Category Archives: 1 Star Reviews

Escape by Melissa Stevens

I am honestly dismayed at having to leave this review.  I don’t want to sound mean, but at the same time I don’t think it can be avoided.  The author’s style of writing is more suited to YA fantasy than adult erotica.  For a while there, that’s what I thought I was reading.  But even with children’s books, your readers expect you to know how to write and that first very basic step in authorship was not demonstrated in this book.  This is rough draft quality, at best.  The author does not have a grasp of punctuation (commas and periods should not be used interchangeably).  She does not know how a published book should be formatted (some paragraphs are indented here but some aren’t, and the lines are double-spaced).  Poor editing and an insistence on descriptively drawing out mundane activities stymy the story instead of moving it along.  The author does show some promise with her world building.  For instance, it’s obvious that a lot of thought went into the social structuring of her were-cats.  She’s developed a convincing hierarchy and social positioning that is both foreign feeling and believable.  But it just wasn’t enough to save the rest of the story, which struck me as being boring, predictable and badly written.

Deep Inside by Sandy Stroker

From start to finish, this reads like it was written for (or by) young children but with a very adult theme to it.

The HBN virus is wiping out all sexually active humans. To combat this epidemic, Sydney has been kidnapped to take part in an experiment to save the human race. The problem is…the whole book. The plot is ludicrous, but it’s erotica so okay, I gave the author the benefit of the doubt in the hopes s/he could do something interesting with this wet-dream fantasy in literature form. However, having set up the rules of the world, the author promptly goes on to forget them when they no longer become convenient.

#1, You can’t use sex to combat something that spreads via sex. Maybe I’m wrong, but the impression I’m getting is that’s exactly what Sydney’s being trained for in this Le Femme Nikita meets 28 Days Later (without or without the zombies, I’m not yet sure).

#2, In the first quarter of the book, Fallon clearly states, “the virus is currently working its way through this nation. Once the sexually active have died, the virus will mutate into an airborne threat killing children and anyone with a breath. ” (This is exactly as it’s written in the story, errors and all, by the way.) So my problem here is, how can they keep saying they’ll keep her safe by removing her (in the beginning, it’s just her and Fallon, but I guess the author forgets that and magically inserts other women later on) to a remote location? Is it so remote that the air (complete with soon-to-be mutated airborne virus) not find her there? And if so, how can they then keep her safe? And how do they know it’ll soon become airborne unless it’s already started to make that transition? Oh yeah, I forgot. Because, as Landon says, and I quote, “We know everything here.”

#3, “Your training is not optional. In exchange for your service you will be safe here, away from the disease (because, remember, the air can’t find her here). We will protect you. ” said Landon. (If he can, why isn’t he protecting everyone?)

“What do you mean by my service,” said Sydney.

“We are developing a very small unit of female operatives for our organization to stop the virus from spreading once the population has killed itself off. (Once the population is killed off, that’ll pretty much stop the virus cold, won’t it?) We imagine there will be those in hiding who will continue to have sex (then (a.) the population isn’t killed off and (b.) if they don’t, say good bye to the human race) and perhaps re-ignite the virus again,” said Landon. (Once again, all errors cheerfully included, by the way.) So really, the author is setting up a scenario in which Sydney will be expected to murder anyone the virus didn’t get to for the sin of continuing to engage in sex. Sydney herself and everyone else there (those who didn’t exist until it was suddenly convenient for the author to produce them) is just as suddenly now also immune to the HBN virus because they have an XMY Chromosome. Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this pretty much nullify the entire problem of the virus? The author has already said she expects the majority of the populace to ‘kill itself off.’ If certain pockets of people have this natural ability to ward off the disease, then just wait. There’s no reason to kill anyone. Just wait until the disease works its way through, then round up the survivors and start again. It won’t be the first time in human history that we’ve come back from an extinction-level event. Why the need to train her (and the other female ‘operatives’ at this facility) to use guns, knives, machetes (omg, they’re going to hack people apart?!?), etc on those they find still alive? They can’t catch the disease! They’re immune to it! They are under no threat whatsoever from the dying and/or equally immune survivors. This story is going to give me a brain aneurism.

