Category Archives: 3

Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter Morgan 1)

Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter Morgan 1) by Jeff Lindsay


The Basis for a New Showtime® Original Series Starring Michael C. Hall

Meet Dexter Morgan, a polite wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s handsome and charming, but something in his past has made him abide by a different set of rules. He’s a serial killer whose one golden rule makes him immensely likeable: he only kills bad people. And his job as a blood splatter expert for the Miami police department puts him in the perfect position to identify his victims. But when a series of brutal murders bearing a striking similarity to his own style start turning up, Dexter is caught between being flattered and being frightened–of himself or some other fiend.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

After spending two weeks rewatching 60+ hours of the serial killer we love. I was still jonesin’ like a crack addicted; God I can’t wait for Season 7 to start. So I decided to read Darkly Dreaming Dexter the book that inspired the series. I usually don’t read the books that inspire television show. With nearly a month between when I finished season 6 episode 12 and season 7 episode 1, my craving would have made me start the series over again.

Okay. So when I started I expected a condensed version of the television show. This is not it. For the most part you get the broad strokes of the Dexter season 1 in this novel with several changes. Dexter Morgan seems less principled in the novel than in show. I didn’t really like that aspect of the character. His Dark Passenger is also more of an entity than an aspect of his personality. It makes him seem more schizophrenic than psychopathic.

Even Deborah seemed less confident and capable in the novel. At least the show writers still managed to bring Deborah’s foul mouth. I think that was one of the highlights of this novel. Her foul mouth is a creation of Jeff Lindsay and not the show writers.

For the majority of this book it reads like a very condensed first season of the television show. It made for a very boring read. But it does have few twists toward the end that makes it worth the read.

There are several differences but two major ones that firmly separated the novel from the series. The death of a character at the end of this book; along with Debs discover of Dexter’s secret. It changes the dynamic of the novels going forward. Debs discovery is just now only being address whereas the novels has five or six more books to deal with this complication in Dexter’s life.

After reading this novel I’m less in enthused to read the next novel but at some point I will finish the series. As I sit here and write I’m starting to ask questions that weren’t addressed. Some come from the differences in the novel and series and others come from the novel itself.

I recommend this novel to those dedicated fans that love Dexter. Casual fans may not appreciate the differences between the two. I know that the novels came first and I still don’t like some of the differences, they enriched the characters.

I give Darkly Dreaming Dexter 3 out 5 Gs.

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Past Forward-A Serial Novel: Episode 7

Past Forward- A Serial Novel: Episode 7 by Chautona Havig  
 
 
Past Forward is a serial novel released weekly on Kindle.

Alone without friends or family to comfort her after the death of her mother, Willow Finley’s idyllic life is over—and just beginning.

When Willow Finley awakes on a hot summer morning, she is unprepared for the grief that awaits her. Jerked from a life of isolation with her mother, Willow learns what alone really means when she finds her mother still in her bed, never to awaken again in this life.

From the moment Willow arrives in the police station with her startling announcement, Chad Tesdall fights the friendship he knows he can’t avoid.

In this episode, Chad discovers a way to help Willow deal with her grief, while Willow experiences her all-American Thanksgiving. While she makes plans to reconnect with her grandparents, Chad connects even deeper with the beauty that is her life.

Warning: Here We Come spoilers in this episode.

Follow as Willow’s story unfolds past forward.

Released weekly as a serial novel.

And cue the meddling family… Past Forward-A Serial Novel: Episode 7 is the seventh episode is this amazing serial novel. The second episode after Past Forward-A Serial Novel: Volume 1 which encompasses the first five episodes. This episode takes place in November; it finds Willow being included in Chad’s Thanksgiving celebration.

More so than any other episode I feel like a voyeur, reading about the development of a woman kept in captivity. I’m excited that she’s starting to adjust to being around larger groups.

This episode highlights that Chad Tesdall is comfortably living not in Fairbury or Rockland but a town named Denial. He’s so much deeper than he can imagine. When he realizes it’s going to be like a slap and punch to the face, and a kick in the gut. Even when he starts getting close, he doesn’t even try to trim the hedges of the bush.

Even with nothing really happening I’m too invested to be disappointed. Every episode is just that an episode to be enjoy. It’s more entertaining than anything offered on television. If you haven’t invested in Willow’s story, Past Forward-A Serial Novel: Volume 1 will get you caught up with episodes 1-5, volume 6 and 7 are out now.

I give Past Forward-A Serial Novel: Episode 7 3 out 5.

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Filed under 2012, 3, Book Review, Havig, Chautona, Novel, Romnce, Serial

Still the One

Still the One by Robin Wells

After Katie Charmaine’s husband is killed in Iraq, all she has left is a closet full of his clothes, a few pictures, and fond memories. She not only lost her love, but her last chance to have the children she’s always wanted. Until Zack Ferguson shows up in town . . . with the daughter Katie gave up for adoption nearly seventeen years ago.

