This is easily the best book I've listened to in a very, very long time. I'm very into erotica and romance. This was not purely romance and definitely not erotica. But it was about love, both romantic and familial and primarily centered around males. I'm a female, but I absolutely, unquestionably loved it. The story was great. But beyond that, it's the language, the terminology used by the author. He has a finesse for stating things in such beautiful ways that every word resonated with me deeply. It's not a feel good book, but still, through my tears, I was both happy and sad. It was moving in both positive and sad ways, which few books manage to accomplish. I could go on, but I think you get the message. I don't think I've ever given any book 5 stars across the board. But I couldn't identify anything negative about my experience with this book. I'm writing this shortly after I finished the book, so my rating may be based on my continual afterglow. Whatever the cause, this book is worth a listen.
This story of paranormal detective Victor, is about equally focused on a crime and on romance. Though there’s no mushy stuff with it between the male romantic characters, not really. It was an okay crime mystery, but I had some problems with some of the political points of view that were hidden in several comments. For one, Victor referenced his sexual orientation as a “lifestyle” in comparison to a hetereo person as though being gay is just a choice of how to live instead of an inborn preference. Victor’s wisecracks—presumably the author’s attempt at light humor or some levity—didn’t quite work for me either. And he told a ghost to “talk to the hand” with no acknowledgement of this being a very outdated statement.
Victor is somewhat likeable except for his failing witticisms. He’s not a player, not super hot, just a dedicated paranormal cop w/o friends and family who’s hoping to get laid while keeping his sexual orientation a secret at work. And he lands it with non-paranormal cop Marks (Jacob Marks) who is the opposite of Victor and is also very dominant. Marks treats Victor fine but doesn’t seem to be a nice guy, a caring guy, but, instead, is a power-hungry guy, one who gets off on having power as an authority figure. They work on paranormal detective teams.
The story is listed in erotica but is not full of sex, though the sex scenes are somewhat explicit, especially the last two. There are three sex scenes, and none of them include actual intercourse. The sex scenes are written very well; they are not the same-o-same-o. The author paints a vivid pic of what’s going on, which is great. Similarly, the author has a knack for writing common concepts in new ways. Like it was very interesting that the perpetrator—which is a relatively common type of paranormal creature that I can’t name w/o spoiling things—was described in action in this wonderfully bizarre and strange way, which was cool. It's not clear what it is initially. And Victor saw ghosts who were newborn as well as adults, which was a twist on the “I see dead people” thing.
This lightly, barely erotic book is not a romance, and it is nowhere near a finished story. The main characters are married couple Ewan and Lilliane and Ewan’s medical doctor friend, Phillip. Side characters include a French Canadian maid and friend of Lilliane and Ewan’s butler James. And almost all of the action occurs at Ewan’s Draper Estates.
The story seems to be a lite and partial take on the movie “Hysteria” that tells of Mortimer Granville creating the first vibrator. It’s a story about dealing with Lilliane’s “affliction” with the help of Phillip in order to avoid institutionalizing her. The only potentially problematic aspect of the story is the question of whether or not Lilliane’s “treatment” causes her emotional and/or mental distress that’s really harmful. In the end, that’s in the eye of the beholder and might bother some listeners.
The story ends very abruptly and without any sense of closure. But it is a good story that is told well. It’s not a rehash of the old, which is great. It flows well, makes sense, is plausible on the extreme side of life, and the narrator does a fine job with it.
Don’t look to this story for pristine adherence to Victorian language. But, from my little knowledge, the story seems to do a very good job of adhering to the social and marital views of that time as it pertains to females and marriage, especially. I hope part 2 of this story will come to Audible.
This book was like listening to someone shriek even after the reason for shrieking has long past and the person should’ve calmed to the point of being able to use her normal voice or just being too tired. This story lived in high drama and angst without ceasing, and 95% of it was fabricated, not organically formed through various situations. This is a story of Chantel’s (a deceased past lover of Phillipe) obsession with Phillipe, Phillipe’s obsession with Chantel and Gemma, and Gemma’s obsession with both of them. Gemma is the h, and Phillipe is the H in this tale. Writer and heroine, Gemma, performs a sort of an investigation of Phillipe as she meets with him to write a story about him, per his requests. Simultaneously she tries to answer for herself and her readers whether or not Phillipe is really the villain the world speaks of him being while also fighting her attraction to him.
