Impromptu Review: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross (YA Romance meets The Great Mouse Detective)

Katie:  And here we are… once again… into the breach. This time it was Heather who picked the book. Obviously this resulted in a rather sharp decline in the amount of extraneous wang in the story.

Heather: Sorry about that.

Katie: No, really it’s a good change. I was getting tired of wondering where multiple cocks the size of baseball bats would fit into the heroine’s anatomy, aside from her logically equally cavernous vagoo.

Katie: Anyway, this week’s review is for a book called “Girl in the Steel Corset” by Kady Cross. This one is set in a Steampunk universe. Now, bear in mind. For myself, I have not read any Steampunk aside from High School when Jules Verne was shoved into my reading schedule between Great Expectation and The Stranger (The existential book, not the masturbation technique…pervs). 

Heather: now, I’ve read more steampunk than Katie, but less YA. YA has to be pretty good YA for me to be into it. (See: The Goddess Test, which I thoroughly enjoyed.) This was somewhere in between Goddess Test and Switched for me, which is to say…meh.

Katie: A position I fully understand as YA tends to be filled with a lot of lego bricks for characters and be devoid of anything resembling meaningful situations or dialog. A whole lot of yearning and not a lot of action or good role models.

Heather: it’s the ‘pants’ phenomenon. The series shall be unnamed, but you all KNOW what I’m talking about. Now, while I am meh on the book, I’ll give Kady Cross points for giving Finley Jayne, the heroine, a brain and a personality.

Katie:  However, I must take ten points from Gryffindor or whatever the hell house Kady is in for coming up with a ‘mystery plot’ which anyone who has seen the great mouse detective could see coming a mile away. 

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(All rights of this image belong to Disney and only Disney. We are making no money from this at all. Please please please leave us alone Disney.. oh god… they are in my HOUSE…. ++++No Carrier++++)


Katie: The similarity to the plot of the great mouse detective was so close I’m worried if this was a case of unintentional infringement. Which intentional or not, Disney, if they see this novel, will not care. Unless the main thread of the plot is older than the Great Mouse Detective itself.

Heather: yes. I have some insight on Disney, and they have no sense of humor when it comes to infringement, whether it’s intentional or not. 

Katie: It’s highly likely the author never saw the Great Mouse Detective and therefore this is an entirely original plot they dreamed up.  So for those who wish to read a YA Steampunk novel and haven’t seen this Disney movie, do not see it before reading.

Katie: now that we have given away the plot for those in the know… and utterly confused anyone without an encyclopedic knowledge of 80’s animated movies…

Heather: now, to the actual book, and we’ll try to keep it spoiler-free.

Heather: Finley Jayne is down on her luck. I liked the heroine. She was definitely NOT TSTL, thank goodness.

Heather: Infodumps. We haz them.

Heather: When we meet Finley, she’d gone through a string of jobs and she is attacked. She defends herself with more strength and speed than a girl her age and size

Katie: The heroine meets the main character by having him nearly run over her on a steampunk speeder bike, a rather auspicious beginning that intrigues you.  Griffin King is one of those high class, very rich yet down to earth and willing to get his hands dirty heroes we all would love to sweep in and take us with them on a life of adventure full of steel, steam and sorcery.

Katie: While listing his qualities here might sound cheesy.  The author goes to good lengths to show us this.  His wealth is as secondary to the story as it is to Griffin himself.  Damn useful to be a Rich Duke to get what you want but he is only shown using it when the sweat from his abilities can’t accomplish it.

Katie: This was a long way of saying… Good job Author Lady!

Katie: Sam, his bff for life, is shown as the big bruiser and muscle of the mysterious group our heroine finds herself in.  He’s muscle, but he’s unsure of his abilities to keep up with the minds of his BFF and that of Emily, the Gearhead of their society.

Katie: Griffin, Sam, Emily and Griffin’s Aunt Cordelia, the psychic, make up a group working in secret to keep bad guys from using steam punk technology of their day from doing VERY BAD THINGS ™

Heather: now, there are a fair amount of subplots and such - but we aren’t going to get into them here, because we don’t want to spoil.

Also, there is a charismatic baddie.

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No, not him.


He’s a Dandy of a baddie, actually.

