Usually I like a lil sumthin' sumthin' in my romances, and this book had 2 1/2 kisses and NO SEX! But it was a great story that kept me riveted the whole time.
What a wonderful tale of widowed, prudish Mrs. Russell being loosened by the rake-ish Mr. Mirkwood as their “business arrangement” takes an unexpected turn, including the endearing development of a friendship. As a result, both of them were changed in surprising and, at times, unwanted ways.
The story had a strong h. It was paced well. It had engaging characters, including but not limited to the h and H. And everything was plausible, including all of the dialogue and how people engaged with another. There was little internal dialogue, so the focus was on seeing not telling the story, which was great.
The story does not have any explicit sex scenes though it’s full of sex scenes due to the story’s basis. But they are not explicit. They are, however, sensual and revealing without any rawness or, what I would consider, detail. The only possible concerning term for some listeners—though not me—was cock. And for some people, it might not have enough heat. The heat level is barely a simmer. And I, a person who enjoys heat in a book, still find the book so enjoyable. The level of heat worked appropriately in this telling.
And there’s an undercurrent of mild humor; not in a “ha ha” way but constantly smile-worthy. Sorta cute. It was so delightful to watch them push each other’s buttons. Mrs. Russell’s buttons were generally related to sex and bedroom action, and Mr. Mirkwood’s buttons were generally related to his moral development and business astuteness.
And supplementary pleasure was watching their neighborhood, their tenants and farmers also change, improve as they were given opportunities for a fairer more just life. The story flowed. I looked forward to listening to it and didn’t want it to end. The narrator doesn’t have a big repertoire of voices, but the differences were adequate enough to keep up with who was talking and when. Though, this was due, in large part, to the author’s story structure. I can’t speak to the author’s ability historical accuracy, and that type of detail matters little to me overall. So I will look for more from this author.
The story is a tale of how a male operative, Colby Winters, falls for his accidental captive, Mia. Both characters were ok. Mia is not a weak heroine, though she never seemed to be bothered by Winter referring to her as “chic,” “doll,” or “babe.” All of these names irritated me, which he also used generally in reference to adults females. And I liked the small bit of sly humor as well as these ok sex scenes. But none of these inspire me to read more by this author. And I forwarded through parts and slept through others with no meaningful difference in me understanding or liking the story.
This story might go down, in my 1000+ audible buys, as having the worst timed first kiss EVER! The author’s attempt to explain the highly inappropriate and worst timed kiss was admirable. But I don’t think there is any way a kiss at that time (don’t want to spoil anything) could be explained. It occurred after about an hour into the story; there was really no sexual tension or clear attraction between the two nor any indication that either were very hard up for sex. So, the kiss made absolutely no sense especially not then. I never get when story characters have sex and the like while in mortal danger especially not with a stranger, even less when it’s a stranger that the character doesn’t really like or trust. It could just be me so….
The action could be great for some listeners, but it wasn’t for me. Mia got in trouble more than once requiring rescue. There were several rescue acts, which were written well, I think, but they didn’t keep my interest. They made sense and were plausible. In fact, it showed Winter to be human, to not be bulletproof which was good, since he was a bit overly macho most of the time. The horrible exception was some of the mushy words he used and did so very shortly after meeting and starting to have sex with Mia. They seemed to come out of nowhere, and he had little problem saying them even while acknowledging they were out of the norm for him. So it just didn’t piece together well, seemed implausible.
The story started off well; it was interesting. And I liked the main characters okay. This is yet another paranormal tale about a paranormal being—this time a skinwalker—finding his mate. And, of course, the mating doesn’t come easy; they, naturally, dislike each other initially.
This was supposed to be the tale of a strong woman, Eden, the h, meeting a savage, beautiful skinwalker/man who was so powerful and so impacted her through sexual desire that she became a different woman, a woman who wanted, even needed, to become what he (Monroe) called his whore while he became to her, what she called, “her god” b/c they were fated mates. But it didn’t go over that way to me. That’s a hard sell for any author, and I don’t think the attempt succeeded here.
