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REVIEW: Undeniable by Madeline Sheehan

Warning: The following review contains profanities, graphic language, sexual situations, and rape references.

Dear Madeline Sheehan:

I read this book in part because of chatter on an online forum. One of the readers said it was a love child of Sons of Anarchy and Kristen Ashley. She was not wrong. In fact, I would go so far as to call this an homage to both. Perhaps even fan fiction of both. The subtitle of the book might even be, Motorcycle Man: The Untold Story. Every unsavory and dark thing that could happen to a women in a criminal underworld of motorcycle gangs is likely depicted in this book. What is the most disturbing part is that the women not only tolerate it, but seem to revel in it.

Undeniable by Madeline SheehanIt’s a May/December romance and for the majority of the book, the heroine is around the age of 18 and then 30 while the hero is 35 and then 48. He is, by the time of their HEA, nearing 50, bearded, long haired and greying. Sexy. While the book is marketed as a romance, I’d argue that it is an anti romance. Spoilers ahoy.

Every person in the story seems to be driven by their base sexual urges. We get only a glimpse at what keeps the MC (Motorcycle Club) in business which includes drugs, gun running, and probably flesh peddling. The main two characters are Eva Fox, playing your Mary Sue character for the evening, and Deuce, the motorcycle club president who doesn’t shed a tear at putting a hit on his father and who cheats on Eva constantly even when she is pregnant. (Speaking of derivative, aren’t Eva and Deuce the main characters in Deuce Bigelow? Is there anything original in this book?)

Eva, whom every one loves so much that they will rape her to have her, endures three painful relationships with three different men over the course of approximately 20 years, from age 16 to 35. During that time she professes to only love Deuce. But she also loves Frankie, the crazy ass guy adopted by her father and who has been feeling her up since she was 12. And she comes to have some sort of feelings for the husband of her best friend whom she sleeps with to help get Frankie out of prison.

Let’s back up. Eva and Deuce meet when at prison she is five and he is in his early twenties. He is visiting his father for the last time (before he puts the hit on his father) and Eva is visiting her father. Eva proudly proclaims that there are three species of men.

There are three different types of men in this world.   There are weak men; men who run and hide when life slaps them in the ass.   Then there are men; men who have a backbone yet occasionally, when life slaps them in the ass, will rely on others.   And then there are real men; men who don’t cry or complain, who don’t just have a backbone, they are the backbone.   Men who make their own decisions and live with the consequences, who accept responsibility for their actions or words.   Men who, when life slaps them in the ass, slap back and move on.

Sheehan, Madeline (2012-10-06). Undeniable (Kindle Locations 77-81). Madeline Sheehan. Kindle Edition.

Let me fix that for you. There are three types of men in the world. There are decent men who don’t believe in blackmailing a woman into bed, who believe in fidelity, and who won’t resort to pistol whipping a woman. There are others who are confident enough to ask for help when they realize they need it. Then there are men in Eva’s world. These are not real men.  These men are children who’ve never grown up and live life like it is their pool to piss in no matter how many others will get contaminated by their poison.

When Eva is twelve, her father informally adopts a crazy boy named Frankie who forces himself on Eva constantly. Her father plans to have Eva marry Frankie to form a new king and queen of the MC when her father is ready to retire. Deuce enters Eva’s life from time to time because his Montana MC business occasionally brings him into contact with Eva’s MC club based in NY. When Eva is sixteen, she has kept her virginity despite Frankie’s incessant requests. Her lust, though, for Deuce is so strong that she allows him to finger her to her first orgasm in the hallway of the MC club. When Eva is eighteen, she goes to a club and he takes her virginity in the alleyway. I should mention that both times Deuce is married with children which he sometimes remembers after he’s screwed Eva.

Fidelity is a foreign concept to all the men in the story except for maybe Frankie. But his fidelity is made to look like something only insane people desire. Frankie, you see, is so possessive and jealous of Eva that he puts a hit out on her life to engage the minute after he dies. He does it, not because he doesn’t love Eva, but because that is what he believes true love inspires. One simply cannot live without the other. So Frankie’s true love for Eva is displayed as a tainted, crazy, awful thing. Whereas Deuce, the real man, will have a club whore suck his dick while he is making Eva kiss him even though both of the women want to stop.

Eva is raped at least twice. I’m uncertain about the scene in which she has sex with the attorney who is blackmailing her.  She professes to come to enjoy her sordid sex and I can’t help but wonder what I’m supposed to take away from these scenes.

In some ways, I marveled at how this story inverted everything about love and romance. The men who love Eva act out against her in terrible ways. The message seems to be that too much love and too much fidelity leads to acts of horror against you and that it is better to be with the guy who would rather fuck around with club whores and professes to love you than it is to be with someone who is truly devoted. Devotion, I take, it is for the weak men.

Real men call their women bitches. Real men tell them that they may leave their wife, but never do. Real men string along two nice women with alternating promises for years. Real men are abusive and will pistol whip you in the head to make sure that you can’t interfere with his plans to kidnap your husband. Real men do not do fidelity.

But let’s go beyond the dehumanization of women and the elevation of abusive, cheating men and talk about the derivative nature of the story. In Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley, the hero is a president of an MC. He is married and has two children. There is a scene in the book wherein the wife confronts the hero with the heroine present. The hero, Tack, says this:

“Fuckin’ hell. Clue in, bitch, I’m done with this shit. I was done with it years ago. You got two seconds to say what you gotta say then I’m walkin’ away.” There was silence for two seconds then Tack again, “I’m walkin’ away.”

And this is from Undeniable:

“Leavin’ you Christine, gonna move into the cabin,” He said quietly. “Can’t do this shit no more. Haven’t slept at home in over a year, you been showin’ up here demandin’ money, throwin’ attitude around and just plain pissin’ me off with your fuckin’ threats. Can’t do it no more.”

The words are not the same but the dialect, the rhythm, the feel is. Deuce is Tack’s uglier, meaner, older brother. They are birthed from the same mother. Toward the end when we meet the beautiful young woman and the younger Deuce that are Deuce’s two kids, I can’t help but be hurtled back into Motorcyle Man where Tack has two kids: a beautiful young woman and a younger Tack. It’s not that I believe that this book plagiarizes Ashley but it feels derivative of Sons of Anarchy, of Motorcycle Man. In Undeniable, we are treated to a scene called “Molding the young into a real man”:

“She’s hot, dad. Really fuckin’ hot.”

He turned his head towards his son. “Yeah,” He muttered.

“Great fuckin’ legs,” Cage continued. “And her tits, jesus, no fuckin’ bra with tits that big…fuck me.”

He glared. Cage didn’t shut the fuck up he was going to knock him out.

“You get done with her, pass her the fuck to me.”

“Reel it in,” He growled. “Or I’m gonna knock you the fuck out.”

Cage stared at him. “Are you serious?”

“As tequila.”

“Since when do you give a fuck if I tap club ass?”
….

“She the reason you’re pissed off all the time?”

“Yeah.”

“She the reason you left mom?”

“Yeah.”

“You love her?”

“Yeah.”

There was a long pause.

“Cool.”

“…yeah.”

“Dad?”

“Jesus, Cage. What?”

“Does this mean I can have at Miranda?”

Christ.

“Yeah, you fuckin’ hornball. Have at it.”

“Cool.”

No one is particularly likeable except for maybe Eva and her friend Kami. In the end I wished that the two of them would leave their cheating lovers and run off together. Sadly it was not that kind of book.

