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.
The story covers 4 friends-2 males & 2 females-from years at college who get together about 4 years later or more. They are all writers, and, in this story, they read erotic novels they have written to each other. The process to get to that point is part of that story. As a result, feelings are revealed and then played out thru sex. Now I love sex in stories, but by the end of the story I fast-forwarded through the last 2 or so sexual encounters. The sex is somewhat explicit and plentiful, though necessary to the story for the most part. And there is mostly m/f sex but also m/m once and 3 or 4 engaging in sex together. There is a bit of domination and submission with the female dominating. But it's instructional (i.e. lick..., pinch...) not physical in nature (i.e. spanking, whipping). It's a mature story of young people but not deep, so it's not a bad read. The stories within the story are hot and mixed within this story very well; that can be hard to do. Essentially the story focuses on the love interest of one of the female characters, so the other characters are not focused on in the same way. But this doesn't detract from the story IMO. Enjoy.
Pros - realistic story; narrator does well with Scottish accents; hot sex, though not explicit or with raw language; a few witty parts
Cons - heroine is 22 and sounds young at times; too much internal dialogue or the way it's done; ending was just a bit too much too fast;
I've listened to several Stephanie Laurens books, and I've never been bored or anxiously awaiting the end to a story. But nothing last forever. This story just didn't hold the heat or an interesting tale. However, I liked that she didn't try to wrap everything all neatly in the end. That's more true to life and may continue in another book. I don't know and don't care. I certainly will listen to other books by this author, but I forwarded through parts of this one and was just relieved that I could count this one done when it was over. I think the narrator did well with what he had. It may have been that the small town atmosphere contributed to my degree of boredom; I don't know. I can't quite put my finger on the problem. It still had some heat, which I like, but it seemed less somehow. I liked the adult relationship and the heroine's familial relationships. But neither the H nor the h were especially interesting characters. It was just all average. And there's a place for that, just not when I have to pay for it.
This was my first book from this author, and it will be my last. The mystery did not captivate me. I could care less who ends being the culprit. And there were parts of the mystery revealed about the murdered person's life that just didn't add up.
Though the one sex scene was hot, with a degree of explicitness, it was fast and had no level of romance or sensuality. And I like hot erotica. And that one scene happened in the last 16 or so minutes of the book. Then the book ended with no reference to the mystery but some unrelated info about the female main character's past love. I know the mystery will continue, but it didn't leave a cliff hanger about the mystery but, instead, some obscure past act. I guess it might refer to an incident in another book; I don't know, but it seemed out of place. So the book just didn't work for me at all.
If you like romance and sensuality, then you'll love this book. I've listened to all of the Brethren Guardian books, and this ends the trilogy by giving you all the answers, which is nice. But it focuses much less on the action and mystery and much more on the relationship and romance, which sooooo worked for me. The only reason it's not 5 stars for me is that the sex could have culminated sooner, but maybe the wait is also what made it sooooo delicious! I don't know. I'm torn. And I don't know how memorable it will be, how long it will stay in my head afterwards. Some other books I've listened to have resonated with me longer, and I've dreaded ending my time within the story. So this one is not quite 5 stars, but it's very close. I have given very few audiobooks 4 stars, and I've purchased over 1000 audiobooks. So I mean it when I give it 4 stars. And the narrator is great, as she always is. I think the two main characters were also my favorite of this series. Who doesn't love the suffering and messed up guy who gets right for the love of a woman. And Elizabeth's lack of sight bound with great strength makes her a wonderful heroine. So the story worked on all parts. Enjoy.
The story is a detailed view of a male, the mate of course, pursuing and revealing to a female knowledge of her unknown paranormal characteristics. There are some attempts at humor showcased most often in the barbed responses of the main female character and less often in the responses of her grandmother. And the approximately one-and-a-half sex scenes was hot but not explicit or raunchy. The romance might be considered hot by some, but it lacked a degree of sensuality IMO. And they were brief. The action was okay but also brief. Most of the story was teaching her about her past and herself, which just didn't work for me. And one comment was off-putting, which makes this author undesirable to me. She wrote that one desire was like a fat kid wanting cake. That comment was insensitive and ignorant, at the least, and prejudicial at the most and entirely offensive. It might have been another one of the author's attempts at humor, but it failed miserably and put a bad taste in me for any of this author's future works I come across. Finally, the story didn't hold together completely. I know this is paranormal fiction, but it still needs to be plausible and make it seem like "this could really happen. The author failed at that. For instance, the main female character, who is half-female and half-amovo, was able to perform paranormal feats that full-blooded amovo couldn't do. And she achieved it with no training. Now really! It just didn't fly, thereby calling everything into question. I was happy to get to the end of this book.
I really, really enjoyed listening to this story. It is essentially a love story between a male FBI agent and a male drug informant. Both are masculine men though I wouldn't call either Alpha males in the way they were portrayed in the book. I liked that they weren't Alpha but just rather regular, common-type guys. The story also had a criminal element, but it was not the focus. The dialogue is good, and the situations and reactions were interesting and logical. Everything could happen, I thought, which added to my delight with the story. I absolutely loved the trials and angst. I like stories that indicate that life is not easy and people's choices are not either, and everything has consequences. The narrator did a good job with the story. The only reason I didn't give the performance 5 stars is that the differentiation between the male characters was so slight as to make it hard to know who was talking. And the story and overall scoring resulted in 4 stars because I like a bit more raunchiness in my sex scenes. But they were still great and just numerous enough. They were, by no means, overdone and always fit the story and time. Overall, the story is more romantic than erotic but still very good. I won't tell you if there's a HEA. You'll have to listen to find out.
Yes, this is erotica, and some of the erotic scenes--though brief--are common and detailed adequately. And the narrator performs them okay.
The problem is the rest of the story in between the sex scenes and how the narrator reads them. The storyline didn't hold together entirely due, in large part, to at least one inconsistency in retelling an act of voyeurism as the first time and afterwards rehashing another act of voyeurism from childhood. The biggest storyline problem is the logic or rationale--as indicated by the internal thoughts and dialogue--that rides almost entirely on acting in double-standard mode. Finally, the narrator over acts some of the parts, in my opinion. But she doesn't have great words to work with, since she's trying to act bewildered and hurt by her husband when she's living out a double standard for her own behavior with little to no sense of self-awareness. Just all in my humble opinion (IMHO).
Narrator ruins it. The story was a good idea, had a good premise. But the narrator sings her words, so that she draws them out unnecessarily, which detracts from any degree of sexiness. And sexiness is important for erotica to be considered good. Plus I wouldn't want to hear this narrator read anything. The singing, drawing out of words is distracting and irritating regardless of the genre she reads. The level of erotica is mild. So altogether, just very mediocre overall. Finally, unfortunately, there were a few corny lines. So....buyer beware.
When less than 30 minutes seems too long, you know you've chosen the wrong book to listen to. The story was boring, though it seemed plausible overall. Narrator was good albeit a very slow tempo. But I like the tenor of the narrator's voice. But the story was not really erotic to me b/c there was no explicit language. There was more of an explicit romantic type of language used but not erotic, not raw. Didn't work for me. I'll no next time. Avoid.
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