About this time last year, I got into reading a lot of erotica/erotic romance - ssh, don't judge me, the British winters are cold and lonely :P But IAbout this time last year, I got into reading a lot of erotica/erotic romance - ssh, don't judge me, the British winters are cold and lonely :P But I stopped pretty quickly because there was so much bad. Most of my reviews were 1 star rants and, let's face it, when you've read about one throbbing penis then you've read about them all.
So we parted ways. I read more YA, fantasy, sci-fi and contemporary, and I forgot about erotica... until I saw this book highly recommended in my Goodreads feed. What was this?An erotic romance filled with unique dynamics, diverse characters and more than a touch of the girly tingles? No way! But apparently yes.
The Companion Contract is surprising in the best of ways. For one thing, as much as I pride myself on being liberal and open-minded, I'm a bit of a puritan when it comes to relationships - by that, I mean that I like two characters (don't care about their gender) who have sex with each other, don't dally in that whole "love triangle" business, and don't go around shagging others outside of their relationship. It's not that I care if other people do this, just that it doesn't turn me on. I'm also not a big fan of threesomes.
However, this novel actually challenged the way I think about things. Perhaps the most interesting thing about The Companion Contract is how Ames clearly distinguishes between sexual activity and passion/romance. The protagonist and narrator, Amy Mendoza, is an American-born Japanese-Filipino porn star looking to get out of the business. She's had sex with countless men and women and never feels ashamed of her sexuality. She enjoys sex and doesn't have any qualms about getting down and dirty with men she's just met.
In this book, Amy is offered a job as a sober companion for a rock star recovering from a drug addiction. She's happy to do it because the guy - Miles - is hot, she likes having sex with hot men, and she gets paid to do it. They have a lot of sex, often kinky sex, and she enjoys it. But things get more complicated when she begins to develop a very different set of feelings for the albino man who hired her - Emmanuel.
I imagine this story might be hard to swallow for those who feel that love and sex are inextricably entwined, but I appreciated the way Ames managed to challenge my views. She also portrays all the difficulties female sex workers face in the industry without ever turning this into a lesson on the "dark truths" of porn work. It was surprisingly sensitive, thoughtful and interesting.
I also think there is much room for praise where the characters are concerned; firstly, because of their diversity - a Japanese-Filipino protagonist, a Colombian albino and a transgender woman, to name but a few - and secondly, because of the way the author never neglects their characterization. For example, I felt sure that Miles would be a throwaway character used to bring Amy and Emmanuel together, but he had a complex personality and history of his own.
Top off all this good writing and seriousness with a heavy dose of hot sex and you have a pretty damn impressive erotic novel. I think my only complaint is that the book is a little too long. There were a couple of scenes that could have been shortened, or simply cut all together. But still, definitely worth reading.
I mentioned in my review of Raw that I'm going through some "dark" erotica books as part of a project with my college book club. I also said that I woI mentioned in my review of Raw that I'm going through some "dark" erotica books as part of a project with my college book club. I also said that I wouldn't be writing reviews for most of them because I already know they're not my thing and no one wants to read my constant negativity. But I have decided to comment on a couple that made a significant impression on me.
There's no rating from me for this book because my own tastes would skew it, but I will say: if "dark" erotica is your thing, then this is one of the better ones. It does carry the usual tropes, but in a subgenre that is essentially rape and abuse wrapped up in an "I-am-so-sexy-it's-okay" package, then this book stands out as being well-written, compelling and even romantic at times.
There is a rich man and a relatively inexperienced student. There is a quirky best friend. There is rough sex. As I said, no surprises there. But there is no abuse and any sexual "control" is completely consensual and respectful - to the point where the guy constantly checks to make sure Karissa is okay with everything. He loves and cares for her but, more than that, he respects her as an autonomous individual and frequently asks what she wants.
The "dark" side of this book actually didn't feel that dark to me, but maybe that just means I've seen way too many gangster movies. Usually with these kinds of books, the "dark" aspect is centred around the guy having kidnapped the woman and/or abusing her in some way. Until she inevitably falls in love with him - did you know that it's not really rape if the rapist has a pretty face? Neither did I. But the guy's (still refusing to call him Naz) dark secret in Monster in His Eyes is only indirectly linked to their relationship. It's more to do with his questionable "professional" antics on the side - which I was able to forgive. Unlike actions such as rape and abuse, which I view as unforgivable.
So, my mind hasn't changed about this subgenre, but if you were on the lookout for dark erotica books that don't actually make you want to cast yourself from the nearest tall building... here you go ;)...more
This book should really just be called: Sex. Repeat.
