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Jill Noble Has Left Noble Publishing?

Wait – I thought she owned the company?

Apparently there have been rifts between her and “the owner”, (yeah, I’m doing air quotes every time I mention the owner) and they’ve had major differences of opinion on how to move the company forward.

So who owns Noble Romance?

It all seems a bit fishy to me. I’ve heard reports that a lot of their authors haven’t been paid for a while. Is this a creative way of saying sayonara and blaming the ‘owner’ for people not getting paid in the long run?

I’m assuming that the authors who write for Noble know who the other owner is? If so, do tell. (I could Google, but I can’t be arsed)

Do any of you guys have any more details?

Thanks to Anon for the tip-off. You know who you are.

Michelle Reviews: Brush Strokes by Dee Carney

Sensuality Level: Torrid

Multicultural Contemporary Black Female, White Male

I always enjoy reading about artists so when Dee Carney offered this book to me for review I agreed. In compliance with whatever the hell that blogger law is, please note, this book was given to me for free by this author.

The set-up for this story is interesting. The heroine, Tanya is a painter. Joe is her model. Her really smoking hot nude model. When the story opens she’s already been painting him for several months, or at least trying to. However, she is hopelessly blocked and unable to complete a painting. He suggests that she learn his body through touch. His rather unique solution to her problem leads to some of the most well-written sensual scenes I’ve come across in a while. Joe is an absolute sweetheart, and I like Tanya as well. The descriptions of the creative process are well-done and I could all but feel Tanya’s frustration and anxiety as she has a patron waiting for her paintings. Her passion for her work comes through in nearly every scene. You can understand why Joe would fall in love with her and be inspired by her as both a woman and an artist. On that level I really liked this story.

I think your ability to enjoy this book depends on your ability to suspend disbelief in a story. As a sweet, but hot novella it is very well-done. However, there were some issues that I found it difficult to get past. First, Tanya paints in a home studio. I found it hard to believe that a single woman would hire a male model from an ad to pose nude in her home. And when you factor in his remedy for her painter’s block, it sounds dangerous to the point of craziness. I also find it hard to believe that a professional painter would agree to engage in this kind of behavior with one of her models. We aren’t told whether this is her first time painting a male nude or not, but I would think a female artist would be leery of getting that type of reputation.

Then there’s the issue of racial dynamics. Tanya’s wealthy patron is a black man. I’m no expert on the New York art scene but the notion of a black man paying a black woman to paint naked pictures of a white man just seemed, well less than likely. I could be wrong, but it seemed odd to me. I was also amused by Joe’s pondering as to whether Tanya would date a white man. Dude, she’s been painting your freaking pubic hair for months! Somehow I don’t think THAT’S gonna be a problem!

I think if this story had been longer with more scenes of the beginning of their relationship I might have found it more believable. I especially needed to see the scene where he actually suggests his remedy and hear from him what inspired it. As it is, we meet this couple two months into their working relationship and it’s kind of jarring for him them to already be in the midst of a very intimate sensual encounter before we really know anything about them.

If you’re in the mood for a hot little story, this is great and I did like it on that level. But those other issues kept taking me out of the story and definitely brought it down a couple of notches.

Available for purchase here.

 

Ya Gotta Laugh...

I can’t lie, this totally made my day…


(Click to enlarge)

Somebody on Twitter came across this sign at a W. H. Smith’s book shop here in the UK, and took a photo – too funny *g*

Seriously?

Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while, but life tends to get in the way a bit.

Anyway, I’m interrupting my unintentional blogging hiatus to share my incredulity at the following:

Firstly, I’m reading a Lena Matthews book, where one of the secondary characters is called MeShell. Seriously? (Does the fact that she’s a drag queen make a difference?)

Secondly, what the fuck is going on with that crazy fuckwit over at StopGRBullies? Outing Goodreads reviewers, whilst pretending she’s the seeker of truth and justice? Say whaat? She seems to think that she’s sticking it to the mean girls, but as with that Cindy Whatsherface from a few years ago who wanted to teach us mean girls a lesson, she seems to be under the illusion that what she’s doing is for the good of the Goodreads community. Somehow, she’s failed to grasp that what she’s doing is soooo much worse than readers leaving negative or slice and dice reviews. Here at KKB, we understand that the bint over at StopGRBullies is the real bully in this tale. A cowardly one at that. Doctor heal thyself much?

