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Hello, my name is Valorie. I have a Master's Degree in History and a license to teach-- I have been both university professor and public school teacher. Currently, I am a middle school social studies teacher. I love horror movies and spooky things. Every day is Halloween. I am also a passionate book blogger.

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Book Review: 23:27 by H.L. Roberts

Friday, July 25, 2008

Book Review: Domination (Deviations, #2) by Chris Owen & Jodi Payne

Title: Domination
Series: Deviations
Book Number: 2
Author(s): Chris Owen & Jodi Payne 
Genre: Fiction- Erotica 
Finished: July 24, 2008

Tobias works at becoming more comfortable and finding his balance as a full-time Master again. Meanwhile, his work brings out the true submissive in Noah, who faces some of his greatest fears, and his greatest secrets, confessing to Noah about a terrible time in his past. He's not the only one who has a rough time. Tobias breaks down and shows Noah he's not all dominance, too, which sends shockwaves through their romance, leaving them to wonder if they can keep it together. Boy was it good to be back reading about Tobias and Noah. I have to say, since the last book, I missed them. I actually craved to read this second book of the Deviations series because I HAD to know what happens with them. It didn't disappoint. There was a lot of hot action, a lot of hot scenes, and a lot of romance. This book was definitely more romantic than the first, and emotional in a different way. In this second book, Tobias and Noah have to find balance between having a regular romantic relationship and having a relationship based on the exchange of power. In this one, Tobias examines his weaknesses as Noah comes to terms with his. Their dynamic and struggles show that not even the best Dom in the world is infallible; no matter how strong we are, we break down, we screw up. We're not perfect. I can't wait to read number 3.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Book Review: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind

Title: Perfume: The Story of A Murderer
Author(s): Patrick Suskind (translated by J.E. Woods) 
Finished: July 22, 2008

Set in 18th century France, Perfume tells the story of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, one of the most gifted and abominable personages in an era that knew no lack of gifted and abominable personages. Born lacking a personal odor (a fact other people find disquieting) but endowed with an incomparable sense of smell, he apprentices himself to a perfumer and becomes obsessed with procuring the perfect scent that will make him fully human. In the process, he creates perfumes presumably based on pheromones that powerfully manipulate human emotions, murdering 25 girls to take their scent. I loved the movie and decided that I wanted to try out the book. When my reading group selected this one, I was excited to open it up. 

Suffice to say, I was satisfied with the book. The main character, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, was definitely... a bad person. I spent so much of the book wondering what was going on in his head, trying to diagnose just what mental illness he suffered from to be so without emotion. Cruel, perhaps not, but definitely without moral judgment or really any sense of attachment to the people around him. I found myself disgusted, asking myself, "what is wrong with this guy?!" more times that I could possibly count. 

Ultimately, I found all of the characters repulsive in their own way, full of their own evil and vice. I think this was intended. Chilling of all is the plot, the decision of scentless Jean-Baptiste Grenouille to possess the sweetest smell of them all: the smell of beautiful young women. He is truly a man filled only with his own strange desires and hatred. His power to map any scent, to smell everything around him, is used to this end. It's a book about obsession, murder, mystery, mental illness, beauty... so many categories. It's definitely a good read, too, for anyone who likes historical fiction.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Book Review: Submission (Devitations, #1) By Chris Owen & Jodi Payne

Title: Submission
Series: Deviations
Book Number: 1
Author(s): Chris Owen & Jodi Payne 
Genre: Fiction- Erotica
Finished: July 4, 2008

Tobias is a Dom and Noah is a submissive with a rocky past that has made his submission all the more of a test for both him and Tobias. They draw closer together as they test Noah's limits, working through his fears, deepening their relationship and their love for each other through Domination towards the ultimate submission.I like what this does for the BDSM scene. Submission shows that even in a BDSM relationship, there is romance and affection. So many people are under the (false) impression that BDSM is about cruelty and slavery when that's just not so. The book moved fast but not too fast. The characters were well developed, as well; I didn't leave the book feeling as if I lacked an understanding of the characters. What's more, I liked them and I was rooting for it to work. Submission focuses on the submissive, Noah and how he and his new Dom, Tobias, work through Noah's trust issues to bring him to the ultimate state of slavery. It was very hot but also very emotional. Definitely a good read for anyone who likes gay erotica with an edge. This isn't about light spanking and handcuffs, guys.