Tour’s Books Blog

February 26, 2010

Assorted Erotic Romance eBook Reviews

After a considerable drought, I bought a number of ebooks off the usual small publisher sites lately.  As always, the editing and proofing at New Concepts Publishing sucked.  And the prices at Siren are entering the silly zone.  What are publishers thinking?  I bought a couple of Siren books, but had they had just slightly more reasonable prices, I would have bought 3 more titles.

As usual with erotic romance, it was kind of a mixed bag when it comes to quality.  Mostly the reads were derivative, but one was original enough to be worth a serious mention.

  • Title: Ranin Seven
  • Author: Evanne Lorraine
  • Type:  Paranormal futuristic romance
  • Genre:  Shifter demons who need to mate; Woman warrior is unwitting pawn
  • Sub-genre:  new series book 1
  • My Grade: B- (3.7*)
  • Rating:  X to XX
  • Length and price: Novella – about 37,000 words;  ebook $3.50
  • Where Available: Publisher’s website – New Concepts Publishing
  • FTC Disclosure: Purchased ebook from publisher site

Emperor Prado rules the Orion Galaxy and his elite d’skeku troops protect him.  The fortunes of Basilisk Prime are built on a mining operation on a outer world.  The flow of material has been disturbed and the Emperor is losing his grip on power.   Prado sends a small female trooper, one shunned by her fellows and called ‘Emperors Pet’ as he often singles her out.  Zaynah is a lone female among males.  She trains harder and longer, but she’ll never be a strong as they are, so she must use cunning and skill to win.  The d’skeku are bred to be loyal to the emperor, it’s built into their genetic code, but for some reason, it isn’t completely built into hers.

Zaynah follows orders and takes a new kind of one man flier to Ranin Seven to give the emperor’s troops a chance to learn what’s really going on.  The small ship approaches when a hail of meteors begin striking the ship, eventually breaching the hull.  It half lands, half crashes at the port.

Diablo and Gunn are two fire demons that have worked the mines on Ranin Seven for a long time.  They fought for and gained control of the operation and in the last few years they’ve forged fragile alliances with other worlds who seek the duranium they mine as a power source for space flight as well the needs to power their world.  Because the brothers are fire demons, they can control the meteor shield that’s the moon’s protection, but demons must also have mates, and their need to mate is riding both of them.  Diablo rescues Zaynah from her crippled ship and knows she’s no ordinary d’skeku.  Zaynah has runes on her chest showing she a very rare fire dragon.  Gunn recognizes them and like Diablo, instantly lusts for Zaynah.

It turns out that demons used to be the emperors d’skeku and helped him rise to power, but he betrayed them, accused them of plotting against him and murdered them all – except Diablo and Gunn.  They were cast into the mines to work.  At first, Zaynah doesn’t believe them.  She’d been taught to fear demons.  Slowly their stories begin making sense, and she cannot deny her attraction to them both and she slowly realizes that the emperor has been been deceiving her and draining her power for his own use, but a lifetime of indoctrination is hard to overcome.

The sex is hot, and the internal struggle for Zaynah in accepting herself, the reality of what she really is, the truth about the demons and the emperor, is actually well done.  The final battle for Ranin Seven was also well done.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Despite the annoying cheesy names and chronic NCP proofing errors, it was a good read and another worthwhile entry in NCP’s strong futuristic erotic romance portfolio.

Was Ranin Seven worth the price?  Yes, the ebook was certainly worth it.  If you enjoy futuristic fantasy – and get over the hump of the eye-rolling names – you’ll enjoy this one.  Buy it!

*************************************************************************************************
  • Title: In the Shadow of the Wolf
  • Author:  Mandy Monroe
  • Type:  Paranormal romance
  • Genre:  Werewolves need to mate; ménage; single OCD woman wants baby
  • Sub-genre:  Madelaine Montague ripoff
  • My Grade: C- (2.6*)
  • Rating:  XX
  • Length and price: Long novella or Short Novel – about 42,500 words;  ebook $4.50
  • Where Available: Publisher’s website – New Concepts Publishing
  • FTC Disclosure: Purchased ebook from publisher site

I love Madelaine Montague and would love to read more books like hers, but, unfortunately, In the Shadow of the Wolf by Mandy Monroe read more like a poorly executed rip off of Montague’s far more interesting wolfen ménage stories.

Sayuri is single and in her early thirties, an anal retentive type with a touch of OCD.  She plans so much, she never lives and now she realizes life is quickly passing her by.  She decides that being ‘spontaneous’ is planning a vacation to an all inclusive type lodge in the mountains in the winter.  She arrives after a terrifying drive through a snow storm and decides to make the most of what’s left of her first day and give skiing a try.  She rents gear and heads to the bunny slope for the last training session of the day, nearly clobbering the hunk behind her.  Twice.  After profuse apologies and a fit of wishful thinking, Sayuri gets her skis on and heads down the slope, but for some reason, she ends up heading in a different from the kids and she can’t seem to change direction.

Faolan might find the small woman’s scent alluring, but she’s a walking accident waiting to happen.  Now she’s heading down a dangerous slope and isn’t steering clear of the trees!  Looks like he’ll have to rescue her – again.  But the problem is, her scent is drawing him like no one before, and if he and his two pack mates want permission to find a female to mate with, they need to abide by pack rules – no humans.  Faolan has been struggling with being an outsider in the pack.  His two pack mates are both orphan cubs he raised like younger brothers.  It’s past time the three had a mate, but females have always been in very short supply and they can pick and choose their mates.  The three of them have little to offer despite being powerful wolves that win challenges.  Now this little human threatens the tenuous position in the pack because of his urge to mate with her!  Humans mates are not permitted by pack law.