At this point, the author remembers this is supposed to be erotica and randomly begins to insert huge blocks of italicized sexual acts that Sydney would like to have done to her. The last thing we are told is for Sydney to ‘make sure you wash deeply inside’ so she can be ready for her next bout of ‘training’. Then there’s another random italicized burst of sub-par erotic fantasy and the chapter ends. That’s right, this is a chapter by chapter release of a longer brain aneurism-inducing story that I have absolutely no desire to waste any more time on.  1 Star and only because I can’t give it zero.

Her Very Special Robot by Ann Jacobs

This story reads like a really bad Dear Penthouse letter, written for guys whose only claim to literacy is, in fact, Penthouse magazine.  Great articles, or so I’ve heard.

Allie Webster wants to be bedded by a robot.  So with the help of a good friend (who she also wants to bed, and who also wants to bed her, but for whatever reason neither act on that mutual impulse) Allie ends up a resort where her friend does his best to make her dream come true…with one small deviation, he is going to be the robot in question.  Now, the full sum and total of his disguise is a full-body shave job, some silver paint and a few studs and piercings.  His being a robot is continually reinforced for the reader through painful back and forth banter.  Examples from the book include: “How would you like to f*ck a robot?”, “Maybe a robot like you is the way to go.” “Okay, robot, do your thing.”

This was awful.  The author might have been able to pull off this B-movie conception if she (he?) could actually write, but while the technical skill (i.e. punctuation, spelling, formatting, etc…) was well-done, the actual story-telling needed work.  A lot of work.  This was painful to read.  The dialogue is stilted.  The characters are flat.  There is no hint of eroticism to be found anywhere in these pages and the writing is very crude.  If I could have given this half a star (or better, no star at all), I’d have done it. 1 Star

Seduced by a Satyr by Ella Vines

Technically the writing for both of these was off(some typos, some formatting, some wrong words), but not even an editor could have saved this book.  The actual storytelling was very poorly done.  The characters are flat and two-dimensional, the reactions completely unrealistic and the sex unarousing.  The author clearly knows that romances follow a formula and tried to do that with the Satyr story, but I don’t care how good the orgasm is, no girl professes her undying love to someone she’s only just met.  Or if she does, chances are extremely good that she might be psychotic!  The premise for the Phantom story was a little better, but still the writing was poorly executed and the girl’s reactions to what was happening to her all over the silly map.  The author seems to have a good imagination, but no idea how to bring that imagination out of rough-draft mode and turn it into a finished product worth publishing.  I was very disappointed with both these stories. 1 Star

Erra by Poppet

How did this book get 24 5-star ratings?  First of all, it reads as if it was written by a schizophrenic.  Seriously, I hereby dub Poppet the Queen of Fragmented, Incoherent Sentences.  Maybe it’s just this one book, but damn, she has worked hard for that title!  Erra is the first book I’ve ever bought that I have not been able to finish and here are three examples as to why.

1.) Excerpt:  “Is someone bothering you?”
Yes actually, the son of my dead boss seems to want to find me, so please let go so I can get out of here before he sees me.
But instead my throat has ceased.

Her throat has ceased?  Seriously?  How does a throat cease?  Do you mean seized as in seized up, or ceased as in ceased to function?  Nope, neither one.  It’s just ceased.  Right out of the middle of her neck.  Gone.

How about this little beauty, 2.) And off we go, trotting like two horses about to start fillying about.

Fillying about?  Is this slang for frolicking?  He’s walking her to her car to avoid a stalker and she wants to start frolicking with some stranger she only just met?!  How many ladies do you know who would react like this when they’re being followed by someone creepy?!

3.)  On page one, she refers to her hero as The Hulk.  On page two, he’s Mr Capable.  On page three, he’s Mr Lickable.  This girl needs some serious medication or the author needs a baby name book so she can actually name some of the characters in this story.

I made it as far as the third chapter and then had to give up.  This is one giant cliche after fragmented sentence after confusing I-don’t-know-it-might-be-slang after cliche again.  The whole thing reads like a pulp-knock-off Dick Tracy comic, it is that bad.

