Tag: Charlotte Stein

Guest Review: Telling Tales by Charlotte Stein

Posted November 9, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Tracy’s review of Telling Tales by Charlotte Stein

Allie has held a brightly burning torch for Wade since college. They were part of a writing group and everything about those days with him and their friends Kitty and Cameron fills her with longing. When their former Professor leaves them his rambling mansion in his will, it’s a chance for them to reunite. But there’s more than friendship bubbling beneath the surface. As secrets are revealed and relationships rekindled, the stories get dirtier and the stakes get higher. And now Allie’s realized that she isn’t quite sure who she wants…fun-loving Wade, or quiet, restrained Cameron. Neither have been honest about their feelings and now they have the chance to act on the tales that ignite their most primal desires.

Allie, Kitty, Cameron and Wade were once friends who hung out at their professor’s house and had a great time together. They would read the stories that they had written and discuss them. It’s been 5 years since college and none have really kept in touch. Allie thought herself in love with Wade in college and is still carrying a torch for him after all of these years. In college they were always close friends but while Allie was around when Wade was chasing tail he never came on to her. She’s kicked herself a million times for never telling him or anyone else how she felt. Now their professor has died and has left the house they used to hang out in to the four of them. He states, however, that they must spend a month there together in order to inherit. Without question the group heads to the house to hunker down for the 4 week period.

Almost immediately the group starts sharing stories but these aren’t like the ones they shared in college. These are highly erotic and sexual in nature and it feeds them all in a way, it seems, that they all need at the time. That night Allie heads to Wade’s room but what does she find? Kitty and Wade together. That same night she finds Cameron in the living room. He’d gone through her bag and found a story she had written and is jacking off to it. This gets Allie to questioning if she knows Cameron at all. He’d always been almost asexual to her – sex being a total taboo where he comes from – and not at all open to hearing stories about sex. Allie takes it upon herself to snoop in Cameron’s room and finds a stack of stories that Cam has written that changes her thoughts about Cam and his sexual nature entirely.

Allie and Cameron start playing together sexually – almost acting out the roles in Cam’s stories. Soon Kitty gets involved and then Wade – much to his dismay. There’s a sexual tension between the four characters that none of them quite know what to do with but it doesn’t stop them from exploring and experimenting.

I think this has got to be one of the most highly erotic and sexual books I’ve ever read. It’s certainly not what I expected when I first started reading the book. While there is love involved it is definitely not a romance and therefore that leaves the characters open to be with others, I believe The story is told in the first person from Allie’s pov. Her thoughts, fears, embarrassments and other emotions are plainly put on the page for us to read. The way that the book is written I could so clearly see Allie writing this – like she wrote as she spoke. I would have loved to have gotten into Cameron’s head a bit more because he was just such an enigma but I think it truly would have changed the flavor of the whole story. During the course of the book Allie comes to terms with the fact that the crush she has on Wade was just that – a crush and that she has stronger feelings for Cameron. Even though they are sleeping together and going places that Cam probably had never gone before (nor Allie for that matter) will Cameron return her feelings when the month is over?

Most of the book deals with Cam and Allie and their sexual relationship. Cam has the need to be dominated. He has his safe word so that Allie knows if she’s pushing him too far, but we never know if he’s going to use it. There’s no bdsm involved (and everything is consensual) but the safe word is there for Cam and I believe he thoroughly appreciated that it could be used if he needed it. The book includes some of the most salacious sex I think I’ve ever read. At some points I felt like I shouldn’t be reading them at all they seemed so private to the characters but then others would just be so incredibly hot and wonderful that I couldn’t put the ereader down.

I honestly don’t have a clue how to rate the book. While I really liked some parts of the book there were others that I didn’t care for but I can’t quite figure out why I didn’t like them. Was it because I didn’t find the sex appealing or I didn’t like the way the characters were feeling? I have no idea. I very much enjoyed the writing style of the book and that was definitely a bonus and a plus in the “pro” category. This is a book that undeniably pushed some of my reading boundaries and I think I’m not sure how I feel about that. I believe this is a book that you have to read and judge for yourself and see how it makes you feel.

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This book is available from Xcite Books. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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What I Read Last Week

Posted October 31, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

How are you? If you’re in America are you ready for tonight? Do you hand out candy? Go trick or treating with the kids? Turn off the lights in the house and pretend you’re not home? What do you do on Halloween?

