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!

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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.

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

GFY Monday!!

I have a serious case of grumpypantsitis today.  I can’t seem to shake it.  I blame Monday of course.  Everything is just getting on my effing nerves today.  People especially.  Well, people get on my nerves on a normal day, but today, becoming a hermity-hoarder suffocated by my own trash is looking more appealing than dealing with another fecking person.  And you know what spawned this tirade? The Neelys.  Ever watched the Neelys on Food Network?  Cute lady obsessed with pork and her lecherous husband oogling her bum while they make scrumptralescent Southern fare?  Well, usually I love them, they are cute, and no matter how many times I hear that molester laugh of his, the ridiculousness still shocks me.  But today…today they are killing me.  I was watching them while cooking dinner, and my God its like they gave her speed and turned on the camera.   Plus, she just pulled one of my big human being faux pas.  You see, I really, really hate it when people act like they are something special for liking/thinking/doing something incredibly mundane.  For example, Mrs. Neely just exclaimed “I love marshmallows, I can eat them right out of the bag!!”  Well no shit.  Are there people who don’t like marshmallows??  They are sugar infused with air and deliciousness! And every person on the planet that ever made a rice krispie treat ate one or two out of the damn bag.  That’s like saying,”OMG I am soooo crazy about desserts!! I eat them every chance I get, but they totally make me gain weight!! ”    Well who doesn’t genius?  Besides those with diabettisss of course. (That’s diabetes to those who don’t know Wilford Brimley.)  Or what about, “Ooooh black is so my color, it’s just so slimming!!”  Really??  Cause Captain Obvious just called, he wants his cliché back.  Sigh…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Hmmm…I kinda feel better now.   OMG, it’s like when I talk about my feelings, I feel better!  I am so telling other people about this! I am soooo brilliant!

Pick a Side! Team Vampire Lumberjack or Team Werewolf Bootlegger?

 

Author-duo extraordinaire Moira Rogers wants to know which is awesomest, Vampire Lumberjack or Werewolf Bootlegger?  In fact, they are hosting a contest at their website and asking bloggers to weigh in on all the potential awesomeness that could happen with these two characters!  The contest is in honor of Sanctuary Unbound (releasing today) which features said Vampy Lumberjack and A Safe Harbor (releasing July 13th) featuring a sly Wolfie Bootlegger.  Admittedly, I had to think about this one.  If given the simple choice of Vamp vs. Wolfie, I would probably go Vamp.  To me, Vamps just ooze sex appeal.  I picture perfectly quaffed hotties that stepped right out of GQ.  But when you throw in such unique professions…how does one decide?  Well, when I make life-altering, earth-moving decisions like this one, I often draw from past experiences.  What do I know about lumberjacks?  Often tall, burly, have affinity for plaid flannel, like to treat logs like treadmills, like nature (ick).  Do I find this hot? Eh, maybe.  Okay, what experience do I have with lumberjacks?     …Not much.  In fact, the only thing that comes to mind is Will Ferrell in Step Brothers.  “I have traveled 500 miles to give you my seed! Rawrrrr!”   See video below. 

Don’t get me wrong, I adore Will Ferrell.  But do I want a Will Ferrell lumberjack love scene? Nope.  Moving on.  What comes to mind for Bootleggers? Pinstripe suits, wingtip shoes, Speakeasies, Moonshine, drinking inside or on secret Speakeasy balconies.  Now this I can work with!  What experience do I have with Bootleggers?  Well, Brad Pitt was a bootlegger in Legends of the Fall. 

Yummmm.  It’s kind of hard to separate Bootleggers from Mobsters, so let me brainstorm those as well.  And Warren Beatty (Vintage Warren of course) played Bugsy Seagle. 

Yummmm.  Johnny Depp played John Dillinger (it’s a stretch I know, but I should get bonus points for finding a way to get Johnny Depp in a post about Bootleggers and Lumberjacks!!). 

 Yummmm.  Yep, I think the choice is clear here.  I am Team Werewolf Bootlegger! Bring on the pinstripes!  (No need to remind me of James Gandolfini, Joe Pesci, or any other fug mobster.  I am perfectly happy with my selective memory and extreme shallowness!)

Disclaimerlicious:  This post is a part of Moira Rogers’ Creature Feature Kindle Throwdown Contest. By leaving a (meaningful) comment, you will be entered to win a Kindle from Amazon.com, or an alternate grand prize of $275 to spend at an online book retailer.  For a full list of rules and more ways to win, visit the contest page.

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