Posts Tagged ‘unbelievably bad’

The quick run down: professor Jessica Garrett and some colleagues are staying at a dude ranch and take a ride on an old stagecoach dressed in period piece. Whilst travelling through this mysterious canyon, they hit a bump in the road, Jessica’s knocked out and when she wakes up, she’s landed in the 1880’s. Their stagecoach is robbed by the notorious Reklaw gang and the boys decide to take Jessica home to Ma. Ma Reklaw rules the roost with her broom and fiery temper and insists the boys court Jessica like proper gentlemen and let the best man win. Oldest brother Cole (the strong MCP silent type), doesn’t fall all over her like the younger boys , but he’s hot for Jessica and she’s soon hot for him as well.

Jessica adapts to life in the 1880’s with relative ease (doesn’t seem to miss running water much at all), and starts teaching the Reklaw boys how to read and write, act like gentlemen and even encourages them to come to town and attend church and social functions so they can meet nice young ladies of their own. ‘Course, since they are notorious outlaws they have to take on assumed names but it doesn’t seem to occur to anyone to wonder about another family of five brothers…

Oh well. Jessica and Cole have lots of misunderstandings on the way to happiness, the brothers have sweethearts of their own, and there’s a big battle with the evil nasty mine owner. Sound silly? Well it is supposed to be a *funny* novel, but unfortunately the humor falls flat as a pancake. The younger Reklaw boys were ridiculous as all get out, their twanging accents got old very very fast, and Ma was more harridan than loveable curmudgeon.

Ma with her broom

My quibbles:  Jessica calmly tells anyone and everyone that she graduated from university in New Mexico and had tought college level in Greeley. Over and above the fact that none of the males batted an eye at that statement, is that the story takes place in the 1880’s (I think it was 1888, but I am not going back to read again to find out). I googled universities in New Mexico for that period. Found one – the University of New Mexico – and Wik says it was founded in 1889. You do the math, but even if they were accepting ladies back then she did her four years just a wee bit early. Googled universities in Greeley. Found one. Same problem – even if women were allowed to teach college level students back then, the school wasn’t founded until 1889.

Now I know it’s a romance and we can’t expect as much historically, but still! OK, maybe they didn’t have Wik back in the late 90’s when this was written so that’s an excuse. Neither here nor there, the writing is just awful with plentiful silly prose and eye rolling bad sex.

“your eyes…so damn beautiful and big.”…”I have big eyes for you.”
*Rolls eyes*
“His powerful body backlit by sparkling morning sunshine, he appeared the epitome of arrogant, cynical male.”
Oh, the scintillating prose. Not. Almost forgot to tell you about the sex by an anthill scene. See, Jessica unknowingly sits on an anthill and Cole has to rip her clothes off to save her. Perfect lead up to sex (natch), but they do it on the ground right by the anthill and does either of them say a word or get bit during the act? No, they do not.
“There was only one way to ensure her silence, her cooperation-and that was with his mouth on hers and him buried deep inside her.”
“I’m claiming that other pulse of yours, the one deep inside you.”
Gag me.
” Hot filaments of passion threaded their way deep inside her, tormenting her…It was going to happen she realized. They were going to have hot, uninhibited sex again and she was powerless to do anything about it.”
And let’s not worry, younger brother Billy and his darlin’ Dumpling (yes, that is her name) get their own hot love scene,
“Billy was beyond replying, totally focused on the exquisite womanflesh squeezing about him. Dumpling was tight, velvety, so hot. He eased back and forth, tasting her, teasing her, spreading her wetness. Her moans further stoked his passions, and even though she was slick now, her virgin flesh gripped him with a pressure and friction that almost shattered his control. He pulled back and penetrated deep, beginning to move in earnest.”
Words fail me. Then there’s the big love scene in the upscale hotel in the public bathroom down the hall that had me scratching my head for a moment,
“He caught her hand and pressed his fingers to his swollen manhood.”
Uh, his fingers? Kinda sounded like a one man party for a moment there 😉  By this time you won’t even care if Jessica gets back to the future or stays in the past to marry Cole, and you’ll be gagging over Jessica’s Susy Sunshine Pollyanna attitude. There is a sequel called Bushwhacked Groom, but I will be passing on that party. Anyone else game to read it and report back? I hear that Eugenia Riley was Fabio’s ghost writer, don’t miss Zosia’s hilarious reviews here and here.

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***Adult content warning. If you are at work and don’t want the censor alarms going off and notifying the boss what you are really doing I suggest you stop and wait until you get home***

Lol! How’s that for a cover for you. I discovered this book in a round about way (long story, we don’t need to go there) and as a cock-up (pun most definitely intended) my Secret Santa sent me this. I am guessing everyone wanted to see what I could do with it so here we go…..