Which I suppose wouldn't necessarily be a problem if that's your sort of thing, but I felt like IThis book should really just be called: Sex. Repeat.
Which I suppose wouldn't necessarily be a problem if that's your sort of thing, but I felt like I was back in Real again with all the cringy descriptions of unsexy sex. Actually, no, I felt like I was in a less poetic version of Tampa where the narrator thinks only in terms of where her next shag is coming from. One sex scene followed by another followed by another. This lady lives for one purpose, it seems, and that is to screw the two men in her life. I'm not slut-shaming, go for it. But come on, I don't know how these people's sex parts haven't fallen off by now.
"He welcomes me home with a kitchen fuck, my ass bare on the counter, legs wrapped tight around his waist." Nice to see you too.
I felt nothing for any of them because personality is a hard thing to get a sense of when the characters spend the whole time rolling around on their backs. Plus, the descriptions are just icky and boring.
There's something very clinical about the way sex is described in this book. There's no build-up of sexual tension in any scene, it's straight down to business. He grabs, he pounds, he comes (though always after she does like a good romance novel male). I don't think I've read a book that has so many sex scenes that are just so... vile. Or boring. The people greet each other already sexually aroused, he "takes her to orgasm", then there's some more "constricting and squeezing", before he "takes her to orgasm" again. The "orgasm" word is the only one saving this from being a mechanic's job description. Not that there isn't any foreplay. There is. But that's also about as titillating as cleaning an oven.
The story is about a woman called Madison who loves two guys, screws two guys and they're both aware of it. Obviously, this was always going to be a temporary arrangement. But now there's another woman lurking on the sidelines, watching Madison play her game with these two men and wanting exactly what she has. I'm sure this sounds ridiculous to some of you, but I'm intrigued by this kind of story. I deliberately picked Sex Love Repeat after reading the GR description because I genuinely want to see if an author could make this kind of threeway relationship work convincingly without having the reader hate one or all of them. In this case, it didn't work for me. But if anyone has any suggestions, I'll take them. Because it's a bold move to sell such an unconventional relationship and I do love a bold move.
But perhaps the most ridiculous aspect of this book is the ending. I think we were supposed to gasp with shock or something but I just laughed. I'd heard there was some kind of twist coming at some point during the book but it wasn't what I secretly hoped for (that Madison and the other woman would realise their love for each another and forget about Paul and Stewart - I mean, how much better would that have been?!) Alas, t'was not to be. I still think this could have been a solid three stars if the sex was, you know, sexy. Meh....more
There are some people who view the line between consent and non-consent, between sex and rape, as blurry. There aWarning: this review is not censored.
There are some people who view the line between consent and non-consent, between sex and rape, as blurry. There are some people who would gladly place blame for rape on that drunk girl in the short skirt who was "asking for it". There are some people who would view flirting and dancing suggestively as an invitation that should be followed through no matter what, it's not the other person's fault for holding the suggestive dancer down and raping them, afterall, it's not really rape if they were flirting first. There are some people who think rape is erotic. And there are some people who think serial killers are sexy.
I am not one of those people.
I'm sure people will start to make assumptions about the kind of person I am as soon as they see my negative rating. I'm sure I can't do anything to change most people's minds. But I am going to tell you a few things about me. For one, I am not a prude. I like reading books about sex. Sometimes I like reading books about kinky sex. I don't mind reading books that push the boundaries with kinky sex into just plain old weird sex. People have their odd kinks and who am I to judge? You want to go home, tie each other up and urinate on one another? You have my full blessing. But there is a line. And that line is drawn, for me, at consent. It isn't a blurry line, it's a straight, permanent marker type line. No non-consensual sex. No sex with those who are not in a position to give consent which, in case you were wondering, includes the mentally unstable, children and animals.
This book isn't a love story. This book is about a rape victim and a rapist. This book is not sexy. This book is not BDSM. This book is not okay. This book is abuse. This book makes Fifty Shades of Grey look like My Little Pony. This book makes Story of O look romantic. This book is rape. The actions in it are inexcusable. It makes me sick.
Now, people do bad things. No argument there. And I don't mind when authors show that. Even when they show it graphically, sometimes I think you need to be graphic about it to emphasise the seriousness of the bad that people do. And Stockholm Syndrome is a serious thing that many people have suffered from. I'm not disputing any of this. The issue I take is with the portrayal of this bad as maybe not being so bad, as maybe even being erotic and sexy. My problem is not with the idea that abuse begets abuse (as this story tells us). My problem is when said abuse is used as wank material. Because Olivia is a victim of rape and severe abuse. There are no blurred lines of consent here. She is kidnapped, raped, beaten, humiliated and dehumanised and we are supposed to find it sexy. When even Reage's nameless "O" participates of her own free will.
