December 14, 2014

Cinderella and the Ghost by Marina Myles

I know I usually write posts that are glowing five-star reviews of books I've enjoyed, because I'm lazy and busy and don' have the time to write up something full of complaints. If I don't like a book, I don't finish it, and in my mind, it's unfair to review a book I haven't finished. I guess I could start a flounce list along with reasons why I stopped reading, but that's another post for another time.

Someone once told me that negative reviews are important, because I'm  saving others from reading bad books.

Now it seems I had to take that person's advice. This had just about everything I despise in a romance novel. I have to say, I'm horribly disappointed

I love NetGalley, It gives me a chance to sample all kinds of different books. I was browsing there when I happened upon this cover:

Isn't it striking? I love a good cover, and this one didn't have half-naked people wound around each other. The picture made me want to read the summary, which is what a good cover should do.

When her demanding stepmother died, Ella Benoit knew just how far their fortunes had fallen, unlike her spoiled stepsisters. So she never expected the bequest from her late father. A chateau in France and the freedom to live her own life, all at once!

The chateau has seen better days, but Ella knows she can put the ruined house to rights. The life-size portrait of its first owner, Jean-Daniel Girard, seems to watch her work with approval, even pleasure. With bright blue eyes, strong features, and an athlete€™s body, the viscount is a tempting sight even now, more than three hundred years after his tragic death. But the more she looks at the portrait, the more convinced Ella is that shes met Jean-Daniel before. In another life, perhaps or maybe, as the form who haunts the halls at night, invading Ella€™s dreams

NOW I was intrigued, so I submitted my request later that day. I was excited to read about the cursed prince, but it all went downhill from here.

Here are the three main problems I have found in this book

1) A lot of telling, no showing

This is a huge problem in many books but especially in romance.

Telling me he is handsome and how pretty she is and how tormented she is by her life is NOT character building. You as an author have not given me reason to sympathize with her, nor have you shown me why he is desirable.

There are sentences like, "He is absolutely perfect." No! Just, NO! Please stop. It's torturous and makes for a tedious read. When an author goes on and on like this, it makes me skim to find when the hell something is going to happen. That is something you never want the reader to do, because they are pulled out of the story. Long, vapid descriptions of the hero's eyes and his perfection is not compelling storytelling, Not to mention the whining about how miserable she is and how terrible life has been to her and how she has no self-esteem and if only something would come along and save her. I have notes in my kindle version that include "get therapy" and "seek help"

Also, repeating it does not make it so! Aquamarine was used ten times in the book, nine of which was to describe his eyes. And it's a short book! Her eyes are described as Lapis, and her hair is ivory. Ummmmm...okay.

My other issue on this topic was the repetitive drilling into the readers' head about how miserable her life was with her evil step mother and stepsisters. Of course with it being a Cinderella book, I expected some of this, but I would have preferred a new take on it. Perhaps a humanizing of these characters or showing me how they were nonredeemable. Instead, we have Ella grousing about it to the point where she sounded bitter and whiny.
random Channing I found when googling "frustrated"

That is the difficulty with taking on something like Cinderella. It's a delicate balance. She can either be taken too far one way where she is a cross between a doormat and a saint, or she comes off as whiny and bitter.
I love my google

For these issues, a good pre-reader who tells the author to knock it off, would do the trick. And you as the author need to listen to these trusted people. A good pre-reading team and editor are not there to blow smoke up your ass. They believe in the writer, but they are also there to kick your ass, and book, into shape. They want you to present the best of yourself, and the best of your work.

this is what google gives me when I search faithful

2)  Continuity Errors

This is what a pre-reading team and editor are for. The writer is too close to their own work to catch these issues. The problem with continuity errors is that it disrupts the vision in the readers' mind.

3) Superfluous, Distracting Story Points

The main thing to me that could have been left out is (SPOILER ALERT) Ella was raped. First, it was not dealt with well, since it didn't happen in the story itself but before the story began. Again, this is a delicate issue.

Having a rape survivor in a book with some erotica needs to be handled better. In my opinion it was not handled well at all. It was just brought out to make the reader feel some sympathy for Ella. It did not work with this reader. To me, it was just piling on more crap. It didn't drive anything in the story. When I pre-read for others and come across something like this, I always ask the author, "What does this do to drive the story? Does this have a point? Is it needed? If not, get rid of it and expand on something else. There were so many places that could have been fleshed out, Things that could have been made beautiful with the right treatment. Sadly, these were ignored.

google is confused I typed in pleading and this is what I get!

