The only one by Magan Vernon – DNF

The Only One (Only, #3)The Only One by Magan Vernon
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I started reading this because it is in the “Unconditional” anthology, but couldn’t finish it. The heroine – and I am sorry to say that, because it sounds heartless and without compassion – was a whiner of the first order and selfish to the extreme.

Apart from the fact that the cancer topic was dealt with in a disappointingly superficial way, the whole story had no character development whatsoever. It mainly consisted of Melanie going on ad infinitum about how “broken” she was and of Melanie trying to give John an out, because she kept insisting he only pitied her. It was obvious he was not interested in an out, but what does she care. If John HAD indeed left, it would have been the prime example of a self fulfilling prophecy.

After a little more than half I couldn’t stand that miserable situation anymore and left it behind.

View all my reviews


Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle


I read it in:  English

I liked it:       No

Through the Grinder (Coffeehouse Mystery, #2)Through the Grinder by Cleo Coyle
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Didn’t like this one. The constant thoughts of the killer got on my nerves. "Genius", give me a break!
Quinn comes in for some reason or other looking like hell, swamped with cases and Clare has nothing better to do than to educate him on the fabulous blend of coffee she is going to offer him once she has ground the beans to perfection. Please! You can take the theme a bit too far!

View all my reviews


Product info and buy link :

Title Through the Grinder
Author Cleo Coyle
Publisher Penguin USA
ISBN 9780425197141
I got this book from Birgit from The Book Garden
Buy link Buy Through the Grinder

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book If you buy the book through this link I will earn a small commission. You can find my general affiliate links to The Book Depository, and here.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.


Duke of Scandal by Adele Ashworth

I realized I can copy my Goodreads reviews into a blog post. How convenient for some short bits, especially if it is a DNF.


I read it in: English

I liked it:      Not particularly

Duke of Scandal (Duke Trilogy, #2)Duke of Scandal by Adele Ashworth

I didn’t particularly like the heroine and was not interested in what became of her.
Skipped about three fourths of the book to read the last chapter. Why did she leave him and then come back without giving any explanation for her stupid behaviour? Why did he accept his reputation as a sexual deviant? To protect his brother? Made no sense under the circumstances.

View all my reviews

Product info and buy link :

Title Duke of Scandal
Author Adele Ashworth
Publisher Avon Books
ISBN 9780060528416
I got this book from I bought it
Buy link Buy Duke of Scandal

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book If you buy the book through this link I will earn a small commission. You can find my general affiliate links to The Book Depository, and here.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.


DNF: Started early, took my dog by Kate Atkinson

Cover Started early, took my dog by Kate Atkinson

Elena recommended Kate Atkinson to me and I can see why she did. Kate Atkinson is a writer who conjures up an atmosphere with a few well chosen sentences and her stories are cleverly built. Unfortunately, I neither particularly enjoyed the way she writes, nor did I like the atmosphere.

Even though I got used to the elliptical writing style after a while I never got into it. I like it in a title (I wasn’t aware that the title of the book reflected the writing style THAT much), but not in a 400 page book. (Find the book’s beginnings here).

As for the story, I am a novice to Kate Atkinson and have not read the previous Jackson Brodie books. Maybe I should have started with the first book in order to understand better what was going on with him, but to me he seemed to be a whiner who mostly thought of and felt sorry about his previous relationships and who didn’t like himself very much. I probably could have lived with him, but the story is full of characters who all have so many problems and who are so full of self loathing that it was depressing.
A child spending some time with a corpse (this is my deduction, I didn’t get to the revelation of that particular thread), a dead child, a woman in a coma, a spinster who buys a child, an old demented woman, a number of old, and possible corrupt policemen, an adoption officer with a secret, the list is endless. Give me a break!

I am sure that somewhere towards the end all the various storylines – and there were many with time jumps back and forth continuously – came together in this cunning way where you go, "ah, now I see why this was said there and then, and what was the meaning of this and that 200 pages earlier" but I didn’t make it that far. When Jackson Brodie woke up next to a woman whose name he didn’t remember and had to sneak out of her house I was finished with the book. Sorry, but I do want to enjoy reading and not dread what might come next.

