Published by Ellora’s Cave

Source: NetGalley

At thirty-three Warner Truman is one of the richest men on the planet, a spa mogul who buys and sells resorts at will. He holds powerful executive’s careers in his well-groomed hands. Nothing is beyond Warner’s reach…until he meets her.

Stunning, tantalizing, and perverse, Taddy Brill captivates Warner’s carnal desire like no woman he’s ever met. A self-made millionaire, Taddy is tougher than steel, more brilliant than diamonds and, at twenty-seven, she’s never depended on a man for anything…until she meets him.

The more Taddy plays with Warner’s affections, driving him to erotic heights, the more she is confronted by a dark past. But before she can love him, Taddy must meet her worst fears head-on or risk losing it all, including herself.

Every now and then I give in and decide to read some erotica. As the scales are not tipping in the genre’s favour for me, I will sometimes give somebody else a chance to change my mind…

Not long after delving into Unscrupulous, I had already decided that this one was not going to end up in the ‘liked’ pile.

Aside from the usual cliché that apparently only rich and successful people in the literary world enjoy good sex; the sexual references in this book were plain vulgar at times – and often not even related to a sexual scene. I admit that I may well be turning into my mother, but I really wanted to wash some mouths out with soap!

A lot of it wasn’t ‘erotic’ at all, I felt at times that I was reading an attempt at hard-porn penned by a teenage boy. Now, there is no accounting for taste and choice of language I suppose, but I will, and did, physically cringe when a women is said to have ‘creamed’. Urgh! Oh, and at one point in the book we are given graphic details of how a famous porn star ejaculates onto the crowd below from his hotel balcony! What a treat…

There were other parts of the book I struggled with, for instance, it was difficult to keep up sometimes with writing that just seemed like incessant chatter; a lot of moments that I presumed were intended to be deep and emotional lacked…well, depth and emotion; and I couldn’t decipher whether some moments were supposed to be dramatic or satiric!

Now all that aside, I did find myself warming to this book – slightly. It turned out to be quite the romance between our protagonists Taddy and Warner. Ok, so discussing Warner’s deceased wife and Taddy’s emancipation in-depth over dinner seemed a tad open on a first date; discussing their long-term relationship and Warner giving Taddy his apartment keys the following morning seemed a wee bit hasty, and “I Love You” on around day 3 completely redefined my ideas of ‘whirlwind romance’; but then maybe I was supposed to have been swept up in the passion and intensity of it all…who knows?!

I liked how my mind was changed about Taddy, whom I initially had thoroughly disliked and thought of as a snooty, slutty, Upper-East Side It girl. She became much more likeable once she let down her barriers and exposed her vulnerabilities, and you began to see how much she really loved her close circle of friends.

It was a shame that it took far too long to begin to redeem itself, because if you looked hard you could see some substantial themes coming through, such as friendship, loyalty, love, and trust. But I think it may have been too little, too late…

My thanks to Ellora’s Cave for providing this book for review.


Published by Penguin Books

Source: Publisher Review Copy

When fine arts curator Sinead O’Sullivan is charged with a stealing the Fire of Autumn, a dazzling ruby with a history of violence and treachery, bail is set at one million Swiss francs.

Investigator Niall Moore is hired to stop her fleeing and to find the jewel. Niall knows Sinead’s form as the feisty red-head led him a merry dance when their paths crossed once before. Despite the overwhelming sexual chemistry between them, Niall knows that he cannot trust her.

Sinead toys with Niall, refusing to tell him what she knows about the theft. An expert in interrogation, Niall uses every trick of the trade – and every tool in his erotic armoury – to get at the truth. And Sinead – just as well armed – counters his every move with one of her own.

As thief and thief-taker fight for dominance, there can be only be one winner … but what happens when the stakes are raised and it’s no longer just a jewel and Sinead’s freedom in play?

Museum curator Sinead O’Sullivan, a girl with secrets, finds herself accused of stealing a priceless jewel from the very museum she works at. Her fingerprints are everywhere, an eyewitness puts her at the scene, and the damning CCTV evidence does not lie…and yet she is defiant, she did NOT steal the jewel.
Private investigator Niall Moore is hired by both the museum to retrieve the jewel from Sinead, and by Sinead’s uncle to prove her innocence.
Neither trusts the other, and with good reason, and yet they find the sexual chemistry between them impossible to ignore…

Those ‘in the know’ know that I have been on a painstaking quest to find well written erotica following the ‘boom’ of the genre over the last couple of years. This is the first in the ‘Pleasures’ series that I have read (It works fine as a stand-alone though), and boy could I have saved myself the torture of reading some right drivvle during my quest – if only I’d have found these sooner!

