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Archive for the ‘C-’ Category

Copyright: 2006

Pages: 185 (paperback edition)

Setting/Type: Contemporary/Series Romance

Grade: C-

Bryn Dwyer needed a wife — quickly, conveniently and temporarily. But not one of the empty-headed Sydney bimbos he usually had adorning his arm … Hot-headed firebrand Mia Forrester promised a much more exciting time!

Bryn was offering a large amount of money, which Mia seemed happy to accept. But he was unaware of the very good reason why she needed to accept his proposal – and his cash. He was also about to discover that he’d employed an inexperienced virgin to be his new bride!

After the last Debacle with a Melanie Milburne book where I came to the conclusion to give up on her writing, I decided to save my time and not review this one. It’s hugely better than the Debacle, but somehow I lost my taste for this author.

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Copyright: 2007

Pages: 352 (trade-size paperback edition)

Setting/Type: Contemporary/D/s

Series: Wicked Ties #1 (the author had another release this month with a follow-up story about the hero’s business partner)

Grade: C-

When a stalker ratchets up his attempts to get to her, cable sex talk show host Morgan O’Malley turns to Jack Cole-a self-proclaimed dominant- for help. Though Jack is a bodyguard, Morgan feels anything but safe in his presence. Because slowly and seductively, Jack is bringing her deepest fantasies to the surface. And when he bends her to his will, what’s more shocking than her surrender is how much she enjoys it and how she starts to crave his masterful touch. A willing player in Jack’s games, Morgan knows that his motives aren’t pure. But she has no idea how personal they are.

Weeeeel, for anybody who is looking for some hot one on one action (with a thrown in ménage) hits probably jackpot with this one. Up until the last part of Wicked Ties I thought of this book as a guilty pleasure keeper. There is a number of rather “over the top” moments in the story and a heroine that made me gnashing my teeth but in the end I thoroughly enjoyed it, like I did years ago with flowery Virgina Henleys and magic love sticks *g*. For those who are reluctant to touch this book because of the D/s theme, don’t worry, it’s a very tame D/s story and quite certainly not even too much for unused reader.

Jack has been a Dom for years and embraces this lifestyle with his whole being. After a successful career in the army he decided upon a career as … (yes you won half a washing machine) … security expert/bodyguard. For the last three years he has been plotting revenge against the SOB who ravished his now divorced wife. Enter the heroine. She’s a “grown-up” version of early Blaze heroines. Instead of being a virginal media-person she’s a well-versed woman with a catholic number of three (unsatisfying) lovers and a successful TV show about sexual matters named Turn It On. Morgan does have a number of D/s fantasies but because of her strict upbringing and a former uptight fiancé she feels like the most perverted person in the Almighty’s Universe.

Jack’s enemy is Morgan’s half-brother, and Morgan is Jack’s ticket to a satisfactory revenge. His original plan is to help her in her researches about BDSM for her next show, fuck her and leave her. Alas, he didn’t count on finding the redhead more tempting than he expected.

Morgan is a typical BDSM heroine. Wanting, not wanting, contradicting, bratty, and sometimes too much so that you want to give her a good shake. Jack uses a sure mix between coercion, arousal, technique and sternness to bring Morgan to a point of boundless submission … more or less successful. There’s nothing really outstanding about those two. You will find a lot of similar Morgan’s and Jack’s out there … just change their names. All in all they are rather likable, nice and up to a certain point original.

What made this book turn from a guilty pleasure B grade keeper into a C- book without keeper status was Jack’s behaviour during the end of the story. Morgan is very insecure about her wants, she thinks of herself as a kind of perverted whore and it takes her ages to open up to Jack. Jack promises Morgan to help her in her quest to bring her satisfaction without shame and to never betray her trust … and then promptly walks away from her (TWICE) after two very intensive sessions. They sort it out, eventually, but sorry, no, his behaviour is a total trust breaker.

For erotic romance junkies this book is a sure bet because it contains a number of highly erotic and entertaining love scenes. The plot is non-existent and ridiculous, but hey, that’s nothing new in this sub-genre. I think I will give this author another try with the second book in this mini-series about Jack’s business partner Deke.

As an aside: I know it’s all the rage to create exotic heroes, in this case a hot blooded Cajun. I have no concept about Cajun French but I do have a firm grasp of the French language and also consulted a native speaker about certain phrases in this book. There are definitely differences between French and Cajun French but I doubt they are so convoluted as to mix up 3rd person singular nouns with 3rd person plural verbs and new adjective positions and a masculine endearment for a female person. In the day and age of Internet it’s become so easy to properly research language. There are fans out there, native speakers who would jump at the option of helping an author, there are boards and Internet platforms … please PLEASE it’s simply horrible and leaves a rather bad image with the reader.

