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nschluntz

Nina Schluntz's Blog

Most often I read books so I can compare them to their movie adaptations. But if I’m hearing a lot of chatter about a book, I’ll read it to see why people are so interested in it.

Dark tale with no happy ending, but a good read!

Old Farmer's Road - Ahmed Shalaby, Isaiyan Morrison

This is a dark tale about teenagers who are immortal. An unsuspecting teen girl moves into a new neighborhood and befriends the two kids she assumes are the “cool kids”. It doesn’t take long before you realize there is something supernatural going on with these kids. The question is, do they want her to join them or do they want to feed on her?

 

This dark tale holds no happy ending, but will leave you wondering if you should really say hi to that seemingly nice kid moving in across the street.

If you enjoy dramas, the prime time television kind, then this book is for you

The Fire Inside - Michelle Bellon

This is one of those stories I would call a predictable read. You follow three main characters, whose lives are not connected. It’s fairly obvious from the start that the plot is focused on the lives of these three strangers becoming connected and most likely saving each other. All three are damaged in their own ways and it’s easy to see how the pieces will interlock to give everyone a happily ever after.

The story does reach some fairly dark points, the characters each reach lows in their lives, which must be touched on to come full circle and bring them back to a balanced—and hopefully happy—life.

If you enjoy dramas, the prime time television kind, then this would be a good book for you. It goes dark, but not so dark that teenagers couldn’t read it. There’s no cussing, sex, or anything inappropriate or graphic. I’d say there are some good life lessons and morals being taught in the storyline as well. Almost to a—force it down your throat—degree, but not quite. I lost the believability of the characters and atmosphere a few times cause things are pretty exaggerated. For example; a 17 year old boy who turns down sex? *blink blink* where do these exist? A husband who leaves his depressed wife, never cheats on her, and comes back to reconcile with her? I guess those things can happen… But man, the men in this book are like the nicest people ever.

Anyway, it is a nice read. So if you enjoy a drama where you know it’ll end happy, you’ll meet some nice people, then pick up “the fire inside”.

An amazing take on the premise of "falling in love with your best friend"

Getting It Right (The Restoration Series) - A.M. Arthur

I’ll admit I’m a sucker for a book with this kind of premise: falling in love with your best friend. Now whether that’s a girl and guy, or two guys, it doesn’t matter. Having two people fall in low who have known each other for years is just more believable than the standard two strangers meeting and falling in love.

What I enjoyed the most with this story was the flaws the characters had. Not only are they well developed with amazingly well written pasts, but they have real flaws that make their actions all the more believable. And not only that, some of the secondary characters, okay, almost all, are just as developed with back stories.

I connected so deeply with the characters that more than once this book had me in tears. No easy feat. If you are looking for a good romance that delves into the erotica arena, then this book is a must for you.

So if you are down for a good old, bad guy turned good, story with a wild west setting, this is the book for you!

The Villain - May Nicole Abbey

Reading this book reminded me of the television shows I used to watch when I was a kid. “Little House of the prairie” and “Dr Quinn Medicine Woman”. I can confidently say if you enjoyed those shows, you will enjoy this novel.

Yes, this is the fourth novel in a series. But it is the first one I have read. And honestly, I had no problem with joining the storyline. The book is told from one point of view, and she is a new character. Unlike the first three books in the series, which are told from the time traveler’s perspective, this book is told from a local woman, she doesn’t know of time travel and even at the end of the book, she is uncertain.

I was surprised at how “clean” the book is. One would not expect a western romance to be devoid of drunkedness and foul language, but this one is. There is some brutality, and death, but it is done in an artful way.

The characters are very well developed, and although there are a lot of characters involved, I was never confused about who was who. They were all given very distinct personalities which made them memorable.

So if you are down for a good old, bad guy turned good, story with a wild west setting, this is the book for you!

Will take you on a wild ride!

Smut - Matt Micheli, Trevor Donaldson, Dawné Dominique

I’m one of those people that never reads a chapter title. I just don’t. Which proved to be a handicap while reading this book. It takes place in three, maybe four places in time. Basically, the chapter title is telling you the date. So the main character, Sam, his story is being told in three different timelines, if that makes sense.

The point of this? I think it’s to give you an idea of how confused and nonlinear the story is for the main character. Did I start reading the chapter titles after I figured out what the author was doing? Nope. The timelines are different enough I was able to keep it sorted.

This is one of those books that focuses on the mediocre. A bit too much attention was given to the tiny details, which at first I found annoying, but again, I think this was to help us see the world through the character’s eyes.

Now I did get very annoyed at the recurring self-absorbed thoughts Sam has. How does one actually get “eye-fucked”. Well, Sam gets eye fucked from pretty much every person he meets, so I hope it’s a good thing.

