Book Review: Credence – Penelope Douglas


From New York Times bestselling author Penelope Douglas comes a new standalone…

Tiernan de Haas doesn’t care about anything anymore. The only child of a film producer and his starlet wife, she’s grown up with wealth and privilege but not love or guidance. Shipped off to boarding schools from an early age, it was still impossible to escape the loneliness and carve out a life of her own. The shadow of her parents’ fame followed her everywhere.

And when they suddenly pass away, she knows she should be devastated. But has anything really changed? She’s always been alone, hasn’t she?

Jake Van der Berg, her father’s stepbrother and her only living relative, assumes guardianship of Tiernan who is still two months shy of eighteen. Sent to live with him and his two sons, Noah and Kaleb, in the mountains of Colorado, Tiernan soon learns that these men now have a say in what she chooses to care and not care about anymore. As the three of them take her under their wing, teach her to work and survive in the remote woods far away from the rest of the world, she slowly finds her place among them.

And as a part of them.

She also realizes that lines blur and rules become easy to break when no one else is watching.

One of them has her.

The other one wants her.

But he…

He’s going to keep her.
*Credence is a new adult standalone novel suitable for readers 18+.

If Credence, by author Penelope Douglas, was a movie then it would most definitely be a porn. Since Credence is a book ( not a movie ) I´m going to flat out say that this is an adventurous rated – R, polyamorous romance that touches many delicate bases ( what a way to describe a story ).

Credence is fun. It´s exciting. It´s unpredictable at times. It´s one of those romances that´ll get you all hot and ready!


What I absolutely loved about this book…

  • The beginning. Let´s face it- There are books that have a shitty start. This book belongs to one of the few that begin interesting. A 17 year old who had been neglected for most of her life becomes an orphan. Tiernan ( Heroine ) ends up leaving home ( and fame ) to live with a step-uncle in the Colorado mountains. Tiernan goes from one extreme environment to the next. I liked this type of start a whole lot because I was able to predict so many outcomes for the story… which none happened.
  • The characters. I loved Tiernan´s character development. There was a lot of strength and growth on her part.
  • The sex. Hands down- I´m a fan of graphic scenes.
  • The age gap. I do love me some good ol´ age disparity.
  • The ending. Although I wasn´t completely knocked out of my socks I still liked the way the story wrapped up.

Sounds great, right? If only there weren´t those pesky little things that I didn´t appreciate so much…

  • As much as I adored the graphic scenes I wasn´t able to warm up to the foursome thing. I´m not against polyamorous relationships but the idea of having such relations with “family” members was not easy to digest. Step-uncle and step-cousins? I´m aware that there wasn´t a blood relation involved but it still screwed with my mind a little ( possibly because I have quite a few step-family members myself and refuse to see them as anything but family )
  • Kaleb. One of the “cousins”. I felt his character didn´t receive as much spotlight. I would´ve loved more scenes with him just to be able to connect a little more.

But this is just me being picky. In the end, the only thing that matters is that I really enjoyed this book. I mean- What´s not to enjoy? Three possessive mountain men ready to give a neglected girl some attention.


Would I recommend this book? I sure would. Readers who love raunchy romances are in for a real treat with this one.
Would I reread this book? Probably.


The Cover: 5 Stars – It´s really pretty. Love the color theme.
The Story: 4 Stars – Everything was spot on except for that little bit I mentioned above.
The Characters: 5 Stars – I have no complaints what-so-ever.

Be sure to grab yourself a copy of Credence by Penelope Douglas!

Book Cover Trends: Floral Designs

Floral prints on book covers are nothing new or special. They´ve been around for quite some time now but it seems like the book marketing department has set a new trend for book cover art.

Florals. And the floral trend is growing like wildflowers.

From pastel to bold, simple or chaotic… Flowerets are slowly dominating book covers. Gone are the tough cookie Heroines standing on a cliff from our beloved YA fantasy novels. Long forgotten are the days of having to see a cover image of cute couples cuddling against a fence. It´s all about the secret language of flowers nowadays.

