Lenni Reviews: “Fine Print” Vol. 1, by Stjepan Šejić

58291428

(Image Source)

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

After a run of bad romantic decisions, Lauren Thomas seeks help from the most unlikely of sources; a real incubus. Unbeknownst to her, she falls into a competition among the incubi and the succubi to ascend to the rank of High Caller.

The art for this is beautiful; lushly painted and very expressive. However, there isn’t much body size representation. Not a huge drawback, just something I noticed. Aside for that, this is a fun premise that takes it’s time to build a believable world and get all the characters into place. For all the smutty elements, there’s a great story here that unfortunately ends on a cliffhanger. This stands as a strong 3.7 for me because of that, but this is worthwhile for the fantasy elements alone.

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “The Closet Boy” by Sean Michael, Jeff Gelder (Narrator)

35650770
(Image Source)

*This audiobook was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Disowned by his hyper-religious, homophobic parents, Way’ra lands a job as a janitor at the Iron Eagle Gym. Only problem is he has nowhere to live so he secretly spends his nights sleeping in a closet at the gym. When gym member Neil McPherson develops a crush on the young man, Way’ra is desperate to keep his circumstances a secret. Neil is determined to get this shy young man back off his feet and out of his shell.

Holy crap, this was a long sit… First off everything came off as unintentionally funny because the narrator sounds like Mister Metokur, and I cannot blame anyone but myself for that comparison.

Secondly, this is another book where the couple has their insta-love but then… Nothing. They’re together. The rest is basically slice of life as they go about their days and meet up at home. And cook. And eat. And have sex. Then do it all again. I kept waiting for the third act breakup or SOMETHING but it never happens. Way and Neil are so sweet, I have diabeetus.

The religion thing just kinda pops up to remind the reader it IS still a thing and Way’s innocence can come off as a little creepy; like he’s too young to be in this story. All in all, I was just twiddling my thumbs waiting for the ending. This has a LOT of untapped potential to be explored and it’s a shame that opportunity was missed. 2.5 out of 5.

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “When Dachshunds Ruled the Serengeti” by Michael Murphy

17852978
(Image Source)

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Phillip is an only child from a wealthy New York City family. José is the oldest of nine children of Mexican migrant workers. When the two meet at college, José is unwilling to form any closer attachments, lest anyone find out how poor he really is. But Phillip isn’t easily fooled and the pair do form a friendship that turns into much more. But can such a mismatched pair find true happiness?

If I were to describe this book in one word, it would be “simple.” The writing is simple, the relationship is simple, the conclusion is simple; it’s all simple. I kept waiting for some real conflict to happen and it never did. They fall in love so deeply so quickly, I found it barely believable for a romance novel! It’s great for newbies to the genre but more seasoned readers may find this contrived.

The only real conflict we get here is when Philip, seemingly at random, flips a previously unheard of asshole switch and it’s completely out of his character. On the whole, way too sappy for me. 2 out of 5.

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “The Librarian’s Rake” by Z. Allora

36315223
(Image Source)

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

Philip and Tristan are polar opposites; Philip a risk-taking hairdresser and Tristan a quiet librarian. But when their matchmaking grandfathers get them to meet, neither can deny an attraction is there. However, Philip has always preferred quick trysts and worries he my not be the type of man Tristan would want for more than one night. Tristan wants to test his wilder side but lacks the courage and is more suited to longer relationships. Each man must step out of their comfort zones for a chance at happiness.

This is about a librarian so I had to grab it and thus I may be biased since I AM a librarian. Tristan is so adorably awkward and Philip may be more brave and flippant, but he’s not dangerous or irresponsible. And the side characters are hilarious. About 81% in, this line made me crack up:

“I swear, the smartest thing to ever come out of your mouth is that librarian’s cock.”

I had to put the kindle down and catch my breath. Again, I’m probably biased because I’m a librarian but in that moment, that was the funniest thing in the world. What a descriptive way to vent your frustrations to your friend.

After that murder mystery on the brink of a terrible war, this was a bit of much needed levity. It’s a cute read that made me laugh and made me blush. If you want a quick and dirty read while curled up with some cocoa, you could do far worse than this sharply written story. 3.9 out of 5.

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “Wounded Pride” by Remmy Duchene and B.L. Morticia

33893928
(Image Source)

*This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review and is rated 18+

*This review is cross-posted to Otakus and Geeks.

Brian Daystar is celebrating the opening of his youth center for at-risk kids but notices a considerable lack of support from his country music star boyfriend, Corey. When Corey finally bothers to call Brian, he’s drunk and not alone. Deciding to end it, Brian takes a vacation to New York to face Corey while staying with Renford Kline; a retired attorney considering becoming a law professor. Brian is attracted to Renford but Ren’s experience with men has never gone beyond college experimenting. Both are attracted but Brian’s past traumas and Ren’s reluctance to get feelings involved may keep them from the happily ever after they have been wishing for.

First off? Ren, 39 isn’t ‘old man’ territory. I could see if he was pushing 55 (seeing as he’s retiring) but, no.

