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Rogue Lawyer
Rogue Lawyer
by John Grisham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.37
134 used & new from $11.25

72 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sebastian Rudd, easy to like and easy to hate..., October 20, 2015
This review is from: Rogue Lawyer (Hardcover)
‘Rogue Lawyer’… well, they certainly nailed this title. I’ll not torture you with the usual jokes about lawyers that we love to hate, rather I’ll torture you with having you read this review instead of reading this wonderful book. John Grisham is a talent, but even I thought he was hard pressed to try and get me to like Sebastian.

A lawyer who doesn't play by the rules and who defends the scum of society… yeah, I need his address so I can send a Christmas card. And that is just the surface stuff. As you read this book you’ll find out more about this guy that would make a cat hanging out at a San Francisco wharf refuse spill turn up his nose.

But as I read more and more of this story, I found myself (kind of) liking this guy. But that may have something to do with his supporting cast: Judith… it’s been a long time since I’ve read a book where I wished for the death of a character as much as I did this (removed bad word because of Amazon’s rules) woman. I set aside a special type of hate for her. Then there’s Tadeo… this guy has the brain of Kendra Wilkinson and the arrogance of Trump. Had this book been longer I would have sued the Grisham estate for neck injury due to my head shaking.

Rounding out this cess pool circle of friends is Arch. If Dr. Frankenstein were to ever to experiment with sleezy ooze, Arch would be it’s ordure. That’s all I’m going to say because I feel the need to shower just typing his name. Now keep in mind, those are the headliners. There are a ton of extras who colorfully add their own crime spice to this broth of filth. Grisham truly shows us the bottom of the barrel with the clients AND the lawyer.

Now this book did have a different feel to it. To me, ‘Rogue Lawyer’ was a story of snippets of Sebastian’s life, and not one complete story. And even though it was told like that, it didn’t feel choppy. There were a couple times where it got a little preachy though. John tackles two hot button social topics, and in the narration of it, gets a bit Joel Osteen-ish. Nothing big, just… obvious.

I think is a solid piece of work by Grisham that falls somewhere between ‘The Confession’ and the ‘The Litigators.’ Not all drama and not all fun. While reading this story there’s really no good place to pause and take a break. So unless you are one of those readers who can go through a book in one sitting (I’m not by a long shot) then prepare to do a lot of sneak-reading. I enjoyed reading this book and I’m comfortable in saying you will as well. Good reading, fun reading, quick reading, thoughtful reading. It’s what we expect and what Grisham delivers. Once again.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 3, 2015 10:52 PM PST

One Night
One Night
by Eric Jerome Dickey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.32
78 used & new from $3.44

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I hope you're ready..., April 21, 2015
This review is from: One Night (Hardcover)
About a year ago when I first heard about ‘One Night’, the recurring theme coming from everyone was “this is a different type of Eric Jerome Dickey book.” I had no idea what that meant or if that was a good or bad thing. So let me put your mind at ease by saying, “this is a different type of Eric Jerome Dickey book.” There. Feel better?

If you follow Eric on FaceBook, Twitter, or Instagram you know he’s a man who thirsts for knowledge. It shows in his pictures, his posts, his humor, his rants, and his writing. Just when you think he can’t surpass his previous works, he hits you with a book like this. There were one thousand and one things going through my head while reading ‘One Night’, but the one thought, the ONE thought I had when I closed this book was, “this is fictional poetry.”

You read his books for the pleasure but you take away much more. He’s the best type of writer (literary entertainer) because he makes you experience the moment without you even knowing you’re in the moment. Until after. It’s like a cherry-vanilla aftertaste. Now… about ‘One Night’…

This story is a twelve hour adrenaline rush of drama and passion set in a theater of eroticism and violence. Eric could teach a class in misdirection. And pain.

