Friday, December 31, 2010

'Mr. Erotica' by Richard Jeanty


Mr. Erotica… how could you not pick up and flip through a book with that title? And then knowing it’s a Jeanty title? I have enjoyed Richard’s books in the past so reading another one was a no-brainer. In this one you have a successful author/publisher who has a lusty female fan who wants a bit more than just an autograph. She couldn’t have come at a worse time in his life because Dave isn’t getting any from his wife because she’s not feeling sexy as she has to take care of three kids, and Dave is horny as hell.

He tries to be a good faithful husband but the “call of the wild” is too real, and when you’re traveling on the road with it being thrown at you… the wall of Jericho WILL come down. Come down they do and the person that helps is a woman named Kendra. This chick is 100% looney and 115% demented. Seriously, she’s so disturbed that ‘Fatal Attraction’ to her wasn’t a drama, it was a “how-to” movie. His mentor helps him devise a plan to take care of her, but you can’t control nor trap chaos. I know the brother should have just said no but it’s damn near impossible to say no when “no” has a perfect apple booty covered in poom poom shorts and a halter top that aint haltering much.

Mr. Jeanty also has a very… interesting way of mixing real life and fiction. I want to say that this is almost an autobiography with some fiction thrown in. Actually I WILL say that. Being in the book business (seller/reader/book pimp but not author) I smile as he wrote about some of the industry shop-talk and laughed when he slammed the hell out of certain publishers! He uses the titles of his books and other things that make this a mini-bio or sorts. Of course what I want to know is; where are the pictures of the beautiful women? You’re holding out on us Richard.
As a fan of Richard I’m glad to see him continue to put out good stories. As a lover of the book industry I’m VERY happy to see him have his own publishing company, promote his own authors, and be a success in the literary jungle in which we make our living and thrive.

9780981777337

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Diary of Molly Fredrickson: Peanut Butter, Vol. 1 by Cornnell Clarke


This is my third experience with Molly Fredrickson and each volume makes me wish I had the power to give life. This woman (high-school girl in this volume actually) exudes so much sexuality that if she were Greek she would have sprung from Zeus’s penis. I seriously don’t think there is anything this girl wouldn’t do sexually because… well… she’s done it on these pages. There are few things sexier than petite nymphs in a Catholic school-girl uniform; unless you have TWO petite nymphs in a Catholic school-girl uniform. One with mocha colored skin and breasts like Casaba melons.

I did notice one odd thing that I did with this volume that I didn’t really do with the others: I read it. A graphic novel with this much sexuality and colorful lust doesn’t need words but Mr. Clarke took the time to actually write a story. A decent story at that. Now, I did read the other volumes but it was more like a fast skim just so that I would have the background. Since this was Vol. 1 I wanted to see what made Molly, Molly. From what I get Molly’s a freak, and that is OK with me. The only other way to get this much pure sexuality in your hands is to pick up and carry around a naked Kim Kardashian. (But lift weights first because that booty ‘aint no joke)!

9781561633586

'True Confessions' by Electa Rome Parks


This is becoming a habit; closing out my yearly reading with Electa Rome Parks. Last year it was ‘Diary of a Stalker’ and this year it’s ‘True Confessions’. Now I don’t know if it’s me or what, but the last few books I’ve read have had women who need a good old-fashioned butt kicking. Electa tells the story of Kennedy Logan AKA whiny-jellyfish-sister-who-got-on-my-damn-nerves! Kennedy even admits she’s spineless and that makes it even worse. The story opens with Kennedy at a SERIOUS crossroads in her life and the journal writing takes place after that. It’s her therapy. Her way to cope. Her papyrus therapist.

She’s surrounded by her well meaning mother-of-a-hen mother, best friend, and her ex-man. Unfortunately it’s her ex-man that is most of the problem. His name is Drake and he’s the man. Smooth. Smart. Sexy. Protector. Sex god. Abuser. The perfect tool to mold and control a woman like Kennedy. She slowly gives in to the abuse and her life becomes a true living hell. Drake has the ability to make her cry… in and out the bedroom. Inside the bedroom it’s ok because his oral skills have her climbing the wall like she’s chasing Tobey freaking Maguire. Outside the bedroom, though, his oral skills have her scared like Mark McGwire. Throughout this story we keep hearing about that “one” incident that was the catalyst to the straw breaking the back. When you find out you’ll be like Usher… Oh my God!!

Electa gives us a story that you will enjoy with a character you won’t. Now I know you’re about ready to sic the N.O.W. on a brotha’ for getting upset with an abused woman, but read this book and see if you don’t agree.

9781601622396

Monday, December 20, 2010

Jason's Top 10 Books of 2010



1.Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth (9780399156359).
I read this book in April and it has maintained its #1 status ever since. Bloody action, dark humor, and some extremely intriguing historical-fiction make this book an easy pick for #1.


2. 'Tempted by Trouble' by Eric Jerome Dickey (9780525950585)
Eric Jerome Dickey just cannot do wrong. Everything this man writes is just pure. This man’s fierce intelligence is complimented perfectly with his unnatural talent to tell a story. He takes a break from his phenomenal Gideon series to write a story about a tormented man named Dmytryk, an earth-bound devil named Eddie Coyle, and the forced tango these two are forced to dance. There are very few authors like Eric Jerome. And by “few” I mean one.

3. ‘American Assassin’ by Vince Flynn (9781416595182).
Mitch Rapp has been around since 1999 taking care of the burrs in our collective asses called terrorists. But how does one become a terrorist killer? What kind of person does it take to become the type of person to RUN towards an impossible mission? Is that person born or made? If you’ve been reading Vince Flynn’s books for as long as I have then you want answers! ‘American Assassin’ does a superb job in showing us how Mitch Rapp became Mitch Rapp. If you believe that terrorist are born and bred to kill, then you better believe the same of their nemesis.

4. ‘Making The Hook-Up’ by Cole Riley (9781573443838).
If you know me, you know I love my erotica, and erotic short stories are like the hot oil to my massage. Short, hot stories that you can read anywhere, anytime to bring a little spice to a boring ass day. This was the best erotic collection I have read this year. One of the reasons I loved it so was because each story was different and each story was excruciatingly erotic. While they stood out for that very reason, the fact that there was an actual STORY behind them made them even that more tantalizing.

5. ‘Savages’ by Don Winslow (9781439183366)
First book I’ve read by Mr. Wilson and what a damn good one it was. The humor was dark, the action was brutal, the woman was defective yet perfect, the writing was untouchable, and Ben and Chon are two characters you won’t soon forget.

6. ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ by David Baldacci (9780446564083)
A very brutal book by Mr. Baldacci. But what still stands out to me (still!) to this day is the violent and descriptive torture. Revenge is the name of the game in this book and the hunted party is the Nazis. This one group hunts down these idiots and then forces them to watch their past atrocities before they are killed. (Works for me). Unfortunately, even the best laid plans are never perfect…

7. ‘Grim Reaper’ by Steve Alten (9781935142164)
The best end-of-the-world-epic I’ve read in the past few years. I actually put this one on my Top 20 of my favorite books ever. Think of ‘The Stand’ meets ‘Dante’s Inferno’ meets snippets of the ‘911 Commission Report’. Steve Alten is an author of rare form that, like Eric Jerome Dickey, has that born talent to just KNOW how to tell a good story.

8. ‘Last Days of Ptolemy Grey’ by Walter Mosley (9781594487729)
What more can I say about Walter Mosley? This man is a walking, talking, writing living literary legend. The publishing world, as well as we readers need to show this man some more damn respect. You’ve heard the cliché that “this author is so good he could write the phone book and make it a bestseller”? Mosley’s writing will make you want to read the phonebook’s sequel.

9. ‘The Confession’ by John Grisham (9780385528047)
I read this entire book mad! Mad that there are still some areas in this country where your social class determines your level of justice. Mad that there are law enforcement officials who could give a hairy rat’s ass about the truth. Mad that innocence is more often believed if not wrapped in dark skin. Mad that this is still happening. Grisham delivers one of his BEST. Period.

10. ‘The Hot Box’ by Zane (9780743499279)
Zane is another one of my just-can’t-miss-authors. I know when I pick up a Zane novel I won’t put it down unless 1. Meagan Good slaps it out of my hands. 2. Zoe Saldana slaps it out of my hands. 3. Toni Braxton slaps it out of my hands, Meagan picks it up, gives it to Zoe… and Zoe reads it to all three of us. Naked. In a hot tub. Hey don’t blame me. Zane’s books are the reason my fantasies are what they are. Yours can be too.


