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Lost Sales 2014: Week of November 16-22

It’s been about 4 months since I last logged a Lost Sale! I realize that often I am willing to jump through quite a few hoops to get my preferred books but…I’m getting sick and tired of that. When will business people realize that if you cut off access to an entire segment of the population…people cannot buy your goods?

Just to recap, here are my primary reasons for abandoning a sale:

[Author] Bullshit
Exclusive Contracts
Geographical Restrictions
Not Available in preferred store/format

 

 
Nice Dragons Finish Last20-Nov-2014
Book: Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers #1)
Author: Rachel Aaron/Rachel Bach
How We Met: I saw a post somewhere on Goodreads that there was a new UF series released by Rachel Aaron. Since I’ve read her before and my friends all loved Fortune’s Pawn (Rachel Bach)…
Problem: Exclusive Contract [with Amazon]. This book is only available on Amazon Kindle (US/UK only). I do not own an Amazon Kindle. I checked Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords AND the author’s site. I even queried the author. Nothing.
Resolution: Will not purchase – cannot purchase.
Amount Saved: $1.99 Sale Price/$4.99 Regular Price

Review: Back In The Italian’s Bed by Annie West

Back In The Italian's Bed

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No woman walks away from billionaire Fabrizio Armati’s bed. No woman except Jenna MacDonald. Now he’ll stop at nothing to get her back, and keep her there.

It’s love at first sight for Jenna when charismatic hotelier Fabrizio Armati sweeps her off her feet in Venice. That chance encounter sparks a sizzling affair that lasts until she discovers Fabrizio sees her as no more than a convenient, expendable mistress. Then her world falls apart.

Six months later Jenna tells herself she’s moved on. Until Fabrizio walks into a meeting to find her working for his greatest rival. She’s about to discover just how far he’ll go to get her back in his bed.

When revenge turns to passion, will surrender be on his terms, or hers?

This is a – without a doubt – 100% pure Harlequin Presents (HP) style novella. Even the title. And I ate it up, lol. It makes sense – Annie West has written many a Harlequin Presents.

So, you have the basic structure of a category romance: millionaire/billionaire ruthless business tycoon and lots of emotional angst. What made Back in the Italian’s Bed different is that Jenna has a little spunk. Fabrizio swept her off her feet but she left him when she realized he couldn’t [wouldn’t] give her what she needed (love). When the two meet again, she falls back into his bed but is still willing to leave him and make a new life for herself. That’s not the typical HP style – normally the woman would have eaten her heart out over hero.

Back in the Italian’s Bed is a pretty short story/novella – about 65 pages – and that’s the only downside of the book for me. The shortness of the word count didn’t allow for the full range of angst that you get from HP style novels. But don’t get it twisted, Jenna spends much time castigating herself for her attraction to Fabrizio. I have to admit that while HPs aren’t really my thing now, I have fond memories of gobbling them up by the bag-full. I am intrigued to read more of Annie West’s work.

Hot Alpha SEALs Anthology Review: Delta: Retribution by Cristin Harber

Hot Alpha SEALs
 

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Fallen Navy SEAL and Titan Group’s Delta recruit Trace Reeves wants nothing more than a one-night stand to forget that his twin brother was killed-in-action. But when his one-time fling becomes his high value target, the lines blur between her rescue mission and saving himself.

 
 
Another book in the Hot Alpha SEALs anthology and the first book of an upcoming new series – Delta – by Cristin Harber. Delta will be a spinoff from Harber’s Titan series.

In a review for a different book in the Hot Alpha SEALs anthology – Unbreakable SEAL – I noted that the author did not utilize the “magical vagina,” to my great relief. Well, Delta: Retribution utilizes the magical vagina trope for all it’s worth.
Continue reading

Hot Alpha SEALs Anthology Review: Unbreakable SEAL by J.M. Madden

Hot Alpha SEALs

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Maxwell Tate fights against a psychotic dream world, until he no longer knows what’s real. Lacey Adams knows she can’t save all of her cases, but can she salvage the unbreakable SEAL?

I both really enjoyed and was really irritated by Unbreakable SEAL.

Unbreakable SEAL deals with emotional trauma and recovery – and this aspect is where I was both intrigued and uncomfortable. The heroine meets the hero for the first time as he is having a hallucination (about spiders, I almost died). As a former Walter Reed nurse, Lacey could tell immediately that the hero was military and in serious trouble.

I loved the fact that J.M. Madden did NOT utilize the magical vajayjay. The hero’s issues needed real professional help and the author showed him doing just that. Max had to deal with flashbacks, hallucinations and the “minor” issues of being prescribed a shitton of psychotropic, addictive drugs. Unbreakable SEAL had another draw for me – one of my family members is currently experiencing flashbacks of his military days. The flashbacks have become overwhelming and he had to be hospitalized. Of course, being forced to go to the hospital has aggravated the condition – he’s now terrified that his wife will leave him due to his issues (she’s not, he’s just panicking). This family member was on my mind throughout my reading of Unbreakable SEAL.

