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The Bourbon Kings by J. R. Ward

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The Bourbon Kings

This book reads like an over-the-top primetime soap opera from the 80’s. Think Dynasty, Dallas or Falcon Crest. There are several storylines going on simultaneously, like the different scenes on any soap. And just like on my beloved soaps, the characters in this book piss me off to no end! I think part of my enjoyment of the soaps is the fun I have complaining about them with fellow fans, and that’s exactly what The Bourbon Kings make me want to do. Just like I yell at the TV, I want to yell at the book. Make no mistake, these characters are FLAWED! There are those you root for and those you despise.

I think the problem I had with the book is the hero, Lane. We are so used to uber-alpha males from J. R. Ward, that Lane comes across as a weak, spoiled brat. We’re used to our J. R. Ward heroes overcoming their pasts and becoming dominant, not running away from their lives and problems. But I do have to admit that Lane ends up stepping up to the challenges his family is facing, even though he really wants leave all the madness behind. Plus, we had a LOT of backstory to learn about this family, so much of the book is just that, a catch up on the backstory. I just want all the secrets of the past to be revealed so that we can just focus on the present events. But that is one of the drawbacks of the reunion romance trope. The readers are essentially just dropped right into the middle of these characters lives, so it felt like we had a lot of catching up to do.

All in all, I really liked The Bourbon Kings, once I let go of my preconceived expectations of what I’ve come to expect from J. R. Ward, and just got into my soap opera watching mind-set. Once I did that the book was very enjoyable. I can’t wait until the next episode! 🙂

posted by LaTisha Walker

Lori Foster RAGT 2015

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Well it’s been a long time since Sugarbook has said hello to everyone, but this weekend was something that needed to talk about.

IT’S LORI FOSTER READER AUTHOR GET TOGETHER TIME!!!!

We made our trek to West Chester, OH to stay in the Marriott hotel to hang out with fellow readers and authors.

Here are some of the highlights from our weekend….

Friday we all went down to the Samhain Publishing boardroom and participated in a feisty game of Family Feud.  Of course Sugarbook was victorious.  Look at our sweet prize.

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One of our members was just asking for some of these.

We also found some new authors we want to read: Donna McDonald and Eve Langlais.  They’re authors of Cyborg and Futuristic romance.  Can’t wait to get into those series.

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We next took the time to create a book cover.  We were given a blurp about a book and had to create a cover based upon what we heard.  We were tasked with creating a cover for author, Donna McDonald’s book Marcus 582: Book 3 of the Cyborg’s Mankind Redefined.

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It was also great to get  a chance to meet Robyn Peterman who is the author of the Hot Damned Series, a hilarious series that Sugarbook gives 5 thumbs up.  Yep, you read right 5 thumbs.

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We also ran into a few other authors…

Janice Maynard

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Karen Rose

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Cheryl Brooks

and,

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Darynda Jones

The raffles have begun, we had a few winners.

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One members win of the Dr. Who basket turned into trade for a new Kindle Fire HD6.  Thanks Drea Becraft for your love of Dr. Who that lead to Ramona’s new Kindle.

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We took out a few minutes to have a group shot.

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It was so much fun.  Thank you Lori Foster for hosting such a fabulous event.  We can’t wait to see you again next year.

Smooches,

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Review: Quarterback Draw (Play by Play, #9)

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Quarterback Draw Cover
Quarterback Draw by Jaci Burton

This is my favorite sports series. This installment in the series did not disappoint. Previously, we met the Riley sports family, well now we’ve moved on to another. The Cassidys. Three brothers who play professional football and one who plays major league baseball. They obviously inherited the athleticism from Dad, Easton, who has TWO Super Bowl rings.

First up is quarterback Grant. He meets and is captivated by super model Katrina Korsova while on a photo shoot in Barbados. Grant pushes his way into Katrina’s life, even though she’s pretty closed off romance of any kind. Katrina is fiercely independent, having raised her younger sister and brother since her mother died of cancer when Katrina was just seventeen years old. Her father, having cheated on her mom, left the family when she got sick. As a result, Katrina does not trust a man to stay for the long haul. But just can’t help falling in with Grant and the rest of the Cassidy family.

I just knew that Katrina would panic and run when feelings became deep and real. I was hoping that she wouldn’t be stupid, but no such luck. She let fear keep her from happiness. Good thing Grant didn’t give up so easily.

All in all, this was another good book in the Play-by-Play series and a good start to the new Cassidy arc.


Reviewed by:  LaTisha Walker

Introducing your next great read!

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Check out these fresh new reads + enter to win a Kindle Fire HD6 from @MyAuthorBiz! New winner every month!!!

http://www.myauthorbiz.com/info/shoutout.php?c=109&e=current

We meet somewhere new…

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This month we met at a new location, Indy Reads Books, On Mass Avenue. 

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As a group, we had been looking for a location to have our meetings that would also connect our love of books to our meeting location.  In the past we would meet at public library but scheduling conflicts caused us to have to look for a new “home”. 

We had tried meeting BAM  (we met there twice and there was never really a good spot to meet and not disturb the patrons) and Barnes and Noble felt that our group of six was not big enough for a spot in their calendar.  So for the past year we have been meeting at Panera Bread Co. on 86th street (either the Traders Point location or the Woodfield Crossing location).

Needless to say we have been happy at Panera; but when we learned there was another bookstore that we could possible use as a meeting location.  Enter Indy Reads Books.  We made sure to call and confirm and put our names on the calendar and here we are. 

