Chloe Blaque’s Doing London is a bouncy, breezy contemporary erotic romance replete with witty banter, humor, sexual bravado, multi-cultural characterChloe Blaque’s Doing London is a bouncy, breezy contemporary erotic romance replete with witty banter, humor, sexual bravado, multi-cultural characters, and just enough elements of BDSM to spice up the mix. The author has created a memorable protagonist with streetwise New Yorker, Joey Vasquez, a stunning beauty blessed with intelligence and bravado.
As one of the hosts of QTV, Britain’s version of The Home Shopping Network, Joey, an intrepid American transplant, makes London her home. With her past life as porn star extraordinaire, Josie Pink, long behind her, Joey has settled into a placid, but sexless existence. Of course, since writer Blaque has set Doing London in the universe of erotic romance, the reader knows Joey’s love life will soon heat up. Although she’s foresworn her sex goddess ways, Joey will be back in the proverbial saddle once again.
Enter Italian soccer star, Marco Verazi, the perfect alpha, rich, powerful, sexual, yet loving and emotionally available. Marco throws a monkey wrench into Joey’s carefully constructed world of work and no play. The two meet cute, fall hard and Joey soon finds herself in an unwanted spotlight of the paparazzi. With the ever-present gutter tabloids swarming over celebrities like packs of rabid pit bulls, Joey suddenly spends her days and nights looking over her shoulder. She lives in constant fear someone will reveal her past life in adult films, a career she has kept from QTV, close friends, and Marco. One day, a mystery blackmailer begins mailing titles from Josie Pink’s adult DVDs to her apartment and her once tranquil existence begins to unravel. Joey goes into detective mode. She has to discover who knows about her past while keeping it away from Marco.
Doing London contains elements sadly missing in many contemporary romances, contemporary humor combined with generous doses of social satire. In this era of 24-hour celebrity scrutiny, reality television, the Kardashians, and on-line pornography, Doing London is a spot-on examination of the human consequences of the TMZ, celebrity-driven world. Chloe Blaque does it with sophistication, charm, and skilled writing. “Slut shaming,” sexual psychosis (although the author doesn’t shy away from the darker aspects of Joey’s lurid past), and quaking virgins are thankfully absent from Doing London. The reader is left with a delightful take on our modern obsession with celebrity culture done with great style, verve, and refreshing insight. ...more
Writer Jace Payne’s novel, Dark South: Shifter, is my baptism by fire of in the world of male-on-male erotic romance. His Southern Gothic tale combineWriter Jace Payne’s novel, Dark South: Shifter, is my baptism by fire of in the world of male-on-male erotic romance. His Southern Gothic tale combines a number of elements of the paranormal – witches, shifters, and werewolves with mountains of torrid sex.
The youthful protagonist, Kayden Garrett, a recent college graduate, is involved in an unfulfilling relationship with a violent boyfriend. With no job prospects, a frustrated Kayden, a Southern boy who moved east for his education, decides to leave his Boston home and his dead-end affair of the heart. His erstwhile lover has other ideas. The evening before Kayden’s departure, he receives an unexpected visit from a creature who resides in the darker area of the id. Enter Annette, Kayden’s best friend, a ravishing seductress who dabbles in the black arts. Annette rescues our protagonist from what a vicious and almost fatal attack by an oversized dog. Annette patches Kayden up and the two are soon on a flight headed for Kayden’s Georgia birthplace. The two arrive at the family manse where they meet Paul, a handsome Cajun with his own secret past. Once Kayden meets Paul, the story takes off like a shot.
Dark South: Shifter is a prime example of one of the hottest commodities in erotic fiction, male on male erotica. The sexual content is potent, dark, and not for those unaccustomed to novels dealing with ménage and unbridled sexuality. Dark South: Shifter moves deftly from paranormal to erotica and back again. Payne creates a universe peopled with personalities of all stripes and colors, characters who hopefully will spawn their own novels in the future.
