Archive for the 'Erotica' Category

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.

09
Aug
07

Charlene Teglia: Wild Wild West

In one of the most searingly erotic Westerns ever penned, Charlene Teglia breaches uncharted territory. But reader beware: this tale is hotter than hell. The faint of heart should turn back now…Three city girls from Seattle are enjoying a night out at a chic coffee house in downtown Missoula, Montana, the heart of the old West. When a gang of cowboys mosey in looking for trouble, they find trouble of the best kind… and these boys are primed and ready to ride. There’s Gabe, a hard-bodied rancher who’s discovered some imaginative new uses for rope. Chet, a rodeo cowboy who’s charmed the pants off more than a few country girls and vows to remain a bachelor for life. And Reuben, a former Army ranger with a taste for edgy sexual games. As the couples embark on a scorching night of passion and play, they experience the most exquisite pleasure—and discover kinky new thrills they never dared to imagine. Because when it comes to knocking boots, cowboys do it best…

Great start, meh middle and fabulous ending.

Or, since it’s a trio of novellas, great first novella, meh second and fabulous third.

What I can’t get past about this book is that the journeys for all the heroines are too similar. Charlene does a good job of making each of them feel fresh again, and I’m certainly going to pick up her next St. Martin’s title (the extract at the back’s looking good), but it’s a big part of the reason why Wild Wild West gets 3.5 instead of 4.

I’d consider paying mass market cover price for just A Man’s Word is His Bondage and Reuben’s Rules. They are scorching hot, terribly readable and I think Reuben’s Rules might grow into a keeper for me.

Wild Wild West rates 3.5 out of 5. Continue reading ‘Charlene Teglia: Wild Wild West’

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.

20
Jun
07

Anya Bast: Witch Fire

Mira Hoskins doesn’t know she’s a natural born witch who possesses the rare—and powerful—element of air. She also never expected to find herself tied to a mahogany bed frame, captive to a man who aches to fulfill her every desire and let loose the magick that dwells inside her…Heat emanates from elemental fire witch Jack McAllister. The Coven, a governing authority of witches, has sent him to protect Mira from a band of warlocks who drain witches of power… and life. Long ago, he saw Mira’s parents murdered by this same dark magick. He’d like to quell his guilt and offer her everything she deserves. But she’s the long-lost cousin of his boss—making seduction off-limits.With Jack’s strong guidance, Mira is luring forth her inner magick. But his sense of duty is quickly swelling into insatiable hunger. They warned him about the natural attraction between air and fire. Now he risks being consumed by the woman he shouldn’t want—but can’t stay away from …

I’ve not read Anya‘s work in a few years now.

Witch Fire reminds me again of why I fell in love with her back then, and takes it to a whole new level.

It’s a hot read, to be sure, but where it truly shines is Jack and Mira’s relationship. The conflict’s quite simply, delicious.

I don’t think it’s a terribly long book (I don’t have a print copy, so I can’t tell), yet it felt like I spent several days reading it–I don’t mean that it dragged, because it didn’t. Just that I felt I spent several wonderful days inside it, though it was probably more like two hours.

This rates 4 out of 5.

18
Jun
07

Portia da Costa: The Tutor

‘David’s ready, Rosie,’ said Celeste. ‘His hormones are driving him crazy. We’ve got to do something about it.’

‘We?’

She handed Rosie her drink and watched her intently as she sipped it. ‘Oh, come on, Rosie,’ she said finally. ‘You know why you’re here.’

‘But I’m a librarian,’ Rosie protested. ‘What on earth can I do?’

When Rosalind Howard becomes Julian Hadey’s private librarian, she soon finds herself attracted by his persuasive charms and distinguished appearance. He is an unashamed sensualist, a man of wealth and intellect who, together with his libidinous wife, Celeste, has hatched an intriguing challenge for their new employee.

As well as cataloguing their extensive archive of erotica, Rosie is expected to educate Celeste’s young and beautiful cousin in the arts of erotic love. Having led a sheltered life, the young man is simmering with youthful passion. In luxurious surroundings, they find themselves drawn into increasingly decadent scenarios where experimental sex is on the menu and likeminded libertines reap the rewards of unbridled desire.

I felt that Rosie’s transformation into a very sexually-aware woman was very well done, and as for the sex…It is Portia Da Costa we’re reading here. ;)At the same time, it was Julian and Celeste I really wanted to read about. Oh for characterization, plot etc, Rosie is probably more interesting, but for titillation purposes, I can’t help but wonder if Julian and Celeste would be more…yummy.

