Saturday, February 20, 2016

How I Met Your Father by L.B. Gregg

Two months ago

Me: OMG there is a book on Audible called How I Met Your Father! I’ve lost the ability to even.

Jess: You're being judgmental. You never know, it might be good

Me: Maybe

*stares at 2.95 sale price*

*clicks buy*

Former member of the now defunct boyband Rhythm Method (yeah) Justin Hayes is on his way to the West Indies to the wedding of his best friend / fellow band member when a chance encounter during a layover leads to anonymous quickie in the airport bathroom. A little ashamed of the encounter, Justin heads to the wedding pre-party only to find out that anonymous man is Jack Bassinger…. the father of the bride.

There are some parts of this book I didn’t love, but overall I thought this book was really sweet romance. I loved the relationship between the guys who were in the band together. I didn’t realize this was a celebrity book when I picked it and I think making the guys 10 years removed from their stardom was an interesting perspective. In such a short book, I feel like I got a clear picture of who they each were and how much they meant to each other. I want them each to have a romance novel. Except for the White guy with braids TJ...he was super annoying and can go DIAF.

The relationship between Jack and Justin didn’t really spark for me and I think it’s because this book is only from Justin’s perspective. Jack was like a blank slate and all of his conflict we get second hand. Also, Jack has an 18 year old son and I kind of hated how when everyone finds out they are together Jack is more concerned about Justin than his own son. The novella length leaves me with a lot of questions; one of the main one’s being why the hell does Jack’s son have a thug life tattoo on his chest ? I mean, it’s played as a joke, but nothing explains why he would do that

This is my second m/m romance and I’ve yet to really form an opinion on m/m just yet because I know some find it problematic. I heard Joyfully Jay talk about 'out for you' on the DBSA podcast and I was scared this was going to be that, but it wasn't.Justin was always gay but hid it from the public because of the band and Jack had to get married because he got his now ex-wife pregnant at a young age.

I did this on audio and Nick J Russo did a great job. He was strongest when he was reading dialogue and I think his narration made this book for me. There were times when I forgot he was reading a book. Sidenote; with 43 m/m audiobooks on Audible, Russo seems to have a good share of this particular audiobook market cornered so I'm happy to have a narrator I enjoy.

With a great narrator and wacky premise this book brought the lols and was great to listen to on my commute home!


I have to argue with how L.B. Gregg portrays Rhythm Method as a synchronized-dancing-matching outfit boy band. I think by the time the 2000's came around that was fading out.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Claimed by Elle Kennedy (Outlaws #1)

I picked up this book at the library randomly because I’d  heard so much about Kennedy on DBSA and I'd never ventured into the dystopian romance world.  It wasn’t until I was a few pages in and  looked at the cover blurbs that I realized Elle Kennedy’s flavor is way spicier that I’d usually read.  You guys, I clutched my pearls a couple of times when reading this. There is some unexpected menage action between a lot of characters. Like I feel like literally nothing can shock me anymore. All that to say that despite some early reservations I really liked this book. 

 In  the world of Claimed  a devastating war turned the United States into a wasteland. The new government that came to power moved everyone into tightly controlled cities and anyone who chose to remain in the wasteland are considered outlaws.

Connor (it is suddenly occuring to me there aren’t a whole lot of last names in this book) has become the impromptu leader of a group of 4 male outlaws who have been camping out at an abandoned camp grounds .When his group stops in a bar (which in the morgue of a hospital because: dystopian!) the place is attacked by violent looters and they meet Hudson who says she is a nurse who ran away from the city to get out of an arranged marriage. Hudson convinces the outlaws to take her in and finds her way into Connor's bed...and maybe his heart.

But what Hudson isn’t tell him is she isn’t just any girl on the run--she’s the twin sister of the leader of the military...who by the by Connor has been trying to find and kill for killing his family.

Like I said I really enjoyed this book. My favorite genre of romance is contemporary romance, but sometimes I get bored with the quasi cult of domesticity as the HEA thing. 9 times out of 10 the characters get married and have a kid. In a book like this where having kids is illegal and marriage isn’t a thing it’s not clear what the end of the relationship will look like.

I will admit the world building is a little rickety in some places, but it didn’t bother me. One of my favorite pop culture writers is Linda Holmes and she talks about how in superhero movies she just wants them to say here is the box. Everyone wants the box. Go. I’m kind of like that with dystopians. I just need to know three things; this is where the disadvantaged people live, this is where the advantaged people are and this is the leader of the corrupt military/government. Go.

This book also has a lot of feminism just kind of baked into it. At one point the outlaws take Hudson with them to whorehouse and Kennedy does a good job of showing how in this world, sex is as a commodity without necessarily turning women in to objects.

"You talk about the free land, but you still call this place a whorehouse. Is that how you view women ? As whores?
A slow grin lifted his mouth, as if he were genuinely amused by her accusation. "Were all whores here, sweetheart. Every single one of us."

 I can't wait to read the second book in the series. All the secrets, reveals and tension is done perfectly and I need more romances like this.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Vengeance In Death by J.D Robb (In Death #6)

Disclaimer : this was the In Death book that I will now hold all other In Death books to. This book would have totally been a five start rating for me, except one point during the very very end when a character describes an off-page character as --Oriental. It just took me out the story. I mean this book was published in 1997. Really ? They couldn't edit it ? 

It's like J.D. Robb somehow heard all of  the criticisms in my reviews and wrote this book. It had everything I've been asking for. We get Roarke's backstory ( we actually go to Ireland, ya'll), Roarke's criminal past gets tangled up with  Eve's duty as a law enforcer; plus there are explosions, drama and a car chase across Manhattan. Also Eve actually supervises a team . . . which is what a police lieutenant actually does.

Where to begin.

So a homicidal serial killer begins ritualistically killing people in the name of God and taunting the police with clues. Instead of Robert Langdon on the case it' Eve Dallas. Eve soon learns the victims have something in common. . . they are old friends of Roarke's who helped him kill a group of men who victimized a young girl. Looks like someone wants. . .ahem. . . vengeance.

Why, yes Roarke did commit a slew of murders many years ago. He did it so well infact that he got away with it. This is mentioned in earlier books so it's not a spoiler. I feel like this should bother me but in today's golden age of television we like our heroes to be smooth criminalsvengeance murderers , and even ccannibalistic murderers. So...yeah.

Eve also teams up with a new young  Electronics Detective, McNab, (remember this is before technical analyst were a thing) a quirky young man who'd probably fit right in with Penelope Garcia and Abby Sciuto. I hope we see more of this character in the series.

A engrossing and dark mystery this In Death book is at the top of my list. I could not figure out whodunnit until the very end.

P.S. The Venn diagram of Eve's murder victims and people Rorake knows IS A CIRCLE ! In every book he has been in some way, shape or form connected with her murder victims.