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Original Essays | August 18, 2014

Ian Leslie: IMG Empathic Curiosity



Today, we wonder anxiously if digital media is changing our brains. But if there's any time in history when our mental operations changed... Continue »
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Customer Comments

tsteinerid has commented on (82) products.

Enslaved by the Others (H&W Investigations Novels) by Jess Haines
Enslaved by the Others (H&W Investigations Novels)

tsteinerid, July 8, 2014

Holy comeback!! Jess has brought the magic back to the series and I’m totally thrilled that there wasn’t cliff hanger! That right there made me give it an extra heart/star. So six hearts/stars!!

I started the series with a binge read, two books ago. I didn’t realize that the book I picked was part of a series and with my OCD tendencies; I couldn’t very well start the review book without catching up. Good thing I did too. You cannot pick up any of the H&W Investigation books in the series and expect to know what is going on. Please. I implore you, read it from start to finish. Trust me it’s worth it. As an extra bonus, you will not end your read on a cliffhanger, unlike some of the prior books. Ms. Haines sucks you in and then leaves you hanging in a couple of books. It was so agonizing. I missed the first one, but not the next. I will also say that her universe is very worth it and even though it was painful to experience the cliffhangers, I wouldn’t trade in her books for anything.

Enslaved By the Others starts off right where Forsaken ends. I love that about Ms. Haines. She doesn’t mess around. She jumps right in.

Shia is in trouble (again) and truthfully, it looked very bleak. A past enemy is back for a bit of payback and she is right in the middle of it. He is a very sadistic vampire that will do anything to get what he wants. Her time with Max is sometimes very painful to read. Ms. Haines draws you in in such a way that you can envision Shia’s surroundings and feel her pain. Very well done. It amazes me that Shia is has held onto so much of her humanity. This woman has been to hell and back again and with this story, I think she may have actually been scorched a bit. She is constantly battling, but never gives up. She is a very persistent heroine. Love her!

We revisited past enemies, experience new horrors, find and lose friends, and I fell further in love with the series. Divine! My only real complaint is that I still don’t know what/who one of the characters is. Since the issue is far from resolved I can only guess that we will find out.

That opens up another point. She actually ended the story in such a way, I questioned that Enslaved By the Others was the final book. Yes, there were still unanswered questions, but if it had to end, it wasn’t a bad ending. I’m very happy to report, after some hardcore looking, that the series is scheduled for a few more installments. Can I get a Heck Yeah!!
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The Stranger I Married by Sylvia Day
The Stranger I Married

tsteinerid, July 8, 2014

Two people who marry for the same reason. In historical England that is a rare gift. Four years later it seems that everything has changed. Now it appears each want something different. Is it time to end a marriage that maybe never really had a chance to begin with?

Usually at this point I tell a bit about the characters, to explain a bit more about them. Most of the time, a short blurb doesn’t capture their true qualities. I really don’t need to here. The blurb does a fabulous job ��" their sensual appetites, wicked wits, provocative reputations, and their absolute refusal to ruin their marriage of convenience by falling in love. That sums them both up to a tee. Gerard wants his mother off his back about him getting married and Isabel wants the protection that marriage grants her with her lovers. Both will get their wish with their unconventional marriage.

Four years later and everything is the same, yet different. Gerard receives a huge shock early in their marriage and suddenly leaves. With no word from her husband during his absence, Isabel carries on with her life, the life they both agreed upon. Once he returns, he is the one that has changed and now wants to reevaluate their marriage agreement. Isabel will not go willingly. She enjoys her life the way it is. Gerard will have his hands full convincing her to agree to this new arrangement.

Sylvia Day really knows how to tell a tale. I was invested in this love story from the very beginning. The Stranger I Married was beautifully written with amazing heart and passion. You could feel his pain and her determination. Even with such strong willed people they didn’t stand a chance. They were both too well suited to be nothing short of a wonderful couple. This novel had it all, grandeur, blazing hot sex, richly detailed characters and a storyline that was unique. I also loved, loved, loved the extra bonus of Trenton. Isabel couldn’t ask for a better brother.

Fabulous historical read with just the right about of scorching sex and a plot that was simply amazing. I couldn’t put it down and if you like/love this genre, I highly doubt you will be disappointed and I would recommend it over and over again.
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Loving Lord Ash (Duchess of Love) by Sally Mackenzie
Loving Lord Ash (Duchess of Love)

tsteinerid, June 28, 2014

If you have been with the Duchess of Love series from the beginning you know about Ash, the unhappily married Marquis. We get tidbits that something terrible happened early on in his marriage, but we never quite know. He shuts down, doesn’t want to talk about it and his wife’s name is rarely mentioned. Now we get to find out what really happened.

