May 28, 2013

Review: Fire & Frost by Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane, and Jessica Sims

Source: A review copy was provided by the authors. 

Fire and Frost is the newest collaboration between authors Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane and Jessica Sims. The novellas are unique and almost impossible to compare, but they do have two things in common: the charming, compelling characters and the way the “hot and cold” theme has been cleverly incorporated into each story.

In Speed Mating by Jessica Sims we meet Estrella, a mixed tiger and lion shifter (or liger) who is about to go into heat and asks her clan’s alpha to help her find a suitable male to have sex with. Hilarity ensues. Well, not hilarity exactly, but as the title suggests, this is a light, tongue-in-cheek story that’s all about having fun while still managing to sneak in an interesting and welcome take on the ubiquitous shifter romance.

May 22, 2013

Review: Never a Hero by Marie Sexton

Source: A review copy was provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

Never a Hero is the fifth book in the Tucker Spring series, which is the M/M Romance version of a small-town Contemporary. I have only read one of the previous books in the series (coincidentally co-written by Sexton); an experience that wasn’t entirely successful. And much like that one other book, this one ended up being a bit of a mixed bag.

The main character is Owen, a reclusive, insecure man who has serious mommy issues. He is deeply self-conscious about his congenitally amputated arm, his stutter and his sexuality. But when charming, outgoing Nick moves downstairs, Owen’s life radically changes, not only because of the instant attraction that flares between them, but because Nick helps him become more comfortable in his own skin. The rest is way too spoilery to tell. But there is a painful secret and lots of issues. Lots!

May 21, 2013

Review: The Rebound Girl by Tamara Morgan

Source: A review copy was provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

My relationship with this book is a bit complicated. On one hand, it gave me an early rush of book joy and left me with plenty of food for thought, but on the other hand, I hated most of it. And this review is hard to write, because I want to highlight the complex good, yet I’m afraid that the simple bad will ultimately outweigh it. But although I’m not sure if it’s a book worth reading, I do think it’s worth discussing. 

The story goes like this: Whitney is a plastic surgeon who just moved to a new town to establish her new practice and get over her cheating boyfriend. Matt is a kindergarten teacher trying to adjust to single life after the recent divorce from his cheating wife. They meet, she seduces him, shenanigans ensue, and they live happily ever after.

Sounds simple, right? It’s not.

May 16, 2013

Review: Imaginary by Jamie Sullivan

Guess what? The book world isn’t entirely made out of popular books! Surprising, right? That’s why today I’m reviewing this little Young Adult M/M novella that I accidentally discovered last week.

I can’t go into many details about the plot, because discovering what’s going on is part of the experience. All I can say is that Aaron is a five-year old orphan living with a set of foster parents who care about the money, but not about him. He’s lonely and sad until one day he meets James. They recognize a bit of themselves in each other and spend the day laughing and playing, but when Aaron goes back home and inquires about James and his family, his foster parents tell him that there’s no kid named James in town. He keeps seeing him, though, and the other boy insists that he’s real and that he remembers where he’s been and what he’s done while Aaron is at school.

May 14, 2013

Review: True by Erin McCarthy

Source: A review copy was provided by the publisher through NetGalley

New Adult has been a self-publishing phenomenon, so it’s interesting to see what the big publishers are going to do with it. In that regard, True is an interesting addition to the sub-genre (?), and it successfully portrays the themes and subjects of NA. Unfortunately, there were other aspects in which the story wasn't as successful.

Rory is a bit of a nerd, so of course she’s a virgin. Lucky for her—and inexplicably for us—her best friends (and I use the term loosely) and roommates are hot party girls who know exactly what Rory needs: to get laid. So they enlist the help of Tyler, a guy they know from, well, having sex with him.

While that happens, Tyler and Rory get to know each other and date a little. There is chemistry between them and they develop a friendship that’s framed by sexual attraction. They become a couple, get over a couple of obstacles, and overall make it work. And then life gets in the way. And by “life” I mean Tyler’s responsibilities and shitty mother.

May 8, 2013

Review: A Prior Engagement by Karina Bliss

Source: review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

I’ve said before that Karina Bliss is one of the best current Contemporary Romance authors, and this book is yet another proof of that. As is the case with all her novels, A Prior Engagement was one of my most anticipated books of the year, and I’m happy to say that it lived up to all my expectations.

The book is the culmination in a series of not-so-loosely related book. It’s the fourth and final story, and although all the books stand alone well, you should perhaps read the previous one, Bring Him Home, first just to get a bit of background on the characters and their situation.

May 1, 2013

In which I Use a Bunch of Arrows to Illustrate the Plot of K.A. Mitchell's No Souvenirs

No Souvenirs by K.A. Mitchell
It's the 3rd book in the series,
but stands alone perfectly well.
I just hit an unexpected —and unwelcome—reading slump, so I decided to re-read a few favorite books. No Souvenirs is a story I loved the first time I read it and that I've been meaning to revisit. The second time around was just as good, but with one pretty big exception: this book is drowning in sex.

A story filled with sex scenes isn't necessarily bad, and in this book many of those scenes were effective and necessary. The two main characters are very bad at communicating, so their relationship develops and grows through the sex. Not only that, but there's an attempt (not entirely successful) to use sex as a way to explore and reflect the power dynamics that take place outside of the bedroom. It is a good example of how in Erotic Romance the sex can, and should be, used to tell the story (or at least part of it). However, at one point I started skimming, because it soon became clear that every scene in the book was immediately followed by sex.
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The books reviewed here were purchased by us. If the book was provided by the author or publisher for review, it will be noted on the post. We do not get any type of monetary compensation from publishers or authors.