HJL Reviews and Musings

I have a book addiction that began with Nancy Drew in kindergarten. I've read pretty much all genres, to exclude non-fiction because I love to read for the escapism. I only review books that I feel strongly about, whether for good or bad. I think of truthful, honest, reviews as being there as a 'pay-it-forward' for others.

Terrorscape (Horrorscape, #3) - Nenia Campbell Still absorbing. Review to come.
Horrorscape (Horrorscape, #2) - Nenia Campbell So. After having read the first book in this trilogy, I needed to read this one - a change from the young teen (in book 1) to mature teen that I am more comfortable with. This story reminded me a lot of the 90's horror movies like Scream, etc, though at first, after having read the first book where the threat was more psychological than physical, I wasn't exactly prepared for the reality of horror that this book revealed. Yikes. Even after the first event, I was still in denial of the actuality of what was happening.Things I would like to see improved upon in future books from this author - a bit more visualization. I knew fairly what what all of the players looked like, and could see the rooms and physical setting, but frequently missed transitions (where characters were in relation to each other, who was actually still 'on-stage' or who had 'left the building'). It's not that I wasn't paying attention, but so little emphasis was placed on some things, they felt overlooked or swept aside. In other words, there is such a thing as too little information (as well as information overload - which is not the case here).The premise of this story is chilling, creepy, and definitely riveting - the execution almost, but not quite, as much. I see a raw, unrefined talent in the telling of this trilogy, and expect, that as Nenia Campbell's experience matures, so will her ability and talent. Disclosure - the author is a GR friend of mine.
Unspoken - Jen Frederick Strong 3.5.ARC received from author for an honest review.So, I admit it. I didn't really like the first Woodlands book. I thought the characters were too perfect, and there wasn't enough conflict or tension to draw me in. I was kind of bored. And I said so, honestly, in my review. I guess it was too sugary sweet for me.You can imagine my surprise when the author asked me if I'd be willing to read this book in hopes that I'd like it better. I hoped so, too, so of course, I said yes.This book was a pleasant improvement (to me) over the first. It dealt with some realistic issues about bullying (the REAL kind, not the 'imagined bullying' stemming from disagreements with total strangers on the internet). It had imperfect characters, and it had conflict and tension, but fortunately, not the OTT crap that I always complain about being prevalent in so many NA books today.And it had a really funny segment about superglue. ^_~ That was priceless.The only mini-gripe I had was that I wanted better closure with the villain. Yes, there's comeuppance, but not quite as satisfying as I would have liked (I admit to being a bit bloodthirsty when it comes to revenge justice).If you liked Undeclared, you will really like Unspoken.

Rock Chick Revolution (Rock Chick, #8)

Untitled (Rock Chick, #8) - Kristen Ashley

Classic KA, but maybe a a lot more of the annoying stuff corrected?I love that Ally is so strong, and the Ren actually is NOT the Hot Bunch personality. Although, for a short bit in the middle, he did lapse into KA's Hot Bunch speak.One of my favorite Rock Chick books, for sure.

