Category: Adult

Priest of Skulls (Tarot Witches: The Raven Knights Saga #2)Priest of Skulls by S.M. Reine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m always excited to read another of Sara Reines ARCs. I must admit that I am happier reading about the old characters, like visiting with old friends. But I’m sure I am mostly alone in that. I think others prefer to have something new and exciting to read. Well, this one is for you.

That is not to say I didn’t enjoy this and the first book in this offshoot series. Ms. Reine was able to bring up some delicate and scary subjects in a fantasy setting and make some important points. If you get the chance to read this one please take the time to read the notes at the beginning of the book. There are warnings of what you will find inside. There are uncomfortable situations, even triggers if you will for folks that have had sex forced on them, rape. But it is worth the read for the empowerment given.

On an aside, there are, also, some very different forms of erotica that are — fun to read. Not what we’ve expected from SM Reine. But so different that, well, you know how the fae are! I can’t wait to read the next one!

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The Road to Helltown (Preternatural Affairs #9)The Road to Helltown by S.M. Reine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, Sara Reine has done it again! Prolific equals S. M. Reine. Sorry, I’m late coming around with my review. Since Kindle did a bunch of updates I have had quite a time trying to get back to reading because they messed up the text-to-speech they messed up the backgrounds they messed up the font sizes and hardly ever can save my place in a book. And as much as they want to think of themselves as a tablet, I choose to think of Kindle as a reading apparatus. I don’t read on my tablet I use my tablet for other things.

Enough of my rant. Cèsar Hawke is not my favorite character in Ms. Raines books. I go into those books kicking and screaming. These books are more male-oriented. Cèsar reminds me of the old detective movies, film noir, I think is called. But when we get past that were back in Ms. Raines universe. Regardless of how San Francisco looks now, through her eyes, it isn’t. Same holds true when she incorporates Reno or Las Vegas. It just is more fun reading from her point of view. Cèsar is a witch who is allergic to magic. If you don’t think that puts some complications on things, you’re not paying attention. It takes a lot of magic to fight a demon. Especially a really big one. So in spite of his allergies, Cèsar does the job.

Even though I would give any of the Cèsar books 3 stars, because they’re okay, the overall stories are always superb, exciting, and hard to put down. I can blame these books for nights of lack of sleep. Not because they’re so scary, but because you want to see what happens.

Please come to the Sara Reine universe starting with the Six Moon Summer series and keep going through all the different series that Miss Reine puts out. They’re all good!

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Imagine Me GoneImagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A few days ago I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t finish this book. I just couldn’t like the characters or the story. What parts I related to were triggers of my own upbringing and depressions. I figured this wasn’t a good book for me.

After looking at the reviews and realizing a friend had recommended to me, I decided to stick it out. I must admit that the book got a little better but still was not one I will remember in the future. I would normally give this book a single star, but I do think the subject matter needs to be shared with others that may not have had the opportunity to learn about it first hand. And explore why the treatment of depression and other mental health issues don’t get looked at is because many think the patients are needy, attention-getters or otherwise diminish the pain the person is going through. The author gives us a couple glimpses into the minds of severe depression. So I raised the star rating by one.

Since I review and rate for my own future reference I have to leave it at 2 stars. Others love this book and say it is their favorite of the year. So don’t take my word for it. Pick it up and see what you think. Oh, I should mention this was a library Kindle version.

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Review: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

1Q841Q84 by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fulfilling. That what I think describes finishing this book. It kept me going. I wondered what would happen next. With fantasy, anything is possible, even if it is in 1984.

And that brings me to the next thought. We didn’t have cell phones and internet access the way we do now. Often I would think, check your cell and realize that couldn’t happen then. They had pay phones and word processors. If a person had a computer it wasn’t user-friendly. So one has to keep that year and those thoughts in mind.

Next was the curiosity of the two moons that signify to our main characters they weren’t in true 1984 but an alternative reality. That was why Aomame called it 1Q84. I loved her name. She was the main character, by the way. I craved Edamame the whole time I was reading it. Yes, the ‘mame’ part means pea. I love how often the author used that theme.

I loved the characters. But I felt the description of their clothing or appearance over done. In fact, this book needed a good editor to go through and get rid of all the unneeded repetition. I often felt like throwing the book (my Kindle) across the room. I wanted to get back to the story and see what happened and telling me one more time about the two moons or the wrong clothing or any of the millions (I may exaggerate here) of other times something was repeated. I understand that the author wanted to stress certain things but it insults the reader to do that too often. But who am I to say that, an unpublished author of 12 books compared to his mass of highly acclaimed novels. Just trying to be true to what I felt as I read it.

This book took me ages to finish. It must be hefty in hardback. It was a library book so I had to spend every moment reading as I have two more books that are due next week. Still, it was worth the struggle and I miss the people already.

Stop reading this review here as this might be a spoiler. I wish I could read more of what happens next to the main characters. And I felt there were threads in the two-moon world that I wanted to see worked further. Well, maybe that didn’t reveal too much after all.

