Hard Time

This book is definitely adults only, and make sure you have a fan or cold shower nearby while you read this because it doesn’t matter whether they are having sex through letters or as the real thing, the writing is very immersive.

 Annie Goodhouse doesn’t need to be warned about bad boys; good sense and an abusive ex have given her plenty of reasons to play it safe. But when she steps into her new role as outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility, no amount of good sense can keep her mind – or eyes – off inmate Eric Collier.

Eric doesn’t claim to be innocent of the crime that landed him in prison. In fact, he’d do it again if that’s what it took to keep his family safe. Loyalty and force are what he knows. But meeting Annie makes him want to know more.

When Eric begins courting Annie through letters, they embark on a reckless, secret romance – a forbidden fantasy that neither imagines could ever be real…until early parole for Eric changes everything, and forces them both to face a past they can’t forget, and a desire they can’t deny.

Well… What can I say, this is one smoking hot book!  When I first started reading it I was a bit sceptical about whether I would have any sympathy with a convict and thus be able to connect to the story. How wrong was I! Eric is sexy and romantic and it was very easy to fall in love with him myself, he was also more than a bit naughty with his words!  Five years in prison is a long time – did he deserve it? Well, I will let you make your own mind up, but I will say that this is not a novel of sweetness and light.

It is at times dark and dirty, other times sweet, sexy and romantic. Unlike some erotica out there, there is a story running through this one along with the sex, which is good as I like sex as much as the next girl but 400 pages of it gets a bit boring! There is a harsh reality about the story as well, that makes you appreciate your own family and life.

Annie is a woman who initially seemed like a bit of a wimp, but her past has made her wary of men in general and as things heat up, her personality and desires explode. There was plenty of well written emotion for both characters and I really believed in them and their experiences.

This book is definitely adults only, and make sure you have a fan or cold shower nearby while you read this because it doesn’t matter whether they are having sex through letters or as the real thing, the writing is very immersive.

As someone not usually into books labelled erotica, I enjoyed this very much and would definitely recommend.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Cara McKenna
  • Format: Kindle
  • Publisher: Piatkus
  • Genre: Erotica
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Jane Eyrotica

 I’ve never been much of a classics reader, preferring more the escapism of modern genres.  I couldn’t resist when I saw this title though, it made me laugh out loud and thought it might be a more interesting way to read the story of Jane Eyre.

It was definitely entertaining and I thought Karena Rose’s ‘voice’ matched quite well in the parts that needed to be changed for the sake of the new slant.

In my opinion, the story of Jane Eyre itself is actually quite boring, so the intimate scenes livened it up quite nicely.  I did have a few issues with it though – her age was increased so as to be legal (in our time) but some of the story then didn’t match (she spent several years at the school and then was 19 years old by the end of the book).  I can understand how difficult it would be to write it differently yet preserve Charlotte Bronte’s work though.

The other thing that had me shaking my head were the sex scenes, or more accurately, the end of them.  Each and every time after having the scene well described and vivid, it ended with the same sentence.  “He pulled out and came”.  Now I don’t know if this is an homage to Bronte’s writing style or not but it kept jarring me out of the story.  There was no more description than that and while I understand that not everyone would want to read about it, it still felt necessary to have a little bit more to be a well rounded scene (it can also be quite sexy!).  It also ignores that it is likely to be quite messy, not quite so commonplace as just straightening your clothes after, because there will be evidence!  Anyway, that is my bugbear and I do have to say it made the final love scene at the end of the book mean just that little bit more 😉

In general the additions to the book are very entertaining and still holds true to the essence of the well known story. Sadly I just didn’t like the well known story all that much 🙁  I will however be interested in reading more by Karena Rose!

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Twenty shades of steamy stories!

You don’t have to read Erotica to find steamy sexy stories!  Since 50 Shades of Grey exploded onto the book scene there has been a renewed interest in books from the erotica genre. A whole new group of people who may not have picked up a book in years, are now reading again. Anything that gets people reading has to be good!

