Theresa has Mark. Heather wants Mark. Theresa decides to give Mark to Heather. Oh, and not clue Mark in until after the fact.
And that’s essentially i...moreTheresa has Mark. Heather wants Mark. Theresa decides to give Mark to Heather. Oh, and not clue Mark in until after the fact.
And that’s essentially it in a nutshell.
I have mixed feelings about this sexy short story. On one hand, it’s incredibly steamy, the writing is decent, and there is definite passion between the characters. On the other hand, I just don’t believe it, and that’s the problem. While sexual fantasies are often explored in depth in erotic romance, it typically falls upon the author to make it believable, and while Mr. Chase does address some of the obvious points a reader might bring up, it felt like the bare minimum. The lack of conflict throughout really keeps this sensual tale from being as good as it could be.
Firstly, you have Theresa, who is conniving and flighty, and not ready to settle down. She’s dating Mr. Right, who happens to be her sister Heather’s dream man. Theresa doesn’t want Mark anymore, so she passes the buck to Heather, going as far as to concoct the whole scheme so Heather will get a taste of Mark before Mark gets a say in anything.
The reader knows this going in from the novella’s description. We realize that we, like Heather, will need to be talked into seducing Mark before Mark knows he’s been duped. We need to be on board with it when Heather gives the go-ahead. And to her credit, Heather did resist, but not by much. One fantasy later and she’s ready to put her reservations, and sense of morality, on the table and sleep with her sister’s soon-to-be ex while pretending to be someone else.
It’s okay, though, because men like sex so much it ultimately doesn’t matter who’s giving it to them.
In the end, I just don’t buy it. I don’t buy that Theresa would have no qualms giving her perfect boyfriend to her sister, regardless of her intentions, and I don’t buy that someone as sweet and supposedly innocent as Heather would be all right with the sort of deceit needed to pull this off. It’s likewise unlikely that a man who’s shared a bed with a woman for six months won’t realize the body next to his isn’t who he thinks it is. Heather and Theresa had some notable physical differences, and regardless of how dark it is, there are many non-visual factors that weigh into recognizing one’s lover: body language, temperament, and feel being among them. I also don’t think Mark, regardless of how he may or may not feel about Heather, would be inclined to shrug and say, “Okay!” without much of a fight. He’s Mr. Perfect, after all. Not Joe Give-Me-Sex Normal, but our Prince Charming.
Had there been some conflict, regret, added length and character development, these issues could have been avoided. In the end, I felt a little cheated. On one hand, yes, it is a woman’s fantasy enacted; on the other hand, I wasn’t convinced, and if you can’t convince your reader to go for the ride, convincing them of anything beyond the ride is a tad difficult.
However, the sex is very hot and I did feel real heat between Mark and Heather. In the end, it’s up to the reader to make their own decision. (less)
Rett needs money. Hamish needs a stripper. What could possibly go wrong?
This the second book by Ms. Jones I have read and unlike BAD GIRL – which I di...more Rett needs money. Hamish needs a stripper. What could possibly go wrong?
This the second book by Ms. Jones I have read and unlike BAD GIRL – which I didn’t love but thought had a few redeeming qualities – STRIP FOR ME left me feeling hollow and somewhat dirty. I can understand the appeal of sex for sex’s sake, but as far as the romantic element, there really was none. I didn’t particularly care for Rett or Hamish, and the subplot involving the one woman who wants Hamish dead felt weak and forced.
The sex scenes themselves were numerous and titillating, but without an emotional connection between the two leading characters, I found them dissatisfying. The other scenes between Rett and various partners seemed more fitting; since the story itself was little more than a scripted porn movie, bringing complicated emotions into the mix felt forced and inauthentic.
Readers looking for a quick, sexed-up read will enjoy this book. I will say it does deliver on its promise – I was just hoping for something I doubt this author can deliver. (less)
Firstly: I'm not easy to squick when it comes to adopted siblings, step-siblings, and the like. I love the...moreI have such mixed feelings about this story.
