This was a great story. Well written and realistic, it carried the reader along effortlessly and made you care about the characters.
It's not often that an erotic tale so neatly blends the harsher things in life with a happy ending. All too often we get all the sex with none of the substance, or when we do get a more complex tale, it ends badly.
I appreciate that Ms. Hart told us the tale of a realistic woman, learning that it's okay to love.
The Blond Geisha by Jina Bacarr, won first place in the Mainstream Fiction category in the 2006 RIO Award of Excellence, one of the most prestigious mainstream honors ever awarded to a work of erotic fiction. And I understand why.
The Blond Geisha is a wonderfully lush, sensually erotic story of life, love and sisterhood. It tells the story of Kathlene Mallory, a young American girl living in Japan at the end of the nineteenth century.
When her father's life is threatened, thereby putting Kathleen's life in jeopardy as well, she is hidden among the Geisha of the Teahouse of the Look-Back Tree. There she is allowed a rare glimpse inside the sensual world of the geisha.
While sex and imagery do play an important role in this book, it is more than that. It shows that these women were true artistes and entertainers and were often forced to choose between their art or falling in love.
I found this story to be deeper than it may seem at first glance, and I definitely enjoyed it. I'll be picking up Ms. Bacarr's next tale, Naughty In Paris, when it's released in July of '07.
Second in Jennifer Armintrout’s contemporary vampire series, Possession, was read by Elena Stauffer. First, Elena did a good job. She has a pleasant tone, natural inflection and good pacing. She made the book enjoyable to listen to.
A blend of perspectives, Carrie, Max and Cyrus; I most enjoyed Cyrus, once vicious, uber-evil, much feared vampire, now resurrected mortal, as he regained his humanity. I felt his confusion, his fluctuating between monster and remourseful man was well done. One would assume he’d be conflicted.
Max, Nathan’s closest friend, was fun, and rather sexy in a thwarted bad boy kind of way. His mission, find Nathan, before the gorgeous female werewolf assassin did. His problem, beyond Nathan’s situation, was that the assassin wasn’t falling for any of his attempts at distraction, and to make matters worse, he wasn’t able to seduce or joke his way into her good graces. Poor Max.
As for Carrie’s part. Yes, she was the protagonist, but I found some of her adventure was a little pointless, especially in the face of Cyrus’ inner turmoil and Max’s sexual/humorous misadventures. I would have liked to have seen her encounter more resistance, or something... I did appreciate her ongoing love/hate feelings toward Cyrus and Nathan though. Anyone would find her situation gave them mixed signals.
To summarize. One could read this as a stand alone I suppose, although, having enjoyed Blood Ties - Book One: The Turning so much I would suggest they be read in order.
I also intend to pick up Book Three: Ashes to Ashes when it's released. I hope you try and enjoy this series as well.
I completely enjoyed Maria Snyder's Poison Study.
It was a good, well written, solid fantasy tale. The story flows easily, carrying you along effortlessly and satisfyingly, and yet always leaves you wanting more.
The world building was creative, and descriptive without being flowery or over done. You can definitly picture everything without being lost in the little things.
The characters are fully fleshed and drive the story as opposed to being merely part of it.
If you're looking for high fantasy or strong romance, you'd best look elsewhere, but if you want a read that you'll be glad you picked up, this is a good choice.
"Avoid sunlight. Drink blood. Hate yourself. Forever. Welcome to immortality."
This is a fantastic debut novel from author Jennifer Armintrout and definitely not your done to death vampire tale (excuse the pun)
First in the Blood Ties series, The Turning introduces us to Dr. Carrie Ames and her reluctant journey into Immortality which begins when she's bitten by Cyrus Kerrick, a cruel master vampire who, as we learn later, is more than he first seems.
Toss in Nathan, another hunky vampire who's determined to rid the world of vamps like Cyrus, Carries feelings for Nathan, and her blood ties to Cyrus and you've got the makings for even more conflict.
This is an exciting, fast-paced story, full of lust, gore, action, and even some romance. I found the characters to be multi-layered and Ms. Armintrout's voice to be strong and distinct.
I've currently got her second story: Possession, on the go now and am enjoying it as well.
I very much enjoyed this story. It was a quick, light read that was both fun and intriguing. The characters also rang true for me, which is important, but better than that, I found I liked them. I had a number of laugh out loud moments.
If your looking for a Happily Ever After with roses and candy, then you'd best look elsewhere, but if you're looking for a promise of more to come, packaged in an entertaining story, then this is a good choice.
As for the mystery portion of the tale, honestly, I wasn't completely surprised by who the villain was, but on the same hand, unlike a lot of mysteries, I didn't guess it right off the bat either.
I'd recommend this, it's one of my favorite reads from this year.
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