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Archive for the ‘Could Have Been Better…’ Category

Rent-A-Stud (Coopers' Companions, Book One)

I’m giving it 3 stars, it had promise and failed to deliver. I like to suspend belief when I’m reading, but the dialogue between mother and daughter was pushing it too far. She buys her mother sex toys? And not just a fun vibrator, but an entire box of stuff (and wasn’t she a hard-up student anyway?!?) – and then talks in detail about mother’s sex life… Sorry, I don’t buy that. Also, and this really made me cringe, she nagged her mother into stripping naked and trying on new underwear IN FRONT OF HER. Ewwwwwwww.

And I did some numbers in my head. Zach has been a ‘popular’ escort for 10 years, so lets say he has sex with one new woman every 2 weeks (I’m being generous here, stay with me a moment…) – that’s an average of 26 a year – over 250 in 10 years. Yeah, he’s experienced < rolls eyes >.

I thought Zach fell for her too quickly and I really REALLY think she would be more put off by his slut-history – especially when she screws him WITHOUT a condom, and without even asking first. So ok, she couldn’t get pregnant, but HELLO…  she works in a hospital and has never heard of STDs? Yeah, right!

So apart from the terrible cover and the cheesy title (which is actually kinda fun), it was only the author’s great writing that held this together for me. 3 out of 5.

 

 

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Carnal Ecstasy

 

I think after the sheer perfection of Simple Need, it would be hard to match it, and I had high hopes for Carnal Ecstasy, the second book in this trilogy.

Dallon, part bar-owner, part-tattoo-parlour-owner and best friend of Vintner and Jaz is not looking for an emotional entanglement. He’s especially not looking for Carrie – the complete opposite of his ‘type’. She’s a good girl, a well brought up Christian who follows her parents instructions in everything. Until now. She’s rebelling – and first on her list of things to try is the gorgeous man that she’s just met.

“You don’t need to be messing with me, Carrie. You really don’t. If ever there was a black sheep, I’m it. My reputation is bad, very, very bad. It’s best that you go. Now.”

He wants her – wanted her from the moment she stopped him outside to ask for directions – but recognizes that she isn’t the type for his usual one-night stand. So he tries to resist her… and fails.

FedEx was going to bust through the doors, package him up and send him straight to hell by ten the next morning for asking his next question and already knowing the answer. “What else do you want?”

“You.”

She worries that she’s too innocent.

“Naughty girls are always sexy, but taking a girl like you,” he slid a hand down the lace to cup her pussy through it, “and turning her into a naughty one is even sexier.”

For the first time ever, Dallon shares his bed with a woman. All night.

She looked adorable and rumpled though. Her skin had that just-awakened flush, her eyes were still drowsy and heavy lidded. She was so warm and soft, and he wanted to melt into her at the same time he wanted to kick her out of his bed because she was a threat to everything he knew prior to meeting her. His one-night stands and easy lays were gonna come to a screeching halt if he didn’t get rid of her soon.

So… Carrie and Dallon hook up and have some hot sex. There’s a bit of character growth and a nice easy ending, but it didn’t grab me. It was just too… empty, a bit like a puzzle where you fill in the blanks.

I think it suffered from being so short, that there wasn’t time for any character depth. I didn’t get why Dallon was such a bad, bad boy. He has tats and piercings, and runs a bar. He didn’t come across as anything other than thoughtful and generous – and affectionate. He’s polite with her parents. Good with his friends, and loving with Carrie. And why did Carrie suddenly decide to rebel? Going from long-term celibacy to instant sex-kitten overnight, was a bit of a leap.

On the plus side, Lissa Matthews has a lovely relaxed style of writing, so if you’re looking for a quick, hot read, this ticks the boxes. 3 out of 5.

 

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The Courage to Love (Brothers in Arms, Book 1)

(read as part of KindleSmut readers group)

Kate Collier has to live a quiet life. With her soldier husband dead and a young niece to support, she takes a wealthy lover as protector, and then another. When one of them sets her up for a cruel gang rape and then spreads rumours about her, she is shunned by society.

Lord Jason Randall and Anthony Richards served in the Peninsula Wars with her late husband and they have long since been in love with Kate, but biding their time before they announce it. Now that she is free of a protector, they decide to stake their claim. They want Kate to marry them – both of them.

