Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Susanne Matthews' new book "Sworn to Protect" now available for preorder


Book Blurb:

Four years ago, a car accident robbed Nancy Frost of her child and her mother, taking what was left of her marriage with it in the process. A forensic accountant, she agrees to look at a company’s books in a divorce case, trying to find hidden assets, but her meeting with the lawyer goes terribly wrong when the restaurant is attacked.



The moment US Marshal Neil Copeland discovers his wife has been shot in a Baltimore restaurant, he rushes to her side, determined not to let her down again. As the police investigate, evidence suggests the attack was a ploy to hide a specific hit. When a professional assassin tries to kill Nancy a second time, it’s clear that she was the target and whatever’s going on is a lot more complicated than they think.



When Nancy awakes after a month in an induced coma, not only does she not remember the attack on the restaurant, she doesn’t remember marrying Neil.



Faced with the challenge of protecting his wife from a powerful, faceless enemy, Neil must bring her up to date, dredging up all the sorrow that tore them apart in the first place, hoping something will jar her memory.



As he races against time, can he save her from an unknown assassin and convince her to give the love they once had a second chance?



Purchase link:




Excerpt:

“I wasn’t sure about the hair color … the burgundy’s a little flashy, but I definitely wanted it short, and with the weight loss … It was time,” Nancy finished.

“Past time, I’d say. The transformation is incredible. My God, your own mother, bless her soul, wouldn’t recognize you. That dress is gorgeous, but it must’ve cost the Earth. I’m glad you decided to handle all this positively. I honestly expected to find you navel gazing or crying into a margarita.”

As if on cue, the waiter, dressed in black pants and a skin-tight, red, logo-emblazoned t-shirt, showed up with two of the restaurant’s signature sweet and salty drinks. He placed the glasses on the table, handed them each a menu, and moved away.

“That boy can park his shoes under my bed any night he wants,” Meredith whispered and licked her lips.

Nancy laughed. “If he hit on you, you’d wet yourself.” She lifted her glass in a toast. “Here’s to the new me. I’m good, better than I was yesterday, and not as good as I’ll be tomorrow.” She took a mouthful. “Life is a lot like these drinks. Some days are sweet and wonderful, while others are bitter, tear-filled, and miserable. You have to learn to take the good with the bad. Tears can’t fix anything as I’ve finally realized. Here’s to the past.” She sipped once more.

Meredith touched the brim of Nancy’s glass with hers. “Here, here, although I still think everything could’ve worked out differently.” She sampled her margarita, smiled, and drank some more.

“Not everything that happens is an opportunity for growth. I’ll never forget them,” Nancy said, her voice tinged with sadness. “But I have to put it behind me—all of it. It wasn’t all Neil’s fault, but I can’t go back and fix the mistakes we made any more than I can pluck the moon from the sky.” She took a mouthful of the cocktail and licked the salt off the rim of the glass. “Where are my divorce papers?”

“Right here.” Meredith opened her purse and pulled out a brown envelope.

Nancy reached for it and transferred it to her voluminous bag without opening it. She would deal with them later.

“I’ll sign them and get them back to you as soon as I can.” She picked up the menu, but the words danced before her eyes. “He called today,” she said, even though she’d intended to keep that bit of information to herself.

Meredith sat up straight and put down her menu. “And?”

“And, nothing.” Nancy shrugged. “He left a message on the machine saying he wanted to talk to me. I didn’t return his call.”

“Why not? No matter what you say, I know you’re still in love with him, and I’m pretty sure he loves you, too.”

Nancy sipped her drink and stared into the frothy pink liquid as if it held the answer to all the mysteries of life.

“Sometimes love isn’t enough, Meredith,” she admitted, unable to squelch the sorrow in her voice. “I’ll love Neil Copeland for the rest of my life, but some things can’t be reconciled. His job has a death grip on him which’ll never go away, and I can’t be second—not again. That may sound selfish, but it is what it is.”

Meredith frowned. “It isn’t that simple, and you know it. There were extenuating circumstances.”

“That may be, but I can’t get passed it. I never wanted to fall for a man like my father who put work first, but that’s exactly what I did.”