The only positive in this story was the occasional way the author wrote with understated eroticism. But it was too rare to carry the whole very contrived story. And the narrator did a good job with the exception of her overly-French pronunciation of Chantel while speaking with no French accent the rest of the time. She, unnecessarily and in exaggerated form, pronounced Chantel’s name with a false and poorly done French accent. Yes, the story takes place in France, but Chantel was born and raised in America. And Phillipe was acted with no French accent AT ALL!
To really enjoy this book it seems to be that you need to be the sort of person who buys into the idea that a person can “feel” where another person is in a crowd w/o actually being able to see them, the sort of person who lives and acts primarily on intuition and connection and how it leads a person’s behavior and beliefs, and the sort of person who sees more positive than negative in succumbing to what one “feels” instead of what is logical or what one understands through analysis or serious consideration, thought and sees little wrong with living much of one’s life in that way, on feeling and not thinking. It’s a type of intuitive-based or rationalized hedonism excused by always saying “I couldn’t stop myself.” Apparently I’m not that type of person, though my Myers-Briggs type points to me being on the intuition band-wagon but not enough to enjoy this story. I prefer stories that have the primary romantic characters be more thoughtful, use their brains as much as their bodies and their emotions/passions. It’s also helpful if you like stories dependent on and thus, full of journal or diary readings. I don’t. Chantel’s journal if read by Gemma throughout the story.
Also, is there something that draws women to visual artists like painters and sculptors? I think there’s an idea or myth that males who practice those artistic forms are more attuned to the female form, can appreciate it and are, therefore, more sensual. That idea seems to be integral part of this story. If you’re into that, then maybe this story will appeal to you more. I was very relieved when the story was over.
This is a tale of a gullible, needy, very sexual female writer named Gemma caught up in her too-quick attraction to Phillipe who enjoys playing “head games”—as she admitted—with her by using his dead ex-lover and obsession, Chantel, as his main tool. Gemma acts as a strong woman when she’s engaging in her journalistic inquiry with Phillipe but at no other time with him. Unfortunately, these moments are brief and too easily concluded when Phillipe turns on his charm or uses his “head games” with her. Additionally, her reason for meeting Phillipe and being at his home, her goal to write a story about him and Chantel, is treated as an afterthought. Not once does she take any notes the few times she asks questions. She’s too busy having sex with him or having sexual fantasies about Chantel or Phillipe or both. Not once does she have any contact with an editor or anyone connected with publishing this story supposedly so desired by the public. This is supposed to be a story of a lifetime, and it’s treated with great nonchalance except as a trope for her being there and having sex with Phillipe. More astounding is the fact that she never expresses any serious concern about being painted nude by Phillipe while being on “the job” as a journalist. Clearly that would be proof of her lack of objectivity and crossing all professional lines while completing her story, but she doesn’t even hint at hit. She makes one statement about her lack of objectivity and then never thinks of it again. I want tell whether or not she actually writes the story.
One example of this story’s many contrivances is this exaggeration: Phillipe is rubbing Gemma’s vaginal area and listeners are told that he can feel her wetness through her pants. Either Gemma has on no pants and/or those are the thinnest pants ever. But we are told that she has on “slacks,” so it’s hardly explainable or plausible. One example of how this story is consistently over-the-top. Also, Phillipe seems to use his negative reputation to keep Gemma from knowing him, from being sure of him, from no longer seeing him as an enigma. Once he told her, “Oh, and Gemma, you should always doubt my intentions.” This was another contrivance, a failed attempt to make Phillipe seem mysterious or something. It was just irritating to me. The story was lessened for me for another reason. It was nothing new. It used statements I’ve heard in too many similar type stories. Things like, “Don’t close your eyes; don’t ever hide from me” and “I want to take you here” [in relation to anal sex] and the ever-present, “greedy pu**y.” Grrrr. Too common. Overdone. It’s so much like much of the romantic-erotica books out there taken to the 1000th degree unnecessarily and unceasingly. A person’s head would explode if she existed in this type of high drama all of the time.
It was also strange that Gemma had no problem getting naked for Phillipe, a complete stranger she’s known for less than a week, so that he can paint her. There was never any indication that she was “free” with her body like that, that she felt no shame in ever showing her body. This is especially strange considering she had studied his paintings of his “obsession,” Chantel, who looked very different from her and had a different type of body, which he clearly found desirable and called “perfection” to Gemma.
