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review 2019-10-25 07:04
Shared World Novels what what
Lord of the Abyss - Nalini Singh

This was an odd little experiment, which I undertook because I'm so on the hook for Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling novels, but then I haven't been down for much else she's written. I'm not sure what the official name for this series is -- Lords of [Something] would be my guess -- but it's four different paranormal romance novels with an overarching plot written by four different writers. I find this sort of thing fascinating -- when novel writers collaborate like television or comic writers.


The last series like this I read was the Crimson City novels. Most of them are by someone called Liz Maverick (which is surely not a pen name at all), but the second is by Marjorie M Liu. who, before she racked up all the awards for Monstress, wrote this fucking brilliantly weird PNR series called Dirk & Steele. I mean, she really moved the markers for what you can pull off in the sometimes boring vampire/werewolf snorefest you can find in the genre. Liu took the kind of premise that made me exclaim, wait, what?? like a hundred times when I was reading the first novel, Crimson City, and in her story, grounds it so completely in believable interpersonal concerns that my brain stopped screaming every 15 minutes about how nothing about the world made any sense. That's some godamn writing right there. 


Singh's outing in the Lords of [Something] maybe wasn't at this level, but I actually made it all the way through to the end of the novel, which is something I cannot say about the other three books in the series. Some of this is just the silliness of the premise, because all of the books are riffs on various fairy tales. There's one based on Goldilocks and the Three Bears, for example, where our fair haired maiden finds a rock hard cock which was just right, and I just couldn't stop my brain from squealing immaturely, and then breaking into laughter.  


Lord of the Abyss is very loosely based on Beauty and the Beast, and it works in the places that Singh tends to excel, and otherwise is kind of a mess. She does an excellent job writing characters out of trauma and abuse. She doesn't go for the magic vagina, the ladybits that can cure all, but constructs believable psychologies warped by neglect, and then slowly, carefully, draws them out. But the world, and the magic, is slapdash, so the parts of the plot that intersect with that are shaky at best. 


So, fun to see a writer I tend to enjoy, at least in one limited context, pull off something in a shared world. Didn't captivate me like Psy-Changeling, but it was a perfectly cromulent way to pass the time. 


ETA: Ok, I actually looked, and the series is called Royal House of Shadows, which seems kind of stuffy and conceited, but what do I know. 



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review 2019-10-21 12:01
Blog Tour w/Review - Absolute Pleasure

Absolute Pleasure - BT banner (1)


A contemporary fairy tale with a dirty, sexy twist! ABSOLUTE PLEASURE is a modern, sinfully seductive take on Cinderella.


Absolute Pleasure, an all-new steamy standalone from New York Times bestselling author Erika Wilde is available now!







What would you sacrifice to save your family’s legacy?


Meet Hunter Wilder, a man that is terrified of happily ever after. 


Hunter is used to dominating, taking control of situations and bending them to his will. He may live in a New York castle, but he’s no prince. Cursed by loss, Hunter is a closed book with an emptiness that he can’t escape. 


Until he meets her. 


Gabriella Darien may be gorgeous and driven, but her Cinderella story is more than it appears. The death of her father left her with a wicked stepmother intent on sabotaging the business her parents worked so hard to create. 


One enchanted night of all-consuming and absolute pleasure brings two broken souls together. With a new version of their future finally in sight, a promise kept might cost them everything. 


Will this Cinderella find her prince, or will they watch their happily ever after disappear at the stroke of midnight?


(ABSOLUTE PLEASURE is a STAND-ALONE, second chance fairy tale romance. No cheating. No cliffhangers)



Absolute Pleasure - AN-2


Download your copy today!



Amazon: https://amzn.to/346Uj9D

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Elle’s prince charming stepped forward until he was standing right in front of her, so close she could breathe in the scent of his woodsy cologne, could see the darkening of his golden eyes and the now captivating smile curving his lips that did crazy, arousing things to her female hormones.  Authoritative and Intense was an incredibly hot look on him, but this charismatic version gradually emerging had the ability to sweep her off her feet.     


“I’m Hunter Wilder,” he introduced himself, and tipped his head curiously.  “And you are?”


So incredibly smitten.  Her tongue suddenly felt tied, and while he was the epitome of confident male sophistication, she had to struggle not swoon like a Disney princess in front of him.  “My name is Elle.”  


He raised a dark brow.  “And your last name?”


