Book: Lover Reborn

by J R Ward

I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood. They are my guilty, smutty pleasure that I like to read when I’m in for a sleazy fun time with vampires. Seriously, there’s something very comforting about a book series which has small twists and turns but overall follows the same path I’ve come to expect. I know, for example, that no matter what happens during the story that there will be a happily ever after for the main couple. Always. So it’s going to be a feel good romance at the end of the day and sometimes that’s exactly what I want. Oh who am I kidding, most of the time that’s exactly what I want. I love a happy ending!

That said, this particular addition to the series wasn’t my favorite. For me, there was a bit too much wallowing in despair for the happy ending to make up for it. After all, this is Tohrment’s story. He lost the love of his life and he’s still trying to find his way through the pain. There’s just not enough happiness in the world to drag me out of the pit of despair his story put me in. That’s not to say it’s a bad story…it isn’t. It’s well written and emotional. If you like a good cry this is the book for you. (Well, if you’ve read any of the others it is. If you haven’t, you should. They’re all fun, in a sexy vampire kick ass sort of way.)

First line: “The bastard’s taking the bridge! He’s mine!” Tohrment waited for an answering whistle, and when it came, he tore off after the lesser, his shitkickers slamming into puddles, his legs going piston, his hands fisting hard. He passed dumpsters and parked POSs, scattered rats and homeless people, jumped over a barricade, vaulted over a motorcycle.

Three a.m in downtown Caldwell, New York, gave you just enough obstacles to keep shit amusing.”

I love how Ward dumps me right into the middle of the action. Since I’ve read the entire series, I already know who Tohrment is from the other books. I know all the lingo. If you’re new to the series, you should start with book 1 so that the later ones make more sense. But even if you don’t, you’ll pick it up pretty quickly. Above all, there is always action, fighting, huge gorgeous men in boots and tight pants, and steamy sex. Like I said, it’s a guilty pleasure.

I read the whole story, but I wasn’t happy about it. I was very, very sad. Poor Tohrment! He really lived up to his name. I’ve talked with others and most romance fans like this sort of story. Lost love, redemption, found love…it’s all there. It turns out I don’t mind a little blood shed, but I do mind wallowing in depression. I guess what I’m saying here is it’s a good read, and most who are romance fans, or fans of the series, or looking for a new paranormal romance to read, will like it. I just didn’t like the emotional state I ended up in while reading it. I’m sensitive, what can I say?


Movie: The Expendables

Sylvester StalloneJason Statham and Jet Li

Where to begin? This was obviously a wet dream of Sylvester Stalone’s, intended to be a showcase for his arms, some pretty cool explosions, and very gruesome blood spatter and special effects. I couldn’t figure out any other reason for the existence of this truly horrible movie. The plot was non-existent. Characterization? Nope. Writing? Forget it. Dialogue? Pathetic. The best parts of this movie were when they didn’t talk. For a few brief shining moments, the ensemble cast functioned as a team while they placed explosives all over a house they wanted to blow up. No talking, which was a good thing because the acting was also pathetic. I counted…it lasted about 5 minutes. The rest of the movie is 2 hours of my life I’ll never get back.

As a writer, the part I found truly amazing about this film was the complete lack of concern for a coherent story. The opening made no sense. There was a cameo by Bruce Willis and Ahhnold, which was badly written and badly acted and overall a waste of film space. It didn’t further the plot, it added nothing to the story and it wasn’t even funny although I’m sure they intended it to be.

It struck me in the middle that clearly the writer (Stallone and others) paid no attention whatsoever to the antagonist. It could have been anybody. The guy had no motivation, no reason for existing. There appeared to be two people actually vying for the position, but in the end they both felt like pieces of cardboard walking around a make-believe stage. And of course the obligatory damsel-in-distress who started out with some potential as a strong heroine ended up being just another scantily clad woman who needed to be rescued from bad men trying to rape her. It made no sense…even I was sitting there shouting at the screen “There’s no reason to keep her alive. Why aren’t you shooting her?”

For me, all the pretty explosions in the world can’t make up for a bad story. And this didn’t even come close to pretending to be a story. It was a series of events strung together so that Rambo could blow stuff up. Oh, and cut off some heads and hands and shoot holes in people.

Kudos to the special effects team. The explosions really were spectacular. The blood squirts, bullet holes and limbs flying through the air were probably the most exciting thing about the movie.

Save your time. Go watch some paint dry. It’ll be more interesting.