The man writes pain in ‘One Night’ like Joshua Bell plays his violin. An elegantly complicated erotic tango of “I don’t know” between Jackie and the man from Orange County . And I think that might be the “different” people were talking about. Other EJD books have a cast of characters whom play off each other like the London Symphony. This go ‘round there were really only two. But two in Eric’s hands are like one-hundred on someone else’s.

Pay close attention to the beginning of this story, if not you’ll miss something. Once it finally clicked with me it was like someone opened the Autobahn. This was also the first time in a LONG time where I felt that the story wasn’t really the focal point of the story. I know that doesn’t make complete sense, but this was a very character driven book and the circumstances happened because of the people. Not the other way around.

Like Eric’s other leading ladies, Jackie is a tsunami of power, chaos, sexuality, and uncertainty. Her internal AND external battles is the yin that carries this book and it drags you salivating through each page. The mysticism and violence from the man from Orange County is the yang.

The sex in this book is the bang to the yin and yang.

It is impossible to read an Eric Jerome Dickey book and not talk about how seductively humid they are. And in a character driven story like ‘One Night’, you don’t walk away from the scenes… you crawl. Why? Because that’s all you can do. I’ve been sitting her trying to figure out the best way to describe the eroticism in this book.

(One day later...) OK, I've decided to stop trying. Anything I say won't do it justice, and an EJD story needs to be experienced. Just prepare yourself. The intellect written in this story is as sexually explicit as the sweat funk air drying on a nude body after a four hour hump session.

‘One Night’ is one of those books that will be devoured by pop-readers and literary readers alike. Reading Eric is like watching Jony Ive talk about design. Passion coupled with talent resulting in a product that changes the person using it. Yeah. That’s about right.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2015 11:16 AM PDT

Stunt (The Ricky Stunt Series) (Volume 1)
Stunt (The Ricky Stunt Series) (Volume 1)
by Jet Black
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.95
18 used & new from $8.61

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A debut erotic-thriller..., February 12, 2015
This book was recommended by a friend in my favorite FaceBook book group. I was looking for a good erotic thriller, and since I had just finished a book, the timing was perfect. Unfortunately, from the first page I could tell this was the work of a very green first time author. Now… because I know some of you, you’re going to take every word from here on out as a diss. It’s not. It’s just honest.

To a number of readers (myself included) the experience of reading is just as important as the story. When I open a book and see one sentence paragraphs, bold writing, and italics all on the first page, it’s impossible not to cringe. But I kept on because I had already put my money down.

I will say that the story itself isn’t bad. How it was told, was. Ricky is a good looking man who owns his own business and is engaged to Denise, an equally good looking woman. Denise ends up murdered and in order to find the killer, Ricky must enter the seedy world of porn. Not a bad premise at all. But the more I read ‘Stunt’ the more I found out that this was a very superficial story with nothing deep. It was like going from point A to point B to point C without telling us how we got there.

There was even one glaring passage that the author used twice. This story also had a very strange tempo. Normally when you read a book you get into a certain flow with the words, with the characters, with the narrative, with the action. Not so with this one. It was like each chapter was racing to get done so the next one could start. And that’s really too bad because you can tell that Jet Black does have talent, it’s just very rough right now.

The parts that I did enjoy were the sexual parts (oh, shut up). Very explicit and descriptive. There were a couple scenes where I was laughing when the author let us in on the thoughts of Stunt. And I’ve never wanted to be a cable guy so bad in my life. Anyway, Stunt continues on his mission to find his lady’s killer and crosses paths with the true underbellies of crime. In the history of the world, porn has never once been a legitimate business, and this time is no different. Stunt tried to get me to believe that he hated having to hump his way to the culprits, but I wasn’t buying it. Especially when the road to redemption is between the thighs and cheeks of a stunning porn star! Come on now!

This story does read fast and there is potential, but work needs to be done. I don’t mind the violence, the sex, or the brutality. But give me something to chew on, and not just a “surface story.”

