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Currently Browsing: Rating D
Aug
25

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: For 100 Days by Lara Adrian

Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: For 100 Days by Lara Adrian Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to… Audiobook Review: For 100 Days Author: Lara Adrian Narrator: Summer Morton Audio Speed: 2x Series: 100 Days #1 Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance Source: Tantor Audio Avery is a starving artist living in New York, scraping by as a bartender for a trendy club. She hasn’t sold anything in a year and is being dropped by her gallery. Now with an eviction notice looming, Avery gets a gift when Claire asks her to house sit her uptown condo. It’s at her new, albeit temporary, home that she first runs into the powerful and handsome Dominic “Nick” Baine. When the pair meet again at a gallery showing, sparks fly, and Avery decides to ignore her inner warning signs, jumping into bed with Nick. Now she must balance her feelings and the lies she’s spinning until Nick discovers the truth and dumps her. **WARNING, Mild Spoilers Ahead*** I’m going to be brutally honest here, For 100 Days was not what I thought it would be, nor what I wanted in a book. While the story had promise, it definitely falls into the erotic romance side of contemporary romance, which I wasn’t expecting. There are a number of drawn-out sex scenes, and I got bored with it. Additionally, I took issue with Nick telling Avery she doesn’t need a safe word with him. It was reckless, and considering Avery’s history, frustrating that she didn’t have strong reservations. Had I known all of this before I picked up the book, I probably wouldn’t have read it; but I adore Ms. Adrian’s paranormal work and wanted to give this a try. Another issue I had with the book is that it is highly repetitive. Avery is a self-destructive heroine, making poor decisions based on her lust for Nick. She’s constantly reminding the herself, and the listener, that she doesn’t belong in Nick’s world, that she’s lying to him. It was annoying. I wanted her to get over it and own it, which she does eventually, but by then, I had lost interest. However, my biggest issue is SPOILERS AHEAD… ** ** ** THIS ISN’T AN HEA ROMANCE!! That’s right. I listened to the entire book and then found out at the end that Nick and Avery’s story continues to the next book. Avery weaves her web of lies for the entire book, comes clean in the last chapter, and then lies again. I wasn’t happy at all. On the positive sides, I enjoyed...
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Jul
27

Review: Hot Nights with the Fireman by Lynne Silver

Review: Hot Nights with the Fireman by Lynne Silver Hot Nights with the Fireman Author: Lynne Silver Reviewer: Nima Rating: D What I’m Talking About: Lynne Silver is a new-to-me author.  Hot Nights with the Fireman is the first in her Alpha Heroes series. It’s the heated love story of fire fighter Jason Moore and ambitious public relations expert Valerie Wainwright. It should have been a quick read at only 65K words, but I found myself stopping constantly because of technical errors. Typically when reading an advanced reader copy, there is an expectation that the manuscript being reviewed is not yet polished for publication. Allowances are made for missing commas and the odd word that’s gone astray.  Unfortunately, the ARC I pulled down from NetGalley, at the publisher’s request, read like an early draft, not a manuscript nearing public release.  The text was repetitive, contained continuity errors, and too many of the author’s metaphors where off the mark for me.  For example, in chapter six, Jason has been maneuvered into playing in a charity golf tournament. “He stood in front of her holding the large bag of clubs as if they weighed no more than a school backpack.” This was one of many metaphors that didn’t work for me.  If you’ve been around school backpacks in the last decade, you’d know that thanks to school shootings, most schools don’t allow students to go to their locker during the school day; they have to carry all their textbooks around from class to class.  They weigh a ton; so much in fact that a lot of parents have opted to buy their children book bags with wheels, like an airline pilot’s map case. What made this particular passage stand out so much for me, however, was that just a few pages later, Lance, the man Jason was golfing with, “…swung his club bag on to his back as if it weighed less than a school backpack.”  Find a new metaphor. In chapter eight during a charity car wash, “He pulled her in closer, and the thin cotton of her tank top soaked up the water from his body.”  Later in the same afternoon when they have not left each other’s company, “His palms found her breasts over the silk of her dress…”  Which is it? Tank top?  Silk dress?  These errors, and others like them, made it difficult for me to fully appreciate the story. I did like Jason, and Valerie was tolerable, but the story relied too heavily on...
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Jun
10

