Random Musings by Frodosco

Posts tagged “2014 TBR Pile

Frodo’s Frisky Friday: The Battle of the Dragon Slayer

Frodo's Frisky Friday

The Battle of the Dragon Slayer

Summary From Goodreads

The village of Breakwell Mountain has been plagued by a dragon for centuries. Every year a virgin must be sacrificed to save the village from certain doom. This year Adelie turns eighteen and she must draw lots with the other village girls, but Adelie has a secret. Deeply in love with the betrothed Bella, she knows there is no place for her in the small town. She has decided to sacrifice herself to assure Bella’s safety, her final loving gesture to a girl who can never love her in return.

The day of the sacrifice a band of gypsies appear, claiming the ability to slay the dragon. Gypsy prostitute Rohesia is a new dragon slayer. She’s been training since her youth to do what few can imagine–screwing a dragon into submission before stabbing it through the heart.

Armed with a sword, a knife, and a big jar of lube, Rohesia and Adelie take on the dragon together.

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

As has been the theme with Frodo’s Frisky Friday, The Battle of the Dragon Slayer is a short erotica with a lot of humor in it. With all of the fantasy-themed ones I’ve read lately I went in with the mindset that it was going to be goofy, and I maintain that it makes these all the more enjoyable. What better to be snarky about than dragon sex? ^.^

However, unlike many of the fantasy erotic tales that are out there, Leigh Wilder manages to fill it with excellent writing and wonderful characters to go with the naughtier bits. I thought Rohesia and Adelie were a great pairing and definitely characters I’d be happy to revisit if that opportunity were to arise. They were a sweet match and though the time with the dragon was well done, I’d be even more interested in just seeing how their relationship progresses.

The only downside to this novella is what happens with the dragon at the end. I knew it was coming because of the whole “dragon slayer” thing, but still, the poor thing doesn’t know any better. Also, I wasn’t prepared for it being more of a beast as opposed to the sentient version you normally see, such as in Kelly Apple’s The Wicked Dragon. I can’t say I enjoyed the change, it’s more fun when they have personality to them!

Overall it was an enjoyable, quick read, and it has just enough “sexy time” for those looking for just that. I really enjoy Wilder’s work and I’ll continue to read her material as long as she is writing it. Check this one out, and Kelly’s for that matter, and see which kind of dragon tale you prefer! Thanks as always for reading!

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #55/365; Mount TBR Challenge #39/200; 2014 TBR Pile #39/50; 2014 Ebook Reading Challenge #19/75

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Frodo’s Frisky Friday: Taken By the Fairies by Celestia Dew

Frodo's Frisky Friday

Taken By the Fairies

Summary From GoodreadsTaken By the Fairies

Belinda is a young, innocent virgin fearing kidnapping and rape while traveling…instead she stumbles into a fairy ring and is transported into a fairy orgy. The fairies like virgins. They like them a lot.

Fantasy Erotica. 18+

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

Taken By the Fairies is an excellent naughty read as long as you go into it with the mindset of a humorous tale. Yes, the sexy times are a big part of it, of course, but for me what made this such a great read was how hilarious it was. Fairy orgies, globular breasts, thinking orgasms are brought on by fairy magic alone, and the ever popular gaping holes, all make appearances in this short story.

The sex scenes were pretty good in this one, just as with Taken By the Centaurs, and they are certain to get you aroused, well… assuming you are into fantastical creatures of course. Who isn’t though? Celestia Dew takes what a few other authors are doing with magical creatures and then adds a bit of depth and much better writing to it. Not to say her ideas aren’t her own, but in comparison to others trying to do this I’d say she is one of the best.

There are actual stories mixed in with the “fun times” in her novellas, even ones that are this short, and the characters are engaging enough to make you want a full-length version, something most erotica in my experience do not do. I definitely recommend it for a quick, funny read. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #41/365; Mount TBR Challenge #31/200; 2014 TBR Pile #31/50; 2014 Ebook Reading Challenge #16/75

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Killing My Kindle: Tommy Nightmare by J.L. Bryan

KillingMyKindle

Killing My Kindle

For 2014 I am tackling my Kindle app in an effort to make a dent in the large library of often forgotten eBooks. Every week I will talk about an eBook I read, be it good or bad, so that I can stay motivated and share some of it with you.