This is one of those romances where you think there would be more time spent on building the relationship between the main pair before they hop into bed but nope. Not really a criticism on my part; just saying the writing and tone made me expect that. As is, the flaw in this standard romance cycle is I feel some of the character elements could have been explored more; like Brian’s pretty dark past and Redford’s previous attraction to women. It doesn’t make the book bad at all. In fact, I find it sweet and the smutty bits are written well. But those deep personal issues could have used more attention. A fun romp even if I was left a bit wanting; 3.7 out of 5.

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “Frostbitten Hearts” by Arial Burnz

28431752
(Image Source)

*I got this book for free and it’s rated for 18+

Jack and Aideen are prisoners in a nursery run by vampires and need to breed so the vampires can use the powers from their blood and get them to breed a spirit elemental to overthrow a tyrant king. Jack organizes an escape but Aideen gets left behind.

First off, 11% in and they drop the little gem of “since the age of fourteen, he’d been forced to bed each female in the nursery who was of child-bearing years.” That’s a pretty squiky little gem to have in your supernatural erotica romp. I had to mentally delete that information to get through the rest of this.

This story is supposed to be a stand alone but it’s painfully obvious this comes from a larger universe and would be better understood if you read the other books. Despite how original the world it, the expositional elements meant to get this story to be separate end up feeling terribly clunky. The ideas are there; separated lovers trying to get back together in the face of slavery and magic but reading it was like watching a TV show or movie on fast forward where you can hear things, see things, but not process things or get invested. All in all, it’s just OK. 3 out of 5.

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “Claimed by the Elven King Part One” by Cristina Rayne

51vpiwbj91l
(Image Source)

Emily Ford is shocked awake in the middle of the night by strangers carrying her away. She wakes up in bed with Sethian, an elven king, to be his queen and bear his children.

This 39 page intro to whatever the rest of this plot line will be is pure smutty fluff. Emily is whisked away, transformed into a gorgeous creature to make smexy times with a perfect man and has nothing of note to leave behind in the human world so she has no more troubles. She is totally ok that she’s been kidnapped, bones a stranger, and her new job is to pump out babies for this stranger who is now her husband. Emily is the perfect empty waif for the reader to project themselves onto but I found her so dull and stupid, I just wanted it to be over.

There’s something about some of these short, free, intro reads that can be really intriguing or fail so hard you not only don’t want to bother reading part two and beyond, you’re sorry you invested the precious minutes in the first one. This falls into the latter category. Flat and stereotypical, I give this a 2 out of 5.

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “Serena’s Plight” by Carol Madison

41f7djeqofl
(Image Source)

*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review and is recommended for 18+.

In this book, we have Serena Loomis, poor and facing high school graduation with little options. An ex-boyfriend comes to her with an offer to not only help him pay for his education, but put some money in her pockets as well: sleep with his classmates for money.

Strap in, folks. This is gonna be long and angry.

Serena as a character is hard for me to identify with. I just can’t get behind the “I NEED to be a relationship but I hate myself” attitude. At about 3% into the book, I blatantly ripped off IHE and had a Fuck This Book moment.

Let me explain.

Her ex; Sam, out of nowhere decides to dump her then doesn’t speak to her for years. Suddenly, he asks to drive her home because he needs to talk to her about something. During the ride, he talks all about how he is super smart and has this amazing sports scholarship but she’s poor, stupid, but pretty and good at one thing. Sex.

img_20160922_081650.jpg
(I needed sketches for these reactions…)

So, as sex with her was so fucking amazing; she should come with him when he goes to college…

img_20160922_081615.jpg
“Wait, he’s not seriously going to…”

And fuck his classmates for money so he can take 20% off the top to help him pay for what the scholarship won’t cover.

img_20160922_081556.jpg
(In my shock, I nearly dropped my Kindle)

Instead of cursing him out, as she rightfully should, she asks him what’s so great about her in bed that he thinks she could sell herself and make money…

img_20160922_081534.jpg
I don’t have a scanner so you’re gonna just have to deal with the image quality…

He goes into lovely detail how her technique was and such then drops the lovely gem of it was so good because she looked like she was enjoying it.

img_20160922_081455.jpg
My exact thought at the time: “If this scene doesn’t end with him getting punched in the face…”

Unfortunately, she didn’t beat the tar out of him, she just cries and leaves. Then when she’s going to bed, she starts to think about what he said and how he may have a point.

img_20160922_081436.jpg
“Wat…”

And that since she’s an only child of a divorced alcoholic who gets shitty grades; he is absolutely right about how shitty her life would be otherwise, goes to Sam the next day, and proceeds to hammer out the details of how this would work… WHICH HE HAD ALREADY FIGURED OUT EVEN DOWN TO THE CENT.

img_20160922_081410.jpg
“Really, dude?”

