Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lover At Last.....

So it's been quite some time since I last posted.  That was not necessarily because I haven't read anything worth writing about, I just took a break to take a crack at writing my own romance novel.  It's coming along but it's a lot harder than it looks!

That being said I couldn't pass up writing about "Love At Last", book number eleven in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward.  As most of you who have followed this blog know, the WARDen is my absolute FAVORITE author..........EVER!!!!

The release of "Lover At Last" has been a very highly anticipated book.  The main love interests were introduced 5 books ago and the tension has been building with each new book.  There were some nail biting moments when fans of the series thought that perhaps (considering the subject matter) the WARDen would just opt for a novella or short story but in the end she revealed last year (during the release of "Lover Reborn") that she would in fact being giving these two characters an entire novel and their own HEA.  Thus began a year of bated breathing and mounting excitement until the release on March 26th. 

The main characters of the book are introduced in book 6 of the series and the evolution of their relationship has captivated fans ever since.  The steamy close but no cigar (no pun intended) moments, the almost kisses, the one sided confession of love and the internal struggle of one to come to terms with who he really is, created a mountain of tension and pent up frustration that was finally....gloriously....released in "Lover At Last".

Quinn and Blaylock...yes both are male vampires.  Both are great warriors and sexy as hell.  Blay has accepted his homosexuality and has been comfortable with it for several books.  He of course has harbored unrequited love/lustful feelings for his best friend Qhuinn (who by all accounts has man-whoring down to a science....but just can't seem to accept what he feels for Blay). 

I for one never thought that reading a romance novel where the main characters were both men would have been so ..... enlightening .... no exhilirating.   I've had many gay friends over the years but it was never something that I ever thought would be interesting to read about (I mean... what character do I picture as me??)  The WARDen though.... she got me!  From the first almost kiss, those initial intense stares and the continuing tension growing between these two incredible males had me drooling more than any of the other books (including Vishous' book and I LOVE Vishous).

I found that in this particular situation it was just as enjoyable to sit back and just watch the characters rather than pretend I was one.  The WARDen does a wonderful job of creating this attachment with these two characters over the course of 5 books that by the time you get to the one meant for them, you don't even remember that they are two male vampires.  They're just two people who have fought, laughed, hurt, and loved together for years.  You WANT them to be happy!

Watching the internal struggle with Qhuinn as he comes to terms with his feelings for Blay and then also seeing how Blay becomes his own man and is able to view Qhuinn as not someone to be placed on a pedestal but rather that he is a hurt and broken male who ultimately is the male he loves more than anything.  We see Blay take on more of a commanding role in this relationship and it makes the ultimate moment of their consummation that much more explosive.  The subsequent erotically charged scenes in the book are just as steamy especially as Blay becomes more and more the alpha in the relationship.

WARDen has taken a subject that is extremely hot and controversial today and made it relateable.  You identify with these two characters.  After all you've been watching them for over 3 years now (chronologically from the books).  You watched them go from young boys into young men into strong deadly fighters.  But you also watched their struggle with wanting someone they can't or don't believe they can have.  Who hasn't experienced this in their life?  The guy in high school you just couldn't get out of your head for four years?  That really hot movie star that you'd give your left arm just to kiss once?  We've all had those feelings and watching Qhuinn and Blay and knowing that what is keeping them from actually getting their HEA is how those around them will view it, makes the happy ending mean something because they were able to get past appearances and be with each other.

J.R Ward handles this subject with humor and sensitivity and gives the topic a very personal bent.  The timing of the release of this book was well placed with the legislation and cases for same-sex marriage.  Qhuinn and Blay show how, you love who you love, and you should be allowed to love who you love and the government shouldn't have any say.  The brothers and the king (Wrath) all accepted their relationship and welcomed them and even helped in creating a very, very romantic ending.  Not only that but the response that Blay receives from his mother and father after coming out to them about his homosexuality was heartwarming and made me think that as a parent that's the way we should react to our children when they tell us about themselves and who they love (whether it be someone of the same sex, a different race or a different religion).

I don't think there could be a better example of how two people can love each other no matter whether they are opposite sex or the same sex, than Love At Last.  J. R Ward creates an erotic yet poignant story of two males of worth who defy everything and finally become each other's Lover At Last.