This “Adults Only” book (there is probably a very good reason the look inside feature is not available on Amazon) is author Tim Desmondes’ take on the old Robin Hood legends. He sets his version in the 1180’s when Henry and Eleanor of Aquitaine are still on the throne. Story wise it pretty much follows the standard lines of being branded as an outlaw, living in the forest with the Merry Men and his true love Maid Marian. Where this does go well off the beaten path is the sexual activities and language in this book, much of which I am too embarrassed to even share here. Perhaps if the author had kept his tongue firmly planted in his cheek and kept it light it might have been a bit more *fun* but as it was it was obnoxious and downright painful to get through – but I took one for the team and slowly carried on.

I will share a few quotes with you and remember – these are the tamest, and the *** at the end of certain words are inserted by me.

After his first romp in the hay with his beloved Maid Marian,

“He was a merry Robin. He had found his Maid Marian who had literally found him to her taste.”

Use your imagination and you can figure out what she was tasting, and be very very glad I didn’t quote from just before that. Very glad.

“He had to take pleasure in those voluptuous boobs. As his sweetheart lay on the bed sighing, he applied his lips to those extended nipples that had popped up perkily to greet his. As he sucked and suckled, Main Marian’s right hand encircled his balls”

It gets worse, but I am not going further.

“…Queen Eleanor’s eyes fairly bugged out when they bored in on the bulge in Robin’s tights. She was not disappointed. Unless the outlaw wore falsies he very much lived up to her expectations.”

Falsies? I am sooooo not going there.

“As Robin stared, amazed and in awe, at the most beautiful tits in the Westerns world, Eleanor gazed, awestruck, at the most esthetically gorgeous c*** and balls she had ever encountered. Although he was her subject, Robin took the initiative and bolted directly to that pair of nipples that were winking at him across the room……..Neither minstrelsy nor history record the intricacies of who did what to whom in what was undoubtedly the greatest f***fest of the eleventh century.”

**scratches head** 11C? Kind of makes the Alan Savage novels look good. Almost.

“The queen smiled to herself. She well knew how Robin could shoot with his glorious personal arrow.”

“Matching his Saxon c*** to Eleanor’s Aquitainian c*** that evening, the Battle of Hastings was re-enacted with victory achieved by both sides.”

I do not want to know. I do not want to know. I do not want to know. The book continues on with the rest of Robin’s story including his meeting with the Lionheart (oh I was sooooooo scared what he was going to do there – but whew it didn’t happen) along more pages and pages of someone else’s poetry and/or old ballads. Perhaps if you’re into reading porn this might appeal but otherwise I’d give it a pass. Bad, unbelievably bad.

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***Please finish eating and swallow your beverage prior to reading this review. The Book Blogger’s Shelf of Shame will not be held responsible for monitor damage if you foolishly continue to do so.***

Sooooo, after hearing about the latest author behaving bad kerfuffle (if you missed it you can catch up on it here) wherein Candace Sams takes serious umbrage with a couple of critical reviewers on Amazon. If that’s not bad enough she actually offered up Klausner (!!) as a prime example of what a good reviewer should be. Lord help us all if we must become Klausner Klones and litter the world with more badly written reviews. Anyway, not being one to let a few one star reviews stop me and since the library had it I decided to see for myself. Big mistake. Huge.

Basic plot run-down: somewhere in the future some evil villainous types have stolen the banned Ache blaster weapons and are preparing to sell them to the highest bidder. In steps Earth policewoman Sagan Carter who is assigned to assist Oceanun enforcer Captain Keir Trask who is going undercover to smoke the baddies out and save the day. The undercover assignment you ask? Why he’s going to enter the Mr. Interstellar Feller pageant – a galaxy wide mega event put on in Los Angeles and sponsored by the makers of the Pluto Pillow Mints.

In true romance novel fashion the two are drop dead gorgeous (more on Keir’s appearance shortly) and they are instantly in lust with each other but they hate each other at the same time (isn’t that original?). Of course Sagan can’t abide anyone keeping secrets from her, so there’s a small sub-plot to the Ache blasters with some jewels that is super secret and Keir has orders from his superiors not divulge to anyone – just what we need to keep our two lovers at odds. How original. I think you can figure out the rest – our pair of lovebirds and Keir’s sidekick and BFF battle the evil baddies as we sit on pins and needles (not) waiting for them to save the world…….

