Book Review: Public Affairs

Title: Public Affairs
Author: Cassandra Carr
Publisher: C-Squared Publishing
Release Date: January 2014
Length: 166 pages
Series?: no
Genre: Romance/Erotica
Format: e-book
Source: Reading Group at Back Cover Promotions

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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Synopsis

Nate O’Halloran is a PR superstar, an expert in crisis management for his image-conscious celebrity clients. When his college roommate, now a hospital director in Buffalo, calls to beg for his help– a cancer researcher on staff has disappeared with millions of dollars’ worth of government research funds– Nate agrees to help right away, though this situation is pretty small potatoes for him.

Val Chase, the hospital’s PR director, is none too thrilled when Nate shows up; does it mean her boss doesn’t trust her to handle this mess herself? Against her better judgment, Val decides she and Nate have to work together to save the hospital’s reputation, though the explosive attraction they feel is making any actual “work” difficult…

Review

I loved the story line of this book. It was great, although I was disappointed with the CCC hospital board’s decision toward the end of the book. It was unfair, but as was pointed out, they needed a scapegoat.

Now, despite the story line, I felt there was too much of a push for the romance/erotica of the relationship between Val and Nate. Like, way too much. Too overdone, to over the top, given that there was little character development of either of them in this novel. Carr has used the story line as a smokescreen for the blatant erotica she dumped in this book. I was caught very off guard by the amount. Yes, the first few episodes were perfectly placed, but then it seemed as if that’s all the book was about, with Val trying to push Nate away with her own issues with casual sex. Every time I flipped a page, Val was throwing up an excuse as to why she and Nate could not be together…and then she’d end up in a steamy session with him right after the words left her lips! I can relate, I understand the battle between morals and desire, but this lady is the epitome of a hypocrite in this sense.

I understood Nate’s character – I know plenty of guys like him – but he came to a realization and went after what he wanted, even with his change of heart…but Val…I just couldn’t buy her character. It was too much, too hard to believe in her. Not authentic.

The other negative I saw with this book was the ending. The story line was long and drug out, given the circumstances, but then all of a sudden it was like BOOM – THE END! The story line just stopped, and then it was the wrap up about Val and Nate.

With a little tweaking here and there, and toning down the overt and out-of-place erotica in this novel, I feel that I would have loved it and raved about it…but I can’t. It did not feel like an authentic read. I would still stay give it a shot for the story line, and I would be interested in other’s opinions.

4475585About the Author

Cassandra Carr is a multi-award winning erotic romance writer with Ellora’s Cave, Sybarite Seductions/Twenty or Less Press, Decadent Publishing, Siren Publishing, and Loose Id. She lives in Cassandra Carr is a multi-award winning romance writer. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey and hanging out online. Cassandra’s books have won numerous “Best Book Of” awards and her novella Unexpected Top was nominated in the E-book Erotic Romance category of RT’s Reviewers’ Choice Awards.

She thinks the best part of being a writer is how she writes about love and sex while most others struggle with daily commutes, micro-managing bosses and cranky co-workers. Her inspiration comes from everywhere, but she’d particularly like to thank the Buffalo Sabres, the hockey team near and dear to her heart.

Find the author: Website |Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Book Review: Sadie (An Affection for Lipstick) by Stacie Moore

**  This is an erotic short story, if you don’t read erotica or aren’t interested in erotica or for some reason are offended by erotica STOP READING NOW!!  You have been warned**

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The author is a friend.  This is the first time I’m reviewing a book of a person I actually know and socialize with on a regular basis.  So I was a little apprehensive about reading a book written by someone I know.  Let alone it being of THIS genre.

I didn’t know what to expect.  Yes, I read erotica.  Much more than I review on this site.  But I figure that I am the “Eclectic Bookworm”.  But I’m not sure I will ever read that T.Rex or Bigfoot erotica.

This is a short story, so there really is no synopsis.  I do need to point out some things though.  This involves lesbian, menage and anal activity.

