My Recent Book Reviews

Ever since some of my friends learned that I was writing my own novel, I get one question more than any other (besides “how’s the book coming along?”) —- and that question is:

So what are you reading?

BookSpines

Sometimes I stop and give them the lowdown. Other days, during those crazy deadline-drowning weeks, I send them the link to my Goodreads profile page and suggest that they friend me there to keep up with my latest reading adventures. But since some of my recent titles read have been some much talked about titles across Twitter and Facebook, as well as on the “Want to Read” lists on GoodReads, I thought I’d share reviews about these recently read books.

Keep in mind that when I do a review I do not provide you a plot summary or a mini-book report. Hell, if you want to know what it’s about, just go to Amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com and look it up. You can find everything you want to know about the book itself there. I provide a review focused on the reading experience – what I think of the characters, how believable the plot structure was and what I liked or didn’t like about the various components like dialogue, tone, use of characters, etc.

So if you’re expecting a Cliffs Notes version combined with a  critique, quit reading now. You won’t find what you’re looking for. But if you are looking for an honest unsolicited reader’s opinion that’s SPOILER-FREE (because I am completely committed to preserving the pristine joy of the reading experience), read on! I will not ruin it for you here by sharing too much plot information or reveal any big twists or character developments, you can rest assured.

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Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren   (**** out of ***** stars)

I had just experienced a “drought” in my steady downpour of reading just prior – having started another book two weeks earlier and hitting a stalemate. After finally picking it up again and finishing it that morning, I was ready to get back into my steady diet of romance books. Yes, I was ready for my nightly dive into a new title and despite all of the others I had recently purchased and downloaded on my Kindle, this had to be the one I chose next.

I was amazed how over the place my emotions were during this book. [Click here to read the full review.]

Hot Ticket by Olivia Cunning   (**** out of ***** stars)

For the first time in a long time, I found myself trudging through a book’s beginning. Why? Why was that, I wondered. I had always enjoyed Olivia Cunning’s sharp-as-a-tack writing and dialogue, steamy portrayals and fun, sexy, rockin’ characters.

Maybe after going full-throttle reading for so many months – practically a new book finished every day or two – and being weighted down with so many client assignments to finish at one time, I might have experienced a sudden struggle with ANY book I picked up and delay as I did with this one. [Click here to read the full review.]

Collide by Gail McHugh   (**** out of ***** stars)

So I picked up this book not because anyone recommended it to me, but because I kept running into it during my book title perusal. I couldn’t figure out why. Each time I would read the description, it sounded interesting enough but for whatever reason, I didn’t buy it.

Earlier this week, I gave in. I heeded the signs and made the investment. And it turns out…that was a great decision. [Click here to read the full review.]

The Final Piece by Maggi Myers (**** out of ***** stars)

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book by Maggi Myers. I have not read anything by the author before and the book came as a recommendation from a friend with similar reading tastes. It was a lovely surprise even though it broke one of my cardinal rules of books that I enjoy – I have a really difficult time when books separate my lead characters for great lengths of time. Simply put, it bothers the crap out of me!  [Click here to read the full review.]

Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker   (**** out of ***** stars)

This was suggested to me by a friend, and I am so glad that I took the suggestion. It was a nice departure from some of the previous books I’ve been reading.

Most of all, I was excited to be introduced to a lead female character that I genuinely WANTED to know more about. In TEN TINY BREATHS, we meet Kacey Cleary – she’s strong, funny, smart and determined, and she’ll do anything to protect her sister. She truly is someone that, as a reader, I am ready and willing to invest some emotion. [Click here to read the full review.]

This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas   (** out of ***** stars)

Oh boy.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, OH BOY.

I’m gonna get creamed for this one, I’ll just bet, because everybody loves THIS MAN by Jodi Ellen Malpas. The book itself and “this” man, Jesse Ward. Everybody, I think except maybe…me.

Okay, now here’s the kicker – you’re staring at my 2-star rating and probably already hate me if you are one of the many obsessed fans of this book, but I do have to confess: yes, I bought the next book and yes, I even read it. And I’ll probably buy book 3. So how the hell did that happen when I gave it a 2-star rating? A deserved rant, I must admit. [Click here to read the full review.]

Beneath This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas   (*** out of ***** stars)

So did you notice the change… since reading my review of the first in the THIS MAN Series?

It graduated from 2-star to 3-star. So I guess this means I liked it more, huh? Nah. Then I must have liked Jesse more, right? Definitely not. Ava more? Not a chance.

No, I didn’t enjoy it more but I was more intrigued, because while I had a clue where the author Jodi Ellen Malpas was going to take us, I truly had no idea to what extent the reader would go. I felt the first book reminded me too much of FIFTY SHADES OF GREY and its plot structure. So I didn’t know what to expect with book 2. [Click here to read the full review.]

Rule by Jay Crownover   (**** out of ***** stars)

I was forewarned that if I had an early e-book version of this novel that I might be subjected to typo-a-plenty. And that I was. But am happy to report that apparently there is a newer, cleaned up version of it now available.

