Memorable Scenes: - Kelly and Spence's first meet in the club > I just overdosed on raw sexual heat and tension. Am I still breathing? I...more4.5 stars!
Memorable Scenes: - Kelly and Spence's first meet in the club > I just overdosed on raw sexual heat and tension. Am I still breathing? I think Cari just killed me... - the scene working late at the Book Nook > sweet and hot at the same time - the scene at the club with Paul > *fans self* but it's not helping at all!!
Kelly Crossman is a day manager at one of the Book Nook bookstores. She’s sweet and giving, yet she knows what she wants and goes for it. Kelly is also smart-mouthed, impulsive and has rebellious streak.
Spencer Galvin is a regional manager for The Book Nook bookstores. He’s controlled and in command, tight-lipped and driven. But he’s also ruthless, honest and has voyeuristic tendencies.
This book is hot beyond words! I'm not ashamed to admit I was in a constant state of arousal throughout the whole thing. But next to the amazing, scorching heat there was also the emotional struggle both Spencer and Kelly go through. Both Spencer and Kelly are far from picture-perfect characters and I really liked that. Their flaws and not so perfect decisions made me like them even more.
Kelly has no trouble acknowledging her feelings for Spencer but she keeps them to herself, afraid to hear Spencer doesn't care to hear them. Spencer is more complicated. He has feelings for Kelly but his past and need for control prevent him from letting go and going for it. His struggle was torturous to read and there were many moments I just wanted to yell at him to just go for it and stop wasting precious time.
I’m really happy to know that there are quite a few books still coming in this series (4 more if I recall correctly) because the cast of secondary characters was great and offers a lot of possibilities in the future. There was one secondary character I would have loved to punch in the face in this book. Hard! But Cari has assured me she isn’t all evil and she is going to make an effort to redeem her in her own book. I have faith that Cari will make it work, so I’m even looking forward to Diana’s book.
I must admit Cari Quinn pushed me to the edges of my boundaries with the Diana situation. I understood Spencer’s reasoning but still didn't like the direction it was headed in. However, I did like how that particular part of the story was played out in the end and how it contributed to the emotional turmoil in the story.
I think I should just review Cari Quinn's books with an “I love her writing, buy the book!” because I just do. The perfect combination of heat, humor and emotion draw me in every single time and just keep me reading, not wanting to stop for a single minute. Fluent, witty, clean, hot and crisp Cari's voice is one of my top favorites in the erotic romance scene.
I suspected it before but after reading PROVOKE ME, I’m sure. Cari Quinn is trying to kill me with her scorching hot books that are not only sexy but emotional too. Oh well, it’s a great way to go…
Favorite Quotes: He was brilliant, ruthlessly so. An amazing boss. And his ass was a thing of beauty.
(Alana) “Kel, we’ve been here ten minutes. The line’s getting longer and I’m nowhere near getting any c#ck.” (I just LOVE Alana, if only for this remark of hers)
He wasn’t much better. He was about to suffer c#ck-strangulation from his belt and his sides ached from his rigid stance in the seat. She’d fucking annihilated him with her lips and her hand. Even without sampling that honey-sweet mouth or feeling her bare palm around his erection, he was one tepid fantasy away from coming in his pants.
Every breath he took ravaged his chest. He was on fire, inside and out, his body one massive throbbing nerve. She cried out again, a shrill piercing noise he should’ve worried would wake the neighbors. But there was no room for worry now.
He sounded like a mixture of heaven and hell, wrapped in a thin chocolaty layer of sex-drenched sin.
OVERALL rating for the anthology: 8.9 out of 10 - GREAT READ! Verdict on the anthology as a whole:
Four different stories, each exceptional in their o...moreOVERALL rating for the anthology: 8.9 out of 10 - GREAT READ! Verdict on the anthology as a whole:
Four different stories, each exceptional in their own way!
This anthology should come with a huge warning: So hot it will set your reading device on fire! Read at your own risk! Each story is hotter than the other. If this book doesn't get you twisting in your undies, I don't know which one will!
This is the first anthology I’m reviewing on my blog since the make-over and the joining of my Quick-and-Dirty Review blog with my regular blog. Because of that and because of the trouble I’m having making a clear and concise I’ve decided to make the Quick-n-Dirty REALLY QnD and posting almost non-edited notes I made during my reading of this anthology. I hope through it my enjoyment and appreciation of this wonderful anthology still shines through.
CONSUMED by Dee Carney
First line: For the first time in almost fourteen years as a chef, August Jaeger forgot the name of the dish he was serving.
Memorable Scenes: - The scene in the alley/street, going to August's house for a private dinner > H to the O to the T!! - August defending McD fries > he won my heart there as McD fries are heaven to me LOL
Ingredients: A commanding celebrity chef, a food critic undercover, some spanking, lots of heat,
Hero: August Jaeger, chef It's a good thing this hero is such a sexy, sexy man because his name is so not but the sexiness he exudes totally trumps that. Temperamental and take-charge
Heroine: Saffron Burton, food critic Ambitious and smart
Notes: A chef and a food critic as main characters, when I read this I was sold! Though I adore cooking/restaurant stuff TV shows and I have quite some foodie romances on my shelves, sadly they are still unread. However, this foodie novella has definitely sparked the need to push the up towards the top of my TBR pile.
This story was so damned quotable it was very hard for me to pick just the ones mentioned in this review! I already had a whole bunch of quotes after being only 3 chapters into the story.
Ms Carney writes sex scenes like nobody's business! Scalding hot and beautifully written.
Verdict: CONSUMED is excellently written, fast-paced, delicious and hot! It's short but well-rounded and balanced.
Favorite Quotes: He wanted to hear her say his name. Not just as part of everyday conversation, but in a throaty, breathy, on the verge of an orgasmic scream kind of way.
If he did what his body wanted -what it commanded- she'd find herself spread before him against the wall, dress bunched around her waist, restaurant guests and other passersby be damned.
A war raged within him; the chef ensured she found oral satisfaction while the man in him wanted her sexual satiation.
Rating: 9/10 – AWESOME READ!
CONNED by Chloe Cole First line: "Oh my God. Oh, God. Yeah. Yeah, right there. Yes. Yes!"
Memorable Scenes: - Tuck in the shower > both funny and HOT! - the scene with the icecube > have I mentioned this story is hot! I died and went to Tucker Lamb heaven in this scene!
Ingredients: a conman in the WPP as a college professor, a female professof who doesn't know the nice, nerdy professor outside hides a wicked bad boy inside, scorching sexually charged experiments,
Hero: Tucker 'Tuck' Lamb, Science Professor He’s trying to be good but he's a bad boy. And another addition to my fave heroes list of yummy dirty talkers. Welcome, Tucker…and make yourself at home! :)
Heroine: Eleanor 'Cricket' Malloy, Human Sexuality Professor Quick-witted, passionate and bold/direct
Notes: I definitely want to read more by Chloe Cole. Her writing is crisp, playful, humorous and hot. I certainly approve.
Same thing about quotes (see CONSUMED notes) goes for this story, maybe even more.
Verdict: CONNED is a very hot and perfectly written story with great characters, awesome sexual tension and mind-blowing smexing
Favorite Quotes: She'd wondered if he would take the bait, but he'd chosen to retreat instead. It was kind of a letdown, but kind of cute at the same time. He was a bit of a puzzle and damn if that didn't have her heart kicking up a notch. She almost laughed out loud at her own reaction. She knew a sign when she saw one and if a nerdy professor not flirting with her was getting her all hot and bothered, she had obviously gone without a man for too long.
In one hour, he was expected to be at the lab. The lab where he would spend the better part of his afternoon testing out aphrodisiacs with the sexiest woman on the planet. He wondered briefly if anyone had ever died of horniness. He looked down at his swollen c#ck and let out a disgusted snort. Maybe it wouldn't kill him, but if he didn't take care of it he definitely wouldn't be able to walk straight.
The climax hit him like a wrecking ball, smashing through his fantasy, splintering it into pure, incoherent pleasure.
He was still so pole-axed by her appearance, he couldn’t respond. Great. Just when he’d decided to let her see how cool he was, all his cool melted in the face of her ridiculous hotness.
"Ready to go?" "Uh, where? I thought..." They'd struck a bargain, hadn’t they? Her cheeks burned. Had she misunderstood somehow? She frantically replayed their conversation in her head, eyeing her half- full wineglass on the table. "What'd you think, I was just going to stretch you out on the bed and go to town?" Actually. He pinned her with his gaze. "This isn't amateur hour, Doctor. I'm old and wise enough to know that seduction begins long before you hit the bedroom. Now let's get out of here."
Rating: 9.5/10 – AWESOME READ!
CONQUERED by Cari Quinn First line: In theory, a bachelorette party should provide plenty of chances to get laid.
Memorable Scene: - the stripping lesson and its aftermath > hot turning point in the story!
Ingredients: A case of mistaken identity, a PI undercover as a stripper, a very proper heroine who defines the 'still waters run deep' saying, a drink spiked with an experimental aphrodisiac, a stripping lesson
Heroine: Emma Donegan, call center rep Vivacious and sweet, a wannabe bad girl under the veneer of the wholesome girl next door. I loved Emma, she is so open and candid and says what she thinks without a filter. Found her very refreshing, endearing and funny.
