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Barbara-Sheridan

REVIEW: Falling Through Glass by Barbara Sheridan

REVIEW: Falling Through Glass by Barbara Sheridan

Dear Ms. Sheridan,

fallingthroughglassWhen Tina submitted a list of new books to Dear Author for possible review, “Falling Through Glass” grabbed my attention. Hmmm, time travel to 19th century Japan in the waning days of samurai warriors. Can’t get much more different than that.

Since I’m feeling lazy this morning. I’m just going to steal the blurb at Liquid Silver.

Los Angeles
Present Day

Japanese-American Emiko Maeda set aside her film school studies following the sudden death of her father. At odds with her mother and burdened with the guilt over her role in the tragic accident, she moves in with her uncle Jake and comes into possession of an antique mirror. While accompanying Jake to Japan on a film shoot, Emmi is caught in a freak storm and plunged through time–into Feudal Japan and the world of samurai.

Kyoto, Japan
1864

The city of Kyoto is ablaze with violence and on the brink of civil war. Nakagawa Kaemon is a young samurai with a secret. He gathers information on those who claim to "Revere the emperor" but harbor their own agenda to control the country. Kae is honor bound to execute anyone who poses a threat to the throne even if it is Emmi, the unusual young woman he has come to love.

The first 50 pages of this book almost lost me. Way too much telling and not showing. I had actually put the book down at this point only to rethink it the next morning. I want to promote different times and places in books so I hefted it up and kept going. I’m not sure if it was my determination to finish the book or at this point you started more showing and less telling but it’s then that things started to pick up and become more interesting.

But I have to ask, what is with heroine casually accepting that her Uncle Jake has time traveled? I’d be all “WTF?!” but she just brushes it off in the conversation almost like Jake was merely saying he’d gone to San Diego for the day. Then when she tells Kae she’s from the future, he does the same. Or at least initially, though later he does think a little on what she’s said. But it’s more that he wants to see this future than any freaked out, “OMG! (or Japanese equivalent), she says she’s from the freakin’ future!” Emmi’s g-g-g-whatever grandfather is the same. His “visions” were never actually explained to my satisfaction. Ditto how Emmi’s mother’s monk works in the story.

Emmi is young – and she does act it at times. Pouting when Kae leaves her alone, excited about her wedding night – let loose your inner slut!, hasn’t had her maternal hormones kick in yet as seen when she takes Matsuhito out slumming through the festival, worries about possible STDs after her hot wedding night. Emmi also creates a ruckus whenever she’s let loose. I just wish she’d take a little more responsibility for the people she injured and the property she destroyed. Instead she pouts some more and tries to put the blame on everyone but herself. It takes possible deadly consequences to others (Emmi have you ever heard of seppuku?) before she finally does realize when she’s done something wrong.

Lucky for Emmi that Kae can look deep into her eyes and “just tell” that she’s not a traitor. Which he’ll believe until she does something – yet again – to make him rethink his position on that. At one point, Kae thinks that he wished he had more time to just sit with Emmi and get to know her. So did I. These two fall in love fairly quickly given all the unusual aspects of how they meet and get to know each other.

At first, I wondered if we’d get Emmi’s view of how things differ from her world vs 1864. Specific things and not just, “wow I’m in the past.” I loved her thoughts on the Shimabara brothel district, the palace, the hair gunk and face paint, the whole physical process of dressing for the wedding and actually walking in her outfit. This made the story more immediate and interesting to me.

Along the same lines, the scenes of the fair when Emmi and Kae attend as well as when she takes Prince Matsuhito there, are fun and a wonderful way to “show” the past and how Emmi views it.

The use of the historical actions as a way to decide whether or not Emmi’d stay in the past or return to the present is great. With TT books, I dislike any lingering regrets of “should I stay or should I go?” You remove all doubts about this. I was a little lost at times with regard to the historical action going on at this point in Japan but not enough for the story to lose me.

I hope that she and Kae work out their differing views on marriage and a woman’s place in it. But hey, at least he’ll buy her lingerie! Oh, loved the haiku poem but did you not want to include any of Emmi’s crappy poetry?

Like Mrs. Giggles, I also got the impression that this is a sequel to some other book. That I was missing some information that would allow some of the incidents in this book to make sense. There is a lot I like in the story and I wish I could give this book a higher rating but with all the issues I have with it, I’m afraid not.

~Jayne

FTC discloser – A free copy of this ebook was provided to Dear Author by the publisher for a potential review.

This book can be purchased at Liquid Silver Books.

REVIEW: Beautiful C*cksucker II: Such a Good Boy by Barbara Sheridan

REVIEW: Beautiful C*cksucker II: Such a Good Boy by Barbara Sheridan

Dear Ms. Sheridan.