What I want to bring to your attention is, if you are looking for a story where the sex is hot hot hot, you do not need to buy pure erotica to find it. Have a look through some of my reviews on this website and you will notice I refer to sex a lot in them – yes, I enjoy a good sex scene as much as the next person.

 While I enjoy an erotica novel, I often find that the story line is not very strong and too often the book relies simply on sex. I do like a good story with sex which is where your more mainstream novels come along. Surprisingly historical fiction can be one of the best for steamy sex scenes and definitely leave you needing a cold shower to cool down; what those Regency men and women get up to behind closed doors – phew! Authors who I would recommend if you want to delve into this genre are,

If your tastes go a bit further afield, have you considered paranormal romance? This can involve anything and everything from vampires to fairies to werewolves to ghosts.  Authors I would recommend as having excellent story lines as well as excellent sex scenes are,

  • Sherrilyn Kenyon – Start with Fantasy Lover from her Dark-Hunter series!
  • Larissa Ione – Read her Demonica Series before the Lords of Deliverance.
  • J.R. Ward – I highly recommend her Black Dagger Brotherhood series – Dark Lover is the first book.

 If you fancy branching out your reading check out the above authors book reviews on this site. we try to ensure there are no spoilers so should not ruin the book if you decide to read it.

Of course, mainstream novels do not generally go down the route of BDSM and group sex (well not the ones I have read anyway!) so if it is that aspect of erotica you are particularly interested in stick with it, otherwise consider branching out into territories unknown, you might discover a whole new world!

Haven of Obedience

 Natalie Bowen has a very successful professional life but her personal life is a disaster! Thanks to a friend, Natalie hears about The Haven, an exclusive weekend retreat where people are shown pleasure beyond their wildest imaginings. Throwing caution to the wind, she books in where under the tutelage of the disciplined Simon, she struggles to change her controlling behaviour.

I have not read the fifty shades trilogy but am not averse to a good story involving sex, lots and lots of sex. I do however enjoy a story amongst the sex and this book did have a story running through, albeit a tenuous one, but it was not always mindless sex for the sake of it in my opinion.

This is not a book heavily into bondage but it is about relinquishing control. Physical pain was not involved despite the heavy use of the term ‘punishment’ – toss me some of that punishment is all I can say!! If this is an aspect of a relationship you are interested in, it would actually be a very good book for a couple to gain an introduction to the art of control both relinquishing and maintaining!

I was not entirely happy with the way it ended, I think there were still a few questions about how it would all work out and by the end Natalie was starting to annoy me, but overall I felt it was good and I did enjoy it.

It was easy to read and had very large print but be warned the sexual  language is very explicit and there was also group sex involved – so no reading if you are easily offended!

From what I have heard of fifty shades – if you enjoyed that, you will enjoy this. If you have never read any erotica give this a try bearing in mind the disclaimer above!

What I would say to people who enjoy reading erotica in general is to browse some of the reviews on this site, you will find numerous novels which are stories with sex in rather than sex with stories added. Believe me the sex is just as hot and just as good!

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Marina Anderson
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Irreverent Questions With… Tobsha Learner

Tobsha Learner is extremely diverse in her writing; playwright, author in the genres of thriller, historical romance, and of course erotica.  The latter is what I want to highlight here.  Her work has been dubbed ‘the thinking woman’s erotica’ and while I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a thinking woman, I do consider her stories to be a level above a lot of the steamy tales out there.

Now, I’m not usually a big fan of short stories but I found these hard to stop reading.  ‘Just one more’ kept going through my mind and I found them extremely engaging. Each story provides something different and are brilliant if you aren’t a big novel reader or don’t have a lot of time but want to read something saucy.  Reviews are coming soon of her three story collections but be warned, you will need a fan… and possibly some batteries 😉

Enough wittering from me, on with the irreverence!

 What would you be or want to be (or still are), if you weren’t an author?
Film director, entomologist or astrophysicist – I obviously missed my calling.

