Headstrong Ruben Harper has yet to meet an obstacle he can’t convert into a speed bump. He’s used to getting what he wants from girls, but when he develops a fascination for a man, his wooing skills require an upgrade. Shy, cautious Henry, Ruben’s former high school history teacher, suspects he needs a wake-up call, and Ruben appears to be his siren. But when Ruben bolts, Henry is left struggling to find closure. Inspired by his conversations with Ruben, Henry begins to write articles about the memories stored in everyday objects. As Henry’s snowballing fame takes him out of town and further out of touch, Ruben stretches to close the gaps that separate them.
Science Fiction, Erotica - Novel
TBR Reviewer: Christine
Where do I even start? This book had such promise. The plot alone had me standing at attention ready to sink into a new world. Black Carnival was such a disappointment.
There was a lot of telling. It needed background details in certain scenes and in other scenes; the background details drowned the story. The author hasn’t found that balance between the two. This overwhelming amount of description led to a slow pace and really hindered the
story. Couple that with the telling and Black Carnival was hard to get into. There were huge paragraphs that needed a break. First person point of view is tricky because of the use of ‘I’ and that was another problem in this book. On a side note, I have never heard a man giggle before but apparently, one of the male characters in here does. There's also choppy scenes. The story was pretty much destroyed by all the above which could be lessened by a better edit.
Ivory was very empty and one-dimensional. Her entire character was so cardboard and Lukan was a big question mark because of the first person point of view. It’s hard to write that POV successfully and this author missed the mark.
I’m sorry but I would not recommend this book. Would I read this author in the future? Yes, only because the plot sounded so unique and that is the bases for a good book.
Erotica - novella
TBR reviewer: Amanda
Twenty-six year old Kaya is transferring colleges due to lack of money and dealing with the disastrous ending of her eight-month relationship. As the only child of missionary parents, her life and experience make her feel isolated and different from her younger classmates. She shocks herself when she falls in instant lust with her philosophy professor and decides to pursue him, another out-of-character move. For forty-two year old Hayden Taylor, having Kaya in his philosophy class moves him away from the apathy he has been in since long before his fifteen-year marriage fell apart two years previously. He finds himself considering risking his career with thoughts of having the younger woman in his life. Her age and status as his student are marks against them, but her intelligence and beauty call to him. Her innocence appeals to his long-buried dominant side, as well. However, just as they begin to risk the forbidden by seeing each other, a threat to his job starts to pull them apart.
Although the story had appealing moments, I didn't really feel connected to the characters. The writing had choppy moments, and there were also some editing issues that kept me from getting fully involved in the story. Their instant attraction to each other felt contrived and neither of them seemed to react consistently with their own inner monologues, much less with each other. Even the climactic issue near the end fell short of what it seemed to be
reaching for and the ending felt flat.
I think there was potential in this plot that just wasn't quite achieved. Even the BDSM was hinted at but never really shown, as if there would have been more to see if the story had continued on after the chosen endpoint. I felt as if the relationship could have been more believable if the book had been longer or the story covered a longer time-period than it did.
Imagine having someone so devoted to you and you don't even know it. What if that person, that perfect one was right under your nose? What if that person was not only the hero of your heart, but a savior to many? Dorothy Gale found herself growing older and was stuck in neutral. She wanted adventure and love. Yet her love life was non-existent, with only fantasies of hot sex and being dominated keeping her company. Lacking in human companionship, she felt blessed to have her devoted dog, Toto. He was her solace. Little did she know, her dog had a big secret and an even greater destiny.
Fantasy - novella
TBR reviewer: Brutally Honest
This is a new erotic take on The Wizard of Oz. It sounded like a fabulous twist but things went very wrong. The prologue was a mess. We’re thrown into a scene, it’s obvious where we are as I’ve seen the movie, but the author rushes this drastically. Very little details with no surroundings.
