Tour’s Books Blog

September 28, 2009

Book Review: Gothic Dragon by Marie Treanor

  • Title: Gothic Dragon
  • Author: Marie Treanor
  • Type: Paranormal Romance
  • Genre:  Time travel – Alternate world where magic works
  • Sub-genre: Villain is good guy
  • My Grade:  C- (2.8*)
  • Length: Sold as a Category length book
  • Rating: NC-17
  • Where Available: Everywhere books are sold

With a title like Gothic Dragon I had high expectations for this twisted time travel story.  I started it three times and three times I stopped reading, unable to get into the story.  I wasn’t worried.  It happens time to time.  Finally, I finished it.  After a rather slow and difficult start, it was occasionally an interesting read, but more often, just choppy and vaguely annoying.  The basic premise: a modern researcher, Esther Conway, gets pulled into a book and keeps moving between the modern world and the semi-fictional world of The Prince of Costanzo, a Gothic novel written by Margaret Marsden, a distant relative and the subject of Esther Conway’s proposed novel.  Lady Hay invited her down to see the papers in her husband’s collection pertaining to Margaret’s life and book, but she had never thought to find an actual copy of the The Prince of Costanzo!  Rounding out the cast of characters in real life are Lord Hay, a somewhat secretive book collector, and Kevin, her whining fiancee who would look much better with a boot in the ass. (more…)

September 26, 2009

Book Reviews: Two Historical Romance Reviews

There seems to be contest going on for the title of The Most Disappointing Book of the Year and a second one for Most Over-Hyped Author.  For every pleasant surprise and happy find, there are 3 mediocre entries that get disproportionate praise among reviewers or readers.  I learned long ago to use great care when taking recommendations from friends and acquaintances for restaurants and books.  Some people think Olive Garden serves great Italian food and The DaVinici Code is the best book ever.  It’s worse than what passes for pizza in some places!  OK, yes, I’m a pizza snob, but anyone who grows up around NYC is bound to be.  And yes, I can certainly be harsh about books and authors that are more popular than good.  After well over 5,000 books, you know the good stuff when you read it.  There are a lot of undeserving bestsellers out there. (more…)

September 25, 2009

Book Review: Lust, Loathing and a Little Lip Gloss by Kyra Davis

  • Title: Lust, Loathing and a Little Lip Gloss
  • Author: Kyra Davis
  • Type: Chick Lit Mystery
  • Genre: Semi-comic amateur sleuth
  • Sub-genre: Series with mystery writer sleuth
  • My Grade: B (4*)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Where Available: Everywhere books are sold

Yes Virginia, there are still clever amateur sleuth mysteries out there, they’re just awful hard to find.  A once respected genre of the mystery family, cozies have gotten a bad name with me thanks to the rash of moronic books that now dominate the market.  Classic cozies by superb writers like Rhys Bowen, Victoria Thompson, Jacqeline Windspear have fallen to the glitzy, glassy, brainless, annoying pile of clones doing too-stupid-to-live fashionista mysteries or Stephanie Plum wannabe’s complete with a cast of crazed friends.  Even Lisa Lutz’s very original Spellman series was weak in the most recent entry.  Somehow, chick-lit mysteries have come to dominate the cozy market.  Yes, there are bright spots thanks mostly to older authors who still think a mystery is supposed to be A MYSTERY, not an idiot vehicle for nutty family antics or a bemoaning tribute to longing for $400 shoes and designer dresses.  Some series started off well, but recent entries went down the tubes (Gemma Halliday) and some never got off the ground (Rhonda Pollero).  A very few have held onto a consistent performance – Ellen Byerrum’s Crimes of Fashion does an excellent job with this genre and Nancy Martin is usually OK, though the series is inconsistent – others hope like hell to just cash in on the craze.  Granted, this is the first Kyra Davis book I’ve read, and fourth in her Sophie Katz series, but it was GOOD! (more…)

September 24, 2009

Two Short Reviews: Paranormal Romances

Well I’ve been busy doing other things besides reading this past week – like doing some serious sulking because I had a head cold.  I do not enjoy being sick and I notice that my attention span for reading is limited when I’m busy being crabby and feeling persecuted by the evil cold virus.  No, I didn’t have flu.  I had a head cold, a plain old, boring head cold.  I’m disgusted.  Well, I did get some reading done, and it was a slow week for ebooks, but what with one thing or another I have enough for some reviews.

  • Title: Weremones
  • Author: Buffi BeCraft-Woodall
  • Type: Paranormal romance
  • Genre: Psychic meets alpha werewolf
  • Sub-genre: Suburban shifters
  • My Grade: C+ (3.2*)
  • Rating: NC-17
  • Length: Full novel
  • Where Available: print only from New Concepts Publishing (more…)

September 20, 2009

Book Review: I Only Have Fangs for You by Kathy Love

  • Title: I Only Have Fangs for You
  • Author: Kathy Love
  • Type: Paranormal Romance
  • Genre: Contemporary light romantic vamp
  • Sub-genre: Womanizing bachelor vamp meets his prim vampire-in-denial soulmate
  • My Grade: C+ to B- (3.5*)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Where Available: Everywhere books are sold

This charming, light-weight romance romance is third in Ms Love’s Young brothers series.  Christian and Rhys, Sebastian’s two older brothers, are, in his opinion, fang-whipped.  Chris, once an evil vampire, who thought a massive English country house full of servants was too dull for words, now live in the hills of West Virginia and helps his now vampire wife Jolee run a karaoke bar.  Rhys, the studious middle brother has the apartment above Sebastian – actually, Sebastian had to move out because he caught Rhys and Jane going at it everywhere all the time.  Yup, those two guys are so fang-whipped. (more…)