This 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.

01
Jun
07

Amie Stuart: Hands On

Monday through Friday they’re known as Alex, Mel and Carl. But come Friday night Lexi, Lanie and Carlotta trade their blue collar personas in for high heels, martinis and men. They’re smart, sexy and successful, and they’re taking HANDS ON to a whole new level.

Amie does a pretty good job of writing three novellas with three distinctive voices–all three are in first person.

The blurb tells us exactly what the book is about, smart, sexy and successful women. None of them are “have time to do their nails and hair every day” type of ‘successful women’ I’ve seen readers complain about. They worked for their success, and they are still working for more.

I think there’s too much telling in Lexi’s story, maybe because it’s the first one and sets up the other two as well.

With Lanie’s, I felt that not all the issues were given enough time. At the same time, I like that Lanie finally hashes it out with her family.

Personal preference showing here, but I think Carlotta’s novella is hands down the hottest of the three.  The male protagonist, Devon, is also the best drawn in all three novellas.

I can’t remember who mentioned appreciating the sisterhood in romance novels, and technically, this isn’t a romance novel, but on more than one level, Hands On is also a book about sisterhood. They have the sort of friendship that you know will last and will be there for each other.

The ending was great, by the way. It’s a Happy For Now ending, and despite that, it was a very satisfying ending.

I believe this anthology should be read as a novel, so only one rating.

Hands On rates 3.5 out of 5.

23
Apr
07

Jaci Burton: Wild, Wicked & Wanton

Three friends…three secret desires…three chances to make it all come true.

They’re inseparable best friends who delight in sharing their wildest secrets and dares. But their latest bet is the boldest one of all: each must sleep with whomever the other two have chosen for her. And come back with every juicy detail...

Whooooo hot!

All three stories are heroine-centric, and I personally think that it is quite the feat Jaci‘s managed to write three novellas featuring three different kinks without it feeling like she went “I’m going to write one menage, one BDSM and one voyeur/exhibitionist story and put them into one anthology.” Props to her for that.

Also, now that she’s written about the ABC girls, when is she going to write about the XYZ boys? Gotta have something to bookend our Jaci Burton collections. 😉

Individual reviews behind the cut, but first…

This rates 3 out of 5.

Continue reading ‘Jaci Burton: Wild, Wicked & Wanton’

07
Mar
07

Gail Dayton: The Compass Rose

One desperate call to the gods…
One blast of extraordinary magic…
One gift of unimaginable power…The legends of the Godstruck were just that – legends. Until, in an attempt to defend her people, Captain Kallista Varyl called on the One for aid and was granted abilities such as no one had seen in centuries.

Now Kallista has been charged with a new destiny as one of the most powerful women in the land- but her power is useless if it cannot be controlled. Mastering her “Godstruck” abilities is the first step. The next, learning that she cannot unlock the secrets of the Compass Rose and defeat her nation’s enemy alone. And finally she must stop a demon-possessed king….

The Compass Rose: fourfold magic barely understood-or contained….

The Compass Rose is the first book in Dayton’s Rose series.

I think I expected a book with more risks taken than this, and that if I hadn’t expected more, I would have liked this book a lot better. IOW, it seems…well…tame.

I think Dayton handled the polyamory aspect quite well. You see the slow shifts as the ilian begins to meld.

I would have liked to see more of the worldbuilding.

But where this book really fails for me is Kallista, the main protagonist. I didn’t finish the book rooting for her.

This rates 3 out of 5.

07
Feb
07

Megan Hart: Dirty

I loved Dirty. I loved Dirty. That sounds really Dirty.

Curiously, for a first person novel, it is distant. I didn’t really connect with Elle; it’s more like watching a movie then sinking into Elle’s head.

But what a lovely movie! Slowly, we peel off the layers of Elle’s personality, and it is a sensual ride into her psyche.

I do think that Dan could have been…Well, I think Dan doesn’t really ‘pop’ off the page.

FYI, Megan sent this to me.

This rates 5 out of 5, because I reread it again before writing this review and loved it just as much.

04
Dec
06

Alison Tyler: Sweet Thing

I’m a huge Alison Tyler fan. She hooked me first with her blog, and then with the fabulous short stories in her anthology Exposed–I’ve not finished with it as I’m rationing the short stories.

