Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's my Birthday... I'll oogle if I want to

It's my birthday this Saturday and I'll be thirty-mumblemumblemumble years old and there have been a lot of changes in my life in the past few months so I thought this next blog post would fun and totally frivolous.  No real serious ideas or opinions (well I guess most of it is my opinion).  The idea for this blog came from the continued need for Hollywood to take really great reads and for the most part rip them to shreds.  There have only be a handful of books that I have seen successfully turned into movies or television and even then something happens along the way (especially in television) that ruins the story line.

But I digress, this was supposed to be a fun blog.  Well rumors are flying about the highly anticipated...I say sarcastically... movie deal for the 50 Shades of Grey movie.  Mainly "who will play Christian Grey?"  It seems that everyone and their brother is all "I'd play 50 Shades if asked"... Really, guys, really?  Have you read the books?  If they do make a movie I NEED the guy to have read the books, like the books, and truly identify with Christian.  I love this character, I don't want to see it destroyed or changed to fit a preconceived mold.  Of course that is how I feel about all the characters in my favorite books which is why I'm never really all that excited when I hear they're making a movie.  But what if they did make movies out of my favorite characters?  Who would I want to play these covetous roles?  And thus the LIST!  It was tough work searching through all of the sexy, steamy pictures of the actors I've chosen, but hey it's my birthday... I can oogle if I want to.

Black Dagger Brotherhood Series
Wrath - Jason Momoa

Rhage - Chris Hemsworth

Zsadist - Wentworth Miller

 Butch O'Neal - David Boreanaz

Vishous Son of the Bloodletter - Jonathan Rhys Meyers (although he'd have to bulk up a bit he has V's eyes so he wins!)

Haven't come across anyone who fits best for Phury, Manny, Tohrment, Rehvenge, John Matthew, Qhuinn or Blay but maybe that'll be another post.

Dark Hunter Series
Vane Kattalakis - Joe Manganiello (sorry Joe I know it's another werewolf but you play them so well!)

Acheron - Francois Arnaud

Some of my other favorite books...
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: James Fraser - James McAvoy

Widow Woman by Patricia McLinn: Nick Dusaq -Joe Manganiello (yes I know I've used him before but I'm biased and it is my birthday and I really wanted to give him a role that wasn't a werewolf or a stripper)

Finally I will weigh in with everyone else on who I feel would look the most like Christian Grey and who I also think would be able to actually do him justice.  Some may not agree but again, it's my birthday not theirs.  And the coveted title of  dom Christian Grey goes to... *drum roll*

HENRY CAVILL!!! Yes superman would be perfect.  He's just the right age has all the right coloring from his eyes to his hair and he has this way of looking wicked and wounded but sexy and dominating at the same time.  Here are just some highlights of his attributes.  You be the judge if he fits the mold for Fifty Shades...

So these are some of the few actors I actually picture when I'm reading.  I've recently started Game of Thrones but I've already watched the television series so naturally the characters look like the actors in the show but honestly the books are so good I'd have to agree with those they cast.  So here's some nice eye candy for those of you who might like to have a visual of the characters you've read about.  From one addict to another... happy reading!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wolves and Vamps... No need to choose sides

The supernatural genre of romance has exploded recently.  I guess we can all blame the debate between Team Edward and Team Jacob but honestly I think this subject matter goes back much farther than that.  Perhaps it's more apt to decide if you are team Lycaon or Team Lillith.  If you really want to be accurate though you don't have to be either team.  Ancient folklore indicates that vampires and werewolves are not natural enemies but rather have an equal co-existence, sometimes actually being one in the same.  But my question is not whether vampires are better or sexier than werewolves, although I don't think I can pick a side since they both carry their own individual erotic punch.  My question is why do we find them so fascinating and darkly sexual?  Where did this begin?