Dracula’s Harem by Adrianna White

The great monster-hunter Van Helsing wants one last successful hunt before old age retires him from the lifestyle.  So, he breaks into Dracula’s castle and starts cracking heads…right up until he’s caught by the harem girls.  Here’s a book that sounds silly and yet could have been great.  Campy, yeah.  Smutty, heck yeah.  But still great, and yet the premise of the book was confounded by an author who doesn’t understand the mechanics of how to write.  Please, Miss White, learn where and how to use quotes and apostrophes, who and whom, and singular and possessive nouns.  Your mechanics are AWFUL and your story-telling skills are rough…however, you do have them.  Go back to the drawing board, edit this story, invest in a professional editor and a few how-to-write books, and then try again.  Also, this is not erotica by any stretch of the imagination.  If anything, it’s YA horror.  I didn’t see anything in this book that couldn’t be read (or, heck, even written) by a twelve year old. 1 Star

Dark Awakening by Patti O’Shea

The premise was good, the writing mediocre, and the results not at all what I was hoping for. Patti O’Shea was all over the map with her heroine, Kimi. Kimi is a witch, but at first she doesn’t know she is, except that her family tells her that she is, and she works at an agency that is filled with magic-wielding women AND she’s called kijo, which is Japanese for witch…but she still doesn’t know. Fine, whatever. She maintains that she doesn’t know until she runs into this villainous demon, Augustin (which I just can’t take seriously, not only because of the name, but because he doesn’t do anything more sinister than sneer–well, so did Snidely Whiplash, and he made for a much better villain in my humble opinion), does she suddenly know how to make her magic work. At least enough to get away. She runs to an old wanna-be flame for help (God save me from heroes named Nicodemus–he’ll always be the wizardly old rat from the Rats of N.I.M.H. to me) who believes she’s his mate and wants her so badly that he spends 3 or so years having nothing to do with her (God save me from the must-have 200-page misunderstanding for no reason whatsoever, too) on the premise that in another 5 or 10 years she’ll be old enough (25 or 30) to safely have sex with him (which should also give him time to develop self-restraint, which in all the time he’s been screwing women, he’s never before realized has been an issue), but which in the meantime is going to make her think he dislikes her (God save me from the obligatory emotional does he or doesn’t he like me crap…no, you know what, God save me from this book! I want the two hours I spent reading it back!).

Take a good hard look at how I’ve written this review, because this is how the story reads. It is jumbled and confusing, to the characters every bit as much as the readers, and apparently to the author too. For example: When Kimi runs to Nic, she tells him she uses magic to get away from Augustin (Nope, still can’t take him seriously) and yet a short time later Nic is upset with Kimi because she didn’t tell him she has powers. Excuse me? If the author can’t keep her own storyline straight, how are we supposed to? I really expected better from a nationally bestselling author. 1 star

Tessa’s Ambassador by Cyna Kade

This book read too much like modern-day roofie meets mental magic on Darinth.  Tessa goes to Kortal for help in finding her missing sister.  Kortal takes one look at Tessa and decides that she’s the girl for him.  He then uses Tessa’s desire to find her sister to force his mental bond on her until sexual need takes over, and then he uses that to force her to accept the bonding process.  I don’t quite put this on par with rape, but it came unappealingly close.  And in the end, Tessa, rather than being angry about it, agrees that she never would have consented to this ‘wonderful’ bond if he hadn’t forced her to accept it.  This was definitely not my thing. 1 Star

Claimed (The Circulate Series) by K.R. Smith

If you can’t play the guitar, don’t start a rock band until you can. If you can’t write, don’t publish an ebook until you learn how. I feel terrible about leaving this kind of review, but this is a prime example of someone who has some skill in storytelling but not the technical know-how. I honestly wonder if the author is 12, because that’s how he/she writes. There are formatting issues all throughout the book on darn near every page. Punctuation is still a mystery to this author. So are plot and human relations. The book reads as if it were thrown together in a week, but never revised or edited. The sex is technically accurate, but ‘technically accurate’ is the last way you want to have your sex scenes described. You should be going for HOT here! The only good thing I can say about this book is, thank God I didn’t pay money for it!

Based on the description, this story held a lot of promise, but that promise was just not realized in this edition. I seriously recommend the author take down this book, revise, edit and revise again, rinse and repeat as often as necessary until this story is so polished that it shines. As it stands right now, I wouldn’t line the birdcage with it. I’d rate it zero stars if I could.  Unfortunately, I had to make do with 1 star.