I highly, highly recommend this book!  It's one of the best ones in the series.  So from from one book addict to another....happy reading!!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Facebook is GREAT... and Warlocks are sexy!!

So I was on Facebook the other morning, and most of the time I just ignore those ads off to the side because half the time they're nothing I'm really interested in.  I realize they are marketed towards my interests but really, when am I EVER going to wear five inch bright green hooker shoes?  Well, this morning was no different, I'm scrolling down my news feed and one of the ads catches my eye.  It's a B&N ad for a five book collection of two different series by author HP Mallory.  So the ad says I can get three books from one series and two books from another series for $2.99.  The two series are Jolie Wilkins and Dulcie O'Neill. Well can't beat five books for three dollars!  Here's hoping they're good, I thought.

The first book I read was from the Jolie Wilkins series.  So the premise is the main character, Jolie Wilkins, is a witch (but of course she doesn't know that yet).  She can see auras and glimpses of the future.  She's introduced to the Underworld (which consists of every supernatural being imaginable; warlocks, vampires, witches, werewolves, demons, faeries) by Rand a very powerful (and naturally extremely hot) warlock.  Jolie has a special gift that all the Underworld beings want...she is the only witch who can bring back the dead.

The book is written in first person and I think I'm starting to like this style of writing.  I used to hate it because I never knew what the other characters were thinking, but it's growing on me.  I was very pleasantly surprised.  The books are well written.  Characters are well developed.  And as most of you know by now, my favorite thing is dialogue, and this has some of the best spoken and inner dialogue I have read in a long time.  Jolie speaks like a 21st century American.  Not always proper English and lots of sarcasm (which is my favorite).

Oh, and Rand?  The HOTTEST warlock ever!  He's English so plus for the accent.  Tall, dark and ripped, and has a way with his mouth.  *sigh*, but he's not the only eye candy in this book.  Jolie (in the vane of Sookie Stackhouse) seems to have every major hunk from the Underworld after her, as well as a few not so pleasant characters.  There's Sinjin the vampire, he's my second favorite.  Also English, but sarcastic, and suggestive...certainly puts Eric Northman to the test.  Then there's Trent, the werewolf.  Although nothing will make me love another werewolf above Alcide, Trent is a werewolf you love to hate.  He's cocky and over confident which creates great banter between him and Jolie.

All in all it is so far a great book series.  There's of course an impending war that they all have to worry about in between trying to get Jolie in bed.  I can't wait to see how it all plays out.  Who she'll end up with ultimately and the outcome of the war.  I highly recommend this book if you're looking for a good series.  I don't know if that special is still available but check out HP Mallory any way for other books.  I know I will!  From one addict to another...happy reading!

Monday, August 6, 2012

On the Island...

I recently read On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves.  The title caught my eye when I was searching for books under the $5 price range (which is was when I first found it but later was regular price when I purchased it).  So I took a look at the synopsis and thought, wow I'm not sure how I feel about this story.

Anna Emerson is a thirty-year-old English teacher desperately in need of adventure. Worn down by the cold Chicago winters and a relationship that’s going nowhere, she jumps at the chance to spend the summer on a tropical island tutoring sixteen-year-old T.J.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to go anywhere. His cancer is in remission and he wants to get back to his normal life. But his parents are insisting he spend the summer in the Maldives catching up on all the school he missed last year.

Anna and T.J. board a private plane headed to the Callahan’s summer home, and as they fly over the Maldives’ twelve hundred islands, the unthinkable happens. Their plane crashes in shark-infested waters. They make it to shore, but soon discover that they’re stranded on an uninhabited island.

At first, their only thought is survival. But as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.’s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man
. - Barnes & Noble

So you can see how it might be a little risque with this kind of set up.  So I began reading.  OH MY GOD!  It was the best book I've read since J.R. Ward's Lover Reborn came out!  I describe it as Blue Lagoon meets Castaway but in a really good way.  I finished this book in less than twenty-four hours.  I just could not put it down.

