Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James


So first of all, let me start by saying-Yes, I am a little late getting to this party. BUT, I just had to see what all the hype was about. And personally I felt it didn't live up to all the hype about how X-rated it was supposed to be. Yes there was very descriptive sex. . . yes there was bondage, dominance, sadism, and masochism (BDSM), but it wasn't so very x-rated. I felt it was in line with the other BDSM erotica that is out in print. 
I feel that Miss James did an excellent job developing Anastasia and Christian's story. This is a story with many facets. I personally do not know if the BDSM is realistic, but I feel Miss James did a good job of making it feel real. Her writing and descriptions of the sex and bondage never made me feel dirty. She did a very good job of portraying the sexual relationship between Anastasia and Christian as consenting and not rape-like.
I was very impressed with how she developed Christian and Anastasia. Anastasia started out as a college girl unable to find a guy who could excite her sexually. In her naivete', she thought it was because she hadn't come across Mr. Right. After meeting Christian and becoming involved with him, he introduces her to his sexual world. She finds herself aroused by Christian's secret world of sex in a way that no other man was able to achieve. As she finds herself falling deeper and deeper for Christian, she starts to wonder about this sexual world of his. She tries to leave, but finds she can't. She is in love with him. But is she willing to stay in this deviant world of sex because that is what Christian needs or is it really what she needs?
And Christian, a strong, confident, ruthless business man. On their first visit he is arrogant and aloof, but very intrigued by Anastasia. He asks her out and introduces her to his erotic world of sex unknowing that she is a virgin. After their first encounter, much to his utter dismay, he finds out that Anastasia was a virgin. He is angry with himself for introducing her to his messed up sexual interests during her first sexual encounter. Being very intrigued by her, Christian tries very hard to be "vanilla" with her. But when she pushes him to expand her knowledge of his sexual world, he is all but helpless to deny her.
I enjoyed the way Miss James developed each character. As you read, you can picture how each character is evolving gradually. Anastasia becomes more worldly, yet is unable to discuss all she is feeling and experiencing with anyone other than Christian because of their agreement. Without any past experiences to compare their relationship to, she finds herself in a constant struggle with herself trying to decide if all is well.
And Christian is used to being a man listened to and obeyed by everyone. He is used to his sex life including women who already know about his dark erotic world. But in Anastasia, he finds himself in a whole new area romantically-meaning that he actually cares for Anastasia and finds that she is so much more than a mere sex partner. Christian evolves from being a hard, ruthless, cold man to a confident, yet confused man who finds himself willing to compromise instead of controlling everything related to Anastasia. The reader watches as Christian starts to soften and open up. Could he be in love or is she just such an anomaly to him that it is taking longer for him to work her out of his system?
This isn't really a story about sex. It is a story about 2 people falling in love and willing to compromise as well as do whatever it takes to make the person they love happy. It is not a happily ever after story, but a realistic story of how 2 people have to work to make their relationship last. The sex is just part of what needs to be worked out to make the relationship survive.
I recommend this book to readers of erotica that are not afraid to look past the BDSM, to see the actual "meat" of the story. Although, I will be very intrigued to see how they are able to keep the movie true to the story without altering what is an important part of Christian and Anastasia's story.
Happy Reading!!

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Professional by Kresley Cole

The Professional

I received an ARC of The Professional in return for an honest review. Thank you to Miss Cole and Gallery Books for this opportunity.

The Game Maker series is a new series out for Kresley Cole. I am a HUGE fan of her Immortals After Dark series. I was excited and nervous to read The Professional. On one hand I knew Miss Cole was a superb storyteller. She has a wonderful talent for bringing paranormal romance to life, but could she bring that talent to The Game Maker series? Why, YES SHE CAN!