Here’s a post from from one of her victims.

Seriously?

UPDATED TO ADD:

For a rather beautifully articulated OP on the above, head on over to Dear Author, but for Oprah’s sake, watch out for the batshit loony wankers defecating all over the comments section.

Willaful Review: The Siren

The Siren by Tiffany Reisz. Published by Mira.

Sensuality rating: Blistering, and then some.

 

This is less a review than a collection of impressions.  I’m feeling too shell-shocked to come up with plot summaries.

The Siren is a complex, fascinating book. I found myself often bewildered by it at first, because I kept trying to read it as a romance, despite having been warned that it isn’t one. Seriously, it isn’t one. It is a love story — or perhaps several — and like all great love stories, has a strong element of tragedy.

“The Siren” is Nora, a popular erotica writer. Writers of erotic romance often seem to stress the stability of their private lives, as if not wanting their readers to think they’re wild and crazy and think about sex all the time. But Nora is wild and crazy and thinks about sex all the time.  She’s heavily into the BDSM scene, as someone who can take either the dominant or the submissive role equally well.  And she’s polyamorous, capable of loving any number of men (or women) with depth and sincerity.

Here is Nora as seen by the person who knows her best: “Eleanor is always joking. Eleanor is never joking.”  Both of these statements are very true: Nora is brilliant, funny, and accomplished at telling the truth in a way that makes it seem like a lie.  Her life is filled with secrets and heartaches and hidden agendas. (more…)

You Make Me Feel Like Dancin'

You Make Me Feel Like Dancin’

Saturday, July 7, 2012
Posted in: Uncategorized
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It was adorable when a guy taught the world a stupid dance. It is amazing when the world teaches him.

Link: Where The Hell is Matt

(That’s Salsa Rueda he’s dancing in Israel at 2:15. We are everywhere!)

A PSA From Michelle

A PSA From Michelle

Thursday, July 5, 2012
Posted in: Uncategorized
Tags:,

Having come across this issue a couple times in the past few months I’m forced to make this statement: Look, once any body part or object has been inserted into the ass it cannot then be placed in the vagina. I understand that in the heat of the moment our hero and heroine might forget basic hygiene, but as a reader all I can think about is the raging case of crotch rot the heroine is in for. Can we have a shower in the interim, or at least a ho bath? Even a baby wipe will do, but please let them clean up in some fashion before continuing. Otherwise the book is a total wallbanger. And not in a good way.

Michelle Reviews: I'll Catch You by Farrah Rochon

Heat Level: Steamy

African American female; African American male

Like pretty much everyone in the known universe I read and enjoyed Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Chicago Stars series. However, as a lifelong fan of the game of American football I was all too conscious that her football team looked nothing like any football team in existence since the 1970s. The lack of diversity was glaring, and the scenes where she did include minorities were so painfully self-conscious, I always skipped them. However, I dearly love football, and when this book came across my desk,  I jumped on it.

Note, this is the second book in what is a four-book series. I started with this one because I found the title of the first one, Huddle With Me Tonight, just unbearable. I don’t think I missed anything by starting the way I did, this book can definitely stand alone.

The book starts with the heroine, Payton (named for the legendary Chicago Bears running back Walter “Sweetness” Payton), essentially stalking Cedric, a “bad boy” professional football player. Cedric has had a run of bad luck. His behavior off the field has resulted in his agent dropping him and no other agent will touch him. He also fears that his team won’t sign him to a new contract. He is particularly concerned about changing teams as he doesn’t want to leave New York. This is a weak area of the book. I’ve followed football forever, and the so-called bad behavior mentioned wouldn’t even get a rise out of the most stringent agent. Certainly it wouldn’t result in a franchise dropping a running back with the kind of stats this guy has. That failing aside, I found the rest of the football-related aspects of this story to be believable and in line with what I know of the game and its players.