He’d like to seduce Finley to the Dark Side, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

Katie: The book opens in a bit of a confusing way.  Not only do you have the “Learn the author’s Steampunk” universe hurdle, but you also are dropped right into the middle of a story where something very big has already happened to the secret society and you weren’t there for it.  It made it very difficult for me to get into because I felt like I had walked into a party where I knew absolutely no one, and everyone knew everyone else and was talking about how awesome it was they escaped death last week.

Katie: Don’t get us wrong. This book is enjoyable, but it would have been much more enjoyable if it wasn’t handed to us as a Stand Alone.  If I had read the prequel and was more familiar with the characters from the get go, I’d be chomping at the bit for the next book since this one ends on a honey of a cliffhanger.

Heather: now I have to say that I didn’t finish the book…cause I got walking pneumonia. No offense to Ms. Cross, but when I’m that sick, I crave funny, light reading, like Shelly Laurenston’s Dragon Kin series.

Katie: And you were lucky if you could finish remembering to eat, let alone the complexities of this plot.

Katie: So what do you say Heather? Solid B-?  Fun subplots, good world building, good Characters with sense, (except when one of the men went Too Stupid to Live, but hey, not everyone is brilliant all the time). However, the sensation of being dropped into the middle of something already happening and resultant learning curve prevent it from rising higher?

Heather: that about sums it up. And don’t watch the Great Mouse Detective before you read it.


Preorder at Amazon – Barnes and Noble

Thank You

I want to thank Heather Kinn for reblogging my earlier piece on the MMR vaccine controversy.

When I started this page, I had no idea if anyone would be interested in reading what I had to say, so I am always heartened if I manage to reach just ONE person. 

These issues matter to me, so I am honoured, Heather, that you would try and help me to communicate my message.

Thank you.

Impromptu Review: Stone Kissed, by Keri Stevens

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Stone Kissed is a nice departure from the usual paranormal fare of vamps, were, and other shapeshifters that are all over Romancelandia right now. Oh, I still love all those other groups, but I picked up the book because I was intrigued – witches really aren’t used enough in paranormals as of late, and I don’t understand why.

Even better, her take on the heroine doesn’t make her omnipotent, though her power is an interesting one. Delia can talk to carved stone, and the statues come to life when she is around. At the beginning of the novel, Delia is estranged from her father, and she gets word that their ancestral home has been burnt down, and that he is gravely injured. She runs home, and finds that his medical care is going to cost a pretty penny.

Enter our broody, hunky hero, Grant. He has a PAST that he won’t talk about, commitment issues, loads of cash and the hots for Delia. He offers to buy the family home and have Delia restore it. After some hesitation, she agrees, and since this is romance land, one thing leads to another, and by that I mean that P goes into V. There are complications, and a couple times I wanted to smack Grant and Delia for their commitment issues. Also, there is an epic awesome baddie who is just as interesting as Delia, who covets the family estate for her own reasons. I won’t spoil the how and why, but it was refreshing to see a villain who could hold her own as a character – often so many are just one-dimensional baddies.

All in all, I give Stone Kissed a solid B+, and I would definitely pick up another of Ms. Stevens novels.

Carina PressKindleNookKobo

New Galley!

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Woooo hooooo! Just got the galley for Charlotte Featherstone’s upcoming release, Seduction & Scandal. I have high hopes for this book, y’all. Ms. Featherstone wrote the delicious, decadent, sensual Lust, for HQ’s Spice line, which I adored, and I’m waiting to discuss w/Shelly and Katie. If you like historicals and you’re tired of just plain old boinking in books…and you want to savor a sensual tome, Featherstone’s Lust is definitely your book. I should probably stfu and give it a proper review, but it’s an A read for me. Featherstone is an autobuy for the Sins & Virtues series now.

heatherkinn reblogged your post: The Origins of Loki (from the introduction)

See, I don’t think Loki is evil. Here’s a great bit of an essay on Loki: “Loki is quite probably the most dynamic figure…

I don’t necessarily see Loki as outright evil either, but you have to admit he’s done some bad things. Especially the whole bit with Baldr and Ragnarok.

That seems like an interesting essay, though. I may have to read the whole thing sometime.

Impromptu Review: The Goddess Test, by Aimee Carter


I have a soft spot for Hades/Persephone stories. While The Goddess Test is not a conventional Hades/Persephone story, (and I can’t explain that more without spoilers), it is absolutely wonderful. Seriously, I read it start to end in one reading.