Hero: Shane Madison, ex-cop, now private investigator All the notes on Shane I had was: nice guy…
Notes: Penguin, banana hammock...Cari Quinn never fails to make me laugh while expanding my erotic romance vocabulary.
This story started off a bit less intense as the previous 2 stories but boy, once it got hot and heavy...it was definitely worth the wait! Cari's sex scenes are carnal, lush and awesome. How she does it, I don't know but as long as she keeps doing it I'll keep reading and enjoying them.
Verdict: CONQUERED is a wonderful and hot story once again by one of my favorite erotic romance authors. Though not the most scorching one of the bunch it fit right in and I enjoyed it to the fullest!
Favorite Quotes: The cop so couldn't dance. He kept watching the other guys and trying to mimic their moves. Not only did he have two left feet, they were both broken. But he scored high on the yummy scale.
If she kept talking and didn't go for it soon, she'd probably run out of chances to coax him into bed --up against the wall?-- before he got annoyed. But he'd been hard for her. She must be doing something right. He'd called her cute. If she could just stop babbling to fill the silence, maybe he'd still want to do her. Hot guys probably didn’t have a lot of patience for slightly drunken/drugged, chatty, horny girls. She needed to turn him on.
"It's always the quiet ones," he whispered against her cheek, her rough pants the sweetest, dirtiest music he'd ever heard.
Hard to maintain your dignity when you were compressed like a deformed pretzel. Especially when you could see your lover's well-used mouth descend to the cleft between your legs as if he were about to dine on a succulent meal. With his tongue as the fork.
Rating: 8.5/10 – GREAT READ!
CONVICTED by Dee Tenorio
First line: The pounding on the door damn near knocked Cade out of bed.
Memorable: - There was not a specific scene but the whole banter between Cade and Trina was memorable, with at its highpoint the “My tits, my rules” quote
Ingredients: A sheriff, an undercover DEA agent, a mole/traitor, bikers, sexual tension that you could cut with a knife,
Hero: Cade Evigan, sheriff Gruff and commanding wounded warrior
Heroine: Katrina 'Trina' Killian, undercover DEA agent Thrives on independence, unrefined, ball-buster and bold
Notes: Dee Tenorio's writing is unique and intense. The intensity is countered with some dry, witty humor that made this story utterly enjoyable. Out of the 4 stories this one had the most elaborate plot. Within the short span of this story she manages to create back-stories and events that paint a full picture of the main characters and yet keeps the plot moving forward in a pretty fast pace.
Verdict: CONVICTED is a plot-driven yet emotionally intense story that wasn’t as sexually steamy as the others were, but fit into this anthology perfectly. This story makes me want an entire series based on the premise of it.
Favorite Quotes: He was not going to give her the smile she was hunting down. He couldn't allow it. Trina collected his moments of weakness like a kid after baseball cards. But once they were hers, she cashed them in for pieces of his soul. He simply didn't have enough left to let her play her games.
"My tits, my rules"
If there were two things Cade knew about the sleeping woman spread out across his bed like a flat sheet, it was that she was still keeping something from him and that she had an absolutely fantastic ass. (...) "Stop looking at my ass." The grumble from under the pillow was grouchy, yes, but that didn't bother him nearly as much as the hand trying to pull the shirt hem further down her body. "Can't." "Why not?" He didn't bother to stifle the chuckle that rose up his chest as her attempts to snag the shirt end turned into a flapping fight to get her fingers free from the loose cuff of the sleeve. Didn't she realize when she arched to reach back, she was lifting up and giving him a view that could make an atheist believe in God? "It's a male imperative. Man sees the Promised Land, nothing short of death is keeping him from staring at it."
"That's it? Yes. No explanations, no protestations of innocence?" Trina shrugged. "I think I gave up innocent when I deep throated you."
Memorable Scene: -scene at the lagoon where Andreus finally takes Ariana > the build...moreSource: 7.2out of 10 - GOOD READ!
First line: He was forbidden.
Memorable Scene: -scene at the lagoon where Andreus finally takes Ariana > the build up to it made it an impressively climactic scene
TABOO is my first encounter with Leslie Dicken’s work, despite having two of her historical romances on my digital bookshelves. After reading TABOO I know I want to read those soon though because this first taste of her writing has left me wanting to read more.
Before receiving a review copy of TABOO I talked to Leslie Dicken on Twitter about this book because having read the blurb I was convinced it wasn’t going to be a book that would completely fit my reading preferences. I thought it was an erotic fantasy romance and though I don’t shy away from erotic romances, I have learned, reading romance over the years, that fantasy romance is not quite my cup of tea. However, when Leslie Dicken mentioned that TABOO was more light fantasy and science fiction romance-ish, I started to get more and more intrigued by the book as the title had already captured my attention.
Though TABOO classifies as a sci-fi/fantasy erotic romance I couldn't escape the historic vibe Leslie Dicken’s writing gave off. The writing style was agreeable and fluent and I was soon immersed in the story of Ariana and Andreus but I did find the writing to have a historic feel to it, especially in the wording and sentences.
Though the start was slow and it took me a chapter or two to get into the story, it remained fascinating and intriguing and soon I was curious as to how the story would unfold. Once I got past the first two chapters I had little trouble envisioning the world Leslie Dicken created in this story and found the mix between world building, eroticism and plot to be nicely balanced. I also really liked how Leslie Dicken set up the world within this book, with the two different people and the star-crossed lovers trope.
Although I do think the story was too short for extensive characterization, I really liked the characters and their backgrounds. In that vein, I must also say the plot, the eroticism and the world building made a bigger impression on me than the characterization.
The love scenes were explicit and sexy and the sexual tension was built up excellently towards the scene where they finally fully give in to the chemistry between them. At first I wasn't sure I liked that Ariana is betrothed to one man and lusting after/attracted to another and the one thing I didn't really like was the way this was also not addressed in the end when Ariana never really tells her intended she wants out of their betrothal but does get her HEA with Andreus.
The story focuses mainly on Ariana and Andreus as there are hardly any secondary characters. If I counted them correctly there were two on page secondary characters who appeared extremely briefly and there was one mention of a secondary character but that was it. Understandably because as I’ve mentioned the plot, eroticism and world building didn’t leave much room for characterization and it’s not more than logical that too many secondary characters would take away even more space for Ariana and Andreus to be thrive as main characters.
TABOO is a character-driven and sensual fantasy-ish science fiction romance that, after a somewhat slow start, managed to capture and keep my attention with its excellent writing and fascinating plot and world building. I loved the original and refreshing setting and backdrop for the romance and I really enjoyed the sexy, sensual love scenes. This first taste of Leslie Dicken’s work certainly won’t be my last.
Favorite Quotes: “Tell me,” he whispered in a voice thick and gruff. “Did your lover kiss you like this?”
She slipped the tip of her tongue out to taste him. His flavor was raw and wild, like the sea he tried to tame.
“Make me well,” he whispered against her mouth. “So I may ravage you again.”
A small tug of male pride curled his lips. He’d have her screaming before it was all over.
Very few authors can make me like the m/m part of a m/m/f ménage as much as I love the m/f part and though Jess Dee didn't accomplish this in a previo...moreVery few authors can make me like the m/m part of a m/m/f ménage as much as I love the m/f part and though Jess Dee didn't accomplish this in a previous m/m/f book (different series) she definitely did in this book. I didn't even miss Grace's presence in the first hot scene between Trev and Max. One little point of critique is the speed and ease with which Max accepted and fell for Grace. It was too quick and I wanted/expected more struggle from Max.
This all being said I still love the scenes with all three the best. Those scenes were SMOKING hot! Like, I would've needed a fan, several cooling elements and a tall glass of icewater and I still wouldn't have cooled off properly! My reading device was on fire!
Jess Dee doesn't make it easy for her characters or her readers. The HEA is always there but she makes you work for it. Hard! I loved the inner struggle Grace was having once she found out about Trev and Max. As the reader you know it's a lost battle for Grace and her surrender is going to be inevitable but it was awesome to read anyway.
The general theme and starting point of the books in this trilogy is the same: one person loving two others at the same time, wanting a permanent threesome to come out of that and either both or one of the loved ones is not on board with that. And that's where all similarties end (except for all three books being hot as heck) because each story is unique and different and takes a different route to the HEA with the main characters coming together in their own way for different reasons. This is what I loved about this trilogy.
Fave Scenes: - the threeway scene after Grace finds out about Trev and Max > OMG should suffice here too - the kitchen table > best m/m/f scene ever for me!
Fave Quotes: He licked into her mouth, exploring the warm, wet cavern. He stroked her tongue with his, nipped at her lower lip, sucked on her upper one, and she met his intensity move for move. [Trev & Grace]
She tasted like nectar and cream and honey. Grace was sweet with a hint of the forbidden, while Max was salty with a generous helping of man. They both blew his mind, both whet his appetite until he felt he’d never get enough.
She’d watched as that same man confessed his love for Trev. The words emerging soft and sweet in a voice wrapped in silk. So soft and sweet they’d tumbled over her skin like a million drops of pleasure. And like a million sharp needles, every one of them stabbing at her, piercing her flesh as they cascaded downward.
Voices like Max’s should be illegal. Because seriously, he could bring a woman to orgasm just by speaking. Hell, he could quote texts from the Financial News and she’d tumble through multiple orgasm heaven.
