Disappointed! Disappointed! It may just be me, but I'm clueless as to why there's so much fuss about this book. I fell for all of the hype and purchased this book. But I could barely finish it, was so happy when it was over, and quickly removed the two sequels from my wish list b/c I don't care what happens next. The only reason I finished it was to find out more about the history of the main male character, the reason for the book title--which I do with all books--and my unflinching hope and belief that the book had to get better. Apparently it didn't. The author repeatedly and without fail refers to female sexual parts as "down there" while also repeatedly referring to sex using the f word; this makes no sense. It felt and sounded like the only dialogue that the main female character included "oh my," hot," "my inner goddes," and "so bossy." She sounded like a very young, immature child doing very adult things and, supposedly, engaged in an adult relationship. That pseudo adult relationship was a one-sided adult experience. I don't know if the immaturity was just the writtend dialogue or the narrator's take on the dialogue or both. I'm leaning towards the latter. But the dialogue is where I put most of the blame when I think of how disappointed I was in the book. It was hard to understand the main male character's attraction to the main female one other than seeing her as a submissive. Considering she sounded like she was 11, his assessment might be understandable. But he confused immaturity with submissiveness. If I never hear another girl refer to anything sexual as "hot" or a female say "oh my" it'll be too soon! To refer to a male sexual dominant as "bossy" seemed dumb and too obvious. Duh! And the same female main character seemed to be unconvincing in her fear and concern about BDSM. The book was too long and not worth all of the hype. The sex scenes are explicit but the language didn't always coincide, so it's difficult to really call it erotica. Though it's certainly past the general romance genre. I don't know. Overall, if I had any idea, if I knew before what I know now, I certainly wouldn't have purchased it. If you can get it free, from a library or something, save your dime, IMO.
Overall, this story is a virgin tale and also about an older guy’s (Jeff) ambivalence about his sexual attraction and fatherly affection for his daughter’s (Janie) friend (Hallie). It’s told from Jeff’s point of view. He is a widower and father of Janie, who is 20. Hallie is 19. Jeff doesn’t come across as a perv, but he is a lenient dad in some ways, especially in regards to underage drinking. His lenience in that area didn’t seem to be his norm in all areas, thankfully. However, some of his action are debatably inappropriate. One of those actions is an action he takes towards Hallie when she is slightly inebriated. But the author handled it well, as though the dad’s motive was not a sleazy one. You would have to decide for yourself. As far as language, “dick” is used more than any other sex-related term. When referencing the female outer sexual parts, the author PRIMARILY uses “bush” and “crotch,” though, near the end, when the sexual aspects of the story are ramped up to 10, “p*ssy” is used a few times. Still, this story is a bit milder than some listeners might think. I think it appropriately is not listed in erotica but, instead, in among romances. Though, these days, that line is not a clear line between the two as it relates to some stories. As far as actual intercourse, there is one non-explicit dream that Jeff has about Hallie, one, very brief, semi-explicit retelling of oral sex and intercourse from the dad’s past, and, near the end of this story, sex between Hallie and Jeff that is more explicit than any others, yet still, not what I would consider explicit. And it’s brief and detailed in a very, very realistic way. It’s possibly the best vision of first-sex for a young girl that I have ever read/listened to.
The culmination of the story is approached very gradually. It’s not a story where the characters quickly jump into bed or act on their attraction in any way, really. My main irritation was Hallie. Sometimes she came across as whiny, immature and a tease, but it also seems in tune with many 19-year-old girls. Worse, she also came across as the seducer. The story ends appropriately with a HEA but in a much more realistic and healthy fashion when considering a 19-year-old college student and her friend’s much older father.
