I have managed to fall behind big time with blogging. This is partly because I haven't been very well (after almost ten years of tests and generally feeling dire I FINALLY had a test for IBD- Crohn's Disease/Ulcerative Colitis- which has come back abnormal. Hopefully now I can get medication and things will get easier). We are also trying to sell our house and buy another one, which is just chaotic. Plus, I started a new job last week so I am now back to working five days a week. What with all this, plus trying to write myself whenever possible, blogging has been the thing to slide.
However...I have still been reading, and a lot of what I've been reading has been some steamy romance! So here's a little update for Erotic Autumn.
If I Were You- Lisa Renee Jones
How it all started…
One day I was a high school teacher on summer break, leading a relatively uneventful but happy life. Or so I told myself. Later, I’d question that, as I would question pretty much everything I knew about me, my relationships, and my desires. It all began when my neighbor thrust a key to a storage unit at me. She’d bought it to make extra money after watching some storage auction show. Now she was on her way to the airport to elope with a man she barely knew, and she needed me to clear out the unit before the lease expired.
Soon, I was standing inside a small room that held the intimate details of another woman’s life, feeling uncomfortable, as if I was invading her privacy. Why had she let these items so neatly packed, possessions that she clearly cared about deeply, be lost at an auction? Driven to find out by some unnamed force, I began to dig, to discover this woman’s life, and yes, read her journals—-dark, erotic journals that I had no business reading. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I read on obsessively, living out fantasies through her words that I’d never dare experience on my own, compelled by the three men in her life, none of whom had names. I read onward until the last terrifying dark entry left me certain that something had happened to this woman. I had to find her and be sure she was okay.
Before long, I was taking her job for the summer at the art gallery, living her life, and she was nowhere to be found. I was becoming someone I didn’t know. I was becoming her.
The dark, passion it becomes…
Now, I am working at a prestigious gallery, where I have always dreamed of being, and I’ve been delivered to the doorstep of several men, allof which I envision as one I’ve read about in the journal. But there is one man that will call to me, that will awaken me in ways I never believed possible. That man is the ruggedly sexy artist, Chris Merit, who wants to paint me. He is rich and famous, and dark in ways I shouldn’t find intriguing, but I do. I so do. I don’t understand why his dark side appeals to me, but the attraction between us is rich with velvety promises of satisfaction. Chris is dark, and so are his desires, but I cannot turn away. He is damaged beneath his confident good looks and need for control, and in some way, I feel he needs me. I need him.
All I know for certain is that he knows me like I don’t even know me, and he says I know him. Still, I keep asking myself — do I know him? Did he know her, the journal writer, and where is she? And why doesn’t it seem to matter anymore? There is just him and me, and the burn for more.
I really liked the idea for this book- the dusty journals holding deep, dark secrets and the idea of a modern day love interest linked to the past.
But I found it really hard to feel involved with the story, and it only got harder for me to maintain my interest when I realised I didn't like the male lead at all. I found him creepy and weird and my skin literally crawled right off me at a few points. I completely understand the author trying to make him dark and secretive, but for me it was too much.
It is hard to say much else about this one as I was overwhelmed by the negative emotion I felt towards Chris, but it was reasonably well written and there was a plot to go along with the sex, which isn't always true of erotic romance.
I did finish this book, although it was partly through sheer determination not to be beaten by the freaky weirdo guy, but won't be rushing out to read the rest of the series.
The Girl Behind the Mask- Stella Knightley
Leaving the heartache of sexual betrayal behind her in London, historian Sarah Thomson intends to make the most of her research trip to Venice. But she soon finds her attention consumed by mysterious millionaire Marco Donato. Despite their deepening relationship, however, the handsome playboy persists in playing a secretive game.
What exactly is Marco hiding? The subject of Sarah's research is eighteenth-century Venetian Luciana Giordano. At a time when debauchery is the city's favourite pastime, virginal Luciana is kept out of trouble by a zealous chaperone--until she meets a man who promises to help her escape her restraints. But just what does the worldly stranger want to teach her in return?
Now, this one I LOVED. The gorgeous cover had me smitten to start with, but this book is so much more than a pretty face.
It is erotic, it is spine-tinglingly sexy and it has a cracker of a story line. Essentially, it is your high brow smut, well written and doubling up as part historical novel. I didn't think I'd be falling in love with this one as much as I did, especially when I realised it was partly set in eighteenth century Venice. But Stella Knightly totally captivated me and maybe even opened my eyes to how fiction set in a different era can still offer everything I enjoy in a novel.
The characters were great, the setting was exquisitely described, the kinky bits were brilliant. All in all, this is a winner, infact I'd say it is one of my favourite reads of the year. I gave it to my Mum after I'd finished it and she loved it too!