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TheBooksChatter

BooksChatter

Simple reviews - no spoilers

This Is NOT Okay.

If you're active in the romance community, you probably know who Baba is. She reviews a lot of m-m and erotica books, and uses a lot of gifs. I've read a number of her reviews, and she really seems like quite a nice person, so I can totally see why she's so popular.

Anyway, her blunt and honest style of reviewing appears to have made an author really angry. That author has decided to write a book about a book reviewer named "Babu" who catches the attention of a successful indie author after destroying his career...

I'm too frustrated to do a full-on vent, so I'll just quickly list off my feelings in list form.

1. Negative reviews are not career destroying...unless you, the author, make them that way by acting like a jerk.

2. Reviwers never deserve to be shamed.

3. Using someone's name in a book to attack them is just WRONG.

4. I am so sick of things like this happening.

5. Entitlement. Seriously. Why do you has it? Why not be grateful to the people who put you where you are?

6. Because if negative reviews make you mad, it's a sure bet that you consider positive reviews the status quo.

7. Which they're not. You have to earn those.

8. I'm going to go find a wall to bang my head against now.

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this, Baba. I really hope this blog post helps draw attention to this horrible situation, and makes people realize what reviewers have to deal with on a disturbingly regular basis. I'm behind you 100%.

Turning the Tables

I'm proposing the start of a Movement.

 

What is this movement, you ask?

 

Well, it seems, at least to me, that book blogging and reviewing are becoming more about defending ourselves against charges of bullying than about actual reviewing and blogging about books.

 

The Movement is very simple. I'm suggesting to all book bloggers and reviewers that they dedicate a blog to how book bloggers and reviewers are not bullies. We are simply folks with opinions about books who write down those opinions, good or bad. UN World Book Day is on April 23rd, a perfect date for the Movement. 

 

In blogging or reviewing, we (in the US) are exercising the concept of protected speech (this is not the same as the First Amendment right to free speech). This allows us to express our opinions in pretty much any manner in which we choose to within the law.

 

The United Nations has declared the Right to Freedom of Expression to be a Universal Human Right. Part of that covenant reads, "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression."

 

Now, it seems that there are people who don't want book bloggers and reviewers to be able to freely exercise our rights. They want to censor us. They want to marginalize and diminish us with labels such as 'bully,' or 'thug.' Why? Because exercising our right to freely express our thoughts and opinions enrages them. They desperately want to control what book bloggers and reviewers write. Why, again? Because they are afraid of other people's opinions. They want to be Emperors with a glorious new wardrobe followed by sycophants whispering praises in their ears while at the same time shuttering out those who are pointing out their nakedness.

 

Many of us live in free countries. We hold our freedoms and liberties dear. Just think of the millions upon millions of people who have died, or have been wounded or maimed defending the ideas of freedom and liberty from oppressive tyrants. Now, I'm certainly not saying that those who wish to shout us down are oppressive tyrants. I'm pointing out that the right to the freedom of expression has been a hard fought battle. No other citizen has the right or authority to tell book bloggers and reviewers, or anyone else for that matter, what and how they may express themselves. 

 

(Editorial pause. The number of people who have died directly or indirectly in the fight against oppressive tyrants throughout our history is more likely in the hundreds of millions, but stating that might seem like hyperbole.)

 

To me, the most startling thing about our critics is that many of them are authors. Authors have born the brunt of tyrannical displeasure over the millennia for writing things which embarrass or criticize those in positions of power. Throughout history, philosophers and authors have been murdered, exiled, tortured and imprisoned for speaking their minds or writing their opinions.

 

It simply boggles my mind when an author supports censorship or pushes to ban anonymous speech. These authors are working against exactly what their predecessors and countless other people have fought and died for.

 

Citizens of our societies have earned their right to stand on the soap box in the public square and speak their mind. No one has the right to tell us we can't do so.

 

Remember, UN World Book Day, April 23rd. Book reviewers are not bullies.

