Behind O’Grady’s Pub is part of a short story collection by author Stormy Knight. An interesting concept with a catchy title, Behind O’Grady’s Pub lac...moreBehind O’Grady’s Pub is part of a short story collection by author Stormy Knight. An interesting concept with a catchy title, Behind O’Grady’s Pub lacked substance and at times read more like a melodramatic soap opera than a steamy fantasy. While some readers may read erotica for the sexual content, I tend to look for a well-written story with a slightly believable plot and likeable characters. Yes, even when reading erotica I look for a good story. Even while reading conventional romances, I have no desire to read through the love scenes if I haven’t found myself engaged by the story or interested in the development of feelings between the characters. With that said, I found little of the above in this short short and will likely pass on reading any other titles in this series. (Originally Reviewed for Risque Reviews)(less)
With a somewhat skeptical eye, I began Dan Dillard's horror anthology What Tangled Webs." Having just completed Dillard's Demons and Other Inconvenien...moreWith a somewhat skeptical eye, I began Dan Dillard's horror anthology What Tangled Webs." Having just completed Dillard's Demons and Other Inconveniences, I prepared myself for the let-down that often occurs when a reader is first amazed by the writings of an author they’d never read before and then sorely disappointed when anything else read never lives up to the original--like when, as the reader, you question if perhaps the author had experienced a rare stroke of creative genius during the first read or if they simply got complacent having received such rave reviews for the first novel. With that being said, I prepared myself for said let-down and opened my Kindle. *Insert funky disco tune here!*
Dillard can write a darn good horror story! Several times I put down my Kindle, wishing someone sat next to me who I could elbow and say, "Can you believe this guy?" or "This is craziness. Pure craziness!" I just wanted to share all the feelings I experienced with someone who could understand how psyched one gets by an amazingly-written story. So, I reviewed Dillard's anthology with the following system:
I like to give each story its own rating with a rating of five stars being ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT, 3 stars being MEH, IT WAS OKAY, and 1 star being COULD HAVE WENT WITHOUT READING IT. My rating for the stories included in What Tangled Webs are as follows:
Lament of the Devil– 5 (Dillard once again opens his collection of scaries with a poem that is both entertaining and thought-provoking)
Deliver Us From Evil– 3 (The story starts interesting enough with a truly despicable character that the reader should have no trouble disliking. My issue is with the execution of the ending. I had some questions as to the "how" that I would have liked answered.)
Epi3Demic– 4.5 (A great story that reminded me of several tv shorts I’d seen. There seemed to be a small inconsistency toward the end of the story but that could be my mistake. I would have loved to have known the exact cause of what it was that was causing the "epi3demic".)
Quid Pro Quo– 5 (A great story that's simply amazing, making one wonder if given the choice…what would they choose?)
Rite of Passage– 4.5 (I loved this story. And the way in which little William spoke – "Franks" – how endearing! The ending was truly unexpected, and I would have liked to have known the "why," but I’m annoyingly curious like that.)
Out, Damned Spot– 3.5 (Dillard writes the best characters. I so mean that.)
Briar Trace– 4.5 (I really enjoyed this story. I almost thought it was a carry-over from his previous book Demons and Other Inconveniences but, when I realized it was not, I wasn’t disappointed. Again I would have liked a few questions answered.)
What Tangled Webs– 4.5 (I almost skipped this one when I came across the word ‘spider’ in the first line. My arachnophobia coupled with the likes of Dan Dillard couldn’t be good. But my curiosity got the best of me, and I delved into this story of two people who couldn’t have been more right for each other.)
The ‘A’ Word– 5 (A chilling story with an unexpected and hard-to-stomach ending. It might be slightly offensive to those who fail to remember it’s just a story…right?)
Saranormal– 3.5 (A really good story, but I found myself confused by the ending though.)
The Wager– 5 (This masterpiece is what makes this short story collection a 5. I couldn’t even find fault with the ending--only because I’m hoping and praying and wishing that the author turns this novella into a full-blown novel or even a series! An amazing story with a cast of characters so real that you’ll forget you’re reading as your mind brings these characters and this story to life. Bravo!)