“You taste like sin,” she whispered when she released his mouth. “Not sin. Just you.” He looked at Trev. “And Trev.”(less)
Words cannot describe my mad love for this book! Adored it!
Rating: 10 out of 10 - PERFECT READ!
First line: She had a choice to make. To go or to stay...moreWords cannot describe my mad love for this book! Adored it!
Rating: 10 out of 10 - PERFECT READ!
First line: She had a choice to make. To go or to stay. To have an incredible adventure or to stay snuggled in the soulless crypt of her comfort zone.
Memorable Scenes: - Shawn’s skills with handcuffs > clever thinking there ;-) - Every.Single.Sex.Scene > pages could’ve easily caught fire is all I’m saying! And the best thing is I wouldn’t have noticed as I was enthralled by the sexy, sexy scenes! - BEYOND MEMORABLE: The elevator scene!!! I never thought I would ever say this but Cari’s elevator smexing scene trumps ANY office smex scene I have ever read! There! I said it!
Rachel Cooper and Shawn Griffin have been best friends forever, since they were in diapers. When Rachel’s contemplating to visit an ex on the other side of the country to have a sexual fling and some closure Shawn surprises her by telling he’s going with her. Shawn’s been in love with Rachel for years and when she tells him his plans he decides enough is enough and now is the time to show her he’s the only man she needs.
Rachel resists taking her relationship with Shawn beyond either friendship or just sex for several reasons. For one, she doesn’t want to ruin their friendship with emotions. Another reason is her natural resistance to doing anything her parents expect from her, her rebellion against her parents so to speak. Third is fear. She has loved once and he hurt her so she shields herself from it as to not risk the chance of getting hurt again. Rachel doesn’t do love, at least that’s what she thinks, but Shawn sneaked up on her and nestled himself in her heart way before she’s ready to admit it.
Shawn and Rachel are very alike. They both compartmentalize things, they’re both stubborn and tenacious. I loved the banter between them. They are very comfortable with each other, which I guess is one of the reasons I love the friends-to-lovers trope so much.
The romance in INSATIABLE was built up excellently. Shawn was quicker in accepting what was between him and Rachel as he’d acknowledged his feelings for her much earlier. And Rachel, though slowly giving into the chemistry and her changing feelings (from close friendship to sexual interest to love), she remains hesitant and doesn’t jump in with both feet. I really liked that Cari Quinn took this road as nothing bothers me more than overnight changes of heart or sudden epiphany moments that make a story feel rushed. Well, there was nothing rushed about INSATIABLE. Thank you for that, Cari!
Cari Quinn’s sex scenes are so awesome I can’t even find appropriate adjectives to describe them or how I feel about them any more. If anyone deserves the title of author of the hottest sex scenes ever, it’s her. But the sexy scenes aren’t what solely attracts me to her books and keep me coming back for more. Her characters, especially her heroes, are terrifically written. The chemistry and dynamics between her characters, their dialogues, their histories and their personalities…All of it comes together perfectly and smoothly and more importantly it works oh so well for me I just drown in the books and don’t want to come up for air.
Cari Quinn hit all my emotional buttons with INSATIABLE. Next to the sizzling scenes there are also emotional moments of doubt and self-recrimination that caused lumps in my throat. It’s known I have a soft spot for books with heat, emotion and humor. INSATIABLE ticked every single one of those boxes for me. And wow, I was totally shaken up at the end of this story. Not only did something unexpected throw me for a loop, the ending also definitely touched a personal reality for me. I was tearing up through the entire last chapter and literally and loudly bawled at Rachel’s speech during a certain event. (Won’t say which event as it will spoil the powerful ending of this story). This last chapter, even knowing there had to be a HEA, had me worried for a while about how this was going to be wrapped up and I must say Ms Quinn hit it out of the ballpark with the end.
I love reading Cari Quinn’s books so much once I start a book of hers I can’t put it down and INSATIABLE definitely was not an exception to that. With INSATIABLE she gave me stuff like himbo, hit-and-run sex and nibblicious butt. Just for that she deserves an extra point for this book.
I don’t think I can come up with any fresh new words to praise Cari Quinn’s writing. I’ve complained about the short length of her stories before and with INSATIABLE this complaint has been completely taken away as I was treated to a well-written rounded story with enough pages and room for more back-story and depth to the characters than in her shorter stories.
There wasn’t a single thing I didn’t like about INSATIABLE. It aroused me, it made me laugh and it made cry. The perfect triad for a perfect read!
Favorite Quotes: He’d cajoled her to come with him to this thing, but she wasn’t dancing with him. Nope. She preferred to dance with the first himbo who twirled the pretty pink umbrella in her mixed drink. (LOVE LOVE LOVE Cari for introducing me to the word ‘himbo’ here. I laughed out loud, really hard, when I read it. Brilliant!)
His hooded green eyes offered wicked delights his equally naughty lips promised to fulfill, if a woman didn’t exhaust herself on the fantasy before she’d sampled the reality.
Air swept over her fevered skin as he tugged down the zipper, but she didn’t stop him. He’d flipped a switch inside her, and now he kept his finger on the button, playing her expertly.
Then Rachel walked into the room, her short geisha girl outfit revealing a mile and a half of leg, and his muscles locked as if he were a wolf that had just scented its mate.
She’d known Shawn all her life, and until two days ago, she’d believed, perhaps naively, that she understood him better than anyone. She knew what to buy him for his birthday—books on architecture or a gift certificate to his favorite art store, so he could buy his preferred brand of sketch pads and blue pencils —and how to make his favorite kind of peanut butter sandwich, with strawberry jelly and banana on extra-dark toast. But she didn’t know this dangerously tempting man who’d just stared at her as if he wanted to swallow her in one greedy, finger-licking gulp.
“What are you looking for then?” “What I’ve already found.” He took a breath. Let it out again. “I love you, Rachel.” When her expression didn’t change, he let out a self-deprecating laugh. “Capital L, Rach. The big kahuna. Not best-pal love, but the I-want-to-eat-tropical-fruit-drizzled-with-honey-off-your-breasts-and-make-love-to-you-all-night kind. Get my drift?”
Memorable Scenes: - the dry hump scene at the building-site > wow... - porch swing scene > double wow... - ultrasound scene > sweet a...more4,25 stars
Memorable Scenes: - the dry hump scene at the building-site > wow... - porch swing scene > double wow... - ultrasound scene > sweet and emotional
The book TURN IT UP is a prequel to was TURN IT ON. I have fond memories of TURN IT ON as it was my very first unsolicited ARC-review request and it was my first encounter and the beginning of a beautiful bookish online relationship with the fabulous and lovely Vivian Arend. Soon after I reviewed TURN IT ON in January 2010 I discovered (Viv told me) Max’s story was in the making and from that moment on I was anxiously awaiting this story. When it was finally available and loaded onto my e-reader I read it like a starved person at an all-you-can eat buffet and I wasn’t disappointed.
TURN IT UP is the story of Natasha "Tasha" Bellingham. A talented architect who is also a bit of a control-freak and she likes to be in charge and on top of things. She’s cool, unflappable, pragmatic, bossy and let’s not forget as stubborn as they come. Her co-star is Maxwell "Max" Turner who owns Computer-software Company. Max is caring, sweet, laidback, smart and most of all very patient. The man has the patience of a saint and paired with his tenacity Tasha never stood a chance against his persuasive and seductive powers!
Max has been in love and pursuing Tasha since he was 17. When in a drunken stupor she lets it slip she wants to start a family by becoming a single mom he grabs his chance to finally get his woman. Max and Tasha were a perfect match and I really enjoyed their story. Banter and little internal emotional battles alternated with sexual chemistry that just burst off the pages. I was sucked in from first page to the last and rooting for Max all the way.
If you read my reviews or know me well enough to know my reading preferences you’ll be sick of hearing that one of my favorite tropes is the older woman-younger man trope. I have a few others, such as the friends=to=lovers and the ménage tropes and Vivian Arend once again combined two of my favorite tropes into a wonderful contemporary read.
One itty-bitty thing that bothered me in this book was the Lila (Tasha's friend and Max's cousin) situation. I kept waiting for a logical explanation for her behavior and attitude but the only one given was plain age-old jealousy and since I am not familiar with that emotion and think being jealous is a waste of time I couldn’t relate to her very much and took Tasha’s side in the “fight” to the very end.
This is definitely another one of my favorite Vivian Arend books. It had it all: heat and explicitness, pace, tropes I love and main characters I totally clicked with, a hero who shot to the top of my favorites list and last but not least the right amount of back-story and secondary stuff to create a perfect balance. Thank you, Ms. Arend for once again keeping me entertained and for never disappointing me when I open one of your books to read.
Favorite Quotes: Max sank his fingers into her thick mane of dark hair and let his satisfaction escape in a low moan. God, he’d wanted to do that forever, and last night refusing her sexual advances had taken him to the breaking point. He needed this so badly he felt raw inside, aching with need for a taste of her.
His brain and body fought a battle for which could react the fastest. She was accepting his proposal. He was going to be with the woman he’d longed for his entire life. They were going to have sex and start a lifetime together. And have sex.
Max: “You tell me what you like and I’m game to try.” “ Jesus . How can you talk while you’re fooling around?” (...) “I like talking when I’m fooling around. I like to tell you the dirty things I want to do to you. You make me hot.” Tasha growled at him. “Bastard. I was so close.” “I know, but you’ll get there again. And again. And again.”
