Book Review: Aiden’s Luck – Con Riley

Third book of the Seattle Series

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

I’ve decided to still give this one a go because of Marco De Luca (Ben’s youngest brother from After Ben). I thought he’s the most interesting character from that book and came out at the latter part of the story and not even in about 10 pages! Unfortunately, this one’s incredibly overbearing as well. Again, the author did use the same pattern of presenting backstory with every scene. It’s just too much and too annoying. I felt like the author just wanted to prolong everything when she could easily jump into another scene.

The only good thing about this book is how the author gave life to Marco de Luca. The rest of the characters (including Aiden and his brother Evan) are just extremely written in unbearable fashion. How is that even possible? Like what I’ve mentioned earlier, similar “backstory/flashback” overload was dumped into writing this novel. It’s really such a shame because Marco De Luca’s character was a really good character. And honestly, it should have been Marco in the title because Aiden’s character was just bad. Again, I am disappointed with the author’s lack of interesting and exciting story to go with this series. I’m like 10 pages away from finishing it but it’s just gotten too much because of the many things happening in the book and I think I pretty much wasted my time reading it. I’m sure glad that I didn’t get Peter’s story.

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

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Book Review: After Ben – Con Riley

first book of the Seattle Series

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

The whole premise of this book was extremely interesting that is why I was so damn excited to read it and didn’t think that it would actually disappoint me so much. It centers on Theo, an executive who’s now dealing with life after his partner of fifteen years Ben passed away. He actually found some sort of solace through the internet. By participating through forums, he somehow feels alive. Online, he meets Morgan and shared intimate information with the guy. In real life, a year after Ben’s death – he’s dealing with Peter (a guy he met at the gym) and is willing to wait and try things with him but Theo doesn’t feel ready yet. He finally succumbs with Morgan and actually fell for the guy without even meeting the guy. I was almost certain that I wouldn’t finish the book but since I’m 25 pages away from it, I decided to just get over with it. I just can’t get over how extremely repetitive the story has become.

Morgan’s character isn’t exactly an exciting character. Despite his internet affiliation with Theo, there’s nothing really interesting about him. The characterization was flat and he’s almost predictable (when he was finally revealed).

Reading through it felt like the author was trying too hard to input too much sex. I get it that it’s the genre but it’s just a bit unnecessary with some scenes. The beginning of the book was alright and it went downhill from there. The flashbacks about Ben are the only good thing about this book and his trip in Italy where Marco De Luca (Ben’s youngest brother) was introduced. I’m actually just plain disappointed with it. I wish the author didn’t linger much with the online character of Morgan. It’s just a bit too much. Ugh. Repetitive. Boring. Slow-paced. It lost all its potential.

 Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Miss World 2014 Journey: Philippines’ bet Valerie Weigmann in London…So Far

Miss World 2014 ProfileMiss World Philippines 2014 Valerie Weigmann left for London last November 20 to compete for this year’s edition of Miss World where fellow Filipina Megan Young is the current title holder. Valerie knows that there’s pressure for her to continue the winning streak of the country in the said pageant and it looks like she’s up for the challenge to make it a back-to-back win for the Philippines.

So here’s what she is up to so far in London – the host city this year and also the home base of the Miss World Organization.

Valerie during the MW arrival dinner with fellow delegates

Valerie during the MW arrival dinner with fellow delegates

Upon arrival… she’s looking mighty pretty here.

With Miss GermanyShe’s roommate with Miss Germany Egzonita Ala – with Valerie being half-German, I’m sure they would really hit it off big time.

Here’s one of her #OOTD (Outfit Of The Day) post

Valerie's OOTDSilk Floral Dress by Eric Delos Santos and Shoes by Jojo Bragais

Valerie's DOTW Costume

Valerie’s DOTW Costume

And here’s Valerie’s costume for Dances Of The World segment of the pageant. I’m hoping she’d be chosen to perform during the said segment.

And here’s one of the gowns she’ll be wearing for the Formal Evening Gown competition (this maybe for Top Model segment or the World Fashion Designer segment they used to have)

Valerie's Gown from Michael Cinco

Valerie’s Gown from Michael Cinco

Ooh, she just had her 25th birthday yesterday so Happy Birthday Val!!! Here’s to hoping that you’d win the crown again!!!

photos via Miss World Philippines FB Page / Michael Cinco / missworld.com

Book Review: Bone Rider – J Fally

17798654Reading this book feels like the start of a series about an alien entity and its need to possess a host to survived. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking – root word = HOST. Yup, it’s like a duplicate of The Host by Stephenie Meyer minus the world invasion. It’s very close but not nearly as confusing as the way this book was written.