Firstly: I'm not easy to squick when it comes to adopted siblings, step-siblings, and the like. I love the forbidden love theme and, despite having read the disclaimer, I wasn't expecting to feel as uncomfortable as I did upon reading it.
I've read at least one of Ms. Anderson's "incest themed" books, this one dealing with a less-taboo subject of step-siblings who have only been in each other's lives for five years. I really enjoyed that one, even if I thought Ms. Anderson's definition of "what is or isn't sex" was a bit off the mark. This one encountered the same troubling attempts at defining sex. Furthermore, there were several scenes that evoked my "WTF" button...particularly when the characters, believing they were blood-related, attempted to justify nipple-sucking and making out as not incestuous.
Now, if you have a brother or sister, think about that, and tell me you didn't just make an "OH MY GOD, BLEACH MY BRAIN" face.
Even still, I kept telling myself "I know they're not related, and hey, this stuff typically doesn't bother you," but for whatever reason, I couldn't get over it. It made me so uncomfortable I attempted to put it down a few times, but like a rubber-necker, I came back for more.
Also? Religious studies books very rarely contain angel porn. At least none of the ones I read for my major.
So on one hand, I can appreciate the discomfort Ms. Anderson evoked. And the sex scenes themselves? Yeah, bring a fan...as well as a bucket for your shame, because I needed both. I suppose the best way to summarize is: if you think you can handle it, go ahead, but I wouldn't be surprised if it made you feel a little dirty...and not in the good way. (less)
Kate finds herself in an innocent, however unfortunate situation and her CEO, John, who has lusted after her for years, comes to her rescue. I’ve made...moreKate finds herself in an innocent, however unfortunate situation and her CEO, John, who has lusted after her for years, comes to her rescue. I’ve made no secret in past reviews that I love the unrequited love theme, and given Ms. McKnight’s reputation, the blurb sucked me in.
The trouble is, there was little between the pages to hold my attention. I felt I was never given reason to connect with Kate; I was TOLD why I should, sure, but that line connecting character to reader was never established. I hate it when an interesting premise turns into a dry read, but that’s what this one did for me. I’m not sure whether it was the stilted dialogue or the flat characters, but something failed to click with this one. The writing itself was decent but not remarkable. For being as short as it was, this novella took me nearly a month to complete; I just couldn’t get into it.
However, that being said I can definitely see how it would appeal to other readers. If you’re looking for steamy sex, this is the book for you. (less)
**spoiler alert** Jaid Black has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Her work isn't necessarily good, but it's entertaining and, let's face it, rau...more**spoiler alert** Jaid Black has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Her work isn't necessarily good, but it's entertaining and, let's face it, raunchy as hell. While the description of this novella lent me pause and forced some regrettable comparisons to another kidnap/rape book I previously reviewed, I trusted Ms. Black to deliver in her normal style.
As the title suggests, some allowances should be acknowledged. The heroine is kidnapped, stripped, splayed, and raped by two men…only it’s not rape when she gets “into it.” Beyond the palpable discomfort of the situation and the sensation of “I shouldn’t be enjoying this” is sloppy writing and lines pretty much every leading man in a Jaid Black story has employed again and again. It’s such to the point that I have to wonder if Ms. Black is merely writing fan-fiction variations of her own work. But I digress…
The ending was what really threw me out of this one. You have a premise that, while discomfiting, is what you expected when you purchase the book. To find out the entire scenario was a role-play between a married couple is lazy writing. While I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the rape scenario, I at least knew what to expect. She lost me, and given that I typically read her with a grain of salt, that’s saying something.
Swing and a miss. Even if Ms. Black is a guilty pleasure author, she really aimed low with this one. I’d take it out of your checkout cart and find something else. (less)
This is another good example of an interesting premise that fell flat in execution. Not to say it wasn’t an entertaining read, but the world Ms. Thorn...moreThis is another good example of an interesting premise that fell flat in execution. Not to say it wasn’t an entertaining read, but the world Ms. Thorn built wasn’t explored to its full potential. Readers are introduced to Emma just as she is receiving her promotion, given a brief overview of what her work entails, and aside from the smidgeon of conflict at the end, given nothing more than a backdrop for the sex scenes.