Payton is a major football fan and more than anything she wants to be a sports agent. To that end she has quit her job at a law firm in Texas and relocated to New York City in an effort to fulfill her dream. Unfortunately, none of the players are willing to take a risk with an unknown quantity, especially a female one. So she has gone all out in an effort to get Cedric as a client. Given her dogged determination and the fact that he literally has no one else, he decides to take her on.

Payton quickly shows that she has what it takes and negotiates endorsement deals for him while also working to clean up his image. Their professional relationship sets up the central conflict of the story; Payton doesn’t want to give in to the strong physical attraction between them because she fears the damage it could do to her reputation as a sports agent. This conflict read as very realistic to me and I enjoyed watching these two characters navigate the treacherous waters of professional sports.

Another strong area of the book is the relationship between Cedric and his friends, who are his fellow teammates. They are, of course, the heroes of books of their own but their presence in this book isn’t overpowering.

I really like Rochon’s narrative style and occasional touches of humor. The character development was stellar and I loved the way she delved into the source of Payton’s passion for football. I found it very relatable because my own love of the game comes from very similar origins. It would’ve been very easy make these people into caricatures, but she takes us past that. We see that Payton really is starting out in a business in the way you would expect. One of her meetings with Cedric occurs in a laundromat, and yes, she’s folding clothes. Lacking an office of her own, she also meets clients in a coffee shop. Payton is really a great heroine. I love her grit and determination and Cedric was a great match for her. This was a solid four-star read and I intend to go back and read …ugh…Huddle With Me Tonight.

I’ll Catch You can be purchased here.

 

Apparently It's OK To Bash Category Romance Readers, But Not Fans Of Fifty Shades Of Grey...

I guess the majority of you will have heard about AAR Sandy’s slightly hypocritical blog post by now?

To be fair, I agreed with the majority of her post. That is, until I read the following:

» I am sick of all the 50 Shades of Grey bashing. This is especially ironic when it’s clear that the bashers haven’t read the book. I am certainly not saying that the book is great, but it’s at least a B- to me. And, as I wrote before, there is something fresh there that I haven’t read in a while. Bashing the book makes other authors look small and I am tired of reading it on Twitter

» I am sick of all the bashing of 50 Shades of Grey readers. What gives anyone the right to judge a reader for a book she likes? I am sick of the vicious remarks I’ve read on Twitter, but the casual swipes are also getting to me. And on that subject…

» I have moved past the Harlequin love and I am mystified by serious readers who haven’t. I get that there are some good and maybe even great authors working in that genre, but, for the most part, they are formulaic novels that are, in fact, written to formula. I understand how they could be a guilty pleasure and a comfort, but to wank on and on about how great they are as literature? Here’s what I think: If all the Harlequin lovers were subjected to the stuff that is regularly aimed at 50 readers, the sputtering outrage would be off the charts. But, you know what it comes down to for me? I liked, but didn’t love 50. I once liked, but now don’t love Harlequins. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could respect each other and coexist peacefully? I won’t read the Harlequin reviews or the message board threads and it would be nice if the anti-50 people would do the same.

What I don’t get is how she thought she could write about being tired of Fifty readers getting bashed, and then turn around and bash category readers?

Of course, I expect that deep down she knows that she totally contradicted herself, she just doesn’t want to admit it.

It’s not like I care whether or not category readers or Fifty readers get bashed, as far as I’m concerned, it’s all fair game, but it strikes me as a tad disingenuous to have a go at people having a go at Fifty, then turn around and do the same to other readers’ of books that she apparently can’t relate to.

Mind you, reading the following comment from Sandy helped clarify things a little more for me:

I was also the target of a wanky (yes, I think that word applies) DA post recently and I undoubtedly will be again. So it goes. I don’t recall anyone taking the poster to task for being impolite.

So this post was really all about having a swipe at Dear Author, because of a perceived slight from a DA contributor? Well, why didn’t she just say so in the first place? I totally understand swipe-back posts, I do them often enough myself – the difference being, I’m not backwards in coming forwards when it comes to naming names.

Poor Sandy, despite her protestations to the contrary, she so knows that she came off as a hypocrite. If she’d just said admitted it, this conversation would have died on the same day the post went up. Hmmm…or maybe that was her evil plan all along, to keep ’em talking? Bwahahaha…