Ok so the lead characters do jump into bed ridiculously quickly – well in my world anyway (what am I doing wrong?!!) But then that can be forgiven because, well, quite frankly what do you expect from erotica?!
There is a bit of BDSM in there, but not in a scary ‘red room of pain’ kind of way; but more of a not-my-thing-but-still-kinda-hot sort of way. And its quite refreshing that the Dom is not a complete arse, and the Sub isn’t a pathetic mess – both are strong, intelligent, likable characters – and you find yourself really caring about what happens to them.

And the bonus prize goes to… the author for actually including -would you believe it?- a STORY! And not a bad one at that – a good plot, mystery, suspense, action, romance…and erotic scenes that are not there for their own sake but that actually do contribute to your understanding of the characters’ relationship.

And so I am thankful that my quest has been fulfilled – erotica can be well written – no more glorified porn for me! I’d recently decided that maybe I was being too harsh, and that maybe I’m just not a fan of the genre after all. However, although I think the erotica will be put way down the bottom of the reading list from now on…. I may just be able to make time for a few more from the ‘Pleasures’ series…

My thanks to the author and Penguin Books for providing this book for review


Big Girls

Published by Jasinder Wilder

Source: Kindle Free Edition

Gorgeous, rock-star guys like Chase Delany don’t go for girls like me. They go for supermodels and actresses, skinny-girls who never eat and spend all day working out. I’m not that girl. So when he locked his fiery brown eyes on me for the first time, I couldn’t quite believe it was really happening to me.

It was the second night I spent with him that I’ll never forget.

Following my utter disappointment in the ’50 Shades’ franchise, I came across this freebie on the Kindle and decided to see if Wilder had given it a better shot…she really, really hadn’t.

The leading ‘big girl’ is the deeply insecure, often-eating, scantily clad Anna. She is, in my opinion, in no way likable, and very difficult to relate to on any level (and I’m certainly no size 0!)

The leading man, Chase (Hmm Anna & Chase???), well there is really nothing much to say about him at all. All leather pants and rock star looks, yet snivelling and forever trying to convince Anna that her size is beautiful…yawn…

Basically, girl meets boy in club, girl has quick romp with boy in back alley behind club, girl and boy do a bit more romping at home, girl intermittently shows off the chip on her shoulder by giving lots of attitude about her size and how he couldn’t possibly want her….the end.

I suspect the author fell asleep on the bus ride home one day, had a wee fantasy, then quickly wrote it all down before her stop.

On the plus side, this book took no money from my pocket, and only about an hour from my life. It has also instilled in me a quest to find if erotica can ever be well written…


50 shades

Published by Vintage

Source: Purchased Copy

When college student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating.  The unworldly Ana realizes she wants this man, and Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian’s secrets and explores her own desires.

The irony of rating these as a 1 star (the author could spell) and yet having read all 3 books is not lost on me. However, being hit bestsellers, you find yourself willing them to get better and anticipating that you will indeed be rewarded for sticking with them…well it turns out I’m never going to get those days back!

The leading (ahem) ‘lady’, Anastasia Whatsherface, wasn’t the best modern role model for young women – and no I don’t mean because she liked it rough in the bedroom! Fill your boots love! – but because she was probably the most pathetic lead character I’ve ever come across; needy, snivelling, and presumably with a very sore bottom lip.
And Christian Grey was spoilt, childish and manipulative – hardly charming or sexy in my opinion.

I suspect James had a word count quota beyond her capabilities – hence the ridiculous amount of repetition, for example ‘Oh my!’ showed its face perhaps every other paragraph. And Anastasia biting her lower lip in order to seduce Mr Grey at every opportunity was my own personal torture!

I don’t like to give such negative reviews, and kudos to James for making a huge buck out of essentially one page of writing and some extensive copy and pasting, but I just cannot comprehend the success, and am even embarrassed to say that yes I’ve read ‘those’ books – and not in a naughty, flushed face kind of way.


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