Aside from the frequent love scenes, this is a fascinating book.
This was on the borderline between a really steamy romance and an erotic romance. TherAside from the frequent love scenes, this is a fascinating book.
This was on the borderline between a really steamy romance and an erotic romance. There are some m/m scenes that were mild and manual only, and some three-way stuff without anal sex. Lots of oral sex but only f/m on that score.
I really loved the premise ... an already mated couple finds that a third of another paranormal species is also her, and hence their, mate. I liked that although we are dealing with werewolf and jaguar shapeshifters, the author resisted the temptation to put any dog-and-cat references or fighting in there.
The relationships developed among the characters were very good, but the characters were not that deeply illustrated. Some of the explanations revealed by the end of the book might have been better utilized in illustrating the root causes behind the characters' feelings. There is no personal growth achieved by any of the protagonists, and that is what kept this book from being really great.
Two things that I did not like about this story, first that the plot could have been enhanced by showing the villains' point of view. The threat as written seems almost extraneous to the lives of those threatened, and the motives behind the evil would have made it more believable.
Second was that this is the first of a two-book story arc (as explained in a brief afterword), and too many plot elements were left unresolved. A better writer might have achieved more of a sense of closure in the protagonists' HEA without leaving us feeling that we've only read a half of a book. Suzanne Brockmann is much better at this 'multiple-book story arc without lack of closure' stuff.
In spite of these not so minor quibbles, I truly enjoyed the story and look forward to reading the rest of it in Revelation....more
I like some pretty extreme erotic romance ... anal does not bother me, nor does a bit of light spanking. The BDSM elements in these stories were overI like some pretty extreme erotic romance ... anal does not bother me, nor does a bit of light spanking. The BDSM elements in these stories were over the top as far as my tastes go. How one character was shared without her lover discussing her preferences in advance disgusted me. When the whip appeared, that was the end of it for me. I had no respect for the women in these tales, if I had ever found myself pushed as far as they were I would have been screaming the safe word at the top of my lungs. Some sex in public places stories are fairly titillating and discreet, these are more exhibitionist and of the "let's risk arrest" type.
In the last tale, Forbidden Surrender, the heroine Teri (who is far from heroic) picks up a stranger in a bar and practically admits that few would miss her if she disappeared forever. This is the one for whom The Darwin Awards were created. When we say TSTL (too stupid to live), in this case we should take it literally. At least the women in the other two stories were acquainted with their lovers.
Andi in Wicked Surrender is fairly stupid, she goes alone to a BDSM club not knowing that she will meet anyone she knows there. When she does hook up, it's with a co-worker who is competing with her for advancement. Too stupid to respect.
Sheila in Sweet Surrender is such a wimp. Mooning over her boss and doing nothing about it ... and what's with the idiotic hero, Adam, who sells the company in order to boink his secretary without fear of harrassment? I'd love to have him as an opponent in a business situation, he thinks with his dick.
The men in these stories were fairly unmemorable. The writing was fairly good, though McCray called Adam "Nick" in one paragraph. The stories were lighthearted fun, the plots, such as they were, beautifully executed, which is how they earned three stars....more
Thanks, Cherise, for directing your copy to me via paperbackswap.com.
This is a wonderful scenario. Our heroine, thirteen years ago, adopted her nephewThanks, Cherise, for directing your copy to me via paperbackswap.com.
This is a wonderful scenario. Our heroine, thirteen years ago, adopted her nephew. The sister who gave him up for adoption was into a drinking lifestyle that was not conducive to good parenting. The father was never revealed, until last week as a deathbed confession. The father is a rock star. My first reaction was, "Yeah, Right." That was the rock star's initial reaction as well.
It turns out he was wrong. He has lost thirteen years in his son's life, and wants to make up for that. Mum wants to preserve the young man's work ethic and values, which would be undermined by indiscriminate gifts. Setting up a college trust fund for him is one thing, quadrupling his allowance is something else.
