I'm picky about erotica. Most of what I've read is the literary equivalent of the delivery boy being ambushed by the horny coed. So when I find someth...moreI'm picky about erotica. Most of what I've read is the literary equivalent of the delivery boy being ambushed by the horny coed. So when I find something smoking hot and with a story, I shout from the rooftops. Especially when it involves a Domme.
Marion and Grayson have had a thing for each other for years, but circumstances (and their insecurities) have kept them in the 'friends zone'. When the situation changes, Marion is going to Grayson, who exactly is the 'top' of their relationship. But like everything in life, sometimes what you think is top can be a lot of fun from the bottom.
Now, if you're expecting sex from page one, this isn't the romantica for you and this story is an erotic romance as opposed to just erotica. There is a lot of setup and introductions so that you get to know what is making this characters tick before they get to the wild monkey sex. And boy do they!
I'm not a fan of marathon sex. But in this case, it worked because we spent so much time getting to know the characters that when they finally do get together, the marathon (and it's not repetitive) just works. I really think it has some of the best sex scenes I've read in a while.
Now, I know readers tend to shy away from Dommes, preferring the male to be the 'top' when it comes to sex, but frankly this works because Grayson is no timid submissive and things aren't always what they seem.
If I have one complaint, it's that this is a novella and I wanted more. But on the other hand, wanting more is always a good thing. Recommended for romantica readers looking for smexy times with substance. (less)
Wow. And whoa, Nelly! Cuz there are some whoppers here. (This review is spoiler free - I won't even name the characters ;)
Ultimately, it's a wild, rid...moreWow. And whoa, Nelly! Cuz there are some whoppers here. (This review is spoiler free - I won't even name the characters ;)
Ultimately, it's a wild, ride with an awesome couple and definitely one of my favorites of the series (tied with Caressed by Ice and Branded by Fire).
So why 4 stars instead of 5? Well, there are issues. (Some of which are purely mine.) First, I almost doubt it's as good as I'm perceiving it to be, simply because the last two entries - three if you count the anthology - were so underwhelming, that by comparison, this story is freaking awesome!
Let's start with Kiss of Snow (my issue 'cuz I'm a diehard Sienna/Hawke shipper). The problem there was really my expectations were too high. I felt that it failed to deliver an amazing story with an awesome couple (especially now considering that THIS couple moved me way more than my S/H). So it was a huge let down especially with the secondary romance taking screen time away from the main couple.
Tangle of Need was - let's be brutally honest - a mess. It muddled the rules of the universe and gave us a couple that would have been interesting much earlier in the series, but at the point their story was told (and the length), it was at best a pointless 'filler' addition.
The anthology with only 2 new short entries was phoned in.
So why did I keep reading this series despite my recent disappointments? The universe is terrific and some past stories have been totally amazing.
Which brings me to HoO. Was I dying for it? No. And to be honest, the marketing behind this book was beyond irritating. "Can't show the cover...Can't reveal the blurb..." L.A.M.E.
So I went into this with low expectations. Well, it turns out that this hero is pretty dang awesome and, lo and behold, so is his heroine. There is plenty of action. Plenty of development. Plenty of interaction that makes this couple a 'super couple' of the series. There is also plenty of violence and death (one of the criticisms was that the low death count made the danger unrealistic - well, not anymore!).
So...4 stars. Part is my petty jealousy. Why couldn't KoS have been this awesome? It should have been! Also, there are some word repetitions that really drove me nuts after a while. Tighter editing should have caught that. I love obsidian but oh holy guacamole batman! if I read it anytime soon I might puke. Way overused, here.
There was also what I call the 'Da Da Dummmmm' moment. Fake suspense that is supposed to keep the reader hooked. It was way overused. The heroine has a power that can take down the hero (but the reader isn't told about it)...Da Da Dummmmm. The heroine can bring the hero to his knees (but we don't know how)...Da Da Dummmmm. The hero did something awful to the heroine (but not explained)...Da Da Dummmmm. The vagueness was just overused. I got to the point were I was going...Da Da Dummmmm...in my head. Mood. Killer.
Having said all that, it's still a damn fine, entertaining, 4 star read. Oh, and the hero's father!!? Yeah, didn't see that coming. (less)
I think that if I'd rather this when it first came out or say 10yrs ago, I'd be all over this like butter on warm bread. Now, meh, it's ok. I'll read...moreI think that if I'd rather this when it first came out or say 10yrs ago, I'd be all over this like butter on warm bread. Now, meh, it's ok. I'll read at least a couple more but I'm not going to glom it.