Tasha ached as Max wept, his arms cradling her tenderly. That something inside that longed for a love without end—that place she’d had tied up tight and hidden away fearing it could never, ever be—snapped wide open.
Tasha wiped away the tears flooding her eyes. There was no more denying it—how much she loved him. It had taken far too long to admit it, but it was there, inside her. No rockets went off, no loud thunderclaps or brilliant fanfare accompanied her realization. Only tightness in her throat, and a building joy to melt the final layers of icy fear that had coated her heart for so long.
Memorable Scene: The moment at the bar, right before Carter and Alana had to get out of the club > Talk about sexual tension, Cari’s a master at building it!
Quick & Dirty-review:
Summary: After 8 years coincidence (or is it fate?) brings Alana MacGregor and Carter Nicholas together, at a sex club of all places. Carter has a major crush on Alana in high school but she mowed him down ruthlessly. Now Carter is no longer the quiet, geeky boy he was in high school and he’s determined to get the woman he’s wanted for years.
Hero: Carter Nicholas, high school computer geek turned into a man with a sexual intensity that sets the pages on fire. He’s serious, sweet and a really nice guy.
Heroine: Alana MacGregor is a carefree party-girl and a pleasure/good times seeker. She’s out-going, vivacious and a try-anything-once person. She tries to hide her insecurity with bravado and doing things that seem inconsiderate and before getting this I was having a bit of a hard time with how bitchy she could be with Carter.
Alana and Carter couldn’t have been any more different if they tried. They are the textbook example of opposites that attract and proceed to set the pages on fire!
Notes: Cari Quinn never fails to pull me into her stories with her easy, fluent and hot writing. REVEAL ME was no exception. From the first sentence I was invested in Alana’s story and wondering what Cari had in store for me this time around.
Cari writes sex scenes like few other erotic romance authors do. They’re bold, straightforward and explicit and they way I absolutely like them the best: with talkative participants. Also, her books are fresh, original and never repetitive. Every one of Cari’s books I’ve read are uniquely hot. But it’s not just about the heat, she also puts characters on the page that go through development, no matter how short the book is. REVEAL ME was like that too. As I said, I had to warm up to Alana but she was never unlikeable to me because I could understand why she behaved like she did.
My only complaint about REVEAL ME is that is was such a short story because I could’ve read on forever and I hope to see Alana and Carter back in future books. Speaking of future books, I am very curious about Kelly and if there’s a story there. I dare hope that PROVOKE ME will be about her and her mysterious behavior in this book…(reviewer’s note: In the meantime I’ve heard from the author that book 2 is indeed about Kelly…YAY).
Verdict: “Quickie” is an appropriate adjective for REVEAL ME. And this is not just because the book was short and sweet, though sweet is not the word I’m looking for…Short and scorching is more like it! Thanks Cari, for another great read and I’m anxiously looking forward to Kelly’s longer story!
Funny thing: I keep referring to Carter as Nick…every time I’ve typed his name in this review I’ve typed Nick first, only to change it to Carterand in my head I keep calling him Nick…Why? It could have something to do with his last name, Nicholas and Alana calling him Nicky throughout the book…
Favorite Quotes: Once again thoughts of her best friend fled her mind. Yeah, she was going to hell. At the rate things were going, she wouldn’t even get an orgasm first.
Alana to Carter: “Whoa. You’re sounding mighty self-righteous for someone with a glow-in-the-dark condom in his pocket.”
Memorable Scenes: - The scene in which Chad confessed to kissing Lauren and Sean's reaction that followed > very powerful and pivotal scene. - The baby shower (not spoiling who's shower) > both emotional (serious talk between Lauren and Keira) and LOL funny - The 3 Sundays > some of the best ménage sex scenes I've read since I started reading erotic romance
The main characters in ANY GIVEN SUNDAY are Sean Collins, Lauren Chase and Chad Watterson. They have been friends forever and at the beginning of this book Lauren and Sean decide to move in together and for various reason invite their best buddy to shack up with them. What they don’t know is that each individually has yearnings he or she is hiding deep down…yearnings that make their living together a lot more complicated than they could have imagined.
Sean is the youngest Collins sibling. He’s impulsive, romantic, outgoing and a heart on his sleeve type of guy. Throughout the series Sean was always an element of tranquility among the boisterous Collins family. He was the one with sound advice and a listening ear for his siblings when they were balancing on the amorous edge.
Chad Watterson is Lily’s younger brother. He’s perceptive, guarded, solitary and an over-thinker. He’s not the most talkative or sociable of men but when he’s in his comfort zone (mostly with Sean and Lily) he loosens up and a different Chad emerges. You might remember Lily as the heroine from SWEET THURSDAY. When I first found and read the blurb for ANY GIVEN SUNDAY I was pretty surprised that Chad was one of the main characters as his reaction to his sister’s relationship with Justin and Killian was pretty explosive. He was considerably younger in that book, but still I was looking forward to all the possibilities this development was going to bring to this book.
The woman in the middle of these two fine specimen of men is Lauren Chase. She’s direct, open, headstrong, chatty and has a steel backbone. From early in their friendship she’s developed strong feelings for both Sean and Chad but she keeps her feelings for Chad quiet as she and Sean pursue a relationship together. What she doesn’t know is that in their friendship she isn’t the only one keeping feelings hidden and unspoken.
The final installment of this series definitely packs a punch. It started off scorchingly hot and actually never let up. Mari Carr held me captive from start to finish with this journey and exploration into secret and hidden desires. It’s all about admitting and submitting to them. She made ANY GIVEN SUNDAY about love between 3 people...pure and simple yet emotionally complicated
Sean caught my attention from the first time he set foot in this series and his story being the last was both fitting and torturous. Mari Carr definitely delivered on the promise for Sean's story! From the first line to the last I was enthralled by this excellent closure to the Wild Irish series. The prologue at the start sets the tone and once again it was all there: the heat, the family dynamics, the relational dilemmas, the humor, the excellent storytelling and the emotional ending. ANY GIVEN SUNDAY may well be the most intricate book of the series. The HEA isn't as cut and clear as in most of the other books.
I'm in awe of how Mari Carr tackled the ménage-theme in this book, she showed the problems and dilemmas and never took the easy way out. Approaching the possibility of à threesome from all angles and not making it mainly a sexually triggered one makes this book a keeper on my shelves and Mari Carr a definite favorite.
It's known m/m is a trope that is not on my erotic romance menu much. I can count the books that include m/m action that I've liked on one hand and there are very few authors who can make me forget my reluctance to read m/m scenes or romance. Mari Carr turns out to be one of those very few.
I've praised Mari Carr in previous reviews about her ability to keep all the books in this series unique and fresh despite known tropes and recurring subjects and themes and with this book she remained true to form. Underneath all the emotional intensity of this book there's still that humor I like so much in the books. It's subtle, giving way for the intricate and heavy emotional struggles
If you thought previous books in this series were hot, brace yourself for this one! To say ANY GIVEN SUNDAY is one sizzling hot book would be the first and biggest understatement of this new year.
Words fail to describe the emotional impact this book had on me and I can't but give this lovely closing installment of the Wild Irish series my highest rating!
Favorite Quotes: Years as best friends had bred a comfortable familiarity. It had also built up some pretty deep-seated need in Sean. If he didn’t get her into his bed soon, he was likely to do himself an injury. Sporting a hard-on 24/7 couldn’t be good for anybody.
Chad felt like a middle-aged accountant whenever he stood next to Sean. He spent too much time indoors. While he was trim, no one would call him built. He certainly wasn’t sporting a six-pack. Shit. He’d be lucky to find just one in his pack and his skin was too pale from lack of sun.
She curled against his shoulder as he engulfed her in his large embrace. For once, she wasn’t trying to solve the puzzle. For once, she gave up all her internal struggles and placed herself in Sean’s capable, strong hands. And for the first time in a long time, she felt happy.
(Sean) He’d tossed and turned and jacked off all night as he lay on the couch thinking about Lauren’s proposition and that damn kiss. She’d reached into his head, pulled out all his naughtiest fantasies and was now offering them to him on a silver platter.
She’d been a fool to listen to Riley’s advice. She’d thought she was engaging in a ménage, exploring some wicked fantasies. With her stupid plan, she’d blown the lid off an ancient, unseen volcano and she had a feeling they were all about to be taken down in the ensuing scorching lava flow.
Sean gave them a shit-eating grin before moving to his knees and crawling forward. He didn’t stop until his face reached Lauren’s and he gave her a long, wet kiss. Chad marveled over how natural their closeness felt. He’d always been a firm believer in personal space…but Lauren and Sean fit in his space.
Memorable Scenes: -making out on the living room couch > the baseball analogy made me laugh, the rest was hot! - scene in Ewan's office > get your cooling packs out before you read this scene ;) - the goodbye scene right before the end > bawled like a baby
Trope/themes: Older woman/younger man, depression
Natalie Miller is sarcastic, direct and a loner. She can be a little bitchy but not enough to be unlikeable as she uses her sarcasm and bitchiness as a way to protect herself and not show her vulnerability. At the start of the book she’s in a funk because she's feeling she's getting old. She also suffers from periods of dark moods, sadness and carrying the weight of the world on her shoulder. She’s afraid of falling in love because she thinks she doesn't deserve it. And she is also afraid to let people get close for fear they will discover her dark secret.