A Day of Fire: a novel of Pompeii
A Day of Fire: a novel of Pompeii
by Vicky Alvear Shecter
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.99
31 used & new from $11.00

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A genuine gem of historical-fiction reading..., January 23, 2015
I remember when I first heard rumblings about this book online. Ben Kane, Kate Quinn, and Stephanie Dray were sharing pictures, talking about Pompeiian history, and trading quips about their stories on FaceBook. The general public, (IE: me) just had to sit back and take it. Like a nineteen year old at a juice club, I could look but not touch. I’m sure Sophie Perinot, Vicky Alvear Shecter, and E. Knight were just as bad in this “tickle me, tease me, never release me it’s coming soon book” game. But at that time we weren’t connected on FaceBook so I couldn’t curse them under my breath like I could the previously mentioned three musketeers.

Luckily my mother raised a Christian boy and I forgave all on release day. Except… there was a problem with initially finding it here in the U.S. So Christian boy loses part of his cool. Fine, I’ll get the eBook. Christian boy finds out that his iPad is no long accessible. Christian boy completely loses it and rains down enough curses to make Satan call Samuel Jackson and say “I think I found your apprentice.”


After patiently waiting a few weeks like a good Christian boy should, I was able to get the print book and all became well with the world again. (ISIS, Paris, Inflate-gate, and Kim Kardashian in a fur bikini not withstanding.)

I didn’t read the synopsis about this book because I knew I was going to read it regardless. So I was a little puzzled as to why I kept hearing about the same characters and some of the same events. I knew this collection was going to be set in Pompeii, but I thought the authors were just going to write their own stories that took place whenever. Nope. All of these stories are intertwined with one another and it took me to story #3 to figure that out. I was like, “didn’t I just read about Prima?” “Wasn’t that the Senator who…?” Once the dunce in me realized this, a light clicked on and I was “oooooohhhhhhh!”

Because of this I started reading slower, I knew if I sped along I would miss something. I also went back and skimmed some passages because I wanted to be clear on certain events. You probably won’t have this problem because you had the good sense God gave you to read the synopsis and realize this was the format from the start.

Vicky Alvear Shecter opens with ‘The Son’, a story that takes place in a brother. BONUS! If I wasn’t already sold on this book, I damn sure was now! Since the authors in this collection were working in tandem, Vicky sets the foundation perfectly. How do I know? Because by the time I got to the end of this book, the character that I absolutely HATED at the end of her story, I had the slightest bit of sympathy for. But only a little. Maybe it was because I knew how Caecilius felt all too well. (Calling Dr. Freud)
Sophie Perinot continues this short-story collection with ‘The Heiress’. Here I’m introduced to Aemilia, Lady Diana, and Sabinus, appealing characters added to this to this story-puzzle. I was quite taken with Lady Diana but oddly drawn to the somewhat tortured soul, Sabinus.

My friend Ben Kane (the only male contributor, lucky bastard) adds his flair with ‘The Soldier.’ Rufus adds a soldier/gladiatorial angle that I was looking for. If you’ve read any of Ben’s books you know why.

‘The Senator’ by Kate Quinn follows and… wow. Without throwing shade on any of the other authors, Kate’s story had me… had me… damn… it just had me. Witty and tragic with just the minimalist hint of hope. The scene with Marcus and Diana where he called her bizarre while she’s bandaging him up left me with my mouth gaped open! Her story is written beautifully. In other words, it matches her.

E. Knight follows with ‘The Mother’, easily the emotional apex of this collection. And I don’t say that lightly. Not at all. With how this collection of short-stories is written, slowly moving along the Pompeii destruction timeline, E. Knight’s story is that straw that will take you over the edge. If your eyes don’t get even the slightest bit damp, then your life force is as black and dark as a tar pit.

‘The Whore’ by Stephanie Dray is given the honor of being the coda. And she brings this book full circle with the character whom I hated… HATED in the first story. By this time in the series my heart was beating pretty fast. And even though I know (we all know) how Pompeii meets her end, I was hoping that even through all the death, ash, sulfur, and fear, there would be a different resolution. But the last page sealed that deal. All too well. I must have read the ending it a few dozen times… (I just read it again.)

