Bold by Nicola Marsh

24970285Bombshells #3

What it’s about:

Chantal Kramer is a confident, successful businesswoman and running Burlesque Bombshells, the premier dance venue inVegas, is her life. Until sexy Aussiefootballer Zane Harrison arrives in town and turns it upside down. She doesn’t have time for cocky jocks but as she sees Zane connect with the family he’s never met, she discovers he’s more than just a pretty face.

What I thought:

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Nicola Marsh is an excellent storyteller and I’ve always said how amazing it is that she can create a full, exciting story in such a short book. However, this time around I felt like the book was just a little too short.

I loved the story and enjoyed the characters immensely, but I would have liked just a little bit more. The romance felt a little rushed, but I still loved how Zane and Chantal interacted with each other. My only problem was that neither really had a backstory that captivated me. Zane’s was the more interesting one but I think Chantal could have had a little more substance to her story.

Overall the story was fun and the characters were entertaining. This book is a nice addition to the series and I have to say I’m super excited to read about the other Harrison boys.

Not Broken by Dana Marie Bell

True Destiny #5

23876060What it’s about:

Slade Saeter endured centuries of torture, longing for the day he could claim Magnus Tate and Sylvia Grimm as mates. Now that he’s free he’s ready to begin the life he never thought he would have, and with Magnus securely snuggled at his side, he just needs to get Sylvia on board. The problem is that while Sylvia has long since healed from her ex-husband’s betrayals, accepting her own stepson as a bonded mate is something she’s having trouble with. What they need is time, but with danger banging on their condo, time might just be the one thing they don’t have.

What I thought:

My Rating: 3.5 stars

I love Dana Marie Bell, the woman has a twisted mind that keeps me in a constant state of “cold shower” and “laugh till you cry”. Every book she writes is worth reading and I really do love that she can create such diverse and different worlds, full of amazing characters and fun stories… but this series has just gotten a bit too complicated for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this story, the characters were awesome and I liked the mystery of it all, the problem is that all the Nors God backstory and names have become so complicated that it’s difficult to follow this series. Having said that I really enjoyed meeting the characters in this book. Slade, Magnus and Sylvia are awesome and I really liked their love story. Though for me Sydney stole the show. I can’t wait to read her book, she reminds me of characters from Shelly Laurenston‘s Pride series.

I’ll definitely end up reading the rest of the books in this series but I’m hoping DMB finds a way to clarify the stories because it’s all just one confused mess right now. Though I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to the incestuous element of the series 😛

X-Men: Days of Future Past

xmen28878

The long awaited next instalment in the X-Men movie franchise is being released worldwide today, and as a huge fan of the comic books, you know I made sure to go and see it. This time around we’re taken to the future where the Sentinels (a group of mutant hunting robots) have all but wiped us out. In an effort to save both mutants and humans, the X-Men send Wolverine back to the past to stop the one event that catapults us into this dreaded future.

This movie could be considered is kind of an apology to the comic book fans for the pervious movies, where they killed off key characters and took away what the fans loved about the comics. The premise of this movie gives Director Bryan Singer a great opportunity to fix all the wrongs and start the franchise from the beginning, and while that’s made me excited to see what will come next, I thought this movie was just ok. I didn’t hate, but I didn’t love it either. My first instinct going into this movie was to not get my hopes up, Hollywood’s interpretation of the characters has ruin them before and I wasn’t going to allow myself to be devastated again. And yet I still found myself getting incredibly excited sitting in that cinema waiting for the lights to go out.

The movie flashes back and forth between the future, which we assume is around 10 years from now though no date is ever mentioned, and 1973 at the end of the Vietnam War. Wolverine’s consciousness is sent to his younger self so he can warn Professor X and stop the Sentinels from being made. A few aspects of the story followed on from the comic books but in true Hollywood style some things were changed. I didn’t mind the story line changes from the comic, it makes sense to make Wolverine the main character as opposed to Kitty Pryde (who is the one who goes back in the comic), Mystique is still a key player and the story has been adapted in other ways for the cartoon anyway. But I would have loved to see more mutants and powers. In the future we see some X-Men using their powers, Ice Man, Kitty Pryde and Storm are there, as well as some side characters that only the comic book fans would know. When we’re in the past very few mutants make an appearance. Mystique plays a huge role but besides her, Magneto and Beast are the only characters who really show their powers. Wolverine’s past self hasn’t gotten his Adamantium skeleton yet so (like Rouge in the first three movies) his powers are muted and Professor X has forfeited his powers for his legs (although he does get them back as the story progresses). They also never give you an explanation to how Professor X is alive after the events in X-Men: The Last Stand. I know this is something small and probably won’t bother most people, it wouldn’t bother me so much either if they didn’t reference scenes from that movie, but they do and I kept waiting for someone to bring it up – I’m still waiting.