Zack Ferguson has never forgotten Katie, or the one magical night they spent together. Seeing her again brings up a tidal wave of emotions: regret over the way he left her, anger at the secret she kept, and desire he hasn’t felt in years. But he’s in town for Gracie. Their daughter is sixteen, angry at the world, and-worst of all-pregnant. She needs the love of her two parents now more than ever. Can these three forgive the hurts of the past and open their hearts to each other?

Still the One is a happy-ending to a serious dysfunctional situations. Katie Charmaine is basically going through the motions of her life until this event. When most people give their child up for adoption they home that they end up in a better home and situation than themselves. It’s the main reason for choosing adoption. When Katie Charmaine’s first love returns to town with the daughter she gave up for adoption, it’s definitely a shock. But to find out she’s pregnant like you were at her age is heartbreaking for her.

This is a light summer read. Robin Wells gives the characters the patented drama to overcome but it felt light and manageable. There are many situations that could have had darker turns.

This is perfect snapshot of themes: modern romance, families in the 21st century, and forgiveness. The romance is shone through the lives of two couples. The family is blended the new standard in American society. Even though they are related that closeness we associate with family had to be developed through forgiveness.

For me, it gave me a glimpse into the thoughts of a child of adoption. I loved the character of Grace, the adoptive daughter reunited with her bio-parents. She was anger and made all of these incorrect assumptions. I never could figure her reasoning for them. I didn’t identify with her and that’s why I loved her.

Her perspective is a world that I may never understand. I can emphasize and sympathize but I can never KNOW.

I give Still the One 3 out 5.

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The Morning After

The Morning After by Sally Clements

 

 

One photo changes everything…

A mortifying incident in her youth has shaken sense into Cara Byrne. No more bad-boys. No more getting arrested. Instead, hard work and good behaviour has earned her a job teaching at the local Boys Secondary School, and a proposal from a worthy man. So what if he doesn’t exactly light her fire – surely passion is overrated?

When her friend since childhood, Ethan Quinn, storms back into the small Irish village he left to pursue a career as a Hollywood action hero, she’s stunned to discover she’s as susceptible to his lethal charm as every woman in the world. And when a compromising photograph floods the media of them in a clinch, her almost fiancé reveals his true colours, CarEthan starts trending on twitter, and she loses her job, could anyone blame her if she accepts his invitation to hide out at his Malibu beach house?

Ethan loves women, but never lets his girlfriends into his heart. He’s failed at being there in the past, and won’t put his heart on the line for anyone, ever again. But Cara’s a different matter – and when passionate attraction is added to his friendship with the one person he’s always confided in, he’s thrown for a loop. Cara’s lost everything, and like it or not, he’s responsible. There’s no fighting the attraction that blazes between them – but when the month long affair is over, will he ever be able to let her go?

 

 

The Morning After is definitely suitable for a Lifetime movie. It has that will they, won’t they drama that’s patented on Lifetime. This is one of the few romance novels that take its cue firmly in the present day.

This novella definitely takes place in the present day. I recently joined twitter. Ethan and Cara trending and having their own hashtag added to the appeal of this novel. But in ten years will that aspect make this novel dated.

This isn’t one of those all-consuming romantic love stories. It’s a love story, about two lifelong friends developing into something more. Where people are consumed with that epic Romeo and Juliet it’s nice to read about the simple love story Sally Clements has crafted in this novella.

I’ve read more romance novel this year. The things they all have had in common are their descriptions. They made me want to read them. ‘One photo changes everything…’ it drew me in from the start.

It’s a short read that can be finished in one sitting. It surprised me at how quickly I finished. Actually I would consider it a novella more than a novel.

I give The Morning After 3 out 5.

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Double Trouble (The Coxwells 2)

Double Trouble (The Coxwells) by Claire Cross


Two sisters. One disaster.

First things first: I’m the bad twin. While my sister, Marcia, has the perfect family in the perfect suburb, I’ve been making my living as an Internet advice columnist and designing Web sites in my downtown loft. I always thought I had the right answer – and hair color – for any occasion. That is, until Marcia ran up loads of debt and ran out on her husband and kids, and I was left helping to pick up the pieces. Her husband, James, is a lawyer who I hate on principle alone.

But for a guy who’s just lost his job, his marriage, and his expensive toys, he’s keeping it together – and making me rethink my feelings toward him. It’s not that he’s traded in his conservative suits for sexy jeans. It’s that he’s not giving up what’s important to him, and oh baby, I’m a sucker for a guy who hangs tough.

That doesn’t mean I’m ready to step into Marcia’s designer shoes now that she’s gone AWOL.

And it doesn’t mean I’m going to fall for James’s easy charm…not again, anyhow. Besides, I’ve had a lifelong policy of not being mistaken for my twin and I’m not backing down on that one now – no matter how convenient it might be for a certain sexy (and persuasive) man…




Double Trouble (The Coxwells 2) is number two in The Coxwells Series, which I didn’t know when I read it. I don’t if it hurt or help me when I was reading. The reason I noticed it was the title, then the blurb. One of my friends is a twin and I always find twin stories fascinating.

