Monday, November 28, 2011
For those of you who haven't familiarized yourself with Gretchen Lowell from Chelsea Cain's fantastic series you should, she is about my most fave killer. I look forward to discovering some unknown psycho's for me to get acquainted with in 2012!
Just go over to Marce's blog - Tea Time With Marce to sign up for this deliciously wicked challenge ;)
Posted by Paula Calvanico at 4:19 PM
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
**For mature readers. Contains sexual situations and strong language**
The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn't drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand.
Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs--and wants--to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby's resistance to his charms, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis' apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.
I liked this book. It's the first YA I've read since Twilight and I am not sorry. This really could be adult fiction as I said in my monthly wrap up post since it dealt with a bit of a heavier storyline. I didn't find it tedious or childish at all.
Abby Abernathy is trying to escape her past in a new town going to college where no one knows who she is. Her best friend America, who's family has somewhat adopted her, comes with her so that she isn't alone. Starting fresh she wants to steer clear of anyone or thing that is remotely like her past. Well into her life struts, or I should say punches, Travis Maddox the college hottie/bad boy/everyone wants to be with/ guy.
Travis Maddox, he is something. Oh yes he is most certainly the school bad boy. He makes his money by being in a Fight Club. That's all I'm gonna say about that cuz everyone knows the first rule of Fight Club is you DO NOT talk about Fight Club. He is brash, full of himself, covered in tats, drinks like a fish, smokes, has a rockin body, oh and happens to be a straight A student...my adoration for the bad boy doesn't show too much does it ;)
Abby is a smart pretty confident girl. Such a nice change from mousey clumsy plain Jane who wonders how the stud could possibly like her. She's a hustler in the gambling sense, she's a card shark and I love that!! The opportunity of a bet just gets her going, and this is where one of my criticisms comes in but I'll touch on that in a minute. Try as she might to avoid her feelings for Travis, it becomes impossible especially when she lives with him after the loss of her bet. Its not that she feels he's not a good person or not good enough for her. Quite the contrary, she keeps telling him how good he is. Its the lifestyle she wants to avoid, it being the rough and tumble fly by the seat of your pants adrenaline rush of an existence.
The struggles the two contend with as they move from being friends, and they truly are friends, to becoming lovers is sometimes very painful to read. They love each other very much but they are so volatile together. He is uber alpha literally beating the crap out of any guy who he perceives as wanting his Pidge. Her dorm mate Kara asks "don't you think its a bit unhealthy that he is so dependent on you." And here is where some will agree or disagree.
I don't think Travis is obsessed with Abby. Yes McGuire rides the cusp here big time. He is possessive of her, he adores her, and he is miserable without her. The two are very intense and passionate. Their love is very special and not many have relationships on that deep of a level so it may be hard to comprehend especially since the two are so young. Abby is not afraid of Travis. He never threatens her nor abuses her at all. He was fine on his own he's just learned that life with Abby makes him even better. She "completes" him :p I couldn't resist, heehee. True he his a tough mofo, but she's no wallflower herself. Obsessive love is no love at all. Telling someone I won't live without you or let you live is sick, telling someone you can do whatever you want just don't ever leave me is sick. That is not the case here in my opinion.
My criticisms - I would have liked to see the supporting characters fleshed out more and gotten to know them better. I liked America, Shepley, and Finch. I couldn't understand the reason for not revealing her past till so deep in. It isn't a story spoiler, the fact that her father is a piece of crap just would have added to it. That she loved the thrill of the bet yet wanted to escape her past was a bit of a contradiction. One would think she'd avoid all things that were remotely like her childhood. That just may be me though. The ending seemed like a cop out on McGuire's part. It didn't ruin the book for me but it just didn't mesh with the rest of the story. I was not happy with the ending.
This probably would make a great book club book just for the shear amount of discussion one could have over this subject matter. I'm sure I haven't touched on every point to be made but I've gone on long enough :)
The author is writing a book from Travis' pov which she says is not a sequel but will have a great epilogue so you get a glimpse of their future, and she is doing a B.D. spinoff on his brother Trent
All in all, if you like extreme alphas, don't mind some serious a$$ kicking read this book you'll enjoy it.
Monday, November 14, 2011
I love fall colors, I really am a true blue fall baby with it's rich jewel tones. October is a great month and not just because it's my birthday month either ;)
Got some decent reading done. Some pleasant surprises and one that fizzled on me very disappointingly.
Grave Secret by Charlaine Harris, the final in this series. I liked it and am sad that this is the last one of theses books.
Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls. My book club chose this for October and it was most certainly a pleasant surprise! I wasn't looking forward to it at all, yet I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James. Started out a page turner then quickly degraded for me. My review is *HERE*
One might say it was a light reading month, but with wedding prep going on, and the fact that since I am no longer keeping track of my reading I don't quite remember what was this month or a past month, I had a nice selection and enjoyed them all for the most part. I may just start keeping track again, with my memory becoming so poor I really don't like the fact that I can't recall what I read :p
I just finished Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard. I really really liked this book. Ya know, I have no idea if the author is male or female. My instinct says male, and let me say if it is so, he writes love scenes beautifully, gentle, sweet and so tender, yet boy do you want more! Just reading of their kisses melts you. My review is *HERE* . Finished Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair in a day and a half and to be honest, these books are not for me. While Fifty Shades was enjoyable, these just agitate me beyond my comfort zone. I know it takes all kinds, but being punished, yes siring and master just don't sit with me.
