No complaint except for the overuse of the word “copious.” Be warned that this is not the book for you if you don’t like a very feminine image, in fact a “cross-dresser”, as a gay male in a relationship with an alpha male. Too, I like very much that this story includes some grunts and groans. Not a lot, but some. I like when I’m showed as much as I’m told what is happening. Enjoy.
The synopsis of this story is that a man and woman who were bullied, "ugly ducklings" and semi-acquaintances in high school become adult “swans”. Revenge through romance becomes the goal of one of them. The problem is the way the author chose to enact that goal. She created a story whereby a great love between the h and H, Jayne and Malcolm, is formed and conducted solely, solely through great sex. Their relationship was based on nothing else, had no, none, zero substance. Now, generally, I love great sex in a story, but I like it joined to an actual story, a plot, and a fully-developed relationship. Couples do partake of more than sex, generally, when building and sustaining a relationship. In the author's defense, the did try to include a brief phone conversation between the h and H and then martial arts training together. But it was too little. The execution of this story failed, but there were sparks in it that indicated that the story could've been better. The story idea wasn't the problem; the execution was. Then, to make the story worse, near the end, the author used the over-utilized story trope of a negative incident, a painful occurrence to manufacture the couple's closeness quicker and tried to manufacture some depth in the last 20 minutes of the story with wrenching-producing sappiness. As a part of that, in the final moment, Malcolm, at a 10-year high school reunion (to give you an idea of their age), actually said, "I want you to be my girlfriend." Are they 12? So add sappiness and immaturity to a lack of imagine, of anything new, to the problem of the story being over-simplified and boring. I began avoiding the constant barrage of the over-done, unromantic, sex scenes. A full story, one more than 30 minutes or, maybe up to 1 hour, shouldn’t be written as a 30-minute erotica story. When I want that kind of story, I pay less than $5 and get it along with the appropriate expectation about what it is. On the otherhand, when I pay almost $18/use a credit, my expectations differ, of course. But this was a 5+hour story that was more like a $2.75 erotica tale; though, I have to say, some of those stories I enjoyed more than I did this one, and my expectations are, at least, set appropriately from the start. This time I feel duped. I’m so disappointed that I, once again, fell for the great reviews. I started forwarding through the story and was happy when the story was over and grateful it wasn’t longer.
This story was a knock off of J.R. Ward’s black dagger brotherhood books and, to a lesser degree, the formula for Gena Showalter’s lords of the underworld books. Before I get to the copying, there were some other aspects of the book I didn’t like. The author wrote poorly with things like saying a person was “weary tired.” Isn’t that redundant? The description of the other planet was overdone with saying Noah, the H, while on his home planet, SR44, had a mansion, a yacht, an island, and 3-day parties. And it was problematic to me that they showed no compassion for criminals on SR44 and no belief in rehabilitation of people who commit crimes. Those people were called “colonists”. They were ejected from SR44 society forever. 12 of the colonists take on human form and escape to Earth, and therein lies the crux of this story and the problem of this tale. Noah and 5 other pals (Talon, Cowon, Rayner, Jovan, Hudson), all soldiers on SR44, called the “6 saviors”, also take on human form and follow the colonists to earth to capture them and their descendants. These colonists are the worst of the worst. The author states that criminals Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Sadam Hussein were all colonists from SR44 and that the 6 saviors had a hand in ending their reign of terror. I disliked that aspect of the story the most. It didn’t hold together well, the attempt to use these facts in this fictional story. Another problem was that Noah is supposed to be 200+ years old but is also supposed to have been on earth that long too. So the math doesn’t work considering he was an adult, appearing as a 30-yr-old human, when he came to earth. SR44 people live for about 2000 years on average. Another problem was the author’s attempt to use “urban” lingo, like saying that the missile cilo, where the 6 saviors lived, was “pimped out” and having one of the saviors say “back off my grill,” which was used so wrongly. The author also overused the terms ”dainty,” “big,” and “huge.” Big and huge was used when talking about the 6 saviors’ bodies, of course. And, of course, Abby had to be dainty. The natural form of SR44 people was varying hues of a smoke-like substance. So it was quite upsetting when the author said that the colonists, the criminals turned black. The reason for this was either b/c of the lack of sunlight on the island they were exiled to or b/c of “evil in their rotting souls.” The author’s resonance with a horrible racial stereotype was either ignorant, at best, or mean-spirited, at worst.
