Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Playboy Bachelor by Rachel Van Dyken

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4 Stars

After reading Hate F*@k at the end of the week (in front of a bunch of little leaguers’ parents even because I am the epitome of class), I definitely had a . . . . taste for something and . . . .



However, I try to only let myself fall completely down the porny rabbit hole a couple of times a year and decided I would read one of my million library books instead. When I got word that the kid would be playing at O Dark Thirty (and in B.F.E. to boot) on Sunday morning I gave myself a reprieve from freezing my ass off for the third day in a row and decided to celebrate my newly acquired alone time by watching a movie. And what should just so happen to be on at 6:00 a.m. on the holy day? Magic Mike XXL! I was like “we’ve got a lot of starving faithful – that looks tasty – that looks plenty – this is hungry work – TAKE ME TO CHURCH” . . . . .



Turns out this one wasn’t quite as freakalicious as Hate F*@ck, but since I was still riding quite a high from . . . . .



It ended up still being pretty satisfactory.

The story here is of Bentley and Margot. Back in high school the two were besties for the resties. She pined for him, he . . . well, he kinda banged the whole cheerleading squad. Then something [superbad – not sure how much of this would be a spoiler so we’ll just leave it as is] happened – leading to another superbad and you know how these books go – the two never bothered to talk anything out and all the feelings remained hurt and yada yada. Fastforward to the present where we’ve just wrapped up The Bachelor Auction that left Bentley sold to an old granny. Turns out the granny was actually working as a double-agent with the end goal of getting Bentley and Margot back together again. Things being convoluted as they are in the land of romance, there’s also a sidestory about a job promotion should Bentley complete his task which of course will eventually lead to more confusion and hurt feelings and additional yada yada. Buuuuuuuuuuuut, there is smexytimes stuff around the halfway point and that’s really all we’re here for anyway, amiright or amiright?????


#sploosh

If you’re interested in an angsty romance (and one with pretty legit angst, not just bullshit that makes you eyeroll), this might be a winner. I have confessed my girl crush on Rachel Van Dyken a time or twelve before, so it should be pretty obvious by now that I’ll read pretty much anything she writes – even if they don’t always work for me. I was surprised that I actually enjoyed this one more than the first in the series because I usually start screaming “JUST FUCKING TALK ALREADY” at my Kindle when there’s too much drama llama. The only minor complaints I have are as follows:

She was a hot redhead because OF COURSE SHE FUCKING WAS . . . .



Enough with the hot redheads. They are as hard to come by as a Unicorn Frappucino.

The other gripe? In The Bachelor Auction Bentley was described as . . . .

“He was about an inch shorter than Brock, but had the same perfect auburn hair.”

In this book we’re told that . . . .

“Shots of caramel mixed in with the nearly black tresses.”

Uhhhhhhhh??????

But once again, didn’t really matter to me because Magic Mike XXL viewing and any description that makes me think of Matt Boner . . . errrr Bomer . . . . is a good description . . . .



ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you, NetGalley!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Hate F*@K by Ainsley Booth


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4 Stars

“I’m not a good guy.”

“I don’t think I care.”

What can I say about Ainsley Booth?????



I’ve wanted to read this sucker ever since the first time I saw it due to the super classy title and the fact that the fellar on the cover reminded me a bit of . . . .



However, I am fully aware of my limitations and knowing it was being released as a SERIAL (a/k/a the only thing more irritating to me than a series) was enough to keep me away. When another pervert who shall remain nameless *cough Shelby cough* informed me this was available for FREEEEEEEEEEEEE (go get you some RIGHT HERE) and it was the entire first book – not the first of the three part serial – I one-clicked that sumbitch as fast as my fat little fingers would let me. Then I went to my youngest’s baseball tournament and had multiple parents ask what I was reading. Good times.

The story here is of Cole and Hailey. Hailey is a silver-spoon type with a heart of gold from a family who has a hard time steering clear of scandal. Cole is a “fixer” of situations like those Hailey’s family is prone to getting involved with. Part security guard, part private investigator, part criminal – Cole and the other members of The Horus Group do whatever it takes to clean up messes. That knowledge has made Hailey keep her guard up, despite Cole’s animal magnetism. Normally that would be the best case scenario for Cole, but Hailey’s been crawling under his skin . . . .