First let me point out a few basic origins for each myth starting with werewolves.  According to Wikipedia, the concept of a werewolf (or "man-wolf") may have it's origins as far back as ancient Greece in the myth of Lycaon who was cursed by the God Zeus to become a wolf.  This was after he attempted to serve pieces of his son to the god in order to determine if he really was a deity or not.  A far cry from the sexy werewolves of today's fiction, movies, and television but it does pose an interesting catalyst for why we have made them sexy romantic heroes.  Cursed by a god,  and being misunderstood make for great romance fodder (what with women wanting to "save" the heroes from themselves and their lonely existence). 

Werewolf then...
Through the years though werewolves became monsters not heroes.  In the early Christian church, often times people were cursed to be werewolves by both good and bad angels for evil deeds they had done.
 "All angels, good and bad have the power of transmutating our bodies" was the dictum of St. Thomas Aquinas.
Again there is this idea that a man does not choose to become a werewolf but that he is cursed and may need to atone for whatever wrong he has committed.  Naturally he needs a woman  to provide a source of redemption that may cure him or offer him a way to end his solitary existence.  Great!  Sign me up?  Not so fast, obviously there has to be more to it than just saving him, what about his other attributes and the sexual excitement?  What does folklore say about this or even past literature?  Interestingly there is not a lot about that except that most of the folklore surrounding werewolves and shape-shifters in general indicates that they gain super human and super animal strength.
 In some fiction, the power of the werewolf extends to human form, such as invulnerability to conventional injury due to their healing factor, super-human speed and strength and falling on their feet from high falls. Also aggressiveness and animalistic urges may be intensified and harder to control (hunger, sexual arousal). 
 Wait! What did that just say...intensified and harder to control (hunger, sexual arousal)? Well there it is.  The second requirement for a romance novel hero.  Excessive strength, speed, healing and intensified sexual arousal.  This is why I think women find these characters irresistible.  The idea that these men can both protect their woman but also service her appropriately has great appeal.  Although most of the literature and folklore surrounding werewolves depicts them as monsters and revolve around curses rather than erotic imaging there are a few folk tales out there that indicate that sex is part of their curse (most often it is these same folk tales that depict werewolves and vampires as the same creature)

According to the first dictionary of modern Serbian language (published by Vuk Stefanović-Karadžić in 1818) vukodlak / вукодлак (werewolf) and vampir / вампир (vampire) are synonyms, meaning a man who returns from his grave for purposes of fornicating with his widow.

Werewolf now...
Well that gives a whole new meaning to the Merry Widow.  I really think in regards to the erotic depictions of werewolves and shape shifters in general, it has been the modern supernatural genre that has been responsible for the explosion of shape-shifter and were-animal romance.  Many authors pay homage to the myths and folklore of the past.  This can be seen not only in the written genre but also in television and movies.  In Nicky Charles's werewolf series she eludes to the old myth that werewolves are born that way and that it can not be contracted.  She doesn't delve into how they came into existence.  She does give them the improved strength, speed, healing and sexual arousal making for some very steamy animalistic scenes.  This has been true with many of the shape-shifter books, television and movies I've read and watched.  Some these have been Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter Series (curse), Trueblood/Sookie Stackhouse Series (born that way).  The only one that suggests that to become a werewolf you have to be attacked by one is Being Human but even that implies that there are were-animals out there that are born that way.  In all though, each of these stories maintain inhuman strength, speed, and over the top sex.

Therein lies that real reason I think werewolves have evolved to rival vampires in the erotic realm.  Animalistic, uncontrolled, unfettered sexual desire and strength.  As I've said before women want to be claimed in bed by a strong alpha type male.  I think it's instinctual.  The caveman who killed the most beasts and protected his mate went on to procreate and make more cavemen.  It has been proven that women sought out men that they felt would pass on these more alpha traits.  Be that as it may, as the world evolved from cavemen to business men so did women.  We became more alpha ourselves and didn't need the big, bad caveman to help us survive.  But that drive is still there, so we look for it in our entertainment and find it in the fairly taboo idea of being dominated by that alpha male (which lets face it is not something we 21st Century women want to admit).

