Friday, May 27, 2011

Review: Breaking The Silence

Breaking The SilenceBreaking The Silence by Katie Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have a soft spot for a tortured hero. I can't help it. There is nothing that melts my butter any quicker than a big strong ox of a man with issues and a shy, sensitive side. And that describes our protagonist to a T. William is a quiet computer programmer who moved around his whole life, but he's finally settled into a beautiful house in icy Minnesota. He works from home, doesn't leave the house much, and has no social life to speak of. The best part of his day is looking out of his window to see this woman walking her dog. He doesn't know what it is about her, but he is drawn to her and he lives for the moments when he can catch a glimpse of her from his bedroom window. Yea, I know. It sounds terribly creepy, but it's not. William is just painfully shy and he can't get up the nerve to go and talk to her. The most he can do is masturbate to thoughts of her while he is in the shower. Again, I know that sounds creepy....but it's not. He's PAINFULLY shy. So shy that he is 28 years old and he's never really been on ANY dates, he’s never kissed a girl, and yes, he is a virgin.

The woman he watches is Jenny. She’s 26 and works in a comfy little cubicle at an engineering firm. Her cube-mate is her gay BFF, Chris. One day while Jenny was in Chris’s cube, trying to fix his screwed up email, the office asshole, Evan, approaches them. It was common knowledge that Evan was into Jenny. The office even had a betting pool going as to when he would finally ask her out. Turns out, today’s the day. Of course, Jenny turns him down.....lying and saying that she just started seeing someone and that he just might be “the one”. Evan doesn’t exactly believe her, but at least it gets him to leave her alone. For now, at least.

That afternoon turns out to be the time when Will finally gets up the nerve to go out to the walking path to meet Jenny. She was walking and not paying attention.....and she almost bumps into him. They share awkward introductions, and Jenny is amazed by how handsome and shy this Norse God of a man is. As the days go by, Will continues to meet up with Jenny and her dog Rosie for walks. One one of these walks, Jenny asks Will to go with her to a work reception. Eagerly, Will says yes. Yes to their first date....which turns out to be his first date with anybody, not just with Jenny. Although Will isn’t much of a talker at the party, everyone seems to love him - except for Evan. And he is his usual dickish self. Even though Jenny was lying about having a boyfriend when Evan initially asked her out - in fact, she hadn’t even met Will at the time - showing up at the reception with what appeared to be her boyfriend was hopefully enough to ward off Evan the asshole for good. (Although that isn’t why she asked him to go.....Jenny does genuinely like him.)

The party ends and Jenny and Will head back to her place - and on a whim, Jenny asks him to come inside. And the proceed to have ridiculous hot monkey sex. They make it to the bedroom, but only stop long enough to push just enough clothes out of the way to allow some skin on skin contact. (That kind of sex is SERIOUSLY fucking hot.) And despite the fact that Will is a virgin, he sure as hell knows what he’s doing in the bedroom. My guess.....he watched a lot of porn. You know, for instructional purposes. But whatever his methods, he sure managed to turn Jenny’s crank. And afterwards he wanted to cuddle! WTF! Is the perfect? Yes, I think he might be. And Jenny has pretty much drawn the same conclusion.

Their relationship continues on with hot sex, them getting along in every aspect, and Will coming out of his shy and reclusive shell. And then the unthinkable happens - Jenny gets attacked one night and Will comes in on the very end of it and runs the guy off and is left with a broken and shaky Jenny. While trying to comfort her, he keeps moaning over and over again, “not Jenny, not Jenny, not Jenny”. It was hinted at throughout that Will did not have the best childhood. You knew that his lack of dating or sex or kissing even in 28 years stemmed from something other than shyness. After Jenny comes home with him to recover, they finally have the discussion that allows Will to open up about his past and begin to heal and it allows Jenny to heal as well, knowing that someone does know what she’s going through.

The book ended as I had hoped, but you know me.....I wanted one more chapter. An epilogue. Further proof of their happy ever after. I’m really trying to come to terms with my neediness on this front. Really.

I have to say that this review took me FOREVER to write. Why? Because I wanted to write about everything I loved - all the small aspects of Will’s actions and personality that made him one of the sweetest characters that I’ve come across since I’ve been reading romance novels. He was all man, but pure at heart to the point of being almost childlike. He was just an unnaturally sweet soul that just happened to reside in the body of Zeus (as his coworkers called him). His character could have very easily come across as creepy, but he never did. Not one moment in the story made me question Will or his motives. He was genuinely sweet and dear God did I root for him all the way.