The Goddess Test is the story of Kate, an 18-year-old who has spent most of her young life caring for her mother, who has cancer. Her mom’s dying wish is to go home to the town where she was born, Eden, Michigan. There she meets a mean girl, who attempts to pull a prank. When it goes wrong, Henry [who appears to be a dark, broody classmate] helps Kate out, but at a price [dun dun DUNN!]. When the time comes, Kate is skeptical, but in time she accepts his challenge, though it may cost her life.

I am not a huge YA reader, but even if you don’t like YA, this is a great book. Carter doesn’t spend it dwelling on high school mundane crap, nor does she waste her high school scenes. While you’re reading them, you don’t realize how much she’s setting up, and the payoff at the end of the book is totally worth it.

The Goddess Test gets an A+, and I definitely ordering a copy to keep when it releases on April 19th.

Preorder for Kindle or Nook

Greek mythology is one of my favorite things ever, and, fun fact! Hades/Persephone the first myth that I ever read from my sister’s battered copy of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology, and this was back in the day when I didn’t really totally even understand all the ~*~symbolism~*~ or implications of the story. (The pomegranate represents a vagina, right?) (I’m kidding). I will DEFINITELY have to check this out. Thanks for the heads up!

Impromptu Review: Sabine...and the Beast, by Moira Rogers

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Sabine…and the Beast has a hot, hunky Scottish werewolf as the hero. Go buy the book.

What? You need to know more than that? All right, all right. The book begins with our hot Scot werewolf, Ciar, looking for his mate. He has finally come home from a war with the Lion shifters, having finally formed a peaceful alliance. Ciar expects Sabine to be waiting for him, but she is not there. Unbeknownst to him, his mother had a witch lay a curse on Sabine, because Ciar is High Lord, and Sabine is only a commoner. His mother wants a political alliance, not a love match. The curse was meant to make him forget her, but the spell backfired and anyone she touches forgets Sabine – even her own mother. When Ciar finds Sabine, he proposes that they confront his mother and the witch, but even the witch doesn’t remember her or the spell, so undoing the magic will be difficult.

Nevertheless, Ciar is determined to break the spell, and claim Sabine as his mate and High Lady, so they travel back to his home for a final confrontation. During the trip, they find ways to work around the ‘no touching’ problem the spell has created, and despite the short length of the story, there’s a good amount of plot (and steamy love scenes!) packed into its short length (unlike Ciar’s length…which is lengthier, if you know what I mean, and I think you do).

Sabine….and the Beast is a short story in a series, and I’m looking forward to reading the next one, Kisri, which will deal with the Lion shifters mentioned earlier. It is a solid B+.


Impromptu Review: Falke's Peak by Anna Leigh Keaton and Madison Layle

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Katie: Fawkes Peak (Or should we say twin peaks) is a novel written by Anna Leigh Keaton and Madison Layle. This is a short novella that looked like it was the right length to be part of an anthology but is offered as a separate item to purchase. It’s about, as the novel is suggesting, Snow, Pumas, two men and one woman. What the cover doesn’t mention is that the Cougar is one of the men. Yes, this is another in a plethora of were stories featuring men that have a big secret of being a large predatory animal. Why there aren’t any novels of men turning into fluffy bunnies which have a notorious sex drive or pigs which have climaxes that last half an hour, I have no idea [HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA].

Heather: watch what you wish for. I saw an ad for a Changeling book that had a bunny.

Katie: Oh sweet baby Jesus… Rule 34!!

Heather: http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1574

Katie: Is this like the romance novel porn version of that movie Hop?

Heather: Even better. It’s a Godfather parody.

Katie: So… Watership down… with porn. Got it.

Heather: Somehow I can’t picture Al Pacino as a bunny

Katie: And now … I am going to get some brain bleach. ANYWAY. The story, without giving anything away, is about an overstressed ad executive from Las Vegas coming to the resort town of Leavenworth for a ‘Girls Getaway’ to find she’s actually the third wheel when one of the girls drops out and the other brings her fiancée.

So she decides to have her destressing trip by heading off into the woods on a hiking trip with a Guy who is as sexy as hell and his pet cat… full grown cougar mountain lion. In the book you discover quickly that the men are “More than meets the eye.”

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No…. not that. They are Catamounts - were men that change from man to giant mountain cat. Since this is a short novella, they need to get to the porn fast so she’s naked and having one of them ride her in the kitchen within 24 hours of them reaching the cabin and 48 of meeting. Sans condom. But not to worry. You can’t get pregnant unless you have both men inside you coming at the same time [WHAAAAAAATTTTT].

