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Pleasures Of A Dark Prince – Kresley Cole

March 19, 2010

♥Pleasures Of A Dark Prince – Kresley Cole♥

The immortals after dark series are one of my all time favorites! The sex is hot, the world rich and the Valkyrie some of the funniest,feistiest  women on the page at the moment.
I just wish the titles weren’t so cheesy, which is a sentiment felt across the net from what I’ve read.
Anyway, ‘POADP’ was not a disappointment, hurray! Sometimes in a set of stories such as this one of the novels at least one is a bit of a let down- but  for Kresley Cole so far , she is turing into a bit of a goddess herself. (Please don’t let that be a jinx!)
As the story wound itself along the Amazon the heat sweated off the page, I could almost hear MacRieve’s growls and Lucia’s purr of statisfaction.
I have to also mention here I am lovin the accent work! As a Brit the Scottish lilt is working like a charm. The Lykae have definitely brought sexy back. All too often I find accents on the page distracting (Nora Robert’s Irish in her Jewels Trilogy prime example) but its the making of the characters here. She even has me considering a trip to the Highlands to brave the midges to see the wonderful scenery and listen to the burr.
The series as been so physical, the challenges, the interplay and of course the great sex. The humour for me lets this all work, its dirty, its fun and its hot.
The only noticeable difference for me in this novel was I felt the decriptive passages really excelled. I was transported to somewhere I have never been and felt I had experienced a bit of it. I could hear, taste and smell that boat on the Amazon as it made its way deeper into the jungle.
As fantasy fiction becomes more and more popular the world seems to get smaller. I can truly say the fantasy Kresley Cole has created is unique and distinct to me. I would wear a tshirt with one of  Nix’s sayings, I play my computer games with pride and would love the lightening to rain down on my house;) The Valkyrie / Witches and their environment have me hooked and I love spending time there.

Scores from the sofa:

  • Characters 8/10
  • Plot 8/10
  •  Chemistry 10 /10
  • Created setting 10/10
  • Escape-ability 10/10

Total: 92%



Darkest Powers – Kelley Armstrong

March 19, 2010

♥Darkest Powers Series – The Summoning♥

I inhaled this book. It was like a dark Scooby Doo with mystery and monsters.

Young Chloe Saunders is another great Armstrong female lead. Just like Elena she was accessible, earning your empathy almost from the get go. I bonded with her despite the generation gap and was on board quickly, she carried me through the story with ease. I marvel at Armstrong’s skill at getting that quick connection.

It did remind me of ‘Stolen’; the facility, experiments and alliances. With the similarities I had inklings of how the plot might roll out, yet still I was propelled forward needing to know.

I found it pretty scary in places with strong horror visualisations. I didn’t have time to dwell however, as the pace was consistent and I wanted to escape with them.

Scores from the sofa:

  • Characters 9/10
  • Plot 9/10
  • Relationships 6 /10
  • Created setting 7/10
  • Escape-ability 8/10

Total: 78%



♥Darkest Powers Series – The Awakening♥

This feels like part 2 of a trilogy – a drive through taking you to where you want to be but not very scenic?

I want to read part 3. It’s played it’s part and I can see the characters developing different relationship dynamics. I can’t help feeling a bit disapointed though. Nothing really happened apart from lots of running, hiding and more zombies. There wasn’t much of a climax, no real beginning, middle and end and hard to see as a novel by itself. Yeah, they got to where they were going but it wasn’t enough for me.

 I do care.  I want to know what happens to them and that’s a skill in itself . Whether its a clever slow build or a drive down a dead end after such a good start – I’ll have to wait and see.

Scores from the sofa:

  • Characters 7/10
  • Plot 5/10
  • Relationships 6 /10
  • Created setting 7/10
  • Escape-ability 7/10

Total: 64%



The Lovely Bones – Film

March 12, 2010

♥The Lovely Bones – Film♥

Of course I cried, yet when I cried reading they were happy tears, but with the film they were not. The novel by Alice Sebold was great, it was much more uplifting and therefore very different, but somehow the film brought the loss really home to me. I think that’s because on screen the majority of films involving the murder of a child are thrillers. We are allowed to move away from the grief and toward the hunting the killer. Having an outcome of their capture as some sort of release. It’s the darkest act and yet this film brought no sensationalism. The horror present and yet the grief never overshadowed. So I loved the book and liked the film for different reasons and for me that’s ok.