Cat Winters’s newest novel, The Uninvited, The Uninvited, a paranormal tale of WWI America, is surely her most audacious to date. Winters has left herCat Winters’s newest novel, The Uninvited, The Uninvited, a paranormal tale of WWI America, is surely her most audacious to date. Winters has left her Young Adult roots to weave a Gothic novel that often feels like a somnambulist’s nightmare. Like her critically acclaimed, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, The Uninvited is set during the height of the Influenza Pandemic of 1918, this time in the fictional town of Buchanan, Illinois. The author packs The Uninvited with horrific descriptions of the epidemic, and also brings in elements of the rabid anti-German hysteria that permeated the times. Winters skillfully blends the historical with the fictional, the nether world with reality and creates scenes of terror as frightening as any horror story.
The reader gets a vivid glimpse at the rampant xenophobia wrapped in faux patriotism of the era and Winters creates visceral images of the atrocities commented in the name of uber-flag waving. Anyone who remembers the post 9/11 jingoist fervor will recognize the same type of single-minded ugliness.
With The Uninvited, the author allows her prose, always her strongest suit, to soar. The writing is active and energetic, and at times, reads like poetry. The action is relentless and I couldn’t stop turning the page. If I have one negative critique, it’s that her protagonist, Ivy Rowan, didn’t reverberate with the same proactive intensity as the author’s young adult heroines. At times Ivy feels confused and detached from the action, something explained in a surprise twist toward the end of the novel. While I didn’t have the same affinity with Ivy or the other characters as I have with those in the author’s Young Adult novels, still I found The Uninvited an absorbing work, an eerie tale I won't soon forget ...more
The premise of author’s Leela Lou Dahlin’s delightful erotic romance, A Haught Date, is simple. Her protagonist, Gemmi Brooks, is a winsome twenty-somThe premise of author’s Leela Lou Dahlin’s delightful erotic romance, A Haught Date, is simple. Her protagonist, Gemmi Brooks, is a winsome twenty-something whose self-respect has landed in the toilet after her man-eating cousin seduced Gemmi’s boyfriend at the last family reunion. With her confidence in tatters and fatigued from everyone attempts at fixing her up, Gemmi invents an imaginary boyfriend whom she claims to have been involved with for five months. Unfortunately, another family get-together looms on the horizon. Gemmi’s nearest and dearest expect to meet the new man in Gemmi’s life, forcing her to go on the search for someone to impersonate a lover.
Enter Camden Haught, local Adonis, bartender and co-owner of a popular club, the Haught Spot, with his two older brothers, and general knight in shining armor. The beautiful and gallant Camden comes to Gemmi’s rescue as a request by a mutual friend and finds himself attracted to her. Gemmi finds herself put off by Camden’s warmth, looks and genuine, because, by time they meet, her ego has been through the wringer. She’s insecure about her looks and ability to hold onto a lover and feels he is out of her league. Camden has his own personal demons, ones that make him afraid to tread the rocky waters of romance.
In the post-Fifty Shades universe, Dahlin has taken a different path from many erotic romances. Her characters are working class, emotionally undamaged, her writing, polished, and the pacing fast. She created an interesting world that could possibly lead to more novels featuring the Haught brothers in the future. ...more
The vampire genre has been a highly saturated literary category for years. Aficionados of vampire novels have long been on a quest to find the next InThe vampire genre has been a highly saturated literary category for years. Aficionados of vampire novels have long been on a quest to find the next Interview With a Vampire or The Hunger. Fans of the genre are invariably disappointed by clones of popular novels peppered with purloined characters and shopworn plots. Those who love vampire fiction are always searching for something new.
With her first novel, It’s a Wonderful Undead Life, writer R. E. Mullins has taken on the challenge and brought a fresh take to the genre. Mullins has broken through the ranks of shopworn undead novels with generous doses of humor and romance. Author Mullins has written an unlikely heroine for her vampire series. Instead of an angst-filled teen, or a nubile beauty in her twenties, Mullins has woven her tale around a thirties-something protagonist, Cailey Kantor, a divorced woman who lives a quiet existence in a fictional hamlet, Amber Heights, Missouri.