“Sugar, you’ve got this all wrong.” Meredith reached across the table and touched Nancy’s hand. “You aren’t being fair to Neil. That man would put you first if the choice was his, but as a U.S. marshal, it rarely is. People won’t testify against the mob, drug dealers, and other assorted dirt bags unless they know they and their families can be protected.”

“I know, but I want a full-time husband, not a part-time hero. When I needed him most, he chose the job over me, and you know it. The kid who hit us will spend the next fifteen years in jail, as if that can somehow make up for what I’ve lost. Well, I’ve been in a prison of my own long enough. If I don’t return Neil’s call, he’ll stop calling.”

“You’re wrong, and deep down you know it. The Neil Copeland I know won’t quit unless it’s his decision. You two were made for each other. Love’s too precious to throw away.”

Nancy shook her head. “I didn’t throw it away. He did.”



About the author:

Amazon bestselling author Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She is of French-Canadian descent. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but with a penchant for happily ever after romances. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Her first novel, Fire Angel, set the tone for an exciting new career.  While most of her books are romantic suspense, Susanne writes stories that range from contemporary to sci-fi and everything in between. She is a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America.



When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, or traveling to interesting places she can use as settings in her future books or as interesting entries for her blog, Living the Dream. During the summer she enjoys camping with her grandchildren and attending various outdoor concerts and fairs. In winter, she likes to cuddle by the fire and watch television.



Follow Susanne on her:  Website     Facebook page    Twitter @jandsmatt

Amazon author page    and    Goodreads author page




Monday, June 5, 2017

Clare Dargin - Author of The Love Play Matchmaking Service and The Warriors of Sidereal Command





AVAILABLE: Tuesday, May 23rd

[Siren Menage Amour: Erotic Consensual BDSM Menage a Trois Paranormal Romantic Suspense, M/M/F, HEA]

Chris Spinell, Jilly Reimers, and Chris 'Nate' Poole are happily married. Now, living in a small town run by The Love Play Matchmaking Service, Chris Spinell hopes his family is safely away from the possible dangers that come from living in a big city.

Jilly and Nate cherish the life they have with Chris. They even love the fact that he is their Dom. BDSM gives them the structure and sense of belonging they've always wanted. However, life in Minaqua doesn't give Chris the peace of mind he needs in order to quell his anxieties. The scars from his time in Afghanistan run so deep, Chris' PTSD will not allow him to escape the fears that his family is at constant risk for harm.

When a stranger comes to town seeking to harm Jilly and Nate, Chris' protective instincts are put to the test. Will he deal with this reasonably, or will he do whatever it takes to defend his family, including breaking a solemn oath?

 A Siren Erotic Romance

---


STORY EXCERPT


He thought about how far his life had come in such a short time. In less than ten years, he’d gone from an ex-Special Forces soldier searching for his place in the world, to an MIT graduate, to owning the second largest independently owned and operated software integration firm in Michigan. But all of that was nothing compared to the real change that happened when his sister had recommended that he join a dating service to cure his less-than-stellar love life. And Love Play had done that and much more. In their own mysterious way, they’d managed to look into his heart and find the man and woman of his dreams. Literally. The images of Jilly and Nate had haunted his dreams after he returned from Afghanistan. During that time, he didn’t know it was them, but after he met them and they spent the night together, he knew they were the ones. 

How his Eros, his matchmaker at Love Play, had known baffled him. Nevertheless, he was profoundly grateful that the man or woman, or whoever his Eros was, had put the three of them together. Now, they were married, and he was happier than he’d ever been in his life. Add to it that their love had become so deep that it had blossomed into a beautiful dominant-submissive relationship with them. 

The car’s internal phone rang. It was Jilly. He pressed the icon on the car’s dashboard screen and answered.

“Hi, honey, what’s up?” he asked. He was always glad to hear Jilly’s voice. 

He grasped his chest, hoping the ache would fade as he longed to see her. 

“I was going over the arrangements for the party,” she said. Her sweet voice was a dulcet tone that calmed him. 

“I’m thinking about how people should dress,” she said, “and the basic rules for the party.”

Jilly had the great idea to plan a Christmas party for them and their BDSM friends to be held at Love Play’s mansion. When she’d mentioned it in August, he hadn’t been wild about the idea. But after a lot of cajoling from her and Nate, they’d convinced him, and he’d given her the permission to go for it, which meant they were going to attend, too. 

