CrazyDogMama’s Book Reviews – My Book Addiction

I am a total and complete book whore.  I mean that in good way of course, other than I spend WAY too much on books and bookish paraphernalia – especially lately.  It is the most satisfying experience for me to just walk into a Barnes and Noble, but even better when I can find an artsy independent bookstore.  With the age of technology, the day of the small bookstore is almost obsolete, but there are still a few of us around who would happily support a local mom-and-pop book joint.  Maybe some day they will make a comeback.  Until then, Amazon and B & N will have to do.  I am also now subscribing to 3 different book “box subscriptions” – but that is a whole other post for later.  It will be a fun post, I assure you.  I do have a Kindle account, but I honestly like to stuff my bookshelves, and any other open space in my home, with actual physical BOOKS.  I like the artwork on the covers, the smell of the pages and using fun little bookmarks.  Digital books are great for highlighting and making notes, but just don’t have the same effect on me.  If Dale and I decide to retire to a ‘tiny home’ out in the middle of nowhere some day, I may have to give up my book collection for the sake of space, but until then I decorate with them and blow kisses at them when walking past.

For the last 6 months or so I have been obsessed with erotica.  In my younger years, I was not really interested in any romance novels – especially the sappy ones – but of late, hardcore book-porn?  Sure!  Why not?  If it feels forbidden or taboo, I’m all over it.  (Note:  I do now read SOME traditional romance if the characters seem interesting to me.)  That goes for other genres too – like horror.  Love the gritty stuff.  I just couldn’t get into Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings (sorry), but I can appreciate the talent.  As far as erotica goes, I like the really ‘dark’ kind.  (Are you even surprised?)  Before you go there – ’50 Shades of Grey’ is not that dark.  Not in my mind at least.  I did read the series, and enjoyed it for the most part, but it was a tad too tame for me, and certain little things were irritating. For example, a virgin having orgasms on the first try – and every time?  That’s funny!  It was poorly written from a literary standpoint too, yes, but I don’t really care about that.  I am not a biblio-snob like some.  (I’m sure my own writing will make a few people cringe.)  You do have to admit, though, E.L. James is laughing all the way to the bank – and because of her books going mainstream, reading erotica doesn’t seem to feel as shameful as it used to.  Not that I would be ashamed.  You may be thinking dark erotica just isn’t for you, but as my mom always used to say “Don’t knock it until you try it”.  She wasn’t referring to erotica, but that is how she got me to try new things.  Like Brussels Sprouts.  Can’t get enough of those little things now.  It’s funny, I used to think of myself as pretty ‘vanilla’ when it came to things like sex, but after reading erotica I discovered a side of myself I never knew existed – and it came as a pleasant surprise.  I’m just sayin’.

So yes, the current list of my reads are mostly of the naughty nature, but there are a few others in there too, so don’t roll yer eyes and leave me for good just yet.  I’ll start with what I’ve read recently, then on to what I’m reading now and finish with my freshly unwrapped box of paperbacks. It will be a busy summer of lounging in the sun reading – Oh the Joy!

Recently Read:

Butterfly

BUTTERFLY by Kathryn Harvey

Condensed Overview (from B&N): “Above an exclusive men’s store on Rodeo Drive there is a private club called Butterfly, where women are free to act out their secret erotic fantasies. Only the most beautiful and powerful women in Beverly Hills are invited to join, but the most mysterious of them all is the woman who created Butterfly. She has gone to great lengths to hide her true identity, but she is about to reveal everything in order to realize the dream that has driven her since childhood—the secret obsession that will carry her beyond ecstasy, or destroy her and everyone around her.”