Ewan Collins is a homebody who’s serious, responsible, open and kind, but don't let that sweet, laid-back side of him fool you. He's the perfect example of silent waters that run deep. Sexually he's very commanding, passionate and almost ruthless in his pursuit of Nat's pleasure. The alpha in him he’s always hidden is awakened by Nat's fieriness and her attempts to turn him down. Ewan is also very persistent because once he has his sights on Nat, he doesn't give up, no matter how much she tries to deter him from pursuing her in very clear language
Ewan has had a crush on Natalie, who is his senior by 8 years, from the moment they met. When he has the opportunity to live with her under one roof for a week, he grabs the chance to win her over, under the pretence of teaching her to live a little by giving her life lessons, one for each day she's staying in his parental home. The lessons include how to have fun, how to relax/commune more with nature, how to think before she speaks, how to be romantic, how to stop worrying about what the world thinks of her and along the way he also teaches her how to love again.
The chemistry between Nat and Ewan is palpable from the very start but Nat tries to ignore and deny it. And then the emotions. There hasn't been one book in this series that didn't make me tear up. And two of them, including FRIDAY I LOVE YOU, just made my heart hurt. The pain and struggle Nat had to go through and the way Ewan fought for his love for her broke my heart.
FRIDAY I LOVE YOU is the fifth installment of the Wild Irish series and I loved that this installment took me back to the heart of the Collins family: the parental home, restaurant and bar. I missed that in the previous book.
I just love this series. I read a few installments, including FRIDAY I LOVE YOU, back-to-back and each and every one is different and has a unique, fresh vibe that's inherent to their main characters. Yet there are elements that return in every installment and depending on the book they are mixed and balanced out in their own way to give them all a different feel. These elements are: humor, heat, family dynamics and emotional intensity.
Mari Carr has a lovely and down-to-earth way with words that I really like! Every one of her books draws me in and it's very hard to put them down. Her characters become like people you could know and relate to.
FRIDAY, I LOVE YOU is another wonderful book in this series. It has become a very, very close second to my favorite of the series: WAITING FOR WEDNESDAY. And maybe they're even both my favorites!
As you will notice I have more quotes than I’ve had in the reviews of the previous books and I even cut a few quotes as I had so many! Me marking a lot of quotes in a book is a very good sign. A highly quotable book equals an awesome book in my eyes and this book definitely falls in that category!
Favorite Quotes: She laughed. “You really are going to have to give up this schoolboy crush. I’ve been nothing but a bitch to you since day one.” He grasped her hand and she looked at him in surprise. “I haven’t been a boy in a long time, babydoll . And I’m more than man enough to deal with you and your so-called bitchiness.”
She was in a sequined tank top and Riley had loaned her a barely there leather skirt that Ewan could barely keep his eyes off. She was f#cking gorgeous and his c#ck had been locked in mortal combat with his jeans since they’d left the apartment via the fire escape. He wasn’t entirely sure the denim was going to be strong enough to cage the monster for much longer.
The loud, thumping music matched the pulsating, relentless pumping of blood through his body. Natalie’s hands as they caressed him seemed to leave a trail of fire wherever they touched, singeing him and driving him to heights he’d never imagined. She turned slowly in his arms and he felt as if her movements were in slow motion as the flashing, colored lights set the scene around them…the other dancers hazy, unreal. It was as if they were the only two people adrift in a sea of sound, touch, heat, light.
“Wait,” she called out. He was nearly to the door. Four more steps and he’d be free. Free to hit the shower—a cold one. Free to jerk himself off—a lonely one. “You said you’d kiss me.” He closed his eyes and prayed for strength. “Tomorrow, Nat. I’ll kiss the shit out of you tomorrow. Not tonight. Don’t ask me.”
She opened her eyes and pierced him with a glare that had destroyed stronger men than Ewan Collins. He merely stared her down. “Now, Nat. I don’t want to have to dump a bucket of cold water on you, but I will.” “I will crush you like a bug if you try it.” She tried to invoke as much threatening menace into her voice as possible, but for some reason her powers of evil didn’t work against the idiot and he laughed.
They didn’t say anything else as the song continued, simply held each other and moved. As the music drifted away into another song, Ewan grasped her head in his hands, smiled as he bent down to steal the perfect kiss. His lips rubbed lightly against hers, enticing her to open her mouth. She sucked in a deep breath of his air, reaching out to taste him as well. Their tongues met, touched, played. If there was ever a moment in her life she’d want to freeze, this was it. She wanted to stop time, wrap up the occasion in tissue paper and tuck it in her pocket, so she could always pull it out and come right back here.
Memorable Scenes: - Riley finding out about the marriage > a lot of fun - sex shop scene > hot
Trope/themes: friends-to-lovers, opposites attract, weekend in Vegas, (light) spanking,
Riley Collins is a dynamic and lively party-girl. She’s stubborn, impulsive, cynical and spontaneous. She’s also the last Collins sibling in the nest and after her sister Teagan's marriage and she feels a bit left out and lonely, afraid her HEA will never come. Beneath the party-girl exterior and behavior, Riley has a heart of gold and a penchant for taking care of strays of the human kind.
Aaron Young has been Riley’s best friend, rescuer and watchdog since forever. He’s the complete opposite of her, being responsible, thoughtful and charming. However, make no mistake, he has a hidden dominant streak, because though he may be easygoing and mild-tempered, he's definitely no pushover and he can be just as stubborn as Riley is.
Riley and Aaron have been friends since the playground, the vivacious girl with a penchant for trouble who can cook up a storm, always the center of the party and the dutiful, quiet, staid cop, happy to stay in the background. When he follows her to Vegas to, once again, get her out of trouble, they end up married; Vegas-style. The marriage unleashes a side of Aaron Riley has never seen before. Her laid-back and pliable friend of over 20 years can be as commanding and alpha as the best of them. But before the can embark on the joys of married bliss, they have a lot of weird people to trace and get on the right track.
The pairing of Riley and Aaron didn't come as a surprise to me. Saw it coming from the first moment he stepped on to the scene in the first (or was it the second?) book. And I was looking forward to what Mari Carr was going to do with him and Riley.
I loved the Trevor/Bella storyline. It was great fun to read and made me think of those screwball comedies, I used to watch with my parents when I was younger. This element of the story is one of the reasons I love this series. Mari Carr manages to give each and every one its own feel, making it a joy to read this series back-to-back.
Before I started reading this book my eye caught a snippet of a review on Goodreads that said this installment wasn't as sexy or sensual as the others and this had me wondering as every installment has been sexy and sensual in its own way and this had me worried a bit because the great eroticism and sexiness is one of the definite strong points of this series. Well, I worried for nothing because to me there was nothing less sexy about SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL. Aaron and Riley had the sexiness down pat and the sex scenes were very yummy.
I suspect Mari Carr had a great time writing this book. The fun and humor is off-the charts. It reminded me a bit of the movie, The Hangover. There was lots of swearing too, which might cause some readers to turn away but not me because I am never bothered by a some good swearing and it definitely fitted the story and the storyline.
True to form, throughout this entire series, I had to wipe a few tears away at the end because even with all the fun, heat and comedic antics, Mari Carr never fails to touch the heart with a lovely and emotional ending.
With SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL I have come almost to the end of this wonderful series and I will be very sad to reach the last page of the final book as this series has given me some lovely reading hours and I don’t say this often but this might be a series I will reread in the future.
If by now, you haven’t been tempted to try the Wild Irish series, something could be definitely wrong with you (or it’s just not your thing) because if you like contemporary and erotic romance, this series should not be missing on your digital shelves.
Favorite Quotes: “Hey, sugar,” she slurred. Great, she was drunk. That helped him ignore the pleasure that suffused his body when she called him by her nickname for him.
“Are you going to eat that or try to stare it into your stomach?”
Jesus, she felt as if she were with two different men. One was her familiar best friend, while the other was a hot, dominant stranger who made her want to do all sorts of nasty, naughty things.
His c#ck had never been this hard for this long. He was beginning to fear for his health. Sustaining an erection for hours on end couldn’t be a good thing. What did those warnings on the commercials for Viagra say? Four hours? No way would the doctors in the emergency room believe his was all natural.
“So are you planning on talking me into an orgasm or do you actually have some plan to back up all this tough talk?” He shook his head, undaunted by her taunt. “It won’t work. There’s no way you’re going to top me from the bottom. Now close your mouth like a good little girl or I’m gonna gag you.”
First line: The bright yellow safety marker passed behind them as Dara leaned back on the solid wood boards of the chairlift, easing her sk...more4.5 stars!!
First line: The bright yellow safety marker passed behind them as Dara leaned back on the solid wood boards of the chairlift, easing her skis onto the rests.
Memorable Scenes: - first sex scene > good thing I'm read this book during a pretty cold spell or I'd have spontaneously combusted - Jack and Kane discussing erotic romance > I love Viv for this scene - icicles in the hot tub scene > the thought of coldness never crossed my mind
Review: The main characters of FALLING, FREESTYLE are Dara, Kane and Jack. Three lifelong friends who embark on something that goes beyond close friendship. What a delicious, awesome read. It had everything I want in an erotic romance: well-written, steamy hot, funny, emotional and attention-grabbing.
Plain and ordinary is how Dara sees herself. She has a thing for her two best friends but doesn't dare going for either of them for fear of ruining their three-way friendship. She's pure and straightforward, what you see is what you get. I really loved how she handled both men and could match them in practically everything they dished out.