However, if you enjoy a real downer of a book, I recommend this one.


The book of lost fragrances by M. J. Rose


Very short synopsis:

The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac’s quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.




In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:    Not really, it was a DNF

For people who like: Not sure, I didn’t get past page 45. 

My thoughts (remember, it was a DNF for me, so take it with a grain of salt):

I got this book after I received an email specifically about this book from Netgalley and thought it looked and sounded interesting. Ancient Egypt, Cleopatra, a fragrance, what is not to like?

The first chapter is set in Egypt when Napoleon’s men discover an unusual tomb with a mummified couple and a fragrance so powerful, only a glimpse (or rather a tiny sniff) causes the men present to get rapterous and have visions of past love. This turned me off quite a bit, not because I don’t like the idea per se but it seemed extremely similar to Patrick Süskind’s “Perfume”. If we had been told (maybe we are, I will never know) that that fragrance was manufactured with the help of a dozen murdered virgins I wouldn’t be in the least surprised.

Anyway, then there is a chapter about the main character Jac who has always had visions and they are still plaguing her. I am sorry to say that

a. I can’t stand visions in general, I am not for psychic mumbo jumbo, and

b. visions are too easy a way to link otherwise unconnected things and resolve them.

Then there is a chapter about two Chinese discussing the recent problems between China and Tibet concerning the re-incarnation of a lama.

That was when I realized that the blurb above was not exaggerating. Ancient Egypt, the psychological problems of a Franco-American perfumer and all the other topics thrown together were just too big a hodgepodge of ideas and just didn’t do it for me.

However, if you like complicated stories with lots of storylines (that come together at the end, or so I have heard) and haven’t read “Perfume”, this might be the right book for you.

Product info and buy link :

Title The book of lost fragrances
Author M. J. Rose
Publisher Atria Books
ISBN 9781451621303
I got this book from Netgalley
Buy link Buy The book of lost fragrances

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book If you buy the book through this link I will earn a small commission. You can find my general affiliate links to The Book Depository, and here.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

Read this post on The Book of Lost Fragrances at Beth Fish Reads 


The madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

Very short synopsis:

Rich supposedly mad lord gets together with rich widow for affair, but a police detective throws a spanner in the works. He wants the madman convicted for murder. 


I read it in: English

I liked it:     No , because the police officer was such a terrible person, obnoxious, pushy and insufferable; he spoilt all the fun for me. The two main characters were ok, but somehow they didn’t hold my attention and I was not really interested in how they were going to get together for good and/or how they got the detective off their backs.

For people who like: historical romance, an unusual hero, a down to earth heroine

Product info and buy link :

Title The madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie
Author Jennifer Ashley
Publisher Berkley Publishing
ISBN 9780425244463
I got this book from I bought it
Buy link Buy The madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book If you buy the book through this link I will earn a small commission. You can find my general affiliate links to The Book Depository, and here.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.


Head over Heel by Chris Harrison


Presents the author’s story of leaving his previous life for La Dolce Vita – or rather the Southern Italian version of that seductive way of life,with its luscious foods, physical beauty and sun-drenched vistas.




In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:     Yes, but found it too detailed and I lost interest

For people who like: Southern Italy, stories about getting used to another way of life, Mediterranean flair

My thoughts: 

Head over Heel is a fun book about the “adventures” of an Australian moving to Italy to be with his Italian girlfriend. He goes to Italy and has to deal with the very unusual everyday life, corruption, language and what not that every expatriate has to face in one way or the other.

I found the book very amusing and entertaining, however, I just couldn’t be bothered reading about all the details of Italian life. Chris Harrison describes many aspects and I just found it too tedious, maybe because I have been to Italy numerous times (even though never as a resident) and didn’t find the situations as strange as other readers might. I stopped reading after maybe 80 pages when the plot hadn’t gone very far yet and the couple was about to move from the South to the very different North of Italy, so I assume there were many more surprises in store for the narrator.