I kept searching for a plot and at the very end, I mean, the very last page of the book, you are given one. But it was so—not mentioned—during the rest of the book, it almost comes off as silly.

The book will take you on a wild ride, and I mean that literally. The main character is pretty much never sober and the description is so vivid you will feel as high as the character. At first I thought this was a negative, but to be honest… days after I finished the book found myself picking it up again. That rarely happens to me! I was so engulfed in this world, I want more!

I would suggest giving “Smut” a try. It’s one of those books you might end up liking, but you may not want to admit too!

Enjoyable enough, plot twists will keep you reading

Unholy Bargain - Travis Hallden Holt

This is a well-written novel about supernatural creatures that can possess the body of another. They aren’t demons, just wayward spirits. The story is told from both skeptics and believers, giving the reader several opportunities to find a character they can relate too.

The tale was enjoyable enough, although the overall ideas in the book were not altogether original. This story won’t have you sitting on the edge of your seat in anticipation, but it does provide enough twists to keep you reading.

Will keep you flipping the pages!

Dragons Don't Forgive (Fire Chronicles Book 3) - D'Elen McClain

I read through this book in one day. Thankfully the writing style was back on track in this novel. Still not sure why book 2 seemed so cave-man talk-ish to me.

This book was highly different than the first two. It seemed the author’s goal was to integrate the world from her other series into this book. As I mentioned in my reviews of the other novels, I wasn’t a fan of this. The vampires, wolf and bear shifters are glossed over, most likely because it’s assumed we have all read the other series. As someone who hasn’t, I was left—mostly confused. I was still able to enjoy the book, but I def felt like I wasn’t getting all I should out of the book. There were a lot of moments where I thought, “I bet I’d be excited to be reading about these characters if I’d read the other series.”

So you’ll probably enjoy the book a lot more if you’ve read the fang series. But as other reviewers are stating, this book will leave you in tears, it’s quite depressing. But a very good read that will keep you flipping the pages and on the edge of your seat to see what happens next.

Highly original and relatable characters

The Scientific Method, The Complete Miniseries - Kris Ripper

For me this book was highly original and delved into areas most would shy from. I think most can relate to the emotional roller coaster the main character, Will, felt. He’s not getting what he wants from sex, and he thinks he would enjoy it more if there was some pain involved. Thanks to his brother’s coaxing, he explores his desires. Who hasn’t wanted to try something that they think most would judge them for? If it isn’t normal, it’s wrong, right?

I think that’s why this book works. We can relate to Will. He is straight, but can’t afford a woman dom. So he ends up with a gay dom who is willing to whip him for a few hours, in exchange for yard work. Then Will starts to fall for his gay dom, which I think is natural, since he’s satisfying his dark needs.

The twist at the end of the book is, there is no happily ever after. They don’t end up as a couple. To me, this makes the book all the more real. How often does a sexual relationship end up in a happily ever after? Not often. Instead these characters grow and learn from each other, then move on.

More original than the first

Dragons Don't Love (Fire Chronicles Book 2) - D'Elen McClain, Michelle Kowalski

I actually discovered this book first, but decided to read book 1 in the series first. Sadly, the writing style deteriorated in this book. Almost to a cave-man type talk. Not sure if a new editor was hired or the characters were just being depicted as dummer than those in the first book. Either way, after reading the first book and going directly into this one, I had adjusted to the writing style and it wasn’t a problem.

My complaints from the first book follow over to this one. But thankfully the “earth realm” and characters from the other series by this author are mentioned much less in this book.

The story is even more original than in the first book. I loved the refreshing take on having a dragon take a virgin sacrifice, and the woman turns on the dragon and tries to kill him. The interaction between the two characters is priceless as it’s obvious she is incapable of harming the dragon, and his amused reaction to her attempts. I loved how instead of being upset at her, he embraces her attitude and teaches her to how to be a better warrior.

Again, as with the first book, I wish this story was more appropriate to children because I know it would be hugely popular. As it is, I can only recommend it to adults who enjoy reading about dragons and are interested in an erotica twist.

Positive reviews are accurate

Dragons Don't Cry - D'Elen McClain

I was skeptical of the high reviews this book has received. I discovered it on a blog and I’ll admit, I started reading it because I thought it would be good for a laugh –shape shifting dragons- hilarious. But, also tons of potential for a great tale.

I am happy to report the praise for this novel is accurate and deserved. This is an original twist on the classic tale of a dragon taking a virgin sacrifice. The writing style was a bit choppy, and get’s even more so in the second book in the series, but I managed to adapt to it and didn’t find it too distracting.