Actually, this book reminded me of Roberts' early category romances. I loved those when they came out. But now reading back, they are way formulaic and predictable. I know what you're thinking, "Aren't all romances formulaic and predictable?" Yes and no.
We know that a romance is going to end with the couple together in a HEA or HFN, but the journey isn't always predictable and the depth of the story does make a difference.
Here, I felt that although there is an interesting plot, it moves rather fast and without much depth. That's on of the things that really bothered me. I felt there was of the story that wasn't being told in favor of brevity and smut.
Which brings me to my biggest problem with this book. They hook up. My first response was...Where's the UST?!! Granted I didn't want 30 books of it, but a quick hook up and requisite 'love you' (esp coming from the hero) felt shallow for me.
This is 'scifi-lite' so there's not much there either, add that there's no depth of plot or character development and this turns into an entertaining but formulaic beach read that is easy to put down and not get too involved in.(less)
Makenna's day just got worse when she gets stuck with a total stranger for hours in a darkened elevator. With nothing else to do, the strangers get to...moreMakenna's day just got worse when she gets stuck with a total stranger for hours in a darkened elevator. With nothing else to do, the strangers get to know each other with surprising results.
I really enjoyed this story. It was well written, has incredibly likeable characters, a plot, background story, a realistic 'Big Mis' and hot smexy times.
Maybe it's my love for tattooed, pierced bad boys with a heart of gold (I still have very fond feelings for Z, LOL) but I also liked the heroine. They both felt real and where extremely likable. There is more to this story in terms of background and character development but since it's so short, I think you'd get more out of it if you read it yourself.
I had a few quibbles with some of the pacing (basically the retreading of actions through a different POV) that could have been fixed with tighter editing but overall, kudos to the author for making a really unlikely scenario totally work.
Pretty close to 4.5 stars really. Can a book be better than chocolate? Well, no, but it can be great 'comfort food'. I have to confess that Kate Danie...morePretty close to 4.5 stars really. Can a book be better than chocolate? Well, no, but it can be great 'comfort food'. I have to confess that Kate Daniels is part of a small group of comfort food books for me. Which is kinda surprising since I have grown to DETEST 1stPOV. The thing is that Ms. Andrews creates such a great universe and totally suckers me into the story that I actually forget it's in the dreaded 1st.
Now, if you have enjoyed the previous KD books, you'll like this one. There is nothing 'new or omfg surprises'. There is a big bad (this time it's family) and Kate has to deal with it. It is really no surprise who wins. I mean come on. It's called the Kate Daniels series. So it's more of the same. Great fights. More details on the magic and universe and relationships PROGRESS. And people die.
I think that's really what I like about Ms Andrews is that though we know that Kate will come out alive in the end, we don't know what she is going to have to do in order to live. Or who she is going to have to kill.
Why not 5 stars? Well, two reasons. I would have liked some of the fights to have been a bit longer. Some of the henchmen get killed way too easy. The other BIG reason is one scene (which the inner romantic fangirl in me did SQUEE over it) came out as way awkward especially in 1st POV. It felt like...'Fine, I'll give you a smex scene but I don't have to like it. Now leave me alone while I keep telling my story.'
That's the problem with 1stPOV sex scenes. They rarely work. And here it was not horrid, but very uncomfortable. Like it didn't belong. So I'm hoping we can still get that 'romance' and tension but no more sex. Just close the door and fade to black. Please.(less)
So I borrowed this from a friend without paying much attention to the author but really liking the blurb. Well...as I was reading I started thinking.....moreSo I borrowed this from a friend without paying much attention to the author but really liking the blurb. Well...as I was reading I started thinking... Wow, Spike really reminds me of Zsadist....Z!!!! (swoon and 10 minutes of fantasizing later)...Z!!! Then I look back at the author. Jessica Bird. Why does that sound so familiar? DOH! Well of course Spikhe (:p) reminded me of Z! I lost my interest in the Brothers after Ward jumped the shark thru the ring of fire with a nuked fridge one too many times but Z will forever hold a special place in my heart ;)
So I kept reading. I cut my teeth in category romances but outgrew them and this just served to remind me why I don't read them anymore. The heroine - whatever her name was - should have been awesome. She is tall, athletic, smart...but it turns out she has the spine of a jellyfish and - OMFG STFUBBQ!- a virgin. Really?! Who does virginal heroines in their mid-20s in a contemporary without a damn good reason? Sigh. So as I continued to read, the heroine went from being potentially awesome to annoying and I was actually waiting for her to morph into some petite, fragile little thing that would faint dead away at the sight of a co*k.