Some of the book was so ludicrous that I couldn’t help but laugh. In one scene, Kami is lying on the bed next to her young son. She and Cox, a guy who says he may leave his wife for her but maybe not, are shouting insults at each other and then next minute they are frantically ripping off their clothes. NEXT TO THE SON. I mean, it was ridiculous.

As an aside, the editing, grammar, typos in the book are numerous. At one point, the book was taken down. I don’t know if changes were made but I suspect that any uploaded copy would have the same problems. Originally I gave this book a D for readability but in the end, I thought the F was more consistent with past grades.

Best regards,

Jane

AmazonBN

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

89 Comments

  1. KT Grant
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 11:12:18

    For this alone I refuse to read this book. How are people raving about this? “Real men call their women bitches. Real men tell them that they may leave their wife, but never do. Real men string along two nice women with alternating promises for years. Real men are abusive and will pistol whip you in the head to make sure that you can’t interfere with his plans to kidnap your husband. Real men do not do fidelity.”

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  2. JenniferRNN
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 11:14:26

    That scene you excerpted with Deuce and his son where Deuce “gives” up his club whore is one of those parts of this book that really illustrated the place of women in the motorcycle club world. Women are truly portrayed as accessories in the MC world with no power. So very disturbing.

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  3. Anne
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 11:49:17

    I haven’t read this book, and most likely won’t. Not because of the content, or even because it appears a rip-off, but more so because I dislike the writing shown here.

    However, this here I take exception with:

    It’s a May/December romance and for the majority of the book, the heroine is around the age of 18 and then 30 while the hero is 35 and then 48. He is, by the time of their HEA, nearing 50, bearded, long haired and greying. Sexy.

    Not only that 18+35 or 30+48 are perfectly fine ages for couples to be, being 18 additionally also means you can pair up with anyone you want as you’re of age. And there are quite many 50 year-old bearded, long-haired and greying men who are quite sexy. None of these attributes mean a man automatically isn’t. Ageism isn’t really funny, even when applied to what appears to be a crappy book.

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  4. joanne
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 11:49:22

    Ah, no wonder you were disappointed in this book. It was mislabeled and instead of being put under Romance it should have been shelved under Horror Fan Fic.

    In Ashley’s books I felt that the men calling all women bitches seemed appropriate to their educational backgrounds and also their (lack of) family direction. Here I just feel that the author has made a very huge step backwards for men and women.

    Great review Jane, thank you.

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  5. Jane
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 12:08:42

    @Anne – I didn’t see my comment as ageist. The recitation of the ages is somewhat important because of blurb which portrays their romance started when she is five. And no, I didn’t find Deuce sexy in the story. He came off as a selfish abuser of women and I couldn’t see anything about him that was attractive, not his looks or his personality.

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  6. erinf1
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 12:11:34

    I know that I’m going against majority here… but whether it be Motorcyle Man or Undeniable, it still seems that we are glorifying the abuse and degradation of women. 50 Shades does it too, don’t get me wrong. I’m kinda at a loss here cuz I thought we spent the last 10+ years racking across the coals these kind of books and now it seems that they are back in vogue. And every time I read a review that states that the hero “roughs” up the heroine out of “love or concern” I want to point out that in real life, that is called domestic violence and would we want ourselves or our sisters to experience that kind of “love”? (I’m referring to: hand across throat, roughly gripping, grabbing arms, shaking, crowding, not letting her go, physically holding down, intimidating… all of these things that are referenced in these books as the hero doing to the heroine). Romancelandia found it distasteful only a few years ago, what changed?

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  7. Anne
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 12:32:03

    @Jane:

    Jane, you may have meant it not to be, but alas, it is. Especially to people who have lived or live in May/December relationships (there are already enough people who vilify those who do on a daily basis eye-to-eye, thank you very much). You also didn’t really specify you found “Deuce” unsexy (which is quite alright to say), you said a “50 year-old, bearded, long-haired, greying man”. This feels and reads along the same silly line that some readers and reviewers reject the idea that their parents/relatives/acquaintances of 50+ still could have sex or fall in love or be in love. This sort of thing doesn’t arrive as an even vaguely acceptable judgement here and my criticism is really only with this paragraph. Anything else is your take on the book and as such it’s yours to have. But there’s really no need to perpetuate prejudice, even if only as per mishap.

    @erinf1

    I agree and have my own theory: I think these are all those old bodice rippers in a new disguise.

    The problem is that many women feel deeply aroused by what I’d say the scientific name is “rape fantasy”. Formerly this was serviced by said bodice rippers: heros and alphamales practically raping their women, who of course liked it (in the end), but then writing such books was deemed icky and un-feminist and in general inacceptable. So we got a rash of strong heroines instead, who kicked ass and were independent as hell, and ultimately quite boring to all those who get wet panties over rape fiction. And this faction is what gets served by these books.

    Personally I’d prefer readers and women especially owning up to their predilections and stating outright what they want to read in the erotic or romantic department without shame and without being shamed or harrassed over their tastes.

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  8. Jordan
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 12:38:09

    I am so, so glad that I read this review!! I’ve been seeing the chatter about this book and how it was similar to Kristen Ashley’s stuff. But the thing I love most about Ashley’s book is how the H/H are so devoted to each other. I think I wouldn’t have been able to even finish the story – cheating (especially to the magnitude of what’s going on in this story) is a big fat no for me! So thanks for saving me the 2 dollars.

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  9. Elyssa
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 12:52:53

    @Anne I have no problems with May/December relationships. In fact one of my favorite romances (Julie Anne Long’s WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE) explores this very issue. But a hero who cheats, abuses, pistol whips the heroine, and is described as having a long gray beard that frays? That’s not sexy to me at all. It’s not a fantasy to me if I’m thinking about what’s in that beard. *shudders*

    I’m also troubled by the violence toward women in this book and by some others that have been self-published. I would not want this in my real life and would tell any of my friends to run away as fast as she can.

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  10. Jane
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 12:54:42

    @Anne – I don’t find men with facial hair sexy in general. Let alone a guy with a heavy beard and long hair sexy. Just not my thing. Is there a name for that? I totally am willing to own up to that.

    As for May/December romances, I don’t mind those at all. Loved Julie Anne Long’s M/D book as well as the salacious Charlotte Lamb book which had the step brother in love with his step sister since she was four and he was many many years older than her. Sadly I can never remember the name of that book.

    If my comment appeared to vilify those relationships, I apologize. That wasn’t my intention. As for long haired, heavily bearded men? Yep, not sexy to me. Totally own that.

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  11. Erin Satie
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 12:54:50

    @Anne:

    I think there’s a huge difference between “rape fantasy” and “abusive relationship fantasy”.

    I really, really appreciate good non-con erotica & I’ve enjoyed stuff that varies from, say, R. Lee Smith’s HEAT (a Stockholm Syndrome love story with a psychopathic rapist hero) to Cara McKenna’s WILLING VICTIM (about roleplaying rape fantasies in a safe and consensual way).

    Yet I am completely repelled by the fantasy of an abusive relationship. I have zero desire to read about physical abuse being interpreted as strength, or men who bully and isolate a woman being called protective. (And I think part of the distinction is that Orwellian filter – in HEAT, for example, when Kane is cruel to Raven nobody interprets his behavior as loving or admirable).

    I suppose that if I want the right to my gross, appalling fantasies other women should have the right to theirs. These rub me the wrong way, but then, so do secret baby books.

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  12. Anne
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 12:58:47

    @Elyssa:

    Different strokes for different folks. Just because a beard is grey and long doesn’t mean it’s unsexy. If I told you what I find unsexy you’d probably keel over.

