Special thanks to Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm for the super header.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Blahs

I'm in a slump. I just wanna be a blob on my couch. I did ZERO Sunday after taking my daughter to her lesson except eat donuts, nap and read and watch TV. None of my weekend tasks were accomplished or even started and barely considered. Today I'm still feeling lumpy but duty calls (and a paycheck). So I read two books, both longish so yay me.

No Good Deed by Lynn Lorenz (250 pages)

Daniel is an Asian-America (4th generation Texan) 42 year old cop in a small town near Houston. One day he overhears a radio call at work about someone being run off the road and feels compelled to go and see what's going on. When he gets there a cop has been shot (but not dead), another guy is dead and a cute gay guy (Mark) is in the back of the cop car. Thankfully the cop had his video camera turned on and it seems the dead guy shot the cop and was preparing to kill both of them when the cop made Mark use his gun to save them both. Meanwhile there is much fear that Mark will sue since he was treated very badly but he just wants to go away and forget about it, no publicity. Daniel is drawn to him right away but later finds out that Mark survived a near deadly beating 10 years ago from his ex and has basically been a wreck since and this incident is not helping. Eventually they agree to try but Mark's psychiatrist sets some rules that Mark has to take the lead and alpha Daniel has to back off which he agrees. Meanwhile there is some political stuff going on with the mayor and his advisor who is trying to blackmail half the town and hates Daniel with a passion and due to his actions puts Mark in danger from his newly released ex.

I quite enjoyed the story (stayed up way too late to finish it) although I didn't care as much about the political intrigue but it was used to force the issue with Mark. It was a change in that Daniel suffered from depression, in part from the feeling he disappointed his Asian parents by first having a failed marriage and then by becoming a cop instead of running the family business. He has considered suicide several time and while I wasn't thrilled with his alternative (girl parts involved) he was definitely a flawed guy and knew it. You know Mark has issues because he tells you but it's all told from Daniel's perspective so you don't get much about what Mark is thinking. I liked how it was handled though and two guys struggling with mental health issues with a 10 year age difference try to make it work. The only thing that kind of niggled at me was Daniel had evidence that the bad guy had presumably had sex with a young boy and he didn't do anything with it but use it as a trump card to get what he wanted. As a cop you'd think that you would turn the guy in but maybe he does later. I'll go with that. He said "looked 14" but maybe he was 17 (legal in Texas which I know due to the woman arrested there recently for having sex with a 16 year old up here in Canada - which is legal here) and looked younger, many do. So if you like Lynn Lorenz you'll likely enjoy this book as well.

Bedknobs and Beanstalks edited by EM Lynley (240 pages)

This is an anthology of reworked fairy tales which I generally enjoy. There are nine fairy tales by nine authors. Maybe I'll quickly go through them. Time killer here.

1) Jack and the Peenstalk by Clancy Nacht - Jack is a size queen who finally gets his wish. It was quite humourous and set in current times with reference to the US mortgage crisis, the crappy economy and Jack having a degree in Philosophy which entitled him to work at Starbucks.

2) The Rebelliously Single Prince by Leonore Black - I have no clue which fairy tale this is exactly. Prince Keiran refuses to marry someone he doesn't love and spends more time screwing the stable boys. After failed attempts to find a wife the king locks him in the tower at night until he agrees, but every morning he looks freshly fucked anyway. The king sends his minion to find out why, but the minion touched by true love refuses to give away Kieran's secret. A cute story.

3) Cry Wolf by Mercy Loomis - A take on the obvious here with a fae wolf shifter called a pookha. I am unfamiliar with pookhas so it was a good little story that taught me something. Kind of an unclear HFN ending.

4) Kintaro: The Golden Boy by S.J. Frost - This is based on a Japanese tale but I have no clue about what. Kintaro's mother escapes with him into the forest to protect him from the men who killed her husband. When he's grown he's discovered by a samurai that takes him back to his lord to train him where he is partnered with another samurai who's mate was killed. I really liked the story, but again, was lost on the fairy tale part.

5) Ashes and Crystal by Jason Rubis - This is the Cinderella tale retold with a cross-dressing Ashes hoping to get the chance to try on the glass slipper. A cute little story with more about Ashes familial relationship than his relationship with the prince.

6) Handsome and Grateful as told to Kilt Kirkpatric - This was done as if someone was telling the story and was quite humourously done. Some pop culture references thrown in, lots of German words for food and Hansel and Gretal are much older. This also includes f/f but I didn't mind. It was an interesting style which perhaps caught my attention.

7) The King's Honor by JL Merrow - This is the fairy tale of the princesses who danced their slippers into holes or something like that. I had an OLD fairy tale book as a kid and it was the only place I'd ever seen this story so it really made me sit up and take note. Every night the king's 12 daughters disappear and dance their slippers into holes. Any young man who can solve the mystery gets a wife and kingship or gets their head chopped off. A young man on his way to try runs into a woodcutter in the forest and they hit it off. *wink* *wink* With the help of the woodcutter's grandmother he is able to solve the mystery, but will he become king? Hmmm. I quite enjoyed and it was a rarely told story that took me back.