The book is really interesting in that although written in first person, each chapter alternates between Anna's viewpoint and T.J.'s.  Graves takes you on this great adventure and really captures the feeling of what it must be like to have to truly fend for each other and rely on another person to survive.  She does not make life on the island happy go lucky but rather intersperses happy times with the day to day survival of finding food, shelter, and water.  She shows that when two people are thrown into unbelievable circumstances they can work together to build a life together.

Anna is a confident, intelligent woman who at the beginning knows her role and knows the boundaries.  Over time this naturally changes as T.J. grows and gets stronger and more mature.  This development is really one of the driving themes of the book.  T.J. is a really great character, being only sixteen when the book starts he never really whines or complains.  He really steps up and tries to being a man when he is still just a boy.  Anna helps him go through this transition in a nurturing, "teacher" sort of way.  It is only after he truly becomes a man and begins to be the dominant one that her role and her life are changed.

As the roles reverse, Graves takes this and makes it into a beautiful love story that follows them throughout the book.  Although the sex in the book is not as graphic as some romance novels, they have been some of the most erotic I have ever read.  Mainly this is due to Graves' wonderful ability to make you really care about these characters.  They each have depth, and personality that makes the touching and kissing so much more belly tingling.  T.J. is very sexy.  His dialogue alone would make any woman's mouth water.  His growth into a man who becomes extremely protective of Anna makes him every woman's wet dream.  

I can not recommend this book enough.  If you are looking for a quick read at the pool in these last few days of summer you must make On the Island a must read.  From one addict to another... happy reading!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's my Birthday... I'll oogle if I want to

It's my birthday this Saturday and I'll be thirty-mumblemumblemumble years old and there have been a lot of changes in my life in the past few months so I thought this next blog post would fun and totally frivolous.  No real serious ideas or opinions (well I guess most of it is my opinion).  The idea for this blog came from the continued need for Hollywood to take really great reads and for the most part rip them to shreds.  There have only be a handful of books that I have seen successfully turned into movies or television and even then something happens along the way (especially in television) that ruins the story line.

But I digress, this was supposed to be a fun blog.  Well rumors are flying about the highly anticipated...I say sarcastically... movie deal for the 50 Shades of Grey movie.  Mainly "who will play Christian Grey?"  It seems that everyone and their brother is all "I'd play 50 Shades if asked"... Really, guys, really?  Have you read the books?  If they do make a movie I NEED the guy to have read the books, like the books, and truly identify with Christian.  I love this character, I don't want to see it destroyed or changed to fit a preconceived mold.  Of course that is how I feel about all the characters in my favorite books which is why I'm never really all that excited when I hear they're making a movie.  But what if they did make movies out of my favorite characters?  Who would I want to play these covetous roles?  And thus the LIST!  It was tough work searching through all of the sexy, steamy pictures of the actors I've chosen, but hey it's my birthday... I can oogle if I want to.

Black Dagger Brotherhood Series
Wrath - Jason Momoa

Rhage - Chris Hemsworth

Zsadist - Wentworth Miller

 Butch O'Neal - David Boreanaz

Vishous Son of the Bloodletter - Jonathan Rhys Meyers (although he'd have to bulk up a bit he has V's eyes so he wins!)

Haven't come across anyone who fits best for Phury, Manny, Tohrment, Rehvenge, John Matthew, Qhuinn or Blay but maybe that'll be another post.

Dark Hunter Series
Vane Kattalakis - Joe Manganiello (sorry Joe I know it's another werewolf but you play them so well!)

Acheron - Francois Arnaud

Some of my other favorite books...
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: James Fraser - James McAvoy

Widow Woman by Patricia McLinn: Nick Dusaq -Joe Manganiello (yes I know I've used him before but I'm biased and it is my birthday and I really wanted to give him a role that wasn't a werewolf or a stripper)

Finally I will weigh in with everyone else on who I feel would look the most like Christian Grey and who I also think would be able to actually do him justice.  Some may not agree but again, it's my birthday not theirs.  And the coveted title of  dom Christian Grey goes to... *drum roll*

HENRY CAVILL!!! Yes superman would be perfect.  He's just the right age has all the right coloring from his eyes to his hair and he has this way of looking wicked and wounded but sexy and dominating at the same time.  Here are just some highlights of his attributes.  You be the judge if he fits the mold for Fifty Shades...