“When I say you’re a distraction, I mean I can’t get you out of my fucking head. I wonder what the inside of your mouth tastes like and if you’d pull my hair when I go down on you.”

And then . . . . . .



This book is exactly what the title claims it to be. As Cole says . . . . .

“Even though we’ve shared a kiss and I’ve gotten her off, most of the time she doesn’t like me.”

When I saw this was a love/hate type of story, I was expecting plenty of this . . . .



And also some of this . . . .



Imagine my surprise when there was a bit of plot thrown in for good measure. What starts as a simple TMZ type of story quickly morphs into a potential crime ring between a couple of squicky bad guys . . . . .



I also always figure I’ll hate the female lead never expected to get so many grins out of a story with a title like this, but Hailey’s internal voice was pretty freaking funny. No “inner goddess” here, she thought normal, self-deprecating things like . . . .

“I think about taking off the skirt, but it’s better that Cole not see the full extent of my thighs until after we’ve had sex. Plus I’m cute. You’re cute, I mouth at myself in the mirror. The chubby chick stares back, not quite believing me. You give Cole Parker a hard-on.”

And while there were some things that never jive with me like being so caught up in the moment a condom isn’t used without even taking 10 seconds to make sure no babies or STDs will be happening as well as some talk about being “slippery now, sloppy even” which is seriously . . . . .



I really couldn’t expect that NOT to happen in a book with a title such as this.

Additional props to the endless epilogues that didn’t waste too much of my time talking about the sappily ever after mumbo-jumbo, but instead talked more about how to . . . . .

 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

They Rise by Hunter Shea


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5 Stars



When my buddy Dan’s review popped up and I saw there was a story out there about ghost sharks I was IN. I L.O.V.E.D. Ghost Shark . . . .



Then I found out it was really about . . . .

“Chimaera. According to Webster’s, the word is based on a creature of mythology, an amalgam of different species in one terrifying beast. Or, in the current vernacular, one ugly fucker.”



The story here is about a surfer-dude-looking, wise-cracking, functioning alcoholic/marine biologist named Whit who ends up partnered with his climatologist ex-wife Suzanne when a methane-filled fissure under the ocean gives way, releasing a shitton of prehistoric mammoth-sized chimaera from its depths. It’s up to the two to (1) survive and (2) come up with a way to send these killers back to the hell from whence they came.

The couple of my friends who have read They Rise both gave it a 3 Star rating. To them I ask . . . .



Just kidding. I’m giving it all 5 because it ended up being EXACTLY what I hoped it would be. Even though some soon-to-be-chum character dared to say . . . .

“This is not a B-movie, Suzanne.”

That dumbshit was 100% wrong. This was ABSOLUTELY a B-movie and that’s why I loved it. They Rise had everything you could ever want in a cheesy horror flick book:

1. Monsters from the deep

2. Sexy leading characters with a love/hate history

3. Awesome one-liner type of humor such as:

“ “If we survive this, I’m calling you Dr. Jones from now on.”
“But I’m not afraid of snakes.”


4. High body count with plenty of guts and gore as well as some decent shock and awe like in . . . .



The only thing that could have made things better would have been if someone told me I could eat a unicorn fart. And then I discovered I could eat a unicorn fart!!!!!!



This sumbitch was an absolute delight and made my day exponentially more enjoyable. Endless thanks to Dan for using his lending feature in order to put this gem in my reading repertoire . . . . .

 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Butter by Erin Jade Lange


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4 Stars

I read Butter over two weeks ago, but never got around to writing a review pretty much because I didn’t want to get trolled. In case you aren’t already aware . . . .



After all the backlash the original blurb (not the book itself, because everyone decided to get asshurt before the damn thing was even released so they could read it) for Holding Up the Universe, I was more than a little scurrrrred to share all of my thoughts about this book. Really, though, I should have nothing to worry about. After all, I’m giving it 4 Stars FFS.

Let’s get on with things. This is the story of a boy called Butter. (I’ll let him tell you how he got that moniker.) . . . .



