Monday, July 27, 2009

eBook Top 10 - not as fun as Letterman's, but still good!

169. I own ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY NINE eBooks. I'm sure that's indicative of some kind of emotional or psychological problem. I mean come on, does that sound normal to you? Well I thought that I could do some kind of quick little review for most of my books and give everyone a glimpse of the types of stories that are out there. But that number is too intimidating even for me, thus I'm going to have think of another way to do this. I could try charts. Or.... maybe diagrams? There's just so much material to cover (hypothetically, thinking I wanted to cover them all) that's it's probably impossible to do everything justice. OK - I got it! We're gonna do a Top 10 eBooks, ranging from really good to REALLY bad. That way I can talk a bit about a few different titles and you can take the time to make your own decisions.

10. Descendants of Darkness

This one was so bad I didn't even FINISH it! You probably can't imagine how bad something has to be for that to happen. I didn't even bother to skip to the end to see what happened - I didn't care. Either way, this one is supposed to follow the tales of these 4 vampires and the women who 'save them from the darkness' or whatever. You want to know what these are? The worst written imitations of Christine Feehan in creation. I'm surprised she didn't sue them! They even call the women 'life mates'. Not worth your time or money, just walk away and find a book by Feehan to fill your time.

9. Date With Destiny
I wrote about this book in a previous review, so I'm not gonna repeat myself too much. Let me just say that this book is filled with the most unconvincing romance/erotica tale ever. I understand that for some authors fun sex is the whole point of the story, but this is trying to take the whole 'opposites attract' thing way too far. The characters don't seem to make any kind of personal connection before saying they're going to be with each other forever, and even for shape shifters. And I didn't learn enough or feel emotionally attached to either of the characters to care if they were happy or not.

8. Laila's Bargain
When I was younger and used to read more Harlequin Presents romances, it didn't take me long to notice how often the books were centered around jack-ass guys and the
women who forgave them in the end and took them back. I've definitely grown out of tolerating that genre, so this book tripped quite a few triggers for me. Laila goes back to her ex to get help finding her kidnapped brother, but instead of just helping with only a few snide comments, Matthew proceeds to do the generic 'sleep with me and I'll help'. Strange sexual antics ensue and it works on my nerve about what's consensual and what's not - what Laila wants to do and what she feels forced to do. Maybe this was supposed to more of an exploration of BDSM and the varieties of how dominance/submission shows up in the bedroom, but it just was not my cup of tea and I do not recommend it.

7. Stalked
Stalked was just creepy. It's one of Ellora's Cav
e's quickies, and I just wasn't ready for it. It starts off being what you think is a rape story, with a woman who eventually gives in and enjoys it. Which is weird enough as it is but then you get to the end and it's the woman and her husband playing sex games. Ugh. Better than Laila's Bargain because the husband isn't actually being a jerk rapist, but weird because that's what the readers are confronted with at first glance.

6. Not in Kansas
I put Not in Kansas in the middle because it is only mediocre. Not a great story - not a horrible one either- it's a homosexual re-imagining of the Wizard of Oz. Kansas (the main character) get's swept up in a twister and lands in Oz, a land filled with slightly sex-obsessed, but amusing, characters. He goes to the castle, meets the King and through some actually pretty tame sex ends up falling in love. Yeah I decided the whole thing was not that exciting but I've reread it because it's still cute!

5. Bakra Bride
This is the second book in a series that I think is actually surprisingly good. It takes place in another land, one that the heroines reach through a magic tapestry, where lack of women has
changed the culture so each woman is involved with two men. But instead of it being a place where women are kidnapped and held hostage until they agree, in this one the women are wooed by 1 or 2 sets of men and she picks who she wants to be with or if she'd rather go home. It's the thoroughness of the characters themselves that sets this book apart from the others I think. The reader sympathizes with Jane and her honest desire to do the right thing, and after she's transported you root for Zaren and his brother, because you can really feel how much they need her. Definitely recommended and if you're inclined, I would buy the whole series!

4. Fairy Dust
I thin
k I loved this one so much because it's just such fun. Who hasn't thought about what happens after the 'happily ever after'? Marlena is a fairy godmother with an attitude, one who wants her charges to feel more than just true love's kiss - she wants them to feel every bump and grind, every real and dirty touch and emotion that comes from being in love. Then it gets even better when Marlena is sent into the fairy tales themselves to try and remember why the innocent and more 'pure' endings are important. Of course chaos ensues and the whole thing is a wild ride - Highly Recommended!

3. Fur Factor
Christine Warren is always a great read! The second book in her Fantasy Fix stories (which actually have a different series name in print) it follows Missy and Graham on the road to relationship bliss. I love a good alpha male werewolf story, and the chemistry between these two jump off the page, so combining that with a bit of mystery and horror? I was set! It's a fun book, and I think if you're willing to suspend reality a bit and just go with the flow of the story it makes a great tale and one I've reread a million times. Unfortunately, since Warren is making the jump from eBook to print, this title is no longer available from Ellora's Cave but look for it in your local book store soon!

2. Making Chase

This the last and my favorite of Lauren Dane's Chase brother stories. It's just such a great, honest, down-to-earth love story. Tate is a women with a complicated past and family history, and the type of body image issues that everyone can identify with. Yes it's very much the romance story when she falls in love with the hottest guy in town, but the ups an downs of their emotions is what makes it believable. They don't just fall into their happily ever after, they have to work on it and each person has to get past their own issues. I think that, along with an incredible family that you just love reading about, is what makes this such a great story to me. It's real and you feel like so many things are possible after reading it that you can't help but be happy.

1. Here Kitty Kitty

What kind of romance story has a heroine that hits the hero in the face with a toilet seat? A Shelly Laurenston kind of romance, that's what! The reason I put this as my number one eBook is that
there's nothing like a kick ass heroine and the alpha male who ends up loving her. Laurenston always seems to write the perfect combination of strength and vulnerability into her heroines, and the antics in this one are ridiculous. Angelina starts off being kidnapped by a couple of were-tigers in this one and it's after she wakes up at their house in NC that things get really crazy. Nikolai (hero, also were-tiger) is just so hot! Maybe I have a thing for Southern boys, who knows, I just know that he is so cool and so perfect for Angelina. Again the sparks fly and the whole book is just them pushing at(really knocking down) each other's boundaries to get what they want. I've reread it a billion times and it's like my go to story for when I don't know what I want. JUST READ IT! GO! READ NOW!
Side Note - Laurenston is also making the jump from eBook to print so look for this title in local bookstores soon!

Addendum - Places to buy eBooks. I primarily purchase romance books, so these websites have to be taken with a grain of salt. Always check out where an author's website says you can get the books and don't forget to check out the main pages for your local library system because sometimes they have eBooks for free!

1) Ellora's Cave
2) Changeling Press
3) Diesal eBooks
4) Samhain Publishing
5) My Bookstore and More
4) Your Local Library!