer was. I liked that the authors kept me on my feet throughout the entirety of the book with both the plot and the developing relationship between Ty and Zane.

Fabulous is not a strong enough word to describe this book. The story-telling was excellent and Ty and Zane sizzled right off the pages. There’s something intensely erotic about two many alpha men loving each other.

Final Review: 5/5!

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Book Review: One Foot in the Grave

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“Half vampire Cat Crawfield is now Special Agent Cat Crawfield, working for the government to rid the world of the rogue undead. She’s still using everything Bones, her sexy and dangerous ex, taught her, but when Cat is targeted for assassination, the only man who can help her is the vampire she left behind.” (From Amazon.com)

What I Thought:

The second installment of the Night Huntress series picks up several years after we last saw Cat Crawfield and she’s gone from bitchin’ vampire slayer to bitchin’ special agent vampire slayer. She’s got a crew of fellow agents to call her own and all the vamps she can slay at her fingertips.

I especially loved seeing more of her team members. They each had their own distinct personalities and I could vividly imagine what they looked like and who they were as characters. Tate is back as Cat’s second in command and I really enjoyed the character. I pictured him as a younger Tate Donovan. (And not just the name-though I’m sure that had something to do with it!)

Cat’s best friend is getting married and while at the wedding reception, Cat runs into who other than the infamous Bones. He looks a little different, his hair a bit longer, wavy, and light brown. Still my small pet peeve with this series is that Bones is so clearly a carbon copy of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Even with the brown hair (human Spike!) and at the end his cropped and curly platinum blonde hair (Spike also sported this style in S7 of BtVS.) Still, it doesn’t bother me enough to make him unrelatable as his own character for some reason and I of course greatly enjoyed this book as well. I thought overall it was more action packed than the first and I really truly enjoyed the special agent aspect.

This time the villain is Bones’ maker Ian. I liked him as a villain and I doubt we’ve seen the last of him. I won’t give away the ending but I can’t wait for book 3. You’ll find some of my favorite lines in the book below the final review.

Final Review: 4/5.

“Life’s a bitch and then one stabs you.”

“You know the old saying: once you go dead, no one’s better in bed.”

“Some days, vampire hierarchy felt like The Godfather to me. On acid.”

“‘I am going to knock the slut out of you, Annette,’ I gritted between clenched teeth. ‘And that should take some doing, you uppity English tramp!'”

Book Review: Halfway to the Grave

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“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.” (From Amazon.com)

Cat Crawfield is the product of date rape. And as if that’s not bad enough, her so called father is a vampire. Since she turned sixteen she’s been taking vampires on one at a time trying to avenge her mother and kill her vampire father. If she can find him. But one night she meets her match in Bones, a sexy vampire who makes her a deal: he’ll help her find her father if Cat helps Bones rid the world of his enemies.

What I Thought:

I loved this book. I really thought the story progressed really quickly, there was twists and turns, and enough action to keep me interested. I love the Cat is half-vampire and I of course thought Bones was sex on a stick! Bones did remind me of a certain someone though.

Blonde…strong, defined cheekbones…british…and at the end of the book Cat even gifts him with a long black leather duster. Hmmmm… any Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans out there?? Bones IS Spike. But I still thought the story had more than enough originality for me to overlook the resemblance of Bones to Spike.

I like the vampire dynamics. The author did a good job of incorporating some new fun things like vamps needing to be killed with silver not the ever beloved wooden stake. Vamp’s eyes glow green when they’re hungry or aroused.  I thoroughly enjoyed Halfway to the Grave, am almost all the way through the second installment in the series and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.

“Upon first seeing my apartment, Bones had derisively said he was going to slaughter my landlord for daring to charge me money for it.”

“The same fingers that had just crushed and maimed delicately traced my jaw as though it were fine crystal.”

“‘Crosses. Unless they’re rigged up like yours, crosses dont’ do much more than make us laugh before we eat you.'”

“There is only one way to fight, and that’s dirty. Clean, gentlemanly fighting will get you nowhere but dead, and fast. Take every cheap shot, every low blow, absolutely kick people when they’re down, and then maybe you’ll be the one who walks away.”

