Rants and Raves

Rants and Raves – of Authors, ARCs and Reviews…

I fully understand that reviews are subjective and that we won’t all enjoy the same types of books. That being said, I’m constantly surprised at some reviews I read. I, of course follow some blogs and if they recommend a book I’ll most likely read it. However, I recently stopped following a blogger I used to love.

This was the third time she’d rated a book highly that I completely hated. I’m not saying she lied about her views, I’m just saying that clearly we’re not on the same wave-length anymore.

The book came highly recommended by the blogger and I decided, since I’d been burnt twice by two previous books she’d recommended, I would go to Goodreads and see what my trusted friends thought of the book. As it turns out, none had read it but they all had marked it down as ‘to-read.’

I went through all the reviews I could find and everyone was super enthusiastic about the book, almost all 5 star reviews. So I decided to give it a go. I was surprised by how much I disliked the book. I actually checked the reviews again to make sure I hadn’t missed something but no, not my kind of book.

Two of my Goodreads friends finally read it and completely agreed with me but one took it a step further which started a discussion that intrigued me. In the comments section, a few people said that they no longer trust ARC reviews from bloggers. Some even went further to say that they didn’t trust bloggers at all.

Ouch! It got me wondering how many of you trust blog reviews. I realized that I now only have two blogs I trust and that I mostly rely on my Goodreads friends for recommendations. Those girls are honest, most times brutally so, and I appreciate it. I decided to analyse myself and my reviews.

Are ARCs more difficult to critique? For me, not really. I’m constantly aware that what I say about a book might impact whether or not my ‘followers’ buy the book. I’m not so conceited as to think that I actually impact sales, but with like minded people, people I trust to recommend good books and vice versa? Those people tend to listen if I rant about a book. Therefore I review every book the same way.

I will say though that there is some more pressure when it comes to review copies than there is if I bought the book myself. I’ve found that I prefer to buy the book or get it from the publisher, than be in contact with an author sending me review copies.

Contact with authors is something I’m wary about. I’ve become quite good ‘friends’ with some authors and it’s always harder to critique their books. If I love the books, I fan girl all over the place which is embarassing enough. If I hate the book, then I’ve found it better to put it in my DNF pile. Why complete something I don’t enjoy? If it holds my interest but I’m still not wowed, then I will say it in my review, and keep my fingers crossed that the author won’t send me an email about it.

You’d be surprised how many do write back and it puts me in a weird position having to explain what I already said in my review. The other thing I don’t particularly like is being friends with authors on Goodreads. I try to avoid that to be honest but I’ve realized I can’t maintain the barrier that I seek. Because whether you’re Goodreads friends or not, authors will see who’s reading their books.

I once wrote an update on a book I was reading… it was so ridiculous, I posted a quote from it. The author immediately contacted me saying that she was sorry I wasn’t enjoying the book and that her humor might be too ‘out there.’ I immediately stopped posting updates and found that I couldn’t even finish the book.

Another time I posted that I was reading a particular book and the author immediately contacted me saying that she was stoked and that she hoped I’d enjoy it. I didn’t, and then I felt really awkward posting my review.

A third time I updated that I’d finished a book with a ‘review to come’ on the review box. The author immediately liked it. The sad thing is that I knew my review was going to criticize what I didn’t like and she was going to immediately regret liking my update.

Sigh. It’s tough but it has to be done. I battle with honesty and critique because I don’t want to hurt any feelings. I get that it’s a hard job to be a writer and I don’t want to bring anyone down. However I also want to be honest and tact is a skill I somehow don’t have enough of :(

Anyway, enough of my ranting. I’m curious to know how much bloggers influence what books you buy… and where your main influence comes from. And to bloggers, how much contact you have with authors and if it influences your reviews.

To leave on a good note. Let me recommend three books that have completely rocked my reading world in 2014 :)

blindfolded

“I’m not sure what you have been told about me, but I’m not nearly as bad as they make me out to be.” His deliciously deep voice carried a little bit of ego.

I’m sure you are exactly as bad as they make you out to be….

Brad De Luca is used to getting whatever and whomever he wants. The premier divorce attorney in town, he’s a playboy who’s bedded half the city—including his own clients. And when the newest intern at his firm poses a challenge, his seductive prowess goes into overdrive.

Pre-law student Julia Campbell is fresh off a failed engagement and happy with her new independence. Even if she weren’t warned away from Brad at every turn, she’d know he was bad news. The last thing she needs is a man who could destroy her job prospects, not to mention her innocence. But before she knows it, the incorrigible charmer has her under his spell. His deviant tastes plunge her deep into a forbidden world of sexual exploration…but her heart may not survive the fall.

Amazon Buy Link –  My Review

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deceptive

A beautiful young woman is out for revenge—only to find the man she’s targeting has secrets as dangerous as her own, and a passion she cannot resist.

Ever since her mother died while serving time for a murder she didn’t commit, Bell’s been focused on one thing: revenge. She knows her mother was set up by the head of the powerful Gable family, international bankers who will crush anyone for profit, or amusement. Now she’s determined to take the Gables down—from the inside.

Seducing her way into the life—and bed—of the family’s rebellious youngest son, Lander, she figures it should be easy to uncover the secrets she needs to destroy his family. But Lander turns out to be much more complicated than Bell ever could have imagined. He’s enticing, intelligent, mysterious—and their sexual chemistry is off the charts. Lander is still the target, but once Bell gives in to her desire to touch him, he starts seeming much less like an enemy… Which is why her anger is more necessary than ever: Memories of her mother must help fuel her quest for justice to the very end.

Amazon Buy Link –  My Review

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deeper

When Caroline Piasecki’s ex-boyfriend posts their sex pictures on the Internet, it destroys her reputation as a nice college girl. Suddenly her once-promising future doesn’t look so bright. Caroline tries to make the pictures disappear, hoping time will bury her shame. Then a guy she barely knows rises to her defense and punches her ex to the ground.

West Leavitt is the last person Caroline needs in her life. Everyone knows he’s shady. Still, Caroline is drawn to his confidence and swagger—even after promising her dad she’ll keep her distance. On late, sleepless nights, Caroline starts wandering into the bakery where West works.

They hang out, they talk, they listen. Though Caroline and West tell each other they’re “just friends,” their feelings intensify until it becomes impossible to pretend. The more complicated her relationship with West gets, the harder Caroline has to struggle to discover what she wants for herself—and the easier it becomes to find the courage she needs to fight back against the people who would judge her.

When all seems lost, sometimes the only place to go is deeper.

Amazon Buy Link –  My Review

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Rants and Raves – Of Billionaires, Bikers, Rockstars and Fighters…

This is actually neither a rant nor a rave… Just thought I should let you know about three new pages on the blog…

I’ve been compiling a list of books to make it easier for you to find your next fixation ;)and since pages are usually not sent out to subscribers, this post will detail them for you :)

***Billionaire Romance Books Page***

It all started with Christian Grey (Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James)…

FSOG

My next one was James Cavendish (Up in the Air by RK Lilley)

JCuita

And you know how it goes; Gideon Cross (Crossfire by Sylvia Day), Jonathan Drazen (Songs of Submission by CD Reiss), Jesse Ward (This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas)… and the list goes on and on! Which is why I created a page with all the billionaire romance books I could find…. Just click on the next image…

billionairebookslarge copy

***Biker Romance Books Page***

My first biker was Deuce (Undeniable by Madeline Sheehan)

undeniable

And though no one can top Deuce, I’m currently on a Horse high (Reaper’s Property by Joanna Wylde)

reapers

Add to that Ripper (Unbeautifully by Madeline Sheehan)Tack (Motocycle Man by Kristen Ashley) and many more and you get yourself a page full of biker romance books! Click on the next image…

bikerromancetake2 copy

***Rockstar Romance Books Page***

From big time rockstar Jake Weathers (The Mighty Storm by Samantha Towle)

jakeweathers

To up and coming musician Will Ryan (Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino)…

sweething

To meet the members of the Sinners (Sinners on Tour by Olivia Cunning), the Black Falcons (Black Falcon by Michelle A. Valentine) and more artistes than you ever thought possible, click on the next image…

rockstarbookstake2 copy

***Fighter Romance Books Page***

And coming soon… the fighters! With Remington ‘Remy’ Tate (Real by Katy Evans)leading the pack :)

UFC, MMA, you name it! I’m in the process of compiling that particular list and it’s nowhere near ready yet… but as soon as it’s up on the blog, I’ll post a heads up onFacebook :)

fighterbooks copy

All the pages are a work in progress, so if your favorite billionaire, biker, rocker of fighter is missing, just comment on the individual pages and I’ll add them :)

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Rants and Raves – Of Alternate POVs…

One of my book chatting buddies, Trish, asked this the other day…

I would love to know what others think about the growing trend of POV books. Just finished on that was basically a select, copy and paste. Do you thinks Author’s are doing this to boost their revenue, by choice, instead of including POV’s within the books?

It’s definitely something I’ve thought about but not really dwelt on. Thing is, I remember the first time I read an alternate POV.

twilight

I’d just fallen in love with Twilight (please don’t judge me!) and I found Chapter One in Edward’s POV. I absolutely loved it!

I don’t remember much of it now but I do remember thinking how awesome it was to know what he was thinking.

I probably would have gone on to buy an alternate POV book had I not read and hated the subsequent books in the series… sigh…

Next alternate POV? Fifty Shades of Grey. God I’m a cliche! :)

fifty

But again, I read the trilogy, loved it, and read Chapter One in Christian’s POV. Again, loved it.

And again, I would have gone on to read the alternate POV had it materialized…

I suppose just like many others, I wasn’t ready to let go of these characters just yet. And of course when readers demand, authors feel compelled to deliver. However, as successful moneywise as it’s bound to be, I imagine some authors resist the temptation to avoid questions (or accusations) of Trish’s nature.

The first full alternate POV novel I ever read was Walking Disaster.

beautiful

I’d read and fallen in love with Abby and Travis’ story inBeautiful Disaster… in fact I read that book 3 times! But for the first time I was apprehensive about an alternate POV. I’m not sure why… but I was curious enough to request an advanced reader’s copy.

I have to say I was disappointed. There was nothing particularly new in the book.

In fact I realized that I didn’t identify with the characters anymore.

walking

The alternate scenarios seemed like fillers to me and I found myself skimming to get to the parts I’d loved so much inBeautiful Disaster

The book, just like its predecessor, went on to become a New York Times Bestseller… so I guess I’m in the minority. Either way, this made me start avoiding alternate POVs.

Problem is, they are everywhere you look. Someone once told me that Colleen Hoover writes the best alternate POV books. Having never read any of her books, I wouldn’t know, but I’m so so tempted…

hopeless

Take Hopeless and Losing Hope for example. Both books rated 5 stars by my favorite Goodreads reviewers. One says, “It’s not just an alternate perspective, it’s actually a whole different part of the story entirely.  This isn’t just Hopeless from Holder’s POV, this is his story during Hopeless, his story before Hopeless…

Another says, “I LOVED Hopeless & I didn’t know what to think when Losing Hope came out. I, like many of you was concerned that it would be the same story told in Holders POV. That was so NOT the case!”

losing hope

Yet another says, “I always get a bit worried when a previous story is retold in a different pov but with Colleen’s they read like whole new stories and not just repeats. This book made me fall in love with Holder so much more.”

With such raving reviews I’m left believing that it can be done right. But there were a few who felt different. One says, “Honestly, I’m feeling rather gutted and not in a constructive way with “Losing Hope”. Holder’s account, noted against Sky’s, does retread a lot of ground in the story to the point of where in places it feels repetitive (much like Jamie McGuire’s “Walking Disaster” did with Travis being in the primary seat versus Abby.).”

While yet another says, “Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely adored Hopeless!! It was in my top 5 last year. However, if I want to read it again, I’ve got it on my Kindle…. I’ll just go read it again. I do not want to pay for the privilege.”

