Reviews: Six books somewhere between Love and HateFriday, June 29, 2007 2:53
As most of you bloggers know, writing a review post is a labor of love. It’s time-consuming and requires no small effort. It’s a true pleasure to write a review post for a book you love, or a book you think others may love (but perhaps you only liked). Sometimes it’s also a pleasure to write a review post for a book you hate – you want to warn others and, hey, if we’re honest with ourselves, being snarky can be fun in small doses.
So this post has short reviews for six books that fit somewhere in between “love” and “snark.” Six books that don’t deserve a whole post of their own, but also don’t deserve to be completely ignored – for good or, heh heh, bad.
Here goes nuthin’…
Review 1: Taboo – Taking on the Law by Cheyenne McCray
Erotica eBook published 27 Apr 07 by Ellora’s Cave
This novella is about a woman who, after a laughably bad day, is pulled over by the town sheriff – a sheriff who is a former boyfriend, is supposedly into BDSM (along with his roommates), and who has a serious hard-on for our heroine. Go here for the book blurb and excerpt.
This book is terrible on several levels: the characterizations are awful, the sex scenes are laughable, and the premise is so flawed I think I saw the San Andreas in there somewhere. I mean, the sheriff having sex on the side of the road may not be that unusual, but in broad daylight, outside, and right on the side of the road? Nuh uh. As hot as that scene may be in my fantasies, it was just stupid in this book and I was never able to suspend my disbelief long enough to enjoy the eroticism.
Nevertheless, ignoring for a moment the truly silly relationship between the hero and heroine, let’s look McCray’s superficial and, to be honest, insulting treatment of the Dom/sub lifestyle. While it’s not my cuppa tea, the reasons behind a Dom/sub choice are often profound and, from what I gather, have more to do with emotions than simple sexual titillation. Ms McCray fails to see that and abuses the premise beyond all rationale. (For what I think is a more honest view into this lifestyle, check out the third story in Jaci Burton’s “Wild, Wicked, & Wanton“.)
This novella was simply porn that really wasn’t worth the effort to read.
Review 2: Spin Devil by Red Garnier
Erotica eBook published 1 May 07 by Ellora’s Cave
This book is about friends who meet again at a class reunion and rekindle relationships. The title refers to a “spin the bottle” game where they use a stuffed devil instead of a bottle. Read the book blurb and excerpt here.
This story, a.k.a. piece of offal, uses gang rape as an acceptable means of seduction. ‘Nuff said, I think. Don’t bother with this one.
Review 3: Naughty Nuptials – Tentacles of Love by Margaret Carter
Paranormal erotic romance eBook published 30 May 07 by Ellora’s Cave
This short story is about a young couple celebrating their engagement by visiting the groom-to-be’s brother. This brother lives in the attic of a remote house that has the appearance of being abandoned. The groom-to-be also has a secret to reveal to his proposed bride. Read the blurb and excerpt here.
This book wasn’t as bad as the others I’m reviewing here, but all it got from me was a “meh” so I didn’t feel like bothering with a full review. It’s a cute story with some rather silly, bizarre elements. If you like a little fantasy/sci-fi with your erotic romance, this is the story for you. Just don’t expect much.
Review 4: Whisper of the Blade by Anya Bast
Paranormal erotic romance published 16 May 07 by Ellora’s Cave
I dislike when someone qualifies their opinion before they give it. I think everyone should stand by what they say – good or bad. Even so. Let me start this opinion piece by saying that I really like Anya Bast’s work. I’ve never before been disappointed by it. But, then I read this short novel and that changed. It left me wanting. Oh, and I hate the cover.
The book’s premise is an alternate plane of existence where extrasensory Talents can be found. Emmia, our heroine, is an empath and a Justice Mercenary – a kind of judge, jury, and executioner all rolled into one. She is hired by one of our heroes, Quinn, to find out if the other hero, Magnus (another empath), is guilty of murder. There’s some nice emotional development and hot sensuality, all wrapped up with an interesting story. Good so far.
There some seriously steamy scenes between Quinn and Emmia, Emmia and Magnus, Quinn and Magnus, and then between Quinn, Emmia, and Magnus. That’s all fine and good, but somewhere among all the hot, hot sex scenes, we lose the story. Emmia seems to forget why she’s there – to judge Magnus. The resolution to the murder mystery literally falls on top of the sex-crazed trio. There’s no Nancy Drew moment. How disappointing.
Review 5: A Much Younger Man by Veronica Wilde
Erotic romance eBook published 1 Feb 07 by Liquid Silver Books
This book’s pemise is, wait for it, an older woman who meets a younger man. They supposedly fall in love and have an HEA. Read the blurb and excerpt here. Sybil reviewed it here.
This book just skeeved me out. It wasn’t the younger man and older woman thing. I kind of dig that. I mean, who doesn’t want a young hunk warming their sheets. What skeeved me out was how emotionally immature both the man and woman were. I mean, what half-way smart 33 year old woman would let a 22 year old guy (who still lives with his parents) take erotic photos of her with a camera-phone?! DUH! How stupid can you get? And she’s a 4th grade TEACHER!! Ewww.
Couldn’t the author have picked a more appropriate couple? The story would have been so much better with just ten more years on both characters.
Review 6: The Stranger by Elizabeth Lane
Historical romance to be published 1 Jul 07 by Harlequin Historicals
Sybil will probably hate me for including this book in this dump post, but I can’t help it. I calls ‘em as I sees ‘em.
This book’s premise is a “stranger” arrives on a widow’s ranch and helps her do repairs for food and a dry place to sleep. They come to depend on each other, love each other, all while managing to overcome some common traumatic events. She doesn’t know he’s one of the drifters who, 5 years earlier, was involved in her husband’s murder. Read the book blurb and excerpt here.
This wasn’t a horrible book, but it wasn’t a terribly good one either. Several of the plot elements were driven home again and again and again and again. And again. I got sick of reading about how she would hate him once she found out who he really was – enough already. I also felt that Caleb’s characterization was inconsistent and he was portrayed as a bit of a coward on more than one occasion – very unattractive. Too many trite plot devices were used (kid gets sick and is nursed back, hero gets sick and is nursed back, flood, wanted man, rich rancher wants the heroine, etc.) I yawned big and wide a couple of times while reading this book.
That’s all folks. For now…