Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Round Up of Self Published Books I’ve Read Recently

Synopsis: Ava Bradshaw is stuck in mid-flight. On the edge of her thirtieth birthday, she finally ends a devastatingly bad relationship that left her wounded and insecure. With a plane ticket in her hand, she sets out to make a life for herself in sunny Phoenix, Arizona.

What she didn’t plan on was meeting the intense Italian architect Enzo Milano, a local celebrity in Phoenix. The handsome and commanding Enzo sweeps the passionate and vibrant Ava into his world of galas, prestige, luxury, and money.

Enzo is charming, breathtakingly gorgeous, and a self-made American success story. He’s also a seasoned womanizer who has zero interest in relationships. Still, he can’t deny there is something special about Ava and considers trying an old-fashioned romance. 

Turn Towards the Sun has an interested premise and the first chapter grabs you, but the audacity of the author who in no way shape or form used an editor is insulting to readers. This is one of the worst written self published books I’ve ever read, and if I had bought it (it's .99 cents) and not for free, I would have been  angry. It’s obvious right from the start this wasn't professionally edited. No dialogue tags to speak of, the overuse of names during conversation, and the heroine acting more like a TSTL teenager than a grown woman makes for a horrible reading experience. The plot is inane and ridiculous, and the chemistry between the main couple beyond lacking. And don’t get me started on the wish-washiness of both the main characters.

This reads like a very rough first draft. If you're going to self publish, man up and treat it like a profession and not a hobby. If you want respect as an author and want to make money off your writing, please invest in an editor. (Jennifer Domenico)

A big, big pass on this one and a D- grade

Synopsis: Originally published by Harlequin Books, Barefoot In the Grass is about a woman reclaiming her life after treatment for breast cancer and a man learning the true power of love. Named one of the 300 best romance novels of all time by RT Magazine.

Barefoot in the Grass is considered one of the top romances ever written per RT Book Reviews. Judith Arnold is one of the best contemporary or category romances authors I've read and this was .99 cents when I bought it (now $4.99). It features the heroine Beth who is recovering from breast cancer, and because of her illness, had her left breast was removed. She feels like less than a woman and leaves New York City and the law practice and moves to a small town in New Hampshire to join the law firm of her best friend and her husband, buys a fixer upper of a house and a rambunctious puppy. Thanks to her puppy she meets hunky architect and construction worker Ryan who makes Beth all tingly inside. Ryan is very attracted to Beth but can’t understand why she is so standoffish with him and won’t act on their attraction. Ryan won’t be deferred and uses some suave courting skill to break her down.

This is the only romance I can think of where the aftermath of the heroine’s cancer and her body image is front and center. Everything Beth thinks and feels from her attraction to Ryan and her disgust with her body is so real and poignant. When Ryan finds out why Beth won’t be intimate with him, it’s heartbreaking, but Ryan’s reaction makes sense. What he does after is one of the most romantic gestures, actually should be in the top 20 of all romantic gestures in romance, including a swoon worthy epilogue. Over fifteen years later this book packs quite the punch and it’s a must read for any romance reader.

Final Grade: B+

Synopsis: His heart was made of ice...Born a nameless bastard into the Berserker horde, Finn is the measure of strength, ferocity, and brutality at the Temple of Freya. Sent to the Highlands bent on revenge and murder, he stumbles on an infant deserted in the snow. What he chooses next may seal his fate.

Her life was cold and empty...Rhona McEwan has lost everything. Her husband, her child, and soon she fears she must relinquish her dignity in order to survive the bitter Highland winter. When the most fearsome, mysterious, and breathtaking man seeks the help she can give to the child in his arms, she's unable to turn them away. Even though she's not certain he's entirely human.

Three of the world's Unwanted...On a snowy Solstice night during the magical Yuletide season, their need for each other may alter their destines forever.

Unwanted was also free and is a combination medieval romance with a touch of the supernatural, in the case of the hero who is a Berserker. This is the third book in the Highland Historical series, but I wasn’t lost by not reading the first two books. Finn is pretty much a loner who is sent on a mission to assassinate who he believes is his enemy. In the cold winter, he finds a newborn left out in the woods to die. He goes to Rhona, who can barely makes ends meet as a type of midwife who breastfeeds newborn babies of the village she’s in. Rhona has had a harsh life. Her husband died and then her baby. She was also gang raped and left for dead. She’s close to sell her body for firewood when Finn comes to her with the baby. They connect and Finn wants one night with Rhona. He’s willing to pay her for her body and Rhona makes the decision to accept Finn.

Finn has only slept with whores and never had the love of a woman. He also can’t kiss a woman because if he does, he may mate with her per his species. Rhona expects Finn to use her body for his own, but he gives her pleasure, great pleasure she has never experienced. The night together becomes more and Finn wants to keep Rhona and protect her. But then the lady of the manor needs her help with her pregnancy and Finn finds out the mission he was sent on means his own death. But Finn is in for a shock because the men he was sent out to kill are connected to him in more ways than one.

Unwanted wasn’t that bad of a story. I was really impressed. It was well written and the first love scene between Finn and Rhona is hot, especially when Finn literally gets on his knees and worships Rhona is a special way with his tongue and mouth, if you get my drift. I think this one would have benefited if it was a more full length story because the action is very sudden and the ending too abrupt and a bit stilted. Also the sudden admittance of love made me rolls my eyes, but when it comes to mates and finding THE ONE as Finn experiences, it makes sense in a way.

If you’re looking for a read that has that medieval tone to it with a touch of magic, set during the winter holiday, you’ll want to check out Unwanted and the first two books, Unspoken and Unwilling, both at $2.99. (Kerrigan Byrne)

Final Grade: B



Penelope said...

Going to get the Judith Arnold book right now!