This week I took a stab at: Tommy Nightmare by J.L. Bryan

Released On: April 10th, 2011

Summary From Goodreads

While Fallen Oak recovers from the Jenny pox, someone new is hunting Jenny.

Like Jenny, Ashleigh Goodling belonged to a pair of opposites with powers that mirror each other.

Now Jenny and Seth must face the opposite of love…

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Earlier this year I read and really enjoyed Jenny Pox, the first book in this series, so I was pretty excited to see what Tommy Nightmare had in store. Tommy Nightmare introduces a pretty large group of new characters, a lot of them becoming close to being MCs, but there was still plenty of Jenny and Seth from the previous book. There’s also another returning member, but I won’t say anything about them for spoiler reasons.

I really liked what Bryan did with Tommy’s character for the most part. He’s a badass, doesn’t take anyone’s crap, and uses his power, fear, to his advantage whenever he sees fit. Sure, that doesn’t make him overly likable, though his backstory does elicit some sympathy, but it is a logical path for him to take. My complaints for him are twofold. One, I wanted more of him in this book, he really only had about a third or so at most, probably less, and his sense of humor and pretty freaky power potential wasn’t expanded on as much as I would have liked. Two, in the second half of the book he was being manipulated, and despite showing some resistance for all of one or two pages, he just let himself be a puppet. It was disappointing.

The rest of the book bounces around from the previous MCs, Jenny and Seth, to other new characters that have other (admittedly cool) powers, such as Esmeralda and Alexander. There is also a regular human that has her own arc, but it doesn’t really need more than that mention. While the multiple points of view do help to give a full scope of what is happening in the story, it did make for a bit of a jumbled feel and I would just be starting to enjoy one section when it would jump to a different one. A little irritating.

With all that said I did enjoy much of what I read and the displays of power were really incredible. The different romances that went on, despite my usual distaste for triangles and various couplings taking over the story, were plentiful but really well done. I liked the dynamics presented and thought that they added to the story where as others I have seen it might detract. My favorite element outside of the powers was definitely the flashbacks to ancient times. Ancient Sparta and Athens were mentioned a few times and it gave the story a realistic feel, plus I just love ancient history so the more of that the better.

Even though there were elements that I mentioned that disappointed me this likely would have been a 3/5 if it weren’t for the ending. Without spoiling anything I can say that Jenny does a 180 in a lot of ways, runs off without thinking, and changes her entire persona because of one incident. Everyone else stayed true to their story arc, but Jenny? Nope. So needless to say I was really disappointed.

There are good points here, potential for the rest of the series, and enough to get me to read book three in hopes that it improves back to the level of the first book, Jenny Pox. Overall it was a disappointment and a giant drop off, especially in terms of believability and consistency. The writing is still really solid in quality, but maybe Alexander Death will settle down on the POV jumps and get back to the roots of the series that made it start out so well. I am definitely intrigued by Alexander’s character, which made only a brief appearance in book two. Thanks as always for reading!

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #48/365; Mount TBR Challenge #34/200; 2014 TBR Pile #34/50; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #19/75; 2014 Ebook Reading Challenge #17/75

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Killing My Kindle: Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

KillingMyKindle

Killing My Kindle

For 2014 I am tackling my Kindle app in an effort to make a dent in the large library of often forgotten eBooks. Every week I will talk about an eBook I read, be it good or bad, so that I can stay motivated and share some of it with you.

This week I took a stab at: Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover

Released On: October 14th, 2013

Summary From Goodreads

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love comes with conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. Daniel soon realizes the way he pretended to feel about Cinderella and the way he really feels about Six may not be so different after all. Especially when the two loves of his life end up being one in the same.

Unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

I haven’t actually read the full-length novels in the Hopeless series, but apparently this companion novel has been sitting on my Kindle for a while so I thought I’d give it  a shot. I’m so happy I did! Initially I was worried because of the whole insta-love thing even though it’s pretend and all, but it was done soooo well. From the first scene on I knew I was going to love this story.

The best part for me was the humor, oh my goodness was it excellent. Sarcastic, witty, snarky, just wonderful banter between all the characters, but especially between Daniel and Six is what sold this for me. The romance is so sweet and Hoover’s willingness to poke fun at romantic stereotypes and the usual tropes made it all the better and more unique.

