Book Reviews: Ran Out of Erotic Metaphors

Alpha’s Prize: A Werewolf Romance
“My eyes crack open, gritty and sore. I’d rub them if I weren’t in wolf form. Where am I? I rise and knock against metal bars. Oh fates. I’m in a cage—a fucking cage.”
That early sentence says a lot, though from the title you probably didn’t need the wolf mention. A female werewolf on vacation in Mexico gets imprisoned by the local pack to breed with their young alpha; seems inbreeding’s a thing. But because this is a romance. . . well, you can figure it out.
There are a lot of viewpoints used, especially at the start. I get the need to introduce all the main characters, but it was a little confusing. But more than anything, I really wish this book had been more FUN. Everyone’s miserable, even when the story shifts to Paris.
I’m more used to Ms. Rose’s sci-fi, which I like a lot more than this werewolf stuff. The main male character started out as a douche but redeemed himself, so that’s a good point. I liked her from the start. There’s some interesting cultural stuff amid different locales, but despite the good writing, I didn’t enjoy this nearly as much as I feel I should have.
3/5

Zandian Pet
As in the last installment of this series, the female lead is not a human slave that her dom eventually falls in love with, but one of the last surviving Zandian females. In fact, she’s the sister of the main female character of the previous book. This one is accidentally found in a sex den that caters to aliens. She doesn’t mind, as she’s been in what she considers worst situations before.
This chapter of the long-running series was, in a word, typical. It should not have been, given where it started, but it has definitely settled into a formula, which is too bad. It always consists of the two protagonists making dumb decisions. The sex is great, the bondage well done for those into that, but I wish the psychological aspects were done better. One thing that kinda bugs me is that the guy in these romances is always the first one who spots her!
3/5

Off Limits
The execute assistant has the hots for her billionaire boss, who on the one hand can’t forget his dead wife and the other has nothing but one-night stands.
A quarter of the way through and I was completely bored. Various cycles of “Will-they-won’t-they” are interspersed with “yes-they-will,” leading to regrets and starting the cycle again. Hardly anything else takes place or matters. With all that introspection, it was easy to get distracted. One of the bright spots was the discussion on flowers, which was surprisingly deep and funny, one of those moments that is in no way necessary to the story but adds to the enjoyment. That, however, was more of an exception.
It’s amazing to me how these books, which are basically about the start of a relationship, can last for so many pages. I liked some of it, mostly because I liked her. As usual, I didn’t like the dominating ass she’s into. Just felt like it went on for too long.
3/5

The Traveling Sex Game
If you see a suitcase or purse or such with ribbons hanging from it, it could mean the owner plays a sex game. Ribbons signify what kind of sex you want. It’s supposed to be an anonymous hookup, but it doesn’t always work out that way.
This book is basically sexual vignettes reminiscent of Penthouse Forum, held together by small bits of reporting and sexual psychology. After the reporter’s intro to the game and a few interviews, the book moves to individual stories. Unfortunately this guy’s writing style didn’t do it for me; felt like he didn’t have much experience writing. The sex scenes were kinda matter of fact; obviously these were hookups and not romances, but they could have been longer.
2.5/5

Saved
A woman not-so-mysteriously comes back from the dead, only to find her reunion with her fiancé is not how she thought it would be. (I don’t feel that’s a spoiler, because with the dream at the beginning overdoing it to such a huge degree, the “major” twist wasn’t at all surprising.)
In a genre known for stubborn characters, this one goes beyond. I’ve climbed mountains more pliable than this guy. I liked her, but most sane women would have cut their losses no matter how deeply in love they might have been.
Just when he has a breakthrough, thanks to the last person he or we would expect, things go to crap again. Despite it being a cliché, this part was well done.
There were several parts I really liked, but more that I couldn’t stand. The last fight scene was too convoluted to picture. There’s a lot less erotica than expected, which is too bad because those scenes were written the best.
As a former Marine, the soldier patter made me laugh.
3/5

His Human Bride
Funny: when I started this I had no idea it was a sequel to a book I’ve already read.
In the first book, a nurse/scientist helps a Roswell alien escape captivity and flees with him off Earth, wanting to help cure his people of an epidemic. Now, after spending pretty much all of the voyage having sex, she faces her toughest challenge: his mother, the queen. After a quest, needed because momma gave the thumbs down, it’s time for the final judgement.
As is pretty much expected from a romance, even if this one comes with a generous heap of erotica, there’s plenty of misunderstandings to go around, although this one has a bit of an excuse in that alien species think differently. On the brighter side, the characters are likeable, and no matter how stubborn Mom can be, she’s heaps better than the scientists and soldiers of the previous book.
But my favorite part is at the end: “I have to thank Carrie Fisher. I don’t know her. I never met her. But she inspired me so much it seems wrong to publish a book without thanking her. Thank you, Princess.”
4/5