Marica and Mary Elizabeth, better known as Maryals, are the O’Reilly twins. For the majority of the read you are made to believe that Maryals is the bad twin. Maybe because my dad did the same thing as Marcia, Maryals was always the more sympathetic character. When Marcia’s family started to rely on Maryals I felt it was a natural transition.

Then the revelations come out. I was totally justified. Honestly it wasn’t a surprise that Marcia was the bad twin in my opinion. It was the magnitude of the betrayal, how far she took it, and for how long. These are the things that surprised me.

I can’t say that it made me interested in reading the novel before, Third Time Lucky (The Coxwells) or the novel after, One More Time (Cowells Family). I can say that Claire Cross created an okay standalone novel. The subplot of the story with Marcia’s family works to counter point Maryals own life. At thirty-eight she’s more together than she gives herself. It was nice for her to final see that in herself.




I give Double Trouble (The Coxwells) 3 out 5.

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Past Forward – A Serial Novel: Episode 3

Past Forward – A Serial Novel: Episode 3 by Chautona Havig

 

 

Past Forward is a serial novel released weekly on Kindle.

Alone without friends or family to comfort her after the death of her mother, Willow Finley’s idyllic life is over—and just beginning.

When Willow Finley awakes on a hot summer morning, she is unprepared for the grief that awaits her. Jerked from a life of isolation with her mother, Willow learns what alone really means when she finds her mother still in her bed, never to awaken again in this life.

From the moment Willow arrives in the police station with her startling announcement, Chad Tesdall fights the friendship he knows he can’t avoid.

Follow as Willow’s story unfolds past forward.

 

Past Forward – A Serial Novel: Episode 3 is the first one in the series that I felt ambivalent about. I realize why because I’m scared for Willow. Her mother was raped and she has three me showering her with attention that she may not understand.

Although she’s an adult she lacks that social interaction between the sexes. I don’t think she recognizes that Bill and Chuck are infatuated with her. Not to mention Chad who does realize it himself. It leaves me scared for her.

I don’t know what to expect from Chautona Havig in this story. I don’t think she would harm Willow but you can never know. It would be the sort of thing that could be used to galvanize other characters. It’s because she is such an innocent character.

Okay. So I’m going to stop trying to anticipate this story. Just let it unfold. May the chips fall as they will. From the very first paragraph Past Forward drew me in, even with my ambivalent to this episode; I can’t wait to read the next one. .

 

I give Past Forward – A Serial Novel: Episode 3 3 out 5.

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Filed under 2012, 3, Book Review, Havig, Chautona, Novel, Serial

Heroes ‘Til Curfew (Talent Chronicles 2)

Heroes ‘Til Curfew (Talent Chronicles 2) by Susan Bischoff

 

In the world of the Talent Chronicles, kids with supernatural abilities, Talents, are taken away to government-run research facilities from which they do not return. In this sequel to HUSH MONEY, all Joss wants is to be left alone—with Dylan. But as more Talents are imprisoned by the government, everyone’s looking for a leader. Some look to Joss, some to her worst enemy, Marco, whose new criminal plan threatens Joss’s family and friends. Joss wants to stand up to Marco, but Dylan’s protective instincts are putting him in harm’s way. As the stakes get higher, can Joss find a way to embrace both the boy and her hero within?

Heroes ‘Til Curfew contains strong language, violence, and some sensuality. It is definitely recommended for mature teen readers and up.

 

Heroes ‘Til Curfew (Talent Chronicles 2) is just as good as its predecessor. I don’t remember and strong language. If the child has watched an action film in the last decade then they can handle the violence in this novel. The perfect example is that it’s no more violent than Hunger Games and everyone has either read or watched that movie.

This time the stakes are raised. Marco is continuing his path to darkness and villainy. New players enter the field of play called The Syndicate. NIAC steps up their investigation of Fairview. The constant shifting of perspective helps this novel. You’re never with one character for too long.

Marco is the catalyst of the drama and madness that breaks out in this novel. Most of the drama surrounds him like a tornado. His vengeance and quest for power is constantly at odds and hindered by our heroes. I think the best part of this entire novel is that there is a NIAC mole. I’m not sure if Susan Bischoff meant to leave the mole identity as ambiguous as she did.

For the most part, these are typical teenagers facing extraordinarily adult problems with teenage naiveté. Which is enjoy and frustrating at the same time; you want them to grow up. I want to shake some sense into them. “With great power comes great responsibility.” these characters will be ready, to face NIAC and the government, when they figure that out.

 

I give Heroes ‘Til Curfew (Talent Chronicles 2) 3 out 5.

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Filed under 2012, 3, Book Review, Fantasy, Modern Mythology, Novel