My, my, my. What does one say about Miss Lorelei James that hasn’t already been said? She is a Goddess among us mortal women. But I swear,My Musings:
My, my, my. What does one say about Miss Lorelei James that hasn’t already been said? She is a Goddess among us mortal women. But I swear, if she’s actually ever met a man like Bennett McKay (not seen, not spotted from afar, but conversed with) in the real world, I’ll just eat my brassiere right this second. I mean I know she lives in some kind of Dakota Wilderness or something, but I fail to think these men exist. As has been said many times, James is an author that is so good you put down whatever you are reading. Reading a Paranormal Shape Shifting Historical Erotic Steampunk What the F*^# Novella? Ma’am, step away from that book. Put it down. Making the Bed? Please. Cleaning? Come On. Working? Nope. Sleep? I don’t think so. Drop whatever you’re doing; another installment of the Rough Riders is out…WoooooHooooo!!!
Let’s talk about Bennett McKay. Rancher? Check. Dominant? Check Check. Hot? Checkity Check Check. In short, if there ever was a fantasy man to make us desperate housewives and established career women faint from the vapors, it is this particular hero. The reason I love Bennett is because he is the epitome of a Gentleman. He does not kiss and tell. He keeps his private life fiercely private. And he is unapologetic for what he wants and needs. He loves his mother. He cares about his family and neighbors. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone with the knowledge of what he really is, but at the same time knows it’s no one’s business. With all this confidence however, he has the vulnerability that makes him completely irresistible to a woman. Being a middle child, Bennett has felt lost in the shuffle of the overpopulated McKay family. Yes he is rooted in reality and knows his own proclivities, but he has enough of a conscience to feel a modicum of shame about his preferred lifestyle. His family has no idea, but in a way it seems as though he is trying to get caught. He wants to unload his burdens but cannot trust anyone fully. Like he is crying out for an intervention, but no one is smart enough or perceptive enough to interpret his comments….
Ben Brushed Bongo with long strokes. “Trouble in Paradise? Has Libby been hanging out at Ziggy’s bar again?” “Fuck off. No, a couple of the new, single teachers have asked her about you.” “Teachers? Definitely not my type” “Why not” He patted Bongo’s withers. “I have a hard time believing a teacher would make a good student.” “What the hell is that supposed to mean” Thinking out loud always got him in trouble. “Nothin.”
Ainsley Hamilton has escaped a bad marriage where she was make to feel dirty and sordid because she wanted a little something more in the bedroom. She is the President of the new bank in town, so to make matters worse she is in an extremely male dominated conservative career. She has no outlet. She is unsure about how to face or handle her intimate life since the ruination of her marriage. She doesn’t want to risk her fragile standing in a new community that is small and judgmental. So her friend sets her up with a guest invitation at the Rawhide Club. The problem? Ainsley thinks she’s a Domme, and is basically “advertising” herself in the club as such. Is she? Well……..that’s debatable. She is a small fish swimming in an ocean of Phiranas. Bennett is a master (pardon the pun) at observation and body language. He spots Ainsley and knows immediately that she is just full of it. However, he is intrigued by her beauty and confused by the mixed signals. And as the story usually goes, and the rest is romance history.
I can say with certainty that this is my favorite Lorelei James book so far. And there is a lot of them so that’s saying a lot. Ainsley is not my favorite heroine, but I adore her with Bennett. They compliment each other so well. I cried sometimes for both her and Ben. They are both wounded deeply, and truly, they are the bandages for each other’s souls. Yes, they practice BDSM elements. But for the first time I think, it wasn’t too much for me and it also seemed, well, sort of normal. Ainsley was a little past experimenting, and Bennett was open minded enough to not let his Dom persona rule him to a degree that is disturbing. I love that. They met in the middle and it is glorious. My problem with books with this Dom/sub subject matter is that one bad line that is over the top and I’m done. James handled this with finesse and not one time did I roll my eyes.
