I'm a Selena Kitt fan. Though I don't like all of her narrators, not the nasally female she uses frequently. Similarly, the English accent of this narrator didn't work as well for me. But the story was good and the sex as hot and erotic as usual. The erotic language was somewhat different. I imagine this was due to the story being based outside the U.S. Finally, I'll add that I really enjoyed the humor added to this story. I don't ever recall finding parts of Ms. Kitt's stories humorous. I hope that more of her stories will add the element of humor in the future.
This is a contemporary , light romantic tale that flows okay, albeit very predictably, except for, maybe, a small part of the last 50 minutes of the story. But the slight twists caused exasperation instead of interest b/c the two twists were too late to try to create complexity in this predictable story. And the ending was still very clear. The slight twists caused an unnecessary detour with no meaning or purpose. Another irritation was that some details in the story were misaligned or not addressed as the story went on, which also took away from the realism. From the beginning, I struggled to understand why Nella agreed to marry Sam. The reasons that were given seemed too little and barely plausible for most people in her position. At times, the dialogue for the 3-year-old boy seemed developmentally beyond the average 3-year-old. And the narrator did a poor job portraying him. Thankfully he didn’t have a lot of dialogue in this short story.
I liked that Sam’s interest in Nella progressed in a reasonable manner and was based on something more than Nella’s physical attributes, though they were frequently mentioned and included in his attraction. The sex scenes started at almost 4 hours into the story and were far from explicit. Instead, the 3 back-to-back scenes were light, short, and sweet. I liked that the author was trying to portray larger women, generally more “normal” than not in the real world, as desirable and confident. But I didn’t find it helpful to make the terms "full-figure" and "fat" and even obese, sort of, synonymous with one another. It just seemed false and unrealistic.
Essentially, this is a story of two different beings and natural enemies learning to see the beauty in one another, not physically, though that was certainly a part of their relationship. Much of this learning came through teaching each other about each other and each being willing to learn. The start of their willingness came via physical attraction first, but there seemed to be something more, the indefinable “it”, between them from the beginning. Many of the teachings centered on the knowledge that there’s a time for logic and a time for emotion to be the central element used as a compass for one’s journey. I was sold on Steel’s, the cyborg’s, unnatural desire for Rena, a human, but I think the story lacked a bit of believability on why Rena wanted Steel beyond when she first chose him for safety.
I really liked the image of Steel and his world that the author created. It all made sense and showed some depth and complexity. An additional positive aspect is the more realistic aspect taken towards their sexual encounters. Every encounter didn’t result in mind-blowing orgasms, though all were quite enjoyable. That realism is all-too rare in romances I listen to. The sex scenes had some degree of explicitness, but I think it added to its sensuality and not licentious. These scenes are not long or drawn out, so I could have taken a bit more to them. But they were also not too short or lacking in important detail. The author knows how to write desire and heat. The slight humor in the book, often in the form of some of Rena’s behaviors, was also quite enjoyable. There were several times that a smile naturally broke out on my face while listening to this story.
The journey to the end was one I couldn’t see coming. I was enthralled to see how things would play out. It’s not that this type of ending—which you have to find out on your own—in a romance is surprising, but because of the very good writing, it’s not clear if, much less, how it will occur. This is my first book by this author but by no means the last. I just wish the books were longer. Hopefully her other books are as enjoyable as this one.
This story was too easy in every way. Most essentially, the author scripts Holden as moving from being interested in and only having sex with women for 70 years to having a male mate and accepting this with very little struggle. Un-freaking-believable! And this aspect, t his ease, is replicated throughout the entire book. Therein is the lack of substance and reality and the unfortunate ease that absolutely detracts from the story. The ease was present in the too quick sexual encounters that sounded mechanical and with the absence of sensuality. During the sex scenes, as well as throughout the book, the author tells and doesn’t show. It’s was frustrating and depleting as I wanted and needed so much more. An example of a major dislike is this quote: “Way too much TMI.” Isn’t that redundant and an unmitigated error of social and grammatical understanding. To add to that, the author uses rape—albeit during an angry tirade about a business takeover—in a disturbing manner with no listener stating that rape is never anything to joke about or play with. The statement went, “…even if you have to rape them in the ass.” Really?! That’s out of poor taste, at the least, and offensive and disturbing at the most. On the story, the last item of dislike is the disagreement between the m/m couple near the end of the story. It seemed to be an attempt by the author to add drama or a much-too-late, but desired, degree of complexity in this too-easy and non-substantive story. But it failed. It added absolutely nothing to the story, and, instead seemed manufactured. With all of this, the narrator was okay but little help. All of the male characters sounded alike except when he added a British accent. Ah, this was my first purchase by this author and is, unfortunately, also my last. Crap! There’s no believing Amazon book reviews anymore. This is happening way too often now.