I loved everything about this book. This is the second book that I’ve read by this author and I’ve given them both 5 stars.....yet I have never seen this author mentioned on any of the book blogs that I read. Why? She’s fabulous. Her dialogue is charming and funny without being cliche and she knows how create characters that you fall instantly in love with. So please take my advice, check out this book. It’s a beautiful story.....and I dare you not to fall in love with Will! I.Dare.You.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Review: Seven Day Loan

Seven Day LoanSeven Day Loan by Tiffany Reisz

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm not sure what I expected from this book. To be honest, the premise kind of skeeved me out. A man loans his sub to a Dom whose wife/sub died three years ago. I've read a lot of books featuring a Dom/sub relationship, and the concept of "you're my property and I'll loan you out as I see fit" has always made me uncomfortable. But, the book made it clear that the heroine, Eleanor, wasn't exactly forced to do anything. She didn't have to have sex with the guy she was being loaned to, whose name is Daniel. No, no sex had to be involved unless she was ok with it.

Turns out, Daniel is actually a nice guy. Smart, handsome, wealthy, and very much a Dom. But what I loved about Eleanor was that even though she was a sub, she wasn't Miss Meek and Mild. She was a smart-ass, she was bold, and she dared Daniel push her to her limits (which he did), and she seemed to enjoy every second of it. And in turn, she challenged him and pushed him to his limits as well. Since his wife died three years ago, he had been celibate and had not left the house since her funeral. We quickly learn that Eleanor's presence there isn't simply about her being his sexual plaything....she's there to heal him and bring him out of his self-imposed exile.

It doesn't take long for you to want Eleanor to end up with Daniel and not go back to Him (as he's called in the book.....her current lover/Dom) I won't say how it all ended, but I know there is a sequel on the author's I hope the continuation of the story goes the way I think it might. *fingers crossed*

When I opened this book up on my Kindle, I had only planned to read a few pages before drifting off to sleep, but as I got into the story, I couldn't stop clicking through to the next page. I couldn't read fast enough to get to the end.

All that being said, there was one scene that made me go "whoa!". It definitely pushed my comfort level to its limits, but it was dealt with in such a way that I wasn't turned off or grossed out by it. It just simply pushed me to that point. And that's part of the reason I read books like push my mind to places it might not otherwise go.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Review: Two Plus One

Two Plus OneTwo Plus One by Brynn Paulin

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I have a few words for this book: Ewwww. Creepy. Stalker. Should I go on?

It involves Briony the teacher and two of her students. OK, so she's a 33 year old college professor and the two students, Nic and Leo, are 27. But still. Gross. They come to her one day and ask to drop her class. She wonders why they would do it, since the semester is almost over and they are both A students. Come to find out, they want to fuck her. Both of them. They only took her class to learn more about her - they didn't need it to graduate. And they've been watching her FOR TWO YEARS. Good Lord. In what universe is that NOT stalking.

Initially, she turns them down, but they drop her class and then right away, she's all "you're not my students anymore.....let's fuck!". Ewwww.

So they have a weekend threesome fuckfest - and as she's leaving for work on Monday morning, they apparently have a front yard makeout session. And the Dean sees them. And photographs the three of them. Um, OK. So why was he in her neighborhood with a camera? And if he just used his cell phone to take the picture, he would have been pretty damn close to even get a good pic. Again. Ewwww. Creepy. Stalker. Geezus, what is it about Briony that makes men stalk her? So yea, the Dean calls her into his office and tells her to break it off with the two guys or she's fired. Oh, and she also has to have sex with him. Ewwwww. Creepy.

She ends up quitting and the threesome ends up happily ever after.

So, judging by my one star rating, nothing in this story worked. I just couldn't get past the creepiness factor. And it wasn't the threesome factor that bothered me. Actually, that's the one part of the story that I didn't have a problem with. What I didn't like was that these two guys stalked her (however innocent their intentions were) for two years and then were just like "let's fuck". And when I got to the part where the Dean wanted to blackmail her for sex - I literally said out loud "GROSS". I mean. No. Nothing worked. Nothing turned me on. I had no girlwood whatsoever for this story.

My suggestion - skip it!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Review: Black Jack

Black JackBlack Jack by Mari Carr

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was not the pirate story I was expecting. Black Jack tells two different stories, sort of. It features Jack and Emma.....two lifelong best friends. Emma manages a fetish club, called Scoundrels. The third guy in their BFF trio, Travis, owns the club. So Emma calls in Jack to fill in as an actor in a pirate fantasy show they're doing at the club. The male actor called in sick - and as Emma is helping Jack through the scene, they find out that the female lead has also called in sick - forcing Emma to take over that role. As the two best friends are rehearsing the scene, some of their not-so-well-hidden feelings for each other come to the forefront and their rehearsal leads to some hot dry humping and fondling and eventually Emma has a powerful orgasm. Naturally, this could be a somewhat awkward situation for two lifelong BFFs who have never gone past the "just friends" stage.

After their performance in the pirate fantasy, it become clear that they can't be "just friends" anymore. Both confess that they've always had feelings for each other - and actually - that they are in love with each other - and they move quite smoothly into the girlfriend/boyfriend roles.

