Walking Spanish

6365854-1 by
My Rating: 4/5 Stars

First person plural isn’t a voice I often see in fiction, even though I did happen to read two of these books rather close together. Both had omniscient voices taking a look at multiple characters (the former was a family and this one was an office). Both were humorous, and both strung zany along with a dog leash and shock collar, zapping my mind at the most inopportune of times, and jolting my reality with more than just innuendo. But that’s where the similarities end, and I must say I couldn’t be more pleased with the resulting differential equation.

If you’ve ever considered your coworkers weird, and believed wholeheartedly that you were the normal individual in this corporately bureaucratic world, this book is for you. If you’ve ever walked down the hallway and had to physically restrain yourself from throttling a coworker about the neck, this book is for you. If you’ve ever wondered why management couldn’t get their shit together, and instead started firing people left and right without any rhyme or reason, and you found yourself sucking your thumb on the unemployment line, this book is for you. If you’ve ever wanted to walk out of a corporate meeting, because the idiot behind the podium has diarrhea of the mouth, and can’t seem to close his mouth for more than two seconds to answer a flippin’ question, even as you’ve waved your hand in the air for the past five minutes, this book is for you. If you’ve ever wanted to strip to your underwear and run through the halls screaming that the entire office staff, including administrative assistants and accountants, are all a bunch of morons, and that you’re done with this place, this book is for you.

So, yeah, at this point we’ve probably pretty much included everybody. And that’s okay, because as the economy pretty much shoves its thumb up its own butthole, you’re going to need a good laugh as you’re walking Spanish (shitcanned) and polishing the turd. THEN WE CAME TO THE END delivers laughter and chuckles amidst the corporate machine otherwise known as greed, and I couldn’t help but get caught up in the debauchery.

A Beautiful First Date

Having an editor turn to you in a crowded room and start up a conversation through no provocation on your part equates to seeing a beautiful woman across the bar and having her wink at you, or giving you a look that opens the door to further dialogue. Had I been struck by lightning at the time, it wouldn’t have surprised me, even though I was indoors. And having a manuscript that said publisher might be interested in proved to be a bit fortuitous on my part. With renewed purpose, I attacked my female amateur sleuth vigorously and passionately, the muse appeared, life had meaning, the stars aligned, and the odds appeared to have turned in my favor.

Now we have the happy ending and cue the closing credits, right? Well, not exactly. Despite 13 or so years of writing, my life has never worked out that perfectly. But PageSpring Publishing did read my manuscript, at least the first 30 pages, and I received a rather large earful of feedback, the best part of which was that Ms. Seum believed my writing had merit. And I discovered firsthand through someone in the know that I hadn’t written what I thought I had. You see, I thought a cozy murder mystery was within my grasp and danced across the printed page, but instead, the voice was more hard-boiled than light and airy and breezy.

But had I failed? I don’t believe I had. That voice was as much a part of me as my hands and toes, and I breathed life into this rather quirky individual who had a rather complicated and unique outlook on life. Yeah, it meant I had plenty of road ahead of me, and that it might be filled with orange cones and detours, but that conversation was still the best thing that could have happened to me at that particular point in my life.

In the end, it was only a beautiful first date, but that date injected meaning and purpose into my writing life. So now I have a new plan, and new opportunities ahead of me. I further realized my hard-boiled roots are deeper than the ocean. And that’s perfectly okay with me.

A Society Of Puritans

18343370-1Wanted by J. Kenner
My Rating: 4/5 Stars

J. Kenner (aka Julie) has plenty of writing talent, and most of it probably goes unnoticed within the erotica genre. Before you paste a “kick me” sign on my back, and I run up and down the halls trying to figure out why feet are constantly being tossed in my direction and my ass is suddenly and inexplicably sore, just hear me out for a minute. While erotica has reached mainstream level (thanks Fifty Shades), I can’t help but feel it’s whispered about at parties in the dark, men may, or may not, be reading it, but most of whom certainly aren’t going to admit it, and if you sat on an airplane next to someone who was reading a book with a half-naked man or woman on the cover, who may, or may not, have her legs wrapped around the waist of some hunk of burnin’ love, you’d probably cringe and turn away, even if you had the same damn book at home on your shelf. That’s just the way it is. We’re a society of Puritans, while Europeans laugh at us from the other side of the ocean.