So these are some of the few actors I actually picture when I'm reading.  I've recently started Game of Thrones but I've already watched the television series so naturally the characters look like the actors in the show but honestly the books are so good I'd have to agree with those they cast.  So here's some nice eye candy for those of you who might like to have a visual of the characters you've read about.  From one addict to another... happy reading!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wolves and Vamps... No need to choose sides

The supernatural genre of romance has exploded recently.  I guess we can all blame the debate between Team Edward and Team Jacob but honestly I think this subject matter goes back much farther than that.  Perhaps it's more apt to decide if you are team Lycaon or Team Lillith.  If you really want to be accurate though you don't have to be either team.  Ancient folklore indicates that vampires and werewolves are not natural enemies but rather have an equal co-existence, sometimes actually being one in the same.  But my question is not whether vampires are better or sexier than werewolves, although I don't think I can pick a side since they both carry their own individual erotic punch.  My question is why do we find them so fascinating and darkly sexual?  Where did this begin?

First let me point out a few basic origins for each myth starting with werewolves.  According to Wikipedia, the concept of a werewolf (or "man-wolf") may have it's origins as far back as ancient Greece in the myth of Lycaon who was cursed by the God Zeus to become a wolf.  This was after he attempted to serve pieces of his son to the god in order to determine if he really was a deity or not.  A far cry from the sexy werewolves of today's fiction, movies, and television but it does pose an interesting catalyst for why we have made them sexy romantic heroes.  Cursed by a god,  and being misunderstood make for great romance fodder (what with women wanting to "save" the heroes from themselves and their lonely existence). 

Werewolf then...
Through the years though werewolves became monsters not heroes.  In the early Christian church, often times people were cursed to be werewolves by both good and bad angels for evil deeds they had done.
 "All angels, good and bad have the power of transmutating our bodies" was the dictum of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Again there is this idea that a man does not choose to become a werewolf but that he is cursed and may need to atone for whatever wrong he has committed.  Naturally he needs a woman  to provide a source of redemption that may cure him or offer him a way to end his solitary existence.  Great!  Sign me up?  Not so fast, obviously there has to be more to it than just saving him, what about his other attributes and the sexual excitement?  What does folklore say about this or even past literature?  Interestingly there is not a lot about that except that most of the folklore surrounding werewolves and shape-shifters in general indicates that they gain super human and super animal strength.
 In some fiction, the power of the werewolf extends to human form, such as invulnerability to conventional injury due to their healing factor, super-human speed and strength and falling on their feet from high falls. Also aggressiveness and animalistic urges may be intensified and harder to control (hunger, sexual arousal). 
 Wait! What did that just say...intensified and harder to control (hunger, sexual arousal)? Well there it is.  The second requirement for a romance novel hero.  Excessive strength, speed, healing and intensified sexual arousal.  This is why I think women find these characters irresistible.  The idea that these men can both protect their woman but also service her appropriately has great appeal.  Although most of the literature and folklore surrounding werewolves depicts them as monsters and revolve around curses rather than erotic imaging there are a few folk tales out there that indicate that sex is part of their curse (most often it is these same folk tales that depict werewolves and vampires as the same creature)

According to the first dictionary of modern Serbian language (published by Vuk Stefanović-Karadžić in 1818) vukodlak / вукодлак (werewolf) and vampir / вампир (vampire) are synonyms, meaning a man who returns from his grave for purposes of fornicating with his widow.

Werewolf now...
Well that gives a whole new meaning to the Merry Widow.  I really think in regards to the erotic depictions of werewolves and shape shifters in general, it has been the modern supernatural genre that has been responsible for the explosion of shape-shifter and were-animal romance.  Many authors pay homage to the myths and folklore of the past.  This can be seen not only in the written genre but also in television and movies.  In Nicky Charles's werewolf series she eludes to the old myth that werewolves are born that way and that it can not be contracted.  She doesn't delve into how they came into existence.  She does give them the improved strength, speed, healing and sexual arousal making for some very steamy animalistic scenes.  This has been true with many of the shape-shifter books, television and movies I've read and watched.  Some these have been Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter Series (curse), Trueblood/Sookie Stackhouse Series (born that way).  The only one that suggests that to become a werewolf you have to be attacked by one is Being Human but even that implies that there are were-animals out there that are born that way.  In all though, each of these stories maintain inhuman strength, speed, and over the top sex.