    The point I am making is that “greying” plus “May/December” plus “nearing 50″ said in a disparaging, seemingly self-explanatory way as being icky or skeevy or negative IS ageist. There’s no way past that. Just don’t do this is all I say–as long as you don’t want to be ageist that is.

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  13. erinf1
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 13:00:46

    @Anne – you’re right. Instead of being historically based, they are are present day and in a more “gritty/urban” setting to excuse the abuse… and I also completely agree with the “bodice ripper” demarcation… I’ve just got a bit of mental whiplash with how fast things have rolled back… not judging any one’s tastes by any means… just wish that the fans wouldn’t whitewash the domestic violence into “love”.

    @ Erin S – I agree that every one has a right to read what they want and I’m completely against censorship. But what I have a problem with is that these love/abuse books are becoming mainstream and are every where. I’ve experienced several posts and comment back and forths where people are justifying the physicality of these relationships as part of the romance. They are justifying the domestic violence. I wouldn’t care if they would just called it what it was and that was that. But they are making it the new norm for a man to manhandle a woman and emotionally and physically abuse her and *that’s ok*. I shudder for the next generation of women growing up with Twilight, 50 Shades, Motorcyle man b/c they are romanticizing allowing a man to physically and emotionally dominate her.

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  14. Moriah Jovan
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 13:01:33

    I very rarely comment on reviews at all, much less reviews of books I haven’t read, but…

    …even I, lover of 70s – 80s bodice rippers and HP alphaholes, defender of forced seduction and even rape fantasies, cannot stomach SONS OF ANARCHY.

    My husband watches that. I tried, the first couple of episodes. It makes me physically ill enough I can’t be in the same room if it’s on.

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  15. Anne
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 13:02:11

    @Erin Satie:

    Abusive relationships are practically a staple with many BDSM-themed romances. I’m not astonished this spills over into mainstream.

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  16. Erin Satie
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 13:11:01

    I’m not making a comment on whether or not these books should be popular or mainstream or anything along those lines. Might as well tell the earth not to spin.

    I’m just thinking about how to make the distinction between a non-con fantasy and an abuse fantasy. I can’t be the only person to like the one and loathe the other.

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  17. erinf1
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 13:17:19

    @ Erin S – excellent point… I think that there’s the problem, that there’s no true distinguishing between the two and so they are all being lumped together. My problem is that people are not owning up to the fact that the appeal of these books are the non-con/abuse fantasy instead trying to fit them into mainstream romance… I guess making it seem “normal”… I wouldn’t mind reviews of these books as much if they weren’t being hailed as the next, best thing in “romance”… I read 50 shades on the insistence of my coworker b/c she said that it was the best “romance” she’d ever read. I’ve read BDSM erotica and enjoyed it but I knew what I was reading before I started. B/c of my misconception of the label on 50 shades, I was horrified that this dysfunctional, abusive relationship was being toted as “romance”.

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  18. LisaS
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 13:24:07

    The accusations of “ageism” by commenters strike me as an easy smokescreen to obscure the more critical issues the reviewer is trying to get at. What I see in the review is a justifiable critique of the power imbalance. 18 YO with no life skills/experience/self-supporting income, who is giving over to a 35 YO in a position of power and dominance. This is supposed to be healthy and good??? This is supposed to be a romance??? This is supposed to be the 21st century??

    I weep for humanity as it seems so much of this is filtering into women’s fiction. We already have Richard Mourdock telling us that rape is his god’s will – justifying pervasive power imbalances and saying that indeed, men do have the right to rule our bodies and our lives. We do NOT need romance writers backing that up.

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  19. Jane
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 13:37:31

    @Erin Satie: So I’ve thought about the success of this book and I think it is a couple of things. First, the taboo factor and how it goes places where you just don’t expect it to go. Second, the price. Super cheap. Third, the chatter. I wanted to read it because I wanted to see what other people are talking about.

    I don’t see it giving rise to a whole bunch of SOA fan fiction but I could be wrong.

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  20. Anne
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 13:43:09

    @erinf1:

    Probably the real problem in all that is that the average reader who likes these books doesn’t even realise why she does. Few people reflect, and fewer yet are willing to reflect on something they are told from all sides that it is skeevy to like. That’s because it is not just the feminists who rant, it’s also the anti-sex-brigade, and those who deny women the right to read anything erotic or be aroused in the first place, and the rape/abuse activists, and so on and on.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you by the way, I would love for people, readers and authors, to acknowledge that what they write/read is abuse fiction or non-con fiction or whatever else.

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  21. erinf1
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 13:49:33

    @Anne – that was exactly what I was trying to express. Thank you. I guess that’s why I’m so uneasy about the sky rocketing popularity. The average reader accepts this as a norm and while I’m not insulting anyone’s intelligence, I do think it bleeds out into real life subliminally and unconsciously. I know when I was a pre-teen and teen and reading all the bodice rippers and exploding orgasms and when real life didn’t match, I was very disappointed ;)

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  22. Anne
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 13:49:34

    @LisaS:

    As someone who lives with a man much older than I am I find your comment quite detestable. Actually I can’t eat as much as I would like to puke! Why don’t you go judgemental on things which really merit that scorn?

    Of course this is healthy, of course this is good, just like any other kind of loving and supporting relationship. At the end of the day just our ages are disparate.

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  23. Anne
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 13:56:09

    @erinf1:

    I never believed in any romances I read, even as a teen. Romances are so much and so obviously pure fantasy, that I have a hard time believing people will so readily take such things for real. However, yes, attitudes tend to accumulate, subconsciously even, so your unease may have a basis right there.

    But what to do? I wouldn’t want to take the reading matter of those who love this stuff from them.

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  24. LisaS
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 14:01:45

    @Anne:

    Anne,

    I am assuming that you have your own life apart from him? The life skills and education to function independently? You’ve had time as an independent adult on your own that enabled you to make your own choice to enter into this relationship as one between equals?

    If so, you miss my point.

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  25. Anne
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 14:09:08

    @LisaS:

    I doubt you realise how offensive you are being. Just to elaborate, I married with 18, after living with him for 2 years, which is legal where I am from. He is 19 years my senior. Do your math.

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  26. Erin Satie
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 14:22:17

    @Jane:

    I read through a bunch of 5 star reviews of this book and the people that like it seem to be responding to the idea of extreme endurance as a proof of love. One review mentioned “love conquers all” – so love that persists through trauma, irresponsibility, poor treatment, etc., is the biggest and best love of all.

    It’s sort of the romance equivalent of “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

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  27. hapax
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 14:33:35

    @Anne:

    I am not personally a fan of BDSM erotica / romance, either in fiction or real life (just not my kink), but I have to take exception to this statement:

    Abusive relationships are practically a staple with many BDSM-themed romances.

    This is an erroneous and hurtful assumption.

    Abuse and BDSM are NOT interchangeable, and it is degrading and dangerous to confuse them. I have good friends who live in loving power-based relationships, and they would be horrified at the casual conflation of BDSM sexuality with rape, stalking, pistol-whipping, cheating, cruelty, and mental and emotional torment.

    You have shown great sensitivity and forthrightness in defending certain relationships from the prejudices and preconceptions of outsiders. Please extend the same courtesy to other relationships which do not meet your standards of “normality.”

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  28. Ridley
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 14:34:10

    Oh, yay, Anne’s here.

    /popcorn

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  29. Ridley
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 14:41:58

    @hapax: To be fair, she’s talking about BDSM as it’s generally portrayed in romance novels, not commenting on people in the lifestyle IRL. And she’s absolutely correct. BDSM romances share little in common with ethical kinky relationships and are often overflowing with behaviors that should send the heroine running for her life.