Other books I read in 2010 that you shouldn’t miss:

'Six Graves to Munich' by Mario Puzo - 9780451230591
'Blue-Eyed Devil’ by Robert B. Parker - 9780399156489
'Accused' by Mark Gimenez - 9781847442765
'Lipstick Hustla' by Allison Hobbs - 9781593092825
'Welfare Wifeys' by K'wan - 9780312536978
'The Eagle's Conquest' by Simon Scarrow9780312305345
‘Fast Girls’ by Rachel Kramer Bussel - 9781573443845
If you would like a list (and ratings) of ALL the books I read in 2010, just drop me an e-mail at rubiconreader@gmail.com. Here's to an exciting 2011!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

'The Eagle's Prey' by Simon Scarrow


Man…book #5 and this series hasn’t slowed down yet. Cato & Macro… Lady Fortuna protects them like a mother lion. There are times when we look back throughout time and say “things were better back then”. And During the time of Rome the argument could be made that loyalty, honor, and sacrifice were held in higher esteem than they are now. Unfortunately, the one thing that has ALWAYS remained the same: bottom-feeding politicians. Promoted and in charge of men for no other reason than daddy had some fast moving sperm. Macro and Cato have been transferred to a unit commanded by such an individual...

It’s unfortunate that he has such a cool name; Maximus. During the heat of a battle he pulls a boneheaded move and Cato is caught holding the stick. Although Cato’s service record to this point is colored with bravery in the face of certain death, including an insane mission to save the General’s family, he is sentenced to death… along with forty others in the famously brutal practice of roman ‘Decimation’. That stupid ruling sets the tone for this book and with it comes another glorious, bloody romp through the Legions of Rome. Reading this series is made for book lovers like me. Characters you grow with and bond to, bloody descriptive action, and the joy in knowing that it will last for a good long time.

Nunc ad sexti.

9780312374792

Monday, December 13, 2010

'True Grit' by Charles Portis


I will admit that I read this book totally based on the hype of the new movie. Not the book and not the old movie with that dead old guy named John Wayne. I was jonesing for a Western and since this was a classic (1968) I gave it a shot. I DID enjoy this book but if I’m do be 100% honest… Mattie got on my damn nerves! At fourteen this girl was able to boss around grit-hardned and burly men? As much as I wanted to believe that, I truly couldn’t. If these men were as hard and rough as we were led to believe, they would have had a few words with this female whelp and either ignored her, beat her, or done other things need not mentioned. While the story was good, I just couldn’t get past how blatant fourteen year old Mattie was and how she was allowed to live. I know that sounds bad but this is the Wild West not The Ladies Preparatory School for Women.

Anyway, I kept reading because this in all seriousness a good book. One thing that kept me was the language. Certain words and certain phrases were nothing less than literary morsels. Smooth veils of silk in the harsh and dry environment known as the West. To me, THAT is what makes this book wonderful. The violence that I also love is there in spurts and bad guys abound. But what will make me recommend this book to my folks will be the language. What will make me remember this book are the words.

9781590204597

Friday, December 10, 2010

Peanut Butter Vol. 2 by: Cornnell Clarke


I read Vol. 4 before I read Vol. 2 (not that it matters with this series) and you can tell the maturity in the artwork between the two. Makes sense, because it looks like there was about a seven year span between the volumes. Of course no one, including me, is looking at the artwork like it’s some DaVinci or Picasso anyway. Despite that, this one was just as graphic, just as sexual, just as erotic, just as satisfying, just as “OMG”!! as her cousin. Mr. Clarke draws like most guys think. Outrageously hot women who are willing and (more importantly) ABLE to do anything sexual for no other reasons that “why not”? Nothing is out of bounds, the word “no” is nonexistent, and sharing partners is not only encouraged but required.

Yes, there is text in this one as well but it’s there I guess because it has to be. The erotic artwork overshadows anything the characters have to say, and just as well. If I’ve got some voluptuous Amazon goddess standing in front of me, shaved down with less hair than bowling ball, I could care less about what she has to say on… well… just about anything. The text is good for a bit so you can follow the story if you want, but why would you want? :-) Cornnell puts more than enough art eye candy in to satisfy. Now… maybe I should start with Vol. 1?

9781561633784

'Rogue Wave' by Boyd Morrison


First: believe everything you’ve hear about how incredibly fast this book is. Second: believe everything you’ve hear about how incredibly fast this book is. There are some books that are fast reads; ‘Rogue Wave’ will make you read fast! It literally drags you from page to page because it’s that type of non-stop action reading. I literally had to physically slow down because I was moving so fast. This book deserves 100% of all the over the top praise it is getting. I was wondering myself what in the world could have caused such a wave, and when I found out... man!

The beginning was full throttle as Kai (love that name) has to determine if there is a tsunami, how powerful it is if there indeed is one, and do they need to evacuate. I laughed at the politics and how, no matter WHAT the emergency, politicians have to bear their 9-headed Hydra. Always and forever I guess. My only beef came near the late-middle of the book. I love disaster/annihilation novels, always have. What drives me crazy are the stupid heroics of the people in them. I know, I know, I know I’m Mr. Heartless.  But I found that in this book, it drove me bonkers because it was one right after the other after the other after the other! I mean come on! All jokes aside, it did seem like a bit much for the “I’m going to save her/him”, or “what was that noise, I need to save someone else”. Either heed the warning or die idiots.

So that was a slight hiccup for me. The ending however… thrillers aren’t supposed to be emotional right? Can we agree on that? I mean emotions are for books like ‘Lovely Bones’, ‘Flowers for Algernon’, any boring book that Oprah picks, or book #7 in the ‘Dark Tower’ series. Not a book about a freaking killer wave. Apparently Boyd missed a board meeting because he damn sure didn’t get that memo. Two huge things happened that caught me totally unawares and left me and my heart considering a lawsuit. Simply put, I loved this book. Get one for yourself, get one for your friend, get one for your enemy, get one for your wife, get one for your weekend girlfriend, and throw one in every stocking of your book lover friends this Christmas. An incredible sophomore (I think) book by Mr. Morrison.

9781439189580

Monday, December 6, 2010

'Khan: Empire of Silver'


Whenever I read a Conn novel I expect to be taken on a journey. A grand, expansive, lyrical journey. I have followed him since before his first ‘Emperor’ novel and have stayed a fan since. My only quam is that he takes about a year and a half between novels so I tend to lose a bit of the story because 1. I’m not getting younger and 2. Ginsing is NASTY! Trying to keep up with the bloodline of Genghis is like trying to read Braille with ball bearings attached to your fingers. But as I read this latest installment in the ‘Khan’ series, everything slowly comes back. As massive a figure as Genghis was, the character that took me in this book was Tsubodai. The General. The Strategist. The non-bloodline “outcast” that helped build one of THE greatest warrior nations ever. His true impact we’ll probably never know but ‘Empire of Silver’ does a pretty good job of helping us see his contribution. His brutality seems second only to Genghis and I enjoyed reading about the slaughter he meted out to anyone who didn’t have the sense to give up.

Conn does the Khan History justice in this latest installment of The Mongols. We get the battles, the blood (although I was hoping for more), and even the time treasured, never ending politics of a Nation. Genghis has so many children and offspring that if he lived today he would be playing in the NBA. Because of this, there are numerous, legitimate claims to the Khanate that are constantly being challenged. Ogedai is the Khan in this book but for how long? Will honor, greed, or bloodlust win the day? Once Ogedai makes his decision as to who will rule what and where, the generals are loosed upon the world. And I guess their orders were to slaughter damn near everything because… geez! They introduced so much blood to the world that vampires were like “seriously, stop”. Reading a Conn novel is truly pure joy because there is so much story and the way he’s writing these Khan novels, there’s no end in sight. Fine with this reader.

Conn’s writing has sharpened since his first ‘Emperor’ book but a small part of me wishes for the “old” Conn, especially when it comes to the blood and brutality. Don’t misunderstand me; it’s in here but not at the level as his previous books. Doesn’t take away from the story, just a personal preference. Anyway… enough of me crying and belly aching… the action in this book is exactly what you would expect from Conn; fast and vast. The simmering hatred Batu has for Tsubodai and his forced yet mocking obedience of the famed General. Chagatai biding his time before unleashes his version of the Mongol Smackdown. The terror of the Russian towns and her citizens at the knowledge that they would not live to see the next morning; heck the next hour. A shocking sacrifice by one of the brothers, the genius of a forgotten General, and a razor sharp kirpan twist at the end.

