Wednesday, 27 June 2012

I Only Have Eyes For You by Bella Andre

I Only Have Eyes For You (2012)
Bella Andre
Grade: C+
Genre: contemporary romance
Sex scenes: hot
Source: NetGalley
Sullivans: (1) The Look of Love, (2) From This Moment On, (3) Can't Help Falling in Love, (4) I Only Have Eyes For You

Sophie Sullivan is the youngest of eight (yes! eight!) children and a twin to boot. She's never felt as confident as her siblings and has always plays by the rules, earning her the nickname 'Nice' to her twin's 'Naughty'. Her passion is books and her job as a librarian means that she's able to integrate her love for reading into everyday life. Her job may not be as exciting as the paths that her siblings have taken, but Sophie loves her job and her life is almost complete but for one thing: Jake McCann.

Jake spent so much of his childhood and time with the Sullivans that he is treated as the ninth Sullivan. He runs the successful chain of McCann pubs and like the other Sullivan boys, is known for being a bit of a player. He's loved Sophie from a distance for years, but knows he can never be good enough for her because of his rough childhood and upbringing. His mother deserted him when he was young and his father was a drunk who beat him when he felt like it. Even more shamefully where Sophie is concerned, Jake can barely read. Sophie's brother Zach is the only one who knows Jake's secret and it is only after ten years worth of tutors that Jake manages to cope with running his business, but he relies on phonecalls and face-to-face dealings as much as possible. Considering Sophie's love for books, Jake's secret is one that he could never bear for her to discover.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Dead Scared by Sharon Bolton

Dead Scared (2012) (Bantam Press)
Sharon Bolton
Grade: B+
Genre: gothic thriller crime
Source: own
Lacey Flint: (1) Now You See Me, (1.5) If Snow Hadn't Fallen(2) Dead Scared

Straight-up compelling.

I read this in something like four hours straight, until past 2AM, despite the fact that I knew I had to be up at 6.30 that day to be on campus for 8. Each time I looked at my phone, I'd tell myself 'at 11' which would then become 'at 12' and you get the picture. I might not have liked it as much as Now You See Me, but I think Dead Scared has the edge when it comes to the unputtable-down factor.

Cambridge University has, in DI Joesbury's own words, "[developed] a very unhealthy record when it comes to young people taking their own lives." Twenty students have committed suicide in the last five years and Head of Student Counselling, Evi Oliver doesn't believe that it's a coincidence that the mostly female suicidees all chose inventive, violent methods to end their lives. She contacts her old university friend Dana Tulloch who then refers it on until it lands in Joesbury's hands. He needs Lacey to pose as a vulnerable student to see if she discovers any underground network that is working to glorify and encourage suicidal behaviour.

Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton

Blood Harvest (2010)
S. J. Bolton
Grade: B+
Genre: gothic thriller crime
Source: library

Alice and Gareth Fletcher have lived in the little village of Heptonclough with their three young children for a few months, but the community still hasn't really accepted them. If anything, Heptonclough are trying to get them to leave. The Fletchers are not at all fazed by the fact that their new house is next to a church and surrounded by a graveyard, which I guess is ominous in itself. When the new vicar Harry Laycock arrives in town to reopen the church for worship, they bond over their common outsider status and become fast friends.

Tom is ten years old and at that age where he's determined not to run complaining to his parents when he's bullied and pranked at school. But it isn't just the bullies that have him constantly on edge. He doesn't feel safe playing in his own garden and being the eldest child, he feels that it is his responsibility to ensure that five-year-old Joe and two-year-old Milly are safe. Tom knows that someone is watching them, but can't get any solid proof to take to his parents. To make matters worse, Joe and Milly are perfectly comfortable in 'Ebba's' company and seem to be conspiring against Tom when he tries to convince his parents and Harry that someone has been watching them.