I can’t remember how I ran across this book, but the reviews were really good for the most part and I was in the mood for something different.  I have to admit I was sucked into this story and enjoyed it through to the end. It had flaws, but overall if I can finish a (thicker) book in under 2 months, I must have liked it – I’m a SUPER SLOW reader.  The description is a little bit deceiving, however.  The story doesn’t really focus on the ‘club’ or it’s members too much, it is more about the founder and her life – which is gnarly – but ties everything together really well at the end. I’m not much of a feminist really, but the whole girl-power theme was fun and motivating, and I liked how even though the main character was hell-bent on revenge (which I don’t believe in), she did it with dignity and grace and helped many people along the way; including a few men. The author didn’t make every man in the book an asshole, and that I liked. One of my favorite parts was a small twist at the end that I didn’t see coming. Let me add this – this is NOT erotica. At least not in my opinion. This book is much more than sex – and the sex is pretty tame at that. It deals with tough subjects (abortion, prostitution, domestic violence, sexual dysfunction, etc.) but it doesn’t preach or piss you off – it is just good old fashioned story telling. All-in-all it was fun and I would recommend it; I even have the second book in the trilogy in my queue – see ‘Stars’ below.

Tears of Tess

TEARS OF TESS by Pepper Winters

Condensed Overview (from B&N): “Warning: A New Adult Dark Contemporary Romance, not suitable for people sensitive to grief, slavery, and nonconsensual sex.  Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a promising career, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility.  For their two year anniversary, Tess is surprised with a romantic trip to Mexico, but paradise is quickly shattered.  Kidnapped, drugged and stolen – Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror.  Captive and alone, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold.  Can Tess escape before she’s broken and ruined, or will Tess’s new owner change her life forever?”

OK, now THIS is dark erotica!  You may want to heed the warning in the overview if this isn’t your usual thang.  This is the first Pepper Winters novel I have read – and let me say she is my new favorite naughty novelist!  It is book one of her “Monsters In the Dark” series, and it is not a sweet or pretty story.  At all.  It is totally twisted and boundary-crossing.  All the things I wanted. I’m obviously not the only one who is messed up in the head, though, as she is hugely popular in this genre.  Tess is a great character that I can identify with on many levels – even though she is much younger.  I know my review is short, but I don’t want to give away any more details because I think the less you know about the story, the more you will enjoy it.  I love the way Pepper writes – even her humor is good.  I will be reading ALL of her books.

Reading Right Now:

The Scamp Book

THE SCAMP by Jennifer Pashley

Condensed Overview (from B&N): “Rayelle Reed can’t escape her small town, where everyone knows everything and not enough: All the guys she slept with, but not the ones she loved. The baby she had out of wedlock with the pastor’s son, and how the baby died, but not the grief and guilt that consume her. At a motel bar, Rayelle meets Couper, a freelance writer on a mission to investigate a rash of missing girls, and she tags along as an excuse to cross the state line. But when Couper’s investigation leads them to the mystery surrounding Rayelle’s runaway cousin Khaki, she finds she is heading straight back into everything she was hoping to leave behind.  As fates become entwined, Rayelle must follow a haunted and twisted path—leading her toward a collision where loyalties will be betrayed, memories uncovered, and family bonds shattered.”

Needing to take a brief break from my erotica obsession, I chose THE SCAMP.  I found it perusing Pinterest, and I’m so glad I did!  The subject matter of course intrigued me – a girl from a trailer park in the South surrounded by murder and mystery – but it also got very interesting reviews.  People either love it or hate it.  There are no in-betweens on this one.  That means it’s raw and controversial – BINGO!  How could I not read it?  This is Jennifer Pashley’s debut novel, although she has some short stories published that received much praise.  So far I’m totally enthralled!  Brace yourself, though, it’s a tad disturbing.  😉

Next In Line:

Coincidence of Coconut Cake Book

THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE by Amy E. Reichert

Quintessentially Q

QUINTESSENTIALLY Q by Pepper Winters

Stars Book

STARS by Kathryn Harvey

So that is the book scoop for now – but since I am such a voracious reader, I think I will include my latest finds on a regular basis.  Drop me a line and let me know what YOU are reading…if you dare.

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About the Author

Hi, I’m Cheryl, a.k.a. "CrazyDogMama". Welcome to my blog! Anything and everything goes here - seriously. I'm a super laid-back, non-traditional, 40-something introverted writer. My language can get a little colorful, I love horror movies, I pretty much live on coffee, chocolate and cigarettes and I'm not above writing about uncomfortable subjects. So, if you're good with that, take a look around and get to know me! Even if you're not, I try my best to entertain and offer up good advice occasionally, so hopefully there is a little something here for everyone.

This is my life.

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