Review: If You’re Not the One by Jemma Forte

Review: If You’re Not the One by Jemma Forte If You’re Not the One Author: Jemma Forte Reviewer: Nima Rating: D What I’m Talking About: If You’re Not the One had an intriguing premise.  It piqued my interest and I was excited to start the book.  Unfortunately, what began with great promise did not deliver.  Main character Jennifer Wright is dissatisfied with a life that has all the appearances of something good—two healthy kids, slim figure, nice house, two cars, financially able to stay home, with good friends.  Jennifer feels guilty that she’s unhappy and like many depressed people, tries to will herself into gratitude and good spirits.  I was really rooting for her when she got proactive, seeing a therapist, working part-time to get some adult interaction, and even dressing up in some tarty lingerie to entice her husband back into some of the excitement they shared as a younger couple.  She wasn’t waiting for change to just happen, successfully or not, she was doing something about it.  Although Jennifer’s frustration is off-putting for the beginning of a book, I respected that she was working on it. Following a severe car accident, Jennifer lapses into a deep coma where, in a Sliding Doors (which I loved) style of “what if’s,” she visits three alternative lives she might have had if she’d made different choices at pivotal points in her past.  This is where the book falls down.  Author Jemma Forte lobs us back and forth in time and between alternative lives and the present day.  It’s confusing and distracts from the flow of the overall story.  I even had to go back and reread some pages to reorient myself from chapter to chapter.  Each of the alternative timelines pivoted around a different relationship.  The new characters proved to be shallow and one-dimensional.  Even though she enjoyed her career before marriage, none of the new storylines explored the idea of her never marrying at all. The most egregious offense, however, is that Forte doesn’t actually finish the book.  She even goes out of her way to label the final section as an epilogue, which, by definition, should tie up loose ends.  Instead, she leads us toward a conclusion and just stops.  It’s like she walked away from her computer and never came back.  While readers bring their own lives to the story, even agreeing or disagreeing with the ending, there’s no justification in not providing one at all.  Following the not-an-epilogue, Forte includes several pages of discussion questions...
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Nov
26

Review: Captivated by You by Sylvia Day

Review: Captivated by You by Sylvia Day Captivated by You Author: Sylvia Day Reviewer: VampBard Rating: D What I’m Talking About: I knew what I was getting into when I chose to read Captivated by You by Sylvia Day. To be honest, I’m not a quitter. Once I start a series, I read it through until the end. Unless something happens that really irritates me. With that said, I’m breaking up with the Crossfire series, which kills my slightly obsessive-compulsive need to finish something I’ve started. I wanted to really like this book, and that especially holds true for Captivated by You. However, the only reason I finished this title was in the hope that there’d be a big reveal at the end that would keep me entrenched in the series. To be honest, I think that this entire book could have been done in 100 pages or less. There wasn’t that much plot happening and wasn’t a lot of development that happened with the characters to warrant 350-plus pages. What I liked: I liked seeing Eva and Gideon again. Initially. I liked revisiting the supporting characters. I liked seeing Eva continue to be kick-ass, for the most part. What annoyed me: the story really went nowhere. The plot arc was minimally progressed, and I felt that the words were gratuitous—that I had four hours of my life that I’d never get back. Eva and Gideon—especially Gideon—irritated the hell out of me by the end of the book. The character seemed even more whiny than in the previous book. I UNDERSTAND broken. Hell, life hasn’t been picture-perfect for anyone. But a billionaire should get his act together and work through his issues. Not be the ‘I am an island’ guy. Especially when he has something to strive for—being the man he wants to be for Eva. I don’t get the motivation to not work through his issues, especially when it means he can’t sleep in bed with Eva—supposedly the love of his life, the one that makes him whole. The side stories—Megumi, Mark & Steven, Carey, and Gideon’s exes—seemed superficial and really had no resolution, no change in the way things were happening. And nothing that really moved the plot forward, especially for Gideon. Don’t get me wrong, Ms. Day is a wonderful author. Her way with words draws the reader in, which is probably the reason I actually finished Captivated by You. Unfortunately, skillful prose isn’t enough to keep me reading the Crossfire series. I’m...
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Jul
22