The Perfect Neighbour by Nora Roberts

The Perfect Neighbour (1999)
Nora Roberts
Grade: C+
Genre: contemporary romance
Sex scenes: hotter than NR's regualar mild. See below
Source: eBay
The MacGregors: (11) The Perfect Neighbour

I really wanted to love this book. The MacGregors are one of my favourite NR series (I can never decide) and The Perfect Neighbour had Daniel MacGregor back in full force, still happily meddling away at nearly ninety years old. I'd wanted some light relief and a happy-ever-after to cheer myself up after the darkness of The Siren and while TPN did provide lots of both, I was left feeling uncomfortably unssatisfied.

As the youngest child of two artists, it's no suprise that Cybil Campbell has followed in the footsteps of her parents. Genvieve Grandeau-Campbell is well-known for her beautiful landscapes but Cybil has followed her father who writes the Macintosh political comic strips and has produced her own popular daily strip featuring the blonde Emily who can never manage to hold down a job.

Cybil is one of those heroines who you want as a best friend. She's kind, funny, upbeat and welcoming, unable to hold a grudge for very long. Her neighbours are forever in and out of her door and she always has time for people who want to talk. With a little nudge from her friend and downstairs neighbour Jody (the basis for Emily's friend in the strip whose name I can't remember), Cybil bakes a batch of cookies by means of introducing herself to her new, reclusive neighbour opposite her in 3B.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Breaking Dawn Part Two Trailer

Here - the first trailer that comes up in the list.

Yes, I will be going to watch the last Twilight film. I couldn't not go. I first read Twilight in the summer of 2007, a few days before I was about to leave for Venice. At that time, I was still in my teen phase in terms of reading and considered myself pretty familiar with most YA authors and characters. Yet, when my friends spoke of Edward on the MCMB boards, I was utterly lost.

I'm kinda over the Twilight series now. I loved the books when I first read them, partly because it was before the series got popular (the first film was released November 2008) and I enjoyed loving something that the majority of people (especially in the UK) hadn't even heard of. I had a huge obsession with Edward and am slightly embarrassed thinking about it now, but I'm glad to say that I'm completely over my vampire/Twilight phase.

I'll still go watch the movie; it'll be kind of like an end of an era and I really hope that Hollywood doesn't produce more films like the rumour I heard the other day. Enough is enough and we really don't need any more sequels. My favourite film so far was Eclipse and while Breaking Dawn Part 1 left a little to be desired, Part 2 is where all the action takes place and looks fantastic. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson don't come across great in interviews, but they both look fantastic in the clip and I'm really looking forward to seeing Kristen being able to cast the meek and weak human Bella aside. One thing I am very glad that to see that they've done with the trailer is keep sightings of Renesmee as minimal as possible. I hope they carry this on for any subsequent trailers they release.

The Siren by Tiffany Reisz

The Siren (2012)
Tiffany Reisz
Grade: A-/B+
Genre: erotica
Sex scenes: S&M, graphically hot and not for the faint-of-heart, but a lot less detailed and fewer and further between than I had been expecting
Source: NetGalley
The Original Sinners (The Red Years): (prequel) Seven Day Loan (1) The Siren, (2) The Angel, (3) The Prince, (4) The Mistress

Tiffany Reisz is not your average erotica author, the corollary being that The Siren is not your average erotica novel. It's been a long time (if there has indeed ever been such an occasion) that a book has simultaneously made me want to cry while thumping it repeatedly against the wall in anger - the latter I might have actually done if I hadn't been reading on my laptop and thus another reason why print reigns supreme. Not that I'm complaining about free galleys.