Do you have any rituals or processes before you can start writing?
Not really, but in the winter I like to wear a rather ugly woolly beanie (with a Chelsea football emblem on it) the temperature of my head seems to be important. Once I’m in the zone, I could be anywhere.

Describe your working environment right now (desk, sofa, bathroom, etc.)
My writing studio is on the fourth floor of a beautiful Georgian building in the centre of London. It’s entirely my space and is a bit like a turret in atmosphere – I like the sense of being above, but I have had writing spaces in all sorts of strange places in the past. One was a converted laundry – not much more than a converted cupboard. The main thing is to have natural light – space isn’t that important.

 How did you celebrate when your first book was published?
Long time ago now, I remember the overwhelming excitement is when you first see one of your books displayed in a shop window, the second buzz is when you see someone reading it on the train – that’s always a little disorientating – like is that name on the cover really me? I think after a while there’s a separation of identity for many authors – the writer and the private individual. Especially when you write for different genres like myself (erotica and thrillers).

Whose opinion matters most to you?
My readers – I never believe my mum anyway!

Do you get fully dressed to write?
I write during the day so yes, I also have to walk to my writing room, however I hate wearing anything too restrictive when I write so that I’m not distracted.

What gets you in the mood or inspires you to write?
Writing is a discipline; the most important thing is getting into the rhythm of writing four – five pages a day – whatever one’s mood. Once you have the first draft down – the whole shape the real craft is the rewriting. So I fight to get to that desk every morning, inspiration comes in many ways – I am very much an architect so the storyline and characters are worked out before I even begin – however it’s bliss when your prose just lifts you up and flies you around the room and before you know it it’s evening.

Who would play you in the film adaptation of your life?
A young Meryl Streep or Mads Mikkelsen – ok, he has a penis but he is the sexiest guy on screen.

What is the weirdest comment you’ve had?
‘Not a bad writer, this Tobsha bloke.’ Overheard in an audience during one of my plays in Australia, an audience member hadn’t realised the playwright was female.

 What is the best experience you’ve had with fans?
I’ve had fans tell me my erotica has helped them with recovering from cancer, losing their virginity, revamping their marriages etc. I’ve had the most amazing and moving letter from a guy in a top security US prison (that was historical fiction). As a playwright I’ve sat with audiences rolling in the aisles. I love hearing how I’m emotionally moved my fans in whatever way – as long as they come away changed.

What do you value most?
Community, experience, respect and sense of place.

How do you deal with negative comments?
I don’t read my reviews – you’re screwed if you believe the bad ones and you’re equally screwed if you believe the good ones. I am a deep believer in craft and the best one can do is to always address one’s weakness as a writer and attempt to improve one’s craft with each new book. I am very self-critical and this helps keep me pushing for improvement.

It’s movie night, the credits are just about to roll, Happy Ever After, Everyone Dies, Or…?
I like all kinds of movies – from highbrow to lowbrow – from The Lives of Others to Rock of Ages; I guess you could describe me as as a sophisticated vulgarian.

What do you do to relax?
Go for a walk in the nearest piece of Nature I can find and if I’m in my place in California – gardening.

Do you have pets, and if so, describe them?
I have a bee hive in California, but the pets I’d really like is a colony of naked mole rats – the most incredible mammal on the planet and quite likely to hold the secret to eternal youth (amongst other extraordinary possibilities) they are also the ugliest creatures on the earth –photo attached. I think you can divide humanity into two different groups – those who love naked mole rats and those who don’t – (it’s all to do with intellectual curiosity transcending first impressions!).

What are your preferred conditions for writing, i.e. silence, background noise, TV?
Silence – I can’t even listen to the radio – but I do need the faint buzz of a big city.

What is your favourite type of music?
That’s difficult to say, I’m very eclectic, like classical, grew up on punk, went to school to reggae and will tolerate classical rock (hubbie use to play rock guitar).

Do you have any phobias?
Unfortunately I am recovering from a fear of flying developed suddenly ten years ago, now almost over it, thank God – my heart goes out to all who suffer from such thing – not a trivial matter. On the positive I love spiders and small ugly things (even been known to go out with a few in the past).

