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I received my copy of J.R. Ward’s Lover Mine yesterday, and as of yet, I haven’t started it, even though I’ve been anxiously waiting for it to arrive for months.

The problem is, I’m afraid it’s gonna suck Great Big Hairy Balls.

The last book that I really looked forward to reading this much was Sarah McCarty’s Promises Reveal and that story didn’t have a happy ending. In fact I never even got to the end because the book sucked. A lot. Sigh.

Am I the only person who feels like this about the last book in a series?

Which Last Book are you guys afraid wont live up to the build-up and the hype?

I couldn’t let this pass without a mention.

Earlier this weeks, there were smallish headlines on msnbc.com about an insurance company which deliberately cancelled the policies of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Of course, the company covers its ass by using secondary reasons as justification, a practice that “will soon be illegal” but has always been unethical and is definitely inhumane.

It is also a well known phenomenon:

That tens of thousands of Americans lost their health insurance shortly after being diagnosed with life-threatening, expensive medical conditions has been well documented by law enforcement agencies, state regulators and a congressional committee. Insurance companies have used the practice, known as “rescission,” for years.

People who are gravely ill are forced to choose–to fight to live, and often incur debt in amounts larger than all their lives’ earnings, or… let themselves die, often without dignity, always without hope.

I do not believe, for a moment, that the health care law recently signed by Obama will solve all issues. It will probably solve only a minor percentage, and it will face challenges that will, in all likelihood, try to reduce whatever good it accomplishes.

It is, however, a step in the right direction–however much public opinion and politicians dragged their feet to take it.

As Ann Aguirre so eloquently said, “Running health care for money is beyond immoral. If it’s for profit, it’s not for people.”

How the wheel turns!

Way back when, after the SBTB exposed Cassie Edwards’ plagiarism, they got called all sorts of names. Hey, someone even wondered if Ms Edwards had run over the Bitches’ puppy (I don’t have the link, but I’m sure someone will provide it at some point).

If memory serves, months later there were some folks still bemoaning the mean girls who had almost killed Ms Edwards by making public something that was “a private matter” (I kid you not, this was said, word by word).

Now it seems that some enterprising thief has been lifting reviews pretty much verbatim from AAR–as well as copying their ratings and rating system. (Mind, this kid also lifted Kristie(J)’s blog name–no, no linkage for the thief–so color me not much surprised by the news).

The funny thing is that there are some who wonder why the blogosphere is not as incensed over the theft of reviews from AAR as it was over Ms Edwards’ 20+ years of plagiarism. (more…)

Step-Siblings In Love – Ewww or Awww?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Posted in: random rambling

Back in 2005, I wrote a post entitled Step-Siblings Falling In Love – Is It Yucky For You? This seems to be one of the most popular pages that random Googlers come across here at KKB.

Basically, I was asking whether or not romance readers were comfortable with plot devices featuring step-siblings who fall in love. Every now and then somebody actually posts a comment on this thread – check out the latest one by a reader called Dezz:

…While I agree with everyone — I find nothing wrong with step-siblings get together, I myself could not see myself with my stepbrother. I have 3, all older than me, and 2 more ex- step brothers, both older than me as well. I can honestly say I view them as my brother’s and the ick factor is quite high when thinking about them as anything else.

However I have (somewhat) of a similar situation. One of my brother’s best friends recently came back after being away for 3 years. He is now 23 while I’m 17 and since we haven’t seen each other in so long feelings have somewhat changed. However, he is like my family. He practically grew up at our house and eventually moved in with us when he was older. Now he lives with my brother and I still see him constantly. He works for my step-father and is eventually buying the company… therefore putting him in my life forever. When I say I’ve known him forever it’s true. I should view him as a brother but I don’t.

A few months after he came back we told each other our feelings. However I’m to young and he doesn’t want to ruin anything. Basically we can never be together because of the family. So in a sense it’s slightly the same. And let me just say, it sucks.

I think her situation is probably different, seeing as it’s her brother’s best friend, rather than a step-sibling, but it did strike me as rather sad. Mind you, she’s only seventeen, so it may just be infatuation on her part.

Dezz’s story was in response to this question that I posed at the time:

…what if the step-brother and step-sister featured in the romance story, were actually brought up together? Does that make for a higher ewww factor, or would it not bother you either way?

Step-siblings who’d grown up together and happened to fall in love wouldn’t bother me too much, my biggest problem would be sexual relationships between blood brothers and sisters.

What say you? Is there a higher ick factor when the two protags are step-siblings who grew up together, or not? Would you be interested in reading such books?

In the past few weeks, between one thing and another thing, I’ve done more re-reading of old favorites than reading of new books.

Among the re-reads were all the Psy/Changeling books, and a couple of Stephanie Laurens’ Bastion Club novels. Reading these two authors so close together has made me appreciate the former even more, and wonder (once again) at my attachment to the latter.

The changelings in Ms Singh’s universe often talk about their beasts and how said beasts’ reactions differ from their human side. This makes complete sense in the context of the series, because the changelings are both human and animal. On the other hand, when Laurens’ heroes start going on about handing the reins (and what’s with the horse racing thing, by the way?) to their primitive selves and the like, I can’t start wondering whether they would benefit from some quality shrink time.

What say you?

I’m currently in the middle of reading Laura Kinsale’s Lessons in French, and I have to say, I’m struggling with it. Big time.

As per most of the books that I intend to read, I didn’t bother looking at any reviews prior, so I don’t know what the general consensus has been up to this point, but boy it’s so far proving to be a real drag.