I'm sure there will be readers ready to point out the sexual responsiveness of Olivia in this book. Well, to that I only wish I still had the link to an article I once read about rape. Rape is, for me, possibly the vilest thing a person can do to another. Because it takes something that on a physical level can be good (sex) and uses it as a weapon by turning it into something completely monstrous. This article I read talked about the embarrassment some rape victims face because their bodies respond to the stimuli that they are biologically programmed to. Some can even experience orgasm from rape. This doesn't make it any less serious or any more consensual. It does not make me feel better in this book when Olivia's body responds to the sexual abuse. I felt like I was watching a dancing bear being tortured into a humiliating performance. It doesn't dance because it wants to.
Caleb is supposed to gain our pity because of his abusive past. And maybe I could have pitied him on some level, maybe I would have found it in my heart to see him like I see Heathcliff - the abused abuser. Maybe I could offer understanding, if not forgiveness. But I cannot offer acknowledgement of his supposed sexiness. A man who does this is not hot:
- he beats her with a belt - he washes her and hits her when she won't open her legs so he can clean her genitals. - he thoroughly enjoys beating her into submission and humiliating her - he gets aroused by her fear and distress
There is also a disturbing link being made here between gender and roles of dominance and submission. This doesn't exist in BDSM. BDSM relationships can be M/F, F/M, M/M, F/F and anything in between. Captive in the Dark suggests that the dominance and submission between Olivia and Caleb is natural because she's a woman and he's a man.
"He was a man, and I? I was nothing but a girl, not even a woman. I was meant to fall at his feet and worship at the alter of his masculinity, grateful that he'd deigned to acknowledge me."
"Male and female, masculine and feminine, hard and soft, predator and prey."
It made me nauseous.
I'm sure someone will be willing to tell me I didn't get it. That I'm too narrow-minded to appreciate the complexity of what's going on here. Well, yes, fine. If you think it makes me narrow-minded to find the kidnapping, beating and raping of a girl unacceptable and not remotely erotic... then yes, I am narrow-minded. I'll drink to that.
I'm talking about an erotic novel here, so maybe don't read my review if you tend to get offended by open and frank discussion about sexual acts. JustI'm talking about an erotic novel here, so maybe don't read my review if you tend to get offended by open and frank discussion about sexual acts. Just warning you in advance :)
Okay, firstly, this is porn. Just porn. Not a great literary achievement, not something that will sit snug in your mind with the Austen and Bronte classics... PORN. It got quite a reputation for being the first pornography to appear in novel form, and it also got a reputation because it was banned for multiple centuries and resulted in a prison sentence for the author. Being published in 1748, I can't say I'm surprised. In fact, the much more surprising thing is that books like Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928) and Delta of Venus (1977) caused such a controversy when Cleland's work had already beaten them to it two hundred years beforehand.
This is far more scandalous than Lady Chatterley's Lover and about on a par with Delta of Venus. The story is a rather disturbing (even by today's standards) tale about a fifteen year old girl who engages in sex with both men and women, participates in mutual masturbation, almost gets raped, falls into prostitution, takes part in orgies, whips a man for his sexual pleasure, and witnesses two men having anal sex only to report them to the local villagers. During this time, Fanny also manages to fall in love several times and - to give credit where it's due - does experience quite a bit of growth as a woman and as a human being.
The plot, though, is completely ridiculous, moves too fast, and ends up feeling sloppy and careless. Fanny runs from lover to lover in what feels like a bunch of short stories about sexual encounters than a full novel about a woman's sexual exploration. It must be pointed out that Cleland's portrayal of female sexuality and the ability for women to have sex for pleasure, not just to make babies or appease their husbands, seems incredibly before it's time. However, Fanny Hill is not a particularly strong character and her circumstances are often a result of where others put her, not where she takes herself.
