Lizabeth Tucker's Reviews > Naughty Hearts: Twelve Naughty Valentine's Stories

Naughty Hearts by Suz deMello
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really liked it
bookshelves: collections, romance, fantasy

Naughty Hearts (collection)

This is a boxed set of twelve naughty Valentine’s themed stories from various sub-genres of erotic romance. I am reviewing a copy graciously provided by one of the authors who contributed to the collection. I don’t read a lot of erotic fiction nowadays simply because many of the authors fall into the trap of being too clinical in their sex scenes rather than giving us the emotions that pull us into the scene. So I was a bit worried about this collection of authors, most of whom I know only by name, not product. I should have held onto my faith. The collection hits the ground running with the very first story and barely lets up as more stories come down the pike. I highly recommend the collection to anyone who loves to read erotic fiction that knows how to weave emotions into the story, even during the lovemaking scenes. Because the majority of these are more about love than sex. Which is not to say that the sex isn’t hot, because overwhelmingly, it is! I give it a 4 out of 5 rating overall.

“Naughty Balls” by Suz deMello
(m/f) Penny was alone on Valentine’s Day again. So after watching her super hot roommate leave for the night, Penny decided to go shoot hoops. She finds Orlando Havens, the next future superstar of the NBA, also filling time at the court. She’s always been attracted to him, but felt he was entirely out of her class. She certainly never expected that a competitive game of HORSE would led to a night she’d never forget. The language is street, but not gutter. The pairing is interracial for those who still care about that sort of thing. We’ve been given a couple with much in common, both in interests and temperament. The sex flows realistically, with special emphasis on feelings, both physical and emotional. Definitely not a “wham bam, thank you, ma’am” rendition. I was particularly pleased with Orlando’s willingness to back off from penetration if Penny so desired. Too bad the read sports guys don’t have this type of class. The author even gives us a glimpse of their future in just the best way possible. 4.5 out of 5.

“Love Potion #69” by Alexa Silver
(m/f) Friends Jenna Prospect and Keith Dennison find their relationship changing after an accident leaves Keith drenched in Jenna’s newest perfume mixture. Friends to lovers has always been a favorite trope of mine, especially when each has had a hidden crush on the other for years. I loved Jenna’s freakout as well as how Keith handled it. There is a subtle secondary relationship hinted out between Jenna’s father and Rebecca that I wouldn’t have minded hearing more about. This definitely could’ve been a longer story. 4 out of 5.

“My Valentine Lovers” by Nicole Austin
(m/f/m) Lioness shifters Lorelei and her half-sister Haidee are in search of the elusive liger. Unlike purebreds in the shifter community, hybrids are more likely to be loyal to their one mate. Surprise comes to Lorelei when she meets Carson and Camden, twin tigards, recognizing them as her mates. Two mates? Could it be true? And could they be loyal to just her? Delightful. I love the humor as much as I love the romance. I don’t usually read threesomes as it doesn’t usually appeal to me. One member of the party usually gets shortchanged or a hint of jealousy will appear. Not in this tale. I expecially loved how everything didn’t just fall into place for them, all three had to work at finding a balance. Especially when an outsider tries to interfere. The love of hot cars didn’t hurt either! 4.5 out of 5.

“Valentime” by Belle Scarlett
(m/f) Valerie Heart was shocked to find a letter from the end of the Civil War addressed to her hidden in the wall of her new home. She finds herself consumed by curiosity regarding the man who signed the love note, Grayson Hunter. Love across the centuries or any type of time travel story can be very tricky. I think the magic of a dream catcher is as good a method of time travel as any, relying on the reader’s suspension of logic. Works for me. Understanding that it is difficult to do extensive development in a short story, I still wish there had been more, particularly in regards to Grayson. He seems to be an interesting character that I would’ve loved to have learned more about. 3.5 out of 5.

“Delia’s Heartthrob” by Regina Kammer
(m/m/f) Professor Edward Ockham had tried to keep his relationship with his assistant Delia Bennett as casual as both of their relationships with Sebastian. But lately Edward is feeling differently. As Valentine’s Day approaches, Edward wants a way to show his feelings to Delia and decides to use his exhibit at the Imago Flagrantis festival. Steampunk!! And an extraordinary exhibit that shows Edward’s love for Delia more clearly than words which fail him. While Seb has sex with both Edward and Delia, it appears that he is more friend and stress reliever than actual love interest. It is obvious that what Deel and Edward have is deeper than just casual sex. 3.5 out of 5

“Two Into One Goes Great” by Lynne Connolly
(m/f/m) Mel Burrows had always wanted to be a model, but she was too short and too heavy for the modeling business. Instead she became a booker. While ushering her two high maintenance models through a chocolate candy shoot, the photographer and male model offer her the opportunity of a lifetime, complete with a threesome. A bit of exhibitionism and some graphic sex scenes involving chocolates might be perhaps a bit much. I’m not exactly a “sex with food” fan, but I’m sure it has an audience. However, the characters are interesting and the premise equally so. 3.5 out of 5.

