Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review: Secret Santa – Deanna Wadsworth

Secret Santa
By Deanna Wadsworth
Published by Decadent Publishing, LLC
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price - 1.99
Score – F

Two bought – one read – one did not finish (pretty sad for a super-short)

Blurb:It's Christmas Eve and Adam has a special gift for Paul--himself, wrapped in a big red bow.

Blindfolded and ready for a magical holiday, Adam anxiously waits for his boyfriend to come and unwrap him. Just when he thinks their date has been forgotten, the door bursts open and his lover arrives. They have the best sex of Adam's life, but afterward Paul disappears before Adam can catch his breath or remove the blindfold.

Left with only the memory of a tender kiss, a mysterious Santa hat, and a tray of half-eaten cookies, Adam soon discovers his lover was not who he thought it was...

Comment Card Read:

Ender Essie: I bought this story thinking it was for a good cause. The author seems to be doing – you buy and I get your readership. For The American Cancer Association, I'll spend a 1.99. Still, the fact this story was trash heap worthy – not so much. Next time, I'll send a check directly to the charity.

I can understand putting out a cliché story just cause...but can you give me a break. Not only was the story poorly conceived, but there was nothing new. The plot was about as old as Santa's sleigh. I won't go into the plot hole, but it was a gaping mess – editor should have caught this. Then, the author added in what I guess she thought would make it sellable—the Santa baby singing in the background sort of feel. Truthfully, it's the same old male/male with the ooh, baby – screw me good. My *woohoo* needs some attention, so, come on. My *wee-wee* is weeping for you and only you (sex scene wasn't as hot as the blurb says). I'm blindfolded and shaking my a$$ in the air. Even the twist was a let down. Poorly conceived and poorly edited (that was the bigger let-down).

Will never buy again from this author and am not sure if I'd buy from this publisher. Hey, what's with the funky formatting on your PDF? It's pretty ridiculous that you can't justify your lines. This makes the font hard to read and the story a headache to follow. What's with the cover-art too? Sick and pathetic.

Personally, I felt this story, with its heart-string tugging lure, came across as a marketing ploy to get readers
to go to this author and this publisher. If you are going to do something like this for charity, why don't you try putting out a really good story?

A flat F. Nothing new and not well edited.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Infamous ‘Did Not Finish’ List for November 2010

Happy Saturday all,

It's that time of the month. When we dish on the stories we didn't finish. This month was a little light because of the holiday, but we can honestly say, most of these stories were so bad, we wished we'd never heard of them.

**Flaws and All by Mahalia Levey. Available from Beautiful Trouble Publishing.

Comment cards read:

Poorly written. Dumb premise.

Cliche. Poorly edited. Will never buy this author again.

**Screwing the Superhero (began conversation on this story the end of September) and Banging the Superhero by Rebecca Royce. Available from Noble Romance.

Comment cards read:

Couldn't get past the first ten pages of Screwing the Superhero. Poorly conceived.

The characters don't make sense.

Gave up in the last third of Banging a Superhero—the story was senseless. I couldn't figure out what the author was talking about.

**Ace of Spades by J. Hali Steele. Available from Ellora's Cave.

Comment cards read:

Dumb and dumber meets gratuitous sex in a story without a plot and without anything other than spread your legs. Will never buy this author again.

The 'F-fest' made no sense. Oh, here we are – let's screw. I don't ever expect much from Ellora's Cave, but this story was a whole new level of disappointment.

I can't describe the depths of poor writing in this story. Was it even edited? I don't think so.


There they are. The four books we couldn't finish.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review: Blink by Sandra Sookoo




Sandra Sookoo
Published by: Eirelander Publishing
Suggested Retail Price: 4.99
The End is not the Final Word Grade – Solid A


We received one give-away copy. Two bought. All finished.


Which man is her destiny? Charlotte Jackson knows everything about her small portion of the galaxy but nothing about the secrets of her heart.

Her life is as unstable as a supernova when her ship—the Copernicus—is visited by a blue-haired alien who calls himself Garreth. He tells her he'd like to build an alliance with Earth to improve the dire problems of both their planets. As if intergalactic space negotiations weren't complicated enough, Charlotte finds herself more than a little attracted to the man who she should be thinking about in only the most professional terms. This does nothing to make her second-in-command—and would-be lover Jax—any more relaxed about the whole cooperation.