The pirate part of the story is told as a fantasy in each of their minds - a fantasy that was inspired by their fantasy play at the club. It seems like both stories wouldn't work together, but they effortlessly. And really, who hasn't had a pirate fantasy? Geez. H.O.T.

But there's more to it than that. Jack is into some kinky stuff - sex in public (which is why he agreed to sub for the actor in the first place), whips, chains, wax play....all kinds of stuff. Stuff he didn't think that Vanilla Emma would be down with. Oh, but was he wrong. But he has a thick skull....and it takes him a while to believe that Emma really is into it all.

I know this story is the first of a two part series - and thank goodness, because I need for Travis (the 3rd BFF) to find his HEA. He prefers to shy away from the crowd and he likes to watch the activities in his club from the two way mirror in his top floor office. He also like to get off while he watches, so his story should be quite interesting.

I loved everything about Black Jack. I thought it was sweet without being sugary and incredibly hot without being unrealistic. And besides that, who hasn't had the fantasy that their perfect mate and the love of their life will turn out to be a best friend who has been there all along and who knows you better than anyone. Throw in pirates - and good Lord - it's kind of the perfect scenario.

My only complaint (sort of) is that the story is just too short. But I always say that with any novella that I love. I always want more; I'm selfish like that. The thing I love about Mari Carr's stories is that the characters are always fully fleshed out, despite the fact that the story is novella-length. You know who these people are and you care about them, and really, if wanting to know more about these people because I find them so compelling is the only thing I have to complain about, well, then, I think that's OK.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Review: Inked

InkedInked by Everly Drummond

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Super short little gem of a book. This is one of those that I would love to give 5 stars to, but it just wasn't long enough. I wanted more story.

The story starts out with Avery getting a tattoo by Brody, the super hot tattoo artist. (And really, is there ANYTHING hotter than a tattooed guy? The answer is no, no there isn't.) So, yea....Avery is getting this tattoo and is getting seriously turned on by the hotness that is her tattooer. And Brody is attracted to her, too. (Naturally)

Brody finishes up the tattoo and Avery leaves, though both are wanting to do or say something.....acknowledge the attraction, etc. But neither does. As soon as Avery drives off, though, Brody decides that he HAS to see her again. He grabs the waiver she signed (that has her address on it) and closes up shop and heads out to find her.

And you know where this is going. Brody shows up at her place, they have awkward small talk and Brody almost leaves, but Avery has the balls to grab him and kiss him. And they end up having crazy hot monkey sex. And it ends there. What the what???? This is why I can't give it 5 stars. Too.Damn.Short.

Overall, the book is well written and I loved the storyline, but there needed to be more. This soooo deserved to be a fully fleshed out novel and not just a short story that could be read in 25 minutes. The characters were as developed as they could be in a story this size, but I wanted to know more. (I always do!)

I'm looking forward to more work by this author, but please....make it longer!  (Size does matter. Tee hee.)

*E-book provided by the author.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

LOL: Dear Men of Craigslist

I ran across this a few weeks ago and nearly peed myself laughing.  Considering the types of books I read and write about - I thought this was appropriate.

Of course, I did not write it.  I found it here.


Dear Men of Craigslist,

Look, I know you men have it difficult. Women are just about impossible to understand, much less please. In a post-feminist society, you never know exactly what you should be doing. Women are bloody picky, I know we are. It can be scary, too, when women freak out about what appear to be benign issues. And men who do their best to be respectful, female-positive humans, I salute you, I do.

But please, please just fuck me already. Honestly, I appreciate your thoughtfulness. I like that you want to take things slow. I can totally get behind the idea of emotional connection, but dearjesusinheaven, FUCK ME. We've done dinner and drinks. We've gone dancing. We've cuddled and watched a movie. I'm wearing a low cut shirt and you've been staring at my breasts all night. Goodgodalmighty, get to it and fuck me.

When we get hot and heavy, please take charge. Please, please fuck me. Trust me, I'm not going to just lie still - I'll get involved. But don't make me force your hand into my panties. That makes me feel like a rapist. We've been kissing for a half hour and your hand keeps grazing my ass. That's nice, but it's time to move forward. Get on top of me. Don't make me get on top right out of the gate and start bobbing up and down on your cock like I'm practicing some crazy new aerobic yoga because YOU won't go down on me. Roll on top and start dry humping like a good boy should. Don't gently suck my nipples and then pull back when I moan with pleasure. You being coy is totally not what I want. It's not what WE want.

OK, I know it's scary. There are lots of women out there who make fucking really difficult. So, I have compiled some handy tips. Don't think of this as complaining, or as schadenfreude for the Andrea Dworkins of the world. Just some simple tips, for timid men who have forgotten what it means to fuck like men:

1. Taking charge is not bad. Oh, there will be some women who feel that you are pushy. If you are making out with a woman, and she starts to push back, ask nicely if things are moving too fast. If she says yes, say something like "I'm sorry - you just look so fucking delicious. I'll go slower." Otherwise, skillfully move forward. If you start kissing a woman, and she responds well, and before long, you're both on the floor with her skirt pushed up, and you on top of her, it's not the time to roll onto your back and start awkwardly stroking the top of her head. Seriously, grow a goddamn pair. YOU'RE the man. Act like one.