Sigh… tough call.

So what about authors’ motivation? Monetary speaking, it is a good marketing strategy, and I’m sure publishers encourage it. But I wouldn’t go as far as believing it a pre-meditated plan by an author – ‘I’ll leave out some details so that I can add them in the alternate POV’ kind of scenario…

Call me naive but I have always wanted to believe that the biggest motivation is the readers. They beg for more books on the same characters. I’ve seen it everywhere. I’m also guilty of holding on to characters too long. There’s also the fact that some authors spend months, sometimes years, creating these characters and their stories… I can imagine it’s hard to just move on.

Well and good I say, whatever the motivation. But as an author, you owe it to your fans to offer something new. We understand that it’s the same story so we do expect some repetitiveness… but we also hope you will offer us more intrigue, a new perspective that completes the story. We hold you on such high esteem we just expect it.

As a reader, without even considering an author’s motivation, I will endeavor to avoid alternate POVs. So far it’s been more misses than hits. A few authors I absolutely love have recently written alternate POVs and I’m still debating on it. The two that come in mind? The Kathleen Turner series (one of my favorites)…

no turning <– Kathleen’s Book and Blane’s POV –> turn on

… and the Consequences series

conse <– Claire’s Book and Tony’s POV –> behind

I’m very tempted for obvious reasons but very apprehensive as well. I’m curious to know if there’re any alternate POVs you’ve read that you’ve loved.

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Rants and Raves – Of Odes…

Of the Seven Deadly Sins, Sloth has refused to let go of me. I open my blog page ready to rant or rave and end up sleeping, or watching some stupid reality show, the entire time feeling my brains cells dying. Reality shows suck.

That said, today I started reading Sing (Songs of Submission #7) by CD Reiss. I’d started a different Rave, then sloth took over and I decided to have some wine and read instead. Fast forward to reading Sing and I decided on this rave :)

Today I declared the Songs of Submission series my favorite series ever. I’d just finished reading a book that everyone loved and I just wasn’t feeling it. I wondered if something is wrong with me. Lately reading has been a bore and mostly because I just can’t find a book I enjoy. Enter Sing and everything changes.

So yes, this is an ode to CD Reiss.

She is brilliant. I received an email from her sometime back telling me that I’d been recommended to her by Becs (of Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews). Becs is awesome and I agree with any review she puts out, so if she thought the series was awesome, I was going to try it.

I started Beg, Book #1 in the Songs of Submission Series. I thought the cover was ridiculously beautiful… (click on the book covers for my reviews.)

beg

… which she does herself… but I also knew it was a novella so I thought why not give it 2 hours. 2 hours later and I was in love with Monica and Jonathan. Jonathan, rich and a Dom, so I admitteldy assumed I would read another Fifty Shades of Grey wanna be. I was so wrong, While it has a billionaire dom and a girl next door type, it also has the most amazing banter. Monica is funny, witty, talented (she’s a singer) and just amazing.

The series also unfolds differently. Jonathan is in love with his ex-wife Jessica. She left him for another man. So he seeks thrills with women. Never gives them more than 3 dates (read: fucks). And Monica is no different… or so he thinks. See, he’s a Dom but he never really seeks out subs. Till he finds out that Monica not only has submissive tendancies, but masochistic ones as well.

Which brings us past book #2 Tease, another beautiful cover by the way…

tease

‘I watched the sun come up through Jonathan’s window, felt his breath on my neck, and thought don’t fall in love don’t fall in love don’t fall in love. I didn’t look at him while he slept. I didn’t stroke the top of his hand where it rested on my belly. I didn’t think about him. Nothing. Not his scent or the sound of his voice. Not his sharp wit or his easy smile. My job there was to enjoy him, and sense sooner rather than later when it was time to move on. That was the only way I would get out intact.’

 

 

… well past Submit (which is so freaking hot!)…

submit

“…how am I supposed to walk away?”

“You can’t. You’re mine. The minute I told you to spread your legs and you did it, you were mine. When I told you to beg for it and you did, you were mine. When you put your hands behind your back without being told, I owned you. You never had to say a word. You’re a natural submissive.’

… and into Control… my favorite in the series. I loved the entire series but there’s a scene in Control that firmly placed CD Reiss into my favorites section. Click here to read the scene.

control

… he dominated me, and I submitted, letting go of everything I expected of myself. I ceded all control to him, all emotion, all physical boundaries, and in doing so, was able to find sexual honesty. I felt closer to him than I felt to anyone, because he saw parts of me that I didn’t. The quavering, weak, fearful parts of myself that I denied existed, he brought out and caressed.

EL James brought out erotica/erotic romance from the ‘taboo’ into the accepted. A lot of authors followed that up and tried to make something of it. A few succeeded, but in my eyes, CD Reiss took it all and turned it into literary erotica. I’m I fan girling? Yes! Not even going to deny it :)

Fast forward to Burn...

burn sos

“Touch me, Jonathan. Please.”

“Commit yourself to me,” he said.

“Oh, God. Don’t-”

“Commit. Yourself. To. Me.” He said softly and firmly, half whisper, half scream.

“I’m yours. Touch me.”

“You don’t even know what you’re promising… I can’t watch you walk away again. If you commit yourself, you’re mine. You will set the limits and I will honor them. You will be exclusive to me. You will submit yourself to me sexually. Completely.”

Then Resist

resist

“Hurt me,” I whispered.

“Monica, that’s not what I mean.”

“Ruin me.”

“Stop.”

I stepped forward. “Destroy me, Jonathan.”

He cursed under his breath and pushed his lips to mine… I groaned into his mouth. “Take me. Own me. Use me. Pick a verb. Just, please.”

“Fuck you. I’m going to fuck you. That’s my verb.”

..and now the last book in the series… Sing… (click here for an exclusive excerpt and giveaway)

sing

“Goddess,” he said, his breath on my mouth, “Have me, please. I was wrong. You’re not the sea under my sky. You are the sun I revolve around, the stars that mark me, the moon rising through me. I’m lost without you. And if you won’t have me, I’ll break, I swear to God. I know it’s selfish , and I’m sorry. Let me serve you. Have me as yours.

 

 

 

And other than the amazingly witty banter, we also get the steam…

sexy gif

… the angst…

my emotions

and the cliffhangers…

OH MY GOD

BEST.SERIES.EVER.

*Click here for the reading order.

 

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Rants and Raves – Of Dystopian Erotica…

I know, I know, I’ve been M.I.A… been having a crazy work month, so I spent my Sundays working or sleeping… nothing to rant or rave about :/ But today I felt less tired and more inspired…

excited barney <– what I look like :)

excitement fist pump <— what you should look like :)

Sooooo… today I’m raving about a series. Thing is, there are so many books I read and wonder why the whole world isn’t raving about them. I then make it my mission to get them more known :) Ok, I’ve only done this once before, because usually I hope my reviews are enough, but sometimes I think a few words about a book might be what’s needed to get more people to read it.

The other day I chatted with a Goodreads friend about this series. We both agreed that it’s really exceptional yet we believe many of our friends avoid it because of one word: Dystopia. By now you’ll have guessed that I’m talking about one of my favorite series; theBeyond Series by Kit Rocha. Its genre, or sub-genre, is Dystopian Erotica. Meaning of course that it takes place in a dystopian society. A lot of my reading buddies then ask, is it like paranormal? No, it is not paranormal. Is it Sci-fi? No it is not.

So what is it? In a nutshell, Solar flairs have basically obliterated the world as we know it. And what is left is a society unlike any other. There is Eden – the perceived paradise, where they still have everything that was there before the flares. However, they are more controlled, everything ‘fun’ is frowned upon.

Then there’re the Sectors. Think Sons of Anarchy on steroids. Fornication, cage fighting, debauchery… the sectors have it all. Each Sector, 1 to 8, have their own leader and they vary greatly. Sector 4, or The Broken Circle, is the focus of the books. It’s led by Dallas O’Kane. While it doesn’t have as much comfort as Eden, or Sector 2 for that matter, it has a good leader, it’s a family, and everyone who becomes part of that family has to take ink, and become an O’Kane.

I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive about the series. I tried watching that Denzel Washington post-apocalyptic movie, The Book of Eli, I slept in the movie theater. I then read post-apocalyptic erotica (not sure that’s what you call it) but the idea of sex while flesh eating zombies are after you disgusted me. So no, I was not sold on dystopian erotica. Mostly because I didn’t even realize the difference. Turns out it is nothing like the movie or the zombie erotica… thank God! I would compare this to ‘biker’ erotica. Only grittier and even more unapologetic… oh, plus these people love their orgies :) Each book concentrates on a different character. There’re no zombies, and no sci-fi elements here. Just lust, lust… and love :)

BOOK ONE: BEYOND SHAME

beyond

All Noelle Cunningham has ever wanted is a life beyond–beyond the walls of Eden, where only the righteous are allowed to remain, and beyond her stiflingly restrictive existence as a councilman’s daughter. But only ruins lie outside the City, remnants of a society destroyed by solar storms decades earlier.

The sectors surrounding Eden house the corrupt, the criminal–men like Jasper McCray, bootlegger and cage fighter. Jas clawed his way up from nothing to stand at the right hand of Sector Four’s ruthless leader, and he’ll defend the O’Kane gang with his life. But no fight ever prepared him for the exiled City girl who falls at his feet.

Her innocence is undeniable, but so is their intense sexual attraction, and soon they’re crossing every boundary Noelle barely knew she had. But if she wants to belong to Jas, first she’ll have to open herself to the gang, to a dangerous world of sex, lust and violence. A world where passion is power, and freedom is found in submission.

Noelle went from a somewhat reserved city girl to f-f, m-f-f, m-f-m-f scenes… just move the letters around and she did it. It was erotica like I hadn’t read it before. I read Beyond Shame way before I started the blog which is why I have no review here but I’ll give you my favorite quote…

“I should have told you. I guess I…wanted you to know. I wanted you to know what I needed, but maybe you couldn’t understand that what I needed was you.”

“Do you need me?”

“I can survive without you, but it’s only that. Surviving. I want to live.”

While the steamy scenes far outweighed the emotional, I still absolutely enjoyed the book. Gave it 4 stars for being so different and oh so so steamy!

BOOK TWO: BEYOND CONTROL

control

She refuses to be owned.

Alexa Parrino escaped a life of servitude and survived danger on the streets to become one of the most trusted, influential people in Sector Four, where the O’Kanes rule with a hedonistic but iron fist. Lex has been at the top for years, and there’s almost nothing she wouldn’t do for the gang…and for its leader. Lie, steal, kill—but she bows to no one, not even Dallas O’Kane.

He’ll settle for nothing less.

Dallas fought long and hard to carve a slice of order out of the chaos of the sectors. Dangers both large and small threaten his people, but it’s nothing he can’t handle. His liquor business is flourishing, and new opportunities fuel his ambition. Lex could help him expand his empire, something he wants almost as much as he wants her. And no one says no to the king of Sector Four.

Falling into bed is easy, but their sexual games are anything but casual. Attraction quickly turns to obsession, and their careful dance of heady dominance and sweet submission uncovers a need so deep, so strong, it could crush them both.

Now this one was grittier in my opinion. It had elements of BDSM and I wondered how their relationship would work when neither of them are submissives. But it did… Read my review here.

Favorite Quote:

“He knows what’s his.”

Lex’s knees went weak. “Do you know, Dallas?”

“Every fucking thing I see,” he replied, close enough for his breath to stir the hair at her temple. “But you most of all. You above everyone.”

God I loved how Dallas become vulnerable for Lex. Only for Lex.

“I’ve always loved you.” A shudder worked through him, and he pulled her closer. “I’ve always wanted you. They don’t have a word for how much I need you. Everything good I am, everything good I’ve ever done…it’s all you. You make me a king. Without you, I’m just another psychotic thug.”

