Zane (Part 1) – Liv Bennett

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Author: Liv Bennett
Series: Pleasure Extraordinaire #1

Pages: 254

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The new CEO and the owner of Hawkins Media Group, Zane Hawkins is officially dating to marry. After two years of on-again-off-again romance with the actress Penelope Davis, Zane is now ready to settle down.

Multiple sources confirm that it’s the recent death of his father causing him to re-think his bachelor lifestyle and consider starting a family of his own.

Who will be the lucky bride to tie down California’s most eligible bachelor? A wildly famous Hollywood actress? An activist and visionary lawyer? A humble and media-shy nurse?

If the persisting rumors are true, there’s a secret list of the most suitable candidates drawn up singlehandedly by Zane’s very capable assistant, Julie Connor. Even so, Zane has never been one to follow rules and directions.

Whoever is going to be the lucky winner, she deserves special kudos, as the road to Zane’s heart is known to go through several hoops and hurdles.

When I was a kid, I saw my grandma put some lentils to her dessert yogurt. Back then, I thought that was the weirdest mix I was going to witness in my life. I guess I had to read this book to find a mix that could unseat my grandma’s special yogurt on my list. This book is short, but it has enough room to create a madness that was only lacking several dragons and one or two starships…

We have the immense honour and pleassure to meet Zane (his words, not mine), a rich guy whose lifestyle can be described with just one simple word: womanizer. But her assistant, Julie, convinces him to look for a wife. In order to easy that search, she comes with a list of possible candidates. Zane must date those girls until he finds the love of his life…

This book was free on Amazon when I got it (so I didn’t look beyond the price tag) and I only learnt it was a spin-off after reading it. I don’t think it is mandatory to read the books of Lindsay to understand the books of Zane, but I guess you could develop some sympathy for the characters that could make the reading of this one somehow bearable. That was harsh. The book is not so bad. It has a pretty good idea full of fun possibilities, but everything is butchered with forgettable characters and ridiculous situations. It doesn’t help that the book doesn’t know what identity to adopt. Sometimes is Erotica, others is Contemporary Romance, it flirts with Comedy and even Dark Romance makes a cameo. It would have been much better if the author picked one and forgot the others.

Zane as a characters is a mess. And I don’t mean cute mess you want to cuddle. No. He is a horribly written characters that drinks from the worst fountains of the Romance genre. I think the author attempts to make him cocky and confident, but the result is a vain and self-centered character who considers himself above most mortals just because he has more money and better looks… And no one tells him the opposite… Because he is Zane, eveything he does is a good thing worthy of the warmest round of applause: sex with barely legal girls, sex in front of his own brother, sex with unwilling women, unprotected sex without consent… For some strange reason, that was meant to make him look like a sexy bad boy, but the result is way grosser than that. Pure gold the moment he refuses to hug a woman, because he didn’t want her to fall in love with him… Keep dreaming man…

And then we have Julie. Yes, the assistant. If by reading the blurb you didn’t know the good assistant had a crush on her boss, I guess you haven’t read enough Romance (like two or three books). So… why is she so eager to hook Zane up with a random woman? Well, she explains it all, but let me tell you it doesn’t make much sense. Is it really your plan to make your boss discard all women so you can be the only choice? Have a bit of pride! And self-esteem! And good taste! Because there are thousands of better guys out there. And worst… Julie describes the perfect woman for Zane. What means she tries to describe herself… Someone should tell her we are currently living the 21st century.

Is there something else good beyond the idea? Not really. But it is short, easy to read and such a chaotic display of characters that the reading will be fast and mostly harmless. There is a second part. I know I will read it sooner or later. Maybe there will be some cleaning in Zane’s aisle…

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2019 – Book Gallery

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Rough and Ready – Cathleen Ross

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Author: Cathleen Ross
Series: Outlaw Warriors #2
Release day:  April 15th 2019
Pages: 400

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Before special ops soldier Hugo Boudreaux can move on, he has one last thing to do–fulfill a wartime debt to the friend who saved his life. He must infiltrate a vicious Louisiana MC club to stop their next illegal weapons shipment and send the president to jail. What he didn’t plan on was ending up an unwilling bodyguard to the man’s daughter–innocent and attractive nurse Alice Kaintuck.

