Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Review: Make Me Hot by Marissa Monteilh

Review: Make Me Hot

To say I slightly dissapointed in this book would be an understatment. After reading this lacklester romance story I found myself asking why did I bother buying this book in the first place. Clearly this purchase was made at a different point and time in my life where lack of plot and character development wasn't important. Or better yet it could have been the fact that I had just previously read a book written by Ms. Monteilh called Dr. Feelgood and since I enjoyed reading that stroy I assumed I would enjoy the rest of her books...I was wrong. On a side not I am going to assume that Dr. Feelgood was better because it was written later on. Taking that into consideration I give some leadway, though I doubt it would do much good. A general concept of the book is that of an ugly duckling turing into a deautiful swan, though this swan never truly shows itself. So here we go:

The Characters:

I must say that these were some of the most uninteresting and dull characters that I have ever seen. Granted the book is written in first person and is through the eyes of that character. Even so the main character her self was dull and flat. Morgan who is the main character and whose point of view the book is written starts off as a somewhat flat character and continues to stay that way through the book, seemingly only able to display two emotons Desperate (borderline needy) and self pity. Her constant woe is me feelings from the beging to the ending of the book grew tiresome by the third or forth chapter. Before I truly start into her character I should give some background, what little there is. First of Morgan has been teased (like anyone who experienced jrhs kids and hs kids) about the size of the nose. She never developed a sense of self confidence, thought her mother told her that she was beautiful. She blames this on her father who she felt made her feel as if she was never good enough for him (late on you come to find out that his anger comes from the fact that she is not his biological daughter...which in my opinion served no purpose in the story). Second she is "seduced" by some random boy walking her home and becomes pregnate with her daughter. After this she suffers the loose of her mother (where within the book there is no true feeling of lose or pain, just words that say it is there). She has a controllign and obessive boyfriend who is with her because of her unattriveness but soon comes to supossedly love her though there is no true feeling of that within the book. She has a sister, best friends, and her daughter who are constantly trying to get her to see the boyfriend for what he truly is but she refuses to leave him. In an effort to elevate herself esteam her besfriend enters her into a beauty make over and she had a platic surgury transformation. One would think the book would pick up by then since more than half the book is over with by then but no it didn't. It continued to drag until the very last letter. Though this make over did make Morgan beautiful on the outside she was still lacking on the inside. Though in my opinion she was lacking on the inside longer before the surgery started.

Morgan is a weak female character that never truly discovers herself (within the length of the book) and what beauty really is. She is portrayed through most of the book as a whinny and desperate woman who will over look her mistreatment just to stay within her comfort zone. Had her family not interfear she would have never left that life (though either way she truly didnt) and stayed with her boyfriend. Before her surgury Morgan's characteristics were hard to handle, her constant I am not pretty, or no one loves me stroy grew old but it was after the surgury, when she was "beautiful" that she became even more horrid. Not only did she hold on to her old ways but gained a "bitchy' attitue and cockeyness that didn't fit into her character or the story. Like it was some what forced. Also the problem with her new attitude was that her negativity nd own self hate was directed on those who supported her instead of the true source of the problem, whether it was her bofirend, baby's father, or father. Not only that but Morgan was 40 years old acting like a 13yr girl that got a new toy and didnt know what to do with it. True in a sense her new body was a new toy to play with but her lack of control over herslef as a grown woman was unexcuseable. Yelling out at those who love her and out casting her best friend (the woman who helped her become beautiful) with no true provketion. It seems to em that Morgan is the truly vein one withing the story while the other characters are mirrors of her own vanity. Since all the other characters seem to be attrtive and beautiful.

Not only does the book offer no true emotional conncetion between Morgan and the characters (other than it being written that way). There was no connection (for me anyway) between Morgan and the Reader. As not only a romace story but also a story of slef dicovery the reader should be engrosed by the character and their emotions. Here the connection was fleeting and barely noticable. While you read the story you know who Morgan is but by the time you put it down you are like "what was this book about again".

As for the other character's I wont spend much time on them since their is really no insight into them to truly know them.

Jabril who is Morgan's (ex)boyfriend could be seen as adding more drama to the story and spicing it up but in all he is just a flat and dull as Morgan is. Obsessive and controlling, it is only his antics that add a little interigue to the story. I must say that my most hated scene in the book was after Morgan gets surgury she run over to Jabril's house in the hopes that her looks would win him back, like the pathetic and weak character she was she let herself be used and thrown out after sex and still managed to pine over the man.