When it comes to this kind of book, I always try and look it at from two angles and see if it delivers on either: 1) as a novel, or 2) as porn. I don't believe it delivers on the first beyond introducing the eighteenth century to the exploration of female sexuality. As for the second, well, I guess there's something for everyone stuck in here somewhere. Especially if you get hot when female genitalia is described as "clammy" and a guy's penis is described in this way: "not the play-thing of a boy, not the weapon of a man, but a maypole of so enormous a standard, that had proportions been observ’d, it must have belong’d to a young giant." Are you fanning yourself with desire? Then this is the book for you!...more
I never had any intention of reading Story of O until I was recently asked to review it. I knew I wouldn't like it, that it is not the kind of eroticaI never had any intention of reading Story of O until I was recently asked to review it. I knew I wouldn't like it, that it is not the kind of erotica I usually waste my Sunday afternoons with, so rather than purchasing the whole thing, I instead decided to read the Amazon Kindle sample. That, I'm afraid, was way more than enough. I'm not sure whether the sample starts at the beginning of the story or not, the first chapter felt a little out of place, but then none of what I read really followed the format of a regular novel.
The sample starts as it means to go on:
"Get in," he says. She gets in.
I laughed at this. Perhaps I shouldn't have. Perhaps I shouldn't laugh at the fact that O allows herself to be objectified and used sexually, perhaps I should pity her for feeling that it's okay to be ordered around in this way. Oh well, I'm just a firm believer that if someone tells you to jump off a cliff and you jump off said cliff, then it's your fault for being a cliff-jumping moron. Just sayin'...
Anyway, as far as your regular run-of-the-mill sex goes, there's hardly any description. It's all entering and plunging and then it's all over. The whipping, however, gets a lot more attention than the sex does, the whole sample doesn't actually feel like erotica unless you're the kind to masturbate while Crimewatch is on. This is a story of violence, not sex. Because sex is a two (or more) way thing regardless of whether it is BDSM or straight-up (lol, pun!) vanilla. If all the participants aren't invested in the sexual activities and aren't getting pleasure out of it then it isn't sex, it's rape.
Okay, okay, before I get carried away with that idea, it's kinda important to point out that it wasn't clear as to whether O was giving consent to what the people were doing to her. She screams and she cries, which to me is something negative, but I'm no expert on how people behave during this kind of sexual encounter. We are not treated to O's thoughts, only her actions and the actions of the people around her. She doesn't express regret, sadness or even pain inwardly.
The only thing that is clear to me (and makes me feel sick) is that the men who are doing all this stuff to her are not concerned with her pleasure. Which, as I said in my review of Fifty Shades of Grey, is important because all parties are supposed to get something out of it. In BDSM relationships, submission is something that a person chooses to do and wants to do because they enjoy what it gives them and what it gives the dom. It is not forced out of someone. The psychological aspect of BDSM is a lot like how it is (or should be) with regular sex. You give pleasure, you get pleasure. However:
"If you do tie her up from time to time, or whip her just a little, and she begins to like it, that's no good either. You have to get past the pleasure stage, until you reach the stage of tears."
These men are evidently trying to break O. They rejoice when she is in pain, when she is distressed, and when she screams or cries. For me, trying to hurt someone for the sake of hurting them - not to give them what they want - is no different from rape. It is sick. This is sick:
The gag stifles all screams and eliminates all but the most violent moans, while allowing tears to flow without restraint. There was no question of using it that night. On the contrary, they wanted to hear her scream; and the sooner the better.
You could argue with me that O actually wants all of this to happen, so I have no point. We are not told what O is thinking, she never speaks to say whether she wants it or not, but I cannot be the only one thinking that this is not the sign of a woman enjoying herself:
Then one of the men, holding her with both hands on her hips, plunged into her belly. He yielded to a second. The third wanted to force his way into the narrower passage and, driving hard, made her scream. When he let her go, sobbing and befouled by tears beneath her blindfold, she slipped to the floor, only to feel someone's knees against her face, and she realized that her mouth was not to be spared.
Though, personally, I think her mouth is the least of O's problems if he's shagging her belly. What's that all about? (view spoiler)[For you clever dicks out there, I'd just like to point out that yes, I do realise that he is actually talking about her vagina. (hide spoiler)]
So, has Story of O changed my opinion about BDSM erotica and whether it is dehumanizing/sexist/etc.? Nope. But I'm learning more and more that people automatically categorize books that combine pain and sex as BDSM, even though they're not, or it's questionable. In BDSM, both the dom and the sub have got to want what's happening, or else it's simply abuse. Though O is hard to understand, there are about twenty quotes from the sample alone that suggest she isn't enjoying being tied up and hurt. And that's why this story is not erotic, but merely fucked up.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I have finally made a decision about Fifty Shades of Grey. I know, I know, my review of this isn't really needed, everybody's talking about this book, I have finally made a decision about Fifty Shades of Grey. I know, I know, my review of this isn't really needed, everybody's talking about this book, everybody's got the general gist of what it's about. But I've spent quite a long time thinking about this novel, the characters, and the relationship portrayed. I've been thinking about all the reasons people hate this so much and love it so much. I need to confess - for those who missed it - that I originally reviewed this first book immediately after finishing it and before I started (and finished) the other two books in the trilogy. I gave it three stars, I expressed all that Fifty Shades of Grey had made me feel: annoyed, frustrated, confused, and also entertained. I have since then felt like I have much more to add.