I’m very happy to finally know the whole truth and to revisit the whole Valentine clan, but this one didn’t stack up to the rest. You have two people, who had feelings for each other, but they can’t manage to make it work and they both suffer terribly.

This is one colossal mess of a marriage. While one of the excuses is that they married young. They were not that young for the time period; she was twenty and he was twenty-two. There was no real excuse for this marriage to have lasted eight years with neither trying to work things out or to finish it. When you find out how much each had suffered in those years, it is beyond unacceptable. Ash’s lack of trying or will to end it bothers me. If it had only been a few years I think I could have accepted it better, but in my eyes he’s a scared wimp. Here we have the future Duke of Greycliffe and he can’t confront his wife about something he seen with his own eyes? Then you pile on years of rumors and gossip, yeah I don’t buy it. I enjoyed that the story was finally told, but the reasoning and excuses didn’t do it for me.

Ms. MacKenzie’s writing was wonderful and she was able to convey the pain, anguish, love and devotion into their tale, but I wish it was more realistic. We already have a marquis marrying a groom’s daughter and then you add in the misunderstanding that would make any man in his position run for the hills. I still devoured the story because I’m totally in lust with the series, but this one didn’t stand up to the other two and a half novels.

I really adore the Valentine family and I’m going to miss them. Farewell Duchess of Love; you have been a joy to read about. Great job on a lovely series Ms. MacKenzie. No matter how I felt about this final chapter, I still loved the journey.
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Loving Lord Ash (Duchess of Love) by Sally Mackenzie
Loving Lord Ash (Duchess of Love)

tsteinerid, June 28, 2014

If you have been with the Duchess of Love series from the beginning you know about Ash, the unhappily married Marquis. We get tidbits that something terrible happened early on in his marriage, but we never quite know. He shuts down, doesn’t want to talk about it and his wife’s name is rarely mentioned. Now we get to find out what really happened.

I’m very happy to finally know the whole truth and to revisit the whole Valentine clan, but this one didn’t stack up to the rest. You have two people, who had feelings for each other, but they can’t manage to make it work and they both suffer terribly.

This is one colossal mess of a marriage. While one of the excuses is that they married young. They were not that young for the time period; she was twenty and he was twenty-two. There was no real excuse for this marriage to have lasted eight years with neither trying to work things out or to finish it. When you find out how much each had suffered in those years, it is beyond unacceptable. Ash’s lack of trying or will to end it bothers me. If it had only been a few years I think I could have accepted it better, but in my eyes he’s a scared wimp. Here we have the future Duke of Greycliffe and he can’t confront his wife about something he seen with his own eyes? Then you pile on years of rumors and gossip, yeah I don’t buy it. I enjoyed that the story was finally told, but the reasoning and excuses didn’t do it for me.

Ms. MacKenzie’s writing was wonderful and she was able to convey the pain, anguish, love and devotion into their tale, but I wish it was more realistic. We already have a marquis marrying a groom’s daughter and then you add in the misunderstanding that would make any man in his position run for the hills. I still devoured the story because I’m totally in lust with the series, but this one didn’t stand up to the other two and a half novels.

I really adore the Valentine family and I’m going to miss them. Farewell Duchess of Love; you have been a joy to read about. Great job on a lovely series Ms. MacKenzie. No matter how I felt about this final chapter, I still loved the journey.
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Rope Me in by Cerise Deland
Rope Me in

tsteinerid, June 18, 2014

I was in the mood for some wild lovin’. I knew I had to pick up book one in this sexy Texas based series. Nothing like Texas, cowboys, Doms and ménage to get things revved up!

What I loved most about Jed, Harry and Will was that they knew what they wanted and they went after it. For me personally, when I think of a strong man, I envision height, strength, assertiveness, determined and loving. That is how Ms. DeLand wrote the MacRae brothers. Each man was unique, but together they were a tsunami of passion that rolled right over the woman they all desired, Cara.

Cara came to town with thoughts of that being burned once was enough, but she can’t seem to forget her former crush on the striking MacRae men. She knows they are trouble, but maybe she should just dip her toe.

So why is Bravado most definitely fictional? If the town was a real, there wouldn’t be a shortage of women. Women would flock to Bravado. It offers well off men who never stop loving, appreciating and adoring their women. They are a dream come true. I’m kinda sad that Ms. DeLand’s town isn’t real and I’ve been teased with such greatness.

Rope Me In is a perfect read for what I was looking for. It was steamy, heart pounding and hot as hell. I would recommend the book for people who would love to escape to a small town in Texas, dive into a toe curling romance with three men and want to experience country life where they grow the men big and strong and full of passion.
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