 

If you liked this blog, please feel free to re-blog it. Spread the word.

Bad Boy Good Man - Jenny Trout (writing as Abigail Barnette)

Bad Boy Good Man - Abigail Barnette, Jenny Trout

Genre: Erotic Romance
Published 16 March 2015 by Jenny Trout
Number of pages: 59

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★  I really liked it 

 

"Newly independent real-life adult Ellie McCormack loves everything about her first apartment…except her neighbor. His bi-weekly sex fests keep her up at night in more ways than one as she wonders about the man who’s making all the noise—and what he’s doing to make his women so damn loud.

But even her wildest fantasies couldn’t conjure up a man like Antony DeLuca. When she works up the nerve to confront him, she’s expecting a player, but there’s more to Antony than his carefree sexual escapades. One hot night with him helps Ellie see through the man who drives women wild, to the good guy beneath it all. A guy that she just might be able to fall for…"

 

Bad Boy Good Man is my first taste of Jenny Trout's fiction writing, and I liked it.  A lot.

This novella is written as Abigal Barnette, the erotic romance incarnation of Jenny Trout.
I am still new to this genre and I am still not sure it is for me, however, I thought that Abigail's offering was very contemporary, realistically done, hot, witty and funny.
 
Source: http://bookschatter.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/bad-boy-good-man.html

New Release: Bad Boy Good Man - Jenny Trout writing as Abigail Barnette

 

Today should have seen the release of the box set "Bad Boy Next Door", sadly, due to a big author taking a crusade against  Jenny Trout (Abigail Barnette), the publication of this item has been abandoned.
This unfortunate situation started because of a blog article published by Jenny Trout on 4 March 2015.
You can find out more from Jenny Trout's own blog.

The good news is that Jenny Trout has published her novella from that box set, "Bad Boy Good Man", which is now available from Amazon and Smashwords.

Here is a sneaky peek at her novella...

 

Read more...

The Right of Petition: Name or Book . . . What's the Difference?

Reblogged from Sock Poppet at Play:

There's a controversy raging in a segment of the book world due to an author asking readers to call Amazon and ask them to remove a book from being sold. I've been reading the merits of the book and debating whether this is a good idea, as I oppose censorship and book banning. It took me a few days to realize why I was having so much trouble figuring out where I stood on the issue: I was asking myself the wrong question.

 

In order to ask the right question I want to present two cases.

 

1 ~ Author A supported a petition asking Amazon to force customers to use their real names when reviewing/posting on Amazon.

 

2 ~ Author B wrote a blog post requesting readers call Amazon and ask them to pull a book from sale that contained real-life characters (a former president and his property).

 

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the merits of either request has no bearing on my argument.

 

This is the right question that needs to be asked: Is petitioning by citizens of the United States legal or illegal? No matter where you come down on the merits of each case (and arguing that is fine), the important question is whether either petition is legal.

 

Some are saying that author B is calling for censorship or book banning, but that is not the case. She has neither the authority nor the ability to censor or ban the book in question. The only bodies who have that authority are governments. Privately-owned businesses have the right to sell or not to sell a book. Individuals have the right not to read/buy a book. Neither action is censorship or banning of the book.

 

Author A supported a petition.

 

Author B supported a petition, but chose to go directly to Amazon rather than take the time needed to gather signatures. But her actions are a petition, just as Author A's are.

 

One might argue that both petitioners are making requests that infringe on the rights of others. They are. Both petitions, if granted, would infringe on others' rights. But those others have the same right to petition Amazon not to force people to use their real names or not to remove the book from being sold.

 

Now I think we are ready to ask the question I posed at the beginning:

 

What is the difference between Author A's petition and Author B's petition?

 

I hope you have reached the same conclusion I have: There is none.

 

If one supports Author A's actions in petitioning Amazon, then one must support Author B's actions in petitioning Amazon. And vice versa. There is no alternative.

 

The contents of either petition can be debated. But the right to petition is equal for both parties.