“High protocol is not something we do, but there’s no reason that should stop other Doms from having that with their submissives. As for clothing, you know my rules for you, too. You aren’t allowed to wear anything too revealing. The only person allowed to see your ass is me and Nate, and that’s when he’s not in trouble.”

It wasn’t as if he made them walk around with bolts of fabric hanging off their bodies, but their sexuality belonged to him.

“Dueño, that was a long time ago,” Nate said, pouting.

“It won’t happen again.” 

Right after Chris had collared them, Nate bought Jilly a pair of tight jeans, high heels, and a shirt that was so form fitting it showed everything the Lord had blessed her with in the chest and told her to wear his prized choker collar. Chris had damn near had a heart attack when they came home from a late lunch in Cutlerville. 

Nate grinned and asked, “Doesn’t she look hot?” Once he’d regained the ability to speak, Chris’s only reply was, “Not as hot as your ass is gonna be once I hit it with my flogger.” He ordered them both to the bedroom, flogged Nate’s ass, paddled Jilly, then fucked them without allowing either of them to orgasm. To teach Nate a lesson for encouraging Jilly to dress immodestly, he hadn’t been allow to see her bare ass for two days or have sex with her.

Nate also had to cover his eyes with his hands when Jilly wore no clothes for two days. Whereupon, Nate vowed to never encourage her to wear inappropriate clothing again.

“Dueño, I know what your rules are for us. What about the party? Kink for everyone?”

He had no appetite for that yet. He cared for his friends, especially his army buddies, the Propietarios who were into BDSM, but he wasn’t ready to see them go all out. 

“This is casual, vanilla only. Leather is permitted but please do not go all out,” Chris said. 

“All right, got it.”

“How are you feeling?” he asked, worried. “Still feeling worn down?”

She was at home trying to get over the remnants of a cold that lingered, giving her all sorts of problems like a fever and upset stomach. She’d feel good one moment, and then, wham, she’d have to rest because she’d be too tired to move. Despite his protests, she refused to go to the doctor again.

“Somewhat.”

He sighed. “Don’t wear yourself out today. Get some rest. That’s an order. If you aren’t better by tomorrow, we’re going downtown.”

The DMC, Detroit Medical Center, was the major medical complex in the area. It was over an hour away, and he would gladly drive her to find out what was wrong. He was not willing to risk her well-being for her selfish pride or a dumb party. He hated when she was not feeling well or was in pain. He wanted to be able to shield her from the worst the world could give so she’d be able to live a life of love and happiness. She deserved that much and more. To say he loved her would be an understatement. Heck, it wouldn’t even describe the depths of his intense feelings for them. They owned him as much as he owned them. It didn’t feel right if they weren’t healthy and safe. 

“I will take it easy.”

“Okay. I love you,” Chris said. 

“Love you, too,” she replied. “Love you, too, Nate.”

“I’ll call you later on to see how you are doing,” Nate said. 

Chris ended the call. 

“Do you think she’ll obey?” Nate asked.



ADULT EXCERPT


“Tell me what you want, sweet stuff,” Chris said to Nate.

“Dueño, I want you to fuck me hard,” Nate said. “And I want to fuck Jilly-Bean and fill her tight pussy with my cum.”

“Very good, sweet stuff. That pleases me. Present yourself to me,” Chris said.

Nate opened his legs further, exposing his cock and balls to Chris. His cock jutted upward and twitched. 

“Do you like being my submissive?” Chris asked.

Nate’s mouth fell open. His eyes became partially lidded. He groaned with a hint of agony in his tone. “Yes, Dueño. Serving you makes me hard.”

“You keep me hard. Do you know that? You like keeping your owner hard?”

He nodded, and his eyes rolled backward. Chris knew his man was already starting to soar into subspace.

“Jilly-Bean, stand up,” Chris said. 

She stood. 

“Come to Dueño and suck my dick until I tell you to stop.”

She latched onto him. He fisted her hair and pulled her head away from his cock, craning her head back, exposing her creamy flesh. He hissed as he relished the satiny feel of her mouth as it enveloped his penis. There was something about the way she sucked his dick that made him want to lose control. 