The first thing I was pleasantly surprised by is that it is well written.  Not that my friend isn’t smart, but you really can’t get an accurate gauge on a person as a writer from their FB posts, text messages and conversations in bars.  So I was really blown away by that.  And most erotica that I’ve read really isn’t well written.  It doesn’t evoke emotions.  It can be extremely mechanical.  And this wasn’t it at all.

The author is excellent at building anticipation.  In fact, most of the story focuses on the anticipation of events, rather than the events themselves.

It is a very quick, to the point, short story about a brief, life changing encounter (for one participant) that is different from anything I have ever read.  It takes some activity that isn’t exactly mainstream and makes it that.  Just another encounter involving a woman picked up at a bar.

Well done.  And I’m not saying that just because a friend wrote it.

Amanda’s Favs for 2013 Part Two

Here is the second part of my favorites list.

These are books that I have read and haven’t reviewed. Most I get from my monthly Kindle Lending Library allotment. Some are series I picked up when the first book was offered for free.  Some of the larger press books come from my weekly library run.

Favorite zombie book:  Apocalypse Z:  Darker Days by Manel Loureiro translated by Pamela Carmell.  I found apoczthis series a year ago, and I have already pre-ordered the third installment.  I have to wait til May!! Very well written, I love the European take on things.  A page turner.  Definitely recommended.

Honorable mention:  The Zomblog Series by T.W. Brown and The Remaining by D.J. Molles.

Favorite self-help book:  Invisible Scars:  How to Stop, Change or End Psychologicalinvisscars Abuse by Catharine Dowda.  I left an abusive marriage nearly five years ago.  He never once hit me.  But the verbal and emotional abuse has caused deep wounds that I am still healing.  What I liked about this book in particular is that it gave me a name to put with some of his behavior.  That I can name some of the abuse I suffered is extremely helpful.

Favorite history book:  Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff.  I reviewed his new book this year, Frozen in Time and just had to go and read this book.  

Favorite romance/erotica:  Entwined with You by Sylvia Day.  I love me some Crossfire series.  Much more realistic than “Fifty”, deals with deeper issues on the part of both characters.  Can’t wait for the fourth one.  And I think I would love to see this one made into a movie more than “Fifty”.

draculaFavorite paranormal romance:  Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta.  So not what you think of when you think “paranormal romance”.  And not a typical romance either.  I loved it.

Favorite YA romance (paranormal):  Significance Series by Shelly Crane.  Very sweet, very intriguing.

 

Favorite YA romance:  Fight or Flight by Jamie Canosa.  Very heart-rending.  Extremely emotional.

Favorite mash up:  The Fridgularity by Mark A. Rayner — humorous, apocalyptic, with a technology twist.   Loved it. fridge

And my total for this year is 152 books.  And counting…

Book Review: Hers to Choose and His to Lose by Lizzie Ashworth

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** This is a review of extremely x rated books**

Nothing like a disclaimer at the beginning of a book to pique my interest.

I have absolutely no qualms with reading extremely x rated stuff.  Most of it is curiosity.  But sometimes I am really surprised at how well written one of these novels can be.

That is the case with these two books, Hers to Choose and His to Lose by Lizzie Ashworth.  I received a copy of each in return for a review.

Here is the synopsis of Hers to Choose:

Bryn McClure is running out of time. With foreclosure in the last stages, she’s about to lose the beloved twelve-hundred acre Ozark farm she inherited from her grandparents. Her desperate last hope is to sell hunting rights for deer season.

Alex Cannon is running out of options. After a humiliating discovery about his wife, Alex’s cousin and property development business partner Dan has spiraled into a life-threatening depression. Alex hatches a brilliant idea of what might help Dan, and on advice from an old friend, contacts Bryn. A hunting trip might be the perfect route to a new outlook for Dan, especially with the extra touch Alex wants from Bryn.

