*** Release Day Review ***
Jay reviews Barbara Elsborg’s Taking Stock. (The book was published by Samhain Publishing on September 2nd 2014, 349 pgs).
This book was provided free of charge for an honest review by the author.
Why I read this book:
Being a massive Barbara Elsborg fan, I jumped at the chance to review this book. Her writing is brilliant and this book is no exception. The characters are were very well thought out. The Sensuality of Zoe, The Sensitivity of Kai and in many ways the Vulnerability of Rowe have been written so well that you can tell the reader feels true Empathy; I believe only the truly amazing, gifted writers can achieve this.
Her last days on Earth could be out of this world.
Zoe has accepted that a brain tumor will make this Christmas her last. She plans to spend it in the Caribbean, hoping some gorgeous guy will scoop her off the beach for a passionate affair, a one-night stand—anything just to be held and wanted.
When she discovers—horror of horrors—she has no unread books for the plane trip, she heads out for an early-hours run to good old 24/7 Supa-Mart.
Rowe’s and Kai’s lives are so regulated by their home planet’s equivalent of Big Brother they even have to hide their thoughts. Not easy when a secret attraction exists between them. When they’re chosen for an off-world reality show involving unsuspecting humans, they jump at this no-rules chance to open their hearts.
When the giant store’s exits clang shut, trapping Zoe and several others inside—including two impossibly sexy guys—Zoe figures she won’t need a beach for a no-strings romance. But it doesn’t take long for her to realize she could be facing the end of her short future sooner than she expected.
Warning: This book contains two hot aliens with “interesting anatomy”, one lucky human heroine, zero-gravity ménage sex, male-male tongue worship, and all the toys one super store can provide.
A Dying Woman preparing for her last Christmas; two Alien Men bound by rules of their home planet and a 24/7 Supermarket. To add to the already bizarre mix, this all takes place on the night before Christmas as a Big Brother event for the entertainment of the aliens’ home planet.
I would like to call Zoe a Heroine. For me she is, at least, living each day knowing the inevitable; closing herself off so people don’t feel the pain of her passing and just wanting one last trip to feel once more, before the clock ticks down to her certain death. Who would think that a middle-of-the-night trip to the supermarket for a book, would change her life forever.
The Men of the book, have very unique characters, so very different, but profoundly drawn to one another, even if neither of them dare to admit it. They see this reality show as a way of pushing the boundaries.
The story itself did capture me, it is a love story after all, however bizarre. I kept reading for the same reason we all watch reality shows on our own TV, to see what happens next. Yes, there is sex, there is love, there are three people who do fall in love regardless of species and gender. I fell in love with all the characters, My heart strings were plucked hard, but I expected nothing less for Barbara Elsborg. Her writing is flawless.
My only gripe is the bizarre natures of the males. Yes they are Alien, so anything is possible, but the sheer fact that the female protagonist took it all in her stride confused me. Men that have, in a sense, both sexual organs and can get pregnant? Crazy!
The sheer detail – everything has to be explained or you would lose yourself in the technicalities – can be truly overwhelming.
The ending of the book did shock me, as it involved Mpreg. Although I did somewhat expect it happening as the males in a sense had both reproductive organs, It was still a giant curve ball. That being said, it was a very well thought out book.
The characters were very creative and had depth. I found them believable, in essence, and sympathetic.
Though the book often pushed my boundaries with a bizarre story I might not dare to visit again before extensively recuperating from the adventure, I thoroughly enjoyable the read.
Barbara Elsborg lives in West Yorkshire in the north of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed that to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Vulcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide. After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop.
Her books feature quirky heroines and bad boys, and she hopes they are much fun to read as they were to write.
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