Cailey’s world continues to move at an even keel until one disastrous Christmas Eve. The realities of her financial situation rock Cailey’s humdrum life as a phlebotomist to its core. Between tumblers of booze and snippets of the holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, Cailey realizes she’s worth more dead than alive. Intoxicated and depressed, she decides to end it all by jumping off the local bridge ala James Stewart in the film. It’s just Cailey’s luck to encounter a fanged baddie who proceeds to use her as part of his hellish and vindictive agenda. At that point, the story takes off like a rocket landing Cailey into a complex universe of familial ties, duplicity, and romance with a charming hipster who also happens to be a slightly chauvinistic vampire.
Mullins writes a complex story then with her tongue planted squarely in her cheek, uses her own medical experience to inject new blood into the world of the vampire. Despite the length (340 pages), It’s a Wonderful Undead Life is a fresh take on an oversaturated genre and definitely worth the read.
With The Murder Trial of the Last Lakota Warrior, Steve Linstrom has left the world of Young Adult literature and created a intriguing adult yarn fullWith The Murder Trial of the Last Lakota Warrior, Steve Linstrom has left the world of Young Adult literature and created a intriguing adult yarn full of fascinating characters. Linstrom is a master story teller who weaves a marvelous tale that combines the best elements of Western lore with a legal drama. The author has reinvigorated a forgotten genre, the Western and imbued it with historical detail, his knowledge of Native American culture and his love of the craft of writing. It's a terrific read and one I'd recommend to any lover of historical fiction. ...more
It’s wonderful to take a first journey with an author then follow their growth through novel after novel. Writer Jenny Milchman first came on the scenIt’s wonderful to take a first journey with an author then follow their growth through novel after novel. Writer Jenny Milchman first came on the scene with Cover of Snow, a marvelous thriller set in the wintry panoramas of upstate New York. She more than delivers the goods in her sophomore effort, the page-turning suspense thriller, Ruin Falls. Like, Cover of Snow, Milchman has set her story in familiar territory, the Adirondacks. Unlike Cover of Snow, we walk the same terrain in the summer. Milchman has once again created an interesting and textured female protagonist, in this case, Liz Daniels, a dutiful mother of two married to Paul, a college professor. On the surface, the Daniels’s marriage appears to be a solid one, though Paul, a dedicated ecologist, gives subtle hints of a slightly autocratic nature. Kiddies in tow, Liz and Paul embark on a family trip to visit his parents, a journey neither wants to make. After a harrowing series of events culminating in the disappearance of her children, Liz makes a frightening discovery - after years of marriage, she has wed a stranger. At that point, the reader joins her for a ride of non-stop action and heart-pounding thrills.
With Ruin Falls, Milchman creates the perfect techno-thriller, a well-crafted, literate page-turner, which keeps the reader guessing until the very end. Milchman’s meticulous research is evident on every page and pushes the plot forward in unexpected ways. The action is sharp, focused and propelled by the author’s gift for powerful descriptive prose and ability to create multiple points of view. Ruin Falls is an intelligent, focused mystery that ensnares the reader from the first page. ...more
Writer Cat Winters has raised the bar of Young Adult fiction with her debut novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, an absorbing paranormal romance set inWriter Cat Winters has raised the bar of Young Adult fiction with her debut novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, an absorbing paranormal romance set in the midst of the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918. Winters paints stark images with her powerful descriptive prose and gets her novel off to a rousing start with her description of traveling the railways during an influenza outbreak. The novel’s sixteen-year-old protagonist, Mary Shelley Black, is fleeing flu-ravaged Portland, Oregon for the safer shores of sun-kissed San Diego. Her father’s imprisonment as a pacifist during the height of World War I frenzy has forced the intrepid teen to abandon her home for a life in California with recently widowed aunt. Winters creates indelible images of perpetually masked travelers immersed in onions, garlic and camphor balls, homegrown remedies against influenza. In the novel’s opening passages, Winters introduces the reader to the most indelible image carried throughout, the gauze masks every character is forced to wear through the course of the epidemic.
In San Diego, Mary Shelly discovers a town decimated by influenza and shrouded in the black crepe of mourning. Bodies, awaiting collection, lay in coffins on city streets while a hysterical populace faces the grim reaper with every cough. The realities of the War, including the vicious anti-German xenophobia combined with the airborne pandemic, made 1918 an annus horribilis for all. When Mary Shelly arrives in San Diego, loss and death surround her. She also must discover what happened to Stephen, her childhood sweetheart, a young photographer who enlisted in the War, the mystery at the heart of In the Shadow of Blackbirds.