But I kept reading cuz there was a plot. Right? Yeah, I guess but really the corporate backstabbing/evil brother takeover blah blah felt like it was a rehash of an old Dynasty (yeah, the old 80s soap opera) episode. I actually had to check the date of publication cuz I really thought this was written in 1987. Yawn.
I also had a problem with the 'safe sex angle'. This is probably the category thing rearing its ugly head but the...'Do you have a condom? - I'm a virgin. Are you clean? (clean? really? ewww) - I've always been careful and I just had a physical'...just sooo threw me out of the mood that when they started having sex I was looking at the clock and wondering if they were done yet. And even the awesome hero couldn't interest me anymore.
This is a category romance that if you are stuck in a deserted island, it might entertain you (at least it will give your eyes a lot of exercise from all the eye rolling) for about an hour - maybe three if you stop and go make dinner or better yet a stiff drink. I bet if I made a drinking game out of every time my eyes rolled in this story, I would have liked it a whole let better because by the end I would have been too blitzed to read the words.
The only reason I don't give it one star is for the hero...or because I really loved Z ;)(less)
It's all about the hero in this story. Either you will love him to bits and love the story or you'll be scratching your head wondering what the fuss i...moreIt's all about the hero in this story. Either you will love him to bits and love the story or you'll be scratching your head wondering what the fuss is all about. I think the love comes from the fact that he's not your typical romance-alpha. My heart went went out to him because this was a time when just about any side-step from the 'norm' was considered 'madness' and often leading to some heinous 'health care'. Ian suffered which really just means he's a 'tortured hero' with a heart of gold ;) As for the heroine - whatever her name was - well, she's probably a bit of a 'sue' but at least that's not the typical TSTL annoying, dim-witted, omg just-die-already, bimbo. So yeah, I loved Ian and the book was fun to read because of him.(less)
Classic Shelly Laurenston and she still rocks. So much so that after reading about Dee-Ann and Ric, I decided to go reread all the previous Pride book...moreClassic Shelly Laurenston and she still rocks. So much so that after reading about Dee-Ann and Ric, I decided to go reread all the previous Pride books again.
Dee-Ann is a tough as nails, ex-Marine, now part of a shifter security force who has stolen the heart of adorable rich boy, Ric (and also her supervisor, but NOT! her boss ;). This is also the first Pride book where both lead characters are the same species of shifters: wolf.
The plot here is about the heroine and hero trying to put a stop to a group who goes around kidnapping hybrids and putting them into fight pits where the prize is that the winner gets to live. But to be honest the plot is rather thin because instead of spending a lot of time on how the characters are searching for the villains, we instead get a ton (I think just about everyone from previous books makes an appearance) of cameos. The good thing is that here it works because about 95% of the name dropping is believable. You can see the hero and heroine always having to deal with these supporting characters. And frankly as a fan of the series, its totally awesome to see everyone.
What makes this book awesome sauce is that Laurenston takes a run of the mill plot and turns it on its ear by having the heroine in the typical alpha hero role. Dee-Ann is such a bad-ass but what is awesome is that at no time did I feel that she was just a hero with boobs. She never came across to be as being masculine even though she could probably kill just about everyone in this book without breaking a sweat.
Which leads me to the hero, Ric. Early on, I was actually worried that Ric was going to be too beta to make it a believable romance. But he works because he is just the right amount of alpha in a beta hero. He's just adorable (and OMFG the prologue is just sooo cute!). Ultimately what makes them work as a couple is that they balance each other out perfectly.
This is an awesome story but for fans of the series. If you haven't read the previous books, I definitely recommend you start there first, otherwise, this story just becomes a mess of names and relationships that will be overwhelming and make little sense. If you are a fan, you might want to brush up a little bit in case you've forgotten the Pride cast because like I said, EVERYONE is in this one. In fact, it would have been helpful to have a family tree or appendix of sorts in order to refresh my memory.(less)
This story is why I love historicals. Funny, interesting characters and just a fun read. If you are looking for a deep, meaningful love story that you...moreThis story is why I love historicals. Funny, interesting characters and just a fun read. If you are looking for a deep, meaningful love story that you will shed a tear over every time you think about it...this isn't it. But if you want a fun read with non-cookie cutter H/h that you can reread... then this is the book for you.(less)
Reread. Now I'm giving this book a (very) generous four stars. This is actually one of my favorite scifi series and I actually have a dead tree book d...moreReread. Now I'm giving this book a (very) generous four stars. This is actually one of my favorite scifi series and I actually have a dead tree book dating back to '93 and it wasn't bought used either. *Wow. I just totally dated myself haven't I?* So at least one star is for reminding me of my misspent youth, but I still think this is a worthy read.