8) Swan Made by Mina Kelly - I'm not sure the exact tale but a man finds a cloak of swan feathers and hides it in his house. Suddenly a naked guy breaks in looking for "something" and they have sex and start living together. One day the man disappears and with it the hidden cloak which he had been searcing for. Joseph goes looking for him and finds him and offers to let him live with him for as long as he wants. Good writing but I think the Joseph was kind of dense.

9) Merman's Tale by Jay Di Meo - Karan is a fisherman on a lake known for it's mermen and other creatures but he needs the fish which are plentiful there to help his sick mother. He is attacked by the mermen but saved by Tir who makes him promise to keep him in his hut for 3 days. While Karan is attracted he's a bit freaked by the tail but he falls in love thus breaking the evil spell. It was okay and interesting that the merman had no parts, if you know what I mean.

So on the whole I quite enjoy Jack, Kintaro and the King's Honor although I have to say they were all good stories and none that made me go "ewww". The only thing I can see is that people who really want to avoid f/f might find the Hansel and Gretal one off-putting but as I said, the manner in which it's written made it a non-issue and truth be told it was kind of hot.

That's it. Laundry tonight. I already started before I left home this morning. I need a maid.


Chris said...

I skipped the Lynn Lorenz because of the girl parts bit.

I have the fairytales in my TBR and I'm sure I'll get to it eventually...

I hear ya about the Monday blahs. Oh well, at least it's not bitterly cold here anymore.

Tam said...

It wasn't super graphic but yeah, I kind of skimmed over it. Personally for a cop he showed shitty judgement, but I guess that was the point.

Not so cold here today either.

Chris said...

Bad cop. No doughnut?

Tam said...

I ate enough donuts yesterday to cover for him. Blech. But who can resist caramel fritters? Seriously, it had real caramel in the middle, and cinnamon and sugar. And let's not talk chocolate with toasted coconut. Sigh.

Average Reader said...

Great reviews, Tam! That Lorenz thing sounds very interesting, even with the m/f. And I love your no-frills summation of the fairytales(Suddenly a naked guy breaks in), ha, ha! I have the fairy tale one in my TBR pile, and having read your review, I'm more interested in it now.

"I need a maid." I know what you mean, except that I'd cheerfully do a ton of housework if I could have my own gourmet cook!

Chris said...

I just remembered that I had a dream last night about having a housecleaning service. *sigh*

It was (to quote my veri word) grand.

Tam said...

Val: Well, it was a bit sudden in the book. Watching TV and wham, naked guy, sex, living together. My head was spinning a bit. LOL I don't mind cooking, just have developed a real hatred of laundry lately. Before it was merely a dislike.

The m/f was not great but it was pretty clear from the description that she was a working girl and he was getting off, there was no emotional connnection. Still, it was there.

Chris: Maybe your dreams will come true. You can hope.

Jenre said...

All this talk of donuts is not helping my diet.

Caramel, cream and sugar. MMMMmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

Tam said...

If my diet is going to hell I'm dragging as many people down with me as I can Jen.

Chris said...

There ARE advantages to being gluten-free and know that no way in heck would any of that stuff be safe for me to eat.

Kris said...

Well, well, well.

"truth be told it was kind of hot"

Weren't you the one a couple of weeks ago who said f/f wasn't for you? Teasing aside, what made it work this time?

Tam said...

I KNEW you wouldn't let that slide. :-P I have no clue why things work for me. Maybe because it was only kind of little glimpses, it wasn't one looong scene with nitty gritty details, I liked how it skipped back and forth between the m/m and f/f. I'm not going to seek it out but I didn't have to skim over it either.

Lily said...

Lynn's book sounds good but after Torment I'm not ready for more m/f. Maybe later.

The fairytale book caught my eye when it came out but I've not read the two Torqued Tales I've had in my TBR forever. I'm not sure I want to add more.

I've been wishing for a maid for years and still she hasn't shown up. :(

Tam said...

Lily, on the whole I liked this for than the Torqued Tales but you can only read so many takes on fairy tales before you hit overload. Torqued Tales was still a good read though.

Yeah, take a break from m/f. ;-) You deserve it.

Janna said...

Hope you get past the slump soon, hon! And stop talking chocolate with coconut, please ;)

Tam said...

That's my FAVOURITE!!!!! Now I want some. At least the sun is shining today. That helps. Now if I had only won the lottery. Oh well, I won a free ticket, hope springs eternal.

Tracy said...

OMG Tam my family used to own what we called The Sweet Shoppe. It had doughnuts and ice cream, cakes, cookies, homemade breads. Dear God I was fat! lol I used to eat a glazed buttermilk bar and a cake with chocolate and coconut every. stinking. morning. lol I have to stay away from them now, but ah, the memories! lol

I hope you got out of your slump. I seriously hate going to work on Mondays. Not that I hate my job but it's just a pita to have to wake up in the morning. :)

Those fairy tales sound great!

Tam said...

Oh Yum Tracy I lived behind a place called Baked expectations for a year. They had 20 kind of cheesecakes and at least that many other desserts and cakes. Dinner? Bah. A piece of chocolate cake the size of my head WAS dinner.

I still take my daughter back there when we go to visit every couple of years. So good, so huge, so bad for you.

The fairy tales were fun. It's always neat to see a different take on traditional stories.