Julianna's Reviews > I Brake For Bad Boys

I Brake For Bad Boys by Lori Foster
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's review
Jun 25, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary-romance, erotic-romance, read-2012
Recommended for: Fans of Steamy Romance Anthologies
Read in December, 2012 — I own a copy , read count: 1

Reviewed for THC Reviews
Drive Me Wild by Lori Foster - Wow! Lori Foster just went three for three. I went into reading Drive Me Wild with a certain degree of skepticism, because of not entirely liking Erica due to her brash manner. I figured it might be a good read at best, so I couldn't have been more shocked when this novella was yet another fabulous story, making the entire Brava Girlfriends series sheer perfection for me.

As I mentioned Erica was a little too cynical and outspoken for my taste. In fact, it was almost inconceivable to me that Erica was friends with Asia and Becky, because they seemed so much different than her. In the first two novellas of the series she comes off as something of an ice queen who more or less tolerates men but doesn't really like them that much. I think Erica had a tendency to intimidate almost everyone around her and as a result, most men steered clear of her. Those she did date never earned her trust or respect and it didn't appear that she'd been in many, if any, serious relationships because of it. Why she acts the way she does finally becomes crystal clear in this story, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find myself relating to her after all. In the end, her willingness to open herself up to Ian and allow herself to be vulnerable with him really softened her hard edges.

All the heroes in this series have been awesome, and Ian was no exception. I enjoyed the fact that he isn't classically handsome. He's a blue-collar worker who's attractive in a more rugged way, but he certainly has presence and personality galore that more than makes up for it. I love how Ian goes toe-to-toe with Erica right from the start. His alpha male pheromones were practically emanating off the pages. He's been crazy about Erica for months and is a really astute guy who understands her in a way that no one else does. Ian may be an alpha, but he's still pretty laid back. Erica's ballsy nature actually amuses him. He's incredibly intelligent too. I could almost see the wheels turning in his head as he tried to outwit Erica at her own game, making her think that she was the one in charge when it was mostly him who had the upper hand. Best of all, I just love how he pampered Erica with great food, a bubble bath, plenty of TLC and lots of mind-blowing sex. In my opinion, his every action showed just how much he really cared for her.

Asia and Cameron (Satisfy Me) and Becky and George (Indulge Me) all returned to round out the cast. Drive Me Wild is the third and final novella in the Brava Girlfriends series. It was first published in the I Brake for Bad Boys anthology and later reprinted in the single-author anthology Truth or Dare along with its two companion novellas. Drive Me Wild was a perfect end to a perfect trilogy of novellas. After such a satisfying reading experience, I'm now greatly looking forward to trying more of Lori Foster's works. Star Rating: *****

Something Wilde by Janelle Denison – Something Wilde is a very steamy little novella that is the first story in Janelle Denison's Wilde series. It focuses primarily on the sexual explorations of the hero and heroine, so there isn't a lot of character development. Still, I mostly liked both Eric and Jill. Even though Jill has had the hots for her “boss” for several months, she is reluctant to have a relationship with him because of an affair gone bad with a former co-worker. Eric is an advertising executive with close family ties, and the typical playboy who never gets too involved with a woman but falls hard and fast for Jill.

In the beginning, Eric seemed just a bit too cocky and obsessed with Jill for my taste, and the way he initiated their “fantasy” relationship, watching her bathe without her knowing it and then sneaking into her bedroom was a little stalkerish. Once things got started between them though, he proved himself to be a tender and skilled lover. The love scenes were very spicy and borderline erotic with lots of creativity. Normally, I'm not a big fan of romances that begin as casual sex-only relationships, but this one worked OK for me. There was just enough building of an emotional connection to make me believe Eric and Jill were falling in love, and I can't deny Janelle Denison created an appealing fantasy with the idea of a secret lover who comes to fulfill your every desire in the dark of night, but pretends you're nothing more than acquaintances in the light of day.

Overall, Something Wilde was a surprisingly enjoyable read. It also introduced Eric's two brothers, Steve and Adrian, who become the heroes of Wilde Thing and The Wilde One (Bad Boys to Go anthology) respectively. I really liked Ms. Denison's writing style. She definitely has a knack with the steamy love scenes and in my opinion, Something Wilde was a pretty solid story too. This was my first read by Janelle Denison, but I'm looking forward to continuing the Wilde series soon. Star Rating: ****

Note: This novella contains some fairly erotic content, including mild voyeurism and dominant behavior, light bondage, blindfolding, and the creative use of a strand of pearls. In my opinion, everything was pretty tastefully done, but it could make some readers uncomfortable.

