Monthly Archives: December 2013

Treat Her Right – Lori Foster

Lori Foster lives in Ohio with her husband and three sons…she’s written 70 plus romance novels in her career as a writer but started out in various jobs in sales and handling material for Proctor & Gamble, but, quit becoming a stay at home mom.  She gained an interest in romance novels when stuck at home with pneumonia which was followed by her interest in writing them herself.  Within five years, she had completed then manuscripts but sold only one of them.  Harlequin published her first in 1996.

I became interested in her novels after reading Caught in the Act, which I’ve written about already, this is the fourth in the Men to Rescue series (Caught in the Act is the third). The story is well written and quite funny.  Zack Grange, an EMT with a young daughter has lost his wife several years earlier is rudely woken after a late shift by the noise of someone moving into the empty house next door and is taken aback by the stunning beauty who appears to be the new neighbor.  As is a common theme in many romance novels, hate turns into shear lust which turns into a strong bond and love; however, in this case, it’s the journey that is so fascinating here not to mention the intense sexual energy between these characters and the adorable as anything daughter.

I quite enjoyed this and look forward to reading the others in the series.  If your enjoy this, try some of her other novels which are too numerous to even list here.

 

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The City at Worlds End – Edmond Hamilton

Edmond Hamilton was an American novelist of the early to mid twentieth century.  Much of his work was science fiction.  Born in Youngstown, Ohio, he was considered to be a child prodigy and graduated from high school at the age of 14 after which he gained admittance to Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania…although he left at age 17 without a degree.

His first short story in a genre that hasn’t been yet named as Sci-Fi, “The Monster God of Mamurth” published in 1926 in the magazine Weird Tales (the term Sci-Fi wasn’t coined until 1954).  Throughout the ’20s and ’30s, Hamilton was a very popular writer of space operas, in fact it is said that he an E. E. “Doc” Smith were the creators of this sub-genre of Sci-Fi.  His story “The Island of Unreason”, published in Wonder Stories in 1953 was the first story to win the Jules Verne Prize as the best Sci-Fi story of the year, which was the precursor of the Hugo Awards.   In 1945, Hamilton also wrote for DC Comics for Superman and Batman and was instrumental in the Legion of Super Heroes including many of the founding concepts.

In The City at Worlds End, the idyllic small town of Middletown, there is a secret; unknown by the majority of the citizens, Middletown is the home of the U.S.’s atomic defense research.  Our hero, Hamilton, is one of those scientists and one day while walking in town, an unnamed enemy has dropped a “superatomic bomb” over Middeltown…everyone drops to the ground and covers their heads although Hamilton knows this is futile…..or is it?  Shortly afterwards, he gets up off of the street and is amazed that he’s still alive and so is everyone else….but, something is different, the Sun is an odd color and it’s chilly.

So begins The City at Worlds End…Hamilton has transported this small town far, far, far into Earths future as a result to an atomic attack.  The citizens have to come to the realization that they are alone on an “alien”, inhospitable Earth.   Other than themselves, there are no other Humans on Earth and on a dying planet with a dying sun where every night is far below 0F and the days aren’t much above freezing either they are going to have to find some way to survive…they eventually do find a still standing domed city which offers some protection from the cold and has tanks of fresh water, but despite being Human it is very alien to these early twentieth century folks and just isn’t home.

This story is partly about the trials and tribulations of people trying to cope with such massive change and the daily struggle to survive.  It’s also also about human relationships and how they struggle to deal with crisis and drastic change from the norms.  It’s also about culture shock when alien races are eventually contacted and the how different and alien Humans become after thousands and thousands of years and how it’s possible to have more in common with alien races and less so with your own over time.