Corliss who is Morgan's adult daughter is one of my more favorable characters. She young and shows more growth and maturity throughout the whole book than her mother. In a sense she matures into the mother figure within the story and a more stable presence than Morgan. She unlike her mother is able to carry on a healthy relationship with an older man without losing herself in him like Morgan did with Jabril.

Tayra whom is Morgan's best friend is a more distant character to me. All that is known is that she loves Morgan dearly and would do anything for her. Her job i as a personal trainer and she is beautiful. other than that she is a blank page that never gets filled.

Dad who is Morgan's father (thought not biologically is able to add a sense of authority to the story yet nothing profound enough to make him stand out as a father figure.

As for Jamie and Cameo (Corliss father and half sister) there is not much to say about them. They are just as forgetable as the other characters. And it feels as if they were thrown in to add something to the story (though whatever it is that they were supposed to add they failed)

The Plot:

What was the point of this story? Was it to teach what self love is? What the true meaning of beauty is, is it on the inside or the outside? What is love? Was it about a woman's journey to learn how to love herself?

These are the questions I asked myself once done with this book and I found no answers. Of course this was written for entertainment purposes however as the reader I feel cheated that none of these questions were answered. Morgan never learned to love herself but only what people thought of her. Set the example that plastic surgery is fine if you do not like the way you look. Nothing was gained by reading this story and it was hardly entertaining. I finished it so fast just so I could be done with it and move on to the next book. Untimely this book said that beauty is no found by ones self but we should find beauty in what other portray as beauty.

Would I recommend this to a friend? No

Rating: 2/5


Monday, September 26, 2011

Review: Sex With Kings by Eleanor Herman

Sex With Kings Review: 

Sex with the Kings by Eleanor Herman offered an interesting combination of humor, scandal, and historical facts. I didn't expect this book to be as interesting as it was. True I bought this book through a friend's recommendation and also because of the tittle of the book, I still suspected the book to be dull. However quite the opposite happened.

The Mistresses:

First I want to state that Ms. Herman's writing proved to be quite entertaining itself, filled with humor and sarcasm that had me laughing out loud as I read the book. Here I want to give some of the quotes that made me laugh:

"Lillie related that one day the prince said to her. 'I've spent enough on you to buy a battleship'. To which she tartly replied. 'And you've spent enough in me to float one" (pg26). Needless to say that the meaning behind Lillie's comment is not lost to the King or the Reader. Its my opinion that Lillie (one of the mistresses of Edward VII) spoke the opinion of many, if not all the mistresses of France and Europe. Meaning that even though the King's spent millions of dollars on their mistresses these gifts were not given freely nor wore they received freely.

It is my opinion that the life of the French or English mistress is not a lifestyle that I envy nor want apart in. Though given the fact that I live in an entirely different  world and time than these ancient rulers, monarchs, and laws my opinion is squed by current social ideals, or should i say ideals of America in general. I'm sure that if I lived during those times I too would have vied for the affections of the King and sought to be a royal Mistress. Rather than envy these women I pity them for they were forced not only to deal with the whims of the King and court but also other women, often those within the family or close friends who sought to take the tittle as royal mistress from a sister or close friend. These women lived in a constant state of awareness, constantly caught up in a web of lies and deceit. Often back stabbed by the women they thought closest to them. Needless to say the battlefields of war were safer than the battle that came with the tittle of royal mistress.

Though competition between women were fierce and brutal the constant need to please the king was (in my opinion) even more brutal. Because unlike the position of the Queen the position of the mistress can be easily taken away and she placed in exile. At the whims of the king she can be stripped of all her jewels, valuables, and even her own life if she displeases the king to that point. The pressures put on the royal mistress makes me wonder why anyone with any good common sense would want to be mistress to the king. Sure the payment it unbelievable but so is the pain that one has to endure as mistress. For instance often most mistresses were in love with their kings, and always feared that a younger more beautiful woman would come and take his attention away from her. In order to prevent this the mistresses would either spread rumors about the other woman, or amplify her beauty with even more jewels. Mistresses were expected to appear beautiful in over priced dresses, gaudy jewels, with a smile on their face no matter what. They were never to appear hurt, upset, or sick (except for minor fever) in the presence of the king. Since the king came and went as he pleased the Mistress had to constantly appear happy and ready for the king since she never knew for certain if and when the king would appear. Such is the case with the mistress of Louis XV, named Madam de Pompadour who suffered from a sickness that made it hard for her to sexually please the king and made her terribly ill with bad coughs and other pains. However the king either because he was never mad fully aware of this or because he simply did not care would still order his Mistresses appearance. As the mistresses Madame Pompadour would have to put on heavy make up to hide her dark circled eyes and hide her pain as she entertained the king. She was expected to do whatever the king asked whenever he asked it no matter the pain it would cost that self. Once again I must say that this is not a position to be envied to me. To pretend I am not in pain, or ignore my illness because the king doesn't want to eat alone, or wants to have sex is something that I could not simply do. But then again these a positions that these women at the time knew about and understood the roles and the consequences of becoming a royal mistress.

