Tag Archives: Eden Winters

Things I read over Thanksgiving Break 2017

I visited my aunt and uncle in Tennessee this Thanksgiving. That’s a six hour drive from my house, plus a four day visit and a six hour drive home. As my husband is one of those men who insists on always driving, that meant I got lots of reading time in. But while rural Tennessee is beautiful and we couldn’t have gotten better weather, the internet connection is sketchy, at best. So, I opted to save all my reviews for one post once I got home, instead of the normal one post per book.

This is that post. I’ll give each a little review below; but as you can maybe see from the books I chose, I was going for base enjoyment. St. Nacho’s was the winner of the bunch and Misbehaving  ranked bottom of the pack, closely followed by Undaunted. Leaving Jarek, Hell is Where the Heart is and Submerging Inferno lingering in the middle somewhere, neither wowing me nor leaving me cringing to admit I read them.

Undaunted, by Devin Harnois

This was one of those books in which everyone is just so darned lovely you can’t stand it. People make instant connections, earn trust in no time, love blooms easily, and EVERYONE lives happily ever after together. The writing was ok, though the dialogue didn’t feel particularly natural, at times. But the pacing felt off and I didn’t believe the relationships for a moment.

Jarek, by Celia Kyle & Erin Tate

I think you kind of have to be invested in the Mars Needs Women trope to enjoy this, it’s just so pared down. Unless you already know what to expect from the genre, you might not feel satisfied with this. Mars Needs Women is one of my guilty pleasures. I generally find them cheesy fun and this one was no different. There just isn’t a lot to it and what there is is diluted by a lot of outside drama and it felt like it might be part of a spin-off series, as there was a lot of history discussed. It wasn’t bad, but certainly wasn’t one of my favorite to use the trope.

Misbehaving, by Ava Mallory

Bad, just bad. It jumps around, the pacing is a mess and it needs an editor. But what really ruined it is that it’s literally like 95% dialogue. It’s really hard to make a novel work when it is all dialogue, and not even good dialogue. Mallory didn’t manage it.

St. Nacho’s, by Z.A. Maxfield

Slow and heavy, but good. I’ll admit that the beginning of this book left me confused, but once it found its groove I thought it really pretty. I liked that Maxfield messed with expectations in Cooper and Shawn’s relationship and Shawn was just a truly lovely character. The book did break my hear a little bit. I’d love to read Jordan’s book, which I think is #2 and Kevin’s, which I don’t think exists.

Hell is Where the Heart is, by Eden Winters

I was tempted to write this book off as absolutely ridiculous, but honestly that’s its whole point. It is ridiculous, but it laughs at itself and I found the whole think amusing in a silly sort of way.

Submerging Inferno, by Brandon Witt

Not too bad. A bit repetitive, the middle dragged a bit, I didn’t really buy Brett ‘s decisions, and it ended just about the time it got most interesting, but not bad. It has an interesting plot, two likable heroes and a diverse cast.

Novelette clear out, part 2

novelette red

This is a second slew of novelette length stories. As a reminder, in case you found this blog randomly instead if following and therefore seeing the 10 other times I’ve mentioned it, I’ve Broken the wrist of my dominant hand. So, typing is slow and awkward…everything is slow and awkward. I can’t even easily click next page on the darned Kindle. However, I don’t want to stop reading or reviewing, so I’ve compromised with myself. I’m going to clear all the short stories, novelettes and novellas from my shelves, writing brief reviews of them. When the cast comes off I’ll start on books and full length reviews again.

You can go here to see those stories that were less than 39 pages long and here for those that were 40-49. This page will be 50-59 or there about. These are all approximate groupings, but I imagine you get the point. So, here we go.

Banished: The Gods Among Usby William & Pamela Deen: Simply not very good, it’s unfocused, repetitive, uses the cliche rape of a woman as nothing more than the impetus for male action, and never culminates into any sort of identifiable story.

How Ninja Brush Their Teethby R.A. Hobbs: Well, color me surprised, with a cover and title like this one I expected a humorous ninja parody at best. But it’s a genuine ninja-assassin-finds-his-humanity tale and I genuinely enjoyed it. Extra points for the kick-butt female character.

The Memory Manby Helen Smith: I would have like to have been given some answers, but I think the confusion is part of the point. It ends with as many questions as it starts with, but the story is atmospheric and interesting and I do like the circular nature of psychic communication that is hinted at.

Leximandra Reports, and other talesby Charlotte E. English: A cute introduction to the characters of Draykon, but probably only worth reading if you’re interested in the series. It is actually several vignettes and ends at 63%. The rest is a teaser or the first book in the series.

Deuce Coop: Takenby Laura Harner: I found it horribly repetitive and as a result didn’t feel like it progressed enough, especially for a serial. While I appreciated the existence of bi-sexuals, I had problems with the cliched representation of big, strapping, possessive, alpha tops and small, wispy, openly available bottoms, with no overlap. I basically thought the whole thing depended too heavily on pre-existing, M/M shortcuts. Edit: I realized after reading this that it is the book referenced in this post. I wouldn’t have read it if I remembered that it was plagiarized!

The Gatekeeper, by Heather Graham: Mildly entertaining but unexceptional in every way, as it’s all been seen and done better before.

Through The Wall, by Keri Ford: Cute if you like this sort of thing; basically just a series of mishaps leading up to sex and a HEA. Was interesting to see the woman as the aggressor (even if she did still have to be sexually inexperienced and clumsy in her seduction to maintain “good girl” status) while the man held off for more.

A God To Wed Her, by Y.L. Abraham: The first Abraham work I’ve read that was a complete story, instead of a serial (which is a positive). But I’m afraid I just didn’t care for it. I found it trite, with very little development and inconsistent characterization.

Stripped, by Christina Stoke: Bad. It was bad, people. Basically porn with plot, but bad porn. Two people get stranded on a hostile alien planet during a war and are being actively hunted. So they have lots of bad BDSM sex…obviously. It’s what you do, right? Worse, he’s predominantly turned on by the fact that he has complete control of this woman and she has no escape. The reader is reminded of this repeatedly. He claims her and initiates sex without her consent. Then, he viscously spanks and whips her without her knowing why and as she begs him to stop. This is not kinky sex. This is abuse. Period. All exacerbated by bad writing that ends so abruptly it is literally in the middle of a sex scene.

Touching Ghost, by Regina Carlysle: Basically all sex, of the raunchy, ‘ram it home’ and ‘pound away’ sort. I thought the language crude and unappealing, especially since it was supposed to be romantic instead of faceless f-ing. It was also repetitive, as phrases were oft reused from scene to scene. All talk of patriotism and the SEALs also felt artificial and stilted, more like how a recruiting pamphlet reads than how soldiers/navy-men would talk about themselves. Despite being a part of a series the book stood alone.

Of Ants and Dinosaurs, by Liu Cixin: More of fable than anything else, but it had an interesting theme/lesson, even if I fond the reading a bit dull.

The Cog Work Apprentice in Dark Skiesby Lee William Tisler: A random town is randomly attacked, so a random boy runs around randomly encountering random people and doing random things until the story randomly ends. Meh.

The Sentinel, by Eden Winters: It’s kinda like a sweet version of Kurt Russell’s Soldier (1998), if the baddies never showed up. I liked the first half better than the last half and thought there were some inconsistencies that niggled at me. But mostly I liked it.

Deep Currents, by Marie Brown: Not at all what I expected, but I quite enjoyed it. Well, written with snappy dialogue.

End of the World, by S.A. Archer: Interesting and well enough written, but really just a prologue to the series. No real merit on its own.