Alice wants a normal life with a nice guy. But her rough-edged bodyguard is the sexiest man she’s ever met. Suddenly she can’t stop thinking about just how hot he makes her. Before she knows it, she’s tumbling into his muscular arms…though she’ll be damned if she’ll fall in love with a man as dangerous as her father. Only Hugo doesn’t make love, he consumes her and turns her life upside down with his carnal, erotic sex. Dreams of nice guys vanish when her enemy becomes her obsession…

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When I requested an ARC of this book I had no idea it was the second one in the saga Outlaw Warriors. I hate reading a saga out of order, so I was about to give it back (even though I think it is not possible), but I changed my mind an embraced the weird philosophy of a saga of stand-alones so common in the Romance genre. Yes, this second book can be read without feeling you are missing something. It is also true that this one hasn’t made me the least curious about the first book.

In this book we follow Hugo, a soldier who has just come back from war and wants to pay his friend Troy the favour he owes. He needs to go undercover into a rival biker gang in order to stop the delivery of some weapons to fight Troy’s gang. In the bar of their foes Hugo meets Alice, the innocent daughter of the leader of the gang he has to infiltrate. She becomes the perfect ticket to join the group and his first mission is to protect her…

I was honestly very hopeful for this book after reading the blurb. It looked like it had all the ingredients for a fun story and the perfect drama to rock the relationship. Add to that the undercover mission and the rivalry amongst bikers and the action should be served to keep the reader engaged. Sadly, none of it happens. The story has a weak first step with Hugo’s and Troy’s plan to infiltrate the other gang. They didn’t expect Alice to be at the bar, but without her there wouldn’t have been any chance of getting Glass’ attention. They were lucky. Very lucky. It’s a bit weird, but I could accept that as their lucky day and move on. But after that, the main mission is almost forgotten and the bodyguard job is practically uneventful. What should have been a huge part of the book is put aside and resolved lazily.

It is my fault for expecting more about the story in a book that falls into the Erotica genre. I knew that the romance wasn’t a priority, but I needed some kind of getting to know each other before dropping all their clothes. Zero flirting. Zero banter. Zero chemistry. The main focus is sex and more sex. I could be OK with that, but the sex scenes are just plain horrible. Hugo likes to feed his dominant side and Alice is willing to indulge him (so far, so good). The issue is in the “game” they like to play, where she has to pretend to be taken by force. I know it is just theater, but I found pretty sick that Hugo’s sexual fantasy is raping a woman… It totally made me lose interest about the intimate scenes pretty quickly and made the whole thing unbearable.

The main characters are also a mess. We are sold that Alice is a strong and independent woman, but as soon as a hunky soldier enters her door the whole world becomes about him. I aso dislike very deeply her constant “Momma” and “Daddy”. She sounds like a little kid whining about something she is denied. It was really unnerving. But the top on the worst list is for Hugo. What kind of unbalanced person carries a bag full of weapons everywhere? I think the overall goal for this character behaviour was to grant him a dark aura, but the pieces do not match together and I would try very, very hard to avoid a person like him in real life. He is not OK and I’m sorry for Alice.

When you have an overly unbelievable romance, it is way harder to shallow the classic ending in the Romance novels (you know the one). Yes, I know I have voiced many times my unhappiness about that cliché; but in cases like this one it is even more painful. I do understand the need for feeding the readers a HEA ending and I can go along with that. My problem lies in the blunt supposition that a fast wedding is the same as happiness. Sometimes I would like to read a Romance book where the HEA is something different… Surprise me a little bit, you know?

I don’t want to end this review (rant?) without saying at least one positive thing about the book. The cover is very pretty. It catches the eye easily and it willl make many readers curious about the story behind. That’s me saying the guy is hot.

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2019 – Book Gallery

You’re the One – Lia Jordan

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Author: Lia Jordan
Series: Reckoning on ice #1
Release day:  March 19th 2019
Pages: 208

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With just one puck, my life went from complicated to damn near perfect

I’ve had my fair share of bad nights and the anniversary of my sister’s murder is always one of them. Every year, I just pray for something to take the pain away and help me forget. This year, my prayer was answered.