The reason I personally think that opinions differ so greatly on these novels is not because people have different sexual tastes. For some, yeah, this will come into play. However, I think the main reason is that this book and the characters send out a confusing mix of messages. When I finished Fifty Shades of Grey, I had no idea what kind of book I'd just read. Was it BDSM erotica? Or the tale of a man's childhood abuse and how this impacted on his sex life later on? Were Christian Grey's sexual tastes supposed to be erotic or wrong? Let me tell those of you who haven't read this: it isn't clear.
This book appears to be an erotic BDSM romance at face value. But Ana makes it clear early on that she doesn't want that kind of relationship, that Christian is "fifty shades of fucked up", that the way he behaves isn't right, but is actually the result of an abusive upbringing. Ana later contradicts her early decision and gets all pouty when Christian won't play kinky with her... and yet the previous time he'd done it she spent the evening crying and feeling sorry for herself. Some people seem to see Christian as the big bad man who abuses a weak young woman. This is not the case. There is nothing, I repeat nothing, that happens between the two of them that Ana doesn't give consent to. Sure, she may whine about it afterwards, or use the excuse that she doesn't want to lose him, but she makes the choices, she holds the power.
Here's what I think is the ultimate problem with Fifty Shades of Grey: Ms James' terrible writing. It's nothing new, she even admitted it herself, but that is why we all can't figure out what it is about this book that makes it some parts entertaining, some parts annoying as fuck. Because I'm trying to categorise this so I can begin to understand it, so that I can form my opinion and write my review accordingly. But we cannot understand what doesn't make sense. And James' characterisation does not make any sense at all. She writes Ana as a naive student at the mercy of Christian's abusive past, then she writes Ana as a sexual manipulator who actually likes BDSM. Is Christian sexy or a victim? I'll tell you: he's both and neither, because James cannot create characters and relationships to save her life. She contradicts herself, she changes her mind without logical reason. This is why it is pointless analysing the relationship between Ana and Christian. One minute it's sexy, the next minute it's fucked up. One minute it's BDSM, the next minute it's abuse. How do you accurately review a book that changes its mind every two minutes?
I also feel I need to say something about BDSM. Any more than a small amount of kinky doesn't really interest me, but it doesn't bother me either if it is between consenting adults. However, there are two things I can say about this matter in Fifty Shades of Grey: 1) it really isn't that kinky, and 2) for the most part, this isn't really a BDSM relationship (I don't think the author actually understands what one is). I can't say that I'm experienced in visiting those kind of clubs down the dark allies of Soho, but I've done not a small amount of reading on the psychological aspect of BDSM relationships. I have a keen interest in feminism and I have often wondered if something like this is nothing but a hindrance to the progress of women and equality. I would conclude from my reading that it is not.
Firstly, BDSM relationships are about give and take. The dom and the sub each give one another what they want/need. It isn't about abuse, it isn't about selfishly taking what you want, and because these relationships involve relinquishing control to another person, there is a deep amount of trust required. Also, it is important to note that the power of the dom is an illusion, the sub holds all the power, they say how far it goes, when it stops, what is too much. The key thing is that both of them get something out of it. Which is why the relationship in Fifty Shades of Grey can only be called BDSM when Ana does an abrupt u-turn on her opinions and decides she wants a bit of spankiness. The parts where she is upset about the relationship Christian wants - that is not BDSM. The parts where she reluctantly allows him to get his way - that is not BDSM.
I think there is nothing wrong with BDSM erotica. I think there is nothing wrong with doms, subs, sex slaves, whatever... if that is what the person wants. But Fifty Shades of Grey is about 10% BDSM relationship and 90% bad writing that just fucks with your head until you're not sure what the hell you're reading. Ms James has created one mess of a book, whether you'll look at her mess and see something entertaining or horrific, well that's kinda just like looking at this picture and asking whether you see a rabbit or a duck.
The moral of this story: the quickest way to a woman's heart is through her ass.
This story was the slightly better of the two I read in the Surrender To Fire book and the sex scenes were fairly hot at times. I'm still unsure why anal sex is a requirement that goes hand in hand with love when it comes to Lora Leigh's writing, but I didn't feel quite as sick during the dirty talk episodes. Unfortunately, the guy was as openly foul-mouthed as nearly every one of Leigh's heroes.