Fearscape (Horrorscape, #1) - Nenia Campbell Full disclosure - the author is one of my GR friends, but that's not why I read this book. I read [b:Cloak and Dagger|16107708|Cloak and Dagger (The IMA, #1)|Nenia Campbell|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1351489132s/16107708.jpg|21920754] and [b:Armed and Dangerous|16282581|Armed and Dangerous (The IMA, #2)|Nenia Campbell|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1354960277s/16282581.jpg|22385387] because she was a friend, and I liked them (quite a bit, actually), so that's why I decided to try this one. Not to mention another awesome review, which actually helped me when I'd stalled: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/670899476I got stuck because I was struggling with the age of the heroine (14), and frustrated with the immaturity level displayed (I'm in my 40s - I confess to nothing older, ^_^) and I have a hard time remembering what is was like to be that young (not to mention - I do not like to think of myself as being that immature - It's just embarrassing at this stage of the game). That review put things in better perspective, and with my new-found viewpoint, I restarted.I'd put this under YA suspense, and as that, it was a well done story, and by then end, I couldn't put it down. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series when the heroine is a bit more mature (17 instead of 14).
Extra scenes (Tangled, #1.1) - Emma Chase Hysterical, of course. ^-^
Black Heart (Cursed Hearts, #1) - R.L. Mathewson DNF
Meant To Be (Heaven Hill, #1) - Laramie Briscoe Continuing my streak of books with potential, but REALLY need a good content editor or better beta-readers first.
Unleash the Night - Sherrilyn Kenyon Reread 7/2013Still my favorite of the Were-Hunters. Wren - yummmm.
Josh and Hannah (Redwood Falls, #1) - Lynda Chance A couple of things. I bought this book because it was a full-length Lynda Chance book, and I like many of her books, but always thought they were a bit short, so Yay! I was pretty stoked.And then, after about 40-45% of the way through, I started realizing that something just wasn't right. The main characters were STILL in their teens, and in high school. WTH? I read the author's note which said that it starts when they were young, but they grow up and the book is not suitable for under 17/18. Okaaaay. What's up? And THEN, a friend points out that it actually is a New Adult book. Say WHAT? WHAT!!!!! Sure enough, there it is, in the description - NA. Well crap. It really peeves me when an established author decides to change subgenres and doesn't use a new pen name. Grrrr.So - time to change my reading cap from super hot and sexy MAN, to super hot and sexy BOY - believe me, this is hard to do at this point, because my own son is a lot older than Josh, and now I'm kinda squicked out.But the requisite brain bleach aside from my digression, let me say that it was not too bad. It didn't have the seemingly 'requisite' OTT angst like many NA books, but then on the other hand, it didn't have much crisis as pertaining to the Hero and heroine, either.Josh still has the LC possessive Alpha-ness that we expect, and Hannah is the same 'meek and sweet' heroine that frequents an LC novel.I have to say that the book would have been much better if the storyline of the villain had hit a bit closer to home to create more tension, but like most of the tension filled moments in this book, it ended with a - well, NOT a bang - whimper.Yes, it wasn't 'bad,' but neither was it great. 2.5 stars, rounded to 3.
Harry Potter: The Prequel (Harry Potter, #0.5) - J.K. Rowling So cool, to read a snippet of Sirius and James together. :)
Murder of Crows - Anne Bishop I can't wait!
The Man Within - Lora Leigh reread 7/2013
Tall, Tatted and Tempting (The Reed Brothers, #1) - Tammy Falkner No one is more surprised than me that I really liked this NA book. Great things - 1st person POV - Both sides. Likable characters - all the way around. Realistic angst - not the 'rape' or murdered/suicide background that we see so often. The characters didn't go into 'heat' every time they saw each other - Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Let me point out that the ebook contains 2 versions - Sexy and Sweet. I read the sexy version, which had just the right level of sexual activity (for me). Let me also point out that this means that the book is done at the 50% mark. But it's not a super short book, though. What could have made it a bit MORE realistic - more details on the illness of one of the secondary characters. It wasn't the main plot of the book, but it was important enough that it stood out to me that I couldn't 'picture' what exactly the illness was.Still, for those getting tired of the same old NA books out there, this was a refreshing change.Recommended.:)
Tempting the Beast - Lora Leigh reread 2013Undoubtedly my favorite of LL's Breed books. Despite the heat level, there's a decent story line, and not a lot of excess panting, moaning and sexual angst going on.I'm finding that as I get older I really prefer my erotica to have better written sex scenes, though not necessarily MORE of them, and a better plot. It isn't an oxymoron - it's possible, IF the author is good enough to pull it off, and those books usually end up on my favorites lists...
Hearts in Darkness - Laura Kaye reread - 2013Still love this 'far too short' sweet erotic story of 2 strangers falling in love in a powerless elevator.Sure wish Laura Kaye would return to writing lots of stories more like this versus all of her PNR ones. :)

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