This story idea had so much promise. It could have been something fantastic. In my mind, I had at least a dozen different scenarios as to different avenues the story could have taken. It would make a great writing prompt for a contest or writing practice.

In the end:

I felt no attraction to the cursed Prince

I felt no sympathy for lead female

I am horribly disappointed and would love to see someone take this idea and fix it


November 2, 2014

Misbehaving by Tiffany Reisz

A red-hot retelling of Much Ado About Nothing for people who love Shakespeare but thought his plays could use a few more sex scenes.

Wanted: Adventurous, open-minded man willing to try anything…
As a popular sex blogger, Beatriz gets paid to have orgasms. So being on deadline the week of her sister’s wedding isn’t as rough as it sounds. There’s just one hitch: Bea’s assignment is to write a review of a sex position manual, but she doesn’t have a plus one to play with.
The good news: Ben, the one who got away back in college, is also attending stag--and he's as temptingly gorgeous as ever.
The bad news: Ben turned down Bea’s offer of graduation night sex five years ago.
The best news: He’s not planning on making the same mistake twice.

Do you love something funny? with witty dialog fun characters and lots of hot well written sex? This is a sweet romantic comedy by The author of The Original Sinner Series. I know many who tried those gritty novels who said "I love the writing style and the dialog but the story is too squicky for me" to those people I say READ THIS ! lots of sex with a story to go along It was a good fun quick read. 5 stars to Ms Tiffany very enjoyable. 



October 16, 2014

I always said I was the worlds worst blogger

Yes I am!
So I missed posting about SYTYCWs 5th Birthday in July yes it happened I did mention it on Facebook
I have good reasons this time
life has been busy
family , I got a job, and my weight loss efforts have lead to less time to read and even less time to blog

I have read some FABULOUS books so Im going to give you some author Recs and say GO SEE THEM

and I will get some posts finished and posted soonish

1) Cara McKenna all I can say is read her stuff because HOLY HOTNESS it is fantastic

2) Penny Watson you really really really want to read her book Apples should be Red I will go into details why in a post dedicated to that book specifically

3) ANY of the number of books by Tiffany Reisz just do it

4) IF you are a gardener get the book The Incredible Edible Todmorden fabulous true story of a town that turned itself around by growing edibles in place of the usual decorative garden stuff. It is inspiring and just brilliant !

There you go have a great day I'm heading out on a walk!

June 16, 2014

How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with you by T.M. Franklin

I read the summary of this book when I saw the author post it in my timeline
and I KNEW I had to read this
I know it is a slight departure from my usual adult romances
it is after all a YA romance about high school kids that are my kids age
but this is so cute and so worth it !
Seventeen-year-old Oliver Wendell Holmes (Yes, his parents are just that peculiar, but his brother's name is Sherlock, so it could have been worse) knows that he's different. He's quirky, awkward, and he's okay with that. Oliver also likes making lists-meticulous procedures for achieving his goals, step-by-step. Whether it's "How to Get an A in Chemistry" or "How to Get Accepted to MIT," he has a process, and it's worked for him so far. He doesn't even care that the popular kids mock him. Oliver's got his eye on the prize. 
So when he decides it's time to declare his feelings for Ainsley Bishop, the girl of his dreams, it's only natural for him to make a list-a point-by-point strategy to win her heart. He knows it will take a grand gesture for her to see all he has to offer, and her approaching birthday provides the ideal opportunity for Oliver to put his plan into action. 
 Finding the perfect gift is a challenge Oliver meets with his usual dogged determination. He'll need to watch her carefully for clues to pinpoint exactly what he should give her. And along the way, he might just learn that what Ainsley really needs is not quite what he expected.
Oliver is adorable . I will not call him a book boyfriend because I am far too old for him but what a sweetheart ! This fabulous young man was so real he reminded me of my sons. All of his frustrations and successes are so very real. I just wanted to make it all better for him and cheer him on as things went his way and then hold him when they did not.

This book is full of fun and real teenage things without being overly emo sad or massively dramatic 
T.M. took normal everyday occurrences and turned them into something fabulous . I enjoyed this book so much even the side characters had "life" not just two dimensional things to be there but personality. 

Oliver is you average ordinary exceptionally intelligent hard working kid , he has to be to want to go to MIT. Ainsley is the pretty girl he has a crush on. I love that she is likable and not some device or stereotype. 