A quarter of the way into the novel it did take a weird twist where these human servants were introduced from Earth. From reading about the author, I believe this was done so she could include characters from her previous series into these books. To me, it didn’t fit and was very off putting. Both traveling to Earth for human servants and the casual mention of vampires and other shape shifters. But I’m sure this was an exciting addition to fans of those previous novels.

My only complaint is that this book is very X rated and I think a huge a fanbase could be found in the younger crowd. I know when I was twelve, I would have loved reading a book about dragons. If this book was more kid friendly, I could easily see it becoming as popular as Harry Potter. Instead this book is heavy on the romance, erotica side, and I that limits your audience.

So sadly I can’t recommend the book to as many people as I’d like. But if you enjoy eroticas and dragons, you will love this book. The positive reviews are correct, it’s a great read.

Deeper messages and themes than normally found in an erotica

Going Home (The Home Series Book 1) - Kris Ripper

The story parallels the slavery that America experienced with black people. Only in this world, the slaves have nothing to do with race. They are men and women, who were either born into this life, or opted for it over jail. And most are used as sex slaves.

America has abolished this slavery and we the reader are taken along on the ride to recovery, focusing on a male slave and male master who were in love and are now separated.

 

The story does not focus on the sex, although there is some. It’s focused on the emotional journey these characters take. Every character has a very distinct voice and is very believable. The amount of realism in this book is astounding to me.

 

The story does come full circle and has an ending with closure. I looked to see if there were more books in the series and was delighted to find there are. But the author is taking an untraditional approach to the sequels. The couple who traded off narrating the first book do not get the spotlight in the second book. Which has made me even more excited to read them, I am interested to see how the world is viewed from other characters in the novels.

 

I would mark this book as a must read for anyone who is willing to read a male/male romance. The messages and themes in this book are deeper than what you’ll find in your common erotica.

 

See my full review at: https://mizner13.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/going-home-by-kris-ripper-book-review/

Unique approach to a book series

Zaryk: Book One in the Twisted Epiphany Series - Kt Colwell, C.A. Jonelle, Clarise Tan

<a href="https://mizner13.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/zaryk-banner.png"><img class="alignnone size-medium wp-image-140775" src="https://mizner13.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/zaryk-banner.png?w=300" alt="zaryk banner" width="300" height="156" /></a>
This series is taking a unique approach to creating a book series. Instead of the main characters being the same in each book, it will change between the band members in each book. An interesting idea, and I am curious how this will be done. Will the story overlap in each book? Or will the next pick up where the last stopped?

Fair warning, book 1 did end at a bit of cliff hanger, the kind that makes you groan and shake your first. So let’s hope the author doesn’t keep us waiting too long.

Now, I’ll admit, I had a few annoyances with this book. Three of the characters have very similar names: Zaryk, Zayne, Zayden. I started reading it, saw that, and was like, “Yup, I’m gonna get them confused with each other.” I plowed ahead regardless, hoping I could enjoy the book anyway. I didn’t even try to figure out who was who. The three are triplets, and I think they even look identical. Not enough information was given to help me differentiate between them. Like, there was no, so and so is the tallest, this guy has short hair, only this one wears a Mohawk, I know one does but all three could for all I know. The only time they were compared to each other was when one of the girlfriend’s said they all have huge penises, so from that I decided to surmise they are identical triplets.

The story switches between the male and female characters that the love story revolves around. It’s told in first person and normally I prefer to stay in one character's head if the story is first person. Usually that’s because an author doesn’t do a good job making the narration sound different and I get confused as to whose head I’m in. I will applaud this author in that she kept her voices very distinct. I had no problem knowing whose head I was in, even if I skipped the chapter title that reminded me.

The plot is basically a soap opera revolving around the rock band. Which fans of romance and erotica novels should enjoy, which is who this book is targeting at. So you will not be disappointed if that’s what you are looking for.

Yes, this is an erotica, and it has a disclaimer, but to me that content wasn’t too graphic. I actually read this on a plane and I know the people next to me were glancing over. What made me embarrassed to be reading it was all the cussing. The F word was used so often it became a filler word with no meaning. I get that some people may talk like that, but when it’s in a book, it can start grinding on you. Especially when it seems that every single character uses the word just as much as the next. If it was just one or two characters that used it constantly, it would have been more plausible to me. And it was just that one cuss word, over and over, seriously, every ten words, was the F word. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if I’d had a censored version.

All in all, it was a good read. If you can ignore the overuse of the F word and the easily confused Z names. It is a quick read too. I was able to finish it on my four hour flight. I’d recommend it if you like drama filled eroticas because this one sure does deliver!

A B rated horror movie in book form!

