Laurie Jenkins

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Smashwords book reviews by Laurie Jenkins

  • Paranormal Pleasures: Ten Tales of Supernatural Seduction on June 29, 2011

    Paranormal Pleasures is an eclectic collection of erotic paranormal romance short stories written by Roxanne Rhoads that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I kept the book close over a period of about seven days and read a story or two almost every day. I especially liked that I could distract myself for five or ten minutes at a time – refreshing little breaks during otherwise rather mundane days. This ten-story anthology is brimming with exquisitely explicit sexual liaisons that always involve at least one paranormal participant. Not suitable for underage readers or for adults who prefer non-adventuresome, vanilla-flavored romance; the scenes in some of the stories occasionally push the envelope between tasteful and a kind of kinky fantasy. In some of the stories, multiple parties participated in the sexual shenanigans. None of the stories, in my opinion, however, were without an intriguing storyline and sound basis for romance. The sex, while HOT and explicit, was described lyrically. These stories showcase Ms Rhoads talent for creating tightly structured short stories with fleshed-out characters the reader can care about and feel empathy for. My favorites were Renata, A Questioning Concubine, and A Halloween to Remember. Which one will become your favorite? This book was provided to me by the author in return for my honest review. Reviewed by Laurie
  • Galaxy Girls on Aug. 02, 2011

    The newest book from Edie Ramer, this book is a fun, entertaining novel of four unusual and supernaturally gifted young women who escape from a male dominated planet and arrive on Earth determined to start new lives for themselves. The author excels at creating believable characters and relationships that most anyone can relate to. There is plenty of humor sprinkled throughout, and the sprightly conversational banter fits this story nicely. I thought this novel was well-written; it has some quirky little episodes that certainly set it apart from most alien adventures. At times, there was some male bashing that made me somewhat uncomfortable; however, given the male dominated, often abusive society the ladies escaped, it is not a far stretch to understand and sympathize with their attitudes. I especially liked that there were several earth men who, when the chips were down, proved their worth in a crisis, and demonstrated some creative sensitivity. That went a long ways towards appeasing the romantic in me. Edie always writes stories that challenge me to re-examine my world-view or certain personal beliefs. She has a talent for capturing the essence of an often nebulous idea and making it come alive in my imagination. Reviewed by Laurie-J
  • Unleashed (Sydney Rye Series #1) on Aug. 14, 2011

    After mouthing off to a customer and then compounding the error by making a rude comment to her smarmy boss Joy Humbolt is fired. It’s been a tumultuous few days for Joy who had just broken up with her loser boyfriend the night before, then decided to buy companionship in the form of an enormous dog named Blue. When an opportunity is presented to take over a dog-walking business for upper-crust clients, it seems too good to be true. Turns out it really is. Joy gets caught up in a murder investigation that will literally change her life. But when the chips are down, Joy digs in. Someone wants Joy out of the picture, but she and Blue are not going down without a fight. This story was flawlessly constructed; new little snippets of information coming to light as Joy struggled to understand what she had innocently stepped into. I loved Joy. Her quirky, irreverent humor and cheeky sass was refreshing. Yet, for me, she never crossed that line from uniquely personable to obnoxiously unlikeable. The story flowed so smoothly and unfolded at a near perfect pace throughout – there were just a couple of places that I felt an unwelcome slowdown that in my opinion failed to propel the story forward quite quickly enough. Still, I was kept engrossed in the action, and kept guessing about what would happen next. Always, Joy is resourceful, with often brilliant perceptive skills. I also particularly enjoyed the relationship between Joy and her brother, James. The affection the siblings shared was heart-warming. A magnificent mystery that just would not let me out of its grip until the very end; there are plenty of twists, and enough appealing secondary characters to appease even the most discriminating armchair sleuth. Highly entertaining! Reviewed by Laurie-J
  • Earth Blend on Sep. 11, 2011

    This fast-paced second installment in the Blend series delves deeper into Julie's horrific past and helps us better understand her as a character. Additionally, she and Austin both discover surprising new talents and learn that people whom they have trusted have fabricated lies and deceptions that are finally revealed. The author artfully develops the world-building begun in Human Blend, and many questions that lingered from the first book are answered, even as new developments kept me reading and anticipating the twists - rarely did I guess correctly, but that just made this installment all the more satisfactory. The events unfold in a straight-forward manner with non-flowery prose that seemed to fit this tale perfectly. I felt a justifiable satisfaction at the ending, and I definitely look forward to the continuing saga in the next book. This is a winning series that, in my opinion should appeal to a broad spectrum of readers. An ARC copy of this book was provided to me for review by the author. My opinions are my own, and I have received no other compensation. Laurie-J
  • Blood Lust (Book 3 in Blood Series) on Sep. 17, 2011
    (no rating)
    Blood Lust, the third book in T. Lynne Tolles engaging Blood series, is a fast read that simply carried me away. In this story, the vampire Devon, Darcy’s lover, undergoes an almost inexplicable personality change. He distances himself emotionally from Darcy and the rest of his family. The odd behavior begins with an unexpected Thanksgiving visit from his uncle, and continues to become stranger and more intense as the story evolves. When an old flame returns and Devon disappears with her, it seems that he and Darcy are kaput – everyone advises her to move on with her life. But Darcy stubbornly refuses to give up; she is determined to uncover the truth, whatever the consequences. This easy read flowed smoothly and coherently. At first, I found Darcy’s intractability irritating, and I just wanted to head smack Devon. But, then I began to admire her single-minded determination and grit. Unfortunately, I have not yet read the 2nd book in this series but the author provided just enough backstory so that I had no problem understanding the underlying context. Most of the characters were familiar to me from the first book, Blood of a Werewolf. While somewhat predicable in the resolution, I am eager for the next installment in this Young Adult series that will also appeal to mature readers. I am still hopeful I will find time in my reading schedule to peruse Blood Moon, book two, before moving on to final two installments. Reviewed by Laurie-J