Anyone wanting to know how to write an historical-thriller needs to sign up for ‘Conn 101’. Anyone wanting to read a massive historical-thriller needs only to visit their local book store to do so. When you get there, go to the “I” section, look up ‘Iggulden’, and then cancel your life for the next week.

One last thing: Conn adds some historical facts at the end of this book to give us perspective as to what was true and what he took liberty with. I’m assuming he did this because for some reason Conn gets beaten up mercilessly by critics scream from the mountaintops that his books aren’t “accurate”. Conn is an author, Conn is a creator, Conn is a storyteller. If he wants to take liberty with history so be it! I understand why he did it (if that is indeed why he did it) but I say screw the corncob pipe smoking critics man! He has a gift that they don’t; he can tell a story and hold people. The only difference between a non-fiction book and a fiction book is the “non”. (Wow, deep). It’s all about perspective. Conn sees it one way, I see it one way, and the corncob dork sees another. Ignore the detractors and the purists. You want “true” history? Go to Oxford and proceed to be bored stupid. You want a series that makes your heart pulse? It’s right here.

9780385339544

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Peanut Butter Vol. 4


I bought this book strictly on the word of other people who have read the other volumes of this series. I was looking for something VERY sexual, VERY graphic, and supremely erotic. This one is three for three. I thought this was going to be the average size graphic novel but its format is slightly bigger. Of course it would have to be in order to accommodate the larger size guys they have in this book. I wouldn’t say these men are huge, but I showed this to Lexington Steele and he cried.

Just for the sake of saying “I read it” I did read this book. That way when I go back and skim it 1400 times a day for the next 800 years I won’t let simple things like words get in the way. And speaking of the words, the text is very, very tiny. Not a problem, just an observation, since the words take a back seat to the erotic art anyway. ‘PB4’ has everything you would expect from a graphic novel like this. The women are drawn hot, drawn wet, and severely sexy. They are a man’s dream, in that, they are uninhibited in ANY way and pass out BJ’s like candy. Their drawn bodies are made for consensual abuse and sexual throttle… and they wield them as such. I wonder how fast I can get volumes 1 -3?

9781561635955

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sony DSC-T-99 Cyber-shot (green)


My first Sony camera was a Mavica (loved it and still have it). My second camera was a 8.1 MP DSC-N1 (BEST camera I have EVER owned and have had it for five years). This one is my third. I wish I could say that I was excited and pleased about this one as I’ve been about the other two, but I’m not. Not even close. Since I was so pleased with the first two cameras I had NO problem being brand-loyal and staying with Sony. I did look at other digital cameras to see what they had and basically no one had everything I was looking for in one camera like Sony. 14.1 MP, HD video recording, different shooting modes, and a compact size. I’m no pro but I know about my digital cameras. Since my DSC-N1 broke (sniff) I immediately compared this camera to that one. It had to be better right?

Wrong. Glaringly wrong! For starters the touch screen isn’t as nearly clear as the DSC and the picture quality is FAR from what I expected. Going from an 8.1 MP to a 14.1 MP, I should have seen a dramatic change in picture quality. Actually… I did. But in the opposite direction. How can an 8.1 produce clearer shots than a 14.1? And they both have the Carl Zeiss lens! When I download the pictures to my computer and blow them up there is a definite and quite obvious difference in the picture quality. Not cool. The other thing that is very frustrating is the “fishbowl” effect on the edge of the pictures. The middle of the picture is OK but the outer edges look like I gave this camera to Aqua-Man and told him to go for it. Having my pictures look like that is unforgivable. I have tried different settings, mixing and matching but nothing seems to get rid of that “fishbowl” effect.

I was trying to be “smart” and not get the camera I wanted because of the money. Next time I’ll know better. This was an expensive lesson to learn but I’ve learned it. I’m so frustrated with this camera I threw it up on Craigslist barely two weeks after I got it to try and get rid of it. Unfortunately the only takers I’ve had have been the “I’ll send you a money order” scammers. This camera comes with all the bells and whistles but unfortunately the important ones, pictures and picture quality, fall way way short.

Monday, November 22, 2010

'The Athena Project' by Brad Thor


For me, there’s nothing like a woman that drives a Jeep. For others, there’s nothing like a woman that collects teddy bears. Some guys like women who can strap on a parachute and jump out of a plane. Still others are drawn to woman who can shoot out the tires on that Jeep, plant tiny cameras in those teddy bears, and blow up the plane she just jumped out of. If you are the latter, then this book has your name AND social security number written ALL over it. We got a tiny glimpse of the Athena group in ‘Foreign Influence’, not a lot, just enough to whet the appetite. This time around we get to savor all four of these ladies in their entire explosive, Kevlar bra wearing, HALO jumping glory.

Alex, Megan, Julie, and Gretchen are the four angels that are part of the covert group called the ‘Athena Project’. Quiet, deadly, dark, and sexy. The phrase “use what you go to get what you want” takes on a whole new meaning when dealing with world Mob bosses, terrorists, and double agents. Taunt and firm they may be, but don’t underestimate them because you will pay with great pain… or your life. But this isn’t some fake feminist, affirmative action, equal rights, useless N.O.W. whining type of operation. Oh no. The only difference between them and our boy Scot Harvath; when I think of them in a thong I don’t dry heave.

‘The Athena Project’ seemed to be written in the same spirit as ‘The Last Patriot’. While not as politically heavy as his other books, ‘Athena Project’ does have that mystery/ancient secret/suspense/butt-kicking thing going on and it’s extremely entertaining. No matter how many people our brave Black OPS soldiers quietly eliminate, there is always some idiot waiting in the wings, under a rock, or hiding in the mountains who think they can do a better job of helping the evil forces bring about the end of the world. This time you have the never-seem-to-go-away Nazis who have created a sort of sci-fi type weapon that is biblical in its power. At one time it was thought to be gone, but it’s back and in the worst hands you could possibly imagine. Brad Thor takes a number of different story lines, weaves them to create their own tale, all the while giving us clues to a much larger and extremely chilling puzzle of a terror plot.

The ladies are tasked with a couple missions ordered and a few they couldn’t help BUT get mixed up in. The opening mission is classic, especially with the way they escape and bring their hostage with them. They have a unique violent way about them and you have to love the bantering humor. Seriously. These women are about to do some incredibly insane Black OPS thing and they’re talking about dating guys with no teeth or who is more likely to kiss a married man! But make no mistake; one second they are laughing about a Georgia good-ole-boy and the next second they have double-tapped a terrorist. Boil this entire review down to a few words, “heck-yes-I-enjoyed-this-book-and-having-Brad-Thor-put-out-two-books-in-one-year-and-having-to-read-about-FOUR-sexy-women-that-pack-heat-is-an-absolute-thrill”. And one more quick thing: While the name ‘Brad Thor’ is enough to get me to read, he goes one step further when he writes, on one page at the beginning, “all the science in this novel is based on reality”. I have NEVER read a book that has started as such, and had it suck. That streak continues.

9781439192955

'The Strain' by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan


This book was the slowest, fastest book I’ve read in quite a while. Written by two guys; one an author the other a screenwriter, you really feel both strengths in this book. Since they started out writing this a trilogy they paced themselves. I call is “slow” because it takes them forever for this vampire plague to get its bloody appendage in the city of New York. I call it “fast” because there is very little down time in getting there. If I’m not making sense… I would partially agree with you. It’s almost like writing a story about crossing a street in your neighborhood. Shouldn’t take you long and should be uneventful right? But what if you were to witness a murder, get hit by a car, and break your leg in the gutter in your quest to cross the street? That’s what this book was like. Going from Point A to Point B takes on a whole new bloody slaughterous meaning.

The way things are now with vampires every author takes extreme liberty in the myth, the truth, and the legend of vampires. This one is no different. They introduce two totally disgusting and skin squirming appendages. There are your traditional vampires, your sexy vampires, your funny vampires, and THESE vampires. If you are easily nauseated then you don’t need to read this book. We get graphic detail on Nazi atrocities, organ-decimating viruses, and the repulsive feeding habits of these New York vampires. Oh wait… did I mention the rats? Big, nasty f-ers too! I love my vampire reads gory, fast, bloody, mean, and gross. ‘The Strain’ is all that. And more; because this is only book one in the trilogy. “End of the world” novels are my thing too and this one seems to be shaping up to be just that. I was just hoping that the end would come a bit faster.

