At any Moment by Brenna Aubrey

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At Any Moment (Gaming the System, #3)At Any Moment by Brenna Aubrey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every time I finish a book, I like to think about the things that made the book memorable to me. What was it that spoke to me. With at any moment it would have to be the prevailing themes; love, loss, and finally redemption. Those are things that stick out the most when you read this book from the Gaming the system series. The story picks up a few days after Adam finds out Mia’s secrets. Almost immediately you come to see that they are each walking on egg shells just to get through the day. Avoiding the proverbial landlines in their relationship that they haven’t yet figured out how to deal with. Mia is not in the best head space at the start, she has a great deal of guilt that she is allowing to override her judgement. So her reactions to things are born out of fear and guilt rather than having been thought out logically. Adam by contrast is burying his emotions and avoiding his own feelings in a single minded attempt to get them through this hurdle. While his approach it admirable it keeps him from having a settled relationship with Mia that he wants. They each have profound love for each other but they can’t seem to get past the things that have happened in their pasts. Mia is very vulnerable and Adam doesn’t want to take advantage of that where she will have more regrets over their relationship. The problem is that while both Mia and Adam are burying their feelings, they continue to bubble up to the surface and challenge what they have for each other. This story is told from both of their points of view and that makes the dialogue flow richly where each of them has an opportunity to express the things they have going on inside of their minds, however, misguided some of it tends to be. The emotional turmoil they endure battling with hardships and losses takes its toll on them and they both realize that they are at a crossroads but neither one of them truly wants to take the necessary steps to make drastic changes to the relationship because they see it as this intensely fragile thing. They weather the storms together but once they are over the hurdle they realize that they are mostly empty. For Adam there is resentment and anger, for Mia there is guilt and mistrust. When they finally give a voice to those feelings they realize that in order for them to get past this and move forward they are going to have to make tough choices and embark on journeys that they didn’t see for themselves when they first began seeing each other. As with any relationship their bonds are tested to the limits and they both come to realize that love is a choice and not a mantle. Love is something that is ever growing and ever changing. Its the responsibility of the parties involved to continuously work on it and to see things through once they have made the commitment to love. As reader you will come to love the honesty and depth of both Mia and Adam. They have a banter between them that is part romance and part camaraderie. While you still get the depth of the other characters such as Heath, Kat, and Jordan, you also have them as compliments rather than over powering the narrative, making for a very enjoyable read. Fans of the previous two books will love the consistency of their journey and the dance that they share in figuring out love in all of its facets and forms. Kudos Brenna, this series was one of a kind, filled with smart and edgy characters that I enjoyed following. Out of a possible 5 stars this one gets all 5. Happy Reading!!!!!

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If I Break by Portia Moore

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If I Break (If I Break, #1)If I Break by Portia Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

O.M.G. I am writing this after having read all of the installments in this saga. I am giving it 5 stars! Now let me set the scene. I am trolling through Amazon after having finished an amazing series, but not yet completely ready to jump out of the escapism that is my reading, when I happen to pick this book up. I vaguely remember the book description, but for some reason, I think its going to be something way less than it is (yes, I am that jaded). Just the same I sit down with a cup of coffee and start reading. The book starts out with Lauren, in a bit of a panic; she is running around the apartment annoyed and pissed off and I am expecting this to take a turn for the worst. The author is brilliant, thank you Portia, as I literally had to finish it. I rather not give too much away but, you twisted my arm, so Lauren is in a fairly recent marriage to Cal, a devastatingly handsome man who is by all accounts emotionally closed off. Portia is so good a weaving their story that I swear she has met and lived with my own husband. He is charismatic, charming, but there is always this huge portion of him that is missing, its like he’s a dream in some ways because he seems so real and honest and then something happens and it makes him seem even more ethereal than when you started. As the story unfolds, you are thinking come on Lauren, this guy is either a secret agent or he literally is cheating and he is just that damned good that you can’t catch him. Either way your heart goes out to her as she remembers all of the things that led to where they are now and you learn that while he does things that can be thoughtless and in some ways even cruel, he has a side to him that is caring and compassionate. He just has a really hard time expressing these emotions. He can be very eloquent but he has this barrier that is more like traversing a gravitational pull when he doesn’t want to share. His presence is very commanding and yet he has these moments, however, fleeting, that you realize he has something there that can be redeemed. Lauren by contrast starts out unsure of herself, even in some instances insecure, but she makes up for it in the grit. She is dealing with some seriously heavy stuff, but her presence of mind and the perseverance that she shows lets you know that she is a strong and very dynamic person in her own right. She has tough breaks, but she isn’t a victim. She takes the licks and she doesn’t give up. I think that is what the reader will appreciate the most. She has her down moments where it all seems as if this is going to be the point where she throws in the towel and is down for the count, but yet somehow her support system gets her through. As wrapped up in the tumultuous relationship that she shares with Cal, the amazing thing is that she stills has the wherewithal to realize her true allies. The story is amazing, and trust me, there is no way that you can’t follow it through to the end of the series. There is a telling honesty to the piece that will grab your attention and make you keep turning the page, even when you feel like you want to stop, you will not want to put it down. So to reiterate, hands down its got the five stars. If I’m late to the party and you already read it, what did you think about it? Happy reading!!!!