Having said that, the movie can still be enjoyable and if you’ve never read the comics I think this makes for a great sci-fi movie. There’s some action and some really great special effects. James McAvoy is excellent in his role and actually makes me like Professor X. The introduction of Peter Maximoff, as Quicksilver, also brought some life to the story and allowed Singer to include some really awesome slow motion scenes. Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender are two really great actors and bring so much to any role they play. Mystique’s character is so much more in depth this time around and she played it so very well, Lawrence is a chameleon of an actress so I think the role is quite fitting for her. I liked how the Sentinels were portrayed, not 100% like the comic but really cool and a bit dark, which I really liked.

The ending does open up the franchise for some really incredible future movies, and with confirmation of Gambit finally being featured in a future movie, we can only hope that they’ll bring back and redo the classic characters we love. In true Marvel style if you sit through the credits you’ll get a teaser scene at the end, though only true die-hard fans will understand it.

Divergent – The Movie

So for those of you who have no idea what this movie is about, here’s a quick synopsis.

Beatrice “Tris” Prior lives in a world where your life is dictated by the personality traits you value, fearlessness, selflessness, honesty, intelligence and peace – each of which makes up a Faction. She’s lived her whole life in Abnegation the faction that values selflessness and now it’s time for her to make a choice – stay in her own faction or move on to another one and leave her family behind, luckily there is a test to help her decide. But when Beatrice takes the test she discovers that she doesn’t fit into one faction, she fits into several… she’s Divergent. Now Beatrice must choose her path and keep her secret at any cost, because being Divergent means you can’t be controlled and in a society built on control, Divergence is the enemy.

divpost

The movie is loosely based on the best-selling novel by Veronica Roth, and I emphasise the word loosely, because like most book-to-movie adaptations the producers took liberties to make it more commercial and PG 13. Of course you know I read the book and was far too eager to watch the movie and see how it all play out on screen – unfortunately, from the perspective of the book, I was a little disappointed. The book is so rich with great characters and plays out in such an unexpected way, and the movie just doesn’t bring much of what I loved across – except for the zipline scene, that was awesome! Like Harry Potter, the movie leaves out a few key details that really make the story amazing, I think that sometimes producers forget that those small details, that they think aren’t necessary, are exactly what the readers can’t wait to see come to life.

Having said that, the movie is actually really entertaining. Stepping away from the reference to the book and watching it as an independent movie I really enjoyed it, it’s got everything people love – action, romance and a great new world. Shailene div1Woodley surprised me, at first I didn’t think she had the character down but as the movie progressed she became more and more like the Tris in the book. Again, they play out her character differently but overall she did a good job of keeping us interested in Tris’ story. Kate Winslet’s character, Jeanine Matthews, has more face time in the movie than in the book and it serves to bring the element of Divergence in. As always she plays the role nicely and was able to give life to the character brining in the elements of understanding and dislike of her character. All the other big names did an ok job as well – Ashley Judd, Miles Teller, Maggie Q and Mekhi DIVERGENTPhifer all bring some credit to the movie and adapted the characters well. But for me the winning actor was Theo James. Really from all the characters in the book his portrayal of Four was spot on. His feigned indifference of Tris, mixed with his obvious feelings for her was so well done. I liked the way he threw in a coy smile and demonstrated Four’s shadowed reaction to his fears. He really stole the show for me and I think he’s the one who’s going to save the movie for the fans of the book. His being incredibly sexy doesn’t hurt either.

divtheoSo in a nutshell, if you want to see this movie because you loved the book, you might want to give it a miss, they change a lot and leave out things I know you want to see like specific characters and key information.  But if you’re ready for a movie that brings you a new world and interesting characters, I would definitely recommend you give Divergent a try.

WARNING!!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

While I did enjoy the movie for what it is, there were a few things about it that really ticked me off (from the perspective of the books as a hole) and I’ve just got to get them off my chest, so expect major spoilers from here on out.

It bugs me so much that Tris NEVER (not once, not at all) called Four, Tobias. Not even in his fearscape, Marcus says it. Why? That’s like the key element of how she brought him out of the simulation. I don’t see how throwing in a simple line of “don’t call me Four” would have made any difference to the length of the movie.