The two main men are Kane and Jack. Kane is a goofy, loud daredevil. He’s the kind of man who throes himself into a situation and then doubles back to think about it…maybe… Jack is the opposite of Kane. He’s solid, instinctive and supportive and is most happy when all is ordered and pristine
Though Kane definitely was a drool-worthy character, it was Jack who made me weak in the knees and that's not just because of my soft spot for heroes with his name. I loved how Kane, the boisterous, dare-devilish character, was the one who had the most trepidation about the ménage (at first) and it was Jack, the more cautious one, who dove in headfirst and was reassuring and encouraging Kane. He was also the more adventurous one in the bedroom, making Kane look the tamer one of the two. This dynamic in the book was just fascinating.
FALLING, FREESTYLE is, without a doubt, my favorite Vivian Arend read to-date, it just ticked all the right boxes: ménage, friends-to-lovers, sizzling hot sex, witty banter and genuine emotions. And when I started trying to picture in my head how certain things would work (using safety harness from skis as improvised handcuffs for example), I knew I had me a winner! The start of the book was more intense than the ending but still it was still the best Vivian Arend book I've read up till now. There was even a little bit of conflict to resolve, which is something that's not standard in her books.
I just love Vivian Arend’s writing. With FALLING, FREESTYLE I was once again drawn in from the very start by the ease and humor in her writing. The banter, camaraderie and chemistry between Dara, Kane and Jack are great and a big positive in this story.
One thing I MUST mention is the Alpine Responsibility Code that was quoted rule by rule at the beginning of every chapter. They were so fitting the stuff going on in the actual chapters, I just loved them and I wonder if there will be something similar, like a Rock Climbing Responsibility Code, in the next book.
The skiing stuff in this book brought memories back for me I'd rather forget. Years ago I discovered at a former job's teambuilding day that involved skiing lessons, in a what might be hilarious to some but in a disastrous way for me, that skiing is not my forte. I think there's still a traumatized ski instructor out there who will run screaming should I ever go down a slope in his vicinity. Still I enjoyed the joy of going down the slopes through Dara, Kane and Jack's characters.
I'm a sucker for the ménage trope as well as the friends-to-lovers trope and with FALLING, FREESTYLE Vivian Arend gave me a lovely combination of both that will definitely go on the favorite list.
Favorite Quotes: "What's the solution? You going to step back and let me show her who's the better guy?" Jack's husky voice sent a shiver racing over Dara's skin.
She took his mouth like she took to the hills, full out, full speed--caution be damned.
"Did I offend your delicate feelings with my wicked proposal?" He leered at her as he rose to his feet. "Hell no, I was just trying to figure out how you managed to avoid suggesting it a long time ago. Two righteous studs at your beck and call for years, and it took you this long to finally come to your senses?"
She tried to regain his lips, but he pressed his finger against them. She growled and muttered against the single digit. "Why not?" Kane cleared his throat. "Because I'm an old-fashioned kind of guy? One step at a time." "I'll totally let you run the bases before you hit a home run with me."
Kane and Jack exchanged glances. "She likes a little restraint?" Kane asked. Jack nodded. "Looks that way. You want to get her legs?" "Hey guys, she’s right here, listening to you...holy--" Kane pulled her knees up and to the side. With no further preamble, he dropped his head between her legs, and suddenly she couldn't breathe.
Sensory overload approached like a freight train, and she let herself go, knowing they would catch her.
He [Kane] crawled on top of Dara and nuzzled her neck. His lips touched the lobe of her ear and he licked it before whispering softly, "I want you. Will you take me?"
Jack came to his side. "Kane? Are you going through Dara's bag? That's dangerous. Women have killed for less--"
(Kane) "You know I've got four sisters. Nothing was sacred when I was growing up. The things those girls talked about when I was around would have scarred a lesser man."
Dara was up to something, and she deserved the right to play this one out as she desired. She lifted her chin and her gaze darted between him and his friend. There was none of her usual submissive softness in her stance, just an all-out sensual burn that threatened to ignite the entire room.
(Dara to Jack) "Kane and I are going in the hot tub to f#ck like bunnies. You want to come?"
After reading book 1 I directly dove into book 2 and one thing I must say is that Jess Dee is aswesome in delivering uniqueness in a series t...more4,5 stars
After reading book 1 I directly dove into book 2 and one thing I must say is that Jess Dee is aswesome in delivering uniqueness in a series that has basically the same premise: poker and ménage. Des, Alex and Megan's story has its own feel and vibe to it, dealing with completely different issues as the three main characters in book 1.
Though I had trouble with Des' jealously in the beginning, at the same time I was feeling really sorry for what he was going through and his pain and angst made my heart hurt. But so did Alex and Meg's angsts and fears. Meg loves both men and thinks one of them doesn't love her back and Alex finds out his woman loves another man too.
Before I was halfway through with this book the tension between the three of them was killing me! Jess Dee put both all her characters and me through the wringer with this one!
I loved that the POVs of Des and Alex were added to Meg's in this book. It brought the multi-dimensionality I missed in the first book that had only the heroine's POV.
I have no more words! I don't know what I was expecting when I started this book but what I got was definitely a whole lot more! Jess Dee throws away all conventions and rules to erotic romance ménages and put a book out there that more than a few romance readers will not like. I, however, embraced it and loved it because it took me on an unconventional emotional rollercoaster ride and that's exactly what I want when I read a romance!
For most of the book I was on my way to giving it 5 stars, however at the end a conflict, that made my heart hurt even more and spiked up my anxiety level to unbearable heights, was solved way too quickly and easily so I had to deduct half a star. Because it still was an incredibly awesome read!
Fave scenes: - Meg and Des in the garden at one of the poker nights > this scene SLAYED me! - Meg, Alex and Des in Des's livingroom after the garden scene > this scene SLAYED me some more!
Fave Quotes: He swallowed hard against the desire and jealousy that fueled his blood. He refused, point-blank, to give in to his hunger. His dick could turn blue and fall off for all he cared. He was not going to utter one word to Meg on the matter. He wouldn’t comment to Alex either. It had been his choice to stand on the sidelines and feed the unforeseen fire that had flared between the two of them. Too late now to cry like a baby and yank back his approval.
While Meg stared sweetly into his eyes, proudly pledging her support and friendship, his erection burgeoned between them. One step closer on Meg’s part, and she’d be pressed against the hardest, neediest penis in the history of mankind.
Hunger assaulted her. Lust spread through her body, awakening dormant nerve endings. Alex’s touch was a live wire. Sparks flared at every point of contact between the two of them.
[Derek] His mouth crashed down on hers, claiming her lips with savage intent. He kissed her like a man starved for a woman, ravenous for a taste of that which had been denied him forever. It was a feverish kiss that went on eternally, scalding her lips and blowing every one of her defenses out of the water.
Years of unspent passion unwound in her chest. It fired through her body, heating her breasts, tugging between her legs. His taste lingered on her tongue, savory and sweet. Beer and man. She wanted more of it, wanted to sip from his lips and sear his flavor into her brain forever.
God, she missed him [Des]. Ached for him, physically and emotionally. He hadn’t just walked away from her love when he’d left. He’d walked away from their friendship—and their shared history—and about ripped her heart out in the process.(less)
3,75 stars This is one of Jess Dee's earlier works I hadn't gotten around to reading yet! It was a quick read and yet another good story coming from Je...more3,75 stars This is one of Jess Dee's earlier works I hadn't gotten around to reading yet! It was a quick read and yet another good story coming from Jess Dee's pen (or keyboard).
It's as hot, carnal and emotional as everything else I've read by her. I loved Joe, and though it took a bit for me to fully warm up to Beth, in the end I did. Beth confused me in the beginning with some very contradicting actions/behavior but that didn't last long. As always Jess Dee knew how to touch me emotionally with her story and by the end I was teary-eyed and sniffy. (less)
3.75 stars! First line: Wine was safe, the perfect complement for any dinner.
Memorable Scenes: - drive to and arrival at the cottage > who'd have tho...more3.75 stars! First line: Wine was safe, the perfect complement for any dinner.
Memorable Scenes: - drive to and arrival at the cottage > who'd have thought that of Ana... - Ana and Taylor watching p0rn > never knew watching p0rn could be described so scorchingly hot
Review: NEVER HAVE I EVER starts with preparations for a getaway to the Adirondacks for the Hudsons. Ana has received an anonymous email about her husband...Which prompts her into showing him her inner bad girl. Taylor has been suppressing his true nature as a shifter due to things that happened in his past and plays with fire when he takes Ana back to a part of his turbulent past. Slowly his sexual dominance returns to the surface and Ana turns out to be more accepting of it than he thought.
Ana is a shy, cautious and organized worrywart. I liked Ana but I’m not sure I would’ve tackled “her problem” the way she did. Taylor, Ana’s husband, at first sight is calm, quiet and gruff but that exterior hides an intense, commanding man underneath who can be sweet and funny as well.
I really liked that NEVER HAVE I EVER tells the story of an already married couple. I always like when I don't have to suspend disbelief to enjoy hot and heavy sexy times, which I normally do when new couples go at just a few pages into the story. The sex scenes in this one are very hot. Both Taylor and Ana know how to crank up the heat level in those scenes. I’d never read a scene in a romance novel this elaborated about a couple watching p0rn before and Alisha Rai definitely wins points there for originality and hotness.