I don’t know which Swiss chalet these author retreated to in order to create a book that flows and reads as well as ‘A Day of Fire’, but I only hope they are planning another. Each of the six stories had soul, fire, depth, sensuality, and despair. Each author was able to bring their style and meld it into the formula of the group.

The end of this book has each author giving us a brief background of their story. It’s pretty sobering to have confirmed (yet again) that Pompeii was a city of people. People who were going about their daily lives, feeling and hearing the tremors, but not thinking much about it. Peoples who’s lives were so quickly and efficiently snuffed out that we knew exactly what they were doing at their time of death! That is a bad ass macabre move by Mount V.

Setting aside all my bad jokes and tangents, I had a lot of fun reading this book. And it’s one that I will recommend to every one of my Roman reading buddies. Well done.

iPhone 6s Case, Anker Ultra Protective Case With Built-in Clear Screen Protector for iPhone 6 / iPhone 6s (4.7 inch) Drop-Tested, Dust Proof Design (Black/Grey)
iPhone 6s Case, Anker Ultra Protective Case With Built-in Clear Screen Protector for iPhone 6 / iPhone 6s (4.7 inch) Drop-Tested, Dust Proof Design (Black/Grey)

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good case. Could be a great case with a few tweaks..., January 4, 2015
I was given this case for free in exchange for an honest review. I’ve been an Otterbox user for YEARS. I’m also a reviewer/product tester and I’ve tried a hundred and one phone cases and I’ve always… ALWAYS gone back to Otterbox. So when the iPhone 6 came out that’s where I went. Now I don’t know of Otterbox had a change in leadership or what, but that case they have for the iPhone 6 SUCKS!

So I went on an iPhone 6 case search. This ‘Anker’ is probably the 6th or 7th case that I’ve tried for my iPhone 6 and it’s not bad. Here are the pros and cons:

It’s very slim.
It fits well and feels good in your hand.
It looks very nice and I like how it mimic’s the shape of the iPhone.
The protection it gives feels solid. Your phone fits snug inside and the case holds together well.
The volume and power buttons are responsive.
Installation is easy.

The screen protector is made of a cheap material. It IS responsive but once it gets dirty it’s not easy to clean because of the material.
The port coverings are a bit cumbersome. Since they actually fit inside the headphone jack and the lightning cable hole, if you don’t have them in there perfectly then the case won’t fit correctly. At least the bottom. This is a small deal, but a big enough one to mention.
Removing the iPhone isn’t entirely easy. You almost feel as if going to damage the phone when you remove it because you have to press down on it to take it out.

Overall this is a good case and one worth the money.

Robert B. Parker's the Bridge (A Cole and Hitch Novel)
Robert B. Parker's the Bridge (A Cole and Hitch Novel)
by Robert Knott
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.32
125 used & new from $0.01

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Something is still missing..., December 30, 2014
‘The Bridge’ is the seventh book in the Hitch-Cole series originated by the legend Robert B. Parker and the third one written by Robert Knott. After a better than decent showing with ‘Bull River’, it was unfortunate to see Knott slip back to the mediocrity that made ‘Ironhorse’ so bad. This story simply does not have any bite, and the spirt of Hitch and Cole is nonexistent. I kept reading and reading and hoping and hoping that it would show up somewhere. Sadly, no.

Even when we find out who did what, it was still kinda just… flat. Plodding would be the word to describe the goings on with this story. I kept hoping there would be one, just one, BAM! moment. But there wasn’t. There were a few semi-exciting parts and a couple semi-funny ones, but as a whole this story wasn’t engaging.

