Posts Tagged ‘hot’

Love Bleeds (Only After Dark Series -Book One)

Love Bleeds (Only After Dark #1) by Maggie James
This book, on paper, ticked some major boxes for me.
Rock stars – check
Vampires – check
Hot sex – check
I skimmed through the reviews on Amazon, figured it was a new author and worth splashing out the $5.99 Kindle price tag.  Mistake.
The book has a sound premise, a bunch of potential characters for a series and… that’s about it. I’m always keen to support and encourage new writers, but I really struggled with this. It’s a great example of how fiction can be so subjective.
So what did I have trouble with?
Every new person that makes an appearance is given a formal description, more akin to a police report. They almost all include a summary of outfits, too.
Lucas: Towering over them, he appeared to be at least several inches over six feet tall. His jet black hair pulled tightly off his face and secured in a braid that travelled halfway down his broad back.
Julian: At five foot ten with brown wavy hair that barely touched his shoulders and warm chocolate brown eyes. Julian was a sensitive, attractive, well-built man, nearing thirty.
Max: Standing at a meagre five foot four with what was left of his rapidly depleting hair a blending of white and silver-grey. His round cherub like face edged with a neatly trimmed goatee.
Joe: He appeared to be a few inches shy of six feet tall with a medium athletic build. His shoulder length blonde hair shone like spun gold.
Typos and spelling mistakes are everywhere (e.g. blonde instead of blond). Grammar and punctuation have gone MIA. Commas seemed to be rationed as closely as a smoker on his last packet of ciggies and all night until the corner shop opens again.
It’s supposedly set in Dublin, but written by an American author who persists in using American terms for everyday things. Elevator. Lobby. Purse. Curb. The rock stars are supposed to be English but their dialogue is so clunky and awkward that you begin to wonder if English is their native language?
Joe: “No need to be embarrassed. We may be the undead Phillip but mortal death cannot wane the true desires of the flesh.”
Joe: “Drink dammit, for fear I will eventually grow tired of this game and kill you myself!”
Joe: “You’re fairing well my friend.”(sic)Speech tags are littered like autumn leaves on a windy day.
“You say that like it’s a bad thing.” Joe stated coldly. “Whoa… down boy!” Joe interrupted. “He’s right Joe.” Phillip agreed. “But Joe…” Phillip pleaded.
And the whole premise of show-don’t-tell is just a blue-sky concept.
Erick Slade was the leader of a modern day vampire coven who got their rocks off terrorizing innocent mortals and preyed on young beautiful women.
There were however, plenty of rock hard abdomens and lots of tanned skin and tattoos 🙂
Head hopping is dire and confusing, motivation is unfathomable… Why oh why didn’t I read the other reviews before I splurged my $5.99 on this? If it was a paperback I could at least tear the pages out and burn them 😦
Okay, I’m being harsh, especially since I think this writer has potential. I’d love to see her work properly edited. Hell, I’d love to have the opportunity to proofread her next manuscript and whip it into something un-putdownable.
Ms James, if you read this review, I’m serious with that offer – add me to your list of crit-partners. What have you got to lose?
There are gazillions of fantastic writers out there to learn from. To get into this genre you could read some JR Ward (perfect vamps) or Olivia Cunning (perfect rock stars)… The combination of Vampires and Rock Stars could be a winner; it just needs a little more work in this case 🙂
Abandoned at 30%. A reluctant 1 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?”


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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Falling Star (Earth Scents)

A sweet short novel about a huge country music star (Adam Nash) falling for an ordinary girl (Jade Graham). A lot of the fun in the early part, was in Adam’s increasingly complicated measures to ensure that Jade doesn’t find out his identity. In reality, he’s a massively famous musician with a well publicised history or women, drinks and drugs, but to Jade he’s just a hot guy that wandered into her florist business one day.

“I… uh, need some flowers.” Great Adam. Mr. Suave superstar with a brilliant opening line.

She may have bought his CD’s, but she completely failed to recognise him.

“How do you know I’m buying them for a woman?” He raised an eyebrow in that sexy way video directors loved.

Her smile faltered for only a second. “I’m… sorry, I didn’t mean to assume.” She covered his fingers on the counter with her soft hand, and gave them a quick pat. “Does your boyfriend have a favourite flower?”

And this throws Adam. He’s used to being mobbed on the street. Even while he buys flowers for his secretary, his bodyguard / driver waits at the door to fend off the fans. When he calls her a few days later to invite her for dinner, she doesn’t even remember him at first.

Hadn’t he wondered what it would be like to walk into a public place and be treated like every other Joe Schmoe off the street? Well, here it was, and now he couldn’t actually decide whether he liked it or not.

He finally persuades her to join him for dinner, but Jade is cautious. She’s had bad dates before and has an excellent system for handling them.

Ever since meeting Dean she’d had to excuse herself from her date in order to text him the address where she was, a freakiness rating between one and ten, a turn-on rating, and any request to be rescued. Jade’s last nightmare date was four months ago, and her “1543 Central Ave, 10, 0, omg please!” text brought Dean to the movie theatre with an affected jealous rage. Everyone should have a friend like Dean Chambers.

Adam takes her to dinner, to a picnic (where they almost get mobbed) and eases his way into her life. All without giving her his real name or his occupation – claiming to work in the entertainment industry. Her imagination runs riot. Porn star. Stunt man. Out of work actor. He lives in fear of someone telling her the truth.

“Adam? I think… I just figured out what you do for a living.”

“You did?” His tone turned empty.

“Yes. I recognize it in your voice.” She pulled her comforter over her shoulders, and snuggled deep into the plush bedding. The rain still beat a hypnotic rhythm on the roof, and she yawned.

“You do?”

“She heard the anguish, and smiled sleepily. “Mm hm. You’re one of those phone-sex men.”

But the truth has to come out eventually. He whisks her away to his boat for the weekend and promises her best friend Dean, that he’ll tell her. He ties himself in agonised knots. Will she dump him? Will she be thrilled? Embarrassed? Horrified? Can he bear it if she dumps him?

“At first I thought you were unemployed, or you had some job you were embarrassed about.” She shook her head. “But this… this is kind of a big deal.”

This is a light and enjoyable short novel, a good weekend or afternoon sunshine / pool / beach read. The sex scenes are hot and Adam sounds delicious. There are nice secondary characters in gay-best-friend Dean and his boyfriend, but overall I’ll only rate this 4 out of 5. When things go wrong, as inevitably they must, I was disappointed that everything got resolved so quickly, but apart from that I loved it.

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