The sex scenes are truly some of the best and most scorching that I’ve read. They are amazingly written and intricate. I know however it is all about what appeals to you. I can’t presume to say what all women like or want in their romance novel, but I like an edge that isn’t so out there that it can’t happen. I felt like the story was realistic (if there really is a likeness of Bennett McKay-see above. LOL), and what a lucky woman it can happen to. We also read a lot about ranching business and family dynamic in this novel. In my opinion (I’m not a rancher and I don’t live in Wyoming but anyhoo) it is spot on. Without knowing what is going on with both Ben’s and Ainsley’s careers they would be one-dimensional. Without knowing how Ben becomes the way he is, I think both he AND Ainsley would have fallen flat.
When it comes down to it, the major reason why this book appealed to me is although Bennett is a dominant, he is not so caught up in a “lifestyle” that he can’t see past his role in everyday life and his relationship. He takes a look at his feeling and actions and after the usual denial and conflict, he wants in his heart to grab on to the one he is destined for. I think this fact surprises him. He is level headed for the most part. Quick to anger but not rash in reaction, that is until his heart is in tangles. And really, although some of us won’t admit it, isn’t sacrifice the grandest gesture a man can make? To give up something freely and without resentment so his mate will be happy? Don’t we all want him to finally surrender to love because of you and only you, his one true love? Isn’t this the John Cusak radio moment that we all dream about? I think so.
Ratings: Overall: 4.99 Stars. Darn that Lorelei James for making us think Bennett could be real.. I’m taking away a tenth just for that. Sensuality Level: 5.00 Stars. Off the charts hot.
If i'm not mistaken, this is Tori St. Claire's first novel. I am super duper duper impressed. Reading through the first couple chapters, I am remindedIf i'm not mistaken, this is Tori St. Claire's first novel. I am super duper duper impressed. Reading through the first couple chapters, I am reminded of one of my very favorite suspense authors, Shannon McKenna. There is great sex, a creepy villain and a deep seated mystery. That is a huge compliment if I say so myself. There is an immediate feeling of "better than your everyday romance”, and when you dig in you know St Claire is articulate, creative, and seemingly accomplished far beyond her experience.
Natalya Trubachev is a toned lethal CIA kick ass machine who is an expert at compartmentalizing her feelings in order to accomplish her job and protect the people, especially women, of the United States and abroad who may become victims of the sex trade. She has a deep love of children and family but has been a block of ice for so long that she barely recognizes the melting of her soul when her Russian lover Dmitri decides the next victim will be her estranged sister, Katarena. Natalya is an expert undercover operative. She goes through the motions and acts better than Meryl Streep through her disgusting relationship with the Mob boss who is responsible for several killings and trading of females overseas using critical and sometimes lethal doses of barbiturates. Natalya brings these women under her wing while they mistakenly think she is on their side, and she sacrifices them to the wolves for her Russian counterparts to play with at their whim. Her guilt is suffocating and though she knows it is for a greater good, she has an increasingly hard time living with herself. Natalya is about to meet Brandon Moretti, and finally realize in her soul what true happiness is after being long overdue.
Brandon Moretti is a product of Witness protection gone wrong, trying to right the wrongs in his life by becoming a public servant-undercover of course. Posing as the manager of the famous Gentleman's club Fantasia in Vegas, he is at the very center of the action, trying to pinpoint whom in the circle of his life is responsible for the killing and drugging of young blonde and beautiful exotic dancers. He has lost so many in his life, family, and most recently, a close friend and coworkers. One of his best dancers, Kate, reccommends a seasoned entertainer-her fraternal twin sister Natalya. No one knows the relation and are blind to it, with the exception of a few of the inner circle. Brandon has no idea. All he knows is that he has an immediate and violent reaction to her. His need to possess Natalya is so strong upon first glance that while he realizes her performing will be a huge draw, possibly the best bait he has had access to so far, he cannot stomach her on stage for others to devour. He immediately casts her as house mother. Their relationship is heated and strained from minute one and they both struggle with their secrets while unaware they are both striving for a common goal. Their stories and fabric of their lives and families are woven together in a quilt of coincidence and circumstance, bonding them in love before they even realize it.