But why use floral designs for book covers? Why use a lilac, a rose, or a baroque bouquet image? Well, as you may already know, flowers symbolize different things such as happiness, wealth, beauty, positivity and even death. In literature, though, flowers are often associated with love and passion… Basically what you´d most likely find in romances. It´s 2019 and we´re seeing floral images not only on romances but on nearly all kinds of fiction ( and even non-fiction) books. These days designers are using florals for a few reasons:

  • They´re story bound
  • They symbolize a theme ( depending on the flower type )
  • Marketing wants to keep it neutral and exciting
  • They´re trendy

 

For me, floral designs on book covers tell me I´m about to get my hands on something romantic.  It feels like a dead giveaway. I mean- For a non-flower expert like myself, a flower/flowers symbolizes love. And depending on the color theme and flower type on a book cover you can sort of tell in which direction the story will go. Unless I´m standing in a different genre section I´ll associate floral designs with romance.

Personally, I´m not a huge fan of floral book cover art but I´m also not against seeing colorful flowers on a book cover, either. It truly depends on the cover art and color theme for me. I have my favorites. I´ve also seen some hideous designs. Remember- A book cover should always look inviting.

The only thing I fully appreciate about floral cover designs is the fact that they´re semi-neutral. Not as in genre neutral. When I say neutral I mean that I´m not having a character image shoved in my face nor can I predict the story ( including its ending ). You know you´re getting something but you can´t read anything more into the cover.

Since this trend is spreading like weed wildflowers I decided to share some floral art from a few genres. Are you ready?


 

#1  Flowers For Fantasy

 

floral Covers Fantasy

 

Would I have thought these were fantasy novels based on the cover art alone?

Not really. If it weren´t for the book titles I would definitely think all six were romances. Okay, the crown on the fourth cover does indicate that it´s a fantasy novel but the rest? Nope. Not without the help of the titles.

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore? It´s hard to say. Although they´re all cool and beautiful to look at… The images are also very busy. Maybe if one of these were between simple colored covers.

 


 

#2  Flowerful Historicals

 

Floral Covers Historical

 

Would I have thought these were historical novels based on the cover art alone?

Yes. No. I´m leaning more towards possibly. Again, some of the images are modern and pretty neutral so the help of a title is needed in order to pinpoint the genre. And not even that is fully possible with these historicals. The fifth cover image is a dead giveaway without the title but the rest could easily pass for contemporary romances or even thrillers.

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore?

The second and third cover images would. Because of the stronger color contrast. The rest looks beautiful but I don´t think they´re powerful enough to stand out from other covers. Too dark and mundane for me.

 


 


 

#3 The Romance Flowers

 

Floral Covers Romance

 

 

Would I have thought these were romance novels based on the cover art alone?

Yes. This flower arrangement is typical for romance novels. A close up on a single flower with a contrasting background ( #1, #2, #3, #6 ). The floral design on #4 is a wildflower bouquet in the shape of a human heart… Yes, please!

( ignore the fact that `The Stationery Shop` cover doesn´t really belong in this genre as it´s historical, cultural fiction )

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore?

Some would. I have 4 of these beauties already on my bookshelf. #3 is my favorite book & book cover.  If I´m honest- the cover for #6 looks a lot like a book on how to garden ( and I avoid those books with a passion )

 


 

#4  Erotica Florals

 

Floral Covers Erotica BDSM

 

Would I have thought these were erotica novels based on the cover art alone?

Oh, absolutely. These images / the designs represent the erotica genre. I could tell from a mile away that these are erotica novels. These covers are clean and simple in a very feminine way… Nothing like the complicated stories they´re trying to sell.

Many are used to seeing other objects, such as pearls, bedsheets, bedposts, lingerie, silk, lingerie, handcuffs and whips on erotica book covers. Anything that can be associated with relationships or sex. A single flower with a black background will always be apart of the long list of favorite cover images for this genre. Do I think the flowers have anything to do with the story? Or are there any flowers in these erotica novels? To be honest- I have yet to come across an erotica novel that mentions a flower, flower arrangements or even has a bouquet in it. So, I don´t think so.

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore?

Yes, but not in a positive way. While these cover images tick off all the right boxes for me ( color contrast, easy on the eyes, etc ) I do think they´re outdated. There are other sensual color themes that can be used for the genre. I would like to see something less blunt.

 


 

#5  Thriller & Mystery Florals

 

Floral Covers Thrillers and Mystery

 

Would I have thought these were Thriller / Mystery novels based on the cover art alone?

Most of the cover images here are obvious. For me, #1, #4 and #5 scream Thriller or Mystery. Thriller cover art often has a specific filter over the images to make them look more mysterious. So, yes. I would have thought some of these floral images were for thrillers or mystery novels. If you look at title and image then you know what you´re getting ( almost ).

