Showing posts from May, 2013

Sex, Drugs, &... Shady Real-Estate Shenanigans, St. Louis-Style

A decade. An awful lot can happen in that length of time... as St. Louis lawyer Rachel Gold is well aware. A successful young attorney who’d finally branched out on her own after giving several years of her life to one of those big, multi-name firms, it seemed--for a time--like nothing could go wrong. She had a small but growing roster of clients, got to choose her own cases, and had a couple of close friends with whom to share the good times. She’d even fallen for a great guy who appreciated her... and wanted to put a ring on it. 
Flash forward ten years, and things have changed. Oh, business is thriving--she’s even made a partner out of her former secretary-cum-recently-minted lawyer, Jacki--and their clients are satisfied. Her legal professor-BFF, Benny, is still his robustly-raunchy (and riotously-funny) self. Her husband has been dead and buried for four years, though... leaving her with their young son, his two teenaged daughters from a previous marriage, and a huge, gaping hole …

A Bard, a Prostitute, a Soldier, & a Cat: Enticing Fantasy Shorts

It’s been a long time since I actually had a box of chocolates, but I remember looking at the just-unwrapped package with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation, because chances were just as good I’d select a yummy morsel (coconut creme, maybe) as a yucky one (like the dreaded cherry cordial). (And yeah, I know there are supposed to be certain shapes for the various flavors, but I never bothered memorizing them... hence all that uncertainty.) Anyway, the point is that not even the fear of biting into something I really dislike deterred me from enjoying my little box of choccies. 
So, when a friend recently gifted me with A Fantasy Medley 2, a collection of four short stories written by popular fantasy authors (and based in the worlds they’ve already created), I treated it the same way as those long-ago boxes of chocolates--with equal parts excitement and concern. And, although I’d previously only read one of the authors in the collection (we’ll call her my coconut creme), I kept an …

Poker Faces and Killer High Heels: Just Another Day in Sin City

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Sometimes, though, it makes total sense.
Take, for instance, Las Vegas-native Lucky O’Toole’s equal parts charmed and cursed life. [If you haven’t been a party to her various Sin City exploits yet, then by all means dash on over to my earlier reviews, here, and go from the bottom post up, before reading any further.] Recently promoted to Vice President of Customer Relations--a euphemism for Problem Fixer Extraordinaire, which entails at least as many headaches as it sounds like--at the esteemed Babylon hotel, Lucky still has no “life” to speak of (unless your idea of such means “all work”, in which case she has it in spades). She races around the hotel (often on a pair of highly-unsuitable stiletto heels) putting out fires at all hours of the night and day--placating the occasional less-than-happy guests, unruffling disgruntled employee feathers, and juggling the needs of the various contractors, …

Maidens and Dragons and... Steamy, Oh My!!

When your sweet tooth demands that you satisfy it (since all of us know a sweet tooth never asks politely, right?), the choices available to do so run the gamut... from something like the lowly vending machine Twinkies or bag of M&Ms (cheap and found everywhere), to fancy-schmancy wrapped bon-bons or an exquisitely-decorated cupcake (requiring a bit more searching and considerably more than the spare change jingling around in your pocket or the bottom of your bag). Either way, though, you’re unlikely to make a meal out of the sweet you’ve chosen; it’s small--a snack, something to have with tea or coffee, or for dessert--and eating too much would probably leave you with a tummy ache (yes, I do know about that first hand). 
The same principle applies to sex in books (or movies), as far as I’m concerned. A little nookie at the right time--meaning, where it makes sense in the story--is great... I just don’t want that to be all there is.
So why (you’re going to ask) did I pick up Thrones…

Book-to-Movie: How Headhunters Fares

Anyone who’s ever read a great book--or even just a really good one--then looked forward to seeing the movie or TV version of same, knows what it’s like to be disappointed. Sure, there are some amazing adaptations out there (“Game of Thrones” and nearly all of the recent BBC adaptations of the classics, for instance), but the duds far outnumber them (“The DaVinci Code” was, at least, an interesting book, but the movie was like cruel-and-unusual torture, and “The Scarlet Letter” with Demi Moore was a really bad joke).
So, after reading Headhunters last month (see my review here), I made myself wait awhile before streaming the movie. Despite the overwhelmingly-positive reviews, the fear of being let down was just too strong. (Well, that, and the fact that it’s a Norwegian film, which means sub-titles, which is not my favorite-thing-ever, seeing as how I'm a face- and body-language-reader, which captioned dialogue doesn't make easy. [sigh])
After watching it earlier this week, thou…