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  30. pamelia
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 14:48:04

    Sounds like we need a new genre title for some of these books. (Any suggestions?)
    I for one have no problem reading books about couples who are not well-balanced or even healthy in their relationship. It’s fiction and it’s drama and it’s angst and big (sometimes awful) fights and conflicts. I can enjoy reading these types of books as much as I enjoy reading/watching true-crime stories about serial killers. It doesn’t mean I aspire to meet a serial killer or an abusive a-hole. It doesn’t mean that I will somehow romanticize a reprehensible man I meet IRL. I don’t feel that women are more made more susceptible to abuse by reading fictional accounts of this kind than men are made more likely to become criminals by reading crime novels.
    If these kinds of books weren’t marketed under “romance” then would we as women not have a problem with them?
    Why do books we read have to contain only main characters with noble motives and actions? Why can’t we read about types of people we wouldn’t ever want to meet? Why do we condemn books for having effed up characters fumbling and tearing through life? It seems ridiculous to me that books get lambasted for exploring characters who are entertaining as all get out because they offend our personal ideals of who we think is deserving of the great “HEA”. Maybe it has to do with how personally we interface with the stories we read. Maybe it has to do with our expectations of what a romance novel should do/shouldn’t do (thus my suggestion for a new genre-title).
    As a disclosure, I haven’t read this one yet although it’s purchased and waiting on my Kindle, but I have read “Motorcycle Man” about 5 times now and I would personally knock Tack upside the head with a baseball bat, but I love reading about him. Likewise I really enjoyed FSOG even though I wouldn’t have the patience for Christian or the desire to get to know him.
    Ultimately for me its all about what entertains me and engages me on some level whether its a “holy s**t, did that just happen?!” car-wreck kind of reaction or a more “that was so moving and romantic it made me cry” reaction. I’m sure I’m in the minority here, but –oh well!

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  31. hapax
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 14:48:07

    BDSM romances share little in common with ethical kinky relationships and are often overflowing with behaviors that should send the heroine running for her life

    This I did not know, and it makes me sad. I thought that The Book That Must Not Be Named and its ilk were outliers in the genre.

    I guess I have been spoiled by the titles that tend to get pulled for review on this site and the others I usually visit.

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  32. JessP
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 14:53:21

    @Ridley: I hope you brought enough for everyone.

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  33. Ridley
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 14:59:23

    @hapax: I read one highly rated book by Kele Moon where the hero chastised the heroine for asking about a safeword before they got kinky for the first time, saying, “If you trusted me, you wouldn’t have asked for it. I’m disappointed.” I think I scared the cats yelling “NO!” and blowing my rape whistle at that.

    Lots of them have that ridiculous clairvoyant Dom trope, perpetuate the foolish “sub = doormat” concept, and generally make a hash of everything. It’s why I stick to BDSM erotica, where I’m not asked to view the characters sympathetically.

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  34. Anne
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 15:05:31

    @hapax:

    As Ridley so correctly pointed out, I’m talking about “many BDSM-themed romances” and not about BDSM.

    Abusive behaviour in these books is such a regular thing, that it probably would be far more realistic to state that only very few BDSM-novels display a non-abusive relationship.

    @Ripley: salt, butter or sweet?

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  35. Ridley
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 15:10:17

    @pamelia: I think you’re making a valid point here. The reaction to this book is a function of genre conventions. Romance, as a rule, asks you to sympathize with the main couple. How can you have an “emotionally satisfying and optimistic” ending between characters where one or both is unsympathetic or, in this case, a straight-up villain? What would make you want to see them be happy?

    I don’t think stories like this shouldn’t be told, but I don’t think they should be considered romances. Not every book with a sexual relationship in it fits the genre definition.

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  36. Ridley
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 15:11:50

    @Anne: What’s this *or* business? Surely you’ve heard of kettle corn.

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  37. Jane
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 15:13:16

    @ridley – the author designates this as a romance and it is structured as such. I’m not sure what it would be called.

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  38. Liz Mc2
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 15:14:42

    I get what people are saying about fiction differing from reality, and readers being able to tell the difference, and books being one place we can explore fantasies or experiences we might not want to have in real life. I don’t think only perfect people deserve love (I’d be out of luck, if so), or that only people who share my values deserve love.

    But it does bother me when books and readers idealize and romanticize abusive behavior (even when readers say “I wouldn’t want that in real life” they often describe it as romantic). I’m not saying this book does, because I haven’t read it, but I’ve read some that do. It bothers me because in real life, some women excuse abusive behavior as romantic (he does it because he loves me so much). We aren’t all good at differentiating fantasy from reality all the time. Traditionally I think the genre has meted out “emotional justice” and the HEA has been “earned,” though maybe that can and should change. A guy who pistol-whips a woman does not, in my universe “deserve” and HEA or to be seen as romantic, not even in fantasy. It bothers me that readers would find him in any way loving.

    I don’t know what to do with my discomfort. I’m not going to tell others what to write or read, certainly. But I think we have to talk about this stuff and not just say, “Oh, it’s fantasy, women know the difference.” I think romanticizing abuse is not always without harm. Cultural messages are not without effect, even though the effects are variable and unpredictable.

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  39. Ridley
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 15:16:52

    @Jane: It’s either general fiction, erotica or a bad romance.

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  40. Jane
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 15:18:24

    @ridley. For all the crude language, the sex itself is very tame so maybe general fiction?

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  41. Jane
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 15:19:33

    @Liz Mc2 do you think part of the acceptance of this story is that the majority of people don’t live in a MC so it takes on a certain fantastical element?

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  42. Anne
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 15:28:01

    @Ridley:

    Never tried to make it. I prefer it caramelised.

    @Liz Mc2

    You’ve nailed my discomfort with such books. Indeed it arises whenever I read reviews of people romanticising abuse or styling such stories as realistic. This was what bothered me quite phenomenally with FSOG. That’s when I swallow hard and wonder how this could ever happen.

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  43. Lily
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 15:30:49

    Teeny data point, Tack in Motorcycle Man is never married in the course of the story. He’s divorced.

    I read Undeniable as I am a fan of Kristen Ashley and oddly fascinated by Sons of Anarchy. While the story kept me interested, I found so much of it distasteful. These are not heroes and heroines. There is no love involved. Lust, sure. Obsession, yep. But not love. And the cheating! It was so accepted and expected, what’s romantic about that?

    And Eva needs to put on a bra. My connective tissue ached just reading about her lack of support.

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  44. Anne
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 15:36:12

    And Eva needs to put on a bra. My connective tissue ached just reading about her lack of support.

    Now that’s the first positive thing I hear about this book!

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  45. Deb
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 16:19:18

    Well, we’ve found our next publishing sensation.

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  46. LisaS
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 16:41:51

    @Anne:

    No, I had no idea (as a divorced disabled middle-aged woman) how offensive I am being. I suppose I really should have checked my social privilege in that respect before voicing an opinion that women should have the skills to take care of and support themselves in case of life’s exigencies… like when a spouse dies or divorces. And my dear, this is NOT directed directly at you.

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  47. Gennita Low
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 18:33:19

    @Jane:
    Is that Lamb book Forbidden Fire? I have it somewhere in some box….

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  48. Jane
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 19:39:35

    @Gennita Low – Yes. I looked it up on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1227260.Forbidden_Fire

    It was published in 1979. I pulled it out.

    “I first knew how I felt about you on your fourteenth birthday…You always slept restlessly when you were excited, and you’d kicked off all your bedclothes…I looked down at you with a grin, then suddenly it hit me, like a tidal wave. You were wearing a ridiculous short nightie, some blue nylon thing…I found myself looking at you and feeling this terrible hunger.”