After binge-eating himself to 423 pounds, being required to sit at a special table in the back of all of his classrooms, developing diabetes and isolating himself from ever interacting with other students as much as possible, Butter has ceased being the butt of the joke and instead has become someone who believes that . . . .

“I was just that pathetic – that pitiful. Most people couldn’t bring themselves to be cruel to me . . . . at least, not anymore.”

He also has come to the realization that . . . .

“I hated thinking about death – not because I was afraid of it, but because, for some reason, every time I did, I felt this strange wave of sadness that death was actually so far off. Sometimes I wished it would just hurry up and get here.”

Thinking he has nothing left to live for, he starts a website entitled ButtersLastMeal.com where he explains that on New Year’s Eve he will commit suicide by . . . . .



I know what you’re thinking: “eating yourself to death in one sitting isn’t possible.” Normally you’d be correct, but with a combination of a deadly overdose of insulin at his disposal as well as food allergies that could potentially kill him as well, Butter is not kidding around. The only thing he’s not sure of is . . . .

“What was I expecting from this? Pity? Attention? Would it have some dramatic impact? Or would I just come off as some pathetic crybaby?”

That’s how this book earns so many stars from me. Another selection from the 13 Underrated Novels You Must Read Immediately list, once again this selection scores points for being unique. It also scores high marks by having a main character like Butter who (although thankfully not nearly as awful as Hannah in Thirteen Reasons Why was not someone you could easily sympathize with. Although he was a victim of bullying, Butter took every opportunity for personal growth and flushed it right down the toilet. Instead of seeking deeper relationships with friends he had made at fat camp over summer breaks, Butter chose to Catfish a fellow student he had a crush on and ignore that his newfound “popularity” was anything other than superficial. The good news is, not everyone pussyfooted around Butter’s feelings . . . .

“Everything doesn’t suck, Butter. All that sucks is your attitude. If you just stop expecting perfection from everyone and everything, you might see the good stuff outweighs the bad. And then maybe someday you’ll look in the mirror and see the same thing. Because the person you’re most disappointed in is yourself.”

And it was nice to know I wasn’t the only one who wanted to smack him around a little bit. But I really wanted to smack his mother. Good Christ I’ve never read such an enabler!

This was a solid YA selection that I would easily recommend. The “will he or won’t he” aspect to the story was gripping, the “blame” (for lack of a better term) of the 423 pound situation was placed on the person who allowed himself to get that way rather than on anyone else (while definitely not giving a pass to the douchebags who treated Butter so horribly), the being called out for the so-not-okayness of creating a fake online persona, etc. all kept the pages turning and provided some valuable insight into the do's and don’ts of navigating the way to adulthood.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Alice and the Fly by James Rice


26246234
4 Stars

Greg doesn’t have a problem remembering good things about his childhood. He knows he was happy living with Nan and Herb. His family took an amazing vacation to Finner’s Island. Even when he was seeing THEM Nan was right there with him – stocked with packing tape to seal THEM out. Those days are long gone, however. Herb died and Nan had to move into a nursing home and nobody in the family wants to talk about what happened at Finner’s Island. Nowadays Greg has to be satisfied making it through a day of high school. A place where . . . .

“I’d like it if someone just called me “Greg.” “Psycho is a hard nickname to live down.”

Greg’s teacher, Ms. Hayes, thinks she might be able to help with that. And why not? She seems to really know what she’s talking about . . . .

“Do you have any prior training in this field?”

“Psychiatry?”

“Are you qualified in any way?”

“I studied psychology.”

“Where?”

“High school.”




With the encouragement of Ms. Hayes, Greg begins writing a journal, but with a twist – he writes in his journal to a fellow student named Alice . . . .

“I think writing to nobody’s pretty stupid. That’s why I’ve decided to keep writing to you. I hope you don’t mind. You just seem like a good way of getting the words on the page. I know you don’t know me, but nobody knows me, and by knowing that you now kind of know me better than anyone. My name’s Greg, by the way.”