Even though most mistresses were toys to the king, some even loved, there were those mistresses who used the position to elevate their own positions and gain money for themselves and their bastard children sired by the king. These women were motivated by their greed however cannot find it in myself to find them at fault (not all of them anyway) for their actions. If was a necessity to have or try to save money for ones self because the tittle of royal mistress was a temporary tittle that often changed hands easily.

However even though these women called themselves using the king they were in a sense still pawns for the kings desires because he still possessed the power to strip her of all her possessions. Mistresses were nothing but toys to be used by kings and was justified by the court.

The King:

"On one occasion the dauphin invited a pretty young actress to visit him in his rooms at Versailles. She arrived with an older, unattractive female companion. Informed that the actress had arrived, the dauphin opened the door to the antechamber, grabbed the woman closest to him- which happened to the the ugly older woman-and pulled her into his room. When his friend and procurer Monsieur Du Mont found the sexy actress waiting in the antechamber, highly amused at the mistake, he banged on the dauphin's door, crying, 'That's not the one you want! You've taken the wrong one!' The door opened, and the dauphin shoved the ugly one out. 'Wait, here she is!' said Du Mont, pushing the pretty one toward him. 'No, the business is done' the dauphin said 'She will have to await another occasion" (pg27). This is one quote that I found captured the ideas of all the men of that time.

For the most part the kings were pigs and childish boys who wanted everything their way and threw tantrums when they couldn't get their way (with their mistresses that is). Their only concern was their own appearance (such is the case with all monarchs) and sexual pleasures. For instance, though I find it laughable that it was required that the royal mistress be faithful to the king (who already has a wife), the king could sleep with whomever he so called pleased and both the queen and the mistress would have to turn a blind eye to his actions. However there was one king who truly loved his queen and rebelled at the notion of a royal Mistress and though he was forced to take one (supposedly) he never touched her and stayed with his Queen. this type of king was rare indeed for all the others not only slept with their mistresses but any other woman who caught their fancy. Like spoiled children these so called kings when they tried with one mistress disposed of her and gained another. And if it was found out that a mistress had slept with another man she was stripped of her tittle and branded a whore...she goes from a glorified whore to just a common whore. While the kings continued with what they were doing. These so called kings often neglected their wives for pleasure with the mistress. However I guess a king would cheat if he was tricked into a loveless marriage. Yet and still I don't believe that this condones his behavior towards the women within his life.

The Queens:

Though not nearly as examined in the book as the mistresses the few bits of information seen about the Queens portrayed them as ugly, hagged women that constantly nagged and complained. Though I am quite sure not all Queens were like that thus Ms. Herman's second book Sex With the Queens which explores the sex lives of the Queen's of France and Europe (assuming by the name)

Conclusion:

Whether or not you were a king, queen, mistress, or chamber maid it is safe to say that being alive during those times were treacherous and dangerous, no different from now really. That the world both past and present is a vein place that values outside beauty and the whims of men rule above all. What is to be said when you live in a society that puts more value on being a mistress than the Queen?