 

Whether one likes the subject of either petition is a choice. Claiming one act of petition is right and the other wrong is hypocrisy.

 

 

 

Excerpt: Bad Boy Next Door: Force of Nature - Kris Norris

Available March 16, 2015

Today we have the third sneak preview of Bad Boy Next Door book set. On this occasion we can whet our appetite with

 

Bad Boy, Good Man by Abigail Barnette (Jenny Trout)

 

""Love—an unparalleled force of nature.

 

Conservation Officer, Finley McKay, isn’t a stranger to criticism. Taking risks to protect delicate ecosystems doesn’t impress most people—including the doctor renting the cabin beside hers. The man’s arrogant, opinionated and far too sexy in his faded jeans and tees. She already knows he’s an ass—she just wished it mattered enough to make her keep her distance.

 

Dr. Coen Brady isn’t looking to fit in. Having recently retired from the military, he’s hoping to spend a few months hiding from the world in a small, out-of-the-way town in northern Washington.

Read more...

Source: http://bookschatter.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/excerpt-bad-boy-3.html

Anne Rice finally, truly, jumps the shark

Reblogged from Moonlight Reader:

When you choose the hill you are going to die on, don't let it be this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Jeffersons-Mistress-Werewolf-Vampire-ebook/dp/B00RY5J54G/ref=cm_rdp_product

 

You would have to be living under a rock to not be aware that Anne Rice is in a pitched battle with a few people in the amazon forums, as well as all reviewers who don't hand out 5-star reviews like they are candy, and, not coincidentally, Jenny Trout, who got on her bad side (again) by pointing out how offensive this book is.

 

Let's just take it apart for a small moment. Some self-published author with a stupid pseudonym (in this case, Fionna Free Men) slaps together a bunch of crappy erotica and equally crappy covers, and then puts them on amazon for sale. So far, nothing to see here, right?

 

Except one of those pieces of erotica is a "master-slave BDSM fic" about Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. Sally Hemings is a real historical personage. She was the half-sister of Jefferson's dead wife and Jefferson's slave, and, while there is dispute amongst historians, there is significant historical evidence to demonstrate that Jefferson raped her for the first time when she was between 14 and 15 years old, and continued raping her indefinitely, fathering six children with her. 

 

Let me not mince words. I use the word "rape" intentionally because Sally Hemings was an enslaved person and was unable to consent to a relationship with Jefferson. One can only consent if one can refuse consent. A slave is not an owner of her body, she has no agency. She cannot say no, and therefore, she cannot say yes. So the idea that Hemings "consented" to a relationship with Jefferson in any fashion whatsoever is bullshit.

 

But that isn't the point of this post. The point of this post is that Anne Rice - and honestly, I still expected better of her, which I guess makes me nuts - has chosen to defend that book because she hates Jenny Trout more than she hates racist rape apologia. Which even I didn't expect of her. 

 

Here is her original facebook post, screenshotted:

 

 

And here's her response to another person who is going to go buy the book to "support free speech":

 

For completeness, let's get the original offending post linked as well:

 

http://jennytrout.com/?p=8823

 

Now, let's get a couple things straight. 

 

First off, this has nothing to do with free speech. Fionna Free Men, wherever the fuck she is, has a right to write all of the racist, disgusting and despicable rape apologia that she wants. She is free to speak. What she doesn't have a right to, actually, is a platform. The government is prohibited from interfering with her free speech. Neither amazon nor Jenny Trout are the government. So the next person who mentions "free speech" in the discussion should be sent back to high school and forced to attend civics class until they can pass the section on the Bill of Rights.

 

Second, Jenny Trout did not tell people to pirate the book. She told them neither to buy nor to read it. But if they, for whatever reason, couldn't stand the thought of not firsthand experiencing 19 pages of glorified racism and rape, then by all means, they should pirate it rather than giving the author one thin dime off of the pile of shit that is this book.