This book is fun. It’s not a classic. English literary classes won’t use it for their curriculum. IT’S FUN. Kanye West won’t read it (but that fool doesn’t read anything), but his fans will. Critic will bash it (already have), but the average Joe (me) will stop writing this review now and go buy book #2.

9780061558238

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

'The Lost Symbol - Illustrated Version'


Right now there are 2601 reviews for the original (non-illustrated) version of this book, so I’ll spare you the whole “what is this about” mantra because you probably already know. This book is another in the “Let’s Illustrate Dan Brown” series and is easily the best one yet. How they fit in the number of pictures they did while not taking away from the story is beyond me. It’s not a secret as to why this book is coming out around the beginning of the Christmas shopping season; this will make an awesome gift for those who have and have not read this book. I have each and every one of the illustrated versions AND in a word, they’re worth it. The pictures are colorful and bright and are in perfect concert with the story. The calligraphy is beautiful, and when you wrap it around a larger, more gorgeous book frame… marvelous.

9780385533829

Thursday, October 28, 2010

'The Confession' by John Grisham


Either I just ran twenty miles, Gabrielle Union just kissed me, or I just finished John Grisham’s new book. Seeing as I haven’t run since high school and Gabrielle doesn’t know me from Adam’s housecat, I’ll have to assume that this book is the cause for this unremitting, incessant beating of my heart. From the start you could tell that this wasn’t one Grisham’s “regular” novels. This was written with the same pain and passion as his first, but with a different soul. It’s is physically impossible to read this book and not get pissed. Yes, this book is about race relations and the South, that’s par for the course. What incensed me were Travis Boyette and the inept smugness of the judicial system in Sloan. The write-up about this book is a tad bit misleading. It implies that Mr. Boyette wants to confess to his crime after nine years of being a silent coward because he has an inoperable brain tumor. He wants to do the “right thing” before he dies. So he says. One problem… this guys wafts between stupid and unsure, almost like he’s a pathetic personification of both.

John Grisham doesn’t need any more weapons (than he already has) to make his stories memorable, but when you add brazen emotion to the mix it’s almost unfair. I enjoyed this book more than I probably should have. Am I the only one that compares his books to heroin? You wait for your fix, you get your fix, you savor your fix, and then you wonder how long you have to wait for your next fix and more importantly, why you were so stupid to rush through your current fix. Grisham paints a very disturbing picture of the “justice” system in Sloan, TX and how it could so blatantly and blindly push through the conviction of a man, even though they KNEW the confession was as fake as the chest on Pam Anderson. While some people take issue with Grisham preaching on the issue of the death penalty, I don’t. Make no mistake, I don’t agree, but when you write this well I can deal.

Travis Boyette and the Texas legal system combine to make a pile that you can smell all the way in Canada. We all know the system is flawed because humans are flawed. But when the idiots in Sloan deliberately chose to ignore certain halogen glaring facts, the justice system went from inadequately bad to feckless worse. Travis crawls from under his maggot filled sexual assault infested life FOUR days before Donte’ is scheduled to be executed to admit to the crime, and with a straight face wonders why no one believes him. The mad dash to clear Donte’s name while trying to piece together all the crap coming from Travis’s mouth is what really makes this book fun reading magic. Yeah, there is still that seething anger created by the story and her characters but you’ll keep reading because it’s impossible not to.

You feel the simmering hatred of the Black community toward the police, the monumental arrogance of the Governor, the shocking attitude of the Texas courts, and meet some unlikely heroes. You wonder what will happen and when something happens that you didn’t expect, you wonder what will be the next thing you didn’t expect to happen, happens. Suspense, anger, bitterness. You’ll feel it, you’ll taste it, you’ll be turned off by it, and you’ll grate your teeth at it. But one thing you won’t do is quit reading it. I’m a fan of Grisham’s books, yes, but I’m in admiration of THIS book.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

'Howard L. Bingham's Black Panthers 1968'


Remember how you felt watching Spike Lee’s adaptation of ‘Malcolm X’? Remember the uncanny metamorphosis of Denzel? Remember the end? The eulogy? When I was reading and looking through this book of our history I got that same feeling in my gut. No matter how brilliant the acting and production of ‘Malcolm X’ was, it paled in comparison to the man himself. Malcolm’s pictures and the unmistakable voice of the legendary (YES, legendary) Ossie Davis was the catalyst pride that swelled in each of our breast. For those of us too young to have missed the 60’s and 70’s and might have forgotten the stories of our mothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, and pastors; this collection is priceless.

No matter your stance on the Panthers, you had better concede one thing; they changed history for Black people AND for America. Trust me; I’ve heard all of the “bad” stories about the Panthers. Mainly from people who don’t have the first damn clue. I’ve also heard the good. Mainly from the people who were beaten by said clues. The Panthers were soldiers. Plain and simple. To call them anything less would be an insult, an injustice, and utterly contemptuous. They lived and fought in a violently severe time in America’s history, and that history must not be forgotten or watered down. The souls that had dogs sicced on them, fire hoses that tore away at their skin, and someone else’s saliva bathing their face deserve better. They demand it.

Mr. Howard L. Bingham’s pictorial anthology on the Black Panthers is one of those books that need to be on every Black person’s coffee table and in every Black person’s library. Am I militant? Hell no. I just know my history and I’m proud of my history. Those who lived through this time will recognize these pictures, the era, and reminisce. Memories good and bad will surface. For those (like me) who grew up listening to these stories, this book is an invaluable piece of much needed history.

Now… about the pictures. Powerful. Historic. Moving. Potent. Unique. Beautiful. Dominating. The radiant pictures of Kathleen Cleaver were enough to do it for me. Next to the raised black-gloved fist, is there anything so visual stunningly powerful? So stunningly beautiful? So stunningly dangerous? Had I not known better I would have thought that SHE was the reason it was called the ‘Panther’ party. Black. Strong. Intellectually savage. The incredibly cynical looks Bobby Seale gives the world captured on film makes you smile with a seething understanding of his thoughts. Throughout this book the power that is emanated through the lens of Mr. Bingham is glorious and vivid. Know that cliché; “a picture is worth a thousand words”? These are worth a thousand and one. By a factor of ten.

The short essays written by Howard Bingham, Gilbert Moore, Tessa Hicks, Mar Hollingsworth, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, and Bernard Kinsey are the Clubman to the perfect haircut. They said just enough without saying too much, and that is a talent in and of itself. While I can easily follow their work now because of the internet, oh how I wish I could have read/heard their words first hand. For some this will be a history book. For others; a diary. For me, it was a pleasure.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

'The Eagle's Conquest' by Simon Scarrow


I think I read ‘Under the Eagle’ about two years ago. I remember really liking it, but (as most book lovers can relate) I got caught up in reading other stuff and never made it back to Scarrow. Until now. Man, I didn’t realize how much I missed Macro and Cato until I started reading about these two again. I LOVE reading (fictional) books about Rome and it’s shouldn’t have taken me this long to get back into the series. I hope you don’t make the same mistake I did. This is a magnificent story within a magnificent series with magnificent characters told by a magnificent author. The "ending" was about as perfect as a lead-in to the next book as you would want. Absolutely perfect. Need I say more? Only this: ‘When the Eagle Hunts’… you’re next.

Friday, October 15, 2010

'Smooth: Erotic Stories for Women'


Unlike her last erotic book for women (which I loved) this one is truly for women. It was VERY sexual as all her books are, but it wasn’t… raw. Something about this one didn’t quite do it for me and I was trying to figure out what. I think I’ve narrowed it down to two reasons. 1. Different authors, which you would expect in collections and 2. It was a little tame for my taste. So why did I give it 5 stars? Because I can make the difference between good short stories, bad short stories, bad short stories that are just BAD, and good short stories that just weren’t my cup of tea but were good nonetheless. Most of the stories in this collection fall in the “good-but-not-my-cup-of-tea-but-still-good” category.

