Tour’s Books Blog

December 8, 2009

Short Reviews: Two Erotic Romances

It’s the time of year for publishers to release their holiday titles, most of which aren’t worth the money, so I’m buying very little new releases.  Wicked Pleasures came my through a sale at Ellora’s Cave, but Red Shadow is a new release, one of very few I’ve purchased lately.  Ellora’s Cave is having it’s famous end of the year sale.  Yesterday there were 23 pages of print books to choose from, and today it’s down to 22, so go grab some of your favorites while they’re still available.  There are a number of Denise Agnew titles for her Special Investigation series, a few by Shelly Munro and some other popular authors including Reese Gabriel and Shiloh Walker and Joey W Hill.  For $4-$5.50, worth a close look.

  • Title: Wicked Pleasures
  • Author: Nelissa Donovan
  • Type: Erotic paranormal
  • Genre: Alternate world; elves and magical creatures
  • Sub-genre: Myth and magic merge
  • My Grade: C+(3.3*)
  • Rating: xx
  • Length and price: Short novel
  • Where Available:  ebook at Ellora’s Cave
  • FTC Disclosure: print book purchased from publisher

Wicked Pleasures starts off reading like a boink-fest, but the story starts evolving into something more, not a LOT more, but more.  Selena DeLaPlaya is taking a well earned break from years of college by Scotland with her best friend.  She gets dragged off to a re-enactment of some ancient rite that’s acting as her friend’s graduation party.  Somehow she goes from dancing around a bonfire to flat in her back in a jungle like area with a godlike commanding her to pleasure herself.  Compelled and bespelled, she does so.  The two are found by  Serosen, a Prince and a Night Ranger guardian.  He berates Du’an for bringing over a female from Earth, and makes him leave her.  Du’an is no more than gone when a princess of the faeries appears and insists he leave the woman.  He refuses and says he will send her back thru the gate to her home.  The faerie screeches at him about how she must die and he knows this woman must be protected.  There is a war on between the various kingdoms of the ‘elves’.   He leaves with the woman slung over his should.

She’s dreamed of him, his strange skin, hair and eyes – her Dark Prince she’s called him in her dreams.  Now he’s carrying her along the dangerous passage that speeds them across great distances.  But the paths are tainted and Selena inhales.  Death comes for her and Serosen claims her as his soulmate, saving her life.  Now free of death and free of the spell she had been under since arriving in his world, Selena demands to know what the hell is going on.  Despite everything, she is deeply attracted to Serosen and it overcomes all else – even the knowledge she’s now in the mythical Tir na n-Og.

There is an assault planned on the Night Elves stronghold by the Unseelie Wizard, Garethan.  They arrive to find Serosen’s father dying.  Serosen and others are taken prisoner and it is Du’an who has betrayed the Night Elves to the evil magic if Garethan.  But what is it about Selena that makes her so coveted by the evil mage?

This is an interesting and fairly well developed story with plenty of hot sex.  Ms. Donovan wrote a second book featuring Red Claw, Serosen’s friend and Serosen’s sister Eristta.  The solution to why Selena is so important is actually fairly clever, albeit obvious.  Worth a read, but do buy the ebook or a used copy of the print book because it isn’t work the $10.99 cover price, but it is entertaining.

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

  • Title: Red Shadow
  • Author: Lynne Connolly
  • Type: Erotic paranormal
  • Genre: Series;  Urban fantasy with vamps and shifters; romantic suspense
  • Sub-genre: ménage and death threats
  • My Grade: C+ (3.5*)
  • Rating: xxx
  • Length and price: Novel; about 75,000 words for $5.95 for the ebook
  • Where Available: as an ebook at Ellora’s Cave
  • FTC Disclosure: ebook purchased from publisher

This is one of a VERY few recent purchases off the many publishers websites I visit regularly.  Not much has intrigued me, but I do have a few steamy romantic suspense books to work my way through from Samhain, so I’ve been far more selective than usual.  I do like a combination of paranormal erotic romance and romantic suspense, which is where this one falls, though it does function better in the erotic area than in the suspense area.

