Saturday Reads

For the last Saturday of the month I’ll close with a few thoughts about what I’ve been reading lately. These are just musings. Full reviews are posted on Goodreads when I finish a book.

I’ve been reading books to find a good balance between explicit sexual content (which I like a lot) and good relationship development. To that end, I marked ‘to read’ a number of “sounds promising” titles on Goodreads.

Observations so far: length for explicit content stories tends to be on the short side, and that seldom leaves a lot of space to develop relationships or characters. And if there’s a good length to it, the erotic content is often jarring. The level of plot detail and tone of the story doesn’t match the erotic scenes so they feel like they were added in rather than generated from the intensity of the characters’ relationship. Or they’re all sex club dates or roleplay scenes in BDSM.

That’s another thing. I’m not a fan of BDSM but it has been appearing in more and more erotica books, as if something can’t be called erotica unless there are elements of these lifestyle and play choices. Anyway, just not my thing.

So, bottom line, I’ve been DNF’ing a lot of stories. I don’t intend to name/shame, so I’ll only review books I finished.

Here’s a little bit about one I haven’t finished reading, but which I am presently enjoying:

Bound to the Monarchs by Brooke Winters is a fantasy (shifters, magic, etc) plot novel with 1) bisexual characters, 2) FFM scenes, and 3) polyamory. The polyamory comes about through a fated-mates trope popular in the shifter genre. Basically this book hits all my preferred reading tags all in one, so I downloaded the sample to read. I got to the end of the sample and wanted more. So I bought the book and finished it.

The premise: Vitoria is on the run and encounters King Antonio and Queen Matilda, who lead a kingdom of shifters. They feel that she is their other fated mate. There’s court intrigue and hurt/comfort romance. The writing is skilled enough that it doesn’t get in the way of enjoying the story. Though it did take me a few pages to settle into the author’s cadence.

The sensuality of the romance was boosted by having mature, thoughtful characters. This is no “sexual romp” for them. Everything decision had weight and intensity. However, the weight and intensity “petered out” about 75% in and everyone’s emotions became told rather than shown, and the fantasy plot ended up rushed through to the end.

I put a full review on Goodreads, but it’s hidden because it contains spoilers.

~ Lara

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