OK, that does all sound pretty dumb but I was willing to keep an open mind and at first start I thought it might not be that bad if one is in a fluffy novel kind of mood. Unfortunately, Sams forgets to keep her tongue firmly planted in her cheek and what might have been a fun read quickly evolved into a dreadful mess of a book. Sagan just pouted all the time, while Keir spent most of it either getting a hard-on looking at Sagan or getting pissed off at our Independent Miss and turning a darker shade of green (more on that shortly) and “growling” a lot. The baddies are waaaaaay too OTT in badness and don’t you worry, you’ll guess who the mysterious weapons buyer is lickety split. No surprises here (must be that damn editor’s fault).

Top all that off with mediocre writing that I’m sure is all the editor’s fault. The Pluto Pillow mints were bad enough, apparently there are Purple Porpoises on Keir’s home planet with fins that glow. The story supposedly set well into the future, yet the hotel security still has tapes for Sagan to download and splice to her heart’s content (ummmm, wouldn’t we be digital by now?), along with characters using slang that hasn’t changed one iota in all these years (You all remember the 70’s when we were saying peace and groovy? No one’s doing that now, are they?). Although the hands down laugh out loud moment for me was Keir leaving the Downtown Los Angeles hotel (you all know it’s on the West coast kind of by the beach right?) to head out to the desert and points his hovercraft WEST. Might as well blame that on the editor too. This book might suit in you’re in the mood for a satirical farce (although I don’t think that’s what Sams intended), but otherwise I suggest passing on this one.

So, about our hero from another planet? Have I kept you wondering long enough about the big attraction? He’s described as 7′ tall with “gargantuan pectorals” and light green skin with blue eyes and apparently Sagan can’t keep her eyes (and hands) off of him, but unfortunately for me this image popped into my mind and once there it didn’t go away,

Yep, you guessed it.

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Despite a cover that has all the appearances of a serious historical novel, well all I can say is don’t judge a book by it’s cover . This is the first of two books Savage has written on the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and is written in the first person as an older Eleanor reflects back on her life. Just a brief run down for those not familiar with her life – heiress to the Duchy of Aquitaine, she is married to the very pious King Louis of France (he was the second son and was intended for the church until the elder brother died), they go on a disastrous crusade and after bearing only two daughters Louis has the marriage annulled and she goes on to marry the future Henry II of England, where this book ends.

Although according to the book jacket this is part of a “colourful romantic series”, I’ve got to tell you – enter at your own risk. Eleanor does it with just about everybody except for the Pope, Abbe Suger, the eunuch and a monk or two, starting from the age of twelve (!!) when her governess leads her into the arts of pleasure:

Albina had been appointed my governess following Mama’s death…….Albina had never married, but she was definitely experienced. She it was who now undertook to instruct me in the business of being a woman and the duties of a wife. Well, I can’t say I much cared for the second half of her schooling…….and proceeded to tell me the facts of life. Well! My first reaction was consternation, that anyone, and particularly any man, should be allowed – and apparently encouraged – to make as free with my body as Albina indicated and was demonstrating.”

“As to the ways of myself or my maidservants, I was not in the least curious. Albina had taught me that our desires were mutual – in fact they were happy to tell me theirs, and their various means of satisfying them, in hopes of pleasing me – but however often we romped together our conversation always returned to the same subject, that of male codpieces and what might lie beneath them and what use may be made of such a remarkable apprutenance. As may be imagined, those of my attendants who actually claimed to possess personal acquaintance with such entrancing objects were in great demand, even if I was always uncertain as to whether they should be whipped for lying or wantonness.”

And then there’s the escapade with a young page (mind you, she’s still 12/13 years old) that leaves a telling stain on her skirt and raises eyebrows in the laundry (think Monica Lewinski):

I will let you put your hand beneath my gown if you will untie your codpiece.”…… “he slipped his hand up my calf, carressed my knee, and moved it higher to my thigh…….I allowed Alfred full freedom, even to reach the silky down he was seeking…….he was full to bursting……”

Oh but we’re not done yet, let’s not forget the female bath attendants at Constantinople:

I would be lying were I to claim that I did not feel a pang, several pangs, of alarm, when these girls began soaping my breasts and buttocks, sending their hands between my legs to arouse the most intense emotions. But I recalled the old saying that when in Rome…and Constantinople was far grander than Rome.”

Her uncle Raymond (ya’ll remember Deep Throat?):

“…my uncle knelt on the bed beside my shoulders, threw his other leg across me, and kneeling astride my breasts, allowed his weapon, huge and poised, to caress my face”

I’ll spare you the rest. Whilst on crusade she encounters the twelve year old Saladin:

Saladin had me on my knees like the veriest bitch. Indeed, had he commanded me, I would have barked. Perhaps I did.”