Final Review: 4/5.

Book Review: The Dom with a Safeword

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“Late at night on an amateur ghost hunt, Sabrina and her best friend Q are caught trespassing by the gorgeous, blond Jude. The embers of attraction sizzle when they discover Jude’s kinks match their own. Jude is a Dom on his last summer of freedom before starting the prison sentence that is med school. Q is a badass bi switch who knows what she wants, and for years it’s been her cute, doe-eyed straight friend Sabrina. But the only way to get into Sabrina’s heart and panties may be with Jude’s fist wrapped in her hair.” (From Amazon.com)

What I Thought:

I won’t spend too much time reviewing the synopsis of the book since Amazon does a pretty good job of it. This is a light and fluffy read starring two brats and a Dom just trying to make it work. Q and Sabrina are friends and room mates even though Q desperately wishes to be more. But Sabrina is straight, supposedly… She is also a ghost hunter and one night the pair wanders onto the property of Jude. Thus begins our story.

I really loved the dynamic of the group and I liked that even though there were off the chart sexy scenes we also saw the relationship progress just as a normal one would. I had been searching for a good f/f erotic romance to read a few weeks ago because it’s just not something that I’ve come across. There are plenty of great m/m romances out there but I feel like finding cute and fun girl on girl is a lot harder. I am still interested to read one so if anyone has any suggestions, let me know.

In the end, this was great because readers got to experience the relationship from a couple different angles. You have Q and Jude, Jude and Sabrina, Sabrina and Q, and all three of them together. I think it kept the book fresh and fun. I loved the “bratting” and also the correction from Jude each time. There wasn’t a whole lot of plot to the book with the exception of the relationship dynamic.

I greatly enjoyed this one, very funny, cute, sexy, and dare I say…bratty?

Final Review: 4/5.

Book Review: Dominion

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“A paranormally-gifted female hunter is seduced by beautiful eight-hundred year old identical twin vampire brothers.” (From Amazon.com)

Eve Hayden is a pre-med student searching for her mother’s killer. She knows that her mother was murdered by a vampire while researching them. While digging thru her mother’s belongings she finds a manuscript but it’s in ancient French and she must have it translated. She meets with a professor at a university to find out more. But now all is as it seems and she discovers that she is speaking with one of the stars of the manuscript: Michel de Cernay, a vampire dead and born again in the year 1224.

Eve is sucked into a world she know little about – quickly finding out that she is a vampire hunter (an Adept) with special paranormal gifts meant to help aid her in the destruction of vampires. She meets Julien de Cernay, Michel’s twin brother and internal conflict ensues with Eve torn between her desire for Michel and following her mother’s lost cause.

What I Thought:

I did enjoy this book – but there were some key elements that I really didn’t like as well. I’m not sure if I’ll continue on with the series only because (and this may have nothing to do with the book itself but one can never be too sure) the book did seem to drag on in parts and I found myself getting bored rather quickly during some chapters. It didn’t flow from scene to scene (for me) as flawlessly as I would have liked it to.

I loved Michel’s character. He is a very old vampire who when human was a priest and eight hundred years later still struggles with his decisions/thoughts/emotions as a vampire. I enjoyed the conflict and thought the characterization was very well done. I regret not being able to see more Julien in the book though. The synopsis markets this book as more or less a love triangle but trust me, there’s nothing confusing about who Eve is with (in book one, at least.) We didn’t even get a good taste as to who Julien is versus Michel.

Which brings me to another dislike which is that the theme of Dominance and submission was the last thing I expected to see in this book. It markets as an epic and grand adventure – not erotica. Don’t get me wrong; I love alpha heroes (in fact, I can say I usually will not enjoy a book without an alpha hero) and I also love D/s but this was really heavily “leaned on” in the sex scenes and seemed forced at times. Of course I still enjoyed the scenes but I think they would have been better and more believable if Michel didn’t have to spell out every time that he needed to dominate her, needed her to submit, etc. etc.

At the end of the day this was a solid, strong book. And I appreciated the price. SE Lund seems to make this one free on Amazon every now and then and it it’s successors are all only $3.99 I believe.