Review: Black by Catherine Winters

Review: Black by Catherine Winters Black Author: Catherine Winters Reviewer: Gikany & Una Rating: D What We’re Talking About: Black is the first novel in the trilogy entitled Josephine. Although the premise was promising and enticing, the novel did not live up to our expectations. Between some serious issues we have with the plot and the main character, we simply could not find ourselves invested in the story. Warning: we may spoil portions of the novel with this review but we must in order to point out the elements that earned the ratings. First, the biggest issue we have with Black is the non-con (Una just recently learned that this is short for non-consensual sex) situation that occurs at just over the halfway mark.  No matter the basis of a relationship, one party always has the right to say no to sexual relations, whether in a marriage, partnership, or other defined relationship.  There can never be, in our opinion, a reason or obligation that takes the right of refusal away.  Once you take the right of refusing away or more importantly, if you engage in sex over the obligations of the other party, it is rape.  Sex must be consensual on part of both parties by their free will.  If it is a sex game – that is different because the consent is there. In this novel, the non-con situation was rape – it was not in a context of a sexual game nor did it appear at any point in the novel that they engaged in that particular type of sexual play.  Although we are spared the details, it is clear what happens because of the scene’s set-up and the scene immediately after.  Grant makes it clear to Josephine, who says, “No,” that because he pays her to be his mistress, she therefore has no right to tell him no.  The handling of this rape, in our opinion, was not done in a way we can condone.  The only reason Gikany and Una finished reading the novel after that scene was to find out if the rape was eventually addressed and dealt with appropriately?  In our opinion, the answer is no.  Not only does it appear that Josephine accepts this event as something she deserved (because she provoked Grant verbally during their argument directly prior to the rape), there is no lasting trauma or ramifications from it.  Grant’s very expensive “apology gift” is not acceptable in our opinion, and Josephine appears to brush...
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Jun
26

Review: Temptation in Shadows by Gena Showalter

Review: Temptation in Shadows by Gena Showalter Temptation in Shadows Author: Gena Showalter Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: D What I’m Talking About: *NOTE: Unfortunately when I saw the cover of this book, I made the assumption that it was a Lords of the Underworld novella. It is NOT. While it is paranormal romance in nature, it is completely unrelated to the LotU world. Briar Rose is an independent agency with ties to government. It is full of agents with supernatural abilities. They are safe and accepted there. Gabrielle Huit… is a loner. Kidnapped when living on the streets as a child, she was experimented on, and a crazy scientist turned her brain into a computer. Then, she was mysteriously let go. Gabrielle has tried to live a normal yet reclusive life, moving from place to place to keep any one from discovering who she is. Sean Walker is an undercover agent for Briar Rose, working at the nightclub that employs Gabby. He needs to gain her trust and bring her in because all of the previous subjects of the mad doctor have died when they become extremely agitated. Unfortunately, Temptation in Shadows was not the novella I was hoping for, especially since I mistakenly thought it was from the LotU series. However, even with that piece aside, it was not a very strong or enjoyable story. Sean Walker and his fellow agent, Rowan, do not seem to have enough practical intelligence to be “covert agents,” especially when their plan to earn Gabby’s trust is by kidnapping her and then saving her. I think I literally banged my head on my desk. Sean continues to make poor decisions throughout the novella (and what agent doesn’t care about leaving fingerprints behind?!), making it very hard to enjoy the story. Gabby is not much better. I do find the science-fiction part of the story interesting. The concept that her brain was manipulated to create a computer and that the scientist just let her go, created a fascinating potential storyline; however it didn’t evolve much beyond that. Understandably, Gabby doesn’t trust anyone, especially since she has access into their computers and can see what they don’t want anyone else to know. Yet, she seems to have no problem going along with Sean and giving him her complete confidence. Overall, Temptation in Shadows is mediocre at best. The couple goes from nada to full on “I love you’s” in way too short of a time. Although their sex scene is hot, I...
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Jan
13

