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

Thursday, January 21, 2010

More Shorts for Me Today

I can't seem to settle down to a longer book. I have about 3 that I've read 15 or so pages then kind of wandered off. So I read some shorter ones and maybe that will settle me down.

Loving the Rain by Drew Zachary (37 pages)

This is a re-read for me. I read it a long time ago and it's set in my city (and I didn't find myself going "Argggh, that street is NOT there!" so that's good. Tony is on his way to his temp job and as he's getting his hot chocolate it starts pouring. He decides to wait it out and asks to sit at Brendan's table. Some instant flirting and they agree to meet for dinner. They then become boyfriends. The end. LOL More or less, it's just a story about two young guys meeting and getting to know one another. It's a bit contrived, Tony is an artist who makes statues out of found objects (as well as photography and drawing) and Brendan works for Friends of the Earth who are all into recycling and saving the planet. He's a vegetarian (mostly). They are both idealistic. But I liked both guys, it's a fun relationship and Drew Zachary writes hot smexin'. There is a fisting scene for those who care, but it's pretty well done, not lots of detail on the physical, more the emotional. Anyway, it's a cute read that I like to go back to from time to time. Oh and the stupid Arcana cover has NOTHING to do with the story. Not a dog in sight. Or girl for that matter.

Wolf in Man's Clothing by Dakota Rebel (34 pages)

Christian (a werewolf) finds Rhys on the side of the road with a broken down car in the forest ... on his way to his Grandmother's house and he's wearing a red hoodie. *wink* *wink* (Ref: See hottie of the day) Anyway, he offers to take Rhys to his cabin to call for help (no cell reception) and they are instantly attracted. So they have some hot smexin' and Rhys convinces Christian to come with him to his Grandma's house for her birthday. He agrees but is afraid to tell Rhys he's a werewolf because he'll freak. While at Grandma's (who knows he's a wolf because her brother was) she is attacked by a lynx (seriously? never heard of that) and Christian shifts to save her but Rhys shoots him. Ooops. Anyway, alls well that ends well thanks to shifting and healing. It was a cute little story told in first person from Christian's point of view. It smacks of insta-love but I kind of let it go convincing myself that it's because he's a werewolf. There were enough sly jibes at the Little Riding Riding Hood story to make it amusing enough to get past the insta-love.

Now, comes the but .... Nothing wrong with the story and I know authors have zero control over their book once the publisher gets it. But in light of my post at Kris' I had to bring it up. I opened the pdf file and it's 47 pages. Not really. Starts on page 6 and ends on page 39. What's at the back you say? Blurbs for other books. Okay, this is a new publisher to me (Resplendence) so I'll check it out. Of the 10 blurbs in the back of an m/m book, 8, yes 80% were for m/f books. I can understand an m/f blurb for the author herself, because those are her books and she should be promoted in her own story, but 80%? I bought m/m, not m/f, not m/f/m, pure menz. So 72% of this book was story. Compare that to the book above where there was a cover and one page at the end with publisher info. Hmmmm. *squinty-eyed glare at Resplendence* (It wasn't cheap either.)

Open Sesame by Mia Watts (41 pages)

Alister is discussing a business deal with his uncle that was close to insider trading. His uncle made a ton of money before the company went belly-up. As he's leaving he is kidnapped by four guys. Seems the four brothers from the defunct company want answers and money back for the pensions of their employees and intend to blackmail Alister's uncle for the money and get information from him how they knew the company was going under. The plan seems to be for Oz (Oscar) to tie Alister to a bed and fuck the information out of him. Oooookay. But Oz has had a thing for Alister for a while so he's down with the plan. Things get very steamy and pretty soon Alister is untied, they're fucking like bunnies and he's spilling his guts (doesn't know much anyway). In they end they realize they like each other and even though Alister is free to go he chooses to stay with Oz. Issues: The whole plot is totally far-fetched. His mean brothers actually agree to let him fuck the info out of Alister? Mmmhmm. It's never clear if they figure out the solution and get the money back from his uncle (vaguely hinted at) and Alister has just been kidnapped and gets a hard-on within minutes while cuffed and his head in a bag. Non-issues? All of the above. It's basically one long 30 page seduction scene and it is seriously smoking hot. Logical, no. Steamy, oh yeah. I did like Alister's spunk (not that, get your mind out of the gutter) and Oz was a good character too and I was happy they were getting together so if you just take it for what it is, a fun read with some very steamy built-up sex, it's great.

So you ask, was this book better in terms of crap at the back? Not much. 12 out of 53 pages of "stuff" (front and back). 77% of the book was story. Slightly better than 72% for the one above. Of the 12 blurbs in the back, 6 were for m/f books, so 50%. Still, 50% too many, IMHO.


Chris said...

Too funny - I read Open Sesame last night and am halfway through A Wolf in Men's Clothing! And I was thinking to myself, "Hmm, I should warn Tam about all the junk Resplendence tosses in the back of these, 'cos it's going to drive her batshit." Heh.

Tam said...

