Hump Day Hotness Returns!

Alright.  Feeling better.  Doing good.  Back to blogging about hotness.  Sooooo…anyone seen the Teenage Dream video?  Katy Perry + one super HOT Josh Kloss on the beach, in the pool, in their skivvies and such?  Sigh…all I can say is thank you sweet Baby Jesus for inventing the DVR, because this guy is beautiful.   Enjoy!

Demon from the Dark By Kresley Cole

From Goodreads.com: A dangerous demon she can’t resist… must unleash both the demon and vampire inside him. When he becomes the nightmare his own people feared, will he lose the woman he craves body and soul?MalkomFor them to survive,

Malkom Slaine: tormented by his sordid past and racked by vampiric hungers, he’s pushed to the brink by the green-eyed beauty under his guard.

A maddening witch he aches to claim…

Carrow Graie: hiding her own sorrows, she lives only for the next party or prank. Until she meets a tortured warrior worth saving.

Trapped together in a savage prison…

Ah finally, I got to read all about my beloved drunken, karoke-singing, youtube sensation, warrior witch, Carrow the Incarcerated.  Carrow has been abducted by a group of radical humans called the Order bent on studying/weaponizing/eradicating immortals.  Their latest goal? Capturing the rare demon/vampire hybrid, or vemon, Malkolm Slaine.   Somehow, the Order knows that Carrow will make excellent bait to lure Malkolm to this plane, so they blackmail her with her newly adopted daughter, Ruby.   Carrow must go to Malkolm’s plane, which is bascially her own personal hell, and somehow trick him into following her home.  But Carrow doesn’t realize that Malkolm’s tragic past has turned him into a solitary, brutish monster who immediately recognizes Carrow as his fated female.  Left with no choice, Carrow must follow Malkolm to his cave, where the two have some serious chemistry…once he bathes of course.   Unfortunatley, Carrow still has to betray Malkolm, leading him back to the prison, where she will be betrayed as well.

The Good:  Well, it’s Kresely Cole.  If you have read the other IAD books, that would be all I needed to say.  But if not, allow me to elaborate.  Kresley Cole writes some of my favorite charcters in the genre.  They are all funny and smart, albeit damaged.  But the damage isn’t dwelled upon, it just makes them who they are.  She seemingly worships one of my favorite movies, Aliens, and references it quite frequently.  Her love scenes are oh so steamy, but never the same.  Her heroes and heroines kick serious ass in the action sequences.  And she makes me laugh out loud at least once every book.  THIS book, had all of those things I have come to expect and there is really too much good to get into here.  I felt that this was more of a transitional book though, with the immortal prison setting up stories for several books to come, much like the Talisman’s Hie did in the beginning of the series.  We get to see Regin (POOR REGIN!!) and her beserker, Sabine’s sister Lanthe, and one of the Lykae twins, Uilleam, plus we are introduced to new categories of immortals we haven’t seen yet! Exciting!  I am so ready for Regin’s book I can’t stand it!!  Oh, and I want to get into how much I heart Malkolm, the big vemon scene-stealer,  but I will discuss shortly.

The Bad: ::wince::  I really don’t like saying anything bad about this series, as it truly is my favorite, but i have to vent about this one little thing.  You see, Carrow and the House of Witches reminds me of me and my girlfriends in college, but with less nudity, so they have always been my favorite cameos in the books.  I knew that Carrow’s book would deal with her becoming more un-Carrow-like, but I was hoping the first bits would be filled with the Carrow/Mari/Regin shenanigans I expect to take place in every book.  I was very, very disappointed to jump right into serious, little girl saving, soul mate finding Carrow.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the story of Carrow and Malkolm finding each other and being all damaged and stuff, but I missed the Carrow I had come to know over the past bazillion books.   And then Regin being all serious too!! Sigh…it just wasn’t the same.  But yeah, that’s all I got for the bad.  Here was my fav Carrow moment:

“She surveyed all the tracks scattered over the clearing.  Again, she could make out Malkolm’s prints, but now she saw even lighter boot prints.  Even more demons?

With ten shots of Jack D in her belly, she was convinced that her scientifical mind could read tracks and deduce a corresponding fight.  She was a regular Sacagawea.” 