And so it goes for J. Kenner. She isn’t praised for her writing talents, even though they are displayed for the masses. But she’s probably not complaining, because the six figure advances show up like clockwork, her erotica trilogies are pushed out on a conveyor belt, and she’s smiling every time she cashes one of those paychecks. But the character development is there. Angelina Hayden Raine (aka Angie or Lina) has scars as long as a country mile to go with her body built for sin and an ass that keeps on giving. She’s tainted as all get out, but there’s still purity and innocence to her, and it creates layers people. Layers. Evan Black has abs that could bounce quarters and nickels and dimes all at the same time. But he’s not just some rich billionaire who is damaged goods, although he does have his own issues. Again, we have depth, and it makes for a more enjoyable ride in the saddle.

Sure, there’s sex, but it never feels overt or dirty or forced. These are just two people exploring the depths of their relationship, who just happen to fuck more than normal couples do. It’s natural damn it!

What I really liked about WANTED, and which made me want it even more, was that the story was self-contained. It doesn’t drag out or implode or create additional complications, just for the sake of conflict and complication (thanks again Fifty Shades). It doesn’t extend out to additional books, and there aren’t unexpected blips just so we can watch a man drink himself into a coma. When the curtain drops, it drops. And I’ll stand up and applaud.

While this is a trilogy, the second book HEATED revolves around Sloane Watson, an undercover cop posing as a stripper at Destiny, who may, or may not, grow rather attached to what Tyler Sharp has going on in his pants. It sounds like a winner. I just hope I can get a front row seat, because I’ve got my stack of ones ready.

I received this book for free through NetGalley.


8135807-1Rock Me by Cherrie Lynn
My Rating: 2/5 Stars

There’s a fine line between erotica and contemporary romance, as this novel aptly proves. I’d say ROCK ME more than dips its toes in the erotica universe, but Amazon classifies this as contemporary romance (and we all know Amazon is always right), so of course, I want to strive to prove them wrong. But we’ll get to that a bit later. First, let’s talk about this particular piece of ass.

The story revolves around Candace Andrews. Come on down. She’s as pure as the driven snow, blonde, with a little junk-in-the-trunk, and disciplinarian parents who focus on the Andrews name above the needs of their own daughter. Her lustful fantasy, on the other hand, has a temper, owns a tattoo parlor (gasp!), is covered in art and piercings, and he may, or may not, have an apadravya. Brian Ross, come on down.

More than just formulaic, this was a paint-by-the-numbers, stay inside the lines, and gosh, I sure didn’t see that ending coming. And, yes, this novel proves that I have nearly reached the end of my erotica purge, as it’s all looking a bit too familiar, and whiplash, déjà vu, and virginally pure blonde stalkers in red high heels await me at every corner wearing trench coats and not a whole lot else. It’s a rough life, but there’s only so much of this I can take before I burn out my retinas.

So you’d think I hated it right? And you’d be…wrong. Despite the formula, I really dug Candace, and couldn’t seem to get enough of her, even if she did frustrate, aggravate, and leave me begging for more. But that’s love, right?

Well, in erotica novels there’s always fucking, and to give you some idea, fuck and its various derivations are used no less than 98 times over the course of this novel. There’s also plenty of oral, a short-lived condom less encounter, and plenty of vanilla sex (by erotica standards). But we have to keep in mind the characters, and this felt dirty (like I needed a shower afterwards), and Amazon reviewers have used sexy, steamy, and hot to describe this read. Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds like erotica to me. So suck it Amazon.

Tumultuous Relationship

18803450Restless Spirit by Sommer Marsden
My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Tuesday Cane wasn’t my favorite day of the week, even though I ended up liking her all the same. Our relationship proved a bit tumultuous at times, as she bounced between men with a slap happy insistence that caused my head to jerk about as frequently as a male teenager with ADD. She dialed 3825 (to copulate) so often that she must have had it preprogrammed into her phone at the top of her speed dial. And there was so much fucking and yanging the wang I wouldn’t have been surprised if my pages weren’t somehow lubricated.