These are the ways in which this story is a cheap knock-off of J.R. Ward’s black dagger brotherhood and some of Gena Showalter’s lords of the underworld series: the 6 saviors living together in a fortress (a cilo), the importance of music (rock and not hip-hop in this story), cool or unusual names of the guys (Talon, Cowon, Rayner, Jovan, Hudson, Noah), they are rich, the constant presence and use of strong alcohol, muscled-bodies guys, the long lives of the soldiers, having one male group member who works the stock market, one member who likes expensive clothes, and a “resident tech head,” the soldiers’ overuse of profanity as a sign of strength and coolness, their strange eyes or other body part, the author’s attempt at the males being funny, the soldiers driving a black escalade (though Noah drove another car too), the female love interests having a cat and, as the first in the series, also being an unhappy, economically poor, parentless female journalist, using the term “female” for women, and making non-verbs verbs (i.e. “a whole lotta no winning”. Yep. Copying. A cheap knock-off.
There were very few things that I liked about this story. Of those things, I liked that Abby was portrayed as more than just a pretty face. Often Noah said that he liked her because she was generous and kind along with her looks. I liked that it was not a sex-filled story, though I absolutely have no problem with those when appropriate. There was 1 oral sex scene, with it performed on Abby, near the earlier part of the story. Then there was 1 act of intercourse between Abby and Noah near the end of the story. There were about 2 others that were just alluded to later in the story too. The sex scenes were brief, and there was no explicit sexual talk. There was a good balance of romance and mild suspense as the saviors chased the colonists.
The narrator was okay, though his depiction of Talon’s voice was too high. And the ending was a bit over-dramatized and manufactured.
The story was a good premise, and I enjoyed the theatrics. The part of the story about reincarnation was good. But there were some aspects of the way the story was told, that irritated me. First, the author used repetitive phrasing, like “My dad always told me….” And there were too many close calls, too many times we got right up to the time of death, with all of the anxiety and lead-ins, only to have it, AGAIN, pass by, for the H and others to be saved. And the story was a bit predictable, though not to the point of certainty. Still, I liked that the story was not long-winded. It was compact, and every aspect played a critical role w/o being overdone or overplayed or just adding unnecessary material. And I really liked the ending. Just when you think you’ve got it all wrapped up, then…. Things are not wrapped up neatly, which I liked. The main questions are answered, but you’re left guessing a little bit about what the future holds. Good ending, though I’m still unsure if I understood it.
I loved all of the voices and dramatization. I especially liked having more of a child's voice during the children's parts.
This love story about Garrett and Mia was a good one. The romance was good, and it had me rooting for them. There were sad parts to their story but nothing that made me cry, and there was a hard-fought-for happy-ending. It was good that everything didn’t come easy to them. It made it all seem more real. The story flowed well and made sense. I really enjoyed having two narrators. And some of the side characters were great additions. Mia and Garrett came together in a supportive community. That was the easy part of the story. The angst and struggle was almost entirely between Mia and Garrett only.
The one aspect I didn’t like was that Mia’s financial ability to buy a house was not explained. And listeners are told she had a “substantial” down payment for an expensive fixer-upper in Virginia, I think. And that she refused to use money from her parents. She bought the house at 26-years of age with money she saved while working as an accountant in Atlanta since graduating college. So the money for the house purchase is barely explained. And that lack of detail and explanation was problematic for me.
Other than that point, I enjoyed the story and didn’t identify any other lapses of continuity. Still, the story was just okay for me. Though I enjoyed some of Mia and Garrett’s joking banter, found their warmth and sexual desire and expression for each other endearing and great to watch, it all remained at the okay level for me. I think it’s because their story always felt like it was about very young people. Most of the story occurs 8 years after they graduate high school. So, presumably, they are about 26 years old. Nonetheless, it often felt like, sounded like, a story about 19 or 20 year olds. The story swings between the present and the past which may have contributed to the story feeling like it was about very young adults. And you have to really be listening to know when the story swings back to the past. I would’ve liked some indication or warning when this was occurring b/c it was confusing to me the first few times. But I finally adjusted, somewhat, and other times, I had to rewind to be sure.