 

And that, my friends, is the hill that Anne Rice has chosen to die on. She hates Jenny Trout so much that she will support that crap over Jenny. And she hates the "bullies" so much than anything that they think is bad, she must go on record as calling good. Even if that thing that is "good" is a disgusting rape fic about a 14-year-old black enslaved person who was raped by her 44 year old white owner for decades.

 

When this fight started, did she imagine that it would end with her defending the glorification of child abuse and racism? Somehow, I think not.

Excerpt: Bad Boy Next Door: Bad Boy, Good Man - Abigail Barnette

Available March 16, 2015

In this box set, twelve prolific authors, including New York Times Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Selena Kitt, and USA Today Bestseller, Jenny Trout writing as Abigail Barnette, present a sizzling collection of erotic romance sure to bring you to your knees and make you believe in love again – or, at least, lust at first sight!
more...

Here is a sneaky peek...

 

Bad Boy, Good Man by Abigail Barnette (Jenny Trout)

 

"Newly independent real-life adult Ellie McCormack loves everything about her first apartment…except her neighbor. His bi-weekly sex fests keep her up at night in more ways than one as she wonders about the man who’s making all the noise—and what he’s doing to make his women so damn loud. 

Read more...

Source: http://bookschatter.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/excerpt-bad-boy.html

Cognac Conspiracies: Winemaker Detective [5] - Jean-Pierre Alaux, Noël Balen

Cognac Conspiracies (Winemaker Detective) - Jean-Pierre Alaux, Noël Balen, Sally Pane

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Published 18 Febuary 2015 by Le French Book
Number of pages: 148
Original Title: Le Dernier Coup de Jarnac: Le Sang de la Vigne [6]
Originally Published 6 October 2004
Translated by Sally Pane

My rating: ★ ★ ★  I liked it
 

I would normally just provide the description for the particular item in question, however, on this occasion, I have decided to include three different bits of blurb provided by the publishers, as I think that they do give you a real feel of what the "Cognac Conspiracies" is all about.

 

Series description:

"Immerse yourself in French countryside and gourmet attitude with two amateur sleuths gumshoeing around French wine country.  The Winemaker Detective series delves into the underworld of a global luxury industry, where there’s money, deceit, death, crime, inheritance, jealousy—all the ingredients needed to distil a fine detective series!   That and a decent dose of Epicurean enjoyment of fine food and beverage.  It follows master winemaker Benjamin Cooker and his sidekick Virgile Lanssien in their adventures solving mysteries in vineyards throughout France and beyond.   Each book is a homage to wine and winemakers."

 

Title description:

"The heirs to one of the oldest Cognac estates in France face a hostile takeover by foreign investors.  Renowned wine expert Benjamin Cooker is called in to audit the books.  In what he thought was a sleepy provincial town, he is stonewalled, crosses paths with his first love, and stands up to high-level state officials keen on controlling the buyout.   Meanwhile, irresistible Virgile mingles with the local population until a drowning changes the stakes."

 

There is an easy way to gage if this book is for you; what do you think of this excerpt from the publisher's blog?

 

"the Winemaker Detective goes to Jarnac, an haut lieu of cognac production.  [...] the region of Cognac is divided into six zones—Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Borderies, Fins Bois, Bons Bois and Bois ordinaires.  A cognac blend made of Grande Champagne cognac and Petite Champagne cognac makes a Fine Champagne cognac.  Of course, the drink cognac, as Grande, Petite or Fine a Champagne it may be, has nothing in common with the sparkling wine.  Cognac is a brandy, distilled from wines made from specific grapes grown in specific areas of (primarily) the Charente and Charente-Maritime region of France. It goes through two distillations, in an alembic, and is aged in oak.  Now you know.
[...] Jean-Pierre tells me that he has a special soft spot for both cognac and armagnac, both of which he usually enjoys with a cigar.  As for cognac, he particularly enjoys those made by Delamain."
 

 

If you found it boring and could not care less about that kind of stuff - walk away now.  This book and series are not for you.

Read more...