With every page I read it got steamier and more interesting. And speaking of interesting, keep an eye out for Eli, Taylor’s best friend and pack-mate, when you read this book. He definitely made it to my “anticipating this character’s book”-list. I hope to see more of the pack and its members in possible future books. And definitely would like to see Eli's story and find out who's going to be at the receiving end of his alpha hotness and bring him the HEA he's yearning for.
NEVER HAVE I EVER is a very nice and steamy novella that brushed a few subjects like D/s and bondage in a light way. The werewolf stuff was a nice backdrop, but no more than that, as for me the paranormal element was not the strongpoint in this story. It was the emotional impact and sizzling chemistry between the characters that made it a memorable read for me.
Favorite Quotes: She bit her lip, wishing she could just turn off the part of her that worried and fretted and thought everything through three thousand times before settling on something. Vowing to change was easy; altering a lifetime’s habit was harder. (This quote was like seeing into my own soul...this is so me!)
He drifted closer and reached down to unwork the knot she’d made of the apron ties. They were stubborn. Cloth bands, securing Ana’s slender wrists to his metal bedframe… He yelped. Flat-out yelped, like a fucking nancy boy, and dropped his hands. Blinking, he looked up to meet her puzzled gaze.
She actually had to check herself from sighing in feminine appreciation when he walked over to her. When they’d first met, Ana had immediately known that Eli probably never lacked for female company. Forget the fact that he was rich and gorgeous. His walk alone, all loose limbed and easy and confident, was a screaming aphrodisiac to single women everywhere. Hell, not just the single women. She might be madly in love with Taylor, but she could spot a prime male specimen when he sauntered up to her.
“See. We can have it all,” she said, breathless, when they parted. The wild beast and the civilized man; the dark hunger and the tender romance.
Victor Connagher is a former star quarterback now CEO of Dallas cable channel VCONN, Victor is commanding, fierce, outwardly calm and colle...more4.5 stars!!
Victor Connagher is a former star quarterback now CEO of Dallas cable channel VCONN, Victor is commanding, fierce, outwardly calm and collected, inside a volcano of intensity on the verge of erupting, which made him an intriguing character that demanded my full attention, whether I was ready to give it or not.
His darker sexual needs and urges, a nasty experience with his ex-fiancée and the subsequent difficulty to find the woman who accepts that side of him and is able to handle him and his vicious needs when he's on the edge, have made him weary of dating or frequenting the BDSM scene. He needs a woman who can handle the Master and love the man.
Shiloh Holmes is an associate producer at VCONN. She’s saucy, bubbly, submissive yet defiant, open and energetic. Shiloh knows what she wants and goes for it, fully aware that there’s a chance of getting hurt but she doesn’t let that stop her. She’s undeniably drawn to Victor's dominance and the reality show she's developed is her means to secure him as her Master.
HURT ME SO GOOD starts with copycat TV channel stealing their concept for a show and the search for the mole/spy within VCONN who is selling them out to the competition. They need a new show to save the season and Shiloh pitches her idea for a reality TV show on BDSM, America's Next Top sub. For her the show is her final chance to obtain Victor as her Master, something she's craved from the moment she laid eyes on him and saw the one and only man who can give her what she craves.
Victor and his crop had me in his thrall from the very first chapter and I felt like pushing Shiloh out of the picture (think stairs scene in Showgirls) so I could take her place. And this is me talking! Whimpering wuss of the century who doesn't tolerate the faintest hint of pain without curling up into a ball of misery.
Victor's need to hurt and Shiloh's need for pain are very in tune and it makes their chemistry smoldering and intense. But both of them are also hindered by feelings of insecurity as to how they can truly give the other one what they really need without causing irreparable damage
Victor was so hard on himself, so afraid to hurt Shiloh and so filled with guilt, yet not seeing that what is truly hurting Shiloh is his guilt, him shutting her out every time he uses his crop on her and not giving himself completely. I was truly wondering how this was going to change and what was needed for him to let loose and embrace himself and accept what Shiloh was offering him in terms of love and submission.
All the characters in this book are utterly fascinating and anything but cookie-cutter lift this contemporary erotic romance to a high level. This goes for both Victor and Shiloh but also for secondary characters like Malinda, Patrick and Victor’s mother. Without them this book wouldn’t have half the impact it had on me now.
And Joely Sue, I think the m/m romance readers would love a Leon-Brandon story *wink*
With HURT ME SO GOOD Joely Sue Burkhart has combined two things that utterly fascinate me: reality TV and a D/s relationship and she gave me a deeper look into the sadist/masochist aspect of BDSM instead of the Master/slave relationships I've read about and don't really feel comfortable with.
The way Joely Sue Burkhart describes the feelings and the dynamics, the hunger and need, is mesmerizing. The way she describes insecurity, vulnerability and pain is simply out of this world. I have no words to do it justice with a description. I had the pleasure and honor of proofreading HURT ME SO GOOD many months ago and was utterly impressed with the way Joely Sue Burkhart wanted to bring Victor's story to her readers. Now having read it with a reviewer's eye I can only be even more impressed. From the first to the last word she reeled me in with a poignant and emotional story within the realm of D/s that is a more than worthy successor of DEAR SIR I’M YOURS!
Thank you, Joely Sue, for another great installment of the Connaghers, a family that has found a firm place in my reader’s heart and on my (digital) shelves. I can’t wait to see what Vicki will bring to the table. (less)
As far as summaries go, you'll have to do with the blurb because I can't say anything more without spoiling and this is a book best read w...more4.25 stars!!
As far as summaries go, you'll have to do with the blurb because I can't say anything more without spoiling and this is a book best read without spoilers that would ruin a lot of pivotal emotional moments in the story. SECOND CHANCES touches subjects as D/s and bondage but also emotional stuff as family bonds and a tense mother-daughter relationship, loss, grief and a bunch of other stuff I can't mention for fear of spoilers.
This story has three main characters and I'm not talking ménage here. It's a complicated love story filled with heat, emotions and struggles.
After a break-up with her cheating ex-boyfriend, Rori Simon leaves the life she's build in Paris and moves back to her hometown and her roots after ten years. She re-connects with Jude, the town’s bad boy, womanizer and her friend whom she had a crush on when she was a young. She also decides she's not going to chase after Jude him because no matter how much she wants Jude she's also realistic enough to realize exclusiveness is not in his vocabulary. Though she is falling for him, and has fallen for him she demands respect and will not taking his crap.
Throughout the story I couldn't fully connect with Rori. She was too fickle for me at times but I can't say I didn't like her. I liked her as a heroine because she was strong, self-confident and realistic. I just had trouble with some of her decisions and I never quite felt her emotionally except during a pivotal emotional scene where her hurt broke my heart.
Jude Callahan is a commanding charmer and a commitment-phobic, skirt-chasing womanizer. He’s not the one-woman type but rather juggles multiple women at the same time, enjoying them but never committing to one of them. A fact he openly admits to and doesn't pretend he's not. And it's been made easy for him with the women falling at his feet so he doesn't even have to make an effort.
Until Rori's return changes things and he finds himself doing the chasing instead of the other way around and he starts feeling things (jealousy, possessiveness) he's never felt before. Rori calls... no, screams, to his urge to dominate. Deep down he's not the carefree bachelor he seems to be. Opening up and making himself vulnerable because of how he's starting to feel about Rori scares him to death, which is why he inadvertently pushes her away as he doesn't open up to her other than sexually.
This drives Rori to Zach Helm, her best friend’s brother. Zach is the total opposite of Jude. He is ready to commit and so the focus of hero shifted to him, another Dominant but very openly so. He fills the emotional void that Jude left. Though both Zach and Jude are Doms Zach is more sure and comfortable with his mastery, which made him come out on top and made the sex scenes with him and Rori hotter to read.
Jude really started to get on my nerves with his petty jealousy over Rori once she's with Zach. He came across as a petulant child stomping his foot because he didn't get what he wanted but only wanted it after he threw it away and someone else grabbed it. Still, as much as he got on my nerves and as much as I wanted to smack him for being an ass to Rori, Jude was the character I clicked with the most.
Zach to me was kept on the surface as a character, understandably once you get to the heart of the story and I couldn’t completely click with Rori. Jude was the one who made a significant enough character development for me. Then something big, significant and heartbreaking happens and Rori and Jude grow close again and at the start of that development in the story my feelings about it were ambivalent.
I admired how Lauren Dane tackled the situation and the romance in this novel but I wasn’t sure if I was going to love it in the end. It's definitely not your run-of-the-mill romance novel that you just go through the motions with. It made me stop and wonder what I would do in Rori's place faced with the situations Lauren Dane put her in.
There were some things I liked less in the story. One thing that bothered me a bit was the flashbacks during sex scenes. Rori and Jude and Zach had them and they took me out of the sexy times mood, even when they were flashbacks with a sexual tone. Also Rori attracts dominant men but I didn't find a foundation in her character to suggest she's a sub other than both Zach and Jude saying she was "the perfect sub". The "something clicked into place inside her" didn't completely work for me either, as it was sudden and left too unfounded for me to truly accept it.
However there were so much more things that I did like about this story and they made the above little issues pale in comparison. I loved the quick alternations between Rori and Jude's POVs, which gave the story a very fast-paced, feel and kept it moving forward.