Complicating this whole thing is her fear that her son will be taken from her by the dad's high-price attorneys. Another complication is that Mum and Dad cannot seem to keep their hands off each other. They did begin their sexual relationship with a clear discussion of how they would handle keeping their relationship separate from Dad's with son and Mum's with son. After that, wow, smokin' hot. I do like that none of the sex got in the way of the main story, the development of these relationships. These scenes act more like punctuation in the framework of the plot.
The theme of this work seems to be trust and friendship. Each of the protagonists has trust issues that sit like mines in the landscape of their relationship. Any of them would be fatal without those family and friends on both sides who say, "Whoa, take a breath and see this from our perspective. There is love here. You don't throw that away."
This is great erotic romance because it is a good book before it is a romance, and a good romance before erotica. The erotica is still pretty darned good.
I can't wait to get my hands on secondhand copies of the first two books in this series....more
This was an enjoyable story with well-written, frequent sex scenes and a great suspense plot that did not have much else going for it.
The hero and heThis was an enjoyable story with well-written, frequent sex scenes and a great suspense plot that did not have much else going for it.
The hero and heroine seem to have fallen in love with each other based on great sex and little else. McCray does not give us much dialogue between them that is not of the "do me right now" variety. We are given a lot of physical description and little introspection. Too bad, in the hands of Lora Leigh or Sarah McCarty these characters' potential might have been better fulfilled.
For instance, we are told but not shown the reasons why the heroine and her brother are commitment-shy. I understand why falling in love scares her as much as it thrills her, but we are not shown the thinking that makes it possible for her to reverse herself and commit to the hero.
The character of the hero is a little too perfect to believe. He is very shallowly drawn, the only introspection of his we are shown is his thinking on how the relationship would be affected when her brother is a suspect in a crime.
There is little in the way of subplot, I wish the heroine's brother's story had been expanded upon.
I enjoyed the book in spite of that. Go figure....more
It happened again, I have "discovered" yet another "must-buy" (for me) author. There goes the retirement fund.
This was a fantastic read for an eroticIt happened again, I have "discovered" yet another "must-buy" (for me) author. There goes the retirement fund.
This was a fantastic read for an erotic romance. In fact, it was a great book even excluding the sex scenes. It featured one of my favorite literary devices... characters experiencing personal growth as a result of their interactions with each other.
I only gave it four out of five for two reasons ... first, because this was obviously not a stand-alone. I should have read the series in order, but this was the one Half Price Books had. The story is complete in and of itself, but there are many references to events in earlier books.
Secondly, because the characters obviously are of a generation younger than mine and in a few places I had difficulty relating. For instance, the acceptance of tattoos and nipple piercings as something for folks who are not Marines or biker gang members is younger than I. The characters accept as commonplace technology that I still am amazed by. Also, at the back of the book was a "mix tape" list of songs and I had heard of some of the artists but I never heard any of those songs. These and some other references made me feel old, though I'm at the younger end of the baby boom spectrum (I did not start listening to the radio until after the Beatles broke up).
Now to the good stuff. The heroine is amazing. This is a woman who has gotten herself out of an abusive situation, survived an attack, and gotten past the wallowing and the fears to work towards a career helping others who have suffered as she has. I totally get what the hero sees in her. The author, Lauren Dane, uses the dialogue and the events in the plot to show us this, rather than having someone tell us this. (What I did not like about Jane Austen's work was that she told rather than showed.) We get to see Ella's inner trepidation as well as her outward actions and words. We see her growing past panic attacks and dread of the dark. There are enough flashbacks to show us how she acquired them, but not so many as to get in the way of the plot.
I want the hero for myself. Andrew is shown almost as multiple personalities. There is the way his father and brother see him, there is also the playboy image projected to the world at large, and there is the inner artist who loves poetry that he finds the guts to reveal to Ella. He is Andy, he is Cope, and he is Andrew. I loved that Dane gave him the ability to discuss his feelings and his fears with his friends. We are shown his thoughts, as well as his actions and words; Dane reveals him through all of these.