If you have never been to Italy and know next to nothing about it, you will enjoy this greatly.

Location: Andrano, Puglia, Italy

Map Andrano Festa Madonna delle GraziePiazza Castello 

All images from wikipedia. Image of piazza by user Lupiae

Product info and buy link :

Title Head over heel
Author Chris Harrison
Publisher Nicholas Brealey Publishing
ISBN 978-1857885217
I got this book from Netgalley
Buy link Buy Head Over Heel


Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.


Empress by Evelyn McCune

empress Blurb:

Sweeping through exotic, turbulent seventh-century China, EMPRESS is the captivating epic of one extraordinary woman who would become the only female emperor in all of China’s history. The story of Wu Jao, set against the backdrop of medieval China, reveals not only an age of horrifying barbarism, daring treachery, and precarious power, but also an eternal culture of sophistication and enlightenment.




In a nutshell:

I read it in: German

I liked it:     Yes up to half of the book

For people who like: Ancient China, historical fiction

My thoughts:


The cover

Now, before anyone cries out and complains about the cover: Yes, yes, I know. Thanks to the amazingly knowledgeable reviewers on I have learned that the cover of this book is totally wrong, a shame, incredible negligence on the publisher’s part, how could they?! This is not an image of anyone in China during the 7th century , but it is (or is supposed to be) Ci Xi, the Empress Dowager who lived from 1835 until 1908. An unforgivable mistake that occupies everybody more than actually reading the book does. Or so it seems.

Obviously I am the only one who did not immediately realize this and who didn’t jump at the throat of Ballantine Books or Goldmann, the German publisher who made the same mistake. The Germans only used a photo of the older Ci Xi. I wonder whether just one particularly scholarly person on amazon said “Hey, this can’t be Wu Jao, her dress is not right, this is a dress from 1889, and therefore this must be Ci Xi. The publisher screwed the cover up.” and all the following reviewers didn’t want to lose face and chimed in or whether really every reviewer knew this anyway. God, people, chill out a bit!


Another DNF

This is another DNF for me, I am afraid. I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book. All the intrigues and the machinations of the courtiers were exciting and entertaining to read. After Wu Jao became empress I lost interest. Somehow I found her character right after that turning point in her life rather strange, because it was not in accordance with her previous one. I didn’t like at all one particular incident and therefore I gave up on her and her story. I couldn’t face reading another 300 pages or so just for the sake of finishing it.



You like Judge Dee?

Oh, one more thing. If you are a fan of Judge Dee, this might be of interest to you. He was mentioned by Wu Jao early on as one of her childhood friends when she was still living at home. Since he later became chancellor I assume he will play a part in the second half of the book.

Location: China during the Tang Dynasty, 7th century

China during Tang dynasty Taizong giving an audience

Official portrait of Wu Zetian at Wu's burial place

Movie tip

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame


Product info and buy link :

Title Empress
Author Evelyn McCune
Publisher Ballantine Books
ISBN 978-0449907498
I got this book from some sort of bookcrossing
Buy link Buy Empress
More info More about Wu Jao on wikipedia


Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.


And yet another DNF



The mysteries of UdolphoLately it seems I pick up quite a lot of books that turn out to be a DNF. I tried so hard to read (and like) “The mysteries of Udolpho” which is a book I have been wanting to read for a long time, actually ever since reading “Northanger Abbey”. The Gothic Reading Challenge was the perfect opportunity to finally tackle it.

According to Goodreads I started reading that book on June 26. You want to know how far I got? To page 48!

I was willing, I compared covers, I told you the book beginning, Udolpho turned up on my monthly reading lists – to no avail.  That book is so long winded, it defies description. Admittedly, at 880 pages I didn’t expect it to go medias in res, but the descriptions of scenery bored the hell out of me, and I didn’t want to read through 200 pages of them before the gothic “horror” would start. If it ever started I don’t know. 