2. Ohmyfuckinggod, please learn to respect the clit. It's different for every woman, so ask what she likes. Do not, I repeat, do not just wiggle your fingers around her pussy like you're trying to tickle her. Do not drum your fingertips against her vulva like you are impatiently waiting at the Sears Tire Center for your receipt. Do not push the clit like it is a doorbell at some house that you need to get inside of. Start by using all four fingers with firm yet gentle pressure against the outside of her pussy. Do not charge in with a single finger and start jabbing at things. And if you really don't know what to do, ask her. Just ask. "How do you like it?". It's a simple question, and most women will answer straight out. If she's being all coy, ask "Do you like pressure? Is it sensitive?" The clitoris is a varied item, indeed. Treat each one as though you have never encountered one before. Forget everything that your last partner liked.

3. Most women like to be fucked, and fucked well. Yes, there are women out there who want to "make love" every time - sweet, gentle, rocking love with lots of eye contact and loving kisses. Those women are not the majority. The majority like to be pounded. The majority like to have their hair pulled. The majority like a good, solid jackhammering. When a woman is bucking wildly against you, it's not because she wants you to pull back and slowly swirl your cock around her vagina like you're mixing a cake batter up there. It's because she wants you to hold down her arms, or grab her hips, or push her legs above her head, and fuck her harder. Don't be too afraid of what this means as far as gender equality goes - I am a raging feminist bitch, but I still want to be penetrated like you are planning on fucking my throat from the inside out.

4. A little roughness is nice. Do not pretend that you had no idea that some women like their hair pulled. Do not act shocked if she wants you to spank her ("Really? Spanking? Won't it hurt?" - yes, it does. That's the fucking point). We know you've read Stuff and Maxim, and that's all those laddie mags talk about in their "How to Please Her" sections. Start with light, full handed smacks to the area of her ass that she sits on. Judge her response and continue on from there. You don't have to bend her over one knee and tell her she's a naughty girl and that Daddy's going to punish her; save that for the fifth date. Women are less delicate than you think, so don't worry about breaking her hip.

5. It's OK for you to make noise. Otherwise, we feel like we are fucking a ninja. Unless you actually are a ninja, and have sneaked into our rooms with vibrating nanuchaku and zippered black pajamas, please, please make some noise. If you're banging a woman, and she's crying out and saying your name and moaning, and you can't even manage a grunt, she's going to feel like an idiot. You don't have to make the sounds she is making, but do SOMETHING. You know how when you are watching porn, and the girl does something great to the guy and the guy kind of goes "Ah!", half grunt, half yell? That's HOT. Do that. Whisper our name (assuming you know it) gruffly. Groan against her neck when you're in missionary position. You don't have to grunt like a mountain gorilla, but if you are totally mute, she's going to get worried.

6. Most women like dirty talk, in addition to the grunting. If you'd like to get some dirty talk going, ask her if she likes the way you fuck her. If she responds well, continue with something like, "I love fucking you. God, you look so fucking hot." Is she still moaning in response? "Your tits are so beautiful." Does that work? If she doesn't respond well to the term "tits", you might have to stop there. If she keep moaning or responding, pass Go and collect $200. Try the following:

"Oh, god. Your pussy is SO tight."
"You're so wet - are you wet because you like the feel of my cock ramming you?"
"I think I'm going to come inside you. I'm going to fill up your little cunt." It doesn't matter that you're wearing a condom; we LOVE hearing this.

If all of those work, you can then progress to things like "sexy little bitch" and "dirty whore". Tread carefully, but please, tread. Do not tiptoe. Do not sit down. Charge.

6. You're not obligated to eat a woman out. In return, she's not obligated to choke on your dick. Don't skip one and expect the other. If you do eat a woman out, the only comment you should make about her pussy is how nice it is. The length of her labia minora, the color of her interior, her waxing job or full bush - you are not John Madden. No time for color commentary.

7. Do not bitch about condoms. Oh, we hate them. Trust us. They hurt us more than they hurt you. But we don't want to be preggers, and you don't want to catch anything, right? Don't whine about condom sex. Do not explain that you can't come with one on. LEARN to come with one on, or if not, help us figure out what to do with you once we're satisfied and it's time for you to let loose your load.

8. We really like it when you come. It's called a money shot for a reason. Watching semen shoot out of you is one of the most gratifying things EVER. However, do not assume that she wants you to jack it off onto her face. She might, but don't assume. Seeing and/or feeling you come is rewarding for us, so there's no need to deprive us of it, but please do consult us before unleashing. "I think I'm going to come - how do you like it?" is a fair question that shouldn't rob you of your testicles.

