I’d go with an “All Aboard!” intro, but that would be too cheesy even for me. Beware of CAPSLOCK OF RAGE and FANGIRL SQUEE (not in the same story, thank god.)
Before we get to the good stuff, a brief plea to Samhain Publishing: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, FIX YOUR EBOOK FORMATTING. The default 6pt font and forced sans serif is beyond annoying — it makes me cringe every time I open a recent Samhain title. I’m willing to put up with it for trusted authors, but it is a definite barrier to trying new ones.
- Title: The Seduction of Elliot McBride
- Author: Jennifer Ashley
- Series: Highland Pleasures, Book 5
- Genre(s): Historical (Victorian)
- Publisher: Berkley, December 2012
- Source: Amazon ($7.99 ebook)
- Length: 320 pages
- Trope(s): Angsty Hero, Perfectly Perfect Heroine, Reunited, Baby Epilogue
- Quick blurb: Jilted bride is the perfect remedy for a tormented ex-soldier’s PTSD.
- Quick review: A whole lot of angst, but none of the emotional intensity I expect from this author.
- Grade: C
“You were light and life. You are heat, and I’m so damn cold.”
I’m not bitter about paying full price for this, and I’m definitely not giving up on the series, but Juliana was boring, Elliot wasn’t much different from every other scarred hero, and the HEA came *thatclose* to being a Magical Orgasm Cure.
- Title(s): Seth & David, Max & Finn, Adam & Holden
- Author: L.B. Gregg
- Series: Men of Smithfield, Books 2- 4
- Genre(s): Contemporary, GLBTQ, Suspense
- Publisher: Carina Press, September-November 2012
- Source: NetGalley (Seth & David, Adam & Holden), Amazon ($3.39 ebook)
- Length: 89/108/150 pages
- Trope(s): Age Difference, Beta Heroes, Asshole Heroes, Uncontrollable Penises, Insta-Lust, Virgin,
- Quick blurb: More m/m stories from small-town Connecticut.
- Quick review: A downhill slide from the humorous angst of Book 1, with an emphasis on skeeviness and shallow suspense.
- Grade: C, C-, D
Book 2: Seth & David
Uptight guardian of six-year-old niece gets the hots for his hippie-esque new massage therapist.
He was everything I had never ever wanted.
I didn’t really connect with Seth — I would have loved to read the story from David’s POV. And the “meet-cute” was NOT cute or humorous AT ALL.
Book 3: Max & Finn
Prep-school teacher and security expert reunited when they must protect a celebrity student from a stalker.
I stumbled along as best as I could, channeling Scout in her ham costume á la To Kill a Mockingbird.
I had to pick that quote because I just watched To Kill a Mockingbird last night, and I like to be reminded of Gregory Peck whenever possible. ANYWAY, I read Max & Finn right after Mark & Tony (Book 1), and I was not expecting the suspense elements — this one is long on plot and less on character.
Book 4: Adam & Holden
House-bound writer finally gets to meet his sexy new landscaper when a dead body turns up in the garden.
But this was right. I felt reborn. Renewed. I felt free with him – as if the future was finally at hand and I could at long last set into the light of day. All the pain and the fear of two years had somehow brought him to me…and he was worth everything.
Asperger’s (Adam) + Agoraphobia (Holden) = Magical Orgasm Cure². Yay!
Grade: D (“yay” = /sarcasm/)
- 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.)