Each of these 4 stories seem to be about the same length and use a similar formula. But they don’t seem to be or feel redundant. But there are some aspects that are present among all of them, and all of these aspects are what make the stories great. Now, you need to know that I’m writing as a heterosexual female who loves m/m erotica and romance just as I do heterosexual stories of the same sort. So, of course, my review might not match with yours if you’re coming from a different social-cultural place. Having said that, I loved that all of these stories had a high romance factor. None of them were just quick hookups, but, instead, each story ends with a sense that a romance is possible, even probable. This is done, in part, through the thick descriptions that the author includes. I don’t think that I’ve ever, ever listened to/read a story as descriptive and, as a result, explicit as this one. For some people, it might be almost too much. So here are some examples: “steamy precum,” “plump head,” “wet lips, ”deliciously pungent bush,” “twin streams of hungry saliva,” “rigid head,” “swollen nuts,” “tip of the condom warm and squishy,” “warm tendril of sweat trickle down between the trembling globes of my ass,” “steamy chasm” (mispronounced with soft ch), “pearly pellets of cum,” “gaping p*ss slit,” and so much more. Add to that moans and grunts from the narrator and you got some heavy listening. I loved it! The very thick description coupled with the sincere sexual encounters added great depth to each of these very short stories. What the author has managed to do in such short spurts is amazing. And, as an added bonus, the author has it all done safely. There is at least one story that uses a condom during oral sex. I loved that too. Even though, I don’t always like this narrator—and he does a lot of mm/m stories—he worked well in this compilation. I will be buying more.
I would give this story more of a 4.5. But it’s great. This is a short story that, wonderfully, didn’t feel short. It had some great characters. The main characters, Ofelia, a witch, & Trouble/Cooper, a newbie werewolf & biker gang member, were great, each with their own troubles, pardon the pun. And Ofelia, though very appealing, had physical flaws too, scars internally and physically, which I loved; it’s more realistic. And realism was a plus in this story. There weren’t unanswered questions unattended to or blanks in the story. An exception is that the author never completely describes anyone. That can be problematic for some people, but it was okay with me. it was certainly noticeable, and is quite different. But there’s something freeing about needing to fill in the blanks about how these characters appear physically. There’s something freeing and more unbiased about requiring the listener/reader to image these characters based on our own stuff. And I think it’s telling however each listener/reader does that. And it might be telling when listeners require these specificities. Do we need to know whether a character is more like us or more unlike us physically? I think the author is on to something.
The story centers totally around a no-where bar that hosts fights & nearby prostitution & where paranormal creatures (succubus/succubi, incubus/incubi, werewolves, demons) are the norm. It appears to be somewhere near the Mexican border and be rural, including the trailer Ofelia lives in and dust. The story has a gritty feel, a spooky aspect, not like ghosts but like the presence of fighting, hidden spirits or forces. And fighting, literally, occurs too. There is some violence that may be a bit over-the-top for some listeners. It’s not often, but it’s there. I loved the balance of rawness and romance. There was grit but not so much sex. Sex is often alluded to, and the sexual tension was constantly there. But the act of sex was rare. There is a kind of masturbation scene between Ofelia & Cooper, with Ofelia as the happy recipient. But it happens in an unusual fashion or way. Cooper is not actually an active participant but more of a kind of facilitator. I can’t say more without spoiling it. So there are 4 hours of build up to the culminating sex scene in the last 54 minutes or so of the story. I didn’t miss the sex or think that it should’ve occurred sooner. It happened organically, just as it should have, in the time it should have. I really liked that they didn’t jump into sex of any sort immediately, though they did act on their immediate attraction.
The story focuses on how Ofelia and Cooper accept and act on their being mated and the unveiling of unknown parts of Ofelia’s life & what she is, though the latter aspect is not fully answered in this story. At the heart of these questions is a devil tarot card that finds Ofelia. There is a HEA, though the story continues. We learn that there are 76 tarot cards remaining that need to be found for Ofelia to get some answers. I anxiously await the next installment.
First, let me get out what I disliked in this story. Nothing. Now, to what made it great. I very, very, very rarely give any books 5 stars. And this one is more like 4.5 to me, but it was hard for me to put a 4 b/c it was better than that to me. Unlike other stars that have earned a 5 from me, this story won't continue to resonate with me b/c it provided me with some new insight or ideas to continue to ponder. This also explains why it's more like a 4.5. But, it's beyond a 4 b/c I eagerly awaited my return to The Darkland when I wasn't listening to it. It really drew me in and made me care about its characters. Admittedly, the narrator played a large and wonderful part in creating this type of positive experience for me. Any narrator who can play two female twins who talk in tandem, with one finishing the thought of the other, and do this in a way where I can tell the slight difference in the twins' voices, all-the-while stating info as though it's one sentence from one person, is AMAZING! Also, this book put a smile on my face so often. And the story was smart. It flowed and made sense. There were no contrivances to make things pan out a certain way or disregarded key aspects that result in gaps in the plot or logic of the story. Also, the characters were flawed, which I love. Most of all, I love that the h, Mara (though her sister, Micheline, was a main character too, with a significant part of her story told too) was not the timid virgin and that the H, Kirk, didn't require or desire her to be. She was still a virgin but not the needy kind. At the same time, she was a strong heroine but with faults. She was beautiful but not perfect. And the love story, the coming together of Kirk and Mara, made sense and came together beautifully but not without struggle. And I think there were only two romantic, non-explicit but somewhat detailed sexual encounters between Kirk and Mara. Additionally, sex between Edmund and his step or half-sister Joanne was alluded to a few times. Lastly, though there were happy-ever-afters, sadly it wasn't the case for all of the side characters, which added depth and realism to the story. I will look for other books from this author. I encourage you to do so as well.