I think it’s time to say good bye to it and just face the fact that the mysteries of Udolpho will remain a mystery to me.


The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin

The dragon and the pearlBlurb:

Former Emperor’s consort Ling Suyin is renowned for her beauty; the ultimate seductress. Now she lives quietly alone—until the most ruthless warlord in the region comes and steals her away….
Li Tao lives life by the sword, and is trapped in the treacherous, lethal world of politics. The alluring Ling Suyin is at the center of the web. He must uncover her mystery without falling under her spell—yet her innocence calls out to him. How cruel if she, of all women, can entrance the man behind the legend…





In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:     Yes    x  No  The book was a DNF for me.

For people who like: typical romance, ancient China

My thoughts: 

It seems I am having to deal with more DNFs than usual at the moment. Not sure why this is, the books that I did not finish were not at all comparable. Anyway, this one was yet another DNF for me.

I got “The Dragon and the Pearl” because I found the cover adorable. Not a very good reason to get a book (some people might disagree, I know), and it did turn out to be the wrong one here.

The story starts medias in res with Li Tao coming for Suyin and takes her with him to his own mansion deep in the forest. The perfect setting for a blossoming romance, isn’t it. And here we go! From the first moment Suyin was drawn to Li Tao and her heart started beating faster whenever he came near. It is very much possible that Li Tao felt the same way, as  he always got this gleam in his eyes when he set them on her. Needless to say he was muscled, hard as a rock, pure masculine power. I was only waiting for the term “predator” to crop up and I was not disappointed. It was in chapter three and appeared in the form of a “predatory glint” in his eyes. Two lines before that he “prowled” closer, which had me wondering once more why a man who “prowls” seems so desirable to some women (and romance authors).

Very soon after I decided to stop reading. I am sure had I gotten to the love scenes I would have encountered “molten lava” in abundance – or something similar, I am not sure whether Christine Feehan has the monopoly on molten lava or not.

Romance lovers will devour this book I am sure, especially since the setting is interesting and unusual. Maybe I was just disappointed because I expected the story to be different (why, I can’t say) and instead I only got the ordinary romance formula.

Location: Ancient China, capital Chang’an (now: Xi’an)

Map of China, Chang'an Wild Goose Pagoda, 652AD Mount Huashan near Chang'an

Images from wikipedia

Product info and buy link :

Title The Dragon and the Pearl
Author Jeannie Lin
Publisher Harlequin
ISBN 9780373296620
I got this book from Netgalley, because I found the cover very appealing
Buy link Buy The Dragon and the Pearl
More info Jeannie Lin’s website


Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.


Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck


A bestseller in Germany, Visitation has established Jenny Erpenbeck as one of Europe’s most significant contemporary authors. A house on the forested bank of a Brandenburg lake outside Berlin (once belonging to Erpenbeck’s grandparents) is the focus of this compact, beautiful novel. Encompassing over one hundred years of German history, from the nineteenth century to the Weimar Republic, from World War II to the Socialist German Democratic Republic, and finally reunification and its aftermath, Visitation offers the life stories of twelve individuals who seek to make their home in this one magical little house. The novel breaks into the everyday life of the house and shimmers through it, while relating the passions and fates of its inhabitants. Elegant and poetic, Visitation forms a literary mosaic of the last century, tearing open wounds and offering moments of reconciliation, with its drama and its exquisite evocation of a landscape no political upheaval can truly change.

In a nutshell:

I read it in: German

I liked it:  x  Yes and  x   No  The book was a DNF for me.

For people who like: historical topics, clean and cold language without a word too many, modern German literature

My thoughts: 

I wanted to like this book, and in a strange way I did and then again I didn’t. It is the story of a house at a lake in Germany and its inhabitants over the course of time (see my Book beginnings on Friday post). The language is very clean, detached and cold. There is not one word too many and everything is made very clear to the reader. I could picture everything perfectly, the house, the gardener, the lake, the bathhouse, the inhabitants.