I'd put the story and my overall experience more at a 2.5. This story balanced plot and sex well. There were two sex scenes, and, in this 3 hours listen, the sex didn’t start until about 1.5 hours into the story; thoughts of it were present before then. This allowed time for the back story to be presented and contributed to the realism of the story, which was good, overall. This also prevented the sex from seeming gratuitous. This story includes a bit of an issue that makes this story a bit more meaningful than I have commonly across in the wam-bam-thank you sir or ma’am world of erotica. The sex scenes were written okay. They were considerably less explicit and detailed and frequent than other erotica. Of the two sex scenes, one adds a bit of control or semi-domination. But it’s so little, you can’t call it BDSM. The plausibility was fine but with one exception. It was difficult to believe or buy into the h’s positive view of the small town considering her earlier view. This change to her in the story seemed inauthentic along with the H buying it and believing it to be sincere. So it seems the author added it to benefit the bend of the relationship she needed for her ending. This inauthenticity—either as the h lying or the H being gullible—detracted from the realism in the story.
The narrator is the worst part of my listening experience. I don’t like how she ends almost every word with a singing-like upturn in her voice at the end of each word closing a sentence. So the sentence-ending words are drawn out. It’s worse when she is speaking as a female character and worsens when she is trying to be sexy. And this is erotica, so it’s too much. Duh and ick! It works in the opposite way and is an utter turn-off. It’s so, so irritating. If there’s such a thing as a non-southern twang, then this narrator has it. I thought twice about buying the book as a result, but thought I could deal with it for 3 hours. Well, it was hard. Next time, I’ll know. It’s a shame to avoid a good story because of an undesirable narrator, but I guess that’s part of listening to a book instead of reading it myself.
The two stories are alien-human romantic fantasies. Wherever they are—and they are not necessarily the same place—it seems similar to earth but with alien enemy factions, foods and technologies not found on earth. The romances occur between humans only.
Dane's story was by far my favorite. I enjoyed Dane’s use of what seemed like early American language. It was wonderful to hear the proper and conservative banter between the h and H as “proper” people of that time period would engage and then to watch their coupling unfold where the properness dropped away with lushness. Dane has progressed mightily with her ability to write desire. I’m 43-years-old and listen to plenty of romance and erotica, but I’ll be blushing and fanning due to the steamy parts in her story for some time to come.
The narrator did an excellent job with the h and H. All of the male characters sounded very similar, but it didn’t detract from my experience of this story b/c the other males played much smaller parts.
Hart's story is probably more like 3 or 2.75 overall. In Hart’s story, the author engaged a very creative way to get the sex going at the very start of her story. And there was a surprise twist in the explanation of it. Non-contemporary English language was used at times, but not to the same extent as Dane's. And the dialogue was nothing to comment on. It sufficed. As an aside, I also loved the image of female deity. I've read all but two of Ms. Hart's books on Audible--her first one & her last non-romantic one--and this one is my least favorite of all of her books I've listened to. It was, of course, still good, but on the average side. The sex was short and somewhat detailed. There was a bit of action near the end and a sort of emotional and social mystery that’s hard to explain without spoiling the story. They connect with the world-building and the H. The story made sense, though foreign in some ways, and revealed some interesting aspects to the alien world. Everything was plausible, but nothing inspired me to jump to finish the story. I never thought I wouldn’t finish it b/c I liked it enough, but I was in no hurry to do so. And an incident with the son near the end wasn’t explained and, therefore, seemed sort of thrown in to add drama or something, but, sadly removed some of the plausibility.
Finally, there was some kind of technical problem in the last 30 minutes or so of the story when a few lines of the story were repeated. I was confused for a moment. Surprisingly, for the first time, I might be a little bit more cautious about buying Ms. Hart in the future and less cautious and maybe even pursue future books by Ms. Dane.
I knew I was going to have a problem when, shortly after the story started, the h stupidly asked “is someone there” when someone calls her name in her house that’s supposed to be empty and where she lives alone. Then she, of course, moves to investigate the sound with a kitchen tool. This story was slow to me with the exception of maybe the last 30 minutes, which was the best part of the book but not worth buying. And my interest was peaked somewhat about 3 hours into the story but not maintained until the last part.