The thing about a lot of Lora Leigh's novels, from what I've gathered so far, is that they might work for a lot of people as erotica because there's plenty of extremely graphic sex, but they flop down on their faces as soon as Lora tries to turn it into a romance... which she does a lot. In pretty much every story she tells, somewhere amid the spanking, gross language and anal, one or both characters realises they are in love.
Love works in erotic romance, look at Lorelei James, look at Shayla Black, even look at the first Lora Leigh novel I read: Wild Card. But it only works when there's a story and a relationship that goes beyond doing someone in the ass. There's something about a lot of Lora's work that fills me with revulsion, I know I should walk away but it's so hideous I can't stop reading. I must break this habit fast and read something I can feel positive about for a change.
Let's just say I'm glad I borrowed it from a friend instead of paying for it. I'll also say oI read this and Surrender in the book: Surrender To Fire.
Let's just say I'm glad I borrowed it from a friend instead of paying for it. I'll also say on that friend's behalf that they gave the book to me to have 'a good laugh at' rather than as a recommendation. And yet again, Lora Leigh has amazed me with her ability to write another load of offensive trash.
Woah, wait, don't get me wrong, I didn't find it offensive because of the BDSM element including female submission and patronising "sweet little virgin ass" talk - no, it wasn't even that which annoyed me. It's the way Lora Leigh could ever possibly imagine that pointless sex, virgins who develop an instant need for pain and anal play, and men who use a string of words like f**k, c**t, p***y and c**k in every sentence... could be a) believable, b) taken seriously or c) hot.
Lora Leigh's novels are like an episode of 'Living with Tourette's'. Ladies, honestly, would you think it was hot if your boyfriend was talking about your c**t every time he opened his mouth. The language is not sexy but cringe-worthy. I'm no prude but I still think that c**t should be used sparingly, what exactly does it contribute to the novel by repeating it constantly? Nothing.
And as for the virgin thing, well, Lora likes virgin heroines and she obviously likes to corrupt them. Fine, whatever. But it's so unbelievable you could laugh out loud! I get that this is fiction but if you can't imagine the scenario happening then it becomes tedious. This is erotica, it's supposed to be sexy and it's supposed to be erotic (it says so on the tin, right?), so why do I get the urge to barf during this story that has no story? Maybe it's because the shy, whimpering little virgin heroines always end up begging for a bit of backdoor lovin'. Oh LOL, what on earth? (view spoiler)[How many of you female members had sex for the first time and thought "wow, now I can't wait to get it up the back way"? (hide spoiler)]
I stand by what I said about Wild Card because I honestly enjoyed that novel, I liked the characters, I liked the story and the sex stayed on the right side of that line between kinky and icky. I think that's why I keep waiting for Lora Leigh to deliver what I enjoyed from that book... it's yet to happen. At least I didn't set out to be amazed by this.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Warning: this book contains no holes barred kinky sex scenes, wicked rope play, blunt language, and yowza! lots of hot cowboy nekkidFrom back of book:
Warning: this book contains no holes barred kinky sex scenes, wicked rope play, blunt language, and yowza! lots of hot cowboy nekkidness.
This is the second book I've read in the Rough Riders series and, luckily for me, they don't seem to need to be read in order so far. I really enjoyed the book, both the erotic aspect and the touching story behind it but I still think it's my least favourite of the two I've read (the other being Rode Hard, Put Up Wet). I thought it was hot and I was really interested in the subplots but the characters didn't interest me quite as much as they did in the other novel.
The story is about Skylar - an independent businesswoman - and Kade who is another of Lorelei James' smoking hot Mckay cowboys. At the start we learn that Kade pretended to be his twin brother Kane (damn confusing, by the way) and proceeded to seduce Skylar into his bed (well, his car actually). What this leads to is a very pissed off and - unbeknownst to Kade - pregnant Skylar. Kade runs away to lick his wounds completely unaware that he is soon to be a father... and it isn't until a year later that he returns to discover his three month old daughter and her still sexy mama.
Just so you know, ^these are not spoilers^, you can read all this information on the back of the book, I'm just giving a brief overview and, in fact, all of this happens in the first two chapters. The rest of the novel is about the development of Skylar and Kade's relationship from reluctant (but not really) parenting partners to lovers. I like how Lorelei James doesn't feel the need to create weak, whiny female characters to go with her alpha males. All her characters have extremely dominating personalities and it makes for a lot of heat and drama.
