Review for Alpha (Alpha #1) by Jasinda Wilder

Alpha by Jasinda Wilder

TITLE: Alpha
SERIES: Alpha #1
AUTHOR: Jasinda Wilder
NARRATOR: Summer Roberts & Tyler Donne
PUBLICATION DATE: April 29, 2014 / May 27, 2014
PUBLISHER: Seth Clarke / Seth Clarke
PAGES: 450 pages / 11 hours 49 minutes
FORMAT: Audiobook
SOURCE: Review copy via Audible
RATING: 3 bows

Kyrie St Clair is out of options. She has lost her job, she is behind on her rent, and she has people depending on her to get the bills paid. So when a check for ten grand shows up in the mail, addressed to her with no return address and a memo simply reading “you”, she cashes it. She has no other choice. When a second check shows up, with a more ominous “belong” on the memo line, she is even more worried, but she cashed the first, so she might as well dig her hole deeper. A third reading “to me” completes the statement and Kyrie knows she is in a world of trouble. But nothing happens. She receives a check each month for an entire year before a man in a suit shows up at her door to collect her. It’s time to pay her debt and she has no choice but to go with the man to meet her fate. What will that bring? You’ll have to read to find out.

At first, I sympathized with Kyrie. It’s hard not to with the situation she is in. Her dad is dead, her mom is crazy, and someone has to pay her and her brother’s college tuition. She has been dealt a hard hand, there is no doubt about that. But, with bills piling up for her tuition, her brother’s tuition, her mom’s medical care, and basic living expenses, why the hell would you choice a career path for a social worker?
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Regardless of the fact that you need a masters degree to even get in the door in that profession, it won’t pay enough to take care of your own college debt, much less support anyone else. The very first thing she should have done was change her career path. It doesn’t really seem like the right choice for her. At no point did I see her as an overly caring individual meant to spend her days helping the less fortunate. I’m not saying she should give up all her dreams, but part of the growing up act is realizing what you can and can’t have. Also, tell your brother to start helping out! He is just as capable of getting a job to at least contribute a little!
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And the further I got into the novel, the more irritated I became with her. I understand you have no real choice in this situation, but for someone so determined to stand on her own and pay her families bills, you sure do hand over that control pretty quickly. Roth makes it clear that you are free to leave whenever you wish, so why not?

Speaking of Roth, I can’t say I’m a fan. I didn’t dislike him, but I’m not a huge fan of that whole Alpha male thing and this guy is a bit too controlling for my liking. He actually wasn’t too terribly bad on the alpha male side and he demands that Kyrie knows everything is consensual and he won’t even hurt her. I don’t understand his fascination with her. She’s not that amazing, but I digress. You don’t learn very much about him and anything I say could be counted as a spoiler since you don’t learn much until closer to the end.

Plotwise, this was fine, if predictable. There are certain twists you see coming miles away. If you are looking for a story to shock you with plot-twists, this is not it. I went in expecting a little more meat to the story. I went in expecting a story with a bunch of sex and instead got the novel equivalent of a porno. I realize that I asked for that in some ways because this is labeled an erotica novel, but I felt like it was a bit over the top. In all fairness, I’m not sure if this is because it really is worse than you’re typical erotica novel or if that was just the added effect of listening to it on audio. When reading, you can skim over parts and skip things, like excessive endearments or exclamations (trust me, I’ll get to that in a moment), but you can’t do that with audio. Or, I imagine you could, but it would be tricky to do so without missing something important.