Because I’m being lazy, but think you really should get this book, you get the backcover blurb:

Jessica Taylor is an LA girl through and through: ambitious, stylish and a big fan of old Hollywood movies. What she wants more than anything is to become an ace reporter. Her editor Dashiell Cooper holds that key, but what he wants most of all is her. Jessica is starry-eyed but not as easily pinned down as the cynical Cooper would like. He uses a whole repertoire of charmer’s tricks to try and seduce her, but she challenges him at every turn, finding her pleasure playing X-rated games with sultry-looking guys who look like James Dean. What transpires is a game of kinky cat and mouse set in the hush-hush world of LA gossip columns and glamorous parties. Can Jessica get what she wants without giving in to Cooper’s lustful obsessions?

It’s what I call a dirty-girl romance. If you’re looking for something fun, naughty and very very very hot, this is for you.

This rates 5 out of 5.

30
Nov
06

Jordan Summers: Saber-Tooth

Kegar comes to Earth, and finds that his mate is a woman who thinks he’s a science experiment in the making.I honestly didn’t think it’d work.

But man, it does. Saber-tooth is a hot little novella, and if it was available in print, I’d tell you it make a great stocking stuffer for your best galpal. 😉 Or since it’s the season to spread joy, why not drop it in your best friend’s inbox?

This is for Angie‘s TBR Challenge.

This rates 4 out of 5.

PS This was a contest win.

08
Nov
06

Lauren Dane: Tri Mates

This is the third story in Lauren‘s Cascadia Wolves series.

Normally, the “We are meant to be together as mates” plotline bugs me, but Lauren does manage to pull it all together because she develops the relationship beyond, “Ooh, we’re meant to be together! Let us fuck like bunnies!”

They do fuck like bunnies, though I daresay Trace, Gabe and Nick will take issue with the bunny part. 😀
The trio have an interesting dynamic, one that I wish could have been explored more in depth. Put another way, I felt that the book was too short and that, if you’re the author, is always a good thing.

This rates 4 out of 5.

24
Jul
06

Pure Sex

Lucinda Betts: The Bet

Very hot, and very sensual, but despite it’s novella-length, she does actually leave me satisfied that Zoe and Phillip are meant to be together. That is really rare for me. And their banter sure is fun!

I’ll be keeping an eye out for her.

Bonnie Edwards: Slow Hand

I’ve had problems connecting with her characters before. Same thing again, and I think it’s simply that her writing doesn’t work for me.

Sasha White: The Crib 

Alexis reminds me of Annabel from Alison Kent’s gIRL-gEAR books–I’ve just read it, before writing this review. And that’s a very good thing in my book.
Sasha’s writing style is almost raw, and it suits Alexis’s voice perfectly. I don’t tend to like reading sex scenes in first person, but this time, it works for me.

My quibble is that I don’t think the plot worked very well. I felt it suffered Novella-itis, which is when the author had to cut and cut and cut some more in order to keep it a novella.

And since she tells me she reads my blog, Sasha, are we going to get another Alexis book?

I liked this antho, but I’d honestly suggest getting the authors single titles instead. You’d probably get better value for your money.

FYI, Sasha sent me this book.

03
Jul
06

Vivi Anna: Hell Kat

Note: I have the original version as published by eXtasy Books. I believe the Aphrodisia version is revised.
I wasn’t expecting much from this book. Hot sex scenes loosely connected by a plotline was what I was looking for when I opened the book (or file, if you prefer).

The sex scenes weren’t very hot, the plot was okay and the characters were one-dimensional.

FYI, for those of you who believe romance needs a happy ending, Hell Kat doesn’t have one–my edition doesn’t, anyway.

It’s very sad, because I’ve seen Anna’s other blurbs, and it sounds like stuff I’d love to read.

26
Jun
06

Angela Knight: The Forever Kiss

This is my first AK book–because I saw the pink cover for Master of the Moon and couldn't bring myself to pick any other AK book up. 

I picked it up expecting a hot read. It is, after all, a Red Sage book, not to mention that Angela Knight is known as a hot writer. And it had vampires, tortured vampires! 

But it just didn't work for me. Her voice, I think, is the issue. I couldn't get 'sucked in.'

So I was skimming as I reached the end. Even the sex was boring.
Disclaimer: This book is a signed copy I won from Kate Douglas. 

25
May
06

Mandy M. Roth: Loup Garou

I won this from AngieW *mumble mumble* months back. So it's fitting that it's my TBR Challenge review this month. Sorta. 

