Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Teaser Tuesday[18]: Cryptic Cravings (Vampire Kisses, #8) by Ellen Schreiber

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading! All you have to do to participate is:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TeaserTuesday participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


I, again, have not been reading much lately. School was been much too overwhelming; I have to write a story for one of my classes, and it is very much stressing me out. Plus, I think the book that I’m still kind of reading as well is just very slow for some reason, even though it’s very good. I want to finish it within the next day or two, and then I plan to read something small, or several small books, just to get going again.
Anyway, here is the book for this week (and, if you haven't read any of the previous books in this series but want to, then I suggest not reading this. At least, not reading the synopsis, as it is sure to have spoilers):
Publisher: HarperCollins (Katherine Tegen Books)

Goodreads Synopsis:

The morbidly monotonous Dullsville has finally become the most exciting place on earth now that Raven is madly in love with her hot vampire boyfriend Alexander, and a crew of vampires has taken residence in Dullsville's old mill. Raven discovers Jagger's plan to open a new club, The Crypt, right here in Dullsville. But is it her dream come true, or her worst nightmare? Raven and Alexander have to figure out what the nefarious vampire has in store for Dullsville's teen and vampire population. Can Raven convince Jagger to listen to her plans to make the Crypt the morbidly magnificent dance club it could be? Will it be safe for mortals and vampires alike?

And as Sebastian and Luna's relationship heats up, Raven wonders about her own amorous fate: Will Alexander ever turn her? Does he crave her and does he want to spend eternity together? And what does she really want?

With cryptic secrets and cravings, this eighth installment in the Vampire Kisses series is a romantic and mysterious thrill ride.


“’A potion?’ she teased.
‘Yes, exactly. A love potion.’” (Hardback, pg. 114-115)

“...I still had to fill it with my blood.” (Hardback, pg. 115)

What are you reading right now?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Manga Review: The Story of Saiunkoku, Volume 3, by Kairi Yura and Sai Yukino

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Volumes: 9

Goodreads Synopsis:

Reads R to L (Japanese Style) T audience. Shurei Hong, destitute but of noble birth, has always dreamed of working as a civil servant in the imperial court of Saiunkoku, but women are barred from holding office. The emperor Ryuki, however, refuses to take command, leaving everything to his advisors. Shurei is asked to become a consort to the emperor to persuade the ne’er-do-well ruler to govern.


It has taken me forever to get this volume. And I even have the next one, and have had it for months, but this one was nowhere to be found. The lack of manga availability in my area is frustrating beyond belief.
In the previous two books, I was not very impressed with this series. The language is a bit dense, and I’m not all that interested in the history, and it was just not as interesting as I wanted it to be. But I already had the fourth volume (since I found it on sale), and so I needed to get this one and read it. I was hoping that it would get better, although I had doubts that it would. And in the first half of the book, I was still not really enjoying it, but in that second half… I’m not really sure why, but I started to enjoy it a bit more than I was expecting to.
In this volume, we meet a new character: Ensei, who knows Seiran from some time before. Shurei lets him stay with them, since he has nowhere else to go. Seiran ends up working outside the palace, working to catch some bandits, while Shurei and Ensei work inside the palace with a mysterious, masked, Minister Ko. Where Shurei has to pretend to be a boy, since girls can’t work in the ministry. She doesn’t mind pretending to be a boy, even if it upsets her that she can’t get a job there as a woman.
There is very little of Ryuki in this volume, which was sad because he’s pretty much my favorite character in this series. He’s just so adorable, and it’s so charming how he refers to himself as ‘we’. The little we did get to see of him was nice, and most of it included him working. Also, he spoke up at some meeting and told the ministry how he wanted to allow women to work in the palace. They did not accept this, which just means that he’s going to have to work harder to get them to agree.
I was a bit surprised by this, but only because I hadn’t thought of the possibility of women not working and how much Shurei would like to work there. And I love that Ryuki wants her to so badly. Also, Minister Ko walked out of the meeting, supposedly in outrage, but I believe he knows that Shurei is a girl, or is at least suspicious.
Oh, we also found out that Shurei is afraid of storms, and we got to see a memory of her mother and Seiran. That was cute, and very entertaining to see.
So, for some reason, I am a bit excited to read the next book, and very glad that I already have it. I hope it’s good, but I am a bit wary that it won’t be as good as I want it to be. We’ll see.