The exclusion of characters like Uriah and Edward make me wonder what the second movie is going to be like. It would have been easy to include them if they stuck with the 18 or so initiates like in the book, where the hell did the extra 30 people come from all of a sudden?

The relationship between Chris and Will was so ridiculously subtle in the movie I had to watch it several times to even pick up on it? Is the Tris/Christina relationship going to feature in the second movie?

And nice Molly?! Are you f*&$ing kidding me?

Dragon Awakened by Jaime Rush

17888587The Hidden: Book 1

What it’s about:

Ruby Salazaar wants answers…and revenge. Her uncle has just been murdered before her eyes and the name he utters with his final breath—Cyntag—leads Ruby into a world beyond her wildest imaginings. She soon learns that the dark, sexy Cyntag Valeron knows more about her than she does. Ruby’s about to realise that she’s more than just your average tomboy but can she handle the truth – all of it?

What I thought:

My Rating: 3.5 stars

A nice start to the brand new series from one of my all time favourite authors. Dragon Awakened is filled with magic, mystery and interesting creatures. I really enjoyed learning about the world of The Hidden and all that comes with it. Rush has a very distinctive style and I could feel it with every word. She sucks you into her fantasy world and really makes you a part of it. I love how we get snippets of moments in other characters POV, it sucks us more into the mystery making you really want to know what’s going to happen next.

I really liked Cyn, he’s a sexy, alpha male that you want to keep and play with. I liked how he lived his life through logic and fought hard to keep back his emotion, and then when he couldn’t do it any more, he became a man worth loving. Ruby was a well written character. I loved how her journey unravelled and how she didn’t just accept what she was being told. I also liked the way she interacted with Cyn, from love to anger, every moment was riveting and emotional.

I loved the mystical characters, the Elementals, Deuces (Wizards), Dragons and demons were all fascinating and I’m really eager to read more about them. I’m especially eager to read more about the Caidos, the fallen angel creatures. I like that Rush began the series with the Dragons because it can be quite hard to get into characters that shift into something unusual but she brought the characters to life well and made the catalysing (changing) parts smooth and comfortable to read about.

One of the things I felt this book missed was more side characters, or more interaction with them. We got slight glimpses of some of Cyn’s allies and Ruby’s co-workers but for some reason I felt like both Cyn and Ruby didn’t really have any friends. Their lives felt almost empty to me and it makes me wonder how the series is going to progress, though I have full faith in Rush’s storytelling ability. I also felt like we didn’t get Cyn’s whole story. He kept on referencing a pain from a loss and it sounded like it might have been a woman he once loved, and we never really got a full explanation of why he didn’t want to feel, the book starts with him looking forward to a rush, some emotion but we never find out why.

Having said that I enjoyed the book and really like the essence of the series. I’m eager to read the next one and learn more about the characters and world of The Hidden.

Robocop 2014

It’s been 27 years since the cult sci-fi classic Robocop shocked audiences with its violent murder scenes and satirical undertone. Since then it’s had two sequels, and last weekend the long awaited remake was released in cinemas. Being a huge sci-fi fan, I made my way to the cinema in anticipation, ready to see what the 21st century spin of this classic would be like.

Here’s what I thought in a nutshell – it was a good movie, but a bad Robocop movie.

What made the original so great? Besides the effects (which were great for its time) and the blatant satire of American capitalism, media and consumerism, the movie was a telling of human nature, the importance of individual identity and the consequences of having ones personality forcibly taken away. It’s the kind of message that transcends generations and has real world messaging especially in today’s society, where identities are built over social media and video games. Like many movies from the 70s and 80s, while it’s entertaining, it also holds a core message that people can relate to. Unfortunately, this is something the remake lacked.

I think in a way you expect certain things from a remake of any movie, is the main character the same? Do they stay true to the storyline? Are the small details that we love there? Going into this movie, I knew a few key things that went against the original from watching the trailer. Firstly, Robocop’s armour has been made black, which you wouldn’t think makes that big a difference, but it really does. Once they switch him to the black, he no longer resembles Robocop and they could have easily named the movie something else. While this doesn’t affect the movie as such, as a fan it changes the Robocop brand.

Secondly, the most important thing that they change is that Robocop has feelings. For anyone who knows the original, you’ll know that Robocop was completely emotionless for most for the movie, only becoming ‘human’ again towards the end when he unlocks himself. This is the key message of the movie, the idea that one’s personality cannot be removed, only suppressed. In this one he knows who he is, what’s happened to him and even sees his family. While the removal of his emotions and his gradual retrieval of them does take place, it’s only a short moment in the movie and doesn’t convey the essence of Robocop.  However, the one thing that they did bring through, although slightly differently, is the American satire. In this one, it’s more of a message about America’s willingness to pedal goods to foreign nations that they would never allow on their own soil.

