Seduction and Snacks Book Review

Seduction and Snacks (Chocolate Lovers #1) by Tara Sivec

This book was recommended to me by two of my friends last summer. I decided to check it out and was blown away by how funny it is. The book has its erotic moments that are well written, and the characters remind me of myself and my friends. The 4-year-old son of Claire and Carter, Gavin, has to be the funniest person in this book. The POV is first-person from Claire and Carter’s perspectives and the two of them crack me up. There were parts where I was laughing so hard I had tears streaming down my face. (I may add some quotes at the end of the post because they are priceless.)

*There will also be a preview at the end of the post of Shame On You, the new book by Tara Sivec due to hit the shelves tomorrow, February 25, 2014.*

I’m going to try not to go all fangirl on this review, but I did enjoy the book very much. It’s one of my favorites and I’ve read it twice in around 6-7 months. Seriously, it’s that funny. There are three others (Futures and Frosting-from Claire and Carter’s POV, Troubles and Treats-from Jenny and Drew’s POV, and Hearts and Llamas-a short story which I haven’t read yet) in the series after this. They are hilarious in their own right, but the first is by far the best.

— Seductions and Snacks (Chocolate Lovers #1) Blurb —

Claire is a twenty-something, single mom that grudgingly helps her best friend sell sex toys while she attempts to make enough money to start her own business to give her foul-mouthed, but extremely loveable (when he’s asleep) toddler a better life.

When Carter, the one-night-stand from her past that changed her life forever, shows up in her hometown bar without any recollection of her besides her unique chocolate scent, Claire will make it a point that he remembers her this time.

With Carter’s undisguised shock at suddenly finding out he has a four-year-old son and Claire’s panic that her stretch marks and slim to none bedroom experience will send the man of her dreams heading for the hills, the pair will do whatever they can to get their happily ever after.

Warning: contains explicit sex, profanity and enough sarcasm to choke a horse.

The story is very character driven, with not a whole lot of action going on (not the kind that i’m used to anyway; fights, monsters, killers, cops, etc.) Despite that, what does happen in the book was enough to keep me interested. Claire gets pregnant after a one-night-stand in college, four years later Carter comes back into her life and we get to watch them discover each other again.

This book is filled with hilarious moments that kept me intrigued and wanting to see how it all ends. I’m not usually one that looks for the happily ever after type of ending, but this is a realistic happy ever after in my humble opinion. Why? Because it’s not exactly happily ever after, it’s more like happy until a problem turns us into neurotic head cases again. That is what I liked most about the book, after the erotic scenes and the humor.

Now let’s take a look at the characters: Claire, Carter, Gavin, Liz, Jim, Jenny, and Drew. All in their 20’s (except 4-year-old Gavin of course) and trying to live their dreams. Carter searches for five years for a girl that he had a one-night-stand with that smelled like chocolate. Claire wants to bake, Liz wants to sell sex toys, and Drew wants to bang anyone he can…until he meets Jenny.

Ah Jenny, what can I say about quite possibly the biggest ditz I’ve ever read about? She’s unintentionally hilarious and her interactions with the other two females make me laugh so hard! And let’s face it, I adore her attitude toward sex. Then we have Liz and Jim. Liz is Claire’s best friend, she’s engaged to Jim, and trying to open a sex toy store. She buys a building with enough space for her and Claire to open their respective businesses and the craziness ensues.

My two favorite characters are Gavin, Claire and Carter’s 4-year-old son, and Drew. Gavin first: this kid is beyond hilarious, running around saying things like “Naps can suck it.” and talking about nuts and how big his wiener is.  He is the epitome of a four year old, sucking up everything around him like a sponge and not caring what he repeats. Seriously, this kid is unreal. When he and Drew are around each other, it’s like watching two toddlers go at it. Imagine a manchild arguing with a 4-year-old. Priceless.

Now Drew: absolutely my favorite character in the entire series. I love this manwhore more than a ghost loves haunting. For real. He is too funny for words and the shirts he wears with sayings such as “Stare at me in disgust if you want to blow me” and giving Gavin a shirt that says “Hung like a five-year-old” only make me love him more. The man is down for anything sexually related, and between him and Jenny, they create one big sex monster that experiments with everything, anywhere they want. (Some people may think this is juvenile and beneath them because of that, but I’m telling you, these people are so funny. If you’re not laughing within the first ten minutes of reading it, then you’ve lost your sense of humor somewhere.)

