Category Archives: 2 Star Reviews

Claiming Poseidon’s Heart by Renee Field

OMG, I wanted so much to like this story.  I tried to get into it.  I liked the concept, but then I have always had a special fondness for the old Greek myths, and in particular anything having to do with Zeus, Poseidon and Hades (not necessarily in that order).  So when I saw this book, I thought there was no way I would not like this story.  I was sold from the blurb and sample on.  Unfortunately for me, I really hadn’t banked on the heroine ruining the entire story…but that’s exactly what happened here.

When Poseidon stumbles across an old friend (cursed to live out his life as a whale) being chased by whalers, he becomes enraged.  Channeling his wrath into a storm, he sends that whaler and all aboard into the killing depths where they belong.  For one environmental activist trying to intervene, that wrath is impossible to escape and Soki falls victim to the storm as well.  Realizing his mistake, Poseidon attempts to save her.  What he doesn’t count on, is how much he finds he desires modern-day woman.  Being a Greek God and unaccustomed to denying his desires for any length of time, Poseidon isn’t exactly happy when he finds wooing the reluctant Soki to be a challenge worthy of the Gods.

And I wasn’t exactly happy, either.  Soki is an unpleasant mixture of unemotional scientist, bitch and juvenile, all rolled into one.  She ruined just about every scene she came in contact with, and being as she was the heroine, that was a lot scenes!  Renee Fields is a marvelous story teller and a talented author.  She knows how to write and the rest of book was wonderful.  I just plain could not stomach Soki. 2 Stars

Dragon Actually by G. A. Aiken

This book was originally titled ‘To Challenge A Dragon’ and G. A. Aiken is an alias of Shelley Laurenston.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about her other works, so I was really looking forward to reading this story. I love a good fantasy romance and if it’s got dragons it, so much more the better. But the writing in this was so bad, I couldn’t enjoy any of it. The author has a love for fragmented sentences that takes what could have been a wonderful story and drop kicks it right down to good story, annoyingly told. The dragon waffles so badly in and out of character that he can’t be taken seriously. The heroine, for being such a strong warrior, acts more like a spoiled teenager, perpetually on the very of either stupidity or a tantrum (this gets very tiresome, very fast). I honestly thought for a while that maybe the author intended this to be a young adult fantasy, right up until the dragon started fantasizing about bending Annwyl over and fucking her (author’s wording). There are spots here and there that are funny in ways that left me thinking maybe the writing was simple for a reason and I just don’t get the humor. But I kinda of feel robbed for paying $5 for a story that is, at best, worth half that. 2 Stars

Daddy’s Tails Trilogy 1 by Tasia Winters

There are massive differences between writers and storytellers.  Ms Winters is a fabulous storyteller.  The power exchange in this trilogy are phenomenally good.  Master Victor is spellbinding and believable.  The tension in these pages upgrades the bdsm eroticism from merely hot to bonfire proportions.  It’s almost hypnotic, it keeps you wanting to turn the page.  Much as Tasia was taken out of her comfort zone, as the reader, at times I found myself being pulled out of mine as well.  But that’s all right.  That’s part of what makes a good fantasy.  My problem with the book stems from the author’s inability to cross over from being a wonderful storyteller, into being a writer.  This book has the potential of being not just good, but great.  Unfortunately, before that can happen it has to be edited.  The author has NO grasp on even basic punctuation and how it should be used.  Wrong, incorrect and missing words abound.  Had a good editor seen this before I did, this review would have been 5 stars.  This is a very rough draft version of a book that should not yet be published.  Also, this is not a Trilogy as advertised.  The third story is simply a repeat of the later half of the second story.  Sadly, I doubt the rest of her works are any better, so I won’t be continuing the series. 2 Stars