Novel Review: Enslave: the Taming of the Beast by Cathy Yardley

Genre: Erotica Contemporary Romance
Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: HarperCollins (Red Avon)
Spoilers?: No/Minor.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A desperate beauty enslaved . . .
Nadia Bessonova's career-criminal father has deadly enemies--and to save him, his devoted daughter is willing to make a bargain with the devil himself. She will surrender completely, body and spirit, to the dangerous Dominic Luder, and submit to his every whim.

A tormented beast enthralled . . .
Haunted by inner demons and hiding away in his dark, secluded manor, Dominic is mesmerized by his sensuous prisoner who inflames his bestial lust. But Nadia is no mere plaything. At once fearful, willing, and wildly passionate, she brings his most breathtaking erotic fantasies to life--and thaws his cold, wounded heart.

A perilous path to a happy ending . . .
But Nadia never dreamed she'd become slave to her own desires in a savage game of seduction and revenge. And now that he has tasted ecstasy, will a jealous, magnificent beast be able to relinquish his prize?


I’m a little embarrassed to admit how much I liked this book. I try not to hold erotic or adult romance books on too high a level, mainly because I’m usually not very impressed with them. They usually have the characters jumping into things too quickly, or not very enticing characters, or not enough chemistry. They’re not usually very amazingly written stories. But sometimes I get surprised, and this book surprised me.
Now, I’m not saying that this book was amazingly written, with great characters or any of that stuff. And I’m sure that there are going to be several people that look at this book, and that read this book, and do not like what happened. But, for some reason, I did.
I found this book by chance, and thought it sounded good. And it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, which I didn’t know until I’d already started it. Finding this out made me pay more attention to certain things, and yet still didn’t make me dislike the book any more than I already did, which was not much at all.
Enslave’s main character is Nadia, one of three sisters, whose father deals with crime. And when her father goes a bit too far and ends up in Dominic’s debt, Nadia gives herself to Dominic so he won’t kill her family. And so Nadia ends up as a slave to Dominic, while her sister Jelena is trying to find a way to get her back.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the relationship between Nadia and Dominic. I probably shouldn’t, but I rather liked Dominic. He’s rough around the edges, but he actually does care for Nadia, and I liked the ending. And I liked Nadia, as well. She wasn’t too selfless, and she stood up to Dominic when it needed to be done. They had some problems with the whole, being-locked-up thing, but that worked itself out.
I was definitely surprised by what happened with Jelena. That was not a plot-line that I saw coming, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d have liked. She’s really quite the bitch, and goes overboard even if she thinks what she’s doing is right. I’m not going to say too much more on this, though, because that could be major spoilers.
I did not like Nadia and Jelena’s father. He’s, just, pathetic. And despicable. I didn’t like him, and felt the sisters should have stuck up to him way before they did.
One problem that I did have with the story, is that I wasn’t quite sure what time it was set in. Nadia’s family is from Russia, and one of them was sold as a mail-order-bride, and where they live and how they live hints at an older time, but they have very new cars and cellphones… This very well could be set in modern times, but it felt like it should have been in the past.
Oh, also: sex. There is a lot of sex in this book. Not only between Nadia and Dominic, either. And there’s some kinky stuff happening, and a threesome, and some lesbian stuff. There’s sex in almost every chapter, too, but mixed in with actual plot movement.
And even with all the sex and Jelena, I read this book really fast. It was a while ago, but it was in less than two days, I know. I was surprised with how quickly the book went by, how easy it was to get through.
So, yea, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. And if I ever stumble upon another of Yardley’s books, I will be getting it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Novel Review: How They Met and Other Stories by David Levithan

Genre: YA Contemporary Short Stories
Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: Random House (Alfred A. Knopf)
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes a confection from David Levithan that is sure to have fans of Boy Meets Boy eager to devour it. Here are 18 stories, all about love, all kinds of love. From the aching for the one you pine for, to standing up and speaking up for the one you love, to pure joy and happiness, these love stories run the gamut of that emotion that at some point has turned every one of us inside out and upside down.

