Now don't get all worried . . . I'm not going all high-tech and big words on anyone. When thinking about what I would write for these three days I looked over some of the past posts on this blog and realized that it is quite a mixture of reviews and commentary, and I found that there were some books that I have to admit I would never have read two or three years ago. I know the old truism says that . . . "confession is good for the soul." So I am fessing up -- getting it all out there so that my own literary prejudices are laid bare for all and sundry to view.
I have always been a fan of romance, primarily historical romance set in the Regency Era as made popular by Georgette Heyer et al. Since I started reading romance fiction the boundaries of that genre have expanded so, and there are literally untold novels, short stories,
and novellas available for just about any taste and pocketbook. When I started my own blog -- Dr. J's Book Place --over a year ago, I suddenly was faced with the vast array of books available for review. As a guest at The Book Binge I received books unlike any I would have ever chosen. But the biggest gulp occurred when my daughter requested that I review an M/M book for her blog--Tracy's Place. O my!! I just hadn't ever read an M/M book before and wasn't sure how I felt about it. But thanks to her urging, I read a really good one, and it opened some doors in my thinking that I
realized had been closed. Josh Lanyon's Someone Killed His Editor was the first M/M book I encountered and it was a delight. I couldn't have started with a better one. From there I moved on to his Adrien English series and found myself delighted with the stories and the romance of the main characters. Just this week my review of Snowball in Hell appeared on The Book Binge--a novella that was first released in 2007 and has now been re-released as a stand alone novella. Such a good story!! Reminds me of those Erle Stanley Gardner PI novels as well as the Raymond Chandler detective stories from Dashiel Hammett. In the final analysis, love is love in all its myriad forms and expressions. Encountering true, authentic loving is one of life's most precious experiences and one we all seek--to love and be loved by a person whose caring is rooted in respect and a desire for the ultimate well-being of one's partner. There's lots of fake stuff out there and lots of emotional predators. But the characters in these stories havehad the privilege of finding the real deal. How can we ever close our hearts and minds to that?
I remember receiving a list of books for review from the ladies over at The Book Binge and stating that I just didn't think I could read and review any BDSM books--just not my "thing." Well, should've kept my yap shut!! In the course of reading some Desiree Holt, Katalina Leon, and friends, I encountered BDSM in some relatively mild forms. Not too bad. Then I came across The Doms of Dark Haven by Sierra Cartwright, Cherise Sinclair, and Belinda McBride, and I found stories that were much more intentionally rooted in BDSM but written by authors who were committed to protraying safe, sane, and consensual encounters. I also was challenged to think about individuals whose inner needs were, perhaps,
some I found hard to understand, but they were still needs that cried out to be met. In a world where abuse and misuse of human beings is rife and where the long-term effects of rape and incest and psychological oppression are often overlooked, this "lifestyle" can hold the key to moving past those wounding experiences and their old scars. It's still not for me, but I now have an entirely different "take" on what many find compelling about this world of fetishes and kink. I have just finished the newest anthology from these three writers: Doms of Dark Haven 2: Western Night. Characters from the first anthology as well as one or two from other books by these authors appear here and all are persons who have become locked in fear that is stifling and paralyzing. Loving dominance appears to be the key to their freedom emotionally. It continues to be a learning experience.
And then there is the world of shifters and vampires and creepy crawlies and such. Not for me! No way!! That
is, until I read some Vivian Arend, Crissy Smith, and Christine Warren and I was off and running. I couldn't believe how interesting and riveting these stories were--they really grabbed me. I wasn't quite ready to go whole hog over the vampire stuff. That is, until I was asked to review A Jeanine Frost book and Cat and Bones did their number on me. What fun stories and while they were the stuff of which romance and eroticism and relationship were made, the added dimension of shifter or vampire or both really ramped up the heat and got my interest. Wolf Signs began a love affair with those Alaskan wolves that is still alive and well and I while I have not read the latest adventure involving Cat and Bones, I still remember my shock at how much I liked that vampire culture when reading This Side of the Grave. Needless to say, it was quite a revelation, and perhaps the best part of it was that it opened up a whole new world of literary possibilities that I had previously been very willing to simply exclude--write off as being something that didn't interest me. I couldn't have been more wrong.
I guess the upshot of all this is that I have some people to thank for pushing my limits and getting me involved with some of these books that I said I didn't want to read. Those ladies over at The Book Binge have been shoving all kinds of books at me and it has been quite an education and simply lots of fun and satisfying hours with my nose in a book. And then my daughter never failed to talk with me about books--really drives her dad crazy--and without fail she would say: "Mother, you have to read this book. It is soooooo good! You will love it!" So I would read it and it was sooooo good, and yes, I really did love it. Just goes to show that the kids can educate the parents--well, maybe about some stuff, anyway.
Have a great day and keep those noses where they belong . . .in a book, where else????