I’m 44 years old. And I prefer stories about more mature—either in age or action or both—characters. So this story might appeal more to a much younger listener.
This was an ok suspense tale. But the romance part took a backseat to the suspense and was not as developed or attended to. But, when it was the focus, the romance part was okay too. The sex scenes, of which there were about 2-3 detailed acts, were done well. They were sexy and somewhat romantic but not what I would call explicit or erotic. But there was enough detail to be steamy. However, if that’s not your thing, they are so rare that you can forward through them.
Overall, the book was just mediocre. It was nothing I couldn’t stop listening to. Simultaneously, it was also not a story that I couldn’t bear listening to or had to fast-forward through parts. So that’s a good thing.
The characters were likeable. Clarissa, the h, was smart and strong, even more than Erik, the H, at times and admittedly. I generally don’t like stories based on the character getting amnesia, but it wasn’t the primary trope used in this story and was temporary. So it worked out okay. As a result of Clarissa’s amnesia, the story swings between past and present, but it’s not done constantly and not for lengthy portions.
The suspense part included shootings, but there was no gore or detail in the violence. And the main characters didn’t seem to revel in their violence. So much of the story skimmed the top of life, making it an ok story that was not light fare but nowhere near being deep or having any real depth at any point, either. But that was not the attempt. Therefore, I think the author achieved what she sought in this story.
The end comes together a bit too prettily after several struggles to survive and have a desirable end together, but it was also plausible. And the struggles all made sense and took the story beyond the basic light tale where everything seems to be great and happens so easily for the characters. Some outcomes depended on good luck and happenstance but not so much that I viewed the story as implausible. So, again, overall, it was okay. But I prefer a bit more romance than suspense in these types of stories.
This story didn’t work for me, and the narrator didn’t help. Though I’m unsure which was the biggest problem for me, but I think it was the story. Still, I must add that the narrator’s tone and cadence didn’t work well for this story. But I grimaced much more often at the story, at what was said and not how it was said.
The military suspense part of the story was ok. But the romance aspect, which comprised most of the story, was bad. The phrasing was the biggest problem, which means the writing was the big problem. Like saying that a kiss “opened more than her lips; it opened her soul.” And, after looking at his eyes, “she knew she could heal him.” This was after Christy knew Kyle for less than a day. And Christy actually said, “Take me; I’m yours,” twice. REALLY?! And there were many, many more examples. I got so irritated I stopped listening. I could only finish the book in tiny bites at a time. Then I finally gave up and fast forwarded to the last chapter of the book. I made it through 7 agonizing hours of this story. I actually frowned while listening to their first sex act, and I NEVER have a problem with sex in the stories I listen to. I actually think that was the first time that happened to me. The romantic relationship seemed entirely based on loneliness. And Kristy—who I refuse to refer to as the h, or heroine—cried 2x on her first date and during the subsequent sex act with Kyle, the H. The tears were juvenile and inappropriate and very poorly timed. The first tears weren’t explained and happened during sex. And the second cry seemed to be pity-me tears. She was a whoosy, needy female character, which I hate. She cried several times during the story, almost always in front of Kyle, and all of the times were like the tears of a spoiled child with a scary sense of undeserved entitlement. Kristy spoke of loving Kyle after 3 days and not as though she was contemplating being able to love him. No. She said she did love him. Plus, she actually went looking for him when he didn’t contact her after their 2nd sex act, I think. It might have been after the first time. She pursued him and acting in ways that are reminiscent of a person who is mentally unstable relationally. There’s so much more I can say about how very bad and unhealthy Kristy acted and how, therefore, poorly contrived the romantic relationship with Kyle was and was portrayed. The only positive thing I can say, in relation to their relationship was that the sex scenes were pretty good. The exception to that statement is that there were many times when the description of the sex act, their positioning, was quite confusing. So, try this book at your own risk. No more of this author for me. Geesh!
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.
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