There’s a scene where Dorothy is attacked and Toto has to shift and save her. He does turn into a naked human, kicks the attackers butts and then turns back into the beloved pooch. This is all before Dorothy opens her eyes. One question: Who did she think made the attackers run off? She doesn’t even wonder why the attempted rape just stopped. That gave the story such an unrealistic feel and the characters a swift kick into the downward spiral.
Then we come to a rainbow colored twister and train which was unique. It still needed a lot of work both editing and fleshing out. It was so very choppy and read like an outline. From here Dorothy and Toto land from the twister. It gets so hard to even try to enjoy this book. The writing is extremely rushed and choppy.
One minute Toto and Dorothy are in a land with strange fauna and flora (I don’t know how strange as the author used no details) Toto is looking for shelter as the night approaches. The next few feet they’re in a desert walking for hours. What happened to sunset? Then Toto finds a cave and he huddles together with Dorothy to keep her warm. Weren’t they in a desert? These inconsistencies really ruined the book.
As the stories progress the characters change, they become one dimensional and then there’s the editing issues. As I stated above, a mess. Finding Home had so much potential but the author needs more practice and a better editor.
Science Fiction, erotica - novella
TBR reviewer: Brutally Honest
I do believe my name will come through in this review – Brutally Honest.
The first scene introducing the book is a mess. An angry person explains how the cloned woman Raleigh is out of time to find her ‘mates’. That’s it. We don’t know who these people are, what they look like, where they are. There are no descriptions, surrounding details, anything that would explain what we’re getting into.
From there we go to a store on a planet. Again no descriptions. Suddenly the above mentioned woman/clone is attacked, robbed, shots lighting and kills the robber – in one page! Are you kidding me? Is this a novella or a plot outline?
Then we met the cloned men. Three of them, no descriptions. They could have 9 eyes and the readers would never know. We also meet the ‘evil’ prince. Cyclops? Clown? Does the prince have four legs? NO DETAILS!
I could go on but I don’t want to waste more space. I’ll just say that these issues continue through the entire book with lack luster dialogue. This non connection made the hot sex scenes fall flat.
The first in the Four Ever More series I’d recommend, but this, the second is a definite skip.
TBR reviewer: B.H.
There is very little in background details, they were skimmed over as if they didn’t matter to the author which left me at a loss. There was so much promise, if only Ms. Milton had fleshed the story out. Chapter one ends abruptly and we’re thrust into the next morning. No details, no flow, nothing that made me invest in the story. There’s nothing on the background of the characters. Does she know Jake without the mask? Or is he just a hot body?
Then there’s the scene with the vibrator standing up against the pillow. As soon as a woman goes down on it, it’ll shift, move, slip and that’s double for when the item is vibrating. How did she manage to keep it upright for her pleasure? Research, research, research or it’s a male writer who was a little clueless to this fact.
On a side note, when a novel or novella is written in first POV it’s a priority to watch the use of ‘I’. The repetition was an annoyance. I noticed that with many words: perfect twice in one sentence, night used twice in another sentence. It stumbled the already uneven flow.
Eventually this gets untangled but the entire beginning hinders an otherwise interesting plot. What really threw me was Abby, her character was flat and one dimensional. The good part is that there was no telling and an interesting plot idea. I’ll keep Ms. Milton on my list to read again in the future to see if she polishes her writing skills.
I like what Ms. Kirk did with her female lead right out of the box. Mia was driven, intelligent, and on her way to truly being someone to be admired. It’s been much too long since I saw a heroine painted in such a successful light, so mad props for that.
With Mia’s insane schedule it’s understandable that she wouldn’t have the time or energy for romance, but then the twist arrives. His name is Jordan and with his dark looks, talented tongue ( in more ways than one :Wink: ) he’s sexy as sin and hell on the heart. Jordan is more than the boss’s son; he’s Miia’s ex-flame. If you don’t know how messy the mixture of romance and work place can be, consider yourself lucky and forewarned.
