>Week in Review June 12-18 and… Winners!

 


Welcome one and all to the week in review!
Week in Review is when we take a look at the past week and everything that’s been going on at Paperbackdolls.com – plus we share what you can expect from the week to come…
So lets get to it!

But First – We have Winners! …









The winner of our The Girl Who Disappeared Twice giveaway is: Shanda!
The winner of the Hunter’s Fall giveaway is: Diane!
CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Please email paperbackdolls{at}gmail{dot}com
*After two days if we have not been notified or received the mailing info from selected winners we will pick new names. Please double check the address you send us to make sure it is the one you want package shipped to. We are not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen packages and if a parcel is returned to sender due to incorrect mailing address provided to PBD, you have the option of having it resent at your own expense. NOTE that packages shipped over seas may take 7-10 weeks to reach it’s destination. We apologize for the inconvenience in shipping times, but must ship in the most economical way to be able to offer our giveaways to our overseas friends. Thank you.
Now…

 

Previously on Paperback Dolls . . .

 

For Father’s Day we decided to celebrate by taking a week to raise a glass to the Bad-Ass men and boys in books!  So just what is it that makes men and boys in books BadAss? We each had our own take and we brought in some guests to share theirs…

What an incredible BadAss week it was! And of course, being the Paperback Dolls we couldn’t just leave things at that – we needed to share the wealth!

So don’t forget to check out the TWO BadAss giveaways we are having. One for Desi’s YA BadAss book favorites and one for Bad@ass men in fiction!



On Sunday Desi shared her YA BadAss boy favorites
I wanted in on the action this week. So, I did what young girls do best…I whined and begged and persisted until the grown-ups caved. 🙂
You see, I LOVE books and I absolutely LOVE the boy characters in them. I mean, I guess it’s a version of sex appeal. I’m all for girl power and all that jazz, but I don’t just want to read about kick-butt heroines because that would get old for me real quick! After all, what would Katniss be without Peeta or Gale? The answer is easy- less likeable… Read on

 

Then Monday author Emma Butler discussed why the world needs a BadAss…and Mr. Fassbender
Sometimes when you’ve been hurt, you don’t want someone holding your hand and talking it out. Sometimes you want them to roll up their sleeves and beat the living crap out of whoever made you hurt so bad.
That’s where the bad ass male protagonist comes in. Awesome, awesome idea for a week by the Dolls by the way. This is why they’re so great.
It’s why sometimes you need Eric, not Bill. It’s why you need Damon Salvatore, not Stefan. It’s why Magneto is just so much cooler than Professor X. Why all of us, somewhere, have just an eensy crush on Wolverine. Read On…

Tuesday Day discussed why Cowboys, Gangsters, Thugs and Military men were her favorite BadAsses

The thing is, I have several favorites. I have already shared my love of Larry McMurty’s Lonesome Dove characters Augustus McCrae and Capt. Woodrow Call.

I love me some good ole boys! Especially some that have a certain code they live by– hang a man for thieve’n and murder’n, yet they’ll sneak across the border to steal cattle for their own outfit. I love the Capt’s rough exterior and disciplined work ethic-I wouldn’t want to annoy him and yet…

I really loved how Gus was just as able to work but appreciated the finer things in life–like drinking, women and driving Capt. Call crazy with his joking around. Both the Capt. and Gus have qualities that are badass and endear them to me–they leave me day dreaming of having my very own cowboy. *cue Kasey Chambers “Pony”* Read On…

 

On Wednesday Mona told us why Acheron was her favorite BadAss
Ya Gotta Love a Man Who Knows He’s Bad
(….but doesn’t care)
​There are so many wonderful tough guys in fiction that at first I was going crazy trying to pick one to write about. For instance, one of my all-time favorites is Ranger from Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. Unlike a lot of you, I’m not a Morelli fan. At. All. But I lurves me some Ranger for many different reasons—not the least of which is the way he always rescues Stephanie, gives her anything she needs or wants, and never asks anything in return. Nor does he take her for granted. Not to mention, he’s gorgeous and dangerous. Read On…

 

Thursday Honorary Doll Alli was all about Bones the BadAss
Let’s be honest, chick-lit isn’t known for having strong male protagonists. The men always play second fiddle to a very strong female lead who steals the show. This made it REALLY difficult for me to decide on who my favorite male badass protagonist was. In order to choose my favorite badass male, I had to think about what actually constitutes a badass. Read On…
Friday Noa shared favorites in her categories of BadAssedness

It is finally my turn to discuss that firm favorite of male types, the diamond in the rough, the epitome of fictitious male hero perfection, the BadAss.