Eden, the h, was a strong female character. That was good. When the story moved to Monroe showing himself to be primal and animalistic in acting on his desire for Eden as his mate, I was almost done with the story. It was waaaaayyy over the top. Monroe frequently acted like an inconsiderate, insistent ass. Even killing others was treated lightly by everyone as long as they got their way. And I’m not a fan of the out-of-control male of any species. Using mating or heat or whatever doesn’t make it any more palatable for me. I get the animal and primal nature which is of import in many paranormal tales, but I prefer the characters who successfully struggle with their “nature” to choose better, to act better. Then, to have Eden struggle between being both turned on and attracted to forced sex was presented in a way that was a bit too much for me. I completely get the fact that a woman can be both; sexual ambivalence is nothing new. And plenty of women have “rape” fantasies, even strong women. So the author’s attempt to showcase this is ok. And it was an admirable attempt. But something still didn’t quite work for me. Maybe it was everything that occurred before it, leading up to it and the chase. Some of the things Monroe said during this incident, in sort of explaining it, messed up the scene for me too. Maybe if the scene was focused more on Eden’s struggle, her ambivalence and not Monroe’s patronizing her and talking about trying to let her be a “good girl” while insisting that he was going to f*** her either way, it would’ve been easier to swallow. It was supposed to be sexy, as though he soooo desired her that he was out of control. But instead, for me, it was patronizing, controlling (not in a good way), frightening, and un-sexy. To have a strong woman like Eden succumb soooo completely to her sexual desire with an ass, a guy she didn’t even like 2 seconds ago, and do so without much of a fight was unbelievable and sordid instead of sexy. I like domination tales ok but when insult and degradation in the name of mating and even love takes place, I’m turned off. Monroe said, “It’s ok to be my whore” and admitted to sexual coercion, which he said was different from force. But his words and actions, as well as her first reaction to both, resembled force more than anything. This was one f***ed up dom-sub relationship. There’s more, but I’ll leave it there. Just my $.02.
Add to all of this the fact that Monroe played games with Eden concerning her kids too. In multiple ways he tormented her, and she didn’t seem to recognize it. What a heaping pile of mess! Yet all of that wasn’t enough. The author added other dramatic aspects, like Monroe’s “affliction” and drama from Eden’s past. Enough already! No more contrivances please!
Redundancy was also a problem. Witness it through these dialogue examples: “Sexy as hell;.” “Annoying as hell;” “Smart as hell;” “Distracting as hell;” “A living hell.” And all of these were said sequentially almost; they were not spread out.
Finally, the narrator was irritating too. The way this narrator pronounces words, sort of dragging them out, maybe in an attempt to add drama or something, was so grating! Add to that the kind of breath she puts at the end of words, and you have a very bad, especially irritating, unwanted combination in narration. Her emotion all sounds so contrived.
The story takes a different slant on how werewolves are made, which was good. It is a bit of medical murder mystery and paranormal romance combined. There was a bit of positive interaction between werewolves and vampires, which was also good, and leaves open the door that this series will focus on both paranormal creatures. And the sex scenes—of which there were several, possibly too many—were well described and pretty varied. And there was a small level of romance. Though it was very small b/c the focus was much more on the sex once it started. It was good that it didn’t start right away, once they realized they were attracted to each other. And they moved slowly to intercourse, a little slowly anyway. They engaged in some other play first. The sex occurred, of course, between Wynter, the h and a human w/ a cool name, and Logan, the H and the alpha werewolf. They were, of course, meant-to-be mates who accidentally found each other, as is often the case in these types of stories, which is fine. Among the many sex scenes there was one sexual act that included the beta werewolf helping to pleasure Wynter along w/ Logan. There were at least 2 sexual role play scenes, and the sex acts included anal and oral sex and anal play.
The story seemed to be centered on the sex acts, which is ok some of the time. But there were times in these detailed scenes that the author seemed to include some details that didn’t quite work logistically. Like in one scene Wynter’s was performing oral sex on Logan in a way where she could look up at him yet also be straddling him. And she was positioned so that Logan eventually pulled her up to him. So what, what?! How was she positioned again? There were several logistical errors like that during these scenes.
The story was also longer than it needed to be. And the author is not accomplished at description, which really detracted from the story. For instance, she wrote that Wynter was sucking on Logan’s finger as though she was performing “oral sex on his hand.” A finger does not equal a hand. And a woman would have to a have a very big mouth to perform oral-sex-like acts on a man’s entire hand. Another time the author described Wynter’s breast as a “swell of cleavage.” Cleavage is either present or not. It doesn’t swell. Breast can and they have a lot to do with cleavage, but generally cleavage is not described as swelling. And the last example is when she described someone as an “out of control tornado.” Do we generally think of a tornado as controlled or not? We think of them as damaging or not, as big or not, as powerful or not. But I’ve never heard someone speak of a tornado as controlled or not. Strange and lacking descriptions.
I didn’t like how Wynter was described either. She was described as small, tiny, little and variations on that theme. I find female characters who are strong in multiple ways more appealing. Male characters who get off on protecting the “lil woman,” literally, hold no appeal to me. It’s manhood and masculinity described or defined in juxtaposition to the super feminine lil woman. It’s unappealing to me as a woman and, I think, belittling to the man who seems to require that type of woman. So it didn’t make any sense to me when this same little woman was also said to have alpha tendencies. It didn’t jive. It also was inconsistent, unfortunately. These 2 parts weren’t written as though Wynter was a complex woman with varying sides of herself that arose at different times and different situations. Instead, with Logan and other men she was always the little woman. But with other women who wanted her man she would fight. It just wasn’t a good picture for me.