This is an okay, short, implausible tale, though the setup of the story is quite plausible. What occurs and, especially, the Barbie-like vision of the h, is where implausibility comes in. She was described as the quintessential librarian male-fantasy come to life, down to the glasses, pencil skirt, button-down blouse, and hair pinned up with two pencils. Of course, as the “most stunning” woman the H had ever seen, she had streaked “golden hair,” that the H admits might come from a salon. The tall h also has “long, dark lashes swept over ivory cheeks,” “softly curved hips,” “delicate feet,” “muscular” and “curved” calves, “lush” lips, and a “firm but rounded ass.” Is that over-the-top or what? In turn, we get almost no description of the H except that he has quite a “package” in his pants, nice shoulders and is sexy. Still, the characters seemed likeable. It’s not that I don’t believe in love or lust at first site; I do. But the way that the sexual encounter, without a condom, goes down is a bit farfetched for me. The writing flowed well, and the narrator did an okay job with the story. Though, for my own taste, at times, she sings her words when portraying a female character, which is one of my pet-peeves.
The opening was intriguing with a splash of humor to enliven things. Overall, this is yet another story about beings who require sex to stave off “madness”; they are the bred. It’s the bred vs the born, with the born running things. Eventually, there are also cyborgs. They all live in a world created “after the world stopped spinning.”
The narrator takes a bit of getting use to. She is so mild that it can sound like she’s unemotional. But she isn’t—exactly. Her mild tone sorta adds a hint of romance and sincerity and reduces the rawness of explicit terms (i.e. pu**y) in a good way.
Sex, as full intercourse, was rare, so the story had a plot and purpose. In fact, it dealt with some meaningful issues like freedom, oppression, and selfhood. The story included about 2 acts of female masturbation, 1, barely detailed, male act of masturbation, one act of oral sex male-on-female, and several times sex was talked about as a past act and sexual desire spoken of. And intercourse occurred near the end, when there were about 45 minutes left. I liked everything except the end where it turned into this Aesop’s fable sort of thing with an afterlife agent telling the h about a lesson she needs to learn. And the epilogue opens the door for a sequel, though this book, thankfully, has a closed ending.
As a frequent listener of romance and erotica, I don’t buy these types of books often. And my taste might make it harder to interest me. But this book did it with no problem.
Like Patterson’s Zoo, this story left me looking over my shoulder. I think this crap could actually happen based on the way this author formed this story. It’s almost too plausible, which was both great and frightening. The start of this book got me interested very early on, though I was irritated with the date and time-stamp chapter introductions. Eventually, that info sort of faded into the background for me and, a few times, it helped me to get a clear idea of how long people had been engaged in something. So I begin to appreciate it a little, though not always. I liked that this very smart book also had sly humor and had no unnecessary wordiness or details. And, as a smart book, the unveiling of the guilty folk confounded me, and I loved it. The author’s ability to seamlessly move from hint after hint to the slow reveals was beautiful. I enjoyed feeling like a dufus It doesn’t happen often enough in the book I listen to/read. I also loved how the humanity—both the good and the bad sides—were honestly shown and made relevant to the acts of the characters. It had great plausibility and depth to this story. It was crazy amazing to see the adaptation of the characters/beings in the story. It helped me to remember this was fiction b/c it was frighteningly plausible at times.