I'm not sure I like the lead character, Lindsay. Somehow, she didn't work for me. It's nothing to do with the fact that it's a first person romance–I've read others and liked them. 

I felt as though I was being dragged from end of the emotional spectrum, to the other side, and back again without any logic to it. 

And the name of the hero, Exavier, got to me. I kept thinking about Professor Xavier and the X-Men. Tasty enough, but somehow he didn't quite live up to the whole prince of darkness thing. 

Basically, for me, the book started out really well, went to pieces in the middle, and somehow Mandy managed to glue the pieces back together for the ending. A coherent ending that makes me glad that I didn't quit in the middle. 

I was going to stop there, but then, it occurs to me that I'd really like to read Lindsay's parents story.

Oh and I've read another Roth book, but I can't remember it, or I'd recommend it to you.  

11
Apr
06

Tracy Sharp: Repo Chick Blues

Disclaimer: Tracy Sharp was kind enough to send me this book herself. 🙂

How could I not review a book titled Repo Chick Blues? It’s just got that very hip feel to it, don’t you think? And it’s got a great cover, so check it out at Tracy’s website above. (Also, thank the cover gods that it wasn’t another man-titty one)

It’s an erotic romance written in first-person, and I think it’s the first one I’ve read.

Leah has a history, but she doesn’t do everything because of it. Yeah, she decided to do what she does in the book because of her history, but if she had not stumbled into it, she’d not have done it. See, didn’t I do a wonderful job of not spoiling? She’s not one of the heroines who decide to become an FBI agent or a cop because of her history. Thank goodness. That is soooo old.

The one thing about her characterization that got to me was that she thinks about sex a lot. Yes, I know she’s liberated. But it’s not necessary to give every erotic romance heroine a masturbation scene.

Callahan–the hero–is a good match for her, but because it’s a first-person novel, he’s not very well-rounded. You only ever see him when they are together, and there are lots of little details that were not ‘concluded.’

Repo Chick Blues is really all about Leah. When people talk about strong heroines, they are talking about heroines like Leah.

All in all, it’s a good book. Taking a leaf out of the lovely ladies at Paperback Reader, recommended with reservations.

07
Apr
06

MJ Rose: The Halo Effect

This is the first book in the Dr. Morgan Snow series.

I liked this book, which centers around Morgan, a serial killer targeting prostitutes and a patient of hers who is a prostitute.

Morgan is a sex therapist, and Rose (who is the blogger who does the excellent Buzz, Balls and Hype as well as Backstory) has clearly done her research. 

Then there's her writing. Rose is a writer at heart, but without that love of words that makes certain writers prose on, and on, and on. She has a lovely voice, with darkly sensual tones that many writers would like to have but don't.

She's not a writer who grabs you by a throat. She's a writer whose style draws you in, then her vision will wash over you, and you'll be a fan of hers.  

The Halo Effect isn't a Must-Read for me, but it might be for you. Something was missing for me, though I hope to find it in her other books. 

I certainly plan to get her other books, including the next Morgan Snow book, The Delilah Complex which will be out later this year, as well as her Spice (Harlequin's erotica imprint to be launched next month) novel.

04
Mar
06

The Hard Stuff

This is anthology is one of the first Aphrodisia titles.

I won my copy on Writeminded, and it came signed by Karin Tabke.

Stakeout by Karin Tabke
A cop and a Fed, with a past relationship, and the case they are working on now…

It’s pretty nifty how Karin managed to avoid the squick factor some of us (not me) see in group sex by having her hero and heroine be voyeurs instead. Very hot too.

As for the story, it’s not rushed, unlike many novellas I’ve read, and the storyline works. Karin has a deft hand with banter, and if she becomes a repeat author for me, that will be why.
Bodywork by Bonnie Edwards
This is definitely the novella I enjoyed least.
The sex itself was hot. But the story left me cold. I hardly think that’s what an erotic romance writer would want to happen to her read.

I can’t explain why. She’s got craft, pacing, etc. I just don’t think the story has heart.

Chinatown by Sunny

Mark my words, but Sunny is going to be a star. 🙂

Beautiful writing, well-structured, and it all comes together with a sensual feel.

The Hard Stuff is definitely worth getting. It runs to the more vanilla-side of erotic romance (I’m not saying this is a bad thing; it simply is), but sometimes, it’s about the writing and not the content. Karin Tabke and Sunny have certainly succeeded on that score.

But for those of us who are looking for more hardcore sex, Kate Douglas’s Wolf Tales would be more the thing.