Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Three Self Published Book Reviews: This Beautiful Thing, Come Away With Me and Bearing All

Synopsis: Teagan Harper doesn’t have much experience with guys. Her twin brothers have made sure of that. Until one night at a college party she gives them the slip, finding herself in the arms of the most amazing guy she has ever met. Now she's on a mission to find him since she ran from his bed. And forgot to ask his name...

Declan Sage has had control over his entire life. But that is all about to change when the girl who ran out of his bed turns his life upside down. She is about to throw that control out the window. But he’s pretty sure that’s a good thing seeing as she stole his heart.

This Beautiful Thing (Young Love #1) by Amanda Heath has a sexy, eye catching cover, interesting blurb and has been in Amazon’s top 100 romance for weeks now. With over 1,000 reviews on Goodreads, I decided to give this one a go. This Beautiful Thing should be titled- This Beautiful Trainwreck of Horrible Writing. Another case of a self published book with no editing to speak of. It makes me wonder if the author has any real basic writing skills because the amount of misspellings, lack of punctuation or incorrect punctuation placement is beyond glaring and ridiculous.

Not even three pages in, I read this- "She squeals in my ear and I whence."

What is a "whence"?

Also, commas can be a writer's friend. This author apparently doesn't like commas. Example:

"What the f*ck Declan." Ahem, should have a comma before Declan.

Sentences that make no sense based on a word that makes no sense, including run-on sentences thanks to the word, "and":

"I feel him tense above me AND his movements get jerkier AND then he's kissing my lips as I shallow his yell of pleasure."

What is "shallow his yell of pleasure"?

If an author can't use a professional editor, why would I want to finish a book, let alone spend my money on something that has far too many editorial and grammar errors to count? You insult your readers by not having a professional editor. Sloppy AND poor writing AND not worth the money for this shoddy put together book. I can’t believe a writer would publish this and not be embarrassed. I’m embarrassed for Amanda. (Self Published, $2.99)


Final Grade: F (the only book of 2012 I've given a failing grade to)

Synopsis: Being confronted on the beach by a sexy stranger wasn't part of Natalie Conner's plans for a peaceful morning taking photos. And why on earth would he think she's taking pictures of him, anyway? Who is he? One thing’s for sure, he’s hot, and incredibly romantic, feeding Natalie’s wounded soul.

Luke Williams just wants the world to give him a break, so seeing yet another camera aimed at his face has him ready to pounce on the beauty behind the lens. When he finds out she has no idea who he is, he's intrigued and more than a little tempted by her. Natalie has a body made for sex, a sassy mouth and Luke can’t get enough of her, but he’s not ready to tell her who he really his.

Natalie is a no nonsense girl who doesn’t do well with lies and secrets. What will happen to this new relationship when she discovers what Luke’s hiding?

Come Away With Me (With Me in Seattle #1) by Kristen Proby has over 2,500 reviews on Goodreads and for the most part has pretty positive reviews on Amazon. At $1.99, I felt it was worth the price to read about a mysterious stranger and a photographer who meet on the beach in a very original and interesting way. Mysterious stranger almost attacks the photographer because he thinks she was taking pictures of him. Mysterious stranger has issue with photographers because of his former career. Within a day or two, these two begin an all consuming love affair that’s almost ruined because the mysterious stranger keeps his true identity a secret because he’s a former celebrity. The heroine has trust issues and is not a fan of intimacy unless it’s only sex. She likes sex but isn’t comfortable with the idea of a relationship, so only keeps it physical with her lovers, or more, her one night stands. But that all changes when the mysterious sexy stranger walks into her life and breaks down her emotional walls by basically courting her.

This book started out strong but then went downhill fast. Apparently no professional editing was done whatsoever. The amount of times the words-"beautiful" and "baby" were used was over the top, grating and eye rolling. As for the plot, there's no real plot other than the male love interest keeping his identity a secret from the heroine who has issues because of a trauma in her past that seemed tacked on to gain sympathy from the reader. The heroine is very strong willed and what I guess you call, “plucky” but I really couldn’t connect with her on any level.