This book was excellent for many reasons. First off, not only was it highly, highly erotic and sensual, but it was a great textbook suspense. My heartstrings were pulled many times. I felt so sad for Natalya and who she had become. I wanted Brandon to realize that he was worthy of love and that the things that happened in his past to shape him were not his fault. I know I have said this about other novels and in other reviews, but these are the essential elements of a romance that pull you in and make you want happiness for the characters. The bad guy in all this is of course a twisted sick freak which we all love in a mystery/suspense novel. What I enjoyed, or loathed, whichever you prefer is that to a kindhearted reader, he was particularly disturbing and cruel not only with his physical manifestations and dire warnings, but his emotional and psychological warfare. This guy was really off. It's great.
If I had to criticize at all, it would be that the "red herring" meant to throw us off from the real goon wasn't that convincing. I knew who the villain was relatively early, which was a little disappointing but didn't lessen the enjoyment of the novel for me. Also, I felt, as I mentioned earlier, a lot of coincidence occurred. It was necessary to tie and bond the characters together, but I felt it needed just slightly more back story to make it plausible. But this was a great book, and I urge anyone who is a fan of Roxanne St Claire (relation?), Shannon McKenna and others in that class of Grande Dames to give this one a try. You will not be disappointed.
Ratings: Overall: 4.75 Stars. Excellent book. Some issues, but nothing that she can't nip in the bud with the next one. Sensuality: 4.95. Way erotic in my opinion. Nothing kinky, but just freaking awesomely hot.
This story takes place in the town of Muddy Gap, Wyoming. Sound quaint? Not really. No B & B’s for this little place. Former local beauty queen HaThis story takes place in the town of Muddy Gap, Wyoming. Sound quaint? Not really. No B & B’s for this little place. Former local beauty queen Harper Masterson (love the Name) has a drunken skank for a mother that ran off and left her to look out for her younger sister, Bailey, who is a Senior in high school. The oldest sister, Liberty, is enlisted in the Army and currently stationed in Afghanistan. Momma Masterson ran off with some local putz, pissed off everyone in town, leaving Harper strapped for friends and employment choices. She holds down two jobs to support herself and Bailey, who is supposedly going to college in the Fall, and Harper plans to move to wherever Bailey goes to school to supply her younger sister with monetary and moral support. When she gets axed at the local tanning salon because of slow business, Harper is understandably distraught. Like a ray of light her best friend Celia calls in Harper’s time of woe, and gets an earful of sobs. But Celia has a devious plan for her BFF…….
Bran Turner is a rangy local cowboy who owns a modest ranch outside of town that he inherited from his Grandparents. He runs it himself along with his old and grumpy right hand, Les. When Poor Les has a little mishap with a bull, rendering him useless for a few months, Harper shows up at Bran’s door, ready to make some cash, mend fences, and start birthin’ some bovine babies.
We all know that chaos ensues at this point.
Bran is Proud. Bran is Cocky. Bran is kinda Sweet. Bran has a serious case of foot in mouth disease. Seriously, this guy has no filter, but you love him anyway. He says whatever he thinks and is a little rough around the edges. Unlike most Heroes in our beloved romance novels, Bran has a little insecurity about his appeal to women-especially this woman. He is in constant awe of Harper’s beauty and more or less sees a glowing aura around her at all times. I have to say this is kind of a new aspect for a hero and frankly very refreshing. Usually, it is conveyed that the main Male character of a story is very confident about his looks, and of course his sexual prowess...it hints at vulnerability if he is not. I feel like most Authors shy away from this, thinking that a man cannot possibly be “The Perfect Alpha Male” if he is at all insecure or shows any vulnerability before the big “fall” in the book. I disagree. Ms. James let him be a little unsure of himself, and therefore more relateable. I’m not saying he is a wimpy limp noodle or, gasp…Beta. He is just more humanized.