“Up, Jilly-Bean.” He let go of her hair and helped her to her feet. “Go to the bed and lay on your stomach, legs apart and ass up. Nate, do not touch yourself.” 

Nate whimpered. 

Though his dick was wet from her saliva, Chris grabbed the lube off the nightstand. He flipped the cap and placed some on his fingers and spread it liberally around her anus and inside of it. 

“Your ass is so perfect. I can’t believe I’ve had the honor and pleasure of fucking it.” 

He parted the globes of her ass and placed the rounded tip of his cock at her tight hole. He growled as he slid inside of her. She clenched the muscles in her pussy and grunted. 

She puffed. “Yes, Dueño, more.” She was a pain slut in her own way. 

He pushed in harder and then pulled back. “Please, again.”

He grasped her hips and slammed into her. His hips took on a mind of their own and they seemed to have one goal in mind, mate his woman like this was his one and only opportunity. She whimpered, unable to control the small thrusting movements of her hips as he filled her. His balls slapped against her with the force of his movement. She wiggled her hips and cried out. She was close. He slammed harder into her ass and bent forward, massaging her clit as she begged for permission to come. Every nerve galvanized his body for one reason, to shoot his cum deep inside of her. He grimaced as the maddening pain radiated up from his dick to his eyes, nearly blinding him. He was ready. 

“Oh God, come, baby,” he said. 

Her back arched then her hips bucked. Her ass clenched, squeezing his dick. He lost control and growled and came hard. He closed his eyes tight and his mind went blank as euphoria swept through him. He grunted then trembled as the last bit of cum spurted out of him. 

He collapsed on the bed beside her and pulled her into his arms. The fog that had clouded his mind slowly lifted, letting him come back to his senses. He nuzzled the crook of her neck, adoring her sweet fragrance that mingled with his. This type of intimacy had been alien to him before he met them. Sex had been pleasurable but not satisfying, and it made him wonder if there was anything more to it than a quick romp in the sack. It was never an issue with them.

Nate. His love was patiently awaiting his turn. Chris ran his hands up and down her body and kissed her neck. 

“Go the center of the bed and lie on your back then spread your legs,” he said whispering in her ear.

* * * *

Jilly did as she was told. She loved obeying Dueño. His mastery over her body and her heart made her feel loved and protected. Not to mention he was so hot that she felt like the luckiest woman in the world to have a man like him in love with her. A little over six feet two, Chris’s short-cut light brown hair, lean angular torso with toned limbs and blue eyes made him look like the boy next door had grown up to be a heart-stopping gorgeous man.

Most people only had one partner who made them swoon. She had two. Nate was her Aussie blond thunder whose voice was a deep baritone and body she likened to a Greek god. For the longest time, he wore his hair long and pulled back into a pony tail, giving him a carefree look that added to his sex appeal whether he knew it or not. Now, he wore it short and trimmed like Chris.

She laid down and opened her legs. She felt the bed dip as Nate crawled onto it. He loomed over her, and his eyes simmered with lust. While Chris was her Master, Nate was her sweet Sir. 





Monday, May 29, 2017

Fated Desires by Becky Flade

Jenna Gavin is searching for a fresh start and, more importantly, for balance. Her heart, and perhaps the hands of fate, have led her and her son to Trappers' Cove, Minnesota. Settling in the small, quirky town, she's not in the market for a casual relationship but finds herself in one with the young widower next door.

Former shortstop, Gabriel Foxx, is drawn to his difficult new neighbor. The more the prickly divorcee tries to keep him at arm's length, the more determined he is to break down her walls. He can't avoid the passion Jenna inspires and his friendship with Finn has him yearning for family, but Gabe won't allow himself to feel more.

When friendship grows complicated by stronger emotions and mutual desire just isn't enough, will love be worth the risk?




Fated Desires

About the Author:
Home is where the heart is and I make mine with my very own knight in slightly tarnished armor in southeastern Pennsylvania. When I’m not busy living my own happily ever after, I’m writing about someone else’s. 

