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REVIEW: Pure Sex by Lucinda Betts, B. Edwards, Sasha White

Dear Authors:

I’ll be straight up and cut to the chase. This is the first anthology I have liked in a . . . . well, I can’t remember the last time I really enjoyed an anthology. Even though there were some quibbles I had with each story, overall, I felt that they were hot, modern and romantic. I can see alot of my contemporaries enjoying this collection. Overall, I would grade the anthology a B-.

1. The Bet by Lucinda Betts. Dear Ms. Betts:

Pure Sex by Lucinda Betts, B. Edwards, Sasha WhiteI would probably buy this anthology just for your story. Zoe Lauterborn is a money manager at a big NY Firm. Phillip Kingdom is her closest competitor. Phillip would rather be making love to Zoe than competing and takes advantage of her drunken state one night by bartering his bonus (200K) against her agreement to become his sex slave depending upon who gets the next promotion. Zoe is sure that she will get the promotion because she is the highest earner. Phillips is pretty sure that it will be him because the FIRM, as most firms do, promote the good ol’ boys.

Zoe has always shot down Phillip’s advances because she believes that any fratnerization will show a weakness. Zoe understands that to get ahead in a male dominated business, she has to be better than the men and show no vulnerabilities. This set up was perfect. I knew right away I was going to like the story when Phillip calls Zoe by her last name. Nearly every man I know calls people by their last name or some derivation of the last name.

Your dialogue between Zoe and Phillip was smart and sexy. Not enough of that is done in books these days. The courtship stage is so delicious. Why do we rush over it?

“You have an evil sense of humor, Lauterborn”
“I could’ve taken lessons from you, Kingdom.”
“And you’re a smartass.”
“I thought you liked my ass.”
“I love your ass.”

“It’s–"it’s filled with sex toys,” she whispered to him.
“Shh,” he whispered back. “Don’t let everyone know.”

Where the book falters and why I can’t give you an A is that Peter Phillip is less entertaining when he is serious and tender. I know that sounds shallow of me, but I liked Peter Phillip when he was a funny smart ass not when he was all tender and caring, pouring out sweet nothings to Zoe. I also thought that the heat fizzled out toward the end. The sex wasn’t as hot or as fun as the flirting but it was still a good story and I’ll be looking around your website for another book by you. B for The Bet.

2. Slow Hand by Bonnie Edwards. Dear Ms. Edwards:

All this talk about Aphrodisia being erotica rather than erotic romances is terribly misleading because your story is unabashedly romantic. It wasn’t exactly the story I was looking for after reading The Bet, but now that I contemplate it, it was a good mix because it is quite different. The whole tone of this book reminds me of the Italian phrase, Colpo di tuono, which I understand to mean thunderstruck by love. The book invokes a mood similar to floating down the canals in Venice, laying in your lover’s arms and watching the world go by without a care.

Jared MacKay is a captain of a luxury charter boat who runs day cruises and week long honeymoon cruises. Teri Branton is a NY Production Assistant who was jilted at the altar and decided to come on her honeymoon by herself. Jared and Teri feel the instant crackling electricity between them. They both deny the meaning of this connection. Jared comes to grips with what this means first, and puts forth his every effort to convince Teri that he is the right man for her, forever and ever, amen.

At times, the story was too sweet and part of the conflict resolution was too pat, but overall, it was an easy read. I was curious whether there were other stories of the MacKay men but alas did not find any at the website. C+ for Slow Hand.

3. The Crib by Sasha White. Dear Ms. White,

My second missive to you in one month. We are getting to be regular correspondents. I enjoyed your voice in Bound and was excited by the opportunity to review another of your stories, even if it was an anthology form. Unfortunately, The Crib, was not well suited to an anthology format.

Lexy is a PI who did skip tracing on the side. She returns to The Crib, a bar owned by Jimmy D and a place where she spent her formative years. Jimmy D is accussed of committing a murder. Lexy knows that Jimmy D is innocent and sets out to prove who the killer is. During her investigation, she meets a mysterious and sexy stranger by the name of Devon. Devon’s purpose in her smal hometown and his presence in The Crib is shrouded in mystery.

The biggest problem I had was that the story did alot of backtracking. Essentially you had the action take place and the action was followed up by an explanation for what had happened and why. It was a little confusing for me to follow. You don’t tell us the heroine’s name for the first three pages. You don’t tell us where the story takes place. It’s only Lexy’s hometown and some place away from Vancouver. (I didn’t realize the setting was Canada until chapter 4).

I don’t know if you got a complaint that your writing had too much backstory dump and edited all the backstory out or if this was just the way you choose to tell the story hoping for a build up of greater suspense. Because I had no rational explanation for some actions of the heroine, I became frustrated. Once you explained the motivation, I nodded my head and understood Lexy better but I got tired of trying to move back and forth from the pages to square up the motivation with the actions. I still like your voice, but I liked it better in Bound. C for The Crib.

This book goes on sale July 4th (a nice way to celebrate independence day).

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. Lucinda Betts
    Jun 30, 2006 @ 08:24:17

    Hey Jane:

    Thanks for the great review! I worked hard on that snappy dialog–it’s nice to see it appreciated.

    I would like to point out that you changed the name of my hero halfway through your review! He started off as Phillip (which is correct) and he got morphed to Peter!

    I’m afraid Phillip himself brought it to my attention. He scoffed and muttered something about Peter being a name for pansies. (Truth be told, I cleaned up his language.) When I asked him what he wanted to do about it, he mentioned that the Pink Pussy Cat had very intersting shackles, and maybe you’d like to see them.

