Hot Ice by Nora Roberts – Review


Title: Hot Ice

Author: Nora Roberts

Rating: ★



Warning: ***There are spoilers in the review***

Review:  Another book by Nora Roberts that I enjoyed. It took me a bit to get into it, but that may have been my own lack of time to read, but once it got going, I got into it. A jewel thief runs off to Madagascar in search of the lost jewels of Marie Antoinette using information that he stole for another man then kept to himself.  Whitney was the lucky girl who was initially forced to aid in his escape and then backed the funding of the excursion, needing a little adventure herself to spice up her own boring life of riches.  I loved the story behind the jewels they were searching for; the French Revolution is one of my favorite periods in history.

I must admit that Douglas’s constant reference to Whitney as ‘sugar’ got a little old, along with his phrase of “get your ass in gear” which never failed at riling Whitney up to an unnecessary level. In addition, I couldn’t understand how such a good thief would go around dropping his name as if it were nothing when he had a bunch of goons chasing after them.

I also felt as if Roberts caved a bit too easily when it came to Whitney’s capture. They spend all of this time driving around town in their stolen jeep and all that’s going through my mind is…..I’m pretty sure Remo would recognize his jeep if he saw it sitting out in the open in a parking lot. I’m not even a thief and my mind is constantly looking over their shoulders. Plus, once they do acquire the loot, it’s as if they completely ignore the fact that they’re being followed. They drive to a nice hotel, get a room, take a bath…Doug goes to buy them tickets out of there the next morning (most likely using their real names). Knowing that Dimitri’s henchmen weren’t that far behind them, they sure as hell didn’t take any precautions, especially considering that they finally actually HAD the jewels in their possession. Of all times to be careful, that would have been it.

Still, minus those few flaws that snagged at me, the book was enjoyable and got me through a six hour drive across Texas.


Happy reading!


Fifty Shades Freed – Review


Title: Fifty Shades Freed

Author: E.L. James

Rating: ★


Warning: ***There are spoilers in the review***


Review:  All I can say about this book, this whole series, is FINALLY!!!! I’m done!!! If I ever see the word ‘mercurial’ one more time, it will be only too soon. E.L. James thinks herself clever for using some ‘big’ words to make her characters sound intelligent, and then she clings to those words like a lifeline. My one hope is that someone buys that woman a Thesaurus sometime soon.

Her consistent use of the same words over and over and OVER again, not to mention her constant referral to Christian as ‘my Fifty,’ and her inner dialogue with her Subconscious and Inner Goddess drive me up the wall! Isn’t the whole point of the SUBconscious to be below (hence the prefix ‘sub’) your consciousness? As in….not aware of it!

The plot was…meh. I have never read two more insecure characters in my life. I was physically frustrating to read their constant doubt of each other and themselves. How many times to do they have to ask the other how they can prove their love? If you love someone, and especially if you are married to them, you shouldn’t have to be constantly trying to prove your love and gain the others’ trust. It wouldn’t bother me if they were dating, but they’re freaking married! But oh wait….they’ve maybe known each other for about 5 months over the span of this entire series.

I was pushing myself to finish this series and get it done so I could move on to other books. The epilogue was……bleh. Honestly, it was more than bleh. It was disturbing! The whole flogging of a 6-month pregnant woman….creepy. I’ll pass.

And then, after I let out a sigh of relief that I am done, I flip the page to see Christian’s side of the story! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!


I think that was the most disturbing part of all. Reading Christian’s reactions to Ana when they first met, and then the meeting in the hardware store…I honestly thought I was looking into the mind of a rapist/stalker. It was ridiculously disturbing and I felt physically uncomfortable. If I had an ounce of attraction to Christian while reading the books (which I didn’t), it definitely would have run screaming out the door after reading those few pages.

I can definitely promise never to read those books if they ever make it to the bookshelf! With the success of these novels, I seriously am worried for the future of literature.

This concludes my thoughts on the Fifty Shades trilogy. The end!!!! (FINALLY!!)

Happy Reading!


Fifty Shades of Beer

I need a drink…..

