Tag Archives: erotica

Review of Shifted Under Construction, by C.E. Black

I snagged a copy of C. E. Black‘s Shifted Under Construction on Amazon when it was free.

Description from Goodreads:
Bedroom eyes and rock hard abs make for yummy eye candy, but Harper Mattox knows a bad boy when she sees him. She’s been there, done that, and refuses to buy the T-shirt. The scar was enough of a souvenir.

When Harper agrees to be the temporary secretary at H&V Construction as a favor to her best friends’ husband, Adam Hughes, she thought her days would be spent behind the desk, organizing until her heart was content. She had no idea she’d have to put up with the walking sex-on-a-stick Christian Viera. AKA, her other boss. No matter how many times she turns him down, he just oozes more charm in her direction, weakening her knees, as well as her resolve. And it’s only her first day!

When Harper’s life is threatened, Chris is ready and willing to protect her, showing off an animalistic side she never knew existed. She’s known violence in her past and has no room for it in her life now. Is the fiery passion between them enough to stick it out? Can she accept him? Fur, claws, fangs, and all?

This was entertaining enough for an evening read, but it’s one we’ve all read a couple dozen times by now. Abused woman meets shifter in the morning, insta-love, explosive sex before lunch, a little unnecessary drama to fill out the pages, more sex, and in love by dinner. Meh. Nothing special there, no world-building, character development, or base for the love.

I did like how Harper stood up for herself and how Chris was often described as looking panicked or confused. It was cute. But I disliked how he came on so strong from the moment he met Harper and wouldn’t back off, even when she clearly told him to. He felt like a player, which he’s supposed to have been, but the sort that pressures women into sex they don’t want to get him to go away. It did not make him endearing.

Further, everyone kept saying, “Yeah, he’s a player, but he’s really a nice guy” or “He doesn’t treat women well, but he’s a good person.” Um, how exactly can you take that aspect of his character out, exclude it and say he’s good. They are one and the same, there is no BUT. If he’s a dick to women, he’s a dick, period. He sure felt like one to me and never redeemed himself. He got what he wanted from Harper, pusher her away, got possessive, told her didn’t want a relationship but still wanted sex, then claimed her again. And she just went along with his every whim on this issue. Meh. I never came to like him.

For a quick read that you can go into knowing what to expect, get a couple chuckles out of this is worth picking up. Just don’t expect anything deep or well-developed.

Review of Branded by Flames (Dragon Soul #1), by Sean Michael

Branded by FlamesI received a copy of Sean Michael‘s Branded by Flames from Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
For years, dragon-shifter-slash-firefighter Jake has been searching for his mate, but he’s beginning to tire of the search. Maybe soul mates are only for the lucky few. 

Then he meets Shae. 

A former navy welder, Shae is handsome, talented, into power play and rough sex, and covered in dragon tattoos. All of this suits the shape-shifting dragon just fine—until he finds out that Shae literally has Jake’s family crest already tattooed on him. A coincidence? Or something more… 

Jake must convince Shae to trust him as a man and as a Dom before the heat between them burns out of control. Becoming a dragon’s mate is not without danger, and Shae will need Jake’s guidance—and love—if he’s going to make it through alive. 

This has dragon shifters. Dragon shifters! I should have loved it. But I’m afraid I just didn’t. The book is too long by half and it’s all sex. I mean ALL SEX.

I understand that it is erotica, not romance. (Though, I didn’t realize that when I requested it from Netgalley.) So, it’s fine that the focus is on sex not relationships, but it is not enough to carry such a long book. I got so tired of sex scenes. You wouldn’t expect them to bore a person, but when it’s just the same thing on repeat, that’s what it is, boring. I literally fell asleep at one point!

And it was painfully repetitive. I mean, there are only so many ways to describe two men having sex. The word ass is used 168 times and cock 202 times, in the novel. Now, the book is 216 pages long. That means that once you take out the front and back matter, it’s basically once per page. So, you can estimate how much non-sex plot there is. Hint: essentially none. It might have worked for 75-100 pages, because Shae and Jake are likable, but not 200.

It also uses one of my personal pet peeves. I hate the whole ‘boy’ thing in BDSM books. Totally personal, that; probably doesn’t annoy others like it does me. But it’s nails on a chalk board, as far as I’m concerned. Maybe it’s because I’m from the American South and, while there is definitely a traditional power play involved in the term, it’s not one I find sexy in the least. In fact, I always unconsciously read it with an unnatural emphasis that rips me right out of a narrative. I just really hate it.

I also disliked that Shae started the book as a somewhat butch, tattooed, pierced, ex-Navy welder and as soon as Jake showed up, he turned into a rather camp ‘queen.’ Either would be fine, but the personality shift was jarring.

Outside of these irritants the writing is fine and there is some humor in the book. Plus, I rather enjoyed Jake’s uncertainties, though I also thought they didn’t match the rest of his character. I appreciated that Shae was supposed to be almost 40. It’s so rare to find older romantic leads. And, of course, the whole this is about dragons, which is always a plus for me.

In the end, I think this may just be a case of a poor pairing between a reader and book.

Review of Taming Heather (Cariboo Lunewulf #1), by Lorie O’Clare

I’m trying to read some of the physical book from my shelves, to make room for new ones and to replenish the restock stash for my Little Free Library. Wanna see a picture? I’m awful proud of it.

Sadie's Little Free Library

Anyhow, I’m trying to clear out the physical book, so this was my morning.

Taming Heather

I picked up this used copy of Taming Heather, by Lorie O’Clare, from Goodwill for $0.70.

Description from Goodwill:
Heather Graham had one thing in mind—furthering her career. And an exposé on the werewolves in her community would do just that. All she needed was to get up close and personal with one of them, and she could write an article that would give her front-page coverage across the nation. Her career would skyrocket! And Marc McAllister was just the man—and werewolf—to help her do it.But when Marc realizes Heather’s flirty behavior exists solely so she can exploit werewolves in her newspaper, he decides it’s time to show little Miss Graham exactly how a werewolf behaves. And Marc McAllister isn’t just any werewolf, but purebred Cariboo Lunewulf—wild, strong, aggressive and the quintessential alpha male.In a clash of wills, bodies and souls, Marc and Heather set off enough sparks to start a raging fire. Drawing the wild side out of Marc hits Heather with a bolt of lust that won’t go away. Unexpectedly for Marc, he may just have met his match in the little spitfire.But their biggest hurdle may not be with each other, but from another direction entirely.

Oh man, this was bad. If I used stars here, I’d say it’s only avoiding a one star because I laughed a lot. (There was very little deliberate humor in it.) It was basically just a thin veneer of plot to allow for lots and lots of sex that essentially started the moment the man characters met. But hey, it’s Ellora’s Cave and that’s practically their business model. So, I can’t say I went in unaware. I happen to occasionally like that sort of book in a “I’m laughing with you, not at you sort of way.”

Unfortunately, the sex wasn’t that great. The writing was extremely repetitive, with the same stock words/phrases being used again and again and again and again, sometimes more than once within the same paragraph, and the same information being provided over and over. The characters never really lived up to their description; the book depending on that description to give them life, instead of providing proof. Plus, I thought Marc was a jerk. Lastly, the copyediting needed a bit more work and it contradicted itself.

What I’m drinking: Milky chai. My stepfather gave me some loose chai from The Natural Way, but I failed utterly in making it correctly. It hardly had any flavor at all. I think I didn’t boil it long enough, so it’s basically just warm, brown milk. *shrug* live and learn