Daniel was a great MC, though I preferred Six for obvious reasons (if you’ve read the story, no spoilers!), and the chemistry between them was perfect. Really, I have no complaints whatsoever for Finding Cinderella. If the humor and excellent writing are even close to as good in the full-length Hopeless novels then they are must reads for me. I will definitely check them out soon! Thanks as always for reading. ^.^

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #40/365; Mount TBR Challenge #30/200; 2014 TBR Pile #30/50; New Author Challenge #17/50; 2014 Ebook Reading Challenge #15/75

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Mini Review Monday: Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

MiniReviewMonday

Breaking Point

Summary From Goodreads

The second installment in Kristen Simmons’s fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series.

After faking their deaths to escape from prison, Ember Miller and Chase Jennings have only one goal: to lay low until the Federal Bureau of Reformation forgets they ever existed.

Near-celebrities now for the increasingly sensationalized tales of their struggles with the government, Ember and Chase are recognized and taken in by the Resistance—an underground organization working to systematically take down the government. At headquarters, all eyes are on the sniper, an anonymous assassin taking out FBR soldiers one by one. Rumors are flying about the sniper’s true identity, and Ember and Chase welcome the diversion….

Until the government posts its most-wanted list, and their number one suspect is Ember herself.

Orders are shoot to kill, and soldiers are cleared to fire on suspicion alone. Suddenly Ember can’t even step onto the street without fear of being recognized, and “laying low” is a joke. Even members of the Resistance are starting to look at her sideways.

With Chase urging her to run, Ember must decide: Go into hiding…or fight back?

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews on Mini Review Monday! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

Breaking Point is a whirlwind of action. The book takes hold of you, thrusts you into the lives of Ember and Chase as they try to stay alive and find some source of hope, and refuses to let you go until you are just as much of an emotional wreck as the characters within.

Despite the supposed decision Ember must make that the summary for the book implies, it seems like she ended up doing a bit of both. At times her and Chase, as well as a few others (which changed throughout the book, though there was a core for a lot of it), were giving it everything they had to fight against their oppressors, but quickly resorting to hiding at others for fear of getting caught. With how fast the pace is in Breaking Point the true feelings of the characters gets a bit muddled, seemingly changing just as fast as their environment, and while it didn’t ruin the story it did make the book a bit disjointed at times.

Simmons does a lot of things well in the sequel to Article 5. She made me really feel the heartbreak and sense of loss and hopelessness that Ember and her friends often had. The relationship between Ember and Chase also was very well done, having rough patches and miscommunication just like real couples do, and never feeling forced or too perfect. Finally, no matter how many different areas the group was moving around in I could always get a clear idea of what they looked like, her descriptions were excellent and detailed, the imagery vivid and quite powerful.

Overall I felt that Breaking Point was an improvement over its predecessor. Ember is still a tad clingy when it comes to Chase, but she is starting to carve out her own identity, moving out of the “overly attached girlfriend” territory. The book was a bit jumpy at times, and I felt that a couple of scenes might have been rushed just a little, but for the most part the breakneck pace worked to the story’s advantage. Breaking Point will bring out the feels in bunches and it refuses to sugar coat any of them, which I loved. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #37/365; Mount TBR Challenge #28/200; 2014 TBR Pile #28/50; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #15/75

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Killing My Kindle: Irregular Creatures by Chuck Wendig

KillingMyKindle

Killing My Kindle

For 2014 I am tackling my Kindle app in an effort to make a dent in the large library of often forgotten eBooks. Every week I will talk about an eBook I read, be it good or bad, so that I can stay motivated and share some of it with you.

This week I took a stab at: Irregular Creatures by Chuck Wendig

Released On: January 6th, 2011

Summary From Goodreads

Contained within are nine stories featuring bizarre beasties, mythological mutants, and overall “irregular creatures” – including flying cats, mermaids, Bigfoot, giant chickens, and mystic hobo hermaphrodites.

Horror, fantasy, science-fiction and humor.

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I have been in an anthology kind of mood lately I guess, especially ones with a twisted/dark side to them. So in the same vein as last week’s Killing My Kindle we have Irregular Creatures. Unlike Lessons II with its short stories that provide just a glimpse into the mind of the author, Irregular Creatures has some longer stories, novellas in and of themselves, and ones that are deeper and connect on more levels.

It starts with Dog-Man and Cat-Bird (A Flying Cat Story), a way to ease the reader into Wendig’s twisted brain. It’s exactly what it says, a flying cat story, but it’s not just funny (though there are laughs mixed in), it is also a look at what we perceive, what our brains will accept, and what is most important to us. Which leads to A Radioactive Monkey, and while that can also be taken in the literal sense it deals with perception on a different level, showing how people aren’t we make them out to be, and why it’s truly necessary to dig deeper to really know anyone.