Similarly, the story didn’t seem to flow well, and my attention was barely kept. I slept through 3 hours of it in the 2nd ½ of the book. And I didn’t need to go back to listen to them, thankfully, since I had no desire to. That says a lot that that much of the book didn’t matter in understanding it nor in enjoying it, as much as it was possible for me to do.
The story about Wynter and Logan ended fully in this book, though w/ a bit of an unanswered question about what Wynter is henceforth. So, at least there's no cliffhanger.
I’m a huge Megan Hart fan and not only of her erotic or romantic tales. This story is fits both genre; it might be closer to erotic to some listeners. Since I’ve listened to harder, more erotic stories, I think that’s debatable. But it has a number of somewhat explicit sex scenes. But what makes them explicit is a small amount of the language used, but the details are really not explicit. Listeners don’t get an explicit play-by-play, which is what makes it less erotic or in the erotica genre to me.
My dislikes include some inconsistencies like Simone saying the lost her remote control then, shortly thereafter, saying she used the remotes to alter the sound on her TV. There weren’t many inconsistencies in this tale, but there were none in Hart’s past stories I’ve listened to. And I’ve listened to all of her stories except 2 on Audible. And I tired of Elliott talking so much during sex, asking Simone what she wants and such. I’m not a fan of that in any book, and I don’t recall that being present in Hart’s other sexy tales. Doing it one time, like maybe the first time they had sex, or asking at the start of a sex act b/c he was honestly uncertain what she was in the mood for, would be okay. But, alas, this was not the format for Elliott always asking what she wants, telling Simone to tell him what she wants. It came across as Hart’s way of trying to include into this story an explanation for wanting pain. I get the intent, but the execution, especially repeatedly, didn’t work for me and detracted from the story. And the end was wrapped up a bit too prettily. The story had conflict and angst, but it didn’t have the emotional turmoil that her other stories contained nor quite the depth. And she still writes good sex scenes, not great, but good. And the characters are strong and realistic, no perfect people, which is great.
Having been a fan, I have some hope that Megan’s writing will return to some of her earlier stories as this series continues. So I’m not giving up on her quite yet. But my letting go and calling it a day has started with this story unfortunately. We’ll see what happens with the next one.
I really enjoyed this story of a hot, tattooed, marked-up, bad boy thief coming together w/ a red-haired, not-model-pretty, inexperienced-but-not-virgin girl. I loved that the two main characters were not perfect in any way, though Shane Baxter (aka Bax), the H, was described as very hot. Dovie, the h, was described in plainer though special ways, per Bax’s usual taste.
My dislikes include Dovie too often saying that she acts in a way that she doesn’t want to b/c she is, in some way, out of control b/c of her reaction to Bax. Her common speeches about a lack of self-control resulted in her coming across as weak. However, in other ways, she didn’t come across as weak; maybe not strong, but, at least, not weak. And “Tell me stop,” as stated by Bax, was a bit overused for my taste. Used at their first sexual encounter made sense but at the 3rd, not so much. I also disliked some of Bax’s love-struck gushing. It seemed very, very contrary to who he was even in a state of being changed and falling in love. It was a bit too much sometimes and, therefore, unconvincing.
The author said that she tried to create an actual bad guy. I’m unsure if she succeeded. Yea, Bax was an admitted and convicted thief, but I don’t necessarily equate a “bad guy” w/ a non-violent convicted criminal. Bax had no problem w/ physical violence, but it wasn’t gratuitous, just to hurt someone or just for fun. It was either for money or because someone “deserved it.” And he was a man-whore, but…. So, he didn’t come across as “bad” to me. Plus, having the H described as a guy who grew up on the bad side of town seemed to mitigate his behavior somewhat.
I really liked the male & female narrators. Though they didn’t sound like 22 and 20-year-olds, but the lives of the characters didn’t coincide with American folk that young either, not even ones with a challenging upbringing.
There were about 4 sex scenes. They were sensual but not explicit. Though they were not quickies either and included oral sex.
I loved practically everything about this romantic tale. It's the story of two folk in their 30s coming together after disliking each other. The romance unfolds perfectly; there was no rushing nor the constant pushing and pulling against what they want. That's not to say that the coming together was without angst; it was there but appropriately so. I also liked that the h, Sidney, was the white-collar employee who made lots of money, while the H, Vaughn, was a basic, blue-collar FBI agent. And there was only one perfect family but not so much drama that you're weighed down by it and find a HEA hard to envision. To add to the great mix of romance, lil' angst, and good sex--about 2 sex scenes--there was the perfect amount of light humor.
The only reason this story is not a 5 for me is that I generally like more struggle or an element of darkness to a story. So this light romance was super smile-worthy, but I only want so much of it at a time. Still, I look forward to my next Julie James book. It was great.