Would I recommend to a friend? Yes, I would

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

(I'm Back!!!!) Review: Seduce Me in Dreams by Jacquelyn Frank


Hey how's everyone doing today? Good I hope. As for I'm i must admit I've been a little on the bored side since graduating college a few months ago, but hey it is what it is. I'm not going to lie and say I don't miss school because I do. When the new semester started this fall it felt surreal to me to not be getting ready for classes like some of my other friends. But life goes on and so must I. With that being said let me move on to the updates (This is going to be a long entry). First off I want to talk about the season finale of True Blood. This season in general was one of the best seasons, for me mainly because Sookie and Eric finally got together. Though I was happy that these two finally got together I felt a little cheated because of the fact that Eric lost his memory and wasn't truly acting like his bad-ass self. Also because by the end of the season she didn't remain with Eric after he regained his memory and admittedly fallen in love with her. She instead broke it off with him because she couldn't choose between him and Bill. Though that is not my real issue with the situation. My real issue is that the moment Eric gained his memory back again Sookie began to act as if she was scared of him and she distanced herself from him, she shut him out before truly giving him a chance. But I must admit that I respect the fact that she didn't choose Bill either. Instead she left them both alone because she couldn't choose between them. In that moment she gained some of my respect back...but not all. As far as the rest of the characters their lives have changed in drastic and plot changing ways. First off Hoyt and Jessica break up and Jessica starts sleeping with Jason (who if I am not mistaken has began to fall in love with her by the end of the season. Needless to say that when Hoyt finds out his friendship with Jason is on the. Thought Hoyt's reaction to Jason's betrayal is justified cannot find it in myself to feel pity for him after watching his progress through the season. It is my opinion that Hoyt's issues run deeper than the fact that his girlfriend is a vampire who cannot control herself. His issues truly stem from his mother and abandonment issues that become clear when him a Jessica do break up. Jason's actions however are not excused and I see his growth as a character when he tells Hoyt to his face instead of hiding it. As per True Blood style all the characters have drama and chaos in their lives, such as Sam and Alcide who through a random twist of fate develop a respect for each other. This all starts with the woman that Sam is seeing who is the ex wife of Alcide's pack leader. The pack leader is a dark character that doesn't understand that he is no longer apart of his ex wife's life or his daughters life because he is abusive and his temper. The conflict comes when the pack leader finds Sam (by randomly showing up at his ex's house against restraining orders) in the house. Tempers flare and threats are issued. However the boiling point is when Sam's brother Tommy (who gains the skinwalker ability) takes on Sam's appearance and confronts the pack leader in protection of Sam. Needless to say the leader thinks it is Sam and proceeds to have his pack violently attack Tommy. At the end of all this Alcide intervenes and takes Tommy away thus breaking his loyalty to the pack but protecting his moral beliefs. Alcide brings Tommy to a concerned Sam where he dies. The character of Sam is a flawed character as most of these characters are in True Blood, but his temper is quick and he often loses control of himself. But for all his flaws he still loved Tommy and is able to admit his mistakes that led up to Tommy's death by the end of the season. The character of Alcide is a lone wolf whose loyalties often cause tension in his home. Especially with his mate Debbie who he neglects in order to not only help Sam but also Sookie. His obession (just like the other male characters within the show) with Sookie leads to insecurities within his relationship with Debbie. It seems that by the time of the seasons finale Alcide's character is not as loyal as it appears and his moral judgments are not as clear cut as they appear with. He saves Sookie's life not only because she is a friend but also because of his feelings for her that is obvious within the show, mainly when he catches her and Eric in the woods having sex. However it can also be said that having to constantly reassure Debbie of his feelings for her and not Sookie cause Alcide to actually question himself and his feelings more seriously. While Alcide is portrayed as a strong male character Debbie is more unsure and inscure and a little immature when it comes to handling herself and the situation with Sookie and her addiction to vampire blood. Through she suffers and tries to change she fails and it untimely leads to her death by the hands of the very woman she hates. She is also another character that I find myself having no pity for though i understand her frustration and anger with Alcide and Sookie. As I have mention before Sookie is forced to choose between Eric and Bill but she decides to be alone instead. I find Sookie to be a relatively weak female character and quite a annoyance to the other characters within the series, she is constantly putting herself in harms way and making the situation worse than what it originally was. She is often afraid of herself and her feelings for Eric. However there are points where she asserts herself. I would say that her confusion and weakness comes from the lack of structure in her life or guidance. With her grandmother being dead, as well as her parents, she is left to fend for herself and take care of home and her brother. Overnight she is forced to become a women from the youth that she used to be. Through the show has been on for over four years it is important to remember that the gap in time lapse in the show is not as long and all these events happening one after another puts a strain on Sookie. Her only one confident was her best friend Tara who thought the plot of True Blood has has a more traumatic life than Sookie. They find comfort in each other but much to my surprise Tara is killed by Debbie and the last structured (somewhat anyway) thing in Sookie's life is taken from her. Where does this leave Sookie now I wonder as the next season looms ahead and the return of one of the strongest vampires in the world returns, Russel Edgeinton? Last but not least there is Lala and Jesus (well for my talk of True Blood that is, there are many more characters that I have not spoken about) their relationship is put to the test and it untimely doesn't survive. Lala because he is a medium is taken over by a vengeful sprit and the spirit in Lala's body kill Jesus for his magic. Once Lala realizes what he has done he is more shaken (even more than his fear of Eric) and blames himself for Jesus death....the question remains what is next for Lala now that the love of his life is gone and so is Tara, his cousin, how will he handle all of this and the danger coming now? Needless to say I look forward to the 5th season of True Blood.