    Luckily he waits all of 3 more years for her (nearly four). I think the added benefit of her being raised by him since she was 8 is very Flowers in the Attic.

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  49. Kati
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 20:41:37

    I’m so glad you reviewed this book, Jane. I read it two days ago and I truly don’t believe I could have found the words. This book enraged me, appalled me, disgusted me, and left me with a truly icky feeling. I have no problem with older man/younger woman relationships. I usually enjoy reading them. But even Deuce’s first meeting with Eva, (when she is *5* years old) had a creepy feel to it. The entire book is one horrifying episode after another.

    I’m a professed lover (and purveyor) of Kristen Ashley books. But the heroes are steadfast in their adoration of their heroines. Yes, they’re coarse, and I often want to knock them in the head (or kick them in the junk), but they’re not rapists and she does an excellent job conveying the deep feelings the heroes have for the heroines. They may act like assholes, but you know they love the heroine, and more than that, generally I understand why the heroine is falling in love with them. In this book I could not for the life of me understand Eva’s feelings for *any* of the three men in her life.

    It’s not often I say this, but I truly regret having spent the money and my valuable time reading this book. It left a foul taste in my mouth. I literally will never read another book by this author.

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  50. Tori
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 21:35:12

    I’m kind of amazed at all the ‘OMGs’ in here. This is not a new storyline. It’s merely been modernized and presented in a new package. Some earlier historical romances were just as brutal. I read the book. I agree it was a bastardized, uglier version of MM by Ashley. And Duece is def. the anti romance hero. In fact, all the men were.

    I have to agree with @Lily’s statement: “While the story kept me interested, I found so much of it distasteful. “

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  51. erinf1
    Nov 03, 2012 @ 23:13:06

    ” Romance, as a rule, asks you to sympathize with the main couple. How can you have an “emotionally satisfying and optimistic” ending between characters where one or both is unsympathetic or, in this case, a straight-up villain? What would make you want to see them be happy?”

    @Ridley and Pamelia – this exactly. I’m not saying censorship or blackballing by any means. I just think that the Non-con/Abuse fantasy fiction shouldn’t be under the blanket label “romance”. I want a choice on what to read and so many of these types of books are deceiving in the blurb. So if I spend the time and money to read something, I want to be able to read it w/out being surprised by a “luv” manhandling/abuse. And I have too many books on the Kindle and shelves to spend time on a book that has more than 30% material that’s distasteful/repellent to me. To each her own and more power to those who are straight up in what they want to read, I just want the choice to be able to more clearly identify and avoid or read and enjoy.

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  52. Anne
    Nov 04, 2012 @ 00:02:19

    @erinf1:

    Now I am astonished a bit, was there no warning or tagging for rape?

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  53. erinf1
    Nov 04, 2012 @ 00:08:52

    here is the Amazon blurb:
    “***Warning*** (This book contains several aspects of the uglier side of life; it is not for everyone.)

    The story of Deuce and Eva…

    An undeniable connection that stands the test of time.

    Unforgettable moments.

    Love and pain and everything in between.

    I was five years old when I met Deuce, he was twenty-three, and it was visiting day at Riker’s Island. My father, Damon Fox or “Preacher”, the President of the infamous “Silver Demon’s” motorcycle club -mother chapter- in East Village, New York City, was doing a five-year stint for aggravated assault and battery with a deadly weapon. It was not the first time my father had been in prison and it wouldn’t be the last. The Silver Demon’s MC was a notorious group of criminals who lived by the code of the road and gave modern society and all it entailed a great big f**k you.

    “Never forget the day Eva came bouncin’ into my f**ked up life, shakin’ pigtails, singin’ Janis, wearin’ chucks and sharin’ peanuts and straight up stole any decency I had left which wasn’t a whole lot but she f**kin’ took it and I’ve been hers ever since.”

    The rest is history…”

    and Motorcyle Man:
    “Stuck in a colorless world, Tyra Masters decides to chuck her old life and starts searching for something. She doesn’t know what it is until she meets her dream man. The goateed, tattooed, muscled, gravelly voiced motorcycle man who plies her with tequila and gives her the best sex of her life. But she knows it isn’t the tequila and sex talking. He’s it. He’s who she’s been daydreaming about since she could remember.

    Until he makes it clear she isn’t who he’s looking for.

    Tyra slinks away from his bed, humiliated. The problem is, he’s her new boss. She just may or may not have forgotten to tell him that part.

    Kane “Tack” Allen has a rule. He doesn’t employ someone he’s slept with. And he lets Tyra know that in his motorcycle man way. Tyra fights for her job and wins it using sass and a technicality. Tack challenges her that if she hits his bed one more time, she loses her job.

    Tyra is determined to keep her job and keep away from Tack. But she makes a big mistake. During their head-to-heads, she lets it all hang out and shows Tack she is who he’s looking for. And Tack has had a good woman slip through his fingers, he’s not about to let that happen again.

    Although Tack colors Tyra’s world with a vibrancy that’s blinding, being with him means she has to live in his Motorcycle Club world. Full on, no holds barred. And since Tack’s world, not to mention Tack, is a little scary, Tyra isn’t so sure.

    It’s Tack’s job to convince her.”

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  54. erinf1
    Nov 04, 2012 @ 00:13:06

    Now, going by blurb alone, they both sound interesting w/ the usual alpha guy stuff and contemporary romance. And that “warning” of “this book contains several aspects of the uglier side of life; it is not for everyone” is insufficient I think to the true content. I found out about the rape/abuse from reviews. But… I think I might be arguing apples and oranges here and rather half heartily at that.

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  55. Shelley
    Nov 04, 2012 @ 00:14:08

    “I first knew how I felt about you on your fourteenth birthday…You always slept restlessly when you were excited, and you’d kicked off all your bedclothes…I looked down at you with a grin, then suddenly it hit me, like a tidal wave. You were wearing a ridiculous short nightie, some blue nylon thing…I found myself looking at you and feeling this terrible hunger.”

    Ummm…first of all…ewwwww…I probably even read this in my younger, Harlequin jonesing days but don’t remember.

    Secondly, still not really getting the hard-ons for “Sons of Anarchy” or KA. I have read several of KA’s books and most are pretty much just meh in my opinion (different books, same H/h, plot, etc. for the most part). So far, her batting average is good enough for me that I’ll keep trying. She is one of the few authors who gives readers a pretty big chunk of excerpt on her website so we can get a pretty good idea of where she’s going with her stories. I will say, once I heard about the “profession” of “Knight” I was so disappointed. The heroes in my romances don’t have to be CEO’s, firefighters, military black ops, etc. every time but really, a pimp??? I’m sorry, but there is no white washing (apparently because he is good looking and sexy he can be forgiven anything) this subject. It’s just wrong on so many fucking levels. I’ve got it on my Kindle but am having a very hard time wrapping my head around the whole concept and don’t know if I’ll ever read it. And “Sons of Anarchy”? They. Are. Criminals. Don’t know what’s sexy about that. And oh yeah….I guess that would also make Knight a criminal as last I heard, prostitution is illegal in most states and most certainly in Colorado.

    And lastly, what is the deal with this book being categorized as “romance”? It’s obviously not romance. The best it could be termed might be “general fiction” and this is, indeed, obviously a copy cat rip off of KA’s MM, without a doubt. Just with no holds barred degradation and abuse of women instead of just a little bit like in MM. And don’t even get me started on the punctuation and grammatical errors…..Sheesh!!

