Tag Archives: erotica

A Batch of Romance Mini Reviews

This is a mixed bag of romances, two rather good ones and one that was decidedly underwhelming. See if anything catches your fancy!

 

The Princess Wore Plaid (The Oxenburg Princes #2.5) by Karen Hawkins
Published on March 21, 2016 by Pocket Star.

Links: Goodreads.

Source: publisher via Netgalley. Thank you Pocket Star for providing me with an e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: historical romance.

My rating:

This is a novella from The Oxenburg Princes series and it was actually my favourite story so far. I usually dislike reading novellas because the characters or the story always feel underdeveloped, but this certainly wasn’t the case here! The novels focus on the brothers – princes – of the royal family of Oxenburg, a made up East-European country. They somehow end up traipsing through Scotland and falling in love. This novella features their royal cousin, the princess Tatiana and a recluse of a Scottish Lord. I didn’t enjoy the princes’ stories as much because they were domineering and very alpha, but Lord XX is a damaged man who allows XY into his life and heart despite his opinion that a young woman has no business spending time with a crippled loner. The heroine has been in a carriage accident and has suffered some memory loss, and is now employed at a country inn as a kitchen maid. I liked how she thought about her life as a royal and the things that made a person good, she really changed and grew up as a character, which, as you know, is very important to me. I’ve read most of Karen Hawkins’s books, so I’ll most definitely be reading the last part of this series as well – it’s the crown prince’s story! :)

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Sweet Ruin (Immortals After Dark #16) by Kresley Cole
Published in December 2015 by Gallery Books.

Links: Goodreads.

Source: publisher via Netgalley. Thank you Gallery Books for providing me with an e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: paranormal romance.

My rating:

Oh, Kresley Cole… I have such a love-hate relationship with her. I absolutely adore the first… eight or so instalments of her Immortals After Dark super-series. Though her heroes are alpha males (yes, males, they’re demons and werewolves and whatnot) and often overbearing and insistent to the point of being pushy, her heroines definitely knew how to handle themselves and mostly kicked the men’s asses into submission, rarely taking shit from them. But once Cole started writing NA paranormals (seriously, don’t even bother with those, they’re horrible, or at least the first one is, I never continued with the series) and erotica (which kind of made me want to wash my eyeballs), the quality of her characters has slipped, I think. 

I… read Sweet Ruin in a day or so, the story is still good and the writing pretty addictive, but I wish for more truly independent women, not just superficially “strong” heroines who conform to their partner’s wishes. Eh. Also, this one opened up the world of the Lore, which is already complicated as fuck, to a whole other dimension of super deities, which worries me a lot, because it looks like we’re in for another sub-series of crazy-powerful individuals, who are mostly male, which always troubles me when they’re paired with women who can’t really cope with that kind of strength. I mean, before, the couples in her romances were valkyrie and a werewolf, for example, both were immortal and the woman was more than capable of slapping the man around. But now … things just aren’t so level anymore, and I never like such imbalance. Eh. We’ll see where the series goes, I might give the next part another try for old times’ sake.

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Playing For Her Heart (Gamers #2) by Megan Erickson
by Entangled Publishing.

Links: Goodreads.

Source: publisher via Netgalley. Thank you Entangled Publishing for providing me with an e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: contemporary romance/erotica.

My rating:

Ooh, another ARC debt. I actually enjoyed this one a lot. It’s a contemporary romance bordering on erotica with some role playing involved. The couple hooks up at a SFF convention (I really want to visit ComiCon or something someday, not for the sex, obviously, but for the amazing cosplay!), they are dressed as characters from the same video game, and the sex is off the charts hot. But then the girl disappears from the room and the guy is left wondering if he’ll ever see her again. He does, of course, as she’s his best friend’s shy sister – she only lets go when she’s playing a role, so he accepts that, but knows he wants more than just games from her (he’s playing for her heart, hint hint). Anyway, this was a nice surprise, as I haven’t had much luck with Entangled romances in the past (which hasn’t prevented me from reading them, *sigh*). 

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Did you read any of these? What did you think?

Do you stay loyal to authors even after they’ve disappointed you?

I’d love to hear from you! :)

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Rules of Seduction by Joya Ryan

Rules of Seduction (Serve #7) by Joya Ryan
Published June 9, 2015 by Entangled Brazen.

Links: Goodreads.

Source: Publisher via NetGalley. Thank you Entangled Brazen for providing me with an e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: contemporary romance/erotica.

My rating:

He’ll be the dream and the dirty fantasy…

Through with both her controlling ex and relationships, Ava Webber is determined to explore the spicy and sometimes forbidden appetites of the exclusive BDSM nightclub, Serve. Here, she’ll get exactly what she needs…as long as it’s from a man she doesn’t know.

Nolan Hart ensures that Serve’s clients get what they want, how they want it. But with one look at the curvy brunette, Nolan knows he’s the man to fulfill her desires. As the anonymous lover, he’s Ava’s dirtiest fantasy. Outside of Serve, he’s her charming, smartass friend.

But Nolan wants more. More than Ava is willing to give. And as long as the blindfold stays on, she’ll never discover that the two men she’s falling for are one and the same…

srcekI’m a sucker for contemporary romance, it seems. I can never resist an intriguing plotline and this one’s pretty interesting if you like erotica at all. Warning: this is an adult novel! :)

The first thing I want to point out is that this novel is a suprprisingly well-done when it comes to the erotic part. I wasn’t head-over-heels about the plot or anything (too much unnecessary angst and miscommunication) but the sex part was pretty hot. Some erotic novels leave me wanting to wash my eyeballs after reading them but here I didn’t get the feeling that anything degrading was being done to Ava (or Nolan), the relationship was pretty balanced, power-wise (and money-wise), and though there was some pretty intense exploring going on, it was – if the word can be applied to erotica – tasteful. If you read erotica at all, I don’t have to tell you how rare it is to find such novels in the genre.

I have to say I didn’t pay much attention to the safe sex issue here (in my defence, I read it before I wrote that post!) but since Nolan makes sure Ava signs a contract when she comes to the club (as all customers do, apparently), I’m assuming they check out their clients’ health.

I liked both characters, too. Ava has been hurt by her ex-boyfriend who trampled all over her independence and feelings, and Nolan has trouble connecting with the women he’s with. Though I could have done with more exploration of their relationship and with a bit less drama, I liked how they worked through their issues in the end. COMMUNICATION, people, it helps.

Overall, this was a good erotic/contemporary romance novel and I think I might poke into the previous instalments of the series, which seems to be centered around the club Ava visits (the one Nolan works in). But it seems like several authors cooperated in creating Serve, so we’ll see. I liked the one Tessa Bailey novel I read before so I might give hers a try.

srcek

Do you read erotica? What are your thoughts on this hot genre? 

I’d love to hear from you :)