Here we come (no pun intended) to the basis of my reason for reading this book. When I was introduced to them, I wanted to see if the intimate scenes were more adult and less YA (which is a problem I’m running into with so-called Erotica/Romance books lately–the sex scenes are more like PG or PG-13. I understand this not at all, but obviously I just hit a bad streak with my book luck). I wasn’t disappointed here though. There are a few scenes, particularly the first time Claire and Carter sleep together after all those years, where I was completely wrapped up in the book and refused to put it down for anything. I was literally ignoring people trying to talk to me so I could read these parts. They are very well written, though the language is cleaner than I would have expected considering the rest of the book.

I can truly say the only problem I had with the book was when it transitioned from Claire to Carter the first time. I was going along for three chapters with Claire, then all of the sudden I’m with Carter at the start of chapter 4 (titled Sex and Chocolate). At first I was confused, wondering why Claire was talking about someone named Drew, but it clicked a few seconds later and I felt like a total moron. Other than that, I had no issues with the book. I wasn’t jarred out of the story by bad grammar and typos, the story flows well, and while it may not be the most action-packed story, there are enough hilarious anecdotes and horribly embarrassing situations to keep a reader interested…..not to mention the moments of intimacy between the two main characters.

Overall, this is a great book and well deserving of the five-star rating I, and others, have given it on Goodreads and Amazon, among other sites. Tara Sivec has a way of bringing out outrageous bursts of laughter from her readers when they are least expecting it. I can’t wait to read more of her works.

Shame on You (Fool Me Once #1) — Release date: February 25, 2014!!

I’m looking forward to reading Shame on You (Fool Me Once #1), releasing tomorrow February 25. From the blurbs and information about the book floating around on the interwebz, I think I’ll enjoy this new series of books as much as I enjoy the Chocolate Lovers series.  Sivec is one author I will forever have on my to-read list.

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Some of my favorite quotes from Seduction and Snacks:

“…You’re just walking along one day and think to yourself, “You know, I think it’s time I turn my vagina into an Arby’s Beef and Cheddar (minus the cheddar) and saddle myself down for a minimum of eighteen years to someone who will suck the soul and the will to live right out of my body so I’m a shell of the person I used to be and can’t get laid even if I pay for it.”

“I’m a quirky, intelligent, dark haired chick!   Me, me, me, pick me!   And who the hell keeps whining and ruining my perfect moment?   I will cut a bitch.”

“Liz rolled her eyes at me and I resisted the urge to reach over the console and punch her in the vagina. Pussy Punch: when a Twat Tap just isn’t enough.”

“If you two yentas are finished discussing Claire’s rabid who-ha, me and the boys would like to eat sometime this century.”
“You and ‘the boys?’ You just met them today. Does the Ya Ya Brotherhood already have a secret handshake and a password?” Liz joked.”

“Oh my God, I sent a picture of my boobs to Jim,” I moaned as a fresh wave of nausea rolled through me.
“You also threw up in the emergency room parking lot, called Drew and told him you were the Donkey Punch Dick Queen and filled out a Last Will and Testament on a Burger King napkin and then asked the drive-thru worker to notarize it.”

“I don’t wanna be def. Death. Dead. This Burger Twin nappykin just got served as my will, BEOTCH! The fries here suck, by the way. If I die, don’t feed my son your shitty fries. Don’t give my son to the creepy child molester king you put in your commercials either. What the fuck is wrong with that guy? He’s got a normal body and a plastic face that is always smiley. It’s not right, man. It’s just not right. My ears feel funny.”

“I love you more than a hooker loves free VD testing day at the clinic.”

“I was trying to figure out a way to tell him his love mayonnaise had mad skills and no one at this table could stop talking about vibrators.”

“Spitters are Quitters.” – Okay, so this is one is from Futures and Frosting (Chocolate Lovers #2), but I love that line so I had to include it.

These are by no means the only funny quotes, and they are for the most part even funnier when reading them in their proper context. So go out, grab a copy of this book, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Hera, Queen of Gods (Goddess Unbound) Review

Available on amazon.com

Hera, Queen of Gods (Book One of Goddess Unbound) by T.D. Thomas (click pic for link to amazon page), published October 2012.

