Tour’s Books Blog

June 11, 2009

June Erotic Romance Roundup – Part 2

I did warn you it was a werewolf kind of a month, so let’s do the Lunar Mates books I read first and I finish with another werewolf tale.

Christmas Moon by Loribelle Hunt (Lunar Mates Book 5)

Werewolf twins Cain and Abel Williamson have a special Christmas present this year – account Delilah. Raised in foster homes, Delilah has spent her life fending for herself, but when an old friend called and asked if she was interested in a job, Delilah applied and ended up with an offer she didn’t want to refuse, even if it did mean relocating just before Christmas. At least she’ll know Chloe, her college roommate. She made a Thanksgiving wish, a tradition learned from one of her foster mothers, for a man of her own. Standing in a house in the middle of a blizzard, her very first snow storm, she has a matched set. Twins.

Abel Williamson is the Enforcer for the pack, his brother Cain, a Hunter of rogue werewolves, is now retired because they need to claim their mate – Delilah. Something not even Chloe knows is Delilah has a special gift, kind of a Dr. Doolittle thing, she can communicate with animals. As she gets ready for bed, she sees two wolves outside her bedroom window. She reaches out with her mind, but instead of the usual animal emotions she gets the blank wall of a human mind. She’s fascinated by the wolves. Convinced they’re playing, and never having any fear of animals, she wraps herself in a quilt and goes down and slips out onto the porch. They were beautiful to watch. When they become aware of her, they approach with caution and she realizes she’s allowed herself to get too cold. Raised in Nevada and Florida, she’s unprepared for how the low temperatures and wind will affect her. Suddenly the wolves shift and there stand the twins – naked, and looking pissed off at her.

There is the usual erotic punishment scene before Able beds her – alone. I found it rather odd that Delilah wasn’t at least a little freaked by werewolves and slipped so easily into this relationship, but the is a novella, so there isn’t much time for character building. Seems Cain is into a little BDSM too, so he has whips. (eyeroll please)

Next day word of the murder of a twin reaches them along with two Hunters from a southern pack that have been trying to catch him. One other set of twins in their pack has a twin missing. There’s Cain and Able, and their fathers, who are arriving soon for the holidays. The Hunters, Rule and Lawe, are themselves twins. In this particular ‘world’ there are no werewolf females.

It’s mostly the usual story from here out and any reader of werewolf novels could probably diagram the plot line with no help from me. For a novella, the characters developed adequately, but the plot and the various scenes had a ‘been there, done that’ feel to them. Not exactly inspired, but no disappointments either.

My Grade: C- (2.7*)

Who would enjoy this book: Fans of standard werewolf stories. The rating would be xx.

Available as an ebook from Cobblestone Press. Most stories in this series seem to be novella length and shorter.

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To the Victor Go the Spoils by Nia K. Foxx

Not a werewolf book, but still shifters of various breeds. Amanda Jo ‘A.J.’ Spoils is a lioness, as well as a US Army combat veteran having seen action in Iraq. She finally had to resign her commission and return to private life, but she wasn’t about to let her controlling father run her life for her if it could be avoided, even a few more weeks. The family compound, despite its size and opulence, or maybe because of it, made her want to take off – so she makes arrangements to go to Alaska to a remote cabin. Just what she needed. She claims its orders and leaves her family with the impression its National Security.

Amanda arrives in Alaska and gets out into the bush, but needs a boat to reach the cabin she’s rented. Seems her being a female is a problem. She assures them no, it isn’t. After some argument, she gets the boat and supplies and finally reaches the cabin. She scents bear, just as she was warned. Next morning, she finds her ‘territory’ was marked, so she promptly erased the mark using a concoction of various household cleaners. She heads out, anxious to enjoy her freedom, knowing when she gets home her father, head of the pride, will insist she decide what pride she will join with. She’d rather not, but her father can’t accept that.

She barely gets started when she smells a bear shifter. Damn. She shifts and starts marking her territory in warning. Then she finds she’s trespassed on another shifter’s territory. A grizzly – and he’s pissed. Well, she’s a lioness and solider and knows the benefit of a tactical retreat, which she does at her best speed that no bear could match – until out of nowhere she’s hit full tilt by a second bear leaving her gasping for breath in human form. Two men, really big men, stood over her asking of she was alright. Both looked scruffy, one fair and blue eyed and one darker with green eyes. When she can finally talk again, she apologizes for trespassing. The big green-eyed one carrying her tells her this is no land dispute, they had invoked the Rite of the Victor – she must choose one of them as mate by morning.

