Random Thoughts from Anonymous Reader on Men of Danger

Book CoverAn anonymous reader sent me this recap of her thoughts while reading Men of Danger, an erotic anthology headlined by Lora Leigh.

Hannah’s Luck, by Lora Leigh

You know you’re reading a Lora Leigh story when the hero is as terse as he is tumescent and the heroine is so copiously wet from the mere thought of him that she needs her own herd of lifeguards to rescue the surrounding populace from the continual flash-floods.

The word “explode” is used in ways that are meant to be sexy but are, instead, very very disturbing.

He wanted to feel that tight little pussy exploding around his cock…

Groaning her name he felt his balls jerk, his semen exploding from the tip of his cock…

On a purely nitpicking note, I’m fairly sure that there is a comma missing from that previous sentence.  Also, there should be a one-time limit on the number of times that variations of the word “explode” is used in the same sex scene.  (Yes, the above was from the same scene.)

His hand slapped against the shower wall as he fought for the strength to hold them both upright. His release pumped from him, sending lightning-hot surges of ecstasy racing from his balls to the base of his spine where they exploded in a feeling so intense it weakened his knees.

Seven pages later…

As Hannah fought, the bathroom seemed to explode.

I laughed out loud. At work.

Reckless, by Red Garnier

You know you’re reading an erotic story when a womb “clenches” within the first 5 pages. (Perhaps it’s afraid of exploding semen.) Another clue is when the hero and heroine say something along the lines of, “We have to leave right now to get away from the evil villain!” and then take a moment (oh, just 3 or 4 pages) to grope each other and exchange body fluids.

Sadly, even in a really good story, things that should never explode are exploding in places where they shouldn’t:

Butterflies exploded in her stomach.

On the plus side, at least it’s not a body part that’s exploding this time (Lora Leigh, I’m looking at you!)

The biting bulge of his erection scraped against her stomach.

Does that thing need a muzzle? I’m sorry, if it bites, I’m not letting it out.

And the first prize in the category of, “Really? Is that really the word you wanted to use there?”, goes to:

he caressed through the soaked fabric, using three fingers to expertly stroke the tenderized flesh lying desperately in wait under her panties…

No wonder it’s “weeping” a page later.

Well, that and the fact that:

His hands continued to mold her, goading her with the biting press of his hardness….

It’s biting again. Obviously, some sort of obedience school is needed before animal control has to get involved.

Tempt Me, by Alexis Grant

“I will be back at nineteen hundred hours, sharp, ma’am,” he said.

“In plain English, sir,” she said with a wide grin.  “And will you cut the ma’am and just call me Anita?”

“Six pm, Ms. Brown.”  He smiled.

He also must have flunked basic training.  Nineteen hundred hours is 7pm.  Six pm is eighteen hundred hours. Oops.

You know, once is possibly an editing error.  When the author did it a second time, I lost all respect for her and any desire to read the story and skipped ahead to the last one. Could it be my annoyance that such a glaring, yet oh-so-easily-avoided, mistake persisted throughout?  Could it be I’m just a nitpicky that way?  Could it be that I’m a veteran and when the supposed member of some super-badass military force constantly says and/or thinks “nineteen hundred hours” when he purportedly means “6pm”, it drives me up the freaking wall?

Yes. Yes, it could.

So which is worse: expoding, biting, tenderizing, or misusing military time?



General Bitching...

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  1. 1
    AmberG says:

    The amusing part of this is, I belong to an online community dedicated to sharing and giggling at the ridiculous words and descriptions that pop up in the middle of sex scenes. Biting, weeping, exploding, screaming, smashing… does anyone else just cross their legs and whimper at some of these?

    The wrong military time thing would just irritate me to no end, but at least it doesn’t make me cringe.

  2. 2
    ReganB says:

    OMG, I almost bought this last night, but passed in favor of another anthology with less….angst associated with it.  Am I glad I did!  Still, it sure was bitingly fun reading this!  LOL

  3. 3
    Melinda says:

    It blows my mind that an editor didn’t catch the military time error. There’s no excuse for that.

    And maybe the biting penis is simply an evolutionary response to vagina dentata.