Do you have a party trick?
Yeah. I’m witty.

Slippers, socks or barefoot?
Barefoot always – I’m a born-again hobbit.

A huge thank-you to Tobsha Learner for taking the time to answer our questions, and if you want to know more about the author, visit her Website, Twitter or Facebook!

Pictures provided by and used with permission of Tobsha Learner


Irreverent Questions is BookThing‘s fun feature where we ask a series of random questions that popped into Grete’s curious head. If you are an author and would like to take part, please get in touch!

 

Three to Get Ready

After loving her Faith, Love & Devotion series, I noticed Tere Michaels had released a new ebook.  A bit of a sidestep from the MM romance genre, as I believe this falls into the category of Menage or MMF.

While the mere mention of the categories probably conjurs up interesting and gratuitous images, what attracts me most about Michaels’ writing is her characterisations.  I love that she can create three very diverse and interesting characters, bring them to life and then set them into a story that not only makes sense but is also compelling.

While the story is obviously very adult and erotic, it’s also very well written and the love scenes well envisioned and tasteful.

Lily is a sheer force of nature. Dominant to her husband Riley, her love, compassion and awareness of her husband’s needs is amazing, as well as her understanding of his attraction to his best friend Nick.  She is the one that realises the attraction is reciprocated and also the one that makes it possible.  She does make mistakes which makes her all the more human but she is truly a brilliant character.  I loved Riley and his sense of humour; being submissive doesn’t mean he’s a walkover and is the perfect foil between his wife and his best friend.  Nick is very different, more serious and has his feelings for Riley well locked up.  It was great seeing him unfold, learning to hope and trust.  The three share so much and the relationship just made perfect sense to me.

It’s a very simple story but one full of emotion, passion and love.

As I’ve said before and will probably say again, I’m of the opinion that love comes in many forms and isn’t or shouldn’t be defined by social norms.  I think that message is what I love most about Tere Michaels’ work.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Tere Michaels
  • Format: Kindle
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Keeping Kaitlyn

Keeping Kaitlyn is a sweet and excitingly erotic novella set across twin worlds; our own and another filled with a history of battles between Magica and Shapeshifters. Originally one, the worlds were split apart by a mysterious force trying to prevent the destruction of humanity after the shapeshifting Lycaons rebelled against their Magica masters.  I found this premise of a world that was once part of ours, but separated through magic really interesting, and I would love to see the history of that explored more in future books.

When the split occurred, most of the Lycaon went with the Magica to the new world, while a few remained behind. Lycaon souls long to be with each other, and not even the Veil is enough to stop the mating bond from calling them.

Being a novella, Anya needed to cover a lot of ground introducing the story and characters quickly. She did that with remarkable skill, so that by chapter two I already knew the main protagonist, Kaitlyn, well enough to like her and empathise with her. Kaitlyn is from our world, and unknowingly part Lycaon.  I loved that her feisty manner was combined with a caring and practical nature, even when she finds herself in an overwhelming situation.

The characters of Lucas and Rafian were also well realised by Anya Bast. She presents the story from the viewpoint of all three characters and this allows the reader to get a good understanding of them in a short space of time.  The two male wolf shifters know Kaitlyn as their mate, they just have to convince her of the truth.  Anya gives Lucas and Rafian both funny and serious moments, but each also had a distinctly different personality which I thought was very well done.  I loved their amusing reactions when Kaitlyn would do something that proved she wasn’t an incapable female.  Did I mention that they were hot?  They were, very!

Although presenting the story from different viewpoints helped with understanding the characters, I did find it a bit confusing a couple of times. I found myself checking back to see which of the male characters perspective was currently being presented. Other than that though, I can’t find anything in Keeping Kaitlyn that was disappointing, I just wish it could have been longer!