A definite 5 star read for me. And what’s more, the series just keeps getting better and better!

BOOK THREE: BEYOND PAIN

beyond pain

A woman with no future…

Live fast, die young–anything else is a fantasy for Six. She’s endured the worst the sectors had to throw at her, but falling in with Dallas O’Kane’s Sector Four gang lands her in a whole new world of danger. They’re completely open about everything, including their sexuality–but she hasn’t survived this long by making herself vulnerable. Especially not to men as dominant as Brendan Donnelly.

A man without a past…

Bren is a killer, trained in Eden and thrown to the sectors. His one outlet is pain, in the cage and in the bedroom, and emotion is a luxury he can’t afford–until he meets Six. Protecting her soothes him, but it isn’t enough. Her hunger for touch sparks a journey of erotic discovery where anything goes–voyeurism, flogging, rough sex. He has only one rule: he won’t share her.

In Bren’s arms, Six is finally free to let go. But his obsession with the man who made him a monster could destroy the fragile connection they’ve forged, and cost him the one thing that makes him feel human–her love.

I absolutely loved Beyond Pain. I think it became more emotional. I thought it’s because Bren and Six don’t share, unlike everyone else in the sectors. Maybe it’s because they both has such tortured backgrounds… either way… 5 stars! Read my review here.

Favorite quote:

God the way he was looking at her, with no pity or disgust. Intense, with only the slightest softening around his eyes to save his features from harshness. There was something contemplative in his gaze, like he was imagining some future where bad things didn’t happen to her. As if he was silently begging her to imagine it too.

I love the writing. I love that though it has amazing and creative steamy scenes, it also has an interesting storyline to go with it. I love that the men are alpha and possessive but can never be truly controlling because the women are strong. You will not find pushover, annoying heroines in this one. Even the emotionally broken are not truly down – they stand up for themselves and fight. I love that it already feels like a family – even though everyone gets down and dirty ;) I will say it again, it’s unlike anything I’ve read before. Maybe not saying a lot since I haven’t read dystopian anything, but this for now, is more than enough to keep me sated.

Next up is Beyond Jealousy. I absolutely can’t wait! It’s going to  be the first m-f-m relationship in the series and I’m already so in love with Ace, I can’t wait for him to find happiness!

Series reading order -> https://jessysbookclub.wordpress.com/kit-rocha/

If you read (or have read) the series, please let me know what you think!

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Rants and Raves – A Rockstar, a Cowboy and a Biker walk into a bar…

cowboy rocker bikerAnd what a fanstasy it is! I like this pic so much it got me wondering about my favorite book characters. I usually don’t go for a particular kind of book…. you know… like biker books or rock star books… but I have had a lot of people asking me if I can recommend these kinds of books. So here we go… I’ll recommend the ones I’ve read and loved but also other recommendations I’ve received…

*Click on the covers to get the blurb and amazon buy link.

Billionaires

As Christine said in my ‘cliches in books‘ post, “Money is a convention that’s stayed around because as romance readers, we want fantasy. Short, plain guy with money problems? Most women married that.” LOL! So yes, let’s start with the billionaire.

fsogin flightthis manbegif i werebared?????????????????????????knightreleasepleasuresbbknightpearlbeautyforeverstrangersurrenderlockedcollideknight

Fighters

I haven’t come across many but there’re some that you will definitely love….

BDrealfffbeyondseducingnoahdefying????????????????????????????????????????

Bikers

I was in a pub the other day and a group of bikers from a Motorcycle Club came in. I was so excited and my friends were so embarrassed! Thing is, they didn’t look like Jax from Sons of Anarchy… or Tig (I have the hugest crush on Tig! Yes I’m insane.) These ones looked more like Piney… but I didn’t care… they had the Kuttes and everything and it was my first time to see a biker club up close… anyway… biker books :)

sweet dreamsmoto manown the wind????????????????????????????????????????????? unbeautifullosinghellreapershotseizerideknight

Rock Stars/Singers

I have to be honest these are not my favorite books. The rock star ones I mean… I’ve read ones with singers that I’ve loved… like Sweet Thing for example… loved that one! Though I will admit a couple of rock stars have managed to rock my book world…

white trashrock the hearttenthoughtlessTMSgroupie3aphoenixsweeylovewickedtrykillfallingSONY DSCrocked

Cowboys

I’ve only read Nicole Edwards books and I love those cowboys! So I can definitely see the lure of a cowboy. Also I have The Dixie Chicks song ‘Cowboy Take Me Away‘ playing in my head as I think of cowboy books :)

longtravissummerzanewantedwildkalebtaming

Professors/Teachers

Possibly my ultimate fantasy! I had a crush on my primary school Geography teacher, my high school English teacher, my University Journalism lecturer… but I’m a follow the rules kind of girl so I stayed very very far away :)

honordamagedgabrielarouselosingislandblueberkeley

Cops/ Law Enforcement

Ah, a man in uniform… authority… need I say more?

his riskdarkestlawtrustliberatingprotectingofficerlover

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Rants and Raves – Of Clichés in Books…

Most of my friends don’t enjoy reading as much as I do… and those who do, don’t read erotica… or romance. I mostly read with my boyfriend next to me… so he gets all my book reading emotions and believe me he’s not thrilled. He encouraged me to start my blog so that I bother him less :)

And while I did find like minded readers online (Hi Vedrana, Lenette, Trish, Kelsey, Melai, Athena, Neama… and the list goes on and on…) I still read scenes out loud to my boyfriend (who now has a perfect eyeroll)…

eyeroll ian <- him (only he’s hotter than this guy ;) )

So it typically goes like this;

Me: OMG I love this book!

Him: Let me guess, the guy is incredibly hot, incredibly rich, emotionally unavailable until he meets that one unlikely girl and they fuck like rabbits only to find happily ever after in book 3.

Is he far off? Probably not. But it got me thinking about clichés in books….

MINE

I love when a man says ‘you’re mine’, ‘I own you’ or ‘you belong to me’ :) My boyfriend doesn’t get it.

Him: How can you like this sort of thing?! Women everywhere still fight for equal rights and…

Me: Tuning out………

I mean, I get it. I even did one class in feminist theory -I know all about the burning of the bras… but there’s just something so sexy about a gentleman who goes very caveman-ish on the woman he loves… sigh…

possessive men = bookgasm

books making me orgasm

HOT MEN

Who wants to read about an average looking man? The kind of book hero I like is the really hot guy or the outwardly scarred guy. I mostly have read of the former and I’m sure I don’t need to give examples but have you read of the latter? Think Szadist in Lover Awakened by JR Ward and Blake in the Beauty series by Skye Warren… It has to be one of the two extremes for me… anything in between just sounds boring.

imgLover Awakened1Cover_BeautyTouchedTheBeast-SkyeWarren-e1368374955114

BILLIONAIRES

I have to be honest, this has become a bit too much. If you check the word ‘billionaire’ on amazon… the number of titles you’ll find is astonishing… it’s almost a genre in itself!

billionaire captureOf course it all follows the phenomenon that was Fifty Shades of Grey… but I’ve personally had enough. Some of my favorites have billionaire Doms in them but recently I’ve been searching for anything but a billionaire story.

BIG…ERM… MANHOOD

Again, who wants to read of an average… or God forbid … small one?! But some descriptions are so over the top it’s funny. Was it in The Prince by Tiffany Reisz where Nora says that in romance books the men never have impotence problems? I can’t imagine such a storyline! Maybe someone should write it. Though we do know that Soren in The Original Sinners is only ever turned on by inflicting pain… and nothing else… so I guess we have an exception in him…

prince

 FINGER -COMBED HAIR

Yes, this shows up A LOT! I’m actually surprised how much… the guy always has hair that looks like ‘he ran his fingers through it a number of times’. Ok, it sounds sexy, I guess… but not sexy enough to be mentioned 50 times in a book. Or is it just me? Actually for me, unless you’re mentioning the length of the hair (this is where my friend V tells everyone about my love for long-ish hair) or the color of the hair… I’m not sure I really need to know much more. Oh unless it’s gelled up like Harvey Spekter in Suits… I have such a crush on that man! In fact I’m ending my blog post right here.. I have some swooning to do!

harvey gif   <— Swooooooon!

Are there clichés I missed out on? Do let me know ;)

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Rants and Raves – Of Dark Erotica…

Last week I found out that a lot of people have never heard of my favorite Priest – Søren from The Original Sinners Series by Tiffany Reisz. I was honestly surprised. I guess I’d assumed that if you’ve subscribed to my blog then you like dark(er) erotica… and the Original Sinners is a favorite so I just… sigh… all these assumptions!

Anyway, to be honest I’m not sure if everyone considers The Original Sinners as dark erotica… consent is huge with the characters in the series… but it deals with taboo topics (namely the Catholic Priest Søren and his lover and submissive, Nora.) Also the BDSM is heavy so again, I call it dark erotica. This series is simply brilliant. It’s so witty, so well written, so clever, that even though the subject matter might make some squeamish, I highly recommend it to all erotica/erotic romance lovers.

SIRENangelprincemistress

But what exactly is dark erotica?

scared and horny

That basically sums up dark erotica :) The genre mostly deals with taboo topics, dubious consent, enforced sexual submission, graphic violence, the psychology of ownership… well you get the drift. The books come with a warning… and speaking of warnings, I wrote a rant on heeding them… click here to check that out.

My first foray into the taboo came in the form of two books, a duet; Captive in the Darkand its sequel; Seduced in the Dark. Think kidnapping, Stockholm Syndrome and sexual slavery. I think I read the entire book with my jaw on the ground. But what surprised me most is how much I felt for the ‘bad guy’. Seriously, any author that makes me feel that much for a guy who did what this guy did, deserves a medal!

captiveseduced

There is a 3rd book, The Epilogue, which I’ll not include in this post because it was not dark erotica. Anyway, I thought about these two books for months! I decided to search for other books in this genre… and that’s how my love for the genre (and my blog) begun.

I then came across Kitty Thomas. Everyone who reads dark erotica knows, or should know Kitty Thomas. Her book, Comfort Food… wow! As with the Dark DuetComfort Food also deals with Stockholm Syndrome. But to me while there was Stockholm Syndrome involved, I thought it had more to do with Pavlovian Conditioning. “As part of his conditioning methods, her captor refuses to speak to her, knowing how much she craves human contact. He’s far too beautiful to be a monster. Combined with his lack of violence toward her, this has her walking a fine line at the edge of sanity. Comfort Food explores what happens when all expectations of pleasure and pain are turned upside down, as whips become comfort and chicken soup becomes punishment.” Yeah, It seriously did a number on me.

comfort food

In my search, I came across Megan Hart. And by now you know that her book, Broken, is my favorite book ever! Again with Megan Hart, I’m not sure whether to call her books dark erotica. In Broken for example, there is a love story, it just deals with very heavy subject matter. I was on holiday with my boyfriend when I read the book and I cried so much he was actually scared!

somebody sedate me <- me

But seriously, read Broken. Seriously.

broken megan hart 2

On the subject of dark books that fall somewhere just outside of Dark Erotica, you’ll find another favorite. The Consequences Series by Aleatha Romig. These books are dark and she classified them as dark romance. Thing is, while there is dubious consent and graphic violence, this is not erotica. The sex scenes are not graphic at all and the story, to me, was more a psycho thriller. Again, Kidnapping and Stockholm Syndrome are involved… but in this one there is an incredibly detailed reason for the kidnapping. I finished the first book,Consequences, in the middle of the night and till today, that is the fastest I’ve bought a sequel (Truth). The cliffhanger on Consequences is a killer! I’ve never felt so slow in my life. I went from confused to re-reading the chapter to mind blown in a span of 2 minutes!

confusion wheres the story        to           barney-mind-blown

Definitely recommended and seriously… be ready! Total mind fuck!

consequencestruth

And if you’re looking for another, try the Confessions Collection by Leila DeSint. This one deals with (amongst other things) Multiple Personality Disorder… or should I say Dissociative identity disorder. There are scenes in that book that you will not see coming… and I wish I could explain how brilliant they are. Click on the cover below to read my review (where I try to explain…)

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00016]

So why do I love Dark Erotica? There is no other genre that leaves me with such a mix of emotions. Confusion, hurt, disgust (yes)… and in one word, these stories areunforgettable. The characters will stay with you… and you’ll find yourself rooting for these unlikely couples….