This story had all the makings of a great book: strong characters, good background, and plenty of road blocks to keep you wondering if the couple will ever reach their happy ever after. I liked where I thought It was headed, but then there was a crash when it ended abruptly. Lose ends were left untied, the reconciliation was rushed and the characters were robbed of their true potential. Ms. Kirk has some serious skills. But I don’t think this
successfully show cases them. I’d definitely read another one of her books.
When Sasha is mugged in a back alley, volunteer EMT David comes to the rescue. She visits the fire station to thank him and it is instant passion between the two. However they both have some issues to get through before they can admit their love to each other and feel
secure in their relationship.
The base plot has good potential and both Sasha´s and David´s personal issues and history make them interesting. Sasha seems to have made peace with the harsh world she was brought up in. She is just what David needs to realize that he can also come to peace with his
past. I was looking forward to seeing the relationship between the two main characters grow, handling and overcoming the hurdles.
It is a fairly short story and so I was surprised by how long it took me to get through it. Even though both the main characters were likeable and the side characters even more so, the story never engaged me. I think the main reason for that was that the storyline was very
jumpy and strayed from the main plot. The deeper moments where one could have connected with the characters were hastily passed by. Also the point of view shifted a lot from main characters, to side characters and back. The book could also have benefited from one more round of editing (there were some switched names).
I am of course all for hot sex scenes in a romance book, but I also enjoy a heartwarming scene between the two people falling in love. It seemed like all those scenes disappeared in desperate and hurried sex. I never actually felt the characters go from in lust to in love and my only clue to this happening was them saying so to each other.
What I really liked in this book was the side characters, especially Pete and Danny. I would love to read more about them and hope that Ms Moore would like to share their stories too.
Fantasy - Novel
TBR reviewer: Mark
Cecilia Orchard lives alone.
She writes fantasy and mystery stories to escape a humdrum data entry job that barely pays for her apartment, food, and bus fare. Then a handsome police detective arrives with news that she is the prime suspect in the murder of her grandfather whom she never knew existed. If inheriting a fortune from a man she doesn't know isn't madness enough, Cecilia finds herself the owner of a powerful genie that could make all her dreams come true, but what are her dreams and is she willing to make the wish?
Aspiring writer, Cecilia Orchard is having a very strange week. First she discovers that she is sole heir to the Billionaire estate of a Grandfather she never knew she had, then she discovers that she is the prime suspect in his murder. And if that's not all, she is also the proud new owner of her Grandfather's Genie who lives in a pocket watch! Whatever happened to her life being simple?
This was a bit of a strange read. It sounded like something that might be a bit quirky and different, which is why I decided to pick it up, but I can honestly say that my end impressions were a disappointing.
It reads a little like a Detective story, a traditional whodunnit, but with paranormal and other-worldly influences thrown into the mix but that was not my problem. My problem was that the main characters that we are supposed to care about, read like caricatures of themselves and just felt a bit too two-dimensional and under-developed for my liking. The romance aspect of Clockwork Genie felt a bit clumsily done and never really came together.
Cecilia is an interesting character in and of herself but those around her were mostly just vacuous. The culprit of the crime was obvious very early on and not just that, when you thought the book had come to a fairly tidy conclusion then the story continued on with, what I felt, an unnecessary slant added merely to boost the word count!
One of the most important factors in writing fiction is creating believable characters and if you get that wrong, then everything else pretty much falls flat. This is Broden's first full-length novel but, to my mind, it never really quite gelled and that is a crying shame as this had so much potential that it never quite managed to live up to.
I really wanted to like this but the whole thing just didn't seem to tick any of my boxes. Genies are an under-used concept that don't appear very often in modern-day fiction so this book was always going to get off to a good start by breaking the mold as it were. But unfortunately, this particular tale just couldn't hold the pace and ended up falling at the very first hurdle.
Historical, Erotica - Novel
TBR reviewer: B.H.