This book was simply okay. It’s yet another tale of enemies falling in love and putting a paranormal, albeit, semi-effective twists near the end. To start, the narrator did an ok job. She did male voices ok, but sounds like a little nasally girl at times, especially when she did Alson, another female character. And she mispronounced “filleted”, like the past tense of filleting a fish. Instead, she pronounced it like “feel-it-ed,” and she needs serious work on her Jersey, Spanish, and Russian accents and sounding like a badass. I liked that Frankie, the h, and a werewolf, was strong mentally and physically. But the story started going downhill in the first sex scene where Jace, the H, tried the semi-dom role by telling Frankie not to cum until he says, to say she wants it, blah blah blah. And worst of all, the cum on demand order, which I never like. It seems too unrealistic even in a paranormal tale. Multiple orgasms I’ll buy as within the scope of human possibility, albeit very, very uncommon, but female orgasms on demand, especially with only intercourse, is too unbelievable to even conceive. I guess the whole idea of ordering someone to do something like that lacks appeal for me. Though it was good that the story was not full of sex—though I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. There was 1 sex scene in the first half of the book, and 2-3 in the 2nd half of the book. Unfortunately, in spite of the lack of sex scenes, it seemed like every 15 minutes there was a statement about Jace being “hard”; it was so bad that he seemed like he needed to see somebody about it instead of it being sexy. Plus, too quickly, within 24 hours of knowing Jace, Frankie said she knew he was a good person. Really! You know that in less than 24 hours? I don’t think so. And she spoke of love after knowing him about a week. Also, some of the phrasing in the story didn’t work well. The author seemed to be ill-equipped for describing things. For example, it didn’t work when Frankie threatened to cut off a guy’s “balls” and feed them back to him “like scrambled eggs.” That imagery is hard to envision and doesn’t seem plausible even in the most dreadful of circumstances. Also, Frankie said her “brain was split” to describe being torn between two choices. Your mind might be split, but you are likely dead if your brain, a physical form, is split. And there were others. Finally, Frankie, as pack master, never seemed to know the rules guiding her pack. Multiple times, another pack member told her rules guiding the pack, and she seemed to be unaware of them. So it didn’t work for me.
Here’s the tale of Rafe and Fallon, and it’s based in Colorado. Rafe is your basic over-protective alpha male, military man with a heart. Fallon is a stripper & club-owner. Both bring baggage. This book somewhat worked for me. The narrator worked fine, and the sex scenes were pretty hot. It also flowed well. The story is somewhat explicit though not erotica. Still, be forewarned that the author does use one explicit term for female genitalia that may cause some people unease. I liked that Fallon was a strong, self-reliant woman. But I didn’t like the author’s explanation for several of Rafe’s and Fallon’s behaviors or statements of logic; they seemed manufactured to create angst and controversy. Similarly, everything, and I mean absolutely EVERYTHING between them was at evisceration level ALL OF THE TIME. No one can live like that. So it was a bit over-the-top. I get that they were very attracted to each other and felt for each other what they’ve never felt for another. But the extreme level was a bit unrealistic and actually made the staying power of their relationship questionable. And, at times, Fallon was characterized as super woman. In one scene, she acted too familiar with Rafe’s youngest brother the 1st and only time she met him; not in a sexual way but by telling him about himself unnecessarily. It was to make Fallon appear to be insightful and strong, but she came across as overstepping and a Ms. Know-it-all ass. And constantly giving the namebrand of her pumps and some pieces of clothing was offputting and seemed in opposition to Fallon’s attempt to move past her affluent childhood wherein she was just a pretty object of her materialistic parents. I didn’t miss the book when I wasn’t listening to it, but I wasn’t bored when I was listening either. Yet, I was ready for it to be over once it was coming to an end.
This book didn't work for me for two reasons. The first reason is that the book has very, very few incidents like the one showcased in the book excerpt sample. In fact, I don' think there is more than 2 additional moments like the excerpt. So do not buy this book based on that excerpt, which brings me to the second reason this book didn't work for me. That reason is that the book reads like a documentary or diary entry. It's almost entirely told with the h, Carrie, telling ABOUT her year of training as a sex slave and not SHOWING the listener. So there's little dialogue. And person-to-person engagement is not seen by us, the listener; we are not allowed to be spectators. Instead, we find out what happens second-hand by Carrie telling us about it and not showing it or allowing us to see most of what happens on our own. The very few sex acts occur in the same way. We're told that sex happens, not shown that it happens. So most sexual encounters--primarily anal sex or some type of anal play-or short and just stated as something that happened. As said before, there are only about two other actual encounters that we get to "see" happen, not including the one showcased in the book sample. So, it didn't work for me at all. But, if you like sort of introspective books and ones that tell about something more than shows the action, then this book is for you. It does that well.
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