For me the violence is one of the things that made the movie the cult classic it is, it’s what made the satire so compelling as it was so extreme, it almost gave merit to the message. If I had to give this one a ‘Robocop’ label I would call it a PG13 adaptation, maybe Robo 0.5. The violence is very soft with only a couple major action scenes.

But stepping away from the comparison, I quite enjoyed the movie. Michael Keaton puts on a stellar performance as Raymond Sellers, the man ready to remove a human’s freewill in order to sell his product. Gary Oldman brings to life a man conflicted, who ultimately needs to decide on humanity or money, with conviction. And Samuel L. Jackson, whose character is completely unnecessary to the story, brings in the comic relief. However, Joel Kinnaman, who plays Alex Murphy A.K.A Robocop, was the odd man out for me. His performance was average and, even without comparing him to Peter Weller, was very flat. He’s easily over shadowed by the rest of the cast. Plus the special effects were great. They show you what has been done to Murphy to make him into Robocop, giving you a unique view of the machine he is, and built a fascinating futuristic world that isn’t over the top different from now.

Overall, if you’re looking for a Robocop movie, you’re going to be disappointed. So put the original out of your mind, go in ready to see a 21st century sci-fi movie, and enjoy it.

R.I.P.D – It’s Men in Black… with death

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges Kevin Bacon and Mary-Louise Parker

Synopsis: A cop gets killed by his own partner after he decides to turn in the gold they took from a crime scene. When the heavens open up and he’s sucked in, he ends up not quite where he expects. For his crimes while alive, he has to join a team of undead police officers working for the Rest in Peace Department. While getting his bearings with the world of the undead he tries to find the man who murdered him.

What I thought:

This weekend we had some time to relax and watch a movie so we decided to watch something fun. I saw the trailer for R.I.P.D a while ago and my first reaction was, “This is a Men In Black rip-off”. So, of course, I just had to see it. The general feeling about the movie I got from others was that it was terrible, but that never stops me, so I went in with no expectations and, surprisingly, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The idea is pretty much the same as Men In Black except in this one they hunt the undead and not aliens. It’s was really obvious that the relationship and characters were mirrored off Smith and Jones’ characters in MIB. They had the same ‘old vs young’ dialogue and the same kind of conversations, though where Smith brings in his personality in MIB, Reynolds brings in his in this one – which I really liked.

The special effects were good and some of the characters were entertaining. Though I didn’t love Jeff Bridges’ character that much. He was a bit annoying and at times I didn’t really understand what he was saying. Personally I didn’t think he was that good, from the acting perspective in it.

Overall it had some really funny parts and was generally just a fun, entertaining movie. It’s not going to win any Oscars, but if you’re a Ryan Reynolds fan (like me) and enjoy his quirky style, you’ll enjoy it.

Tempted by Megan Hart

“When everything changes we learn who we really are. What’s really important. What we want most. We discover the truth in moments of disarray.”

1861535What it’s about:

From the first moment Anne sees her husband James’s best friend, she doesn’t like him. Doesn’t like how James changes when he was around, doesn’t like how his penetrating eyes follow her everywhere. But that doesn’t stop her from wanting him! So when the a fun, experimental fling starts between the three of them, Anne thinks it’ll just be some fun, and nothing more. But sometimes love has a different plan.

What I Thought:

Ok so this was my first journey into Erotica and I have to say “wow!”, that was some HOT sex! There was passion and intensity, and I fell head over heels for Alex, despite his sexual preferences. However I didn’t love the book, not because it wasn’t good, it was good, well written and a generally good story. But I’m not one for real life stories, I don’t watch Gray’s or Days of Our Lives, or any of those shows that have nothing more to offer than boring stories about boring people who’s lives have no effect on me at all. I like action, suspense, some violence or even a good story that makes me want to be a part of that world, and I found the boring lives of the Byrne sisters mind numbing. To be honest I found myself skimming through a lot of the family interactions and I found the realistic way that Anne handled things to be very irritating. Yes, if you have a bitch as a mother-in-law you would probably not tell her to ‘fuck off’ but I don’t read books to take me to a world that is just like the one I live in.