RESTLESS SPIRIT could have been the name of a horse, or it could have been a metaphor for the way I felt as I devoured this book, the pages filling my fantasies six ways from Sunday, the days of the week flying by in epic and unexpected passion. The bare sex scenes heightened my senses to the point that I felt a part of the action, peering out of the bedroom closet with one eye focused on the prize, and There’s Something About Mary doesn’t have anything on the sticky hair scene contained in this novel.

Shepard Moore proved every bit as strong as Tuesday Cane, but I found Adrian and Reed Green a bit lacking in the strong and silent type department. Tuesday, however, proved plenty restless, and worked her way up and down the small town. If she didn’t hold a certain appeal that I can’t quite describe, her finger hovering over the eject button might have shown me the error of my ways, or caused a sad shake of my head. But if it’s all the same to you, I’ll relish the wanton abandon contained within these pages, even as the ending was projected on my flat screen well before we reached the finish line.

All in all a fine read if you’re into that will she or won’t she sort of thing, but not one I’ll probably revisit anytime soon.

I received this book for free through NetGalley.

One Wicked Lady

17683822 by
My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Don’t let the name Madison Monroe fool you. She’s one part Wicked Words bookstore owner, and nearly three parts badass. She’s into dominance, subservience, and just about anything in between. She has CONTROL issues and monogamy ones too, with a body built for sin, and an active imagination to boot. But if you can capture her attention, you may die butt naked with a smile on your face after emptying your spunk tank.

Putting theory into practice and with a file cabinet full of erotica tales, Madison’s one wicked lady, but neither of her male counterparts utter a single word of protest. In fact, once the action reached the bedroom, or the backroom, there were more than a few incoherent utterances, most of which would have been accentuated with exclamation points. And I couldn’t help doing the wave every time the sexual acrobatics stepped onto the printed page.

Sure, this novel was filthy and raunchy and messy and grubby, and I may have needed to spray myself down with a garden hose after finishing this tale, but that was why it had such a strong appeal. If you like it when the female cracks the whip and dominates you in ways you never thought possible, you might find yourself enjoying a wet dream or two at the end of this tale. Once the sex train ended, I wanted to hop right back on, and enjoy this fantasy ride all over again.

I received this book for free through NetGalley.

Unkillable Charlie Hardie

9583670Hell And Gone by Duane Swierczynski
My Rating: 4/5 Stars

I blame erotica. My natural response is to proceed with a whips and chains and between-the-pages sexual binge until this burning desire extricates itself from my system, and the world turns itself right-side up. What does that have to do with HELL AND GONE? Probably not a whole hell of a lot. But here we are you and I. With that being said, I cannot be held accountable for my actions during this review.

Fun And Games had Mann in all of her infinite glory, with her nipples sticking straight up in the air, sunbathing topless on a deck in the middle of LA. But Mann has been relegated to cameo status in the sequel, and I couldn’t help the heartfelt sigh that escaped my lips. Now we have Eve Bell who can maintain the lotus position for hours on end, and I’m intrigued all over again. Her shower scene certainly captured my attention. I’ll say it right now: I have no shame.

Unkillable Charlie Hardie once again was forced to question his very sanity, spending his days in an inescapable prison with a team of guards and prisoners that proved to be some of the baddest dudes and dudettes around. The adrenaline rush proceeded at an IV pace (my finger pushing the magic button every three minutes or so), and I couldn’t avoid the post-nasal drip, the chlorine beach, the white tile, the blue scrubs, or the shower curtain divider that separated me from the guy on the respirator.

The other characters, while interesting and intriguing, didn’t capture my attention the way the secondary cast of characters popped into my brain and executed the mambo in the first installment. The action scenes, while intense and electrified, held back a bit compared to the first go round and the insanity that is LA. But don’t get me wrong, this was one hell of a ride, and I’ll be seeking out the explosive finale with equal parts enthusiasm and trepidation. I may need to sleep with the lights on, and my head buried underneath the covers, but it’ll all be worth it in the end. That’s what I’ll keep telling myself anyway, repeating the mantra until it’s permanently etched in my brain.

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