Faolan makes Sayuri’s mouth water and her panties damp.  She’s never reacted to a man like that before.  It’s scary and great and he obviously doesn’t feel the same.  More’s the pity.  He’s perfect for her goal of getting pregnant the old fashioned way so she can have the child she always wanted, without the burden of a husband.  Meeting up with him in the hot tub leads right she wants – to her bed and a wild – and very satisfying sexual encounter.  She even remembers him biting her next morning, but she still woke up alone.  She goes to the health club to work out and there he is, along with two other splendid looking males.

Ulrich and Torolf can smell Faolan all over the little human.  After all his lectures on strict adherence to pack rules, here he was breaking them and risking their possibility of getting permission to mate.  That he marked the human is nearly impossible to believe.
After working out, the three of them take their argument to the woods where they fight out their anger in their fur.  Sayuri decides a nice quite sleigh ride would be a good activity, one that won’t cause problems.  Little did she count on how lonely she feels on a romantic ride alone, until wolves cause the horse to panic.  Faolan sends Ulrich to save Sayuri, and he too wants a chance with the human.  If Faolan can mark her, so can he – and after dinner, she invites him back to her room.  Next morning, Faolan and Torolf wait outside her door and once again the fighting starts.

Later that day, Sayuri gets her butt pulled out of the pond when she got knocked into the thin ice area by Torolf.  She refuses medical attention, but agrees to some times in the hot tub to warm up.  So Torolf gets his chance at her. Now if the three of them want to keep her – pack law be damned – they must tell her the truth.

The characters are shallow, the plot paper thin, and the writing average.  The whole thing never gels.  The humorous situations don’t work and Sayuri is still a shallow cipher at the end as are the men.  What little emotional interest  is generated is among the men as they struggle with their second class status in the pack, and their driving need to be mated.  The was not much beyond sex between them and Sayuri.

Was In the Shadow of the Wold worth $4.50?  Nope, not even close.  Save your money for the next Madelaine Montague or Kaitlyn O’Connor book.

*****************************************************************************
  • Title: Heart of a Huntess
  • Author:  Christa McHugh
  • Type:  Paranormal romance
  • Genre:  Vampire hunter meets a man of her dreams who’s more than a man
  • Sub-genre:  Vamps and weres in Vegas; new series book 1
  • My Grade: C+ (3.3*)
  • Rating:  NC-17
  • Length and price: Long novella or Short Novel – about 40,500 words;  ebook $4.50 – 10% discount when initially published
  • Where Available:  Publisher’s website – Samhain
  • FTC Disclosure:  Purchased ebook from publisher site

Lana is a vampire hunter, an ‘old’ one based on their risky job and the penalties for making a mistake.  Vegas is prime hunting ground and that suits Lana fine, except for the damn high heels.  She rushing through a casino trying to catch a handsome young vamp who’s latched onto and older woman.  She nearly mows down the best looking guy she ever saw, rugged, tanned, blond and panty dampening hunky.  Lust on the hoof.  She barely remembers her job in time to get on the elevator with the vamp and his prey.

Byron may not be a vamp hunter from the Kavanaugh Foundation, but he is an alpha werewolf and knows two things.  The woman he collided with is his and she’s chasing a vamp.  That’s two problems, because he’s chasing the vamp too – for information on who murdered the pack alpha, the man who found a place for kids left without families and with newborn werewolf abilities that needed training and the protection a pack affords.

Lana manages to get into the elevator with the woman and the vamp and she stakes the vamp – leaving nothing but a pile of dust and a screaming woman behind – but she has new problems at her apartment.  The Foundation is sending a rookie vamp hunter for her to train.  Great.  They have someone making new vamps like Vegas is an assembly line and they send a rookie to help her!

The next night Lana and Byron run into each other, not completely by accident.  Byron scents her and knows she’s a hunter.  She’ll lead him to the vamps.   Lana is lured into a vamp trap and Byron saves her using wood bullets a member of his pack devised.  Lana still thinks she needs to protect him because she has no idea of what he is.  They end up back at her place for a night of wild monkey sex, but her damn trainee, Esme, is waiting for her and kind of ruins the plan.

Eventually, Byron and Lana get together.  There’s dissent in the pack with an older werewolf.  Portents of bad things.  Esme is captured.  Lana saves her.  Klaus, the killer of Byron’s foster father, has a hidden ally.  Big denouement was very pat and predictable as was the ending.

Heart of the Huntress just missed being a solid B book because the villains needed more development to build story tension and the ending was trite and .  That whole part of the plot was sketchy at best.  Byron and his background was well done, Lana was decent, the writing quality was good, but it was a book-by-the-numbers plot that lacked originality.

Was Heart of the Huntress worth the $4.50 price?  Maybe.  There was nothing new here and the characters didn’t strike and chords that made the overworked plot interesting.  It was in all ways average with slightly better than average writing.  There are better ones out there, but it isn’t a complete snooze fest.

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2 Comments »

  1. Thanks for the honest review! I’m glad you enjoyed Ranin Seven. I’m committed to improving my writing craft. Doing a better job of proof reading and polishing is definitely on my list. Looks like I should take another look at names too….

    Comment by Evanne — March 4, 2010 @ 6:04 pm | Reply

  2. […] Seven was reviewed over at Tour’s Book blog. The kind reader said mostly nice things and pointed out I have room for […]

    Pingback by evannelorraine.com » Teaser Tuesday — March 16, 2010 @ 5:16 pm | Reply


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