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We really like the setting and the location, but we must be honest we miss our Panera treats.  So….we think we will share meeting locations. 

Keep an eye out followers for location updates.

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Oh yeah, we forgot to tell you about the books we read this month.  We read Kinked by Thea Harrison and The Big-Not-So Small Curvy Girls Dating Agency by Ava Catori.   We felt undecided about Kinked and unanimously agreed we did not like the Curvy Girl.

Have you read either of these books, what did you think?

Next month we are reading, If Wishes Were Earls by Elizabeth Boyles and Desperately Ever After by Laura Kenyon.

Next Month

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Sugarbooks is excited to announce that next month we will have our monthly meeting at Indy Reads Books on 911 Massachusetts Avenue at 6-8 pm.

The book(s) that we are scheduled to read are Ava Catori’s “The Big Not-So-Small, Curvy Girls Dating Agency” and Thea Harrison’s “Kinked“. Why two books you ask, because we tend to read fast and sometimes our members have read the books a month or so before we are scheduled so we decided to add a second book. Now you don’t have to read both if you don’t want or don’t have time, we will discuss both books and we would love to have you join us.

If you have read the books or read them before our meeting on September 13th please send us a response with your thoughts and we will include them in our discussion and get back to you.  If you are in the Indianapolis area, please stop by and join us.

Smooches,

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In April We Read…

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This month Sugarbooks had chosen to read Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon.  Now when this book was chosen there was a lot of groaning from many of our members (since there are only six of us actively coming to meetings and making decisions you can imagine how loud the groaning was).  Anyway, we made the decision in December last year and last month as we were leaving dinner the reminder that Styxx was the book for the next meeting, some “I’m not reading it” were heard.  We have a rule (it’s not always followed but we have it) that states you have to at least read 100 pgs of the book assigned for the month.   With this in mind we still had some “I’m not reading it”.

One of the members decided to brave it and start the book two weeks before the meeting.  When she found out how many pages the book had (876), she sent out an email with a WTH. 🙂  She started it and finished it in 2 ½ days.  She then got on email and started commenting that put a fire under the other members kettle that had them reading it (yep…even the “I’m not reading its”).  Some of us had not read Acheron (and some still had not read any of the Dark Hunters series), but we felt that it was important to at least read Acheron first.  You did not want to read Acheron after you read Styxx first.  I think we all agreed, reading them backwards would have caused some feelings that could possibly be avoided if you read them in the right sequence.

So here is our take on Styxx (If you have not read this book, there may be some references that could be deemed spoilers, just a heads up).  We all agreed it was a good book, we all agreed it caused emotions to be brought forth, and we all agreed that the men during the early part of the book (even in Acheron) were into a lot of rape and sodomy.  The first half of the book dealt with Styxx being raped by his uncle (until he killed him and that wasn’t until he had been abused on three or four separate occasions that lasted anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months) and some of the gods.  We all agreed that we were not fans of the gods in both stories.  That is where the agreement ends.

There was a member that ended up with a dislike for Acheron after reading this book and she had been a huge fan previously.  It took a lot of deducing and reasoning before she could put her finger on what she deemed the ultimate betrayal – you don’t forsake your sibling to be tortured regardless of your reasons, and you then don’t walk around like they’re in the wrong EVER.  To her, that was making yourself into a victim – I was done wrong so they deserve to have wrong done to them too; you help/protect your siblings, you don’t make them victims too.  Styxx never made his siblings victims if he could help it; he protected them as much as he was possible although he sometimes was punished for it and they (his siblings) still treated him like dirt.   She didn’t like how Acheron assumed that Artemis placed his brother somewhere where he was taken care of for 1100 years, when he knew Artemis to be a liar.  How can Ach believe people that have lied to him and mistreated him for most of his life and not allow his brother to even try to explain.  It didn’t sit well with that member and she was not changing her mind.

There were several members that were disgusted with Styxx and his inability to defend himself against his uncle and father.   As one member stated “he could maybe get away with catching him unaware one or maybe two times, but after that he should have been walking around with his mouth clamped shut and his back to a wall whenever his uncle was around.”  Styxx had become a feared and respected warrior and leader to his father’s army, yet he still was getting assaulted by his uncle.  Why did Styxx allow his father to punish him when they felt the army had his back?  Why not over-throw the king or kill him?  They didn’t feel like Styxx stood up for himself enough and because of it he seemed almost like a victim.

We all agreed we did not like Ryssa, the sister.  We couldn’t figure out where her hatred for Styxx came from.  There was no reason for the type of hatred she had.  Even reading Acheron (some of us reread Ach and some read it for the first time), which had a large portion of the beginning of the book coming from Ryssa’s diary; we never ascertained why she disliked Styxx.

The culmination of the epic novel had a great HEA and we all agreed that we were happy with the ending.  Sherrilyn has done it again, sucking us into a great story that brought forth all emotions.  If you have not read it yet we all highly recommend it.  And we would love to hear your thoughts on it.  If you have read it, give us a holler and tell us what you thought.

Next month we are scheduled to read, Tracy Solheim’s Risky Game.  This is the third book in the Game On series (if you do not count the anthology that was released in April).  This book does not come out until May 6th so it will be a race to finish it before the meeting considering some of us has not read any of the other previous books.  Again, if you have read any of the books, give us a holler.  We love to hear from you.

Smoochie,

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