She bit her bottom lip in debate, which didn’t go unnoticed by him as he candidly looked at her mouth like he wanted to devour it.  The thought sent a jolt of lustful need pulsing deep and low, settling in all those dormant places that had forgotten what it felt like to be wanted and desired.  


There was something incredibly magical about this moment, about tonight and this enigmatic man who’d made the decision to stop her from leaving when he easily could have watched her go.  This evening was all about fairy tales where anything could happen, and she wanted that enchanted, mysterious feeling to remain because tomorrow, her less than appealing reality still awaited her.  And she was fairly certain that a wealthy, dynamic man like Hunter Wilder wouldn’t be interested in a woman who had a wealth of issues and problems currently plaguing her life.    


With that thought in mind, she kept her reply flirtatious, and her full identity anonymous.


“Tonight, it’s just Elle.” 


“Okay, Just Elle,” he teased, his voice infused with amusement as he extended his bent arm to her in a gallant gesture.  “Will you be my date for the evening and accompany me to the Wilder Way ball?”


Determined to have fun with this man and enjoy her evening, wherever it might lead, she nodded and slipped her hand into the crook of his arm. “It would be my pleasure to be your date for the evening.”


A slow, sinful smile eased up the corners of his kissable mouth as he slid a big, warm hand over the one resting on his forearm to hold it there—as if she’d even consider letting him go.  “Trust me, beautiful girl, before this evening is over, I have a feeling the pleasure is going to be all mine.”


The dark, forbidden promises glinting in his eyes stole her breath and sent a delicious, decadent heat cascading through her veins.  Oh, Lord. Elle sincerely hope so.




Absolute Pleasure (Dirty Sexy Fairy Tales #2)Absolute Pleasure by Erika Wilde
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book #2, in the Dirty Sexy Fairy Tales series. This book is considered a standalone novel. For richer enjoyment of the series, I recommend reading them in order.

Hunter is sure that loss will be his legacy. Everyone close to him seems to somehow have a bitter end. Then he meets someone he cannot wait to be with. It is a risk to care, but he has so much more to lose.

Gabriella AKA "Ella" is a delight and a joy to be near. She cannot stand that her stepmother and step-siblings are plotting against her. Things have gotten worse since her father passed away. Can she rely on Hunter as an ally?

This was a very sexy story. Right from the beginning these two had sparks creating flame. I loved the loyalty and heat that was always part of their charm. These two characters were definitely in need of one another, and a true joy to read. To bad it was not interactive and we could not take shots at the stepmom. What a great villain!

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

View all my reviews




Meet Erika Wilde:


Erika Wilde is a New York Times Bestselling author. She is best known for her super sexy Marriage Diaries series and The Players Club series, and has also co-written the Dirty Sexy Series and the Book Boyfriend Series with Carly Phillips, her best friend and writing buddy for the past twenty years. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two daughters, and when she's not writing you can find her exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest. For more information on her upcoming releases, please visit her website at www.erikawilde.com and sign up for her mailing list for updates and news!


Connect with Erika:


Amazon: https://amzn.to/2OLvHe9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/erikawilde1

BookBub: http://bit.ly/2Ply3lh

GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2MsZBqj

Friend Erika on Facebook: http://bit.ly/2PkVyKZ

Visit her author page: http://bit.ly/2vVITpY

Join her reader group: http://bit.ly/2OLuIut

Stay up to date with Erika by joining her mailing list:http://bit.ly/2OJIsWE





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review 2019-10-16 06:05
Absolute Pleasure (Dirty Sexy Fairy Tales #2) - Erika Wilde

This is book #2, in the Dirty Sexy Fairy Tales series.  This book is considered a standalone novel.  For richer enjoyment of the series, I recommend reading them in order.


Hunter is sure that loss will be his legacy.  Everyone close to him seems to somehow have a bitter end.  Then he meets someone he cannot wait to be with.  It is a risk to care, but he has so much more to lose.


Gabriella AKA "Ella" is a delight and a joy to be near.  She cannot stand that her stepmother and step-siblings are plotting against her.  Things have gotten worse since her father passed away.  Can she rely on Hunter as an ally?