I feel as though I can handle most topics and some books in this genre have definitely scared me… but if there’s anything like the good kind of scared, then this is it. The Prince (Book #3 Original Sinners Series by Tiffany Reisz) was a bit more scary to me than the rest in the series. I get sadism, I mean I don’t, but you know, I kinda do. But the kind of sadism detailed in The Prince had me reading the book with this face

Colin_Farrel-Disgusted

But closely followed by

so-hot

Yup! Erotica is sex plus fear…. famous words by a famous fictional erotica author (Nora Sutherlin – The Original Sinners:)

Other books that prove this? The Erotic Dark by Nina Lane. She finds herself in a situation where she has to submit to three men… with three very different personalities. I was a bit uncomfortable with the humiliation detailed in that book but in the end, brilliant brilliant writing. And in that vein we’ll add The Tied Man by Tabitha McGowan… ok this one is HEAVY folks. Some scenes were hard to take, even for me… and… yes… a definite 5 star read that comes highly highly recommended.

erotictied

My newest discovery is Skye Warren. I’ve only read Wanderlust so far (Stockholm syndrome which by now you should know I have a thing for!) Wanderlust is one of my favorite books of 2013… and in this one, we get a beautiful, unlikely, romance story… of all the ones I’ve added here, I’d suggest this one if you are new to the genre and want to give it a try.

wanderlust

I have a few more in my TBR awaiting me. And yes, I’m very scared….. and aroused :)

break her escape from paradise ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? the lonely

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Rants and Raves – Of Paranormal Romance…

The other day someone on Facebook told me that she’s never read Paranormal Romance (PNR). She wondered what it is about the genre that I love so much. Weirdly enough, I can’t put my finger on just one thing I like about this genre.

For some reason I’ve ended up attracting more Erotic Romance authors and readers on my blog than any other genre. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, far from it. But it does mean that I don’t read nearly as much PNR as I’d love. So to appease the side of me that LOVES this genre, I decided to talk a bit about it.

I don’t particularly remember growing up loving paranormal shows or reading paranormal stories. Then one day I’m about to leave my university campus, it was a 20 minute tram ride to my apartment so I decided to pass by the library. There was one table where anyone could put magazines or fiction books for others to read and I found myself looking at a copy of Twilight. I know I know, Twilight. Surprisingly, I had not even heard ofTwilight. I was studying in a different country and I don’t think it was big in Europe yet. Most of my classmates were Americans so I suppose one of them dropped the book there. Anyway, so I took the copy and got on the tram.

twilight1twilight2twilight3twilight4

20 minutes later, I’m hooked and I forego my assignments to read. I loved it so much I watched the movie (which I hated), then bought the next books in the series. Turns out I didn’t like book two and I couldn’t move past the first few pages of the massive book 3 so I ended up leaving all of them at the same table I collected the first.

That’s my first memory of reading PNR. About a year later, I moved back to Holland and met my friend V. She was (and still is) addicted to True Blood. So that got me back to fantasizing about vampires and shifters BIG TIME! Sigh, the hottest vampire and shifter :)

true blood

I then discovered JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, the best PNR series ever! :)I read book 1 to 6 as if I was on fire! I couldn’t imagine reading anything else! Think sexy sexy vampires who fall in love with (mostly) unsuspecting humans… I was on cloud 9!

BDB1BDB2BDB3BDB4BDB5BDB6BDB7BDB8BDB9BDB10BDB11BDB12

So what is it that I like so much about PNR… I still don’t have a direct answer to that. Maybe it’s because I wonder how exciting it would be if all these Vampires and lycanthropes existed… maybe it’s because it’s all so scary exciting… Maybe it’s because these preternaturals seem to believe more in soulmates… they seem to love harder… in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series for example, once they’ve ‘bonded’ they mark their mates with their scent to make sure everyone knows…. and they have to tattoo the name of their partner on their backs… that gets me everytime ;)

swooning

Also in another favorite, the Alpha Omega Series by Aline Hunter, this is how the Omega (a shifter who is not only a were-shifter but bears the mark of all the other shifter races –  meaning he can shift into almost anything) knows he’s met THE ONE…

He knew he was fucked the minute he lifted her in his arms and all the beasts beneath his skin growled in contentment, each one brushing against the inside of his skin. They came at the same time, fighting for a place to break free and make their own unique mark of claim. The animal forms he possessed had chosen random females they’d appreciated over the years, but never had they voiced approval at the same time.

swoon disney

I love that whole claiming, marking business… and yes my boyfriend is rolling his eyes as he reads this :)

Now because PNR excites me so much, I decided to give Urban Fantasy a try. Unfortunately not my cup of tea. That world includes too many preternaturals, I found that my mind couldn’t keep up! That being said I bow down to UF authors. Coming up with such a complicated world requires a mind like no other!

Now I’ll end with my recommendations. As I said, I don’t read the genre as much as I’d like and I’ve received various recommendations that I’m yet to get to. But I definitely recommend the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and these others that I loved;

seithe omega Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000027_00013]

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Rants and Raves – Of Plagiarism…

I once got an interview with one of my favorite authors and I was super stoked about it. I wanted to ask her a naughty question and I kept wondering how to phrase it and not make it sound too… what’s the word… lewd maybe? Well I didn’t want to offend her so I spent some time wording it. About two months later, the same author had been interviewed in another blog so I decided to check it out. To my surprise the last four questions (including the one I spent like 15 minutes wording) were exactly the same!

So I, being the goodie-two-shoes who never let even her best friend copy her exam, felt quite angry about it. So I emailed the blogger (not sure what I was hoping to accomplish) and let her know that those questions were exactly like mine. She responds and says, “great minds think alike.”

eyeroll harry

So here I am thinking, unless we’re Siamese twins connected by brain, no way we worded, especially that question, exactly alike. Anyway, it’s not like she stole my discovery for the cure for cancer, so I just let it be.

Just the other day, the whole plagiarism scandal broke out. It was doing the rounds on blogs and Facebook but if you haven’t seen it, allow me.

On June 26, Dear Author posts “The Plagiarizing of Tammara Webber’s Easy by @JordinBWilliams“. Turns out Jordin Williams, published a book called  Amazingly Broken which apparently did so well, it was No. 58 in the US Kindle store. However large parts of her book were stolen from Easy by Tamara Weber, and yet another part, fromBeautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuireDear Author has the text to prove it so check it out.

So I’m thinking, I was pissed off because a blogger stole 4 questions, can you imagine how livid I’d be if someone plagiarized my book?!

Then the plot thickens. Turns out, and you can read it all in this post, some very perceptive people discovered that a few author profiles on Goodreads seem to be linked. Under Liz Thomas’ page, you find the book ‘Finding Cassilia’ by Emily Curran. But on Amazon,Finding Cassilia is supposedly by Liz Thomas…. check out that discussion here. Wouldn’t be that suspicious to me because some authors write under different pen names. But these two, Emily and Liz, are apparently linked to a Beth Klein who, other than using another person’s photo as herself, was also promoting Amazingly Broken (the plagiarized book by Jordin Williams). All of them belong to a group called “Sexy Romance” on Goodreads and they’ve only read one book; Amazingly Broken.  Their next to-read book? Cherry Popper by KA Andrews. Turns out KA Andrews and Jordin Williams just might be the same person!

So one of my favorite bloggers says that after finding out the links between Jordin Williams and KA Andrews, she emailed KA to cancel a scheduled blog tour participation, and sometime later, KA’s account was deleted.

Reads like a mystery novel doesn’t it? And what’s a mystery without a cool visual?

plagiarism visual

So, as I was compiling yesterday’s freebie list, I found a book that looked interesting enough but some commenters claimed it was the exact same book with name changes as another book by a different author. This is the 2nd or 3rd time I’ve seen a discussion on amazon along the same lines. And let’s not forget other past plagiarism claims

The fact that so many of these fake authors exist scares me. And especially now in the era of e-books, seriously, it’s plenty scary!

But I’ll end with an awesome graphic by author CD Reiss;

against plagiarism

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Rants and Raves – Of Search Terms…

So when I really have nothing to do I entertain myself by checking my blog’s statistics. You can get how many people have viewed your site, the most viewed post… etc… but the most exciting is the search terms that lead people to my site…

1. The most searched authors are Jodi Ellen Malpas and RK Lilley. For those who don’t know them (?!) here are their (incredibly awesome) books…

this manbeneathTHIS MAN CONFESSED

in flightmile 2Groundedbad things

2. The most searched term is ‘controlling/possessive men’. No surprise there! I do love these crazy men! If you’re still searching, check out these books…

consequencestruth

captiveseducedepilogue

9780778313533_smp.inddangelprince

strangerexposedbinding

3. I also get book questions. From the weird;

“will nora and soren die?”

 ”will soren end up with nora?” 

To the sane :)

“does megan hart author have a book after broken with sadie and joe?”

Since I love Megan Hart’s books so much, I have to recommend them to whoever wrote this question. I can’t possibly list all her books but here are a few…

stranger naked dirty the space btw

4. Just plain weird search terms…

“husband cheat erotic +18 full movie”

“cut scene from arousing movies”

“my wife loves possessive erotic literature”

hmm  <—- This was me :)

5. Sadly I also get people looking to illegally download books :( So far I’ve gotten this;

“release me j kenner free download”,

“where can i download release me by j kenner”,

“where can i read tessa bailey his risk to take for free”,

“where to read lynda chance books novels free”,

“download breach k.i.lynn”,

“read the dark duet series online for free”

No God Please  <—- Now this is me…

Good news is, you can download them on amazon and….. support the author who labored to give you that story you want so much!

Now that that’s done, I’m about to start reading Officer Off Limits by Tessa Bailey! God I love her books! To whichever alpha male I’m about to meet in this one…

I'm_coming

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Rants and Raves – Of Debut Authors, Promotion and Facebook…

Today I’m neither ranting nor raving… Hmm… I should probably change the name of this page… no… I’ll rave about something at the end of the post :)

So I write today’s post because I’m unsure about something. I get A LOT of emails on Facebook by debut authors asking me to post their page on my page so that they can build up a fan base. Well and good except for one thing, I’m unsure about the whole thing… See, there are two kinds of debut authors…

First there’s the author who just released a book. This kind of author I am more than willing to promote… I check on amazon or goodreads and if the book sounds like the kind of book I’d enjoy, then I’m happy to post it on my page with the disclaimer that I haven’t read it yet, but it sounds interesting… If it’s a genre that I’m not interested in, then I’ll not post it.

Then there’s the other kind of author who is in the process of writing her first book and wants to build up a fan base. That author’s email mostly reads like this,

“Hi Jessy, I’m currently writing my first book and if I get to 100 likes, I’ll release a teaser.”

I’m usually unsure of what to do with such emails. On the one hand I’m thinking, way to go! Live your dream… and you know… other encouraging things. But on the other hand I’m wondering why I would, without any indication as to what your book is about, promote your page? If the first teaser will only come at 100 likes… what will your followers in the meantime be following? Ok, maybe the blurb will get you going…  but sometimes even that is not clear… or not there in the first place. I just don’t get it… and if you do, please enlighten me.

Thing is, I’m trying to recommend books that I’ve read and loved. I’m happiest when people buy a book because they trust my recommendation. Now if I start flooding my Facebook page (or my blog for that matter) with books I haven’t read yet, I feel like I’ll lose whatever credibility I have.