I just finished reading the second installment of E L James’ trilogy, Fifty Shades Darker, this morning, and honestly, I can’t work up the energy to review it.  It’s trite dialog and repetitive descriptions of nearly everything cause me to merely refer to my previous review of the first installment for my response to this novel.

Since I am no quitter, I am beginning the final (what a relief!) installment of this trilogy, Fifty Shades Freed.  I can only imagining the freeing feeling I will experience when this trilogy has come to an end.  An excellent and entertaining review of this trilogy can be found by Katrina at: Katastrophic Curiosity. For this last book, I have decided to act upon a comment to her review.

At the first reference to Christian as ‘Fifty,’ I immediately stopped what I was doing and ran to the closest gas station and bought a 12-pack of beer.  I am now beginning a drinking game I have termed, Fifty Shades of Beer.  I have picked a few of the things that have annoyed me throughout this trilogy and shall take a drink in their honor every time I come across them in Fifty Shades Freed.  I will mainly focus on Ana’s references to Christian as Fifty, her use of the phrase “oh my,” and every time she blushes.  I may add a couple others depending on the frequency of the current list and my level of sobriety.  If I drank at every annoyance, I’d have to chug my way through the book, and I don’t want to end up in the hospital.

Nevertheless, I’m hoping this little game will make this last book more enjoyable. We shall see! Wish me luck!


Fifty Shades of Grey – Review


Title: Fifty Shades of Grey

Author: E.L. James

Rating: ★

 Originally written as fan fiction based on Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Series, this book introduces the readers to the dominant/submissive, extremely explicit relationship between an aspiring book editor and a very wealthy businessman with a dark past.

For the kinky-dom/sub-bondage-erotica enthusiast, this book is okay. For anyone looking for developed characters, plot, and a writing style greater than a fifth-grade reading level, I would steer away from this book.  I hate giving books 1 star, but I just couldn’t NOT do it.  The plot is severely lacking, and for the most part only exists to get the characters from point A (where they have sex) to point B (where they can have sex again).
This book annoyed me for oh-so many reasons. There was very little character development, and I lost count of how many times I was told that Christian was a beautiful man with a tragic childhood and depraved soul. Actions speak louder than words.  E.L. James ‘s vocabulary throughout the book is very limited, constantly reusing the same adjectives and phrases (except for the big words she throws in to make Christian sound intelligent).

Both characters have such negative images of themselves; their never-ending attempts to convince each other of their love gets a tad old when every other scene includes one asking the other what they can do to prove their love.  Every once in a while, the characters show an endearing quality, but then they’re immediately drawn back to their repetitive self-deprecation.

One thing that irked me was Ana’s constant reference to Christian as ‘Fifty Shades’ and ‘my Fifty.’ I don’t know why, but every time she refers to him by those names, I cringe.  I think I’m developing a permanent twitch in my left eye because of it.  In my mind, it’s just weird.  But hey, that’s me.

One thing that I found interesting is that Ana often considers Christian to have multiple personalities due to his constant mood swings, but between her own dull thoughts and references to her “inner goddess” and “subconscious,” she’s the one who should be seeing a shrink. I don’t know how she has room for her own thoughts in her head without one of the other two interrupting.

This book is clearly fan fiction, and while I have read some fan fictions written by 16-year-olds that could possibly give the original authors a run for their money, this fan fiction falls way short of the mark, which, in my opinion, wasn’t even set that high by Stephanie Meyer.

Despite all of this, I have begun a series, and my OCD requires me to finish it.  And I must admit, I am a bit curious to see just where James takes her story.

Birth of a Book Blog

Okay, so after my one post on here, I’ve decided to turn this into a book review blog, with perhaps some current events responses thrown in the mix.  I want to keep a blog to keep myself in the habit of writing, but with my job, I’m constantly behind on the real world, and I’m not really one to just talk about my life.  Thus, the end result is yet another book blog in the large realm of online book blogs.

I will begin by stating that nobody has asked me to review any of the books that I will be reviewing.  Should I one day become such an amazing reviewer that I should have requests, they will be noted in the review.  I’m hoping that from this blog, I can enter the online reading community, make some friends, and share in discussions on various books.  I have attempted to join book clubs in the past, but with my wacky personal schedule, I can’t really rely on myself to be able to read on a schedule.  I may occasionally try to read a book on a club’s reading list, but it will not be a common thing.