The Bumpin’ Uglies:  Teeeheee, Malkolm is a naughty little vemon.  He’s all big, and caveman-like and pierced…a  lot!!  Whew…and I thought I was a modern woman! Malkolm Slaine sent me back to the days of lady clubbing (the wooden kind) and I wasn’t even upset about it.  There is this one scene, I think the book calls it Extreme Makeover: Malkolm edition, where there is lots and lots of bathing…in a cave…and they don’t speak the same languages…and mama liked.   And then there was “You Betrayed Me!” angry beach lovin’.  Yummmm.   And then there was the 98% “we’re not done yet! lovin’.  It was awesome.  I heart Malkolm.  Oh, and Carrow was there too.

Rating: 8.5

Hump Day Hotness

Okay, everyone, it’s time to set your morals and standards aside.  Ignore the skin cancer, and the Ed Hardy, and the gel, and the character flaws possibly caused by steroid abuse.   Are we ready?  Okay, now, let’s enjoy the neck-down hotness that is the boys of Jersey Shore.   Say what you will about my guiltiest of guilty pleasures (Hell, who I am kidding? This show brings me pure joy.), but you cannot deny, these are some fine chesticles.  Enjoy! And don’t judge me!

And just for my friend Christen, a little Mayer-bear action sprinkled in:

Kindlelicious: The Senior Citizen Revisits Bowen MacRieve

 

 

Soooo…I hurt my back.  More specifically, my sacrum slipped and choked out my poor sciatic nerve.   It wasn’t fun.  I couldn’t move for days.  And worse, I think I did it working in my stupid lab.  Now…I know what you are thinking,  and no, I am not old.  I am 29.333333 not 87.  But for the past week, I have felt ancient.  Or like one of those women on Discovery Health pregnant with quints and trapped in the bed.  I don’t recommend this.  So to take my mind off the ridiculossity and injustice of my situation I decided to go back and read some of my favorite PNR books.   

I started with one of my all-time favs: Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night by Kresley Cole.   I adore the Immortals After Dark series, it has not one but TWO of my favorite PNR characters (Bowen and Regin) and book three of the series is IMO the best!   In this installment the widowed but super hot (and member of my Top 5 list) Bowen MacRieve is trying to win the Talisman’s Hie (think Goblet of Fire for Immortals) to bring back his deceased mate.  Mariketa the Awaited is proudly representing the underachieving New Orleans coven in hopes of proving she actually should be “awaited.”  While tracking down artifacts to gain points in the competition, Bowen traps Mariketa and fellow competitors in a cave full of incubi ghosts.  Thinking they will be able to free themselves, he goes about his business, only to find that the New Orelans Coven and Valkyries will have his head if Mariketa is not returned (this is one of my favorite Regin scenes, but there are many.)  Bowen is forced to return to the jungle to free the competitors, but civil war has broken out among the locals, trapping them there.  So yeah….Bowen + Mari + jungle caves + isolated coves = HOTNESS.  Seriously, the chemistry between these 2 is SIZZLING hot.  The story is awesome too, and I love how the series revisits the Talisman’s Hie several times from different perspectives.   But what makes this book great is the dialogue.  I had totally forgotten how great Carrow and the other witches are, and re-reading this one made me even more excited for Carrow’s book releasing August 24th!  Here are some of my favorite quotes:

Why I love Carrow:

She jerked around. MacRieve! He was dressed in new clothes, and looked showered and coolly collected. “How in the hell could you have gotten here so quickly?”

“Missed you, witch. Ran head long.  Now hang up the bloody phone.”

“Oh great Hekate, is that his voice?” Carrow cried.  “I just had an orgasm! Fudge your name tag if you have to, but you get you some of that some-some. Remember, friends let friends live vicariously–“

Click.

Why I love Mari:

“It doesn’t matter. We’re just too different.  I need a male who will get along with my friends, my witch friends, who’ll be current enough to know the difference between emo rock nd jangle pop, and who’ll be able to get me through the ice world in Zelda.”

MacRieve was no doubt speculating in what ice dimension this mysterious land of Zelda was. 

(For the record, this single sentence made me have a huge girl crush on Kresley Cole.  Some would say I am  moderately enthusiastic about all things Zelda)

And finally, why I heart Bowen:

“I’ve made a choice, lass.”  He drew back and cupped her face.  “if given the chance, I would no’  go back.  You’re mine.  And I’m going to do whatever it takes, till I’m yours as well.”