Woof woof. On to Geoffrey of Anjou (oh my).

“Soon enough he was banging away again. Fortunately twice in rapid succession was sufficient even for the Angevin, at least in the short run….”

Although the hands down laugh out loud moments were at the end where she takes up with Henry’s mother the formidable Empress Matilda. Priceless.

Outside of the OTT sex scenes the rest of the novel is rather dry and suffers badly from the use of the first person narrative. Eleanor comes across as quite vain and full of herself and an entirely unsympathetic character. Read this one for the laughs and not for the history. I do have a copy of the second book, Queen of Love and I am curious to see what Savage does with the rest of Eleanor’s life. Wonder what she does with the Lionheart? William Marshal? Rosamund Clifford? Stay tuned….

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 Do you remember those campy sci-fi movies in the 50’s that were so bad they were fun to watch? Well, that’s pretty much the way I had to look at this book and certainly the only way I finished it (although I don’t think the author intended this to be a satirical farce). The basic premise sounded interesting for readers looking for an entertaining time slip of a book – masons working at Hampton Court in 2070 find a woman’s body and a letter that leads them to believe that she was Henry VIII’s mistress and pregnant. Curator Kaitlyn Rose has issues of her own, as Anne Boleyn’s ghost seems to really have it in for her, and she’s in love with her boss Colin. Half brothers Colin and Brighton (who have a mysterious past that shocks the you know what out of Kaitlyn)hate each other, and the aging Queen Mum sends them all back to Henry VIII’s court to find the pregnant woman and bring her back to the future so England will have an heir. Once our intrepid time travelers arrive they hook up with Henry and Anne and their court and surprise (!) Henry immediately starts lusting after the beauteous Kaitlyn while the evil brother Brighton schemes to leave his hated brother Colin in the past. OK, now that I’ve put that down on paper it _is_ sounding a bit silly.

Where to begin on what is wrong with this book when there are so many places to start? First off, this is apparently self-published POD which means no editor. And boy did this book need editing. Typos on almost every page — you instead of your, now instead of know,there instead of their, ware instead of wear, you’re instead of your, 5:00 shadow and then two pages later it’s five o’clock shadow — get the picture? Now for the setting of London in 2070, outside of a few Jetsonesque like references to 3D TV, I really didn’t get much feeling for being decades ahead of our current lifestyle. Worse yet, the way the dialogue was written in an attempt at British accents was way over the top – virtually every sentence had either bloke, bloody or bollocks in it.

Now for the story itself. Two men and a woman traveling alone walk right into Hampton Court and they’re just accepted like that? No one is shocked at unmarried Kaitlyn traveling alone with two men and no chaperone? No lady to attend her? Righto. They’re promptly given rooms by Henry and Kaitlyn’s given the room of his absent mistress – yet still no lady to attend her. Worse yet, Colin comes and goes and spends the night (!!) in Kaitlyn’s room and not an eyebrow raised. Want more? How about Anne Boleyn the Queen of England running off to the forest to make whoopee with Brighton and nobody notices? I could go on and on but you get the picture.

Now, why is this so campy and hysterically funny? For starters, the emergency kit brought along by Kaitlyn was priceless – “her tried and true pink and blue plaid pajama pants with their matching pink tank top”, biscuits, diet cola, chocolate, tampons, anti-bacterial soap and lice killing shampoo (I did not need to read about the other part of her body that needed shampooing). Kaitlyn keeps getting tipsy during the Court entertainments and ends up on Colin’s lap (!!), or better yet all the times she’s mad about something and in front of the King and Queen she pouts and puts her arms akimbo. Although the flat out hands down winner that had me on the floor laughing was when our intrepid heroine displays her skill in martial arts and karate chops Henry’s guards when they attempt to arrest Colin. One of my favorite quotes:

“Without hesitation, Henry snapped back into king mode, hastily slipped through the door, sans shirt, with his breeches half opened, barely containing his thwarted…” (I won’t use the word but it starts with an “e”).

There you have it, a silly plot filled with huge gaping holes that falls apart quickly, poor sentence structure laden with typos and way too many commas along with cartoon cut-out characters all add up to a mess of a book and a serious waste of a tree. If you find it at the used bookstore for a penny (no more) and want a few laughs go for it, otherwise skip this. It doesn’t even deserve one star.

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Although I understand my ARC was an uncorrected proof, this one was supposedly published in the UK last year so you have to wonder about who on earth let this stuff get past them.