Therein lies that real reason I think werewolves have evolved to rival vampires in the erotic realm.  Animalistic, uncontrolled, unfettered sexual desire and strength.  As I've said before women want to be claimed in bed by a strong alpha type male.  I think it's instinctual.  The caveman who killed the most beasts and protected his mate went on to procreate and make more cavemen.  It has been proven that women sought out men that they felt would pass on these more alpha traits.  Be that as it may, as the world evolved from cavemen to business men so did women.  We became more alpha ourselves and didn't need the big, bad caveman to help us survive.  But that drive is still there, so we look for it in our entertainment and find it in the fairly taboo idea of being dominated by that alpha male (which lets face it is not something we 21st Century women want to admit).

So that explains that draw for team wolf, but what about team vampire?  There must be reasons why vampires have dominated our psyche for centuries.  The origins of the vampire myth are so old and so varied it's hard to pinpoint an exact culture which originated this myth.  Every culture around the world has some version of the undead rising to live off the blood of the living.  Unlike werewolves, however, vampires have caused mass hysteria around the world on several occasions.  The first recorded vampire activity was in what is now modern day Croatia.
1672.[79] Local reports cited the local vampire Giure Grando of the village Khring near Tinjan as the cause of panic among the villagers.[80] A former peasant, Guire died in 1656; however, local villagers claimed he returned from the dead and began drinking blood from the people and sexually harassing his widow.

Vampire then...
See even back then vampires were sexual creatures.  The mythology on this goes back even farther to ancient Greece and even Aztec mythology which also suggests a sexual facet to their vampire legend.
Aztec mythology described tales of the Cihuateteo, skeletal-faced spirits of those who died in childbirth who stole children and entered into sexual liaisons with the living, driving them mad
 So the idea that vampires would make for great romance subject matter has been well documented for centuries.  Still, why does the idea of the undead, drinking blood or turning into a vampire create such a sense of eroticism in  the audience?  Simple, immortality and ever-lasting love.  Most romance novels give the impression of the lonely vampire who is forced to live for millennia alone, as a truly sad and tragic fate.  But wait!  Along comes that one woman who will sustain him and keep him and save him from his lonely existence.  We all want to be that one woman.  I mean don't we marry with the belief that it will be forever, till death do we part?  But what if that love could last many lifetimes?  Although in truth probably not the great fantasy it portrays, but on some level because of our fear of death and the unknown it seems romantic to be able to keep the life we have now.  Psycho-analyst Ernest Jones in 1931 said this about the vampire mystique:
"vampires are symbolic of several unconscious drives and defence mechanisms. Emotions such as love, guilt, and hate fuel the idea of the return of the dead to the grave. Desiring a reunion with loved ones, mourners may project the idea that the recently dead must in return yearn the same. From this arises the belief that folkloric vampires and revenants visit relatives, particularly their spouses, first."
"People identify with immortal vampires because, by so doing, they overcome, or at least temporarily escape from, their fear of dying."
Finally Jones notes that when more normal aspects of sexuality are repressed, regressed forms may be expressed, in particular sadism; he felt that oral sadism is integral in vampiric behaviour.
Vampire now...
So are we repressed?  The explosion of the supernatural romance genre not to mention the report from NBC news citing the rise of erotica and romance since the introduction of the e-reader, seems to suggest that even in this day of equal rights and supposed sexual liberty, women are not feeling as un-repressed as we maintain.  The idea that a book like 50 Shades Of Grey can spark such controversy because of the BDSM nature of the story, seems to suggest some repression.  Believe me, some of the stuff in 50 Shades is tame compared to what is out there.  For example; Taking Instruction by Cheyenne McCray makes 50 Shades look like your boring Harlequinn romance.  It's not as well written I will admit but if we're just going by the sex and taboo BDSM topic alone it's definitely more descriptive.