 

Would these covers stop me in a bookstore?

Yes! Even if I´m not much of a thriller reader I can still appreciate beautiful, eye-catchy covers. If it were up to me every romance would have this type of design because I find it appealing. I think I´m going to put cover feature #4 and #5 on my TBR list.

 


 

So you see… Florals are everywhere.

All in all I´m not mad about flowers on book covers. As long as I don´t have reals ones in the house then all´s good.

 


 

What is your opinion on floral book covers? Do you like or dislike them? Do you think they work for all genres? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat with you. ❤

 


 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed.

Many hugs,

 

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Mr. Male Protagonist, Why Do You Growl?

Romance readers will know about this. Erotica fans are familiar with it. Even Young Adult lovers have seen this occasionally in their beloved innocent books.

 

Growling male protagonists

 

A reaction from a male character in fiction novels triggered mostly by jealousy and / or approval.  But why?

Let´s do a quick run down on living beings that growl

 

  • animals

 

That´s it. Growling is a low, guttural vocalization produced by predatory animals as an aggressive warning but can also be found in other contexts such as playful behaviors or mating ( thanks Wiki * wink * )

So, why are we reading about CEOs, lumberjacks, bad boys and the hot quarterbacks in contemp. romance / young adult / erotica novels growling when it´s clearing an animalistic behaviorism?

 

 

(Warning: Interesting short fun fact ahead)

If you hadn´t known already, there are similarities between human body language and animal behavior. It´s actually interesting to know how human body language resembles the non verbal communication of animals. We can be cocky like cats, we signal aggression like dogs by baring our teeth and we gesture like apes. ( end of fun fact )

And this is okay. To describe a man´s movement by comparing him to a panther isn´t a problem. Sounding like a panther is.

Do we growl? Like actually growl? And what has authors thinking growling is an acceptable reaction? And why is it only male characters who growl?

I´m one of those readers who can get completely lost in a book. Once I´m invested then that´s it- I´m all in. I´m also the type that reads and fails to see someone else´s logic no matter how poetic it may be.

 

“He let out a growl…”

 

A line that has come up in almost all of my novels that have territorial Heroes. Aah, that word: Territorial. Another word that´s often associated with male protagonists. They are territorial. Sure. Why the hell not, right? It´s supposedly hot to read about a guy growling his way in to a woman´s knickers.

10 years, people…. I´ve spent 10 years of questioning this in romance novels and have only recently asked myself what I would do if a male would growl near me. Would this even happen in real life?

 

My first thought and facial expression would be, without a doubt, this, should a man ever growl in public:

 

The thought alone of the husbutt growling his approval when seeing me in a dress would definitely earn him this reaction from me:

 

And should he ever growl because he´s jealous then I might have to use physical education:

 

This is not to say that growling should be banned from all modern romance literature. Growling works beautifully for fictional characters in paranormal romances and fantasy novels or (!!!) for contemporary romances that involve male characters who´ve once been feral children that have had been forced by nature to adapt to wildlife and animals- Technically, they´re allowed to growl.

“I heard a low threatening growl from somewhere in the room. It was him.”

 

Me when I read that line in a contemp. romance novel

 

So, my question is:

Mr. Male Protagonist,

Why do you growl? Why not just smile with pride, use a great comeback line,.. or how about moaning? If you´re going to do something during your less animalistic sex then you shouldn´t growl.


QUESTION Of The Day:

Am I alone with my thoughts? Do men these days growl? Have you ever heard of a female character in novels growl? What are your thoughts? Does a growling male protagonist bother you? What do you think about growling in general?

Feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments below. ❤


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Amusing Romance / Erotica Covers & Titles

ATTENTION

What you are about to read contains sexual content, possible explicit language and other adult things. This post may not be suitable for visitors under 18. In short: Go away if you´re under age. 

 

A book is a book, no matter what´s inside or how the package looks like, right?

Said no book loving person EVER.

It´s no secret that romance / erotica books have the worst covers and sometimes even the most absurd titles. The only good part is you don´t have to go on an intensive book hunt when looking for a romantic or even an erotica novel. Because one can spot them from a mile away.

Covers for some romances and many erotica books have the unbelievable power to scream

 

“HERE! OVER HERE! WE OFFER SEX AND LOTS OF IT”

 

Is that a bad thing? It depends on the reader and what they´re looking for. But there are, without a doubt, horribly amusing book titles for the genre. Covers are one thing, titles another. Combine the two any you can have something explosive.

