Tour’s Books Blog

July 13, 2009

Short Reviews – More Romance and Erotic Romance

Here we go with a bunch more reviews, mostly ebooks – novellas, short novels, and full novels.

  • Title:  The Joy of Ex
  • Author: Brit Ryan
  • Type: Romantic Suspense
  • Genre: Murder Mystery
  • Sub-genre: First Book Lily MacInnes series
  • My Grade: C- (2.8*)
  • Rating: PG:17
  • Where Available: Samhain

This romantic mystery by new author Brit Ryan had a terrific start and initially I liked Lily MacInnes.  Unfortunately, the story got choppy and nearly unintelligible at points and Lily behaved like an idiot in a ‘too-stupid-too-live’ chick-lit book.  The worst was when they suspected she’d been slipped a ‘roofie’ and her new police superintendent boyfriend, Paul Mascara, insisted on a blood test and she threw a tantrum that would have annoyed me in an eight year old.  On top of that, the moron who drugged her may end up partner in her investment firm of 1 – her.  Mind you, she neglects her business for weeks while she runs her ex-husband’s restaurant.  By the end of the book, Lily, who started out shrewd, smart-mouthed, and savvy, ended up being just another ditsy twit who had to have things her own way while ‘helping’ anyone who uses the word ‘help’.  Paul is weakly drawn and his relationship with Lily not believable, but even less believable was his job, which barely got a nod beyond his title.  It was in interesting idea and there were several interesting characters, but the story never gelled. I ended up unsatisfied with the story and the characters.

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  • Title:  Jinxed
  • Author: Inez Kelly
  • Type: Romance
  • Genre: Contemporary
  • Sub-genre: Plain Jane and the Hunk
  • My Grade: B- (3.7*)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Where Available: Samhain

Francis (Frannie) Sullivan squabbles with a McHottie over her seat assignment on a plane.  Then he invades her taxi and she storms of – with the wrong bag.  Jinx Sullivan takes one look and KNOWS this is the woman for him, now he just has to convince her, and that isn’t easy.  Both have emotional baggage, but Frannie’s is really bad.  Years of her ex-husband mentally abusing her has her convinced that McHottie will eventually come to his senses and leave her.  She keeps turning down his proposals of marriage until he makes what he swears is the last one – and she says no again.  That breaks the damn on all the hurt she’s had bottled up from the way her first husband treated her, but with some help from her friends, she also realizes he’s too good to lose.  Now she has to win him back and he has to get her down the aisle.

I liked Frannie, though I thought Jinx way too good to be true.  No man is that thoughtful and understanding. 🙂  At least not in my universe.  Still, this was a good contemporary with a feisty, sometimes self-destructive, heroine and a handsome, rich, terminally understanding hero.

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  • Title: Salvation for Three: The Endland Chronicals
  • Author: Liza Curtis Black
  • Type: Romance
  • Genre: Futuristic
  • Sub-genre: Erotic
  • My Grade: B (4*)
  • Rating: X
  • Warning: Menagé
  • Where Available: Siren

This well written futuristic novella is the first of a series and it was very solid.  Unlike most erotic romances in the novella format, this was not simply a sex-fest.  It was a story with three well developed characters, though the underlying ‘universe’ is a well established trope.  The Alliance has tampered with child bearing to the point where now there are few fertile females from whom to gather eggs and fewer still that can actually carry a child.  The fertile females are virtual prisoners during their child-bearing years.  Swearing this would not happen to her daughter, Lhan, a scientist, developed and implants a masking device to hide her scent during her fertile times.  Unfortunately, Keer still has the burning, painful need to mate during those times and she must hide it or the Alliance will take her.

Tiny and only marginally enhanced by implants, Keer Teho becomes a bondhunter (bounty hunter).  Her boss is a human, Drak Voi, who has come to treat her like a sister and looks out for her.  Because she’s small and looks harmless, the runners never expect her to one of the best bondhunters out there – but a trip to Endlands for a capture ends that when she learns the word is out about her among the runners.  Her greatest weapon is surprise and that might well be gone.  Keer is battling her urges from her heat as she tries to leave the planet when she ‘hears’ a telepath in her mind and ‘sees’ a very erotic three-way.  Fearing these men, she attempts escaping, only to have her craft crash.  Captured by Hunters and taken to their underground city, it turns out the men, Cian and Tirin, are not at all what she was expecting.

Cian and Tirin must now convince the frightened Keer she’s safe and will not be turned into a breeding machine – and they are her mates.  The rest of the story just really works well and stays within the confines of the ‘universe’ in which it’s set.  As Keer expected, Drak does come for her.  The ending is not at all the usual and I really look forward to the next Endlands book.

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  • Title: Penelope’s Awakening
  • Author: Robin Giedon
  • Type: Romance
  • Genre: Historical – Regency
  • Sub-genre: Erotic – Lady Chatterley’s Lover style
  • My Grade: C+ (3.25*)
  • Rating: XXX
  • Warning: Menagé
  • Where Available: Cobblestone Press

Lady Penelope married Ralph Jamison 18 years ago when she was only 18 herself.  The man’s an abusive drunk and womanizer who is gambling and drinking his way through her fortune.  Her coachman, Claxton MacWilliams is a bear of a man who carries her sotted husband to bed and becomes quite forward.  Penelope is drawn to him and within a few days she ends up going out to the stables to find him with a bottle of her husband’s best whiskey.  He knows why she’s there, and it’s not for a discussion as to why he left Scotland or a drink and he gives her what she really wants.  Claxton is younger than she is has the feel of a natural Dom. He is also bi-sexual.

Ralph’s scheming father decides it’s time to seek court ordered control of Lady Penelope’s money.  Her brother, Sir Gilbert, will be a serious obstacle as he’s a member of the Society for Gentleman of Distinction and a man of influence, but Gerald will bribe the courts to get what he wants, and he wants Penelope’s fortune.  His lawyer (? in England it’s a solicitor or barrister, not lawyers) is shrewd and not very ethical. Sir Gilbert starts his own work on behalf of his sister Penelope.

Ralph makes Claxton saddle a half-broken stallion against his advice and takes off for a ride to be thrown and dragged by the frightened horse.  Still alive, they get him back to the house.  The ending is not at all what one expects.  Penelope is quite clever and once out from her husbands control, takes charge in a most unusual fashion.  For erotic romance fans, there’s plenty of sex, m/f, m/m and m/f/m, exhibitionism and light bondage.  Lot’s of errors in the period setting and language, but I doubt that will bother most readers.

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