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Yes. This is a novel where a chick gets two men at the same time. Which is normally sexy as hell for this reviewer… except the men are brothers.

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In all seriousness, I can’t poke too much fun at the plot because this is really a novel designed to be ‘fun sexy romp’ where you don’t have to wait too long before being treated to hot steamy nookie. Within those parameters, the novel does actually accomplish that if two men at once is your cup of steaming lust. If you can put “the men are related and seeing each other’s O face" under the nice fuzzy blanket of suspension of disbelief [HOW ABOUT NO] it can be a fun read. My only real valid complaint is that I live in Washington state and have been to Leavenworth. It is a really cute Bavarian-style town nestled in the middle of the Washington mountains. The locals turned themselves into this tourist attraction when the logging and railroad industry started to wane. It’s a very lovely getaway place from Seattle.

Heather: this wasn’t an issue for me because as a Florida girl, I’m clueless about what it looks like, other than Washington is generally pretty. And cold.

Katie: It deserved more than a sentence describing the gingerbread like houses of the town. The author had done such a good job describing the situation the heroine found herself in as the third wheel I was looking forward to having a bit of the town described enough to trigger my memory of it as well as paint a picture for anyone reading it. However it’s described as a generic resort mountain town. There was more than one place this lack of world painting occurred.

Heather: However, I am disappointed by the lack of barbed peen.

Katie: Oh come on! You know you dream of barbed penis!

Heather: so far, only if Lora Leigh is writing it.

Katie: Whether this is due to needing to confine themselves to a certain word count that caused choppy editing or if this due to a lack of knowledge of the town. Or perhaps it was an author decision due to trying to convey the idea of a Bavarian style resort town in the middle of the Washington state. Either way, It was a bit disappointing to see good description some places and lack of it in others.

Heather: and I did like that the heroine had a backbone and was not afraid to ask for what she wanted in bed, and also that she wasn’t afraid to take time to consider whether she really wanted a ménage.

Katie: And at the end of the novel the heroine showed she was still able to rub two brain cells together even if the men made her bowlegged and went back to Vegas, because, realistically it was a whirlwind four day romantic affair. There isn’t a person I know that, no matter how good the sex was, would I give up the life I spent years building after a few good orgasms. The heroine wisely took the time to distance herself to see if this was a fling or if this was something more. Probably it was the lack of barbed penis that made her decide they were keepers.

Heather: all in all, I’d give another of their titles a try, probably in a longer format.

Katie: and it’s either one man or two men that aren’t related.

Heather: Yeah, that too, mostly because I don’t want my hubby flailing when I read passage aloud.

Katie: Seriously, when I thought about it I thought about sharing a hottie with my brother, and as soon as the idea of seeing my brother’s O face entered the picture, I never wanted to have sex again… ever.

Heather: “Tight, damp pussy” scarred him.

Katie: More than Glorious Glistening Manboobs?

Heather: No, that one scarred my son.

Katie: Well… what else is parenting for but to give your child something to talk to thier shrink about.

Heather: Exactly. My work here is finished.

Katie: Don’t you mean, “You’re spent?”

Heather: considering our topic…yes.

Katie: Overall, I say this is a B- to Solid B. Stepping away from this reviewer’s preferences, it did have steamy sex scenes, realistic character reactions that show a woman of sense and character. However, because of the choppy description issue, we cannot give it a higher grade.

Buy at: Carina Press - Kindle - Nook

AND I’M DEAD. Thanks ladies, for one hell of a double-team.

Upcoming April 1st sale for Harlequin!

As a heads up for book bargains, I got a this in my inbox this morning:

Great savings are no joke at eHarlequin. Come back on April 1 for a Freebie Friday deal you won’t want to miss: buy any 2 print books or more and you’ll get any 3rd book FREE! And if you’d prefer to shop for ebooks, we’ve got an offer for you, too: get an extra 5% off any ebooks! Come back April 1 for our one-day sale on print books and ebooks.

Yes, I perk up any time that I hear about eBook discounts. They are special snowflakes nowadays. I can’t tell from the ad whether the April Fool’s sale extends to Carina Press titles or not, but I’ll poke Angela James on Twitter to see if she’s heard one way or another.