Contact Details:
beckyfladeauthor@gmail.com
http://www.beckyfladeauthor.com/
https://www.facebook.com/BeckyFlade
https://twitter.com/beckyflade



Enjoy the following excerpt from Fated Desires:

She had drifted closer to him. Or him to her. Jenna couldn’t be sure. But it would take only a shift of balance to touch her body to his. Life was about balance. And the shifting of worlds. In the space of a day her world had changed for better and for worse. She’d spent the previous nine years trying to find her balance again.
Jenna felt the familiar kick of desire. She’d never understood the girls who spoke of butterflies and stirrings. For her it was more akin to a donkey kick—pleasurable, sure, like the first jolt of caffeine in the morning and as sure and swift and strong. Her pulse sped up and she knew the vein in her neck would visibly pulse; it did when she was angry and when she was aroused. Gabe was sure to notice it. As she noticed his heart pounding against her palm in a rhythm she found seductive.
She raised her gaze from the back of her hand. His mouth was aligned with her own. She hadn’t realized how close in height they were. All she had to do was…shift.
“This is the longest conversation we’ve had.” Her voice was husky; she heard it, knew he would. He shifted, imperceptibly but she sensed it.
“Maybe this,” his voice was husky too, “is why.”
She thought she knew what he meant. The tension between them was awareness.
“The day we met I wanted to get close enough to see what color your eyes were. They’re gray. Like storm clouds. Perfect.”
Jenna could feel his breath on the flesh of her lips and her nipples tightened.
“Mom!”
Finn’s shout was punctuated by his feet drumming down the stairs. Gabe brushed his lips over the curve of her cheek, his eyes conveying amused regret, and slipped out the back door, barely making a sound. Jenna grabbed the counter and breathed. She needed to settle herself before her son found his way to the kitchen.
What the hell?



Thursday, May 25, 2017

Emmanuelle de Maupassant 'Highland Pursuits’


 

Emmanuelle de Maupassant recently launched her saucy 1920s romance romp: 'Highland Pursuits’. To celebrate, she’s offering a free copy for your Kindle – but only for a few days, from 22-25th May. Don’t miss out.

There’s also a signed paperback of ‘Highland Pursuits’ up for grabs.

Do drop your name in the hat here.

1920s debutante Lady Ophelia Finchingfield is banished to wildest Scotland to come to her senses, having refused a proposal from the Earl of Woldershire. In the care of her eccentric grandmother, Ophelia is soon caught between rugged widower Hamish and the villainous Comte de Montefiore.

She’s ready to play with fire, but will she burn more than her fingers?


What readers are saying

I can’t tell you how much I love this book. It was a true delight to read. The author has captured 1920s Britain wonderfully, and her detail is exquisite. – Rachel De Vine

As a comedy of manners, this is exceptionally well done. – Fionna Guillaume 

Highland Pursuits is a wry, clever, incredibly sexy romp… a completely engrossing, utterly enjoyable read. I can't recommend it highly enough…fabulously fun - Malin James

The scene was set beautifully… I felt like I went back in time to high society Scotland - Christine of Sweet and Spicy Reads

   

Find 'Highland Pursuits' on Goodreads and for sale on Amazon 

Pssst…  if you enjoy Highland Pursuits, don’t forget to leave a review. Reviews make books more visible online, bringing new eyes. If you're on Twitter or Facebook, tag Emmanuelle in your review post and she'll say hello. 



Social Media Links


Explore Emmanuelle’s website here
Find her on Twitter here
and on Facebook here
or sign up for Emmanuelle’s newsletter here
(exclusive giveaways and goodies)









Monday, May 22, 2017

The Mated Anthology by Kerry Adrienne

Saving His Wolf by kerry Adrienne
(Mated anthology)

USA Today bestselling author Kerry Adrienne’s exciting novella in the Shifter Wars series about a woman who is seeking her fate and a man determined to help her discover her true nature.

Title: Saving His Wolf
Author: Kerry Adrienne
Release Date: May 22, 2017
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: Shifter Wars
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 30,000
Format: Digital
ISBN: 9781488024399

Synopsis:

Olivia, born blind and without the ability to shift, yearns to seek her own fate away from her watchful and devoted wolf pack. Vulnerable and stuck in human form, she's alone and at risk in the forest's brutal winter when she's rescued by a park ranger and taken to his cabin in Deep Creek. By the warmth of a crackling fire, she's comforted by his presence. But it's his rugged scent that stirs something in her she's never felt before. 