Then they start spouting antiquated shifter laws at her and keep insisting she choose a mate – one of them, Regan Nardeau and Kam Victor. She did check out their equipment – and it was impressive. Regardless, hauling a 300 pound bear shifter home and telling Lance Spoils his daughter was mated outside the prides? That would not go over well at all.

She does what any sane female would do and says there’s no clear victor, one chased her but the other knocked her over, she refuses to choose. The two calmly announce, “Death match it is.”

AJ has seen enough of that so insists there must be another way. They decide she should try them out and see which she prefers. Such guys. Ground rules – no penetration. So AJ is a lioness with male bears pleasuring her.

She chooses Kam and he cannot wait to take his mate and claim her. Her café au lait skin and military background just make her more appealing. He has no problem with cross species mating and he’s more than happy with his choice. Their time is cut short when Regan sends a signal telling Kam there’s trouble on his land. He orders AJ to wait. That doesn’t sit well with her at all, especially since she’s former spec ops. She’s no more than back at the cabin when the radio goes off and she’s told her mother’s in the hospital and her brother has sent the plane for her. She barely has time to pack when the boat arrives. She’ll have to deal with Kam and his feelings later. Her aunt, more of a mother than her real mother, was shot and needs her.

Helena was a respected archeologist before marrying her father, but one of the requirements the other female pride members set on her was giving up her career, which she did. When she was exiled to Egypt by the pride females, she faked papers and got herself on a dig, its leader an American, Cheryl Boden, in Ethiopia. Helena was denied access to an artifact, but Cheryl drew it for her and it was ancient shifter relic. All Helena knows is the items were sealed and shipped to New York. Helena believes the chest contains the Parchment of Origin – the story of how shifters came into being and the basis of shifter law.

Her brother is more interested in her new mate. He pries out the details bit by bit and laughs his ass off at finding she’s mated to a ‘Neanderthal’ of a shifter. Then her mother Julia shows up and minutes later so does Kam with Regan in tow. AJ learns that Kam only told her a piece of the story about himself. Pissed she invokes the Rite of Reversal, loses. Meanwhile AJ’s ‘team’ her former military contacts, have been out hunting and barely manage to save the life of Cheryl Boden – who isn’t exactly what she seems either.

The story progresses at a fast clip, but the ending is just not even remotely believable for me and kind of spoiled what was to that point a good book. Ms. Foxx writes well and I liked AJ, Kam, Regan and Leo a great deal. She does well with her plot elements right up to the silliness about the artifact at the end. Annoying ending aside, for a short novel, Ms. Foxx packed a lot in without sacrificing characters or story details. Had the ending matched the rest of the story, this would be a 4* book.

It should be noted this is listed under ménage, but it is not a ménage story. The ‘threesome’ did not involve anything beyond pleasuring the female so she could choose her mate.

My Grade: C (3*)

Who would enjoy this book: Fans of Christine Warren and Bianca D’Arc. The rating would be NC-17

Short novel available as ebook only from Loose-ID

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Riding Double by Evie Adams

About the most positive part of this contemporary ménage book is it was short. Here we have three characters that were downright annoying involved in a childish sexual games and some D/s. Skye Taylor is a spoiled brat, immature, thoughtless, manipulative, childish and selfish. Trent Harris is the classic enabler with the ‘Kick Me’ sign on him and not enough spine to dump the bitch.

“From the rosy glow of her cheeks, the bark in her hair, the dirt and leaves stuck to her jeans, he knew what happened. With Skye, it always ended up being the same thing. Drag Trent to the bar. Pick a fight that Trent would be forced to finish. Get so turned on by the rush of adrenaline she’d beg Trent to fuck her wherever they were. And Trent, the poor sorry bastard, didn’t have enough willpower to deny her.”

Caleb Jennings has watched this for years, wanting Skye too, but knowing he could never let her drag him into the same stupid game she always played. Let’s give him points for a measure of intelligence. Well, that covers the first quarter of the book.