My problem with this novel was some of Kade's actions. I seem to be in disagreement with every other opinion I've read in reviews about Kade. The general consensus is that "he's so sweet", "he's just the right amount of alpha and beta". Well, actually, I hated it when he found out he had a daughter and stormed into the home of the woman he hadn't seen in a year saying "I'm moving in, we're sleeping in the same bed, do not argue". Um, yeah, I think every father has the right to see their kids but that's way out of line. It's also unrealistic. Even someone who likes to be dominated in the bedroom wouldn't get off on a man storming into their house all guns blazing and announcing that a) She now shares her home, and b) She now shares her bed. You'd tell him where he could shove his fatherly rights.
As it happens, these few niggling factors weren't enough to turn me off and Kade fully redeemed himself by the end. I thought it was cute how he made sure he always told Skylar she looked perfect because she was feeling insecure about the excess baby weight. Plus, the way he completely lavished their baby with love and attention was adorable.
So I had some issues, I can't recall the last time I didn't have some kind of issues with a book. But I thoroughly enjoyed it and can't wait to read the rest of the series. ...more
Warning: this book contains explicit sex nine ways 'til Sunday - including menage a trois, inventive use of ropes, naughty girls getFrom back of book:
Warning: this book contains explicit sex nine ways 'til Sunday - including menage a trois, inventive use of ropes, naughty girls getting spanked, stubborn men getting hog-tied, graphic language and whoo-wee! hot nekkid cowboy action.
You have been warned.
Good for you if you're still here because this book is so so HOT!! This is my first read by Lorelei James seeing as her books are fairly unattainable in the UK unless you have about £50 to blow on Ebay. If you keep on the lookout, though, eventually you might find a good deal (like I did) and you had better snag these sexy novels right away. But, seriously, they are not for the faint of heart and if you're generally opposed to graphic sex in books or sex that is a little more than ordinary they are not for you. Otherwise, step right in to the world of Ms James and hot cowboys getting it on all the time, in every place imaginable.
By the way, any of you not particularly consider a cowboy your definition of mr sex-on-a-stick? Hey, that was me too before I read this book. But Lorelei James knows only too well what gets our heart racing and if you think you can escape the sexual pull of these alpha males: think again.
On that note, I was reading an interesting blog post by Ms James on her website about alpha males, sexism and feminism and she made an important point that I think I love the most about her novels. That is that she may create alpha males but she always creates equally strong alpha females. There's no big strong cowboy and weak, whimpering cowgirl. Damn no, all her characters have strong, dominating personalities. I may be falling in love with the author and potentially the series too.
But... did you think this was just a book about sex? Well, sure, there's an awful lot of sex, but there's also some very touching emotional tales going on here as well. There are two love stories, Gemma and Cash, and Macie and Carter. Gemma is a lonely widow who hasn't been able to get Cash Big Crow out of her mind since the last time he came to town, but Cash wonders if he is simply a poor substitute for her dead husband and seeks to make a mark that her husband never did: physically and emotionally.
Macie is Cash's daughter and grew up travelling with her mother and rarely seeing her father. They have finally come together in an attempt to build a relationship but they soon find their own insecurities get in the way. As for Carter, he is a horny artist who discovers his muse the day Macie struts into town, and he is determined to make her far more than that. Note: there's some seriously hot goings on with rope and whipped cream!
Stories in erotica are often sketchy and just poorly-executed fillers between the sex. But not here. It's quite sad at times and, when I reached the end, I was shocked at just how important it was to me to know what happened to these characters. I won't say I was surprised because the ratings and reviews speak for themselves, but this is so so much more than an erotic novel (though it's damn good at being that). There's a chance I might increase my rating has this series progresses but I'm always hesitant to give 5 stars. We'll see how I'm feeling after I've read the next book I've ordered from ebay: Tied Up, Tied Down....more
I seem to be a masochist when it comes to books because I cannot resist the call of the full-blown-rant-inducing novels, no matter how often I say "weI seem to be a masochist when it comes to books because I cannot resist the call of the full-blown-rant-inducing novels, no matter how often I say "well, I'm not going to read that". I'm not sure what it is but I can't help myself and, sure enough, this book was truly horrendous in every way.
I really enjoyed Wild Card by Lora Leigh, so much so that I immediately sought out her other books. I have no idea whether her Breed and Elite Ops series are as good as the first novel I tried but I doubt they can possibly be as bad as the second (yeah and I probably shouldn't say that). The difference between Wild Card and Nauti Boy is like the difference between sex and rape. And no, not the games couples play where they chase each other around screaming "no, stop that!" This book was so so disgusting. Why would you centre erotica around a rape story? Why would you centre a story that is meant to be about celebrating sex and sexuality around a plot that is about sex crimes?
