Special thanks to Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm for the super header.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Having Reading Issues

I've had a couple of duds in the last few days I will discuss later. Work is ultra-boring, I'd rather be at home most days, spring is coming (lots of sunshine) but I'm still feeling blahbitty blah. What's up with that. Sigh.

On an up note, Wren is back from traipsing around the Caribbean in her bikini drinking rum punch and ogling hot men. She has done another smokin' installment of Handcuffed Hottie in the Hood so go and read. That will perk you up on a Thursday.

Love is Blindness by Sean Michael (58 pages)

Kieran is a literature prof and one night at a poetry slam he sees a hot gothy guy. The guy sits with him and turns out Lucien is blind. Within minutes they are headed back to Kieran's place where they have unsafe sex. Not only does Lucien bite him and therefore tastes his blood but he convinces Kieran (who is high) to bareback. Lucien has decided that Kerian is THE ONE. A couple of days later Kieran is back at the cafe hoping to see Lucien who shows up with his posse of lesbian (?) goth girls. He and Kieran head back and Lucien reveals he's a vampire and wants Kieran to join him. For about 25 seconds Kieran thinks he's got mental issues but more or less decides to go with the flow and becomes a vampire. Umm. Okay. I know it's a short story but sheesh Kieran. What's the hurry? It's essentially a couple of long sex scenes and they are very sensual since Lucien is blind, lots of emphasis on touch and taste and sound . It was what it was. A short erotic read with an emphasis on a third nipple. 0_0 (This one of the good cause books from ARe.)

Love Means ... Courage by Andrew Grey (242 pages)

This is the prequel to Love Means ... No Shame which I enjoyed. It's the story of Geoff's Dads Len and Cliff who attended high school together. They nearly share a kiss once but after graduation go their separate ways, Len to college and Cliff running the family farm. Cliff ends up marrying Ruby, Len's best friend and have a child Geoff (of the other book). Ruby is killed in a car crash with Cliff's Dad and a year later things are not going well on the farm and Len has now become friends with Cliff's sister Janelle. When Len loses his job she proposes he work for Cliff. He more or less takes over running the farm and gives Cliff the kick in the ass he needs to get his shit together. Things start improving and Cliff admits he's always liked guys, including Len. They start a relationship in secret and while most people figure it out and are fine with it Janelle, whom Len has only ever thought of as a friend (boys are so dumb), thinks Len is her man and when she finds them in bed together decides to start trouble. The "courage" part comes in with standing up for who you are and not hiding. I really did enjoy this one and I know some people said it was their fave of the three. Not sure which was my fave, they all had things I enjoyed. It was set in 1984 so there were lots of references to music and pop culture that set the period although I tried not to visualize the guys in high waist jeans. LOL I think it was well done and dealing with the little guy was pretty well handled and is that not the cutest picture on the cover of that little guy in the hat? I'm so glad he's not mine. :-) Adorable but BTDT. Also dealing with trying to have a relationship with a toddler was interesting. At least they didn't ignore the fact like they do in some books or have a mysterious nanny who raises the kid. So I think all three books are definitely worth reading. No huge conflicts with serial killers, aliens or war, just relationship stuff that most people deal with.

Now for the books I had trouble with:

Stuck on You - Anthology (206 pages)

These are supposed to be stories about guys "who just can't seem to keep their hands off each other and whose lives become emeshed (sic) and entwined in hot, romantic ways." The first story was by JM Snyder and I enjoyed it although I think it could have been much longer and more enjoyable but hey, it's an anthology. I get it. The next one? Ummm. No. It didn't appear to fit the theme and I didn't care for the writing style at all. Seemed very unprofessional. The next? A martial arts instructor and his student he's been lusting over have sex in his office. The end. Ooookay. Next a guy meets the new guy at work when they have to clean up a spill in aisle 5 and they have sex in the bathroom 20 min. later. WTF? That's stuck on someone? To me that means maybe you dated, you break up, you get back together, can't stay away. Not "Hi, my name is Jim, let's fuck. Wanna go on a date now?" Sigh. So it's obviously a book of erotica more than romance and as far as I can tell a majority of the stories do not fit what I thought I was getting which is not their fault, perhaps it's my interpretation of the blurb. Lots of authors I've never read so if you want to try something a bit less in the romance genre (at least what I read) it might be worth it. Plus it has Second Chance by Selene Kitt which I had already read. It will be a DNF for me. Although maybe someday I'll open it again and check out the other stories. Who knows.