There was a lot of give and take between Harper and Bran. He wasn’t weak and neither was she. They both wanted to be worthy of each other, and had genuine love and affection, not just lust. Their banter was hilarious and is current with the times. Since Lorelei James herself lives in the Dakotas, you get the feeling she is pulling from some of her personal experience. I love that she can walk the walk and talk the talk. We learn all about ranching alongside Harper because of this. I always feel the best books are the ones were you feel like you’re living inside the story, and Saddled and Spurred delivers that to the reader in spades.
And we can’t talk about a Lorelei James book without talking about the Luuuuv scenes. In my opinion, this book and its predecessor, Corralled, are not as erotic as the Rough Riders series. Saddled and Spurred is very, very, hot, but the love scenes didn’t feel like as much of the focus of the book as some of James’ previous novels. To me, the scenes could possibly be a little disappointing to readers familiar with this Author’s other series because I would describe them as just a little kinky, definitely not vanilla, but maybe more like butter pecan…..however the love scenes are still great and consistent with James’ style. I personally felt nothing was missing. She has all the Wild West infusion and the periphery of characters that we will come to know and love just as much as her beloved Rough Riders. I can’t WAIT for the next book in the series, Wrangled and Tangled (Nov 1, 2011).
A midnight encounter between two estranged lovers rekindles a passion beyond their wildest dreams...
Rowena, Countess of Northam, is surprised to find
A midnight encounter between two estranged lovers rekindles a passion beyond their wildest dreams...
Rowena, Countess of Northam, is surprised to find her former suitor has returned from India and is on his way to the very house where she is staying. When he appears in her room late at night, she can only believe it is a dream. Her fantasy soon becomes reality when Simon makes every effort to seduce her.
Despite his six year absence, and the fact that Rowena married his best friend, Simon is determined to have her back now that she is a widow. It soon becomes clear that while her body craves his affections, she doesn't trust him enough to give her heart. Can Simon forget her past betrayal and convince her to surrender to the greatest love they’ve ever known?
Rowena, Lady of Northam and her sister, Delphine make a long journey for a “country visit” to see friend Alice, whom is in a delicate condition. Alice, Lady Chilton, also happens to be the sister of Lord Simon Rutherford, whom is Rowena’s long lost love. When he arrives to be alongside his sister and tend to business surrounding a dying uncle, it is clear that not all is gone between he and Rowena.
Simon is strong yet sensitive and loving pseudo-rake with a soft spot for his family. Soon after his arrival he hears his niece in the next room, and goes to comfort her as he knows she is plagued with nightmares. He has similar concern for his beloved Rowena..he gives her the space she needs and waits until she is ready to see him to make an appearance in her life again. Although not altogether unselfish, he still is the type of man to take into account the feelings of those he holds dear. He is dreadfully angry at Rowena for marrying his best friend Paul, but he cannot resist the tide of conflicted emotions that rise to the surface in her presence.
Rowena is a lady through and through, but she struggles with un-lady like thoughts, especially while thinking about Simon or dealing with her big mouthed sister, Delphine. She has made past decisions based on what she thinks is reality, but unfortunately that reality is skewed and fueled by the inevitable misunderstandings in the world of courtship.
I enjoyed Simon. Not to say that he is that much different from the few Heroes in the Historical genre that I have experienced, but I like him and I think he is a good man. In this story, he has gotten the short end of the stick, and that kind of makes me mad. I feel like Rowena should trust him more and I think that is frustrating for the reader. But it appears that she just does not know how to have faith in Simon after what she perceives as his abandonment of her.
