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Away We Go #1

Curve Ball

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When Judy Myers is offered a relaxing vacation to get away from her latest heartbreak, she can’t say no. A cruise on her brother’s yacht sounds like heaven...until she realises her brother’s best friend has been invited along for the ride.

Steven Stark is big, he’s loud, and he’s obviously not interested in the plump, plain little sister he used to tease unmercifully. In fact, he’s still quite happy to tease her – until she turns the tables on him. Now Steven can’t seem to keep his thoughts, or his hands, to himself. And worse, Judy’s not sure she can resist the attraction she’s kept buried for so many years.

Being trapped on a boat isn’t the best place to be, when you’re suddenly thrown a hunky curveball.

86 pages, ebook

First published January 21, 2013

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About the author

Charlotte Stein

121 books1,533 followers
Charlotte Stein is the RT and DABWAHA nominated author of over fifty short stories, novellas and novels. When not writing deeply emotional and intensely sexy books, she can be found eating jelly turtles, watching terrible sitcoms and occasionally lusting after hunks. For more on Charlotte, visit: www.charlottestein.net

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5 stars
186 (15%)
4 stars
319 (26%)
3 stars
417 (34%)
2 stars
189 (15%)
1 star
96 (7%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 136 reviews
Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,635 followers
November 22, 2015

Full review now posted:

I grabbed this one while it was free, and I did enjoy it, but not as much as I did Doubled and Sheltered. It was funny and sexy, but I've come to expect a bit more steam from Charlotte Stein, and heroes I love, right from the start.

Steve was kind of an ass - no, I take it back, he was definitely an ass, but I did appreciate his explanation towards the end of the story... I guess I would have liked more of an explanation, more redemption, though.

Again, funny, sexy... definitely entertaining!
Profile Image for Ridley.
359 reviews328 followers
May 29, 2013
This is a short little novella so there's not a ton to discuss. It's a girl-carries-a-flame-for-her-older-brother's-friend story featuring a curvy heroine and a muscular hero, but the story is almost inconsequential. The beauty of this book is in the telling.

It's told in first-person present tense from the heroine's point of view, which I typically loathe. Stein, however puts on a clinic for How It Should Be Done. The heroine's personality is front and center, pouring from the little asides and stream of consciousness. You feel all of her emotions along with her as she puzzles them out with the reader. Occasionally she breaks out in Pratchett-like lists, at one point making me break out in hysterical laughter in the middle of some seriously hot sexual tension:
c) There is something pressing into the small of my back, and I’m pretty sure it isn’t a tube of Rolos. And if it is, he really needs to tell me where he bought such an enormous packet.
I love Rolos.
If this were an HFN rather than an HEA, I'd give it five stars. The emotion and passion was just completely awesome and the narration was pitch-fucking-perfect. I just thought the ILYs at the end felt rushed and unnecessary.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to buy and read everything Stein has written.
Profile Image for willaful.
1,155 reviews370 followers
February 8, 2013
A woman goes on vacation with a couple and the guy she hates is invited along... I was afraid at first this was going to be a replay of Stein's Restraint. As it turned out, it kind of is, but in reverse. Here, the narrator Judy is the insecure one whose contempt for her old friend Steve is a mask for her intense attraction. When she blows up at him for making digs at her weight (she thinks), the relationship between them shifts dramatically.

Judy, who lies somewhere in the ill-defined land of thinks-she's-fat, has terrible self-esteem. But instead of being boring, her anxious, self-conscious narrative is utterly hilarious:

"He can never pretend he didn't pull open my dress, because I'm now missing a button. Of course he could probably sew the button back on and act like nothing happened, but I don't think he's much of an arts and crafts sort of person. Plus, that whole scenario is insane."

"his expression... reads more like a really filthy book that's missing pages four to 50. Suddenly everything jumps from 'oh hello, how are you?' to threeway anal -- and he just wasn't prepared, I don't think."

Steve really is kind of a large, sexy doof, which is sort of charming; in some very hot scenes, he does a great job of finally making Judy feel desirable:

"'Do you want me?' I ask, without the slightest doubt that he'll answer me in a way that doesn't hurt. It's a startling sensation -- this lack of fear, this ability to say whatever's on my mind -- but it's a welcome one. It rubs against all the excitement and the arousal, until I'm a dirty-mouthed ball of flaming fire."

Judy's low self-esteem does get tiresome at times, and the ending of the story is a little over the top into Happy Ever After. But it's mostly delightful.
Profile Image for Camille.
1,613 reviews53 followers
September 8, 2013

Lendle loan.