I get authors willing to pay to get a spotlight on my blog… and as tempting as that is, I just want to read a good book, and if I love it, I’ll recommend it far and wide. If I don’t, I’ll write an honest review and move on.

But seeing as this is a Rants and Raves post, I’ll end by raving about books that deserve all the spotlight I could give them. I’m doing this selfishly because I absolutely loved these books and I’d like more people to read them… so that I can find people to discuss them with :)

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Anything by Tessa Bailey. She writes the best dirty talking alpha males! I absolutely love them! The kind that make you blush as you fan yourself… recommended to anyone who loves Kristen Ashley’s heroes ;)

They are all stand alone novels and I’m just about to start the 3rd! Read my review forProtecting What’s His and for His Risk to Take or click on the covers here to buy from amazon.

protectinghis riskofficer off

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CD Reiss is my newest favorite author! I read all 5 books in the Songs of Submission series in 3 days. Then I finally found out what a book hangover is… I could not bring myself to read another book! Recommended to anyone who loves witty heroines, clever banter and sexy dominant men ;)

They are structured as episodes and have cliffhangers… to avoid crying out your frustration at the end, you can buy book 1 to 3 as a sequence which doesn’t have a cliffhanger… per se…

Read my reviews for BegTease and Submit or click on the covers to buy from amazon.

NB: Beg (Book #1) is still free on amazon!

songs sequence onebegteasesubmit

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Confessions Collection Vol. 1 by Leila DeSint. Recommended to Dark Erotica fans… this one had such crazy twists… I absolutely need to discuss them!

The series is also structured in episodes but if you’re as impatient as I am, you can buy Volume 1 which is made up of 9 episodes.

Read my review for Volume 1 or click on the cover to buy from amazon.

NB: Confessions of a Whore, Book #1, is still free on amazon!

confessionsconfessions 1confessions 2confessions 3confessions 4confessions 5confessions 6confessions 7confessions 8confessions 9

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And there’s that :) feel free to comment on what you think about today’s topic… in the meantime I’m off to my reading cave! xx

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Rants and Raves – Of stuff that I love in books…

From my reviews it’s almost plain to see what kind of books will end up receiving a 4 or 5 star. I avoid Young Adult like the plague and to be honest I only read steamy Contemporary Romance and steamy Paranormal Romance.

So what are my must haves in a book?

Lets start with steam… I’ve read a few books that are not steamy at all and I got bored. So I now stay away from those books. I don’t want to unfairly rate a book just because it lacked steam. There’re so many reviewers out there and so I decided to stick to what I know and love. The steamier the better :)

steam 2

Angst… God I love me some angst! I rated a few books less than a 3 because they lacked angst. They fell in love, they stayed in love, the end. Boredom personified if you ask me! I want conflict, I want pain… and a happily ever after…  But a disclaimer.. too much pain turns me off… and I don’t mean BDSM pain ;) For example, I loved Broken by Megan Hart and that had me crying 60 percent of the book… I however didn’t like The Reluctant Dom by Tymber Dalton because that was just too too much for me… I was like this the entire time…

crying 2

I like just the right amount of angst and sexual tension :)

Love triangles – I love love triangles… I love that they contribute to the angst… I’ve read on Goodreads that there are people opposed to characters who cheat. To each their own but I have no such qualms when it comes to a story line. Though again it has to be done well, I have to understand why they cheated… I don’t want them just jumping from one bed to the other… I want to be hurting with them, rooting for them…

pick me

Alpha males – ahhhh… I love me a dominant, possessive alpha male :) I love when they can’t bear the thought of sharing their women, when they get crazy jealous… I recently started getting into Menage books… which was strange at first because of the sharing and though I absolutely enjoyed the ones I read, I still prefer the dominant, crazy possessive alpha male :)

yum

Smart smut – I’m not super particular about this but I enjoy finding books where the hero and heroine are both smart, have incredibly clever and witty banter and I learn a thing or two… it doesn’t happen every day that I come across such books so kudos to the few I’ve found :)

I’ll end by saying that I love strong heroines but I’ve written about it so no need to go back to that…

so which books have the best of any of this… and interestingly enough, healthy doses of the rest… ?

STEAM

in flightmile 2Groundedbad things

ANGST

real BD

LOVE TRIANGLE

no turning backKathleen turner 2turning point

CRAZY, JEALOUS, POSSESSIVE MEN

this manbeneathTHIS MAN CONFESSED

SMUT FOR THE SMART

SIRENthe-angel1prince

AROUSEallure-cover-pic

AWESOMELY CLEVER/WITTY BANTER

begteasesubmitcontrolburn

Feel free to leave me any recommendations of any books that have any of the above :) xx

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Rants and Raves – Of authors and goodreads…

This has been going on for some time now. I just wasn’t sure how I felt about it. To be honest I still don’t. On the one end I understand the frustration that leads to such a post… on the other I understand all my Goodreads pals who are still mad as hell about this… I guess you could say this is me;

switzerlandswitzerland 2

What I’m I talking about you ask? Kendall Grey and the controversy surrounding her and her book Strings. I had heard of Kendall Grey before Strings… I knew she’d written theJust Breathe Urban Fantasy series because book #1, Inhale, was an amazon freebie… she then writes erotica, Strings, and everybody suddenly knows her. I hadn’t read either but my Goodreads friends were singing Strings praises and if it wasn’t for my ridiculously large TBR list, I would have made it my next read.

Beautystrings

Anyway, I’m on Goodreads fighting the same old battle of whether I should stick to my TBR list or not… then something happens, my Goodreads friends start changing their 5 star reviews of Strings… changing the entire review to a post from the author. So apparently the author put this on her website:

“Readers generally (don’t throw stones—I’m referring to the masses here, not individuals) don’t want art either. They want easily digestible, bite-sized nuggets of warm fuzzies. They want simplicity. Art is neither easily digestible (you sometimes have to chew on it for days to filter meaning from it) nor simple.

I made $10,000 in two weeks off my new erotica book STRINGS. Nearly three weeks later, I’m selling over 100 copies of the book a day. And this piece of trash never even cracked Amazon’s top 100. Imagine how much I’d have made if I’d busted open THAT list. My beautiful, artistic, deep JUST BREATHE urban fantasy series? Well, I’m still in the hole there if that tells you anything.

I spent exactly two months plotting, writing, editing, and publishing STRINGS. The JUST BREATHE Trilogy? Four YEARS.
My total production cost for STRINGS was under $500. I’m embarrassed to reveal how much money I poured into producing the three JUST BREATHE books.

How did I transform from nobody to Somebody? I sold out.
And you can too!
Or not.

I know it’s depressing to hear that in order to find success, you may have to compromise your principles. I’ve come to grips with the fact that in the current market, trashy smut sells, and urban fantasy does not. Tough shit for me. If you want to sell books, you have to feed the market what it craves.

You can be noble and stick to your guns and say, “Screw that! I’m gonna keep writing what’s in my heart no matter what!” Fine and groovy, as long as you accept that this guerilla mentality of badassery won’t pay your bills. More power to you for upholding your principles!

For us artists who want or need to make a living at writing, there is a silver lining. Once you’ve done your part to feed the reader machine, and you get paid ridiculous amounts of money for publicly shaming yourself and lowering your standards, you’ll be armed with the power to write what you want.

Once you’ve built your readership, there’s a good chance many of your readers will follow you into your preferred, artsy-fartsy genre because they like you. Yes, you may have to compromise and write more sell-out books along the way to feed YOUR machine, but the beauty is that you can do BOTH and make it work.”

Wowzers right?! I was shocked by the post. Do I understand her frustration? Yes. Did she need to put it in a public forum? Probably not…. and definitely not in those words… biting the hand that feeds you and all that… On the flip side, I have a Rants and Raves page so that I can be able to say whatever the hell I want. Unfortunately we all know the consequences of that… Kendall Grey now more than most.

Then this happens:

kendal grey twitter

Which coincidentally reminds me of my post about reading and heeding warnings :) So you see my dilemma here…

All this is unfortunately just serving to anger the Goodreads masses more… some have returned their copies of Strings to Amazon. Others have written posts about it… while others have completely refused to read Strings.

Kendall Grey has since then attempted to set things straight… click here to read her post on it all.

I’m all for world peace and so on and while I might not read Strings (nothing to do with the controversy but more the fact that I have a gazillion books to read!) I wonder if we should just let bygones be bygones? More so because I’d seen reviews of Inhale and Stringsbefore the controversy, all 4.5 stars and above…

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Rants and Raves – Favorite books of 2013 so far…

2013 has been a wonderful book year for me so far. I’ve read such incredible books so I thought I’d rave about them. They might have been released earlier but I read and loved them all in 2013… (click on the book cover to buy from amazon.com)

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Real by Katy Evans

My review: This is the first time since owning a kindle that I actually want a paperback copy of a book. And I plan to dog-ear it with multiple re-reads! Click to read full review.

BlurbHe even makes me forget my name. One night was all it took, and I forgot everything and anything except the sexy fighter in the ring who sets my mind ablaze and my body on fire with wanting…

Remington Tate is the strongest, most confusing man I’ve ever met in my life. He’s the star of the dangerous underground fighting circuit, and I’m drawn to him as I’ve never been drawn to anything in my life. I forget who I am, what I want, with just one look from him. When he’s near, I need to remind myself that I am strong–but he is stronger. And now it’s my job to keep his body working like a perfect machine, his taut muscles primed and ready to break the bones of his next opponents . . .

But the one he’s most threatening to, now, is me. I want him. I want him without fear. Without reservations. If only I knew for sure what it is that he wants from me..

***

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The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed

My review: God it was such a beautiful story! I couldn’t possibly love this book more. I think it’s my favorite book of 2013 so far. Angst, hot-as-hell-steam, and love, love above all… Click to read full review.

BlurbImagine a world where a woman’s every pleasure, every wish and wildest fantasy is granted by the man of her dreams. Such is Avalon, an elite, private club in Washington, D.C., that caters solely to female desires.

There, magazine reporter Billie Cort meets Adrian, the club’s most infamous companion, with the intent to interview him for an article on high-dollar male escorts. Billie can’t foresee, however, how quickly Adrian will strip her defenses and expose her true desires.and in the process, fulfill his own yearning for love.

***

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Confessions Collection Vol. 1 by Leila DeSint

My reviewYou know the feeling after finishing a brilliant book and you just can’t bring yourself to read another book? When the thought of picking up another book feels like cheating? That’s precisely how I feel. Click to read full review.

Blurb: Descend into a world of deception, depravity, decadence, desire and desperation…

In the opulent setting of London’s aristocracy, lives a young woman fractured into two distinct individuals, one face with multiple facets. One façade, a whore, London Brown, who will confess unfathomable truths, the other, a loving daughter, Desniah Williams will pull back the curtain to reveal what lurks in the shadows. 

Caden Jacob Carrington V, a politician will do anything to reclaim the woman he lost, including dredging up pains of the past. 

Rhys Christos Edward Stowell, a philanthropist will fight to win the woman he loves while baring the darkness of his soul.

***

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Arouse by Nina Lane

My review: Sigh, I could read only Nina Lane’s books all year and be completely sated. Click to read full review.

Blurb“One day I’m going to touch you in a thousand different ways and show you how to touch me,” he said. And he did.

Struggling with a tormented past, undergraduate Olivia Winter once led a practical but isolated life. Then she met Professor Dean West, a brilliant scholar of medieval history who melted Liv’s inhibitions and taught her the meaning of both love and erotic pleasure. But after three years of a blissful, lusty marriage, Liv and Dean now face a crisis that threatens everything they believe about each other. And when dark secrets and temptations rise to the surface, the fallout might break them apart forever.

***

turning point

Turning Point by Tiffany A. Snow

My review: Tiffany A. Snow has created the best love triangle I’ve ever read. I’m addicted to the characters and I can’t thank her enough for creating a heroine so reminiscent of my favorite heroine growing up… Click to read full review.