Ryland's Sacrifice by Kim Dare (100 pages)

As a general rule I enjoy Kim Dare's work and I like shifters so hey it should be good for me. I got to page 51 and if it had been paper I would have thrown it. Rather than explain in three sentences what had happened, Ryland comes up with some cockamamie plan (I didn't even get as far as the whole plan) to "fix" it and you just KNOW it's going to end badly. I did slam the lid down on my netbook in disgust and go watch a friend's video of him opening his birthday gifts. Much more satisfying. Sigh. Now Lily tells me it ends without Ryland having to be rescued so I will likely go back and skim the parts that make me crazy and see how it ends but I was kind of stunned by my strong reaction to be honest. I can usually go with the flow with most books and it takes a lot to make be stop cold half way like that. So I'm sure you'll see how I felt soon enough because I'm compelled to see if Ryland can redeem himself. Stupid boys are not sexy.

35 comments:

Val said...

Hmmm, whoa, it doesn't sound like there's much here for me. First one sounds a little weird, second one I'd have to have read the series, third one is maybe a possibility, and I trust your judgment on the fourth!

Tam said...

The first one was typical Sean Michael on the sex side, I just had a bit of trouble with the speed. While no declaration of love per se, it was the next thing to it.

I think the third one caught me off guard because it was not what I was expecting. That's not the fault of the authors, perhaps the publisher or whomever wrote the blurb or maybe I just misunderstood and other people will find it was exactly what they expected. I just know it didn't work for me.

Jenre said...

I have to be honest here, Tam, and say from reading the bit who just can't seem to keep their hands off each other, I would probably have interpreted that as lots and lots of sex. However, I can see why the mention of hot, romantic ways might lead you to think this was more about relationships than a quick bang in the toilets. It's a shame when we think we're getting one thing and it turns out to be something completely different.

I liked the Sean Michael story - even with the unsafe sex. I think knowing that Lucien was a vampire made that bit easier to stomach than if it had been a non-paranormal story.

Tam said...

I should have put the rest of the blurb Jen Even in spite of some sort of obstacle, these couples manage to stay stuck on each other, so don't worry, it all ends with a wonderful, happy ever after! I guess in the banging in the bathroom story, the one guy then saying "Hey, I was an anal virgin before this, I thought I'd save it for someone special. Oh sorry, why don't we date then?" The end. Didn't really come off as "wonderful HEA" to me. A couple of the others were even more ambiguous with no mention of anything beyond the sex. Ah well. Whatever. I'm sure lots of people will find it perfect and that's all good.

Oh yes, paranormal lets me allow a lot of things to slide, I just though Kieran seemed pretty easy going on the whole thing. But it was an okay read, I enjoyed it for what it was.

Jenre said...

OK, that makes more sense now. I completely understand why you might have thought this was a set of romantic stories rather than a sex-fest :).

wren boudreau said...

*Pulls self away from staring out window at snow while thinking of the beach* Oh hai.

Thanks for the shout-out, Tam!

Love is Blindness sounded so familiar to me. Was it published earlier and re-released, or am I making the whole thing up?

Tam said...

Grrrr. You make me jealous Wren. *pout*

I'm not sure about the Sean Michael story. I didn't think so as the books were done specifically for the ARe charity for the Heart Foundation in February. Sean Michael has done a couple of shorts with blind characters so maybe the title is similar to one of those. None of them were vampire stories though. Perhaps there is another blind vamp story out there somewhere that is tugging at your memory.

Lily said...

@Wren... Sean's books was first published in an anthology at Torquere called Eternal Darkness.

@Tam... SM's book is typical with lots of sex. I felt it was ok going bareback because one was a vamp. Although that wasn't known yet so he was stupid.

