Tour’s Books Blog

February 17, 2009

eBooks and Erotic Romance – The Good, the bad and the just plain awful PART 1

The reason ebooks seem like such a good – and inexpensive (relatively speaking) – way to buy erotic romance is largely due to the fact the vast majority of these books – many short novels and novellas – simply aren’t worth more than one read – if that. I’m not knocking these books for their sexual content, after all, they ARE erotic romance, but isn’t the reader entitled to SOME story? A little character development? A beginning, a middle, and an end that actually have some purpose other than a backdrop to sex? And at least a shred of believability? I know it’s a given that the men will all be hung like bulls – has there ever been a male with small equipment? – and I know they will have insanely short recovery times between bouts of sex, that I can live with. It’s no worse than the silliness of an action movie where the hero walks away from a car wreck. Fine. They’re super studs. If I’m buying a book with vampires and werewolves, or spaceships and aliens, that’s the least of my problems. It is fiction, so hey, go for the gusto! But I still deserve a STORY!!!!!!

I confess I’ve deleted many of the awful ebooks prior to this entry, but I’ll try and post some from each category – and focus on the positive.

The books reviewed below can be purchased at  Bookstrand

Mari’s Men by Stormy Glen – (ménage) I know, the author’s name should have been a dead giveaway. The first chapter wasn’t awful. Twins Cole and Bear, the leaders of the Alpha Squad, apparently go to rescue a kidnapped child in the Cascades and find Mari with the boy. Apparently Mari can communicate psychically with the brothers – who naturally have the psychic twin thing going already. After facing down the bad guy she – unbelievably – faints at the sight of Bear as she runs from Cole, her rescuer. Everyone tough enough to face down a Russian mobster faints when rescued. It’s a given she wakes up, apparently none the worse for wear and (without any inconvenient awareness between woods and house) in bed with Cole and proceeds to have sex – unprotected sex! After that, it went right down hill.

Would someone please explain to me how supposedly intelligent men busy having unprotected sex with a young female cannot count to 28 and realize that said female has not has a period in over 2 months? Never mind, that the least of the problems with this book. I was 2/3rd’s of the way through before I found out why the ‘Alpha Squad’ even existed and what the hell it was. The author kept using the SAME SENTENCE over and over just different characters in a single chapter! Good grief. Bad writing, NO character development and no discernible story line. Hard to believe, even the sex was dull. Avoid this tripe at all costs.

My Grade: F-

Rating is NC-17 to xx This is a menage story

Sweet Dreams – Cowboy’s Curse 1 by Jenny Penn – Author Jenny Penn is capable of writing decent erotic romance. Alas, this rather garbled story isn’t one. It seems reincarnation is playing a part in this, but that’s about all I could glean as to motivation since the characters driving the story are sketchy at best. Mike Baxter, eldest of the Baxter boys, is cursed by Leslie Dicks for having sex with her sister after having been warned off. To keep things interesting, the curse hits his twin brothers first by making them 2” tall. They somehow find a witch to lift the curse and she tells them only Fairies can help. Next, they enlist the aid of biker fairies – I know, I know – to lift the curse by winning the love of a woman in a kind of dream state that only fairies can create. The premise had promise, but had the feel of a book that was written in a hurry and had elements missing. Like how the hell the biker fairies and Leslie knew each other? Why did Leslie know about past lives and not Mike? Why curse innocent bystanders? I despised Leslie for her complete lack of logic – and just to make things dumber, she knows the biker fairy that’s helping the brothers and has this long conversation with him about her obscure motivations (so believable, right?) – and Mike existed as one dimensional prop in the story. Other than the curse, it was kind of a trite twins ménage story and very uninteresting. At the end, the curse rolls over to another brother who wakes with a wooden hand. Eye roll please.

My Grade: D-

Rating is NC-17 to XX – This is a menage story

Mating Claire – Sea Island Wolves 1 by Jenny Penn – It was this book that prompted me to try some of her others. A werewolf/paranormal book. Claire Hallowell is a disgraced FBI agent thought to be mixed up with a crime boss. What the FBI didn’t know was the crime boss was taken over by a demon, Agakair, and he’d marked Claire with his brand. Under suspicion and suspension, Claire finds herself working for the Masters of Cerberus, a group that hunts and exorcises demons. Following the trail of a serial killer brings her to Wilsonville, South Carolina – a town of mostly werewolves. The alpha is Sheriff Derek Jacob and one whiff tells him Claire is his mate. She is less than thrilled to be chased by this ‘man slut’. Claire is feisty, smart and funny. The Sheriff is such a guy you have to smile. Claire has a mouthy, voyeuristic ghost that helps her out. The story is good and makes sense – within the boundaries of the genre.

My Grade: B-

Rating is NC-17 to X

Taming Samantha – Sea Island Wolves 2 by Jenny Penn – werewolf/ménage/paranormal Twin brothers Sheriff JD McBane and Caleb McBane have cameos in Mating Claire. Alphas of another pack, called Covenanters, a were breed that can half transform, produce an intoxicating mating musk, and father children only on their mates. JD comes to a racing park to just check out the new owners. Dressed in protective gear and a respirator mask, Sam (Samantha) is busy painting cars when the officious male insists she speak with him. As she strips off her gear and JD smells her he realizes the mouthy little bundle is the mate he and his brother have been waiting for. Enter a battle of wills, hot werewolf sex, a cursed necklace, a slimy ex-fiancé, and a short, mouthy PI – Lilly Masterson – and you have your mix. Some of the sex gets into that grey zone that I can find annoying as it’s ‘dubious consent’, but that’s me. The demon Agakiar puts in an appearance at the end and you’re left thinking Lilly will be starring in a future Sea Island Wolves book. My favorite scene – Sam transforms into a wolf, drags the brothers’ clothes out of the truck and rolls in them as they stand there thinking how cute – then she shreds them into confetti and proceeds to attack all four tires on the truck till they’re flat.

There is an odd disconnect in the dance scene where Mike is called her sister’s husband, not their brother as per the rest of the book. Erotic romance tends to have rather poor editing and this is no exception.

My Grade: C

Rating is XX to XXX for menage and some light bondage

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