BlurbAfter her promotion from law firm Runner to Investigator, Kathleen Turner is learning the ropes of her new job from none other than assassin-for-hire Kade Dennon, a situation her boyfriend Blane Kirk is none too happy about. But the lessons with Kathleen take a back seat when Kade becomes a target. Previously untouchable, his enemies now know of the chink in his armor – his brother’s girlfriend.

And Kade’s not the only thing coming between Kathleen and Blane. From Blane’s inexplicable defense of a man guilty of a horrible crime, to a mysterious stranger from Kathleen’s past, to Kathleen’ risky investigation into human traffickers, the obstacles mount against a relationship that’s just begun to find trust again.

While Blane considers a job offer that would take him back to the front lines in the war on terror, Kathleen is determined to pursue her new career, with or without his approval. Unfortunately, her current case is far more dangerous than anyone knows. Someone close to Blane will go to extreme lengths to split them up, lengths that may prove worse than death for Kathleen.

Kathleen, Blane and Kade must atone for the sins of the past and the present. The fallout will force Kathleen to a turning point…in her career, and her life.

***

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The Angel by Tiffany Reisz

My review: My! It’s never good for a reviewer to lack words… and I’m always rendered speechless by Tiffany Reisz’s books. I’m in awe… Click to read full review.

Blurb: No safe word can protect the heart.

Infamous erotica author and accomplished dominatrix Nora Sutherlin is doing something utterly out of character: hiding. While her longtime lover, Søren—whose fetishes, if exposed, would be his ruin—is under scrutiny pending a major promotion, Nora’s lying low and away from temptation in the lap of luxury.

Her host, the wealthy and uninhibited Griffin Fiske, is thrilled to have Nora stay at his country estate, especially once he meets her traveling companion. Young, inexperienced and angelically beautiful, Michael has become Nora’s protégé, and this summer with Griffin is going to be his training, where the hazing never ends.

But while her flesh is willing, Nora’s mind is wandering. To thoughts of Søren, her master, under investigation by a journalist with an ax to grind. And to another man from Nora’s past, whose hold on her is less bruising, but whose secrets are no less painful. It’s a summer that will prove the old adage: love hurts.

***

wanderlust

Wanderlust by Skye Warren

My review: I found the perfect book. Perfect because as a lover of dark erotica, I am aware that most of it is not about romance… but I never stop hoping… hoping that even as they embrace the darkness, they can find some equilibrium, some light, maybe even love. This is precisely why Wanderlust is the perfect book for me… incredibly dark, but emotional too and yes, I rooted for this unlikely couple. Click to read full review.

Blurb: Can love come from pain?

Evie always dreamed of seeing the world, but her first night at a motel turns into a nightmare. Hunter is a rugged trucker willing to do anything to keep her—including kidnapping. As they cross the country in his rig, Evie plots her escape, but she may find what she’s been looking for right beside her.

***

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Rants and Raves – Of Favorites

I decided to write a post on my top ten favorite things… book related.

1. Favorite book ever –  Broken by Megan Hart; Erotica with so much heart… I just will never forget this one!

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2. Favorite Book of 2013 – Ok I have two here, very distinct books but so so good! Confessions Collection Vol. 1 by Leila DeSint (Dark Erotica) and Real by Katy Evans (Contemporary Romance)

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3. Favorite Book Couple – Brooke Dumas and Remington Tate (Real by Katy Evans); I just finished this one and my heart is still hurting :( an incredibly sweet, crazy, devastating at times, but overall beautiful love story. (Review to come!)

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4. Favorite steamy scene – Bianca Karlsson and James Cavendish (Mile High by R.K Lilley); the scene on horseback (posting trot) jeez!

“Do you want a posting trot Bianca?” James asked, his voice a growl. I though of the exaggerated movements of a posting trot. Oh God, yes, I wanted that.

“Yes,” I moaned.

“Beg me for it,” he said.

I’m not sure anything can top that scene… also I’m not sure whether what they did is physically possible, R.K should have put a warning not to try that at home!

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5. Favorite ending – Broken by Megan Hart;

“There is only one truth of which I feel confident, one thing I know that nothing else can change. This month, my name is Sadie.” 

You have to read the book to know why that gave me chills!

broken megan hart

6. Favorite Series – The Kathleen Turner Series by Tiffany A. Snow; I absolutely love this series! It has romance (a love triangle that seriously has me changing teams as I turn the pages!), suspense (I love the plots that change with every new book) and a heroine I can relate to.

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7. Favorite ‘bad’ guy – These are the men we can’t call ‘heroes’ but I end up rooting for because I’m kinda twisted ;) Its between Caleb (The Dark Duet by C.J Roberts), Søren (The Original Sinners by Tiffany Reisz) and Frankie (Undeniable by Madeline Sheehan). Caleb kidnaps the heroine, Søren is a sadist and Frankie is so crazy I’m not sure what to call him! But I think the winner is Caleb… sigh.. Caleb!

“In the dark, my master let down his guard and he was Caleb again. He didn’t correct me. He didn’t punish me. He didn’t push me away emotionally. Caleb was there to hold me until the nightmares passed. He was there to tell me I was beautiful. He was there to tell me I was going to be okay. In the dark, he seduced me. I didn’t want the seduction to end.”

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8. Favorite book moment – This was hard to choose but I pick a Travis scene (Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire). This scene just melted me :/

“You can’t tell me what to do anymore, Travis! I don’t belong to you!”

In the second it took him to turn and face me, his expression had contorted into anger. He stomped toward me, planting his hands on the bed and leaning into my face. “WELL I BELONG TO YOU!” The veins in his neck bulged as he shouted, and I met his glare, refusing to even flinch. He looked at my lips, panting. “I belong to you.”

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9. Favorite WTF moment – Ok this definitely goes to the last few pages of Consequences by Aleatha Romig. I don’t ever recall my heart beating that fast and also I don’t recall ever buying a sequel that fast, I just had to know what happens next!

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10. Book that once I finished reading, I immediately started re-reading (its crazy but I do it!)

The Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L James, On Dublin Street by Samantha Young, Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire and Real by Katy Evans <–I’m re-reading this one and I just finished! I just can’t bring myself to read another book :/

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ODSBD (2)real 2

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Rants and Raves – Of Novellas…

I shy away from short novels/novellas/installments i.e. any book under 200 pages. I usually find the characters underdeveloped and the plot rushed. At one point I decided to stop reviewing novellas because I would always complain about these two things. However, I read a few that made me change my view.

Most still have the dreaded two features and I’ll still complain about length, but I welcome the opportunity to have my views changed :) In fact if a book is short and still manages to have deep meaningful characters and a good plot, then I bow down to the authors. I now have a new rating system for novellas, I rate them out of 4, while I rate longer books out of 5.

So today I’m raving about short novels/novellas/installments that have rocked my world and received the 4/4 rating. (Click on the title for my review and on the image to buy from amazon.com)

Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas

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I can never say enough about this book and it’s author. If you love well written dark erotica, then look no further. The characterization is brilliant and her way of writing just sucks you in.

If you loved Comfort Food, be sure to try her other books. I’ll be reading these two next:

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Locked (The Alpha Group Book #1) by Maya Cross

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This one completely surprised me. I wasn’t sure the world needs another fictional billionaire Dom but I was wrong. I absolutely loved it!

Just One Night Part 1: The Stranger by Kyra Davis

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Yet another book with good characterization and a plot that will surprise you… but the dialogue is what did me in… loved it!

And its sequel…

Just One Night Part 2: Exposed by Kyra Davis

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The first book ends on a cliffhanger and I expected it to go a certain way. I was so so surprised by the direction Book #2 took. Can’t wait for Book #3!

And there we have it! I’m always looking for recommendations so if you have any please comment below or send me and email :)

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Rants and Raves – Of Favorite Female Characters…

Female characters in the Romance genre tend to irritate me. I either find them naive, indecisive, whiny or plain annoying. I probably shouldn’t complain so much because I could be naive, indecisive, whiny and annoying (just ask my boyfriend) but this is fiction! As much as I sometimes overlook the female characters, I would like to read about a strong male and a strong female… at the very least I don’t want her to be naive and whiny! Anyway, I’ve raved about male characters before (who hasn’t?!) So here’s to my favorite female characters.

Bianca Karlsson – Up in the Air Series by R.K Lilley

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I feel like Erotic Romance books are even more guilty when it comes to super strong heroes and forgettable heroines. I can name a few but since I’m here to rave I’ll restrain myself. My favorite heroine in this genre is Bianca. She comes from such a horrific past but has a good career going and a strong backbone. So when she meets James Cavendish she holds her own and I was cheering her all the way.

I said this about Bianca in my reviews of the series;

I know a lot of women swooned after Christian Grey but did you really identify with Ana Steele? Well I definitely identified with Bianca Karlsson. She’s strong and definitely the one holding the reins.  <– Review of In Flight and Mile High Books #1 and #2

I had almost forgotten how much I like Bianca and was quickly reminded of it. She had so much to deal with, crazy father, tortured past and on top of it James’s annoying exes… Bianca was tough in the first two books but in this one she’s badass! <– Review of Grounded Book #3

I couldn’t resist asking R.K Lilley about Bianca’s character;

Jessy: I feel like most books in this genre consist of Alpha Male types and women who tend to be pushovers. Though James is the one holding the flogger :) Bianca is definitely the one holding the reins in this relationship. Was it a conscious decision to create a strong female? And why?

R.K: It was conscious in some ways.  I feel like you couldn’t survive the things she has without being strong.  I felt like, to be a real character, she had to have that strength.  Bianca is very self-aware.  She’s been through hell and come out a stronger person for it, but she’d be the first to admit that it’s also made her guarded.  She’s uncompromising in a lot of ways because she feels that it’s the only way to survive.  This has shaped the dynamic of their relationship in interesting ways.  James is by no means a pushover, but he’s made some very big concessions as he’s come to understand her.  It’s pretty clear that James would do anything to keep her, and she does need control with certain aspects of her life, which is why you see her calling a lot of the shots outside of the bedroom.

And there we have it, a strong female character to compliment the possessive alpha male.

Kathleen Turner – The Kathleen Turner Series by Tiffany A. Snow

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First of all I absolutely love this series! It has the most swoon worthy alpha males (yes more than one) good plot and twists and lo and behold, a strong female. Kathleen’s character is reminiscent of my favorite heroine growing up; Nancy Drew. The series is romantic suspense so Kathleen does get herself into too many binds and I’ve found myself saying ‘not again!’ maybe once or twice but all in all I can absolutely tell why Blane and Kade want her so much. She’s not even as indecisive as I would be if two hot men were after me ;)

I said this about Kathleen in my reviews of the series;

I loved Kathleen just as much as I lusted after Blane. Don’t you just love it when that happens? When we enjoy the heroine just as much as the hero?! <– Review of No Turning Back, Book #1

Then there’s Kathleen. I have never identified with a character the way I identify with her. Well apart from the throwing herself into dangerous situations, everything else she does or says is so me! Or an amateur sleuth version of me :) <– Review of Turning Point, Book #3

Guys, do yourselves a favor and read this series, its the reason I now love romantic suspense!

Sadie – Broken by Megan Hart

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This is still my favorite book ever. I’m actually surprised that in my review I didn’t mention Sadie’s strength. Sadie is married to Adam, a quadriplegic. Adam was one of those characters you tend to hate even as you sympathize. He really treated Sadie badly. And even as Sadie found herself attracted to Joe, she held on to her marriage. Tried everything she could to make it better. Even when it would have been easier to leave Adam and finally live her life, she stood by him. Such a heartbreaking story and after it all, my favorite character was Sadie, no doubt.

