Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Shades of Surrender: Fifty by Fifty #4 by Assorted Authors

Review by: R.E. Hargrave
Box set average: 4 stars (The ARC I received only had 11 stories, Corrupt Practices and Don't Fall were not included).

From Goodreads:

Fifty By Fifty: Fifty Novels by Fifty Bestselling Authors in four big boxed sets – you've read the others, now don’t miss the climax!

Dominant and uncompromising, these alpha males expect a lot from their women. Will they get the surrender they're looking for?

Join us for thirteen* smoldering tales of alpha billionaires and the curvaceous, delicious women they love.

The Billionaire’s Student by Savannah Reardon
Katie’s parents die unexpectedly, making her desperate for a way to pay for college. Billionaire Jace Weatherton is the answer, but in return, takes Katie on a wild ride of lust, submission, and love.
REVIEW: Well-written, intense, a look at the awakening of one woman's inner submissive as she overcomes the travesty of her parent's untimely deaths. (4 stars)

The Interview by Abby Weeks
A young secretary at a large financial institutions receives instructions to meet the enigmatic, billionaire CEO in his private office.
She has no idea what to expect.
REVIEW: The writing style was a bit jilted in places, the POV slipping between characters during some of the more intimate moments. Nice change of pace seeing a woman who was strong and commanding in her every day life, admitting to needing the freedom submission offers behind closed doors. (4 stars)

Playing Games by Liliana Rhodes
Curvy Cassie Monroe moves to Canyon Cove with only one thing in mind--finding a job. But after a close encounter with her sexy billionaire boss, she’s finds more than she bargained for.
REVIEW:  A different setting. The romance builds between a billionaire gym owner (who specializes in MMA) and a newly hired physical therapist. She's uncertain and he has a secret, which leads to a lot of tap dancing around their want and need for each other. When the truth does come out, the result is a sweet, feel-good ending. (4 stars)

Hunting for Curves by Julianne Reyer
A shy curvy girl. A billionaire CEO, plus his longtime male lover. A smoking hot proposition. Will a steamy threesome end in disaster, or can she prove to the two men that one night is never enough?
REVIEW: (warning, m/m sex scenes and a DP scene involving m/f/m) A sexy gay couple decide to add some fire to their lagging relationship by inviting a shy, redheaded female to join them for a night. What starts as an erotic one night stand, turns into something none of them were expecting. (4 stars)

Safeword: Matte by Candace Belvins
Matte, pronounced mah-tay, is Japanese for stop, and is used in some martial arts to end a fight. Sam enjoys various fighting disciplines and is a sexual submissive. What better safeword than matte?
REVIEW: She's a divorce lawyer who enjoys martial arts to let off steam. She's looking for a Dom who is man enough to take her submission from her despite her multiple black belts. Samantha wants to be roughed up.
He's a self-employed businessman who develops moving companies. Like Samantha, he turns to martial arts and sparring to let off steam. When the two meet at a local BDSM party and realize they also have a kink for pain in common, the floggers and canes fly.
Well written, and a responsible portrayal of the BDSM lifestyle. I loved the emphasis on aftercare, no matter how rough the scenes became. Beautiful. Erotic, enticing, excellent ... I'll be reading more Candace Blevins in the future. (5 stars)

The Greek Billionaire and I by Marian Tee
Too proud to let Greek billionaire Mykolas know she's in love with him, schoolteacher Velvet ends up accepting his offer for a marriage of convenience. At least this way, he’d still be hers.
REVIEW: POV changed too frequently for this to be a smooth read. Concept for plot was also a bit farfetched to be plausible. (3 stars)

The Billionaire’s Runaway Curves by Danielle Duncan
Ellie ran from Theo when she found out she was pregnant with their child. Now he's found her and that old spark's stronger than ever. But what will Theo do when he finds out Ellie hid his daughter?
REVIEW: Old lovers bump into each other almost a decade after she ran -- because of a pregnancy and thinking they couldn’t be kinksters AND parents. In all that time, their feelings never lessened. Can they find forgiveness in each other and a chance to try again. (4 stars)

His Weakness by E.K. Sabins
After the death of her parents, Ellie is in need of a husband and thrust into the opulent world of Boston's elite. Will she find love with a handsome scion, or will she be his weakness?
REVIEW: This was a good concept, set up in the Prohibition era. However, the editing was lacking resulting in several slips of 1st to 3rd person POV and other minor typos. Paired with the abrupt ending, I can’t do more than (3 stars) on this one.

The Politician and the Girl from the Coffee Shop by Terry Towers
Jessie knows better than to date her customers, but for the charismatic Senator Morrow she's tempted. Could Washington's most eligible bachelor be interested in the shy girl from the coffee shop?
REVIEW: This was a cute, light-hearted quick read. No BDSM elements, but still some intense heat at times. (4 stars)

Billionaires in Disguise: Rae by Blair Babylon
Rae has three weeks of college freedom before she goes home to her fundamentalist family, so she shoves The Blond Hottie up against a wall in dark bedroom, and all Hell breaks loose.
REVIEW: Titillating, well-written, and excellent pacing. (5 stars)

Anything He Requires by Michelle Fox
Animal trainer Jessica Kingston thinks it’s just another job when wealthy Jacob Daniels hires her to train his willful puppy, but the way he crushes her lips when they kiss says otherwise.
REVIEW: A different storyline, which I found refreshing. Well-written, sexy. (5 stars)

Genre: Erotica
File Length: 1939 KB
Price on Amazon: $2.99

Friday, March 6, 2015

Guest Post: Writing and the English Language

by Author Sherri Hayes

I was doing a radio interview about a year ago and the host asked if I’d always wanted to be a writer. The simple answer to that is a resounding no. Becoming a writer was never a consideration for me growing up.
Why? First of all, I suck at English. Some of you are probably laughing right about now, but it’s true. Even today, when my editor tries to explain grammar rules to me, my eyes glaze over. English is not one of my strengths.
As a child, I had stories in my head. I just never wrote any of them down. As an adult, I gravitated toward customer service jobs—ones where good communication was essential. I think these two things, combined with my love of reading romances, have helped to make me a better writer. I understand how to break things down and explain them to someone who may not normally understand the situation. That’s a great skill to have as an author, and one I’m forever grateful to have.
Although I may never understand all the technical aspects of writing, I try to concentrate on my strengths. We all have them. We all have weakness too. It’s part of life and what makes us unique.
(Originally posted 3/6/13 on Beautiful Mistakes)
Author Bio

Sherri spent most of her childhood detesting English class. It was one of her least favorite subjects because she never seemed to fit into the standard mold. She wasn't good at spelling, or following grammar rules, and outlines made her head spin. For that reason, Sherri never imagined becoming an author.

At the age of thirty, all of that changed. After getting frustrated with the direction a television show was taking two of its characters, Sherri decided to try her hand at writing an alternate ending, and give the characters their happily ever after. By the time the story finished, it was one of the top ten read stories on the site, and her readers were encouraging her to write more.
Nearly eight years later, Sherri is the author of eight full-length novels, and two short stories. Writing has become a creative outlet that allows her to explore a wide range of emotions, while having fun taking her characters through all the twists and turns she can create. You can find a current list of all of Sherri’s books and sign up for her monthly newsletter at www.sherrihayesauthor.com