I discovered this book thanks to the Bookish Buzz’s 13 Underrated Novels You Must Read Immediately. I’ve now read six of the thirteen and while I can’t say they have all been what I would consider “underrated” I can say they’ve all been completely unique. Alice and the Fly is definitely not going to be a book for everyone. The entire thing is spent in the head of a mentally ill person AND aside from a couple of interview snippets with a handful of other characters it’s all in journal form. That means you’re literally reading things like what Greg had for breakfast. It’s obvious the story is building up to something, but that something doesn’t come until 90+% so if you’re not invested in Greg, you will struggle. This is also shelved as YA, but I would consider it a very mature YA. Although the bad stuff is either alluded to or written fade-to-black style, pretty much ALL the bad stuff you could think of happens. It should go without saying at this point, but this is definitely not a sunshine and unicorn farts type of book. However, if you’re like Mitchell and me you already believe that . . . .



So maybe you’ll be mesmerized by it too.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta


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4 Stars



I started this book with my morning coffee on Saturday and quickly confirmed (once again) this about Perrotta . . . .



This is the story of Eve Fletcher, a woman who has just become an empty nester after dropping her son Brock Turner Brendan off at college. After raising Brock Brendan as a single mother for a good portion of his life, Mrs. Fletcher worries that she won’t know how to cope with being alone. But maybe all of her concern was for naught . . . .

“It wasn’t even true that there was nothing new in her life. For one thing, she was taking a class in Gender Studies and actually learning something. And, oh yeah, she’d also gone and gotten herself addicted to internet porn, not that that was anything to brag about.”

It also turns out Mrs. Fletcher is quite the . . . . .



And over the course of the book has a sort of sexual reawakening where she not only logs on to the intertubes every night in order to search out the latest offerings on milfateria.com, but also dips her toe in the lady pond, is courted by local meatheads and also becomes a modernized version of . . . . .



“You’ve given this some thought,” she muttered. Julian looked at her. His face was serious, full of adult longing. It was like she could see right through the college boy to the man he would one day become. “It’s all I fucking think about.”

If you can’t tell from the above, this isn’t a book for everyone. Perrotta definitely is a polarizing author and if your M.O. is to bitch about him and all of the offenses he commits in any given novel, I have this to say to you . . . .



Perrotta owns his shit. He doesn’t write anything that’s warm and fuzzy. He doesn’t even bother attempting to provide an “unreliable” narrator in order to pull his punches– he flat out gives you the worst of the worst. And this time he (a man *gasp*) comes face to face with the subject of sexuality and gender and dares to write about it from both a male MC’s perspective, as well as a female’s. I have a feeling that simple fact alone will be what “triggers” various readers. However, that’s the exact thing that put him on my “favorite authors” list. He’s not for everyone, but he writes characters that feel genuine . . . even with their many flaws. If he’s not for you, then he’s not for you. Just don’t ruin everyone else’s reading experience with your tunnel-vision point of view.

^^^The above paragraph was brought to you by . . . .



ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you, NetGalley!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Little Stalker by Jennifer Belle

50598
5 Stars

That awkward moment when you’re about to fangirl all over a book that nearly everyone else will probably hate and you know you might get trolled AGAIN (because once wasn’t e-freakin’-nuff) about enjoying reading a book about a pedophile (and this time dude really is a pedophile) . . . .



You’re probably asking yourself . . .

“What’s it about?”

Well, let’s just have Rebekah speak for herself, shall we?

“It’s about a one-time famous writer who finds herself unable to write. So she starts writing letters to Arthur Weeman, pretending to be a thirteen-year-old-girl and through these letters she deals with something bad that happened to her when she was almost thirteen and . . .”

Sounds like a real page turner, huh? Also probably sounds like Rebekah is some seriously damaged goods, right? I’m not exactly sure how many people would agree with the first statement. For me it was, but I am a super fan of all things dark and grisly – especially when those things somehow manage to end up being black comedy brilliance. As for the second statement? Nope . . . .



And good lord did I love reading everything about her. From her morning ritual . . . .




To an unlikely friendship/nurse’s aide position/roommate status with an elderly woman who often times chose to hang out with her other friends . . . .



To a voyeuristic obsession with a famous director . . . .



(Yes, she sees EXACTLY what you would expect to see Woody Allen Arthur Weeman doing when he thinks no one is looking.)

