Ride Baby Ride

This is post number 21.

Cover:

ride_baby_ride

This is a standalone romance novel by Vivian Arend.

Plot: Gage Thompson has had a crush on Katy for quite some time. After confessing their feelings, tragedy strikes when Katy has an accident and forgets what they shared. Can Gage help Katy remember before her meddlesome ex gets in the way?

Passage:

“Give me a second to pull on some clothes, okay?” He paced the room until she returned, unable to settle in one spot. All the reasons he had gone slowly with establishing a relationship were valid ones—yet there didn’t have to be roadblocks anymore. Part of him wanted to leap up and cheer. The other tightened the ropes he’d looped around himself years ago, ordering himself to maintain control. Right now she needed a friend in her life, not another bossy male. Somehow he would find the strength to behave and not fuck this up.”

Spoilers/Opinion: This novel reads more like a Soap Opera rather than a romance. A quick rundown is Katy and Gage have sex before he is deployed for Canadian military service. The next day she gets in a car accident and forgets everything from the last few months, so when Gage comes back there is confusion on both sides. Katy’s ex tries to come back into the picture despite the fact that everyone tells Katy how much they hate him. She then finds out she is pregnant and does not know who the father is. Gage and Katy then decide to become a couple, while her ex plots to tear them apart through assault and revealing Gage’s troubled past. Finally it is revealed that Gage is the father and the ex fades away into the ether.

I get that most Romance novels rely on outlandish elements to add interest to a couple falling in love. If they had a normal life and a regular relationship, most readers would be bored to tears (at least I know I would be). This novel has a few too many elements. If the author had picked either the amnesia or the paternity battle then the novel’s plot would improve and feel a little more believable. Also, if I had amnesia and could not remember breaking up with my ex but everyone said I did and they hated him, I think I would trust their judgement and block him instead of entertaining the idea of him still being my boo.

The romance itself is okay. At first I wasn’t too sure about Gage and Katy when they jump each others bones with little prompting. I think the author was implying their feelings were there for a long time, but Katy had just broken up with her boyfriend so it feels more like a rebound than the start of something. Their relationship develops after Katy finds out she is pregnant. They behave like partners and he does things like repair her apartment and get ready for the baby, which I like. The sex scenes are standard, so not great but not distracting either.

Ratings: This is a Romance novel so the ratings are as follows:

Relationship drama: 6/10
Romantic Development: 8/10
Hot love interest: 4/10
Creativity: 4/10
Plot: 2/10

Overall I give Ride Baby Ride a 6/10. Even though there is too much plot, the romance itself is nice.

Citation:

Vivian Arend (2014). Ride Baby Ride [Kindle Edition]. Retrieved from Amazon.com. Retrieved 2/27/2017.

Desired by the Pack

This is post number 20.

Cover:

desired_by_the_pack_cover

This is the first novel(la) of a paranormal romance series by Emma Storm.

Plot: Beck and his pack of werewolves are on the prowl as paranormal law enforcement. He spots and old flame, January, and attempts to restart their relationship. Will her past as a former wolf get in the way?

Passage:

“Impossible,” he murmured, staring at her hourglass silhouette. Impossible, but undeniable. Eight years hadn’t changed anything. She was still all hips, ass and breasts offsetting a narrow waist. Built for claiming. Female fashion was kinder to full-figured women than it had been years ago, and the jeans she wore hugged her body instead of trying to hide it. Beck’s fingers itched. He wanted to wrap them around her waist and pull her close the way he should have done back then.”

Spoilers/Opinion: When I picked this book, the description of “BBW Paranormal Romance” caught my eye. For those not in the know BBW stands for big, beautiful woman, so immediately we know the female love interest is going to be a plus sized woman. The author reminds the reader of this constantly, which is a bit much. I have no problem with having a BBW protagonist (if anything I like something a little different), I just want one chapter where I don’t have hear about how plump she is.

Probably the weirdest part of the book is that nothing really happens other than the romance/sex between the main characters. Romance novels, especially paranormal romance, have at least a little bit of plot. The only plot points are running away from some humans, banging, more banging, and Beck revealing that the first time they banged the condom broke so she’s probably pregnant. Even the powers are not really explained. For instance, the book glosses over the fact that there are vampires in this world. If you mention a paranormal element it must be explained or I am left wondering what it has to do with anything. I think the author was going for a novella rather than a full fledged novel, but even novellas have something happen. If the author wanted to create more of a teaser, she could have done more to create the world rather than just having some werewolves have sex.