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A Moment (Moments, Book 1) by Marie Hall

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A Moment (Moments, #1)A Moment by Marie Hall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I recently read A Moment (Moments, Book 1) by Marie Hall. It gave me chills. You have to understand that from the writers perspective, you can have a million emotions flowing between characters and harnessing that so that people can take away the right implications from your words is a challenge in and of itself. Liliana and Ryan have that range of emotion and Marie Hall lays them out in stark detail for her readers. The story begins on a day that is possibly the worst in both of their respective lives. Things are very bleak and there seems to be no relief for two souls that are as damaged as these two people are. Their hurts are evident in their copping mechanisms. For Ryan its losing himself in his fights, for Liliana its losing herself in the carefully constructed routines that she has created. As the unfolds and layers begin to come off it is clear that each of them is dealing with a form of loss that is in some respects bigger than both of them are. For Liliana its the overwhelming feeling of regret at disappointment and having her dreams shattered in such a short span of time. For Ryan his hurts are deeper and they run in long rivulets like a splintered piece of glass throughout his life. Ryan is running out of ways to cope and his demons are becoming larger and bigger than he can fight off. The subject matter is very heavy and yet comes off as very real in the telling. I found myself empathizing with both of them and I honestly felt my heart break a couple of times as they learned to love each other through pride, pain, hurt, and ultimately redemption. The characters in this story are full and rich, each of them has a strong support within the fabric of the story. Especially Javier. There are so many elements to the story that make it a true stand out, because the reward of the ending means even more given what they end up traversing together and apart. As individuals they learn as much as they can about themselves, but I think they grow the most when they are together because they are able to love with minimal expectations. There is a great range of depth within this very rich story. It was truly a page turner. If you haven’t had the opportunity do take a moment to pick this one up, it will not disappoint. Its a very real love story. Out of a possible 5 this story gets all 5. Kudos to the author as this story truly blew me away. Happy Reading!!!!!

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The Cold Light of Day…..I’m game !!!

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I came across this movie a few months back and had immediately liked the trailer.  I took some time to consider if I liked the direction they were leading me in and ergo here we have it my take on the upcoming “The Cold Light of Day“.  The movie is expected to star Henry Cavill (The Man of Steel), Bruce Willis (Die Hard Franchise), Sigourney Weaver (Red Light).

As you can see from the cast its a solid cast.  The storyline seems to be one where a family goes on a much needed vacation somewhere really exotic – we are fortunate enough to be graced with the beauty that is Cavill’s abs – and off the beaten path.  While enjoying some time in town the son of the couple heads off the boat and returns to find the boat completely empty and his entire family in the wind.

Cavill seems plausible so far by this point in the trailer so the appearance of Bruce Willis playing the part of his father is a nice twist.  From there you get a barrage of imagery in the form of car chases, gun fights, scaling foreign walls and Willis doing a bit of espionage.  What makes this something to see.  While it is clear they are sticking to a very specific formula, it looks entertaining.  For us red blooded women – that should translate as Henry Cavill’s abs are gorgeous and watching him learn to fight should be a guilty pleasure.

I anticipate this movie will actually bring in some solid numbers, especially given that its not opening until September when most people are looking for something entertaining to hit the theaters.  Until then we will have to see what happens – Obviously, but I am recommending actually hitting a theater to see this one, if for nothing other than another Bruce Willis fight scene.  I love those!!!!

Check out the trailer here and comment on your interest here:

 

 

 

 

Love & Hip-hop: Atlanta its so bad you sort of just have to watch it

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So last week I was channel surfing and came across a show I had immediately dismissed as useless viewing, I’m talking about Love & Hip hop: Atlanta.  In all fairness I did watch the original that is based in New York, but by the second season I just couldn’t bring myself to watch the nature of these relationships play out on tv.  As viewers we regularly overlook the fact that this is a look into someone else’s personal lives and as viewers no matter how you slice it we are judging them and in some respects comparing their tragedies and foibles to our own.

Having said that I obviously disagreed with a number of the choices that these women found themselves making as the show progressed and the interference of one of the gentleman’s mom into his own relationship.  The demands she was making at first made no sense but when I considered it (obviously I have this kind of time on my hands) I realized that his mom was threatened by the fact that he had found someone she deemed better than herself, which for anyone is a hard pill to swallow.

