- Title: Hot on Her Trail
- Author: Sable Hunter
- Series: Book 2 in the Hell Yeah! series
- Genre(s): Contemporary, Erotica
- Publisher: Self-Published, February 2011
- Purchase: Amazon, free in Kindle Lending Library (regular $4.99)
- Tropes: Insta-Love, Virgin Heroine, Cowboy Alpha Male, Serial Killer, Magical Orgasm Cure, TSTL
- Quick blurb: Homeless orphaned dyslexic pregnant virgin hides out in baby daddy’s barn to escape her bipolar stalker/serial killer.
- Quick snark: A return to Tebow Ranch, where the women are childlike virgins and the men are misogynistic fuckwads.
- Grade: F
Soooo, after laughing my way through the first book of this series, I strapped on my big-girl undies for Book 2:
Jacob McCoy wishes for a wife and a family. Tis the Season for miracles when a young woman shows up on his doorstep: homeless, in danger and expecting a child – Jacob’s child.
Their relationship is complicated by the fact that, A – they’ve never met before and B – she’s a virgin. Jessie is determined not to be a burden to the McCoy family. As far as she’s concerned, she is just passing through. Jacob has a different opinion – he wants Jessie in his life, in his bed and in his heart.
It’s a good thing I suited up in protective gear, because in between the vomit-inducing Insta-Love and some serious WTFery, this book PISSED ME OFF. Therefore, I am subtitling this review:
A Return To Tebow Ranch: Where The Women Are Childlike Virgins And The Men Are Misogynistic Fuckwads.
This is going to take a while, so fasten your seatbelts – it’s going to be a long and wild ride. Like getting your bra strap caught on the fake horns of a mechanical bull and you can’t get off until someone takes pity on you and unplugs the damn thing.
Warning: If you don’t like spoilers or dirty words, go elsewhere. You know, in case that “fuckwads” thing wasn’t a big enough hint.
- Title: Cowboy Heat
- Author: Sable Hunter
- Series: Book 1 in the Hell Yeah! series
- Genre(s): Contemporary, Erotica
- Publisher: Self-Published, October 2010
- Purchase: Amazon, free (now regular $4.99, free in Kindle Lending Library)
- Tropes: Insta-Love, Virgin Heroine, Alpha Male, Wicked Ex-Wife, Magical Orgasm Cure, Plot Moppet, Simile Sex, Sports Metaphors, Religious Metaphors, Cowboy, Sensitive Artist
- Quick blurb: Virgin cancer patient, artistic cowboy, orgasmic brownies. You do the math.
- Quick snark: A truly astounding collection of Sex Similes.
- Grade: D-
I’m always on the lookout for cheap, fun and short erotica, and this one caught my eye because it was free, it had decent ratings on Amazon and Goodreads, and the blurb was intriguing:
Aron McCoy has sworn off women – except for sex. When Libby Fontaine arrives at Aron’s Tebow Ranch, she is determined to cram a lifetime of living into a few short months. The doctor has told her that she can’t count on her remission from leukemia being a permanent one. Their attraction to one another is instantaneous and overwhelming. But when Aron finds out that Libby is innocent – he backs off. He has nothing to offer a girl who deserves white lace and promises. Then Aron catches Libby pleasuring herself in his stock tank and hears her cry out his name – and the heat is on.
I wasn’t expecting award-winning literature, but this went straight onto my “Thank God It Was Free” shelf. Inconsistent characterization, random point-of-view changes, painful dialogue, laughable sex….
And the similes. MY GOD, the similes.
You’ve never seen a collection of Sex Similes like this, and you likely never will. Here’s a quick sample to get your juices flowing:
Twin globes of perfection hung down like the most delicious melons. Sweet Jesus! Honey-dews!
No, really. And that’s just a teaser.
(Didja get that “juices flowing” metaphor? <snort> I crack myself up sometimes.)
- Title: Love, Come to Me
- Author: Lisa Kleypas
- Series: N/A
- Genre(s): Historical
- Publisher: Penguin, August 2011 (first published June 1988)
- Purchase: Amazon, $7.99
- Tropes: Bodice-Ripper, Insta-Love, I Hate You Except When We Kiss
- Quick blurb: Rebel-in-Yankee-Territory gets the hots for a New England snob.
- Quick review: Great setting, so-so heroine, inconsistent hero. It kinda sorta almost works.
- Grade: C
Full disclosure: I own every one of Kleypas’ historical romances, and her recurring character Marcus Marsden, Earl Westcliff, is my Fictional Boyfriend.