Ania Zelinski is used to hard work, but she trusted an old high friend and business partner with running their catering business while she cared for her dying mother and dealing with her younger brother’s diagnosis of a fatal form of muscular dystrophy, but Sheila has disappeared with a lot of money and left behind a woman Ania never met who runs the helps like they’re “escorts” for hire.  So now she’s broke and her business is tainted by a reputation for running sex services with the food and drink.  She’s gone ‘undercover’ acting as a server at a party being supervised by the sleek and beautiful Jeanine.  She’s trying to eavesdrop on the conversation she’s holding with a tall good looking guy.  The conversation is just getting to the point where Jeanine is openly soliciting when in walks hotel owner Chase Maynord, a man who knows who she is and could reveal her true identity to the woman she’s trying to trap.  She drops her tray of glasses, then ends up cutting herself trying to pick up the mess.  Jeanine fires her, not knowing she’s the boss, and then tries to pimp her out the the handsome man.

Somehow she finds herself in the man’s suite while he tends to her cut.  Suddenly she realizes he’s a Talent – supposedly fictional creatures who are very real shifters, sorcerers, and vampires – who ‘came out’ in public in recent years.  Driven by fear and greed, various government agencies and underground labs have been capturing Talents and trying to “extract” their who introduces himself as Johann Krozac.  She not exactly thrilled with his being a Talent, but she doesn’t reject him completely.  They end up having hot, wild sex and as he walks her out of the hotel, when he hears Chase yelling.  Ania tels him to go and she’ll catch a cab.  He gets there to find Chase loosing it with Jeanine, who has accused Chase’s wife Jillian of being complicit to the whole scheme.  Johann is trying to calm things down when 6 men begin heading their way – holding Ania between them.  In the following melee Jeanine is killed by the men and Ania freaks out when she sees Johann is a vampire.  She HATES vampires because of what they’re doing to her brother, Andros.  They separate on bad terms, but Johann needs to find out what her problems are with vamps.

Andros Zelinski was diagnosed with a virulent form of MD called Becker’s Syndrome.  The vampires at The Pit, a club where he and some other students play in a band, have promised to ‘turn’ him he he allows the to feed.  There’s one problem and Johann knows it – vamps can’t ‘turn’ people.  There’s only one way to make a vamp of a human, and it means the vamp has to die.  He can being to understand why she loathes vamps, but like humans, are good and bad.  He begins to explain they’re looking from a a doctor that’s been operating illegal labs that experiment on and eventually kill ‘Talents’ to try and extract the essence of their powers so they can sell them.  They’ve been closing labs and rescuing Talents, but the network is widespread and likely had government support at one time and receives only tepid response from authorities even now.  The Talents have their own organization and Chase and he are trained agents of STORM.  Jeanine was involved, but they killed her before she could talk.

Ania realizes damning all vamps for the actions of a few is like Johann hating all humans for the actions of a few, but she’s a bit wary of his power.  She’s also in need of him.  They go back to her apartment that she shares with Andros where he’s convinced she’s had a break-in.  Actually she’s a slob.  (I can so identify.)  Johann thinks it’s Andros, but he’s the neat one, it’s all her.  They’re napping after some sex when Andros wakes them.  Her apartment is firebombed.  Johann ‘flashes’ her to his suite and goes back and gets her brother out as well.  (Flashing is a kind of teleportation that some vamps can do after dusk when their vampire powers emerge.

Saved from death, Andros and Ania find themselves in the middle of the battles between the Talents and rogue researcher who is capturing and performing terrible experiments on them before killing them.  For some strange reason, he seems to want Andros – and Ania.

There’s plenty of sex, including several ménage scenes with a dragon shifter, and the drama moves at a good pace.  This is a good example of erotic paranormal romantic suspense.  With just a bit more story, it would have earned a B rating.

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