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  56. Anne
    Nov 04, 2012 @ 00:15:35

    @LisaS:

    You really should stop digging yourself into a hole there. Marrying an older man at a young age has nothing at all to do with a woman’s ability to complete her education and taking up a profession, or with being or not being able to take care of herself. I don’t even want to go near a mindset so distorted it considers marriage the end of personal development or spouses perforce being co-dependant of each other.

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  57. Anne
    Nov 04, 2012 @ 00:38:14

    @erinf1:

    Okay, I’d want a rape warning where it is visible before I buy a book. That’s just common courtesy.

    But here is something triggering a response from me:

    Now, going by blurb alone, they both sound interesting w/ the usual alpha guy stuff and contemporary romance.

    My own reaction to the “alphamale” heroes of genre romance is pretty much the exact same as yours to this Deuce guy. I find them rather skeevy and very undesirable and unsexy. This is probably the reason why I am a bit in a shrugging mood regarding this book and its critique. To me its just a different degree of revulsion, but the cause is pretty much the same. At the base of every alphamale I read so far lies exactly such an arsehole.

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  58. LisaS
    Nov 04, 2012 @ 03:00:50

    @Anne:

    I’m digging a hole… not. I don’t have anything in the way of social cachet to lose and am not particularly invested in getting my point across. OTOH.. you are getting mighty defensive.

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  59. Sunita
    Nov 04, 2012 @ 10:31:38

    I’ve been trying to figure out what genre these books belong to as well, and I think they are the contemporary equivalent of old pulp fiction novels. Yes, some great writers came out of that tradition (Hammett, Chandler, etc.) and there were some terrific novels written within it. But for the most part, hack writers wrote cheese-tastically hack novels. Here’s a description of the genre from a post about writing pulp today that I think works for the current crop:

    It was fiction for the people, for the guy on the crowded subway going to work, or the busy mother with five kids who got a little reading time at night. It was for the people who wanted to be caught up in a fictive dream. It was not written in a style aimed at some elite literati. It was about dames and thugs and gats and roscoes. Femme fatales and corrupt police. About the American dream gone wrong and how crime does not pay … But the thing I like most about pulp fiction is that it has to grab the reader and not let go. A storyteller with a “message” won’t have a chance to deliver it unless he or she can make good on that basic, page-turning promise.

    Obviously crime does pay for these MC characters, but the points about style and OTT characterizations fit. If Kristen Ashley is the good version of today’s pulp novels (romance division), this book is the bad version that inevitably accompanies it.

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  60. Bev
    Nov 04, 2012 @ 12:40:12

    What boggles the mind is what is now being considered romance. *shudders*

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  61. Ridley
    Nov 04, 2012 @ 12:54:34

    I just want to add that I hope the popularity of books like this and their mischaracterization as romance doesn’t leave people thinking that they can’t criticize the problematic themes contained in them. A book being popular doesn’t mean that book’s themes aren’t offensive or even harmful. Pointing out problems isn’t reader shaming and it isn’t calling for censorship. It’s calling a spade a spade.

    Misogyny and the normalization of abuse within fiction is problematic. It’s not okay. People are free to read whatever they want and draw whatever meaning the want from it, but it’s our duty to identify and call out harmful themes when we see them.

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  62. erinf1
    Nov 04, 2012 @ 14:10:06

    @ Ridley – thanks for that. I’m not a very vocal commenter but these books stick in my craw something fierce. I’m not here to change anyone’s mind/opinion, but the reason I’m speaking up just a bit is b/c I think their disturbing themes are being a bit whitewashed/brushed aside in the reviews.

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  63. Wahoo Suze
    Nov 04, 2012 @ 15:09:25

    Misogyny and the normalization of abuse within fiction is problematic. It’s not okay. People are free to read whatever they want and draw whatever meaning the want from it, but it’s our duty to identify and call out harmful themes when we see them.

    QFT.

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  64. Shelley
    Nov 04, 2012 @ 19:56:52

    @Ridley:
    “Misogyny and the normalization of abuse within fiction is problematic. It’s not okay. People are free to read whatever they want and draw whatever meaning the want from it, but it’s our duty to identify and call out harmful themes when we see them.”

    What she said.

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  65. jmc
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 16:31:47

    @Jane: This book may not give rise to Sons of Anarchy fan fiction, but there’s plenty of it out there all ready.

    I haven’t read this book, nor am I likely to, but the review made me think of Lori G. Armstrong’s Julie Collins mystery series. The love interest of the main character is the head of a motorcycle gang; women are demonstrably property, which causes them relationship problems, and he is a criminal – outright and no bones about it. Yet I enjoyed that series, in part because Julie owns her mistakes and is a badass in her own right. But I’m going to need to think more about my visceral reaction to the book as described in the review and ponder why Martinez is not as offensive to me: perhaps because he is not framed as a romance hero?

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  66. Jane
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 16:40:39

    @jmc: Is that a series you think I might like?

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  67. Liz
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 17:43:10

    Would be interesting to know what type of females (demographically) find these type of books romantic. b/c I find it disgusting and appalling. I want to spray myself with Lysol after reading the excerpts just to rid myself of the icky feeling of even reading words that were put together like that. Today is election day, this piece sadly reminds me that we as a nation are not only spiraling downhill economically but also in terms of morality and our ability to distinguish what is right and wrong. The fact that this book has numerous 4 and 5 stars ratings in Amazon baffles me. Come on, REAL women (pointing to myself ) won’t embrace this type of bull. I am also glad I am with a “fake” and “weak-willed” man who is completely devoted to me and our relationship, guess I am not trashy and brain dead enough to be with a “real” man, my loss.

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  68. Ridley
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 18:00:58

    @Liz: Ok.

    Criticizing problematic themes = not reader shaming

    Calling a particular book’s fans “trashy” and “brain dead” = reader shaming

    You don’t know why this book resonated with its fans. You don’t know how they read it or what meaning they took from it. Judging the readers and calling their character and intelligence into question is arrogant and ignorant, not to mention irrelevant.

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  69. Liz
    Nov 06, 2012 @ 19:30:36

    @Ridley,

    Perhaps you should read my post more carefully before you point fingers at me for being judgmental. My comments were pointed toward the characters in the book NOT at the readers of this book. I am all for choices and have no problem at whatever people like to do or read, to each their own. What I am saying is that the female characters IN this book has to be trashy and brain dead (yes I am entitled to my opinion, feel free to disagree) to think that the men around them are real men and the way how they were being treated are normal. Though I have to say that if these characters’ mindset are deemed acceptable to the majority then sure I think we do have some problems here.

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  70. jmc
    Nov 07, 2012 @ 08:26:12

    @Jane: Maybe? There’s a lot of casual violence in the series — Julie herself is a violent woman — along with descriptions of racism directed at Native Americans. I like the Armstrong books much better than I like the author’s work as Lorelie James though.

    All four are available as a Kindle bundle for $9.99, which is not a bad price — they are all 300+ pages in paper. There were some noticeable editing blips, but compared to what is common place today, they are nothing. I think SarahT may have reviewed at least one of the books. And I think I did, too, but can’t find a link off-hand.

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  71. Evangelos Gergiou
    Nov 27, 2012 @ 23:55:07

    Thank God for a sane review. I do not know how I ended up reading this in my Kindle. It is so disgusting it goes beyond the detestable. What amazes me is the number of people who rave about it, who admire it. Is this an indication of “civilization” to come or is it here already??? Where is the culture of the West? How could this be published?

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  72. Jane
    Nov 28, 2012 @ 07:43:14

    @Evangelos Gergiou – This book was self published. I guess, although I don’t know this for a fact, that it taps into the same appeal that Sons of Anarchy or The Sopranos has for people.