This was a very sexy story.  Right from the beginning these two had sparks creating flame.  I loved the loyalty and heat that was always part of their charm.  These two characters were definitely in need of one another, and a true joy to read.  To bad it was not interactive and we could not take shots at the stepmom.  What a great villain!  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

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review 2019-10-12 09:26
Absolute Pleasure (Dirty Sexy Fairy Tales #2) by: Erika Wilde
Absolute Pleasure (Dirty Sexy Fairy Tales #2) - Erika Wilde




It may have been done before, but never with such panache. Gabriella and Hunter are a new breed of fairy tale. Dark, naughty and emotionally exhilarating. Wilde has a found a way to remind mature hearts to keep a hint of that beautiful vulnerabilty that we tend to shy away from shine through. Absolute Pleasure is a new beginning for an almost forgotten friend. The presentation may be different, but the message remains just as powerful.

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review 2019-10-09 14:41
Needed to be More Twisted
A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale (Twisted Tale, A) - Liz Braswell

Well this one was a letdown. I read the twisted tales about Beauty and the Beast and loved how that was set up. This one takes a look at Aladdin and Jasmine and what would have happened if Jafar got to use the lamp and have Genie grant him wishes. I think the biggest problem is that none of the characters feels very developed. There seems to be a side plot with the introduction of two characters (Duban and Morgiana) that held more promise than us following Jasmine and Aladdin around trying to defeat Jafar. Also the book is a lot more harsher about the Sultan and how the people of Agrabah were treated by him. The ending was just off to me. I was expecting something more. 


"A Whole New World" follows what would have happened to Jasmine and Aladdin if Jafar was able to escape with the lamp instead of Aladdin holding onto it from the Cave of Wonders. The book also includes a few things that I happen to know are from the musical as well. We have the introduction of Aladdin's mother, mention of his runaway father, and his two childhood friends who are focused on being the best thieves ever. That said, the book switches things up a bit with Aladdin getting Abu from his mother as a pet. Aladdin only stealing to help out others and not for monetary gain. He runs from the captain of the guards, but still respects them. The book follows along with the Disney cartoon through Aladdin meeting Jasmine in the market, saving her from losing her hand, and them running off with each other. The book only changes things when we have Jafar hold onto the lamp and leaving Aladdin to die in the Cave of Wonders. 


Image result for diamond in the rough gif


From there everything kind of goes sideways.


Jasmine is developed slightly. She sees the issues with how her father ruled and how she never got how the people of Agrabah were neglected by her father and his need to just let Jafar deal with things while he played with toys. I felt a bit bad since I always liked Jasmine's father in the cartoon, and here he seems to be more of a buffoon.


Aladdin has a whole code thing going on though and talks about "street rats" a lot. Braswell also has him and Jasmine pretty much insta-loving each other quickly in this one. I was more interested in Aladdin once you have the introduction of Duban and Morgiana and their whole group of thieves thing. 


Jafar is not only power mad, he wants people to genuinely love them. He is still focused on Jasmine marrying him in this story for reasons (that really don't make a lot of sense, but whatever) and is determined to find magical means to compel her and others to do his bidding. 


The Genie in our story is still sassy, but also pretty lame. We don't get him interacting with Aladdin, instead he interacts with Jasmine and goes into how genies are made, humans suck, and the whole three wishes thing. The information dumps are not that great and I was curious about genies and the whole end times thing that was referenced. 


Image result for genie aladdin cartoon gif


The writing was a letdown. We keep having a story climax it felt like every chapter. And you would have a character going, well now we are going to go to war with Jafar and then nothing would happen for pages and pages. Or someone would threaten to kill Jafar and it just rang hollow after a while. I think the problem was that too much was going on with people getting captured, almost captured, escaping, etc. The flow was not good. I mean after Jafar gets the lamp it should have been game over or something. I don't know a way to have made this more interesting. Maybe if Braswell had really gone for it and killed off all of the main characters from the story and letting Duban and Morgiana take center stage. 


I did laugh one time while reading though when you have Jafar take a page out of Aladdin's book and does his own parade cheering him and how weird it all looked to outsiders. 


Related image


The setting of Agrabah just seemed a bit different than what the Disney cartoon showed us. We just generally seem to have all of the people living in poverty. And then one wonders how the Sultan and Jasmine lived so well if the people had zero money to be paying taxes and or feeding themselves. I was perplexed. 


The ending was weird. I don't know. I felt like this was a set-up to another story in some ways, but I know that these twisted tales stand alone so I didn't get the ending that was given here. 


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