So that explains that draw for team wolf, but what about team vampire?  There must be reasons why vampires have dominated our psyche for centuries.  The origins of the vampire myth are so old and so varied it's hard to pinpoint an exact culture which originated this myth.  Every culture around the world has some version of the undead rising to live off the blood of the living.  Unlike werewolves, however, vampires have caused mass hysteria around the world on several occasions.  The first recorded vampire activity was in what is now modern day Croatia.
1672.[79] Local reports cited the local vampire Giure Grando of the village Khring near Tinjan as the cause of panic among the villagers.[80] A former peasant, Guire died in 1656; however, local villagers claimed he returned from the dead and began drinking blood from the people and sexually harassing his widow.

Vampire then...
See even back then vampires were sexual creatures.  The mythology on this goes back even farther to ancient Greece and even Aztec mythology which also suggests a sexual facet to their vampire legend.
Aztec mythology described tales of the Cihuateteo, skeletal-faced spirits of those who died in childbirth who stole children and entered into sexual liaisons with the living, driving them mad
 So the idea that vampires would make for great romance subject matter has been well documented for centuries.  Still, why does the idea of the undead, drinking blood or turning into a vampire create such a sense of eroticism in  the audience?  Simple, immortality and ever-lasting love.  Most romance novels give the impression of the lonely vampire who is forced to live for millennia alone, as a truly sad and tragic fate.  But wait!  Along comes that one woman who will sustain him and keep him and save him from his lonely existence.  We all want to be that one woman.  I mean don't we marry with the belief that it will be forever, till death do we part?  But what if that love could last many lifetimes?  Although in truth probably not the great fantasy it portrays, but on some level because of our fear of death and the unknown it seems romantic to be able to keep the life we have now.  Psycho-analyst Ernest Jones in 1931 said this about the vampire mystique:
"vampires are symbolic of several unconscious drives and defence mechanisms. Emotions such as love, guilt, and hate fuel the idea of the return of the dead to the grave. Desiring a reunion with loved ones, mourners may project the idea that the recently dead must in return yearn the same. From this arises the belief that folkloric vampires and revenants visit relatives, particularly their spouses, first."
"People identify with immortal vampires because, by so doing, they overcome, or at least temporarily escape from, their fear of dying."
Finally Jones notes that when more normal aspects of sexuality are repressed, regressed forms may be expressed, in particular sadism; he felt that oral sadism is integral in vampiric behaviour.
Vampire now...
So are we repressed?  The explosion of the supernatural romance genre not to mention the report from NBC news citing the rise of erotica and romance since the introduction of the e-reader, seems to suggest that even in this day of equal rights and supposed sexual liberty, women are not feeling as un-repressed as we maintain.  The idea that a book like 50 Shades Of Grey can spark such controversy because of the BDSM nature of the story, seems to suggest some repression.  Believe me, some of the stuff in 50 Shades is tame compared to what is out there.  For example; Taking Instruction by Cheyenne McCray makes 50 Shades look like your boring Harlequinn romance.  It's not as well written I will admit but if we're just going by the sex and taboo BDSM topic alone it's definitely more descriptive.

Vampires also fulfill that need to look at our more dark desires of immortality and ever-lasting love.  And I personally think there's no greater erogenous zone than a neck, so I guess I'm a little biased in the vampire direction.  But on the grand scheme of things, although werewolves have some catching up to do in the romance department, they also make for very sexy, drool worthy heroes.  It's not necessary to say you prefer wolves to vampires, honestly you can like them both!  Both provide the reader with the opportunity to relish two very primal urges.  One allows them to get lost in the idea of a strong alpha male claiming them as their own and the other offers the get out of death free card along with some pretty core tingling necking.  Take a page from Trueblood's Sookie Stackhouse, vampires at night weres during the day. She's had them all and doesn't appear to be choosing sides.  I think that's how I'm going to enjoy my supernatural genre.  Now when zombies start to become erotic, romantic heroes, I may have to rethink my opinion on why we like those supernatural men. From one addict to another...happy reading!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Wall action - The Height of a romance novel

So if the average man is between 5'7 and 5'10 it only stands to reason that the men in romance novels are NOT in this average.  I mean really, who wants to read about an average size guy with average size attributes?  We get that everyday.  So what I've learned is that the average height of a romance hero is between 6' and 6'8 (this was how tall Acheron was in the Dark Hunter series and the tallest of the men of any series I've read).

