Out of the Box Blogs

Christian by D.B. Reynolds

Hey everyone,

Christian by D.B. Reynolds is the latest in her Vampires in America Series.  I love this series more as it goes along.  The Vampire Wars are starting.  Raphael (undeniably, the head honcho in America) has been building the North American Alliance throughout the beginning books in this series in order to defeat the coming threat from Europe.  The next area in North America to need a new lord is the South.  Christian is determined to become the South’s new Lord.  Along the way, he does find his mate in the person of Natalie, a human forensic accountant working for the current Lord, Anthony.  The Challenge for the lordship is on and Christian is more powerful than the other challengers.  However, Anthony has a plan for a successor which will enable him to remain in power in another area.  Twists and turns and strategy are strong on both sides (Anthony and Christian).  The skirmishes leading up to the ultimate battle are interesting, full of action and the ultimate battle is exciting and written very well.  We also get a big hint as to the next book battle at the end of this book.I personally can not wait for this next story, also.

Ms. Reynolds is great at world building and character development–two of my big things in reading.  Her dialogue is smartly written and the plot is tight.  She does not write filler in her books–she keeps her story moving along without alot of extra stuff that doesn’t add to the story.  When I found her VIA series several years ago, I was very pleased at a refreshing voice in the paranormal romance genre.  If you have not found this series, I recommend starting at the beginning with Raphael and just enjoy the ride all the way to Christian’s book.

Happy Reading,

Debra

 

Out of the Box Blogs

Reckless in Love by Bella Andre and Jennifer Skully

Hey everyone,

Reckless in Love is Book 2 of The Maverick Billionaires, a new series by Bella Andre and Jennifer Skully.  I found Ms. Andre several years ago and enjoy her writing. This series is the first I have read of Ms. Skully.

Book Blurb:

Sebastian Montgomery rose from nothing to become one of the most powerful media moguls in the world. Yet beneath the seemingly perfect façade of his life, the past still haunts him. Because when he lost his parents in his teens, he also lost his faith in love. When he discovers Charlie Ballard and her incredible metal sculptures, he is awed, inspired—and he can’t help feeling things he swore never to let himself feel again. Soon, Sebastian wants not only Charlie’s art, he wants her as a woman, too. More than he’s ever wanted anything in his life. And what a Maverick wants, he always gets… 

For Charlie, Sebastian offers the commission of a lifetime. Creating a magnificent sculpture for his new headquarters is a dream come true, but falling for the spellbinding billionaire isn’t part of the plan…until his luscious kisses entice her into total recklessness. He fascinates and captivates her, and as Charlie learns more about the dark depths of Sebastian’s past, all she wants is to heal him with her love. But can a man who has grown up thinking love is toxic ever believe that true love is real? 

My thoughts:  The Mavericks are a group of 5 friends from very rough childhoods who found a wonderful foster family as teens and decided they were going to overcome their circumstances and become well-to-do moguls and ultimately “rule the world”.  In actuality, they are really good guys who have raised themselves above their rotten childhoods, took opportunity presented to them by finding their foster family and each other and are reaching their goals.  Sebastian is still haunted by his past, as I suspect all of them will be as the series progresses.  He finds Charlie because he is interested in her creative art—statues made literally from junk.  I don’t know if either of the authors have a background in art or have an artist in their lives, but I enjoyed their description of Charlie’s art projects, and her process of making the statues.  This was a pleasant surprise in the book.

The story centers around the immediate attraction between Sebastian and Charlie and Sebastian’s mistakes in trying to take care of everything for Charlie.  This leads to the ultimate problem of Charlie losing her artistic creativity and her struggle to figure that out and what to do about it.

I enjoyed both characters.  The authors develop their characters very well—Ms. Andre is known for character development.  I enjoyed how Charlie embraces her life as difficult as it is and how Sebastian jumps into wanting to fix everything for Charlie even as it leads to the ultimate problem.  Both characters have a real passion for what they do.

This was a quick, easy but very enjoyable read for me.  Give the series and Ms. Andre and Ms. Skully a look.  They are worth it.

Happy Reading,

Debra

Books, great reads, Reviews

Shifter Planet by D.B. Reynolds

Hey everyone,

Blurb:

Specialist Amanda Sumner is one of the first to make contact on the Earth-like planet Harp and discovers she’s the only Earthling, who can hear the trees sing in the strange forest. Determined to remain and learn more of the planet’s secrets, Amanda sets out to become part of the elite Guild there…

But there is a secret involving some Guild members–one that could get her killed.

Shifter Rhodry de Mendoza wants the Earthlings off his planet before they destroy it—even if that means denying what he feels for the fierce and lovely Amanda. The pair is thrown together in what becomes a fight for their lives. And they might just lose everything–including each other–in their battle for the right to live in peace.

I really enjoyed this book.  I have been a long time fan of Ms. Reynolds since I found her Vampires in America series several years ago which is still on-going.  She writes very well and is wonderful at the craft of world building. Both characters of Amanda and Rhodry are well-developed.  Their motivations are understood throughout the book.  I think Amanda is especially strong and she shows it especially as what happens to her and then Rhodry unfolds.   She also did a good job of describing the antagonists in the story and what they wanted as well. One thing that I really liked about this book was that the relationship between Rhodry and Amanda was a slow build.  The author did not rush and it worked.  Honestly, once Amanda entered the trial to pursue entry into the Guild, she and then Rhodry were so busy trying to survive, they didn’t have time for a whole lot to happen fast.  Anyway, this really involved learning more about the planet of Harp, some of the history of Harp’s genetically altered shifters, Amanda’s ability to  “hear the trees” and get back to the City.

This was a great combination of some fantasy, some space travel, and paranormal. I am looking forward to more books in this series.  There are several very interesting characters that hopefully will have their stories told as well.

Happy Reading,

debra

Books, indie author, Out of the Box Blogs

Do $$$ Effect How We Rate?

I just finished Time Heist by Anthony Vicino. It’s been on my TBR for awhile, and I got it on sale for $0.99 so it was a steal. I like Anthony’s writing, sometimes a bit overelaborate, I’ll give you an example at one point the helicopter thingy (not his words) is crashing and the windshield cracks. This is what Tom the main character thinks Asphyxiation on account of too much air felt too paradoxical a way to die. Though, in the end, I suppose breathing eventually does us all. I was thinking what would have summed it up better? Oh shit. But that’s me, not a writer. And there are times when the clarity of Anthony’s writing is just stunning to me. Tom is addicted to a drug called Quick Sliver. There is a moment when he is detoxing in the middle of the, well everything honestly, and he really doesn’t have time for it (yeah that’s a pun, time) so his partner gives him a hit. It’s then he thinks this...I pitied the living. The dead were my idols. This drug was my god. I read that and thought Anthony you talented s.o.b.

But that’s not what I’m really talking about, what I do want to know is this, I gave this book 4 stars because for $1 it was quite good. In fact if I liked the ending I would have given it 5 stars and written glowing reviews to high heaven everywhere I could think of. But what if the book cost $7 or $8? Now if the ending was different I would have gone with 4 stars, but if not 2-3 stars. And that got me thinking, should my reviews have price factored in? Is that fair, especially if your dealing with a published author who has no control over the price? I do it because I think I was always raised that, the more you pay for it, the higher standard it must adhere to. But is this a proper additude to have in my book reviewing? I’m feel like it’s almost unconscious for me but I’m curious to hear others thoughts on the matter.