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Review: Seeing Spots by Ellen Fisher

Dear Ms. Fisher,

You have a fair amount of self-published books up for sale.  I think I tried one and enjoyed it, tried another and it wasn’t for me, though you have a nice, easy voice. When I was searching for self-published books to read, I ran across this one and purchased, as it was only $0.99 cents. I’m happy to say this was a purchase I did not regret, but I was not blown away by it either.

 Seeing Spots by Ellen FisherSeeing Spots is a ‘contemporary romantic comedy with a paranormal twist’ according to the book’s info. I don’t know if I would call this story a true comedy, but it was sweet and pleasant. As with all self-published books, I’m going to comment on the packaging and editing. I’m happy to say that both of these seemed professional to me. Your cover is eye-catching and appropriate (even if I’m not a fan of disembodied torsos) and if there were grammatical errors, I didn’t notice them. Nothing jarred me out of the story. So far, so good.

The novella begins with Kathy, a web designer, who begins a project for Darren, who owns a lawn service. Kathy and Darren went to high school together but neither had the bravery to confess their mutual admiration. Kathy was a brain and Darren was a dumb jock, and neither thought the other would be interested. Now adults, they are both keenly aware of the other. To further the matter, Darren has a leopard spot fetish. He can’t look away from Kathy when she’s wearing a spotted t-shirt, and the second time that they meet, he catches a glimpse of her spotted bra and wants to have sex with her.

He wasn’t going to think about her breasts, and he certainly wouldn’t think about them in spotted silk. He wasn’t going to think about touching them, or about dropping down on his knees in front of her and taking her nipple into his mouth, right through the bra, and sucking hard, until she moaned and dug her fingers into his hair… God. Where was the bathroom in her house, anyway?

Darren (or Dare, as he likes to be called) is a very cute beta hero. He’s in awe of the heroine’s smarts and cannot understand why she’d be interested in him. Kathy thinks it’s simply because of the spots, but it’s more of an aphrodisiac than a compulsion, and after a few rounds of hot sex, they quickly fall in love.

This is a novella, and so the story moves fast. It’s a largely conflictless novella, though. Sweet, but unexciting. For most of the story, it’s just a recap of Dare and Kathy falling in love, a few rounds of sex, and their relationship progressing. The paranormal element is thrown in at the end and while it’s cute, it isn’t enough to make the story stand out in my mind. Dare’s obsession with spots (which later moves from Kathy’s lingerie to almost every surface of the house needing to be spotted) was charming in the beginning but began to reach uncomfortable levels toward the end of the story. I’m supposed to believe that a man is so turned on by spots that even the shower curtain must be spotted? It seemed…bizarre, to me.

I did have a few qualms as the story progressed. When the paranormal element is introduced, there is an aspect of it that bothered me. I won’t spoil the review, but I will say that the heroine was not given a choice in the matter, and that bothered me.

Overall a cute read, and you have an easy voice that is a pleasure to read. The sex was pleasant if vanilla, and I didn’t regret my $0.99 cents, but I probably won’t remember the story tomorrow. C+

DA_January

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January Janes

January likes a little bit of everything. She's partial to unique paranormals, erotic romances, contemporary, and YA. She has a fondness for novellas and trying self-published works, though more of those are misses than hits. She still refuses to read anything that smells like literary fiction. January also changes this bio on a regular basis depending on her reading mood.

8 Comments

  1. Mireya
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 14:11:06

    Oh, I remember this author from the days in which I discovered NCP, back in 2003. At the time, they had a decent collection of historical romances (at least in my personal opinion, they were decent reads and back then some of the covers were very pretty). I have to check if I have some of her backlist saved. This one sounds like a story I’d like to read. Sometimes I like short, uncomplicated reads, with non-assoholic heroes, and I do remember this author for having a nice writing style.

  2. DA_January
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 14:18:39

    @Mireya
    She does have a really nice writing style – very pleasant and funny. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the story, and it was a great little read. My biggest problem was that it wasn’t all that memorable for me, so it wasn’t catapulted into a higher grade range. That’s all. Her heroes are very sweet and beta, which was a nice change of pace.

  3. Gretchen Galway
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 14:25:28

    That’s my favorite thing about the one story of hers I’ve read: a likable, believable beta hero. Like somebody I’d actually date. Well, if I weren’t married, lol.

  4. Mireya
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 14:58:18

    @January: I think your review expressed well your thoughts on the novella, at least from my perspective. That’s why I want to give it a go: you described clearly what worked for you and what didn’t :)

  5. Jody W.
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 15:42:26

    From what I’ve read before, Fisher does make beta heroes very appealing and sexy! It’s refreshing in today’s market, to say the least, to get some variety of hero types. Thanks for the head’s up on the new release.

  6. Heather Massey
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 20:57:25

    When Fisher’s sci-fi romances Never Love A Stranger and Farthest Space: The Wrath of Jan hit the Kindle, I bought both and enjoyed them. Both are lighthearted, with Farthest Space falling squarely into comedic territory. Even though my tastes usually tend toward darker stuff, her voice and style kept me engaged. Would definitely be interested in seeing more futuristics from her.

  7. Jayne
    Sep 02, 2011 @ 07:11:06

    @Mireya: I thought I remembered her name from the NCP debacle.

  8. JenM
    Sep 05, 2011 @ 12:33:21

    I really enjoy Ellen’s stories precisely because they are uncomplicated and humorous with adorable beta heroes. After my usual angst filled reads they are a good palate cleanser. I hadn’t checked her in awhile so I missed this one. Off to purchase now. Thanks for the review.

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