Would you like to know what I want? A romance novel that doesn´t have a cover image and title that states the obvious. I´d like for once to look at a cover and title without having an inner field trip.  I guess the book Gods think I´m asking for too much.

 

 

I might as well tell you I wouldn´t purchase any of these books based on the title and cover image ( unless they´ve been recommended by my trusted book chics ) Why? Get ready.


 

 

 

#1   `Filling Her Up` & `Knocking Her Up`- Jordan Marie & Jenika Snow

First Reaction:    Howling with laughter

First Thought:    I need a full tank and a baby.

Let´s Talk:   There is a positive side to all this. At least the stud muffins aren´t sporting any outdated tribal tattoos. That´s about all the positive I can come up with.

 

 

 

#2    `Hate Me` – L.P. Lovell

Hate Me

First Reaction:   WTF face

First Thought:    I´ll hate you with pleasure.

Let´s Talk:   Is that a rose in the background? A rose and a cigar smoking snuggle bunny begging to hate him? Is this supposed to change the color of my panties?

 

 

 

#3   `Don´t Look` –  Jessa Kane

 don´t look

First Reaction:    Confused

First Thought:    But how…. Oh nevermind. Just take your panties off. I´ll sniff you out.

Let´s Talk:   Okay, so the cover image is not too shabby. Pretty and coy cover model covering her boobs. The undies aren´t cutting off the blood flow… It´s a decent image. But the title and tagline? Does this mean there´s someone in the room who has to watch while Miss Shy Tits is getting down to business alone? I´m confused.

 

 

 

#4    `Prom King` –  Penny Wylder

 

Prom King

First Reaction:    HOWLING

First Thought:    That´s one fit High Schooler.

Let´s Talk:   You´ve got to be fucking kidding me with that cover and title. A 20- 30 yr old Prom King? Roses?! Rings? For fuck´s sake. I can´t stop laughing.

 

 

 

#5     ` UnScrew Me `  –  Hayley Faiman

unscrew me

First Reaction:    Uuhm…..

First Thought:    I have questions.

Let´s Talk:   Screw you = Fuck you. Screw Me = Fuck me. Let´s screw = Let´s fuck.

UnScrew me = ?  How does one unfuck someone? Unless the person is a bottle. Oh! Now I get it. Being a bottle is probably some hipster term for a lame person. “You bottle, you!” In that case, he can be unscrewed. Uhm, is oily Olly so hot that his mere presence causes things to burn in purple  flames?

 

 

 

#6    `Giving Her My Baby` –  Alexa Riley

Giving Her My baby

First Reaction:    Eye roll

First Thought:    Tell yourself that and you might believe it yourself one day.

Let´s Talk:    Judging by the look on the guy´s face he´s regretting the moment he didn´t “pull out” as the tagline so kindly states. I bet the guy is wishing she would have just swallowed.

 

 

 

#7   `Rubbed Raw` –  Bella Jeanisse

 

rubbed raw

First Reaction:    DYING from laughing so hard

First Thought:    I bet the drumsticks she used feel the same.

Let´s Talk:  Hands down- this is the most amusing title I´ve ever seen. Let´s ignore the half assed cover image for a second here. Rubbed raw? And the title for the second installment will be ” Plucking Splinters From The Beaver” including an unforgettable tagline “She couldn´t find a carrot.”

 

 

 

 

# 8    `Driving Whiskey Wild` –  Melissa Foster

driving whisky wild

First Reaction:     What the….

First Thought:     Don´t do it, Whiskey! Don´t jump!

Let´s Talk:    The cover model looks like he wants to commit suicide – With open pants. I assume it isn´t the author´s intention for her readers to think her character model is in so much misery but.. give me a fucking break. Either take em off or button up. Ain´t no one got time for an open button. It looks like he forgot to redo his pants after a quick wee.

 

 

#9    `Lick` –  Kylie Scott

 

lick

First Reaction ( in 2013 ):     Impressed

First Thought ( in 2013 ):     Someone gonna licky dicky in this one?

Let´s Talk:     Okay, so I actually read this one back when it was first published. Call it a sin done in my blogging beginner years. It´s a classic, though. To be honest- `Lick`wasn´t such a bad read. But the title has brought me so much joy over the years. To this day whenever one of my ex – co bloggers mention Kylie Scott I break out in a laughing fit and rename the book.