Review: Touch by Michelle Sagara

Review: Touch by Michelle Sagara Touch Author: Michelle Sagara Reviewer: Jen Twimom Rating: D+ What I’m Talking About: Touch opens with a short prelude from the POV of Nathan, the deceased boyfriend of protagonist Emma who was not present in the first title, Silence. Nathan chronicles his thoughts and existence from the moment of his car crash to “present day,” roughly three or four months after his accident. We discover that he was given an order by the Queen of the Dead to go home and watch his family and friends. The book then begins its story shortly after the conclusion of the first title. Emma’s friends are trying to adjust to a routine after learning about her ability to see ghosts and the existence of Necromancers, humans like Emma who have the ability gain powers from using ghosts’ energy. Necromancers work for the Queen of the Dead, who wants to kill off Emma’s friends and family. Although I don’t normal read and enjoy YA literature, I was completely enamored with Silence, the first book in Ms. Sagara’s Queen of the Dead series. The story was engrossing and characters strong, keeping me glued to the pages, despite some confusion while reading the book. Unfortunately, the second story, Touch, did not hold my attention like the first book did. The small issues I had when reading Silence only grew and became problematic the second time around. The plot is slow moving and seemingly without a clear direction at times. There is entirely way too much introspection by these characters, and at times I just wanted to skip over the repetitive analysis of true friendship, love and death. Overall, Touch focuses on the emotional development of each character rather than be driven by the plot and action. If that is your cup of tea, you may enjoy the book. However, I wanted a cleaner/clearer storyline that moved from point A to point B. There are side stories which are critical for the further development of the characters, but did nothing for the overall plot of the book. Unfortunately, each of the characters fell flat for me. The strength I found in each before, seems to have fizzled under the weight of insecurity. Too often characters are harshly judging themselves or uncertain what course of action would be best. The only character who seemed to have her act together is Amy, the Cordelia-like (Buffy) friend of the gang who takes charge, even over the knowledgable elders. And don’t...
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Jul
1

Review: Spirit of Seduction

Review: Spirit of Seduction Dear Readers: Please help me welcome my friend Maggi, who brings you today’s review of… Spirit of Seduction Author: Olivia Quincy  Release Date: July 5, 2011 Publisher: NAL Publishing ISBN: #978-0451233332 Genre: paranormal romance Format(s): paperback (304 pgs), e-book I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review. From GoodReads website: When Zoe Bell was young, every summer would bring the promise of spending two weeks in Cape Cod, where she was fascinated and awed by the big, rambling house on Chapin Point. Now, the entrepreneurial Zoe has the money and means to buy Chapin House. But the house already has a resident-a long-suffering entity that has connected with Zoe in a way she never dreamed anyone would in this life, let alone the next. What Maggi is talking about: Zoe Bell has just bought the house of her childhood dreams after the multi-million dollar sale of her homegrown seed business.  While Zoe pursues plans to refurbish the turn of the century Chapin House she unwittingly becomes entangled in a double murder mystery.  The ghost of Robert Chapin, which resides at Chapin House and the cantankerous Curtis Nickerson, the last torchbearer of the unrelenting Nickerson-Chapin feud.    I am a big fan of paranormal romance and this is the first novel I’ve read that incorporates an entity/human romance. The idea of it sounds intriguing to me and I enjoy wildly imaginative storylines. However, I was disappointed in Spirit of Seduction. The storyline bounces around too much and lacks focus. It bounces from one sex scene to another with a weak story in between.  The relationships are unbelievable because of the sheer number of people Zoe has sexual encounters with. She is clearly confused and so in turn, so is the reader. If that isn’t confusing enough, there is the relationship between Curtis’ widow, Lorraine and her current boyfriend. Their chemistry is strange and even stranger when we add Lorraine’s lawyer to the mix.  It’s a confusing whose-boots-are-under-the-bed debacle. When Zoe starts to come into her own, the story deviates from the plot and just falls apart.  The focus is supposed to be around Zoe’s erotic encounters with the ghost of Robert Chapin and her journey to find the truth about his murder. Through there relationship we learn all of the dark secrets of Chapins and Nickersons past. Then, the storyline deviates and their relationship is completely abandoned. We are left to...
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