Bottom line? Great start to a series with two lead characters who have steamy chemistry together but not as action packed as I’d have liked to see.

Final Review: 3/5.

PS: It is written in present tense first person. “He stares at me with wild abandon and I am walking to him.” Don’t let this alone turn you away, it was something I struggled with for only the first few chapters.

January

Happy New Year from Bitchin’ Books!!

I hope everyone enjoyed watching the ball drop…it’s back to work for me tomorrow but for those who get to enjoy the rest of their week off, read! (And relax, of course!) Here’s to hoping 2013 is a life-changer.

Now onto the book business. For 2013 I have signed up for six reading challenges…possibly more as I do happen to have my eye on some others. This is the first full year of Bitchin’ Books and I plan to make it a good one! We’re talking books, reviews, fun stuff, and possibly even some giveaways as the summer months come around.

But for now I plan to start posting a monthly blog entry detailing those books I may be reading over the next thirty or so days. Selfishly this is more for my own organization than anything else!

Right now, I’m finishing up three books: Shoulda Been a Cowboy by Lorelei James, Out of Time by Monique Martin, and Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning.

I also tentatively plan to read the following this month:

Kiss of Midnight

 

Kiss of Midnight is the first installment of Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series, which some have compared to the Black Dagger Brotherhood. VERY surprisingly (no sarcasm here, I was seriously surprised) I didn’t care overly for the BDB books so I’m hoping that Kiss of Midnight is an easier read for me.

 

 

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Fragments is book two in Monique Martin’s Out of Time series. It stars Simon Cross and Elizabeth West as lovers and time travelers. I’m almost finished with book one, Out of Time and have so far had a love/hate relationship with it. The romance in book one is not as steamy as I’d like it to be but the time travel aspect of the story is excellent and well-written. More on Out of Time to come.

 

 

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Hot Ice will be the first book that I read from Cherry Adair. I plan to read it as one of my picks for the Men in Uniform challenge. Taylor Kincaid is a jewel thief and Huntington St. John is the special operative that is on her trail.

 

 

 

(Click on the book covers above to be taken to its Goodreads page!)

And there you have it… I may come back to this page and edit/update it as I see fit throughout the month.

 

I hope everyone has a magnificent new year and a very happy 2013!

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: All Jacked Up

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“Pulling off the ultimate con–if they can keep from pulling off their clothes.” (From Amazon.com)

In the 8th book in Lorelei James’ Rough Riders series, we are along for the ride with Jack Donohue and Keely McKay. Keely and Jack have never liked each other. And when I say they have never liked each other, it’s an understatement! They have never been friendly and neither has any desire to know the other anytime soon.

However, fate has other plans and Keely and Jack get thrown together. Keely needs Jack to approve the restoration of an old building that Keely plans to use as her new physical therapy location. Jack needs Keely in order to secure the biggest project of his life. And so a deal is struck – Keely and Jack will fake an engagement in order to get what they both want….but when all is said and done they find what they really want is each other.

What I Thought:

I’ve been reading Lorelei James’ Rough Riders series out of order for the past few days. I’m not finding it hard to follow each book as they all are pretty much self-contained with the exception of the secondary character’s lives (these secondary characters either have already had their own book or will in the future.) Which brings me to the first thing I love about this series. There are so many different characters, so many great personalities, so many cowboys!

Hello, who doesn’t want to read about a sexy cowboy? But I digress because Jack Donohue is a sexy suit wearing business man. Keely is a wild child cowgirl and I loved seeing them go to the rodeo together. The sex scenes were smoking hot and out of the three books in the series that I’ve read so far this one was my favorite. The sexual tension was thick, the story line was great (I’m a right sucker for fake engagement stories,) and the book held my attention throughout.

“Jack braced himself for a new ‘friendly’ warning from another male member of the knife-happy, psycho McKay clan.”

Another tidbit I really loved was the character chemistry between Jack and all of Keely’s brothers: Cord, Colby, Colt, Cam, and Carter McKay. Some really funny moments between them.

If you’re looking for a smokin’ hot erotic romance with an actual fun storyline and drool-worthy cowboys, looks no further!

Final Review: 4/5.