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REVIEW: Blackmailed by Annmarie McKenna

Dear Ms. McKenna:

BlackmailedIt’s a bit ironic that I would write the following because yours is a story where I would recommend to readers to skip the story and just read the sex scenes. Because your sex scenes are pretty good. It’s when the three of the characters step outside the bedroom, or dressing room, or car, or . . . well, you get the picture, that the book falls apart. Let’s start with the beginning.

What is most important to Brianna Wyatt is threatened by her father if she does not agree to have sex with Cole Masters and beget a male heir. How would Andrew Wyatt get Cole Masters to agree to this? I have no idea. After all, according to you, “He was rich beyond measure, many times over her father's own wealth, had a powerful corporate drive, and was way younger than most of his competitors.” and “As for the man himself, she had seen him many times in the media. He was a handsome, much coveted bachelor who regularly dated beautiful, sexy women. Women who fawned over him, batting their eyelashes and cooing like imbeciles. Women who had far more experience than Brianna could ever hope to have.” Ultimately, I think that Cole doesn’t agree to it but is struck with instant hard on and must fuck Brianna or die.

Your characterization of Andrew Wyatt is a joke. He’s so insane that when he speaks to Brianna he is literally foaming at the mouth. How this insane man could run a business and be a multi millinaire is beyond me. So Cole meets Brianna. He gets immediately hard and takes her into his life. She is a virgin, of course, which is extra exciting for Cole because he can train her to be the ultimate sexual toy for he and his BFF Tyler. (BFF= Best Friend Forever). And train her he does. She has never given head before so he takes her mouth roughly because he doesn’t want to have to go back and retrain her.

If the book was just honest about itself – that is was hot sex story featuring two guys who loved to share, that would be fine. The sex scenes were hot and who wouldn’t want to be part of a Cole/Tyler sandwich or be subject to all that lavish male attention. But when you try to make this a romance, a love story between the three and that all comes about in less than 4 days, it is a laugh. Cole and Tyler love that Brianna is the ultimate sex toy who does whatever they want but I don’t think that they love her as a person. They don’t know her as a person. Only as someone who deep throats them and will obey their sexual commands without question. And all that is perfectly fine, just don’t try to make it into something more than it is.

Your attempts at creating external conflict through Andrew Wyatt and a jealous rival is also comical, in a bad way. I saw that you lived in St. Louis but the depiction of upper crust St. Louis society appeared, um, inaccurate, or at least unbelievable. Based on the bestselling status of your book, I would guess that you don’t really have to write a good believable story in order to sell. You just need to write hot sex. The real unfortunate part is that toward the latter third, we don’t even get a good sex scene until the epilogue. If you would just stick with writing the hot sex, this book would be so much better. B for the sex scenes but D for the rest of the story so a C overall.

Best regards,

Jane

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

15 Comments

  1. Hiding for reasons known only to me
    Jun 20, 2006 @ 06:48:57

    This is the first time I can come on this blog and honestly say you are fucking right about this book. The only thing hot about it was the sex. This story was basically bad. no…that bad. You have Tyler who’s a body guard, supposedly guarding Brianna and he manages to sprain his ankle, but before that happens it gets better. He leaves are alone in a dressing room to chase a robber in a store…hence Brianna getting beat up. Then you got the retard Andrew-who literally belongs in an asylum and wait the best part is the blind brother that can actually see and move around without assistance. Yep, he actually blocked a punch coming at him.

    And if you go to the author’s website you can see that her sequel is titled Seeing Eye Mate. Good fucking god. Okay…There I’ve said my peace about this book, which is in fact only good if your skipping straight to the sex part.

  2. Keishon
    Jun 20, 2006 @ 08:19:17

    Ah, that explains the sales. Thanks for the review and the advice.

  3. Tara Marie
    Jun 20, 2006 @ 10:09:19

    Based on the bestselling status of your book, I would guess that you don’t really have to write a good believable story in order to sell. You just need to write hot sex.

    I’ve only read a dozen or so ebooks or print books that were orignially ebooks and to be honest, most of the books I’ve read fall into this category. Most read like Harlequins with hot sex, not horrible, but not much story.

    Thanks to your reviews (you review so many ebooks) I’m realizing that’s not really the case, it’s just the books I’ve come across. I’m making an effort to find better quality books and not necessarily listening to “buzz” as these seem to be more about the sex and less about the story.

  4. jmc
    Jun 20, 2006 @ 20:49:06

    I bought Blackmailed last week, along with Betting Hearts by Dee Tenorio. Haven’t gotten to BH yet, but I read Blackmailed over the weekend. I second everything in your review…except you said it way better than I ever could.

    And WTF? Seeing Eye Mate? I’m imagining a woman down on all fours wearing a harness like a guide dog. I know that might get some people off, but it’s not on my list of things to read about.

