3 Stars
Finished: Third a Grave Dead Ahead — Uh, okay.
Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3) - Darynda Jones, Lorelei King

This series continues to underwhelm, but yes, I'm going to keep listening. 


At at this point I think I can officially label Charlie TSTL. She's ridiculous. 'Everyone is trying to kill me, but let me ditch my protection!' Then whines about people thinking she can't walk and chew gum at the same time. There's a reason for that!


And how many times is her useless father going to have to betray her before she stops making excuses for him and acting like he's been a good father all her life? She still says she could always count on him and he was her rock when that was clearly never true.


And UGH, the deaths in thus book. I know they don't actually go away, but still!

!!! spoiler alert !!! Review
3 Stars
Finished: Second Grave on the Left
Second Grave on the Left  - Darynda Jones, Lorelei King

Second book into the series and I'm not really sure how I feel about them thus far. There are elements I like, but then I feel like all of this was done much better in the Night Huntress series across the board. The snarky, kickass heroine. The primary love interest. There's been no real relationship building between Charlie and Reyes whereas I really got into Cat and Bones's love story. I feel there is a love triangle coming in this series, but we'll have to see how it presents itself for me to judge between the two.


Still, the Charlie Davidson series is entertaining enough. I do love that there has been very little sex. There wasn't even a whole scene in this second book! Maybe that's because there were too many plots to have time for that nonsense. I counted at least four separate plots going on throughout the book. It got a little difficult to keep up with them all.


There are two major negative aspects that have had me on the verge of flouncing out of listening to the rest of the series.


First, Charlie's family. Her family is terrible. She seems to have a good relationship with her father, which doesn't make any sense to me. He's a pretty shitty father. Her step-mother has been awful to her almost her entire life and her father has let it happen. When she was a five-year-old child the hag slapped her in the face—in front of half the town!—and instead of protecting his daughter he took the step-mother off to comfort her. The woman was awful to her and he stayed with her and didn't stop it. The primary reason she was terrible to Charlie was because of her powers to speak to the dead. Her father had been using her to solve cases and get promoted up the police department since she was five. He had no problem using her powers for his professional gain but never protected her from the step-mother who treated her like shit because of them. Meanwhile, she treated her older sister like an actual daughter. And her older sister has been nasty and dismissive of her, too.


That whole dynamic caused me rage. Particularly because Charlie is so loving to her father and made excuses for both him and her step-mother's behavior. Though Charlie made it clear she didn't like her SM right back. All I wanted was for her father to get told off. Particularly by Charlie! Ugh. In this book he even gave Charlie that angry warning voice when she was about to say something bad about her SM, but never stopped the SM from saying or doing nasty things to her. What kind of monstrous BS. Charlie even admits at one point in the first book that no one had ever had her back until her best-friend Cookie entered her life. So why is she so good with her father?!


Then at one point in this second book her father betrays her horrendously. I was hoping she was finally, FINALLY, going to lay in to him for how terrible a father he's been her whole life, she did get to slap him! (Her SM freaks and goes, "did she slap you?! What are you going to do about it?!" I wanted Charlie to say, "Nothing, exactly what he did when you slapped me when I was a five-year-old child.") But noooo none of that gets said, no telling her father off, she finds out that her sister hasn't hated her and does love her and I was good with that resolution, but they all somehow end up in a sobbing group hug (minus the SM, of course)! WHAT EVEN?! Then it's this whole happy family scene and I'm sitting here going "what in the hell?" No. It's not okay! HER FATHER IS NOT OKAY. He should have to answer for always choosing the SM over his own daughter. For everything.


Things like that make me so angry!


The second was Charlie's TSTL stint in this book. I think Reyes was very clear about the dire consequences of what would happen should certain entities find her and that they were using him to trap her. Very. Clear. And yet the whole book she went on about trying to find him and I think we were all wondering what she wasn't understanding about the situation. Then at the end she just lost all intelligence. If she weren't conveniently lucky she would have gotten them all killed. And I don't understand why she did what she did to Reyes in the end. It made no sense (not to mention was paternalistic as hell.) I think we're supposed to believe in this all consuming love she has for him, but like I said before there hasn't been any foundation for it. Just a strong supernatural magnetism. You're going to have to give me more for me to really understand her motivations. (This is another reason why first person is the absolute worst. This story would do well with some of Reyes' perspective.)


The blaming herself for things that were very much not her fault in the first book was bad enough. This was just beyond.


As aggravated as I was at the end of this book I will continue to listen to the series to see what happens even though I'm not loving the story thus far. And, they're free from the library, heh. Hopefully it will get better for me. At least the narrator is pretty good. Not on the level of Tavia Gilbert, but who is?