Cole and Hitch are back in Appaloosa and things are relatively quiet. Virgil and Everett have built a house for Virgil and his lady, Allie, and Everett is being Everett. Life in the West, as they know it, is pretty good. But tranquility never lasts and soon Hitch and Cole are pulled back into the mix. This time out they have to find out who damaged a massive 200 foot bridge and why. This could almost be a western-mystery full of suspense and excitement, except for the total lack of suspense and excitement.

The one “good” part of this book happens under gruesome circumstances. What happened to the sheriff and his two deputies was just… wrong. But it stood out because it was one of the few “whoa” parts. This was once an amazing Western series. The first four books (written by Parker) are ones that I still talk about and the ones I still handsell. Not so much now. And I DO want Knott to do well because Hitch and Cole are western literary icons. Not to mention that it’s no easy feat to pick up after a storyteller like Parker.

Still… I would expect a better story than this. I don’t know how many more Hitch and Cole stories we’re going to get, but before they release the next one I hope Knott and company can root out the formula that they seemed to have found with ‘Bull River.’
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 12, 2015 8:50 AM PDT

Gray Mountain: A Novel
Gray Mountain: A Novel
by John Grisham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.92
538 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good 'old Grisham..., October 29, 2014
This review is from: Gray Mountain: A Novel (Hardcover)
I’ll admit that I was a little apprehensive about this book when I heard that John Grisham was penning a female lead. Not because it was a female lead, but because he was SPECIFICALLY writing for a female lead. It seemed that instead of penning the damn story and letting the characters reveal themselves, he was trying to appease the spineless “everything must be equal” PC crowd. I don’t mind have a female as a lead character, but if it is meant to be then it will be. Don’t force it. The last time Grisham set out to base a book on a specific character was ‘The Racketeer’ and, in my humble opinion, that book was just… ‘good’.

So I started this book with a bit of trepidation because I didn’t want it to be a book written to appease a certain group. Happily it was not. ‘Gray Mountain’ was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed from a man whom I enjoy reading. 60% legal thriller, 40% thriller-thriller. That means this book had the classic Grisham legal dance, but there was also a lot of action that took place in the wild. The wild in this case being Appalachia. A beautiful and pristine part of the Eastern United States. Well… parts of it are beautiful and pristine. Other parts are… well… not much. The reasons why fuel the conflict wages within these pages.

The coal companies have wages war on this land and the casualties are wide and plenty. Man, beast, land, air, and water have all felt the shame of being stripped, spread eagle, and violated all with the blessing of those meant to protect them. Now if you feel that last sentence was coarse you aren’t ready for this book. Grisham holds back nothing when it comes to describing the rape of the land by the coal companies. Nothing. Now I’m no tree hugger by a long shot. I think there are few things better than getting in a Jeep, finding an off-road trail, watching your passengers boobies jiggle, while having a good time. But any Jeeper will tell you (the responsible ones anyway) to ALWAYS “Jeep responsibly.” Have fun but don’t destroy the damn place.

Apparently the coal companies didn’t get that memo. Or maybe they did get it and summarily ignored it like they have everything else having to do with the law, regulations, codes, or ethics. This fight over coal has been going on for a long time and our girl, Samantha Kofer, is about to go in. Samantha is a New York lawyer who has lived the good life since she was born. The product of two very ambitious parents who worked extremely hard and brought in a lot of money. It was interesting to watch Grisham write about her mom and dad. Workaholics that were neither negligent or attentive. I actually liked reading about the relationship Samantha had with her father. Interesting man with an entertaining life. Anyway…

Samantha loses her $100,000+ a year (not including bonuses) job and is given the choice to work a year with a non-profit FOR FREE, with the possibility of maybe getting her job back. Unfortunately that possibility is slimmer than Stacey Dash jumping out of my birthday cake this year. She lands in Brady, Virginia a town with a population of 2,200 that is host to some of the most beautiful country this side of Eden. Coming from a background of D.C. and New York, Samantha not only experiences a culture shock, but a work shock as well. No longer dealing with the piles of paperwork that come from her job in big-law, she must immerses herself amongst everyday people who have everyday problems.

