Legal – Kara Owen

I’m back! And what better way to mourn vacation’s ending than with a doozy of a novella.

legal

Legal

99 pages

2 ⭐⭐

Natalie’s ex-boyfriend has just moved out of their shared apartment, leaving her in a bind to make rent. Thankfully, she has a rich father that happens to run his own law firm to secure her an interview as a legal assistant. To Natalie’s delight, she learns she’ll be working for her dad’s friend and her longtime crush, Gavin Ross. I’d like to say this is where their romance commences, but that’d be a lie.

Look, I like erotica. Not all of the time, but it “gets the job done”. Not to get too personal here, but there are several reasons I’d read an erotica rather than watch a video. Primarily, plot and character development, both of which are missing from this book.

Legal feels more like the set-up of a workplace educational video on sexual harassment than an erotica. Apparently, the lawyers always sleep with their secretaries as a type of initiation. Gavin repeatedly refers to sharing secretaries, even with Natalie’s father, so we’re lead to believe that he’s aware of what he’s getting his daughter into. Not sure though, because it’s never clarified, even though I am really curious what kind of father sends their lamb of a daughter into a perverted lion’s den. Gross.

The characters are one-dimensional. Natalie lacks a backbone and does pretty much whatever Gavin bids. He even mentally refers to her as his property, which I guess is accurate since he does nothing but use her as the horny object he sees her as. She’s never asked if she likes what he’s doing. He doesn’t talk to her about his plan to share her with another man. He just calls her into his office (only place they ever see each other, btw), tells her what to do and she robotically complies. How romantic.

There are some continuity errors that kept bugging me. She’s already standing, oh but now she’s going from sitting to standing. It doesn’t matter what form the medium is (IE tv, movies, books), it pulls me out of the moment, so I always remember it.

Unsurprisingly, there’s no conclusion, just a set-up for another threesome. Yes, the one intercourse scene between the H/h includes another lawyer whom Gavin is sharing Natalie with. Without her prior knowledge or consent.

Legal isn’t an erotica, it’s porn better suited for an internet forum rather than as a self-published book.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Hiatus

I’m going to be out of the country for the rest of the month due to personal reasons, so I am going to be late on some books I expected to have reviewed by now. My apologies for anyone I’ve kept waiting, but I promise to get to them ASAP.

Back soon!

Hers, Untamed – Anna Adler

hers, untamed

Hers, Untamed

252p.

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

So, just like my last Anna Adler read, I picked this book up without the intention of finishing it that night. Alas, that did not happen.

Alyssa lives on Silenia, a far and fictitious planet. On Silenia, it is common for the humans to keep alien species as pets. Often, the pets are bought with the intention of becoming a sexual partner/companion. While at a “pet shop”, Alyssa is mesmerized by a human-alien hybrid that’s kept in a different section because he’s untrained and violent, thus, not for sale. Alyssa refuses to take no for an answer and the next morning, her rebellious hybrid pet is delivered. She names him Jax.

The story had just enough detail about the environment, so it was informative without weighing down the plot. AKA it wasn’t boring. The language and writing flowed very well, the dialogue especially.

Jax. He’s crude and offensive and has zero filter and I love him. Despite his resistance to Alyssa’s control and his insistance on escaping, he still manages to develop a meaningful and sort of honest relationship with her. Their chemistry is tense and pairs perfectly with Jax’s angsty demeanor once he gets his hands on Alyssa. Simply, it’s hot.

Alyssa evolved and grew, just like a character should. The more time she spent with Jax, the more she began to understand that keeping people as pets because they’re of a different species and exotic, well, maybe that isn’t so admirable. There was no “a-ha” moment. Instead, she observed things around her and actually learned from her mistakes.

I’m not a big sci-fi romance reader, so it’s a pretty big deal to me that I liked Hers, Untamed so much. I guess I should start keeping a more open mind to the genre, huh?

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Daddy’s Perfect Wife – S.F. Bartholin

daddy's perfect wife

Daddy’s Perfect Wife

123p.

2 ⭐⭐

Daryl is back in his small hometown of nowhere, New Hampshire, to announce his arranged engagement to a woman he’s never met in anticipation of running for State Senate. During a blizzard, he runs into his old girlfriend from high school, Wendy. Wendy has just been dumped by her live-in boyfriend, kicked out of her apartment, and is on the verge of losing her job. Needless to say, running into Daryl is the one good thing in her life at the moment.

The plot moves at lightening speed, but that doesn’t necessarily make it good. First off, it takes place in the span of a day (not even 24 hours, either. More like 14). But in that time Daryl and Wendy go from not having thought of one another in over ten years to having sex any chance they get and finally declaring their love for one another. Wuuuut? Over ten years have passed, they’ve both had several lovers and relationships in the meantime, but they act as if they’d been pining for each other ever since. I find that super hard to relate to, especially since neither reached out to the other in that time. Aside from being hard to believe, the pace doesn’t allow for any build-up of their relationship, making the sex boring.

The characters are hard to like. Wendy is harsh and loud, I suppose as a quality of her confidence, but sometimes her humor came off as immature rather than funny. Daryl isn’t admirable. He talks of how he went into the military and made so much of himself and yadda-yadda, but once it came to stick up for Wendy, the woman he claims to love, he chumps out. Rather than thinking about how to resolve a situation he’s afraid of being in, he decides to go along with the fake proposal and even kiss the woman on stage in front of Wendy, his love? Psh, grow some balls, Daryl. In the end, I couldn’t care less if they got together.

The title is misleading, also. Just be aware, he’s not a dad, doesn’t become one, and he’s the same age as the heroine, so it’s no May-December romance. Honestly, the whole reasoning for him telling people to call him Daddy is kinda lame and corny.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Daddy’s Little Secret – Denise Wallace

daddy's little secret

Daddy’s Little Secret

262p.

2 ⭐⭐

Non-fiction authored by the daughter of a murder victim with a so-so secret. Despite being penned by someone so close to the victim, the narrative seems artificial and I am still left uncertain of the goal of this book.

*Some Spoilers*
Reading the blurb for the book, I expected some grand reveal of something horrific her father had done that made him unworthy of sympathy. True, he was an abusive husband and an alcoholic, but the big secret? He’s gay. He has a thing for younger men and can be creepy in his pursuit of them. ….That’s it. Once this is known, there is an underlying tone of homophobia throughout that I couldn’t stand.

Most of the book could’ve and should’ve been edited and reduced by at least a third, because much of it is unnecessary filler. The scene descriptions go on ad nauseum. Almost half the book is trial transcripts with pointless commentary. But with all that was included, so much substance was left out. The reader is repeatedly reminded of the author’s “athletic physique and flowing blonde hair”, of how unsupportive her ex-husband was, we even get a bonus Author’s Commentary at the end that described her introduction to film school and the mentors she had there. Yet there’s no real inclusion on how her father’s death affected her beyond the fact that she felt betrayed by him hiding his sexuality. She has two children apparently, but not a word on how she explained the story to them then or since.

I was hoping for some enlightenment on her part. How did her father’s death change her beyond the decision to change her career? Did this affect the community at all? Was there anything law enforcement learned or missed that could benefit crime solving in the future? In the end, all I got was a sad, yet unsurprising and common story of a man’s death at the hands of his “lover”. Whatever her reason for sharing her story, it left me feeling as if she was in it just for the profit. That’s hard to sympathize with.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.