  4. 4
    Lori says:

    Time is the least of the military things that LL abuses in her writing. I have never recovered from her putting a SEAL team in Atlanta.

  5. 5
    Ann Bruce says:

    @Lori – Alexis Grant got the time wrong in this one, not Lora Leigh.  Apparently, who needs to get the math correct when there’s plenty of sexing?  (I assume there’s plenty of sexing since it is an erotic anthology.)

  6. 6
    Ann Bruce says:

    And tenderized flesh should be bleeding a page later, not weeping because, dude, all I see in my head right now is a big, metal meat tenderizer.  Ow.

  7. 7
    Lori says:

    Alexis Grant got the time wrong in this one, not Lora Leigh.

    On man. Now I feel like I sort of owe LL an apology for not reading carefully enough. I hate that. I also hate that the abuse of all things military is spreading like a plague.

  8. 8
    ghn says:

    I suppose it also is meant to be erotic when the womb of the heroine “clenches” or “twitches” when the hero is around or she simply thinks about him. My womb does that, too, on a monthly basis, and there is nothing fun – and certainly nothing erotic about those cramps.
    It makes me wonder if the sex scenes with those kinds of descriptions are written by males!

  9. 9

    A new LL drinking game?  Drink everytime something explodes.  Two shots if it’s a body part. Three sips for anything that weeps, two if is seeps, one if it twitches.

  10. 10
    DS says:

    All would annoy me I am afraid.  Although I could see that obedience training the biting cock might provide some entertainment to the reader.

    Maybe that was some sort of Military Standard Time as opposed to Military Daylight Saving Time.  He fell back.

  11. 11

    As a general rule, I try to keep my man-parts away from things that could potentially explode. I have no desire to become a eunuch.

  12. 12
    Ann Bruce says:

    @Andrew Shaffer: (Totally OT) So you’re the twisted mind behind the Ellora’s Cave ride!  What’s involved in the “ride like no other”?

  13. 13
    Carly says:

    The worst is the obvious lack of editing. I should have been done with Lora Leigh long ago, but her last several efforts have been infuriating. Simple grammatical errors that could be picked up by a copy-editor. More complex plotting issues that a good revision should have knocked out in the first look over. I remember when I first started the Breeds series being so enthralled that I didn’t notice. Now she’s got sweaters changing colors mid-sentence! So should I blame authors or publishers for this sort of thing? What am I paying for if not a polished, finished product?

  14. 14

    @Ann Bruce: The “ride like no other” involves red suspenders. That’s all I can say.

  15. 15

    @Carly: Editing is usually a collaborative process between the author, editor, copyeditor, and any other proofreaders that the author may employ on their own. Not sure if you can pin blame on any one person.

  16. 16

    I think the word “womb” is becoming increasingly popular in romance to mean vagina.  But womb = uterus, right?  If he’s pumping so hard/ being so sexy/ smoldering so Alpha-ey he’s making her womb explode/ clench/ flood the premises then she might need to see a doctor for a topical ream or something.

  17. 17

    LULZ topical “cream” not “ream.”  A topical ream would be something else all together…

  18. 18
    Ann Bruce says:

    @Carly: In the end, it’s the author’s name on the cover.

  19. 19
    Estelle C. says:

    I honestly think the incorrect military time bothers me more than all the rest of this WTFery.  After all, as much as body parts exploding and biting bother me, presumably somebody thinks these things sound sexy or they wouldn’t keep happening.  But 1900 hours is never 6 PM.

  20. 20
    Liz says:

    He wanted to feel that tight little pussy exploding around his cock…
    Groaning her name he felt his balls jerk, his semen exploding from the tip of his cock…

    On a purely nitpicking note, I’m fairly sure that there is a comma missing from that previous sentence.

    You’re absolutely right.  There should have been a comma between “groaning her name” and “he felt”.  I abhor grammatical errors, especially when people use “i” instead of me when there is an indirect object (He gave it to you and me—not you and I).

    As for military time, i wouldn’t have picked that up.  I’m good up until about 1400.  if i’m concentrating, i can pick up on 1500, but that isn’t what i like to do when reading a romance novel.