The characters and their emotional development were also pluses for me. This goes for Jude especially because he could have been a character easy to dislike, even hate, but the way Lauren Dane portrayed him you just can't because he's very unapologetically upfront about who and what he is, he learns from his mistakes and his redemption is believable and heartfelt.
The story at a swift pace and a lot of things were happening yet it never felt rushed. SECOND CHANCES is emotional, witty and super hot. The emotions make it honest, genuine and realistic. The romance that is not of the flowery, all sunshine and roses kind touched me deeply. I cried through the last 4 or 5 chapters and had to put it down a few times just to get a grip.
Lauren Dane ripped my heart out with this book but she also put it back, whole and rich with a new emotional reading experience. This shouldn’t surprise me because it's Lauren Dane. Need I say more? I love her writing whether it's contemporary, futuristic, full-out erotic or just sexy. She writes, I love! (less)
Memorable Scenes: - Opening paragraph > it hooked me right away! - boss' chair/office smex scene > oh yeah, even hotter than the desk smex, *where is my cooling pack?*
After a steamy encounter with the IT-guy following his unintended discovery of her writing legal secretary by day and erotic romance writer by night, Elena Thomas, embarks upon a search for the hot vixen, hiding deep within and Nunzio gladly accompanies her from affair to something lasting.
Nunzio McGinty went straight to my favorite heroes list! He’s a sweet, romantic, dirty-talking, smokin'-hot Italian/Irish IT-guy. He’s definitely not a pushover and hot-tempered when he needs to be. I loved his little outbursts when Elena would do or say something that made no sense or when Elena was burying her head in the sand.
Elena Thomas is a contradiction if I ever read one. The juxtaposition of conservatively raised, almost shy Elena and the naughty stuff she writes, works really well in this story. It was difficult for me to get a firm grip on her character as she had such contradicting stuff going on but in the end she figured it out and so did I. In her job and daily life she tries not to attract attention, not to stand out and she is a wall-hugger who is obsessively organized. Hot-blooded and spontaneous Nunzio sets her world upside down but she does every effort to resist him for fear of giving into something that doesn’t fit in the plans she has for herself. However, at the same time she craves what he can give her, both sexually and emotionally.
I really liked Elena and Nunzio's chemistry and dynamics as a couple. I also appreciated how Elena took a step back after the first sex scene and questioned some things instead of mindlessly diving into a sexual relationship with a virtual stranger. Admittedly she could have been a little less bitchy about it as Nunzio didn't deserve her snappy attitude there, but still I liked it. I also loved the way Nunzio didn't accept Elena's bitchy attitude quietly and answered to it adequately, putting her in her place and showing her that there’s a line she cannot cross. But I also have to point out that both Nunzio and Elena are characters with a depth to them that blew me away and they were so much more than you'd think reading the blurb and at first glance.
Once again I was enthralled and unable to tear myself away from the book so it was one of my rare one-sitting reads. I adore Cari Quinn's voice. It’s intense and arousing, crisp and clean, smooth and so, so hot! With it she delivers another scorching hot read that was awesomely written and with a trope that's one of my favorites: office romances. And for the sex scenes alone she deserves an extra point. I gobbled it up! Everything meshed and clicked perfectly: the characters, even the few secondary ones, the sex, the romance, the pace, the writing, the little conflicts and their resolution.
I really don't know how to adequately express my love for Cari Quinn's writing. It's gutsy, sexy, smooth, and addictive from the first page to the last. Just because I'm greedy for more of her work I'd love to read a full-length and bask in her talented writing for longer than 80-100 pages but she doesn't need full length to wow me as her novellas are sublimely written and pack more punch and are more layered than some full-length books I've read.
In short: Cari Quinn has left a lasting impression on me and I hope she'll keep giving me more of these awesome reads for a long time!
Favorite Quotes: Score two for Tall, Dark and Sinful. Zero for chastised sex bunny.
He didn't know her name, which was why he'd taken to calling her Bella in his mind. Bella for beautiful, for absolutely magnificent. Bella for I'd love to f#ck you senseless in a closet, on your desk, hell, even on the floor in the middle of the department.
"Looking for something?" Him. The voice. Oozing sex and Italian charm and arousing her in ways she'd given up thinking she could be aroused.
That was hot. Fidelity, thick fingers and a cock that hit her in all the right places? Sign me up.
She clung to him, floating away in a slumberous kiss full of tongue and sleepy passion.
First line: Scarlett Bailey approached the entrance to the bar with equal parts trepidation and excitement.
Memorable S...moreRating: 7 out of 10 - GOOD READ!
First line: Scarlett Bailey approached the entrance to the bar with equal parts trepidation and excitement.
Memorable Scenes: The scene just before the pool game starts > hot!
Quick & Dirty-review:
Ingredients/Summary: Interesting stuff on a pool table, a little bit of dirty talk and the fulfillment of a fantasy.
Characters: Normally I break this part down into hero and heroine but because the story was so short I didn’t get an extensive enough picture of the characters to send them through my usual character analysis so I’m sweeping them all up together in one short paragraph
The main characters of this story are the commanding and forceful Sergeant Michael Conner and Scarlett Bailey. Scarlett is a passionate wicked woman underneath the veneer of a straight-laced marine, looking for a good time with the man she's longed for, ever since she was placed in his unit.
Writing: I need to read more of Eve Cassidy's work to be able to form a founded opinion but this short story definitely made me want to taste more
Likes: - set up of the story and build-up of the sexual tension - the unexpected twist at the end of the story
Dislikes: - the shortness of the story that didn’t leave room for exploration of the characters
Verdict: Extremely short (only 32 pages) but very hot ménage story with an unexpected little twist at the end. Liked it but would love to read 'the whole story' on Michael and Scarlett.
Favorite Quotes: Then she spotted him in the form of snug jeans riding low on his waist and a black . . . between her thighs and her skin tingled clear to her scalp.
He looked up just in time to see her lick it, slam it and suck it on a tequila shot and his mouth watered at the sight.
3.5 stars! (I couldn't find the separate story of MISS FIRECRACKER on GR so I have added my review of it to this duology that contains both stories)
Ev...more3.5 stars! (I couldn't find the separate story of MISS FIRECRACKER on GR so I have added my review of it to this duology that contains both stories)
Every romance reader has her (or his, let’s not discriminate) crack. For some it’s J.R. Ward, for others it is Nora Roberts. For me it’s Lorelei James. Seriously, I would forgo food and new clothes or shoes to buy her books! That is why I was ecstatic when I won a copy of MISS FIRECRACKER on her yahoo loop. Not that I wouldn’t have obtained it otherwise of course. But it had been a while since I had indulged in Lorelei James’ writing so I welcomed Blake West’s story with open arms and once again she did not disappoint me.
She gave me what I was expecting from this short story and a little bit more. I did not expect elaborate plots or deepened characterization because come on, let’s face it, it’s a 113-page story. What I did expect was a witty, down-to earth story; sprinkled with emotions, hot sex and a cherry on top. And that’s what I got, right down to the cherry but I’ll get to that later.
MISS FIRECRACKER is the story of Willow Gregory and Blake West. A couple made for each other despite their unusual first encounter. Willow entered the Miss Firecracker competition just to prove a point. She won and proved her point but after being stood up by women she thought were her new-found friends she drinks one drink too many and ends up trashing a bar. And of course this is the bar where Blake, former sheep rancher, is temporarily in charge. I could almost here him thinking: “Of all the joints in Broward, Nebraska, why did she have to trash mine?” Long story short, what follows is a lovely mating dance where things heat up considerably in backrooms, bar stools and shower stalls. Issues are left unspoken and assumptions are made but in the end everything works out just fine.
Willow is funny, caring and impulsive. She overanalyzes and feels like an outsider most of the time. Her being a woman in a man’s world (construction), working in a company that was founded by her dad only makes this feeling and her constant need to prove herself stronger. It is a pleasant surprise for her when Blake accepts her for who she is, treats her with genuine respect and lets her be herself.
Blake is decent, hardworking, thoughtful and sweet. He is a truly good guy who is dutiful, gentlemanly and intuitive. But Blake also has that sexy aura that all the McKays and Wests have. That raw sexuality that shimmers just below the surface and is brought out by the right woman. And what that man does with maraschino cherries is hot as hell and should be prohibited by law. I’m not telling, you should read it for yourself.
Even though Lorelei James’ books can easily be read as stand alones, especially the ones in the Wild West Boys series, I do recommend reading them in order as in every consecutive book more is revealed about several previous matched happy couples and you catch a glimpse of what their lives are like. The extent of the revelations and peeks differ from small and subtle to very important events or developments. Therefore put together the Rough Riders series and the Wild West Boys series form a chronicle of a Western family with all their ups and downs like every family has, but it is one that is as hot as they come.
MISS FIRECRACKER is another great Lorelei James read where she combines witty and outspoken characters with off the chart sensuality. Even in this 113 page-story she managed to create a nice background for her characters. Willow and Blake are defined by their family and past and Lorelei James pens this down perfectly. The combination of scorching sexuality and characters that are easy to relate to, is what attracts me in Lorelei James’ writing and what keeps me going back to her. I haven’t read anything by her that has let me down and MISS FIRECRACKER is no exception to that. It aroused me, it pleased me and it moved me as few eBook novellas can.(less)