I think the theme of the story is being able to listen. The hero and heroine are not so caught up in their own angst as to be unable to understand the meanings behind what the other is trying to convey. Andrew makes Ella talk to him about the causes of some of her phobias, he gives on some fronts and takes a stand on others.
One of her hot buttons is always paying her own way. The first time he took her to a restaurant, it became an issue. He made her tell him about it, then: '"Ella, I get it. But I'm not him."... He sighed. "Since you're being so honest, let me be too. I hate this. I hate that, even though I know this isn't about me, that it's about me anyway. I don't want to tell you what to wear or who to be friends with. I want you to be in my life because you like it. I get this. I do, but I don't want it to be part of what we have."'
Then he paid the bill and let her leave the tip.
His character would be too perfect if we were not shown his insecurities and flaws. He had never before been in a relationship that mattered, and when he messed up, as was bound to happen, he feared that he'd spoiled everything.
She had baggage and tripwires, scars both physical and emotional, that she feared were going to drive him away.
It was a lot of fun to see how they got to their happily ever after. I really liked a scene where she told his dad off. Their friends and family are not just supporting cast members, but play active roles in how the protagonists' relationship develops.
This is one heck of a story. (Now I've got to go get the rest of the series.)...more
This was an OK collection of three novellas with characters I really liked, but Jaci Burton did not go deeply enough into them for us to truly understThis was an OK collection of three novellas with characters I really liked, but Jaci Burton did not go deeply enough into them for us to truly understand the motivations for their actions.
For example, the first story begins when one of three sisters returns to her hometown, to the family ranch where her ex-husband works. We are given an explanation for her divorce, but not any insight into what feelings made her run. Thus when she ends up back with her ex, I do not really understand her reasoning. His thoughts are not shown enough for us to understand why he let her go, why he wants her back, why he never went after her in the interim.
The plots are good but not great, and the settings are implied but not well described.
I kept waiting for the book to grab me as the author's other work has, yet somehow I got to the end and this had not happened.
There is a very good ploI kept waiting for the book to grab me as the author's other work has, yet somehow I got to the end and this had not happened.
There is a very good plot, a sassy heroine, also a hot hard old-fashioned hero who is male enough to put his foot in it and wonder what went wrong. We get cameos from the protagonists of the earlier book, and a peek at the personalities involved in the next one.
Perhaps the next time I read it I'll be able to understand better why I did not love this. Maybe it's indigestion....more
This collection of three stories previously published before did not disappoint, but it also did not exceed my expectations. I've read other work by eThis collection of three stories previously published before did not disappoint, but it also did not exceed my expectations. I've read other work by each of the three authors before.
Anya Bast's Tempted by Two is a paranormal contemporary romance. The sex scenes and romance-building were strong, the characters were O.K., and the plot was weak. Fun anyway, Two stars.
I'd read Jan Springer's Edible Delights somewhere else before. This is a contemporary erotic romance that relied too heavily on flashbacks to actions that would have been part of the plot in a longer story. The plot was very good, the characterizations weak, and the sex scenes were O.K. Fun in spite of that, Two stars.
The collection was saved by Shiloh Walker's Voyeur. This paranormal contemporary erotic romance, though a novella, has scenes spanning years. There is romance-building, character growth, loss of a loved one, an excellent plot, and characters you will adore. Five stars.
I got my copy through an online swap and felt it well worth the price of admission at under $4, but I would say it is worth the $14 cover price. Very enjoyable....more
An interesting premise poorly executed. I understood the angst and problems each of the protagonists suffered, but don't see how screwing each other tAn interesting premise poorly executed. I understood the angst and problems each of the protagonists suffered, but don't see how screwing each other to exhaustion solved anything....more