Every time I commit to clearing my Kindle I get multiple Lendle loans :-)

Well this was typical Stein: hot, visceral sex; lots of imaginative internal dialogue; wonderful 1st person POV; humour. Oh yeah, and the visceral sex, did I mention that, which always ensures I enjoy her work.

This was cute but I took off points for a little of the fat girl low self esteem gambit. (Do all big women have confidence issues?) And I took off for the balance tipping toward interiority a bit too much in this one. A little more external action would have balanced the book.

Nonetheless, it was a fun little read :-)
Profile Image for The_Book_Queen.
1,531 reviews250 followers
August 18, 2020
Nope, this one didn't work for me at all because of the way he talked about a previous fat chick he slept with, and then writes it off in the end as "I didn't meant to hurt YOUR feelings when you were listening to me insult another fat chick, you're DIFFERENT and BTW, I love fat chicks so it's okay ;)". I expected better from Stein, honestly, and none of that was necessary in this book. It could have been a hot quickie without all of that bullshit. As it was, I couldn't get past any of that in order to even attempt to enjoy the sex.

Looking to try better books from Stein? Restraint is great, as is Never Sweeter. This one? Not so much.
Profile Image for Linda.
1,299 reviews
May 8, 2013
The story consisted of neurotic stream-of-consciousness ramblings and sex fantasies with characters who were neither interesting nor particularly likeable. The narrator certainly had a sense of humor, but her complete lack of self-esteem too often tipped her from self-deprecating but relatable to simply pathetic. The other characters, including Steven and the brother, were poorly developed and off-putting. Really, what kind of guys talk about previous conquests, describing body attributes, in front of a wife/sister/friend or especially a potential girlfriend?
Profile Image for (✿◠‿◠).
514 reviews
February 19, 2013
This one didn't hit it out of the park for me. I'm generally a huge fan of Charlotte's work, but this one missed the mark. Between the heroine's lack of self-esteem and abundance of inner thoughts to the hero coming off as a jackass in the beginning, I just didn't fall in love with these characters like I normally do with her work.

However, it was short, ended on a sweet note, and the sex scenes were as good as I've come to expect from her work.
Profile Image for Marran.
1,470 reviews23 followers
January 28, 2013
uh no...a bad storyline and I don't like the way it's written..I will not read this author again...

this is labeled as an erotic novella..but there is nothing erotic about this, there is hardly any sex in this and the sex there is aren't good..
Profile Image for Sunshiny Me.
189 reviews
February 9, 2013
so basically ms stein needs to just write me all the bks. plz & ty. (and I got this free on amazon yesterday!!!)
Profile Image for Wollstonecrafthomegirl.
472 reviews210 followers
December 31, 2015
Really liked this one. Slow burn attraction between the H/h. Heroine with believable body issues but not consumed by them. Serious hot sexy scene. Not five stars because i wish it'd been longer.
Profile Image for Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog).
1,732 reviews543 followers
September 2, 2014
Judy knew coming on a boating holiday with her brother and his wife was a mistake as soon as Steven, her brother's best friend, stepped on board. He has always teased her, killing the secret love she had for him since she was teenager. But something has changed, was Steven actually flirting with her?

This was my second read by Charlotte Stein, my first being Sheltered and I am pleased to say that I enjoyed this book just as much. Curve Ball immediately drew me in with the POV of Judy, she was my kind of heroine, curvy and teensy bit insecure about it and reading through her crazy-paranoid, yet hilarious POV made me laugh and yet I could also identify with her.

The romance itself was kind of sweet as Steven tries to flirt with the clueless Judy, but the sexy times between them were pretty damn hot. It was a shame we didn't see anything from Steven's POV as although we got to know Judy very well I didn't feel we got to know Steven at all, apart from the very skewed perspective of Judy.

But this was a hilarious and sexy short story and I am now definitely a fan of Charlotte Stein.
Profile Image for Beth Thomas.
855 reviews1 follower
February 7, 2013
4.5 stars. I need to say I just love Charlotte Stein. Her writing is just so real and honest. Her characters are awesomely flawed and vulnerable. There are some books I read and I feel so bad about myself thinking the characters are so perfect in looks and actions. When I read Charlotte's book I feel connected to the characters. I only gave this a 4.5 because I wish it were longer. Charlotte you are a 5 in my book.
Profile Image for Aisha.
8 reviews5 followers
June 13, 2019
Wow!! That was a waste of time!🤦🏻‍♀️
Profile Image for LPJ.
572 reviews30 followers
June 10, 2013
Completely wacky novella. Charlotte Stein warned us on her blog that this book was very "her." Totally bonkers narrative voice: check. Lots of inner monologue: check. Not quite enough dialogue: check. She understands and readily admits that this type of thing isn't for everyone.

