Monday, 4 June 2018

Romance novels and tinfoil hats


 King of Wall Street by Louise Bay
(3.5 out of 5 stars)*


Three and a half stars.

I won this copy in a giveaway. I gained the favour of fickle Lady Luck by expecting fish to grow legs and ride a bicycle before I win anything in a giveaway. In retrospect, winning was inevitable. This has nothing to do with the review I am about to write, except for the fact winning the book allowed me to write the review in the first place. It’s like the chicken and egg argument without vegans butting in. My opinions are my own, especially when I wear my tinfoil hat. During other times I am not so sure. I sometimes wake up in my kitchen with an opened can of cat food in my hand, surrounded by a horde of screaming felines and no memory of how I got there. But I digress.

I enjoyed this book. It was fun, sexy, quirky, with a nice sense of humour and very few/tiny mistakes. Overall it was a very enjoyable read. If you want to relax your mind immersed in a modern-day romance story, look no further. Don’t expect to cry tears of enlightenment over it or gape with amazement at the sudden plot twists. It’s a very decent book for its genre, better than many others I’ve read, more freshly written, funnier and sexier. It’s also predictable for the same reasons most romance novels are predictable. I mean, you know that these two are going to end up together, just don’t know how they will get there and that’s why you read the book.

The heroine is admittedly a bit irritating. She makes the mistake of mixing business with pleasure with every unpleasantness this entails. Sometimes her reactions are immature, but since one of the basic plot elements is her relationship with her father, it makes sense. Or at least it did not bother me. I don’t expect heroes to be perfect. I only expect their actions and decisions to make sense according to what we know about their past and personalities. As such, she made perfect sense.

The only real complaint I have is the hero. Yes, yes, his fourteen-year-old daughter is his precious snowflake and if she wears a short skirt the firmament will tremble and the world will end, devoured by giant locusts or something. He’s a tough, tough mother... cracker, and he’s the best at what he is, the fear of lesser men, blah de blah. But. Although his daughter is as innocent as the driven snow and her purity must be guarded till his last breath, he sees the heroine as a magnificent a$$ and a perky pair of boobs that accidentally have a face and a name. Oh, and guess what! That tough guy is constantly bossed around by his female relatives. How this works, I honestly don’t know. Then again, it’s a trend in many romance books I’ve come across. Men at the pinnacle of success who are superior to other men, leaders of the pack, fearless predators, yet their relationship with women is either to cower in front of their female relatives or see orifices instead of people. I think that, too, is a result of the alpha male role model romance writers are desperate to incorporate in their books because it is the synonym of ‘successful’ and ‘interesting’ (=sales). Then they find themselves stranded with a caveman in a suit and desperately try to humanise him, turning him into a walking contradiction in the process, because they have to show he has a vulnerable side that does not fit anywhere in the previous picture. Whoopsie.

Yes, yes, I know. I went and wrote a feminist analysis on a romance book. Bite me, it’s really late. I am off to wear my tinfoil hat and feed my cats. Despite my complaints, I am looking forward to reading more books by the same author. I had lots of fun with this one.

*My star rating and what it means: 
 
Zero stars: Why me?!?  I do come across books that aren't really books, but brain damage in disguise. For reasons you can all understand, I won't be publishing reviews on them. I tend to become enraged and say things I later on regret.
One star: Meh... I didn't like it and won't be keeping it. It might be the book, or it might be me. I'll try to clarify in my review.
Two stars: Average/ Okay. Either the kind of light/ undemanding book you read and don't remember in a month, or suffering from flaws that prevented it from realising its potential.
Three stars: Better than average. Good moments, memorable characters and/ or plot, maybe good sense of humour... Not to die for, but not feeling like you wasted your time and money either.
Four stars: Wow, that was good! Definitely keeping it and checking to see what else I can buy from the same writer.
Five stars: Oh. My. Goodness. The kind of book you buy as a gift to all your friends, praise to random strangers on the bus, and re-read until the pages fall out and the corners are no longer corners, but round.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

New ebook giveaway!

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/Uriel.Serafini/ (Image used under permission)

Sorry I have been awol. But as I said in a previous post, unless I have something to say, I'd rather spend more time writing than waste my diminishing brain cells on social media. I am prone to it anyway, in fact too much so. 😉 So here goes. 

So, lo and behold, I have organised a new ebook giveaway. Two winners get free copies of my ebook the Theater of Dusk! To participate, please go to my Facebook page here. The rules are simple, and you get a free copy of my book if you are the winner (plus one more for your tagged friend). Giveaway runs from the 18th of May until 1st of June, 2018. 

Please be aware that the book contains material some readers may find shocking or offensive. Also, there are strong emotional triggers. Themes include BDSM, suicide, murder, violence, blood, scarification, non-consensual sex, M/M sex. If any of these offend you or could act as triggers, please refrain from participating. Also, please be aware that some stories contain material suitable only for adults. (+18)  

Thank you, please share this post, and good luck!