She made a frustrated sound, “Typical male! Because of what happened in the cave?”

“Aye, some.  But also because of what happened after.  We fit, you nd me, and could make a life together.  And witch”–his gaze held hers–we’re going to have a blood good time of it.”

*Swoon*…Or maybe *Spooge*.   Hmmm…no, no, it needs a new word.  Swoon + Spooge = Swooge.  Yes, this is a swooge-worthy quote. 

So yeah, that’s what I have been up to.  If you haven’t read IAD, why the hell not??  So good.  I am an elder (according to my back!) so you should respect any and all recommendations I make!  I also re-read the Dragon Kin series by GA Aiken, but more on that later.

City of Ghosts By Stacia Kane

From Barnesandnoble.com:  

IT’S A THIN LINE BETWEEN ALIVE AND UNDEAD.
 
Chess Putnam has a lot on her plate. Mangled human corpses have started to show up on the streets of Downside, and Chess’s bosses at the Church of Real Truth have ordered her to team up with the ultra-powerful Black Squad agency to crack the grisly case.

Chess is under a binding spell that threatens death if she talks about the investigation, but the city’s most notorious crime boss—and Chess’s drug dealer—gets wind of her new assignment and insists on being kept informed. If that isn’t bad enough, a sinister street vendor appears to have information Chess needs. Only he’s not telling what he knows, or what it all has to do with the vast underground City of Eternity.

Now Chess will have to navigate killer wraiths, First Elders, and a lot of seriously nasty magic—all while coping with some not-so-small issues of her own. And the only man Chess can trust to help her through it all has every reason to want her dead.

Whoa.   I literally just finished this book and ‘Whoa’ pretty much sums up how I feel about it.  I don’t want to recap this book.  There are just so many twists and turns that there is no way I can discuss without giving something away.  And I don’t want to give anything away!  If you read the first two Downside books, you know what to expect, but Stacia Kane really upped the stakes this time.  If the first two books were ‘dark urban fantasy’, this one teeters on horror.  Some of the scenes were downright disturbing to the point where I had to force myself to keep reading.  But it’s not mindless horror like the latest Saw movie, where people you barely know are butchered for cheap thrills.  It’s horrific things happening to you have come to genuinely care about.  People that are so incredibly damaged but still manage to do the right thing…even when they just keep getting beaten down.    You barely make it out of a scene alive and suddenly you find yourself swooning over a huge, ugly hitman and a drug addict witch and praying that they can somehow find a slice of happiness in the Downside.  To me, that’s why these books are so great.  One minute I was reading with one eye open barely hanging on while a fire rages in a slaughterhouse, and the next minute Terrible drops Chess down a tunnel and has me in tears…AGAIN.   I really cannot recall a series that evoked this much emotion.  I would say Harry Potter is the closest thing, but there is absolutely no way to compare the two.   Here is what I can say: this book has it all.  Mystery, horror, fantasy, suspense (Oh the suspense!), and romance all flowing seamlessly.  Some of the best, most though-provoking characters I have ever read.   And the sex…wow.  (Cause let’s be honest, we were all praying for some Chess and Terrible closure.)   I want to discuss that tunnel scene so bad I can hardly stand it!!  To say it was hot would just cheapen it.  There were way too many emotions for ‘hot.’  Gut-wrenchingly satisfying is a much better description.   So to conclude my mindless gushing I will say this: if you read the first two, then why the hell aren’t you reading this one yet?  If you didn’t, then you need some Terrible in your life ASAP. 

Rating:  Off the charts.

Hump Day Hotness

I have been putting this one off, because I know everyone is lovin’ some Alcide right now, but Dear God the man deserves it.   Joe Manganiello (better known as Alcide) is just so freakin hot.  He makes me cuss at the TV!  Every Sunday night, I’m all “Daaaaaaaammmmmnnnnnn” or “Holy Shit!” when he comes on the screen.  And thanks to the saints over at HBO, he is usually shirtless.  If you don’t watch True Blood (and at this point, all you get is a REALLY??), here is what you are missing:

Mind Games By Carolyn Crane

From Barnesandnoble.com:  JUSTINE KNOWS SHE’S GOING TO DIE. ANY SECOND NOW.
 