There is so much in this book I would love to talk about but I would spoil too much lets just say 
I laughed 
I cried
I sighed 
then I laughed some more 
I want a hard copy of this book because I want to hug it 
I have already told people in real life to read this one 
and yes I would read this one again so you know what that means


June 1, 2014

COVER REVEAL for the HIGHLY Anticipated book The Ropes

I know the Author of this fabulous book already did her own reveal but since I have a bigger mouth and I love to brag and talk about this story and this person I am doing my own cover reveal !!

That cabin door looks pretty small there Ann!
(a bit of an inside ongoing joke let me know if you want in on it!)
So the cover is very pretty ! wanna know what the book is about?


A storm is coming, and Mary Hinsdale is rushing to ready her colonial New Hampshire farm for winter. The ropes that are her lifelines are strung building to building, the animals are bedded down, and her food stores are checked. What she isn’t prepared for is Andrew Montrose.

Andrew, the black sheep of his well-to-do family, is wounded, privileged and playful. Work is something he avoids, and he’s quite good at convincing others to do his for him. He is shocked to learn that not only is he stuck on the farm until spring, but Mary actually expects him to help with the chores.

Tempers flare as expectations clash. Forced by circumstance to live together, they must learn to compromise, forgive, and adjust or they will either come to blows or fall in love.
This book and this lady are both very special to me. I was a part of the Writers Workshop group that helped edit this book. Ann and I have been friends for geez almost 5 years now. 
You will see me pushing this book
here is why 
Ann had an Agent

Ann did all the Agent wanted INCLUDING adding a scene to this book that did not fit the characters or Anns writing style 
the reason she did that 
The Agent said that a non erotic romance will not sell 

As Anns friend and a lover of Erotica I was livid 

I have bought and read MANY books without sex in them 
Sometimes I just want to read something sweet 
something that has that fabulous build up 
something different 
No publishers wanted the book
they say
Historical Romance readers will only read 
Regency Romance
THAT is what sells 

 I say because most of Historical Romance readers will buy something different
 IF it is offered 
MANY of us love the Regency period BUT are sick of it because
THAT is all there is 

WELL LADIES !! I have your something different 
The Ropes is set during the American Revolution

and WAIT till you meet Andrew 
NOW if you want to get to know my darling friend you can
Follow her on Twitter 
and make certain you like her Facebook Fan page

OH and she is on GoodReads 


May 17, 2014

The Saint by Tiffany Reisz

Before she became Manhattan's most famous dominatrix, Nora Sutherlin was merely a girl called Eleanor… 
Rebellious, green-eyed Eleanor never met a rule she didn't want to break. She's sick of her mother's zealotry and the confines of Catholic school, and declares she'll never go to church again. But her first glimpse of beautiful, magnetic Father Marcus Stearns—Søren to her and only her—and his lust-worthy Italian motorcycle is an epiphany. Eleanor is consumed—yet even she knows that being in love with a priest can't be right. 
But when one desperate mistake nearly costs Eleanor everything, it is Søren who steps in to save her. When she vows to repay him with complete obedience, a whole world opens before her as he reveals to her his deepest secrets that will change everything. 
Danger can be managed—pain, welcomed. Everything is about to begin.

If you read the rest of The Original Sinner series of books you will thoroughly enjoy this the first installment of "The White Years"
This part of the series seeks to better flesh out the back story of the characters
Things I love about it without spoiling anything (I had a very hard time doing this and not in a good way)
This book goes more in depth into the relationship between Nora(then called Eleanor) and Soren
how it started

It all starts when Elle refuses to go to church.
Her mother tells her about the new priest who rides a motorcycle
some kind that starts with a D
Elle goes reluctantly and there has a religious experience
She meets Soren

"Do you have any idea what it is that you have between your legs?"
 she demanded
"I am well aware of what I have between my legs" he said the words without even breaking a smile

"Eleanor is the name of queens
Elle is merely a French pronoun that means she or her "
Sorry Tiff this is who I see as Soren
Elle wants one thing she wants someone to love her for who she is as she is.
She feels abandonded by her father (who is a bum car theif and only shows up to get things from her)
neglected by her mom who works two jobs and wants her to be a good girl who fears God and respects her Priest and her mother.
and then Soren comes into her life.
he speaks to her like a young adult
rather than treating her like a child.
He is not put off by her questions or her
strange mind and conclusions

A lot of people are put off by a Catholic Priest having a "relationship" with an underage child
Many say it is manipulative 
that he is using his position of power to coerce her
In my opinion his role is more of mentor and waiting for her to grow up
He is attracted to her she is precocious and cute and a flirt
and he recognizes something in her that you will understand more if you read the book
at whose feet should you kneel?