I enjoyed this book from the beginning. It was nice for a change to read about some characters that already had a backstory but whose dynamic between them was evolving instead of the usual love-at-first-sight, instant orgasmic reaction that I witness in most of the books that I read. And gah, I’ll admit – still do enjoy…damn, I’ve become an easy target, haven’t I?!  [Click here to read the full review.]

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What are the latest titles that you’ve been reading and would you recommend them? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to comment here or email me at chris@kuhnstories.com.

Happy reading!
ck

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Morning Book Morsels for 02.02.13

I have been missing in action, haven’t I? I’m sorry…

From the blog, yes, I have been,  but from books – mine or others – hell, no, I’ve been as obsessed as ever. In fact, I thought this might be a good time to pass along some updates.

  • BOOK UPDATE FROM ME – So if you’ve been following along here or on my previous blog, you know that I’ve been working on my first novel, a contemporary romance.  I’m happy to say that I am now officially two-thirds of the way through the story (about 70,000 words)! I am also thrilled to report that I seem to have located my book editor and can’t wait to work with her. She and I met together for the first time this past week, and I truly believe we’ll make a great team. Most exciting of all, it was the first time that anyone else has laid eyes on Cate Mullen and Oliver Sand —their first four chapters, at least! — and I was thrilled to introduce her to them and their story just as I cannot wait to introduce them to you!http://www.dreamstime.com/-image23685146There are a lot of tasks (many thrilling and many daunting) still at hand but as long as the content itself flows steadily and I’m able to tackle these other very relevant elements and decisions as I go, I say I’m still on schedule for a summer release. The “exactly when” may still be a bit of a mystery (even if the book isn’t that genre), but ever the optimist when it comes to this, I’m going to stick with June 2013 for now and continue aiming for that! I will keep you posted. If you’d like to stay in the loop on its release, become a subscriber to this blog today to get the latest news of when it will be available and for those in the Tampa Bay area about any special launch events held locally or online.
  • E-BOOK RELEASES FROM OTHERS – Can you believe it? We’re finally just days away from two hotly anticipated releases?  On February 5, readers can check out e-books from rock erotica writer Olivia Cunning with her fourth Sinners on Tour installment Hot Ticket (can’t wait!) and Sylvia Day‘s A Lush Kiss of Surrender, a novella in the Renegades Trilogy (which I will admit I have not read yet). Having just read the three other Cunning novels merely weeks ago, I am on pins and needles awaiting the latest rock romance even though I understand paperbacks are already out there and available in some places. But I have become a Kindle convert and so I shall wait it out…gasp…another three days. Oh the horror…
  • TEASERS, TEASERS, AND MORE TEASERS – Many authors have been dazzling us these past couple of weeks with teasers. If you’ve missed the links, maybe I can catch you up right here. For teasers to the still untitled book 3 of the Gabriel trilogy from Sylvain Reynard, check out the author’s most recent blog here where he includes links to the specific book bloggers hosting his two previous teasers. And let me tell you, they are so very worth the effort to locate. Trust me. Mmm……S.C. Stephens, who has all of her fans (this one included!) panting as they wait eagerly for the return of sexy rocker Kellan Kyle and his band, has been kind enough to hold up her end of the bargain following a successful Facebook campaign and share the release of not only chapter 1 but most recently unveiled chapter 2 of the third and final installment of her series Reckless. Dig in, fans, if you dare. I, myself, am afraid it will be like a really fine chocolate or moscato and just leave me wanting more and have opted to hold off until the whole book is available, March 5. Sigh. Yes, perhaps I am a bit of a Joan of Arc. So shoot me. (Or perhaps hoist me up and set me on fire would have been more accurate here…) Oh, and if you’re truly a Kellan fan (who isn’t and if not, are they a zombie then?), you may also want to check out an extra-special Kellan-POV version of Chapter 6 of the original book in the trilogy Thoughtless, which Stephens also recently shared as a special thank you to readers……And one final teaser, if you happened to miss it. It’s short and sweet but we’ll take what we can get when me miss our favorite book characters, won’t we? Jamie McGuire released a third teaser prior to the early April release of Walking Disaster at her blog, so be sure to check it out if you’ve waited far too long for the return of one Mr. Travis Maddox.
  • Finally, while I perhaps have been a bit lazy as a blogger, my reading habits have stayed loyal and true, I assure you, and so has my commitment to review everything I read starting this year. You can check out all of my recent book reviews at GoodReads.com by clicking here. In particular, some recent reads like Jodi Ellen Malpas’ This Man and its follow-up Beneath This Man, as well as Shelly Crane‘s Significance series, Jay Crownover‘s Rule, M. Leighton‘s Up to Me and Tiffany Reisz‘s The Prince left very distinct impressions…and not always matching the consensus of other readers. And hey, if you too are an avid reader, particularly in the romance or erotica genres, reach out to become my friend on the site or subscribe to follow my reviews. I have a little over 20 already written (yes, it HAS been a busy reading year!) and I may be able to offer some insight before you make the purchase. And I promise that I’ll never spoil it for you as a reader but may point out some aspects to the style of the book that you either love or hate, so I could you save you some moula or frustration. Just stop by my page on GoodReads and let’s crack open a merlot, shall we?

Happy reading!

ck