Naturally, the height is also indicative of the size of other more impressive male areas.  Again who wants to read about average.  But really even if they're over 6 feet does it really come up to their belly buttons (even soft)?  In Magic Mike it was assumed that Big Dick Richie's could but he did use the aid of certain enhancing equipment.  In the books there's no enhancing equipment there's just all natural well endowment.  Naturally of course the women are intimidated by all that height and length and width.  The length and width thing I get, who wouldn't be intimidated by a penis that is basically half as long as a woman's torso?  But why be intimidated by height, I am sooo not!  There is something so sexy and exciting about having a man tower over you, who could protect you from whatever may threaten you.  Not to mention that in addition to being extremely tall and well endowed they're totally ripped.  No surprise there either.  This facilitates one of my favorite romance novel love making positions - held up against a wall/being carried/standing up.  The men in these books need to be extraordinarily tall so that any woman (be they short or tall) will be able to fantasize about a towering male who takes her in an uncontrolled passionate embrace and slams her up against the wall holding here there while his other talents go to work, also the women are never quite as intimidated from that point on.  Here are some excerpts from some of my favorite scenes:

"Pulling her further into his arms, he pushed her back against the shower wall and plunged inside her in one swift motion" - The Lottery  by Alexandra O'Hurley
"Oh, fuck the paperwork," he growls.  He lunges at me, pushing me against the wall of the elevator.  Before I know it, he's got both of my hands in one of his in a viselike grip above my head, and he's pinning me to the wall using his hips." 50 Shades of Grey by E.L.James
"There was only the briefest of pauses...and then John started pumping again - 
No, He was carrying her to the bed in the darkened room, the motion of his striding thighs pushing him inside of her and pulling him free and pushing him back" - Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
"Abruptly, he pictured her naked and up against the wall, her legs spread, her hair unbraided, her hands cupping her breasts.  Like a good boy, he was on his knees..." - Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward

These are just a few.  Many of the my favorite scenes revolve around this type of claiming.  There's something so raw and commanding about having a guy be able to not only lift you and take you but sustain it throughout.  I used to be a much bigger girl than I am now and I think this got me excited because I really wanted someone to be able to sweep me up like that.  But it really is much easier for a tall man to do this I would think what balance and all (but I could be wrong... maybe it's just something I fantasize about).  Climbing a guy as tall as you is sort of like climbing a bush instead of a tall tree, the tree is much more exciting, and I do like heights!
Alexander Skarsgard

Joe Manganiello
So lest you think there aren't any men out there that can "measure up" here is a list of some hot "real" men who meet the criteria of a romance hero (at least in height... I haven't had the pleasure of researching the other attributes in person so I can only speculate).
Francois Arnaud
Channing Tatum
  • Joe Manganiello - 6'5
  • Channing Tatum - 6'1
  • Alexander Skarsgard - 6'4
  • Christopher Meloni - 6'0
  • Chris Hemsworth - 6'3 (could be Rhage)
  • Jason Momoa - 6'4 (definitely Wrath)
  • Taylor Kitsch - 6'0
  • Matthew McConaughey - 6'0
  • Francois Arnaud - 6'2
  • Wentworth Miller (who should really play Zsadist) - 6'1
  • Hugh Jackman - 6'2
  • Nathan Fillion - 6'1
  • Zak Bagans - 6'1
  • Gerard Butler - 6'2
  • Jensen Ackles - 6'1
  • Henry Cavill - 6'1
Several of them have been on my list of five but mostly they're just a sample of the hot "real" men that meet romance novel criteria for that "up against the wall" excitement.  Although I don't always imagine actors in the roles of my favorite men, rarely do they actually look like what I picture. Perhaps some of you might like a little inspiration when you're in the throws of some great "wall" action. From one addict to another... Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Brothers - Rhage