Speaking of sex, Beck and January have sex within hours of being reunited. They barely even talk to each other and all of a sudden they’re banging in the front seat of car while another pack member watches. I wouldn’t mind the sex so soon if there was a bit more flirting or interaction, but the Beck and January don’t even seem to like each other. As for the sex itself, the scenes are good. I have a few gripes like the fact that Beck apparently has a monster dong that breaks condoms and January being completely submissive without any discussions beforehand. They are graphic so fans of more subtle interactions might want to look somewhere else, but overall I think they are the strongest part of the novella.

Ratings: This is a paranormal romance so the ratings are as follows:

Powers: 1/10

Explanation of Powers: 1/10

Romantic Development: 4/10

Creativity: 5/10

Plot: 1/10

Overall, I give Desired By the Pack a 2/10. The BBW element was overdone, the powers were pointless, and nothing actually happened. It’s a short read, but not worth the time.

Citation:

Storm, Emma (2013). Desired By the Pack [Kindle Version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com. Accessed 2/23/2017.

Game of Love

This is post number 19.

Cover:

game_of_love_cover

This is part of series of romance novels by Melissa Foster.

Plot:Dex Remington reunites with his long time friend and first love Ellie Parker. With the stress of his new game launch and her escape to his city, can the couple leave the past behind and stay together?

Passage:

“He saw it in her eyes. She was sliding back into that silent place. Goddamn it. “Ellie.” He reached for her. She took a step backward. “Ellie, I’m sorry. Don’t go reticent on me, please. This is so hard. I’m trying. I’m really trying to stay with you, to stay with us, but I don’t know what you expect of me. I hurt, Ellie. Every fucking time that you clamp down on your feelings. Every time you shut me out, it’s like a gunshot to my heart. A man can love a woman for only so long without it being reciprocated. On some level you must know that.” Just as I know it’s a fucking lie. I’ll always love you. She nodded.”

Spoilers/Opinion: So first things first, Dex is supposed to be hot even though he is a computer programmer, and I have a hard time buying that. In STEM when it comes to finding a man, the odds are good but the goods are odd. Especially in computer science/engineering. I will give the author a pass because she mentions the stereotype, so she is self-aware. Dex often broods over the fact that he makes video games for a living, which annoys me. If he really hated the fact that kids enjoy video games more than their education, he could easily get into teaching or programming software to help kids with homework. Ellie is the first person to bring the idea of creating an educational game, and he acts like he never thought of such a thing before, which also annoys me. He’s supposed to be the CEO of one of the most successful video game companies in the nation, yet Dex lacks the foresight to see the market for educational programming. I don’t buy it.

Ellie is more believable as a teacher wanting to work for low income and at risk youth. The only part of her job that was strange was her interview with Maple Academy. She brought up the fact that she left her previous job because she found out that she was dating a married man, yet the principal welcomed her with open arms. Interviewers don’t ask about age let alone want to know about the candidate’s sex life, so I had a hard time believing the principal would still be on board. Speaking of Ellie’s ex, he only makes an appearance twice in the story, one of which was nothing more than him passing by. He was not necessary, and I think the story would have been more streamlined without him.

The romance itself is just okay. Ellie has commitment issues that stem from being in the foster system and sexual abuse at the hand of her foster father. Dex has trust issues from Ellie leaving him when they were in high school (not her fault) and during college (actually her fault). At first, I understood where Dex was coming from because she did leave him high and dry without so much as a toodle-lo. After several chapters of him not trusting Ellie when she made the effort to stay, he should have gotten over it. They show affection with more than just sex, which is nice.

Ratings: This is a romance novel, so the rating will be as follows:

Relationship drama: 2/10
Romantic Development: 5/10
Hot love interest: 2/10 or 7/10*
Creativity: 4/10
Plot: 5/10

Overall I give Game of Love a 5/10. Not a bad book, but a few unrealistic situations where realism would have made for a better story.

*Depends on whether or not you believe hot programmers exist