However, I decided to stop reading it. I haven’t come very far, so it could be that my decision was entirely wrong, but I just don’t want to spend my time reading stories that are too depressing for words. In the few chapters I read there were Jews getting murdered in a concentration camp, a little Jewish girl getting shot after hiding in a box on her own for a long time, a German woman getting raped by Russian soldiers. Well, you might say that that is what that time was like so I can’t expect anything different. True! It may well be that the following period with the house being in the German Democratic Republic would have been a cheerful read, but seriously, I couldn’t imagine that.

Somehow I think that the German title “Heimsuchung” (which has a somewhat sinister and terrifying connotation) refers to the dreadful misfortune that befalls the house’s inhabitants. As brilliant the book might be, I just found it neither entertaining in a relaxing sort of way nor captivating enough for me to read on. Maybe this was just not the right time for me to read it. If you are looking for a light read that leaves you ready to go to sleep happily, this is not the book for you.

Location: Scharmützelsee, Brandenburg, Germany


Image from wikipedia

Product info and buy link :

Title Visitation
Author Jenny Erpenbeck
Publisher New Directions
ISBN 978-0811218351
I got this book my German swap site
Buy link Buy Visitation
More info English page on the German publisher’s site


Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

A very good review in German at “der Freitag”


Starting from Happy by Patricia Marx


While waiting in line for apple pie at a party, Imogene Gilfeather, a lingerie designer who does not understand the reason for romance, meets Wally Yez, a scientist whose business card says “An Answer for Everything.” Imogene is told that Wally is the perfect guy. (“Perfect,” she replies, “is not my type.”) He is told that her company, Featherware, manufactures intimates (that gets his attention). Unfazed by Imogene’s indifference (who needs love when you have a career, friends, and an undemanding affair with a married man?), Wally resolves to win her over. E-mails turn into late-night phone calls; one date turns into two and then into more. Thus begins the most absurd and amusingly unbalanced relationship to grace the pages of a novel.

In a nutshell:

I liked it:     so so

For people who: have a short attention span, like sketch comedy, are looking for a fun read, don’t take things seriously.

My thoughts: 

This was an unusual novel. I liked the general concept of short chapters, something I imagined to be similar to the vignettes of “The Time Traveller’s Wife”. The numbered “chaplettes”, however, turned out to be much, much shorter, so short in fact that they sometimes only consisted of two words (the longest was a bit less than a page if I remember correctly). This might make for a quick read, but they never kept my attention for very long. When you read a book with proper chapters, you might say to yourself “I finish this chapter before I turn the light off”. Here, finishing the “chapter” takes you a few seconds to a minute. Somehow I could never get into a reading flow. I read a few chaplettes and my interest would fade, I never got into the story.

The story itself was a good idea, but I never saw either the attraction between Wally and Imogene or how their relationship developed. Somehow, even though Imogene was not in the least interested in either Wally or a relationship in general, it went from meeting at a party to going out to having hour-long phone calls, and I have no idea how. Also it was absolutely inconceivable what Wally actually saw in Imogene, why he thought that she was the perfect woman for him, that she was *his* woman. She seemed indifferent to him at best. Where was the romance?

Then there was the humour. It was supposed to be amusing, unfortunately it wasn’t, it was forcedly funny. To the point that I thought that it is just too much and, on top of it, getting old. The sort of humour that might be funny in an episode of Saturday Night Live, but not in a 250+ pages novel, at least not to me.

Another thing that I didn’t particularly care for was the fact that Patricia Marx continuously points out to the reader that she is just another bystander and has not much more clue as to what is going on than the reader himself. There are so many references to “Patty” that you get to think she must be a character in the book! I didn’t like that. I like my writers omniscient and preferably invisible.