There’s much more emphasis on the murder-mystery part of the story and not the romance aspect. The kidnapping sequence ended in an unrealistic way, though the author tried to explain the kidnapper’s thinking. A statement by one of the federal agents investigating the kidnapping supports the unlikely outcome of the kidnapping. It was a stretch and detracted from me enjoying the story. And I hated the over-the-top romantic declarations of the H. The “she’s so beautiful I hurt” statement is too extreme to be appealing. It detracts from the story and the relationship instead of adding depth or connection. Additionally, he continually professed stuff like: I can’t breathe w/o you; I can’t live w/o you; I want you 24/7. She attempts to write desire, but it’s at such an extreme, primarily from the H, that it’s frightening and sort of ugly. He even admits that he’s concerned he’s obsessed with her, the h. He said that what he feels for her is “dark.” I love romances, and very much enjoy the head-over-heels type, but it needs to seem like it could happen here on earth, without intoxicants or mental deficiencies to make it happen. The only good part is that the murderer was not known until the end. But some of the machinations to hide the murderer weren’t impossible but seriously unlikely. And how the murderer knew some of the things he knew were never explained and, therefore, left questionable and hard-to-believe.
Finally, on the narrator, I didn’t like the southern twang the narrator often used for the murderer. Plus, essentially all of the male characters sounded too alike. I think I’m done with this author. It wasn’t bad, but it’s also not worth trying again.
I could never get into the story. I don't know what it was about, what was really going on, or what the point was. I was totally confused and so very uninterested and repeating parts to figure out what the what, and this was just 30 minutes into the story. So I figured life is too short and just gave up trying to figure the book out or trying to finish it. It's bad. Adding to the confusion was the lack of clarification between what was being thought and what was being verbalized. I didn't hate the book, but I really disliked the 30 minutes I listened to. Nothing sexual happened in those 30 minutes, which may be a good thing because maybe that means that the story--though erotica--is not just sex. I hope so should someone else choose to buy it and can actually finish this story.
There are 4 very short stories in this book. The first one is about 2 step brothers and their step dad. The second one is about the seduction of one step brother by another step brother. The third one is about one step brother initiating another. And the final story is about two step brothers sharing a toy but not each other. My major complaints are that the firs story has too many repetitive phrasing, none have much of a context for the sex, and the narrator often reads too fast, thus making almost all of the stories sound perfunctory instead of hot and sexy.
The story is somewhat plausible, since serendipity and good luck do happen. And it has a good storyline with erotica that comes across less raunchy and more sensual, which is lovely and rare in these short erotica stories. It’s not just sex without a story. In this story, listeners find the h engaged in a guided masturbation fantasy as directed by a male caller to her sex line. Included in this fantasy is a bit of self-enacted, but caller-directed, pain and submission play. I’m not a big fan of masturbation fantasies, so that decreased this story’s likeability for me. Interestingly the H is never described, I don’t think, and the h is not described repeatedly nor as though she is perfect, which is refreshing. Also, the h and H seem a bit older and more mature than most characters in erotica shorts. Also good was the narrator; she did a good job with the sexy voices. But you have to listen to find out whether or not the caller ever meets his submissive. Other than the focus on masturbation, the ending was the only other aspect that was problematic for me; what’s expressed in the end was hard to believe and detracted from the story.
Too short but a very enjoyable ride. This is really more of a novella about a couple who meet in unusual circumstances and, as a result of being forced together, end of hitting it off very, very well. As a result, they take the relationship to the next level. They don’t waste any time. But when it works, it works. We really get only a peek at the start of their relationship; the rest has to be imagined. That’s part of what’s enjoyable about the book b/c life rarely wraps up so nicely like so many romance stories end. So it all seems quite plausible though quite uncommon. But it’s a dream many of us would love to come true. I also liked that the h and H are physically and emotionally flawed people yet still very appealing to one another. Both just seemed real, relatable, which added to the plausibility of the story. An added plus was the wittiness in the early dialogue between the H and h.
The ending, or parts of it, was the only aspect that took away from the story for me. Near the end, there was a bit of side-chair psychology that was supposed to be a wow moment; it didn’t work for me. Unlike the rest of the story, it seemed less plausible and didn’t fit; it seemed forced, like a way to point to the couple’s connection. But it came off as false, which then could’ve made the whole relationship seem shallow and only based on lust, with no substance. But I wanted to believe there was more there, so I let it slide. You have to listen to decide for yourself what you think of the rest of the ending…if you can call it that.
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