It’s opening game night and the antidote to my pain just stepped onto the ice: An angel with long brunette locks and crystal blue eyes, picked from the crowd to try to score on me, the goalie. The second I lay eyes on her, I’m determined to have her. I’ll even let the puck pass me; let her score now just so I’ll be the one who ends up scoring later. Once that puck hits the net, I’m hooked. She shows me there’s more to life than I’ve ever known, but all good things come to an end and I never saw this one coming…

Can I let go of my past so I can have her and her daughter in my future?

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Here you have a little bit of information about myself that you haven’t requested: I hate roller coasters. I’m incapable of stomaching the constant ups and downs of that invention from Hell. With this book I have had the same feeling. One moment it was there, going strong for a 5-star review and suddenly it starts falling witthout any hope of getting up again.

In this book we follow Trevor, a famous hockey player who is nurturing a void in his heart since the death of his sister. And Lauren, a single mother going through a tough period where bills are getting too big for her income. The hand of Fate made the path of both of them to cross with an irregular first impression, but Trevor took up the quest of sliding a puck through Lauren’s goal and there is nothing stopping him… (I have no clue about hockey; so, sorry if my attempt of poetry was absurd)

I must admit that the first 60% or 70% of the book is very enjoyable. I was absolutely in love with the dance between the main characters. You can tell that Trevor is not used at all to deal with feelings deeper than a quicky in the back of a bar, so his extravgant attempts of courting Lauren are endearing. It was a pretty risky move the author took, because it could totally look like the hockey player was buying Lauren’s affection. I honestly think he is clueless and that is just his sloppy way of trying to show his love. The fact that she resists him every step of the way is a big plus for the well-being of the story. I love this kind of slow dances in Romance novels, where the main characters just take their time to get comfortable with each other before dropping their clothes.

Another detail I love about the book is Trevor’s cutish way of struggling with the demon in his shoulder. You know, the little fella in his head who just wanted to grab Lauren as a caveman and took her to his lair since day one. That little demon he has been listening to for far too long. So it was great to read how he made the effort to mute the demon in his shoulder to start taking advice from the angel in the other one. Always a pleasure for the reader when a bad boy gets smitten by love. His patience, his eagerness to be better, his relationship with Chloe, his constant grin and his fit body should have granted him a position on the book boyfriend list… But everything implodes dramatically.

I was devouring the book. Incapable of putting it down. Everyday after work I just wanted to get home to reunite with Trevot and Lauren. But then… Chapter 32 happens. That chapter is the equivalent of the Order 66 from Star Wars. It must have been some kind of hidden code to change the characters and story drastically. The beloved characters become very fast some of the most hideous ones. Trevor, who was perfectly charming until then, becomes a cold, mean, cruel, possessive, annoying guy who has no business in the story. Lauren’s behaviour also takes a turn for the worst seeking some really unhealthy exchanges with his so-called lover. It gets so bad, that the happy ending we get is pure smoke. I can’t believe in that couple any longer. I have the feeling they are jus pretending…

After that chapter, there are many details that unnerve me and made the reading a very unpleasant moment of my day. After that milestone, the book becomes something ugly with many dramas pretty bad handled. I couldn’t see any good way to end the torture; so, when everything is solved almost effortless, I couldn’t get along with it. The sex scenes are also affected by the before mentioned change in the storytelling. During the first chapters, the slow cooked meal was the perfect setting for really interesting and hot encounters. But after that infamous chapter… Plain horrible to read.

I have yet to decide if I will read the following books. Colt and Nathan are cool characters, but so was Trevor. Oh, well. I believe in second chances, so I guess I will take a look at them to test the waters.

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2019 – Book Gallery

One Man’s Trash – Marie Sexton

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Author: Marie Sexton
Series: The Heretic Doms Club #1

Pages: 343

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After four tours in Afghanistan, Warren Groves couldn’t settle into civilian life. For the last twelve years, he’s survived by working odd and often illegal jobs for some of Denver’s less fortunate. His personal life is equally unsatisfactory. He can barely remember the last time he had sex, let alone the last time he got to use somebody hard and rough, the way he likes. Fate intervenes when a favor for a friend leads him to a pretty young rentboy named Taylor Reynolds.