She’s not snobby, just privileged. And in the course of learning new positions, new clients, new first world problems, and new cases she finds herself learning about the dark (hahahaha) world of coal. A classic case of catch-22. The coal companies bring in steady work and tons of money to the poor parts of the world. Life is good is only getting better. Unfortunately the bad side is bad. Dangerous working conditions, long hours, long term medical problems, and the worst of all, complete decimation of the surrounding environment.

Samantha’s new employers have been veteran’s in this fight for a while but welcome an extra hand. Enter Donovan. Donovan is the catalyst for some much needed sexual tension, but it doesn’t turn out quite like you would expect. You see, Donovan is a quite the litigious rockstar with the locals yet quite the pariah with the local coal consortium. He’s a fighter but he doesn’t fight clean. By his logic if the coal mafia aren’t going to play by the rules, then neither will he. And while he might not have the typical groupies of a rockstar, he does stir passion with certain women. That sub-plot was fun. And like I said, it turns out like you wouldn’t expect and THAT was quite the twist.

The ongoing litigation exposes a lot of the casualties of this war and they are not pretty. Grisham’s storytelling here is blunt as well. He delves into the medical history of the coal miners, their painful lives, their senseless deaths, the impact on the families, and the cruel aloofness and villainous acts of the coal companies. It may seem that reading about a fired lawyer taking on a coal company in the mountains of Appalachia may seem a bit boring. Motions, briefs, objections, judges, paperwork, billable hours, non-billable hours, clerks, and courtrooms all sound like the start of a snooze lecture for ‘Law 101’. Not so here. I finished this book in quick order for good reason. It’s Grisham telling a story, and I will never pass that up. While not being a heavyweight like ‘Sycamore Row’ (holy cow!) ‘Gray Mountain’ is a solid addition to the living storyteller legend that is John Grisham.

Addicted (Aaron Zigman)
Addicted (Aaron Zigman)
Price: $14.88
27 used & new from $10.96

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quiet hit..., October 21, 2014
This review is from: Addicted (Aaron Zigman) (Audio CD)
One thing I enjoy doing after watching a movie is hanging out to see who composed the music. Not only can you have a resolution phase after the movie, but you get a chance to hear more of the score minus that annoying movie dialogue. One of the first things that noticed immediately as I was watching ‘Addicted’ was the piano music. It wasn’t just ordinary piano music, it really stood out. The type of score you immediately train your brain to soak up as you watch the movie.

The main title sets up this score of perfectly, and I do mean perfectly. (I’m listening to it now). It sound like ‘Addicted’ would sound if ‘Addicted’ were to sing. Or hum. Each movement is a beautifully orchestrated voice of the piece it is named after. The first thing I did after leaving the movie theater was search Google Play-Music to see if they had this score. They did.

The second thing I did was add it to my playlists.

And since October 10th I don’t think a day has gone by where I haven’t listened to this score, sometimes back to back. Now… as far as soundtracks go, this IS a pretty short one, coming in at just under forty-five minutes. It kind of makes sense because the movie is also a short one (1:40) as well. I don’t have a favorite movement because I sincerely love them all. As will you. I’m not sure how I managed to miss Aaron Zigman all this time, but it’s a mistake easily, and happily fixed.

At the time of this review Amazon isn’t showing a track list so I’ve added one below.