    Off to read Betting Hearts.

  5. Keishon
    Jun 20, 2006 @ 22:04:24

    Oh, my goodness, I tried reading this earlier today. I found that I just couldn’t finish this one and will skip reviewing this one. Truly awful, awful, awful.

  6. Jane
    Jun 21, 2006 @ 07:18:39

    To the Anonymous Commenter – you forget that the brother is psychic or something.

    Tara Marie – I know exactly what you mean re: the Harlequin Presents style. I am not sure exactly what it is that makes the books read in that style. Is it the writing itself, the characterization of the hero/heroine? I am finding some gems though. I’ve got two reviews for an author coming up later this week that feature hot sex with an emotionally satisfying story.

    JMC – having read your blog, I know you are as good at saying things as we are but thanks for the compliment. I am not sure what Seeing Eye Mate is all about. Epubbed books have some unfortunate titles.

    Keishon – you should blog about why you couldn’t finish it. It would be entertaining for the rest of us.

  7. Hiding for reasons known only to me
    Jun 21, 2006 @ 07:26:28

    Jane, the psychic brother-dear god perhaps I wanted to forget LOL. I just know “seeing eye mate” is his story. Will I buy it? You suckered me once, but you sure as hell won’t get me twice!

  8. Tara Marie
    Jun 21, 2006 @ 08:35:53

    Truly awful, awful, awful.

    I love bad book reviews. I’m tempted to read it just to see how awful it really is, can it be that bad really–LOL.

  9. Jane
    Jun 21, 2006 @ 08:42:04

    The beauty of ebooks is that you can delete the parts you don’t like so you can buy the book and take out all the parts between the sex scenes and have a great titillating short story. :)

  10. Hiding for reasons known only to me
    Jun 21, 2006 @ 09:10:37

    The beauty of ebooks is that you can delete the parts you don’t like so you can buy the book and take out all the parts between the sex scenes and have a great titillating short story.

    LOL ain’t that the truth. Tara read it! so you can see that what we speak is the truth.

  11. AngieW
    Jun 22, 2006 @ 06:20:42

    From what I understand, Seeing Eye Mate is not a sequal to this book and isn’t connected in any way. It’s a paranormal romance about a werewolf who’s psychic. So the title seems appropriate in that case ;)

    Tara Marie said:

    it’s just the books I’ve come across. I’m making an effort to find better quality books and not necessarily listening to “buzz" as these seem to be more about the sex and less about the story.

    I agree with this to an extent, in that you have to listen to what the buzz is about, because with erotic romance, it’s often that the book is smokin’ hot–and that’s what many readers are looking for in erotic romance, a book that pushes buttons while giving them a fantasy escape for a few hours with a fun concept and characters.

    And those are also, yes, the ebooks that sell the best, with the highest numbers, for the most part, because they fulfill a need/genre readers are looking for that they still don’t find on the shelves of their local bookstores.

  12. Tara Marie
    Jun 22, 2006 @ 13:56:22

    it’s often that the book is smokin’ hot-and that’s what many readers are looking for in erotic romance, a book that pushes buttons while giving them a fantasy escape for a few hours with a fun concept and characters.

    So does “fantasy escape” and “fun concept” mean hot sex? If so that’s what doesn’t really work for me. I like hot sex, but I want int in the foundation of a good story.

  13. AngieW
    Jun 22, 2006 @ 14:04:49

    I think it means that, like everything, it’s subjective. You see from reviews that there are readers out there who love that book. It’s their feeling that it *is* in the foundation of a good story. But it’s probable that your perception of a good story and the reader who loves that book’s perception of a good story are widely varied. It doesn’t mean that either of you are right or wrong, just that you’re looking for different things in a book. I myself find it hard to buy erotic romance based on reviews because my tastes vary from much of the buying public.

    It’s the same reason that some readers love Lora Leigh while others would rather have eyelashes plucked out than read her books. Difference in the basis of what constitutes a “good book”. I think, in many ways, erotic romance is even harder to recommend or buy based on recommendations than other genres because of more factors involved (what type of sex takes place, how much, how much of the book is rooted in sex versus how much plot/character development is there, do the characters spend the whole book in bed or do they interact beyond the bedroom, etc.) I don’t see those questions with other genres *grin*

    But regardless, one thing holds true. Sex does sell ;)

  14. Anna
    Oct 11, 2006 @ 17:49:30

    Gosh, I wish I had read this review before I bought this ebook last weekend. I’m new to this site and ebooks though, so I know better now. LOL. I was suspending disbelief at the fast action, but when it got to the deep throating scene, I did a virtual wall banger and went to bed. NOT something that happens often if I’m into a book. I finished the book, but just to read the hot scenes, not for the story. Bc the story just didn’t work.

    I’ll definitely look for a review here before buying next time.

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