    He does have a wicked sense of humor…

    SWAK,
    Lucinda

    ReplyReply

  2. Jane
    Jun 30, 2006 @ 08:28:20

    Ms. Betts-

    I knew I liked Phillip better! I must have named him a different character in my mind when he was all tender and caring. Thanks for pointing out my error.

    ReplyReply

  3. Bonnie Edwards
    Jun 30, 2006 @ 10:16:44

    Hi Jane, Never had a reviewer be so thorough as to visit my website. thanks for dropping by.

    I mulled all night whether I have the right to let the cat out of the bag, re: Jared’s brother, Jake….but I’m optimistic that the synopsis I sent in to my editor will be accepted.

    So, here it is, a scoop for you: Jake will be the hero in ROCK SOLID (working title – but I’m batting a thousand with my titles) in the BUILT antho slated for August /07.

    Beautiful men in toolbelts…and I’m proud to write them.

    Happy reading
    Bonnie Edwards

    ReplyReply

  4. May
    Jul 23, 2006 @ 12:28:00

    I’ve just finished this antho, and my opinion’s pretty close to yours.

    ReplyReply

  5. Jane
    Jul 23, 2006 @ 12:34:43

    [quote comment="2481"]I’ve just finished this antho, and my opinion’s pretty close to yours.[/quote]

    I would read more by all of these authors but not in anthology form. I really am starting to dread anthologies. :(

    ReplyReply

  6. May
    Jul 23, 2006 @ 12:41:57

    I’ve been dreading anthologies for a very very very very long time now.

    On top of that, it is my opinion that romance isn’t very suited to the novella format.

    ReplyReply

  7. Jane
    Jul 23, 2006 @ 12:44:55

    May – you are so right that romance, particularly character driven romances, are quite hard to fit into 100 pages. It really takes a certain type of skill to write these stories. It’s easy money for authors and publishers, though, and I guess they fulfill the need for the quick fix.

    Nothing frustrates me more, though, than the tradepaperback anthologies because you truly get so little for your money.

    ReplyReply

  8. May
    Jul 23, 2006 @ 12:58:38

    I refuse to buy Brava anthologies for that reason.

    I can’t help but wonder if there’ll be a day that the romance antho will die out, because I know we’re not the only 2 who feel this way.

    ReplyReply

  9. Jane
    Jul 23, 2006 @ 14:02:03

    The problem, May, is that I keep contributing to the problem by buying these books. I need to be talked off the ledge!

    ReplyReply

  10. Robin
    Jul 23, 2006 @ 14:17:27

    The problem, May, is that I keep contributing to the problem by buying these books. I need to be talked off the ledge!

    Buy used until you can break the habit totally. It doesn’t send a false message to the publisher that you can’t wait for another anthology, but it does allow you to read the book. Unless, of course, there’s an author whose work you want to support with the royalties gained from a new sale. Then you might as well enjoy the flight.

    ReplyReply

  11. May
    Jul 23, 2006 @ 20:43:22

    I’ve been buying used.

    I think Jane and the rest of the gang need a support group. LOL.

    *No Jane, you can’t buy that antho!*

    ReplyReply

  12. Jane
    Jul 23, 2006 @ 20:46:49

    May, I need a support group for a lot of things. I’ll just add this one to the list. I am buying Helen Kay Dimon’s book this month. I like her blog and she seems to be pretty cool online thus my desire to buy her new.

    ReplyReply

  13. May
    Jul 23, 2006 @ 20:48:37

    I’ve read Viva Las Bad Boys already. Haven’t reviewed it yet, but it’s a great beach-type–read fun–book.

    ReplyReply

  14. Lucinda Betts
    Aug 23, 2006 @ 19:29:37

    Hey Jane:

    I’m on my second martini and that’s never good. I can’t help it–Phillip keeps handing them to me, and I could never say no to that boy.

    The thing is, I’m wondering if you would be so kind (yeah, Jane kind–sorry, I just snorted that olive through my nose), to review my first solo book. Yeah, it’s an anthology. Phillip told me you didn’t join that support group you girls were talking about, said you’d NEVER join it. (In fact, he said something about supporting your–oh, I don’t think I can say that here!)

    Damn, I just spilled that on the keyboard! Shit. Christ. Anyway, can I send you a pdf of NIGHT SPELL?

    SWAK,
    Lucinda

    ReplyReply

  15. Lucinda Betts
    Apr 01, 2007 @ 20:44:42

    I just found out last night that my very first release
    (from July of last year) won the Gayle Wilson Award of
    Excellence!

    I won this award for “The Bet,” which is the first
    story in PURE SEX.

    This contest was conceived in honor of Multi-RITA
    Winner Gayle Wilson to award excellence in published
    romance fiction. The contest is judged by avid readers
    of romance and booksellers.

    Congratulations to all the finalists! In the Novella
    Category:
    NOVELLA
    Lucinda Betts – THE BET in PURE SEX
    Kresley Cole – THE WARLORD WANTS FOREVER in PLAYING
    EASY TO GET
    Sylvia Day – LUCIEN’S GAMBLE in BAD BOYS AHOY!
    Kimberly Dean – UNREQUITED in IF THIS BED COULD TALK
    Deborah MacGillivray – ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS A
    HULA-HOOP…AND A MOTHER in CHRISTMAS WISHES

    Check out all of these books!

    Lucinda Betts *~* http://www.LucindaBetts.com
    NIGHT SPELL, Kensington, Aphrodisia–out now!
    MOON SHADOW, Kensington, Aphrodisia—just released!
    THE SUPPLICANT, Kensington, Aphrodisia–July 2007

    ReplyReply

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