Rowena has her good qualities-but mostly I think she is a whiny righteous brat. Despite that, she is still a likeable character. I do think that the relationship she has with her sister is laced with humor, and is a realistic description of the sometimes frustrating bonds of siblings. It is one of the most delightful parts of the novella. Rowena would like to sometimes murder Delphine with her bare hands, but at the same time cannot bear to be away from her.
“while she had a face as angelic as a porcelain doll and she dressed to the epitome of elegance, Delphine had the tact of an untamed dog”
In my opinion, although this is a romance, I feel like the emotional relationship between Rowena and Delphine was explored even more than that same aspect was between Rowena and Simon.
I really loved the descriptions of Alice’s home when Rowena and Delphine arrived. I got a warm feeling, almost like I was in the home myself with the fire going, looking forward to sleeping in a cozy bed in the home of a cherished girlfriend after a long arduous journey. Kind of like a parent feels when all her birds are in the ‘nest’ for the night, you get a feeling that all is right with the world throughout the story when Rowena, Delphine, Alice, and Simon are all under the same roof.
I can say that although this is a novella, I would have been much happier with a full length novel. It is a cross to bear of novellas to try and cram emotional and physical aspects together and create a satisfying love story in 50 or so pages. I am not so sure this is really possible. The love scenes were pretty warm, but not laced with enough emotion to me and seemed a little forced. Rowena seems outraged that Simon wishes to rendezvous in the afternoon-but then I was jarred to see the words C*^k and P*$$y in a period story when I am not entirely sure they even spoke or thought that way during those times. The sentiments and Rowena’s virtuous attitude just did not gel for me. Those terms (although i do not mind them at all, when appropriate to the atmosphere of the story) were not necessary to punctuate what was going on in the Bedroom. It turned what was masquerading as passionate love and longing for lost time to something bordering on kitschy. Dirty words do not an awesome love scene make.
Overall: 2.75 Stars. I think it should have been longer and felt that Rowena needed some more depth for me to empathize with her. I wanted to get to know her better. I feel this novella has a ton of potential and just didn’t quite get there this time.
Sensuality level: 4.00 Stars. Pretty steamy, but I didn’t really connect with them emotionally or sexually. That being said the love scenes are central to the story.
I want to preface this review (because I always have to do that) by saying my peace about Kristen Ashley. She is one of my ALL time favorite Authors.I want to preface this review (because I always have to do that) by saying my peace about Kristen Ashley. She is one of my ALL time favorite Authors. Others in this group include Lisa Kleypas, Kristan Higgins, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Robyn Carr, Judith McNaught, Lorelei James, Erin McCarthy, Jill Shalvis and maybe a couple others that I forgot to mention. My point is this is a pretty substantial group of women, and when someone says “please suggest an author that you like” inevitably I will say one of these (including Kristen). That being said, I have not loved all of Kristen Ashley’s books. Are they addictive? Yes. Are they all 5 stars? No way. Despite that opinion, I have talked this woman up and extolled her virtues to every person I know that actually reads for a hobby. Her incredible books (Play it Safe, Golden Trail, At Peace) far outweigh the ones that make me wanna smack her. The point is I could talk about her works for pages and pages, as I feel they are fascinating. However, the sad thing is that the first book of hers that I am going to review publicly is negative, and I hate that. But I suppose I should get on with it......
I am not going to go as far as to say that I hated Raid. But it came close. This book is getting excellent reviews, and I am wondering if I just missed something. I mean literally I am the ONLY person that did not like this book. I am very aware that most authors have a formula, and if you read enough of their novels it becomes familiar to you. Comfortable. Like your favorite warm blanket. But then, comfortable can become annoying. Like your husband snoring in your ear at 5000 decibels, or crunching chips so loud that you can’t hear the tv. You love him, but you could really clobber him. Hence, the problem with Raid. Well, one of the problems. Her formula has worked for me thus far, but this book, maybe because it was shorter, really highlighted that there IS one. Let’s talk about the title. It is actually very clever, I think. What you might say is a Triple-Entendre. The main character’s name is Raid (actually Raiden, Raid is a nickname). Also, he lost his friends in what we assume was a “raid” in Afghanistan. In addition he basically “raids” the heroine, Hanna’s life. Despite this analysis that my brain DOES recognize, the first thing that come to my mind is a bug spray commercial. Sorry, can’t help it.