A wee bit o’ history on how I found the book first. I was recently browsing the Kindle Store for a new Fantasy book to read when I came across Hera, Queen of Gods. At the time I downloaded it, it was free. Funds were low at the time, so what the heck, why not? Couldn’t hurt to check it out right? Exactly! Didn’t hurt one bit. Although it did sit on my Kindle for about a month before I read it as I’d downloaded some other free books at the time. I kept putting it off because it was the one that interested me most, and it was the longest one I’d “purchased” that day. Plus, I procrastinate reading books I’m really interested in sometimes, strange but true.

So here I am yesterday, early morning and can’t sleep anymore. Not wanting to read any of the other books on my Kindle, I decided to dive right in and give it a try. I ended up reading the whole thing, couldn’t go to sleep until I’d finished it last night. Perhaps it shouldn’t have taken me that long to read as it’s only a little over 500 pages, but I’ve been told before I’m a “slow reader”…whatever that means. Allow me now to attempt to review the book I enjoyed so much (forgive me if it’s bad, this is the first book review I’ve ever done). Also, please forgive me if I sound all fanboyish (er fangirl, that is) about it, but there was much I liked about the book.

Here we have various gods and goddesses; Hera, Athena, Zeus, Demeter, Apollo, Artemis, and Hermes, descending from the Heavens into mortal teenage bodies so they may find the Fates and keep the balance between Order and Chaos intact. If you’re not up on your Greek Mythology you may want to do a little reading on the subject beforehand, but that just depends. I don’t recall everything on the subject from my long ago high school days, but I remembered enough to give me an idea of who each character is. (In truth, I don’t think new readers will need to do the “research” as the author does a good job of giving us an idea of their personalities right off the bat.)

At first I was a little iffy about them using the bodies of teenagers, but the prologue gives good insight as to why it was written this way. Turns out it’s not really all that bad as a concept and the story seems to flow well. It does have a tendency to take the reader back in time, if they’re out of high school, and make them feel like they’re right there roaming those halls again. Scary concept for those of us so long out of those times, but effective nonetheless.

Justin’s character is probably my favorite after Athena. He’s a mortal, but he’s different than the others in some way Hera can’t quite figure out…until later. I won’t give anything away here, but I will say that I enjoyed watching his character develop and grow throughout the story. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed all the characters, even the bad ones, but some stuck out with me more than others did. Hermes was another that caught my attention quickly. Besides his love of mortals, his everlasting humor kept me giggling and cracking a smile, even when I wasn’t expecting it.

I have spoken to a few other people that have read the book, as well as read some of the reviews on it, and one thing I would like to mention is the amount of fight scenes in it. This wasn’t a problem for me. I love a good character driven novel, but I also like ones with action in them as well. This, I thought, was a good combination of both. While at some points there was more dialogue than I thought necessary, it didn’t take me away from the scene so much that I was annoyed by it. I enjoyed reading about one struggle after another while the characters were attempting to accomplish their goal. I didn’t see a problem with them having to fight all of the time. We are talking Fantasy here, filled with gods, goddesses, monsters, you name it. I expect there to be a lot of fighting in a piece of work like this.

All that being said, there is one problem I had with the book. There are some grammatical and spelling errors that did in fact jar me out of the moment when I felt like I was just getting into it. While these were few and far between, it was still enough sometimes to make me have to read back a sentence or two, or a word or two, to make sure I was understanding it right. This can be a big turn off for a lot of readers, but honestly I’ve seen misprints like this at times in novels on the best seller list, so I wasn’t bothered by it so much to stop reading.

Overall, Hera, Queen of Gods, is a good read, and one that I now consider a favorite. There are struggles between right and wrong, good and evil, and so many “what if” situations to really make a reader think what it would be like to be in any of these character’s shoes…particularly Hera and the other gods/goddesses. During my time reading it, I kept looking down at the progress bar on my Kindle screen and hoping I wasn’t getting close to the end yet. I just wanted it to keep going. It wasn’t too long (though I don’t think I’ve ever considered any book I read too long) and it wasn’t so short that I felt like much had been left out of the story that the reader should have been given. Hopefully Thomas will be coming out with more of the Goddess Unbound books soon because I would like nothing more than to read what happens after the ending of this book.

Check it out, maybe you’ll like it too. Maybe you won’t. We all know that as writers we can’t please everyone, but this book certainly pleased me.