In recent memory, I've been fucked by a very aggressive, manly guy, and I've been... well, fucked is the wrong term here. I've been penetrated by a total and utter wuss. Who am I going to run back to when I'm ready for my fill? Manly McHardon, that's who.

*New point of clarification - some people have brought up some really great issues in response to this post, so let me say this: I don't mean to imply that all women like to be treated like whores. I do mean to say that most women I know have told me that they like sex rougher than most men give it to them. Rough does NOT equal chains and bondage. And this applies to the bedroom only, and does not mean that she wants you to choose her dinner for her, or treat her like less of a person. **Some women have said that they don't like it rough and what the hell am I thinking? Well, girls, you're in the minority. HOWEVER, all women need to remember that, in addition to be straight forward about your sexual desires, you need to be straight forward about your sexual limits. Don't be afraid to ask for more, but when something feels wrong, say so. Don't ever do something you don't want to do in silence and then blame the guy. Silence is dangerous.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Review: Management Skills

Management SkillsManagement Skills by January Rowe

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Um. Yea.

So I don't even know what to say about this book. The most positive thing I can say is that it was a free copy from NetGalley. I would have been pissed if I had paid money for this. I feel guilty for hating a free book, but I can't, in all honesty, give this book anything but a 1 star rating.

It features Allie and Grant. Allie was a former dancer (named Silver) at a high class club where Grant did the lighting arrangements. He was always fascinated with her, but because of club rules....he was never allowed to meet her or even talk to her.

Fast forward several years, Allie is done with dancing and school and is now working for a company that specializes in theatrical and concert productions.....lights, sound, etc. And guess who the CEO of the company is? That's right, Grant. Now that she's not at the club, he's free to talk to her and fuck her if he wishes. And he does. And they fuck. Of course, Allie always used to see Grant while she was on stage and she kinda had a thing for him as well.

Soon the fucking turns into Grant being a Dom-douche to Allie. It doesn't take long before he collars her and starts calling her "Mine". He tries to make her into the perfect submissive.

So, here's the thing. I know nothing about the BDSM world other than what I read in books. The BDSM described (poorly) in this book is the stereotypical crap that I used to think of when I thought of a Dom/sub relationship. The man is a mean douchebag who talks down the woman and tries to break her spirit until she becomes his slave. He treats her (literally) like a dog. He spanks her....and it's not like sexy bedroom punishment spanking - it comes across like punishment mean "I'm doing this instead of beating you like the caveman I am" kind of spanking. And at some other point, Grant interrogates Allie because she hasn't been "chaste". She wasn't with another man, she just accidentally orgasmed because Grant had not been allowing her to orgasm and she had had enough. And when I say he interrogated her, I mean he sat her down in front of a high powered stage light (remember, that's the business they work in) and shined it right in her face. Seriously, it was fucked up.

There was absolutely no emotion or passion in this book. None. There wasn't even a build up to where we saw any kind of anything - attraction, love, respect - for each other. Nothing about this book worked for me.

Granted, there was a tiny itty bitty bit of redemption at the end when Allie decides that she doesn't have to let Grant withhold orgasms from her. She sort of takes her power back and Grant gives in to her (for once). That being said, it happened in the last few pages of the book. Redemption....but poorly written and too little, too late.

And the writing. Meh. I won't even go there. But I will leave you with this little gem of a quote from the book: "He was like an oilrig. His thrusts would turn her into a supernova, throwing the shimmering substance of sex back out into the universe. Where was he? Why wasn't he drilling into her?" Yea. Exactly.

*ARC provided by NetGalley

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Review: By The Book

By the BookBy the Book by Scarlett Parrish

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Three words: Daniel Fucking Cross

But....more about him later.

And before I get into the review of THIS book, let me mention the previous book I read by Scarlett Parrish - Long Time Coming (LOVED IT). The only thing I wasn’t happy with was the lack of an epilogue. Well - you get the epilogue in this book!! Ok, so it’s not a real epilogue, it’s just a few sentences. BUT, at least I know where Piper and Leo are headed! Swoon.....

But, back to By The Book....

It starts out with (seemingly) mild mannered librarian Reece at work and in walks author Daniel Cross (yea, THAT one). He's there to do some work on his latest book, but there seems to be a spark between him and Reece. A spark of what, Reece isn't exactly sure. You know, since he is hetero and has a girlfriend and all. So then we have "mild mannered" Reece celebrating his birthday with his girlfriend, Georgia. Her gift to him? A threeway with her BFF, Sarah. Oh yea. So obviously Mr. Reece McVanillasex isn't so vanilla after all. This is when you know things are probably gonna get freaky-deaky with Daniel Fucking Cross at some point. (At least, in my filthy mind, I was hoping they would.) Ah, Daniel Cross - he wears guyliner, writes books, and is pretty sure he is God’s gift to anyone with a pulse.