To me, BadAssery (thank you to author Courtney Allison Moulton for coining that term at the Teen Author Carnival) has always been something every male hero should aspire to. Take the romantic, poem writing, soulful men, I don’t want them! I need a guy who has that glint in his eye, that upturned lip with just a hint of a ready smile that could, in second, change into a look that would inspire fear in any person stupid enough to cause you even a moment’s worry or pain.

There are in my opinion, several sub-types of BadAss as each of our Dolls and guests has proven this week, to me, there are certain categories by which one might divide the badassedness. Read On…

Saturday We got a double-dose of the BadAss
First Suz told us why Jean-Claud is BadAss

The classification of “Bad Ass” could be considered subjective. I suspect we all have our own notion of what a Bad Ass is. Being a dominant type of woman, you might be surprised at my ideal Bad Ass. I have to be honest and just go ahead and embrace it.

I’m a dichotomy. I am a dominant woman who loves strong, even dominant men who are willing to give a little to get a lot. I’m generally put off by the uber-alpha, chest pounding, he-man types. But don’t be fooled, that doesn’t only leave wet noodle men, there are so many more options. Read On…
Then Kitt told us all about One BadAss War Mage
When the idea of a Male Badass Week was approached, I was all like “Hell Yes!” I mean who doesn’t want the chance to squee and discuss and generally gush over one of their favorite male char… wait! What? ONLY FREAKING ONE?! You have got to be kidding me! They’re like Pringles, nobody has just one.
As the girls have shown this week, not a ONE of them (even Suz – I know you have tons of others woman :p) were able to choose! I myself have tons of badass men I can think of off the top of my head… like Bones from Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series… Or Curran from Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniels…Or Jean-Claude from Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake…Or Jericho Barrons from KMM’s Fever series… Or Eric Northman from Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series.. Or.. I think you get the idea. Having to choose just one is cruel and unusual punishment – who would I choose? Read On…
On Friday Noa shared an ARC review of the latest installment in the Lady Julia Grey series – The Dark Enquiry by Deanna Raybourn! (Because Brisbane is quite a BadAss himself!)

The Dark Enquiry (A Lady Julia Grey Novel)

Partners now in marriage and in trade, Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have finally returned from abroad to set up housekeeping in London. But merging their respective collections of gadgets, pets and servants leaves little room for the harried newlyweds themselves, let alone Brisbane’s private enquiry business.

 

Among the more unlikely clients: Julia’s very proper brother, Lord Bellmont, who swears Brisbane to secrecy about his case. Not about to be left out of anything concerning her beloved—if eccentric—family, spirited Julia soon picks up the trail of the investigation.
It leads to the exclusive Ghost Club, where the alluring Madame Séraphine holds evening séances…and not a few powerful gentlemen in thrall. From this eerie enclave unfolds a lurid tangle of dark deeds, whose tendrils crush reputations and throttle trust.
Shocked to find their investigation spun into salacious newspaper headlines, bristling at the tension it causes between them, the Brisbanes find they must unite or fall. For Bellmont’s sake and more they’ll face myriad dangers born of dark secrets, the kind men kill to keep… Read On...
Next week on Paperback Dolls…

On Monday the fabulous Deanna Raybourn will be here to attempt the Paperback Proust

Website

Tuesday Mona will be reviewing Creed’s Honor by Linda Lael Miller

Creed's Honor (Hqn)

Conner Creed knows exactly who he is: a hardworking rancher carrying on his uncle’s legacy in Lonesome Bend, Colorado. Maybe a small-town cowboy’s life isn’t his dream, but he owes the man who took him in as a kid. Until the identical twin brother he’s been estranged from for years reenters his life.

 

Conner struggles with identity issues as he gets to know his wilder brother. And then he meets Tricia McCall, a beautiful woman who knows a thing or two about living someone else’s dreams. Together, they just might find their own dreams right here in Lonesome Bend….
Wednesday Day will be reviewing Legend by Marie Lu

Legend

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

 

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.
Then we have a special three day feature with author Tera Lynn Childs! There will be lots of surprises! A character interview, reviews and a GIVEAWAY!

 

Goddess Boot CampOh. My. Gods.Forgive My Fins

 

 

That’s it for us this week! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


*.*.*

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>BadAss Week: One Badass War Mage

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When the idea of a Male Badass Week was approached, I was all like “Hell Yes!” I mean who doesn’t want the chance to squee and discuss and generally gush over one of their favorite male char… wait! What? ONLY FREAKING ONE?! You have got to be kidding me! They’re like Pringles, nobody has just one.