As a mother my heart flipped over at the beauty of the love and bond with the daughter. Caught in the moments of just having her around. Putting the kids to bed, passing things down to them, sharing meals and rules, just flotsam and jetsam.

It brought death up close to me. She was gone, removed, missing.

The trippy heaven and horizon scenes slowed the pace and brought the novel back: her passiveness, her waiting, her literally behind glass. Highly stylised, uncomfortable when it should be, acted and directed well, this whole production allowed Alice Sebold’s story to shine through and the result will resonate and affect you, parent or not. 
Scores from the sofa:

  • Characters 9/10
  • Plot 6/10
  • Relationships 9/10
  • Created setting 10/10
  • Acting 9/10

Total: 86%

The Jane Austen Book Club – Film

March 11, 2010

♥The Jane Austen Book Club♥

I read the book by Karen Fowler a long time ago. I’m not quite sure when, I didn’t remember very much, apart from it was enjoyable, but it wasn’t like I was eagerly awaiting the film adaptation. All in all my expectations weren’t high and I was very pleasantly surprised.

I really liked the way all of the characters unfolded and grew together. Such different people and yet connecting, working past and through difficulties, a real study of relationships.

The acting was strong. Prudy for me was excellent (and I’m now debating whether to cut a fringe into my bob, just to really accentuate the kooky angst in me:)) All of the players were really rounded, layered and believable, except perhaps for Grigg? (He reminded me of a Labrador)

As varied as Austen, as intricate with its twists and turns and observations. So warm. Like Ready Brek I glowed a little around the edges and often found myself smiling. Just that whilst I didn’t feel swept away with the romance (and I do like the sweep,) I did feel rather charmed by it.

Scores from the sofa:

  • Characters               9/10
  • Plot                                6/10
  • Chemistry                6/10
  • Created setting     6/10
  • Escape-ability       7/10

Total: 68%

What I Did For Love – Susan Elizabeth Phillips

March 3, 2010

♥What I Did For Love- Susan Elizabeth Phillips♥

It had been a while since I had read an SEP and I eagerly awaited this UK release – why does it take so long? (Another post prehaps?)

I did enjoy it and prompted me to re-read a couple of my favourites.

I like Georgie she was warm throughout her trials and tribulations and again with SEP I liked the parent child dynamic with her father.

Bramwell was hot and arrogant enough to be entertaining and pages kept turning as I drifted off down the malibu beach literally 1000’s of miles away from my world.

Yet I kept getting distracted by the whole hollywood couple Brangelina Aniston triangle parallels. I sometimes fell off the page and disconnected with the storylines. In the same way  the stretched plotlines although comical again jarred a bit.  

The interplay between the two central characters was pure SEP and gave me pleasure. I did get caught up enough to finish the book in two sittings with enough cross over references to make me feel warm, fuzzy and nostalgic for novels fondly remembered .

I liked the spin off relationships with Chaz and Aaron, Paul and Laura. What I always enjoy is how each of the other characters relate to the main protagonists.  The way they interact, show care for each other, endears them to us all the more and through them we invest. SEP does this so well and this book is no exception.

My sister Beryl will probably disagree but this was no ‘natural born charmer’ but definately worth my time and attention and waiting for the next one.