Kristen Ashley writes super hot sex scenes. As always, the scenes in Raid were good. Maybe a little off, but hot nonetheless. Looking back on the novel, I am not sure she really described in too much detail what Raid looked like, but for some reason I can picture him clearly. Every novel she’s written has been this way to me, and it’s really odd, because I can’t do that very often. So whatever description she provided was spot on, and he will forever have a “look” in my brain. The men she writes are nothing but sexy alpha, sometimes on the border of mean, and for some reason, it’s very appealing to a lot of women, including me. I am not talking about “dominant” so much as rough, protective, and hot. I think that the story started out really sweet, with a girl who has loved a man as long as she can remember since childhood, and just a glimpse of him can make her day, or an unfortunate viewing of him with another woman can hurt and cut deep, even though the man doesn’t realize he is hurting her. It shows how one can truly have a one sided love, and just how devastating it can be. It’s an age old premise, but one that can be explored many different ways.
I really liked Hanna Boudreaux. She took care of her Great Grandma (“Grams”) and simultaneously had her own business knitting beautiful afghans and shipping them to specialty boutiques all over the country. I love that her house was cottage-y and homey, and that she used her talents to make money. Hanna is sweet, trusting, and giving to a fault (we will also explore this below), loyal, and she loves who she loves. And she has ALWAYS loved Raiden Ulysses Miller, since she was 6. She knows she has to make a change in her life, and she does it. She provides for herself rather handsomely while staying small town and true to her responsibilities. I like that in a person. She befriends a couple that own a small bike shop in town, and she adores them too despite their obvious flaws. Again, trusting. I don’t want to say naive, because that would be too much. She discovers her love for biking, snowboarding, and outdoor sports that she had not previously taken advantage of. During this time her life begins, and ends, metaphorically speaking, at the same time.
Raiden is a normal damaged hero. I say normal, because in most romances, without some sort of emotional redemption and wounds for his woman to heal, there is no story. Raid was a soldier in Afghanistan, with a rabid case of PTSD that he won’t admit. He is gruff, tough as a boot, and has a lot of personal demons to fight. Everyone in town thought that he would be career military, but he came back, and surrounding him were a lot of whispers about why. He finds a “business” he is good at and that’s what he does, although no one is really sure what that is. He is gone for days, sometimes weeks at a time. His mom, sister, and others in the town just accept that they have no idea what he’s into or on about, so they just love him when he’s there and let it go the rest of the time. Raid starts inching his way into Hanna’s life via her Grams (the town matriarch) and offering to mow her yard, and you’re thinking “wow, this is really a stand up guy”. I so much wanted to like him, and a few times I really did. He is a hottie of epic proportions, and every girl in town has been half in love with him since birth.