Then he handpicks the guys, sets up her schedule, and even plans investment options for her so after he graduates, she won’t have to do it anymore.

img_20160922_081344.jpg
“Let’s teach women who read this that if they don’t have a marketable skill like Sam’s amazing wrestling and (heaven forbid) enjoy sex, they should be prostitutes so their ex can go to school!”/sarcasm

She listens to his entire plan and actually agrees with it. She packs her shit to follow him… After being told “You’re a fucking loser with no money and no future. The best you can ever hope for is a minimum wage job in this tiny town; eventually ending up like your mother. Since I actually have a future, you should sell your body FOR ME since that’s all you’ve got that’s worth something.”

img_20160922_081250.jpg
Bloody fucking hell…

That was 3% in… I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to quit a book that fast. Somehow, I trudged through all 266 pages of this thing through meeting all her clients (who she calls “dates”) and the book became slightly more bearable. I don’t need to hear every time she pees and the sex scenes became repetitive but hey, that’s the nature of what was set up here. I was actually starting to sympathize with Serena, as she genuinely seemed to want to help the guys she was sleeping with. She talks to them, encourages them, and even teaches them on some occasions while learning some things from them as well… Only to hit another line that just made me want to throw right the hell up:

79% in: “but it was a seductive kind of rape instead of a violent one.”

img_20160922_081140.jpg
ARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!

Look, I don’t begrudge any person having those kind of fantasies. Not my cup of tea but as long as you don’t hurt someone, what people do in their smexy times is none of my damn business. BUT THAT IS THE MOST DISGUSTING FUCKING LINE IN THIS BOOK. Do I even need to explain why this is wrong, dangerous, and twisted? Do you understand why I actually needed to sketch out my reactions so some of the crap in this book?

I concluded this book absolutely speechless at what I had read and the unmitigated GALL to end it on a cliffhanger as if anyone would want to continue this bullshit. Other than the “hooker with a heart of gold” trope being done to death, this book overall was like getting your first “date” over with; you disconnect your brain and hold on until it’s over. The book may be competently written enough to be called a novel but it’s twisted morals left me more disturbed than entertained. 2 out of 5 for the parts that didn’t make me physically ill.

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: “Stealing His Heart” by Ella Jade

20986005
(Image Source)

**I purchased this book from All Romance Ebooks.**

Good girl Sophia Ball is three years out of a terrible relationship; choosing instead to focus on becoming a teacher. Now a music teacher at a local private school, her friend suggests she get back in the game. When she’s out for a jog before work one day, she bumps into Paxton Hughes; a pitcher for the local baseball team: The Kingston Crushers. The pair meet again at a party and hit it off very well. But Paxton has a reputation as a playboy. Can this smitten bad boy settle down and will Sophie take the chance?

So, I’m reading this book and it’s enjoyable enough. The characters are interesting and seem happy once they’re together but by this time I was only 40% or so through the book. The rest is mostly the pair just dealing with Pax being on the road so much before the inevitable misunderstanding comes into play; which is that Sohpia’s car breaks down and she misses a game. I gotta say, it pissed me off SO bad when everybody just piles on Sophia for her car breaking down. They all – INCLUDING PAXTON – treat her like she missed the game on purpose and she’s instantly on the outs. I know the story needed conflict but, yikes. They really vilify her.

Overall, this story is sappy but not bad. I get these types of stories are supposed to be sappy but this overdid it for me. A decently written 3.5 out of 5.

Follow me on BlogLovin.

Lenni Reviews: Red Moon by Elizabeth Kelly

9781926483009_p0_v1_s192x300
(Image Source)

 After the “Great War” has destroyed a good chunk of the world’s population, humans and supernaturals are trying to live alongside one another. One day Lycan Tristan Williams and his daughter Sophia are out shopping for some new slaves and she guilts him into purchasing Avery Hendrin and her sister. The rub here is that Avery is a Red: red hair and  has magical healing powers. People hate them because they’re witches, blah blah slave, blah blah fairies, what the hell ever.

If I sound disinterested it’s because this story is so blandly typical of a paranormal romance yet hardly believable as even with all the standard tropes; for the couple to be so attracted in less than a day when they have zero chemistry was ridiculous. As Avery is painted as this rebellious woman in one second then a sex crazed, submissive nymph the next. Yeah, I know you have less than 200 pages to get this couple together and work the “scared of magic people” angle but Avery has literally one line of token resistance (that smacks of the creepy “no means yes” vibe) then, BOOM! Panties are off!

Wait, were there panties? *checks* No… No, of course there weren’t.

It’s like this story wants to hit all the beats of a paranormal romance but can’t quite get them in the right order to make it believable or entertaining. Avery is the typical damsel, Tristan is the typical brooder with a secret but it gets super creepy when the concept of Avery’s healing ability working according to how intimate she is with the person she’s healing. Hey! Ever wanted to read a book where the male lead has to watch the woman he wants to bone make out and get felt up by his BROTHER because he’s wounded? Well, shit, here ya go!

I found that concept creepy and I gave up halfway through. Every character is such a flat caricature fulfilling their standard role in this genre, I was bored when I wasn’t squicked out. It was like watching bad porn where they try to shoehorn a plot in. If I wanted that, I’d go borrow Zombie Strippers again (UGH!!). I give this book a 1.5 because I got it for free from Barnes and Noble for my Nook. If I had spent money on this, I would have been really upset.