Near the end of the story, there was a bit too much love-drama between the wealthy, American mastermind of the zombie conspiracy and his Middle Eastern, married, female co-conspirator, but it was a rare negative in this book. Near the end, it was also a bit irritating how Joe managed to survive an especially difficult attack of several zombies against one person, him. But, the story detailed his great skills early in the story; in fact, that’s why he was chosen. So it was plausible, even if I was left thinking “Really?!”Also, some listeners might be irritated by the interjection of tactile acts or skills, explanations of why a certain move worked or won’t work. But it didn’t detract from the story for me. I don’t know whether that info is right or not, so it just seemed to prove the author’s knowledge about fighting or killing skills. This story continues.
And as great as this story is, the narrator is just as great. It’s a perfect combo.
This love story on the moon (though Ava is from earth) between a 20-year-old woman and her dad’s 32-year-old half-brother will be uncomfortable for some due to the distant biological connection between the H (Nicolas) and the h (Ava). It wasn’t for me. This story occurs in the 22nd century. The two didn’t grow up together or really even know each other prior the meeting that resulted in their love affair. This type of relationship didn’t seem strange in their culture. Some of Ava’s statement showed her youth, which was annoying at times, while also realistic, so…. I really enjoyed how the author addressed issues of classicism between the “elite” and the “commoners”. It didn’t come across as though the author had an “agenda.”
Once Ava and Nick got physical it just seemed to be like any other relationship. Their biological connection was forgotten. Ava was the one to initiate it at first. And, initially, Nick fought his attraction and acting on it. But, once revealed, the first reason given for him fighting the attraction was dumb. But that was soon fixed by them talking about the realities of them being together. That very realistic moment made up for some of the more dull or dumb parts of this story.
The sex scenes were too quick and a bit boring. I don’t know if it was how the scenes were written or how the narrator depicted them, but, either way, they didn’t work for me. And I think it was a bad combination of both.
Then the story ends abruptly without any type of closing. More than once I checked to see if I had skipped over something. Even now I’m still wondering if there’s an error with the recording b/c I just can’t believe that ended as it did. If that ending is an attempt to get people to buy a sequel, I am unlikely to be among them. The beginning of the story was better than the middle and the end.
Overall, the author succeeded at making this somewhat “taboo” relationship quite plausible and only mildly problematic or “taboo” as the listener.
This is similar to all of the other romances about a man and woman who were together when they were younger, then apart, then, surprisingly, back together after years apart. In this case, Lisa and Cash were together for 3 years 8 years ago. Now they have accidentally met up again when Cash returns home. The way this transpired was okay. But having sex immediately upon seeing each other and doing so without a condom, after 8 years apart, was just plain stupid. The sex was barely, barely erotic. He used the word pu**y, and fluid was spoken of once or twice. But I don’t think that amounts to erotica IMO; but for some people it might be too much. Also, these scenes were all quite short. There were two conflicts in this short story, and both were fixed a bit too easily. Though, I’m happy that Lisa gave a bit of a fight, kinda. But there was no real struggle. Finally, the author gave inadequate attention to the small things that make a story plausible. Like, how did Cash get to his car from Lisa’s apartment when she drove? The story goes from him leaving her house to him driving home. What?! And there’s more of that. Similar to these oversights, the author wrote, “She cried through her tears.” Does that make sense? I don’t think so. So, overall, the story wasn’t bad or horrible, but it didn’t hold together enough for me nor ignite any real fire. And the narrator didn’t help. I hated the narrator’s voice for Lisa. His voice is too deep for female voices apparently. And he was overly dramatic at times, which was yuk.
This story is a contemporary, plausible story of a male-female, mixed-race couple (barely noted) in their early 30s, I believe. They are, for sure, not the youngsters so common to many of the romance and erotica books. It was a delight to read about professional, older adults. As such, these two people were both dealing with a physical handicap due to amputations and the emotional and mental aftermath of that, specifically as it relates to feeling and being sexually desirable. The story was good but not great. One bad part was that the narrator’s version of the H didn’t match his description. But she was great otherwise. Her sexy voice really added to the story-telling. The novella is quite sexual but not explicit in detail or language/terms, at least not to the point of erotica IMO. And I’ve listen to plenty romances that were more explicit than this one. But it was quite sexy with a warm romantic undertone. These two adults were not into playing games but were open to and looking for love, even if one of them didn’t really believe it possible. This is a good buy. It’s more like a 3.5 overall.
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