So, of course, eventually, Reece and Daniel strike up a friendship and they dance around the unspoken attraction, and eventually Reece confesses that his bedroom activities are, shall we say, open minded. And also mentions that he and his girlfriend wouldn't be opposed to bringing in Daniel for some happy fun sexy times. (YES!) And it’s a threeway that is totally hot. The sexual tension that sparks between Reece and Daniel is delicious, even with Georgia in the room and Reece pretending there isn’t any sexual tension there. Wowza.

After their threeway, Georgia decides she wants another go at Daniel. And, of course, Reece agrees. So one night, he heads to Daniel’s apartment to discuss this with him. This meeting ends in a hot kiss between the two men. Reece’s first kiss from a man, actually. And I love this quote from Daniel: “Well, for your fist time, that wasn’t bad, and let’s face it, if the first man you kiss is Daniel Cross, you struck gold there.” Gah. I love a cocky man. (Tee hee - cocky) And what follows shortly after this is, perhaps, one of my favorite scenes in the book. And one of the hottest. Reece, alone in the shower, while thinking about Daniel. Either I’ve never read a masturbation scene in another book or this one was so real and so hot that it wiped the others from my mind. But yea. Reece, jacking off to thoughts of Daniel Fucking Cross was H.O.T.

Things start to get messy with Reece tells Georgia that Daniel kissed him while they were at Daniel’s apartment. Georgia gets pissed and Reece feels a little blindsided. I mean, he’s seen her fuck other dudes. He’s seen her with other chicks. She’s seen him with other chicks......but him kissing a dude that they’ve both been naked with is suddenly off limits? I mean, I understand her reasoning - she wasn’t there - but still. Double standard, much? Geo and Reece essentially breakup and Reece ends up at Daniel’s. And finally (FINALLY) Reece and Daniel get it on. Daniel finally gets what he’s been wanting all along - buttsecks from Reece. And while it takes a little longer for Reece to agree to getting buttsecks from Daniel (he thought he was hetero, remember) - they finally do go there. And it is just as hot as you can imagine it to be. How could it NOT be? It’s Daniel Fucking Cross.

The thing that I was most torn with in this book was Georgia. One part of me wanted to feel sorry for her because she is the jilted lover. Technically, her boyfriend cheated on her and eventually left her for another man. (Even though he tried to avoid that by offering that they all live happily ever after as a trio, but Georgia wasn’t down for that.) Then on the other hand, Georgia and Reece (as a couple) often brought a third party into the bedroom. It’s foolish to think that (eventually) someone is going to have feelings that venture out of the “it’s just hot monkey sex” zone. And, unfortunately for Geo, it happened with Daniel and Reece. For the longest time, I really hoped that Georgia would agree to being part of a threesome. I guess it was me feeling sorry for her, and not wanting to see her heart broken. But in reality, I could only see Reece ending up with one person - Daniel Fucking Cross. And I can’t even hate on Reece like I want to. I want to think he’s an absolutely bastard for what he did to Georgia. I want to hate him. But I can’t. He fought his attraction to Daniel. Didn’t want to want him. But in the end, the heart wants what it wants and it doesn’t always agree with our head. So how can you be mad at someone for what they couldn’t help? If Georgia can understand that, then so can I.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the best thing about Scarlett Parrish’s writing....her ability to write internal dialogue and spoken dialogue and have them flow together so effortlessly. I love that the most about her books, well, that and the smoking hot sex scenes! I can’t wait for more from her!

Plus - Daniel Fucking Cross. (Just had to throw that in one more time.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Review: Long Time Coming

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to get this off my chest first - WTF??? NO EPILOGUE???

Ok. Now I feel better.

So - I fucking loved this book with every fiber of my being. And I'm pretty sure, ok, so I'm totally positive, that Leo Carson has completely ruined me for actual guys. He's perfect. Not so perfect as to be unrealistic, I mean, his tears don't cure cancer or anything. But if I were to write a list of what I wanted in a guy....after having read this book....I would just need to write "Leo Carson from the book Long Time Coming."

Piper and Leo randomly meet at a bar and exchange numbers. Piper, having just gotten out of a relationship with the #1 Douchbag ever - and THEN having slept with the best friend of her brother who shouted that he was in love with her as he was climaxing - well, let's just say that Piper wasn't exactly looking for Mr. Right. But she was looking for Mr. Right Now. And if Leo called - she would have no problem letting him be Mr. No-Strings-Attached-Hot-Monkey-Sex guy. And Leo called. And they hooked up - and proceeded to have a one night stand that lasted for 36 hours. (FYI - The sex in the book might have just been some of the hottest scenes I have read. Ever. And yea - go look at the stuff I read.....that's saying a lot!)