Normally my husband and I switch off duties each year. One of us goes with the kids and carries a backpack to carry extra candy when their buckets get full and one of us stays home to hand out candy. This year, however, it will all change. Both of our kids want to go with their friends to trick or treat and since we get very few kids that come to our house (we live on a hill and no one wants to climb that damned thing to get candy) we think we might just go out for dinner! lol The rule of thumb is, if there’s no porch light on then you don’t go to the house. I’m thinking we turn off the light and go get Mexican food! lol Sounds good to me!

Uh…let’s see…I’m over at DIK for the next couple of days. Today I’m looking for Halloween romances and/or books with costume parties involved. Got any recs? Head on over and let me know.

Damn. I think that’s all I really have to talk about. That’s so sad. After a few weeks of fun I’m back to my boring normal life. What have you been up to? Anything fun?

This week I tried to catch up on my reading commitments because I was hella behind. I mean, really behind. I made a dent but I’m still trying to play catch up. Unfortunately this meant no m/m reads for me which made me sad. I need to work on that this week.

First up was Lord of the Wolfyn by Jessica Andersen. This is book 3 in the Royal House of Shadows. This one was my favorite of the 3 so far. This was Dayn’s book. He is a vampire like his father was but when his parents enact their spell and send him away from Elden they end up sending him to the land of the Wolfyn. He is accepted there for the most part but only because they have no idea who or what he is. After 20 years the woman he’s waited for appears from the human realm and she is to guide him to the portal back to Elden. Both Dayn and Reda, his guide, do a ton of growing in this book and I loved seeing that growth as well as the relationship that begins – first as just sex then as something more. I’m looking forward to reading the last book in the series, Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh. 4 out of 5

Next up was When Harriet Came Home by Coleen Kwan. This was a coming home story as well as a bit of an ugly duckling book. Harriet has come home after 10 years to be with her father who has had a car accident. She stayed away because she never felt welcome in her home town as she was heavy and wore glasses, but also because she had blown the whistle on the mayor of the town and created a huge scandal. She runs into her high school crush, Adam, who also happens to be the son of the former mayor who isn’t too happy to see her to say the least. But Adam soon gets over his bad feelings for Harriet and wants to try to start a relationship with her. Harriet still has self-esteem issues and is a hard nut to crack. I liked Adam and the whole coming home part of the story but I didn’t really care for Harriet in this story. She had her moments when I really started liking her but then she’d act like she was in high school and act incredibly immature and it just didn’t do her justice. Overall a cute story though. 3.25 out of 5

My next read was Telling Tales by Charlotte Stein. This was one I read for The Book Binge and it while it had a relationship in it I wouldn’t exactly call it a romance. It was about 4 friends in a writing group who used to hang out at their professors house in college. Now the professor is dead and he has left the house to the 4 friends but they must live in the house for a month in order to inherit. The four friends explore their writing and even act out some of the sexual parts of the stories. It was a highly erotic and sexual story that I honestly couldn’t figure out how to rate…so I didn’t. I wrote a review for The Book Binge so if you’re interested I’ll let you know when the review posts.

My next read was The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne. This is book 4 in her Spymaster’s Lady series and it was really, really great. It’s Adrian’s book and it was about how he fell in love with a French spy – of course he’s a British spy so that makes things difficult doesn’t it? Yes, it does! I read this one for The Book Binge as well so I’ll let you know when my review posts. 4.5 out of 5

Next was Destined Mate by Katie Reus. A great shifter story! I wrote a review and it will post on Thursday so keep your eyes open.

I hadn’t read a good mystery in a while so I was looking forward to reading Unfinished Business by W. Soliman. It did not disappoint. I’ll post my review of this on Wednesday so stay tuned.

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Sage Creek by Jill Gregory
Animal Attraction by Jill Shalvis

Happy Reading!

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What I Read Last Week

Posted January 10, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 12 Comments