“She nodded back. Avoided Jane’s eye. ‘My lord,’ she answered, with all the poise she could manage; then, neutrally to Jane’s shoulder, aware of Jane’s hand settling on Will Hastings’ arm on Jane’s waist; of the moist, hungry look in her sister’s eyes: … ” (I think this was the day after Edward died)

“When Hastings kept his temper, Dorset, unnervingly, began to stare at him. Jutting his jaw out. Leaning forward over clenched hands. Trying to stare Hastings down; the stare of a man with death in mind; holding the eye-lock for so long Hastings had thought he might pull out a sword then and there.”

“But, quietly but firmly, he moved her back. Turned away. Reached for his buckler, with muscles taut as wire again.”

Our own 15C Superwoman: “The important thing now was to stay calm; avoid getting rattled; take one step at a time. She was managing it all so far. Having Alice and the Prattes see the Italian workers today, for instance. Tomorrow, visiting the princess and sewing in her new laces for the violet silk gown. After that, snatching another hour with Dickon on the way back. Then innocently chatting with Will Caxton at his gate about her time with the princess. It was all possible, if you kept your head. It could all work.” Whew, thank goodness there’s no kids to take to soccer matches.

Here our silk merchant Isabel is having an intimate (!!) conversation with the Princess Elizabeth who has told her she’s going to marry Henry Tudor: “She shook herself. ‘Well, so….what’s he like, your future husband?’ she said, trying to look and sound warmer without saying anything overtly treasonous”

Isabel having a conversation with R3 about the rebellion and looming battle: “She said, doubtfully, thinking of all those armies blundering around different parts of the West Country, trying to meet up. ‘Well, it seems…messy.”

Messy???? Gawd, what a mess of a book.

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You tell me, but I found the sex and the purple prose in this one so bad that I’m bringing it back for an encore. Starting at page #441:

‘Renee shut her eyes and wheeled her thoughts away from the gentle battering her ramparts were undergoing……..Pleasure whammed her as the slow fingers slid deeper, parting the florets, and rubbed her slippery, throbbing flesh to blissful relief. She cried with helpless excitement as his thumb circled the seat of her delight with tantalizing patience intended to prologue her climactic, gratifying convulsions, rendering her soft and pliant for his designs. Oh, this was heresy. Her faithless body, enchanted with a lustful vampire, melted in anticipation of ravishment; her over-emotional mind filled with wonder and yearning.

Michael groaned at the dewy invitation. He spread the warm moisture around her corolla, making her crave his ultimate possession. He plunged two long fingers inside her and hooked them to stroke an astoundingly, marvelously tender spot. Sweetness welled up in her with shuddering force. Bubbles eddied and rippled and burst in a radiant unending flow of contentment. Her inner muscles fluttered and pulsed around his fingers, the rapturous sensation saturating her whole being. His thumb swirled around her little hill of Venus, pressing, insisting, and swiftly milking another whirlpool of jolting pleasure that shot to the tips of her hair and fingernails. She fizzed and juddered, sobbing as the flow descended upon her.’

Heh, had to go look up corolla at dictionary.com. Oy vey. Had enough yet or would you like to read more? Same page:

‘He lifted his glistening hand to her view, resting his chin on her arm……He presses his fingers to his nose, inhaling deeply…….”Your natural perfume intoxicates me, did you know that?”‘

No this isn’t a romance they’re telling us, it’s historical fiction. On to page #442:

‘He playfully bit her bottom and laughed at her fulminating yelps. He splayed his hand on her back and gently pushed to arch her spine so that her bottom thrust upward. He clasped her thighs, knelt down, and put his mouth to the flower of her sex. Squeaks of mortified excitement trilled her throat as he sucked the river of fire between her legs. He opened her with his fingers to grant him better access and rumbled like a bear lapping at a bowl of honey. His tongue rasped, licked, and titillated her Venus sweetness……..’

Fulminating yelps and Venus sweetness. I am not going there.

‘Michael shoved a clever finger inside her, lit the fuse, and the gun went off, explosively…….’

WTF is a clever finger as opposed to a finger that’s not clever? I think this is my favorite though,
‘”Whoa…” Michael murmured in awe. “Volcano of honey”‘

Gag me. Never fear it gets even worse on page 443:

“In her senseless lassitude, she felt the thick, blunt head of his turgid penis prodding her sex……His hand reached down between them to lightly tease the little hill of Venus into granting him admittance…….Her body, lubricious and supple from her erotic, all-dissolving lovemaking, played lascivious traitor; she could do naught but succumb to the imposed intoxication of the senses.”

So that’s what they’re calling a historical novel and not just a romance? I’m a believer, are you?

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