Winters spares no gruesome detail in her novel and creates a vivid portrait of society as horrifying as that of any dystopian novel. The book is replete with ghostly romance, séances, spirit photography, and startling descriptions of life during the worse epidemic in recorded history. Winters’s research is impeccable and with Mary Shelly Winters, she introduces her readers to the most spirited and resourceful heroine since Katniss Everdeen, a bright, fearless girl imbued with a talent for science, a healthy dose of skepticism, and most importantly, a mission. In the Shadow of Blackbirds is pure page-turning excitement. ...more
Goddess Born, the debut New Adult novel by writer, Kari Edgren, starts at a clipped pace and the tension and action never lets up. Ms. Edgren set herGoddess Born, the debut New Adult novel by writer, Kari Edgren, starts at a clipped pace and the tension and action never lets up. Ms. Edgren set her engaging historical romance colonial Pennsylvania then added strong paranormal elements from Celtic legends. The Irish elements combined with the important role faith played in colonial America distinguish Goddess Born from other New Adult novels.
The reader first meets the feisty protagonist, eighteen-year-old Selah Kilbrid, as she rushes home after being summoned her back to the family manor. Selah, a demi-goddess descends from generations of mystic practitioners who have kept their bloodlines pure and their powers secret. Although Selah’s formable talent as a healer is part of her family legacy, her magical powers don’t seem to be enough to cure her dying father. The single-minded teen is determined to protect and preserve her sacred bloodline. Her supernatural inheritance, an integral part of her family for centuries, is at risk and she must keep the source of her power secret.
There is a fly in the ointment - while her father has pledged Selah in marriage to a cousin who lives in Ireland, a local Quaker minister burns with lust for her. Religious zeal consumes the young man, but he is all too human. In his desire to possess Selah, he crosses a line, and attempts to blackmail her into marriage by threatening to call her out as a witch. Her dying father orders the headstrong girl runs away to Philadelphia to meet her intended. Once in Philadelphia, Selah discovers her fiancé died on the trans-Atlantic crossing. Her father was at death’s door when she fled to Philadelphia. Returning home without a husband or father to protect her from the ruthless Quaker would cause the loss of everything dear to her. A charge of sorcery in the early 18th century could be ruinous and destroy everything Selah holds dear. A chance encounter with a handsome indentured servant sets the plot in motion and Selah’s reckless journey begins.
The novel is a treat for those of us who are interested in colonial history. Kari Edgren has created a unique world and peopled it with a plethora of engaging characters. She ends Goddess Born on an interesting note that suggests Selah’s adventures have only just begun. ...more
I found Beautiful Bastard a fun read, contemporary erotica with a smart twist. I know it was Twilight fan-fiction that preceded Fifty Shades of Grey bI found Beautiful Bastard a fun read, contemporary erotica with a smart twist. I know it was Twilight fan-fiction that preceded Fifty Shades of Grey but the writing was far superior. The characters were interesting and I loved the novel's fast pacing. I liked the alternating first-person narration but would have liked a bit more descriptive prose. The setting is modern Chicago, yet there are no descriptions of that fabulous city or the different settings. The constant rough sex felt repetitive after a while and I wondered how many ripped-panty, in-office sexual encounters without a condom could one woman take before screaming, "Enough!" Still, I had fun with it and might actually read the next book in the series...more
I just completed this novel and wanted to share my opinion. I'd read two novels in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and could barely get through them;I just completed this novel and wanted to share my opinion. I'd read two novels in the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and could barely get through them; however, I completed Bared to You in two sittings.
Day is a seasoned author who created wonderful characters and settings. She writes strong descriptive prose, good, crisp dialogue and utilizes the five senses so that you, the reader, feel that you are part of the action. I loved the pacing which she kept at a fast trot. I would tell anyone who likes erotic romance to skip Fifty Shades and read this one. Though the similarities between the two are obvious, Day shows what a talented writer can do with similar material. ...more