Hello there and Happy Monday!
It was a quiet week that ended with a bit more excitement. On Sunday I went to Century City, CA and met up with authors Zoe Archer, Nico Rosso, Delilah Marvelle, Lisa Hendrix, Sabrina Darby and fellow blogger Renee for lunch and a incredibly fun chat at the Borders there in the mall. I feel so lucky to be able to meet up and talk to these wonderful people. Delilah and Lisa were in town from Oregon promoting their books and they have fun little gifties to give us – including penis candies – what every girl wants.:) Here we are at the Borders coffee shop
Zoe, Nico, Renee, Delilah, Sabrina, Lisa, Moi
Other than that not much happened this week so I’ll get right on to what I read this past week:
First up was Master of Smoke by Angela Knight. This is book 11 in the Mageverse series and another great book. This was the story of a bitten werewolf who’s afraid of her own shadow and the Fae/Spirt/Shifter that falls in love with her. You can read my review here on The Book Binge. 4.25 out of 5
Past Pleasures by Charlotte Stein was my next read. A novella about a woman who gets sent through time to the future and discovers that women are extinct. I really liked this one – you can read my mini review here. 4.25 out of 5
My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Brighter Than the Sun by Julia Quinn. The hero and heroine meet by chance one day when the heroine, Eleanor, is out walking and the hero, Charles, falls out of a tree that he’s climbed while dead drunk. Nice. lol Charles asks Eleanor to marry him because he has to get married or lose his money. But someone is out to get Charles and someone else is set on making Eleanor look bad. It’s a book of strange events and the hits just keep on comin. A fun book but I did get tired of the bad things happening after a while – I just wanted them to live a normal life. lol 3.5 out of 5
Brier’s Bargain by Carol Lynne was next. I’d not read any other books in this series or the series this was spun off of so maybe that influenced my thoughts on this book. I really liked Brier a lot and was pulling for him and his boyfriend Jackie the whole time, I just thought the book was a little slow paced for my liking. 3 out of 5
The Christmas Throwaway by RJ Scott was my next read. The story about a rookie cop in a small town who finds a 17 (almost 18) year old sleeping in the churchyard on Christmas Eve. Ben and takes Zach home to his family and his mother takes care of him. Zach is understandably leery of the kindness and has panic attacks around so many people but he seems fine when he’s around Ben. The men seem to have a connection and the story takes it from there. I liked the story and Ben and Zach were cute together. The story takes place over 2 years so Zach is older when Ben and Zach eventually get together – fyi. 3.75 out of 5
Next up was book 2 in the Scandal series by Delilah Marvelle – Once Upon a Scandal. I really liked this book. It had Jonathan and Victoria falling in love via letters – which I just loved. But Jonathan, who is in Venice, enters a contract with a Venetian family that makes him, basically, a lady’s maid…as well as a type of sexual slave to the lady of the house. When Jonathan returns after 5 years he’s determined to still woo and marry Victoria who’s having none of it. I really liked that Jonathan was the more romantic of the two and the story just worked for me. My review will post soon. (releases on 1/18/11)
Next up was Kiss of Darkness by Loribelle Hunt which will be a new release from Carina Press on the 24th of this month. The story is about humans who merge themselves with demons in order to fight demons. There are also lupines and nightwalkers involved. A good story – my review will post soon.
Last on the list was my TBR Challenge book for the month of January. The theme was category romance and I chose off my shelves That Last Night in Texas by Ann Evans. This is the story of a ranch hand and the ranch owners daughter who fall in love but life and a horse accident get in their way. They reconnect after 13 years – Oh, and there’s a secret baby. lol Check out my review on the 19th.
My Book Binge reviews that posted since last Monday:
Happy Reading!

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Mini Review: Past Pleasures by Charlotte Stein

Posted January 5, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 5 Comments

This was one of the free books that All Romance eBooks was giving out this year during their 12 days of Christmas. I thought it looked interesting and last night when I had a bit of free time (cuz the kids were gone – woohoo *ahem*) I put it on the old EZreader and read away. 
When Kate agrees to a mad experiment with something as insane as time travel, she expects exactly what Professor Waites had suggested: dystopian nightmares and possible barbarians.

So when she finds herself in a future where women no longer exist and the men have no idea what they’ve been missing, she can’t seem to catch her breath.

Especially when the men in question—the darkly handsome Tem, and his starkly beautiful companion Aley, are so curious and so ready to learn everything she has to teach—including all the past pleasures they never knew existed
The story is about Kate who is basically a guinea pig for a man who has created a time machine. He decides to send her to the year 3033 (from 2010) not knowing what to expect but it will be her job to report back on what’s going on in the future. He’s expecting humans to be small misshapen trolls – not sure where he got that thought but it’s a bit scary for her.
She ends up in a room with a gorgeous man, Aley, who is shocked when he finds out she’s a woman – women have been instinct for more than 600 years! As Kate keeps getting sent back again and again she meets Aley’s roommate, Tem, and starts to having feelings for these two incredible and terribly innocent men.
I’ve got to say that I was definitely pleasantly surprised by this book. It was a sci-fi/time travel erotic read (which I’m not usually a fan of) but it had just the right blend of the unusual, the innocent, the humorous and the erotic to really appeal to me. On Goodreads I saw that this book is listed as Desire Through Time #1 so I’m hoping that there will be more about Kate, Tem and Aley in the future. I’d love to see what ramifications Kate’s time travel has on the future.

Rating 4.25 out of 5

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