Free on Kobo! April 18 Edition

Today, some free (for now) picks on Kobo, mostly billionaires, all erotica, for greedy, profane Easter long-weekend reading.

P.S. If your book is going to be free on Kobo, we’d love to hear about it. Please email Lila at nomdeplumepress at gmail dot com. Otherwise we’ll just keep putting up other people’s stuff instead of yours.

Xcite Delights, Book One: An Erotic Romance Story Collection

Short erotica from various authors, including Charlotte Stein and K.D. Grace.

[erotic romance]

 

Locked by Maya Cross

First in a BDSM-billionaire trilogy.

[erotic romance]

.

Mirror: Luke series #1 by Cassia Leo

Another billionaire series, this one rather dark, and part of a larger series.

[erotic romance]

.

All That He Wants: The Billionaire’s Seduction #1 by Olivia Thorne

Aaand…ANOTHER billionaire series.

[erotic romance]

 

Just because it’s Easter and we’re naughty…

Unbound: The Preacher’s Son #1 by Jacinda Wilder

Another series, but we think it’s safe to assume he’s not a billionaire. That would test the limits of our ability to suspend disbelief.

[erotic romance]

 

 

 

 

 

Review and Excerpt: Book Lovers edited by Shawna Kenney

I adore short story collections like this one. There’s something for everyone, and you don’t have to read a whole novel before you learn that you’re not at all into what the author finds sexy. And if that’s the case, you can just move on to the next story to find something that works for you. You know, if you’re reading it for that particular reason. Admit it: you totally do sometimes.

Book Lovers is a collection of erotic short stories from various authors, all with a bookish theme. Utter catnip for people like me. As with most collections like these, there are some that are sweet, some that are steamy, some that challenge you, and some that make you go “Huh?” Some intentionally perplex or disturb you, which is great — we need more warped perspectives, in my opinion – but some don’t. Happily there were only a couple of the latter, at least for me, in this collection.

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Review: Nailed by Christine d’Abo

We fell in love with Christine d’Abo this past Christmas, when we read Naughty Nicks. Nailed is her contribution to Harlequin’s Cosmo Red-Hot Reads line, which we’ve also fallen in love with. Primarily thanks to writers like d’Abo, the ones who take “red-hot” seriously.

A few years ago I became hooked on HGTV for as long as it took me to close on a new house. And then I was done. I couldn’t stand to watch any more of it because every improvement or option was so much better than I was able to afford, and I just wanted to be satisfied with what I’d found. But I still totally get the appeal. Nailed is a ridiculously fun, naughty take on the whole HGTV phenom for anyone who’s looked at a low-slung tool-belt and thought, “Daaamn.”

Sophia’s a new designer who did a great job on the right person’s house and now finds herself the host of a new home-improvement show, Impact Load (*snort*). Her first meeting with her co-host, Fynn the contractor, doesn’t go terribly well. Because she’s new, he assumes she’s a publicity whore whose expectations will burden the budget and the schedule and cause countless headaches for him.

But there’s more at stake for Sophia than just the show and her reputation. They’re renovating Trinity House, a shelter for single mothers and their children, and a place that had been her and her mother’s salvation when she was a little girl. It matters to her that she honour it and what it will become for others who need to escape difficult situations.

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Free on Kobo! April 11 Edition

We’ve got free stuff (at least at the time we found it) from some great authors on Kobo today.

P.S. If your book is going to be free on Kobo, we’d love to hear about it. Please email Lila at nomdeplumepress at gmail dot com. Otherwise we’ll just keep putting up other people’s stuff instead of yours.

Maliciously Obedient by Julia Kent

Looks like a fun take on the CEO/assistant trope. And — surprise! — first in a series.

[erotic romance]

 

 

Rescue Me by Serena Bell

A sweet & v. short Valentine’s story. Just a couple months later.

[contemporary romance]

 

 

 The Summer I Gave Up Boys by Kassandra Kush

We adore the title of this novella. And possibly lived it.

[new adult romance]

 

 

Bunnies and Batteries by Angelina Rain

This free read from Evernight is not about the Energizer Bunny. In case you were confused.

[erotic romance]

 

 

And one more for the road…

Nobody Fills Me Like Elroy! by Eloise Spanks

L’s Cabbage Patch Doll was named Elroy. Needless to say, she’s a bit disturbed by this title.

[erotica]

 

 

 

Review: Salvation by Noelle Adams

Diana thinks that bad things can’t really happen — that the heroes will always swoop in at the last moment to save her. Until they don’t.