In terms of steamy sex, the novella is mostly a success. There were a few phrases that threw me out, particularly when the female anatomy “grabbed” someone’s tongue. I found that slightly horrifying. (Anyone see Teeth?) But other than that, it’s at least fairly well written. I just wish the plot teasers had been more than teasers…though for the setup Ms. Thorn gave the supporting female characters that disappeared as quickly as they appeared, perhaps we’ll see more of this universe. (less)
This is a particularly difficult review for me; having read and reviewed Ms. Monroe unfavorably in the past, I will admit I was incredibly impressed w...moreThis is a particularly difficult review for me; having read and reviewed Ms. Monroe unfavorably in the past, I will admit I was incredibly impressed with her reception of my criticism and her invitation to read more of her work in hopes of finding something more to my liking.
In the future, however, I believe I shall decline from publicly reviewing her work unless I truly enjoy it, as I don’t like giving authors I know and respect negative reviews, yet I must remain honest about my impression of the work in question. I selected HIDDEN MAGIC for review in the hopes of finding something I’d like, but her writing style is simply not for me. The one thing I can appreciate about HIDDEN MAGIC is the fairy-tale feel to the style in which the story is told, but I’m not certain if that was intentional. The many exclamation points likewise threw me off.
This particular short story has received acclaim from other reviewers, so maybe it’s just a case of personal tastes. I thank Ms. Monroe for allowing me the opportunity to review her work again, and wish her success in her writing career. (less)
If you like porn, look no further. There’s plenty of porn to be had in Betty Womack’s HOT WIRED.
Aside from the thin veil of story surrounding an excus...moreIf you like porn, look no further. There’s plenty of porn to be had in Betty Womack’s HOT WIRED.
Aside from the thin veil of story surrounding an excuse for endless sex scenes, this book is riddled with mistakes. Just one example: the first electrician shows up to fix the busted air conditioner. Apparently, Carol, the lead, didn’t notice that her lights and appliances didn’t work, either, because after Baron, the hunky electrician shows up, he explains that her power is out. That’s all well and good, though, because Carol has other things on her mind…mainly getting down and dirty with Baron.
Furthermore, there was no emotional connection to the characters. I didn’t care what happened to Carol, didn’t care that her husband had cheated on her, and even the sex scenes fell flat. That’s not to say some readers won’t enjoy them, but if you’re writing a book labeled as an erotic romance, the “romance” should be acknowledged, not glossed over.
As I said, this story has a lot of sex and, in that way, works as a guilty pleasure. However, if you prefer emotion and characterization, you’re better off reading something else. (less)
I knew there would be problems with this novella from the moment I started reading. There is a popular cliché in fiction wherein the leading character...moreI knew there would be problems with this novella from the moment I started reading. There is a popular cliché in fiction wherein the leading character will describe him/herself by looking in the mirror. It’s a way to give the reader an idea of what the character looks like, but it’s not creative and very much abused. People rarely think of themselves as “a cute blonde twenty-something, standing 5’8’’” or anything of the like. Similarly, other people don’t look at others and think, “Oh, how wonderful is my 6’4’’ fiancé!” It leads to eye-rolls.
Were this the only issue with the manuscript, I might have overlooked it. However, the whole novella felt like the first draft of something that never met an editor. The flat all TELL no SHOW approach to writing, it made for a bloodless read. The characters had no distinguishable voices, such to the point that the “dears” and “sweetheart” and repetition of names (in the beginning, mostly) read like a sarcastic argument rather than a tender scene between soon-to-be-marrieds. Furthermore, the love-scene between Derek and Catherine, which wasn’t needed at all, consisted solely of the line: "No time was wasted as the two came together and soon the deed was done.” And who said romance was dead?
I looked up another review to see if any other readers found issues with this novella; the one I found, from Got Erotic Romance, said the whole thing read like a summary of a longer book. I would definitely concur. Though I want desperately to find something good to say about this story, the only thing I can honestly admit is it made me appreciate and raise the rating of another novella I read over the weekend. (less)