Archive | July, 2008

Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey

27 Jul


Everyone remembers the controversy surrounding A Million Little Pieces, James Frey’s first book. Published as a memoir, it was later revealed that much of the book was fabricated to protect those Frey wrote about.

In the end, however, the controversy doesn’t matter. Frey’s books A Million Little Pieces and My Friend Leonard did what all good books should do: they evoked emotion, touched long forgotten places inside of us and inspired people to live better lives.

So despite the controversy, I was excited to get my hands on Bright Shiny Morning. I wanted the book to be wonderful, breath taking, as incredible as A Million Little Pieces. Thankfully, Bright Shiny Morning is so much more than that.

Bright Shiny Morning, Frey’s first work of fiction, is a novel about people living their lives in the fast paced city of L.A. It’s told in James Frey’s typical breath taking, beautiful prose and pulls you right in.

The book isn’t an ordinary novel as can be expected with Frey’s writing. Instead of a linear narrative, we are presented with a few reoccurring characters:

Dylan and Maddie, two teenagers who are madly in love. They run away to be together and find out about the darker side of life and love too soon.

Esperanza, a Mexican American, who takes a job as a maid in the house of Ms. Campbell, a woman so mean and rude that she borders on being abusive.

Amberton Parker, famous award winning actor who hides a secret so incredible that it could ruin his career if it was released.

Joe, a homeless man, who befriends a fifteen year old girl who is new to the streets and addicted to meth.

Sprinkled through out their stories are vignettes of other people, other characters who fill the city streets. As well, we learn factoids about Los Angels, about the city that serves not only as a backdrop for this novel but is essentially the largest character in the book.

James Frey has penned no mere novel. Instead he has given us one of the most intense studies of human nature. In this book is pure emotion sprawled across the page for us to read and it almost seems unseemly, looking into the characters lives as we do.

What I love most about Frey’s writing is that it’s real, it evokes emotion, it haunts you after you’ve turned the last page and closed the book. This is the true power of the written word, the ability to stay with the reader after the book is finished.

Frey has this in spades.

In Bright Shiny Morning, Frey proves that he is not only the subject of controversy. He is a writer and a true wordsmith. Bright Shiny Morning is, hands down, one of the best novels I have ever read. Ever.

If you haven’t read this yet, what are you waiting for? You have no idea what you’re missing.


The Warrior’s Princess by Barbara Erskine

27 Jul


When Jess is attacked by an unknown assailant, her whole life changes forever…

Looking to put her life back together after the attack, Jess moves to her sisters little secluded house in the Welsh Borders. But she does not get the rest she is hoping for.

Late at night she is disturbed by the cries of a mysterious child and soon, she is having vivid dreams that seem so real she feels as if she is there.

What Jess doesn’t know is that, two thousand years before, a great battle took place in the Welsh Borders. When the king of the Catuvellauni Tribe is taken prisoner by the invading Romans, his wife and their daughter, Princess Eigon, take cover in the very same cottage that Jess is living in now.

Soon, with the dreams becoming increasingly real, Jess is drawn into the mystery of Princess Eigon and what happened to her. Inside the cottage Jess will find connections to the past that are real.

But those same connections to the past threaten to shatter Jess’ present completely if she is not careful…

I have always loved Barbara Erskine. Her books are an incredible mix of history, romance and the paranormal. It’s like she’s filtered the best of three genres into her work and it always shines.

Having fallen in love with her work after reading The Edge of Darkness, I have devoured every book she’s written. She has a way of capturing the reader and drawing them in, pulling them into her story and not letting go until the end.

The Warrior’s Princess is no exception and is her best book yet. The story of Jess and Eigon is poignant, incredible and thrilling. Erskine has outdone herself with this thrilling story of dreams, history and salvation.

The characters are so incredibly alive, the danger so incredibly real, that I couldn’t stop reading and didn’t want to put it down. Though the book clocks in at well over six hundred pages, it was over in no time at all. I have never read another author who makes history so exciting.

What I love most about The Warrior’s Princess is that Erskine makes time travel seem so real, so incredibly vivid. Erskine makes it seem as if time travel, as if slipping into a different time, is real and could happen to anyone.

She makes the impossible seem possible and brings what could be a boring historical period to life by having the pages drip with blood and emotion.

If you read one book this summer, make sure it’s The Warrior’s Princess. You won’t be sorry.

You Can Leave Your Mask On by P. Andrews

20 Jul



Grasshopper is having a rough night.

Grasshopper is a superhero who, in case you haven’t guessed it, can leap high into the air to land on the tops of buildings and run at incredible speeds. She loves the feel of the air caressing her skin, loves the feel of power, the arousal.

Having the powers of a grasshopper can be very cool. Able to leap, to jump, to soar through the air; it was all in a days work to keep her city safe.