Now that the talk about True Blood is over on to more important things such as my writing. The synopsis of Eternal Light is still in process with no significant improvements to state. The same can be said for Eternal Earth and Adien's book (thought I have written a scene for the book). Since I am stuck on the second book of the series the other books for the series haven't relieved too much attention, thought Eternal Power does have a couple of scenes written out. They also haven't received much attention because I have been focused on writing The Faye series. As of right now I am up to chpt 14/15 of the first book. While I'm writing this like I said in a pervious post it is turning out to be longer than I thought. However like any of my other wirting I have writers block and this one is take longer than usual to get past. I assumsed it was because I wasn't reading like i used to so I figured that I needed to get back to my reading. Which is what I've done. I have written a list of all the books in my libaray that I have yet to read and I am randoly picking the books i read off the list. I've started a few days ago and the first book the I drew to read was Seduce Me in Dreams by Jacquelyn Frank. Since I decied to ream all these books I plan on giving a review on each of the books that I read, from plot to character devlopment, and my general feelings of the book and author.

Review: Seduce Me in Dreams: 

     This is one of the first book I've read by Ms. Frank since reading Pleasure and I must say that I am not disappointed in this new series. I had lost some interest in Mr.s Franks writing after the disappointment of that last installment of her Nightwalkers series Noah. However with this novel she had redeemed herself in my eyes (somewhat).
     Seduce Me in Dreams is what the tittle says. The main character named Bronse Chapel is essentially seduced in his dreams by a beautiful woman named Ravenna. This tale at is minimal is the damsel in distress story, where she is rescued by her knight. However Bronse and Rave's story is much more than that. Bronse is a strong and able militant man whose strength, valor, loyalty, and ability as a captain is shown in the very opening of the story. In a killer dessert where death is almost certain Brose carries his injured team mate miles on his back until they reach the ship. In this very first scene Frank solidifies the character of the captain. He has his crew respect, love, and loyalty. However he is a man scared by love, (per usual with these male characters). He doesn't believe that he can, nor deserves a woman who can deal with him always being on mission. He takes failure to the heart and even if circumstances are out of his control he blames himself. Frank makes sure that his presence is felt in every part of the book (which makes sense since the book is about him). He is a strong character though I didn't find myself drawn to him as I was to the character of his second in command Lasher. However that is irrelevant for this review. Bronse crew is an extension of himself, with all their varied personalities they add humor and unity within the book, and make it more lively.
     The heroine Rave is a very strong female character that has strong abilities since she is the leader of the Chosen Ones and has to play mother to them all. Betrayed by her town she is offered into slavery and though she can escape (but at a high price) she wait for Bronse to rescue her. Her connection to Bronse comes from their interactions in dreams. They have this instant attraction and are drawn to each other by fate. I found Rave's character to be a good balance of strong willed but also knowing when to stay quite. She proves herself wise and protective but also powerful and capable of handling herself. She matches Bronse in will power and the need to protect what she loves no mater the cost to herself. She has the ability to see into a person future, present, and past and another stronger power that she refuses to use. She is a character that knows her limits and how powerful she is but she does not abuse her power or her position like some of her other Chosen. She doesn't back down from Bronse temper or anything about him which makes her an even stronger female lead. The development of the characters and their relationship for the most part kept the book appealing to me.
     Though I generally enjoyed the book it is not on my top list of books. This one is also lacking the pull (for me) of her Shadowdweller series or Nightwalker series. One issue that I have is that we don't see the villain of the book until the moment he is caught. It would have been nice to see an actual interaction between the Bronse and the villain instad of Frank just saying he is the villain and nothing more. Meaning that a scene where you could see him plotting and his reasoning for attacking Bronse in the first place would have made the book clearer. Being that the reader nor Bronse ever know why he did what he did leaves something incomplete and lacking within the story. One would hope that with the next installment in the series that she makes an attempt to resolve this issue. Also though I admit that the character development of the story was strong it also was lacking in some aspects. For Rave to be a virgin Frank failed to make it actually seem that way within the book itself. There seemed to be no pain for Rave, or blood or anything else. Second I found the sex scenes to close together making it seem as if there were many of them within the book rather than just the three or four that there actually was.
     With that being said i give this book 3/5 stars. I hope the next one will prove to be an improvement over this one and I look forward to Lasher's story, which to be honest is the only reason I am willing to read the second book, so that I could get a hint of who will be the hero in the third and supposedly last book.

Now I am off to do my own writing for the day (maybe) so.....




UNTIL NEXT TIME.....Smuchez