 Lover Eternal is the second book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  Although it can be read separate from the other books it's still best if read in order.  So we've learned all about the vampire culture and species.  We've met the king and ultimate queen of the race.  We have also met the other brothers as well as the enemies they face.  As stated before J.R. Ward does an amazing job of getting you interested in the other characters while she's writing the main love story.

In book two we get to know Rhage and Mary.  Rhage is the playboy of the group (not that the other guys are slouchers in bedding the opposite sex).  He's affectionately nicknamed Hollywood by the brothers because of his movie star good looks and smooth moves with the ladies (both human and vampire) and due to some nasty curse by the Scribe Virgin he has to release excess energy through sex of fighting (Butch a human who has been allowed into the group quips when he witnesses the curse first had that he needs to remember never to get between Rhage and a woman again).  Needless to say he goes through women like a black dagger goes through a lesser.  What you learn is that although it seems that Rhage has it made in the sex department, he's lonely and actually jealous of the other brothers who have shellans (that being Tohrment and Wrath at this point).  Naturally his curse doesn't allow him to get to close to someone because he's always afraid he'll inadvertently turn into a dragon and eat the woman (and not in a good way).

As with all of the boys he's HOT!  Well built with blond hair and blue eyes, they describe him as more handsome than Brad Pitt (which isn't that hard to do lately... Brad is not aging that well).  I have to tell you that after seeing Thor, Chris Hemsworth is the spitting image of Rhage!  And he's got the attitude to play him.  So picture that scene in Thor when Chris comes out in just a pair of tight jeans and no shirt and that's pretty much how you can picture Rhage.  But I digress... Rhage is a great asset to the Brotherhood, his ability to wipe out a major group of lessers is often extremely helpful.  So how do we help him through his loneliness and yearning for a shellan?  Simple we bring in the human!

Mary is human.  No vampire DNA anywhere.  She's also dying of cancer.  But her caring heart and extremely insane calmness at being informed not only do vampires and undead human enemies exist, but one of these vampires has decided that he wants her (scars and unimpressive looks and all).  Lucky girl!  She meets Rhage after she befriends a pre-trans vampires (unknown to her and the pre-trans at the time) and thinks she's taking him to meet some martial arts experts.  This is the introduction of John Matthew.  He will get much more involved as the series goes on along with the introduction of his best friends Qhuinn and Blaylock (boy are they a post for another time!)

Of course the romance between Rhage and Mary is fraught with peril and the ever present threat of her dying of the leukemia.  The best thing about this book is it's the funniest of all the books.  Rhage had a great sense of humor and Mary is sarcastic and quick witted.  The inner dialogue is about as quippy as the the banter between Rhage and the other brothers as well as his sexy bedroom talk with Mary.  For a change it's actually Rhage who gets chained up (so for those of you who like be a little more Christian Grey than Ana Steele this should appeal to you), but of course it's for Mary's own safety.  Yeeeeaaaaahhhhh right!  This book also sets up the next book in that it introduces the heroine of that book in the character of Bella.  The way the book ends just pushes you into reading the third book.  The third book is the most intense as far as emotion and back story of the vampire Zsadist.  If you've picked up the series with Wrath and Beth, then keep reading because there are more characters introduced in the next few books as well as development of story lines for future books.  Lover Eternal is a great read by itself but really continues the saga of this group of brothers who are trying to save their race and themselves in the process.
Book Two of Black Dagger Brotherhood Series

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Why romance/erotica novels?