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Ebook Giveaway


I am running a giveaway on my Facebok page. Winner gets a free copy of my ebook the Theater of Dusk! To participate, please go to my Facebook page here. The rules are simple, and you get a free copy of my book if you are the winner. Giveaway runs until the 31st of January.

Please be aware that the book contains material some readers may find shocking or offensive. Also, there are strong emotional triggers. Themes include BDSM, suicide, murder, violence, blood, scarification, non-consensual sex, M/M sex. If any of these offend you or could act as triggers, please refrain from participating. Also, please be aware that some stories contain material suitable only for adults. (+18)  

Thank you, please share this post, and good luck!

Sunday, 10 December 2017

The end of the world... or not.



Widdershins #1 by Jordan L. Hawk 

(2.5 out of 5 stars)*



Hm.
I really enjoyed the Magpie lord series. I figured this series would be similar, and picked the first. I was quite wrong. Here is a list of reasons I disliked it.

1) Percival, the protagonist of the story, has abysmal self-esteem. Page after page I kept reading his “oh, poor me” inner dialogue and wanted to slap him back to his senses, or just slap him. Poor Percival who can speak 13 languages, grew up in a rich family and yet he’s as socially adept as a mute blindfolded crippled orangutan. It didn’t make sense and quickly grew tiring and started grating on my nerves.

2) The handsome stranger (in this case, a detective) who enters his life has issues too, underneath the flair, swagger and bravado. I found it predictable and honestly, boring.

3) Percival’s only friend is a strong female character who quickly becomes insufferable. She is the voice of reason, yet she is overbearing and irritating in her own special way. I don’t mean she ought to be more lady-like and fragile. She barges into Percival’s office whenever she needs to unwind by ranting or use his services as a translator, and won’t take no for an answer. I would have politely told her to get stuffed and shut the door in her face, but maybe that’s just me.

4) The other thing I didn't like was the mixture of romance and Lovecraftian horror elements. I enjoy romance and adore H.P. Lovecraft. A good combination can make the romance hotter and the horror colder. In this book they have a detrimental effect on each other. More often than not, the two genres get in each other’s way, toning down the horror element and making the romance feel out of place. I felt I was reading two separate books that somehow got mixed together, and it did not get better. I had the mental image of a hearse driver and a can-can dancer playing basketball in a tiny room stuffed with furniture. Whenever one of them was about to score a point, they tripped on each other or the furniture.

5) Oh, by the way. The "world is about to end" thing... ugh. Generally speaking, the end of the world is not something easy to happen, otherwise it would have happened every Saturday night. Do you have any idea how many weirdos exist out there, and I mean in real life? If a team of occultists could bring about the end of the world just because the stars are at the right place, we would all be screwed. If the stars were indeed at an unusual and rare position, I for one would have expected more 'warnings', in the form of natural phenomena taking place all over Percival's world, i.e. earthquakes, volcanoes, strange plagues, rains of animals etc. It's not an event like an outsider winning the badminton championship, that can pass unnoticed if you're not into badminton. On a clusterfuck scale of one to ten this is a solid eleven, so let's just treat it with some respect, OK?

To sum up, it’s not a bad book. I’ve read books that can open holes in reality by how bad they were. I sometimes think Necronomicon was in reality a YA abomination later to be turned into a fully-fledged franchise, and that’s why it drove occultists mad. Well, Widdershins definitely isn’t one of those. It’s well-written and it has its moments. I guess it just didn’t work for me.


*My star rating and what it means: 
 
Zero stars: Why me?!?  I do come across books that aren't really books, but brain damage in disguise. For reasons you can all understand, I won't be publishing reviews on them. I tend to become enraged and say things I later on regret.
One star: Meh... I didn't like it and won't be keeping it. It might be the book, or it might be me. I'll try to clarify in my review.
Two stars: Average/ Okay. Either the kind of light/ undemanding book you read and don't remember in a month, or suffering from flaws that prevented it from realising its potential.
Three stars: Better than average. Good moments, memorable characters and/ or plot, maybe good sense of humour... Not to die for, but not feeling like you wasted your time and money either.
Four stars: Wow, that was good! Definitely keeping it and checking to see what else I can buy from the same writer.
Five stars: Oh. My. Goodness. The kind of book you buy as a gift to all your friends, praise to random strangers on the bus, and re-read until the pages fall out and the corners are no longer corners, but round.


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Reviewers needed for my wee monster!


I am desperately looking for reviewers. I am particularly interested in reviewers who can publish on both Goodreads and Amazon. PLEASE be warned, my book contains strong triggers: BDSM, suicide, murder, violence, blood, non-con sex etc. If you have 10+ reviews on Goodreads and you're interested, please message me for an ebook. In order to confirm your Goodreads account, you will need to message me from Goodreads. If you want a physical book, due to my very tight budget (unemployed at the moment) I can send out one book per month. PLEASE share!


My Goodreads profile:



All reviews of my work, positive, neutral or negative, are welcome. Reading a book is a completely personal experience, so an honest review is a blessing. Even a negative review is better than no review. It shows that people read my work and validates the positive reviews. So please contact me if you are interested. Thank you!