For What It's Worth

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mini Reviews: Stepping outside my reader comfort zone…

I have my preferred "safe"/ "go to" genres that I feel comfortable with. Every once in a while I'll read a review for a book that I wouldn't typically read that peaks my curiosity.

The following books are way outside my comfort zone but I enjoyed them all.

Sheltered by Charlotte Stein
Evie has lived her entire life under her abusive father’s thumb. He controls everything. Where she goes to college, who she sees, what she does. But when she meets Van—a punk who shows her how different life could be—she realizes how much she’s been missing.

Van offers her excitement, protection, love…and most of all, sex—even if he’s at first reluctant to give her all the things she’s been craving. She wants to explore this new world of arousal and desire, but Van is only too aware of how fragile she is, how innocent...

And how much is at stake, when their love is forbidden. ~  Goodreads

My thoughts: This has to be one of worst covers I've seen in a long time. Even the summary didn't really appeal to me. I would have NEVER read this book if it wasn't for Mandi’s (Smexy Books) review over on Fiction Vixen Book Reviews.

I'm not a fan of erotica or graphic language during sex. It totally turns me off and there's a lot of it in this book but I loved Van and Evie's relationship. I loved  how they really clung to each other for support and made each other better, stronger people.

Van is a bad boy. Evie is a virginal innocent, controlled by her abusive father yet yearning for love and affection. This set up never works for me but somehow it did here. If you start picking it apart too much there are holes but these two have some major chemistry. Physically but more important emotionally. Amazon

CARINA_0312_9781426893438_REV.inddMoving in Rhythm by Dev Bentham
Mark Apolostolos should be able to have any man he wants. Handsome and smart, he's also cripplingly shy, especially around attractive men. Tired of waking up alone, he's desperate to conquer his insecurities and have a real, meaningful relationship.

He gets his first opportunity when he tags along to his sister-in-law's dance class and lays eyes on the sexy instructor. Seth Miller has a way of moving that takes his breath away. It isn't long before sparks fly and they share a steamy kiss, but Seth wants much more than just a casual encounter.

If Mark wants a real relationship with Seth he'll have to come to terms with his sexuality—but will it be enough to break through the walls he's built up around his heart? ~ Goodreads

My thoughts: Moving in Rhythm was my first m/m book. This was another Smexy Books recommendation (her review)  It's short - 173 pages but filled with love and emotion. Mark is a closeted gay man with the added complication of being so shy that he has panic attacks.

He meets Seth - a dance instructor with his own emotional scars and the two try to make their way as a couple. This is one of the sweetest books I've ever read. Both Mark and Seth have a lot of issues to overcome but their maturity and Seth's patience is a beautiful thing to read. They are sexy, sexy, sexy but without being raunchy.

The book does come up short with the end. Don't get me wrong - it was perfect for them but I would have liked a little more to see how things progressed. The story showed a very realistic struggle for the pair so the quick, neat little package ending seemed a tad off. Amazon

Backstage Pass (Sinners on Tour #1) by Olivia Cunning
Five stunning guys, one hot woman, and a feverish romance...

For him, life is all music and no play...

When Brian Sinclair, lead songwriter and guitarist of the hottest metal band on the scene, loses his creative spark, it will take nights of downright sinful passion to release his pent-up genius...

She's the one to call the tune...
When sexy psychologist Myrna Evans goes on tour with the Sinners, every boy in the band tries to seduce her. But Brian is the only one she wants to get her hands on...

Then the two lovers' wildly shocking behavior sparks the whole band to new heights of glory...and sin... ~ Goodreads

My thoughts: HOT. Hotter than hot. This book is pure sex……almost non stop - every kind - every other page. Again, not my thing. Especially when it involves threesomes, voyeurism, light bondage. Yeah…. totally not my cup o' tea. But for whatever reason this one worked. The writing is excellent. The characters are well developed.

Backstage Pass is a super smutty, super sexy full on erotica read with a really good, complex story which kind of took me by surprise. Bryan & Myrna were having sex in every which way every two pages but somehow the author managed to make the main characters both relatable and likable. I was rooting for them.

Think J.R. Ward BDB set in the world of rock and roll. Amazon

Do you have any genres that you generally stay away from? Have you ever read a book that's outside your comfort zone and enjoyed it?


  1. You read Backstage pass...I loved that one :) I do try to read out of my comfort zone sometimes. Good reviews

    1. You read Backstage Pass?? O_O You surprise me Julie lol

  2. I loved Backstage Pass. Bryan and Myrna are such a great couple. I'm reading Rock Hard now and actually enjoying it way more than I thought I would.
    Nice reviews. Change is fun!

    1. I didn't enjoy Rock Hard as much but I'll still continue with the series to what happens with the other boys.

  3. I try to read books out of my comfort zone every once in a while. I want to see what else is out there that I might be missing out on.

    1. Honestly, it rarely world for me to step outside. I guess I like what I like lol But every once in a while I discover something that makes it worth it.

  4. I am picky with erotica because I want it sexy AND smart, I feel insulted when the writer thinks good sex is equivalent to a great story. I'd rather watch porn if that's the case. So I think I'll be passing up on that Backstage Pass

    Talk Supe

    1. That's what I liked about Backstage Pass. There was a good story. I have a hard time reading erotica at all. But for this particular story and set of characters it all made sense to me.
      That's hard to find. I agree - hot sex scenes doesn't equal an interesting book.

  5. What the o_O That first guy, his hair..bad

    1. That cover is horrible. I would have never read that book in a million years if that review didn't implore me to ignore the cover and take a chance.

  6. Good for you reading outside your comfort zone. I agree with the above comment....I think erotica would work (for me) if it was sexy and smart. I read a very steamy vampire one once but I can't remember the title. It had an excellent plot. Ah well. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. I like some steamy but if there isn't a good story or characters to care about past when their next sexual encounter is I can't be bothered.