One-Quote Reviews: Strangers on a Train

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.)

<whining>

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.

</whining>

Continue reading

World Series of Romance: Going for It by Elle Kennedy

Going For It by Elle Kennedy

  • Title: Going For It
  • Author:  Elle Kennedy
  • Series: N/A
  • Genre(s): Contemporary
  • Publisher: Samhain Publishing, November 2008
  • Source: Amazon ($2.10 ebook)
  • Length: 62 pages
  • Trope(s): Athlete, Friends-to-Lovers
  • Quick blurb: Struggling bar owner seduces retired ballplayer before she’s forced to sell her business.
  • Quick review: Nothing to recommend about this predictable novella – and a few annoyances that almost ruined it.
  • Grade: C-

Starting new would be good for her. She hoped. But she had no intention of leaving town with regrets, and not jumping Riley’s bones would be the biggest regret of all.

The heroine has lost her family-legacy business and her apartment, forcing her impending move across the country to live in her sister’s basement. But no big deal — her most important priority is to get laid by a jock.

While I didn’t have much respect for the heroine or the hero (no spoilers!), the friends-to-lovers romance was realistic and kind of sweet, I loved that the heroine did the seducing, and the grand gesture HEA was really good.

This would have been a solid C, but a few “Oh, FFS” moments kicked me out of my reading trance:

  • No-condom sex with a self-admitted manwhore. Twice. But it’s OK, because she’s on the Pill.
  • The irrelevant and unnecessary inclusion of the heroine’s BFFs — their Sex and the City drunken tell-alls were pretty eye-rolling.
  • The hero mentally describes the heroine as “saucy.” I added that adjective to to my List of Patronizing Ways to Describe Your Heroine. I haven’t decided if “saucy” is better or worse than “sassy.”
  • The heroine feels “waves of pleasure in her womb.” Let’s review: Womb ≠ Vagina. Womb =  UTERUS.
  • The hero’s only defining traits as a former pro athlete are his swagger (he swaggers a LOT) and his preference for “the three B’s…blonde hair, blue eyes and big tits.”

This was one of Kennedy’s early efforts, and reviews of her recent books have been much more positive, so I’m not going to let this short “meh” scare me off this author yet.

One-Quote Review: Hard Tail by JL Merrow

  • Hard Tail by JL MerrowTitle: Hard Tail
  • Authors: JL Merrow
  • Series: N/A
  • Genre(s): Contemporary, M/M
  • Publisher: Samhain Publishing, May2012
  • Purchase:Amazon, $4.24
  • Quick blurb: Unexpected stint managing a village bike shop changes the life of a London “posh tosser.”
  • Grade: A-

As we stood there staring into each other’s eyes, I had the strongest, almost painful urge to kiss him. He’d had me at buggery.

Good lord, I barely recover from the last one, and now another A grade? You real writers are ruining my bitch cred. RUINING.

Bitches.

One-Quote Review: Handle With Care by Josephine Myles

  • Handle with Care by Josephine MylesTitle: Handle with Care
  • Author: Josephine Myles
  • Series: N/A
  • Genre(s): Contemporary, M/M
  • Publisher: Samhain, April 2012
  • Purchase: Amazon, $3.44
  • Quick blurb:  Even kidney failure can’t keep these two apart.
  • Grade: B+

Because this was Ollie, and he was moaning my name, and he still wanted me, despite me being broken.

Complex characters, complicated relationship, much-deserved HEA. *~*happy sigh*~*

Spice and Smoke by Suleikha Snyder

  • Spice and Smoke by Suleikha SynderTitle: Spice and Smoke
  • Author: Suleikha Snyder
  • Series: N/A
  • Genre(s): Contemporary, M/M, Erotica (?)
  • Publisher: Samhain, April 2012
  • Purchase: Amazon, $2.66
  • Tropes: Star-Crossed Lovers
  • Quick blurb: Bollywood celebrities reluctantly star in their own personal soap opera.
  • Quick review: Bollywood + angst + humor + HEA + great writing = I want MORE
  • Grade: A

Longer review coming soon, but for now… Wow. I need to read it again with a more critical eye, but I definitely *need* to read it again.

When the cameras stop rolling, the real scene begins.

To their adoring public, Avi Kumar and Trishna Chaudhury are Bollywood’s sweethearts. Behind closed doors, their open marriage lets them freely indulge in all manner of forbidden passions. The arrangement suits them both, but as they begin filming on the set of their new movie, the heat of new and rekindled flames singes the pages of what they thought would be a fresh script.

When costars Michael Gill and Harsh Mathur arrive on set, the sexual temperature goes up exponentially—at least for Trish. She can’t take her eyes of Harsh, for whom she’s carried a torch for years. Avi’s instant attraction to Michael, however, bounces off Michael’s solid wall of resistance.

Meanwhile, ex-boyfriends Vikram Malhotra and Sam Khanna, cast as fictional enemies, are finding it harder and harder to control the very real demons that once cost them the love of a lifetime.

Once the music starts, though, they all have no choice but to dance . And pray the fallout doesn’t ruin all their careers…and destroy their love.

Bollywood + Sexy Times + Gratuitous Musical = Kelly Hands Over Her Debit Card.

Continue reading