Favorite quote: Right and wrong, good and bad, the lines are blurred when it comes to matters of the heart. Anyone who has never felt that has no right to judge, and anyone who ever has won’t have to. (Click here to read my review)

Sylvie Bissenette – Creed (Unfinished Heroes Book #2) by Kristen Ashley

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Sylvie’s character was a departure from other Kristen Ashley heroines. I usually find her heroines super girly, and I’m not girly so I can’t say I highly identify with them. But her alpha males are so well written I tend to overlook the females ;) Sylvie on the other hand was such a strong female! She actually came close to overshadowing the title character in this book.

I said this about Sylvie in my review of Creed;

 I knew from reviews that she’s different from other KA heroines. I just din’t know how much I would love her! She’s badass! She also works for Knight Sebring (Knight Book #1) so you can imagine just how badass! Seriously my kind of heroine, strong, independent and quite possibly THE ‘Unfinished Hero’ in this story. <– Review of Creed, Book # Unfinished Heroes

Madison Morris – Control by Charlotte Stein

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This book was my first foray into femdom. You would of course expect a Domme to be strong but that’s not even why I loved Madison. First of all, she’s not really a Domme. She found herself in a situation where she had to choose between being dominated in bed, and dominating. And as much as she had never done the latter it was so fun (and funny and steamy) to see her learn. So I loved Madison for making me laugh so hard while reading erotica.

I said this in my review of Control;

…I know that sounds weird, who wants to laugh while reading a sex scene right? Well thats not what I mean, the book is written in the main character Madison’s POV and Madison is downright hilarious….and oh so kinky! <– Review of Control

I smiled when I remembered Madison and her kinky ways, I just might re-read this one (for the umpteenth time!)

As much as I wanted this to be a top 10 list, I couldn’t find as many heroines that I loved… of course there’re quite a few I liked, some I didn’t mind and a lot who just annoyed me but there we have it. I’m curious if there’re any you loved that I missed… click HERE to go to the original post xx

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Rants and Raves – Of Heeding Warnings…

I’m a lover of dark erotica… just in case my tagline didn’t tip you off :) so I felt the need to ‘defend’ dark erotica authors. Not that they need defending but I felt it necessary to write… no rant about something I’ve seen; reviewers slamming dark erotica books for being too graphic, too explicit or… taboo. Why, I ask, would you consciously pick up a dark taboo read, only to hate it for being precisely what it was intended to be?!

Unlike Contemporary Romance or Erotic Romance, a romantic hearts-and-flowers connection between the characters is not a feature of Dark Erotica. It could eventually be, but more often that not, it isn’t. Luckily, most of the dark erotica books I see have warnings attached to them. Let’s for example look at my favorites in this genre;

The Erotic Dark by Nina Lane <– Read my review HERE.

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WARNING: A full-length erotic novel with graphic scenes of dubious consent, enforced sexual submission, spanking, whipping, caning, and a great deal of hot, raunchy, explicit sex.

Read only if these themes will not offend you!

Captive in the Dark (The Dark Duet) by C.J Roberts

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WARNING: This book contains very disturbing situations, dubious consent, strong language, and graphic violence.

 

 

 

 

Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas <– Read my review HERE.

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WARNING: Comfort Food is a work of literary erotica that explores power dynamics and the psychology of ownership. This work is NOT romance.

So why, pray tell, would you buy these books only to complain that they were either too graphic, too violent or not romantic enough?!

It must be so annoying as an author to keep receiving bad reviews from people who don’t like dark erotica and therefore would not have loved the book in the first place. Prime example, Marata Eros, the author of the Druid Breeders Series. Her book Reapers (Book #1) initially came with this warning;

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WARNING: Reapers is dark, paranormal erotica which may contain disturbing scenes, marginal/forced consent sex, and graphic violence. It is intended for a mature adult audience.

The author then added this;

**Note from the author: a qualifier has been in place from the beginning so readers may make an educated choice prior to the download of this erotic story. After receiving fourteen, one-star reviews in which the reader chose a story that did not suit their taste, I elected to bold the key wording in my initial warning. Further: TDB novella series is an erotic-driven romance. This means that the sexual context of the story is primary and the romance is secondary. In subsequent installments, romance is flavored a little more strongly but does not overtake the erotic element.

There you have it, you can’t say you weren’t warned!

And while this qualifies erotica, let’s not forget the taboo topics found in dark erotica. It really isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I personally absolutely love it! I know many people who’ve been apprehensive only to be completely surprised at how brilliant some of these books are. So I definitely urge everyone to try them, but again, forewarned is forearmed.

I asked C.J Roberts, what kind of ‘backlash’ she faced after releasing The Dark Duet…

Well, the majority of reviews are positive so I don’t worry overmuch about the negative ones. The biggest backlash I’ve gotten is from people who say I’m romanticizing human trafficking, or that I am romanticizing rape. Honestly, I think that’s bullshit. While I understand the hesitation and trepidation in ‘enjoying’ the work, I’d like to think my work can be compared to other controversial works such as, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. The work is written from the view point of the abuser and therefore entices the reader to sympathize.

I did not set to ‘romanticize’ the slave trade; I do not paint it in a flattering light. Instead, I present my readers with characters. What my readers ultimately come to feel for those characters is up to them…. That said, I love the fact my books inspire so much dialogue and debate.

Well put!

To conclude, please heed the warning. Its there for a reason. Ignoring it then bitching about it is seriously annoying and says more about you than it does about the book.

Click HERE to go to the original post for comments.

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Rants and Raves – Of Book Covers and Cover Models…

I know I know! I’ve spoken of book covers before. In fact it was my first ever Rants and Raves post. Today’s post was meant to be about something completely different but I’m having visitors later and I don’t have that much time to rant :)

So back to the matter at hand. Candace, a Goodreads friend wrote this:

I keep seeing books from different authors with the SAME cover models in the SAME poses. WHY?! …Visuals are SUPER important!

Agreed! From my little bit of research it seems authors pay for the rights to use an image but not for the image itself. I get that, but honestly I’m with Candace, I would much rather take a picture of a tulip, or my hot neighbor’s abs before using an already used cover. (I actually don’t have a hot neighbor but I’m sure I know someone who has one!)

The issue for me is not that I need visuals as much. I read on my kindle anyway so covers are not as important to me as they once were. BUT, as an author, I would want something that is uniquely mine.

So here we go; Same covers different books…

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Layla James had the same cover but clearly reconsidered… good call Layla! Though if I search hard enough I might find the second cover on other books…

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There’s also the use of the exact same photo with some creativity thrown it…

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Of the three I’d say I like the last one best… everything from the title placing to the colors… looks good.

Then there’s cover models Sztella Tziotziosz and Péter/Pepe Tóth. Yes, I learnt their names because they feature in too many covers! Their most famous covers being the Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

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I love these covers actually. And I don’t mind same models-different pics. Fabio Lanzoni became popular appearing in hundreds of book covers in the 80s and 90s. I say why not make a career out of it!

Back to Sztella and Pepe…

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And here they are again…

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That pic is actually quite cute but six covers? come on! And I’m pretty sure I missed some more…

Again, it would only bother me as an author. As a reader, not so much. To be honest, I always have my own idea of how characters look like and not once have they looked like the cover models.

Click HERE to go to the original post to comment.

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Rants and Raves – Of Good Erotica…

Today I’m raving about my favorite books in the Erotica/Erotic Romance/Dark Erotica categories.

I kind of think of myself as primarily an erotica reviewer. As much as my tag line features Contemporary Romance and Paranormal Romance, there has to be steamy scenes for me to consider reading those categories. Hmmm… maybe I should write that in my review section to avoid all the YA novels I receive to review. I have nothing against YA but I just don’t enjoy it as much as I enjoy other genres.

It has to be said that as much as I enjoy Erotica, I prefer there to be a good story… a love story… not just, you know, sex sex sex. So here goes, my favorite Erotica books and I highly recommend every book on this list.

Broken by Megan Hart – This is possibly my favorite Erotica novel. It made me cry so much my boyfriend was in shock. Its such a deep story about Mary who’s married to Adam, a quadriplegic. She meets Joe at a park bench. Everytime they meet, Joe tells her a story about his sexcapades. And everytime she listens to them she ‘becomes’ every woman Joe describes. It was so beautifully written, so steamy yet so so sad. (Read my review) (Buy from Amazon)

broken megan hart

This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas – Anyone who loves reading about controlling/possessive men should pick this one up. I’m convinced that Jesse Ward’s picture is right next to the words controlling/possessive in the dictionary. He was crazy, relentlessly pursued Ava, and has the best ‘sense fucks’ ever ;)  (Buy from Amazon)

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Control by Charlotte Stein – This was my first foray into femdom. I was surprised at how much I loved it. In fact for days afterwards I begged my boyfriend to try submission :) But seeing as I was begging not commanding, the point was moot :/ Basically the book is about Madison who owns an erotica book store and is out to hire an assistant. She interviews two men; Adam and Gabriel. Adam is as alpha as they come but Gabriel just the opposite. Maddy realizes she wants them both but while she has to submit to one, she has to command the other, and eventually has to choose what/who she prefers. (Read my review) (Buy from Amazon)

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Seduced in the Dark by C.J Roberts – This is the sequel to Captive in the Dark and as much as I loved CITD, this sequel is what did me in. Dark taboo erotica where the girl, Livvie is kidnapped by Caleb. Caleb’s intention is to train Livvie to become a slave. Caleb is as sadistic as it gets but Olivia finds herself attracted to him. Stockholm syndrome at its best. I thought about this book for WEEKS afterwards. (Sidenote: I’m interviewing the author on Monday and there’ll be a giveaway!) (Buy from Amazon)

SEDUCED

Mile High by R.K Lilley – Another sequel, book #2 in the Up in the Air series. I chose this book out of the three because the steamy scenes are forever etched in my mind. There’s a scene on horseback that has made me look at equestrianism in a different light ;)This is the story of James and Bianca, a Dom and his sub… all in all a beautiful story. (Read my review) (Buy from Amazon)

mile high (2)

Knight by Kristen Ashley – Hands down my favorite KA book. Knight is the perfect hero, so freakin sexy yet honest and protective. A story of a man, an anti hero if you will, who meets an innocent girl and almost instantaneously wants to protect her. Beautiful story and steamy scenes! (Read my review) (Buy from Amazon)

knight

The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed – I just finished this one and I’ll say its probably the best book I’ve read this year. I’m writing my review later today. It’s about Adrian, a male prostitute and Billy a reporter. Billy writes for a magazine set to do a piece on the life of a male prostitute. Billy however wants to see the man behind the gigolo persona. And between her digging and a tragic accident in Adrian’s life, she begins to see the man beneath. A tortured man in desperate need of love. The book is so so angsty, so so steamy and just perfect. (Buy from Amazon)

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Liberating Lacey by Anne Calhoun – Think younger guy, older woman. The guy a low earning cop and the woman a rich divorcee. This book was off the charts steamy! And that coupled with the angst of two different people fighting to be apart though they know they should be together equals a perfect erotic romance novel. (Read my review) (Buy from Amazon)

liberating

Beyond Shame by Kit Rocha – This one is dystopian erotica where there’s a place called Eden. In Eden no one is allowed to drink, fornicate, wear seductive clothing, nothing. If you’re caught doing any of that you’re sent to the Sectors. And this is where Noelle finds herself. Kicked out of Eden and in Sector 4. In the Sectors you can do anything you want, no shame. Noelle meets Jasper and though she’s attracted to him, she also wants to try out other things she’s never done before… there’s a menage scene in a tattoo shop that’s jaw dropping hot! (Buy from Amazon)

beyond

Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas – Dark erotica, stockholm syndrome, BDSM. Emily is kidnapped. Master, her kidnapper, is intent on conditioning her. If she pleases him she gets a treat. If she displeases him she gets locked up in a cell, no contact whatsoever. He never speaks to her, but she learns that he needs control and surprisingly wants to please him in every way. This is an interesting psychological journey and since reading it I’ve marked to read anything written by Kitty Thomas. (Read my review) (Buy from Amazon)

comfort-food-kitty-thomas-hardcover-cover-art

And those are the ten that have left a lasting impression. What about you guys? What’s the best erotica/erotic romance/dark erotica novel you’ve ever read? Click HERE to comment on the original post.