It just seemed that a lot of these short stories were very moderate compared to her other erotic “for women” books. Could be just me, and if so, I’m OK with that. Here are a few of my favorites:

‘Loyly’
‘Eden’ – this was a VERY interesting take on Adam & Eve.
‘This Night’ – my absolute FAVORITE!
‘Muscle Bound’
‘The Tea Party’

9781573444088

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

'American Assassin' by Vince Flynn


Ever wondered what it would be like to witness the beginnings of an F-5 tornado? Or a category 5 hurricane? Ever wondered how a Megalodon looks at birth? Beautiful destruction. A controlled chaotic force of nature. Mitch Rapp. What could have been the catalyst that helped create one of America’s deadliest assassins? After eleven years and equal as many books, Vince gives us one hell of a definitive look into Mitch’s past. And it’s so good it’s like watching… (insert the favorite thing you would like to see) here. Throughout his previous books we get bits and pieces of how Mitch was “created”, but not in one ecstasy induced adrenalin shot like this. Early on Rapp has to put up with verses. Rapp vs. Victor. Rapp vs. Hurley. Rapp vs. Lewis. And finally Rapp vs. the world.

Before you start reading one of the best books of 2010, Vince writes that he’s been waiting to tell this story for fifteen years. And it shows; on every damn page. Vince had fun with this one y’all. From Kennedy’s so called clandestine operation to scope out Mitch, to Mitch’s first run in with Hurley, to watching Mitch go through the toughest training this side of Parris Island. In the summer. Wearing wool. With Satan. With an abscessed tooth. With nothing to eat but jawbreakers. However, what makes Mitch so special is that he is that extremely special freak of nature who is equipped to go toe-to-toe with Satan in the heat and humidity of the deep South.

Most of us have skills suited to our job. People that love math steer toward accounting. People that love writing become authors. People that love figuring things out become engineers. People that love dishing pain become dentists. But in all these professions you don’t need to have “over the top” talent. You don’t need to be a prodigy. Study hard, practice, take out enough student loans to choke King Kong, graduate, interview, and get a job is the normal path. Not with Mitch. These cowardly terrorist were created and in order to balance yin and yang, the universe created Mitch. He is the Assassin prodigy, and he’s on our side.

Giotto drew the perfect circle. In 1991 the Andrea Gail was caught in the perfect storm. Zoe Saldana has the perfect body. Hillary Clinton is the perfect bitch. Popcorn is the perfect snack. Rootbeer is the perfect drink. Mitch Rapp is the perfect weapon to decimate the chickenhearted harbingers of “peace”. Vince is the perfect author to bring about such a character. When I recommend this book I’m not sure where to tell people to start reading. In series order or publication order? It’s actually really nice to see how Mitch started but I also got a kick out of hearing about Hurley. His parents must have given that name because it rhymes with ‘surly’. As you read, certain things start to fall in place from his previous novels and the storyline. So I guess it will be just preference as to where people will start. I, for one, am glad that I previously read Vince’s other books because it was nice to have that foreground to understand the background.

Mitch is one bad (shut-yo-mouth), I’m just talking ‘bout Rapp. Ya’ damn right! ‘American Assassin’ keeps with the thriller as only Mr. Flynn can create and like I said earlier, this will easily fit in your “best books of 2010”.

9781416595182

Monday, October 11, 2010

'Lipstick Hustla' by Allison Hobbs


Misty is back. The last time two words made me clinch my cheeks like I was a fish in prison was when the doctor said, “Yep, it’s yours”. You could search for years to find a literary character like Misty and NEVER succeed. Allison is one of the few authors who can write books that I love with a character that I hate. I know I know, hate is a strong word… so let me see if I can find something else... Nope. Hate works for me. I HATE, HATE, HATE Misty. This crazy chick is up to to her usual grime and deviant nature. I think what makes Misty so bad is that she doesn’t try to hide her dirt; it’s done right in front of your face. This modern day pimpstress has lost her main bread winner and is looking for someone else, actually a few someone else’s’. This chick picks up dudes from Burger King, steals them from a man-queen’s harem, recruits her very reluctant body guard into her repulsive debauchery, and test drives more guys than Madonna in her heyday. With her special brand of “Misty Mayhem” you know girlfriend has made some enemies. Got that right! I’m not going to tell you WHAT happens, but hell… I laughed.

The graphic sex is something that I look forward to when I read Allison’s books, even if it does have maniac Misty in it. She’s overpowering and seems to have the knack to find the weakest men with the longest… uummmm… organ. Her audacity and gall is beyond measure and you really do catch yourself from throwing this book at the nearest mirror. I know I keep harping on Misty, Misty, Misty but that’s because she is a trip and a third. She wants what she wants and she doesn’t care, and I mean she REALLY doesn’t care, how she gets it. Her vagina is a weapon and a tool, and apparently what she has is so good it causes men to lose their damn mind. Because they do. ‘Lipstick Hustla’ is Allison in true form. Carnal, animalistic, a slow penetration that violates every single one of your senses, words that arouse, and phrases that cause you readjust your clothing or makes you change them all together. Also, do yourself a favor and read ‘Double Dippin’ and ‘Big Juicy Lips’ before you read this one. You will want/need to know about the origins of Mad Misty.

9781593092825

Thursday, October 7, 2010

'The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey'


‘Last Days’ is the story of a ninety-one year old Black man named Ptolemy. He has dementia… of sorts. I’m sure most doctors would diagnose him as that, but I’m not as convinced. Seems to me this man had more life in his “last days” than most people do their seventy-one point seven years on this planet. Walter Mosley creates a beautiful story with some… provoking people. Ptolemy is a walking, dying encyclopedia of his Black experience. And many others as well. The man is dying, he knows he’s dying, and he’s OK with him dying. What hurts him most is that his mind is going away. His remaining family is like the rest of ours; some good, some bad, looking for a quick come up.

What happens, however, is what makes Walter Mosley one of the masters of this beloved craft. A mahogany colored beauty (Robyn) finds her way into the life of Ptolemy and she is one of the few bright lights to walk hand and hand with him in the end. While Robyn is his chaperone in “real life”, the person that guides him is someone we never really meet. Leave it to Mr. Mosley to create a (ghost) character that is more powerful than the (live) characters. Coydog McCann is the character of whom I speak. He’s a teacher, he’s a guide, he’s a mentor, and he’s a friend. Together, Ptolemy and Coydog have a deep, deep friendship that borders on the strongest type of brotherly love. This bond grows stronger over the years and Coy needs Ptolemy to help him complete a mission of sorts when he dies, and Ptolemy needs Robyn to do the same.

To help with this Ptolemy chooses to be a guinea pig for an experimental drug that will help him be lucid his final days. In spite of his dementia, this man is far from crazy and the drug doesn’t GIVE him clarity… it sharpens it. The name he gives to the doctor is classic. As with all of Mosley’s novels the surrounding cast is splendid. Every single one. Even Alfred. This man can not miss. Thank you Walter for yet another.

9781594487729

Monday, October 4, 2010

'Vlad The Impaler'


I was walking through our comic book shop in the back of my bookstore and this book was sitting face up on the table. Stop. Read. Shirk work duties. Everyone knows who Vlad is and how incredibly evil and disgusting this fool was... but still this book made it FUN. Barbaric and gory, this book is ripe with violence, rape, horror, sex, and enough savagery to satisfy even the thirstiest fanatic. If you’re looking for a *true* history book, then check out the Library of Congress. This is just a blood lusty, artistic jaunt through the life of one of history’s meanest and notorious butchers.

This is the type of graphic novel that you flip through (often) from time to time just for the sheer voyeurism of the drawings. “Vlad – The Impaler”; you wonder if they are talking about his erotic lust for blood or his erotic lust for women. Either way, both are depicted here… in all of the rapacious glory you would expect from Vlad. I looked around to see if there was more work by Sid Jacobson & Ernie Colon and didn’t find anything. I truly hope they change that.

9780452296572

Saturday, October 2, 2010

OPERATION RUBICONREADER


“… we need something here to read…” “Those books would definitely be a breath of fresh air…” What you just read are two snippets of a conversation I had with a friend of mine who is a soldier stationed in Afghanistan. His basic underlying beef was that they do not have anything to read. What the hell? They’re fighting to keep us safe and they can’t relax with a good book? Talk about un-American! So I got to thinking that I’m in the PERFECT position to help my boy out. Thus OPERATION: RUBICONREADER was born.

Here’s the deal. (At least) Once a month starting this Friday, October 8, 2010, I will mail a box of books to Chris and his soldier friends. It will be a mix of every genre under the sun. Except Romance. They’re already in hell, why make it worse. I’m asking for your help in sending our troops books. Here are a few ways for you to help:

1. Purchase the books from my store, Russo’s Books, and I will give you a 25% discount on the books and I will pay for the shipping.
2. Purchase the books yourself, ship them to me and I will mail them off.
3. If you are an author and would like to help, I welcome, and am very grateful for any of your books you would like to donate.