When her ship is attacked by the very beings Garreth wants to save them from, Charlotte and Jax will have to put their feelings for the blue-haired alien aside and focus on saving not only themselves but the entire galaxy. What the three find at the end could be the most valuable commodity of all.

Consensus: This is not your Daddy's sci-fi. A real joy to read. This isn't a romance but has enough of the elements of a romance to make the plot really work.
Ender Elle – I loved this story. It's not too short, not too long and has all those great things I've come to expect from this author. Kudos and keep up the good work.
Ender Joan – Missed the humor Ms. Sookoo normally puts into her work, but with characters like these the story just flowed. A real gem. Ms. Sookoo is on my automatic buy list.
Ender Missy – A little problem when I first started it, I expected a hum-drum space opera. What a pleasant surprise. Author hits this one out of the park.

There you go. Three readers. Three takes. A solid A.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Review: American Freak Show by Willie Geist

American Freak Show: The Completely Fabricated Stories of Our New National Treasures
Willie Geist
Published by: Hyperion
Suggested Retail Price: 23.99
The End is Not the Final Word Grade: A-

5 Enders bought. 8 Enders Read. None did not finish.

Concensus: TV host on two MSNBC shows plus the blogcast of his own, Willie Geist puts a real spin on some of our favorite celebs, political or otherwise, that we love to love and love to hate. His keen sense of extrapolating what might happen in the future is too funny for words but eerily almost believable. The take on some celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan and Tiger Woods make you cringe while you chuckle. A few made-up and totally hillarious historical tales will leave you in stitches.

Only problem we found was there were a few points where Mr. Geist went just a tad over the line where humor turns sour. Still, we highly recommend this story for anybody who is a political wonk, history fan or just needs a few chuckles in their life. It's completely fake but oh, so much fun.

Thanks to you Mr. Geist.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Review: Light My World by Aasiyah Qamar

Light My World
Multicultural Romance
Aasiyah Qamar
Eirelander Publishing
The Enders rating - D+

Life's good until it throws you the one curve you never wanted or expected.

At twenty-four, Diya Hemant faces the prospect dreaded by every modern Indo-Mauritian girl an arranged marriage to not end up an old maid. But for vivacious and live-life-in-the-fast-track Diya, giving in to her mother's antiquated morals was never an option. Hearth, home and children weren't part of her plan for the short-term, even if she'd love to find her Mr. Right.

Widower Trent Garrison has already been there and done that, and has no plan to go down that road again. He has to ride the straight and steady for the sake of his sons, and nothing will divert him. Marriage, attachment, and love are not in the cards for him, not ever.

Neither can afford a U-turn. But they can't dodge it either.


Four of us picked up this book. One did not finish the story.

The consensus on Light My World by Aasiyah Qamar came down to a real discussion about what bothered us the most. Was it the five-year-old who talks baby-talk until we wanted to pull out our hair, or the totally unrealistic sex scene after nearly being raped, or was it the lack of multicultural aspects? 

We finally agreed that much of what was wrong with this story was a lack of someone saying "what are you thinking?". The biggest issue really was the lack of detail on the multicultural slant. We were all perplexed when it came down to this one significant aspect of the story; what was multicultural about the story? The litmus test for multicultural stories The Enders review is simple-- did we learn anything about the cultures that are coming together. In this case the answer was "no".

Ender Jennifer nearly gave up on this story but managed to muscle through. Her comment card read-- if I wanted to read a watered-down Harlequin Romance, I would have bought one from the bargain book store. Disappointing.

Ender Anne Marie commented-- The five-year-old's baby talk got to a point I couldn't read the story for more than a few minutes at a time. In all these words, you'd think the author would have gotten past 'cliche' scenes and moved to something interesting. In total, the story lacked umph, vim and vigor.

Ender Joan commented-- I didn't think this story could make me really mad and then it did in spades. A sex scene in an attic after the heroine is nearly raped. Really? Is this realistic? Then the author just couldn't stop the insanity. She adds in an overbearing sister who is like super-mom, a totally unrealistic break-up and the stupidest HEA I've ever read.

They did agree that the author has a pleasant writing voice, but the problems were too great to really make the middle line.  

So, there you have it. Three readers. Three opinions. A score of D+.

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We are the Enders. A reading group who comes together twice a month to discuss the highs and lows of the  books we are reading.

Please note: We buy the books we review. We don't take freebies for the simple reason that we want to be able to say - it's our bucks so we're going to say what we want to. There are at times very heated debates amongst us, but we give our followers an unbiased opinion of the stories we read.

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