So, Mr. Leo Perfect Guy says and does all the right things. He treats Piper well - which she obviously isn't used to. And because of her own insecurities and need to not be vulnerable, she almost fucks it up. For most of the book, I wanted to smack Piper Holt repeatedly. I wanted to scream at her to wake up and take what this man is offering you! Stop being a dumb ass. Then started thinking, no one is this dumb. No one is this blind to a man's affections. But you know what....I remembered a situation I was in years ago. I was sorta dating this guy that really liked me.....I let my insecurities kill the it. I did everything in my power to push that man away. I pushed him away before he had the chance to push me away. I was stupid. I was Piper Holt. (Without the 36 hour hot monkey sex session, unfortunately.) After remembering my own personal situation, I stopped wanted to smack Piper - but instead was screaming at her to FIX THIS!! It's not too late, girl!! It was too late for me to fix my stupid, but it's not too late for you!!!

Ok. Well. I didn't mean to get all personal there, but yea, I related to Piper more than I care to admit to. Her inner dialogue was so well written and so real - I wanted to smack her and hug her all at once.

And Leo. sigh There are no words. If this character is based on a real person....I need his phone number. And a passport. And an airline ticket to England. RIGHT NOW. I need to find this man.

Edit:  Itty bitty bit of an epilogue to this story is found in By The Book.  Squeeee!  (My review for that one is coming soon!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Review: Plus One

Plus OnePlus One by Scarlett Parrish

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

At the opening of the book, we meet Lydia. She's having trouble finding a job - probably because she has long bright pink hair. She's just getting started at an interview for a job in a university library when she's interrupted by Dr. Spencer Flynn. His copying machine is broken and he can't translate the shorthand notes that were left for him. Luckily for Dr. Spencer, Lydia CAN read shorthand, so she offers to do the transcription for him. And of course, it doesn't look too shabby for her interview that she's being so helpful before she even has the job.

Right from the start, Lydia and Spencer have this smartass banter back and forth between them. They seem immediately drawn to each other, maybe more out of curiosity than anything. She's a beautiful 23 year old with pink hair who is looking for a job; he's a 42 year old professor of math geekiness. Of course, there's nothing about that that says "ideal couple", but if you've ever read a romance novel, you know it won't be long before they're having some hot monkey math nerd sex.

After Lydia fixes a copier, transcribes shorthand notes, and finishes her interview, Spencer gives her a ride home in his candy apple red mustang. When they arrive at her apartment, they chat for a little while before Spencer gives Lydia the sexiest kiss I've ever read about. I'm telling you, the genius in Scarlett Parrish's writing is her ability to write the unspoken along with the spoken. Writing them in such a way that they flow together so perfectly that you're completely caught up in the experience and the feelings of what the characters are going through.

You know the hot kiss isn’t going to be enough for either of them. Eventually Spencer pays Lydia a visit at her apartment and they have hot couch sex. Which turns into a blowjob in his office at work (Lydia DID get the job, obviously), which turns into them being in a relationship where the sex is incredibly hot all the time, although Lydia doesn’t know how to define what they’re doing. Are they boyfriend and girlfriend? What? She’s totally into him, but she somehow doesn’t feel as if he is as into her. She’s constantly questioning the things he does - like, he takes her to a restaurant out of town.....she thinks it’s because he’s embarrassed to be seen with her. Chalk it all up to insecurity and a lack of communication, but we’ve all been there. We’ve all dated that guy that we felt was too good to be true and in turn, we questioned his every action and his motives - just looking for a problem. And if there is a shortage of problems, we’ll just start creating them in our head. Yea - we’ve all been there, done that. Lydia is no exception. But their relationship continues on, and they make plans to go out IN town, but at the last minute Spencer cancels. A family member is sick, he says. Of course, Lydia doesn’t exactly believe that. This is when her self-doubt really starts eating away at her relationship. She feels slighted and ignored.

After this, Spencer calls her and wants to talk. She thinks he wants to have THE talk....they one where he says they can’t see each other any more. Come to find out, that isn’t the case at all. Spencer confesses that he has a seven year old son - and that is who was sick. He knew that she thought he was lying when he cancelled their date, and he wanted to reassure her that he wasn’t. Lydia doesn’t quite know how to take the news about the son. Immediately she feels that she’ll never be as important to Spencer as his son, Lucas, is. (Which is so selfish of her.) She feels like she’ll never be more than 2nd place in his heart. (Lydia, can I smack you now? Please?) He apologizes and tells her that he should have mentioned it before now, but he just didn’t know how.