57Thank you for sending me your story when I was moaning on Twitter one night about wanting to read a BDSM romance. I hope you don’t regret it.

When I agreed to read the book, I had no idea it was #2 of the Beautiful C*cksucker series. I had no idea that BC *was* a series. I tend to agree with the outrage over the name (Paul Bens’ original reaction, Teddy Pig’s response, Karen Knows Best’s extensive discussion) but I also know that in BDSM play, some epithets that would otherwise be unacceptable (“cunt” comes to mind) are endearments during a scene. Which is not to say that they should be used as titles to the book/series. I will admit, though, that I deliberately avoided most of the debate and arguments because it was too huge and I’ve only got so much mental energy. But if the writing for BC#1 was anything like the writing for BC#2, we should all just have ignored it and let it slip into well-deserved obscurity.

I also had no idea how BC#2 connects with BC#1. And OMFG, doing the research, BC#2 is the second romance for the dom of BC#1 after his sub from BC#1 fucking DIES!! Holy Flying Spaghetti Monster, if I’d known that, I wouldn’t have read it. Don’t freaking kill off the main characters from a previous book! Cardinal Sin of Romance #1! Even if it is after 20 years of “happiness.”

Right. So. That aside…Mikisaburo Nabeshimi is a high-profile cop in Tokyo. He goes to New York to drop his son off at Columbia and meets Dave Kirkland, a brash young cop, when Miki meets a friend of his at the courthouse. Dave is the unofficial foster son of a Chinese woman killed by the man that Miki’s friend successfully defends against the murder charge. (Confused yet, dear readers? This is a novella. None of these stories are really resolved.) The story is the progression of Miki and Dave’s D/s relationship as they chase down Miki’s friend’s client and prove that he’s actually guilty of serial murder.

So, my notes say: “Dave is a bratty little shit with no personality, Miki is stereotypical inscrutable Japanese dom.” I think that kind of sums it all up. This is one of those books that, to my mind, get BDSM so wrong, it’s scary and dangerous. Miki basically inflicts his domination on Dave, a complete BDSM newbie without a clue of what Miki’s doing. He makes Dave guess what’s going on, never talks with him about anything, “punishes” Dave in various ways for infractions in protocol and behavior that they haven’t talked about or agreed to, and just in general acts like an absolute shit. The whole concept of

“I can sense what you need even if you can’t. Trust me”

is actually contrary to all good BDSM practice. It’s not sexy, it’s frightening. Then again, Dave is an immature asshole who takes risk after risk without thought for the personal or broader consequences. BDSM is about safe, sane, and consensual, and all three of those require open and honest communication. BDSM is both mentally and physically dangerous when not discussed openly and for Miki to keep Dave guessing, to never talk to him about what they’re doing, is stupid and wrong. (And biting hard enough to leave a scar, without TALKING ABOUT IT BEFOREHAND, is not only wrong, it’s actually about impossible.)

What is also stupid and wrong is that Miki decides that he and Dave will go under cover to catch the killer. He informs Dave of this fact, then acts the same way with the undercover assignment as he does with the BDSM: never talks to Dave, never tells Dave his plans, keeps Dave guessing and on his toes and in the dark. Which is all very well for the sex (or not), but OMFG!stupid for a freaking undercover assignment that could get either or both of them KILLED! Metaphor for the relationship? I think so, but not in a good way.

There are story lines that go nowhere and coincidences that are just too much to believe (Dave’s best friend’s suicide?! The fact that Miki figures out the connection between the NY killing and killings in Japan in about a second?! Dave’s inherited apartment?!). All the incest imagery was strange and freaky and odd: Miki’s (platonic, lesbian) wife talking to Dave about their son gets Dave all hot and bothered, for example. Ick. And finally, Miki talks about his former lover (hero of BC#1, remember) as a friend and sometimes lover, but not as the love of his life: this is romance? How am I supposed to trust the HEA of this book if you’ve not only destroyed but called into question the very existence of the HEA of the previous book? All this AND the resolution of the suspense plot is confusing (I have no idea of who is doing what, where, and in what order) and anti-climactic.

So. Just no. Thank you for your generosity and I’m sorry I couldn’t like the book. But just no.

Grade: D

Best Regards,
-Joan/Sarah F.

As a Mean Girl review, this one doesn’t really need an FTC disclaimer, but here’s one anyway: This book was provided to the reviewer by the author. The reviewer did not pay for this book but received it free. We endorse good books that portray BDSM positively, realistically, and safely, but this book isn’t and doesn’t.