Come And Lick A Dick

Wanna Licky Dicky

Licks Away

Stage Lick

I can´t even remember if there was any oral going on in this book ( it´s been 7 years ) or if the head given was any good. But that title… and that brooding musician. Priceless.

 

 

 

#10    Decker´s Wood – Kirsty Dallas

decker´s wood

First Reaction:    Doing double take

First Thought:   I´m scared

Let´s Talk:    THIS is what happens when tribal tattoo guy puts a shirt on. He becomes Decker and has wood. I seriously can´t stop laughing. Can someone tell me if Decker is in the lumber business or if he just suffers from a permanent hard on?

 


 

On a lovely side note:

I have nothing against tribal tattoos. As much as I don´t want to admit it myself, I´ve been a victim of the tribal and tramp stamp tattoos. For those who have tribal / tramp stamp tattoos… I was simply pointing out that these body decorations are out of date ( as will rockabily / sailor / minimalistic tattoos will be in 3, 4, 5 years from now ) regardless how much you still like them ( or not ).
I am also a fan of roses of all colors and sizes.


 

Tell me- Which cover image / book title do you find the most amusing?

 

Many thanks to all who´ve read and appreciated this post. Sending you all my love. ❤

 

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Book Review- Midnight Caller by N.J. Cole

Book Description

Rebecca Summers enjoys pleasing herself with the curtains open. When a mysterious stranger calls to tell her that he is watching, fantasy becomes reality as she begins to perform for him. Following his instructions over the phone while he watches from afar, she finds herself craving more.

Oliver Durant has always been drawn to humans to exert the dominance and control his kind needs to feel alive. While secretly observing her and calling nightly, he can’t seem to get enough of Rebecca, whom he refers to as butterfly. His urges with her are stronger than the need to dominate, as he is driven to possess her in every way.

Both of their worlds are turned upside down when they finally meet and she agrees to enter into a Dominant/submissive relationship with her Midnight Caller

My Thoughts

Let´s keep this short and painless.

A slight waste of my time.

It´s really disappointing because I expected something completely different when I started reading `Midnight Caller` by author N.J. Cole. I expected a BDSM romance. A well written story that would knock me out of my panties. Well, I sure did get knocked out of my underwear- just not in a good way.

Some scenes were okay- even sexy as hell. But one tiny, little piece of info was NOT included in the book description and that killed the story for me. midnight caller

The moment I found out the Hero was an alien, I actually voiced a „ WTF?“ louder then I intended too. I don´t know about all the other readers who read Midnight Caller, but I wasn´t too extatic reading about an alien dominating. That was, in my opinion, far from sexy. If I wanted to read a sci-fi BDSM romance, I would have looked for one. But I didn´t, so why did I end up reading this book? Because someone forgot to mention the sci-fi part.

I see aliens as creatures who kidnap people at an unholy hour and experiment on them. OR….I just imagine Ridley Scott´s movie, Alien. Remember that scary piece of lump from outer space who used people as hosts or killed them, because…..that´s what aliens do? THAT`S how I see an alien. They don´t screw like Gods. So, no matter how hot the sexy scenes were…..I had such a hard time getting into the mindset I was supposed to go in. I cannot, for all that´s pink and fluffy, wrap my head around that one.

The characters, Rebecca and Oliver did´t do anything for me. Sure, I realized that what they had was supposed to be fantabulous and all, but I felt no connection to either of them, nor did I feel a connection between those characters. I blame it on the alien issue.

I can see why alot of readers loved this book. It WAS hot. It WAS unique. And it WAS out of this world. It was just too out-of-this-world for me. At the end….I didn´t like the whole thing.

If Oliver was a human this story would have been a tad better, but not much .

There is a second book available but I think I´ll pass.

Note to myself: For the future- double check if the book has aliens in it before buying.

Would I re-read this book? Uuhm, nope.

Would I recommend this book? I´m not sure. I´m leaning towards „no“.

 

The Cover- 2 stars ( The cover is too dark ((both old and new)). It´s not really eye- catchy either.)

The Story- 2 stars ( I can´t deal with aliens. That´s just too far away from anything I like.)

The Characters – 2 stars ( Where to start? Where to end? Totally 2 dimentional. Unlikable.)

My emotional state after finishing this read- Fed up.

I´m giving `Midnight Caller` by N.J. Cole 2 out of 5 stars.

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You can purchase this book on Amazon.com by clicking here.