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Review: Parlor Games Anthology – Palor Games by Leda Swann

Parlor Games

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Do you dare open the door and enter a place like no other?

In these three historical tales of sensual awakening, nothing that stimulates and titillates is taboo, ecstasy comes in many sizes, and pleasure is its own reward . . . a world of seduction and sensation, where inhibitions are unlaced and desires long corseted are gloriously freed. . . .

Parlor Games – Leda Swann

An innocent virgin enters a brothel to escape starvation and receives expert tutelage in the steamy Victorian parlor games that rakish gentlemen indulge in. . . .

 

 
Accck! This one, I really disliked.

Parlor Games was the third book I read using my Scribd trial. Scribd introduced me to Jess Michaels via the book Everything Forbidden – and suggested this title since I read Everything Forbidden. As of today this book is on sale at Kobo for $9.99. Since this story is part of an anthology I that already priced – I’m still counting this as book 3.

***Trigger Warning*** This story has an attempted rape including the restraint of the heroine by another character.
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Kidnapped the Wrong Sister by Marie Kelly

kidnapped the wrong sister

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To stop his brother from an unsuitable marriage, Nikias Dranias holds the woman he believes to be Daryle prisoner on his island. However, it is her sister Diona that Nikias has mistakenly held, not believing her story that she too had come to stop the marriage of the two siblings.

Soon however, sparks are flying between the two, as they find themselves fiercely attracted to each other.

 

 

 

 

 

This shit right here…reminds me why I have a love/hate relationship with SPAs.

This is like…a poorly written excuse for a Harlequin romance. It certainly has all the tropes of a Harlequin:

-Beautiful virgin
-ruthless rich Greek tycoon billionaire type who for some reason does no fact checking or research
-completely unrealistic situations that require lots of money
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Pleasuring A Scandalous Marquess by Natalie St.Clair *spoilers*

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This book is also being sold as “Pleasuring Lord Scoundrel.”

The most notorious and most eligible bachelor in town is single! But not for long.

Rhea Davenport, a disgraced, impoverished lady currently working as a governess has captured the eye of Nathaniel Worthington. He plans to make her his mistress in order to satisfy the fiery lust that is ignited every time he is near her. He knows she will be able to assuage his hunger but will she be able to keep up with his libertine lifestyle? Most importantly how will he react when he finds out the truth about his sexy mistress.

I wasn’t a big fan. Not at all. It felt…contrived.

I’ve been trying to put my finger on what bothered me about this book.

The writing is fine and it seemed to be well formatted.

I love the cover but hate cover at the same time. The cover screams “Contemporary” but this is an Erotic Historical. I’ve read a few Erotic Historicals in my life…and most of the time they feel a little awkward. This is one of those times.
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A Very Special Delivery by Linda Goodnight

a very special delivery

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It was the surprise of a lifetime for recluse Molly McCreight when single dad Ethan Hunter entrusted her with his infant daughter while he delivered medicine to an elderly man during an ice storm. Past experience had taught Molly how fragile life could be, but she was touched by this stranger’s faith in her abilities. Once the storm had passed, though, and her guests returned home, normalcy eluded Molly. The Hunters’ presence had brought much-needed joy to her quiet world, but their absence threatened to crush her forever. Still, was she ready to admit that this tiny family held the key to the future she’d always secretly craved?

Ethan Hunter shows up one stormy, snowy evening at Molly McCreight’s secluded door. He’s on a mission to deliver life saving medication to Molly’s neighbor but the roads are getting treacherous. He wants to leave his baby daughter with Molly till he gets back. Molly is terrified of babies since her sister’s infant son died from SIDS while in her care.

I realize that the point of Christian books are to remind us how God helps and loves us – but this was the saddest romance I’ve read in a long time. Both the hero and the heroine go through some serious emotional turmoil. The relationship between Molly and her family was just horrible. Even though they [her family] know that there was nothing she could do to save her sister’s baby…they shunned her as if the death was her fault. The story of Nick’s child’s mother is very sad as well. By the end I just wanted the book to be over.

Gatekeeper (Phantom Lovers #1) by Debra Glass *spoilers*

gatekeeper

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Evil shadow ghosts known as soul collectors haunted her childhood nightmares, so Nashville PD criminal profiler Jillian Drew did everything possible to turn her back on her psychic abilities. But now her eccentric sister has been abducted and nothing in her criminology background has prepared Jillian for that tragedy-or for Benton Smith, the powerful and devastatingly attractive ghost of a Civil War officer and the only witness to Amy’s abduction. Fearful of the brazen specter, Jillian nevertheless needs him. Benton is her Gatekeeper, a spirit sworn to protect her from the soul collectors, who attack each time she unleashes her long-dormant psychic senses in an attempt to find her sister. Yet she must somehow keep the devilishly seductive spirit at arm’s length, for Benton’s soul is at stake-and succumbing to his desires could have dangerous consequences for them both.

OMFG. This. This shit right here. I can’t even…WTF.

So, let me get this straight. Psychic woman falls in love and has sex with earth bound ghost.

WTF. I can’t even figure it out cause it’s just stupid.