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Rants and Raves – Of Honesty in Book Reviews…

The other day I got a book recommendation from a Goodreads friend. I checked reviews both on Goodreads and Amazon and there were hardly any. One of the few I found said “I hardly read nor write these kinds of book reviews anymore. I’ve become quite suspicious of the integrity of reviews & whether or not they are of true, sincere reviewers or that of authors’ “fangirls”” This statement is the main reason I write this post today, because I totally understand where this commenter is coming from.

I had some years during college where I didn’t read fiction at all. When I re-discovered my love for fiction, I discovered book bloggers. I followed some religiously but then something happened. They would give a 4 or 5 star rating to a book which I’d then read and find as dull as dish water. So after 2 or 3 more of those I decided that though it is possible our book tastes have evolved, its also quite possible that there might be outside influences to those reviews. So I decided to start my own blog. To be honest I didn’t expect ‘followers’. My boyfriend was tired of me discussing romance books with him so he urged me to get an outlet :)

I was brutal in my honesty. Then read a post from a blogger who was really angry at “bloggers who put author’s down”. I had never really considered how much time authors spend reading reviews of their books. So I decided that I’d still be honest in my reviews BUT I would always find something positive to say about a book. I remember one book ending with the author’s note saying “I appreciate honesty as I want to improve…” So I wrote my review again dividing it into positives and negatives (the latter far outweighed the former). I later realized that no, the author was not very keen on honesty… at least not that kind of honesty that is actually…you know… honest.

Then one day I’m on Goodreads contemplating buying a book. I read a few reviews then realized that a Goodreads friend had reviewed the book and she held no punches. I believe the words she used was “It would be a 1 Star read but the end made me add a 2nd star”. And that was the best part of the review! The rest of the review consisted of eyerolls and the most creative GIFs I’ve ever seen. The end thanked the publisher or author, I forget which, for the review copy :) I applauded her for her brutal honesty, though she did later tell me she felt guilty.

Since I started blogging, rather reviewing books, I’ve realized what those outside influences are. I still do my negatives and positives thing and once I got an email from an author saying that she appreciated my honesty and that she hoped I’d read her other books to see her development as a writer. I loved that email, but I won’t kid myself into expecting more of those!

Though I understand the hard work author’s put in, I’ll feel so wrong if my review encourages someone to buy a book which in my opinion is really not worth the buy. Am I as gung ho as before? No. I haven’t given a 1 star lately because to be honest, I reach 10% and the book is still a 1 star I put it down. On the flip side, I read a good book, I’ll shout from the rooftops to get it noticed. And yes, probably become that author’s fangirl if her books are and remain that good :)

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Click on the original post to leave a comment.

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Rants and Raves – Of Book Boyfriends…

Today I’m raving about my book boyfriends. Characters that have left me swooning and sighing and have featured too much in my fantasies ;)

So you know how I said I always picture Henry Cavill as the hero in any book I read? Well I finally decided to stop being so unimaginative :) I have to be honest most of them are still Henry Cavill but here are the ones who are not.

Be warned that my friends have completely disagreed with most of them… but oh well…that’s exactly how I saw it. Enjoy ladies!

Gideon Cross (Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day) – Henry Cavill (I couldn’t resist!)

Quote: “You forget who submits, Eva,” he said gruffly. “I’ve given up control for you. I’ve bent and adjusted for you. I’ll do anything to keep you and make you happy. But I can’t be tamed or topped. Don’t mistake indulgence for weakness.”

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Knight (Knight by Kristen Ashley) – Joe Manganiello

Quote: “You got a girl who’s worth it … you spoil her rotten. You let her know she’s precious, not convince her of that shit, because it’s not about convincing. It’s about understanding it’s just fuckin’ true.”

Joe Manganiello 2

Søren (Original Sinners by Tiffany Reisz) – Alexander skarsgard

Quote: “Kid, Søren could eat you for breakfast and not even need to chew. Don’t ever fuck with a sadist, Wesley. For Søren, torture’s just foreplay.”

alexanderskarsgard 2

Caleb (The Dark Duet by C.J Roberts) – Charlie Hunnam

Quote: “Mine. The word was a declaration. It rocked him to his very foundation. It was a truth he’d kept hidden for far too long. Caleb didn’t know anything about love, or loving anyone, but he knew… Livvie was his.”

charliehunnan 2

Jesse Ward (This Man Series by Jodi Ellen Malpas) – Josh Holloway

Quote: “Just tell me one thing before you leave, Ava.” His voice prickles at my senses… His face is serious, but still stunning. “How loud do you think you’ll scream when I fuck you?”

Josh-Holloway 2

Kade (The Kathleen Turner Series by Tiffany A. Snow) – Ian Somerhalder

Quote: “Neither I or Blane are your happily-ever-after, princess. Blane will break your heart, and I’m the guy your mom warned you about. Don’t kid yourself about that.

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James Cavendish (Up in the Air Series by R.K Lilley) – Paul Walker

Quote: “Is it romantic or psychotic when I say that I’ll never let you leave me?”

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Travis (Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire) – Channing Tatum

Quote: “I know we’re fucked up, alright? I’m impulsive and hot tempered, and you get under my skin like no one else. I never get anything right, and I don’t deserve you…but I fucking love you, Abby. I love you more than I loved anyone or anything ever.

channing-tatum 2

Gabriel (Control by Charlotte Stein) – David Gandy

Quote: ’Instead he tells me that he’s glad I came to find him. That I should always come to find him. That if I were the one to run away from him, he’d have the guts to come and find me. He’d always come and find me.’

david gandy 2

Christian Grey (Fifty Shades Trilogy by EL James) – William Levy

Quote: “I want you sore, baby,” he murmurs, and he continues his sweet, leisurely torment, backward, forward. “Every time you move tomorrow, I want you to be reminded that I’ve been here. Only me. You are mine.”

william levy 2

Wrath (Dark Lover by JR Ward) – Jason Momoa

Quote: “You don’t know this yet. But you are Mine”

jason_momoa 2

That’s it! I’m sure, just like my friends, you disagree with some of my choices…if not all! Click HERE to go to the original post, to comment and tell me who you pictured as your favorite fictional man. I declare today Eye-Candy-Sunday! :)

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Rants and Raves – Of Discovering My Love for Erotica…

On Valentines Day I asked readers what their first Erotica/Erotic Romance book was. I got some really interesting answers which gave me an idea to trace where I got this intense love for all things erotica.

I’ve always been an avid reader. I remember begging my parents (who are not readers at all) to get me The Princess and the Pea. A story of a prince who wants to marry a princess but is having difficulty finding one :)

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From there I moved on to The Secret Seven and The Famous Five. Nothing remotely romantic though it did start my fascination with trying to solve mysteries :)

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After that I moved to Nancy Drew, my favorite series growing up. It started innocently enough but eventually Nancy Drew Case Files became more romantic. From this:

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to this:

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I then moved on to Sweet Valley High which of course had just a bit more romance in it.

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After that I just jumped in…actually to the deep end because I remember reading a steamy scene and thinking wowza-what-is-this?! That was Mills and Boon.

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Then I found a Jackie Collins my older sister had hidden in her closet. I’ve never told her how I would dig through to find her naughty books…I guess that secret’s out :)

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There was a scene in Hollywood Husbands that seriously shocked me! I might have been too young I admit…

Then I found Historical Romances. I fondly remember my favorite :)

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I can’t tell you how many times I re-read Frankly My Dear….I wonder if I would enjoy it now…hmmm..

Fast forward to the Fifty Shades of Grey craze…

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…and there we have it.

I’ll end with my favorite Erotica book. This one deserves countless mentions! Broken by Megan Hart. Read my review HERE.

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Click HERE to go to the original post to comment on your favorite Erotica/Erotic Romance books or trace your journey to Erotica or rave about your favorite OR rant about your least favorite :)

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Rants and Raves – Of Character Interviews and Character Social Accounts

I will probably be taking some heat after writing this but this is something i’ve always thought about, so here goes.

I’ll start by saying that I now sorta get character interviews. I wasn’t a big fan in the beginning, i’m still not a big fan…actually the first time I read one, this was me:

hmm

I read a few more trying to figure out what about them excites bloggers and readers so much and while I eventually understood their appeal, I keep coming back to the same question; why not just interview the author and ask everything you want to know about that character? Especially since the author will be the one to ‘slip’ into that character anyway. But well, to each his own.

Then something weirder happened; character social accounts started appearing, mostly on twitter. I’m already unhealthily obsessing over some fictional men, isn’t it taking it a bit far pretending they’re real?! And believe me, i’ve seen a few of these.

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Ok picture this (just an example not something i’ve seen), you go to twitter and find a Christian Grey twitter account. And ‘he’ tweets, “Had so much fun with Ana yesterday at my parents, I even played the piano and sang again!” Then someone retweets adding, “awww! so happy Christian and Ana are still together!”

wth

Yeah……..I don’t even know what to say to that. But again, character interviews and character social pages are becoming increasingly popular. I’m I alone in thinking its a tad much, especially the latter? Why, pray tell, are people so keen on them?

Check out the original post and reader’s comments here.

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Rants and Raves – Of covers and not judging a book by one…

We all know the old adage, ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’. I generally try not to but its so hard sometimes! When i’m putting together a freebies list, I admit, I judge books by their covers, if a cover is horrible or too obscene, then i’ll probably pass the book. Mostly because I usually don’t have that much time to read blurbs and reviews. Personally i’m friends with some wonderful people on Goodreads and if they recommend a book i’ll most probably buy it regardless of the cover.

A friend of mine told me that she finds covers with real people on them weird. To be honest I once did but have gotten so used to it now I hardly ever notice. I prefer having my own idea of the character though (mostly Henry Cavill, seriously, it doesnt matter if the guy is blond or ginger, he’s always Henry Cavill to me) :) I would buy any book that has him on the cover. It doesn’t matter if the title is “How to change a tire” I will get it!

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sigh…I could stare at this all day…

I’m actually not sure what I feel about sexy covers though…I used to hate them because then I couldn’t read the book in public but with a kindle now I don’t think it matters to me one way or the other. But clearly some authors or publishers must think it makes a difference. Bared to You by Sylvia Day for example…as you know it started out as this;

bared one

Changed to this;

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Anyway, now to less than appealing covers. Liberating Lacey is a fantastic book. I loved it! (Check my review here) but whats with that cover?!

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If it hadn’t been a recommendation from a trusted Goodreads friend I would have passed it on Amazon. Speaking of Goodreads, I posted my review of Knight by Kristen Ashley and another friend told me she always ignored the book because of its cover but that my review had made her change her mind. I don’t mind the Knight cover…its simple true but again…a brilliant read!

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Check out the original post and reader’s comments HERE.

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New Page Alert!

I’ve decided to start a Sunday Special…my Rants and Raves page. I’ll be blogging every Sunday about…well…about anything I feel like ranting or raving about 🙂 Breathe easy guys, it will be books related. Sometimes i’m reading a book, chatting about a book or reading other reviews online and I have something to say about it which might be positive or negative so here’s where i’ll be saying it. It will mostly be an outlet for me…

Might be a lot of this

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Or a lot of this

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Starting this Sunday…

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3 Responses to Rants and Raves

  1. Athena says:

    Is that this Sunday 2 10 13 for your new rants and raves? Sorry to be late for the dance. but I’m loving U right now…not in an untoward way….I don’t know what it is girlie… could be Jesse withdrawal…loving your reviews & reading picks…. it’s probably your style. Hot!
    I’ve been inspired. Thanks.

  2. Melissa Jenks says:

    Remy, Irish and Travis are my favorite fighters

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