Mainly this couple talk and then have sex, talk some more and have sex and talk sex talk sex and more talking and sexing. Boring so boring. The chemistry was pretty lacking and the instalove came out of nowhere. I just couldn't get behind the main couple and their instalove after 3 days and the “I love you’s” shared between the two.

I would give Come Away with Me a pass. Pretty forgettable when all is said and done. (Self-Published, $1.99)

Final Grade: C-

Synopsis: Former Russian spy, Sergei Lavinsky, code name The Bear, is hibernating on the edge of Alaska. He lures the woman he loves to the Edge of Reason Lodge, hoping enough time has passed that her heart has softened and her knives have dulled.

Kate “No Mercy” Mercer is a CIA Agent sent to assassinate him. Again. This time she intends to succeed without ending up in his bed. She has a dozen reasons to kill him, and one of them is personal.

They’ll be completely unwrapped before the holiday is over…

Bearing All (Wild Men of Alaska, #4) was free on Kindle in time for Christmas. This is the first book I read by Tiffinie Helmer and it won’t be my last. Bearing All caught my eye because it’s about a former Russian spy now living in the wilds of Alaska. Sergei aka The Bear has become a hermit who chops wood, wears flannel and has a beard. Have I told you how I’ve come to appreciate buffed, bearded men in the romances I read? Also in order to get the full effect of Sergei’s Russian accent, instead of “w’s” used, we get “v’s” like vanted instead of wanted. Silly, right? It might be annoying for some readers but Sergei’s dialect grows on you, especially how he defeats his former lover and assassin out for his blood, CIA agent, Kate.

Kate wants to take down Sergei because she believes he betrayed her. She locates him in the frozen tundra and gets the drop on him, or so she thinks. Sergei may be retired, but has years of training. He handles Kate in his own way, tying her naked to his bed, and trying to convince her he was framed and he still loves her. Kate is angry and hurt and isn’t sure if she can believe or trust Sergei. But Sergei has nothing to lose and soon Kate comes to the conclusion that she has been lied to and her own life is now in danger.

Bearing All is a taunt, sexy, and has non-stop fighting scenes that are very much foreplay between Kate and Sergei. The sexual tension is awesome here and Sergei is an equally opportunity fighter and lover. He’s a pretty laid back guy even with Kate who wants to gut him. Kate has incredible skills and is a worthy opponent for Sergei. The writing here is crisp and engaging with many twists with an explosive ending.

Bearing All was a fun read and well worth the $2.99 price. (Self-Published, $2.99)

Final Grade: B



Penelope said...

I'm so glad you liked Bearing All. I LOVED it! Sergei! *pant, pant* :^)

KB/KT Grant said...

Sergei was a hottie. The bedroom scene was le rowl.

JenM said...

Self-pubbed authors that don't pay for editing are driving me crazy. They give the whole profession a bad name and they are so disrespectful of their readers.

On the other hand, I just read a lovely and light-hearted Regency self-pubbed novella called Miss Isabella Thaws a Frosty Lord by Larissa Lyons. It was edited very well and it restored my faith. The author has a new book coming out soon and I will be buying it.

KB/KT Grant said...

Jen: And yet, readers don't seem to mind the errors. I can understand maybe one of two, but blatant ones found in This Beautiful Thing is disgraceful.

JenM said...

I don't mean this as a put-down, but I think the reason many readers don't seem to mind the errors is that they don't know the grammar rules themselves, so they don't notice errors, even when they are numerous and blatant. After all, grammar is not a very popular subject in school. Either that or, they ignore the errors because they are swept away by the story itself. I know I'm guilty of that when it comes to Kristen Ashley. Even though I see the problems with her writing, her voice is so strong that I'm able to ignore them.