Interspersed across the book are a number of illustrations by the author. Unfortunately my e-reader (Sony PRS-505) didn’t show them, so I could look at them only on my PC which somehow spoilt the experience. I am sure that looking at them while reading the according chaplette would have been much more fun.

If you are looking for romance, keep away from this. If you want a funny, comedy-like, casual read with over the top humour that doesn’t hold your attention for hours on end, then go for it.

Product info and buy link :

Title Starting from happy
Author Patricia Marx
Publisher Simon & Schuster
ISBN 9781439101285
I got this book from Simon & Schuster’s galley grab program
Buy link Buy Starting from Happy: A Novel on amazon
More info Patricia Marx’ page at Simon & Schuster with book trailer for “Starting from happy”


Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

Book Hooked Blog thought the same as I did about this one.  


Broken by S. L. Carpenter


Jesse Andersen is a broken man. His life is shattering around him, leaving him tired and alone—wondering if there is anything left of his soul. Then one rainy night, the winds of fate blow his way and suddenly he finds a woman who can make him smile once more.
Kari Hawkins has her own wounds to heal. Dating Jesse is a risky proposition—a gamble with emotions that are still raw and painful. Except something about this man calls to her heart with a voice that shares her sadness and offers hope. Hope that maybe, just maybe, he can be the one…
Like the pieces of a puzzle, Kari and Jesse come together for solace, for warmth and finally for passion. It’s not easy or casual, but it is hot and sensual—and what they both need. Neither wants to ask if it will last—nor do they anticipate the future until it confronts them head-on. Then it’s time to ask if their broken lives have truly healed…

My thoughts: 

At first I thought not to blog about this story at all. My reviews usually are quite balanced, at least I hope so, and I don’t do snark. Then I thought about this sorry piece of work again and decided to talk about it after all, if only to prevent people from reading it.

I know from experience that stories published by Ellora’s Cave are heavy on the sex side, but this story was not only that but badly written to boot. On top of everything else its plot made no sense whatsoever.

Talking about that plot and its inconsistencies already gives this book too much credit since it indicates there is actually a plot to discuss. I’ll try anyway for the benefit of potential readers. Forewarned is forearmed.

Kari is recovering from an abusive relationship and longs for a new and steady one. What does she do in the prologue? She goes out with friends to have a look at what is out there. Nothing wrong with that. She picks up a piano player at a bar and decides "she had found the warm body she wanted for this night". What follows is a sex scene that is totally not enjoyable (for both, her and the reader). Is that the behaviour of someone who is looking for a serious relationship? Find a body “for this night”?

Anyway, the next day she meets Jesse in front of her house when she goes to work. Jesse who is totally plastered watched Kari through a gap in the curtain crying her little heart out while she was showering the night before. He recognizes her through his stupor and after sobering up visits her in the diner she works at. They arrange a date. Right, I can only repeat it, the woman who just experienced a bad one night stand and who longs for a serious relationship with a nice fellow (I’m not saying Jesse won’t turn out as a nice fellow, he will, but she doesn’t know that yet, does she?) is arranging a date with a man she met a few hours earlier while he was half slouching over her car, half sitting in a pile of trash with rubbish in his hair, pissed as a newt. Makes sense?

Jesse’s issues have to do with his ex girlfriend who told him he was not good enough for her and that he doesn’t give her enough freedom. As a result he is "broken". Oh, is he? Not so sure about that. He is pretty social, open, invites Kari on a date and more or less immediately wants to fuck her. There is no indication he is down, depressed or crushed, other than that we are told frequently that he is. No, wait a minute, he does slump in his chair a bit after meeting his ex at a restaurant during his date with Kari. And a few lines later he “was now withdrawn, somewhat hidden”. Does that count?

And there we come to the main problem with this story. I often wondered about what the difference was between telling and showing. Now I know. If you need a prime example of a story where things are being told constantly but never shown then read this one.

Just one example:

Before he could reach the latch, she kissed him.

Her tongue was hot and wet as it slid into Jesse’s mouth. Kari’s pussy was already hot and was now becoming wetter by the moment as his hands fondled her body.