;o)

Book Reviews: Erotic Bartenders, Painters and Santa

Double Trouble
“This time, he won’t take no for an answer.”
This is not the way to start any book.
A bartender is tricked by her sister into putting herself into a charity auction. The sister knows damn well there’s a rich guy who wants her, so she’s basically pimping her out for donations.
The story had barely started and I already hated this mother-fucker. He’s a sadistic dom, but luckily—and conveniently—she turns out to be a closet sub. Then his brother appears. . .
The descriptions of the renovated mansion are tedious. I skipped them; not here for architecture. Other than that, this is excellently written, with plenty of genuinely funny moments, particularly in her introspection. My favorite parts were the amazing lead female character and the intriguing sex scenes. The only downside for me was the lead male character at the beginning, but even he got better. Even the sister got better, though I would have never forgiven her.
3.5/5

The Submissive Muse
One year after her dom husband died, a woman plans her suicide, only to be stopped when she discovers what might be a dead body in the barn. Then it gets complicated.
I’m conflicted about this one. As usual when it’s a good book, I liked the female protagonist, and didn’t care for either of the guys; since they were so opposite from each other, maybe someone in between would have worked for me. The story itself is well written, if a little long; felt more drawn out than necessary, with quite a bit of fluff. Took a long time to get to any erotica or bdsm; it reads more like the journal of three damaged people. The timing of her finding him in the barn just as she’s about to off herself is a little too big of a coinkidink. But even with that I enjoyed some of the psychological aspects, more so her submissiveness than his illness.
3/5

Sexting St. Nick
Cam girl falls for new customer, and of course vice versa, so much so that they take it offline. Then things really get weird.
Despite the shortness of the story there was more than enough to make the leads, as well as the elves and her best friend, likeable. Not so sure about the Frosty one, though.
Even though there’s plenty of real and virtual sex, this really is a cute romance. Her past was told small but heavy, and certainly made understanding her easier.
If only the motorcycle had been shaped like a reindeer with a red headlamp. . .
4/5

Painting Class
An art teacher in her forties finally has an exhibition of her work, where one of the female gawkers is a past student who had the hots for her. The teacher feels similarly and takes her student home for a bout of body painting and anything that might come out of it.
It’s a short tale, but considering it only consisted of two scenes—three, if you count the preview of the sequel—the length was perfect. From the hesitant flirting in the art gallery to the gentle sparring to finding out if the other is interested and what the boundaries are, this was just a fun read. The art-making is given just as much importance as the lovemaking, reminding me of an old four-hour French movie with a slightly similar design.
4/5

;o)

Book Reviews: Erotic Stepbrothers, Babe Geeks, and Aleins

The Billionaires: The Stepbrothers
Insurance investigator finally gets to interview an art robbery suspect, but she finds him so hot she can’t think straight. And he knows it, using the control she’s given him to get her into bed while convincing her he’s innocent. So she goes to interview his stepbrother and, guess what, same thing happens.
As would be expected, after she sleeps with them separately there are times when both have her together. If it was just about the sex it would be relatively easy to write, but when she’s in love with both and wants a threesome relationship it’s a lot harder. Happy to say this writer pulled it off pretty well, as well as making a good mystery. The parallels of the car accidents and subsequent survivors’ guilt was well done.
Enjoyed this thoroughly. I’m predisposed to liking the lead because I love redheads, but the guys were better than most in this genre and the plot was enjoyable. Just one question: what happened to the puppy during that first night. . .?
4/5

Play Crush
A young geeky—but of course hot—female techie is tasked with doing the field work to test football helmets in hopes that head injuries will be curtailed. The players love her, one—actually more than one, but only one matters in this story—in particular.
I love this girl, at least most of the time, when she’s not being a pushover. I like the set-up. The guys are okay, probably because I semi-remember some of them from a previous book. But there’s something off about this; not enjoying it like I should, given all that’s going for it. At some points it went as far as tedious. It’s easy enough to say that lack of communication is a problem, but then that happens in just about all books in this genre, so I can’t use that one here.
As I said in the other book in this series that I’ve read, it’s hard to keep track of all the players. For example, Bam feels like a giant lineman; I’m surprised each time it’s mentioned he’s the halfback. Perhaps a character sheet should be included.
The ending, and all the Star Trek jokes, made me feel better about it, but I still didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have thought.
3/5

The Roswell Affair
As you can see from the title, the Roswell crash is the setting for yet another story, this time with a hot nurse/scientist called in to interrogate a not-so-alien alien in the famous 1947 crash. Within minutes she’s in lust for him and they’re communicating through sex, which is why the military failed to establish a dialogue.
This works because the main characters are likeable, with an immediate chemistry that might actually be chemical, not just the way the word is used today. Some slight touches of the era were nice, though even for something that takes place 70 years ago it’s hard to imagine the government agents being such asses; ditto for the soldiers. Don’t think they needed to be painted with such black strokes in order for this story to work, though maybe because it was so short there wasn’t time to do anything else with them.
It turns out to be a complete Mary Sue, but since I liked it I’ll let it pass. But for such a short story it didn’t help that 10% of this is ads for other books at the end.
3.5/5

Adam: Doms of the Silver Screen Book 2
A “scream queen” actress gets a role in a “serious” production, only to find her estranged husband is directing. She doesn’t want to quit, but she doesn’t want anything to do with him either. He harasses her until she gives in. (This story takes off from the first book in the series, but reading it is not required to understand this one.)
Even though he’s the Dom of the title, the story is really more about her. There are funny moments in the first half, most of them on the set—I’ve actually seen a bed break during filming, but that actress’s reaction was far different—but there’s just one overwhelming problem, which I can boil down to: I love Nicki, I loathe Adam.
That’s really all that needs to be said. Most of these types of stories feature an alpha male who won’t take no for an answer, but this is a new low. I doubt I will ever hate a character more than I hated Adam. This might have been an okay book if he wasn’t such an unlikeable asshole.
The first book in the series, even if it was far shorter, was so much better.
2/5

;o)

Book Reviews: Space Love

His Human Vessel
In the continuation of a series I’ve grown to love, an alien doctor buys a slave for breeding purposes, as his race was almost wiped out, but he’s a man—or alien—of science and claims not to want her. She knows better.
Not quite as good as the previous four in the series, but still better than most stuff in this genre. As always I enjoy the human female characters; it was easy to feel for her and her dilemma, even feel sorry for her. Despite him being the supposed authority on human females for his kind, advisor to the ruler and all that, he’s just as clueless, if not more, than the previous guys. Sometimes that was fun, sometimes annoying, but in the end it worked out well that way.
4/5

Her Mate and Master
From the same series as above, but with a twist. Unlike the previous stories, rather than buying a human slave, this young heroic alien goes undercover to rescue one of the last females of his race, who also happens to be the daughter of his sensei. Of course things don’t go as planned and they have to make a run for it, with him desperate to have her but not about to dishonor her—or rather her father—despite her obvious willingness.
Even though she wasn’t human, she wasn’t that much different than the others. The story was pretty much the same; not that that’s a bad thing, but something a little less formulaic would have been nice.
I liked the female character, but not as much as the previous human ones. The story didn’t seem as fun either, though still good.
3.5/5

Alpha’s Temptation: A Billionaire Werewolf Romance
A former hacker wants to go legit with a corporate job, and ends up trapped in an elevator with the big boss, though she doesn’t know that at the time. Turns out he knows exactly who she is, though at that point he’s not aware she’s the only person ever to beat him in cyberspace.
He’s a usual rich asshole, as well as a werewolf, the loner type. But of course he wants her, and despite all her previous feelings about men she gives in rather easily. This is one of those rare stories where I didn’t feel all that great about the heroine; I should have liked her, especially her wicked/nice personality, but she didn’t work for me. I hardly ever like the guys, and there’s no exception here.
3/5

Second to None
Seven years ago he lusted for his friend’s wife, so much that he cut himself out of their lives from the guilt. So complete is his withdrawal that he didn’t know his friend died. Now they reconnect, and of course he’s a hunky millionaire. She wants money for her children’s services center to expand to dog therapy.
This novella is classified as an erotic love story—though the sex scenes lacked any real heat—but it was the other elements I enjoyed more. For instance, I would have preferred more of her great kid. What really annoys me, though, is that this romance wouldn’t have happened if he wasn’t rich.
It’s strange, because usually when I like the main characters, the story doesn’t matter as much. And I didn’t mind the story, but I still feel disappointed, partly because it was money and the death of her husband that allowed this to be a happily ever after.
3/5

Gunnar
In what is thankfully a short story, Vikings raid a village after a festival, when everyone is drunk and easy pickings. The leader goes off to rest in the previous lord’s room and finds a gorgeous blonde tied up waiting for him, expecting the previous ruler. Though a virgin, she’s smart enough to play along so as not to be punished. Blindfolded or not, she figures one is as good as another, and of course ends up enjoying it.
Feels historically accurate, but I’m not interested enough in this period to look it up myself. I do like that it was more than just straight-up sex, despite the short length. No big deal, just fun.
3.5/5

Tempted & Taken
A Russian lass, having taken a friend’s identity, is on the run in Texas, where she wants to be mentored by a rich handsome computer genius. . . and have sex with him too. He has a large improv family of brothers, mostly from his time in foster care; I have not read the previous books in this series, so that’s all I know.
These types of books are rarely about plot; all that’s needed is that it not come off as stupid. This story actually did a pretty good job of getting the leads together in a realistic way. As always, I think it’s a good book if I like the female character, though in this case I think it’s well-written anyway, with plenty of little moments to keep me entertained. There was one scene about ¾ of the way through that seemed to drone on and on, but other than the fact I don’t think a Russian mob would simply let things go without being honor-bound to revenge, that’s the only negative I have for this.
I was disappointed, however, in not getting a shot-by-shot account of the skeeball game. . .
4/5

;o)

Book Reviews: Erotic Sunsets and Massages

Black Light: Valentine’s Roulette
Black Light is a dungeon club in DC, where on Valentine’s Day they set up a game between doms and subs in which the roulette wheel chooses partners and acts. Some of the pairings know each other, which can be good or bad, others are playing for the first time.
Though each story has a different author, there’s obviously a common backstory that has to be adhered to. The main ingredient here is a ton of psychology, more than actual physical events. There’s also surprisingly little sex, although the fact this takes place in a dungeon mitigates that a bit.
No matter how much the thrown-together couples hate each other, they all end up happily ever after. The security guy and the bartender was the most preposterous. The most intriguing featured a new sub paired with an FBI agent out of the game for a long time while he got custody of his little girl. Another intriguing one was the famous starlet, but after a while I couldn’t tell the characters apart.
3/5

Strangers at Sunset
Lady with a lot of problems has a one-night stand with a photographer while on vacation in Florida, only to have it turn into much more, of course.
The book starts with an intense description of her husband dying, then goes to a year later, but considering how often he’s mentioned—for good reason—that opener hardly felt necessary.
As a photographer, I enjoyed some of the stuff here, though I had to laugh at, “How many people get to travel the world and make a ton of money just by snapping pictures?” Cough cough: a TON of money? If I didn’t know it was fiction before. . .
On the other side of it is: “That’s so much more compelling to the average person than bikinis, tans and fake boobs. Although that’s all nice to look at, it’s been done over and over again. I like my work to stand out. Fresh and original is the hope I have for each project. The fact that I don’t go with the expected.” Is this writer in my brain? Spooky.
Okay, back to the story. There’s a huge twist—not gonna spoiler it, but you can guess it easily—that wasn’t much of a surprise at all. More than anything, I am completely shocked she forgave him that easily. What he did was so incredibly cowardly. The most interesting part is how the parents of both her ex and him react basically the same way: “I thought I raised him better.”
3.5/5

Play Mates
A recently divorced lawyer goes to visit her sister and ends up having a one-night stand with an injured footballer, also recently divorced. As one would expect in these kinds of stories, the one-night stand turns into much more.
Since this book is well into a series, there are a lot of people to meet, but because they’re all jammed into the start it’s difficult to keep track of who was who.
As always, I only enjoy these stories when I like the main female character, and there’s a lot to like here. She’s not a typical lawyer, fighting against the death penalty, and even gets a chance to do that unicorn of the profession, freeing a wrongfully convicted man. The surprising part here is how likeable the not-too-alpha-male football player is; much of that likeability comes from his being a dad to his four sons. Because of this, it was strange how long it took for someone to take his side against his ex; it was never clearly explained why she did what she did, so as far as I’m concerned it was all her fault, yet everyone blames him. But once it became about relationships I was reminded why I loved this author’s previous works so much.
Everything was going great until the badass lawyer went stupid, as someone always does at the end of these types of books.
Not the same feel as the superb Random series, but still pretty good.
3.5/5

Ella’s Triple Pleasure: Massage Tales
Masseuse/mother of three teenagers gets set up on a blind weekend, but it’s with a guy she wants, so she eventually caves in. Then two other guys from her past come to town and the competition begins.
That first scene with Garrett was just too weird, and made it tough to get back into the pleasant flow that the weekend with Cade had engendered. Long before Derek showed up I found Garrett creepy, and seeing them together, planning her life without asking her, made it worse. I get that she has a past with them, but considering how reluctant she was to let herself go with Cade despite how much she wanted him, she sure let those two take control of her life pretty quickly. Did not expect her to be such a pushover, and I lost tons of respect for her. Even the way she let them use her sexually, which in other circumstances would have been part of her sensuality, is completely different than the way the character was portrayed at the beginning. The sex was great, but all the surrounding drama makes this a much more difficult read than it had to be.
This is a toughie. Of course we all knew how it was going to turn out, but getting there was the fun, and it wasn’t as much fun as I expected from the great beginning.
3/5

Michael
Submissive woman is concerned that her dom boyfriend is cheating on her with a starlet he’s auditioning with.
Interesting that this isn’t a meet-cute romance; this couple is already together. But then it is a novella.
Despite some fun S&M stuff and Hollywood problems, the frame of the story just didn’t hold together. The plot was barely enough to sustain the story until the abrupt ending, as if the author wanted to get it over with. Not only was it resolved too easily, but they didn’t really earn that happily ever after anyway.
2.5/5

;o)

Book Review: Geek Actually

A thirteen-part serial about five modern women having each other’s backs, mostly through the internet but sometimes in person, as they deal with their jobs and men and such.
Despite each chapter having a different author, the characters had consistent voices throughout, which isn’t easy. It really does feel like a TV series, as with a big cast each episode revolves around one or two characters more than the others.

The characters:
Aditi is a first-time author who doesn’t like the pressure of having to come up with more books, or even blog posts. She fools around, with her husband’s complete support.
Michelle is Aditi’s editor, going through a divorce and discovering BDSM.
Christina is Hollywood’s oldest gofer, falling into a relationship with a loopy starlet. She’s also Michelle’s sister, though you’d never know it.
Elli is a professional cosplay geek, trying to wander through life just enough to get by until she can get back into her fantasy land. Think Kaylee from Firefly, but even more perky.
Taneesha is a video-game programmer whose company gets bought out and regrets accepting a new job where she’s just the token girl/African-American.

Episode 1: WTF
As expected, this is a relatively quick intro to four of the characters, showing them diverse in many ways but strong friends. Aditi’s one-night stand leads the way.
3.5/5

Episode 2: The Invisible Woman
A little more interesting than the first, with Christina added, showing what life is like on a Hollywood set for a lowly gofer. This takes up most of the chapter.
4/5

Episode 3: Boss Battles
For the first time I notice the characters are on the cover, but I can’t tell who’s who yet.
This episode was more sad than the others. Everyone’s life gets worse, though not everyone is in it.
3/5

Episode 4: The Long Con
In real life I would run fast from that actress, but she’s a hoot on paper, or pixel. I can see how Christina got sucked in.
I’m really enjoying this series. Every character is different, but I like them all. Did not expect Michelle to go to the workshop, but glad she did, as I learned some things. . . not as much as her, of course, but fun.
4/5

Episode 5: Beware of Rage Bait
Starts with funny not-spoilers, leading into a brief commentary on Buffy and Angel. Even though these are short chapters, there’s always room for some humor. The rest of this episode consisted of long phone talks to relieve stress and a couple of sex scenes. . . to relieve stress.
3.5/5

Episode 6: Can You Not?
This was a depressing episode, no doubt on purpose. All three storylines had problems for the ladies, and no sex. There’s rape scenes in movies and racism during fetish play, not nearly as much fun as previous chapters.
3/5

Episode 7: Pussy Bites Back
This one was more upbeat than the last, but some of the depressing storylines continue, and more pop up. There’s still enough funny moments to keep me going, but this wasn’t as fun as the earlier episodes.
3/5

Episode 8: A Dox on Both Your Houses
This goes from one problem to another, and it gets so depressing. Several times I felt like giving up. All the humor of the first few is gone.
2.5/5

Episode 9: Aces Wild
This was my favorite episode so far, especially compared to the last few. All kinds of relationships progressed. Revelations, eureka moments. . . fun to see good characters being upbeat about choices rather than wallowing in misery. Elli in particular has a major breakthrough.
4/5

Episode 10: Well, Actually
After some progress in the previous chapter we get the most depressing episode so far. New bad stuff along with more of the old bad stuff, and nothing positive at all for balance.
2/5

Episode 11: It’s Not Me, It’s You
Neesh with a breakthrough for the good, Aditi a breakup for the good and bad. Michelle just bad. The stories are progressing toward the finale, but it’s gonna take a lot to make this long trip worthwhile.
3/5

Episode 12: System Failure
This episode had the plotlines coming to a head right before the ending. Misunderstood sex and BDSM lead to major problems, which are then left cliffhanging for a big finish.
3/5

Episode 13: Squad Goals
Part of me is sad that their redemption—except for Aditi—didn’t match all the suffering they went through. On the other hand, that’s more realistic, and that’s what this series was aiming for the entire ride, no matter how often I wished it to be a little more escapist.
3/5

Overall: 3/5

;o)

Book Reviews: The Most Erotic Organ Is the Mind

My brain is a gold mind.

The Red
The owner of a failing art gallery in Noo Yawk gets an offer she can’t refuse. . . or really doesn’t want to refuse. She’d promised her mom she’d do anything to keep the gallery open, and now anything and everything is what she has to do. Two-thirds of the way through something happens that makes her back out of the deal, something bad enough that she thinks it’s worth losing the gallery over, but in the end she perseveres.
Despite trying to make it “just business,” she actually grows quite a bit through the story, and not just sexually. Malcolm unintentionally taught her how to be manipulative. . . not that Seb didn’t deserve it. But the whole point of the story, besides the sex, is that in the end it made her stronger.
I love the nymphs! Best and funniest scene ever. Too bad there wasn’t more of them.
So yes, I enjoyed most of this. The ultimate reveal was easy to guess with all the clues strewn around, but by then it didn’t really matter. Not a fan of the ending, though; that’s one guy who didn’t deserve to be rewarded.
4/5

Her Alien Masters
After her spaceship crashes onto an alien world and kills people, Mira gets sentenced to basically being the slave of a family who lost loved ones in the crash; that includes sex.
This is the third entry in a series, and I haven’t read the previous, but I am familiar with this author’s other works, and like them. She brings the same delicious humor here, especially in the small moments: a little joke here, noticing the look in someone’s eyes, that kind of thing. This one was different because there are kids—alien kids, but still—involved, so it made for a strange dynamic compared to others from this author and genre. I might have enjoyed it more because of that, though I’m not sure; it was simply refreshing to have something different, especially since it allowed the main character to be more than just a sex slave. Similarly, most romances have a next-to-last twist featuring a misunderstanding that needs to be overcome, but it’s refreshing to see errors occur here naturally, due to different cultures, rather than the usual manufactured drama.
4/5

Misadventures of a City Girl
LA divorcee goes to hippie spa but spends all her time in a hunky mountain man’s bed. Hilarity and misunderstandings ensue.
The first note I had was on the fact she booked a four-week stay at a spa. Really? People do that? I’d be bored out of my head in less than a week. Just me? Fine.
My next note was that only a third of the way through and they’re already past their worst issues. Didn’t think the rest of the book would only feature sex. . . then I wondered if her ex would show up. . . and I was right on both counts.
Then there’s the point where I wrote “Wow, this is where a girl should realize he’s too damaged to be with and look out for herself, especially since she has her own problems.” To have her go back to him after that was completely unrealistic, but I suppose it wouldn’t be an “against all odds” romance if she didn’t.
Despite some idiotic moves from both, this is an excellently written book. I always judge by how much I like the protagonist, and except for some strange decisions apparently made to move the plot along early on, I love her. That did cost a potential higher grade, as did the note I wrote higher. This could have earned a 5/5. I’m just glad there wasn’t any need to overplay the angry ex thing.
4/5

Passionate Desire
Woman who’s been hurt before tries not to fall in love with guy at work, even though her lust for him is so great she lets him do her while stuck in an elevator.
I can’t think of much to say here, and that’s a problem. I’ve read other books where the protagonist is damaged, but this one goes a lot further psychologically in her reactions; I’m not saying it’s not realistic, as I’m sure that kind of thing happens, but the fact she’s otherwise an intelligent individual makes it harder to take. The ex/stalker storyline feels tacked on, but then without it there’d be no story, no motivation. . . no reason for him to have to overcome her damage in order to win her. It is indeed thin on plot, and the characters are okay, if bland. Just feels like there’s nothing special; even the sex scenes were unmemorable.
3/5

;o)

Book Reviews: Erotic Carpenters, Pilots, and Students

Again, rather than post something witty that happened to me today—usually at my expense—for the erotic reviews I invite you to search out photos of Black Widow from the Captain America Winter Soldier movie. . . but then you might never come back, so read this first.

Not Safe for Work
A corporate woman shows her new boss around the office on a weekend, and they end up having sex there. Turns out big boss, the cold humorless type, has cameras installed and saw the whole thing, firing her. . . but not him. Hmmm. Turns out there was an ulterior motive, but in which direction is he jealous?
This is a novella, short enough that I didn’t have time to make notes, write down impressions as I went along. On the other hand, it was short enough to remember. The one thing that really annoyed me was that she hated the big boss for firing her, yet oh so willingly let him have her, even if her lover was part of it. By the end she was claiming to love him. That didn’t strike me as anywhere near true; this would have been simpler if she’d done it just for the sex, or even to please her boyfriend. This three-way relationship was just too dysfunctional to bear.
2/5

Blackmail
Yale student misses class because she was asleep in a common room. She hears her TA coming and hides in the closet. Then she watches him having sex with a guy she can’t stand. Assuming it’s rape, she records it, gets caught, and is forced to participate and also be taped so everyone can have blackmail material on each other.
I thought I’d become used to having multiple points of view, but in this case it was a bit confusing. Perhaps it’s due to Julian and Tristan’s names being too similar. As for the writing, there’s a really long philosophical discussion that made me want to tear my eyes out, while also making me glad I didn’t actually major in philosophy despite getting easy A’s in the two electives. I’d rather read about Mia playing the piano again.
On to the characters. I wish Tristan hadn’t been pushed so far into jerkass territory than I found him unredeemable. Mostly he’s, to use Mia’s words, “spoiled and self-important because his parents are ridiculously wealthy; used to getting his way because, although I am loath to admit it, he is unnaturally gorgeous; and predisposed to treating people like a means to an end.” Julian seems to be weak-willed and will go along with whatever they tell him, which is unusual as he’s the oldest. He was meh at best. Mia seemed cool at times—liked her but didn’t love her—at least when sex isn’t getting the best of her. I certainly didn’t like her basically giving Julian a free pass for all the crap he put her through. She had the potential to be a smart character, but too often her mind failed her; annoying.
The ending just seemed weird to me, both what happened with his illness and the keys; might have been more dramatic in the sequels had she declined and Julian was forced to ostracize her in public while still wanting her. Even the sex scenes left something to be desired.
2/5

Cockpit
A female airline pilot approaching her sixties comes across her old high school boyfriend sitting in first class on her flight to London. She eventually meets him for a drink in their hotel, not expecting anything to happen because he’s wearing a wedding ring, as well as their ages. Boy, was she wrong.
Interesting that, after quite a few mentions of age at the beginning—mostly with her wondering if she could be sexy enough—it was never mentioned again, certainly not during sex. Though her self-doubt was understandable, there seemed to be too much of it, especially in her rivalry with a flight attendant half her age who’d screwed her now ex-husband. A little more of London would have been nice too.
In the end it was cute but no big deal. Extra points for having an older couple, especially the sex scenes in offbeat titillating places like the London Eye and the flight simulator. But other than that it seemed pretty standard.
3/5

Drilled
Beautiful construction worker goes in to work on a weekend, expecting to be alone—“No one had listened when she’d pointed out the problems at the time and now they were at the wire. They didn’t listen because she was a woman”—only to find herself being ogled by two rich businessmen. Erotica ensues.
For once the cover actually fits the story!
Danni loves doing construction, and it gives her a connection to her late father. She’s got a greedy, though in the end understanding, matronly mom and a horrible stepdad. I don’t remember her having any girlfriends, though I might be forgetting. Still, she seems more well-adjusted than most of the heroines in this genre, so I kinda loved this character. The two rich guys weren’t total jerks, for once, though of course there’s the inevitable miscommunication near the end that has to happen before the happy ending.
For the most part I enjoyed this. Not happy with them throwing their money at the stepfather, especially after what he said to her on the phone; he didn’t deserve it, especially considering he never apologized. Other than that, there was a lot of fun dialogue between the three when not having sex, and included some quickly-inserted fun characters–when they dressed her up and took her to lunch, for example–that, had their story been longer, would have been fun to get to know. But perhaps they’ll have their own stories later. . .
4/5

;o)

Book Reviews: Erotic Motorcycles, Teachers, and Time Travel

I feel like instead of the usual funny line or snippet of conversation, I should post a nude photo or some such when it’s a review of erotica. . .
Nah. There is a photo I can recommend, of Katherine Heigl in a black leather catsuit, out there in the vasty internet, if that helps.

His Human Rebel
Fourth in a well-written series of male alien master/female human slave stories, this one features a more common soldier rather than aristocracy, as well as the most delightful lead character so far.
Unlike the previous reasons for buying up humans, this time a whole bunch are brought in from a jail to help the war effort. And in fact Cambry does learn to fly, but once Lundric has her in his sights that becomes secondary. . . though she does have a hidden agenda of her own.
There’s a formula to these dominance erotica stories, so I don’t worry about the plot too much. The guys almost always act like entitled Neanderthals, so it’s the female protagonist that will make or break a book. There’s some similarities in them as well, as they start out feisty and learn to love, or at least obey. But the women are sufficiently different to make them unique and entertaining.
In this case Cambry’s pretty awesome, my fave of all the ladies in this series, and that’s saying a lot. Too bad her trust issues keep her from being honest with him—not that he’s earned it, but still—but that’s the way of most romance novels, even the sci-fi erotic ones. Lundric’s even more Neanderthal than most, especially at the beginning, but if she taught him to treat people better then I guess her “sacrifice” was worth it.
4/5

Stay After Class
College senior virgin desperately wants her cork popped before her next birthday, because a psychic told her to. She’s got her sights set on her art professor doing the honors, but the last thing she expected was for him to take her on a long frustrating journey to that point.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand it’s a well-told romance, but on the other. . . I can’t imagine her being that patient with someone who, as much as he wanted to do right by her, was manipulating her the entire way. He certainly wouldn’t have done that with an older woman, or one not as innocent. Despite his claims, it felt like this whole long timeline was more about him; she could have been more open about what her deadline and the dating app meant, but he treated her like a child far too much, and his excuse of “protecting” her was the ultimate in condescension.
As for the characters, Amanda was a lot of fun, as was her BFF. Even their emoji use was on point; the cherry with the fireworks was particularly hilarious, as well as the band-aid. As for him, he seems to be a genuinely nice guy who simply has no idea how to treat a modern woman; he seems to be stuck in some sort of weird age of chivalry, mixed with some Neanderthal “She’s mine” crap. Every other character seemed to be differing shades of evil.
I will admit the author almost got me by including a musical piece by one of my fave musicians, Jesse Cook, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t give any extra credit for that.
3/5

Slave to the MC
In the second book of a series—I did not read the first—a smart sassy part-time stripper deals with trying to pay off her mother’s debts while being the sexual plaything of an entire motorcycle gang, including the wives.
This story is unusual: it’s one thing for a submissive to be such with one master, but to be a more than willing slave to a gang, not just in sex but having her entire life controlled. . . that’s not seen often. The good thing is that, even as she fights it, she realizes she enjoys this kind of thing, which makes it a lot easier to take. She’s surprisingly introspective, and pretty damn smart, at least in her thoughts if not in her life choices.
Wasn’t particularly a fan of the story, since I hate all the gangster stuff, but some of her thoughts were intriguing, and if she’s willing—as she always is—the sex scenes are pretty hot in a primal way.
3.5/5

30th Century: Escape
A military woman from long in the future sends troops back to the 27th to fix history so humans don’t get genocided, but instead of heading the mission she slips off to the 21st to start a new life.
This story had a lot of potential, but the writing was surprisingly stilted for someone who’s published so much. On the other hand, this might be his first work of fiction, and if so the inexperience shows. The conversations feel wooden and the descriptions lack style; oddly enough, that happened more and more toward the end. Having read other sci-fi erotica recently, this simply pales in comparison. In fact, it’s odd that it is listed under erotica, as there aren’t any sex scenes until the last half, and even then it’s lackluster, pedestrian. One of the main reasons is the use of the word penis. . . exclusively; apparently the author lives in an ivory tower or cave where he’s never heard of another word for the male organ.
It’s not just the sex scenes, though; there’s not a lot of emotion in the writing, period. She cried, she felt sad, that’s it; no elaboration. By contrast, the science stuff goes on for pages. Her dissertation defense lasted far too long, making me think this was the whole point of the book, with the rest just framing. And most of the science was far over my head even when she was asked to explain it in layman’s terms. Annoying.
Some of the writing is just ridiculous. “You are the mother of the children. . .” Did you really think she didn’t know that, Jen? Another example: “Jennifer gritted her teeth, hoping she was not talking over his head. If she was, would his attraction to her die?” Seriously? What a modern 21st century woman, let alone 30th. More to the point, in the few scenes we get of the 30th century—as well as the 27th—they show worlds that don’t seem all that different from today, especially socially as compared to technologically. That makes no sense; not much thought was put into that. Another problem was all the characters I had to keep track of, particularly the women, as some of them had similar names.
I wanted very much to like this, which might account for some of the disappointment. I enjoyed the premise, all the way up to her being alone on the island. Once she was rescued it went downhill. Jennifer is for the most part a likeable lead character, though there were times when she was simply too good to be true. The anthropology and archaeology of the Pacific Islands was interesting, as it fit into my own hobbies, but in the end it didn’t lead anywhere, so I suspect it was just the author’s pet.
And it was so sad that we never saw the dolphin again. . .
2/5

;o)