Taylor’s spent the last few years on his own, working as a hustler, going home with anybody who’ll give him a warm meal and a place to sleep. He enjoys having a bit of force used against him, and he makes Warren an offer he can’t refuse — all the sex he wants, as rough and dirty as he likes, in exchange for room and board.

At first, Warren thinks he’s struck gold. Taylor’s the perfect roommate — he cooks, he cleans, and he’s dynamite in the sack. But Taylor has some dark demons in his head and some even darker cravings. Falling for somebody as volatile as Taylor is dangerous enough, but when Taylor’s urges turn truly self-destructive, it’ll be up to Warren to decide just how far to let things go.

The book is eveything the blurb promises: rough sex, secrets and dark cravings… I thought I could handle it, but it seems I can’t. I’m not a prude (if I were I wouldn’t touch Romance books), but there are several situations in this book thas have rubbed me the wrong way.

But let’s start from the beginning. We meet Warren, a former soldier that spends his days helping other people in barely legal jobs: bodyguard of escorts (a.k.a. prostitutes), muscle for desperate people and many other things. He is lonely and, if you ask me, a bit tired of his life. Then we meet Taylor (or TJ or BJ…), a much younger guy that ran away from his home and became a rentboy. It’s a sex addict that that never says no… Their fates collided and Taylor ended up living with Warren. Free roof and food in exchange of sex.

At least that is how it started. We barely knew them when they were already tearing up each other clothes. The first encounter was pretty impersonal and I was scared that the whole book would be like that. The author spices it up a little bit adding a BDSM element: soft bondage. Warren likes to tie people up to his bed and Taylor doesn’t mind. As a reader, I don’t mind either. The author doesn’t use this to humillate Taylor. It makes the trust between each other grow considerably.

Eveything was starting to look peachy: Warren has a lot of different layers that make him very interesting, the sex is fun, the side stories are enjoyable, Warren’s friends are a pleasure to read… And then it happens: Taylor’s breakdown. I wasn’t epecting it. I’m a guy that enjoys a good shock when reading, but this one left me with a very sour aftertaste. I felt that his cravings were more of a childish behaviour than something dark and serious. Even worse than that: the author has to twist Warren’s behaviour to counteract the crazy tantrum of his roommate… I have to be honest: that made me dislike Taylor.

But the worst was yet to come… The explanation of Taylor’s “bad days” made me sick. It’s not only the incest with his brother when he was still a minor. If that wasn’t enough, the brother was abusive. I guess I should have been able to feel some kind of pity towards Taylor, but his way of dealing with it destroyed any chance of that. He claims he loves him. That no one understands him. He talks as if nothing was wrong. And Warren is nice enough to accept the explanation… I just wanted to scream: “Take him to an expert!! The guy need helps, not a slap on the back!!”. But Taylor’s quest of making me puke wasn’t finish… Do you know what this messed-up guy takes for love? Being urinated by someone who is still inside him during sex… That’s plain gross. And the author talks about it several times… I couldn’t handle it. I was losing my mind yelling at Taylor. My dislike became hatred.

I think I could have ignored Taylor if the side stories were better. I mean, they are good, but so depressing. Were are the happy endings? Susan, Riley… The book feels pessimistic and so unfair that the only one with the happy ending is Taylor… Writing this review I have realized I’m angry at him. He has ruined a nice book about Warren. I actually feel weird after reading the book. Why an emotional story has such a disgusting residue in my memory?

I’m not sure if I will read the second book. The main characters will be different, so I guess it’s safe to assume that I won’t find another Taylor. But I’m honestly scared of picking it up…

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2018 – Book Gallery

The Phoenix Project – Jacquelyn Frank

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Author: Jacquelyn Frak
Series: Morphate #1

Pages: 142

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Held captive, Amara is subjected to bizarre experiments that test the limits of her sanity. But nothing prepares her for being locked away–naked–with a sexy ex-cop… after they’ve been pumped full of drugs that increase their sexual appetites to animalistic intensity…

Yes, I promise that is the blurb of the book. Honest!! That meager paragraph was enough to make me curious. I wanted to know how the author was going to deal with those animalistic instincts for her characters, I mean, that is a loaded gun. You can make a really hot book that makes you thirsty while reading. Or you can have a sex festival that makes you dizzy in all the wrong ways. This book is not one thing, nor the other. It’s a simple: meh!.