As the girls have shown this week, not a ONE of them (even Suz – I know you have tons of others woman :p) were able to choose! I myself have tons of badass men I can think of off the top of my head… like Bones from Jeaniene Frost‘s Night Huntress series… Or Curran from Ilona Andrew‘s Kate Daniels…Or Jean-Claude from Laurell K. Hamilton‘s Anita Blake…Or Jericho Barrons from KMM‘s Fever series… Or Eric Northman from Charlaine Harris‘ Sookie Stackhouse series.. Or.. I think you get the idea. Having to choose just one is cruel and unusual punishment – who would I choose?

In the end, I went in a different direction. I went with the one who snuck up on us. The one that when we first met him, we were wondering when the time would come that someone would finally slap some humbleness into him, make him laugh and wipe that frown right off his face and for fucking sakes, help him find a comb! He’s that one, that in the end, turned out to be that badass male that deserves all the rewards that badassery can get you.

Pritkin from http://www.karenchance.com

Name: (Known as) John Pritkin
Age: Undetermined
Eye Color: Emerald Green
Hair Color: Blond
Height: 5’8″
Weight: 180lbs
(Stats are from Cassie Palmer series)

(From www.karenchance.com)
John Pritkin is from the Cassandra Palmer series. He was a war mage–a member of the supernatural community’s police force–with a specialization in demon killing. But then his bosses sent him on a new mission–to kill the upstart pretender to the Pythia’s throne, one Cassie Palmer. They didn’t want an unknown taking such a powerful position and possibly interfering in their affairs. And they didn’t think a demon-hunting assassin would have a problem with a spot of political murder.

They thought wrong.

Now Pritkin is a former war mage and the Pythia’s new bodyguard. So far, the move has brought him no pay, long hours, constant stress and has almost gotten him killed at least a dozen times. He’s shown here about to embark on a demon hunt to get a little rest.

Now on to the eye-candy! I personally almost never have real life models for my male characters
– maybe because they never seem to match my imagination –
so I had some friends help me out and here’s who they chose:
David Beckham

MAJOR shout out to locketlove, Mrs. Leif and Bamafever for finding these delectable shots for me. This pic of David Beckham comes the closes to matching my John Pritkin…

Tobias Cameroon

and Tobias Cameroon here is coming dangerously close, but the truth is, not even Cassie sees Pritkin as someone swoon worthy… well that is, until later:

He wasn’t all that good-looking, he had the social skills of a wet cat and the patience of a caffeinated hummingbird. In between crazy stunts and, okay, saving my life, he was just really annoying. When we’d started working together, I’d assumed it would be a question of *putting up* with Pritkin; then suddenly the stupid hair was making me smile, and the sporadic heroics were making my heart jump and the constant bitching had me wanting to kiss him quiet. And now I cared more than was good for me. – Curse the Dawn pg. 71

Touch the Dark (Cassandra Palmer, Book 1)Claimed by Shadow (Cassandra Palmer, Book 2)Embrace the Night (Cassandra Palmer Series, Book 3)Curse the Dawn (Cassandra Palmer, Book 4)Hunt the Moon: A Cassie Palmer Novel

There are TONS of fantastic “OMFG WTF” trivia to learn about Pritkin (think somewhere similar to Jericho Barrons) however with Pritkin, we get satisfaction. Information is divulged slowly, to be enjoyed and savored as each piece is unraveled. So needless to say, I have to leave out the juiciest bits about this badass character for spoiler reasons, but I will tell you what I can.

When we first meet Pritkin in Touch the Dark, he’s a downright self-righteous ass with a case of extreme paranoia. As the Silver Circles leading war mage in demon hunting, he’s the man they called on when the shit hit the fan and there couldn’t be a better reason than having an untrained Pythia usurper taking the throne for the Silver Circle to send in the big guns. The first thing Cassie notices when she sees him for the first time isn’t the color of his eyes or his physique, it’s his hair – like an alien entity on it’s very own doing its best to defy gravity – and the fact that he seems to dress for war 24/7 with guns, knives, ammunition, spells and potions – enough to make Rambo jealous – covered by a floor length duster. The man is a veritable armory. My favorite of his weapons are his 5 deadly knives that swarm like a bunch of angry bees. While he’s shooting at one beasty, his knives are slicing and dicing their way through the two that snuck up behind him.

Eventually we learn that we should never judge a book by it’s cover. There’s more to John Pritkin than meets the eye but watching him work would still be something because in all that bronzed; hard muscle is the deadly fluidity of a fighter: all leashed strength and readiness. A skilled sleek deadly predator that smells of gunpowder and magic who has an unhealthy addiction to caffeine.

