Archive for February, 2009

First Sin by Cheyenne McCray

February 28, 2009

sin

Lexi Steele is an agent for a top secret NSA recovery division specializing in sex crimes. When one of her agents working on a human trafficking case is found dead, Lexi goes undercover at some exclusive BDSM clubs to get revenge.

Her new partner, Nick Donovan has an emotional tie to the case. His sister was abducted and sold into sexual slavery and now he’s on Lexi’s team to get her back. Together, they must play dangerous games of Dominant and Slave in order to get Nick’s sister back and find the men who sold her.

This is my first book my Cheyenne McCray. She has built quite a reputation for herself as a paranormal author, and I was looking forward to reading her new series as she delved into a different genre.

Unfortunately, this really wasn’t my cup of tea. The writing was good, and the story was good, it was the subject matter that I didn’t enjoy. That was less the author’s fault and more a marketing issue and my naiveté at not reading between the lines as I read the book summary. I thought there would be more action involved when instead it was ¾ BDSM and sexually deviant behavior and ¼ kicking bad guy butt.

Lexi Steele is one of the strongest female characters I’ve encountered in a very long time. Female snipers in the military are so uncommon, that her wide array of skills felt farfetched, and the degree of believability was as struggle and took me out of the story. She was too tough to be real. When she wasn’t thinking about sex, which seemed to be every few paragraphs, she was killing men with her thighs or talking baseball. I wanted to like Lexi, and while I could admire her skills, she just had too much testosterone for me to relate to.

And while I expected some S&M as mentioned on the book jacket, I was surprised at the detailed amount of BDSM, and deviations of that sexual practice. While the BDSM lifestyle is consensual, nothing about the practice was about consent in FIRST SIN. The details of Lexi being tortured with claw clamps on her privates made me cringe and finally put me over the edge.

But I have to give the author credit. I was turning pages to find out what was going to happen next. I wanted Nick to find his sister and Lexi to make it out alive. I may not have enjoyed reading about the sexual practices, but the author wrote in such a compelling way, that I still wanted to follow the story.

If you’re not as squeamish as this reviewer, I’m sure you will enjoy FIRST SIN.

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Win a Copy of Carrie Vaughn’s Latest

February 26, 2009

Bitten By Books has awesome contests with plenty of opportunities to win, so check it out! Carrie Vaughn is author of the Kitty, the radio werewolf psychologist novels.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

February 20, 2009

Hi, it’s me. Insomniac girl again… I’m mostly blaming it on the book this time. My friend, Lori, book recommend-er extraordinaire, has been talking about this book for months. I decided to wait for paperback, or better yet, Paperbackswap.com. What a heck of a time to show will power! I should have bought this book ages ago! I really need to learn to just listen to Lori and be done with it. I’ve probably said that before… Yeah, that’s me. The slow learner.

I’m not really a romance reader. Some might say (heck, I would say) that I’m a romance snob. There are a handful of “romance” genre authors I will read. Some, like Hannah, Wiggs and Macomber, I would consider to fall under the sub-genre of “women’s fiction”. I don’t need to read about people knocking boots and getting funky with a monkey. I enjoy a good story. Realistically, I have five children and a messy house. I don’t have time to waste on a good story. I have a lot of books I want to read, so it really needs to be a great story.

Firefly Lane is one of the greatest stories I’ve read this year. Which isn’t saying a lot since it’s not March yet, but I will go out on a limb and say it’s the best I’ve read all year.

What’s it about? Two best friends and the 3 decades that span their relationship. How lucky these ladies were to have one another. That’s an incredibly simplistic synopsis, isn’t it? I would liken it to Beaches. One friend is the supporter, the other needs the limelight. Hannah does such a beautiful job capturing each decade from the 70’s through now. From clothes, to music, to the characters maturity level. It starts out as a coming of age novel, but becomes so much more as these women grow together and apart and back together as a result of their choices in life. Afterall, who knows how to hurt you more than the one person who knows all your secrets, promises, and flaws? And who knows better how to make the pain go away?

Yes, I cried at the end. I had the puffy eyes the next day to prove it, and that was okay. Kristin Hannah knows exactly how to touch your heart and soul.

Insomnia Means Lots of Reading

February 9, 2009

Finished a few books this week, thanks to a few sleepness nights. Although I’m not really complaining because I do love the peace and quiet and the amount of reading a person can get done!

I discovered this charming Coffeehouse mystery series by Cleo Coyle. The first is called “On What Grounds“. I love coffee. Not only is this a nice, unpredictable cozy mystery, but I learned more about coffee than I ever thought I’d want to. Describing the process of making Turkish coffee and French Press, and a latte versus a cappuccino was an unexpected treat I long to have again. And I simply must have a cup of Jamacian Blue Mountain before I die. It’s been added to my list. I think I must have the second in this series sooner than later.

I also read another chick lit/mystery by Meg Cabot. Third and it sounds like final in the Heather Wells series, “Big Boned”. I’m torn. I really enjoyed this fun, light mystery series! It was very entertaining without dumbing me down. I love that Meg Cabot wrapped it up for Heather. She’s happy. And she didn’t have to get skinny to get happy. Darn it! Couldn’t she struggle on just a little more? Can’t more murder and mayhem erupt at The Death Dorm? I guess not. Yay, Heather. Glad your happy. Whatever. Heh. I hope Ms. Cabot will create another chick lit/amatuer detective series with as much spunk! Here’s hoping!

And on that note, I shall retire to the boudoir with my half finished YA novel by Kelley Armstrong my daughter loved called “The Summoning”. My kid has good taste. I loved almost all of Armstrong’s other novels, and this one is just as riveting for the teen set. Okay, I’m not a teen, but I’m digging the story! A young girl can see ghosts. Which naturally means she’s nuts, so she ends up in a home for troubled kids. Thing is, she’s not nuts. She really can see ghosts. And they have been waiting for someone to talk to… Ooo, creepy, right? OooooOoooo.

Win FREE Books by Some of My Favorite Authors!

February 6, 2009

Yeah, I’m serious. Go HERE and say howdy in the comments section, and the freshy- fresh Rock Band playin’, potato salad makin’, book writing goddess extraordinaire, Dakota Cassidy, just might hook you up with two free books. You could tell her I sent you, but then she’d see the potato salad thing…