Right now I'm reading Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. I really am liking this book so far. It's marketed as YA, but I gotta be honest here, this is very easily an adult book, even with characters that are in college, 19-21 years old. I DO NOT recommend this for any girl under 17. Don't get me wrong, I know that teenage girls are no longer shielded from the blatant sexuality and behavior out there, I wasn't born yesterday and I remember when I was a teen, but it is strong. Travis is major alpha, right up my alley, he is seriously jealous and possessive and won't hesitate to flatten anyone he feels is after his "Pidge". Heard a little criticism of the "exotic" names of the characters, don't get it, and of the writing style, not having a problem with that either, I found Breaking Dawn much much worse and of the fact that it seems that it was self published? I will definitely review this one since I am enjoying it. I prefer the cover that they are showing now (#2) instead of the previous one, what do you think -
Enjoy your November fellow book lovers, Christmas will be here before we all know it!
Posted by Paula Calvanico at 3:35 PM
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Professor Gabriel Emerson, a specialist in Dante and the art of seduction, believes he has already earned his exile to the lower circles of hell. Since redemption is impossible, there is no reason to refrain from indulging in a life of pleasurable sin, using his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm as a means to gratify his every whim. But when he meets Julia Mitchell, a brilliant, lovely, and innocent grad student with the achingly familiar eyes of an angel, all of his cynical convictions are challenged. Her mysterious allure and the havoc she wreaks on his self-satisfied existence cause him to lash out at her, while her quiet beauty and innate goodness consistently undermine his control, tempting him beyond measure. Despite surviving a traumatic childhood, nothing has shaken Julia's faith that redemption is possible for everyone-everyone but her. Her unworthiness torments her, since the only man she will ever love has managed to forget her very existence, failing to even recognize her when they reconnect. Too naive to see that Gabriel's hostility is a mask for his increasing obsession with her, Julia forces him to come to grips with his past while she continues to unwittingly torment his senses. His fascination grows into a dangerous preoccupation, for Julia is forbidden fruit . . . Will Gabriel survive the inferno, or will he succumb to the flames?
I really enjoyed this book. It was definitely on the intense side. The two protagonists had their share of troubles. Her's (Julia) from an S.O.B of an ex boyfriend who did such and emotional number on her, and Gabriel from his childhood issues into growing up.
If you're looking for tawdry this isn't it, if you're looking for love scene after love scene this isn't it. This book was erotic, yet beautiful. Gabriel was patient and wonderful and Julia was an innocent in the true sense of the word even though she wasn't "innocent".
I have to say, the similarities between this and Fifty Shades was unreal for me. While Gabriel wasn't full BDSM, he was controlling like Christian in the fact of wanting to make sure she ate, kept pulling her bottom lip from her teeth, texting, amazing.
Enjoyed it, recommend it, there is another coming, but this works fantastic as a stand alone.
4 1/2 cannolis
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Amazon Blurb -
Daunted by the singular sexual tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house.
But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven, and demanding Fifty Shades.
While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront her anger and envy of the women who came before her and make the most important decision of her life.
Erotic, sparkling and suspenseful, Fifty Shades Darker is the irresistibly addictive second part of the Fifty Shades trilogy.
Well to be honest, this book was a bust for me in the end. It started out as good as the last with me turning pages with baited breath, and then slowly deteriorated to juvenile style writing reminiscent of Breaking Dawn. Christian Grey became too sappy and lost his edge, Ana was just annoying. I would have thought at some point she would have become somewhat more confident. Unbelievable things in my opinion took place and it just grew tiresome.
Found the whole part with her boss ridiculous, right down to him being the saboteur. Christian suddenly wanting to be this domesticated man after being so jacked up. I found Mrs. Robinson tedious, not believable at all. The only part I did enjoy was his mother giving it to her. If I had to read "there he his, my fifty" one more time I was gonna gag, and puhlease, I get the picture that he's drop dead gorgeous, but, EVERY. SINGLE. SOLITARY GIRL. goes gaga dummy when they see him? The hotel check out girl's hand was trembling while checking them into the hotel, the waitress drooling, girls passing in the street with their eyes bugging out. Yes poor Ana has to get used to aaaaallllll the ladies in the freaking universe going stupid over the sight of Christian Grey.
I don't know if I'll even bother with the last, and I am soooo glad that I borrowed it and didn't spend any $$ on it. I'll give it 3 cannoli's only because it was a page turner and didn't drag even though I got annoyed.
Will be super busy the next several days, my daughter gets married on Saturday and my family will be in doing the tourist thing as well. Check into my other blog Mia Sogni Dolci to see whats going on :)