One of the most fascinating things about this character is the fact that he isn’t the strongest with alpha male syndrome, or the richest or even the sexiest character vying for Cassie’s attention and saving her ass. He’s the guy, while you weren’t watching, crept into your heart. His vulnerability paired with his badass attitude and skills become heart stopping. One minute your happily reading along, waiting for what’s going to happen next to Cassies and then *BAM* John Pritkin is there and your wondering when did that happen? When will he be on page next? What will he do? What will we learn?

Have you had a character sneak his way into your heart?

Don’t forget to enter:

>Badass Week: Jean-Claude is a Badass, That’s right – Jean-Claude!

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The classification of “Bad Ass” could be considered subjective. I suspect we all have our own notion of what a Bad Ass is. Being a dominant type of woman, you might be surprised at my ideal Bad Ass. I have to be honest and just go ahead and embrace it. I’m a dichotomy. I am a dominant woman who loves strong, even dominant men who are willing to give a little to get a lot. I’m generally put off by the uber-alpha, chest pounding, he-man types. But don’t be fooled, that doesn’t only leave wet noodle men, there are so many more options.

So who is my favorite fictional Bad Ass Male? Jean-Claude, from Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. That’s right, the tight-leather-pants, frilly-open-shirt, custom-thigh-boot, long-luscious-curls-wearing, three-musketeer-stereotype-looking, Master of the City of St. Louis vampire. Wait! Before you say “cliché” stop and take another look.

What makes a man a bad ass? For me it’s someone who is unapologetic about who and what he is, but is also tempered with a deep seated survival instinct. I love a man who can embrace the depth and breadth of his feelings and still be able to look at a situation and assess its needs. Yes, extreme pragmatism is a turn on if it’s not just another form of emotional denial. I mean really, how many of the chest-bangers either let their emotions rule the day or use anger or aloofness as a way to deny their feelings? It’s a common trope.

But not Jean-Claude. This is a man who is in it for the long game. He hid his strength and his age for centuries while he built up his personal power. He never unleashes large amounts of power unless it’s absolutely needed, instead preferring to let his limits remain a mystery. That’s not only tenacious, it’s just smart. Pragmatism at its finest. However, when it’s time to deal with a problem or a threat Jean-Claude is ruthless. He doesn’t flinch and he doesn’t guilt himself about it for ages afterwards. He’s equally likely to use magic or just use his vampire speed and strength and slit a throat. But he’ll do what it takes without batting an eyelash and just as quickly be back to his day to day affairs.

I tell you, it makes me shiver.

But beyond overt fighting, beyond power struggles, beyond politics, there is the man. I can only sigh over a man who has all that power and strength and still knows that the best relations, the ones that are real and lasting, are the ones that are given freely. He knows that you can’t force or take things like that. He knows that you have to patiently wait for them to come to you, you have to be there for them, you have to listen and learn, and try to give people what they need. Jean-Claude excels at this like no other. I’m sure most women out there can relate to someone, somewhere, trying to force, manipulate or intimidate them into doing what they wanted. You know Jean-Claude cares about you when he doesn’t do that although he easily could. That’s respect, and it’s not a common character trait with vampires in this genre. In truth, Jean-Claude originally did try most of those tactics with Anita, but it didn’t take him long to realize that the only way he was going to win the lady was to win the lady. He is centuries old and still able to learn. To me, this is foundational bad ass. This is the quiet bad ass, the one who can fight himself to get what he wants. It all sets my heart a-flutter.

I don’t think it’s possible to discuss how bad ass an incubus is without mentioning sex. This is a man who not only feeds on blood but also on lust and sex. For hundreds of years he’s been playing people’s bodies like fine instruments to get the best feed out of them. It’s in his best interest to know how to quickly find all your special places! Something that is never mentioned in the books but is alluded to is that Jean-Claude used his sexual powers sparingly. There is only one instance that we know of that he “enslaved” someone sexually, and he did it for survival; upon his arrival in America (known as the New World at the time) complete broke and without any friends or a place to stay in the day. Two hundred years later and he’s still trying his best to take care of and do right by this terribly bothersome and troublesome female (Gretchen). Binding people to him with his sexual powers is not something he does quickly. Again, he knows the value of free will.

He’s been around so long that nothing shocks him sexually, but making that connection and keeping the intimacy special is important to him. Crazy, hot, monkey-sex without the hang-ups with a man who knows what he’s doing and wants to bond. I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but this is the stuff of dreams!

Finally, I have to admit that even though his fashion sense seems a bit cliché, there is a part of me that still loves it. It’s like a guilty pleasure.

Jean-Claude is smart, pragmatic, scheming, not driven by his ego, physically, magically, and emotionally powerful, and he’s a sex God. Who needs anything else?