Getting back on track, I found myself watching the show and was immediately enraged at pretty much everyone on the show.  I was screaming at my television at Mimi and that Stevie J character.  I even tried to identify with Mimi but the only half way normal person on the show is someone whose name I can’t recall but who is some sort of friend to Mimi, who encouraged her at a couple of turns to just walk away.

But if we are being realistic this does happen, although I don’t a recall a story this twisted since I was in high school it makes sense in a very convoluted sort of way.  You have Stevie J some sort of record producer (although I have never heard of him before this show) and his antics.  To understand him you would need to go back a bit.  The truth of the matter is that he finds himself where he is right now because he was a non-start in high school. A small framed geeky kid that no one paid much attention to.  He was shunned by women and never got a chance to bang the prom queen.  A couple of decent turns in life and now he is a quasi successful man with a good woman in his corner, a child, and now a mistress that he gets to play out his pimp fantasies with.

He is still playing at being an adult but couldn’t be further from the man he purports himself to be.  He objectifies women and likely has a bad relationship with his own mother.  I could pontificate on all of his short comings but his folly is clear, he cheats and is a usurper, plain and simple.  So the camera captures this in all its detail, now here is the rub, for whatever reason I am trying to understand why they have a scene where the mistress ( I use this term loosely because a more appropriate term would be whore, but due to her clear miseducation, becomes an unfair term in its use) is in a bathroom stall taking a pregnancy test.  They even have a very unrealistic close up of this chick crying in said bathroom stall over the positive sign.  I can’t even be sure of what she was crying about, I mean if 2+2=4 then sex without a condom on the dick = pregnancy.

To make this show a bit more of a joke, they have this rapper dude named, I think Lil Scrappy, I will restrain myself from engaging that and leave it where it is.  Just the same he is in a relationship with this woman who I believe has a child for him and was raised in a non-affectionate environment.  He currently lives with her but now wants a place on his own.  He has these lame reasons as to why he doesn’t want to stay but the bottom line is clear he wants to be able to prowl without a consequence as he see’s it.  In stead of just leaving this girl to find love with someone else, he is jedi-mind tricking her into “trying to make the relationship work”.  The farce is further perpetuated by his insipid mother, who makes ridiculous statements like I would rather him be loved by six women than to not have love from the one.  Now here is my problem with this, her son has done nothing to warrant love, so why should he get it.  If he isn’t faithful how can he expect someone to give him something he hasn’t earned?

This show is the epitome of a train wreck in slow-mo, so that’s why I am encouraging people to watch an episode or two.  They mostly likely won’t make it past this season anyhow.  Which for them could be a good thing because in the end its a really bad show and shouldn’t be on tv.  Check it out and tell me what you think….

Here’s what I am looking for….

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Ok so you have all heard me regularly complain about the fact that most of what Hollywood is passing off as film is relegated to these specific sub-par genres that are only interesting at certain times and for the most part just are not that good (i.e.: Transformers 3, it just wasn’t great and in the end while it might have screwed with his ego, he should have just stuck with Megan Fox and called it a series.)  Just the same, being that I truly love film and television, I still keep my eye out for things that I feel have some level of potential to entertain me.  For those of you who may be new to the site please bear in mind this is what I deem relevant and while I am not officially employed by the Motion Picture industry I have been watching movies for enough years to feel that I am better equipped than most to discuss this topic, translation: read at your own risk.

So first up on my list of things I feel are worth watching.  Total Recall, this redux to previous movie that starred Arnold Schwarzenneger will now star Colin Farrell in the lead role with Kate Beckensale taking over for Sharon Stone and Jessica Biel taking over for Rachel Ticotin (look mom no hands and I didn’t even need to do research on that one, seriously just typed that out.)  Anywho…this one looks to have tons more action than the original but with a similar story line.  Guy feels as if he needs more in life and decides to to recall to get a vacation implanted into his memory banks, he wakes up to find that he is the story and this one involves guns with real bullets.

The next movie on my list is one of those oddballs that I will continue to throw at you from time to time because I find they take you by surprise.  Hope Springs; This one stars Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones as a couple seeking put the spark back into their aging marriage.  Based on the trailer, the characters are complex and their reasons for finding themselves in this predicament can only come through introspection and the help of Steve Carrell (Crazy, Stupid, Love).  I am definitely going to force feed this one to someone so that I can check it out in theaters.