If you get the chance, please read this book. My friend, Patty B. was right. This was a very good book!

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Review: Room by Emma Donoghue

RoomRoom by Emma Donoghue

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! I think this has been the best book I’ve read in a long time! And though I’m sure the writing was spectacular, I believe that Michal Friedman (Narrator), Ellen Archer (Narrator), Robert Petkoff (Narrator), and Suzanne Toren (Narrator) made this story come to life. It was nice to have an actor for each character. No male straining his voice to sound like a woman nor a woman attempting to beat out a bass voice. I do see that Michal Friedman, a woman, played the sweet child, Jack. But she sounded so natural that I think it was a good fit. Just an aside, and I hope it is in error I say this, but I read on the internets in this quick research that Michal Friedman has passed while giving birth to twins. Please let me know if you find out otherwise. I just wanted to finish my review tonight and not get caught up in yet another ‘shiny chicken’ (ADD distraction) moment.

Before you become afraid of sinking into a story about kidnapping and sexual abuse, realize that this book is from the viewpoint of the 5-year-old child who is quite happy in this room with his mother. So he doesn’t see the bad that is happening to his mother. He gives us light to what most children would love to have, their mother’s full-time attention and love. But don’t think this is a child’s book either. This boy is very grown up and super intelligent. Through this boy’s eyes, the author moves the story quickly. In fact, though I thought this was going to be a boring read so as to quickly go to sleep at night, I was still reading at 3 in the morning. And it took me a few days to finish. Lots of story here!

I can’t wait to watch the movie, but I have a feeling this version will be my favorite. Please give it a try, especially if you can get the audio to go with it.

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Summer Court: A Paranormal Romance (The Tarot Witches Book 4)Summer Court: A Paranormal Romance by SM Reine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, Sara Reine has written another winner. Not for kids, this one. But with all the fast moving adventure of the rest of her books.

I need to take a time out to disclose that this book was given to me for an honest review.

No one could say that Ms. Reine is bigoted in any way. She employs characters from across the gamut of known and unknown beings. In this case, the main character, Samita Madin, is a paraplegic who is pregnant. And if I interpret it right, she is Indian. She is in love (in lust?) with Slater Reinhard who is a recently turned werewolf. That in itself is a story, but Sara placed this one about the time of the world ending. If Samita didn’t have enough against her, she has received a tarot card. Yeah, in this series that is what certain witches receive and it sets a course for them whether they accept it or not. In this case, Death is the card. Could her life get any worse?

The problems I had with the book are not due to the author. I found I had to reread a lot of parts of the story because I sometimes got lost. Anyone else have this problem in the summer? The days last so long so my reading time is later than usual. I’m usually more tired and my ADD is at its highest. So ‘shiny things’ distract me from my reading.

It is disappointing to see my reading goal so far from being hit. I am about 17 books behind. Yikes! But I love summer! So I will try to find some short books to catch up.

Anway, if you have started reading SM Reine from Six Moon Summer (Seasons of the Moon #1) on you will be happy to enter back into her world. Just remember, though, this is a book for adults, there are a few erotic scenes if that is not your thing. But they don’t distract from the story so, speed past and keep enjoying the rest of the story.

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Cast in Faefire (The Mage Craft, #3)Cast in Faefire by S.M. Reine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is great being a part of the Army of Evil. That’s what Sara Reine calls her team of readers. She gives us a chance to read her books first and often for free, as this one was. I look forward to each and every book.

Yet, this was not my favorite. No, the writing was wonderful as usual. In fact, that was the problem. She kept us all in suspense wondering how Marion could love that Elkonig and ignore, yet again, Seth who is obviously in love with her.

The depth that the characters have reached in my mind. I have felt them all real in spite of the fantasy. I think having the real places (Reno, Las Vegas, etc.) mixed in with the fantasy realm which when I lived in Reno, I almost felt was actually there. The possibility that I might run into some of the characters, find my way into the bar that is the demon hang out–well, of course, I knew it was not real. But–what if?

And so the ley lines lead me back to writing this review. But first, the commercial I put in all the S. M. Reine reviews: Get the books. Start at the very beginning with the Six Moon Summer in the Seasons of the Moon series. Don’t ever expect to be finished with her books as Ms. Reine is far more prolific a writer than anyone could be as a reader. 😉

Okay, that wasn’t the direction I had intended as I sat down to write this. I was going to say more about this particular book. But the more I think about it… I just don’t want to put in spoilers. So let me say, this didn’t end the way I expected it to. No, not a cliffhanger, thank goodness Sara doesn’t do that much. But a huge sense that more is going to happen soon, just breathe and get ready.

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Home WorldHome World by Bonnie Milani

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Okay, I like the cover. But it is sci-fi only on Earth. Sure Hawaii is beautiful but we have a whole universe folks!

Other than that. Well. Maybe I should start out with the usual disclaimer: I got this book for free from for my honest review. Thanks?