1. Main Titles (1:43)
2. Happy Family (1:05)
3. Round Three (1:18)
4. The Museum (1:24)
5. I Think That’s My Favorite (1:17)
6. Did We Have Plans? (1:43)
7. I’ll Make It Up To You (1:47)
8. A Terrible Path (1:09)
9. I Want To Paint You (2:34)
10. Scrubbing Clean (1:03)
11. I Can’t Do This (1:14)
12. Warehouse (0:53)
13. I Can’t Help It (1:47)
14. Painting Zoe (0:56)
15. Other Women (3:53)
16. I Think We Should Talk (1:11)
17. Take A Walk (1:09)
18. Unveiling (1:53)
19. A New Client (1:01)
20. Special Delivery (1:12)
21. You’re Not Leaving Me (3:49)
22. Jason Knows (2:33)
23. Welcome Home (1:52)
24. Brochure (1:02)
25. Our Love Is Forever (3:43)

Price: $9.59

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars (in a deep raspy voice...) "I'm Sharkman.", October 17, 2014
This review is from: Sharkman (Kindle Edition)
Brilliant high school kid gets paralyzed. He discovers that shark DNA could help repair his injuries. He steals some, injects himself, and becomes a 2014 version of Aquaman. ‘Flowers for Algernon’ meets HGH meets great white meets puberty.

Sometimes it’s the books with the weirdest premises that turn out to be the best ones. This one certainly is. Steve Alten serves up another of his fast-paced thrill rides that is so good, it makes it impossible to do anything else. In the two days it took me to read this book I

1. Burned dinner.
2. Didn’t get to bed until after 12:30 AM.
3. Was late for work once.
4. Lied to a customer (and friend) so that I could get this book before him.
5. Gave my little one a forty-five minute bath (normally it’s ten).
6. Skipped my daily dose of “you ARE NOT the father” just so I could finish it.

It’s a magnificent feeling to find a book that you hate to put down. Then again, Steve’s writing has always done that for me. In this story we meet Kwan. An assimilated Asian-American who is paralyzed, due to a spinal injury caused by an accident. Kwan is smart guy, but he’s also a paralyzed teenager with an extremely rigorous military father, aka sperm donor. And when you add the always present teenage male angst with a number of other incidents, you get the perfect storm.

Most people (including me) would welcome having had their high school years in Florida. South Florida at that. But to Kwan it’s like a prison sentence having to adjust to a new high school in a wheelchair surrounded by other hormone induced angst ridden humans. His saving graces are a girl named Anya and the DNA of a bull shark.

Kwan’s high school works with an aquatics genetics lab that specialized in stem cell research involving sharks. At first Kwan has zero interest until finds out that Anya is involved. Then hormones take over because, lets be honest, they always do, and he volunteers to becomes an intern in the program as well.

Unfortunately nothing is as it seems and a story in the hands of Mr. Alten, even less so. There is a very dark underlying plot in this story that once I figured out, I wondered how the hell Steve was going to pull it off in such a short book.

How foolish of me to doubt him.

While the genetic facility IS doing edge-of-technology-science with shark stem cells, that is only a part of the whole. Our illustrious government has dug her claws in and you know when that happens, it’s only a matter of time before the fertilizer hits the fan. But let’s get back to Kwan… he’s fascinated at how far the science to cure people has come. It’s exciting, it’s cutting edge, and it’s within his reach. But he can also see and hear. He can see and hear the lab rats. The deformed, hurting, bleeding, squealing, grotesquely disfigured rats.

You can’t make an omelet with breaking a few eggs right? Well you can’t experiment with something as radical as using shark stem cells without breaking a few spines or liquefying a few skulls.

But in spite of seeing the rats, our modern-day Charlie Gordon decides that he wants to be whole again. There are some pretty extraordinary events that lead him to this decision, the least of which is feeling Anya’s breath or skin against his. With the help of an enemy (yeah I know, but read the book) Kwan sets his plan in motion. What happens is just FREAKING FREAKY! It’s also DAMN COOL! Steve can write y’all and I was just gone while I was reading this book!

There are also a number of side-plots and characters that add fuel to this fire under the water. The sexy Sabeen - The assassin with a tortured soul and a lithe body. The Admiral – a father with a heart like Cordilleran. Rachel – the calming force. (I really liked her.) Joe – the crass scientist with insatiable lust for the female flesh (I REALLY liked him). And the star of the show… bull shark DNA.

