Reviews of Loose Id books

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One of the joys of being a writer is that you get sent free copies of other people's books. And you often get them before the books go on general release. :-) I'm occasionally asked to write blurbs for other books published by Loose Id. The blurbs are intended to be very short snippets giving readers a feel for the books, rather than full length reviews. You'll need to read the catalogue page for the book to give the full context, but this is a collection of what I had to say about ARCs I've been sent, plus my general comments about other Loose Id books that I've read and enjoyed.

The comments here are generally positive, but they're also completely honest -- I've been sent books that I didn't like, and I didn't write a blurb for them. There was nothing objectively wrong with the books, but tastes differ, and I'm going to bounce off a lot of romance books even when I can see objectively that they are well written. I also don't actually read that many ebooks, as I have medical problems that make it significantly harder for me to read an ebook than a print book, and I won't keep reading an ebook that I find boring. So if I say below that I liked a book, you know that I mean it. The ones I didn't like simply didn't get a comment written for them.

My tastes in erotic romance -- I'm primarily a science fiction geek who likes romance plots, rather than a romance fan who likes science fiction settings, so I do tend to read things through sf filters, and contemporary has to be good to keep my attention. I have a very strong preference for m/m rather than m/f or f/f. I like my sex to be as explicit as is required by the story, which means that I don't like smut-eating asterisks where a sex scene is appropriate, but I also don't have much tolerance for gratuitous sex scenes where you can tell that the author has inserted the scene just because it's been a couple of chapters since the last one.

Ally Blue -- Forgotten Song

ARC blurb -- "Ally Blue shows just how erotic unconsummated attraction can be in this story about the healing that love can bring. And the erotic tension isn't the only suspense to keep the pages turning. Forgotten Song is a wonderful treat for lovers of m/m romance, with an attractive pair of lovers and a fascinating story."

Further comments -- contemporary romance set in the US, so it started at a disadvantage with me. On the other hand, it's m/m romance, which I'm always happy to make time for when it's well-written, and this one is. The plot may get a little too melodramatic for some tastes towards the end, but it's a great story and well worth reading if you like m/m romance.

Available as an ebook from Loose Id.

Willa Okati -- The Finest Line 1: The Sighting

ARC blurb -- "Willa Okati has created an entrancing world in which to place her pair of former lovers who are forced to work together once again. But there's more than one pair of potential lovers to bring together, and many twists and turns in this delightful tale."

Further comments -- m/f, so not an immediate button press for me on the erotic romance side of things, but I like it very much as a fantasy story. I also nearly killed my publisher for sending me an ARC without mentioning that it was only the first part, with a cliffhanger. :-) I'd certainly like to see this trilogy as a print omnibus.

Available as an ebook from Loose Id.

Stephanie Vaughan -- Sierra Secrets: Cruel To Be Kind

ARC blurb -- "Cruel to be Kind is a gorgeous BDSM love story, exploring the emotions that link a Domme and her sub. Stephanie Vaughan has created a stunning piece that shows what erotica should be -- a story that happens to have sex as its subject, rather than being a string of sex scenes. I'll be recommending this to one or two friends I know will appreciate it. :-)"

Further comments -- it's contemporary, and it's m/f. Shouldn't be my thing at all. But it's one of my favourite erotic romances. It's a stunningly good piece of writing, and a genuine love story where the hero and heroine have to work for their happy ending rather than simply having it handed to them by the author. It also shows very well how it takes a strong man to acknowledge his desire to submit -- there's nothing weak about Steve. This would be a great story for someone who wants to try a BDSM romance. Note that it's part of a series, but works as a stand-alone even if you haven't read the first book. I can say this with confidence because I did indeed read it cold myself.

Available as an ebook from Loose Id.
Also available in an omnibus trade paperback together with Lena Austin's "Black Widow":
Taking Charge
Taking Charge
from Barnes&Noble
Taking Charge from
Taking Charge from

Emily Veinglory -- Eclipse of the Heart

ARC blurb -- "Eclipse of the Heart tackles the issue of prejudice without being preachy, and is a gorgeous love story besides. The scorching sex scenes don't exactly hurt, either. All right, this one could have been written especially for me, but I think it's a must-buy for those who like their gay erotica to be hot and romantic."

Further comments -- Excellent m/m romance, and also a nice fantasy novella about how were creatures might fit into the modern world. The sex is hot without being gratuitous. There's also the benefit of the stunning cover art by Scott Carpenter (and my public drooling over this cover is one of the reasons I got a Scott Carpenter cover for my own novella Mindscan).

Available in ebook format direct from Loose Id and also from Fictionwise.

Samantha Winston -- Time Tracker

I was away from home and net connection when this ARC turned up in my inbox, so I didn't get my blurb sent in time for it to be included in the blurbs, but this is what I wrote:

"Time Tracker is an entertaining and erotic take on that science fiction staple, the cryogenic sleeper waking to an unfamiliar world. Samantha Winston creates a vivid picture of a future world in a short story that manages to pack a great deal into a few thousand words. There's a lot of humour along with the love story, and I nearly fell off my chair laughing at Our Hero's conversation with the fridge. This short is a sequel to the earlier novel _Ice Man_, but stands very well on its own--it's well worth reading even if, like me, you haven't yet read the novel."

Available in ebook format from Loose Id.

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