The 2nd I've got on my reader and the third I'll pass on. I did like Kim's book. Maybe when (if) you finish it you'll end up liking it too. Hopefully? :D

Tam said...

Ah so Wren isn't still drunk from the rum punch. :-)

I think it was Keirnan's response Lily, or non-response, to the barebacking that kind of annoyed me. Because he did kind of half think of it at the time but you'd think he'd at least freak about it the next day or something. Paranormal, I let it go. :-)

I will finish it I'm sure, I could just see the BM there that could have been solved and I got a surge of frustration. LOL

Chris said...

I'm amazed and amused that you didn't have a problem with the first book, because, um, it kinda sounds like you did. :D

Definitely skipping that and the anthology. Like Lily, I enjoyed Ryland's Sacrifice, so it'll be interesting to see what you think when you finish it.

I totally get cranky about lack of condom use, even in paranormals if it's not known to all parties that there is indeed paranormality going on. (See, for example, Skin Deep - which I'm apparently liking less and less as I talk about it more and more! LOL.)

Tam said...

It does sound like I had issues doesn't it? LOL But I enjoyed it overall and I thought the smexin' without sight was very sensual and that was 80% of the book so the rest just moved very quickly to fit the story in the remaining 20%. I would have liked to see Lucien seduce Kieren more into the life of a vampire. Even over a period of a month, making him more and more dependent on the lovin' THEN break it to him that he was a vampire. But hey, I'm not the author. LOL

I will read Ryland's book because now everyone wants to know what I thought. I just have to get past my initial urge to kick him in the shins ... hard, first.

Kris said...

"I will read Ryland's book because now everyone wants to know what I thought."

Good cos otherwise you'd miss the bit where you find out the why. :)

Tam said...

Good cos otherwise you'd miss the bit where you find out the why. :)

What, find out why he's acting like an idjit? Why I feel compelled to slap him stupid?

K. Z. Snow said...

As usual, I'm here to assess your Hottie of the Day.

Exquisite squared. Wow. Wowowowowowow! (Oops, I'm starting to howl.)

Eyre said...

I'm extremely picky when it comes to unsafe sex in books. It distracts me from the story every time because I keep thinking of all the horrid consequences.

Glad you liked the Andrew Grey book.

Tam said...

I'm flattered you approve KZ :-)

It throws me off too Eyre, even though it's "fantasy". In this case I knew he was safe cause the guy was a vampire and he vamped him a bit to make him agree but he never even freaked the next day which I think I would have. LOL

Chris said...

I wonder if authors think that safe sex will pull the reader out of the story? Because I've definitely found the opposite to be true, like Eyre and Tam.

Tam said...

Some readers are of the "it's fantasy so I don't mind" but to me if the whole story is realistic (they get up, go to work, drive cars, drink coffee, change clothes, etc.) why would the sex not also reflect the real world. Now books set in the future or space or involves a supernatural aspect that both partners are aware of, it would probably throw me out of the story, but it should fit for me.

Condoms aren't romantic and as I wrote in my curling story not having one handy can cramp your style and ruin plans but it's more realistic than ignoring that disease exists and having strangers take that chance.

wren boudreau said...

I step away from the blog for a few hours and then get accused of rumming it up. *pbbbth* Pout all you want Tam!

Lily: thank you. Sometimes I do make things up. Or I get an idea for a story and then end up reading it the next day.

And oh that hottie. Are those abs for real?

Tam said...

Of course they are Wren. No one would EVER photoshop a pic on the internet. It's alllll real.

I'm just jealous, I'd rather be drunk.

wren boudreau said...

Well,if its on teh interwebz it must be true!!

If it makes you feel any better Tam, I'd rather be drunk too!

Val said...

Oops, showing up late for the discussion (thanks, Chris, for bringing it to my attention), just to say I've got to agree on the safe sex thing. If the characters are paranormal, that's a whole different thing. If they're regular humans and ignore the issue, then it makes them seem like idiots and it's hard to relate to them. Not sure why some m/m writers have their characters ignore the safe sex issue but I think it's something like what you're saying, Tam and Chris: it seems too calculated to stop and whip out a condom and not enough swept-away-with-passion! Probably a throwback to old m/f romance cliches (when all we had to worry about was getting pregnant!).