The Professional is about a PhD student, Natalie Porter and a mafiya enforcer, Aleksander "The Siberian" Sevastyan. 
Natalie is a PhD student who has recently hired a private investigator to find her biological parents. As the semester is ending she joins her friends at a bar. She has a knack for looking at a man and figuring out exactly what type of person he is: one night stand, obsessive lover, etc. But when Aleksander walks into the bar and she is challenged by her friends to categorize him, she is stumped. She is intrigued by this and is challenged by her friends to introduce herself to him. When she tries to flirt, Aleksander shoots her down. 

Natalie gets whisked away by Aleksander to Russia to meet her father, a vor-head of a mafiya organization.
She finds she is being targeted by her father's enemies and he wants her in Russia, not only to meet her, but to keep her safe. From her first meeting with Aleksander there are fireworks between the two. 

 The Professional is a story of a twenty-something college virgin (reluctantly) and a worldly dark Russian mafiya enforcer. While trying to keep Natalie safe, Aleksander introduces her to the dark, erotic world of BDSM. Natalie, not knowing why she could never become interested in a man enough to go through with having sex with them, finds herself intrigued and beyond excited by the erotic pleasures that Aleksander has introduced her to. But to her dismay, she finds Aleksander backing away from the pleasures she craves that only he can satisfy.
Aleksander and Natalie's journey is a journey of lust, sex, exploration, trust and love. 
  Miss Cole as always DELIVERS!  
Her talent for incorporating suspense, romance, intelligent characters and sex into a story line that engrosses the reader has found a new outlet. She knows when to develop the story line and when it is time to add the romance and when it's just right to introduce the steamy sex. The sex is never the focus of the story and it never feels dirty. It is always a natural progression of the characters relationship.
Aleksander and Natalie's chemistry is off the charts. As Natalie's emotions ride a roller-coaster, thanks to Aleksander, she pushes harder and harder to learn why he is the way he is. This, I feel, is a very realistic expectation of a woman who is or wants to be in a relationship with a man.
Is the BDSM realistic? I have no idea, but I really enjoyed delving into this type of erotica for the first time. I have to admit, my new fantasy involves a sexy Russian from Siberia!
One of the things I think I liked most about this book is how Miss Cole showed how two people in love with each other can satisfy their need for unconventional sex without making it a dirty little secret.

For those readers who enjoy suspenseful erotica, I highly recommend this book. For those readers who enjoy Kresley Cole's books-YOU HAVE GOT TO READ this book! 
I give this book 5 STARS and highly recommend this book.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Curse Breakers (Curse Keepers #2) by Denise Grover Swank

The Curse Breakers (The Curse Keeper, #2)

First I would like to thank you for your patience with this review. It has been a crazy couple of weeks between my son's Eagle Scout Court of Honor, my other son's 16th birthday, a special young lady's high school graduation, and preparing for my son's high school graduation.

I received an ARC of  The Curse Breakers in return for an honest review. Thank you to Miss Grover Swank and 27North for this opportunity.

I was very excited to read the second installment of the Curse Keepers Trilogy. Miss Grover Swank did such a great job on The Curse Keepers.
The Curse Breakers was a good read. It was a little slower read then the first book. Miss Grover Swank went more in depth into Ellie's character. It felt like she was trying to make the reader and Ellie one.
While The Curse Keepers had more action through-out the book, The Curse Breakers delved further into why everything happened and why everything was happening. Yes, there is action in The Curse Breakers, but not near as much as there was in the first book.
Miss Grover Swank did an excellent job continuing Ellie's story. She did a fairly good job bringing across the turmoil and conflict between Ellie and Collin. She does a great job making David, Ellie's new boyfriend and supporter, loveable but at the same time she hints at the possibility that David may not be all that he seems.
For those who liked The Curse Keepers, I highly recommend The Curse Breakers. Miss Grover Swank knows how to create an ending that isn't quite a cliffhanger, but almost feels like a cliffhanger.
If you haven't read The Curse Keepers, you really need to read that before reading The Curse Breakers or it won't make sense. So, I highly recommend both books!