Thursday, June 21, 2012

Jumping on the Book Bandwagon

I’ve often picked up a book because a friend recommended it. Strangely, I’m sometimes obstinately opposed to reading books that everyone recommends. I think of it as the book bandwagon. OMG you have to read it! It’s the best book ever written in the history of the universe!!! Their over-the-top praise and extra exclamation marks do not move me. Yet occasionally I’ll change my mind and join the bandwagon-book-reading masses. A firm recommendation from a friend usually does it, but then there are those other times when I just have to see what all the fuss is about. This has happened to me twice recently with different outcomes.

The first one of the bandwagon books I tried was – say it with me because you know what’s coming, right? – 50 Shades of Grey. Let’s be clear: I don’t have any problem with erotica. In fact, I used to review erotica novels for RT Book Reviews. But I admit, I didn’t finish it. I found the characters in 50 Shades kind of irritating and the writing only okay…ish… – just my opinion. On the other hand, I know there are plenty of people who swear it is a fabulous book series and love, love, love it. I gotta ask though, is this the first erotica novel they picked up? Try the erotica by Bertrice Small, Sasha White, or the Sleeping Beauty series by Anne Rice instead.

The second time I’ve jumped on the book bandwagon recently has been for Game of Thrones. So many people have recommended this to me, yet I resisted. Huge, sweeping fantasy epics aren’t usually my favorites. I think it was the guy at my eye doc’s office who changed my mind. He was talking about how much he loved the HBO series, and when I made a reference to the book series, he looked surprised. He had no idea it was a book first. That told me one thing – it must be a fabulous story, because here was this guy who thought it was so awesome he was actually now considering picking up the book, even though he admitted he hadn't read a book in years (and isn’t that a sad state of affairs?). So I’m mid-way through book one, and I agree – the story is fantastic. I’m sure I’ll read them all, now that I’m an epic fantasy convert. I have since seen the first episode of the TV series and it looks great too, but I don’t want to get ahead of the books, so I’ll wait on the rest of it for now.

What’s your take on 50 Shades and Thrones? Have any new book recommendations for me?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: Inhale by Kendall Grey

Inhale (Just Breathe, #1)Inhale by Kendall Grey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Strangers in reality, inseparable in dreams…

After years of suffocating under her boss’s scrutiny, whale biologist Zoe Morgan finally lands a job as director of a tagging project in Hervey Bay, Australia. Success Down Under all but guarantees her the promotion of a lifetime, and Zoe won’t let anything—or anyone—stand in her way. Not the whale voices she suddenly hears in her head, not the ex who won’t take no for an answer, and especially not the gorgeous figment of her imagination who keeps saving her from the fiery hell of her dreams.

Gavin Cassidy hasn’t been called to help a human Wyldling in over a year, which is fine by him. Still blaming himself for the death of his partner, he keeps the guilt at bay by indulging in every excess his rock star persona affords. That is, until he’s summoned to protect Zoe from hungry Fyre Elementals and learns his new charge is the key to restoring order in the dying Dreaming. He never expects to fall for the feisty Dr. Morgan…nor does he realize he may have to sacrifice the woman he loves to save an entire country.

*This book contains graphic language, sex, and some violence. Not suitable for readers under the age of 18.

**The author will donate all profits from the sale of the JUST BREATHE trilogy to programs that educate people about whales and the challenges they face.


Based on the blurb, I thought this would be a good read, but it completely blew past all my expectations. It’s the type of book you tell all your friends about – but you don’t loan them your copy because you’re too busy re-reading it while you wait for the next one in the series.

There’s so much going on in this book – whales, elementals, dreams – but all of the diverse plot lines come together seamlessly.

The characters are people you’d like to know, or maybe they remind you of a friend. It’s easy to sympathize with Zoe and Gavin because their characters are detailed, well-rounded, and flawed, yet likeable. Even the villains are likeable in an awesomely evil love-to-hate-them kind of way. And there some serious chemistry between Zoe and Gavin! Let’s just say Kendall Grey knows how to write a great sex scene!

This is the first book in a trilogy, and I was really pleased it didn’t leave me hanging like other series sometimes do (don’t you hate that?). The story is wrapped up – for the moment – and the romantic relationship leaves you on a happy, emotionally satisfying note. I can’t wait to read the next two books!