Caleb offers Trent an alternative to Skye’s endless escalation in her thrill game. A ménage with a side dish of D/s. Trent is more than willing to share Skye and Skye is titillated by the idea, but keeps trying to manipulate Caleb like she does Trent and it just doesn’t work. Along with that, he also convinces Trent to stop allowing Skye to jerk him around. That takes care of the rest of it.

Basically, you have sex, ménage sex, D/s sex and then we go back to the bar where we started. Why these guys want Skye is beyond me. These are three people who kind of deserve each other, but the readers deserve better. Preferably with a story. A real story.  This was the award winner for most annoying book in the 6 months.

My Grade: F (this thing owes me points*)

Who would enjoy this book: Anyone who wants sex and doesn’t care if they like the people involved. The rating is xxx.

The novella is available from Siren as ebook only – and if there is any justice in this world it will never see print

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Bitten in the Bayou by Selena Blake

Jules and Andre Deveraux are in the bayou looking for a woman at the request of a man claiming to be Angelica Humphrey’s ‘boyfriend’. Angelica’s in the bayou taking nature photographs. Her instincts sent her running from William Bardsley, a man she felt was dangerous to her and others. These two don’t seem like William’s thugs. They seem at great pains to establish William isn’t her boyfriend. Plus they’re all starting to get mighty wet as the rain starts. The wet tee shirts on those guys are really getting to her and she needs to bail before the hurricane hits.

The two men hurry Angelica out of the swamp and storm and into their house. And a very nice cabin it is, complete with art and electronic storm shutters. “Somehow I don’t think you two are everyday swamp rats,” she said with a smile. She has no idea. Jules and Andre aren’t just a couple of hot Cajuns, they’re hot werewolf Cajuns and they’ve scented their mate.

As an erotic long short story (I simple cannot call something this short a novella), Ms Blake does a good job of setting the scene and giving the characters some dimension. The story is predictable, but well written. I do find trying to capture the sounds of a Cajun accent with things like ‘dat’ for ‘that’ and ‘de’ for ‘the’ rather annoying, but that’s an endemic problem – and it could have been a Highland wolf, or are all Highlanders vampires by romantic literature law? Anyway – will all of you writers stop that insanity? It is just so damn irritating.

I have to give Ms Blake credit for the unusual game of Scrabble. Almost made me wish I could spell well enough to play – with two Cajun werewolves. Also, she gets points for not having the three of them hit the sheets in the first 10 pages. You get hints about past issues between the brothers, but in this short of a format, there’s little time to develop minor story lines. Fast forward 4 days and she’s still with them enjoying the usual insatiable sexual activities of werewolves. Then William’s long reach gets one of the brother’s shot and instead of calling 911, the other brother calls his friends and insists Jules will be fine when he wakes up. I leave William’s fate to your imagination – as does the author. No time for gory details. The brothers’ being werewolves does not trouble Angelica – well, we’re only a couple of pages from the end, so there isn’t time.

For the format, this was a well done story, had all the important elements and told a complete tale. The writing quality was very good. Stories this length tend to annoy me as I much prefer the well developed longer formats, but short formats are very popular and for a quickie, this is a decent choice.

My Grade: C- (2.9*)

Who would enjoy this book: Fans of short format ménage stories, readers of Bianca D’Arc and Lauren Danes’ Cascadia Wolves. The rating would be X.

This short story is available as ebook only at Cobblestone Press

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2 Comments »

  1. I thought the first Eve Adams Menage Amour had a real TSTL heroine so didnt bother to try RIDING DOUBLE.

    I just read the Tasty, Vol 1 which had an Eve Adams short in it and I wasnt as bothered by her work in that one. I read it for the Jenny Penn story (Cattlemen #2), skipped the Carlton Amber and couldnt get into the Dee Knight.

    Comment by seton — June 11, 2009 @ 9:56 pm | Reply

  2. The Tasty Vol 1 is on my list of possibles for Siren, but I’ve been less than happy with their menage stories of late, so it wasn’t a priority. Besides, I find I have little patience with BDSM.

    Comment by toursbooks — June 11, 2009 @ 11:35 pm | Reply


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