This was passion at its peak.

Oh, was it? You could have fooled me. "Passion at its peak" might be a nice alliteration but the fact remains that I didn’t notice anything particularly passionate about the character’s actions.

I am no native English speaker so I hardly ever comment on choice of words, sentence structure and on whether a certain expression is appropriate in a given context or not. However, I can’t refrain from doing so in this case.

A passage (one of many) that struck me a little odd:

“God, I thought you were full from dinner. Oh, my…” Jesse moaned, feeling her pull up.

With a pop, Kari let him free from her tight lips. Panting, she answered back. “It’s not this pair of lips that are hungry. It’s these.”

She climbed on Jesse and reached back to close the open car door.

Isn’t this just awful? Is this supposed to be witty, funny or seductive? Sorry, it is neither. There are plenty of examples for this sort of “dialogue” along the lines of “I am hungry” – “I’ll give you something to swallow”. Wow, I’ve got to say, I am impressed. If a man said that to me I’d be his sex slave for life.


Kari dug into her purse  on the floorboard. She smeared her juices along the length of his cock resting between the lips of her pussy.

Did she find her juices in her purse and got them out in order to use them? As it turns out she dug into her purse for a condom, but for a second I was surprised.

Also, this is erotica (at least I thought so before I started reading) and I personally do not think it is very erotic to read about people who are literally drooling. And they drool quite a bit – either because they are drunk or horny. Also, I find the following expression a bit unfortunate:

Her mind was a blur of thoughts. Her mouth sucking and slobbering over Jesse’s straining cock.

Excuse me? She was "slobbering" over his cock? Isn’t that what dogs do? Well, not necessarily over a man’s dick, but in general? The image of a woman "slobbering" is such a turn off that I didn’t want to continue reading.

And that is why I stopped. I can’t believe I paid money for this miserable excuse for an erotic story. It is neither erotic nor sensual. Before you go and spend anything on this go and look for free erotic stories on the net. I assure you you cannot do worse and you will probably do much better.


Title Broken
Author S. L. Carpenter
Publisher Ellora’s Cave


Buy link Buy Broken, if you must

Is this going to be a DNF?

Just a couple of days ago I started reading “Mr. Darcy takes a wife” by Linda Berdoll. Since I am not a native English speaker I hardly ever comment on the language or the writing of any given book, but with this one, I have to make an exception.

If asked how to describe the writing style “purple prose” wouldn’t even begin to describe it. I don’t know whether I can finish this book. I’m only on page 51, but the prospect of having to read more than 460 pages of this accumulation of complicated words that I have never heard before and of convoluted sentences is pretty boring. The frequent use of the word “betwixt”, which unfortunately evokes the image of a chocolate bar in my mind, and the numerous brackets don’t make the reading any easier. I don’t think that I’ve ever read the word “betwixt” in any Austen book –or any book for that matter. 

To give you a small example, I’ll quote a short paragraph of the Darcys’ wedding night:

Gentle, guiding strokes influenced her to allow him betwixt her thighs (an objective she found quite tolerable), this demarché culminating in the discovery of her womanly portal. Due to his exceedingly admirable ministrations, therewith, her womanly portal was quite anxious to be traversed.

Just a few paragraphs above this delightful description Darcy’s “credentials” are mentioned:

Yet, she could not help but stare (by reason of its tumescence, his torch of love just so happened to be trained directly upon her and it was difficult to disregard).

Torch of love! Give me a break! Tumescence? If, like me,  you have never heard that word before, here is the definition from a medical dictionary:

Main Entry: tu·mes·cence
Pronunciation: t(y)ü-'mes-&n(t)s
Function: noun
: the quality or state of being tumescent;especially : readiness for sexual activity marked especially by vascular congestion of the sex organs <tumescence … is the really essential part of the process—Havelock Ellis>

Can it get any worse than that? I like Darcyiana, but this is just too much, even for me.