Dillard amazes me, yet again, in What Tangled Webs. I can’t say enough about the writing style, characterization, or creativity woven into each story. I look forward to reading more by this author who affirms my saying that talent can be learned but a gift is truly something divine. Dillard is indeed a gifted writer.(Originally Reviewed for Risque Reviews)(less)
I am a sucker for the "bad girls" of historical romances. Give me the less-than-coy courtesan or the worldly widow over the trembling virgin any day....moreI am a sucker for the "bad girls" of historical romances. Give me the less-than-coy courtesan or the worldly widow over the trembling virgin any day. Lady Amelia Kentley, the heroine in what appears to be Juliet Chastain’s debut novel, The Captain and The Courtesan, doesn’t quite fall into either category. Having fallen on hard times after the death of her husband, Amelia makes the difficult decision to join the oldest female profession--in order to feed and clothe herself and her young son. Posing as the Lady M, she will be auctioned off to the highest bidder who will win the luxury of bedding a noblewoman turned courtesan. The night prior to her debut, Amelia meets newly appointed sea captain Edward Howland who doesn’t support the idea of a woman prostituting herself for any means. When he's dragged to a brothel by his inebriated comrades to celebrate his promotion, Edward meets the mysterious Lady M and is instantly enchanted by her. What follows is an endearing romance that will make many readers instant fans of author Juliet Chastain.
Although it was listed as an erotic historical, The Captain and The Courtesan reads more as a sweet romance with love scenes that were more sensual than erotic. I loved that most of the story took place in a brothel and there was a great deal of interaction with the madam who ran the brothel. As I previously stated, I’m more drawn to heroines of a more sullied nature so the story was a tad too "sweet" to be one of my favorites, but it is definitely a novel I would highly recommend. Beautifully written with characters that seem to leap off the pages, The Captain and The Courtesan is why I have such a great love for historical romances. (Originally reviewed for Risque Reviews)(less)
I like to think of myself as a hard-to-please critic when it comes to my reviews of romance books. For a book in this particular genre to receive a 5-...moreI like to think of myself as a hard-to-please critic when it comes to my reviews of romance books. For a book in this particular genre to receive a 5-star rating from me, it has to be more than just good. It has to be over-the-top, brought-tears-to-my-eyes, oh-no-she-didn’t, laugh-out-loud, and you-gotta-love-him GOOD! Hooked by Polly Iyer met all of these qualifications and more! I don’t like to compare authors, and, to be honest, Polly Iyer can stand on her own as a very talented author, but for the sake of comparison, Hooked reminded me of a Jackie Collins novel--a much classier Jackie Collins novel with a dynamic plot and engaging characters where not only do you get the inside scoop on what the hero and heroine are thinking but you’re treated to all the inner workings of the other characters involved. I loved it, especially the characters!
Inexperienced or virgin heroines are a bit of a bore to me and rather redundant in most romances. I am all for the lady who knows her way around a bedroom and who wears her sexuality with confidence. Tawny Dell fits the criteria on both counts. This reformed high-priced call girl does not disappoint. I liked her. Simple as that. Then, Lincoln Walsh, Linc, was a great hero. Not quite alpha but definitely not a beta. He was the perfect mix of arrogant bastard and thoughtful gentleman. I adored him.
But the focus of this novel was not based on or around the romance. I repeat, it was not based on or around the romance between these two characters. Actually the romance placed a backseat to the plot of the story which involved a murdered working girl, a perverted brothel owner, his scheming wife, and a mob boss with morals. I was so caught up in each of these characters and the roles that they played that I wasn’t disappointed when the story shifted away from Tawny and Linc. I would have liked to have read more on their physical relationship, but I can’t even complain there because, in all honesty, the book ended perfectly.
