Thursday, June 28, 2012

Shattered Glass (Shattered Glass, #1)Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ebook, 1st Edition, 360 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by Dani Alexander
Edition Language English
Some mild spoilers -- maybe.

I really, really enjoyed this book.

The Characters

Admittedly, I was concerned whether the MC, Austin Glass, was ever going to mature. I found him funny, quick-witted, shallow and hurting. Even though he had it all, he wasn't nearly complete. It took nearly the entire book before he even began getting it together. Luckily, and a credit to the author, he didn't lose his better qualities to become whole.

Rabbit/Peter is such a well developed character that it felt like he was constantly in flux. That doesn't seem to make sense, but I think it's what it can mean to be well developed. He has so many sides, so many elements that it was fascinating to watch and see his character evolve.

"Try to think of me as a person, Austin. I know that's a novel idea for you, but I'm not just a whore."

Austin and Peter? [I can't believe that Peter kept 'taking' the whore word from Austin. I really thought that was going to be the deal breaker. So glad it wasn't and in fact, I think that by allowing Austin to keep using it, Peter helped Austin SEE what he needed to seeThe two together worked so well in their connection that I didn't care for one minute that their relationship was so quick to emerge.

I can't believe that Peter kept 'taking' the whore word from Austin. I really thought that was going to be the deal breaker. So glad it wasn't and in fact, I think that by allowing Austin to keep using it, Peter helped Austin SEE what he needed to see; inside himself. 


Cai, YES, more please.

"Rabbit's the rock we cling to when we're drowning. He needs a mountain to hold him up, not another storm that'll wear away at him."

Darryl, oh honey, he had me at the first swing of his hips. I think there is a lot to discover about Darryl and I can't wait to read more about him.

The Writing

If you read my reviews, you know that I don't really care for first person writing. In this book, I didn't really even notice the first person perspective, after the first few pages or so. I think that is because the writing didn't dwell heavily on long, drawn out introspection from the MC. Instead, the writing was quick paced and snappy. I did find myself a bit confused a couple of times and needed to re-read the segment to make sure I understood what was being said between the lines.

The Story

As I mentioned, the writing was quick and so I found myself surprised with the slow build up and incremental layering in the plot. I didn't expect to find both, the character's plot lines AND the police investigation, to have the depth that they did.

As a person who is considerably older than the primary characters, I could have been easily distracted by the quirky, youthful references but there wasn't anything that I couldn't identify, so that did not distract me from the story. In fact, it actually added to the feeling that these twenty-something's were handling big world complexities very well. There were many elements of emotional and physical obstacles to overcome and the way they were worked through left me wholly satisfied.

I look forward to reading more from Dani Alexander, there is much here to keep my attention. Very well done, indeed.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

ScorpionScorpion by Aleksandr Voinov
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ebook, 242 pages
Published May 2011 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 161581860X (ISBN13: 9781615818600)
Edition Language English

Voinov created this rather small, compact world with huge outer fringes. He brought big concepts down to a tightly woven story that led me along an unexpected path. Once I got started on that path, I couldn't stop.

"Hatred had blossomed from the vine of contempt in his heart, flowers of dark, grim splendor."

Voinov's character development once again, shined through. The story has a war torn grittiness that still allowed for characters that were complex, rich and worthy. The main character, Kendras, has an innocent simplicity which allows the reader to look upon a manipulative, political environment from a very vulnerable viewpoint. However, the MC has an iron will and inner strength that is fascinating to watch develop. Brilliant!

"It was easier being strong when another man was strong enough to be weak."

There was a point in the story where I was gripping my kindle so tightly I'm surprised that I didn't break it. That may not sound like an endorsement for reading but it certainly is. I was so absorbed in the story that I was bodily in the other world. That folks, is precisely why I read and it takes quite a storyteller to get me there.

I very much appreciate the strength of Voinov's writing. He has a way of weaving layer upon layer of engrossing plot, conflict and conclusion that just builds and builds and never lets go. Not even, long after I have finished reading.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Country MouseCountry Mouse by Amy Lane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ebook, 79 pages
Published April 23rd 2012 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN13 9781937551346
Edition Language English

A lovely, romantic, romance.

This was my first Amy Lane book, even though I've been intending to read her for some time. I'm so pleasantly pleased that I picked this to be my first Amy Lane. I have a big, dumb grin on my face that won't be fading soon.

I chose to read this because of my respect for Aleksandr Voinov's writing. I don't know if I had expectations for this story but I have to say that I was surprised to find something so sweet and sexy. Having just come off reading his Dark Soul series, I was still in dark, edgy and intense mode. Country Mouse is emotional to be sure, but in a delightfully uplifting way. Very satisfying.

Malcolm chuckled wickedly. "You, my American friend, are like a hidden landmine of sex appeal. I'm going to have to look out for you."
"Too late." Owen raised his face to to the unfamiliar smells, breezes, sounds of the city, enjoying them even more now that he knew something of it and it had become personal to him. "I've already exploded. You're caught."

My perception of Amy Lane's work is that she writes very sexy stories. Without question, Voinov is quite adept at turning on the steam. Together, they created realistic, intimate scenes that allowed for emotions to build, as well as drove the story onward. I appreciate when a love scene doesn't stop the story-telling.

He tasted like gingermint and chocolate kulfi and something stronger and more powerful, something like want and need, and Owen drank him in and gave him back, dying for him in the subjective three hours it took to get to Malcolm's door.

The two main characters are beautifully created and have wonderful chemistry. Normally, when I read such likeable characters I want more but I have to say, I am perfectly satisfied with the ending.

I highly recommend this to those seeking a completely fulfilling romance. Very enjoyable.

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dangerous Ground (Dangerous Ground, #1)Dangerous Ground by Josh Lanyon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ebook, 109 pages
Published April 22nd 2012 by Just Joshin (first published April 22nd 2008)
ISBN13 9781596326583
Edition Language English
Original Title Dangerous Ground (Dangerous Ground, #1)

The aptly named Dangerous Ground is a story of two men who are trying to keep hold of a desirable relationship. The two are Special Agent partners who mesh well a a team. As the story moves forward we learn about their past and come to realize that there is, indeed, something to hold on to. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, if you like an element of instability in a story) the author keeps both men very precariously tip-toeing around their troubles.

At first, I was really only interested in one character getting what he wanted, needed. It seemed Taylor MacAllister had been suffering for some time and knew keenly what he was losing. I felt his pain.

Will Brandt is more interested in not losing a hard-wrought partnership at the risk of allowing deeper emotions to surface.

As the two, struggle along through a dangerous outdoor "adventure", they move from precipice to precipice in their emotional journey. They often look into a chasm of fear, at what they are so close to losing.

I found this a very interesting read and plowed right through it with barely a break. The writing engaged me, the characters had depth that was unexpected, and the sex was -- rewarding. By the end I was rooting for both to find Solid Ground.

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