Justine Jones has a secret. A hardcore hypochondriac, she’s convinced a blood vessel is about to burst in her brain. Then, out of the blue, a startlingly handsome man named Packard peers into Justine’s soul and invites her to join his private crime-fighting team. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime deal. With a little of Packard’s hands-on training, Justine can weaponize her neurosis, turning it outward on Midcity’s worst criminals, and finally get the freedom from fear she’s always craved. End of problem.

Or is it? In Midcity, a dashing police chief is fighting a unique breed of outlaw with more than human powers. And while Justine’s first missions, including one against a nymphomaniac husband-killer, are thrilling successes, there is more to Packard than meets the eye. Soon, while battling her attraction to two very different men, Justine is plunging deeper into a world of wizardry, eroticism, and cosmic secrets. With Packard’s help, Justine has freed herself from her madness—only to discover a reality more frightening than anyone’s worst fears.

The blurb above is pretty thorough, but let me expand a little.  Packard is a high-cap, which basically means human plus (think X-Men), who can ‘read’ the make-up of your mind and see how you are wired.  He has used this ability to put together a team of flawed humans that fight crime by ‘disillusioning’ criminals.  Packard teaches people like Justine, who is almost crippled by fear of dying from a phantom vascular disease, to transfer these fears/flaws/urges to criminals, basically driving them to near insanity in hopes of creating a life-changing event.  Transferring Justine’s energy on a regular basis essentially saves her from herself, but Packard failed to mention that she will never be able to stop without turning into a vegetable.  Now trapped with Packard, Justine starts investigating his past in hopes of finding a way out, which leads her to some startling discoveries about him and the new local celebrity, Police Chief Sanchez.

The Good:  I like books that hang out in the gray areas.  Not that I don’t enjoy good ole good vs. evil, but it’s the gray areas that make you think.  Mind Games is firmly in the gray.  Justine and the other disillusionists are severely flawed people (gamblers, alcoholics, hypochondriacs) that basically attack people’s energies.  Their targets are criminals of varying degrees, but instead of striving to prove their guilt, they attempt to reprogram their brains.  Is this legal? Nope.  Does it work? According to Packard it does.  I liked the idea of not-so-great people fighting even worse criminals.  I also liked the idea of transferring your flaws to someone else temporarily.  Actually, I liked a lot of things about this book, especially the characters.  Unfortunately, the good things were overshadowed for me by 2 specific events.

The Bad:  So here I am, really liking this book, until about 65%.  **RANT ALERT**

I will give a mild spoiler here:  this is the part where Justine is kidnapped and almost violently raped by her latest target.  This part was so irritating to me, that I almost had another DNF on my hands.  I felt that this horrific situation was dealt with way too lightly, and that’s a lot coming from me!  So Justine manages to get free, zap her target with all her nervous energy and call for backup.  When back up arrives, she seeks NO retribution against this man who had her drugged and tied to a bed.  No calling the cops, no castration, oh no.  Disillusionment is enough for this guy; let’s just get him started on alcoholism sometime next week.  Ummm…I’m sorry, but I have huge issues with this.  I really don’t care for books that involve rape as I look to books for escape, but if it has to be dealt with, at least make it a pivotal plot point, not something that is just breezed over with almost sympathy for the attacker.   I mean, I get that these characters barely function as it is, but at least defend yourself or something!!  Okay, rant over.  Well maybe not.

The Bumpin’ Uglies:  **RANT PART 2**  Packard and Justine.  Such lovely sexual tension throughout the book.  And then…a crime against all smuttiness is committed.  Not only do Packard and Justine NOT act on this tension at any point in the book, but with 10ish% left in the book, Justine falls for another character out of nowhere!  Ugh.  To be fair, Justine and other guy have some super steamy scenes involving hot tubs and offices and such, but still!! I was all ready for Packard!  The path to redemption can only lead to a hot love triangle in future books, I will accept nothing less.  But if Packard/Justine is abandoned entirely? Not cool. 

Disclaimerlicious:  I realize I ranted a good deal about this book, but these were purely personal opinions about events in the book, not bashing the book as a whole.  Like I said earlier, I liked a lot of things about this book, and I know others really enjoyed it.  So check it out, and then come back and let me know what you thought.

Rating: 7

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