Every Hole For Him (Daddy’s Tails) by Tasia Winters

First of all, I like the sentiment of the story. I like a little BDSM and the power exchange going on between Master Victor and Tasia are incredible. This author has a very good, descriptive flow and an hypnotic style of writing that keeps you wanting to turn the page, but there are so many editing problems with this story that it detracts from the overall enjoyment. The author has no grasp of how and where to use punctuation. There are missing and incorrect words that shake you from the story. The formatting throughout is awful. These are things a good editor would have caught if, in fact, the book had been edited. I don’t see how it could have been with so many errors on almost every single page. This isn’t a case of me being picky over one or two mistakes sparsely sprinkled throughout the story. The errors are EVERYWHERE. You could be the best writer in the world, and I still couldn’t give this more than 2 stars. The only reason it didn’t earn one star, was because the story was so very compelling. Dear author, please get your story edited. This is a diamond, but it is definitely in the rough.

Bad to the Bone by Vivi Anna

If the author could have given her characters reasonable reactions, I would have reviewed this better.  The writing felt rushed, the sex very flat and mechanical, there is no emotional involvement between the reader and the characters.  At all.  Period.

Olivia is an EMT who, on the way to the hospital with a badly injured woman, winds up hitting something in the ambulance she’s riding in.  The ambulance crashes through a guard rail, goes over the embankment, terrible accident ensues, and when she wakes up, she’s chained to a bed in a basement guarded by a werewolf.  At this point, the author can’t decide whether Olivia should be angry and fight, scared and wheedle for her freedom, and/or desperate and attempt to seduce her way out.  So what follows is this schizophrenic jump from one slightly off emotion to the next that left me thinking, if this was a real woman and she wanted to get out of this situation alive, there’s no way she’d be acting like this.  You don’t go out of your way to antagonize the guy who has you chained in his basement.  Not if you want to get out alive.  And after being this angry and volatile, she falls into bed with her captor with dizzying and unbelievable enthusiasm.  There is very little time spent on the sex and it’s poorly written.  Not even the ending is any good.  There is no resolution to the story.  One minute the werewolf is telling her she’s his mate, and the next he’s made leader of the pack and throwing her out ‘for her own good’.  Huh?  This is the end of the story?  There’s an excerpt at the end for another story, but it’s not for a part two continuation of this debacle, which might redeem it slightly for being an unfinished story in progress.  It’s for a completely different set of characters.

So in short, you have a good beginning (and the beginning actually was pretty good), a hurried and unbelievable middle, and a virtually non-existent and unsatisfying ending.  This is erotica without eroticism.  2 Stars

Monstrous Love: Six Tales of Pleasure and Peril by Jen Ashton

I love horror.  I’ve seen all the movies these stories were based on many, many, many times.  I found the sex entwined with the horrific aspect of each story gave them all something of a ‘snuff’ feel that came across as really unpleasant, but maybe that’s just me.  If I had to pick a favorite (i.e. one that repelled me somewhat less than the others), it would have to be the second story, The Big Bad Wolf.  That one actually read more like erotica and there’s a slim chance that she might actually have survived the encounter, though it ends just before we know for sure.  If you don’t mind reading stories where one of the sexual partners is gruesomely killed–where, in fact, the erotic titillation is geared toward the murdering aspect rather than the sexual intercourse–well then, this may be the book for you.  For myself, I am a book collector.  I hoard books, even the ones I don’t like.  But I think I’ve just found the one book I’m going to delete off my kindle, it made me that uncomfortable.

I suppose I should also say, the writing itself was fairly well done.  It could use another edit and there are formatting problems, but most of my issues with awarding this 2 stars come from the content alone.

