Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Passionate Plumes 2008

I had the honor again this year of being a first round judge for the Passionate Plume Awards, awarded by Passionate Ink, the erotic romance chapter of RWA. The final Passionate Plume winners will be announced at RWA Nationals in San Francisco in August.

Last year I received four ebooks of widely varying quality. (See Who Needs a Horse (NOT Work Safe) and Dilemmas and Frustrations)

But I really lucked out this year. All three were again paranormals and two of them were in print and signed by the authors. What's coolio is that both of the print books were books I've been curious about.

The first book was a werewolf paranormal. I had read a couple of the author's earlier works but had lost track of which books had since been released in the series. I ended up giving it a score of 7.9 out of 9.0. Interesting, sexy read, but every time the story gained some momentum, we stopped for another sex scene. Now don't get me wrong, the sex scenes were very hot and well written, but the story was compelling enough that the sheer quantity of sex scenes was a nuisance.

The second book was a vampire historical. Good story, but the pacing was incredibly slow. A few pages of action, whether it was violence, sex, whatever, followed by several pages of internal angst. Good world building though. I gave it a 7.6 out of 9.

The third book surprised the hell out of me. I knew from the title that this ebook involved dragons and demons. UGH!UGH!UGH! I don't like dragon books at all, and I've more than had my fill of demon books and avoid nearly all of those. So, damn, now I've got to set all that aside and FAIRLY judge a book that centers on BOTH of those dreaded subjects. GAK!

But you know what? I LOVED it! So creative, so imaginative! The world building was unique and surprisingly complex, especially considering the short length of this ebook. The erotic scenes were smokin' (that's a dragon/demon pun. hee.) and I gave this one an 8.7 out of 9.0. I think that will be enough to get it to the second round because this one deserves recognition.

Judging is supposed to be anonymous, so I won't name any of those books here, but I fully intend to read more in this dragon/demon series (did I just say that?!) so keep an eye out for future commentaries. I think I can guarantee that it will be the only dragon/demon series you'll catch me reading.

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