Vampires also fulfill that need to look at our more dark desires of immortality and ever-lasting love.  And I personally think there's no greater erogenous zone than a neck, so I guess I'm a little biased in the vampire direction.  But on the grand scheme of things, although werewolves have some catching up to do in the romance department, they also make for very sexy, drool worthy heroes.  It's not necessary to say you prefer wolves to vampires, honestly you can like them both!  Both provide the reader with the opportunity to relish two very primal urges.  One allows them to get lost in the idea of a strong alpha male claiming them as their own and the other offers the get out of death free card along with some pretty core tingling necking.  Take a page from Trueblood's Sookie Stackhouse, vampires at night weres during the day. She's had them all and doesn't appear to be choosing sides.  I think that's how I'm going to enjoy my supernatural genre.  Now when zombies start to become erotic, romantic heroes, I may have to rethink my opinion on why we like those supernatural men. From one addict to another...happy reading!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wall action - The Height of a romance novel

So if the average man is between 5'7 and 5'10 it only stands to reason that the men in romance novels are NOT in this average.  I mean really, who wants to read about an average size guy with average size attributes?  We get that everyday.  So what I've learned is that the average height of a romance hero is between 6' and 6'8 (this was how tall Acheron was in the Dark Hunter series and the tallest of the men of any series I've read).

Naturally, the height is also indicative of the size of other more impressive male areas.  Again who wants to read about average.  But really even if they're over 6 feet does it really come up to their belly buttons (even soft)?  In Magic Mike it was assumed that Big Dick Richie's could but he did use the aid of certain enhancing equipment.  In the books there's no enhancing equipment there's just all natural well endowment.  Naturally of course the women are intimidated by all that height and length and width.  The length and width thing I get, who wouldn't be intimidated by a penis that is basically half as long as a woman's torso?  But why be intimidated by height, I am sooo not!  There is something so sexy and exciting about having a man tower over you, who could protect you from whatever may threaten you.  Not to mention that in addition to being extremely tall and well endowed they're totally ripped.  No surprise there either.  This facilitates one of my favorite romance novel love making positions - held up against a wall/being carried/standing up.  The men in these books need to be extraordinarily tall so that any woman (be they short or tall) will be able to fantasize about a towering male who takes her in an uncontrolled passionate embrace and slams her up against the wall holding here there while his other talents go to work, also the women are never quite as intimidated from that point on.  Here are some excerpts from some of my favorite scenes:

"Pulling her further into his arms, he pushed her back against the shower wall and plunged inside her in one swift motion" - The Lottery  by Alexandra O'Hurley
"Oh, fuck the paperwork," he growls.  He lunges at me, pushing me against the wall of the elevator.  Before I know it, he's got both of my hands in one of his in a viselike grip above my head, and he's pinning me to the wall using his hips." 50 Shades of Grey by E.L.James
"There was only the briefest of pauses...and then John started pumping again - 
No, He was carrying her to the bed in the darkened room, the motion of his striding thighs pushing him inside of her and pulling him free and pushing him back" - Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
"Abruptly, he pictured her naked and up against the wall, her legs spread, her hair unbraided, her hands cupping her breasts.  Like a good boy, he was on his knees..." - Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward

These are just a few.  Many of the my favorite scenes revolve around this type of claiming.  There's something so raw and commanding about having a guy be able to not only lift you and take you but sustain it throughout.  I used to be a much bigger girl than I am now and I think this got me excited because I really wanted someone to be able to sweep me up like that.  But it really is much easier for a tall man to do this I would think what balance and all (but I could be wrong... maybe it's just something I fantasize about).  Climbing a guy as tall as you is sort of like climbing a bush instead of a tall tree, the tree is much more exciting, and I do like heights!
Alexander Skarsgard