What is love? With this original story collection, David Levithan proves that love is a many splendored thing, a varied, complicated, addictive, wonderful thing.


This was the first book I read that was solely by Devid Levithan. I’ve read his co-author books with Rachel Cohn, and John Green, and maybe even some of his stories in some anthologies, but none of the books just by him. And after reading this, I’m going to have to get some more.
This is a book of short stories about different characters and their relationships, mostly romantic. They were all really good, and really interesting, and I enjoyed them. Some of my favorites were Starbucks Boy, The Alumni Interview, Princes, A Romantic Inclination, and Miss Lucy Had A Steamboat. But they were all really good. And each one was very different from the other. They had different characters, some had different styles of writing, and they had different messages, different purposes. I was quite impressed, as well as happy, with how much I enjoyed them all.
Most of them were about gay romances, but not all of them were. They weren’t all starring a teenage boy. They didn’t all have happy endings. Some had songs, one had science. Some were during school, some were during the summer, some had nothing to do with school. Each story had its own story to tell, and they were all very unique and different from the others.
This is a short review, but I don’t really have anything else to say. I enjoyed it quite a bit, that’s all.

Manga Review: A Devil and Her Love Song, Volume 4, by Miyoshi Tomori

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Volumes: 13

Goodreads Synopsis:

Maria encourages antagonistic Ayu to be true to her feelings, but that simple action snowballs into a huge rift within their class! As secret crushes and hidden motives are revealed, the backlash of honesty just might destroy Maria’s efforts in uniting everyone for the choral competition!


This volume is all about the singing competition, and Hana Ibuki.
We’re supposed to have forgiven Hana Ibuki, but I don’t really feel much sympathy for her. In the end she was okay, I guess, but I kind of still think she’s a bit of a bitch. Maybe I’ll see her better in the next book; we’ll see.
I do like Ayu Nakamura (the original bully) more, though. She actually listens to Maria and confesses to Yusuke, and openly talks about how selfish she is, and what she does and doesn’t like. It was very good to see her being so honest, and I liked her conversation with Yusuke. Maybe something will spark up between those two.
And then something kind of major happened between Maria and Shin. He kissed her and made her mind go a bit crazy, which was adorable and a bit hilarious. I liked seeing her so freaked out, not expecting it, and not knowing what to think. And to see him put himself out there for her. I’m looking forward to some more development in their relationship in the next book.
Also, wasn’t expecting to see that so soon; was definitely a nice surprise.
We also got to see more of Maria’s past: what happened at her old school with her friend. She had a big falling out, and I’m intrigued to see what comes of it. To see her old friend show up, which I’m sure she will at some point, and have them talk or fight or something along those lines.
The main event in this book was the singing competition, which was surrounded by a lot of drama. Their class is being recorded, and Hana wanted to set something up so that she would seem like a hero, and that got all messed up. And their teacher was a huge jerk by trying to force Maria into making their school seem really great, and he’s just a huge despicable bully. I don’t understand how he’s still their teacher, how he hasn’t gotten fired yet, with how he’s bullied her and called the other students losers. He even started to hit Maria and it was caught on tape, which I hope gets released in the next book. I just want him to go away already, for some justice to be done about that whole situation.
The book ended with the performance, where Maria sang all on her own, and she made up with her classmates. Although I kind of still don’t forgive them for not singing with her, even if it might have been a hugely cliché scene.
The bullies in this book are done in such an overpowering, you-can’t-beat-me, godmoding way that it’s a bit annoying, and frustrating. I can overlook that, though, because it’s such a good series, and the characters are so good, and it’s overall very charming. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book.