Having said all that the relationship between Anne, Alex and James is electrifying. I couldn’t WAIT for them to be in the same room together, even when it had nothing to do with sex, as long as Alex was there I was happy to read on with a smile on my face. In fact I loved the way Alex handled everything and the way he spoke to and treated Anne. I found his relationship with James to be tangible and I wanted to be in the room with them all the time. I never thought I’d say this but I’m actually sad that James and Alex didn’t get together sexually. I not one for m/m romance but after this book I can understand why people would find it interesting.

If you love real life type stories with incredible sex and characters that make your toes curl, this book is for you. If you’re like me, and want a little more ‘umpf’ in your stories, you might get a bit bored.

Addicted to Him by Lauren Dodd

18232282What It’s About:

Cassidy is living in a nightmare, her mother hates her and her step-father loves her a little too much. So she’s come up with a plan to be sent away to stay with her father for summer break. When Cassie arrives at her father’s, expecting to be seen as an annoyance, she’s shocked to find a loving father, the mother she always wanted and a hot guy who could break all her well built walls.

My Rating: ★★★½

What I Thought:

This book was free on Amazon and the cover grabbed my attention so I decided to download it and give it a try. Overall Addicted to Him was not a bad read, but it wasn’t great, though I enjoyed the story and had quite the emotional ride reading it. It starts off a bit slow but once Cassie and Seth meet, the book really picked up.

Cassie has a really bad home life and I don’t blame her for finding a way to get out. Her character was interesting but I found her to be a bit of a conundrum, on one hand she’s 18 years old and behaves like it, reacting irrationally and thinking she’s unlovable, but on the other she’s engrossed in a very adult sexual world. I was quite disappointed with her behaviour when it came to Seth, to be honest I do think it has a lot to do with her age, so I let it slide, but it got to the point where I kept thinking she’s a bit of a moron, someone who will be in abusive relationships her whole life. I also have to say that the sex got a bit much, they were having sex like crazed lunatics all over the place and at times it felt a lot more like intense lust then love. It started off sexy and great, but then became very much dirty and aggressive, which fits perfectly with the story so it does have it’s purpose.

When the book started I really liked Seth, he was a real gentleman and I loved the way he was with his brother and sister. But as the book progressed I really didn’t like him. His possessiveness and aggression was over the top, but I think that’s what Dodd was going for. She wants you to fall in love with him as Cassie does, and then when he behaves like a lunatic, you’re ripped apart.

There was a lot of emotion in this book and I was all ready to give it a very enthusiastic 4.5 stars, at one point I felt so broken from reading about Cassie’s abusive life, I had to curl up in my man’s lap and cry. The truth is until about 80% I really couldn’t put it down, but then Seth and Cassie started irritating me and I kept waiting for something great to happen. Ireally wanted the emotion to peek to a point where I would be destroyed for a week. But, alas, the ending just fell flat and didn’t give me that wow that I wanted. Dodd also didn’t explain some things really well, she lets you know that Seth has a problem but doesn’t actually tell you what it is.

I also have to note that the reason this book would have still only gotten half a star less is because Dodd did one of my writing no-no’s, a real pet peeve of mine – she neglected the contraction. I supposes as a radio writer I’m very used to writing the way people speak but I just can’t stand when people write old school. Don’t say “it is really nice to meet you”, say “it’s really nice to meet you” the sentence works better and in my opinion is easier to read, it’s more natural – see what I did there? 😛

Vamps

What it’s about:

Two female vampires in modern-day New York City are faced with daunting romantic possibilities.

Directed by: Amy Heckerling

Starring: Alicia Silverstone, Krysten Ritter, Sigourney Weaver, Justin Kirk and Wallace Shawn

What I thought:

So last night I stumbled onto this, rather, unusual movie. I hadn’t really heard of it but as a vampire fan I thought I’d give it a try. When it started I saw that Alicia Silverstone was in it and I love her, so it started off really well… and then just got weird.

The basic premise of the story is that Goody (Silverstone) has been a vampire since the 1800s and in the 1990s Stacey (Ritter) gets turned and they become best friends. Now they live in New York, living off rat blood and going to regular meetings to abstain from drinking human blood. Things suddenly get complicated when vampires are being forced into the daylight and Stacey falls in love with a Van Helsing.

The truth is the movie is complete ridiculousness, but I kinda loved every minute of it! Honestly, it’s meant to be though. It’s a quirky story full of silly characters and a funny storyline. Both Sliverstone and Ritter played their characters well and Weaver was hysterical in her role of the evil vampire.

If you’re in the mood for something ridiculous give Vamps a try. You might hate it, but you might just find (like I did) that you can’t stop watching and shed a tear at the end.