If you choose to help, I do ask that you purchase NEW books for our soldiers. There is something psychological about receiving something new from a stranger and I do not, nor will I, let this turn into a “a dump for my old books”. YES, I know our soldiers would appreciate any literature sent to them, but I am sticking by my plea to buy them a new book. Please.

This is a personal mission. Russo’s Books has nothing to do with this other than being a kick-ass independent bookstore that supports her employees, her community, and our soldiers. If you have any questions please direct them to rubiconreader@gmail.com and I will be glad to answer any concerns you have. Let’s make this fun, let’s make this great, and let’s corrupt the Middle East with TONS of Western Literature!

Jason Frost
rubiconreader@gmail.com

Friday, October 1, 2010

'Natural Born Hustler' by Nikki Turner


This book was missing something… and at only 112 pages I can see why. There are some authors, some books that can pull off a wonderful story in such a short tome but this is NOT one of those times. This book went by way too fast and that wasn’t because I was pulled along by the plot. It went by fast because it was short as hell! Usually this doesn’t bother me because again, some short stories are great. But there was nothing in and around this book that said this was a short story and I think that is incredibly misleading. Especially since there is going to be a sequel! Huh? Seriously, what rationale do you have for writing a 112 page book and then have a sequel?

Anyway… about the book: Unfortunately my ire doesn’t stop with the length of this book. This is a typical hood story with your typical characters and typical plot. The one (small) bright spot was the Maraunder family. Now I would LOVE to read more about them fools! But I don’t know what happened with this one or who was smoking what in the board room when they gave the green light to publish this. I chose this book because I have been a fan of Nikki Turner in the past. But I’m not sure if even her diehard fans will go for this one.

9780345523600

Thursday, September 30, 2010

'Grim Reaper' by Steve Alten


I started reading Steve Alten because of his exceptional storytelling and his edge-of-your-bed thrillers. This book eclipses pretty much everything he’s done thus far. Using a word like “epic” is so cliché but I really can’t think of another synonym to describe this book. Hell, even calling it a mere book seems insulting. When you read it you’ll understand. There are authors out there who are known for their impeccable research; Dan Brown, Eric Jerome Dickey, James Rollins, and Conn Iggulden. Welcome Steve Alten into that fraternity. But enough butt kissing and brown nosing… on to the book…

‘Grim Reaper’ is epic. (god, I hate when people say that). I get nervous reviewing books like this because it’s like asking a third grader to explain the law of gravitation as it relates to Mars. (Here goes…) I’m a sucker for end-of-the-word stories and writers who know how to tell a story. ‘Grim Reaper’ combines them both. This is a very *complicated* novel. Not complicated-hard but complicated-scope/detail. For starters Dante’s ‘Inferno’ is used as base for the story and we all know what a mind screw THAT book was. Good, yes but not something that I would read before bedtime. Scythe is a plague. But to call it just that would do injustice to the word plague. Scythe is a world clearing biological weapon of such malice, it would make Noah shiver. Of course it’s not 100% Earth-natural. Of course it has been manufactured by man. Of course you have governments that financed this and (yep) want to use this! Of course you have some lone nutcase who thinks is their duty to jumpstart Armageddon. Take all of that stick into the Steve Alten Mix-o-matic 2010 and you get this.

What really would happen if humanity was struck with an unstoppable plague? What if this plague was contained on an island? What if you could eradicate said island. Would you do it? What is an OK amount of people to kill (murder) in order to save six billion? Does God factor into this? Would he “stand by” and let man create his own Armageddon or step in to keep with scripture and wait for the appointed time to unleash his? OR… are they one in the same? The answers to those questions are not in this book, they’re inside you. They’re also inside the characters in this book. We get to observe the pain and unimaginable suffering they must witness (and in some cases, cause).

This will not be one of the best books you will read this year. This will be one of the best books you will read, period. Cliché? Perhaps. Laying it on thick? Not a chance. The longer I sit here and type the worse justice I feel I’m doing to this book because it’s magnificent on pretty much every scale and trying to convey that is daunting at best. For Steve Alten fans I don’t need to mention how flawless his writing and pace is. For those who don’t know, you do now. The development of the characters is a gem and you find that your emotions change with them. Your breathing matches theirs, your skin prickles with theirs, you dread the same fears, and you wonder if men can truly be this evil.

Steve also shows us a very unique side to the ‘Grim Reaper’. I’ve never seen… it… portrayed in such a way. The presence of the ‘Grim Reaper is the blood that gives life to this horrific end-of-times tale. Yeah I know…the Grim Reaper bringing life, Jason you’ve gone mad. Not mad, just in awe.

The only complaint that I have (and it’s personal): enough with the 9-11 conspiracy theories. It’s not that I mind them but they really seemed out of place in this book. The story would have flowed just as fine without them. It’s like going to Hooters and complaining about the type of socks the girls wore. In a book this narrative, this GRAND it came across as petty and needless. I read countless novels by authors that I disagree with politically but I read them because they are damn good authors. Steve is in the upper echelon of that, but this time I feel it took away from the story. And that is unfortunate. In spite of that I will put this book in my Top 20 best books read ever and also in that very, VERY rare category of “books that I’ll read again”.

'Welfare Wifeys' by K'wan


Fried catfish tastes better when cooked by some fat Black woman wearing a Kinte head scarf in the Deep South. Fettuccini tastes better when made in some hole-in-the-wall mom and pop restaurant in Italy. “Street-Lit” better when written by someone from the streets. K’wan is that person. If you follow him on Twitter and/or FaceBook you know that this brotha’ lives, breathes, parties (sometimes too hard), and sleeps street. It’s authentic and it’s true.

‘Welfare Wifeys’ gave me the same feeling I had when I read ‘Hoodlum’ back in the day. K’wan at his best. Animal. Man, if there was a name to perfectly describe the actions of an individual, Animal would be it. Violence seems to follow him or he follows it, I couldn’t tell which. By page six… yes, page SIX you are already caught up. I know one thing… you’ll never look at pizza the same way again. And the scene after… damn K’wan. So what you have is a bunch of thugs that have a brain for business and natural musical talent that have become rappers and CEO’s of music corporations. Unfortunately, haters hang around like crabs on a hooker, and just because YOU’RE legal that doesn’t mean that everyone in your past is going to be happy for you.

The players in this street drama only add fuel to Animal’s fire. Friend, enemy, girlfriend, afternoon jump-off, or cop. It doesn’t matter. If you’re on the wrong side of Animal you might as well call Satan and book a room in Hell. I could be speaking out of turn here but something tells me that Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines are both smiling.

9780312536978

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

'Smooth Operator' by Risque


There are people who write erotica and then there are people who WRITE erotica. Risqué is the latter. After a pretty long wait since ‘Red Light Special’ we are taken back to the world that only Risqué can write. It’s not just the erotica that makes her work great, it’s everything else. How she fits so much into 250 pages is the magic she creates. How good is this book? I finished it in two days. I know, I know, I know, big deal right? Well for me it is Mr. & Mrs. Condescending. SO THERE!

Lyfe seems to have it all. An exceptionally good job, an exceptionally freaky wife, an exceptionally large bank account, and an exceptionally large endowment (and I’m not talking about the Arts). Problem is his woman is more of a man than Hulk Hogan. Not in the physical sense but Payton is ‘HBIC’ and if you question it she’ll damn near shoot you. Lyfe is reformed thug and you can imagine that dichotomy between those two. They fight hard, sex harder, and we get to witness it all.

Arri is a voluptuous walking definition of sex who is a secretary by day and a web-cam hottie by night. Her boss? Lyfe. I’m sure you can put two and two together. Risqué is known for her drama and her twists so put on your seatbelt and turn off your airbag. “Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned”. The twist is finding out who that woman is. Pay attention grasshopper because the ending is wicked. Risque’ continues her special blend of everything in this, her latest novel ‘Smooth Operator’.

