Tag Archives: erotica

Review of Claim The Wolf King (Wickedest Witch #0.5) by Meg Xuemei X

I borrowed an audio copy of Meg Xuemei X‘s Claim the Wolf King through Hoopla. 

Description from Goodreads:

It’s a one in a million chance that the sexy-as-sin and savage wolf king finds his fated mate–me, the curvy warrior–on the most hostile alien planet. But you can’t call him one lucky bastard.

I can’t be his–I’ve sworn a blood oath to another. And I haven’t the time for mating when I have to lead a gang of the worst criminals to fight off the vampire hordes, cannibals, and Akem’s creatures of nightmare to find the veiled portal to go home.

The mating call doesn’t care for my difficult situation. It affects me with a fever like no other. Its frenzy bursts in my bloodstream, tormenting me with lust more than I can endure. But if I fail to resist it and break my vow, I’ll doom not only myself but everyone I protect, and we’ll never escape this inferno.

The ruthless, red-blooded wolf king isn’t one to listen to reason. And he has no intention of preserving my virtue and honor. He wants to mate with me more than his life is worth, and keep me as his forever. Nothing and no one can stop him on his way to claim me.

Review:

I’m going to be honest. I picked this book up expecting it to be complete shit. (I mean look at that cover!) But it was December 17th and I’d not yet read an X-authored book for my yearly alphabet challenge, didn’t even have one available to me. So, I grabbed this in a bit of a panic when I saw it. Any X would do at that point. 

For about half the book I was happy with it. Pleasantly surprised that, while the sex talk (and actual sex) was just as overwrought and cheesy as you’d expect, the main character was self-possessed and refused to kau tau to the normal cliches of shifter erotica. In fact, I thought the author was making a point to avoid them and was thrilled to find an author who did. But then she (the author) seemed to lose her way.

[Spoiler in this paragraph] Up until about 2/3 through the book, I’d have called it a 3-star read. Then the most cliched of cliched erotica tropes was dropped like a pile of loose shit on the plot. The only female shifter to be included in the book at all turned out to be the violently jealous ex of the hero. She waltzed into the plot and tried to kill the heroine, while claiming she would take the man back. As I said, this is extremely cliched and over-used. But it’s also insulting to women everywhere (as it is almost every time this plot point is used, and pretty much EVERYTIME it’s the only woman of a group). As if we only exist in relation to a man. As if we can’t trust each other. As if we are in constant competition for a man’s attention. As if we have no value if we can’t re-claim it. Right there I dropped a star. Probably would have DNFed the book if it hadn’t been for a challenge. 

What’s worse, in this case it went contrary to the world-building too. If finding your fated mate is so big a deal, I don’t believe anyone would think they could step between it. I don’t believe anyone would allow the ridiculous challenge she threw. Plus, after going on and on about how he’d kill anyone who threatened her, the hero just let the woman who literally tried to kill his mate and the man who facilitated it walk away. 

Adding to my feeling that the author floundered and didn’t know where to go with the plot, so she took the path most traveled, was the fact that the sex scene after this was full of his dominance and her submission (the heroine had not been the submitting type at all) and described with such violence that I had a hard time envisioning it as sexy and not just painful. In fact, the author even used the phrase ‘the assault of it’ at one point. It seemed to be ranked on how erotic it was by how many times the word ‘cock’ could be used. 

All in all, this was almost a good read. I honestly think the author set out to write a strong female character and avoid a lot of the misogynistic bullshit that often hides openly in erotica. But she didn’t seem able to avoid falling into the same pit as so many authors before her. I finished it rolling my eyes (literally) and disappointed. 

Felicity Munroe did a fine job with the narration. I have to give her props for getting through those sex scenes without sounding ridiculous. 

Addendum: When I posted my review on Goodreads, I realized I’d read another book by this author (The Siren). I laughed because I read it on Dec. 15th. So, I imagine it was the same end of the year, scramble for an X-authored book as this year. It made me laugh when I saw it.

Review of Mating the Huntress, by Talia Hibbert

I heard so many good things about Talia Hibbert‘s Mating the Huntress that I bought a copy, even though M/F paranormal erotica almost always does me wrong. (Spoiler, this one didn’t.)