Reading more like a suspense/thriller with romantic elements, Hooked by Polly Iyer is definitely going on my keeper shelf! I’ve already recommended it to my two reading buddies. And this is before I even finished reading it! Highly recommended, this is a MUST-READ for romance and thrill-seeking readers alike. (Originally reviewed for Risque Reviews)
Slightly Twisted Sisters by Ken Charles is a collection of short stories that centers around women, primarily, who have an affinity for spanking. I wa...moreSlightly Twisted Sisters by Ken Charles is a collection of short stories that centers around women, primarily, who have an affinity for spanking. I was able to read this 64-page e-book in a matter of hours. And it wasn't until I was nearing the end of the book that I noticed the spanking theme. Clearly, I'm not the most observant of people.
Ken Charles is a great author with the ability to change the "voice" of his stories. Most of the stories were enough to keep me reading. I even found myself chuckling a time or two. Out of the fourteen tales presented, I felt 3 could have been omitted (Bedraken Justice, 3 Black Cats and Cane, Bell, and Candle), 4 were okay (The Card, A Matter of Conscience, Creme of the Crop, and Undercover), 6 were quite enjoyable (How Betty Sue Billington Became Senior Class President, Sinful One, The Naughty Maid, This Just In, Feeling No Pain, and A Royal Birth which was predictable but cute). By far, the star in this short story collection was Psyche and MetaPhysic --absolute genius. The story's execution was brilliant! All in all, I would recommend this title to anyone looking to pass the time with a quick read. ("Originally Reviewed for Risque Reviews")
I enjoyed most of the stories - really liked the Solve It Yourself shorts (remiscient of Encyclopedia Brown). I skipped over one or two - namely DON'T...moreI enjoyed most of the stories - really liked the Solve It Yourself shorts (remiscient of Encyclopedia Brown). I skipped over one or two - namely DON'T PRESS THAT BUTTON and NEWBIE'S GUIDE TO THRILLERFEST. INSPECTOR OXNARD also wasn't a favorite. I loved LIGHT DRIZZLE, AN ARCHAEOLOGIST'S STORY, and WEIGH TO GO. I think I may download the first book in Konrath's Jack Daniels series. (less)
**spoiler alert** I love most of Anne Stuart's historicals. I liked the premise of this book and enjoyed the story - but it just felt rushed to me. I...more**spoiler alert** I love most of Anne Stuart's historicals. I liked the premise of this book and enjoyed the story - but it just felt rushed to me. I understand it was a short story and maybe that's why the ending seemed to be rushed and a bit too "neat" for my taste. How convenient that the heroine is rescued from her situation by the best friend of her brother who guessed her identity and then surmissed that he must love her since he rescued her. Boooooo!!!
All in all, I am a fan of Anne Stuart's historicals and look forward to reading the rest of the novels in the Rohan series.
I don't think Mr. Kilborn has it in him to tell less than an entertaining story! The concept of this short read was brilliant and the writing by Kilbo...moreI don't think Mr. Kilborn has it in him to tell less than an entertaining story! The concept of this short read was brilliant and the writing by Kilborn and Crouch was great! The only complaint I have is the story ended way too soon for me! =D(less)
**spoiler alert** I received this book direct from the author who asked that I leave a review upon completion. He ended the request with "I think you'...more**spoiler alert** I received this book direct from the author who asked that I leave a review upon completion. He ended the request with "I think you're going to LOVE this book!"
He was absolutely right.
Initially, I found the premise to be interesting enough but I was concerned that I would be turned off by what I mistakenly took to be juvenille writing. In fact, it turned out to be the writing of a juvenille in that the main character, a teenage boy, related the happenings he and his friends encountered in a post-apocalyptic world beseiged by insects who have been engineered to be highly intelligent killing machines. Mr. Kenyon was able to put me in the mind of that young man and make me believe that I was hearing first-hand the experience that Pete and his friends went through as opposed to just "reading" about the experience...if that makes sense.
I don't scare easily when it comes to bugs in fiction (in real life, show me a spider and I scream like a girl) but this novel was creeeeepy! I nearly jumped out of my skin when a butterfly flew across my path after reading the scene when Jay returns from aboveground.