Be more controversial.  That's what my husband suggested to me when coming up with blog posts.  I thought, I don't want to offend anyone!  But really if it's my opinion and I'm not forcing you to agree or disagree I can't really offend you.  He suggested I read other blogs and respond to them (whether I agree or disagree) so I've read a few but what I feel like responding to is not just people's impressions of romance/erotica novels but my own friends and family who are truly baffled by my insane enjoyment of them.

First a few impressions:
1. Romance novels give an unrealistic expectation of relationships.
This is true, but really isn't that the point!?  And isn't saying romance novels gives women unrealistic expectations of relationships the same as saying those violent video games make kids violent (and we all know the debate on that one)?

Recently I read a blog that indicated that woman are demanding that their boyfriends/husbands be and act more like Christian Grey and then are disappointed when they don't give them everything they want and spankings are not as tingly as they had imagined.  Really?  This is really what women are thinking when they read this book?  I for one feel that I am intelligent enough to know the difference between real life and fiction.  I may not show it when I go rushing off into the woods looking for Alcide while I'm on vacation but eventually I come back to reality.  Honestly!  I am fully aware that Christian and Ana are fictional characters.  I do not expect my husband (who is not a 28 year old CEO with a great body) to cater to my every whim every time I cry (although I can't say I haven't tried, but I did that BEFORE 50 Shades, what woman hasn't used tears every now and then).  My relationship with him is WORK!  Yes there is love and fun but mostly it's hard work and who wants to read about that?  And what is wrong with trying to recreate some of the more erotic scenes from the book or any of the books I've read?  I am ALL for that!  If it's not your cup of tea then you move on to something else.  But every relationship needs some spice and newness too it.  I really would like to try the two sets of handcuffs (one to each wrist and ankle) but it doesn't have to be on a boat in Monte Carlo.  Will I like it?  Who knows?  But at least I've tried and had fun doing it.

Isn't it the newness of a relationship and attraction that makes your stomach flutter and your -insert every creative word for vagina here- start to tingle? Of course these relationships are unrealistic but you could say that about every love song ever written, every popular country song that has ever been sung, and every Disney movie ever made creates an unrealistic view of relationships.  I don't see these industries suffering for creating this illusion so someone somewhere must enjoy them. 

2. Romance novels are all the same.
Aren't all fiction books the SAME?  Give me one fiction book written in the last twenty years that has a truly original plot.  Every genre has their own formula and most authors stick with those formulas.  Really if you're a big mystery fan haven't you figured out the way plots work in every mystery novel?  Same is true of action suspense, horror, fantasy, sci-fi.

Typically boy meets girl, girls thinks boy is HOT, boy thinks girls is sexy as hell.  Then there's major misunderstandings, boy loses girl and must win girl back.  Ultimately there is an HEA (Happily Ever After) and in the middle if you're lucky some great steamy sex!

All the men are tall, well built and very well endowed and even if they're virgins they know exactly how to get a woman where they need to be.  All of the women are fairly non-descript I believe, so that women reading the books can picture themselves in the book.

So, true, there are no big surprises and you know they'll end up together in the end but it's in between that's exciting just like any other fiction book.

3. It's porn for women
I'll concede this impression but it's the kind of porn women would want to watch.  The blog I indicated above claimed that 50 Shades degraded women more than any guy porn movie.  But let's exam why this is not necessarily true.

First there's a plot in romance books.  I know, I know guys don't want a plot.  I get that but if you're going to say you're not objectifying women why don't the women have more depth then how deep their throats are?  Ana maybe ditzy and clumsy but at least you know who she is and not just how many times she can be pounded in a five minute clip. I know I'm not alone in saying that women are more cerebral in their sexual arousal and need cognitive and verbal stimulation in addition to visual and physical stimulation.