This book had potential. It had a number of great reviews and sounded hot, but… it didn’t really catch me. There was plenty of ménage style sex and a rather unsettling encounter between her 16 yr old niece and one of their friends – setting the scene for a future story – but not a lot else. I felt the language was a bit lazy too, especially in the guys dialogue. Plenty of effing and lots of cocks, as though they had no other ways to describe what they wanted. It bugged me as well that they were not more circumspect about their existing M-M relationship; this was set in a period where homosexuality was illegal. Locking-in-prison-illegal. My other grumble was that she recovered from her rape pretty easily, considering that she later fainted when she met her attacker. 3 out of 5.

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Ink Spots

 

I recently read another Lissa Matthews (Simple Need) that I adored, so I eagerly launched into Ink Spots. The male lead (tattoo artist Jaz) is a friend of Vinter (from Simple Need) and I liked the way the 2 stories were linked.

Jewellery maker Mandi works as a waitress by night in the popular club Katz and has been crushing on Jaz for months, not thinking for a minute that he’s even noticed her, let alone that he’d be equally smitten with her. It takes the club owner (Jackie) to push them into each others arms – telling Jaz it’s Mandi’s birthday. In a cute move, Jaz offers himself as a 24-hour birthday present for Mandi bringing a whole swathe of her deepest fantasies to life.

There’s lots of hot sex, but even though the two characters were very much into each other (no pun intended) I didn’t feel the connection that was so clear in Simple Need. Probably because they were too busy having sex to actually talk to each other… It’s a frivolous quick read, but in my opinion, it could have been so much better. I wanted to like Mandi, but she didn’t have any depth to her. I wanted to like Jaz – and I did a little bit – but not enough to care about either of them. 3 out of 5.

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Spliced

Three and a half stars

Soldiers and team-mates, Ridge Gates and Cale Easton are closer than brothers and serve together in the army, watching each others backs. When Cale is killed in a mortar attack in Afghanistan, Ridge wishes he could have died instead. However, he made a promise to the dying Cale to look after his twin sister, Avery, and he intends to honour that. He’s been in love with Avery for years – as long as he’s known Cale – and he’s long since accepted that Avery deserves better than a Grunt. Especially one as damaged as him. He has no idea that Avery is in love with him.

The night Cale’s body is brought back the US is hard for both of them and they meet up in a hotel. Avery needs Ridge, and no longer as just a friend.

Everything he’d ever wanted was right here in front of him and he’d be a bastard for taking it, or a bastard for refusing.

Avery looked at him. “Pretend I’m someone else if you have to. Just give me this.”

After possibly the best night of sex ever, for both of them, Ridge slips out and leaves while she’s asleep, starting a pattern that lasts throughout the story.

She’d thrown herself at him, practically begged him to take her and God, she’d had to force him with her thoughts.

Shame. What she’d done to him was shameful and degrading. She’d even told him to pretend she was someone else if he had to. Did she really believe he’d want her after all these years of him basically ignoring her? What a pathetic dope she was.

“He used you, Avery.”

“No, she said. I used him.”

Their feelings for each other are complicated by a strange psychic connection that Avery shared with her twin – one that seems to have now transferred to Ridge. It takes her a while to tell him about this, during which time he thinks he’s losing his mind.

“I can’t believe this,” he muttered, looking as though he wanted to run. “So you can invade my head at any time?”

Invade, the word cut through her like a hot knife. He made her sound like a villain in some science fiction movie… it wasn’t like that.

“I don’t invade your head,” she answered calmly.

“Then what the fuck do you call it?”

Their on-off relationship is complicated by the addition of local cop, Kevin Stone, who takes a liking to Avery – and an instant dislike for Ridge. He joins the story when Avery’s house is broken into and all her belongings smashed up. Avery’s life is suddenly in danger and it has to be connected to the final, doomed mission in Afghanistan. Ridge’s memories are hazy – had Cale done something – or found something – that he shouldn’t?

This story engaged me and annoyed me in equal parts. Avery and Ridge grieved and loved and fought, with buckets full of emotion, but it became a little repetitive. They’d make up, have sex, then Ridge would run away again. True, he had his reasons, but I’m annoyed with him for behaving like that – and for Avery putting up with it. Even more irritating was when she played with Stone, dangling him and his interest to boost her bruised ego. Stone made the situation plain to Ridge:

“That woman is hurting, and most of the hurt is coming because of you. Either cut her loose and stop dangling her or step up and be a man. As of now, she has options. Keep that in mind.”

It bugged me that Stone fell for Avery so quickly, he seemed too rounded a character to fall head over heels in love with a woman on Day One. And while his dislike of Ridge seemed genuine enough, it was obvious they’d become friends.

So…. It was a good read, but not brilliant. 3.5 out of 5.

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