>BadAss Week: Noa’s Favorite BadAss(es)

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It is finally my turn to discuss that firm favorite of male types, the diamond in the rough, the epitome of fictitious male hero perfection, the BadAss. To me, BadAssery (thank you to author Courtney Allison Moulton for coining that term at the Teen Author Carnival) has always been something every male hero should aspire to. Take the romantic, poem writing, soulful men, I don’t want them! I need a guy who has that glint in his eye, that upturned lip with just a hint of a ready smile that could, in second, change into a look that would inspire fear in any person stupid enough to cause you even a moment’s worry or pain.

There are in my opinion, several sub-types of BadAss as each of our Dolls and guests has proven this week, to me, there are certain categories by which one might divide the badassedness…

1. The Knight in shining armor with a BadAss twist:

The golden locks, the pretty face, seems very innocent until you realize there is so much more behind those baby blues. Deadly to all but those select few he chooses to let in, this Badass will never forget a courtly gesture as he poisons your dinner, steals your jewels and flirts with your wife.

Not usually a fan of Jude Law but he seems
To fit the bill

Francis Crawford of Lymond (16th Century)
Age: Unknown, apparently series starts off when he’s 20. But back then 20 was totally like 30.
Occupation: Not much he hasn’t done.
Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles

Francis Crawford is a Scottish nobleman but he is also an outlaw.
The reader follows him through six books from outlaw to nobleman to court jester of sorts to soldier to nomad and always, always a political genius.

We never really know whose side he’s on until he wants us to know. At first it would seem that family means very little to him but then you realize that family and country mean everything to him. He’s an arrogant, brilliant troubled man.

His dissipated life and his past (and present) addictions makes him believe he will never be good enough for the one woman he loves, but that doesn’t mean he won’t protect her from any man or woman who thinks to harm her. And this guy? He doesn’t play fair. If there is need for cunning, for convoluted plans only unravelled at the final moments, just when it looks like everything is lost, Francis is your man. But don’t be fooled, he is an accomplished swordsman, and a man who knows how to use his fists if need be. After all, you learn a trick or two being enslaved on a French galley prison for two years….

This series is one of my all time favorites and Francis is most definitely a BadAss for the generations.

2. The Mysterious BadAss

You will probably come across these badasses when you least expect it. A dark alley, while hiding away from the crowds at a party, he lurks in the shadows preferring to be the one standing on the outside looking in. Usually these dark and dangerous types have some tragedy in their history – a mother who left them, a gypsy or unknown heritage… their need to prove themselves means they are likely to go way out of their usual comfort zone to Learning all sorts of Badass tricks along the way…

Mark Frankel as
Brisbane

Nicholas Brisbane (19th century)
Age: late 30s
Occupation: Enquiry Agent
Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey mysteries

Born to a gypsy mother and an aristocrat father, he was persona non grata with both his families. He is now a successful enquiry agent whose dark look and blunt ways get our heroine quite…uncomfortable. Brisbane’s sexy demeanor, and that feeling,that there is something deep and dark just under that cool suave surface make this hero a perfect candidate for mysterious BadAss…See, we don’t quite know what he will do, but we know it won’t be pretty! As we get to know him we find out he has many demons to fight and many issues to solve, but seeing how he solves all those deadly situations in ‘real life’ we know he’ll be able to deal with whichever dark things are lurking in the dark – whether in his mind or in the alley just ahead.

Sebastian St. Cyr (19th century)
Age: 28
Occupation: Aristocrat, former soldier, amateur detective.
C.S. Harris’ Sebastian Ct. Cyr mysteries

Henry Cavil as Sebastian St. Cyr

Unlike Mr. Brisbane this young buck was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Heir to an Earldom, one might think he has it all. So where did he get his BadAss streak? Growing up with a father you feel despises you and a mother who died when you were young while secrets and lies surround you could do that to anyone… Sebastian earned some BadAss kudos for his years a soldier in he peninsular wars, and for having amber-yellow eyes that give him super-sight, reflexes and hearing (Bithil syndrome don’t’ya know). If that wasn’t enough to keep you heading in the other direction, he really became badass when he decided to solve a murder…one he was being accused of committing. As a fugitive he still manages to solve the case and leave you feeling you know very little more about him than you did when the story began. That’s just the way he likes it too.

