Tour’s Books Blog

March 5, 2009

Erotic Romance and ebooks – March Installment

I decided to make ebooks and erotic romance a monthly installment on the blog. There are a number of websites that offer ebooks at a substantial savings over print copies – for all the obvious reasons. The pricing is far better than Kindle and you can choose anyone of several formats to choose from and almost all have free readers available for downloading to your computer. This month’s entries in this are pretty diverse – werewolf, si-fi, contemporary – but all have two things in common – a sense of humor and a story that’s a cut above average. There are four books reviewed this month: Deception by Jenny Penn, Trouble Comes in Threes by Timber Dalton, Rogue’s Run by Lara Santiago, and Menagerie by Lara Santiago. All are available at BookStrand and Menagerie is also at Amazon.

Deception by Jenny Penn

At slightly under 160 pages of actual reading, Deception is a short novel, but it is a surprisingly entertaining, albeit lightweight story, for a ménage entry. We meet the main characters in Chapter 1 when Tessa Miller answers the door to find two hunks in construction worker’s clothes. Man that escort agency DID understand her bizarre request! She sweeps Ty and Chase up her stairs and right down the rabbit hole. Two more women are in the conference room and one is in obvious distress. She’s convinced her husband is gay.

Ty Manning and Chase Dunn have come to pay a personal call on the bane of their existence, their own personal Wicked Witch of South Bend – Tessa Miller, the woman single handedly stopping their massive construction project. Only Tessa isn’t the shriveled up old maid they were expecting. Unable to get a word in edgewise, they find themselves facing 3 women who think they’re ‘male escorts’. Chase hasn’t had so much fun in ages and starts playing along. Ty keeps trying to get things on some kind of a track, but Tessa is not to be denied her brilliant solution to finding out if Linda’s husband is gay, or bisexual. After all, escorts are cheaper than private detectives!

Linda runs off and Marcie follows. Tess decides on Ty because Chase is “too thick”. Now Chase is offended, then they both get offended when she assumes they’re a ‘couple’. Their manhood in question, the two of them spend the night proving just how not gay they are. Come morning, Ty is still there and Tess is embarrassed as hell about the night before. She rummages around and has to run down stairs wrapped in a sheet to raid her petty cash box to give Ty his ‘tip’ as she shoves the bewildered and now angry man out the door.

These opening chapters are priceless, so is her revenge when she learns the Ty and Chase she’s been playing with are actually the developers she’s been battling in court, Manning & Dunn. I was laughing out loud in spots and believe me, that’s a rare thing with the vast majority of ménage stories. Not a lot of story, but that’s to be expected. Think of it as a screwball comedy with lots of hot sex.

My Grade:  B-

Who would enjoy this: People who like a quick, hot read that includes a good laugh. The rating would be XX, but a tasteful one.

Trouble Comes in Threes by Tymber Dalton

Here’s another ménage story that has some good moments. The Lyall triplets, Aindreas the eldest, and Alpha Prime, Brodey the middle and the Beta of the Alpha triplets and Cailean, the youngest by 15 minutes and the gamma of the group are all attending the First Annual Arcadia Highland – in July, in freaking FLORIDA! As werewolves originally born in Scotland some 230 years ago, wearing kilts comes naturally.

Elain Pardie had fought her way up to being on air talent for the local TV station. She’s doing some on the scene work for coverage of the Highland games. After interviewing the organizer, they head back to the truck.

Brody and Cai scent their mate – the one they’ve waited so long for. They start chasing the scent. Losing it, Brody shifts to wolf form to follow better. He tracks her right to the news van. Unwilling to see such a beautiful ‘dog’ taken to the shelter, Lannie lets him in the van and then takes the ‘dog’ home. She does a bit on the news about him and Ain calls to claim him. On her day off she takes him all the way out to the ranch to deliver him and make sure this is really his ‘owner’. Ain sees her rings and declares her off limits despite Brody’s claims there were no male scents in her home. The brothers get around his rules and manage to take Elain to lunch and learn the rings were her grandmothers and she’s totally unattached. Later they both go down on her in the parking area.

Elain goes nearly insane with her suddenly over active sex drive and goes back to the ranch to find out what the two brothers did to her and basically get laid! Ain ends up giving in to his own urge to taste her and then he explains what it all means.

Now here’s my problem. The men knowingly caused this woman to suffer by having oral sex with her that will cause certain irreversible physical changes that overloads her libido and she can find no relief from anyone except them. Then, unless she agrees to mate according to THEIR rules and live with them in accordance with THEIR rules, they can do nothing to relieve her suffering according to THEIR rules. Now who can make a sane decision under these circumstances? The second issue is the way Ain behaves after the mating. Honestly, what a petty dictator. I would have been off looking for a gun with silver bullets.