The science is uber-complex but Steve makes it understandable and fun on a layman’s level. The way he describes it I’d imagine he would be one hell of a fun teacher. From reading the ‘Meg’ series I understood some of the science, but everything else I learned on the fly and it didn’t slow the story down one bit. Anyway… once Kwan gets a taste of shark DNA his life takes a drastic turn. He’s surfing through it on cloud 9 fully unaware of the storm he’s causing.

If you put a gun to my head and said, “Jason, say one bad thing about this book.” Well… after I disarmed you and put two in your kneecaps, I would say “it’s too short.” But not “too short” in a bad way. “Too short” in an ‘Omega Project’ sort of way.

Don’t pass this book up because it’s ‘something that you would not normally read’. If you do then you are missing out on an author who has that “grab the reader” gift that so many claim, yet few actually possess.

The Secrets of Silk (Zane Presents)
The Secrets of Silk (Zane Presents)
by Allison Hobbs
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.92
70 used & new from $0.01

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silk... wow. Just. Wow., October 14, 2014
One day I would like to interview Allison Hobbs and find out exactly where she gets the inspiration for her female characters. I just scanned her bibliography and yep, they’re all deranged. So it’s no surprise that the Lamda Nu chapter of Crazy Phi Nuts sorority is about to welcome a new member.

And her name is Silk.

Silk is a Louisiana born, light-skinned, sultry courtesan that seeps sexuality. Her caregiver, Big Mama, uses the voodoo power of the swamps to cast her spells. Silk uses the power of her snappy nappy. Actually… it’s not that nappy because she’s the devils’ mix of a white girl who enjoys the illicit desires of colored boys. Yeah I said colored. That’s because this novel takes place in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Allison writes about juke joints, bus depots, Cadillac’s, special schools for colored children, and ice delivery. Ice delivery? WTH!? They used to deliver frikkin’ ice!? Unfortunately the payment that this iceman wanted was not paper. Or even copper or silver. And it damn sure wasn’t green. But let’s back up for a bit…

Like I mentioned earlier, Silk was a walking sexual honeypot. At that time, light-skinned women in the deep South were usually light-skinned because of a soiled past. After dark and after the misses of the house was asleep, Massa became the sneaky white man who enjoyed forbidden sex with black girls. Most of that sex wasn’t consensual. Silk’s existence started with perversion somewhat like this and it only got worse. A few people are born with a natural depravity to all things moral, everyone else learns it. Silk learned from Professor Big Mama and Big Mama teaches at the University of Poontang. Baton Rogue campus.

Their relationship is abnormal, their relationship is depraved, and their relationship is pervy. And I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s not hard to see where Silk learned her vile sexuality. She’s an evil and mean seductress. Men love her, women hate her, and I can’t believe God had the nerve to create her.

After some murderous sexual adventures in the… swamp…where she lives, Silk takes her show on the road. The story she uses to get over on people is classic! Now Allison has written about some pretty sick women over the years, but there was something especially sick with Silk. It’s bad enough to have the thoughts she has, but to actually act out on them is another thing entirely.

And no one is spared.

Not the family she shacks up with, not the men she has fun with… not even the children. Silk works her demon like charms on everyone in this book (lord please help Ed the drivers Ed guy) and I can’t think of one person who didn’t fall for her charms. But while Silk may have the vagina from heaven, her soul is blacker than Wesley Snipes covered in oil at midnight on Halloween with his eyes closed.

Allison’s ladies are sexual firecrackers that would make ANY man trade his blood for a taste of what they have. Unfortunately, her ladies are also devoid of the most basics of morals and will do anything or anyONE to get what they want. So… enter at your own risk. Haha, get it? “Enter at your own risk…?” Nevermind.

Allison writes the way I love to read, with characters I love reading about. Going back and skimming this book to make sure I included what I wanted in this review, I found myself reading and looking for certain passages. THAT, dear people, is when you know you’ve found a good book. THIS is a good book.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 17, 2014 6:47 AM PDT

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