What bothered me was the…quick relationship that developed between the hero and heroine. They really didn’t know each other well and most of the time the hero was a drugged out psychotic mess. It was difficult for me to understand the strong attraction heroine felt for the hero. It was so difficult that it pulled me out of the story quite a bit. Lacey is a major Mary Sue but the hero was such a mess…I could understand seeing that he was worth effort but the emotions between the main characters didn’t quite ring true.

The final chapters of the book showed some real growth in Lacey and Max’s relationship and I really appreciated that portion of the novel.

Sp, it’s a quick read but it’s not cute and it’s not really sexy. There’s a bit more emotion in this book than the ones I previously read – the author does not shy away from the very real and debilitating issues the hero has – but the shortness of the book left some plot holes and forced the relationship a little.

Hot Alpha SEALs Anthology Review: NIGHT WITH A SEAL (Hot SEALS #1) by Cat Johnson

Hot Alpha SEALs

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Ten years of dedication to the Navy taught SEAL Jon Rudnick one thing—he’s not afraid to risk life and limb for his country. But when navigating military red tape begins to present more challenges than the enemy it makes Jon question his future. So does Alison Cressly, the woman he can’t get out of his head.

When Ali’s life is threatened and military rules won’t allow him to intervene, Jon decides it’s time to take back control.

A team of sexy SEALs, a terrorist threat, and an attraction that can’t be denied . . . it all comes together in this launch of the new Hot SEALs romantic suspense series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author Cat Johnson.

Note: This book is a part of the Hot Alpha SEALs: Military Romance Megaset which is a 10 book Anthology. I have decided to review and rate each entry in the anthology separately since it is so large.

Night with a SEAL is the first book in the Hot SEALs series by Cat Johnson as well as an entry in the Hot Alpha SEALs Anthology.Night with a SEAL

Night with a SEAL was a pretty quick read. I really liked the couple together but…they really didn’t know each other. The book was so quick with the couple spending such a short amount of time together…I can’t say I quite believe in their HEA. Mostly, I felt Night with a SEAL ended in a way that allows for an HEA…so, HFN?

Lost Sales 2014: Week of July 13-19

Wow! It’s been months since I had to log a Lost Sale! It’s not like I do it often (alas, my book buying habits are OOT) but I’m always surprised when I do.

Just to recap, here are my primary reasons for abandoning a sale:

[Author] Bullshit
Exclusive Contracts
Geographical Restrictions
Not Available in preferred store/format

15-Jul-2014
It's Always Been YouBook: It’s Always Been You (Always #1)
Author: Victoria Paige
How We Met: I saw a rating by a friend on Goodreads. I followed that to the book page which had some good reviews.
Problem: Exclusive Contract [with Amazon]. This book is only available on Amazon Kindle. I do not own an Amazon Kindle. I checked Kobo, Barnes & Noble, All Romance Ebooks, Smashwords AND the author’s site. Nothing.
Resolution: Will not purchase – cannot purchase.
Amount Saved: $0.99

Review: Apples Should Be Red by Penny Watson

Apples Should Be Red

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Recipe for Thanksgiving Dinner:

Start with sixty-two year old politically incorrect, chain-smoking, hard-cussing curmudgeon.
Add fifty-nine year old sexually-repressed know-it-all in pearls.
Throw in a beer can-turkey, a battle for horticultural supremacy, and nudist next-door neighbor.
Serve on paper plates, garnished with garden gnome.
Tastes like happily ever after.

Penny Watson presents an over-fifty romantic comedy novella. 21,000 words. Story includes copious profanity and botanical references.

This was absolutely adorable!

Beverly Anderson (Bev) and Tom Jenkins have known and disliked each other for quite some time. Complete opposites, they typically only see each other for the holidays since their children are married. Bev thinks Tom is horrible, rude and crude while Tom thinks Bev is a “snooty-ass bitch.” Both widowers, circumstances have thrown Bev and Tom together at Tom’s house for the week prior to Thanksgiving.

During their week together, Bev learns to loosen up and stop trying to be “perfect” while Tom learns to show his vulnerable side.

Apples Should Be Red is an adorable book about two people who fall in love just when they needed to the most. This romantic comedy gets most of it’s laughs from Tom. Tom is what Bev thought he was: rude, crude and “raw”: he speaks his mind and is rather funny in a rough-edged way. The things that Tom thinks/says are quite funny. Bev, on the other hand, is the “straight man:” rather repressed and anal retentive – her character spends quite a bit of time worrying or dissolving into tears.

I felt the relationship that grew between Tom and Bev was just so cute – although they are close to complete opposites, they really seemed to balance each other in a very positive way. I had a smile on my face throughout the majority of this read.

There’s not really much else to say about this short novella – the characters are engaging and the story flows well. To be honest, I had very few complaints: Bev and Tom went from severe dislike to lust to sex to a relationship rather quickly. The ending also bothered me somewhat – I felt that Tom’s reaction was true to character but Bev’s reactions were rather underwhelming and did not ring true. The ending was a little to nice and easy but was still so cute that I enjoyed it.