Joe Manganiello
So lest you think there aren't any men out there that can "measure up" here is a list of some hot "real" men who meet the criteria of a romance hero (at least in height... I haven't had the pleasure of researching the other attributes in person so I can only speculate).
Francois Arnaud
Channing Tatum
  • Joe Manganiello - 6'5
  • Channing Tatum - 6'1
  • Alexander Skarsgard - 6'4
  • Christopher Meloni - 6'0
  • Chris Hemsworth - 6'3 (could be Rhage)
  • Jason Momoa - 6'4 (definitely Wrath)
  • Taylor Kitsch - 6'0
  • Matthew McConaughey - 6'0
  • Francois Arnaud - 6'2
  • Wentworth Miller (who should really play Zsadist) - 6'1
  • Hugh Jackman - 6'2
  • Nathan Fillion - 6'1
  • Zak Bagans - 6'1
  • Gerard Butler - 6'2
  • Jensen Ackles - 6'1
  • Henry Cavill - 6'1
Several of them have been on my list of five but mostly they're just a sample of the hot "real" men that meet romance novel criteria for that "up against the wall" excitement.  Although I don't always imagine actors in the roles of my favorite men, rarely do they actually look like what I picture. Perhaps some of you might like a little inspiration when you're in the throws of some great "wall" action. From one addict to another... Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Brothers - Rhage

 Lover Eternal is the second book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  Although it can be read separate from the other books it's still best if read in order.  So we've learned all about the vampire culture and species.  We've met the king and ultimate queen of the race.  We have also met the other brothers as well as the enemies they face.  As stated before J.R. Ward does an amazing job of getting you interested in the other characters while she's writing the main love story.

In book two we get to know Rhage and Mary.  Rhage is the playboy of the group (not that the other guys are slouchers in bedding the opposite sex).  He's affectionately nicknamed Hollywood by the brothers because of his movie star good looks and smooth moves with the ladies (both human and vampire) and due to some nasty curse by the Scribe Virgin he has to release excess energy through sex of fighting (Butch a human who has been allowed into the group quips when he witnesses the curse first had that he needs to remember never to get between Rhage and a woman again).  Needless to say he goes through women like a black dagger goes through a lesser.  What you learn is that although it seems that Rhage has it made in the sex department, he's lonely and actually jealous of the other brothers who have shellans (that being Tohrment and Wrath at this point).  Naturally his curse doesn't allow him to get to close to someone because he's always afraid he'll inadvertently turn into a dragon and eat the woman (and not in a good way).

As with all of the boys he's HOT!  Well built with blond hair and blue eyes, they describe him as more handsome than Brad Pitt (which isn't that hard to do lately... Brad is not aging that well).  I have to tell you that after seeing Thor, Chris Hemsworth is the spitting image of Rhage!  And he's got the attitude to play him.  So picture that scene in Thor when Chris comes out in just a pair of tight jeans and no shirt and that's pretty much how you can picture Rhage.  But I digress... Rhage is a great asset to the Brotherhood, his ability to wipe out a major group of lessers is often extremely helpful.  So how do we help him through his loneliness and yearning for a shellan?  Simple we bring in the human!

Mary is human.  No vampire DNA anywhere.  She's also dying of cancer.  But her caring heart and extremely insane calmness at being informed not only do vampires and undead human enemies exist, but one of these vampires has decided that he wants her (scars and unimpressive looks and all).  Lucky girl!  She meets Rhage after she befriends a pre-trans vampires (unknown to her and the pre-trans at the time) and thinks she's taking him to meet some martial arts experts.  This is the introduction of John Matthew.  He will get much more involved as the series goes on along with the introduction of his best friends Qhuinn and Blaylock (boy are they a post for another time!)

Of course the romance between Rhage and Mary is fraught with peril and the ever present threat of her dying of the leukemia.  The best thing about this book is it's the funniest of all the books.  Rhage had a great sense of humor and Mary is sarcastic and quick witted.  The inner dialogue is about as quippy as the the banter between Rhage and the other brothers as well as his sexy bedroom talk with Mary.  For a change it's actually Rhage who gets chained up (so for those of you who like be a little more Christian Grey than Ana Steele this should appeal to you), but of course it's for Mary's own safety.  Yeeeeaaaaahhhhh right!  This book also sets up the next book in that it introduces the heroine of that book in the character of Bella.  The way the book ends just pushes you into reading the third book.  The third book is the most intense as far as emotion and back story of the vampire Zsadist.  If you've picked up the series with Wrath and Beth, then keep reading because there are more characters introduced in the next few books as well as development of story lines for future books.  Lover Eternal is a great read by itself but really continues the saga of this group of brothers who are trying to save their race and themselves in the process.
Book Two of Black Dagger Brotherhood Series