Tour’s Books Blog

August 23, 2009

Book Reviews – Hot New Erotic Ménage Ebooks Part Two

I have 2 consistent complaints about New Concepts Publishing – the editing sucks and the printed book quality is even worse, badly bound, not square, crappy print job.  But the editing just makes me grit my teeth.  Honestly, change the damn electronic file!  What the hell is “imminently well qualified”?  Good grief.  Do your editors know what a dictionary is?  You know – that big book with all the words in alphabetical order over on the dusty shelf?  Just look up “imminently”.  LOOK IT UP! Now go look up the word “eminently”.  See the difference?  And I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen “sole” where the correct word was “soul”, so look them up while you’re there.  Damn it, my spirit is not a freaking FISH!  Or worse, the bottom of a shoe!  Shoot your editors now and put them out of their misery – PLEASE.

Take the reviews below as a tribute to my willingness to endure the horrors of NCP’s editing to read two of my favorite authors while suffering the vagaries of their editing in hopes of finding a good story.  Thankfully they were both worth the effort.

  • Title: Total Recall
  • Author: Kaitlyn O’Connor
  • Type: Futuristic Romance
  • Genre:  Erotic, Cyborg Nation series
  • Sub-genre: Ménage
  • My Grade: B (4*)
  • Rating:  xxx
  • Length: Sold as Full Novel – Approx. 90,000 words
  • Where Available: New Concepts Publishing as ebook

This book is a prequel to the whole Cyborg series.  It’s at the very beginning where Reuel and the other cyborgs are still in the process of evolving into full self awareness.  While Reuel has rescued some of the cyborgs from the recall, he hasn’t completed his own evolution yet either, so this puts this story in a timeline before Abiogenesis.  Kaitlyn O’Connor does another interesting story with Total Recall.

Chloe Armstein is the young female captain of a space salvage ship.   Since her father’s death, the only company on board are two cyborgs, Jared and Kane, that she ‘salvaged’, rescued really, from the notorious death planet, Xeno-12, and carefully nursed back to health.  Now fully recovered, they are her friends – and she has to keep reminding herself they aren’t really human, because they sure seem like they are.  Even though both are battle ‘droids, they keep acting more and more cranky men lately.  They even cheat at games!

The total recall of the S-series of cyborgs has Chloe thinking about Damon, the sexdroid that initiated her in sex.  Jared and Kane behave very oddly about her discussing it, rather like they’re jealous, and make it clear they too have the programming but haven’t used it – and then offer her sex.  Chloe is a bit shocked – and secretly attracted.  When the two cyborgs tell her the recall means they would be ‘disassembled’, Chloe immediately goes to save Damon, sparking what seems to be jealousy opposition from Kane and Jared, who are sulking a bit at being turned down for sex and seemed annoyed at her calling them her ‘best ‘buds’.

The rescue is messy, but thanks to Jared and Kane disobeying Chloe’s orders to stay on the ship, everyone make it back  – with Damon and 3 more cyborgs, Thor, Sebastian and Lucien – much to the lasting disgust of Kane and Jared.  Now Kane and Jared are really jealous, especially of Damon and his social programming that makes him seem more human to Chloe.  Then the port authority boards with the owner of the brothel where Damon ‘worked’ and Chloe has to spend all of her credits to bribe him so he won’t tell the rangers the truth – the slimeball.  Meanwhile, Jared and Kane have hidden the 4 cyborgs in the bilge – where they can stay as far as they’re concerned.

Barely escaping, the crew and their illicit ‘guests’ realize they were followed, but not by Rangers, by other cyborgs.  The other ship holds Reuel and cyborgs he’s rescued.  He has been seeking Chloe, hearing she might a friend to cyborgs and perhaps, with her experience in space, she might help them find a homeworld of their own.  It’s Reuel who explains the cyborgs gaining self-awareness, which in turn triggered the total recall.  She’s struck, too, by how all the cyborgs defer to him and automatically accept him as their natural leader.  But then, even she has heard of Reuel.

Chloe realizes the reason Jared and Kane have been acting so strangely is they’ve achieved self-awareness.  And with self-awareness comes desire – for her.  But Damon, Thor, Sebastian, and Lucian feel like she’s theirs now as well – or maybe they’re hers.  The tension among the males in the mingled crews of the two ships becomes dangerous until they institute sexual relations with the females – in an orderly fashion, of course.  They also have to find food, fight off those who want the cyborgs destroyed before it is revealed the Robotics Corporation violated the law and, most importantly, find a planet where the cyborgs can live in peace away from the humans who would destroy them.

Chloe is in a very strange position of feeling an outsider on her own ship.  Reuel’s natural air of command has even her deferring to him at times.   And she’s taking them to the world where she thought to retire herself.  Despite her youth, she’s tired of knocking around space.  But now she’s giving the world to the cyborgs and she doesn’t feel there’s a place there for her – a human.  She feels lonely, isolated, displaced and rather lost.

