Mad Sea

Edenbooks.org has started a new program where they promote a specific author each month, including offering specials on their books. April’s author is K. Webster and since a quick look at my ereader showed that I hadn’t read anything of hers, I decided to take advantage. The description of the short story, Mad Sea, was definitely kooky enough to catch my eye; a motorcycle gang and mermaids? You kind of have to read that, right?

It turns out to be a very short, quirky read, but almost a little too jam packed. There is a happily ever after, but I was left with a ton of questions. I understand that it was written for a short story collection, but the concept begs for a full-length novel and I could easily see it expanded to a series.

I feel like it would have benefited from the attention of a good editor as well. It isn’t riddled with errors, but the tone of the writing veers from straight forward to lushly poetic in a way that is a bit distracting in such a short format. And there are some odd word choices in places, where I got stuck wondering “what did they intend this to convey?” instead of reading the story.

I liked it, in a shaking my head at the audacity sort of way. I think I need to read at least one of Webster’s full length novels before I decide whether or not to add her to my regular reading list. But if you have an hour to kill and you want something outside the usual, even for paranormal, give it a whirl.

Review 38: Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club

I got book #12 (Bubbles) in this series through a Bookbub offer a year or more ago. And yes, I have to admit that I picked it up primarily because “Bubbles” and “MC” made me laugh. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected, put Candace Blevins on my TBR, and hoped that Bookbub would favour me with more from that universe. They never have, so at Christmas this year I treated myself to the rest of the books in the series.

I ripped through 13 books in 6 days and I’m not really interested in reviewing them each individually, so here are my comments on the series as a whole. First of all, I have never interacted with any kind of motorcycle club or gang, so I can’t get sidelined by whether or not things are accurate. The same goes for supernatural creatures (that I’m aware of.) She presents them with internal consistency and logic, so I’m happy.

It’s no surprise to anyone who reads my reviews that I’m a fan of well-down BDSM stories. And by well-done, I mean relationships where the power-exchange is discussed, agreed upon, flexible, and bonus points if it’s actually used to promote individual growth. Most of the guys in the MC aren’t into formal BDSM trappings, but they pretty much adhere to SSC/RACK in the essentials (with some modifications, since health and safety requirements are different for supernaturals) so I’m good. Their interactions with the sweetbutts and club working girls will probably upset some people, so if explicit “meaningless sex” upsets you, I’m going to suggest that you skip these ones. With all of that in mind, the sex scenes are nicely varied, well described, and smokin’, smokin’ hot.

The heroes are all members of the motorcycle club, but they all got there through very different paths and bring different skillsets – although they share the common denominator of being shapeshifters. The women who end up as their mates mostly come from outside the MC lifestyle and have to come to terms with the realities of a 1% club, as well as the knowledge of supernatural existence. I like how they do that to varying degrees and the couples find different levels of interaction with club life.

I’m a fan of her writing style. She does a really good job of creating different voices for her characters, depending on their background, level of education, accent, etc., and even has characters who can swap their speech patterns around at will. Overall, the writing is descriptive and sucks you in, but stays clean and easy to follow. Her world building is impressive and her imagination is diabolical.

The RMTC is actually only one series in her overarching Kirsten O’Shea universe and it’s obvious that this series plays a role in advancing the plotline for the story arc. These aren’t throw-away stories, written just to make money from a successful central series, they provide background and knowledge about the universe as a whole. I will definitely be looking forward to adding more of these books to my collection.

Review 18: Clutch: Disciples Daughters #1

I believe that I got this book as a freebie as the start of a series, and it seems to be a bit confused. The series is listed on Goodreads as the Savage Disciples MC. The cover shows it as the first of the Disciples’ Daughters Series. On my Kobo, the listing is Clutch: Disciples Daughters #1 (Savage Disciples). I don’t know if the author changed her mind part way through or what and I only mention it because searching for the info on the series might require a bit of hunting. The author is Drew Elyse.

I haven’t made a particular point of reading motor cycle club romances, but I have come across a selection in my reading. I’m not a fan of “dark mc” novels, to me it’s just romanticizing a host of behavioural and personality disorders. “He abuses me, but he loves me and doesn’t let anyone else hurt me, so it’s ok.” Yuck. The good news is that this book doesn’t fall into that category.¬†Yes, it’s a MC, so there are some fairly well-defined gender roles and some of them might not to be the taste of the general public. But within the community, they are accepted and understood.

Given that, I quite enjoyed this book and the main characters. They are human beings, who make mistakes and have baggage. But they also do a pretty reasonable job of communicating, and learning from their mistakes. There are enough road bumps to make the story interesting, but there is a refreshing lack of manufactured drama.

The book was well written but there was one unfortunate homophone error that showed up several times. She used “road” to mean both “street” and the past tense of “ride”. Hint: it should be “He rode his bike down the road.” Considering this in an MC series that seems to be up to six books, I genuinely hope someone has pointed this error out to her.

I’d have given this one 3 stars, but it loses one for the repeated and annoying error.