I actually liked the couple here. Misha and Riley have got potentials to weave a long lasting impression in the genre’s coupledom but unfortunately, the interchanging POV (of about a million secondary characters) didn’t really work for me here. It’ way too bizarre (which should’ve been interesting) but boring at the same time. I loved the “alien” McClane’s smart-ass comments but the story itself didn’t give us a lot to really root for the couple. It’s like they only share 50% of the screentime when they’re actually the leading stars. What’s up with that? I told you – BIZAARRROOO.

There’s just too much going on in this book and too many characters to remember but were as unforgettable as hell. Too bad really, it could’ve gone better. But hey – I wouldn’t mind a sequel focusing on the couple instead.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

 

Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)

MockingjayDirector:Francis Lawrence
Based on Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Sam Claflin, Natalie Dormer, Jena Malone, Willow Shields, Paula Malcomson, Stef Dawson

Wow. I  didn’t see it coming for this one to actually hear people muttering about wasted money and being snoozefest and all after leaving my seat in the cinema. I loved the books and the first two film installments are just perfect for me. Mockingjay Part 1 this time gave me that almost “slow-burn” of enjoying a book and being forced to drop it while in the midst of the most important chapter. That should’ve been a bummer right? But no, I welcomed it for this film.

There were some changes which I didn’t appreciate at all having read the book and feeling faithful with it but as a whole, I very much enjoyed it even with the cliff-hanging to be continued…blahblahblah.

After  the events from the last film (Catching Fire), Katniss Everdeen was persuaded to be the face of the revolution where she get to learn more about the District 13, President Coin and her people, the whole long brewing plan for rebellion and that’s when the going gets tough.

I get to appreciate Liam Hemsworth much better here since well, we see a lot of him here. He’s got some moments and there was this really angsty chemistry between him and Jennifer Lawrence.

A lot of Josh Hutcherson fans (including moi) will be disappointed though since we didn’t feel much from Team Peeta here – nuh uh – not at all. They were seriously pushed aside to focus more on Katniss. But man’ Katniss o’ Katniss delivered big time. I think I mentioned once that Jennifer Lawrence was like the “heir apparent” to The Meryl Streep and with all the hype around her over the past – like 3 years? Man’ so worth it! That speech in District eight was like – OMG! Give this girl another Oscar already!!!!

I’ve to wonder about Finnick though – he’s one of the secondary characters in the book who’s got a lengthy pagetime and here his character was like, bazzooom! It’s either they decided not to give Finnick an overly emotional focus  or the actor playing it (Sam Claflin) couldn’t really act to save his life – I’m almost leaning towards the latter because I didn’t really feel much from “his” Finnick impersonation but it could also be the material he has to work on. I loved his character in the book and felt like, he wasn’t there at all.

At first I didn’t really pictured Julianne Moore as President Alma Coin when she was announced to play the role but I thought she was amazing here. Her interaction with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman was a beautiful thing to watch. It’s really sad because it feels like we need to see more of him.

As a whole, I liked this film better than I expected if I’m being honest. I loved the more aggressive yet uber-vulnerable Katniss. The story was amplified by “enough” action sequences IMO and though, there were some changes I really think that director Francis Lawrence was able to deliver a very solid introduction to the conclusion of this franchise.

Rating: 8/10

Book Review: Stay (Blackcreek #2) – Riley Hart

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

Similar to the first book of the series, Stay was written and revolves around the same circle within Cooper and Noah. This time it was Cooper’s colleague Braden Roth – a good hearted, happy-go-lucky, hippy, I-love-everyone kind of guy who realized that he’s bound to stay in Blackcreek when he met Wes (the guy Noah was supposed to have a one night stand with in the first book) and decided to pursue him. Braden was actually a really interesting character but perhaps too unrealistic. I would’ve liked it if there we more conflict aside from Wes’s family responsibility because it’s just all very simple. Its plot was so weak that it became almost unbearable to read but since it’s a short read, I decided to go ahead with it. There was not enough backstory especially for Wes and I thought the ending was pretty weak. Overall, it was a “just okay” read to pass time but I’m not exactly going to recommend it eagerly.

 Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Book Review: The Boy With The Painful Tattoo – Josh Lanyon

The Boy with the Painful Tattoo[Book 3 of the Holmes & Moriarity series]

“I’m just not sure if I’d go directly into the third installment. I guess I need to have more motivations to go ahead with this couple… – This was me a month ago. I did get a lot of recommendation to read this book and I finally conceded. Reason being was that though I’m really not a big fan of mystery novels and ‘am not exactly the biggest fan of this couple, I came to really appreciate them over time. It’s nice that Christopher Holmes (Kit) and J.X. Moriarity finally decided to live together. But not without any fuss – both still have some doubts if this would work out and they are also willing to give it their best shot. I think this was definitely a bigger deal for Kit since he’s the one who’s got to sell his house and migrate across the state. The fun though didn’t stop as Kit’s amateur sleuthing was put to a test again when he found a dead body from one of the boxes they packed at the new house. Then there’s the stalker, Miss Butterwith and Mister Pinkerton look-alike neighbors, the cray-cray family and the boy with the painful tattoo (like seriously, that’s just…)

I didn’t think that I’d enjoy this immensely contrary to what I’ve been blabbing about a month ago. I loved the snarky nature of Kit and how J.X. seemed to really try to play it up and make it work.  It is only now that I appreciate how refreshing their partnership is. It’s realistic and there is a sense of vulnerability in it that you can’t help but really root for them to really make it work. This time though, I didn’t really care to guess who the the culprit. I was more focused over the development of Kit and J.X.’s relationship. This one is definitely not the last in the series because it looks like we’re up for more Holmes and Moriarity sleuthing and them dealing with the more pressing issues involving their families and careers. I hope in the next book, it’s the other way around where J.X.’s would be the doing the sleuthing and Kit’s career comes into focus. And yeah, Rachel can also go with Anna Hitchcock…she was a very irritating character… other than these observation, I just want to say that I really enjoyed reading this book NON-STOP and that should tell you something about it…

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Three’s Company – N.R. Walker

17798654This isn’t the first book I’ve read that tackles a polyamorous relationship or a ménage à trois no matter what you call it but it’s definitely one of the best I’ve read so far. The relationship between Simon and Adam is just beautiful – it being so protective of each other and how welcoming they are with Wil was just achingly sweet. The connection of these three guys is so powerful – complimenting each other in every way. I also loved how Simon and Adam easily developed a support system that now includes Wil. It was beautiful and touching.

The sex part was definitely good – more than good actually. I appreciate the fact that every time they do it, their intimacy feels like more than sex – more than physical that it’s almost reverent.

The premise of this book isn’t really my thing but it being written by one of my favorite authors, might as well go for the ride and enjoy it. I’m always up for some N.R. Walker goodies after all. The author sure knows how to tickle her readers. This story is a sweet affirmation of how good it is to live and love so freely regardless of gender, background and identity.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

Book Review: Collide (Blackcreek #1) – Riley Hart

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

I kind of enjoyed reading this book. It’s my first from Riley Hart and I thought it actually has a good touch of the usual romance m/m genre. It centers on Noah as he’s returning to his childhood hometown for three years coming from a terrible break-up and is looking to build a new career and settle down. In Blackcreek, he reunited with his childhood best friend Cooper, now a fireman – who is supposedly a straight guy and is also battling his own demon. Although it has a thinly veiled plot, I thought the romance factor was still there. The flashbacks were a bit distracting and the “suddenly-Cooper-is-gay” / “gay-for-you” concept doesn’t sit well with me at all. I mean, seriously? The conflict was weak but nevertheless tolerable because Noah’s a great character. I just wished that there’s more to Noah’s mature backstory. Overall, this was just an okay start of a series – not very promising but its alright.

 Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Book Review: One Small Thing – Piper Vaugn & M.J. O’Shea

via Goodreads

via Goodreads

At first, I thought this is one of those books that I’d hate so much but it was actually surprisingly good! The MC’s (Rue & Erik) here are just uber-adorable! Rue is the sexy bar tender that had a sexperiment with some girl and after nine months, he’s got Alice to take care of! Erik on the other hand is a sci-fi writer who really doesn’t like socializing at all. He’s got his own cocoon and is suffering from OCD and anxiety disorder. Due to unavoidable circumstances, they somehow collided with each other that led to a rather unexpected twist of fate. The question is if they can leave all their issues behind to build a new life as a family?

First, I have to commend the editing of this book! It’s perfect! It’s fast paced without getting the feel of it being rushed. The alternating point of views from both MC’s is also great. I’m also glad that the “coming out” part of this book was perfectly presented by the authors. It’s just all so adorable especially with Erik’s character. You see, I’m down with any characters who love Star Wars! Haha. Dorky characters rules!!!!

I’m glad that I came upon this book. It’s fresh, well written and has a superb story to boot!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars