Archive for the 'E-Books' Category

15
Jan
08

David Boultbee: The Gender Divide

Ryan Peters is an anomaly. In a world where women live four times as long as men do, Ryan is one of a few men with a similar lifespan. This difference in lifespan has had profound consequences on the world balance of political, economic, and military power and has created a social Gender Divide that threatens to tear the world apart.Determined to close this Gender Divide, Ryan will sacrifice anything to succeed. The Gender Divide has already cost him the one true love of his life and even though he has a second chance, he won’t let that stand in his way. He is even willing to give up his own life … and in a sense he already has.

The Gender Divide isn’t normally my type of science fiction, and I can’t say that it has changed my mind.

It has an interesting set-up. Women live much more longer than men, and as such, instead of a pink ceiling, we have a blue one. Then comes our protagonist, who is the first man to gain an equally long lifespan.

The author expands the concept lucidly, but it all goes downhill at the end. I admit that much of why I think the ending is weak has to do with my personal beliefs. It’s just too pat and too “let’s fix everything so that everybody can have a happy ending.” For me, The Gender Divide simply does not do its premise justice.

The Gender Divide rates 2.5 out of 5.

Full disclosure: the author sent the book to me.

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21
Aug
07

Dionne Galace: Skin To Skin

What Leilani wants, Leilani gets. That is, until she meets the enigmatic Oliver Clayton, her new neighbor. For some reason, Oliver seems to be intent on avoiding her even though he’s obviously interested. Leilani has tried to everything to get his attention, from wearing skimpy little outfits to walking a neighbor’s dog six times in front of his yard. Leilani wants Oliver…and she always gets her man.In the heat of the summer, the temperature’s not only thing rising. Luckily, Oliver has that pool in his backyard and Leilani knows just how to cool off…

I was going to say that Skin To Skin’s just good, clean fun, but there’s too much hot sex in it to be just good, clean fun.

So what’s Skin To Skin? It’s hot and sexy fun.

It has its flaws. I’m not sure what Leilani sees in Oliver except his hot bod, and I can’t help but think but Oliver being a cop is shorthand for Oliver being a trustworthy guy.

The ending is a little rushed, but it also has the type of ending that makes me smile. 😀

Skin To Skin rates 3.5 out of 5.

21
Jul
07

Joely Sue Burkhart: Survive My Fire

Trapped as a dragon for centuries by a curse impossible to break, Chanda is consumed by rage. Her heart broken, her life ruined, her entire tribe dead by her own actions, she never expects the warrior outside her lair to know the secret of her curse. Let alone that she will fall in love with him.Jalan survives the White Dragon’s teeth and claws. He survives her fire. He even survives her love. But he doesn’t come to break her curse or win her heart. Not exactly. His dark god will spare Jalan’s tribe–if the White Dragon is sacrificed.While Jalan must choose between the love of his heart and the safety of his tribe, Chanda realizes she may at last break her curse forever.

If she’s willing to make the greatest sacrifice of all.

It’s dark. It’s got dragons. It’s got bloodshed. It’s got writing so beautiful, tears come to your eyes.

And I’m so jealous that I didn’t write it myself, I’d probably put sugar in her petrol tank if she weren’t so nice. (Hey, it rhymes!)

What makes Survive My Fire shine is that you can see that Joely’s put everything she had, and then some, into it. You can tell that it is written by a woman with passion for her craft and a gift for storytelling.

It should be noted that I felt that the book kicked into high gear from the second scene. This doesn’t mean you should skip the first scene–you shouldn’t because the rest probably wouldn’t make enough sense to you then–just that you should at least continue reading past the first scene.

On top of being a friend of mine, Joely’s also just one of those writers whose voice is like crack for me. So there’s no grade, but since I think her voice is like crack, it’s kinda obvious what she’d get, don’t you think?

If you’re still not convinced–in which case I would never be able to get a job as a bookseller–check out the excerpt below. Her writing speaks for itself.

Continue reading ‘Joely Sue Burkhart: Survive My Fire’

03
Jul
07

KS Augustin: On Bliss

Hoara Felin thinks she’s in love. The problem is, the man she’s fallen in love with is forbidden to leave the planet. Plus, he’s not quite a man…Sub-Commander Hoara Felin of the Republic Space Fleet has crash-landed on a planet. Her ship is inoperable, her shipmates are dead. The only thing that can make a bad situation worse is finding she has crashed on the notorious prison-planet of Bliss—a place condemned criminals are sent…and never leave.She finds an unexpected ally in Toh, a handsome and caring man who treats her injuries and hides her from those who would hold an officer of the Space Fleet for ransom. But, as Hoara is about to find out, Toh is keeping a terrifying secret of his own.

KS Augustin has managed to pack quite a bit of conflict and worldbuilding into a little short story.

Part of it is simply her writing style, but a bigger part of it is simply that she’s got a knack for only giving us the necessary details that we can fill in the rest on our own.

I think where the book is weak is the romance plot. A lot of it has to do with the fact that Toh is a basically a blank canvas. It’s kind of hard to imagine someone falling in love with a blank canvas.

But I like her voice. I like her voice a lot, and with me, that’s practically be all and end all.

On Bliss rates 4 out of 5.

26
Jun
07

Beth Williamson: The Legacy

Noah Calhoun always felt like an outsider in the Malloy family, even though he’d been legally adopted at age fifteen by Nicky, the only sister in the pack. After an accident nearly kills his father, Tyler, Noah decides to leave and find his own place in the world. Using the skills his ex-bounty hunter father taught him, Noah finds a job as a small town sheriff. Rosalyn Benedict didn’t need a fresh-faced do-gooder sheriff trying to help her. She’d been surviving just fine on her own. Living on the streets since she was a child, Rosalyn was smarter, tougher, and stronger than most people ever hope to be.

With her stubbornness or his pigheadedness, will Noah and Rosalyn find that one place where they both belong?

One of the best things about The Legacy is how clearly Noah’s and Rosalyn’s voices are differentiated, especially Rosalyn’s.

Most of my favorite parts of the book are told in her POV. There’s just something about Rosalyn’s voice that clicks for me.

Noah is the hero I expected after ‘meeting’ him in the first Malloy book, The Bounty. Great continuity there.

This book essentially has two endings. One is the ending of the Malloy series, and the other is Rosalyn and Noah’s.

It is the ending of the Malloy series that I’ve a quibble with, and admittedly, this is a personal quirk. It irritates me to read endings where everyone’s happy happy happy.

But it’s worth a read, and while I’ve not read books 2-6 of the Malloy series, I think this is a great example of ending a series while the series is still good.

The Legacy rates 3.5 out of 5.

07
Jun
07

Summer Devon: Invisible Touch

Bonnie’s been cursed. The moment she finds a man attractive, he can’t see or hear her. The idiot who put the curse on her threatens to make it permanent unless she agrees to follow his boss, a man she finds irresistible. At first Jared thinks he’s going crazy. He knows he’s embracing a delicious female but he doesn’t know if the invisible being is an actual woman or ghost. When things heat up between Jared and Bonnie, they find a way to communicate. Now they have to figure out how to thwart Jared’s enemy or Jared will never get a good look at the woman he’s felt. . . all over.

I just cannot convince myself that a woman would be desperate enough to go down on a man who can’t see and whom she didn’t know before she became invisible to him.

I kept thinking, “He could have AIDS! STDs!”

The second half was better, and would probably be great if you could get past the above.

We get little hints about magic and deeper worldbuilding, and I think I want to read the next book.

Devon (aka Kate Rothwell) has great dialogue, both internal and between characters, and that is where Invisible Touch shines.

So, believe it or not, I liked the historical Learning Charity better than Invisible Touch. If you want to pick up a Summer Devon book, I’d recommend Learning Charity, not Invisible Touch.

This rates 2.5 out of 5.

PS The author sent me the book.

22
May
07

Summer Devon: Learning Charity

Once a gentleman’s daughter, the now destitute Miss Charity Vincent was forced to become Cherry the whore. Yet her core of a well-bred young lady remains intact — she is a thoroughly incompetent prostitute.Eliot Stevens came from America to London for business and now he sees a way to mix his business with fun. Cherry can teach him the manners he needs to fit into society and in exchange, he can teach her about pleasure-which might improve her life or shatter it.

The blurb’s rather misleading about the heroine. I’m not sure that she’s a thoroughly incompetent prostitute, just a reluctant one, and at the start of the book, she’s not been one for long. So we can add inexperienced (it’s all relative, remember?) to boot.

Eliot…came across as rather 2-dimensional to me, and unfortunately, so was the book.

I know it’s a novella, but I think that Devon (aka Kate Rothwell) didn’t dig deeply enough into the issues about Charity being a prostitute, and how Eliot feels about that. Hence the 2-dimensional feeling.

Never thought I say this, yet here I am: I would buy it if it was rewritten into a full-length novel.

This rates 3 out of 5.