If I’m being completely honest, there were several things that bothered me about this and it’s quite possible that it’s just me being picky. Regardless, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention them. The #1 thing that irritated me above all else was the repeated mention of how huge this guy’s dick was. I got it the first time you said it, okay?
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This is an erotica novel, so you can mention it a time or two more, because…well, just because I’m in an giving mood.
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But this goes above and beyond. I’ll leave out my opinions on romance novels going overboard with the whole “I want a guy with a cock so huge that it literally hurts me to fuck” cliche. Maybe I’m sheltered, but I just don’t understand the appeal.
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But this novel mentions it every at least once every 20 minutes after the first time she sees it.
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I’m not exaggerating on that. She goes on and on (and on and on and on) about it. I UNDERSTAND! The man’s dick is the size of my forearm. Mental image is a check there. I DON’T NEED YOU REPEATING IT AD NAUSEAM. It got old, really fucking fast (tehehe, did you see what I did there?). And just when you thought she has accepted this fact, she’d go on and on again.
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Even if I let that particular pet peeve go, I have a logistics question for you. If he is so big, does it not follow that she will be tight to him?
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Obviously she is not used to getting it on with someone so well endowed, since she makes such a big deal about it? Also, let me clarify here that when she says “big,” she is referring to girth as well as length. It’s like putting a rubber band that is made to fit around a cucumber over a soda bottle. Will it stretch to accommodate? Most likely, but it’ll be a tight fit!

The other thing that annoyed me was that Roth was so damn handsome. Yes, I understand that this is a fantasy and all (hence the enormous cock), but why must the man be so pretty that it hurts. That kinda kills the fantasy for me because it’s so far from the realm of normal. If I fantasize about someone gorgeous like Matt Bomer, I’m eventually going to be less focused on the smexiness and more focused on what the hell Matty is doing with someone normal like me. Especially considering the man I picked for me fantasy land is very very gay.
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In all seriousness, I’m sick of reading about inhumanly pretty guys. Can’t I have an normal guy? An average guy who is attractive but someone flawed? And by flawed, I don’t mean deeply mentally and emotionally scarred by a depressing past? Is that too much to ask?

Basically, I was a bit disappointed with this. I will definitely be steering clear of the audio versions of erotica novels for a while.
If you like erotica with it’s over-exaggerations, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this. If you are looking for something a bit deeper to connect with, look elsewhere.

Audio notes
Ummm…Summer was okay? I didn’t love her or hate her, she was just in the middle somewhere. Decent narrator with average pacing and voice differentiation. There was nothing particularly amazing about her performance, but that very well may be because of material given. I’ll keep my mind open for her and definitely give another novel narrated by her a chance. As far as Tyler goes, you don’t get much to go on. For those who see two narrator names and expect this to be told in dual perspectives, please let go of that notion now. It isn’t. You get a itty bitty bit of Roth perspective at the very end and I’m not overly impressed with the tiny bit Tyler did. He was mediocre at best. I won’t avoid a novel narrated by him, but I’m definitely not going to seek it out.

****Thank you to Esther Bochner at Audible for providing me with an audio copy in exchange for an honest review****

3 bows
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Review for Big Girls Do It Better (Big Girls Do #1) by Jasinda Wilder

Big Girls Do It Better by Jasinda Wilder

TITLE: Big Girls Do It Better
SERIES: Big Girls Do It #1
AUTHOR: Jasinda Wilder
PUBLICATION DATE: September 2, 2012
PUBLISHER: Independent
PAGES: 29 pages
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 stars

Anna is a big girl. She’s a size 18 and is more than a little self-conscious about it. So when Chase shows up, she knows she doesn’t have a chance in hell, or does she? Chase seems more than a little interested and as the night progresses, she finds out just how much he wants her.

In an epic fit of pile denial, this book was my compromise. It’s short, so I can legitimately allow myself to go ahead and read it while still buried in eARCs because it won’t take more than an hour to finish, and it was just what I needed. Anna is spunky and fun, a strong independent woman who gets caught up in a sexy soon to be rock star. Though Anna and I have some differences, I definitely can relate to her feelings about her size and it was a relief to not be reading about a stick thin girl who never exercises, eats like a cow, and somehow magically stays tiny.

Chase was a leatherpants wearing rock star who is beyond understanding why Anna is uncomfortable about her size. Throughout the whole story, he shows her that he likes her just the way she is and wouldn’t change a thing about her. He’s also drop dead gorgeous with ab muscle to make many a man in Hollywood jealous.

The short story brings the two together and then leaves you with a cliffhanger as Chase gets a very important call and Anna has to decide what she really wants from her life. It’s well written with one hell of a steamy sex scene. I’m definitely excited to see where Anna & Chase end up!