Review: I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre

Format: Trade Paperback
Pub Date:  Aug 26, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin
Length: 352 pages
FTC: Review copy received for free at RT Convention 2014

I've been fairly outspoken in the past about my dislike of trends and the authors who chase them. I know that's ruffled a few authors' feathers, but from a reader standpoint, it does seem like some authors chase trends more than others. Ann Aguirre isn't really one of them, although she writes both Young Adult and, now, New Adult. In part, I think, because her writing roots are in Sci-Fi/Fantasy, she's always been a genre jumper.

I've also been fairly outspoken about my general disdain for YA and NA as "genres".  To me, they are not genres, but ways to dumb down marketing to the point where marketing departments aren't really needed. It's the self-service, neatly laid out section of the reading market where readers can pick and choose exactly which age group they want to read about in neat little rows. I greatly prefer the messier way it used to be.  When you got too old for the children's section, you moved on to adult literature. And you got to look at a far wider selection of books than is available in those carefully curated age-based marketing sections.

I try not to be a hypocrite, though, so I'm acknowledging that yes, this is an NA book. But it's also a book that used to be (or could be) filed in the regular fiction section alongside the Outsiders or other YA/NA classics. And even better, it's not written in the first person, present tense!


Review: Unbroken by Maisey Yates

Format: mass market, ebook
Pub Date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Berkley (Penguin)
Length: 320 pages
FTC: ARC courtesy of the author

It's here!!!!! The book with the heroine named Amber who is NOT a bimbo stripper, buckle bunny etc. Woohoo! It really sucks having a name that somehow ends up being typecast as either the "quirky" bimbo sidekick or a stripper. Hell, even Veronica Mars's dingy undercover name is Amber. *Ahem*

I'm by no means impartial when it comes to this story. I've read (and loved) the previous books in the series, and I've been looking forward to this one for quite awhile. I was predisposed to like it, in other words, but the fact that it really hit all of my reader buttons is the real reason I ended up loving it.

This is a friends-to-lovers story, my very favorite trope in Romancelandia.  And it's funny and sarcastic. Button number 2. And HOT. So no big surprise that this really worked for me.


Review: Looking for Trouble by Victoria Dahl

Format: ebook, mass market paperback
Pub Date: July 29, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin
Length:352 pages
FTC: Review copy courtesy of the publisher

Victoria Dahl writes powerful books. Sometimes they click with me and sometimes they don't. I have DNF'd as many books as I've loved, so I never know which it will be when I start one. This time, I really liked everything about this book.

Although all Dahl heroines are more than a little bit naughty, this one was different from anything else I've read by this author. She was two people: her public persona reminiscent of the stereotypical librarian, and her private love of thrills and apologetically dirty sex.


Summer Craft: Bleach Pen Shirts for the Boys

We're midway through summer already, and unfortunately stuck inside due to an unusually warm July. Like weeks of triple digits...in the Sierras. We normally get exactly 2 days of 100 degree temps in mid-August. We're not used to this :(

Enter: super crafting mom. I'm combating video-game-itis and couch-potato inclinations by making the boys craft with me. But I'm also lazy, so I tend to go with whatever craft looks like the most bang for the buck/time/mess. Pinterest came to the rescue yet again with pages upon pages of bleach pen ideas. Unfortunately, none of the feminine designs appealed to the boys, so we just made up our own.

Gifts for the Baker