Monday, September 20, 2010

'187 When Courts Fail' by Wade J. Halverson


And again. Halverson’s books are like beer and buffalo wings; the more you eat the more you want. This installment of ‘187’ had the same extremely fast pace of his other ones but there was something more… sinister… about this one. Something more… different. I think what was different was the scale on which he wrote this story. A child sex offender is released and, like most of these filthy animals, he offends again. Unfortunately his victim this time is the son of a billionaire with a tortured soul and an unlimited bank account. The only other thing needed to dish out the type of punishment like John Boyer is a pair of horns. Know that with this adventure you will REALLY have to suspend disbelief.

Seriously.

John Boyle envisions a dozy of a plan to deal with the rampant child molesting going untended in the United States. Enter Kane, Si’Ling, Valentiono, and Hank. While Kane does his part to help John assuage some of his pain, this book doesn’t really center on him. He’s a supporting cast member this time. If you’re anything like me (you MUST be extraordinarily good looking) you WILL be able to wrap your mind around the scale and scope of this operation but DAMN! I’ve heard of being a vigilante, but John takes it to space with this one. This one definitely has a different feel to it simply because of everything that goes on.

This book belongs in the series, but it’s almost a universe unto itself because there is almost no way you could continue on with the rest of the books after this in a “normal” fashion. I enjoyed it, no doubt. It was just a different kind of enjoyment.

9781453532447

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

'Daddy Long Stroke' by Cairo


I read this book and got the same feeling as when I read ‘The Kat Trap’. When Cairo is telling the story, it’s FIRE. When he’s not, it’s dead. The gulf between the two is so massive that I have to wonder what the reason is. Alexander is the biggest misogynist this side of Henry the 8th, and the biggest sex fiend this side of… well… me. He treats women like cattle and that’s putting in nice! The “bad” part is that these women don’t care, don’t mind, and have no shame. They beg, plead, pay, and lie just to get a feel for his hurricane tongue and (very) large chocolate stick. No one said he couldn’t work it, but he is beyond arrogant when it comes to how he handles his business. The sex in this book… geez! It’s in your face, on your skin, and gets buried in your subconscious.

I only gave this book three starts because of what I mentioned earlier. I don’t want to read about the characters ego and id battling it out before doing what you WERE going to do anyway. There’s a way to do it to where the story doesn’t slow down, but it doesn’t show up here. Would I recommend this book? Yes and no. Yes, if you want to make you and the entire third world horny. No, if you’re looking for a good sexual story that flows. For me there was a definite disconnect between Alexander slayin’ the ladies and Alexander trying to educate us about the ladies.

They say that ‘Full Metal Jacket’ is the best half movie ever made. There’s a very thin line between character introspective and overkill. I think if Cairo was to take out a lot of the character-chatter then I think he would have an ENTIRE book of goodness, instead of just 50%.

9781593092788

Sunday, September 5, 2010

'187 Pain and Bliss'


This book was given to me by the author, there, now that that stupid disclaimer is out the way… they say that the sophomore book is harder to write than the first one, especially if (as in this case) the first one was very good. Apparently Mr. Halverson didn’t get that memo. I’m glad he stuck with the formula that made his first book so good, so brutal, so sudden, while showing us the power of friendship and loyalty. While this story is billed as a ‘Kane Silver’ novel, the bad muther in this book is Axle.

Axle is on a plane with his mother that crashes into the jungles of Thailand. To survive a place crash is one thing, but to do it on the outskirts in the middle of nowhere AND at ten years old… takes someone special. Or wild. From then on Axle’s life is one long barbaric game of survival. Through violence he is introduced to the jungle. He is parented by violence and violence permeates his skin like drunken jungle mosquitoes. To quell this force Alex becomes a world-class fighter and dedicates his life to training. He does well for himself and even finds himself some local tail. But when you breathe, live, smell, taste, and caress violence, it only makes sense that it will find its way back to you. Violence finds its way back to Axle and the path it blazes is white frikkin’ hot. But not nearly as hot as the path Axle blazes back as he tracks down those responsible. One by bloody, agonizing, murdering one.

Like his first book, Wade write this one like… like… if he doesn’t get it out fast enough, something else will. I’ve come to realize that this extremely fast writing style is just how Wade is. There were a few times where it was a little too fast and I wanted more background dammit! But that’s his M.O. so I just dealt. That’s always a good/bad thing with authors like this. What they write is so good that you go through it like Kim Kardashian does bikini wax, but then you have to wait until they drink themselves into another book. (Stephen King reference, not Mr. Halverson).

Mr. Halverson delivers again with a story chock full of rage, ferocity, revenge, and vengeance.

9781453519233

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

'Torn Between Two Lovers' by Carl Weber


This book may be only 184 pages but it packs a wallop in the HOLY CRAP department! This is a continuation of the soap opera starring (lunatic) Loraine, (like a bullet) Leon, (maddened) Michael, and (I need Jesus) Jerome. I was surprised at how short this book was. It’s like he went ‘Project Runway” on us. Course, if I had to pick a supermodel to name this book after it would be Naomi Campbell; skinny and full of drama. I suggest reading ‘Big Girls Do Cry’ and ‘Something On The Side’ first because there is a TON of back story, and without it you’ll be lost as Mel Gibson is in a AAA meeting.

While a lot of authors are good at creating the drama, Carl excels at it. He writes it so well that you are past the point of shaking your head at the characters and well into the frothing at the mouth, cursing, saying “WTF”, realm. I won’t give you any spoilers, but we finally find out who Big Poppa is, and talk about “it” hitting the fan! E-mail me if you figured it out before Carl tells us… I didn’t. As with every Carl Weber book you have your “no, no, no, no, NO moments” as well as your “I need to grab my rabbit” moments. While being very sexual, this time it’s more implied and not as explicit.

Don’t worry though because Carl makes up for it. Usually there is one, maybe two disturbed characters in a story. Not with Carl. Uh-uh… they ALL crazy! And they seem to be trying to out-crazy each other. Love has made us all do crazy things, but… really? REALLY!? Don’t waste time trying to guess or figure out the outcome of anything in this book because you’ll fail, fail, fail. Carl Weber has the drama down to a science and his books are a lot of fun to read. I only hope one day I can be near a book club that is discussing one of his books cause I got stuff to get off my chest!

9780758252692

Thursday, August 26, 2010

'I'm With Fatty' by Edward Ugel


A few years ago I read ‘Money For Nothing’ written by this guy. As a self-professed hater of any and everything non-fiction I was surprised that I enjoyed that book so much. Since then I think I’ve read one non-fiction book. This one would make my first this year. And I did good again. In anyone else’s hands a book about losing weight… BBBOOOOOORRRIIINNGGG!! Seriously, if you can’t lose the weight quit blogging and reality-TV’ing it and move your fat gullet away from the damn table. Course I won’t say that to Ed because he’s kinda cool, it’s the rest of the losers I’m talking about. Any-who I started reading this book wondering how in the hell he could make weight loss interesting reading and finished thinking “damn”.

While this is mainly a book about weight loss, it’s also a LOT more. I found out how much more very early when I read that he had sleep apnea. Right then and there I felt sorry for his entire neighborhood. I have only had one experience with a friend who had sleep apnea and I tell you, I wanted to slice his skin off using a four year old razor dipped in iodine. I was about one divorce away from sending his wife an e-mail saying “hey baby, wanna come to California for a REAL night’s sleep”? Ed tells this story as a man who is going through some serious, serious pain but can’t help but be a smart ass. I don’t know if it was a coincidence that I started my swimming workout (after a 20 year absence) a few weeks before reading this book but I’m glad I did.

I loved how, through everything, he brings it back to family. Good man with a better family… and he knows it. Now me on the other hand, all I want to do is meet Margaux. I’m thinking of gaining weight and forcing sleep apnea just to get a glimpse of that sexy beast. But that’s just me. Ed gives us his diets (cashews Ed, cashews?), a colorful character named Skip (he’s second on my “need to meet list”), his daily workouts, the wearing of the mask, (Luke, I am your father), and his final weight loss tally. I still don’t get “BMI” but it makes me laugh a little every time I say it. A lot of bookstores (including mine) will put this in the ‘Biography’ section but it ought to go in ‘Inspiration’. Ed’s my boy and I couldn’t help BUT root for him as I was reading this book.

I’m the father of three, the youngest being a one-year old darling of a little girl. ‘Fatty’ struck a weird emotional chord with that special father/daughter relationship. Yes we want to please our wives and, of course, our sons. But there is something different when our daughters look at us and say certain things. Then it seems to become “real”. I’m telling you, give this book to anyone who is having a struggle with weight loss. Throw this book at someone if they have sleep apnea. Weight loss is personal and to put your struggle in a book and share it with the world takes a pair. I’d never do it. Not even if you paid me a million… (wait)… not even if you paid me half a million dollars.