 
Source: http://bookschatter.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/cognac-conspiracies.html

Cover Reveal: Bad Boys Next Door Box Set

Bad Boys Next Door Box Set — Available March 16, 2015

 

There’s just something about a bad boy… It could be that neighbor you’ve had the hots for forever. Or maybe the guy in the cabin or office next door. It might even be a guy you meet on vacation or one you’ve known since you were a kid.

Read more...

Source: http://bookschatter.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/cover-bad-boys.html

Doll Face - Tim Curran

Doll Face - Tim Curran

Genre: Horror

Published 3 March 2015 by Dark Fuse

Number of pages: 264

My rating: ★ ★  It was OK

 

"Six friends are returning home from a night out when they end up in a town called Stokes. They discover they are trapped there, as Stokes does not really exist. The actual town had burned to the ground more than fifty years ago. The Stokes they are in is a nightmare version of the former town, engineered by a deranged and undead mind, a supernatural machine of wrath that will destroy them one by one....unless they submit to its dominance and become living dolls."

 

Doll Face was my first taste of Tim Curran's twisted imagination.  Having heard such good feedback about Curran's work and about this latest offering, I had high expectations, which unfortunately were not met.

 

I immediately found the premise of the book very reminiscent of  A.R. Wise's "314 (Widowsfield Trilogy)", where six characters in a van also end up being trapped in a town that no longer exists dominated by a mysterious entity, "the Skeleton Man".  The first character to die is virtually the same in both works...  unfortunately I simply could not escape the similarities...

However, whereas "314" has a multi-layered plot, spanning various time frames and well developed characters, Doll Face felt very one dimensional.

 

The time line was perfectly linear, and the events seemed to unfold in the space of a few hours.

We learn very little about its characters to even begin to care about them.  I felt that the main entity was the only one to have been given some personality.

 

There were some good and very imaginative sections, especially in the last third of the book, where things turned very sexual, dark and twisted.  However, the first two thirds felt quite repetitive, I found myself bored and I had to force myself to carry on reading.

 

I found the ending rushed, implausible (given the events that were being described), and overall predictable.

 

All considered, Doll Face gave me the feel of an old B-movie.

 

[ARC received via Netgalley]

Source: http://bookschatter.blogspot.com/2015/03/doll-face.html

The Life I Left Behind - Colette McBeth

The Life I Left Behind - Colette Mcbeth

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Published 24 February 2015 by St Martin's Press
Number of pages: 352

My rating: ★ ★ ★  I liked it

About the author

"Six years ago, Melody Pieterson was attacked and left for dead. Only a chance encounter with a dog walker saved her life. Melody's neighbor and close friend David Alden was found guilty of the crime and imprisoned, and the attack and David's betrayal of her friendship left Melody a different person. She no longer trusts her own judgment, she no longer trusts her friends. In fact, she no longer really has any friends. She’s built a life behind walls and gates and security codes; she’s cloistered herself away from the world almost entirely.

And then, soon after David is released from prison, Eve Elliot is murdered in an attack almost identical to Melody’s. With the start of a new police investigation, Melody is suddenly pulled from her ordered, secluded life and back into the messy world around her. But as she learns more about Eve's murder, Melody starts to wonder if perhaps David hadn’t betrayed her after all... if perhaps the killer is someone else entirely, someone who’s still out there, preparing to strike again."

The Life I Left Behind is the second crime fiction novel by Colette McBeth.

The novel opens with a 10 year old boy coming back to his holiday cottage to find his beloved mother dead.
From the very start the third person narration is very matter of fact.  It presents the reader with the facts that relate to the protagonists at hand; how they felt, what they thought, what they did.
Read more...
Source: http://bookschatter.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/life-i-left-behind.html

The Venus Trap - Louise Voss

The Venus Trap - Louise Voss

Published 24 February 2015 by Thomas & Mercer

Number of pages: 305

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★  I really liked it

 

"Jo Atkins’ sixteenth year was disastrous: she lost her dad, was assaulted by a stranger, and then had her heart broken. For the last twenty-five years, she’s believed that nothing could ever be as bad again.