By day, thirty-three year old Nora Sutherlin is a popular erotica writer; by night she's the most sought-after Dominatrix in New York. She sees clients at her leisure and commands astronomical figures for an hour usually spent beating the shit out of whichever masochist will pay the most - male or female. But Nora hadn't always been this popular; she's a Switch. Until five years ago when she left him, she had belonged to Søren since she was fifteen years old. Nora might currently be New York's number two Dominant, but Søren has always been number one and there's no one that Nora is more afraid of - or more in love with. He's a complete sadist and revered in the Underground for the pain and torture he can inflict on submissives. Griffin (Nora's friend and number seven Dominant) sums it up nicely:

Friday, 15 June 2012

Angel & Faith Volume 1: Live Through This by Christos Gage

Angel & Faith Volume 1: Live Through This (2012)
Christos Gage (script), Rebekah Isaacs (art), Phil Noto (art), Steve Morris (cover)
Grade: A-
Genre: graphic novel
Source: NetGalley

I've waxed poetic about how much I hate writing spoilers and how I'll try and keep spoilers to a minimum where I do need to reveal big plotlines. Not possible here. There's no way that I can talk about this book without revealing huge spoilers for Buffy Season 8. So if you haven't read the Buffy comics and want to, then DO NOT click on the 'Read more' link below if you don't want to find out what happens. Similarly, there's some biggish spoilers for Angel and Faith too. I mean, sure, don't let me stop you from reading it if you haven't read Live Through This yet and you plan to, but it's nothing MAJOR major unlike the Buffy spoilers. If you have read Buffy Season 8, or on the other hand don't plan to, then click ahead. But don't say I didn't warn you.

Sausage Rolls

(sorry for the crappy picture. It was taken with my crappy phone because I don't actually own a camera)

We had a picnic for SIFE, a society I belong to, to thank all the advisers/sponsors etc who've helped us through the year. Granted, only one actually turned up (yay Ali of Barefoot Wine! with wine!) but it was an awesome event anyway. This is an annual thing and in the past, they've gone out to dinner, but we decided this year that we would have a picnic where all attending SIFE-ers would bring a dish. Okay, so we did plan this during the heatwave, thinking that it would actually be nice and hot for an actual picnic, so our hopes of having it outside were dashed considering just how awful the weather has been for June. And typical, every day since Tuesday has been really nice and sunny, if still a bit cold.

Once I get the feeling back in my arm ...

... I'll get started on the huge backlog of reviews etc that I have piled up.

I consider myself somewhat of a pro at exams. I've done a lot, most of them quite well; for some perverse reason, I actually enjoy them; and once had a day during GCSEs where I had three in a day. But I don't think I've ever written quite so much as I did today. Three hour tort exam = 15+ pages of writing. I don't think my arm has ever ached quite so much as it did when I finished: from my fingers to my shoulder, it just hurt. Mostly faded now, but there's still a lingering ache.

So glad that exams are over. I only had three, so that was nothing compared to some other people. Still. This is law. I'm looking forward to being able to laze around and actually pick up a book and read it cover to cover without feeling guilty about it. And I have a LOT of exciting stuff lined up to read.

Some admin stuff: I was bad and fiddled around with a few things while I was supposed to be revising. You might not care, but I'll tell you anyway in case there is someone who does:
  • Review Archive: now alphabetically by author. Not sure why I chose to do it by title in the first place, but I prefer it like this. Of course, it now means that it looks like I've reviewed hardly anything (true) because half of the books I have reviewed have been by the lovely Ms. Roberts.
  • About Me: I rejiggled the info, but I'm not sure I like it very much. It'll probably change again soon.
  • Misc: I added some new tags to things. Recipes, from what I can remember.
I promised myself that once my exams were over, I would have a Dollhouse Season 2 marathon. Problem is, I finished watching the last few episodes of season 1 without reviewing them, and I've probably forgotten what happened. So: to review or not to review I'll get back to that.

To be honest, I was planning to do a conclusion to the BGT semi-final review posts, but I just can't be bothered, so I'll just sum it up in a paragraph. I wasn't expecting Ashleigh and Pudsey to win and I'm not entirely sure why they did. I would have loved it to have been Aquabatique, but their performance wasn't that great. IMO, there was no outright winning performance, but I thought Jonathan and Charlotte did best on the night. Real shame that they didn't win.

I think that was everything I had to say. Now brace yourselves for a flurry of posts.