Next up is the new Batman.  Listen I was a tomboy as a child and it never really went away, neither did my subscription to mad libs.  So this is the final installment in the trilogy and while the trailer has been plastered everywhere I feel that this one will be beyond bittersweet.  My interest in it lies solely in the casting of Anne Hathaway as cat woman.  Listen, there have been goofier castings and personally I will admit I was skeptical of Ledgers ability in the last one (on Record He knocked it out of the park and any critic that disagrees is the consummate epitome of Douchery, its a new word look it up), but I genuinely don’t see it.  I could be close minded here but I’m just not sure of where this rabbit hole will go.  I will say total kudos on making Tom Hardy (This means war, Inception) totally badass.  The face mask is spot on.  Oh and for those that may be wondering, no I did not like the origin version with Christian Bale – they  lost me a couple of times with it and in my defense I rarely see it play on network television so there.

Last up on my short list a movie series that might not (probably will but you won’t see it this movie season) Fifty Shades of Grey.  Yup, my girlfriend J who rarely picks up a book encouraged me to read it and while the prose got on my nerves at the beginning and didn’t really improve, I somehow found myself reading the entire series and falling in love with Christian Grey.  He’s one of those guys who grows on you like a fungus and you end up rooting for him even though he isn’t a vampire and he’s into bondage sex.  He is pompous and self centered and self loathing which makes some of his dialogue absolutely fantastic.  He makes statements that are so off the hook that you have to take it on the chin and accept it. No wonder the heroine ends up falling head over heels for him.  Now I can’t say that I prescribe to love at first sight or even soul mates for that matter, but if you are into a very twisted but different kind of read, take a chance and read it.  Given the amount of press the books have gotten give it a couple of years and I am fairly certain you will see a movie. Here’s what I am imagining they will cast one of those guys like…let’s think: hmmmm Alex Pettyfer (I am number four) – although he isn’t a first choice in my eyes but think of someone who looks like him and a young starlet like Ashley Greene (Twilight, The Apparition).  I am expecting the movie to really suck if there ever is one because one of the beauties of books is that there is literally an unlimited number of things that you can do to set the scene and take the reader further inside of the character, but there are serious limitations involved when trying to translate  it for film.  Which is the same problem that I have with the Twilight movies.  I prefer the books because they have more depth than is permitted in a 90 minute run time.  Just the same the case can be made with other books that were really great but the movies somehow (in my opinion) fell short, take for example Kiss the Girls with Morgan Freeman – lots of promise but Ashley Judd and the cutting of certain scenes killed the feel of the movie.  I was terrified when I read the book, I saw the movie and almost had a conniption.  Wanted, nice movie the book far better in the telling and the necessity to switch up the lead character of Fox in favor of Angelina Jolie set my teeth on edge.  Just the same keep your eye open for these as they hit theaters.

Happy Movie Viewing!!!!!

Real Housewives of New Jersey starts and I’m still speechless…

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I, along with millions of other Bravo viewers, tuned in on Monday to watch what was one of the biggest Housewives openings ever.  Overall, the show was filled with all the things that we have come to love about the NJ Housewives, interesting characters, fun kids, shopping, cooking… 

The best way to describe the show if you are watching for pure entertainment purposes is, down right messy; however, if you like the cast then you can empathize with what is clearly a poor judgment call and a basic decent into how not to behave as an adult.  The conflict that exists between Teresa Guidice, her brother Joe Gorga, her husband Joe Guidice, and Melissa Gorga is just that, a conflict, but on mescaline.  The show is well cut too; because it starts off showing the lead in to the fight heard around the world and then breaks down the days leading into the event, Teresa’s nephew’s christening.  In their defense, it was a problem waiting to happen because there were so many bad feelings flying around the family that were going unvoiced and unacknowledged by all parties involved, it became almost inevitable when you add alcohol. 

I will say that Melissa is a bit catty and while she has many nice things she didn’t give the entrance into the family the kid-gloves it needed in order to keep everyone happy.  Its also clear that she tells her sisters way too much, which I am positive will come back to bite her in the butt later on, like say when her hubby does something she isn’t happy with shares and then her sister can no longer make random statements like “I’m your real sister”.  It was a totally unnecessary stab at a time when she should have been diffusing a highly volatile situation to begin with.   

The other new housewife, also Teresa’s first cousin, is an interesting wild card.  I’m not sure of her overall intentions yet, but she will need to put a better boundary between her husbands comments and her relatives, because its clear that he has a number of things to say which will not be well received by all, least of all Teresa.  Let’s not even acknowledge that her hubby is hard in the face, we’ll just leave that part alone.

The most unfortunate part is that Teresa and her brother Joe Gorga end up walking away without having truly repaired their relationship and their parents really upset over the whole thing.  I am not even going to touch upon how this may have affected the kids.  I truly hope that they can repair this since, in the end family is all you have. 

Now much of these happenings sort of overshadowed the fact that Albie and Chris have moved out to start their own lives, and Ashley is now interning for PR Lizzie Grubman.  These will most likely be elements that get developed as the season progresses but as with any other reality show you have to watch the whole thing to get the whole picture. Stay tuned reality watchers….