It has not escaped me that this is called the “Unfinished Heroes” series. I have been warned. However, it’s just not working for me, except Creed, and I hated him on many occasions too. There is a very fine line between a strong alpha hero and a complete a-hole. Raid plummets into the “complete a-hole” zone and never redeems himself in my opinion. Hanna forgives him, but I would tell him to go f**k himself. I have a hard time with the fact that after being in the same town since childhood, Hanna gets a haircut and some highlights, and he finally notices her. Hanna has a hard time with this too, but she is too in love to question it. And I have a hard time with a man that thinks a woman is his reward for the injustices and misery he has suffered, and then blows up when she is concerned about his emotional health and berates her and calls her bad names. I was so pissed I didn’t even want to keep reading it. And I have a problem with Raid saying “sure make my place livable” so she does, and beyond, then he gets pissed at that, because he thinks she is subliminally telling him she doesn’t want a future with him (what?) it’s just grrrrrrrrr. There are so many instances where this neanderthal (and usually I mean that in a GOOD way) gets mad at Hanna for no reason, and then he gets upset, she get upset and then they forgive each other. That’s basically the whole book. I hate that I felt there were moments that could have gone somewhere....where I was starting to feel something for Raid, and then he was just an asshole again. Where are his good parts? I’m not finding any. Why is he this way? What the eff is his problem? I feel like a bunch of authors are trying to touch a little on PTSD, because so many people have to deal with their mates after they have seen unspeakable horrors. I think this is commendable, but I have a love/hate relationship with it. I am not trying to discount these struggles, and I know some are trying to really get this out in the open, but I also feel like it’s been dramatized for the sake of a storyline or inserted because it’s trendy to talk about it and it adds a lot of drama. That is sobering, because SO MANY people are living with this sadness. It’s one of those things that has to be done right and so delicately, and most fail at it. I think this one fails at it, because there it is in the story, yet we never find out what really happened besides the fact that Raid’s brothers in arms were killed. It began to get into it, but it didn’t and I think that several more pages were needed to deal with this issue. In turn we would have understood why Raid is so mercurial (i.e an a-hole).
Another issue, that I’m sure I harp on a lot is the overuse of words. I try not to be a hypocrite (how many times have I used a-hole on this page?) and I’m sure I use the same phrases or words in reviews over and over. In this book it was “phenomenal”. It was used several times in the first half of the book, and I got sick of seeing it. Throw in the rampant overuse of gross sentimental pet names like sweetheart and honey and stick a fork in me cause I’m done. The reason this irritated me is because Raid is neither a sweetheart nor a honey and by gosh didn’t deserve those endearments. And.....Don’t even get me started on why Kristen Ashley decided to hitch herself to the domination bandwagon. She doesn’t need to do this. Her guys are badass enough!! This guy is such an asshole that he doesn’t need to add dominant and “I like to play” to his list of disturbing personality traits. (disclaimer, I don’t think domination is disturbing, I like it, but not in this context). Authors please note: BDSM is overcooked and yawn-worthy as a wealthy young sadist in a suit as of this moment in pop culture. Stop doing it like amateur night unless you’re Joey W Hill, Cherise Sinclair, or Tymber Dalton, or Maya Banks in her “Sweet” series. And go big or go home, don’t dabble. As if this woman Hanna hasn’t surrendered herself enough to this brute, NOW he informs her, by making her crawl on all fours, that he is also dominant in the bedroom. Well now that’s a shocker. And not only that, but it isn’t even explored. It’s just like she threw it in there because everyone else has, so lets try it out. It doesn’t work. AT ALL.
I also have to comment, as others have, at the length of this book. Most of Ashley’s books go over 400 pages, and this one was not even close to that. I think it was between two and three hundred. Maybe, just maybe if I felt like Raid had more back story, and we knew more about what he has gone through, we would understand his outbursts. Or at least I wouldn’t feel somewhat cheated. Maybe like she is feeling a lot of pressure to get more books out there. Although I think this book is still self published, I thought I read that she has signed on with a publisher now, and I hope this is a great thing for her and not the beginning of a downfall and hindrance and censor on what she does best- Write fabulous heroes. I think the Unfinished Heroes Series needs to stay just that. I expect so much more from her. I want to give this 5 stars just for the sake of author loyalty, but I can’t do that. The REAL Hero of this Book: Spot the Cat. He ROCKS. He is worth two stars alone.
Rating: 2 ½ Stars. There were some good qualities and moments, I just wasn’t feeling it as a whole with this one. If you want to see what Kristen Ashley is truly capable of, read At Peace (Joe Callahan is swooooonworthy), Play it Safe (not everyone likes this one but I do) or start with the Rock Chick Series. If you want an unfinished hero that is worthy of that title, then I would suggest Creed. Everyone else, literally, has loved Raid, so if you want to read it, don’t let me sway you. For whatever reason it left me sour.