Touch Me by Shannon McKenna - Touch Me was my first read by Shannon McKenna, and it left me with somewhat mixed feelings. I had heard that Ms. McKenna has created some serious alpha males, and I can see why she's earned that reputation. Her writing in many ways reminded me of Lora Leigh's with the stubborn alpha hero and lots of arguing between him and the heroine, which isn't really my cup of tea. The story started off pretty good, but the further I got into it, the harder it was to remain engaged. Practically all the hero and heroine did was eat, have wild monkey sex, and argue, including during sex, which wore thin after a while.

As individuals, I generally like Jonah and Tess. Tess has a troubled past and some fairly significant body image issues. She's petite but has a generous bosom and rear. This and several other “imperfections” in her appearance and personality earned Tess some pretty harsh criticism from both her mother and her ex-fiancé. Tess is also understandably reluctant to become involved with someone like Jonah whom she assumes, from the suspicious claw marks on his back, is a playboy who only sees her as his next conquest. All of this made her vulnerable, but the way Jonah handles her issues was a little odd to me. I loved how Jonah was a whiz in the kitchen and cooked Tess delicious meals, and I also loved how he pursued her and always told her how beautiful she was. However, Tess's issues were so deep-seated that sometimes him saying the smallest thing could set her off, and then he would just get angry right back at her for being too sensitive. I really didn't understand him using anger to provoke her during sex either. That seemed counterproductive to me, and in several of their sexual encounters both characters seemed to be using sex as a weapon, which was not romantic to me at all. I kept trying to make sense of it, but the psychology behind what they were trying to accomplish simply eluded me. Underneath his hard, sometimes arrogant exterior, Jonah had some mild vulnerabilities of his own in that he was afraid of losing his grandfather, even though the odd codger won't speak to him after Jonah turned down the opportunity to run his bank. In the end though, both characters' problems just seemed to magically melt away, which didn't entirely work for me.

Overall, Touch Me had some good points and other than being a little narrative heavy at times, the writing itself was pretty good. If Jonah and Tess had been more consistently nice to one another instead of going back and forth between gentler moments and intense anger, it would have been a great story. As is though, I simply couldn't become fully invested in their HEA when they were fighting almost right up until the end. There were things about each character that I related to, but the way the author handled their relationship, their stubborn resistance to openly communicating, and the way anger seemed to turn them on didn't really make sense to me. Touch Me was good enough to keep me open to trying more of Shannon McKenna's work in the future, but didn't really wow me. Star Rating: ***1/2

Note: This novella contains some mildly erotic content in the form of a little light bondage and dominant behavior, as well as a small amount of explicit language that is typically reserved for the erotic sub-genre.
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Reading Progress

10/19/2010 "Read Something Wilde by Janelle Denison. Pretty good story; verrrry hot!;-) Review coming soon."
100.0% "Read Something Wilde by Janelle Denison. Pretty good story; verrrry hot!;-) Review coming soon."
100.0% "The Shannon McKenna story was OK. I would have liked it better if the H/h hadn't argued so much and been turned on by the anger. Review coming soon."

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Blacky *Romance Addict* Awesome review Julie :)

Julianna Thanks, Blacky!

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Anthologies are tough, aren't they?? Nice review, Julie!

Julianna Thanks, Dhestiny! Yeah, anthologies are tricky. I rarely run across one where I love all the stories in it, but if at least one or two are good, it makes it worth the read.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish It does sound good. I may have to pick it up!

message 6: by Buggy (last edited Dec 19, 2012 08:12PM) (new) - added it

Buggy Thanks for the great review Julie, I picked this one up used at a library sale a while ago and its just been sitting on my shelf as I was wondering if it was worth my time. After your review I think I'll give it a shot.

Happy holidays to you :)

Julianna Dhes, I would definitely say it's worth checking out, especially for the Lori Foster story. The whole Brava Girlfriends series was yummilicious for me.;-)

You're welcome, Buggy. What a coincidence. I got my copy at a library sale too. Glad I could encourage you to dust it off.:-)

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