3. The BadAss who loves you (and only you)

Michael Fassbender (when blonde)

Rupert Campbell Black (20th century)
Age: Starts at 20s but he’s now heading for 50 and still BadAss
Occupation: Landowner, Horse Breeder, and major thorn in your side.
Jilly Cooper’s books. (Mainly Riders and Rivals)

To me, Rupert Campbell Black is the ultimate BadAss though I was wondering if I should even include him. You see, he starts out as a bit of a S***. OK, actually, on many level he stays one for pretty much every book he’s in. In Riders the first book Rupert makes an appearance in, he is for all intents and purposes the bad guy. Mean, cruel, does what he likes when he likes it. Thinks being sinfully sexy and handsome means he can do anything he wants… Where are his good points you ask? Well, in Rivals that all changed… sort of. You see, this BadAss just needed a woman who could understand him. Now, now, no eye rolling! Do you think I would lead you all astray in that evil way? Say he’s a BadAss then start sprouting nonsense about poetry, romance and being the perfectly reformed rake who was just waiting for that sweet little innocent to mend his dissipated ways? No, no, no! Rupert Campbell Black remains a bit of a S***, in a good way. But this selfish so and so also realizes his life would be quite miserable if his one and only wasn’t pleased. So while he does become her knight in shining armor, he is in fact still the baddest BadAss there ever was. And there are millions of women around the world who would trade places with his one and only love. In fact he has quite a cult following. On many levels he’s like a non-vampiric Eric Northman. He’d do anything for his Dear One.

4. The Alpha (seriously) BadAss

Don’t look him in the eye, you might end up dead before you can look away, don’t touch what is his, or you’ll end up dead before you can move away. Don’t… Ok, basically, just don’t. This is a BadAss whose BadAssery is of the animalistic variety. if you’re family or friend he will protect you to the death, but if you aren’t…retreat now and live to see another sunrise!

I’m sorry, but no image would
do him justice… I’m still considering
this one. 

Curran Lennart
Age: 31 years old
Occupation: Beast Lord
Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series

Curran managed to become Beast Lord at the age of 15. Now, if taking over as the leader of hundreds of shape-shifters when still in his teens isn’t enough to prove his BadAssedness I don’t know what will! Looking into his grey eyes is extremely difficult and when they take on a golden hue it really is best to stand still and play dead. He is also very hard to say no to, and acts as a man who has been giving orders since he was 15 would act – bossy. But he is honorable, his pack and family are everything to him and he’s a sexy funny beast. But he is a beast – and those lionine traits are always lurking beneath the surface so always come prepared, a bout with this BadAss might leave some serious scars….and not just the good kind 😉

I can’t choose just one BadAss… I have to have them all and hey, why choose one when you can sit down with a pile of books and enjoy a tower high-helping of endless BadAssery….

Don’t forget – there is still time to enter our BadAss Week giveaway!

>ARC Review: The Dark Enquiry by Deanna Raybourn

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*This book will be released on June 21*
*This review may contain spoilers of previous books in the series*
The Dark Enquiry (A Lady Julia Grey Novel)Partners now in marriage and in trade, Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have finally returned from abroad to set up housekeeping in London. But merging their respective collections of gadgets, pets and servants leaves little room for the harried newlyweds themselves, let alone Brisbane’s private enquiry business.
Among the more unlikely clients: Julia’s very proper brother, Lord Bellmont, who swears Brisbane to secrecy about his case. Not about to be left out of anything concerning her beloved—if eccentric—family, spirited Julia soon picks up the trail of the investigation…