Description from Goodreads:
Chastity Adofo knows a monster when she sees one. As soon as Luke Anthony wanders into her family’s coffee shop, she recognises the evil lurking beneath his charming smile and fantastic arse. The handsome werewolf is determined to have her—but she’s determined to cut out his heart.

Little does she know, Luke’s plans for her are far more pleasurable than murder. And when the full moon rises, all bets are off…

Review*:
Cute, fluffy, and funny
High on consent and female autonomy
Adorable-sexy is a thing and Luke is it

Depth is skipped to make it a novella and you feel it
Fairly low on the sizzle scale for an erotica (but not enough plot for a romance)


*My laptop battery died before I had a chance to review this book and it was several days before I remembered to come back and do it. So, we get a bullet-pointed version instead. It happens.

Review of The Lurid Sea, by Tom Cardamone

I requested a copy of The Lurid Sea, by Tom Cardamone, through Netgalley.

Description from Goodreads:
A steamy bacchanal bending through time and space, replete with the occasional God, mythic creatures, and oh-so-many men. For centuries the godling Nerites luxuriated in a shifting sexual paradise, hopping from one bathhouse to another—from disco-era Manhattan to Feudal Japan and back to where it all started: ancient Rome. When the dark shadow of his half-brother, the sinister Obsidio, descends, his deadly kiss leaves bodies cooling in steam room corners. Nerites must adopt a new role: as defender of these hidden havens, his eternal orgy becomes a race across history itself.

Review:
I knew going in that this was an erotic book. (No pun intended.) But I suppose I’ve been spoiled by a softer sort of erotica. This starts out with, “The hot tub was a frothy mix of foam flecked with minuscule bits of fecal matter, white ribbons of semen and filmy water. I basked in this heady broth of hunger and lassitude.” That’s the first two sentences, and it never pulls back from the grit and grime of the bathhouse sex scene.

The writing is very pretty and Nerites is a lot more introspective than you’d expect from a man cursed to suck cock for all eternity. (He doesn’t seem to do anything else). And though it takes a good 1/3 of the book for anything resembling a plot to develop (just long enough to fear there isn’t one and that the Fellatiolympics is the more noteworthy thing about the book), one does eventually. Not much of one mind you, but one does develop.

This feels like someone from an academic background trying to make porny incest, pedophilia, slave sex and debaucheries intellectual. Like we’re supposed to read it as meaningful, instead of base and onanistic. And if you don’t like it, well, you just must not be intellectual enough to look beyond its purposeful prurience and “get it.” Or maybe not truly gay enough. Sure, ok, whatever. I see it, but It’s not really for me. Because even with the pretty writing and some hot scenes, 140 pages of blow jobs gets boring. I struggled to finish it.

In fact, I read 41% in one sitting, then went to bed. Having put it down, I really struggled to pick it up again, reading a chapter here, a chapter there and then forcing myself to push through and finish the sucker all at once. (Pun, again, intended.) My trouble came not with the amount of sex, number of faceless partners, frequency of orgies, the plot that just peeks out here and there, the incest, or the fact that modern ideals of age of consent don’t matter to Greek immortals. My problem sits in that first sentence.

I know this is a personal preference kind of thing. I appreciate having the fantasy of at least minimally hygienic, consensual sex preserved (or not trampled on too badly). There were just too many times Nerites sucked a cock and tasted shit—rolled it around in his mouth and considered it, even—got peed on, was the recipient in Bukkake, reveled in smegma, was borderline raped (though he’s always up for it), had sex on a corpse, etc. etc. etc. I know that for every thing that wrenched me out of what little story there was with a shudder, there’s someone out there for whom that’s a kink (and good for them), I just NOPED out on all of it in one book, after a while. I could have taken any individual thing, just not all of them all together. No doubt, that was partly Cardamone’s intent, to push people’s boundaries. But…

I appreciate the pretty writing. I read the afterward and appreciate how many books the author references (though he claims not to have done too much research, a statement contradicted by the those same recommendations). I liked Nerites as a character. And if I hadn’t so often been squinked out, I might have liked the book. In the end, I’m sure it will find it’s audience, it’s just not me.