At this point if you aren’t real familiar with me you might be asking . . .



That would be an affirmative. It’s hard to ignore writing that jumps off the page at you like this one has, though . . . .

“In the end we Y.G.s don’t grow up to be over-the-hill Lolitas – sexless and worn and fat with child – we simply turn into the very thing that had once lusted after us.

Lolita in the end becomes Humbert Humbert.

And I had turned my back on Alice to find myself seeing things through Arthur Weeman’s eyes. I, like all Y.G.s everywhere, had become, to my shock and horror, nothing more than a little dirty old man.”


This is currently on ONE friend’s TBR. I’d prefer to keep it that way because I wouldn’t expect anyone else to enjoy it anyway and I’ll flat out say there’s at least one person out there who will get automatically defriended if all of a sudden they choose to read this book no one has ever heard of, but that would be soooooo easy to hate review.



As for the friend who put it on my radar? I’m eternally grateful to you, HFK, and I’ll gladly chip in for any therapy you might need since you started this with the idea it would be a light chick-lit type of read like Bridget Jones’ Diary only to discover something very different.

And to you, Jennifer Belle, I think I'm in love . . . .

 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis

7863423
2.5 Stars

In one day Maddie dumped her boyfriend and got fired from her job. When news arrives that her recently deceased mother has left an inn to Maddie and her two half-sisters she can’t imagine better timing for starting over. Unfortunately when she makes it to the Lucky Harbor Inn in Lucky Harbor, Washington she discovers her sisters do not share Maddie’s interest in running the inn, but want to sell and get back to their own lives ASAP. Especially when they actually get to the inn and discover . . . .



Okay, maybe not that bad, but definitely in need of some work. Enter Jax. Handyman by day and . . . . well, you’ll find out everything you need to know about him if you choose to read the book. Not only is Jax adept at the hammer, but Maddie quickly discovers that . . . .



However, she’s sworn off men and she’s only going to be in town for a few weeks anyway so she definitely doesn’t need any complications. Right????

So there you have it. I moused over to the porny library site immediately after reading Karen update about some shower sexuals that had my glasses fogging up. I had never heard of Jill Shalvis before, but apparently she’s written about eleventy thousand books because the library had a good 20 or 30 available in Kindle format for request. This one ended up being just okay for me, but let me ‘splain myself and you might find my problems aren’t going to be anything that would deter your enjoyment.

I loved the idea of these three sisters who hadn’t grown up together/didn’t really know each other getting thrown together as their mother’s last wish and taking over the inn. I realize this was the first in a series and Shalvis probably already knew what direction she wanted to take, but for me there was waaaaaaaay too much ado about nothing when it came to the other two being so desperate to cut and run. It was pretty obvious that wasn’t going to be the end result.

My main issue, though, had to do with the tired trope. I realized things were going South when (despite the quality bathing ritual mentioned above), my husband walked in to the reading room and asked . . . .



I am not a fan of the left an abusive relationship and the only thing that will make me whole again is this fella and his penis because . . .



These broads need therapy and a lot of it. They don’t need to get banged. And yes I know it’s all fantasy, but this particular blend of tea isn’t very palatable to me.

I’m also missing a couple of chromosomes so every time the leading male’s (who was basically the wet dream of any woman who has ever swooned over a Nicholas Sparks leading male) name Jax was mentioned my brain kept thinking things like . . . .



To remind me that Jax is NOT a super saccharine pansy boy like I was supposed to be thinking of.

Then there was the leading lady Maddie Moore, which my brain insisted on calling Mandy Moore. And while I realize Mandy Moore is in a television show that maybe I’m one of only 10 women in America NOT tuning into every week, in my head she’ll always be . . . .



Actually, it would have been so much better if she was a little more aggressive.

Anyway, for the above reasons this one ended up being “just okay” for me (hence the middle-of-the-road rating), BUUUUUUUUUUT I would read more of this series (1) assuming the storyline actually progresses at more than a snail’s pace – if you have read it and know that it doesn’t do me a solid and let me know (2) I want to see what happens when the inn is reopened and (3) I want Tara and Chloe to make all the sex with Ford and Sawyer.