As a huge dog lover, I had high hopes for this series but I couldn't get past the first few chapters. Maybe if the dogs talked and the humans were quiet...
When I purchased Devil in Denim, I was expecting a story involving baseball. What I got was a silly, immature drama about dysfunctional families and friends.
I couldn't relate to Maggie, who was angry when her father sold the baseball team she had hoped to manage one day. However, Maggie wasn't mad at her father but rather Alex, the young entrepreneur who bought the team.
Although I love baseball, I found the story dragged. There were funny moments and snappy dialogue but I just didn't care about any of the characters and how everything would end.
ps. The entire book happened during the off season, so there were no games or much about the players.
If the plot of The Gilded Cuff involved a sadist millionaire who loved to drown puppies, most women would be horrified and animal rights groups would protest at every bookstore who sold this book.
Instead, the plot of The Gilded Cuff involves the physical, emotional and sexual abuse of women. Emery (anti-hero) is a damaged, violent man who enjoys inflicting pain, casually striking and chaining women, actions which would be illegal if done to a puppy. Sophie and all the doormats before her, were supposed to be sexually excited by being beaten.
Sophie (24) is a young and naïve journalist, with low self esteem and desperate for male attention. Within 15 minutes of entering a BDSM club, hoping to meet & interview Emery, Sophie is slapped by both Emery and his friend Royce. Instead of running for her life, Sophie goes home with this man who promises to discipline and degrade her.
Judging by his actual actions, rather than the BDSM propaganda about choices and power exchanges, Emery is a self-absorbed, sadist asshole who justifies his revolting treatment of females by using the pity card. Poor Emery was kidnapped and terrorized at the age of 8, so he has the right to inflict pain on others if it makes him feel better. Yuk!
Worse, Sophie is guilt-ridden about her own childhood trauma, and doesn't believe that she deserves to be happy. Sophie becomes the perfect victim to Emery's desire to bully, promoting the belief that women's only purpose in life is to serve men. I can't believe anyone with 2 functioning brain cells or a drop of human kindness would find this story romantic, erotic or entertaining.
There must be at least 1 previous book involving the main character Sharon, a 30+ single mother and lawyer. I was confused & frustrated as if I'd missed the first half of a movie - there should have been a warning that Capital Scandal was part of a series.
Many things didn't make sense. Example, Sharon had a daughter (before law school) with a now-famous actor, but doesn't get child support. Sharon's personality, which had great potential, was never developed. While the plot was unique, it was too unbelievable in places.
I really enjoyed Deadly Gamble, my first book by Linda Lael Miller. Mojo (28) was a sarcastic, amusing and endearing woman who decides to become a detective; Tucker was a hunky cop who managed to be both sexy and good-hearted.
I was leery when Mojo starts seeing dead people, but her "gift" was portrayed in a way that made it blend with the mystery, not overwhelm it. Mojo's friends, family and pets kept the story moving fast with lots of laughs.
When I started listening to Delicious last summer, I really liked the character of Alyssa - smart, spunky and strong . I got sidetracked by another series and just now rediscovered this book in my library.
Well, the 2nd time around, I found Alyssa (club owner) even more engrossing and Tyler (her bouncer) to be a total sweetheart. However, Luc left me cold. In book 2 of this series, Luc tried to use his cousin Deke and Kimber to create the family he couldn't have by himself. So not my idea of a romantic hero.
In Delicious, Luc to ready to marry a woman he doesn't love because he wants kids and his wife to be a stay-at-home mother. What a sexist! I notice he doesn't offer to give up HIS career to change diapers and drive carpool. Luc assumes that Alyssa can't be sexy, independent and a loving mother.
Sadly, it took the entire book for Luc to get his head out of his ass and quit judging Alyssa for her former occupation (stripper). Ironically, Luc & Alyssa first met when she was the entertainment at bachelor party where Luc was partying. So it was okay for Luc to watch a stripper, but something wrong with a woman who is a stripper - what a double standard!
While Shayla Black is an incredibly gift writer, I would like to see her create more enlightened male characters and less cavemen. I'll bet there are women like me who think secure, mature, and caring man are much sexier than dominating jerks.
In the first chapter, when Delaney agrees to perform a live sex show for her husband Eric with his best friend Tyler, I was incredulous. Just because Eric (cop) was wounded & temporarily in a wheelchair, supposedly Delaney & Tyler were willing to do anything to help pull him out of his depression. As if watching another man have sex with your wife would make a man feel better - just too stupid for words.
Afterwards Delaney asked Tyler to leave because Eric was suddenly jealous and she wanted to sooth his wounded ego. Despite knowing that the condom broke, Tyler left the state and never contacted her again. Since Tyler, a former police detective, had become a private investigator, how hard would it been to find out that Delaney was pregnant with his baby?
Just as incredibly, Delaney played the martyr when Eric divorced her and didn't attempt to find Tyler. What kind of reporter couldn't track down a man who wasn't trying to stay hidden. However, 15 months later when someone was trying to kill Delaney, she magically discovered where he was living and showed up at his front door with baby Seth in tow.
My low opinion of Tyler got lower when it was revealed that most of Tyler's friends were into BDSM and regularly abusing their spineless wives. When Delaney agreed to leave her baby with these violent strangers, I lost all respect for her. And I wasn't surprised when Tyler started hitting Delaney, who accepted the abuse like the martyr she was.
Because I don't enjoy silly plots where the woman acts like a whiny martyr, the man suddenly changes from a man whore to a loving father who wants a committed relationship and the bad guys are all-powerful (no corrupt ADA in LA has unlimited, nationwide resources), I was bored & annoyed but never entertained by Mine to Hold.
I believe Shayla Black is an excellent writer, gifted in writing witty dialogue and humorous moments. Now, if she would only start writing strong, self confident women characters who use their brains & don't take crap from anyone and mature male characters who respect women, her books could be amazing.
I found Luke Williams too full of himself to be interesting to me. Then the instant love turned me off too. So I gave up listening and moved on....
The premise of Four Seconds to Lose was that Cain (29) owned a strip club in order to give uneducated, self-destructive women a safe place to work.
While Cain treated his female employees with respect and concern, I just didn't buy the idea that there wasn't a better business which could have gotten the same results.
Since I couldn't relate to Cain, the rest of the story didn't interest me. The writing was pretty good, so I would try another book by K.A. Tucker.
I instantly related to Kassidy, a mature, caring woman in her late 20s. She was conflicted and confused when her boyfriend Chris introduced her to his college friend Dag and there was an instant attraction.
The author Kelly Jamieson took her time showing how these 3 got to know each other and naturally become close - no instant jumping into bed. When the sex scenes started, it was about people enjoying each other, not just body parts.
Both Chris and Dag had different yet engaging personalities but I was relieved when they each treated Kassidy with respect and gentleness.
At first, I was loving this story about Chase, Alex and Jasmine (late 20s) who meet again just before their 10 year high school reunion. Coming Full Circle was entertaining right up until one of the guys HIT Jasmine. Then it happened 2 or 3 more times. Not cool.
The violence was totally out of character for Alex and Chase, would otherwise treated Jasmine with respect and tenderness. The scariest part was how Jasmine accepted the physical abuse like it was normal in a sexual relationship.
Ever since FSOG, it seems that almost every romantic novel contains at least some domination and sexual violence against women. Without the domestic abuse, this would have been a fun book that I could have enjoyed multiple times.
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