Whisper of Crows - Jameson Hesse

Never before have a read a book that flows like a horror movie. You know the kind, the B-rated slasher movie where characters are introduced, just so they can be horrifically slaughtered in the next scene. The movie where you know, only one, maybe none will be alive at the end of the film. There isn’t so much a plot as there is a thin baseline that links one graphic disaster of horror to the next. And then the plot that is there, some of it isn’t real… your character himself isn’t sure of what’s real and what isn’t. So is it supernatural? Or is the character just insane? Or a mix of both?

Imagine that movie in book form. And “Whisper of Crows” fills that billet to the letter.

This is one of those books that I kept reading because I wanted to know what was real and what wasn’t. I wanted to know if there were supernatural elements going on. Or if the character was just going insane. Normally at some point in the book this is made clear. Not in this one. Even at the very end, it isn’t clear what is real or what isn't real. At least to me. I get that both movies and books do end that way, and it’s perfectly okay. But if you are like me and you like to have closure at the end of the story, then this book is not for you. You never get the real answers, you never find out what is real, I repeat, you never find out.

Maybe it’s a cliffhanger for the next book, but this book was wrote three years ago, so I’m not holding my breath.

Now, when I was reading this, I really-really wished there was a better synopsis out there. I wanted to know what this book was about. And no matter how much of it I read, I never felt I knew enough to provide me with the answer of “who should I recommend this book too?” So I’m not normally one for spoilers and giving away the entire plot of a book. But considering how badly I wanted one, when I was reading it, I have decided to provide one.

Click this link for "<a href="https://mizner13.wordpress.com/2015/05/03/whisper-of-crows-book-review-synopsis-spoilers/">Whisper of Crows</a>" review with spoilers.

Great book for Vampire and Horror fans

Maris: The Brotherhood Files - Isaiyan Morrison

This is the third novel I’ve read by this author, although it’s listed as a new series, it takes place in the same world as the previous Deamhan novels. (you can follow it just fine, even if you haven’t read the others)

Unlike the other novels, this one follows one Deamhan in particular, Maris, from day one of her becoming a Deamhan. I enjoyed this method of introduction to the Deamhan world. I never felt like the character knew more than me, so we both learned through trial and error, who to trust and who not to trust.

The story is quite graphic, these are not friendly or romantic vampires. (Deamhan are similar to vampires but of a different species, there’s a glossary in the back to help you sort it out.) Humans are killed without remorse, which can take a bit to get used too. But if you are a dire hard vampire or horror fan, this book should be right up your alley and on your to-read list

Amazingly well written book and surprising plot

Wuthering Heights (Dover Thrift Editions) - Emily Brontxeb

This book has been mentioned in several other books I’ve read. So I finally decided to give it a read to see what all the hype was about. It’s marked as a classic love story or love triangle.

I’ll say right off, I loved the book. I was expecting something like, “Pride and Prejudice” instead it was almost comedic. Right from the start the main character, and our narrator, Mr Lockwood, is seen making funny faces at the dogs, leading him to being attacked, and later he goes for a walk right before a snowstorm! Not the atmosphere I was expecting at all!

The love triangle the story is centered on is Heathcliff, I simply loved his character. He’s an abandoned child adopted into the family of Wuthering Heights. He falls in love with his adoptive sibling Catherine. But she knows he has no money and she decides to marry for money. Heathcliff overhears her saying she loves him and that she intends to marry Edgar so she can support Heathcliff! Of course, such a statement would madden anyone.

So Heathcliff begins his path of revenge. He never tries to win Catherine back. So I’m not getting the love story. He is simply jaded and out for blood. He returns, richer than any of them now. Marries Edgar’s sister, just to spite Catharine and her husband Edgar. He gambles with Catherine’s drunk brother and ends up winning the entire Wuthering Heights estate. And he gets Catherine’s nephew as a servant when her brother dies! His plotting never ends and even after most of the characters are dead, he arranges for Catherine’s daughter to marry Heathcliff’s son, so he can now control both estates.

The last three chapters of the book fell a bit short. The story lost traction when Heathcliff ran out of revenge plots. But aside from that, it was truly a great read.

The writing style was amazing. It was all first person, but there was dialogue inside it, and written letters, so you actually experienced the story from at least four different people’s points of view.

I would suggest reading it. If you find it hard to read, try the audio book, it makes the accents easier to understand.

Reads like a cartoon network show

Penguin of Fortune - Karen Mead

This book reminded me of a cartoon you would find on the cartoon network, the animated films created for adults. This could be an episode on adult swim, easily. I could also envision this as a graphic novel.

I’d never read a book like that before. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad book, just very different. If you enjoy foul mouthed cartoons and comics, then I am certain you will enjoy this book. And me, someone who doesn’t, still managed to find some humor in parts. But this book is geared for a specific kind of reader and is not a book for all.

It was decently written, but again, it reads like the play by play choreography for an action movie.

It’s a quick read though, so for those who enjoy crude humor and adult swim, you should give this book a read.