Second there is just as much focus on the man as there is on the woman in a romance/erotica novel.  The one thing I can't stand about watching porn is that rarely is the guy featured (and when he is it's not always pretty).  I get that too.  Porn's major audience is men and men don't (always) like to watch other men.  Well guess what boys... WE DO! And we don't want to have to go the gay porn route.  A romance/erotic novel gives us that focus on the man as well.  We don't really care if a man wouldn't actually be thinking the things they think or say in the books or that they really would not be able to formulate anything more coherent than a grunt let alone sexy banter as they climax.  If men only need to see the actually in and out women need to  hear the sexy words along with the in and out (something you'll never find in a real porn film... believe me I've looked).

My enjoyment of this genre is for pure entertainment value.  I don't want to have to process really deep material when I'm relaxing by the pool.  I like being transported to these worlds for the brief time it takes to read them.  Does it create unrealistic expectations? Maybe, but no more than romantic comedies, love songs and Disney movies.  Are they all the same? Yes, but again no more than any other genre.  It is porn for women? Yes, but I don't think they demean women any more than porn movies do.  I know it's fiction and don't expect my husband to be more like the characters in the books (some would impossible what with many of them being wolves and vampires) but I will confess that sex has been must more exciting and creative since I began reading so voraciously over the last two years.  I'm more uninhibited and my husband will tell you that he "read a study that said men who's wives read romance novels get twice as much sex as those whose wives don't... and that is why I bought her a Nook and can definitely say the study is true".  So say what you want in regards to the ridiculousness of romance novels, I will continue to enjoy them and my man will reap the benefits. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Free books can be awesome

Being broke most of the time but still needing to feed my nook addiction I often put in the search for "free romance" and have found MANY free books that I would never have found in a store!  Some times you get what you pay for but other times you find some really great gems.  Many times the free books are short and full of typos but hey they're free so you just delete those and move on to others.  I was really lucky with my first free books.  Here's a run down of the Werewolf Series by Nicky Charles.

I found Nicky Charles when looking for free nook books.  The first book in the series I found was The Mating.  Naturally it sounded rather erotic so I thought let's give it a try.  You know it's gonna be a hot and steamy book when there is hot and steamy werewolf sex within the first chapter!  The premise is that two packs make an alliance and the daughter of one pack leader is betrothed to the alpha of another pack.  Naturally the daughter doesn't want this responsibility and is afraid of what this alpha will be like.  That is of course until she meets him.  Yep, you guessed it he's tall, hot, ripped and knows how to use his animal instincts in some very creative ways.  Although at first glance you think "oh my God this is nothing but sex"  (which I wasn't complaining about) but if you keep reading you get a much  more in depth story that is full of pack threats, politics and great shifting action.

You also meet the other members of the pack and like I've said before I love this in a series.  It's what makes you want to continue on with the other books.  Getting caught up in the stories of the other characters is really what drives a series.  I like the 50 Shades Series and I absolutely loved most of the Outlander Series but these all focused on two main characters and after awhile I kinda get bored and need some fresh meat to sink my teeth into.  Anyway, the other wolves in the pack are also gorgeous (have yet to actually ever meet a werewolf that isn't, but maybe I'm just blinded by Trueblood's Alcide and Twilight's Sam and Jacob).

The cool think about Nicky Charles is that all she asks for in return for downloading her books is that you make a donation to your local Humane Society.  She wants to keep her books free.  Unlike some other writers who get you hooked on a series with the first book free and then charge for the others, she likes that her books are free and plans to keep them this way.  It also helps that she's an excellent writer.  I highly recommend downloading her books.  If you like a good steamy werewolf story (and Trueblood is on hiatus) this is definitely the way to go if you're budgetly impaired.

But don't stop there.  There are a lot of other books that I have found that are good for a quickie (pun intended) or for a full blown romance.  Most recently I've read a really hot and sexy book about a firefighter (In Too Deep by Kathryn Shay).    

I will warn you that there have been many duds that I've found as well but they are worth the gems that I have read.  So the next time you're looking for some cheap and great reads check out the ones mentioned in in this blog.  If you have some suggestions of good free reads feel free to leave them in the comments section.  From one addict to another... happy reading.