Sensuality rating: 4 stars. The sex scenes were hot and the language was rough. Kristen Ashley usually doesn’t disappoint in this area. However, I think the sex scenes in Creed far exceed anything else she has done, especially here.
Frankly, I after reading several of them, i’m not the biggest fan of novellas. I never feel like they are enough, and sometimes they don’t do anythingFrankly, I after reading several of them, i’m not the biggest fan of novellas. I never feel like they are enough, and sometimes they don’t do anything but make me want more. Kind of like today, when I ate sushi for lunch. It was yummy, but I was still hungry. I didn’t feel this way about Beautiful Criminal, however.. It was just enough, a tasty little morsel yes, but instead of being a sub-par lunch it was more like.....dessert.
Mima Etu is a native wilderness gal living in the remote Canadian Rockies alone after her family is killed in an avalanche.. She and her best friend Mary run and raise sled dogs, and lead an existence that is usually not penetrated by outsiders. One day, they are sledding with the team of canines and they come upon a small Cessna covered in snow. Mary is the queasy one of the two, so Mima braces herself and peers inside-She sees a beautiful man that is not moving and bloody. Since the hospital is miles away and she fears he may not be of this world much longer, the two ladies drag the stranger to Mima’s house (Mary is married). There is some interesting cargo in Gabe’s plane, and the women aren’t sure what it is or what reason he would have for flying in the remote area anyway. Against her intellect, Mima nurses him back to.....health *wink wink*. Does this sound familiar?? (Teeheehee). It has been done, but honestly, do we EVER get tired of that story line? I think not.
Mima is exotic and beautiful and sexy. She is also strong as can be, raises dogs, keeps fires going better than any boy scout, and shoots her own food. Through all of this, she manages to stay feminine-at least in Gabe’s eyes. She is a heroine that is just that-you can really look up to her and she is amazing. I don’t know if women like her exist, but if they do, there are some happy men in the Canadian Rockies.
Gabe is a huge super hot guy (except apparently he has a missing pinky toe and several hoop earrings. I find the earrings strange). He is good at his core, but a misguided father figure has courted him into a world that is not safe and not legal and damn the consequences. Since Gabe needed a hero after the devastating loss of his own father, he has done everything for this man. Not until his plane crashes does he enter a world where he understands what peace and contentment in your soul is really like, and that sometimes the agendas of those you love aren’t always genuine.
There is a bad guy in this story, and I really like that with the limited story line the villian was not over-explored. Really, we care that he is after the good guys, but we don’t really care what his thought processes are too terribly much. At least I wasn’t and I was glad I didn’t have to be bogged down with too much psycho-who-feels-he-is-wronged info. The love scenes were a little forced to me, but hey, when you wanna go at it, why wait?
All in all, I would be willing to read more from B.L. Bonita. She is refreshing, and I need more dessert. I’m hungry.
Ratings: Overall: 4.75 Stars. There are a few things I would have changed but it was much better than the standard novella. Sensuality level: 4.00. It is classified as an erotic romance. It is erotic, but there aren’t too many pages, so if we want to know anything about the characters they can’t have a boink fest on every page.
Meh. I hate to be negative...I haven't written a book so I shouldn't be judgy, however.....I thought it was going places, but I was wrong. I think theMeh. I hate to be negative...I haven't written a book so I shouldn't be judgy, however.....I thought it was going places, but I was wrong. I think the idea is really great. I love workplace stories. But just my opinion, the word "penis" is not hot. And it. was. everywhere. Ruined it for me. ...more
EXCELLENT!! One of the best contemporaries I've read in a long time. The dialogue was smart and the sex scenes were super hot. My only complaint is thaEXCELLENT!! One of the best contemporaries I've read in a long time. The dialogue was smart and the sex scenes were super hot. My only complaint is that it was a little short. The story wrapped up perfectly though. ...more