Friday, 28 August 2009

Review - Alexa Wells Series: Stripped [Prequel to Half-Breed]- Marcia Colette

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Title: Stripped

Author: Marcia Colette 

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Main Characters: Alexa Wells & Matt York

Someone wants their perfect weapon back, only she’s not coming quietly.


Alexa Wells wants her life back. She’s just not sure what that life was. The memories inside her head—a stripper’s—aren’t hers, and before she humiliates herself onstage one more time, she sets out to collect the scattered pieces of her mind. The trail leads to Boston, charges of identity theft and murder, and the real bombshell: a forgotten werewolf lover who insists she’s a werewolf hybrid.
Matt York doesn’t care that she looks at him like he’s been smoking crack between court cases. Now that he has her back he’s not about to let her go it alone, even if she can easily kick ass and take names all by herself. Amnesia only scratches the surface of her problems, and like it or not, she’s stuck with him.
She’s also stuck with Robert Gamboldt, a venture capitalist who’s not above murdering his way to the top. He’s not about to lose his prize possession without playing dirty. It’s a simple enough offer. Be his personal assassin, or go to jail.
With options like that, it’s enough to make a hybrid go full-blood.

*Note: This is the prequel to Half Breed.

 

Thick, hazy smoke and bright lights hid the faces of the drunken men as they cheered and hurled obscenities. As soon as empty beers mugs clapped on tabletops, hands raised to flag down X-rated waitresses for refills. The music thumped hard enough to break through my chest. Despite the painful noise, the degrading banter stayed with me. They didn’t have any right to yell and whistle at me like some nickel whore.
This must have been a nightmare. Like the kind you have when you’re dreaming you’re naked on stage and you wake up realizing it was only in your mind.
One problem: I was partially naked, on a stage, and even my mind wanted to hide under a rock. Not funny at all, considering I had no idea how I had gotten here.
I dared to shift my eyes to the right. They landed on a gold pole stretching from the stage to the black-painted ceiling. Just as I thought. No amount of pinching would wake me from this horror.
Colored lights radiated overhead, heating the center stage. I knew how a hamburger under a heat lamp felt. I stood in the middle of the waxed hardwood floor while two more strippers danced at opposite ends of the stage. The music hit an ear-blasting crescendo and the dancers tore off the tops of their striped prisoner uniforms. Two pairs of boobs jutted out at the same time.
If there was a cue, I missed it. My behind wasn’t dropping a thing for these bums.
Pain bit into the side of my big toe. Tight straps nearly strangled it to numbness. I glanced down, pulling my bent knee inward. A very naked knee at that. Someone had strapped a pair of five-inch, black stiletto heels around my bony ankles. It was a miracle I remained standing in these things.
My hands clung to both edges of the tiny policeman’s jacket. A black thong rode up my butt crack like floss through teeth, no thicker than the straps on my heels. Something sat on my head, holding my wavy black hair down. Reaching up, I pulled off a policeman’s hat with a bright, shiny badge pinned in the center. Gee, why didn’t that surprise me?
“Come on, baby,” a man yelled at the edge of the stage. Between the missing teeth and the long stringy hair, I would rather kiss a donkey’s crap-filled ass than go near that creep. His hand thumped the small round table, sloshing beer from his mug. “Come on, sugar. Blast me with those cute little tits y’all got hidin’ under thar.”
How I had sunk to this level, I didn’t have a clue. In fact…I didn’t have much of a clue about anything. Not my name, where I had come from, or family. It was all…gone.
Men loitered in every nook and cranny of the seedy saloon. Some shoved shot glasses in their mouths while others gulped their beer from frosted mugs. A long bar stretched across the back wall where a half-dozen patrons waited for the bartenders to fill their orders. One of the barkeeps finished putting foam-dome touches on a beer before placing it on a tray covered with shot glasses and more mugs, and handing it off to a scantily dressed waitress. Then again, “scantily” was an understatement. She wore a V-neck outfit that covered up the areolas of her bulbous boobs and stretched down to barely cover her crotch. Another similarly dressed waitress made her way around a crowded table. I got a look at her fishnet pantyhose with the rest of the V riding up her ass and out to her shoulders. A man at the table slapped her on the bottom before smoothing his hand along her reddening butt cheek.
I didn’t know which was grosser—the outfits or the way these men degraded the women.
An image in the mirror behind the bar caught my attention. From this distance, my reflection showed me standing on the stage with my one hand tucked under my jacket ready to flash the room. Only now, the other two strippers stared at me like I had lost my mind. The dark-haired one nodded for me to take it off. I shook my head. She’d need a crowbar to get me out of my last shred of dignity.
My feet staggered backward. On the way, my elbow clipped the pole. Panic began chiseling away at my nerves. The men sitting closest to the stage pulled their heads back, faces twisting in bewilderment. That made two of us.
“Boooooo,” a man shouted. “What the hell’s wrong with this girl?”
“She’s probably on something.”
“Mr. Wiggly will straighten her out.”
“Whore!”

Stripped © Marcia Colette

Review

What could it be like to wake up from yourself  and find yourself onstage and not on any stage but a stripped joint about to perform as the main act. That's exactly where Alexa Wells finds herself and what she finds herself doing. Stunned for a moment she know only one thing – this is not her and she wants her life back.