I’m unsure if Gemma and Phillipe’s sexual interactions occurred too quickly, if their “relationship” wasn’t really given a chance to develop before sexual acts occur. I think I would’ve liked for things to go slower, to progress with more hesitation, more query and not just one-sided curiosity as was the case here, Gemma’s curiosity. Before their first sex act, Phillipe masturbating Gemma, there was never a clear indication that Phillipe even found Gemma appealing. It didn’t seem to be explained or quite make sense that they were suddenly sexing it up. To use an analogy, it was as though one person was on the far left and another person on the far right, then, all of a sudden, they were together in the middle. But it’s never revealed how they moved from their corners, how the distance between them disappeared, how they got from opposite places to the middle, together.
The sex scenes written about were between Phillipe and Chantel, as told through her diary entries, and Phillipe and Gemma. The story doesn’t waste any time including sex in the story. The first sex was self-masturbation. And this story is full of sex, which usually, I don’t mind. But I tired of it here. The story could’ve been much shorter and, likely, better without so much of it. The first time Gemma and Phillipe have intercourse, Phillipe talks about what it was like having sex with Chantel. I think I get what the author is trying to do by forcing the absent and dead Chantel into Phillipe and Gemma’s “relationship,” but I don’t think the author succeeded beyond adding strangeness, which I don’t think was the author’s intent. Instead, the whole story just came across as exceedingly unhealthy and, as a listener, somewhat boring and very, very tiring.
This story doesn’t end with a HEA. I think the ending was to leave open a sequel. On both points I can say two things: no HEA is appropriate b/c I certainly didn’t have one listening to this story, and, point 2, the sequel doesn’t matter b/c this is my first and last Ella Frank novel.
Let me first say, I love sex in the stories I listen to and often, the raunchier the better. So it’s very, very telling that even I thought there was too much sex in this story. But it helped me learn that, apparently, I like a bit more substance with my sex. I liked that Carly, the h, was strong and that there was a bit of struggle in her coming together permanently with Jake, the H. I also liked that they were “regular” people, w/o wealth or power beyond the common social structures. Carly made furniture, and Jake was a policeman. There were at least 2 menage (M/M/F) sex scenes in all of the sex, and the sex was explicit. Carly loved performing oral sex, and there was one act of anal sex, I think. It may have been 2, but I’m unsure; there was just so, so much sex. As a result, some of it became repetitive too. There are only so many options for variety with sex. And this story didn’t include any BDSM stuff, though they used handcuffs 2x, I believe. There was so much sex that the author was having to try to reach for some variety. It still didn’t work for me. I began to forward through much of it, which is unusual for me. In between the sex, the story was ok. I wish that the author had focused more on the story b/c it wasn’t a bad one. My one exception to this is the way the author handled the subject of child molestation, but her attempt was not a total wash. It was just shared a bit too easy and overcome or handled in their lives a bit too easily as well, it seems. There were some struggles, but it still seemed a bit too pat, simplified. I think I’m done w/ this author, but she might appeal to some others.
It’s a story about two people finding their “life mates.” The story was too mild for my taste. It worked ok in all the important ways, but it was simply ho-hum. I didn’t find it quite boring just inadequately engaging. Still, I liked that the romance unfolded in a realistic, not-too-fast & not-too-slow way. And Jared, the H, a shapeshifting king of an alien planet, and Kelsey, the h, a geologist and earthling, were likeable characters. I liked that Kelsey was described as a tall and not slight woman, about 6’, though she was still described has having delicate hands and feet. Jared was 6’4”, so it worked. The sex was nowhere near explicit and sort of overly dramatized romantic. But the story worked overall. It was more about expressing love and connection, which is not a bad thing. I think there were about 2 sex scenes in the book. So sex was nowhere near the focus of the book, though the romance still was. I also liked the secondary characters and believe I would enjoy their stories in future book, though I won’t be rushing to purchase any. Though the story was about aliens and alien warfare, the focus was not on alien technology. Still some, like time travel, is used. There’s no attempt to explain how it works nor is there a focus on it, but it’s there. There’s a bit more focus on the abilities of the aliens, and there are “alien” names, though all they take a back seat to the romance and war action that is generalized. There’s not a lot that makes these actions any different than it would be in a non-alien story. This is not necessarily a bad thing to me but might be for some expecting something else. Ho-hum.
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.
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