Nicole Camden made a huge splash with her short story "The Nekkid Truth" in 2005's Big Guns Out of Uniform. In it, a crime scene photography suffers fNicole Camden made a huge splash with her short story "The Nekkid Truth" in 2005's Big Guns Out of Uniform. In it, a crime scene photography suffers from prosopagnosia; she can't remember faces. While the premise--how does a woman fall in love if she can't recall her lover's face?--was unique, I didn't love the story even though everyone else I knew thought it was wonderful.
Camden's huge splash was followed by...nothing...until she returned with this new Fetish Box series. when part one, "Open All Night," became available on the Edelweiss catalog for review, I downloaded and read it. Frankly, I found it to be a mess. The series is about a young woman from California who moves to Florida after inheriting her now-dead mother's sex shop. She doesn't know much of anything about dear old mom, but perhaps she'll learn something from the two mysterious men she encounters. And if not, maybe they can teach her something else--how to explore her sexuality.
Camden again drew me in with an interesting premise, but her execution failed. Choppy writing, telling rather than showing Mary's supposedly intense pull toward Max, the older of the two men, and his overly oblique discussions about Mary with John, the other man, totally overshadowed any interest provoked by Mary's kinky sexual encounter with John.
I've no plans to continue with this series....more
Marine Lieutenant Talia Barnett arrives “home” for Thanksgiving for leave during an active duty tour. She is met at the airport by friends, siblings AMarine Lieutenant Talia Barnett arrives “home” for Thanksgiving for leave during an active duty tour. She is met at the airport by friends, siblings Angie and Liam Brodie, who have treated her like family for years. Given her mother's emotional instability, their staunch support is a lifeline to her, but she believes she must tackle her mother's issues on her own. To do more would risk embarrassment, entangle her friends and their parents in the mess she sees as only hers to clean up, and would cause her to rely on others, particularly Liam. Relying on Liam, whom she secretly loves, would only result in heartache; after all, how could this supremely gorgeous, entirely sexy, and wonderfully strong man love in the long run such a totally hot mess?
Let Me In is being sold as a BDSM story, but it's really not. But that's not why it only earns a "C" from me, although the mislabeling didn't help. It's not that Liam isn't a perfectly hunky, dominant hero, what with being a successful private contractor (hopefully not Blackwater--now known as Academi!) with a special services background. It's more that Talia is a walking stereotype for the Closed Off Character. Essentially mama keeps getting kicked out of her house for being a hoarder and Talia fails again and again in dealing with it. This makes little sense given that she is a Marine. So your mother is messed up. For someone whose vocation requires life and death decisions in dangerous situations, I expected a more can-do attitude from her. Deal with it and move on, Talia!
That's what Liam does when he forcibly intrudes into her life. He sees past her defenses, loves her, and simply fixes things. That he loves her seems to have Co-Dependent written all over it, though, and therein lies my main issue with the book. I can see a man like Liam falling in love with a Marine, and I can see a Marine who is submissive; it fits the whole psychology, after all. But I can't see a man like Liam falling in love with a woman who can't walk and chew gum at the same time, and that's how Talia comes across.
Which is too bad...Liam's delicious.
(The publisher provided this book via Netgalley.)...more