The Revenant: 22% — In case you were wondering . . .
The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge - Michael Punke

Bear maulings are still awesome. 

Reblogged URL
ONTD Original: Cassandra Clare Controversies

This piece is epic, and pretty comprehensive.

Reblogged from TezMillerOz
First Grave on the Right - Darynda Jones

I knew it was too much to ask that this not be in first person. 

3.5 Stars
Finished: Desire Untamed — What the hell?
Desire Untamed - Pamela Palmer

There is so much of this book that doesn't work for me. I've never been into shifters so this is my first shifter book. Honestly, I don't know how I ended up picking it up at the library book sale. Maybe I blacked out from book ecstasy. I can't say I like it any better and will seek out such books now, but maybe I won't dismiss them out of hand. 


The mythology is freaking dumb. Not all of it, but some it really is. Seriously. They call each other weirdly spelled versions of their animal names. They live in "Feral House". Most of all, it seems most of their rituals are conveniently revolve around sex, which you all know is just not a draw for me. 


Instalove. The book takes place over two or three days!!


And something that drives me nuts every time I read a version of it: the hero calls the heroine "little one". That is so creepy. I never understand why authors have their heroes infantilize the heroine like that. Am I supposed to be comfortable with them having sex? Blech.


However, there was something about this book that I really liked. I had to pry myself away from it. I really can't explain what it was that got me hooked and wouldn't let go. I wish I could. All I know is that I'm definitely continuing with the series.

Miss Manners on Reviewing the Reviewer

They're talking about musical performances here, but I think it applies very well to Internet book review sites as well (especially Goodreads).


Dear Miss Manners: As I have a long career as a musician and music scholar, I may be asked my opinion of a performance. I reply with a measured response, a statement of approval or a sharp criticism.

However, as an audience member there are occasions when I feel obliged to express criticism of the performance, or of excessive approval exhibited by the audience when I believe their unison response lacks understanding.

Why should it be acceptable to give standing ovations, etc., at the close of passable performances, but not shouts of critique? I refer only to professional concerts and not school or amateur performers. My wife says I am rude and feels humiliated upon these circumstances. My therapist comments: “Do no harm.”


Online commerce has conditioned us to the unavoidable running commentary from “unsatisfiedcustomer447” on how the toaster did not work as advertised, but not every interaction with our fellow man is subject to review.

Nevertheless, curtain calls certainly are, and Miss Manners will defend your right to boo as well as to cheer.

But it is not a debate. The person sitting next to you has as much right to express his opinion as you, no matter how ill-informed it may be. Booing your fellow audience members would be impolite, and will, in any case, not be heard over all the “bravos.”

Finished — Stolen Chances: Ughhh this book was terrible
Stolen Chances - Elisabeth Naughton, Elizabeth Wiley

I mean terrible. 


Besides the the hero forgiving the heroine immediately it turned into a schmaltzy love must conquer hate! mess. It drove me nuts. And of course it was all coming from the asshole heroine. OMG, let him go, for us, our love must overcome his hate, nevermind he'll keep coming after us OOPS he kidnapped me again! Argh!


Then, of course, a ton of time was spent with the hero and heroine together being all lovey-dovey like I give a good god damn. The man list eight years of his daughter's life I WANT TO SEE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FATHER AND DAUGHTER!!!!! Instead she was barely in the rest of the book.



Seven Hours – Fuck your secret baby stories!
Stolen Chances - Elisabeth Naughton, Elizabeth Wiley

Seriously, it is the worst trope out there. The only thing I can think of that is worse is the falling-in-love-with-her-rapist trope. I would like to take all the secret baby books, put them in a pile, and make a huge bonfire.


The heroines in these stories are flaming trash piles, with few exceptions. Terrible human beings, and yet I'm supposed to believe in an HEA let alone root for one?


The heroine in this book is no different. Terrible excuses for not telling the hero when she could. And had the nerve to sleep with him before being forced to come clean! Coupled with the heap of other lies she was keeping. I know I'm supposed to be horrified that the villain knocked her the fuck out. But seriously I was just glad someone did what I had been aching to reach through my speakers and do. Because that'll be the only comeuppance she gets. 


Of course, much like all the other heroes in these stories he comes up reasons to forgive her. He understands her lame-ass reasons, and even takes blame upon himself. Gaaaaahhhh! *rips out hair* All so they can end up together when they shouldn't. I always wish the heroine would die or just fuck off in some way that the hero can claim his child and they can live happily ever after.


I hate this trope so much. HATE. The story for me becomes all about what the hero has missed in his child's life. He never gets any justice for that. It's never an HEA for me.


New rule: I flounce the hell out of secret baby books instead of trying to power through. The rage isn't worth it. I may stick around long enough to ascertain what the heroine did to try and find/notify the hero. But if it's not enough, or later she doesn't tell him when she has the opportunity I'm out.