After having been caught spying on a couple having incredible sex, she’s all revved up with no place to go. Scouring the night, she looks for something, or someone, to take away her itch.

Grasshopper gets her wish when she witnesses a large explosion. As she watches, she sees bolts of electricity flickering through the air. She knows at once that the villain is Circuit-Breaker.

Hopping down in front of the destroyed building, she finds Circuit-Breaker stealing a vase. Planning to take him down and take him in, Grasshopper has no idea that she is about to have the most incredible sex of her life….

Though short, You Can Keep Your Mask On packs one hell of a punch. It’s light, funny and flat out hilarious. It also has some of the most inventive sex I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

You might think at first that an erotic encounter between superhero’s is cause for derisive laughter. But that is not the case here. Though the superhero and the villain both wear clingy tight outfits, these are not the masked crusaders of years gone by.

Grasshopper is a superhero to rival the X Men. And, she’s a hell of a lot sexier. What made You Can Keep Your Mask On so enjoyable was that, even though you’re reading about superhero’s and evil villains, all the action felt real.

P. Andres had injected his story with so much energy, so much vibrancy that the characters leap off the page. You can almost imagine that Grasshopper is protecting your city, your home.

Writing a erotic romance around superhero’s could have been tacky, disastrous and just plain wrong. But P. Andrews pulls it off with panache and aplomb. Not only are the hero and villain believable, the sex just crackles off the page. You aren’t just reading the story, you’re there.

I can only hope that P. Andrews revisits Grasshopper in another tale (so we can learn how she got her powers perhaps?) but until then I will have to read You Can Keep Your Mask On for a fifth time.

It’s fun, fantastic writing with a touch of humor and incredible sex. It’s also one of the most enjoyable erotic romances I’ve read in ages. If you’re looking for a hot time, why not try You Can Keep Your Mask On?

You might just with that you could be a superhero too.

Incognito Volume One by Anna Leigh Keaton and Madison Layle

20 Jul



 What would happen if you gave into your deepest desires? What would happen if you let yourself go and gave in to what you always wanted and more?

That is exactly what happens to two women in Incognito Volume One by Anna Leigh Keaton and Madison Layle. Incognito Volume One actually consists of two novels, Seducing Olivia and Owning Rachel.

In Seducing Olivia, we meet Olivia Chandler finds her future husband cheating on her in a hotel room. Crushed and heart broken, she runs into the arms of Dylan Montgomery. He tries to heal her wounds by introducing her to the delights of submission.

Not willing to open her heart to another man, Olivia leaves only to search for Dylan two years later. She can’t get that one night out of her head and wants to know if it was a fluke or if the passion she felt was real.

When she does track Dylan down, she ends up sleeping with his gorgeous twin brother Ryan. The two invite Olivia to experience submission, with them as her masters, for two whole weeks. Can Olivia do it? And what if she loses her heart in the process?

In Owning Rachel, Rachel Morrissey is having nightmares. Incredibly erotic nightmares that fill her mind with images of lust she has never before considered. While at first she is slightly shaken by her dreams, later she becomes aroused.

Unsure of how to control her dreams, or stop them all together, she begins to see a professional sex therapist by the name of Jonathon Sinclair. But Jonathon is more than just a sex therapist. He is also a dominant, a master, at the club Incognito, with his brother Jackson.

Never before has he let the two lives cross or bleed into one another. Never before has he wanted to reveal his darker side. But something about Rachel’s dreams arouses something hot inside of him and he breaks his own rules to find out more.

When Jonathon suggest living out the dreams, acting out her submissive fantasies in real life, Rachel jumps at the chance. She will do anything to make the dreams stop. But she cannot hope to prepare herself for what happens when her fantasies become reality…

I have to say this is one of the best erotica books I have ever read.

Incognito Volume One gives you two hot novellas: Seducing Oliva and Owning Rachel. They are the first two volumes in what is one of the best erotica series ever written.

I have to admit that I was a little hesitant to read the book at first. Not being into BDSM, I wondered whether or not I would even like the book. But, always trying to expand my reading horizons, I decided to give it a try.

Am I ever glad I did! I finished the book off in just under two days. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. The characters are real people, so real you feel as if you know them when you finish the book and you’re sorry to see them go.

The passion also leaps off the page. Incognito is filled with such amazing love scenes that the pages heat up while you’re reading it. There is so much passion in this book that it will spill off the pages and filter into your fantasies.

The best thing about Incognito is that, even though the book concerns BDSM, I never felt uncomfortable once. Anna Leigh Keaton and Madison Layle have painted such a beautiful, true picture of what BDSM is that you can’t help but fall under their spell.

This is hands down one of the best books I have read all year and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in the series. I’m already reading Incognito: Volume One for a second time and it’s just as good, if not better, the second time around.

If you read one book this summer, make it this one. It’ll make your summer hotter than ever!