She was wrong.


Now, still smarting from her recent divorce, pretty, self-effacing Jo finally gathers the courage to enter the dating scene. She meets Claudio, whom she vaguely remembers from her youth, but after a few dates decides he’s creepy and politely tells him ‘thanks but no thanks’.


But Claudio has no intention of letting her go.


Instead of never seeing him again, Jo wakes up sick and terrified, handcuffed to her own bed. She is given a week to prove her love for Claudio—or he will kill her.


Claudio, it turns out, is a man with nothing left to lose.


The Venus Trap tackles the emotional impact of divorce, the perils of modern dating and the age-old powers of lust and obsession."

 

"The Venus Trap" is a tense psychological thriller by Louise Voss, and the blurb for this title says it all very accurately.

 

I utterly enjoyed this book and the tension and retrospective analysis the main character, Jo, goes through during her captivity.

 

The story is narrated through the point of view of Jo, in the present, and further explored through one of her old diaries and her recollections - all of the complex events that have led to her current situation, with Claudio.

 

It was very easy to identify with Jo; a flawed human being who is forced to evaluate her life, the mistakes she made and what she lost - hindsight is definitely 20/20!

 

Louise Voss's writing is impeccable and thoroughly engaging.

 


About the Author

 

Louise VossLouise Voss was born and raised in Salisbury, England.

 

She began her writing career in the mid-1990s when, while living in New York, she enrolled in a creative writing course. Her first novel, "To Be Someone", was published in 2001 by Transworld, and was the first book to come with its own CD soundtrack. This was followed by three more contemporary women’s fiction novels until she switched to writing thrillers with Mark Edwards in 2011.

 

She and Mark were the first UK self-published authors to reach #1 on the Amazon charts with "Catch Your Death". Their fifth co-written novel, "From the Cradle", was published last year (2014) by Thomas & Mercer.

 

Louise currently lives and writes near Hampton Court, UK.

She is an avid tennis player, knitter, singer, upcycler and jewellery-maker, and adds that she can stand on her head and write backwards. Although not at the same time.

 

She can be reached at @LouiseVoss1 on Twitter or on Facebook 

Her website is www.vossandedwards.com

Source: http://bookschatter.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-venus-trap.html

Suckers - Z. Rider

Suckers: A Horror Novel - Z. Rider

Published 17 February 2015 by Dark Ride Publishing

Number of pages: 330

My rating: ★ ★  It was OK

 

"WHEN WORN-OUT MUSICIAN DAN FERRY decides to take a shortcut back to the band's hotel, he picks the wrong dark alley to go down. Within days of being attacked by a bat-like creature, he becomes consumed with the need to drink human blood. Terrified of what will happen if he doesn't get his fix--and terrified of what he'll do to get it--he turns to his best friend and bandmate, Ray Ford, for help. But what the two don't know as they try to keep Dan's situation quiet is that the parasite driving Dan's addiction has the potential to wipe out humankind.


Poignant and terrifying, heartfelt and ingenious, Suckers is a story of sacrifice and friendship in the face of an alien contagion that threatens to destroy humanity."

 

Suckers is the first novel by Zoe Rider - a horror tale.

I liked Zoe's writing style, and I thought the story had a lot of potential.

I felt that the first third of the book was far too slow, with far too detailed descriptions of every action made by the protagonists.

The second third was more interesting, with better pace.

Unfortunately the final third took a funny turn which led to an abrupt ending for the the main characters and a resolution for the main story line totally rushed and squashed into an epilogue.

I have read that the author felt the book was about the two main characters, and not actually about the wider issues surrounding them, hence she had envisaged the ending as it played out.
Unfortunately that simply did not work for me, and this work felt overall unsatisfying for me, hence the "It was OK" final verdict.
I felt that, if the story was just about the two main characters, at least the title of the book should have been different. But there is more than that to it... it felt as if, after the slow start, things would unfold to epic proportions or to earth shattering truths... unfortunately they didn't, and the story just ended.