It leads to the exclusive Ghost Club, where the alluring Madame Séraphine holds evening séances…and not a few powerful gentlemen in thrall. From this eerie enclave unfolds a lurid tangle of dark deeds, whose tendrils crush reputations and throttle trust.
Shocked to find their investigation spun into salacious newspaper headlines, bristling at the tension it causes between them, the Brisbanes find they must unite or fall. For Bellmont’s sake and more they’ll face myriad dangers born of dark secrets, the kind men kill to keep….
I’m really pleased my review of The Dark Enquiry was set to be posted during BadAss Boys in Fiction Week because one of my favorite BadAss heros (More on that in my BadAss post) is Mr. Nicholas Brisbane husband of the intelligent and effervescent Lady Julia Grey.
By now some of you already know how much I love this historical mystery series. I mentioned it as being my most anticipated book in June and I might have also counted the days until the release…Ok, so I absolutely counted the days. Not that I had to really, my big sister only kept calling me on a weekly basis just to do the following: “When does the next Julia book come out? When will you have it? When will I have it?” Thankfully when I got the book the calls changed to “is there a lot of Brisbane in it?”
So, to answer that question and a few others without spoiling, Yes, this book has plenty of Brisbane. Just the way my sister (and I) like it. When we last left the Brisbanes they were getting over their less than relaxing honeymoon in India. Brisbane had also agreed to teach Julia what she would need to know about the detecting business so that they could work as (almost) equal partners.
In The Dark Enquiry Julia is making some progress in that department…when she isn’t blowing things up. Then she discovers her eldest brother Lord Bellmont visited Brisbane and is seeking his help with a very delicate enquiry. Julia wants in on the case and well, things go a bit haywire from there.
With mysteries it’s always very hard to write reviews because you never know what you can reveal without revealing too much. So, I won’t share more of the plot but what I will share is how much I enjoyed this book. Deanna Raybourn delivers as always – a wonderful intriguing mystery with just the right amount of humor and romance in a perfectly researched historical setting.
If Dark Road to Darjeeling was filled with a sense of something lurking just beneath the surface, understated drama that led to quite an explosive finish – seriously, you must read it if you have yet to do so; The Dark Enquiry was not as understated, it was action packed from the first page and right through to the epilogue (which made me want to sneak into Ms. Raybourn’s home to steal her notes on book 6).
This installment in the series also had Julia and Brisbane working together for most of the book, though not always with each member of the team being aware of the fact. A circumstance which led to quite a few of the action packed scenes and the humorous ones as well.
The ever-evolving relationship between Julia and Brisbane is always one of my favorite things to read about – there is no stagnancy here! No ‘been there, done that’ which many series become afflicted with a few books in. In the Dark Enquiry the focus turns to Nicholas Brisbane – more of his heritage, what makes him tick, his insecurities and just how much he loves Julia. It made for truly delicious reading, as did all their scenes together.
The Dark Enquiry also has guest appearances from my favorite supporting cast – The March family. Julia’s father is there in all his glory, Portia is back, now with a new responsibility and Plum is the proverbial third wheel. Then there is the stuffed-shirt Bellmont whose own personal life is about to wreak havoc on Julia and Brisbane’s…
There are some sad moments and quite a lot to think about as we wait for the next book in the series, but as always, it was completely worth the wait, another sublimely pleasurable read from Deanna Raybourn.
Happy Reading!

>BadAss Week: Alli’s favorite BadAss is….

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Let’s be honest, chick-lit isn’t known for having strong male protagonists. The men always play second fiddle to a very strong female lead who steals the show. This made it REALLY difficult for me to decide on who my favorite male badass protagonist was. In order to choose my favorite badass male, I had to think about what actually constitutes a badass.

According to UrbanDictionary.com (LOL) a badass is:

“The epitome of the American male. He radiates confidence in everything he does, whether it’s ordering a drink, buying a set of wheels, or dealing with women. He’s slow to anger, brutally efficient when fighting back. The badass carves his own path. He wears, drives, drinks, watches, and listens to what he chooses, when he chooses, where he chooses, uninfluenced by fads or advertising campaigns. Badass style is understated but instantly recognizable. Like a chopped Harley or a good pair of sunglasses: simple, direct, and functional.”

After reading that, my mind immediately went to Eric Northman (He’s been mentioned MANY times this week and for good reason). Eric is a badass for sure, but when I think of crazy, kick some serious ass badass, Jeaniene Frost’s Bones from the Night Huntress Series is all I could think about. I instantly fell in love with the devilishly witty and charming Bones. After speaking with many people, it’s clear I’m not alone in appreciating the fine work that is Bones. Here are his stats:

Real Name: Crispin Phillip Arthur Russell III
Birthday and Age: November 20th, 1766 – 24 years as a human, 217 as a vampire.
Physical Attributes: 6’2, Light blond hair (naturally dark) in tight waves, dark brown eyes that can look nearly black (or turn green when randy/hungry).
Stars that Could Play Bones /Look like Bones:

TOP: Ian Somerhalder, James Marsters, James Franco, Ingo Rademacher, Rodrigo Hilbert
BOTTOM: Matt Bomer, Billy Idol, Josh Holloway, David Beckham

Yes, I know exactly what you’re thinking. GEEZ, what an eclectic bunch of hot men you have picked, and what great taste you have! Some of them I could actually imagine playing Bones, some of them have features that remind me of Bones, all of them equally smoking! Of course, I chose Ian Somerhalder. If you’re unfamiliar with him, he plays Damon Salvatore on the CW’s Vampire Diaries and is muy delicioso and shares the same temperament as Bones. James Marsters, the OG, Spike of Buffy the Vampire and Billy Idol remind me of how Bones probably looked with his bleached blond hair. Why James Franco you ask? Just look at those cheekbones and he’s one of Hollywood’s most versatile actors. Matt Bomer, do you even have to ask? He is one beautiful man, and has the chiseled look that I’ve always imagined Bones having. Josh Holloway played the bad boy con man Sawyer on Lost. He was always looked out for number one, but had a big soft spot for Kate. David Beckham, Ingo Rademacher, and Rodrigo Hilbert are all just beautiful blond men, with great features that would do Bones proud.

