Review of Promises by Marie Sexton

I found myself not only staying up late to read this book but also thinking about the characters the next day and being sorry their story was over. To me that's a definite winner.

Read more... )

Review of Wanting by Piper Vaughn

Given that this is a free ebook (I picked it up at the http://allromanceebooks.com site) I thought others might be interested in checking it out since the author has various other male/male titles, most of them only a few dollars.

Read more... )
elf: Petalwing, singing (Petalwing Singing)
[personal profile] elf2011-12-12 09:17 am

Review: Dancing on Coals, by Ellen O'Connell

I bought this a few weeks ago, and dragged my feet on reading it, because I knew that (1) I'd love it and (2) then I'd be done, and the author doesn't have any more books for me. (Have read them all. They're all wonderful.)

Description from Smashwords: After escaping murderous bandits, Katherine says, "I jumped from the frying pan to the fire. Soon I’ll be dancing on coals." The thieves were the frying pan. The young Apache who saved her was the fire. The coals? Gaetan. Filled with rage and hate, Gaetan is Katherine's one chance to stay alive. When the struggle to survive forges a bond that turns to love, can he admit it?

Squee inside. )
jumpuphigh: Black and white photo of two men about to kiss (Boys)
[personal profile] jumpuphigh2011-11-01 09:20 pm

Review: Magic University: Book 4 The Poet and the Prophecy by Cecilia Tan

I loved the first two books of this series* so I was really looking forward to this book where everything was supposed to come together. I like Cecilia Tan’s writing style. I am able to really get into her stories. I don’t normally read professional romance/erotica but I got the first book of this series solely to support the author with her awesome pro-fanfic ways and I discovered that I loved her. I am fascinated by her characters and was really ready for more about them.

Unfortunately, this book was a hot mess. I spent a good portion of the book wishing I was a beta, not a reader, so that I could reply with “What? What?!? Huh? What just happened there? OMG, don’t do that!”** This was supposed to be the culmination of Kyle’s four years at Veritas University (the magical counterpart to Harvard), but I felt confused for much of story. The story was choppy and frequently felt like it was missing really important paragraphs/sentences which would have explained things.

One of the things I have loved about Cecilia Tan’s books in the past is the inclusiveness without an obvious “hey, I’m being inclusive here” feel. This book changed all of that. Suddenly, there was this heavy-handed lecturing throughout the book. *facepalm* No. Please, no. I just want a good story. I don’t want some call to social action. This is supposed to be a romantic smut book.

It really disappoints me that I wasn’t able to walk away from this story with a “wow, that was a great ending to the series” feeling. I had really been looking forward to this book. I’d really love a re-mix of it from Timothy Frost’s viewpoint. Actually, I’d love that for book 3 as well. Hmmmm. Actually, now that I’m thinking of it, it would be cool to have all four books remixed from Frost’s viewpoint. No. I’m not going to write them. Stop it, bunnies. Just stop it.

*Book 3 was triggery which wouldn’t have been such a problem for me personally if I hadn’t just experienced Duainfey recently. Unfortunately, I spent the entire book groaning at the plot devices used.

**Yes. That is pretty much how I beta. It takes a special kind of writer to handle my blunt ways.
elf: We have met the enemy and he is us. (Met the enemy)
[personal profile] elf2011-03-19 04:41 pm

Ego, or how to pretend the competition doesn't exist

At some point, hopefully soon, I'll write a squee-filled rec for Sing My Name by Ellen O'Connell, and exhort all my friends who have any hint of interest in historical romance to go read it, and hey look, if you're not sure it's to your tastes, you can download & read the first 50,000 words to decide if it's worth paying $3 for the rest. (It's worth it. I've never read a romance novel with slashy subtext minor characters before, and now I want fanfic for Beau and Roddy.) (I will be asking for this book at Yuletide. Really.) O'Connell has two other books; I've read one and it was great (this is better) and I've now bought the third, which doesn't say "romance" but I've decided I no longer care. She goes on the short list of "just buy it all."

This isn't that squee. This is a raised-eyebrows, look-over-the-glasses, oh-no-he-didn't look at a different ebook: The Berlin Sex Shop Episode, by Mister Average, which I suspect is a pseudonym. I found this one by browsing recent uploads to Smashwords (because that's about the only way to find anything at Smashwords) and I was just... boggled.

He (there's no rule that says "Mister Average" has to be a he, of course, but I'm going with the standard conventions here for pronoun use) has 6 other "ebooks," which average about 4000 words, and each of which are priced at $2.99. That's right; he wants $2.99 for this 4150 word short story, just like O'Connell wants $2.99 for her 135,000-word epic.

What this means for me as a reader )