“Under the Hood” by Lainey-Jo Charles
(m/f) Mechanic and secret artist Joe Russel is in a quandary. He’s attracted to two different women: Elle, an email only partner who knows him simply as an artist, and Lisbeth Hunter, a customer at his garage. Of course, neither woman is aware of his interest as Joe hasn’t said a word about it to either of them. Can he have both? I kinda expected the twist, but that doesn’t take away from the great story. The author takes the time to let the reader really know her characters before getting to the sex. As a fan of character rich stories, this may be my favorite to date in this collection. 4.5 out of 5.

“Buy Me a Rose” by Francesca Hawley
(m/f) Jessica Whitewolf and her True Mate Nat are coming up on their 30th year together, but sometimes she wonders if he even knows she’s there. Nat is so caught up in his practice to the exclusion of everything else that they haven’t even had sex for over a month, haven’t mind spoke since he shortly after he was in Med-School, and now he’s forgotten to get her anything for the big anniversary. Their adult children have noticed and have a plan to help the couple reconnect. Not only is this a shifter romance, which I like, it is one with older lovers. They have lost their way due to neglect and single minded focus without communication. Another wonderful story in which we’re allowed to know the characters, good and bad. 4 out of 5.

“Chocolate-Coated Reunion” by Berengaria Brown
(m/m) Matt had badly screwed up with Jake at Christmas, causing them to part. As Valentine’s Day approaches, Matt begs for a second chance. A tiny dollop of bondage and still more chocolate, this time flavored body paint, heats up this tale of second chances and redos. A cautionary tale of setting priorities, not to mention never making promises you can’t keep. 3.5 out of 5.

“Cupid’s Curious Case” by Marianne Stephens
(m/f) Alan Loverlock has just one more assignment before his five year stint as Cupid 84 is completed. He has to deliver a garish, gaudy box of chocolate to his neighbor, Amy Adams. Alan and Amy have both been burned by significant others in the past, so each is shy about trying again. Luckily, Alan’s boss wants to help fix that problem. Lots of potential, but could definitely use a longer format for proper development. Lovely premise. 3 out of 5.

“Fifty Shades of Valentine’s Day” by Katherine Kingston
(m/f) Melissa is having a crappy day, both personal (her boyfriend dumped her just before Valentine’s) and professional (problems with customers and a short till). To top it off, she causes damage to her neighbor’s car while parking. Jeff Willingham wants more than just payment for the damages, he demands she be punished. I’m not a fan of the book referenced in both the title and the story. I personally think it is crap, almost as bad as the Twilight series. According to friends in the know, it is also a poor representation of BDSM. I truly consider Jeff to be taking advantage of Melissa, even if unknowingly, on one of her worst days ever. Yeah, I get this is fiction, but all the circumstances outlined here ring loud warning bells for me. A virtual stranger (she doesn’t even know his name, just that he’s hot), unenforceable rules, potentially dangerous activities. These are not two people who are friends and/or lovers taking a new step. I also admit that stranger sex is rarely something I care to read. I prefer some feelings BEFORE engaging in sex. 3 out of 5, but only because the quality of writing was good.

“The Reaper’s Valentine” by Charlotte Boyett-Compo
(m/f) Poor Shay Forbes. The new healer is about as anti-Life Mate as anyone could be. Too bad she’s met her match in Prime Reaper Brynt Cree. She may be able to run, but she’ll never be able to hide. Oh, whoops, Cree definitely took care of the running part! Very hot tale. Cree is about as Alpha a male, shifter or human, as you could imagine. He definitely likes to decide what rules need to be followed and which to ignore. Cree deserves and needs a strong mate. He’s found one in Shay. 4 out of 5.

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Reading Progress

February 10, 2015 – Started Reading
February 10, 2015 – Shelved
February 10, 2015 –
February 11, 2015 –
February 12, 2015 –
58.0% "A delightful collection to date."
February 12, 2015 – Finished Reading

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