Rape is not a joke. Rape is not sexy. And rape victims most definitely do not recover by having the trauma screwed out of them. I resent the message. No, wait, that doesn't even begin to express what I'm feeling:
I RESENT THE FUCKING MESSAGE!!!
Does Lora Leigh genuinely think that people who are raped just need a good screwing to get it out of there system? This book isn't bad, it's warped. Once I realised that the author was actually trying to sell sex to me as a way of alleviating the trauma after a sex attack (anal, by the way, because that's the only way Lora Leigh does it), I was completely switched off from the erotic aspect. I couldn't even enjoy the sex scenes because I was so grossed out.
Also, what I liked about the dirty talk in Wild Card made me nauseous in this. The author is known for her particular fondness for graphic and nasty dirty mumblings during the sex but her constant need to push the boundaries makes for some really awful lines. I like dirty talk, it's sexy most of the time... and yet, Lora Leigh takes it too far in this novel. I don't think that many people actually say this to one another and if a guy said some of this crap to me I'd laugh.
(view spoiler)[Apparently, "I want to do you in the ass" in Lora speak is "I want you to part those sweet cheeks so I can see your ass eating my cock" *gags* (hide spoiler)]
And why couldn't the guys have been called something like John or David? Instead of Rowdy, Dawg and Natches... Rowdy. Dawg. Natches. Are you kidding me here, Lora? What is this mess you have written? I can't even properly put into words just how damn offensive this trash is.
Oh, and then there's the insult to the injury, isn't there? Of course there is. Yeah, not only do rape victims just need a good shag... wait for this... there are two types of girls - the good and the bad - the former are the virgins and the kind that are worth marrying some day, the latter are more promiscuous and are only good to be treated as whores without any kind of feelings whatsoever... they can't possibly ever get married or have any relationship extending beyond a gang bang with the 'Nauti boy' members. So if you're a woman who's ever had sex, be prepared to sacrfice any chance of a healthy relationship... but, lucky you, you do get to be shared by three 'Nauti boys' called Rowdy, Dawg and Natches!
READ ONLY IF YOU HAVE AN EXTREMELY STRONG STOMACH.
If you can't say anything else about Lora Leigh, you can at the very least acknowledge that she can write a hot and kinky scene as good as anyone. But If you can't say anything else about Lora Leigh, you can at the very least acknowledge that she can write a hot and kinky scene as good as anyone. But be warned, she isn't into the vanilla and if you're looking for strait-laced 'nice' sex and love, don't even bother delving into her world. If you're okay with extreme, and I do really mean extreme, dirty talk and seriously hot sex, then you've found the right woman. There are also numerous elements of light (but incredibly hot) BDSM and mentions of anal sex.
I can understand why Lora Leigh's tendency to go over the top with the dirty talk can be off-putting for some, there were many times when I thought "damn, I can't believe he just said that!" But I'm ridiculously open-minded so I let it slide, especially because the author managed to do a convincing show of dirty talk one minute and sweet nothings the next - can't believe it worked so well, but it did.
The story is about Nathan Malone, a navy SEAL, who gets captured and tortured. Anyone would come out of this a different person but Nathan's case is unique, whilst in captivity he was subjected to a horror of a drug trial. The drug, known as 'Whore's Dust' is like Viagra but times a thousand, leaving Nathan completely out of his mind with lust (painfully so) and tortured physically beyond recognition (of course, he was still made sexy-looking after some serious plastic surgery). This series of events creates Noah Blake, the dark, angry side of Nathan Malone that he never knew existed and was sure his pretty, good-natured wife would never accept back into her life and bed.
But Bella has a dark side of her own that was never tapped into with Nathan. When the oh so familiar Noah Blake strolls into town, she is swept up into one hell of a wild romance and an even wilder set of sexcapades. Noah Blake is both the old man she loved and the new man who helps her realise all her greatest fantasies... and let me tell you now, our Bella likes it rough and dangerous.
The story was fantastic and the love between them only made the sex scenes even hotter. At first I found that I wanted Nathan Malone back and I thought the story would eventually lead to him being re-awakened into his former self through Bella's help. This soon changed as Noah became more than just a shadow of Nathan, and at the end I was rooting for Noah all the way. I've always found it hard to get into romances where the lead couple are already happily married but this novel puts an entirely new twist on that tale. Absolutely fantastic!
I felt confident enough about Ms Leigh after finishing this book that I have already ordered 3 of her other novels. I can't wait to see what else she has in store for us readers....more