I look forward to read further works from this author, I just hope they are going to be better paced and constructed, as I truly see a real sparkle within Z. Rider.

 

[ARC received via Netgalley]

Source: http://bookschatter.blogspot.com/2015/02/suckers.html

Release

Release - Roxy Sloane

Published 25 October 2014 by Roxy Sloane Books

Number of pages: 159

My rating: ★ ★  It was OK

 

"**Warning: this is a panty-melting, dirty-talking, slow-thrusting ride. Are you ready?**

The invitation unlocked a world of pleasure -- but the game is only just beginning...

He promised me an adventure, but I had no idea what lay in store. Now, I know his name, and everything has changed.

I want to trust him, but his secrets could destroy us both.

I need to know what he's hiding - before it's too late.

I've already risked everything for his love. Now, I'm playing to win.

*The explosive conclusion to the seductive new series*"

 

Release is the final part of The Invitation trilogy by Roxy Sloane, and unfortunately for me it truly fizzled out.

The sex was just excessive, far too dirty and truly unrealistic. The Invitation and Surrender were already quite dirty; Release kicked it up several notches. Far too much dirty talk as well - which was quite off-putting.

I found a lot of the scenes very repetitive and far too evocative of other stories read many times before - one simple example is the dinner outing whilst wearing Ben Wa Balls.

The plot itself was quite thin. The big reveal of Ash's secret was hardly a surprise, with scenes which are straight out of "Fatal Attraction" and all of the clichés associated with it.

JJ, who is meant to be such a tough independent woman, turns into a hopeless cry-baby, who constantly finds solace in Ash's "magnificent cock".
Meh!

I suppose, on the bright side, on this occasion I ended up researching the background of Ben Wa Balls and their actual medical therapeutic application for the treatment of incontinence, alongside Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles (unless you suffered from a prolapse).

Truly fascinating and educational. I did not know women could cheat by using these balls.

Masters of Blood and Bone

Masters of Bone and Blood - Craig Saunders

Published 3 February 2015 by DarkFuse

Number of pages: 235

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★  I really liked it

 

Holland's a man who's good with death. Good at death.

When his daughter goes missing, he finds himself pitted in a deadly game against the Gods themselves. Powerful enemies surround him—a changeling, a mage, and a god who wants to destroy the world. 

With silver bullets in his gun and death on his mind, Holland aims to set things right...or die trying.

 For the captors of Holland’s daughter, death is not only on it’s way, it’s in their very possession as Holland's daughter isn't just a girl...in fact, she's barely mortal at all...

She's Ankou, Death's daughter, and she's not an easy mark.

The battleground has been set, the world’s at stake, and all Hell is about the break loose.

Masters of Blood and Bone is an epic clash between good and evil, life versus death, Gods against mortals, a timeless story of power and corruption and one man’s pursuit to protect what he loves at any cost."

 

Craig Saunders's "Masters of Blood and Bone" is a dark fantasy mystery thriller, where men, mages and Gods collide, and it had me captivated from the very first chapter:

 

"It's impossible to fake being a wizard. You can fake many, many things: Tans, orgasms, speeding car and fart noises for small children. 
But true wizards are not prestidigitators, just as books are not lies. They are magic. 
Magic."

Greed, violence, love, compassion and innocence are weaved masterfully by the author in a gloomy, atmospheric, supernatural, magical and mysterious world.

 

The writing style is clean and crisp, with enough detail to set your imagination towards the right path, whilst allowing it to roam free and create its own detailed picture - which I find very effective.

No graphic guts and gore, but some strong language.

The chapters are short and snappy.

 

I found myself laughing out-loud on several occasions, thanks to the regular deadpan humour delivered through the main character, Holland.

An utterly enjoyable and memorable read, and an author to watch out for.

 

[ARC received via Netgalley]