September 19, 2009

Book Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Filed under: Book review,Mystery review — toursbooks @ 1:04 am
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  • Title: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
  • Author: Stieg Larsson
  • Type: Mystery
  • Genre: Journalist sleuth
  • Sub-genre: Swedish thriller
  • My Grade: B- (3.8*)
  • Rating: NC-17
  • Where Available: Everywhere books are sold

One of the most praised books to come out in a long time, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was written by the late Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson and translated by Reg Keeland.  For me, the book was enthralling and tedious at the same time.  A strange combination of compelling story and colorless, plodding prose that nearly had me screaming at the late author to move the story along.  The plot inventively weaves Sweden’s economic issues, political issues and relations within Europe with a family history, mutiple murders and about 4 significant sub-plots.  Unfortunately, it comes with a frequently plodding style that is as absent of verve as an art house film.   That’s an issue throughout the book.  At page 100, 20%+ of the way through the book, I was still waiting for the action to start. (more…)

September 16, 2009

Book Review: Beloved Vampire by Joey W. Hill

  • Title:  Beloved Vampire
  • Author: Joey W. Hill
  • Type: Paranormal Romance
  • Genre: Angsty vampire erotic romance
  • Sub-genre: BDSM; I-suffer-because-I-failed-in-the-past
  • My Grade: B- (3.8*)
  • Rating: X for sex and violence, including gang rape
  • Where Available: Everywhere books are sold

There are some books that I can honestly say are good, but I would never want to read again.  Beloved Vampire is one of them.  If there is one heroine I dislike more than the vapid  fashionista in so many chick-lit books, it’s the submissive masochist that has become the all to common centerpiece of many erotic romance novels.  The “hero” is one of those vampires who sincerely believes humans are lesser creatures.  In fact, the whole vampire culture is built on the absolute superiority of vampires over any human, even one that’s was not a willing ‘servant’ and badly abused.  Those things alone made me want to go sharpen some stakes.  That said, the story that Ms Hill weaves in Beloved Vampire is intricate, nuanced and, unlike most novels with a strong D/s theme, a worthwhile read for those who don’t mind dark, grim paranormal romance.  Jane at Dear Author did a review of Beloved Vampire last month. I’ll just hit some high spots that matter to my view of this. (more…)

September 13, 2009

Book Review: Three Erotic ebook Paranormal Romances, One Romantic Suspense, Ménage

Well, I FINALLY caught up with reading a paranormal from last month – I’d completely forgot about it – and I bought two full length menage novels from Siren, one short novel from Loose-Id.  I know, shame on me for letting things slip, but I do read stuff besides erotic romance, I just never get a chance to review it!  Having come off a binge of romantic suspense books, I’m having a bit of a time adjusting my expectations downward for the vast majority of erotic romance storylines, so two of these were very pleasant surprises.  There’s a bit of everything here, witches, angels, demons, and contemporary.  OK, so reality isn’t available in 3 of them, but hey, they’re paranormal!

  • Title: Rane’s Guardian
  • Author: Carmen Marie Aimer
  • Type:  Paranormal Romance
  • Genre: Witch – thwarted love and angsty male; suspense
  • Sub-genre: You deserve better than me
  • My Grade: C+ to B- (3.6*)
  • Rating: NC-17 to x
  • Length: Novella – about 39,000 words
  • Where Available: ebook at Cobblestone Press (more…)

September 10, 2009

Book Reviews: Short Reviews of New Ebooks

Well, the usual suspects in the erotic romance epub list was visited by me to examine this weeks crop.  Didn’t see anything that interested me at Loose-Id or Siren and nothing at Ellora’s mid-week release appealed to me, but I had one left from last week and found 3 more – all at Samhain.  None really lit my fire but none were awful either.  The other odd thing is all felt more mainstream than usual.  Aside from some brief elements in Dance of the Dragon and Songbird, none really qualified a ‘erotic’ in my mind.  Romance, yes, but two of the four were romantic adventure and less erotic than Lora Leigh’s Nauti series, which is sold as mainstream.  The other two didn’t hit the ‘hot’ level of her Elite Ops books.  Just because a book is sold by Samhain, doesn’t make it erotic romance, and unlike many publishers, Samhain does not provide a relative measure of intensity for the sexual content. (more…)

September 6, 2009

Book Review: What a Dragon Should Know by G. A. Aiken

  • Title: What a Dragon Should Know
  • Author: G. A. Aiken/Shelly Laurenston
  • Type: Epic fantasy romance
  • Genre: alternate world/dragon shifter
  • Sub-genre: conniving liars meet their match
  • My Grade: A- (4.5*)
  • Rating: NC-17
  • Where Available: Everywhere books are sold

G. A. Aiken is Shelly Laurenston’s alter ego for her dragon fantasy series.  In the first two books, Dragon Actually and About a Dragon, the author builds a world where various species of dragon exist side-by-side with humans, who are often seen by the dragons as a food source.  The dragons rarely trouble themselves with short lived humans, but somehow the off-spring of  Queen Riannon of the Southland fire dragons, keep finding human mates, much to their father Bercelek’s annoyance!   She’s added an interim story of the parents of this mob – Queen Riannon and Bercelek contained within Dragon Actually, and Everlasting Bad Boys had a great novella, Can’t Get Enough, about Ailean the Wicked and Shalin the Innocent, the grandparents of the dragons in the Dragon Kin series, written as Shelly Laurenston.  I love Laurenston’s humor and strong female leads and the males who love them for being exactly what they are, tough as nails schemers and fighters.  What a Dragon Should Know is book 3 in her Dragon Kin series and it’s far more of an epic fantasy than a romance.  Regardless, it’s another complex, laugh out loud story of wildly eccentric dragons and the equally eccentric mates they choose. (more…)

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