The heroine, Callie, is proving to be as dull as dishwater. The most exciting thing about her thus far is that she has a bull called Hubert, that she’s ever so fond of.

She seems to have neither the wit nor the mental agility of Kinsale’s other heroines. She’s a good soul of course, oh my but she’s good. So much so that she’s getting right on my tits.

As for the hero, Trev, well quite frankly the most interesting thing about him seems to be the scar from a whip, that lines his face. Other than that, he seems to be a faux bad-boy, who appears to have a shady history. To be honest though, I’ve seen this plot device executed far more effectively by other historical romance authors, and by Kinsale herself, in the past.

This was a book that I was really looking forward to, after reading Lisa Kleypas’ Smooth Talking Stranger, and thoroughly enjoying it.

Anyway, I find myself in a quandary – the question being should I persevere or not? I tried to force Ward’s Lover Avenged, but I just couldn’t finish it, and I fancy that Lessons In French will go exactly the same way. Bummer eh?

…And the world goes crazy. Or so I’m told.

Anyway, so Rachel Potter has resigned from AAR after making those highly inflammatory comments, blaming women for rape, and everything else that’s wrong in the world. She didn’t go quietly though. She slagged off the planet and her daughter on her personal blog, before rethinking and deleting the post. You may still be able to get the cached version if you’re quick.

Personally, I think she did the right thing. There are lots of comments over at Dear Author lamenting on what a shame it is that she’s no longer at AAR, but honestly, I don’t see how she could have continued there, after she’d shown her knickers in such a fashion.

I actually thought that Rachel’s comments were more of a one-off than her actual deep-seated beliefs – or at least I did until I read her personal blog, and saw some of the comments that she’d made on other anti-feminist blogs.

Yes, Rachel is an anti-feminist who fundamentally believes that post-modern feminism is the reason why the world is going to hell in a handbasket. She seems to also believe that young women of today who have discarded the traditional role of women (as in wife, home-maker, and mother) have played the biggest part in the disintegration of society. (more…)

There’s a very interesting post over at the All About Romance blog, entitled Drawing The Line.

The columnist, Jane, writes:

I’ve been thinking about Voltaire lately. Specifically, one of his most famous quotations: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

Last Monday, my campus newspaper printed a column by a male writer. In this piece, he called feminists and gay activists “a sniveling bunch of emotional cripples,” declared that date rape is an “incoherent concept,” and essentially that drunken flirtation is consent.

Jane then goes on to describe the resulting outrage that those comments caused in InternetLand over the next few days.

For me, the fact that a male writer dared to write those things in a public forum wasn’t the thing that captured my attention the most (after all, he’s a columnist trying to get people to read his musings) no, what perked up my interest was firstly, Jane’s take on the issue: (more…)

Charity Begins At Home? Or Does It?

Thursday, April 8, 2010
Posted in: random ramblings, rant

This email has been doing the rounds on the web of late:

Shame on you GREAT BRITAIN..we have children going to bed without eating..elderly going without needed medicines..mentally ill without treatment..troops without proper equipment..yet we donate millions to other countries before helping our own first..99% ppl wont have the guts to copy and repost this.!!!!!! WILL YOU ???

I’ve seen various versions of the same email, some that begin with “Shame on you AMERICA”, etc.

If I’m honest, I don’t get it.

I understand the concept of charity beginning at home, but it seems to me that people comparing poverty in the West, to poverty in third world countries are either off their heads or off their meds. Or both.

The fact is, poverty is relative. A poverty-stricken child in England just cannot be compared to a poverty-stricken child in Sudan.


Been Around The Blogs and I, I, I: Patience

Katiebabs has a review of the eagerly awaited Lisa Valdez book, Patience. It sounds like an absolute scream… and not in a good way.

Katie’s review starts:

As I read Patience, a few things stood out for me:

The virginal heroine Patience has an interesting family trait: thick, distended nipples. She’s also is skilled at giving fellatio because when she and her sisters where little girls, they spotted one of their maids “servicing” their butler. From that educational viewing, they decided to grab some cucumbers from their family’s garden and practice their sucking techniques. Patience becomes so good at “servicing” cucumbers that she soon wins the, “very expert at not scoring the skin” blue ribbon. Patience also enjoys having her bottom spanked by the hero countless times, over the other incredible sexual pleasures his is more than willing to give her.

The hero Matthew deeply appreciates Patience’s skills at fellatio, so much so, his release is much like the “fiery waters of the river Styx, his cum was a fierce and flowing tide.” And as his river floweth, Patience “found her rapture while drinking voraciously of the virile communication he fed her.”

Thick distended nipples eh? Don’t we all have that problem?

For more hilarity pop over to KB’s blog.

At Last…. Patience Is Released…

Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Posted in: Uncategorized

I see that the eagerly anticipated Lisa Valdez book, Patience, has been released at last.

I’m running a book on how long we think it’ll be before she releases her next book. I’m gonna go for five years again.

Any other offers?

Jane has a review up already.

This is a really interesting interview featuring Roger Sanderson aka Gill Sanderson, and Penny Jordan, both of them, Mills and Boon authors.

I was quite surprised to learn that Gill Sanderson is actually a man. Apparently, the only man who writes for Mills and Boon. He specialises in medical romance. Go Roger.

It was also interesting to learn that despite selling well over 85 million books world-wide, Penny has never actually seen anybody reading her books in public.

Who says that shame in romance-reading is a thing of the past?

I can’t tell you how much I love this version of Snow Patrol’s brilliant song, Run.

Happy Easter…or whatever…

Leona performs on the Xfactor