When Diana is abducted, she finds herself locked up with Gideon, an FBI agent who was undercover in an Albanian gang and found out. Gideon tries to save Diana when their captors get drunk and come for her, but there’s only so much he can do. Their rescuers come soon after, but too late.

Diana struggles to recover from the rape. Gideon struggles to deal with the fact that he couldn’t stop it from happening. So he can’t let her down again, and he keeps an eye on her, helps her heal, and falls in love. But Diana’s issues won’t go away.

Salvation was a really interesting story. I have no idea how people would react in such a situation, and I’m sure everyone is different, but I really learned a lot from Diana’s journey and thought it felt authentic. The way she hid her regression seemed especially true to me. I really appreciated that her recovery was so well thought out. It was rendered with equal parts hope and heartbreak.

My list of gripes is short, but one of them is that this book was, well, short. It just seemed to need a bit more development in places. We don’t really get a sense of the real Diana before she’s changed forever. I didn’t need much more development in that area, just enough to get a sense of her as someone who’s more than just a seasoned shopper. There are also large gaps later in the book that could have been used to develop the missing character of her father, who is a bit pivotal to the story but never actually appears in it (much like in Diana’s life…but still). I think Gideon’s issues could have been given a bit more space here too, but that might just be greedy of me.

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Review: Breathe into Me by Sara Fawkes

A while ago I read Sara Fawkes’s Anything He Wants trilogy. Actually, I listened to some of it on audiobook, a novel experience for me. I wasn’t thrilled by it. The standard billionaire/temp/BDSM formula. The subtitle’s “Dominated by the Billionaire,” for chrissake. I liked the first book in the series enough, but after that it kind of fell apart for me. But because I liked the first, I didn’t rule this author out and decided to give her New Adult venture a try.

Breathe into Me also has a lot of familiar elements. The trailer park beauty who struggles with a family that’s fallen apart and an abusive boyfriend. The gorgeous, brooding new guy in town who comes to life only for her. He can save her; she’s too proud and been burned too often to let him. Pretty sure I’ve read this one already.

Everything that you could possibly throw at an angsty New Adult book comes up in this one. Ev-ery-thing. Wowzers. Lacey has to deal with sexual abuse, cyber-bullying, sexism, classism, poverty, abandonment, child abuse, the list goes on… Oh, and about that child abuse. I was tearing my hair out every time she didn’t call the police. Why wouldn’t she call the police?! Wouldn’t she or the caregiver actually be obligated to? Besides her ability to withstand all of this (and somehow forget about the apparent child abuse for extended periods), she’s a bit of a nothing. Her stock reaction, whether to comments made in jest or to wind her up, is to just stand and gape. And Everett’s all helpful and friendly, but he’s clearly hiding all sorts of secrets, and Lacey doesn’t seem the least bit curious.

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Rating Our Reads, or, The Voices of Reason

There’s been loads of drama in the book blogging/reviewing world lately about negative reviews. There are actually people out there who think that if you aren’t giving a book four or five stars, you shouldn’t review it on Amazon or Goodreads or wherever at all because you’re doing a disservice to the book or the author.

First, where did they read this rule, exactly? And second, who are these reviews supposed to be for: the authors, or people who are potentially going to spend valuable, hard-earned money on a product? We always assumed it was the latter, but apparently we shouldn’t be so hasty to assume.

Enough about that, though. We haven’t been subject to bullying from some of these reviewers and fans and — believe it or not — authors, but we’ve seen it happen. And we’re stunned. But we’re not backing down, and we’re always going to be honest in our reviews. We’ve explained our star-rating system on our Goodreads page, but we don’t use a star-rating system on our blog. Stars don’t say enough, apparently; otherwise, we’d all agree on what they signify (even though it’s right there when you hover over the stars, but apparently a significant number of people think most books they read are “amazing” — lucky them!). For too many book bloggers and reader-reviewers, a good book that has a heart-rending story but maybe crappy writing gets four stars if the guy is reportedly hot. If the writing isn’t all that crappy, five stars. Or that’s what we assume is happening. There can be no other explanation for some of these ratings. Not that we intend to disparage book bloggers or reader-reviewers. They’re going out of their way to help authors and readers. They deserve our respect, and they deserve to justify their ratings however they want. We just tend to be a bit more conservative. (In ratings. Not in politics. Just to clarify.)

So we’re going to spell it out for you on our blog. Here is our rating system, illustrated with helpful gifs, because you won’t find many in our reviews, and we wouldn’t want you to go without.

Like this incredibly helpful one:

 

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