Hello, and welcome back! I think my extra reading time at work has come to an end. The construction is mostly finished, and now we've been spending long days putting the store back together again. So I'm back to my normal reading this week, and actually glad of it. I could use a break from moving boxes of books around the store. This time out, I have four new releases to share with you, though one is a reissue of older stories.
Moon Shadow (Aphrodisia) by Lucinda Betts is up first, with Esmenet Sokaris sending out a spell to call a new assistant to her. She gets Gage Feldspar, former drunk, still pining for his wife. Some helper for creating super-duper love spells, huh? While there's plenty of steam in this one, it didn't do much for me, story-wise, and that's really what counts.
Midnight Confessions (Aphrodisia) by Bonnie Edwards is next. Faye Grantham has inherited a family house and should be selling it so she can get married. Instead, she's now considering leaving her fiance and keeping the haunted old house and enjoying the sexy feelings it gives her. The only trouble is, she can't decide between her one-night stand or her lawyer's son now. Not a romance, no matter what it says on the spine of this one, I'm afraid. It's not bad erotica, but not the best I've ever read either.
Lover from Another World, Vol. 4 (Pocket) has stories from Rachel Carrington, Elizabeth Jewell, and Shiloh Walker, all previously published by Ellora's Cave. I'm not a fan of Ellora's Cave--I find most of the stories are not all that well-written, and the editing has left much to be desired. Even with the much-better editing staff of the bigger publishing house they've partnered with, I'm still not a fan of their stories. One of these (Carrington's) has jarring jumps in time and unexplained (and unbelievable) occurrences that distract from the story. Jewell's has a hero who lives up to the (not so good) legends of the men trying to keep selkie women, and Walker's has a very unsatisfying ending, if you can manage to wade through the rest of the story.
Pleasure Planet (Aphrodisia) by Evangeline Anderson has three stories in it. 'The Girl, the Geek and the Time Machine' has Kara Wilson trying to fix her fiance once she gets a gander at the time machine sexy scientist Ethan Robertson has come up with. But is she trying to win the wrong man? I found Kara too ditzy and wishy-washy to be likable. 'Mirror of the Heart' has Taylor Simms grabbed by a good-looking lunatic who says he's from another century and trying to save her life, and maybe redeem himself for his past deeds. This one was good right up until the end, and then it lost me when Reese does a complete about-face--which was the only way out of the mess they were in, but still not heroic. 'Wild-Men and Wormholes' features Ariel Stone-Tarrington off on another of her space adventures, only her boring fiance has tagged along and caused them to wreck the space ship onto an unstudied planet. She ditches him to study the natives, including Kor, who's not really an alien, and a whole lot of hot. I think this one was the best of the three, and probably the best of everything this time out.
Until next time, happy reading!