Bear shifter Powell sensed the instant he held her that Olivia was his mate. He also knew she had the untapped powers to discover her true shifting nature—if only he could convince her to trust in him, and to believe in herself. Now the one thing that stands to threaten their healing mating hunger is Olivia's distrusting and vigilant pack. A pack prepared to do anything to get her back. 

But there is no danger as strong, no desire so liberating as what Powell is bringing out in her—because Olivia can finally see where her destiny lies. 

Find out more at: Carina Press | Amazon | Google Play | Kobo | iTunes | B&N

 About Mated: A Paranormal Romance Shifter Anthology

MATED
One anthology. Three wolf shifter romances. Don't miss this collection of stories from USA TODAY bestselling author Kerry Adrienne, Sionna Fox and Shari Mikels  
A woman born blind and without the ability to shift yearns to seek her own fate away from her watchful, devoted wolf pack. Vulnerable and stuck in human form, she's alone and at risk when she's rescued by the bear shifter who is her destiny. 
An accident forces a man to change the best friend he's loved for years…or leave her for dead. There's no reason to hide his true self anymore—but can she ever forgive him? 
And a pack alpha finds that rescuing his fated mate from a violent confrontation with two wolf shifters is easy. Helping her move from fear to acceptance of the animals—and him—is a challenge. 



About Kerry Adrienne:
USA Today bestselling author Kerry Adrienne is repped by Marisa Corvisiero at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Kerry writes in many sub-genres of romance including paranormal, science fiction, erotic, m/m, time travel, and many more. She loves history, science, music, and art and is the mom to three daughters, many cats, and various other small animals. She loves live music and traveling most anywhere.

In addition to being an author, she’s a college instructor, artist, costumer, editor, and bad guitar player. 

Connect with Kerry: Website | Blog Facebook | Twitter Amazon


Monday, May 15, 2017

The trouble with reviews

Image result for review my book meme

Authors need reviews on their books, that's not a secret. In fact, if you are a friend with an author, chances are they've asked (no, not asked, begged you) for a review.
You might've seen many memes on Facebook or other social media stating to support author(s) by reviewing their books. However, the reviewers are not forthcoming and you can hear crickets chirping and see tumbleweeds rolling across many Amazon book pages. 
So, what are authors to do? Obviously crying on social media isn't an answer. In desperation, many are forming and engaging in review exchanges. Yes, I'm guilty as charged. However, I quickly noticed that these groups eventually turn into "don't buy this book it sucks, buy my book it rocks" kind of thing.

Image result for bad book reviewsAuthors reviewing other authors' work are the most scathing. Over the years I've received my fair share of such reviews and guess what, they are all from authors. Or they can be pretty vague, as they sit tight to see if the other party (the one they are swapping reviews with) will award them with a five star and a glowing review.

When an author reviews another author, they will point out things a reader wouldn't necessarily notice.Things such as points of view (POV) also called head hopping, passive language, info dumping, plot holes, redundancy and so on. Before I started writing, I didn't know of these things. To me a book was a book, either I liked it or I didn't and anything in between. 
The unfortunate things with these review exchange groups is that often the rules dictate that the book must be reviewed, at what cost to the author, that is none of their concern. In some groups, if the reviewer thinks the book deserved one or two stars they are to contact the author and let them know and ask if they still want the review posted. I can live with that rule, however, many reviewers will assign three or more stars, but the written portion of the review will basically bash the book. Their reasoning is that the Amazon algorithms can't read the review and that all reviews matter, no matter of rating or how favorable they are. Okay, so the computer program can't read it, but people can. And while some don't care about what others have to say, many unfortunately do. On top of that (and many if not all authors are aware of this) to get into promotion programs such as BookBub, you need a certain number of reviews that are four to five stars rated. I don't know if the text part of reviews are the part of acceptance, but I would assume so. Otherwise you can have nothing but 5 stars ratings with most unfavorable reviews.

