Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Dear Author

Content producers must reject the new DRM scheme from Adobe

It’s 2014 and Adobe thinks its going to increase profitability of digital book producers by introducing a  new kind of DRM or digital rights management. DRM is a software lock that binds a digital book you’ve purchased at Amazon or Barnes & Noble to a specific platform.  A book you’ve purchased at BN can’t be read on a Kindle and vice versa.

I’ve long argued that publishers inability to move away from DRM prevents them from aggressively attacking Amazon’s position and moving toward Direct to Consumer purchases. See here and here. (It should be noted that publishers past hesitancy toward DTC sales is also predicated on not competing directly with its largest accounts such as Barnes & Noble, Target and the like but with B&N faltering and consumer confidence low at Target due the security breach, if there was ever a time for DTC it is now. HarperCollins is going forward with it on a small scale.)

Reiterating these arguments has little value. I simply want to point out what a mistake it would be to move to a platform that has stricter DRM, perhaps even an always on component.

Always on requires you to constantly be connected to the internet in order to access your digital entertainment. This type of DRM has been used increasingly with video games. There was a huge furor in the video game world when SimsCity was released in the spring of 2013 with always on DRM. The always on technology was flawed and users experienced sub optimum levels of enjoyment when game modules were removed, entire cities that users had created disappeared, and many other serious hardware issues.

Learning from this disaster Sims 4 will not be an always online DRM game. Neither will the next release of Metal Gear.  When XBox launched with a 24 hour Internet check in and restrictions against used games, the video game community rose up and voiced its displeasure so ferociously that XBox removed the DRM restriction only 24 hours after the announcement and launch.

Music remains DRM free because that is the industry standard set by Apple.

So why would digital book producers follow down the rabbit hole of extreme customer dissatisfaction through the use of always on DRM? It’s foolhardy at best and potentially disastrous.

DRM has never and will never defeat piracy. There are absolutely no studies that indicate that DRM has reduced piracy. Not one.  For the uninitiated, let me reiterate what DRM does do.

1) It creates platform dependent customers such that if yours is not the popular platform, you’re SOL.

2) It increases the barrier of competitors into the marketplace and enhances monopolistic control of the popular platform (aka Amazon).

3) It pisses off and punishes actual paying customers. That’s right. The only people that DRM affects negatively is the people who’ve actually paid for the product.  How? Because people are stuck with one platform. Or if the platform goes out of business, they lose access to all their purchases. Or because if they lose their mother effing credit card or can’t remember what it is, then they can’t access the book/movie/song they’ve bought.

What does DRM not do?

1) It does not prevent piracy. If piracy were prevented by DRM why would there be such a big piracy problem?

2) Does not reduce casual sharing. This is the big one that I heard a few years back that pub people used to justify DRM. DRM prevents the teen from sending the one book to all her BFFs! Just who do you thinking is hacking the DRM these days? Grandmothers? It was a 17 year old kid who was responsible for the attacks against Target and Neiman Marcus.

DRM is nothing but a hassle for legitimate paying customers. In an industry that is bleeding readers, does it make sense to piss off the current ones? No. I’m not saying this for my own benefit because I’m pretty tech savvy. I’m saying this for all the emails I get from readers who are stumped about why they can’t get X book on their devices.

Adobe undoubtedly is looking for increased revenue from this new DRM but it’s fool’s gold for anyone else.

REVIEW:  You Really Got Me by Kelly Jamieson

REVIEW: You Really Got Me by Kelly Jamieson


“There will be pain but only if she asks nicely. ”

Kendall Vioget fell hard for Police Chief Jason Holloway, until the best sex of her life became something more, something she wasn t ready for. Afraid of what he asked of her, afraid of her own desires, she walked away.

Now her brother’s fiancee has gone missing a week before the wedding, bringing Jason back into her life. She needs his help, but her body is losing the battle to resist the hunger to satisfy the dark cravings he can set free.

Jason understands what she needs, and when her increasing submission banishes the self-doubts he’s been carrying around, he knows a perfect match like this comes along only once in a lifetime. Until the missing persons case becomes a murder investigation, and suspicion falls on her brother.

Kendall will do anything to protect the only family she has left, and Jason will do anything to make sure a killer is put behind bars. If he doesn t handle this case right, the most precious gift she could have given him, her trust, will be destroyed. Permanently.

Dear Ms. Jamieson,

I really liked Rule of Three and enjoyed the sequel, Rhythm of Three.  But this book was, unfortunately, not a success for me.

I was struggling from the very start and I only finished it because I had committed to a review. It has a “psychic Dom” and a TSTL heroine.  I felt the authorial hand manipulating the plot often and it wasn’t good.  The characters frustrated me and there was basically no courtship so I found it difficult to buy into the romance.

The first scene is a sex scene between Kendall and Jason.  At first I thought I had missed some pages or that I had inadvertently picked up a sequel and had missed the first book.  I actually went to check on Goodreads. But no, it’s a stand alone book.  Jason is a Dom and he “knows what Kendall needs”.

“Tonight… I’m going to give you what you’ve been wanting.”

Her eyes widened again and she sucked in a breath. Rough sex.

“You need this,” he said, keeping his tone gentle, holding her gaze steadily. “You know it, Kendall.”