Yeah, good job Ed. I can count on one hand the number of people that could have pulled this off. Really.

9781602861213

'Sex is Fun' by: Kidder Kaper


Wow! (that was the original end for this review but daddy Amazon doesn’t allow one word reviews so…) Double wow! The only thing that is more sexual than this book is the actual act itself. With two woman. With insatiable appetites and an overbearing need to please. Calling this a “graphic novel” of sex wouldn’t be too far off either, especially with all the pictures in this book. This is an all encompassing manual on EVERYTHING you need to know about sex. Except abstinence. If you want that then might I suggest you talk your priest or marry a prude. Don’t look for it here. And speaking of prudes, just skip this book. No wait… better yet BUY this book and make your life worth living. This is exactly what you need. (well, it’s the second thing you need). :-) You really can’t help but learn something as you read through this book. I was just flipping through it again and ran across the section on ice cream! Yeah… ice-freaking-cream!

This book does a great job of mixing the technical with the tongue-in-cheek. It explores everything from the basics of hygiene to anal play to dressing up to finding that “special” spot on men and women. And the pictures… man! So graphic, so detailed, so sexual, and so GOOD that you *almost* don’t need the words. I say *almost* because the information in this book is so precise that even I learned a few things. Not that I’m the guru of sex or anything but it’s nice to find out something new, and I found a new technique for massaging that I can’t wait to try out. Especially since it’s not WHERE I get to massage, but WHAT. This book also caters to every single sexual lifestyle you can think of. (sans the humping of dead people and horses). Single, couples, triples, and singles and couples with triples.

This isn’t a book that you should read in one sitting. It’s more of a guide to help you along. I had this book about a month or so before writing a review because I really wanted to take the time to check out everything this book has to offer. It give you places to take notes, blank drawings of human bodies so you can show your partner the best place to kiss, touch, lick, bite, rub, massage, and tickle. If your sex life doesn’t improve after reading this book you’ve either got 1. A really pathetic close-minded sex partner, or 2. YOU are the pathetic close-minded sex partner. Course, with as graphic as this book is IT could be your sex partner. I wouldn’t suggest it though… paper cuts hurt when you get them on your finger, imagine a paper cut (never mind).

I kept this book with me in my laptop bag because it was always nice to break away from the real world for a while as I read and stared at the pictures in this book. ‘Sex is Fun’ is the perfect title for this book because it shows you EXACTLY how to make it so. Now… it’s time to stop reading and reviewing and time to start experimenting. I’ll let you know how it goes. Oh, and If you find my corpse lying face down, smelling like Blue Nile massage oil, covered in whipped cream, with a grin rigor mortised to my face, please don’t cry. Take solace that I went away happy. Very happy.

9781583333921

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

'Tempted by Trouble' by Eric Jerome Dickey


"If you sell your soul to the devil, what’s to say the check won’t bounce"?

I usually hate when people compare authors, but damn if Eric Jerome Dickey isn’t racing toward the “Walter-Mosley-Atmosphere” of writing. Not sure if the term ‘intelligent-thriller’ has been coined or not; but either way Eric Jerome has it on lock! His books are a literary paradox; his writing is so clean that you can’t help BUT devour his work, unfortunately if you devour too fast you’ll miss the flavor. ‘Tempted by Trouble’ is another high adrenaline rush from the man who lives on the road.

Dmytryk is a man who is asked to sell his soul to the devil. Of course you would never think that the person that begs you to sell your soul to Satan would be an angel. His angel answers to a very common name. Wife. Our tax dollars have financed the salaries of the people who have orchestrated this recession, and Motor City is losing jobs like a Las Vegas stripper slowly loses her soul. If money is the root of all evil, Eddie Coyle is the bush that grows from that root. That would make Bishop and Jackie the rotten branches. Dmytryk would be the gardener trying to prune said bush while getting caught in the vines, and his angel-wife Cora would be the fertilizer.

The predominate question in this book is “how far would you go to protect/save what is yours”? The mental anguish Dmytryk goes would weaken even the strongest cerebral athlete. He’s down and out. He has no money. Eddie Coyle tells him that he can make easy money in two minutes. In the time it takes a minute man to put a smile on his face and a frown on his woman’s, Dmytryk can become recession proof. At least for a while. At least until the money runs out. Again. Two minutes and you could live your life like it’s golden for the next six months. Two minutes and your soul could dissolve into black forever.

As I was reading this book I was thinking how easy it would be to be a wheelman and make a few thousand just for driving. How much fun it would be to spend all that cash. What it would be like to waltz off a deserted island with a nineteen year old nymph. But you know what? I’m bet Dmytryk thought the exact same thing. I’m sure he didn’t factor in his wife doing the things she did because of that money. I’m sure he didn’t factor in becoming the bloody dispenser of pain to strangers. And I’m damn sure he didn’t factor being trapped in an M. Night Shyamalan black hole. While there are shockers throughout ‘Tempted by Trouble’, there is one you won’t see one coming.

Trust me, you won’t. I actually had to go back and re-read a few pages because I really thought I missed something. I did, but it wasn’t anything like I thought. Eric writes on a level that most people dream. Saying that his books are magnificent is just redundant. My admiration of this man goes beyond a fan’s infatuation. I’m a booklover who reads these books because Eric has that very, very rare gift of being able to tell a story and not just write a book. I relish the read, I take pleasure in the literary vacation, I hardly breathe on the thrill ride from cover to cover, and what’s more, it’s a necessity. I’m the junkie and he’s the dealer. (just call me Pooky)! And like most junkies, when I find something good I spread the word. So everyone, slap your forearm, find that vein, and O.D. on a drug called EJD.

9780525950585

Sunday, August 8, 2010

'The Hot Box' by Zane


The “hot box”; a baseball drill that can be played with three or more players and two to four bases, or… a title from today’s hottest erotic author. Talk about a double entendre! When you read a Zane book, you pretty much know what to expect. Sex. Drama. Sex. Humor. Sex. More drama. More humor. More sex. However, what makes Zane so special, is even though you know what you’re going to get, she can still surprise you with HOW you get it. I read this book with the same zeal that I read all of her books. I start and I seriously can’t stop until the last freaking page.

This book is aptly named because the people in this book take you hither and yon with all the mess they get into, create, and encourage. I sometimes get lost when there is such a dogfight mentality with the characters and plot, but again, Zane steers us as only a skilled literary navigator can and I didn’t get lost. Only hot. I would finish Zane’s books a lot faster if this woman wouldn’t give me so much to daydream with, DAMN!

This story centers around Milena, Lydia, Glenn, Phil, Yosef, and Jacour. Two women, four men that have more loin action going on than most Las Vegas brothels! No, I’m NOT joking! Milena has some very strong morals, so strong that she hasn’t let anyone near her morals for eight years (yeah you heard me right). The question is how far can she keep on playing “Chastity Clamp-it-shut” before someone comes along that makes her test those morals? You won’t believe what happens. Lydia is quite the little hoochie. She spends major time with the guys and really should open her very own chain of 24-hour Kegel fitness gyms.

Glen & Phil… *sigh*. What can I saw about these two? Like most of you, I had a mother who said, “if you can’t say something nice about someone don’t say nothing at all”. I’m sure Mama Frost meant REAL people, so Glen & Phil are fair game! (good). I’m a guy who loves women so I know firsthand the ”power” they possess and what we guys do to get a taste or feel of that “power”. But I mean COME ON fellas! I guess every story must have its fools right? Every one of these characters have redeeming qualities, they just get caught up. Zane comes strong with this one, but really… what else would you expect?

**On a personal note**
While reading an author’s work is in and of itself intimate because you get to read what came from their hands, their brain, their sweat; what Zane writes at the end of this book only makes me admire her even more. She breaks it down and gets really personal and real about some revelations she’s had, how she feels about writing erotica, and her candid feelings on some pretty timely topics. I don’t have to agree with them all to appreciate what a talent this woman is. I’ve always taken issues with people who say “ewww, she writes erotica”. Yeah, so? I’d bet money that most of these people haven’t even picked up a novel written by this woman, and I’m sure they have NO IDEA the careers she’s launched or how brilliant of an entrepreneur she is. I understand why she wrote what she did at the end, but she didn’t need to. Her success bitch slaps them all quiet.

9780743499279