The story is about Amara, a woman with no resources who was kidnapped by mad scientists. They perform experiments on her on a daily basis. And she is not the only one. The baddies have a huge on-going operation that is hard to believe is a well kept secret. Nick is a cop that is investigating weird disappearances and he founds himself kidnapped for the same project as Amara. The doctors change their DNA and put them together to see what happens. They become morphates. Kind of a mix between a vampire and a shifter…

Some of those changes are: enhanced senses, strength and stamina, much greater sexual drive, claws, fangs and even penis enlargement… They become ferals in all the possible meanings. Which is the goal of such a change? No idea. The author never explains it. Do they want a supersolider or a sexual slave? The mix doesn’t make any sense… The mad doctor says they are getting closer to the ideal result, but I’m incapable of seeing how can the morphates be profitable. No one wants a lover so rough that could break your bones by accident… Or a soldier whose sexual appetite could make him mindless at any moment. So, no idea what this Pnoenix Project wants to achieve.

90% of the book is just plain sex. Very boring sex if you ask me. It’s too primitive, too rough and aggressive for my taste. There is not an ounce of eroticism in all the sex scenes of the book. And there are plenty… They weren’t bad per se, except for the last one. The author should have ignored the epilogue. In that last chapter, Nick has sex with Amara against her will. Yes. he rapes her. There is not another way to describe that. She didn’t want to have sex because it was period time and didn’t want any kid. Nick, to show that Amara can trust him, forces himself into her and rape her… I couldn’t believe what I was reading… The worst part is that Amara accepts Nick’s motives and forigves him… The epilogue ruins the book.

Even though it lacks story development everywhere, the book has some interesting foundations that could make the next books bearable. I would love to know more about the Dark Cities. It seems that in the future, a wall-loving politician decides to put walls around several cities of the USA to lock criminals from the rest of the country. Those are called the Dark Cities and the morphates are now the ones in charge to keep them in check. Why do I have the feeling is going to be a free buffet for them?

I know I was going to find something simple and blunt, but I guess I wasn’t prepared for such overwhelming lack of sweetness… I still don’t know if I will read the next books of this saga. I must admit I’m still curious…

 

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2018 – Book Gallery

C*cky Neighbor – Fettucine Holliday

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Author: Fettucine Holliday
Pages: 16

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This super fun book is about a conveniently close male heterosexual and the lady who parts her drapes for him. He shows her what a real man is, and satisfies(MT) her completely.

This is a totally great comedy erotica story that in no way infringes on a certain word, no sirree, not at all.

This is the other book by Fettucine Holliday to support the actions taken to nullify Faleena’s legal claim over the word cocky. If you want to read a recap of that, read my previous review. Could you imagine if all Romance writers did the same? I mean, most of them have series whose titles follow some kind of template. If all those templates became trademarks, no one else would be able to write Romance books!!

Even though I’m totally against Faleena’s actions, I can’t swallow the books that Fettucine has written. If C*cky Author was bad, this one is just pure crap. Once again, this book is unable to deliver any single laugh. But this time, it goes even further. It didn’t make me laugh, but it was VERY close to make me puke!!

Why is Jettt like that? He doesn’t shower, he doesn’t clean, he is gross everywhere… When they have sex and the author describes his dirty penis… I wanted to die. It’s not just gross. I felt insulted as a man.

I know this was some kind of parody, but Fettucine takes it too far. TOO FAR!! Besides, the book was supposed to make fun of the “cocky” issue, but it feels that this time the author makes fun of Faleena’s books. Which I can’t approve, because it would be an infantile attack. This book pissed me off so much, that now I want to read some of Faleena’s books to get to know her style.

You can’t ask almost 4$ for this book. Not even if it is for a good cause. It’s just insulting, sorry.

 

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2018 – Book Gallery