“Need what?” she whispered with another nervous glance toward the bed.

“Need me to take control.” She bit her lip, studying him.

“Been watching you, babe.” He reached out and touched gentle fingertips to her jaw. “Every time… I know you want more.”

“I’m afraid,” she confessed, still in a whisper.

“Afraid of me?” His thumb brushed over her bottom lip. She shook her head, and pressed into his hand.


“Afraid of yourself.”

“Maybe.” She closed her eyes briefly. “I don’t like to let someone else be in control.”

“I know that, sweetheart. You look after everyone else… but who’s looking after you?” He knew the answer to that. There was nobody who looked after her. “That’s why you need this. Total emotional release. I promise you, baby, you’ll learn about parts of yourself you never have.”

They proceed to have sex: there is no mention of a safeword or any previous discussions of hard or soft limits.  He uses a crop on her (it appears to be fairly gentle) but there was (apparently) no prior agreement for this.  I don’t know how they met, why they were attracted to one another; anything about them really and they’re having sex with what appeared to me to be a lack of complete consent.  It made me uncomfortable.

Kendall leaves after this sexual experience and says they can’t see one another anymore.  Not because Jason did things she didn’t consent to though. No, it’s because he brings out things in her that she feels ashamed of and unwilling to face.

Fast forward a month and it is a week before Kendall’s brother’s wedding.  Kevin and his fiancee Natalia are getting married at the family vineyard in a week.  Kendall has organised a fancy wedding because it was Natalia’s dream but the bride is too busy to do much and so is the groom.  So Kendall has done most of it.   Kevin doesn’t come home all weekend and when he does, he looks like he’s been on a bender. He says he hasn’t seen Natalia since Saturday afternoon.  On Monday, Natalia is reported missing by her roommate and Jason, who is the police chief, becomes involved.  Kevin lies to the police and tells them he was home all weekend and asks Kendall to cover for him.

It wasn’t a big deal telling the police that Kevin had been home all weekend. Because if Kevin knew anything about where Natalia was or what had happened to her, he would tell the police. She was absolutely sure of that. So it wasn’t as if they were hindering the police investigation or anything.

Oh, mama.  To add to this, Kendall does not press Kevin for the truth of where he was and what he was doing.  This was just unbelievable to me.  Because this is a romance and Jason and Kendall are supposed to end up happily ever after, I knew Kevin couldn’t be the murderer. The obvious and heavy-handed efforts to make his behaviour suspicious just made me roll my eyes.

In the midst of this, when Kevin is under some suspicion (nobody yet knows that Natalia is dead – the reader knows from the blurb), Kendall and Jason start having sex again.   Jason says he’s going to take things really slow this time but then he totally doesn’t. It’s not very long at all before he’s spanking her.  It is here that a safeword is mentioned for the first time.  Apparently she has one.  (It would have been good to know that in the opening scene, all things considered.)

Jason is a “psychic Dom”.  He just “knows” what she needs, he “knew” she was a “natural submissive”.  Ugh.

From the first time he’d met her, something inside him had responded to her, to her natural submission, her need to be dominated. Something about her brought out every dominant, protective instinct in him, everything he’d been trying to repress.


He’d heard about it, but had never before experienced that feeling of “clicking” with a submissive, of being so perfectly in tune with the signals she gave off. He seemed to know exactly what she wanted before she even knew it, and knew how to give her pleasure. It reassured him that he was right, right about her, that they were headed for something incredibly intense together, an erotic and intimate bond like nothing he’d ever had with a woman.

I hardly got to see Kendall and Jason together apart from when he was in his police chief role or when they were having sex.  I didn’t get a feel for why they liked each other or any other courtship-like things.  Because I missed that, it was difficult for me to see why they were together at all.  Well, apart from the “clicking”.

After a few days, Natalia’s body is found and Kevin has failed a polygraph so things aren’t looking good for him.  Kendall is upset and goes over to yell at Jason (how could he do this to her, etc etc, Kevin is innocent because he’s her brother!). Jason, seeing that Kendall is getting “hysterical” spanks her.  Yes, that’s right, he takes consensual (let’s pretend they did talk about limits and stuff) BDSM play and puts it into another sphere altogether and Kendall’s reaction is just to get turned on.  Really?

There follow more obvious efforts to make Kevin look guilty and to obfuscate the killer’s identity, Kendall still doesn’t press Kevin for the truth.

Kendall’s actions in the last portion of the book veer so far into TSTL territory as to risk the health of my ereader.  I can’t reveal what she does because that would be too spoilerish.  Suffice it to say she puts herself in a very dangerous situation, entirely for the sake of the plot, making the police look incompetent in the process.  But Jason has a haunted past (he was formerly an FBI hostage negotiator) and his demons have to be dealt with too.

There were times in the book where I deliberately took a deep breath, tried to change my mindset and look for something good in the story.  But I struggled.  I suppose the stuff about winemaking was interesting, but I would much rather have seen relationship development.  Some of the sex scenes (the ones where I wasn’t worried about consent) were hot.  I liked Kendall’s friend, Erin.  But those things weren’t enough to save the book for me.  It pains me to say this, but You Really Got Me gets a D from me.



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