I was left with the feeling this was where Ms O’Connor really wanted to discuss pregnancy, which is hinted at toward the very end of the book, but that would have thrown off early stories – which are actually later in the timeline.  A minor concern along with the idea that one human female could manage 6 horny male cyborgs.  Primarily, Ms O’Connor deftly weaves the tale of emerging self awareness, longing and desire to belong, with action and plenty of sexual tension sparked with humor and moments of self reflection.  As the cyborgs grow into their sense of self and community, Chloe loses her bearings – those things that gave her an identity.  Now she is on the outside, not as strong or smart as the cyborgs.  As they grow comfortable with their emerging selves even as Chloe feels like she’s losing her own identity.  This juxtaposition of two levels of self-awareness makes this story worth reading all on its own.  Ignoring the sex, Total Recall is surprisingly interesting simply as a character study written with a real feel for the futuristic genre.

**************************************************************************************

  • Title: Wolf
  • Author: Madelyn Montague
  • Type: Contemporary Paranormal Romance
  • Genre:  Erotic, werewolf
  • Sub-genre: Ménage
  • My Grade: B (3.8*)
  • Rating:  xxx
  • Length: Sold as Full Novel – approx 90,000 words
  • Where Available: New Concepts Publishing as ebook

Madelyn Montague wrote 2 of my all time favorite werewolf ménage books, Wolfen and Call of the Wolf.  She favors certain common story elements – a woman in her 30’s, four younger men who are werewolves – actually wolfen, which are what most of us call werewolves, but that’s a different – lesser – breed here, but the stories surrounding them are very different.  In Wolfen and Call of the Wild, her heroines were mature, self-sufficient, established women with an identity and profession.  In Wolf, the heroine, Sylvie, is mature only in years, but not the self-sufficient or independent person that the other heroines were.  Despite her age, Sylvie is just the pampered daughter of a well to do family who never had to work or fend for herself.  She not adventurous or brave, but it’s fascinating to watch her grow stronger and more self assured thru the book.

Sylvie managed to get herself talked into taking her father’s boat just outside Cuban waters so some people could get treatment for cancer not approved in the US.  Her mom had gone through it and she knew her father would have done anything for her, so she feels this is the right thing to do, but it scares her to death.  Suddenly, fast moving inflatables are heading her way – from Gitmo!  Now she has men on board and she fears for her life.

Cole ‘Mac’ MacIntyre was a Special Forces sergeant on a mission to find a spy satellite that went down in the jungles of South America.  He and his men, Maurice ‘Beau’ Beauregard, Remy Cavanaugh, and Gabriel ‘Hawk’ Hawkins do their job, pick up the pieces and head to the coast for their pick-up.  As they reach the water with other SF forces, something happens to all of them – they are attacked by ‘things’ and changed – a lot.  They aren’t kind or friendly, but Cole does make sure she’s safe from the other men on board.

Six months in that hellhole at Gitmo being treated like lab rats by the military scientists fascinated with their ability to heal, increased strength and speed, and the shifting, and the men learned they were about to be killed, so they escaped.  But not all the men on board are as reliable as his 3 guys, so Mac wants to keep Sylvie out of sight.

They sail to the Yucatan and drop groups off at different spots.  The last to leave are the 4 men and Sylvie.  Once on shore they send her towards people as they head for the jungle.  Only the men she runs to aren’t safe.  They have different ideas – like rape.  Screaming for help brings monsters – Chupacabra.  She flees into the jungle where Mac and the others find her and reluctantly take her with them.  Now they have to explain that they are the chupacabra – the werewolf of horror movies.  In the long trek across the land, Ms Montague pays close attention to character development for both the men and Sylvie.  Slowly, the men learn to cope and accept what they are and the wolf side of them gets stronger and eventually all four can change from human to wolf and back again.  The group takes on the characteristics of a wolf pack and Sylvie becomes their alpha female.

I have to give Madelyn Montague credit for writing some fascinating werewolf tales and creating subspecies with the group.  Despite the fairly consistent cast of one alpha with a second nearly equal strength beta and 2 lesser betas, she actually creates very different people.  Mac fleshes out the best, but that’s true for all her books, the alpha gets the most depth to his character.  Sylvie manages to mature and get self confident, though she isn’t kick-ass brave and basically stays a girly-girl.  Getting out of Central America is really well told.  All together, Wolf is a very good read.

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1 Comment »

  1. About editing…

    I won’t name the book or publisher or author (it wasn’t any of the ones you cited above) but in one e-book I read, the heroine “shuttered” in fear.

    A different one, about shape-shifters, the female character said her wolf man wouldn’t make her “heal” on a leash (instead of “heel” which would have been correct).

    *Smacking head against table.*

    Comment by Lesli Richardson — August 30, 2009 @ 9:02 pm | Reply


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