Image result for bad book reviews
While every author will appreciate it if you brought their attention to the issues with their books, they would appreciate it more if you do not state these issues publicly, especially if you have that author's private contact. Chances are someone already did it but just to make sure the author knows, you can drop them a quick line through private channels. If the book is really that bad, a reviewer always has a choice to not to review it if they think their review wouldn't help the book or the author. It's no different than when you see a post on Facebook you don't agree with and instead of commenting something that would anger the poster and cause some flames to fly, you just continue scrolling. Not your circus, not your monkey. Even if the group rule states you must review. No one can make you review it or do something you don't feel comfortable with and you have qualms about doing it. And with mostly authors exchanging reviews in these groups, this could work both ways and backfire. Seems the saying 'treat the others the way you would like to be treated' is going out of style, and in that case how many would want to find out just how they treated others. So unless you are absolutely, one hundred percent sure that your book is spic and span, keep the negativity out of your reviews.
With the ease of publishing a book these days, there's a plethora of people who wake up one day and decide to do just that, write and publish a book. That's the easy part. The hard part, surprisingly, is finding your readers. That comes as a shock to many and they think it's okay to bash other authors' books and that such actions will get hordes of readers their way. It's quite the opposite.
Some even argued that we get our job performances reviewed. Yes, yes, we do. In your boss' office, behind the closed door. I suppose they also believe that it's okay to manipulate Amazon ranks any way they can, to get on that bestsellers' list. If the big companies can employ people to only write glowing reviews on their products, why can't they do what they must in order to get ahead? Boy are they in for a surprise, an ugly surprise. Amazon cracks down on these things and banns people from ever selling on their sites.

Now, don't get me wrong, I don't expect nothing but five stars glowing reviews. Any rating you believe the book deserved is fine. But justify that in your review in a diplomatic manner. Stating "this author needs to find a better editor, there were not only typos but often the wrong word was used out of context. If that doesn't bother you too much you'll probably enjoy this book."
I don't know about you, but this sentence grated me. Couldn't this have been toned down? Something along the line of unfortunately some editing issues prevented me to enjoy the book fully. Or left this out of the review and brought to the author's attention either via private email or Facebook channels. Then to add an insult to the injury the assigned reviewer messaged the group with a warning that I'll most likely turn pissy because I challenged her review. Which I didn't. I thanked her for the review and told her that I'm aware of the issue and that I'm addressing it with my editor. Then another question arised. Why would I stick with the same editor who didn't do a good job in the first place? Because I've already paid her and chances are she wouldn't refund my money. Plus, she was apologetic and got on re-editing the manuscript right away. While people from the group offered to do free edits on the first chapter or so in a few weeks, maybe longer. I've already had such an offer and the person never delivered. Instead, she acted as if she had no idea what I was talking about. Then gave me every excuse in the book why she can't do it. Thank you, but no thank you. When I offer my help, that means I'll get on it asap or at the very least let you know that I'm running behind but didn't forget you. Plus, I didn't want to tell the other person, but I've read her book and it could use better editing too. She shouldn't be offering her "editing" services either. I suppose she was butt hurt because I refused her offer of free editing.

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On the negative book reviews, I too am guilty of giving not so favorable reviews to books and I always made sure author knows the issues and if is up to them to fix them. I'm not a Grammar Nazi so if there are grammar issues, I'm not the one to notice them unless they are obvious, such as you're vs. your which seems to be the biggest issue these days. Most books that didn't impress me were BDSM and I tell the authors this is not my cup of tea, but they insist I read and review and are positive I'll love it. I find their alpha males' possessives toddler like behaviors. No real alpha self made billionaires male would act that way, and the way the women are treated in these books is borderline with abuse. But that's whole other issue to be discussed over a pot of coffee or two.

I had to write this long rant as a way of arguing with myself whether it is feasible to continue writing books. With the market already saturated with free or $0.99 books, and even box sets of 20 + books sold for as little as $0.99, the readers are overwhelmed too and are becoming increasingly picky. I hear now they don't even want to sign up for Kindle Unlimited since they have to pay a monthly fee for that when there are perma-free books out there. But as the meme below says

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And I will most likely continue to write. Writing is not only my creative outlet, but also a therapy and escape from the ugliness of the reality. Despite the fact that at the moment all the fun and love I had has been sucked right out of it. It's the only way I can get better at it. 

Thank you for reading my rant. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.