When Bryn agrees to Alex’s special request, she’s thrilled not only with the promise of badly needed income, but also with the prospect of bondage and discipline. Her appetite for kink has sharpened during her lonely year of rural living. It seemed like such a good idea when she agreed to it.

But standing on her porch watching these two gorgeous men climb out of their truck and walk toward her, she thinks maybe she hadn’t fully appreciated how complicated things could become. Alex stuns her with his warmth and charm, but the cold and angry Dan is the one she’s supposed to submit to. By the second day, when the first spanking sparks her passions, she realizes she may be in for a wild ride.

For adult readers only. Contains explicit language and intense sexual activity including BDSM, anal, and m/f/m interactions.

This goes far beyond what was discussed in “Fifty Shades of Grey”, and I think that is what made it so much better.  It is a peek into the lifestyle without looking through the virginal eyes of Anastasia Steele.

Bryn had a previous BDSM relationship, she knows what to expect, and she actually likes it and craves it.  Not because she is a twisted individual, not because she is trying to please someone, but because this is actually her sexual preference.

One thing I have learned through reading books like this, and especially as a nurse, is that sexual behavior varies along a pretty wide spectrum.  BDSM is just one of stops on the spectrum.

The book also discusses the “why” behind the preference.  That is something you really don’t get in Fifty, outside of Christian Grey’s outward explanations of his desires to Anastasia.

BDSM is not deviant or dangerous when practiced safely between two consenting adults.  And this book shows that.

The author even goes as far as illustrating how this type of activity can be very dangerous when it is unwanted and practiced by the uninitiated.

Even without all the kink, this book would be seriously hot.  The author is adeptly skilled at creating sexual tension throughout the story.  In most books that are somewhat similar, it is just graphic sex scenes broke up by a few bits of non-sexual story.  Fifty is somewhat like that.

Not so with this book.  Several times where I thought I knew where the action was headed, I was pleasantly (sometimes annoyingly) surprised that the interaction didn’t end up with wild sex.

The only complaint I have is with some of the language used in descriptions of sexual acts.  The word “squishy” comes to mind.  I understand that there are only so many ways to describe a certain activity, but for some reason, that really stood out.

The synopsis of His to Lose:

Dan Cannon confronts the worst experience of his life when he discovers money, and lots of it, is missing from company accounts. He’s a little heartbroken over the loss of Bryn in the intimate threesome he and his cousin Alex shared with her, even though he’s happy the couple is ready to start a family. He blames himself for being distracted so much that Cannon Company has suffered. When he hires CPA Riley Montgomery to track down the money, the last thing he expects is to find himself completely distracted by the woman. 

Riley can’t afford to venture off into unethical dalliance with a client, even if the client is the devastatingly handsome Dan Cannon. She tries to stay focused on the pact she’s made with her old friend and current lover Lucy Duncan, after failed marriages caused both women to swear off men. But Lucy decides Dan is too good to pass up, especially after he makes good on his threat to spank her. 

Things go from bad to worse when Riley uncovers a money trail pointing to Cannon Company’s long-time employee and Lucy realizes that the sparks flying between Dan and Riley scream for friendly intervention. With her role in the investigation ended and her attraction to Dan testing her limits, Riley becomes mystified about his lack of follow-up and decides to take bold action.

Again, very graphic, but a good story as well.

It is less a BDSM primer than Hers to Choose and more of a story about two people who have been seriously hurt in the past and are reluctant to risk their hearts again.

Again, the sexual tension is palpable.  Just through the descriptions of looks, gestures and words, the author is able to convey the highly charged atmosphere.

I appreciated the turn of the tables later on in the book.  Things go both ways, apparently, and that isn’t readily conveyed in Fifty.

And as before, the book would be scorching without the kinky shenanigans.  The BDSM is more of a subplot than the focus.

With both of these books, if you are squeamish at all about human sexual behavior, do not pick it up.

If you are at all offended by sexual practices that are out of the conventional “norm” do not pick it up.

But if you are curious and like hot sex scenes, then give it a try.

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