Tag Archives: menage

Double the alpha title

Review of Double the Alpha: A Paranormal Menage Romance, by Amira Rain

Doubel the Alpha audio coverI came across an Audible code for Double the Alpha: A Paranormal Menage Romance, by Amira Rain at some point earlier this year. I listened to it as I did housework today.

She knew she could handle one alpha, but could she handle TWO?”

In an apocalyptic future, Ellie Miller realized that the only way to keep her people safe was to do a deal with the nearby wolf pack.

In exchange for protection, she would offer them the only thing she could offer…

Herself.

And that was something that the alpha Eric McCormick would gladly accept.

However, when Ellie arrived at the pack she found there was a twist. Eric had joined forces with another alpha named Ryan.

Now Ellie must be mated to both of them or the deal was off….

SPOILERS!!!!

This failed on so many levels, but the biggest one is as a romance. The next is as a menage, then as an attempt at erotica, and also as an attempt at not-zombie-but-might-as-well-be-zombie apocalyptic fiction and fantasy.

Let’s start with the romance and menage aspects since they are entwined. [I’ll warn you again, SPOILERS.] You CANNOT introduce the reader to two mates, spend 3/4 of a book building this relationship up and then suddenly have the female decide she doesn’t actually love both men and one man conveniently turns out to be a treacherous betrayer (all within some shockingly short amount of time). It WILL leave the reader feeling disconnected and dissatisfied at the end. I hadn’t been given the chance to truly engage with and come to have any feelings about the couple. NONE. Which meant the ending hit the ground with a giant splat. What’s more, if that’s the way an author wants to play it, they shouldn’t put “menage romance” on the cover because that’s not what it is when all is said and done

Further, the sex scenes were stale and pitiful. The sex was spoken about as if it was sooo transgressive and kinky, but literally, the female felt “filthy” and kinky because she liked being called a “naughty girl” and having sex on her knees. There isn’t anything wrong with relatively vanilla sex in a book, but to have the narrator talk about it like it’s something else always jars me. It’s like a nun trying to titillate. It just clashes and they don’t have any real grasp of how little they know. (Or I should say the stereotype of a nun, because in real life they may all be porn addicts for all I know.)

Then there were the not-zombies and fantasy aspects of the book. The not-zombies were literally just window dressings, there but of no real importance. The same can be said for the wolf aspect. The men could have been alpha-like soldiers and the book would have read exactly the same. What’s more, the author gave the main character a superpower and then left her home baking cupcakes, never giving it purpose.

Actually, as much as I complain about the sex scenes or ridiculous plot drift that resulted in the menage being reduced to a couple, my biggest irritant about the book was how the “males” were always being spoken about as active in protection, and work, and decisions, etc and the “females” were never truly included as anything but after-thoughts—pretty little baubles to be left at home while the men-folk were out being important.

Lastly, the author needs to do a search of her manuscript for repeat words, “community” and the phrase “or something” especially. Every character says “or something” constantly. If it was one character I’d call it a character quirk, but as it’s all of them it’s just noticeable and annoying repetition in the writing.

All in all, I’m awful glad to not be listening to this anymore.

Reiview of Caged: Love and Treachery on the High Seas (Baal’s Heart #1), by Bey Deckard

CagedI bought a copy of Caged, by Bey Deckard. I’ve had this for a while, but never got around to reading it. Recently, several people have recommended I give Deckard a chance, so I dug this out the TBR pile.

Description from Goodreads:
Sheltered and lonely, Jon’s life changes drastically when a strange ship sails into the harbour of his small port town one day. Trapped between the possessive pirate captain and his murderous first mate, he must learn to adapt or he will lose himself completely. An epic tale of love, treachery and revelation, this first installment of the Baal’s Heart trilogy brings you into the lives of three men so bound together by jealousy and lies that they must sail to the very ends of the earth to find forgiveness.

Review:
I found that I enjoyed this despite myself. These are not easy characters to like. One is a psychotic (possibly cannibalistic) serial killer, one is a remorseless situational murder and the third seems to be turned on by these traits in the other two. I can’t even call these guys anti-heroes. They’re just sort of the antis. But despite that you do come to root for them in the end.

I thought the book was well written and well edited. There were some scrorchin’ sex scenes and a bit of a slow burn toward the intercourse in the beginning. It’s largely insta-love, but I appreciate that the virgin didn’t immediately become a über versatile sex kitten. I also like the direction the plot is going, so I think I’ll be picking up the sequel.

I did think the dialogue clunked on occasion (not often, but occasionally) and about 2/3 of the way in there is a section with so much sex I eventually started skimming it. Hot it may be, but sometimes enough is enough. It made the book feel overly long. I also would have like a little more pirating out of my pirates and Jon’s talents didn’t seem to be used as often as their ostensible importance would suggest. But for the most part, I enjoyed this and look forward to more of Deckard’s work.