Night Lover by Lacey Diamond

I can’t believe I’m saying this, there was too much sex in this story.  It’s all the characters did together.  One bout after another, but with very little descriptive variation.  Kim’s house is haunted.  Jill, her best friend, wants her to get out of the house but they have a huge fight before the reason can be explained and Kim ends up going home with Tyler, a perfect stranger.  What ensues is several chapters worth of unvaried and frequent sex the likes of which would put most people to sleep.  The actual writing is fairly good.  The author has some story-telling skill.  I just wish she’d go back to the drawing board with this one and try again.  Tone down the sex, make it more realistic, make it hotter, and put in a working plot and subplots. 2 stars

The ABCs of Erotica – A is for Anal by Malia Mallory

The writing was pretty good, the sex a little flat.  More like a how-to than erotica, and it reads as if it was plucked out of another longer story.  I kept wondering if this was an excerpt from something else the author did, or if maybe it were an example of the naughty ‘p’ word.  I really don’t know.  I can’t give it more than 2 stars.

Some Like It Rough – A Collection of Hot Sex Stories

Okay, first of all, this book needed an editor. The formatting was off in the third story, which made reading difficult. Second, I don’t want to read male on male erotica. That should have been in a book of like-kind stories or sold on its own. Now, the break-down:

The Deal – This is a short office revenge story. Definitely sits in well with the title of the book, well-written, I’ll probably read it again.

Vacation Whore – What was this story doing in the book? I kept waiting for it to do something deserving of the anthology title. Didn’t happen. Well-written, just didn’t belong in this book.

Surrender the Wolf – The author had no idea what she was doing with this story. It’s a werewolf tale (tail?) but superfluous to the plot, such as it is with these types of short stories. This is the one where the formatting is messed up. No indents to separate out the paragraphs.

Jungle Fever – The male on male. Not my cuppa.

Sudden Chemistry – Also not my cuppa. Girl slips guy a roofie, ties him to the bed, makes him call her mistress…um, no thank you. But now, reverse the roles and I might give it another read. Maybe minus the roofie.

So of all the short stories, The Deal is the only one I’d read again.  2 stars.

The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark

This book is not a romance.  It’s definitely not an erotic novel and it’s not horror.  Having read the thing cover-to-cover, I can now honestly say, I have no idea what it’s supposed to be.  I do try not to give spoilers when I write reviews, however, there might be a few in this.  Callie McFay moves into a house near her new teaching job and begins to have her nights haunted by an incubus.  Now, for the duration of the book, Callie bounces from one would-be lover to another without any conscience or qualms.  There’s Paul, there’s the incubus, there’s a couple guys from the college–and there’s no steaminess to be had anywhere in any of those relationships.  The author makes the attempt, but like the plot, it falls flat.  Callie also has a book written by another author who was, apparently, haunted by the same incubus and this book seems to exist for no other reason than to add more flat ‘steaminess’ to the story.  Lastly, nearly every mythical creature known to man makes a cameo appearance at one point or another in this story, but if these are supposed to be subplots, they don’t go anywhere either.

The author had no idea what she was supposed to do with this story, and it shows.  She also has no idea how to write a sex scene.  Here’s a helpful hint: it should involve more than fingers and mouths.  I don’t believe there was one mention of the, er, gentlemen’s favorite aspect.  Not that lovely four-lettered ‘c’ word, not a somewhat clinical ‘p’ word.  Ladies, in this book you won’t even get a grossly comical ‘manly meat missile’.  There is just virtually no reference to it at all.  Either the sex scenes were written by a teenager or the author’s never had sex.  What scenes there are do offer some steam, but it’s the same steam for every scene.

My last gripe, there was no HEA at the end of this story, but by the time I got to that point, I was just ready for the whole thing to be done.  The characters offered no emotional involvement.  They offered no rationale for why the ‘villain’ should be killed/banished other than all night sex-bouts made Callie tired and there was some question about whether or not the incubus was harming students in the school.  As a plot point, that was never fleshed out.  I really, really don’t like leaving bad reviews, but this book actually annoyed me.  And that’s too bad, because the author does seem to know how to write (or she’s got one whale of a good editor).  She just doesn’t seem to understand how to write moving plots or how to emotionally involve a reader in the work.  I consider myself to be kind when I gave this 2 stars.