I wonder if it people are more annoyed with him being a priest
rather than him being a lay person of the same age
(do not judge unless you know the back story and unless you read the book you have no idea)
There is no in appropriate contact between them until she is of age.

I like that the book explains more about Noras sexual preferences than the other books did
I like that it tells us how much she enjoys pain both the giving and the getting
This makes her sexual exploits with Soren less squick worthy because this is something SHE is into
(again all about the loving of the different flavors)

The thing I loved the best is the bible references and religion talk
hard to believe but there you go
It just fits so well and the Theology is beautifully done
The references just support the story so well It was all very romantic and inspirational
It really makes this non practicing Catholic want to grab her Bible and re read the stories

"Why does the king tie her up?"
"because he loves her"
SO if you like a lot of meat with your story
and a little gravy
get this one It is a fantastic continuation/prequel/sequel to the series

I laughed I cried I sighed
Most of all readers remember while reading this one TRUST TIFFANY
she loves the mind fuck
and she sure did it to me again
If you cannot tell I'm giving this one 5 stars


May 12, 2014

Unbound by Cara McKenna

She set out to find herself, and discovered the darker side of desire.

I bought this book based on a rec through a friend in my twitter timeline
I saw her talking to Tiffany Reisz about this book
Tiffany (as you know writes The Original Sinners series) said
" one of the best examples of a male sub "
I am always skeptical when it comes to reading about male subs
and here is why
most tend to feel either too feminine
or too childish
not quite the image that fits the story but I like it anyways
For me both of those take the hotness out of the kink
I like my men manly
and what many people cannot express when it comes to a submissive is it is not weakness that drives a sub
it is an eagerness to please
a desire to be punished or to earn forgiveness for whatever transgression may be bothering them
I personally equate that desire to something like the feeling one gets after confession (for my non Catholic friends just trust me), It is cleansing to do this "penance"
please note  this is NOT the case for all subs just some, some subs just like the feeling if it is not your thing then it is not YOUR thing do not judge others for THEIR thing in this book she describes being Kinky as one would being gay it is just something you are born with a preference, it does not need to be fixed or loved out of you or therapied out of you it is a part of who you are and how you get off

I have to agree with Tiffany
I have a new book boyfriend
I'm in love with
He is a man
a manly man a survivalist living on his own in the highlands
Through the story he matures and changes as we get to know him
His journey is neat one to read you find yourself as the reader wanting to hold him and hug him and make it all better knowing that would be the worst thing you could do for him he would reject it
and the message would never get across but he is just wonderful
I yelled out loud during the climax of his story (not a sexual climax you pervs)
If you chose to read this book you find out what Im talking about

Now for our female lead
You all know me I hate a weak female lead
I want my girls strong of mind and spirit
or to grow to find that strength inside them through their journey
What struck me most about Merry
was how far she had come before our story even begins
Merry went on a weight loss journey
some of you may know I am on a journey of my own to gain better health I have so far lost 60lbs
I really identify with everything she says about it
the numbers thing
calories in calories out
sodium content
sugar content
carbs counting
serving sizes
weighing measuring everything
number of steps etc
I have to be compulsive for health reasons
I have been successful too
and it does change the attitudes of others around you
I have yet to find anyone for me that has been negative or snarky about it
Merry has done what I can only dream of
she met her goal and goes on a one woman backpacking trip across
Her goal is to find herself and find peace and celebrate her late mothers birthday in her birth city

Along the way she gets ill the closest place is off in the distance
Robs cabin
no they do not jump in the sack right away
it builds not too slowly but believably
I like Merry I can see us being friends she is sweet, optimistic and  smart and intuitive
We get a glimpse of these two and their lives
just a piece I like that they are fleshed out and feel real

and what we have here is a fabulous story
that honestly would be good even if there was no sex
 and the sex
and not in that overdone tab A slot B way
just beautiful

I hope you give this one a go I need people to talk about it
You will be cheering for them I got very invested in this one
I was sad to see it end

I am updating this post because like a moron I forgot to give it a rating
if you cannot tell I really liked this one and I would probably give it a re read
so I'm giving this one