Miria, a young noblewoman on the cusp of an arranged marriage, meets the Ausir Tsalrin, her father's mysterious assassin, and sparks fly immediately. Tsalrin is trapped by an ancient curse, and Miria cannot escape her father or the husband to whom he would sell her, a man who sees her merely as a political tool.
Miria and Tsalrin's position is impossible, but neither one will give up their hidden love. Theirs is a story of struggle against abuse, bigotry, and paterfamilias. Their love is both their
greatest danger and their only comfort as they search for their mutual freedom.
I really wanted to like Worth His Freedom. It was on my to-read list since the ‘coming soon’ page on Evernight Publishing website. When I read the blurb, I bumped it up on my list and when it was in my hand, well my nook, I was giddy with excitement.
This has the same time period as the TV show Spartacus: Blood and Sand with the whole
Domina and Dominus thing. I loved the TV show, which made me crave this book. This would have a romantic twist and make a great entertaining read.
The problem was the plot holes. Just because the author understands the plot, doesn’t mean the reader will grasp it as clearly. How is a guy with pointy ears locked up, going to help the Mirius house gain top spot? The author eventually spells this out but pages later which left more questions and confusions. Talk about confusing, the father and two brothers are named Mirius. What on earth?! Maybe it was an editing issue.
Miria was a good character; she seemed to have sweet innocence and a sense of depth.
As did our main male character, pointed ear man, Tsalrin. From their introduction, we get new characters, along with all the Mirius’s and very little on background. After a few encounters Miria and Tsalrin are willing to run off together? They had no chemistry yet and that made this twist unbelievable. What really made me downgrade Worth His Freedom was the use of words that had no explanation. Jared? I’m sure she didn’t mean the modern jewelry store. Skenje? Basur Yoke? I could go on and on with these terms. Are they species? House names? What?
I feel like this is Ms. Devereux’s first book, I could be wrong. Though this wasn’t a recommended read for me there was a lot of potential stuffed between the bad and I for one will be giving another book by her a try.
TBR reviewer: B.H.
Jesse returns to the ranch to find her lover, Meg, in trouble—raped and beaten by her ex. It’s up to Jesse to rescue her and to see that justice is done.
After a much-needed weekend of riding in the hills, Jesse returns to the ranch to find her lover, Meg, in trouble—ex-husband trouble. Meg had been raped, battered and bruised. It’s up to Jesse to rescue her and to see that justice is done. It’s also up to her to prove to Meg that their love can endure anything.
I love western romances and recently became a fan of the lesbian genre. The blurb sounded dark and gritty, another favorite of mine. Those are my reasons for choosing Jesse’s Homecoming. This is also my first book by Jude Mason.
To say I’m disappointed pretty much sums up my experience with this novel. If I ignore the comma overload Mason is a great writer but the skill wasn’t the issue with this story. The big issue, the plot.
An abusive man is raping Jesse’s girlfriend and she walks in on it. Let me ask you, what would you do? Me, I would shoot him. No doubt, no hesitate, shot already fired. Jesse intends to let him go...*Shakes head* Okay, on a crazy chance this happens we’ll go with that. He tried something and she shoots him in the shoulder. That satisfied me. The bastard is bleeding but still a threat and she goes to her lover, Meg, and listens to the story of how this started while she was away. What?! The potential threat is right there and they start chatting away. Are you kidding me?
Yes, I read on despite that. They secure the rapist eventually and then give Meg a bath...If you could only see the look on my face. Why would you possible wait to get the sheriff? Yes, I understand she wants to be clean but Jesse should use common freaking sense. This anger me to the point of no return.
I’d also shoot the ‘big, strong’ ranch hands that left Meg with a man that slapped her and threatened to kill her. Jesse had to potential to be a great character but she had no depth and completely lacked sense. She’s one of those TSTL characters that make me cringe.
Jesse’s Homecoming comes down to this: Jude Mason has real talent, the skill is there but the plot is not.