Scores from the sofa:

  • Characters               8/10
  • Plot                                6/10
  • Chemistry                8/10
  • Created setting     7/10
  • Escape-ability       7.5/10

Total: 73%

Top Reading Spots

February 21, 2010

Alot has been said about where writers love to write, but where to read, now that’s a question to which I have many answers…

1. By The Fire

Nothing beats reading by the fire whether indoor or outdoor

 2. Out On The Porch

House with porch

Sitting out on the front porch Especially if that porch is on a beach house looking out to sea

3. Propped Up In Bed By A Mountain Of Pillows
Bed with many pillows

Reading in bed is a firm favourite

4. In The Bath – preferably with a glass of wine
Reading in the bath

Watch out with precious copies, the steam can curl the pages

 5. Window Seat

Reading in a window seat

Good light, comfy nook, country escape

Great window seat

Look at that view and those cushions

 6. Hammock

Hammock on the beach

Slight swing from the breeze off the sea?

7. Recline On A Sun Lounger
Sun lounger in the sun

I'd rest my towel here

two loungers under a parasol

Well prehaps I would prefer a bit of shade and a place to rest my drink?

8.  Over Sized Armchair
Two ladies in a large chair

I'd love to feel drawft by this chair

9. In The Silence Of Your Own Personal Library
Reading spot in the library

Blanket, cushions, soft lighting, books on hand, peace and quiet

10. Simply lying on the grass
grass in the sunshine

Not so great if you suffer from hayfever

 11. In The Garden

bench in the garden

Popular with many, but it really depends what state your patch of paradise is in?

12. Under The Covers
Under the covers

Whether snuggled under your duvet, blanket or hiding after lights out!

13. In A Sun Trap
cat in sun trap

Might have to fight the cat for position though?

Two chairs near a window in the sun

I do like tub chairs:)

14. Room With A View
Large picture window

All that light and luxury

15. What’s Your View?
Lake and Mountain view

My personal favourite and a wish in the making would be to read on the deck of a log cabin, snuggled up with a hot chocolate with a view of lakes and mountains.

Mountains and lake would be one of my favourites amongst others, but that’s another post.



Wuthering Heights ITV

February 16, 2010

♥Wuthering Heights – ITV 2009♥

Scaled down so we don’t get too giddy?

Ok, so  it is an adaptation for TV and as such I did enjoy it. If you are a big fan of the book and marvel at the fact that this couple’s love is their only redeeming feature, then you are not going to love this watered down version.

Yet, if you haven’t read it or have seen some small screen productions that have left you down on the moors, then this would be a welcome addition to your period drama collection. This production is slick, it feels expensive and the acting strong enough to warrant more than one run through.

The two leading parts are cast well for the screen writer’s bleached script. You get a hit of the all-consuming connection Bronte created between them, but more through their separation than the scenes they act together.

I liked Tom Hardy’s physicality as Heathcliffe, he seems large, looming and ominous. In the spectrum of emotion he is able to portray you feel for him despite the intellectualising of his errors and misplaced intentions. The wail of grief is animalistic and bone chilling.

Charlotte Riley as Cathy has spirit but not ‘wild’. Her dips up and down through the emotional rollercoaster in this version are reactionary and not calculating. This makes her more sympathetic and the actress’s skill shines through in jealously.

It’s because the characters of Cathy and Heathcliffe are so strong and the story so well plotted and driven through, that even lighter versions like this have compulsion.

So I give this a good score as it takes you to the moors, spirits you away and traps you in the wretchedness of love twisted by circumstance and the human condition. I would give it higher for those who haven’t encountered the Bronte novel before.

I can’t personally be more pleased with it, no fault of the acting or quality of the production, rather the screen writer’s adaptation itself. It’s not wrong just not enough.

Heathcliffe is dark, just not uncontrollably so. I wasn’t moved to tears – odd for a women who has been known to cry at adverts. The chemistry between Cathy and her suitors wasn’t strong enough somehow. Yet, my biggest concern was for Cathy herself.

She was played with warmth, yes, but she was allowed to be excused of almost everything. Her spitefulness simply childish immaturity which dropped off quickly. Cathy is a much more complex woman on the page than this gave her and as she was created by one of literature’s great classic female writers with a unique voice, that loss is really something to sob about.

Scores from the sofa:

  • Characters 8/10
  • Plot 7/10
  • Chemistry 6/10
  • Created setting 8/10
  • Escape-ability 7/10

Total: 72%