Master by Colette Gale

Master I immensely enjoyed Colette Gale’s debut novel, an erotic retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, so when I heard that she was coming out with another book, I was excited. I was even more enthralled when I read that she was offering a free copy in exchange for a review of the book on blog or website. Hey, I can go for that! πŸ˜‰

Gale’s sophomore release is a retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo. Now, I’m at a slight disadvantage since I haven’t actually read the original novel. Does watching the movie count? ^_^ Thus, I can’t comment on any differences between the original book and hers; though, I can say the ending is quite the pleasant surprise πŸ˜‰

The basic premise of TCoMC is that a young sailor brought to good fortune is betrayed and falsely convicted of treason. He spends years locked away in prison until he finally manages to escape. He spends the next ten years planning his revenge against the people who wronged him, including his fiancee Mercedes. The actual body of the story is about the implementation of his revenge–or in this case, also a detailed account of various characters’ sexual exploits.

I found Master a hot and intriguing read, with plenty of imaginative, steamy sex. (Though nothing quite tops the harp scene in Unmasqued!) The prose has a lyrical flow, and the characters come alive in the erotic tapestry Gale weaves. I love the way she personifies Mercedes and Haydee in ways that weren’t shown in the movie, or, I trust, the original story.

The one thing I would note for readers about the story is that the sex is very edgy; in some cases, consent is dubious. It’s most certainly erotica. If you don’t like historical-based stories with lots of extreme sex, this book probably isn’t for you. If you do like it, on the other hand… read and enjoy. πŸ˜‰

You know what I was saying about Nocturne?

After the utter mindfuck that was Eternally and Haunted, I haven’t gotten around to reading the other two Nocturnes (Death Calls and Dangerous Temptation) I’ve had around. When reading a book results in irritation-induced insomnia… yeah. πŸ˜•

Morgan and I were at Walmart the other day, and they had the January releases out. I thought about getting them, but ultimately decided against it. I’ve had enough trouble sleeping lately without having to deal with another wallbanger.

I know two books isn’t much to judge a line by, but … meh. I liked the two books I read, but not enough to want to risk reading something as craptacular as that.

Am I being irrational here, or is anyone else feeling the same way? πŸ˜•

From the Dark by Michele Hauf

fromthedark.gif“Plain” Jane Rénan is a glass smith hired to design a stained glass window for an important client. Except she isn’t alone. Michael Lyndsay, lead vocalist of rock band The Fallen, is also staying there while on “break” due to his obsessive blood cravings. (Yes, you guessed it, he’s a vamp.)
Needless to say, one thing leads to another… πŸ˜‰

I have to say, I liked From the Dark. Most vampire romances these days are fairly standard. Anne Rice rip-off hero who haaaaaaaates himself falls in love with a woman who freaks out that he’s–oh noes!–a vampire. Frankly, I can’t stand that shit.

Jane doesn’t care that Michael’s a vampire. After all, her father’s one. Her biggest concern lies with her own blood. While her dad’s a vamp, her mum’s a witch, and witches’ blood is fatal to vampires. Think like stakes ‘n dusting in Buffy, and you’re not far off. Thing is, Jane she doesn’t know for sure that her blood possesses that quality; she’s never had a chance or reason to “test” that theory.

Let’s just say there’s quite a bit of conflict between Michael and Jane based upon her possibly toxicity and his bloodlust.

Overall, this is a very hot, intense book. The reactions of both the H/h aren’t what I normally expect, which was refreshing. My biggest issue is that some of the scenes felt… “over the top” and almost satirical as a result. It didn’t feel entirely “natural,” at least not to me.

That all being said, I’m looking forward to the next installment of Ms. Hauf’s “Bewitch the Dark” series. πŸ™‚

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Book Reviews… Kinda

I’ve been doing the occasional book review for Evolution’s Book Reviews, but I haven’t had the time/energy to put the effort into a “formal” review. At the same point, I still like to chatter about books I’ve read, so I think I’m going to do something like that here. More casual “reviews.”

Sometimes they’ll be long. Other times they’ll be short.

Don’t expect ’em on a regular basis, because I go through odd periods with reading. I’ll read three books in a two-day period and then not read anything for a week or more. (Or rather, I’ll read, but I won’t finish.)

(And we’ll see how long this lasts. LOL.)

Full Swing by Crystal Jordan

FULL SWING by Crystal Jordan
(Cobblestone Press, August 18, 2006)

The only place they still communicate is between the sheets…a professional woman golfer and an Army Ranger struggle to save their marriage after he’s seriously injured in combat and has to retire. Outside the bedroom, everything is falling apart because he believes she deserves better than a broken man, but she dreams of a future when they stop fighting and start talking long enough to reclaim the happily ever after that once seemed so certain.

ABOUT CRYSTAL JORDAN
Crystal Jordan only began writing about a year ago after she finished graduate school and needed something to fill the hours that used to be eaten away by homework. What started as a hobby has quickly become a new career. She now writes paranormal, futuristic, contemporary, and erotic romance. Additionally, she is a member of RWA and its erotic romance chapter, Passionate Ink. She also belongs to the award winning author’s resource website and forum RomanceDivas.com, where she serves as a moderator and Paranormal Co-Liaison.

http://www.crystaljordan.com

AVAILABLE AUGUST 18!

I must be recharging …

I’ve been trying to get back to working on Deceived by Twilight — and I have done some on it — but I think I must be recharging after finishing the revisions on A Passion Draconic.

Why?

Cause I’ve been reading. A lot. Well, for me.

See, when I’m writing, I read, but it’s liable to take me a week or so to finish a book. Maybe longer, unless it’s something that really grabs me — I read J.R. Ward’s Dark Lover and Lover Eternal in only a couple days. (And as soon as Lover Awakened hits print, well, I’m away from the computer till I finish it. ;))

I’m not sure why that is, but it’s been the case ever since I started writing “seriously” four years ago. Except back then, I used to hardly read at all because I couldn’t turn my Inner Critiquer off. (It’s a lot easier to do now, thankfully.)

I’ve read two books in the past three days (On Fire’s Wings by Christie Golden and Awaken, My Love by Robin Schone, both of which are very good) and I just started another. Technically, it’s three books; it’s an omnibus of Susan Sizemore’s vampire “trilogy.” (I read the first book in it, I Burn For You, which some of you may remember as the “one minute man book.” LOL.)

I should be writing… but I wanna curl up with my books and read! 😯

Wow …

I just realised I’ve read about twenty books this year. Yeah, I know, it probably doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you consider last year I read about 24 and the year before, probably less than 10 … it is.

See, after becoming involved in critique groups and perfectionistic writing communities, I got to the point that I couldn’t read anything without critiquing it. I mean that quite seriously. And we’re not talking just plot and content level critiques, we’re talking “OMG! WAS! HAD! WEASEL WORDS! EEEEEEVIIIIIIILLLLLL!!!!” type things. (And let me tell you, it drove some people around me stark raving nuts.)

Now … well, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to read a book like a pure “reader,” without noticing craft details like plot twists, characterisation flaws, weak dialogue, and so forth; that’s normal. But to be able to actually read a book without mentally red-penning every other line … *bounce*

And I’ve gotta ask … am I the only person who’s run into this problem? Or are there others with hyperactive, overperfectionistic Internal Editors out there, too? πŸ˜‰