The believable characters and interesting setting are supported by some very erotic and explicit love scenes.  Since there are so few Lycaon females, each of them always has two male mates and this allowed Anya a lot of flexibility.  The resulting love scenes were excitingly hot, very well written and even took into account the practicalities of their situation.  All I can say is Kaitlyn is a very lucky girl!

When it came to Kaitlyn’s choice near the end, I got quite choked up. I was totally invested in Kaitlyn’s character and Anya’s writing allowed me to experience her emotion and anguish first hand. I won’t spoil the context of that choice, and so can’t say much more.

Keeping Kaitlyn combines well realised characters with an engaging story and some super erotic sex.  Highly recommended!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Faith & Fidelity

Faith & Fidelity is a sweet, touching tale of two men finding unexpected love, dealing with what it means, and being able to accept it.

The two male lead characters are interesting and often funny individuals trying to cope with their own pain.  NYPD Vice Detective Evan Cerelli is a man broken by his wife’s tragic death and trying to keep it together for the sake of his four children. Former Homicide Detective Matt Haight is a man tainted by doing the right thing as a cop, but having it thrown back at him, effectively ending his career.

I have to say this was not a title I would have sought out, but I was intrigued by a recommendation on a webcomic site I visit daily (thanks Unshelved!) and I’ve been wanting to broaden the genres I read.

The underlying message of the book is the thing that drew me in the most; that love doesn’t always lead you to an expected place, person or gender.

The two men are great – believable, lovable and I really cared about them and whether they could make it work.  They have some great banter as well as affection and emotion, and I really felt for them every time they arrived at a confusing place in their relationship.  Evan’s kids and their interactions with Matt were often hilarious and provided some really engaging moments.  Friends, other family and partners provide the rest of the cast to make this a well rounded and heart-warming book.

The story itself is well written and the pace is a blend of fast lifestyle changes and slow periods of contemplation and understanding.  The erotic scenes were extremely hot, but also tastefully written.  I’m definitely looking forward to reading more by Tere Michaels, including the next two books in the series. Faith & Fidelity is highly recommended!

Note: I’m not sure if this is only the case in the Kindle version but there were odd errors and words inserted in the wrong place.  It is a minor thing but thought it worth mentioning.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Tere Michaels
  • Format: Kindle
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

Divine Misdemeanors

Meredith Gentry chose the life of a loved one rather than be crowned Queen of the Unseelie Court of the Fey.  Living in exile in LA with her loved ones, she now works as a private detective.  When there are a spate of Fey murders, she is called in to consult by the LAPD.  Merry realises that she hasn’t left everything behind that she thought she had.  Blood and death are as present here as the Unseelie Court, and even immortals can die.

I’ve been a long time reader of both the Merry Gentry and the Anita Blake series’, but even I’m starting to get jaded.  I really enjoyed the previous book, Swallowing Darkness, and had been looking forwards to this one, as I was optimistic that Hamilton had found her way again.  Now I just feel disappointed with it.

It started off well and there was some actual plot and detective work going on which was surprisingly good, but that kind of fell by the wayside while Merry had to sleep with yet more of the fey.  I foolishly thought that now she was pregnant with twins, that the character focus would be on her and the six fathers (plus the one or two other lovers who have to be in on it for various reasons).  Frost and Doyle are probably my favourite characters and I hoped we would start seeing them as the two major characters behind Merry, but they seem almost relegated to the sidelines for this book.

Even worse,  more get added to the entourage.  The cast is just too large now, and I’m struggling to keep up with it.  I’m also really fed up of the phrase ‘brought me screaming up off the bed/floor/bath etc.’, it’s used way too often and some new euphemisms or descriptions are really needed.

I also get she is a very lucky girl and every time she has sex, gets to have multiple orgasms and all that but really, I’m getting tired of reading about it.  It’s not even that erotic anymore since it just seems to be the same thing over and over.

I’m fairly sure the aim is for her to have sex with every single creature of the fae (that are on her good side, unless it’s really important of course), so she can awaken their powers.  Just have an orgy and get it over with.

Very disappointing after the previous book and could just be the end of the road for me and this series.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)