To me it is not the creatures that tie these stories together, but the common theme of alternate perspectives, how we see the world. Product Placement shows how much we are willing to buy into what corporations and businesses sell us, not just their products, but the way they want us to live, to behave. It does this with alternate dimensions, but still. This Guy is a shorter story, and shows how much routine can blind us into believing we are living different lives then we really are, perhaps ones that seem more fulfilling or “normal” than the harsh reality.

Fairytale Life

Mister Mhu’s is a tad more sexual than I had anticipated finding in this collection, but it actually takes the widest scope of our world and how the vices we let take hold of our lives can completely alter our life views and thus the course ours take. Lethe and Mnemosyne is a short but pointed example on what age and suffering can do to rid our minds of all the cherished (or perhaps not so) memories they contained.

Wendig continues working through the variety of ways our brain can trick itself in The Auction where mythological beasts of all sorts, tricksters, and artifacts that wreak havoc on people’s minds all mess with a young boy. The Auction distorts his reality with the fantastical things just as we are often succumbed to through wonders of technology and artistic majesty.

Beware of Owner is a short example of old-fashioned thinking taken to an extreme, slightly off the track of the other stories, but interesting all the same. Finally Do-Overs and Take-Backs examines whether getting a whole new “better” life is really worth losing the one we already have, and everyone in it.

Life is Complicated

So what is Irregular Creatures? Excellent writing, dark humor, creatures ranging from beautiful to downright disturbing, and underneath one of the better examinations of the human mind out there in this kind of format. I definitely recommend it whether you want to focus on the surface or delve deeper, Wendig rewards both equally. I hope you didn’t mind me getting a bit philosophical and thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #33/365; Mount TBR Challenge #26/200; 2014 TBR Pile #26/50; New Author Challenge #13/50; 2014 Ebook Reading Challenge #11/75

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Mini Review Monday: Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

MiniReviewMonday

Roomies

Summary From Goodreads

It’s time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl’s summer — and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they’ve never met.

National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews on Mini Review Monday! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

The first thing I have to get off my chest, and it is probably me assuming too much for the umpteenth time, but I did not expect Roomies to be so focused on life before college. I knew there would be a decent amount of that from the summary, but I thought a good bit would be the two girls coexisting and figuring that out, going around college, dealing with conflicting sleep and class schedules. The problem for me is that’s the college book I want, but that’s not what this is.

Now that I’m done getting that out of the way, let me talk briefly about the book. I’ve seen this categorized as YA and NA, for me this is completely in the NA category. There is a romance focus (seemingly for all parties involved), college-age MCs, and it’s a book about college life, or at least the time immediately prior to it.

Speaking of romance, this book, seemingly like all NA that I hear about or actually read, is filled with it. I like both of the love interests, they’re great, but they’re a little too perfect, and that was obvious right from the start. They apparently have no flaws, I wasn’t loving that, nope, not a bit.

Too good to be true

However, the two main characters, Lauren and Elizabeth, were flawed in their own ways and those flaws were discussed and examined in multiple angles and ways. This I LOVED. Lauren could be a bit naive and holier-than-thou even when she wasn’t trying to be, while Elizabeth was self-centered at times and overly needy at others. Those traits didn’t detract from their characters, it made them realistic, and I thoroughly enjoyed them both. That’s why I was disappointed in their respective love interests, because that wasn’t there at all.

The writing was excellent and the plot was realistic, as each of them slowly made their way to understanding themselves, each other, and what college life (and not living at home) was going to mean. They both grew and became better people, even though sometimes tearing each other’s eyes out may have seemed like a good idea. The styles of Zarr and Altebrando flowed naturally and I didn’t really notice a change from one to the other, which was fantastic.

Brilliant

Overall this is a great contemporary read, but while I wouldn’t quite mark it as “contemporary romance” it isn’t far from, and that should be known going in if you haven’t read it already. It’s New Adult, and everything that age range has become to be known by, but it is done really well. Sure, I would have liked more college experiences, or less of a romance-focused plot, but it still worked, and that’s what matters. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge #31/365; Mount TBR Challenge #25/200; 2014 TBR Pile #25/50; New Author Challenge #12/50

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