Monday, February 25, 2013

Guest Post + Dual Review: Hedon Falls Series by Michelle Graham

What Makes a Good Romance


Thank you for having me on your blog today, Heather! I’m glad you had the chance to read and review my book. I always appreciate hearing what others think about my work because that helps me to be a better writer. And it got me thinking about the characteristics of a good romance. I know others may disagree with me on some of these points, and they are entitled to their opinions. For me, these are the things that make a romance good. Some of them are things I’m still working at developing in my own writing.

Characters – Because romance is primarily about relationships, the characters are probably one of the most important things for me. They need to be well developed. As a reader, I want to connect with the heroes and heroines, and really get a feeling for what they’re like. I want to be able to picture exactly how they will act, and understand the reasons they act the way they do. And they can’t be too perfect either.

Sex – I read and write erotic romance because I like the graphic sex. People who are in love have sex. Frequently, with any luck! I like the bedroom doors wide open. What bugs me is a sex scene with too much or too little description of the act itself at the expense of the emotions involved. I want realistic language, and realistic experiences. It would be great if we could all have mind-blowing sex every time, but it’s unrealistic to expect it to happen all the time. It also bugs me when books have acts/positions that really are physically impossible!

Story – There has to be some kind of conflict in order to drive the story forward. Sometimes the conflict is external, and sometimes it’s within the characters themselves. If it’s too contrived, or too exaggerated, I don’t like it. 

Writing – I know myself that no matter how many times something gets read, there are still mistakes that slip through. But nothing bothers me more than crazy head-hopping, or typos. And then there are repeating things too often, or writing dialogue in a way that no human ever says anything. Granted, I know these things happen in my own writing and I try hard to avoid it. But knowing the process I go through with my editors, it still amazes me sometimes what will make it into print.

I know each person has their own idea of what makes a good story, and these are my own ideas. I strive for them in my own writing, but it is still new to me and I know I have a lot to learn yet! I can only hope that my readers will continue to enjoy my work for a long time! 


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Hedon Falls ~ Book One

Landing the Big Ones

When single mom Serena Keegan finally gives in to her son's pleas for a pet, they decide that fish are the perfect option for their apartment lifestyle. They quickly discover that they have a lot to learn about their aquatic friends. Thankfully, Dalton's Aquariums and More! is there to help. The owners, identical twins Lance and Liam Dalton, both find themselves attracted to her. They are eager to provide her with the assistance she needs, for the pets and for more…personal matters.

Serena’s past experience with men has been less than stellar, and she worries she and her son will end up hurt. Despite these fears, she finds herself falling for the sexy store owners, whose talents extend well beyond business. But Liam has a past he hasn't told her about, and when Serena finds out, it threatens their growing love.

Note: There is no sexual relationship or touching for titillation between or among siblings.
Welcome to Hedon Falls! Be sure to stop by Dalton's Aquariums and More!

The author situated just the right amount of passion, sensuality and steamy sex into her debut release to ensure that both the Hedon Falls series and she will have a very promising future. The story line was fresh and the sex scenes were phenomenal - both passionate and emotional. The scenes were not over erotic; yet the intimacy at times was awe-inspiring (and not only for characters).

The Romance ReviewAlthough Lance and Liam are identical twins, the author did an excellent job of giving each a very distinctive personally. The romantic development between the threesome is based on Serena's attraction to each brother individually; this is a unique concept. However, the author wrote all of the relationships within the story with the same intensity; the kinship between Serena and Sam, Lance and Liam, the affinity between the twins and Sam, even the glimpses of past relationships – there was no emotional filler; everything seemed essential to the development of the main story.

Hedon Falls ~ Book Two

The Art of Love


Melanie Hynes owns the brand-new art gallery in Hedon Falls. When she decides to make erotic art the theme of her opening exhibition, she goes in search of artwork.

Justin Gauthier creates a unique blend of painting and photography. Melanie finds his youth and vigor intoxicating. David Hannah can sculpt provocative pieces from ordinary materials. And Melanie discovers that he is very good with his hands. Garrett Anderson’s paintings of BDSM are shocking and arousing. When Melanie asks about the lifestyle, he teaches her.

Three men, each with their own distinct talents, and she falls hard and fast for all of them.

When David finds out she is seeing other men, he is hurt and angry. Confused by her attraction to three men, she doesn’t know who to choose. Justin and Garrett show her the joys of sharing, and she thinks that may be the key to her dilemma. Can she convince David to consider a ménage?
The author created another spectacular story set in Hedon Falls; my second visit exceeded the first – by one sexy man {lol}. This story is 100% stand alone – the heroine, Melanie, is friends with Serena from Landing the Big Ones.

Michelle Graham built an impressive, artistic, story about discovering devotion and passion. This is a sexy, entertaining, and pleasurable read about how attraction can develop in an instant. The author created characters with realistic desires, fears and insecurities – and the impact of having an unconventional relationship.

I bet researching this book was lots of fun. Although, the cover has the BDSM symbol it is only briefly mentioned in a single scene. Not sure what the author has planned for my next visit to Hedon Falls but, I can’t wait to visit again.

Disclosure: This ebook was provided to me free of charge by the author for the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments, and ratings are my own.

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