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  73. Lara
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 02:19:59

    I think more of the ladies here should be posting reviews on amazon/B&N!!! I just had to make a review because I couldn’t believe how many women thought this book was amazing. To me it was horrifying. Please even out the reviews so more women don’t read this trash!!!

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  74. Jane
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 07:46:32

    @Lara – I admit I was surprised at the numerosity of positive reviews for this as well but I guess it hits some sort of trope that they enjoy.

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  75. Niki
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 20:31:05

    You must have read a different book because Undeniable kicks serious ass! Best book ever! It’s raw, graphic, ORIGINAL, and seriously freakin hot!

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  76. Trish
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 20:40:25

    I have to agree with Niki. This book is raw, gritty, and in your face. But it is fiction. It was written and published as such. I personally enjoyed escaping into a world that a) doesn’t exist and b) is a complete escape for me. Loved it.

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  77. Kelly
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 20:42:47

    I agree with Niki and Trish. If you are the type of woman who like these pretty little love stories all wrapped up in a pretty little bow, Maybe you should stick with Nora Roberts!! I’m tired of reading the same garbage over an over again. If I have to read another story about a billionaire playboy sweeping an innocent twenty year old off her feet and changing his ways for her I’m gonna loose it. Madeline’s book takes you to another world. A world we will never experience but for a few hours feel like we are completely apart of. Its not a perfect romance, Deuce is not the perfect man, and Eva isn’t the perfect woman. But it’s their world and we are just spectators here to see how their crazy life and love happens. That fact that you hurt when Eva hurts, your heart breaks when Eva’s breaks, you want Deuce to love and take care of her proves what a great book!! Is Deuce a man you want to date or date your daughter, hell no. But in Eva’s world, in that reality, he is the man for her. He screws up, she screws up, and that’s life. As I read it I cringe, I cry, I cheer. I feel involved, invested. I couldn’t read another book for two days because I was so sucked into this world. In a month, two, six, I don’t have to rack my brain to remember what the book was about. I don’t get it confused with twelve others just like it. This book sticks with me and make me want to go back and read it again.

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  78. Karina G.
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 21:40:11

    I wholeheartedly agree with Kelly in the post above this. This was a book that took me into the gritty part of humanity, and it let me experience things I otherwise wouldn’t in real life. When reading the reviews I also saw the warning stating that this isn’t your average romance, and saw the description of the book and stayed away. But, I’m so glad that I came back and read it. I loved this book with imperfect characters, that made me feel things that not in a million years would I feel in my real life. It blew me away, and took me to a place that was real, gritty, and raw. So in other words not until you read the book should you be able to comment on it, the blurb isn’t the whole story.

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  79. Tracy M
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 12:17:06

    I am one of the many people who have read and truly enjoyed this book (or ‘trash’ as commentor Lara #73 deemed to label it… have to say each to their own dear but branding a book ‘trash’ because you personally didn’t like the subject matter – that’s really harsh in my opinion!!)

    Lara (#73) as for your comment:

    “I think more of the ladies here should be posting reviews on amazon/B&N!!! I just had to make a review because I couldn’t believe how many women thought this book was amazing. To me it was horrifying. Please even out the reviews so more women don’t read this trash!!! ”

    So Lara, you don’t like to read honest reviews just because you don’t like a book – you only happy reading reviews that you agree with?!?!? There is absolutely nothing wrong with those of us who DID enjoy the book posting reviews to say so… surely having a number of varied opinions and views of a story is the whole point of book sellers/websites making book reviewing available…
    Why should you have to ‘even out’ the reviews because the book offends your sensibilities?? Should WE do the same with any books you enjoy and review but that we don’t take to just to make our feelings known???? Personally if I don’t like a book because it wasn’t what I expected I’ll leave it be and move on to something that is more to my taste! but as I said earlier, each to their own!!!

    As the girls have said above – #75 to #78 – this is a work of FICTION. As such it’s not generally about a world that we are involved or immersed in personally in our day to day life.
    The book is read knowing full well that it’s not real and, in a lot of cases, it gives a means of escape from the hum drum of everyday life. It allows us to explore a world we have nothing to do with in reality, but where we can lose ourselves for a few hours.
    It deals with a lot of really bad, dark stuff that DOES happen in life – rape, cheating, violence, death are all around us, jeez, you can’t pick up a newspaper or turn on the news without hearing about crime of this sort on a daily basis!!! – fortunately, most of us will never encounter this personally but it doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy a story that involves a lot of these elements…… There is also a lot of love, care and devotion in the book – granted, it’s not always in ‘classic’ form – but I can’t see why anyone would have issues with the book being classed under ‘romance’. Romance doesn’t have to be all ‘mills & boons’esque, does it?!?!

    Can’t agree as stated in the original post that there we no likeable characters – then again, it all comes down to how you react to the book I suppose, eh Jane?! All the characters have redeemable features, you just have to look and see them.
    I wouldn’t be married to a guy who spoke to me even a fraction of the way Deuce does to Eva at times, who slept with someone else on a fairly regular basis or who was as big a pain in the arse as D could be but as this is FICTION I can accept it for what it is (part of the story), accept what is happening and move on with the book!!!

    I love a wide cross section of genres – HEAs that are sweet and ‘nice’, paranormal romance, crime, horror and everything else in between.
    What I particularly loved (yes, loved) about Undeniable was that it was gritty, difficult to deal with emotionally and hard reading at times. It wasn’t all hearts, flowers & rainbows.
    It made me really think. It ran me through a whole range of emotions and back again at least a dozen times and, as Kelly said above, it left me remembering exactly what it was all about!! Like her I do feel that sometimes one book merges into another as stories and themes are so similar. To read a book that was so very different was really refreshing!!!

    I’ve also read the second book, Unbeautifully, that Madeline wrote and I WILL read the rest of the series. I’ve reviewed what I have read so far and have done so with my honest opinion of what the book was about and how it made ME feel……

    I’m a big fan of Kristen Ashley and have read her Dream Man series too.
    The series although both about a MC group and all the stuff that goes with it are very different – and I love them both in very different ways for loads of different reasons!!!

    Let’s hope you ladies leave the rest of Madeline’s Undeniable series alone – that way we won’t have to read more of your skewed opinions and thoughts about what is a very interesting and hard hitting series!!!

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  80. Kay
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 15:31:00

    Way to rep Deauce’s bitches! Yep I referred to us as bitches…and look…no one died! My self esteem is still intact. It takes a special kind a woman to embrace her inner bitch..and the Stepford Wives need to get a grip. It’s one thing to review and dislike a book…everyone is entitled to their own opinion..but to ask people to negatively review a book to “even” things out is very..how do I say…Bitchy…it’s ok that you couldn’t handle Undeniable…but leave it to us bitches that could…

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  81. Dana
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 16:51:03

    Wow..It is perfectly okay not to like one book but to call it trash, to be so mean just because you don’t like it?? Really? I personally loved this book.Why? Because I’m pretty tired of reading sugar coated romance books were H/h are perfect. Who says a romance book can’t have imperfect characters,characters filled with flaws who live in a nasty world and love in the only way they know and they can, Undeniable is such a book…at least to me.Characters talk dirty,cuss,they do some bad things,but who am I to say they don’t deserve some sort of a HEAin their world.I loved this story because it isn’t perfect,it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. And guess what..even if I dislike sunshine and rainbows romance books and you like those,I won’t say they are trash and you shouldn’t read them nor will I ask people to leave nasty reviews. But,that’s me.
    And when it comes to BDSM romance books,there are some really great ones coming from authors who are in the lifestyle or have done their research about the topic. Bdsm isn’t abusive,women aren’t weak,they aren’t doormats,but of course there will always be people who use the lifestyle to justify their abusive nature,which harms BDSM in general. I do believe that every normal woman reading bdsm books can tell the difference between something that is obviously abusive and that isn’t. Also,trashing the lifestyle without even knowing anything about it is simply wrong.