So what makes Bones such a badass? Bones is a vampire bounty hunter with master vampire skills, who pretty much answers to one person, himself. Bones knows what he wants and he takes it, like a honey badger! Sorry, I had to get a honey badger joke in sometime! Bones’ Grandsire is one of the baddest and oldest vampires in the world. He’s crafty, witty, and conniving. All the vampires know who Bones is and fear him. Bones always has a way with words, and can usually talk his way out of any situation. He is resourceful, living in a cave in which he somehow has hooked up running water and electricity.

He survives being taken out by Cat, the Red Reaper (She didn’t earn that name for nothing). When the FBI catches up to Cat, she takes a deal and hides from Bones for four years, in which he searched for her (INSERT BIG SIGH) and didn’t have ANY sex! Bones’ is also pretty swell in the boudoir coughChapter 32cough (wink wink, please say you know what I’m talking about). He also has the much-needed softer side you see with Cat, and how much he loves her. I absolutely love his pet names for her “luv, kitten, etc..” Stop me before I keep going on and on and on about him.

There is so much about Bones that we all love. If you haven’t read the books and if you think he’s someone you could be interested in, please check out the Night Huntress series. It’s a fantastic read.


PS: I want to give a shout-out to Cristy (BamaFever) and Rana (OhYes)! You gals rock!

>BadAss week: Mona’s favorite Badass is…

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Ya Gotta Love a Man Who Knows He’s Bad
(….but doesn’t care)

​There are so many wonderful tough guys in fiction that at first I was going crazy trying to pick one to write about. For instance, one of my all-time favorites is Ranger from Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. Unlike a lot of you, I’m not a Morelli fan. At. All. But I lurves me some Ranger for many different reasons—not the least of which is the way he always rescues Stephanie, gives her anything she needs or wants, and never asks anything in return. Nor does he take her for granted. Not to mention, he’s gorgeous and dangerous. (sigh)


Then there’s Eric Northman from Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series. Now, don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about—Gracious Plenty, indeed. Plus, he can wear pink spandex and still be hot and studly. There are also Barrons, Bones, Curran, Dimitri, the entire Black Dagger Brotherhood, all the Dark-Hunters, and a slew of others too numerous to mention, but the one who really captures my heart is none other than…..(drumroll please)……Acheron—or Ash as he’s known to those who love him.

​Yes, I’m talking about Ash of the Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I mean, c’mon, what’s not to love about a six-foot-eight-inch god with swirling silver eyes and long black hair with a bright red streak in the front, who walks like a seductive predator? The opaque black Oakley sunglasses, the long black coat covering that amazing bod, black tees (usually sporting the name of a heavy metal band), black leather pants, and cherry-red Doc Martens boots with skull and crossbone buckles going up each side are enough to fog up my glasses, yet that description alone would make most people cross the street to avoid him.

​Of course, his natural god appearance is even scarier. His skin is marbled blue, he has two black horns, black claws and lips, and his eyes are yellow-orange encircled by red. He is the Talimosin, the Destroyer’s Harbinger, the Final Fate, and a single word from him can destroy the gods and the world. Despite having such immense power, he’s gentle and caring. He loves Simi like a daughter (a young Charonte demon who also doubles as his tattoo), and spoils her with a limitless credit card so she can buy whatever sparklies her heart desires. (All together now……aahhh)

​Due to the horrendous acts committed against him by humans and gods when he was mortal, he has every reason in the world to wipe out the universe. The atrocities he suffered would have killed a normal child, and yet he chooses to protect mankind. It’s because he was so abused, maimed, and tortured that he wants no one else to suffer the way he did.

​Keeping his godhood a secret is of paramount importance, so no one other than Tory (his new wife and newly created god) and a few other gods know what he is, but keeping his human past a secret is even more important. As strong and powerful as he is, the shame of what was done to him guides many of his actions.

You can see why I have such a tender spot in my heart for Ash. He’s a survivor, leader, husband, and protector. Through a complicated, damnable, twist of fate, he also fathered a daughter with Artemis—the bitch goddess as Simi calls her. Soon he and Tory will welcome their first child, and I know he’ll move heaven and earth to protect them from his ever-growing list of enemies.

And that, my friends, is the measure of a true badass hero—he can totally destroy the universe, but instead, chooses to protect it. You gotta love a man with that much restraint and compassion.

I probably shouldn’t say this, but I honestly hope no one makes a movie about him, because in my mind, there’s no way any actor could measure up to his role. And oh, by the way, if you aren’t familiar with him, start with the first book in the series, Fantasy Lover. Now that you know who he is, you’ll be more apt to notice all the wonderful things he does. (….long, protracted sigh….)

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