Chris said...

Oh, Tam, what was that short we read that skipped lube and condoms and they'd gone on and on about how huge the top was?! Was it a Kris Klein? We were squicked, I remember.

Kris said...

Do you remember that unsafe sex post that I did last year some time, Tam, and there was a mixed bag of reactions?? I was one of those that felt that it was irresponsible to not include protected sex in any book whether it be m/m or m/f.

Kris said...

Found it! http://tiny.cc/BQudt

Chris said...

Thanks for that link, Kris - that was a bit before I'd discovered all of you. :) Great discussion in the comments of that one!

Tam said...

It was a British story Chris. Hmmmm. Found it, Harder by Jamieson Wolf. If my first reaction to a sex scene is "OMG are you insane, put a glove on that thing" and not "OMG, that is so freaking hot" it's not a good reaction.

Tam said...

I remember that Kris. Most people though want SOME reference to condoms. I would rather roll my eyes at the condoms in the hotel night table (Who the fuck does that when not expecting to get lucky?) or handily having a lube pack and condom in your pocket at work than be wondering if later in the book there'll be a scene at the STD clinic.

It's just part of the sex scene. Like getting undressed to me. Although sometimes I wonder if all characters in books have sex with their socks on because they usually take off their pants and shirts and underwear but they never mention socks.

Tam said...

I agree Val. I think there has been so much education about STDs in general, not only HIV/AIDS that we are all hyper aware of it and it throws you off when you are thinking of how dangerous and stupid something is rather than how romantic. Romantic is wanting your partner to be healthy and safe.

I thought (not ever having had an HIV test except through blood donation) that to be really sure you had to wait 6 months between tests because of the incubation period. I could be wrong though and maybe new tests are more accurate and faster. I suppose I could google that. Maybe tomorrow. :-)

Chris said...

Ah! That was it! My first thought was "OUCH" and then "Dude, safe sex much?"

ErotRomReader (Janna) said...

I'm late but look what a nice discussion I'm treated to :)
I'm reading this book at the moment (Conquest by SJ Frost) in which the guys don't use condoms after talking about it a bit. There's a mentioning of being clean and never gone all the way before. It did make me frown but it didn't throw me off completely.
Funny thing is that they do take their socks off :)

Tam said...

Hi Janna. I'll admit, if both are virgin (you are unlikely to get a disease from oral sex, yes, it could happen, but in general odds are lower, I could probably be fine with no condoms, especially if they've discussed it. That's an informed choice. It's the carried away in the moment with a stranger that throws me off.

Glad to hear there was no sex with socks. :-) Although when it's cold, I'm all in favour of it.

ErotRomReader (Janna) said...

Well, I think one of them wasn't a virgin, that's the one who said he was clean. So, it's not completely okay, but later on in the book it becomes an issue for the brother of the other guy who asked if they were idiots. So, we're not left with the idea that it's all okay to go without a condom.

About the socks: like you tried not to picture the high waisted jeans in the second book, I try not to picture socks in all the sex scenes I read! Socks are just so not sexy (even when it's cold) ;D

Erotic Horizon said...

A mix bag of books for you Tam - I do agree with you on the Andrew Grey book - I love them all...

I will get to SM book eventually - He is good for my mood reading blues - his brand of smut works for me every time and it's a short read...

I have the Dare book and am looking forward to reading it - I do hope you finish it. When you have read a few more, just revisit it - you never know you might look at it differently...

Cool discussion on Unprotected sex - not a lot more that I can say - that you guys haven't said, I did read HARDER recently... so can symphatize..

E.H>

Tam said...

Hi EH. I keep reading 3 paragraphs of Ryland then stopping, then reading 3 more and trying not to scream at him as his logic for a mathematician is totally screwed. LOL Maybe once I get past that part I'll be okay.

Harder was rather jarring in the barebackedness. Which is a word I totally made up. LOL