Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Monthly Archives: March 2014

Livy Kowalski, a honey badger shifter, doesn’t have much patience for anyone, when you are several feet shorter than the predator shifters around you survive by your wits and your unwillingness to quit during a fight. In Bite Me by Shelley Laurenston, Livy is struggling to deal with the untimely death of her father and avoid her crazy cousin who has invaded her apartment. So what is a honey badger to do? Burrow into the honey cabinet of one of the least irritating men Livy knows, Vic Barinov.

Vic Barinov, half tiger half bear is used tracking down criminals in both the human world and the shifter world by himself. But all of a sudden Vic finds himself on one of his toughest cases with a house full of shifters that he doesn’t want there, well, except for Livy, if only she would stop burrowing holes into the floor of his house to get in and just use the front door like everyone else, and stop smelling so distractingly wonderfully of honey.

I have to admit I LOVE Shelley Laurenston’s books (both under her name Shelley Laurenston and her other name G.A. Aiken. You know that any novel that starts off with a note from the author apologizing for the art department’s inability to accurately and believably draw a hybrid tiger-bear for the cover is going to be hilarious. Laurentson’s novels are hilarious, ridiculous, and yet her ability accurately portray the love/annoyance that is family relationships is unparalleled (one of my all time favorite quotes is from The Mane Event “Because isn’t that what the holidays are all about–letting your family make you wish you were an orphan?”). While The Pride series is a shifter world, Laurenston’s portrayal of the prejudices and motivations of the characters that inhabit it is fabulous.  Bite Me, is the ninth book in The Pride series, and while you don’t need to have read any of the previous novels to know what is going on, you are missing out (especially the friendship and history with Toni from Wolf with Benefits) if you haven’t read them. I really got to like both Livy and Vic in Wolf With Benefits but Livy was the more entertaining of the two characters. Her family is hilarious (thieves and con artists, the lot of them) but willing to come to Livy’s aid at the first phone call. I’m almost ashamed to admit I’ve already read Bite Me twice, just because I enjoyed it so much (notice I said almost and I am not going to tell you how many times I have reread all her books, let’s just say it is a lot).

You can read an excerpt here.

The Pride Series:

The Mane Event

The Beast In Him

The Mane Attraction

The Mane Squeeze

Beast Behaving Badly

Big Bad Beast

Bear Meets Girl

Wolf With Benefits

Bite Me

Rating: Star 5copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Bite Me

Author: Shelley Laurenston

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 385

AISN: B00FH1IC4S

Publisher: Kensington Books

Release Date: March 25, 2014

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

Robert Frost was born on this day in 1874. One of the most recognized American poets of the twentieth century, his poem “The Road Not Taken” was published in 1916 and is part of the public domain (which is why I have included it here to brighten your day).

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

zebra regency novelsI was writing reviews (Hope Ramsay’s Last Chance series)  and getting ready for a couple of blog tours (Mariah Stewart and Jill Shalvis) and I realized that they were all small town feel good contemporary romance novels. I enjoyed all three novels and have read numerous other books in those series but it got me thinking about tastes in reading tastes changing. When I was in high school my mother belonged to the Zebra Regency Romance novels automatic mail lists (does anyone else remember those?!) and I devoured them every month, especially those about debutantes making their debuts. Now, numerous years later, (I’m not going to say how many years later but know that I didn’t have a cell phone in high school if that says anything) I find myself preferring novels where the heroines have a few more years under their belt.

I started to wonder what it is that changes our reading tastes? Why is that something that once we devoured now we find annoying or boring? The first answer is obviously life events in our personal lives. We change as individuals, surviving trials, loss, momentous moments of joy and life changing seconds. But even beyond this changing as an individual I think it also depends upon what is currently going in our lives. When I was pregnant I found myself only wanting to reread novels that I had already read, even authors who I eagerly await with baited breathe for their new releases I wasn’t really interested in reading. I don’t know if it was the uncertainty of pregnancy (so many things could go wrong), the exhaustion that is growing a human being so not wanting to have to focus intently, or what exactly, but that is all I read for nine months and then as soon as my son was born I eagerly grabbed new novels ready to read as normal.

Now I think this is different than being in reading phases (you know, that feeling of wanting to read a certain type or genre of book) but actually changing what you read. What do you think? Have you reading tastes changed over the years?

Carol Jenski is a dragonspeaker, a human who understands and reads the dragon language, but she has spent her entire life hiding that fact so she wouldn’t have to deal with dragons, but in Dancing with Dragons by Lorenda Christsen, Carol has allowed herself to be talked into helping her friend Myrna to mediate a dragon dispute in China. When Carol is injured by the dragons, she finds herself spirited away by her boyfriend Richard and then blamed for an attack on the dragons in United States.

Only reporter Daniel Wallent is willing to listen to her side of the story. With Richard missing in action and Carol being hunted down by the dragons, Carol finds herself relying on Daniel but will it cost her life, or her heart?

Dancing With Dragons is the second book in the Dracim series (you can read my review of Never Deal With Dragons here) and I eagerly picked it up as soon as it was available. I LOVED Never Deal with Dragons, Christensen’s world is fascinating and a completely different take on how the dragons came to be. I REALLY wanted to love Dancing With Dragons but, I just couldn’t (and I have to mention I am not a fan of the cover art, sorry, but it had to be said). Carol is a fabulous character other than her poor choice in boyfriends (not a good track record there), independent, spunky and willing to work to clear her name. My problem was with Daniel, he started off as a jerk trying to get a story and he just never quite redeemed himself to me. The plot was great, the mystery of the dragons (I won’t give away too much here) was fabulous but (I know, again with the but) I just couldn’t like Daniel. I just feel like Carol deserved better. Dancing With Dragons is written in the first person, similar to Never Deal with Dragons so we only get Carol’s point of view, and I do wish we got more interaction with Myrna because she was such a great character. I gave Dancing With Dragons a three star rating because I do feel it is worth a read through at least once and I am really hoping that the next book in the Dracim series is more like the first book, well written with likable characters.

You can read an excerpt here.

Dracim Reading Order

Never Deal With Dragons

Dancing With Dragons

dancing with dragonsRating: Star 3copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Dancing With Dragons

Author: Lorenda Christensen

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 184

AISN: B00GKBHIQC

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: March 17, 2014

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

 

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

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Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Graphic Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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