My Grade: C+

Who would enjoy this book: Fans of Alpha male books. Readers of Leah Brookes Desire series. The rating would be X.

Rogue’s Run by Lara Santiago

First book in her new Galactic Gunslingers series

The Segoha is a planet that shuns technology and is run by a strict religious sect where women obey men and all wear antiquated garments. Abigail Deveronne was married off to an elderly neighbor less than 1 week ago and she wakes up to find him dead. Not knowing what to do, she runs to her old home and guardian, Pitney. She’s blackmailed by the threat of having her beloved Aunt Eugenia put in an Elder Home to leave Segoha to become the wife of a man in a colony on the distant planet of Raylia.

The wreck of a ship that Pitney found for her transport is grounded on Delocia. Abigail only has one month to reach Raylia and time is running out. Now the slimy captain of the ship wants her to get the necessary part – by trading ‘one hour of female companionship’ for it. Furious, but left with no option because of her aunt, Abigail stomps off to the one and only parts store.

Jesse Pelland is just trying to make a living. Who knew two circuits of a camp fire equaled marriage on certain nights of the year. Now Jesse needs the money to buy his way out of the damn marriage by doing a little private bounty hunting with a highly illegal weapon he kept from his days as an elite law enforcer, a Galactic Gunman. On his way back to his transport, his shuttle starts leaking fuel and has to land on Delocia for a part. He lands well away from the town and shuttles in arriving at the parts store just in time to get knocked cold and have a gun planted on him – the gun that killed Horace, the shop owner. Head throbbing, he immediately realizes his peril and goes get his part and get the hell out when Abigail walks in.

Abigail looks at the man she must barter her time with and begins rethinking the ‘begging off’ routine. He’s handsome, young and looks like he’d know what he’s doing, and this might be the only chance she has, so she decides to go for it. Jesse is confused as to why this good looking woman needs privacy for her exchange, but anything that gets him the hell out of the store works for him. They go to his ship and Jesse is shocked and delighted with exchange.

When Jesse awake, Abigail s gone, but she dropped her proxy marriage papers. He reads them quickly and realizes she’s destined for Raylia. Reluctantly he heads back to town and finds Abigail is under arrest for murdering Horace. He decides to sign the proxy papers and claims he’s married to Abigail – and right now he is. The one thing he swore he’d never, ever do again – get married.

The story goes on and the ‘happy couple’ heads back to Segoha, over the severe objections of his crew, to get things cleared up. The ending is a ‘happily ever after’ and scumbag Pitney gets his.

This book is part of the Ménage series from Siren publishing, but the ménage parts are virtual reality, so fans of true ménage might not be happy. It worked just right within the boundaries of the story. At 160 pages, it’s just about right for the story line, though the return to Segoha could have used a bit more meat as it had great potential. I’ll be giving her other Galactic Gunslingers a read based on this.

My Grade: B

Who would enjoy this book: Fans of paranormal and futuristic romances as well as those who like ‘ménage light.’ Santiago has a sense of humor and uses it here. The rating would be NC-17 to X.

Menagerie by Lara Santiago

This is the first Lara Santiago book I read and it was a good one. Her premise is clever as is the core of the plot. What could have been a very pedestrian story was witty and realistic for the genre, kind of a contemporary si-fi romance. And it even has the happily ever after that romance is supposed to have.

The set-up s this: Aliens have a space route near Earth. It’s necessary, but has an unfortunate side effect of plucking humans from the Earth and sticking them in the spaceships. To deal with these unwanted passengers, the aliens put them is stasis. Over time they realized the human brain wouldn’t stop and the humans went mad, so they created a virtual reality for them to ‘live’ in. Unfortunately, there are way more males than females, so each females must ‘service’ a group of 5 males – without ever showing favoritism – for THREE YEARS. The possibility of being returned to Earth depends on it!!

The aliens hadn’t counted on Valerie Thornhill. She isn’t one to just accept anything, especially all these rules the aliens lay down. Valerie keeps getting called before the alien council and warned about her behavior, but she so does not take orders well. And then there’s the whole ‘no favoritism’ thing and mandatory time with each male. Finally, Valerie does the one thing that could wreck the chances for all of them to return to Earth, she falls in love.

This is a really good book and the ending is very clever! Lara Santiago earned a ‘keeper’ spot with this one.

My Grade: A-

Who would enjoy this book: Fans of strong, clever, funny females leads, a touch of si-fi and those who like a healthy dose of humor with their sex. I’d rate this book NC-17 to X.


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