Sigh. Yeah. I've never read one of their books so I was not impressed. I know it's not fair to compare prices, but I paid $3.50 each for those and got about 35-40 pages of book. If you go to Torquere and buy the first one, it is $2.50 for the same thing.

Not that I'm complaining too much because they both were enjoyable reads (good thing or you'd really hear the bitching) but it still irks me.

Chris said...

Heh, my ereader's nearly always in la-la land re: its page count and the actual page count of the book, so I never pay attention to that. I do look at file size and because of that didn't immediately realize that these were shorts.

Gah - it's like these short stories are potato chips and I Just. Can't. Stop. (Bad analogy, since I don't like potato chips. Um, how about dark chocolate covered rice cake thins?)

Tam said...

Umm. No, no rice. Popcorn? Peanuts? Me and shorts have a co-dependent relationship.

Sometimes even file size can be tricky because the cover pictures can be HUGE. I usually copy the cover into Paint and save it to upload to blogger (easier for me) but it was taking forever and ever for a couple and I checked and they were nearly 1500 mb. WTF? So I shrunk them down that that could make you think the book is HUGE. That's unusual but even file size can be distorted by images. Damn technology. :-)

wren boudreau said...

Tam: In solidarity: *squinty-eyed glare*

Chris: In what universe are dark chocolate covered rice cake thins desirable? *loosens halo around Chris's neck to encourage blood supply to brain*

Tam said...

I know I'm not alone Wren yet publishers haven't seemed to have caught on. They need to do some customer surveys. "Have you ever bought a book because of the blurb we put at the back of a book in a completely differen genre?" I'd think the answer is no.

I know. Rice cakes? Sheesh.

Chris said...

*takes advantage of loosened halo to thwunk Wren over the head with one of the spare bloated ebook files lying around Tam's blog, then uses halo as pseudo-handcuffs to attach Wren to today's Hottie*

*darts away*

*darts back and apologizes to Tam for compromising her Hottie Red Riding Hood*

*darts away*

wren boudreau said...

I fail to see the problem here. I have a halo and a hottie. Although I'd be happier if he had hair!

wren boudreau said...

This post has been brought to you by the letter 'h'.

Chris said...

Won't the conversation around your dinner table be interesting tonight, Wren?

Lily said...

I haven't read any of these but they do sound pretty good.

I hate those filler pages in the back and rarely read them.

Red-riding hood hottie is HOT! Lucky Wren, handcuffed to him.

*leaves pouting*
*comes back for another look*
*pouts and leaves again*

Tam said...

How can you tell he has no hair Wren? I'm sure there is some hair under that hood.

Maybe Wren will share Lily. I'm glad I am not alone on filler pages. We need to rise up in revolt or something. Someone plan a protest, make up some signs.

wren boudreau said...

Of course I will share! I'm not mean that way. (other ways, yes). And don't worry, Chris. Everything will be cleaned up before hub gets home.

And I can just tell. There might be some hair, but not enough for my taste! Nothing to grab onto.

Here's my protest sign: "No filler. Just the meat!"

Average Reader said...

Very interesting reviews, Tam! Loving the Rain. I'm guessing it rains a lot in your city, ha, ha!

This poor author, though, getting a random girl put on his cover! Nothing wrong with girls on covers, but not for an m/m book! Might make the readership assume het sex in there with the m/m and make them pass on the book.

Chris said...

*kicks back to see how Wren will deal with the Handcuffed Hottie in a Hood Issue*

Tam said...

Oh Wren, you can tell you're a published author, that slogan is brilliant. :-D

Val: Each of those Arcana books is a tarot card I think, and this one is "strength" but that has nothing to do with the story either unless you are talking strength of feelings which is EVERY romance. A recycling paper pusher and an artist, not exactly weight lifters. I've learned to ignore the Arcana covers because they are generally dumb and colored by someone's 7 year old, but for someone who doesn't take the time to read the blurb it would be a turn off.

Tam said...

Handcuffed Hottie in the Hood

Oh this has such porn potential. Maybe I'll put out a casting call.

wren boudreau said...

Okay, check out the little bit of a story on my blog: http://wrenboudreau.blogspot.com/2010/01/handcuffed-hottie-in-hood.html

Mia Watts said...

*Mia pops popcorn, pulls up a chair, and watches the discussion avidly except that Mia hate popcorn. ew*

Thanks for the review Tam. I'm thinking no filler, all meat is exactly the right mix... even in the PLOT LINE for a short. :) I mean, short stories are kinda about the sex, yes? Credibility gets to be booted out the window when you're dealing with *ahem* fairy tales anyway. Just sayin'.

Tam, darlin', send me an email and pick a book. I send you one of whatever you want that I wrote. You know, a one time balm to the delicate sensibilities of back book blurbage.


Tam said...

Mia: Thanks for coming by. Wren and Chris are stirring up shit aren't they? :-) With shorts I am much more forgiving of certain sins than I would be otherwise and yours did have an amazing heat factor which pretty much made the rest irrelevant.

And look what I found on Sarah's blog? Another red hoodied hottie. They are everyfreakingwhere.

Chris said...

*looks innocent*

I did think of you when I saw that picture at Sarah's!