Carrie is a psychic human colonist in the planet of Keiss which is has been invaded by icky lizardy aliens called the Valtegeans. The humans have lived under occupation for over a decade with no real sign of relief despite a very active underground, guerrilla rebellion. In a life or death moment, Carrie bonds with another mind and it sets up a chain of events that will either liberate Keiss or destroy it.
Turning Point is an easy if somewhat uneven read. The beginning is especially disorienting but once Carrie recovers from the original ordeal that caused her to bond with Kusac (our feline hero), the story gets rolling in a much more linear if at times somewhat abrupt pace.
In case it wasn't clear, this a 'soft' scifi with a heavy dose of romance and (especially as the series progresses) a liberal splash of erotic kink. Nowadays that is nothing new, but back in the early 90s this was pretty freaking cutting edge. I actually think that Lisanne Norman was just way ahead of the game and had she published this series ten years later, she would have been a huge hit in the scifi/paranormal romance genre.
There is no sex in this story. All of it is basically PG-13 action with a focus on the adventure action part instead of smexing good times. I can't help but wish that Norman would go back and flesh this first book out more because there are definite parts that could use more exposition while others could be cut because they don't move the story along. Having also recently reread the second book in the series, I wonder if it wasn't actually one story that Norman was asked to break into two books. Book 2 is definitely a different beast all together when compared to the simplicity of the this book.
I enjoyed my reread and the rollicking (furry kink) adventure does make it easier to be more forgiving of the choppy pace because it sets the foundation for a promising scifi universe. Just go into the series with the knowledge that at times it does feel a bit dated and quaint and you won't be disappointed.
PS. Be aware that if you like this series, have the all the books handy because Norman does love a cliffhanger.(less)
Bo is a huge, bad-ass part polar bear, part lion hockey player with a personality disorder (he hates everyone) & Blayne is a part wolf, part dog s...moreBo is a huge, bad-ass part polar bear, part lion hockey player with a personality disorder (he hates everyone) & Blayne is a part wolf, part dog spaztastic plumber who needs to stay away from any sugar, caffeine or stimulant.
The thing is...Shelly Laurenston rocks. This book is no different. Only Laurenston could make a really annoying spaz & antisocial ass into a readable heroine and hero. The humor is earthy and fun with a hint of mean and the sex (as always) is hot.
The Pride books don't have to be read in order, but it does help especially since there is a background thread about illegal fights going through most of the books.
If you are looking for something sweet and romantic and tender, then Laurenston is not the author for you, but if you are looking for earthy fun and raunchy humor - this is the ticket.(less)
I <3 Shelly Laurenston's sense of humor. It is always loud, often crude, and quite often, bordering on the mean side. But I love it :) She is the o...moreI <3 Shelly Laurenston's sense of humor. It is always loud, often crude, and quite often, bordering on the mean side. But I love it :) She is the one author that has always made me laugh out loud, though I understand why she is not for everyone. The other thing about Laurenston that I love are her heroines; always strong, often sexually savvy, smart and tough as nails. Those are the trademarks of a Shelly Laurenston book and that's why they are always reread them, even if I don't always love the stories.
The Mane Event is actually two stories. A Christmas Pride is about Mace (lion shifter) who just got out of the Navy and now is determined to find the human girl, Dez, who stole his heart twenty years ago and make her his forever. In Shaw's Tail, Brendon Shaw (lion) has to convince Ronnie (wolf) that he is the mate for her despite her fear of being caged in by commitment.
These are two short stories that are anorexic on plot and heavy on the sex. So for someone who considers herself a plot junkie, what made these story work for me was the over the top humor and very likeable main characters. Don't get me wrong, there is a plot but it's just an excuse to get to the next smut scene. There is sequel bait all over the place but it still works.
If you like demure, polite heroines, then this is not the book (and probably not the author for you). If you are looking for intricate world building and plot, then this is not for you, either. If you like sassy heroines, lots of sex and laugh out loud zingers, then give this book and author a try. This author has never failed to entertain me. Highly rec'd as a light, sexy beach read.(less)