Therefore, I was compelled to purchase the recent reprint of one of her earliest novels, Love, Come to Me, despite the promise of an unhealthy amount of bodice-ripping:
Bewildered, startled, she felt his lips against hers, tasting her in a way she had never dreamed of. His mouth was blazing and hungry, she was shaking, this time not from cold but from a heat that burgeoned deep inside her.
When strong and handsome Heath Rayne pulled lovely young Lucinda Caldwell from a winter river, he rescued her from an icy death. But soon he was plunging her into a torrid torrent of passion that this New England beauty had never suspected could claim her. Heath was unlike any other man Lucy had ever known — a dashing, mocking, sensuous Southerner who came as a stranger to Lucy’s Massachusetts town…and stayed to conquer all the odds against him…as he stripped away Lucy’s last shreds of resistance to the demands of desire and the flaming fulfillment of love…
It’s a good thing an introductory Author’s Note was included in this new edition – Kleypas herself sums up my own reaction:
I hope you enjoy the story of Lucinda and Heath, which was written with an enthusiasm that will hopefully atone for any weaknesses that I must cheerfully ascribe to youth and inexperience.
It’s very obvious this was the work of a rookie novelist, with a LOT of angsty, repetitive internal monologuing. But overall, it’s oddly charming, with enough sparks of Future Kleypas flaring up to keep me interested.
- Title: The Outsider
- Author: Ann H. Gabhart
- Series: Book 1 in the Shaker series
- Genre(s): Inspirational, Historical
- Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company, August 2008
- Purchase: Amazon, free (regular $9.99)
- Tropes: Insta-Love, Star-Crossed Lovers
- Quick blurb: Local doctor disturbs the peace of a reclusive religious community.
- Quick review: A fascinating glimpse into Shaker life, but dragged down by inconsistencies and narrative flow problems.
- Grade: C-
Ooooh, free stuff! Free is good. Sometimes.
For as long as she can remember, Gabrielle Hope has had the gift of knowing–visions that warn of things to come. When she and her mother joined the Pleasant Hill Shaker community in 1807, the community embraced her gift. But Gabrielle fears this gift, for the visions are often ones of sorrow and tragedy. When one of these visions comes to pass, a local doctor must be brought in to save the life of a young man, setting into motion a chain of events that will challenge Gabrielle’s loyalty to the Shakers. As she falls deeper into a forbidden love for this man of the world, Gabrielle must make a choice. Can she experience true happiness in this simple and chaste community? Or will she abandon her brothers and sisters for a life of the unknown? Soulful and filled with romance, The Outsider lets readers live within a bygone time among a unique and peculiar people. This tender and thought-provoking story will leave readers wanting more from this writer.
An inspirational book blurb that calls a religious sect “peculiar”? Not a good sign.
I’m really glad I got this as a free promotion, and didn’t pay the (ridiculous) full price of $10. As much as I wanted to like The Outsider, it ended up being kind of a dud.
- Title: Shattered Glass
- Author: Dani Alexander
- Series: Book 1 in the Shattered Glass series
- Genre(s): Contemporary M/M Romantic Suspense
- Publisher: Self-Published, January 2012
- Purchase: Amazon, $2.99
- Tropes: Insta-Love, Cops, Sex-for-Hire, Gangsters
- Quick blurb: Cop falls in love with rent boy. With some Russian mob stuff thrown in.
- Quick snark: The main character need to sit down and STFU. Then maybe I’ll finish this.
- Grade: DNF (for now)
Two words: Bunny. Slippers. How could I NOT buy this???
A male prostitute, a mangy cat, a murder and an obsession that threatens his career, his impending marriage and his life. Nothing is going as planned for Austin Glass.
Austin Glass seems to have it all: A loving fiancee, a future with the FBI and a healthy sized trust fund. At least on the surface. He also has a grin and a wisecrack for every situation. But the smile he presents to the world hides a painful past he’s buried too deeply to remember, and his quips mask bitterness and insecurity. Austin has himself and most of the whole world fooled—until he meets a redhead in a pair of bunny slippers.
As events unfold in the biggest case of his life, Austin’s carefully planned future unravels, and he finds himself pushed into making quick, life-changing decisions. But can he trust himself or anything he feels, when each event seems to be just a series of volatile reactions?
I was sure I was going to love this because of all the rave reviews, but I gave up about halfway through because it just left me exhausted. I felt like I needed to get my anxiety meds adjusted or something.