    I think the word “womb” is becoming increasingly popular in romance to mean vagina.  But womb = uterus, right?  If he’s pumping so hard/ being so sexy/ smoldering so Alpha-ey he’s making her womb explode/ clench/ flood the premises then she might need to see a doctor for a topical ream or something.

    I recently read a Candace Camp where the hero’s “guts clenched with desire”.  All I could think was “ouch”.  First, how do guts clench, and second why would they do so in desire.

  21. 21

    Ow. It’s a contest between “biting” and “tenderized” for most cringe-worthy, but I think I have to go with “tenderized”, which reminds me of a kitchen implement. And a slab of meat. Getting bitten.

    And knock it off with “womb” already. So not sexy. That word should be removed from the vocabularies of every romance writer in the universe.

  22. 22
    Adrian says:

    @Ann Bruce – yes, it is the author’s name on the cover and the buck (or biting cock, as it were) stops there. 

    The military time is inexcusable, all the more so because it’s such an easy thing to figure out.  I mean, please – add 12 to any pm time.  That’s it.  Add 12.  My fourth grader can do it.

    As for the descriptions, eh.  That’s why I don’t read a whole buch of erotica.  Few people can describe sex in a way that I find alluring, interesting, or god forbid – accurate. 

    husband49 – No, I’m still on number 1.  Don’t think I’m on pace to get to 49 before I die. :)

  23. 23
    holly says:

    Yeah, it’s the sheer volume of stuff like this that make me literally giddy when I find a book that’s just – well-written.

    And no – there’s no excuse for the blithe inaccuracies in military details. Like anything, if you’re not willing to do the research necessary, to dot your i’s and cross your t’s, then don’t touch that topic. It not only makes you look foolish as the writer, but it can make those whose lives are based around the topic you’re mishandling feel trivialized.

  24. 24
    tikaanidog says:

    Ok, not so thrilled with the biting erection (bad! bad penus! drop it!), but tenderized!!?? Ewwwwwwww…..

    Oh, and the military time screw-up is just not acceptable. C’mon, it’s not that hard to figure out! Get it right for cripes sake….

  25. 25
    Ann Bruce says:

    @Liz: When using the 24-hour clock, add 2 to the last digit.

    SPAM WORD: think45

  26. 26
    Kaelie says:

    @ Ann Bruce: I think you mean subtract not add (since that would make 1300 hours 5 PM and not 1 PM).

    Spam word: rate58. Awww, you guys think I rate 58? Wait a minute. . .on a scale of what to what?

  27. 27
    Ann Bruce says:

    Ah, no, I mean add, but I should’ve specified for anything after 12:00.

    1 PM = 13:00
    2 PM = 14:00
    3 PM = 15:00
    4 PM = 16:00
    5 PM = 17:00

    …and so on and so forth.

  28. 28
    Sharon says:

    that was the funniest blog ever! I think weeping is the worst use of a word when describing sex. Wounds, weep, people! Yuck. unless you are describing zombie sex

  29. 29
    SylviaSybil says:

    Military time is by far the worst mistake.  After all, a badly written sex scene can make you laugh or at least provide snark bait, but screwing up something as simple as the time has no defense.  And I have to say, I would also have stopped reading after the second military time error.  Not only because it makes me cringe, but because if the author can’t even get that right, then what else has she screwed up?

  30. 30
    JamiSings says:

    Actually, for me it’s the “Ms.” I hate, HATE, HATE the term “Ms.”

    Call me a throw back or unenlightened or a traitor to feminism – I don’t care. If you’ve never been married you’re a Miss, if you’re married you’re a Mrs. Ms is reserved for divorced women only as far as I’m concerned. And if you don’t like it, you can shove it where the sun don’t shine, sideways.

    I’ve been known to send mail – including junk mail – back to the sender with the words “There is NO “Ms Russell, it’s MISS Russell!”

    If the character is divorced or even widowed (though my mom brought me up to called widows “Mrs” or “Ma’am”) I can take the “Ms.” But since I’m assuming she’s never been married he should’ve said “Miss Brown.”

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