While I did really wish that these two characters did a lot more communicating, my main issue with the story came in the form of the love interest, Steven Stark. I didn't get the attraction at all, he seemed like an arsehole IMO. He does redeem himself towards the end, a little, but I just didn't like him...

Judy is completely insane which is always refreshing. I wonder how she gets through life seeing the world the way she does. She's totally clueless but rather endearing. I had a hard time picturing her because she's so self-deprecatory with terrible self-esteem and we're only privvy to her POV. I'm glad she got her HEA, with the guy of her dreams even if I wanted to throw him overboard.
Profile Image for Eleanor.
1,404 reviews61 followers
February 1, 2013
I'm still giggling from this one.

Judy's bother, Jason, invites her on a vacation with his wife and his best friend, Steven.
As it turns out, Judy's had a crush on Steven for the better part of the last 10 years, and Steven has been a revolving door for floozies for the same amount of time, give or take.
So it only makes sense that Judy gets annoyed with Steven when he talks about past conquests, and it makes sense that when she's trying to avoid him, Steven pretty much attacks her. But attacks her in the most amazing way.

Stein's voice in this one is somewhere between hilarious and socially challenged, which oddly makes it adorable. I chose to believe that's what Stein is in real life, and I'm sticking to it.

So... why? How? When? Where? Just read and you'll find out.

Oh, and it has nothing to do with baseball, just so you know.
Profile Image for Maura.
3,883 reviews96 followers
October 3, 2015
This was Okay. I picked this up because I'd read Doubled and loved it! I found the 1st person POV in that story very exciting and was hoping for more of the same. Something didn't work quite as well here though. I think a lot of the similes and comparisons were over the top and I got really confused about where the speaker was, what she was doing and how she was reacting to things. Half the time it felt like she was going off topic. The premise of the story was decent, but when you're trying to get into the sex scenes and she's going off topic and there's a ridiculous amount of hyperbole, it just doesn't work.
Profile Image for Kelly .
755 reviews22 followers
February 9, 2013
Love Amazon freebies and love that it was not half bad.
The sex scenes were well written and I really enjoyed the premise of Judy and Steves story I just wished the converesed more. Most of the book is Judys POV via her inner dialouge.
A couple things that were a miss for me.
Although I appreciated that this heroine is a curvy girl I just wished she evolved into her skin, she was so down on her body. I found I liked her most when her cheeky side came out around Steven.
In addition, something was off i think the pacing suffered do to the short length.
Free books are always a good way to find new authors and I will be looking for more from Charlotte Stein.

Profile Image for amanda s..
2,985 reviews94 followers
September 11, 2014
Not sure if I enjoyed this book.

I do liked the major plot, it's simple and I just look forward to read it. But, the way Charlotte Stein wrote, to me, is a bit confusing. Almost like I have to read another book before I read this one. Not to mention, there are too many inner talk from heroine's side and lack of real conversation between characters. What a shame.

I wish it could be better.
Profile Image for Sam.
184 reviews
September 24, 2018
Not what I expected. The book had a lot of potential but there were too many annoying issues. The... main character- I don’t want to call her a heroine- goes on long internal rants that I mostly skimmed or skipped. Not a page goes by that she does whine about her weight and worthlessness ad a woman. It got old real fast. The author had a lot of overkill in her writing - we don’t need two paragraphs about a random tourist’s aging hair.
Profile Image for Cyn Mistress Kitty.
1,523 reviews166 followers
February 19, 2013
2.5 Stars
This story was just ehhh for me which is unusual for me since I love CS's books.
Judy the heroine was just too neurotic and had zero self esteem. All her in her head ramblings made me lost to the point that I was thinking, what was I just reading and now who is talking? Very confusing. I just couldn't really care about any of the characters. Very strange story.
Profile Image for SuperWendy.
941 reviews247 followers
January 19, 2016
I loved this short novella. Nobody writes anticipation and passion quite like Stein. Sexy, steamy, and not just an endless parade of mindless kink because that's supposedly "hot." Real passion. Real tension. Me gripping my Kindle yelling out loud "OMG, when are they going to kiss already!?!?!?" Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Ana Neagu.
425 reviews2 followers
March 27, 2015
aaawww people that have known all their lives suddenly discover they actually want to be with each other :) such a cute little story that made my Friday fun :)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 136 reviews

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