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  82. Laura
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 20:49:45

    @Liz – I would like to know your “demographics.” I am an attorney, meaning I have done 7+ years of schooling post high school. I LOVED this book. For whatever reasons I did are my business, but i can tell you that they have nothing to do with romanticizing an abusive relationship. Your local public library should be warned because it sounds like you are getting ready to start burning books.

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  83. Jane
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 20:52:14

    To Madeline Sheehan’s street team:

    It is perfectly fine that you want to come and express your love for this book. However, attacks against individuals are not tolerated per the commenting policy that sits right above the comment box. Please consider this a warning. Any future comments directly attacking a previous comment will be moderated.

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  84. Kasi
    Jul 05, 2013 @ 14:50:27

    I enjoy reading, I have 1100 plus books on my kindle. I like romance, historical, paranormal, BDSM and pure erotica. The thing with reading is it is my form of escape. I had never read a book like these before, with the grity and dirty side. I enjoyed it, I laughed and cried to it. It took me to a place while reading it that I enjoyed being. I would say that is the reason to read a book, I suggest it to my friends that I know will understand all the reasons the book is loveable, and don’t mention it to the others. I don’t live in this MC world, but if I did I would want a man like Deuce…and it was a great read!

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  85. claire
    Jul 26, 2013 @ 17:04:35

    This book made me feel really unsettled. I just couldn’t find a connection or warmth with any of the characters and it increasingly left me feeling icky the further through I read. I disagree with one of the comments above that this is because it wasn’t romance wrapped in a pretty bow – gritty can be great, raw can be sexy – but for me, this wasn’t gritty but simply depressing with little to redeem it. It was positioned as a love story (albeit one with teeth and claws) but I have never spent so much reading time willing a couple to not end up together as this book, and frankly disliked every single character. This one wasn’t for me.

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  86. Jagoda
    Aug 28, 2013 @ 14:25:08

    Note: Post contains spoilers and cursing!!!

    I didn’t read this book and I must say that it’s on my „avoid” and „never-ever-ever” lists. But if I must be honest I read a lot of reviews and spoilers so I think I have some notion on this. First I need to say I love books with alpha, possessive, crazy in love, jealous etc. heroes. I also like when hero is a little villain, cruel (even to the heroine) and badass. I don’t have problem with hero being a total jerk what makes me usually want to throw my kindle by the window. But I’m completely ok with it. I’m even ok when book contains some disturbing scenes like rape, shaking the heroine, little slaps etc. Of course I love when heroine is as much badass as the hero and not a doormat. So basically I think my borders with heroes being a total jerks are really really wide (and I mean really wide).

    After reading some reviews, which all of them said that it is a great book with uber alpha jealous hero, roughs and gritty scenes and true love, not some sugar-sweet novella, my first thought was- Holly hell! I will love it!
    I thought that this is the perfect book for me. But when I read more spoilers ( I know, I know, I always need to read something about the book, I don’t like to get cat in the bag, so yes I’m the person who always reads spoilers) I knew I will never EVER ever read it. There is one and only one thing what makes me sick when I’m reading a book. Cheating. If a book contains cheating it’s a big fat NO NO to me. I know that life isn’t pink and it has some bad sides. I know cheating usually adds some angst in books. And I know that there are different reasons for cheating. If for example hero cheated after big fight with heroine, get drunk and slept with somebody one time and he even don’t remember it I can grind my teeth and read to the end (but it is sure as hell I don’t give that book more than 3 stars). There are more examples of cheating I can get along with and move on. I can see why authors add cheating to books. I get it, I know it has it purpose. It’s just something I can’t get along with.
    And I’ve read that in this book is a lot of cheating. I get an impression that it’s like The Bold and the Beautiful- everyone with everybody, in different juxtapositions. Gross:/

    And seriously (there is no secret that when I’m reading a book I take on the role of a heroine a little) do you imagine that you make sex with somebody, when you saw this same person had, some not long time ago, sex with some slut in front of you or you know that that person has a wife and is whoring around with some sluts which I’m sure have STDs. Double gross. Jesus Christ you (the heroine) should had but crumbs of respect to yourself, don’t you?
    Always in that moment ( I’ve read some books with cheating heroes) I want to ask a question: “What the author had in mind? Write an essay about the importance of this scene in the whole book, which is important for the entire novel, what consequences it brings? What conclusions did you come to?” My answer would be very short and always the same: “ I have no fucking idea. None. None, the heroine is as stupid as she was. I need to stop reading that kind of shit.”

    And seriously for the second, when I read that hero in this book cheated on heroine because she had difficult pregnancy and he couldn’t sleep with her I thought “What the fuck? Did I get that right? No, I’m sure as hell I just couldn’t read something like this”. And you know what? I don’t give a shit that he had pangs of conscience. You imagine some author make a heroine who would say “Honey you know I’m pregnant. My hormones are going crazy. So you know, I will be fucking around now. I hope it’s ok with you coz you know our baby needs it, it’s not like cheating honey, it’s just my body makes me.” Did you get my point?

    I know this is only a book and nobody make me to read it. If I don’t like it I should just get past this and read other things which are much more my taste. It’s just this book has something, I don’t know what, but something that constantly makes me read some reviews and starting to wonder that maybe I should give it a try, maybe it’s worth it. But then I read reviews just like this above and I know I will hate this book. Furthermore I know it will piss me of like any other and then it will sank in my heart with pain and stay there for a long time and no in a good way. It’s hopeless situation.

    And one more thing. When somebody writes that this book shows real word of MC and cheating is one of that side I would ask “What the fuck you are talking about?” Cheating isn’t part of any word, it’s our and only our choice. It depends on people (in this case characters or maybe I should say author) not on belonging to some group. For me it’s like somebody would say “He’s tall so he need to be a basketball player”. It’s ridiculous. What I’m trying to say is that being in some group you have some things better available but it doesn’t mean you need to use them, nobody makes you to use them. It’s your choice.
    And because hero is a badass and jerk doesn’t mean he need to whoring around. If hero in book cheats (not one time but a lot) for me it only means one thing: he is full of complexes, insecure, wants to raise your self-confidence (which for me he doesn’t have), he has low self-esteem, he is immature emotional or is just plain bastard.
    How does this apply to a confident uber alpha badass? Don’t ask me. I have no idea.

    If I confused facts and suddenly it turns out that Deuce is really great character and not some low cheating pig please let me know because I really want to give it a try:)

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  87. Jane
    Aug 28, 2013 @ 14:29:00

    @Jagoda: I think Deuce is a pretty horrible character who cheats regularly but others find him magnetic, I guess.

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  88. Phoebe Chase
    Sep 12, 2013 @ 15:33:22

    My biggest gripe with this book was that I found both main characters unlikable, unsympathetic, and, frankly, horrible people. No redeeming qualities. And like someone posted earlier, I got the creepy vibe from the time they met when she was 5yo. That never went away for me. I had to force myself to finish it.

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  89. Cindy jones
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 15:43:07

    Ridley,

    I can’t cut & paste using my ipad but I want to tell you that your comment on shamming a reader was awesome. Enjoyed all your comments in this post.

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