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Copyright: [1988] Mark this part with your mouse in order to see the year.

Pages: 400 (paperback edition)

Setting/Type: Turn of Century [New York]/Straight Romance

Series: Van Alen Sisters series #1

Grade: C-

She played by high society’s rules…

The gaslight’s glow lit Alana Van Alen’s golden hair. Born to luxury, she belonged with the Astors and the Vanderbilts at cotillions and soirees. But she shivered with fear and something more as she faced the handsome, ruthless Trevor Sheridan. He had bankrupted her fortune and would expose her family’s scandalous secret unless she accepted his outrageous offer, his emotional blackmail…his heart-stopping kiss.

He broken them all…

Born Irish, brought up in the streets, Trevor “the Predator” Sheridan learned early how to get the wealth the women he wanted. An expert as games of power, he played one that would destroy every famous family who snubbed him. Tricking the beautiful Alana was his trump card. But he never intended to want her…until her beauty and her resolve stole his breath away.

Now their desires swept them toward rapture…or ruin.

Without peeking at the copyright, when do you guess has this novel been written? LOL, exactly!!!! I can’t really be bothered to give this book a proper review. It is one of those childish romances I outgrew after my first year of reading romance. This book is about revenge, about the hero taking pleasure in annihilating his enemies and… of course the martyrdom inclined heroine that features some prominent TSTL moments. She – of all who did wrong to the Sheridan family – was the only one who of course didn’t do anything in-just (would you have guessed that?). This is a typical novel of it’s time (though I strongly would like to point out that there ARE good novels from back then). Flowery, voluptuous and essentially fluffy without any real depth.

I don’t really want to respect a hero who can’t distinguish between innocence and guilt and between the persons who committed said sin. Except for this the story has a certain soap-opera-quality to it with an ongoing suspense curve. The only condition I have on these type of books is to deliver great entertainment and at least enough wit now and then to save me from total stupidity during the worst moments. Well, suffice is to say, this book isn’t the brightest bulb in the universe and I don’t think I will ever read a McKinney again.

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Copyright: 2003

Pages: 480 (paperback edition)

Setting/Type: Medieval (England, Outremer)/Straight Romance

Grade: C-

Well, this was my first Chadwick, and to be perfectly honest, I was rather disappointed in the book. But let’s start with the easy part, the blurb *g*

In the aftermath of tragedy and scandal, Sabin FitzSimon, illegitimate son of a Norman earl, leaves England for the Holy Land in search of a new beginning. At first it seems impossible as the demons from his past life return to haunt him. There is more scandal and banishment, and Sabin finds his back to the wall. In the heat and dust, magnificence and danger of Northern Syria, he must either face himself, or be vanquished. Annais, daughter of Edmund Strongfist is a quiet, convent-raised young woman when she accompanies her father to their new life in the Holy Land. Her encounters with Sabin FitzSimon leave her bewildered, desirous, and more than a little hostile. Bravely facing up to heartache, an arranged marriage, war and death, she falls deeply in love with the country and its people. But it will take more than love to secure what she holds dear, including Sabin FitzSimon. It will take courage, endurance and raw determination to succeed…

Medievals are not my preferred genre but Chadwick excels at bringing this dirty and harsh time alive, giving it congeniality and flair and thereby transforming it into a period I could relate to. The historical background appears painstakingly researched and the slow pace and growth of the story gave me time to become acquainted with the characters and a rather unknown historical setting.

Unfortunately, in my case, I never really connected with Sabin and Annais.

Annais has all the right attributes. Not being TSTL and in possession of a brain combined with a loving heart, she should be every reader’s wish come true. But as much as I tried, she never became real to me and stayed spherical until the last page. I would have wished for more insight into her thoughts and dreams, for a wee bit less of “correctness” and some wild and improper traits. Sabin possessed a more three-dimensional nature, but he, too, never really touched my heart. Like Annais, he wasn’t allowed much reflection and space to grow, albeit he became definitely more mature and thereby lost some of his youthful willfulness.

A wee bit more focus on the inner development of Sabin and Annais would have improved the story for me , but to be fair, the historical richness and captivating descriptions of a far ago England and Jerusalem (Outremer) made up for those shortcomings.  

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