Yes, this is somewhat dated in some ways, but, in others it’s still quite relevant and very easy to read and relate to.  I quite enjoyed the story, but, it did kind of end abruptly and I found it quite unlikely that people would find out that they’ve been lied to for years then simply accept being led by the deceivers; however, if he hadn’t the story wouldn’t have gone very far.  The aliens are endearing and quite funny, it was the humans (both twentieth century and future) are actually the most annoying here; the twentieth century because they are so set in their ways and unwilling to give up their homes even to survive and the future humans in their “we know best” attitude.  Don’t get me wrong, I can see both in reality…frankly, we see it every day, I just don’t quite relate to either.  Without turning this into a political blog, this progressive attitude is overly present today with those on the far left and far right convinced that they know best and that everyone who doesn’t believe what they believe are the “unwashed masses” and just don’t know better so it’s our responsibility to “take care of them” and make them do what the were unwilling to or refused to take responsibility for in the first place.  On the other hand, there are those who are so resistant to change that they either fade from relevance or they gain enough power to suppress those that want to move forward.

I’m afraid I’ve not read anything else by Edmond Hamilton other than what I’ve mentioned; however, I do intend to remedy that.  If you want to hear this book rather than read it, there is an excellent LibriVox recording for free read by Mark Nelson.

The Big Over Easy – Jasper FForde

I’ve already written about Jasper Fforde, so I won’t explain what I know of him again.

I’ll admit, I’m a big fan of his Thursday Next novels and as a new series based on some comments made in the Thursday Next novels…but, don’t be mistaken, this isn’t the same series, although perhaps in the same world.  Never the less, I quite enjoyed the story.

This story is based on the Nursery Crime Division staring detective and family man Jack Spratt who is investigating what may or may not be a crime, a certain ovoid minor celebrity has been found in pieces…literally.  Did he fall to his death off a wall, or was he murdered?  Yes, the down and out Humpty Dumpty has been found dead and the investigation, much like all of Fforde’s novels, takes some seriously twisted and humorous  turns.  Written in much the same manner as Dashel Hammett and others in the genre, this hilarious noir crime novel is one entertaining gem of a story.  Despite the bizarre premise, the pace is fast and consistent with believable characters that you genuinely care for….a talent that, perhaps not uniquely his, is a particular talent of Ffordes.

If you enjoy this, read:

  • The Fourth Bear
  • Or any of Fforde’s other novels

Surrender – Kimberly Zant

Who is Kimberly Zant?  I’m assuming that this is a nom de plume since I can find no information about this individual, even their publisher only says that she enjoys the spicier side of life and a good erotic yarn…that’s it.  If any of my readers know or have a clue, I’d be interested in finding out.

I’ve read a couple of her books, and frankly, this is by far the best of what I’ve read.  Let me be clear, I personally have not interest in a ménage à trois, ménage à quatre or more so I was very skeptical of the story when I found it on Fictionwise (before they were bought by Barnes & Noble) and bought it because I had credits that were about to expire. I am happy to say that I was very surprised how enjoyable, if not implausible, the whole story was.

In an act of desperation to keep her children, Anna sells herself as a sex slave to a group of men for six weeks.  If she doesn’t come up with some very necessary funds quickly, her asshole of an ex husband is going to win the custody case against her.  She signs a contract that essentially gives these undisclosed and sight unseen men rights to do just about anything and everything they desire to her and with her, except kiss.  She believes she can close her eyes “and think of England”, get it over with, and no one would be the wiser and when it’s over she won’t have to see these men again and she would keep telling herself it was for the right reasons.

From the very beginning she’s subjected to things that she found to be distasteful and embarrassing, but, she also experiences something she didn’t expect….she’s actually excited and frankly, getting very hot…  But, she keeps asking herself, why her?  She’s not young, she’s not overly attractive, she’s slightly older than most of these men.  Why do these men look like they’re related?  They’re obviously rich, so, why do they need to hire someone for their pleasure?

Nothing is quite what it seems…these men are not callus as they first appear to be and generally take great care not to actually injure her either physically or emotionally.  Could she actually coming to like these men?  What happens when the six weeks are up, can she bear to loose them?

The sex scenes are well written and hot….I mean scorching, yet, not overly explicit and from a very personal point of view and are as much her reactions and feelings as they are about the sex.   The main fault is the very abrupt ending.  Throughout the story ebbs and wanes and reaches a climax in a single ending chapter….then just ends….no cuddling or anything  (sorry, couldn’t resist).

Other stories by the author:

  • Awakened
  • Heart of Midnight
  • and many more