She quickly sets about to make things right. On the way she gets little bits and pieces of her old life, but nothing of the people she knew or how she knew the people she now comes into contact with. One such person is Matt York and he is not only in a rush to find out where Alexa has been for the past few months but he has no intention of letting her go again.

With her life in the same situation as her memory – in pieces, she is bombarded by a slew of people passing through her life and not all of them the friendly type – OK none of them the friendly type.

Alexa – for some reason reverts to a kick ass chick when confronted and she does not know where these skills are coming from. Not only does she have to find the missing pieces of her life – but someone is making a concerted effort in trying to keep her under their thumb and she knows she is not a woman to be under anyone’s thumb.

I visited Shape Shifter Romance blog a few weeks ago and STRIPPED jumped right off the pages at me – I had to have it. To say this book was  good would be an understatement – it was kick ass and a bag of chips on top.

STRIPPED is the prequel to HALF BREED, which was released a few years ago, as I have not had the pleasure yet of reading HALF BREED I could see the cast from the moment go and I loved them. When I met Alexa she was literally in a fight for her life and doing a good job of staying one step ahead or so she thinks – her life starts getting more complicated when she meets up with Matt a man she apparently knew in the life she is trying to remember but not how she knew him is known to her. Matt is a force to be reckoned with and she only knows the little he is willing to divulge – but she wants more and she wants it now.

Within all this memory recall, forces are at work to get Alexa back – YES, they want her back. Alexa is a one woman demolition team and someone knows the value of having her on their team – but who. With enemies and angst coming at them left right and centre they have only a hand full of people they can rely on and not much time in which to get to the bottom of what is going on.

Marcia Colette has created a world of wolves and supernatural forces fighting for supremacy and one man seem to be winning it all. The pace is fast – the action brutal and the term “I’m Sorry”non existent. As a new to me author she tick all my boxes with very descriptive language and with a clear structure to the plot – I was loving the little side stories that she used to gel the plot together while opening me up to a whole slew of characters that were just as easy to hate as they were to love.

Urban Fantasy lovers this is a must read – Alexa is an heroine that stands out among the crowd and refuse to back down or die. With few trusted friend and patchy memory she leaves a trail of chaos behind her on the streets of Boston and the local supernatural community is all abuzz as they know change is coming and it just might be in one called Alexa Wells.

 

 

HALF BREED - Marcia Colette

 Alexa is keeping a secret from her husband and being half werewolf isn't it. After all, he's a full-blood. Despite their abnormalities, Matt and Alexa York have settled into suburbia and gone out of their way to look like the couple next door. Their rouse may have fooled an entire community, however, others remain unconvinced. The Georgia Pack learns that the Yorks have encroached on their territory. Most strays who venture into their land end up dead because they draw attention to themselves. A trail of corpses will do that. But the Yorks are different. They cook and clean, have plans to start a family, and have even joined the Halloween decoration committee. Instead of tearing them from their foundations, the pack is intrigued by the domestic suburbanites. Unfortunately, Alexa's less domestic than she seems. Not all wives are into crossbows, bowing knives, and jaw-crushing right hooks. Eight months ago, Alexa's bounty hunting group disbanded after a third of the team lost their lives in an ambush. Now they're back and expecting her to take her place. As if being an enigma to the Georgia Pack isn't enough, becoming a stranger to your husband is even worse. That's the price Alexa pays when her deception is deadlier than her aim.

 

10 Speak To Me:

A Buckeye Girl Reads on 28 August 2009 at 14:11 said...

I am going to have read this book just because the author uses my first name as her last name, and anything by a colette must be good, right? :)

I have an award for you here:
http://lovesromances.blogspot.com/2009/08/thank-you.html

Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings on 28 August 2009 at 22:41 said...

Fantastic review! Sounds like a great book.

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) on 29 August 2009 at 01:52 said...

I'd seen this also at Shape Shifter Romance, thanks for the review. Will definitely check out this one, especially since I've been in an UF kick for awhile.

Blodeuedd on 29 August 2009 at 10:39 said...

Hm how come she has the memories of a stripper, I wanna know :D
Yep you got my attention

Yvette on 29 August 2009 at 20:32 said...

This book sounds good but I just can't get my head around the werewolf thing.Is it my lack of imagination maybe?I should really try one and then see.I might surprise myself...

Erotic Horizon on 30 August 2009 at 02:19 said...

@A Buckeye Girl Reads

You are going to love this book - thanks for award.

I will be over to collect..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 30 August 2009 at 02:19 said...

@Alaine..

It was a good book - hope you get the chance to read it.

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 30 August 2009 at 02:20 said...

@Donna..

This one is definitely up your street - I look forward to your thoughts on it..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 30 August 2009 at 02:21 said...

@Blodeuedd...

She woke up to being a stripper - and that's all I am going to say....

Grab this book - you will love it..

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 30 August 2009 at 02:22 said...

@Yvette..

I know you are not a Werewolf girl - but the blood and gore would be right up your street...

Try a little danger (LOL)

E.H>