To add insult to injury in this book the sex was so graphic. I liked this series because they were decent romantic suspense, light on sex and not graphic. Actual romance sex scenes. Then somewhere between the second and third book "cock" became Naughton's favorite word —judging by how much she uses it in her PNR series — and so now it is said constantly in this book. It's obnoxious as fuck. Romance doesn't need such graphic euphmisims. 

1.5 Stars
DNF at 27% — Wicked Appetite OMFG
Wicked Appetite - Janet Evanovich, Lorelei King
This may be the fastest I've ever wanted to flounce a book. In the first minute it two I wanted to be done, but I was in the shower and I would, of course, give the story more of a shot than that.
But this was just awful. 
Which is a huge disappointment. I was really looking forward to this since every other Janet Evanovich has been enjoyable for me and had little to no sex, which I desperately needed after the last two audiobooks I've listened to that were just sexsexsexsexsexsex.
So I had high hopes.
It's first person, which is the worst to begin with, but there's just no competence to the writing. The whole beginning of the book was the biggest info dump I've ever read and was boring to boot. The characters were flat as cardboard, the dialogue produced physical cringes more than once, and everything had to be described in detail like a mind-numbingly boring shopping list. Every part of this was so juvenile. It read like a kid's first attempt at writing YA. Twilight was more nuanced. 
Which just says it all right there.
2 Stars
Finished – One Rogue At A Time: Sex
One Rogue at a Time (Rakes and Rogues) - Carmen Rose, Jade Lee

sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex plot sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex sex 

Finished Wedding At Cardwell Ranch
Wedding at Cardwell Ranch & The Cowgirl in Question - B.J. Daniels

This would have been four stars because the suspense story was well done and kept me on my toes. But it ends up as three stars because the heroine forgave someone who should not have been forgiven for some reason I can't understand and really angers me. 

I mean, yes she's your stepsister but this bitch was complicit in kidnapping your child with your obviously horrible in-laws and gave some nonsensical, lameass excuse and you just feel like you need to forgive her just because and for the sake of that child? WTF?!

(show spoiler)

In addition, the end of the romance story was so quick. The relationship jumped from zero to sixty in no time at all. This and the above just brought down the whole story. 

Victim Blaming Awfulness


Today on twitter, a friend pointed out a screencap and a link to Karen Marie Moning’s post about the status of her audiobooks. One of her narrators, Philip Gigante, will be continuing to be the voice of the Fever books in the future. If no one is aware, Phillip Gigante is a popular audiobook narrator for a lot of romance and thriller books. Earlier this week it was reported he was found guilty of accosting a child for immoral purposes and possession of child sexually abusive material.


I was actually shocked and saddened, as well beyond disappointed, to see Karen Marie Moning on her Facebook page dismissing people’s concerns over this matter and was standing by him, which is her prerogative. However, what I found really shocking and disappointing was the reactions in the comments. For more background information on this, Bibliodaze has a great write-up on the whole sorry saga.


I don’t want to focus on Moning’s stance (although that is part of it) and I don’t want to attack her personally because I understand her reasons in standing by a friend. However, she used her professional page to state she was standing by him. As well as refusing to discuss the issues surrounding him and the wider impact this may have to her readers and fans, who may have been touched or experienced similar situations or abuse. I found this really disheartening and dismissive. It can’t be dismissed or ignored. And what I found even more sadder were the comments victim blaming the girl and implying that she was the reason that caused him to be arrested, leading to his conviction.


This is the very reason why so many people refuse to come forward and report their abuse and/or rapes. It’s a terrible message to send out, especially when someone who is experiencing something similar and sees similar comments. What if a young reader today saw this reaction and refuses to come forward in the future when they are faced in a similar situation, because they think they will be blamed instead of the perpetrator?


I know this post will probably unpopular to many but I don’t care because this needed to be said and not dismissed, ignored or whitewashed that this never happened. People should be aware if they decide to buy audiobooks it may be narrated by a man convicted with these charges, because I would want to know.

Reblogged from Has.BookPusher Shelf
Archangel's Kiss  - Nalini Singh, Justine Eyre

I finally figured out what it is about this audiobook narrator's speech that's driving me up a wall. She says some words so weirdly—to the point I couldn't even replicate it. But it hit me: she adds random h's to certain words. Once I realized it I was reminded of these scenes from Family Guy. What she does sounds very similar except  in FG the words do have h's, they're just improperly stressed.



I still love it, Booklikes!!

More AAB

Author Beverly Jenkins commenting on this review of her book Destiny's Captive:



She seems really cool, and I love seeing responses like this!