I can’t tell you how often I nearly stopped reading this book. It is SO not the kind of sci-fi that I like. Not only is it more spy vs. spy it is all about war. And though it seems the author is female her story was male-heavy and misogynistic. One female lead is the lust interest of two males. One is the computer nerd who becomes the evil antagonist. This sci-fi wasn’t about the wonders of new inventions or new discoveries, it is about all those things gone wrong. Meanwhile, hate and misunderstandings take over the universe.

Let’s throw in werewolves. Yeah, that’ll sell.

Oh, if you have been to Hawaii and were there long enough to pick up some of the lingo this might be a thrill. For the contiguous USA (except a too short cruise in Alaska) reader who needs text-to-speech to help them out, this is the worst. I had to stop and go back and see what that meant. Most of the time there were no explanations as to what was said and what it meant, making this an even harder read with not enough rewards for working through it.

It usually doesn’t take me this long to read a book but I just couldn’t stay interested in it long enough. I even was at the 97% point where one would be drawn to finish but I just put it aside and waited until I had another moment to read. I think part of this was that people died, but didn’t stay dead, and fake people running around, it hurt my brain trying to figure out what is real. It seemed the author didn’t make it clear enough when the dead come back to life how that happened. It seemed she just wanted to make battles and war and shooting scenes. Ugh!

Now my usual line when I write a review of something I didn’t like: Just because I didn’t like it, doesn’t mean it isn’t good. I see a lot of good reviews for this book. There are even some wanting to see it made into a movie. From someone not excited to go see the male-heavy Star Wars movie (WAR is in the name, by the way–no wonder space travel isn’t happening as soon as many of us had wanted) this may be right up your alley.

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The GirlsThe Girls by Emma Cline

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclosure: I am the luckiest person alive. Not only did I win the Kindle copy of this book from but about the time I was at the 75% point of that book, the physical, paperback, uncorrected proof, landed in my mailbox. It seems I won the GoodReads (used to be called FirstReads) contest for this book.

My thoughts as I first began reading this book was that this is a small player, less than Squeaky Fromme, in the Charles Manson case. And though I believe it is loosely based on this and other cases like that in the late 60s early 70s, the story is more about that era and some of the teens of that time.

Being a child of the 60s myself, I was very interested in getting this book. I recognized the social cliches, the disenfranchised. But I am here to tell you that not all of us were druggies or runaways. Many of us were more the flower child who believed in peace and love and still do.

This story takes us down the dangerous road of girls who were so in awe of a guy that they would do anything for him. Once on drugs, they were just puppets for this guy. And they took it to the extent of murder, for hardly any reason beyond their fantasies.

So, yeah. Murder and blood are involved. To me, that is the part of the story I didn’t like. And it seemed to be the main point. As I mentioned above the main character is a lesser person of this clique. It is her story. How she felt the need to leave her family and join this strange group. And in spite of myself, I found I wanted to know more about her journey.

Was it the best journey? No. Was it the most interesting journey? Not at all. In fact, I found myself bored, a lot. That is why it took so long for me to read this even though I did have it on Kindle. Just a word on the font of the paperback, it is too small but I could have managed in small doses. So others might do just fine with it.

This was not a favorite book. Could have actually lived without ever reading it. But it was well written and kept me interested. I look forward to sharing the paperback with others and see what they feel about it.

I was finally able to register the book on BookCrossing. I marked it available. It is BCID: 353-13957336 Let me know if you want me to send it your direction.

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Cinderella's EscapeCinderella’s Escape by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: This ebook was given to me for an honest review.

I wanted to give this book five stars. The idea is superb! Rewriting Cinderella, giving her empowerment is right up my alley. Showing us that the strength we need is within us, that we don’t need to look to someone else to be our savior or fairy godmother is a very important lesson for us all.

And it came across; that idea. BUT. This story needs a better editing job. Besides grammatical mistakes and words that were left out or shortened, there were plotholes that stopped the enjoyment of the story. That is saying a lot, for me. I tend to get lost in a story and don’t notice those things. It is why I still haven’t put my stories out for others to read. AND English is my first language, I have no excuses. I know that English isn’t Gita’s first language yet the past books I have read of hers were amazingly well written.

And those are the mechanical problems. The overall story is hard for me to enjoy. If you like crime tales, this might be good for you. Knowing that you can be taken, kidnapped after an accident with no way out is hard enough for adults to read. I can’t imagine this story being good for children. As a girl, it would have increased my fears, even if the story shows how the main character gain her own smarts and courage to actually get out. The ending didn’t quite satisfy me either. You would think that the girl would understand not to run where she did just from all the reading she had done. And once again it was an accident that ended up saving her. I would have loved if she were able to save herself.

The story that followed about a boy that meets an actual fairy godmother was unique, also. I loved the points it made. But once again, a few plotholes and errors made it difficult to stay in the story. Still, knowing the professional person that Gita V. Reddy is, I see these as being special gems for everyone to read soon. I look forward to reading lots more by this author!

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