I had joined Goodreads a while back, and in joining a few of their groups, I have been inspired to start this blog.  My taste in literature is very well-rounded.  I love the classics, but I also love to curl up with a romance novel as some light reading at night.  I read Young Adult and am getting more and more interested in Sci-Fi novels (thanks to my recent introduction to Orson Scott Card and Ender’s Game).  I love historical fiction, especially novels set in the era of Henry VIII.  British literature tops the list for me, but I am working on expanding my tastes.  I am welcome to any suggestions and will try any book, no matter what the genre.  I hope to have a review out this weekend or early next week during my days off on Fifty Shades of Grey.  Yes, I finally caved and began the trilogy.

Coming to Terms

A Reflection on the Aurora, CO shooting

The Aurora, CO shooting has become a popular blogging topic, and for those who express their emotions best in writing, why not?  Writing my thoughts down on paper just doesn’t seem to be enough.  Despite being strangers to the victims of this tragedy, we all grieve the senseless loss of 12 lives, not to mention the injuries to so many others.

I’m not sure why this massacre has hit me more than the others.  Perhaps it’s because most other shootings happened at schools, and in my mind, at those times, that could never happen at MY school.  I was finishing up 8th grade at the time of Columbine, and I was in my last year of college during the Virginia Tech Massacre.  I was also still quite naive at those times.  But a movie theatre….such a simple place to go for fun.  People go there to relax, forget about the world, and immerse themselves in fantasy for a couple of hours.  I know that I often go to the theatre to de-stress.  Those few sacred hours are also some of our most vulnerable because we are so ignorant of anything outside of that theatre.  And who actually expects for that outside world to barge in on our personal time?

Some people reconsidered going to the movies this past weekend, but I did not hesitate to go see the new Batman movie on Saturday.  While I really did want to see the newest installment, I would be lying to say that there wasn’t a little bit of defiance lurking beneath the surface.  I didn’t want to let fear win.  I didn’t want to let him win.  And yet, I couldn’t help but to walk out of that theatre when the movie was over and think that I was lucky.  I saw a movie, and I survived.  And then I thought….what is this world coming to that I would even have such a thought?

At the end of it all, my reaction to the shooting is much like one of the victims’ reaction to her own survival of a mass shooting in Toronto a little over a month ago:  “I was shown how fragile life was…” – Jessica Redfield (taken from her blog, here, about the Eaton Center shooting in Toronto)  There are no words to express my thoughts on her narrow escape of a similar tragedy a little over a month ago.  That event had Jessica rethinking how she approached life, and I can’t help but to look at mine and think that there is so much more that I could be doing with it.

I have recently been dealing with an internal battle about the path I’m taking with my life, and I have not stopped thinking about it since I heard about this tragedy.  Last night I wrote a few lines down on paper that I will share.  They’re nothing much; just my stream of consciousness at the time:  If it all ended today, would my life have been worth it? Have I made some impact on this world, or will I just fade away into the blank spaces of the history books?  They say that the flap of a butterfly’s wings can stir the air half a world away.  How does one even begin to compare?

Life is too short.  We must make of it what we can, enjoy it while we can, and put a smile on as many faces as we can.  I’m not saying that we all have to change the world with earth-shattering discoveries.  It is amazing the impact of a simple smile to someone on the street.  Jessica (Redfield) Ghawi survived one shooting to have her life taken from her a month later in another, but she never stopped making people smile.  That is perfectly clear from all accounts from her friends and family.  We see it time and again with accounts of all of the victims.

I will continue to re-evaluate my approach to life and try to live it to the fullest.  I urge you to do the same.  And while you do, keep in mind Alex Sullivan, John Larimer, Jessica Ghawi, Micayla Medek, Jon Blunk, Alex Teves, Alexander Boik, Gordon Cowden, Rebecca Wingo, Matt McQuinn, Veronica Moser-Sullivan, and Jesse Childress.  They are the names worth remembering in this tragedy.

Rest in peace.