There are SO MANY spoilers ahead. Just don’t read this, lol.
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Backstage Pass (Sinners on Tour, #1) by Olivia Cunning

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Five stunning guys, one hot woman, and a feverish romance…

For him, life is all music and no play…

When Brian Sinclair, lead songwriter and guitarist of the hottest metal band on the scene, loses his creative spark, it will take nights of downright sinful passion to release his pent-up genius…

She’s the one to call the tune…

When sexy psychologist Myrna Evans goes on tour with the Sinners, every boy in the band tries to seduce her. But Brian is the only one she wants to get her hands on…

Then the two lovers’ wildly shocking behavior sparks the whole band to new heights of glory…and sin…

Brian “Master” Sinclair is a guitarist with the world famous Sinners rock bank. While nursing his freshly broken heart with liquid libations (getting drunk) in a hotel bar with his fellow band mates Myrna Evans, Human Sexuality Psychologist, happens to see him. Myrna is in town to speak at a conference. She stops to speak to the group, one thing leads to another, Brian and Myrna start having sex. Later Myrna gets a grant to travel with the band while interviewing the band’s groupies.
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Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins

just one of the guys

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Being one of the guys isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…

So when journalist Chastity O’Neill returns to her hometown, she decides it’s time to start working on some of those feminine wiles. Two tiny problems: #1–she’s five feet eleven inches of rock-solid girl power, and #2–she’s cursed with four alpha male older brothers.

While doing a story on local heroes, she meets a hunky doctor and things start to look up. Now there’s only one problem: Trevor Meade, her first love and the one man she’s never quite gotten over–although he seems to have gotten over her just fine.

Yet the more time she spends with Dr. Perfect, the better Trevor looks. But even with the in-your-face competition, the irresistible Trevor just can’t seem to see Chastity as anything more than just one of the guys….

Wow. This book? So depressing. Sooooo depressing.

I bought this book via a rec from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books…but actually from reading Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels. Damn. This book makes me re-think any contemporary rec she/the site gives. Cause I pretty much hated this book. I wish I had bought it in DTB format so I could have thrown it against the wall! And I don’t normally have that reaction.
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My Big Fat Geek Bedding by Fannie Tucker

my big fat geek bedding

When they both come home from their first year of college, Sarah learns that her nerdy best friend has hit the gym, gotten a tan, and become a real stud! Despite his killer combination of brains and body, Carl confides that he’s still a virgin, and Sarah is determined to turn the geek into a man. His enthusiasm trumps his experience, and Sarah ends up with more than a mouthful!

WARNING: Explicit sexual content, F/m, 3200 words.

I’m not sure what I expected from this. I’m…at a loss.

The title alone made me think this was a comedy. But there were no real funny parts.

This book makes me think of The Theory of Attraction by Delphine Dryden BUT this is not even on the same planet…let alone the same league.
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If I Pay Thee Not in Gold by Piers Anthony and Mercedes Lackey

if i pay thee not in gold

In the age of the Mazonians women rule through magic – and men suffer what they must. Magical creations only last for a single day (magical food is great for dieting), but that is quite long enough for casting a giant wet blanket (if you’re feeling kind) over a would-be rampaging male – or a block of granite (if you’re not). No uppity males in Mazonia!

But then as now some people rise above what they’ve been taught. One such is Xylina; somehow she has always understood that being of the wrong gender, or even lacking magical power, is no reason for stripping a human being of dignity. How ironic, then, that the Queen has ordained that in order to avoid execution Xylina must use her magic to publicly conquer the most glorious male Mazonia has ever seen – and how doubly so that together he and Xylina will transform their world.

This book…is pretty bad. On all accounts. The humor is not really there. The world-building is close to non-existent and the attitudes toward women is…disgusting. Its hard to imagine that two best selling novelists managed to put out this dreck and not have mud all over their faces.
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The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams

war of the flowers

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Returning to the fantasy genre that made him a coast-to-coast best-selling phenomenon, Tad Williams has written a new stand-alone contemporary novel set in Northern California-and also in the strange parallel world that coexists in the farthest reaches of the imagination.

Theo Vilmos is a thirty-year-old lead singer in a not terribly successful rock band. Once, he had enormous, almost magical, charisma both onstage and off-but now, life has taken its toll on Theo. Hitting an all-time low, he seeks refuge in a isolated cabin in the woods-and reads an odd memoir written by a dead relative who believed he had visited the magical world of Faerie. And before Theo can disregard the account as the writings of a madman, he, too, is drawn to a place beyond his wildest dreams…a place filled with be, and has always been, his destiny.

This book.

This book should be called “Depression in 5 easy steps.”

It starts with our hero. 30 y/o Theo who sings in a garage band with high school students.

It progresses to his girlfriend having a horrible bloody miscarriage while he’s out playing around with said teenagers.

Moving on from there, his girlfriend dumps him and kicks him out (agreed) and then 30 y/o Theo moves in with mom.

Depressed yet? No? Don’t worry, I have more.

Turns out Mom has cancer…and she dies after a few months.

So Theo then sells mom’s house…to a couple who get brutally murdered inside that same house within the month.

Guess what page we’re on? 88.Yeah, there’s no way I want to read more of this. But Carol has a wonderful review of what else depressing and asshole-ly actions Theo gets up to here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/161167442