Tag Archives: Smashwords

The Cat & the Crow

Book Review The Cat & the Crow, by S.K. Hart

The cat & the crow

During the last big clearance event I grabbed S. K. Hart‘s m/m romance, The Cat & the Crow, from Smashwords. 

Description from Goodreads:
A dark romance between two unlikely male characters. The recent death of Tarro’s wife was not only sudden, it was inconvenient. Being forced to mourn for a woman he never truly enjoyed, he accepts an offer for company that only ends up leading to more trouble. With a reputation for being able to ruin anything, he starts to wonder if he’s ruining his new house guest, or perhaps himself.

Before I even read the first page of this novel it had two important things going for it. I secretly love m/m stories and I am a closet manga addict, so the very yaoi-ish cover attracted me immediately. I am thrilled to say that it lived up to my expectations, exceeded them even. I read 90% of it with a ridiculous silly grin on my face, teared up more than once, had to get myself a quick glass of ice water and return to it again and again (whew), then eventually had to admit that the whole thing made my heart hurt. Tarro’s life isn’t an easy one to face. It is definitely cringeworthy. But every painful, horrible thing that happens in this book is made up for in the wonderful character that is Nerin. *swoon* Yes, he and Tarro have turned me into a sad little fangirl.

The book is told in first person, from the POV of Tarro. I’m not generally a fan of first person narratives, in fact I kind of hate them. But I have to admit I enjoyed it here. Tarro had such a fantastically sarcastic and jaded tone/voice that it was a pleasure to read. I also liked his blatant honesty, especially about himself and his own proclivities.

I read a lot. I write a lot of reviews. But I rarely rave. I rarely give unadulterated praise. But I am officially declaring myself an S. Hart fan. If you enjoy yaoi or M/M romances (and honestly I would only recommend this if you do) this is one worth picking up.

☆Here’s a hint too. If you check the book out on Smashwords you’ll find a little free extra story too. Tarro and Nerin do Christmas…and toys. 

It’s Read and ebook Week at Smashwords!

ladyOh Gawd, I love Smashwords, and what timing! With the introduction of Amazon’s new Affiliate rules I’ve found that the aggregate sites listing free books have started to dry up. Really, what do they expect me to do while I drink my morning coffee? Check my email? As it! For the rest of the week Smashwords has the perfect solution though, READ AN E-BOOK WEEK.

Read an Ebook Week isn’t new. It’s been around since 2004 and is part of…wait for it…yes, Read an Ebook Month (March). It even has its own website: RAEM. There are contests and tons of authors are offering books for free or at a discount. My own book, The Weeping Empress, is participating, as are a number of other authors I admire.  Here are a few worth checking out, in no particular order:

  1. Marjorie F. Baldwin
  2. Michael Cargill
  3. Valerie Zambito
  4. Jacques Antoine
  5. Kevis Hendrickson
  6. Nadia Scrieva
  7. Travis Luedke
  8. Charlotte E. English
  9. HP Mallory
  10. Nicky Charles

OK, some of them are just free to start with. I admit it. These are the ones from my own Smashwords Library, but there are sooo many more and I’ll probably add a few here and there as I come across authors I’ve read and know are worth recommending. In the mean time, if you have a book participating in the sale feel free to add a link in the comments. I’ll check them out and who know who else might.

Idea: See something you’ve read and reviewed elsewhere? Why not grab a Smashword’s copy while it’s free so you can post a review there (’cause of course you can only review a book on SM that has been ‘purchased’ on SM)? The author will love you forever…unless you wrote a horrible review, maybe not so much then. You take the bad with the good though, so…

Book Review of Smolder (Dragon Souls #1), by Penelope Fletcher

I grabbed Penelope Fletcher‘s first Dragon Soul book, Smolder from Smashwords, probably during the Summer/Winter sale last year. I found that I had been really ignoring my Smashwords books lately. I’d largely forgotten about them. So, I’m making a point of reading some of them now.

Description from Goodreads:
Wounded, a dragon drops from the sky to crash in front of Marina in an explosion of fire. She does the only reasonable thing a woman can do – she saves his life. Marina knows any moment may be her last, yet she cannot deny the connection between her and the alluring creature. When fierce dragon lords appear, leading a dangerous assassin to their hiding place, the truth about her dragon is unveiled. The consequences of falling for a beast gifts Marina wonders never before seen … in this world

Penelope Fletcher’s Smolder is an entertaining read if you are willing to suspend any expectation of realistic behaviour (and I don’t just mean because it is fantasy). Marina and Koen are another stunning example of insta-love, granted it’s also a case of instant hate too. The whole scenario is made more ridiculous by the fact that she is COMPLETELY unfazed by the fact that he is a dragon. This is where my sense of realism is stretched beyond it’s brink. Marina isn’t afraid of anything. She waltzes right into a natural cataclysm of mythical proportion, challenges a dragon several sizes bigger and far more ferocious than herself, falls in love with him, crosses dimensions for him (him who she has known less than 36 hours by best approximation), finds that she’s a wealthy member of the royalty, ignores social protocols, gets everything she wants, adopts her own assassin, and expects to win a challenge after training for one week when her opponents have trained their entire lives.  It’s simply too much. Marina is too brash, to fearless, and too loyal to a man she just met…wait she’s willing to throw her whole life away to be with Koen but falls in love/lust with Daniil too. Seems a little weak-willed to me. But still it’s entertaining enough if you just roll with the punches.

Honestly, even though she is largely too much of just about everything she is also really funny. This kept me reading even when I wanted to yell ‘yeah right they would let you get away with that!’ or ‘Oh, how convenient for you.’ Koen is noble, but you don’t see much of his personality. It is too buried in being honourable and duty bound, but Daniil and Nikolai are fabulous side kicks. They made the book worth reading.

I was even willing to ignore the book’s desperate need for an editor, because though noticeable it wasn’t all that distracting. What I was not willing to overlooks is the fact that it ends on a cliffhanger…no that isn’t right. I don’t consider it a cliffhanger. Yes, the final page of the book is ultra suspenseful, but it isn’t an ending. Marina is literally halfway through the quest she set out on. The book ends as she rushes headlong into the first challenge, the challenge that half the book builds up to. That’s not a cliffhanger, that’s half of a book! Yes ,Smolder is appropriately long, at roughly 250 pages, but it’s only half a story. When did this become the accepted norm? It pisses me off. If I take the time to read 250 pages I expect some sort of conclusion as a payoff before having to wait for the second instalment. I didn’t get that here and I am not a happy camper. Still, I want to know how the story ends so should the second one (Burn) come out before I forget about having read this one I will pick it up.