Things continue along, and then when Lydia isn’t invited to be Spencer’s “plus one” to a gallery opening, she decides to buy a ticket and go with her gay BFF. She dyes her hair to its natrual color (which Spencer has always been dying to see), she gets all her fancy duds on and heads out to the party. At first she’s all blasé about it - and then Spencer spots her. AND. HE. LOSES. HIS. SHIT. Come to find out it was his babymama’s exhibit and Spencer was there with his son. And yea, Spencer acts like a bastard. I understand why he was mad, but damn it, the way he talked to Lydia made me want to smack him. And even though I can understand why he was mad that she came to the gallery, he was disrespectful to her. Very disrespectful. And of course, this spells the end of their love affair....temporarily, at least.

Some time passes and Spencer shows up at Lydia’s house to apologize and talk it out with her. They end up having “we’re still sorta mad at each other” sex (which is always hot), and he does apologize. Several times. But for Lydia, it’s not enough. He disrespected her in public - in front of his colleagues - and some private hot nookie isn’t equal to the public humiliation and she sends Spencer on his way, their relationship is finally over. (Yea, right....)

Eventually, Spencer does what Lydia (secretly or not so secretly) wanted all along - he publicly acknowledges her in a way that can leave no room for doubt that he is not even remotely embarrassed by her. He does it in front of a room full of his students - knowing that the college grapevine will have the news spread far and wide within hours. He calls the library and has her bring over a book and then once she’s in front of his class, he proceeds to invite her to dinner with his parents and his son. (Swoon) At first she doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing, and then she gets it and she agrees to dinner. He sends he away with a short note, written in shorthand, that he needs transcribed. And apparently the letter - just three sentences long - was just want she needed to hear.

Damn it, y’all - there is no epilogue! AGH! I really hate that I’m so damn needy that I have to know - in writing - what happens after the characters find their HEA. I like it spelled out for me in black and white. And really, I would LOVE to know what the note said! reading this?? What did the note say?? I mean, I can guess what it said. But geezums, I need to know!

Despite my pathetic need to always have one more chapter.....I loved this fucking book so much. I love a plucky heroine who is a bit different, has a strong character, and isn’t afraid to speak her mind. I might have wanted to smack her at times, but it’s always easier to judge someone’s actions when you’re not in their shoes. At the end of the day, Scarlett Parrish writes characters that are so fully fleshed out that I care enough to want to scream at them and tell them to communicate and just work it the fuck out and be happy.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Review: Experimenting With Ed (#1)

Experimenting with Ed (Human Design, #1)Experimenting with Ed by Katie Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a happy surprise this book turned out to be!! It was a totally random purchase and I absolutely fell in love with it. (Obviously, judging it by the 5 stars I gave it!)

It starts off with Claire at a bar with her boss and coworkers - celebrating a grant that their research team was due to receive. Claire’s boss, a pube-faced toad of a man that had the hots for her, had finally pushed her a little too far. So far that a bouncer stepped in to make sure Claire was OK. The bouncer was Edward Astor. Ed for short. And he was just about the most handsome man that Claire had ever laid eyes on.

After the little issue with her boss - and Ed intervening on her part - Claire decides to walk home. Ed, being a gentleman and a tough guy, doesn’t want her walking five blocks, alone, at night. So, he takes a break and walks her home. I was hoping for some hot monkey sex at this point, but it didn’t happen. But I was pretty sure it was coming, eventually.

The next day, Ed is waiting for walk with her to work. Some might view this as creepy and stalker-ish, but I didn’t. I thought it was sweet. It’s pretty obvious from the beginning that Ed is a little different, but he never comes across as creepy. Socially awkward and a little shy, maybe. But never creepy. So anyway - he walks her to work and they’re the first ones there so she brings him in and shows him around the lab where she works. Ed is a little freaked out - he doesn’t like labs or doctors - but Claire keeps the mood light and even introduces him to her favorite test subject.....a lab rat named Wilma. There’s also a hot make-out session in the supply closet before the rest of Claire’s coworkers get to work. (YUMMY!) And while Claire’s day started out good, it goes downhill from there. She gets fired because she refused to support her boss when he told her he was planning to falsify data in order to secure the grant money. And it only gets crazier from there. (And I mean crazy in a good way. Like, crazy as in action packed.) Claire almost gets killed twice, there’s a fire, some car chases, some motorcycle chases, and a whole lot of crazy hot monkey sex. Good Lord, you will fall in love with Ed. It’s that tortured Alpha-male thing again. That gets me every single time. That, coupled with the fact that Ed is just a big ole teddy bear when it comes to Claire. *Swoon* I mean, really. What’s not to love?

Along the way, we meet Ed’s friend, Darwin, and we also learn a little bit about their past and how they both came to be......different. I won’t spoil it here, but let’s just say that it’s Top Secret / Government / Off The Record type stuff. It explains a lot, but it also opens the door wide open for many more books to come.

Don’t get me wrong, I did have a few issues with this book. The resolution played out a little too easily, a little too neatly. In - out - clean escape - problems solved. But the problem solving didn’t get mentioned except in the epilogue as our couple is driving into the sunset. I would like to have seen all of that played out over the course of a chapter or two, rather than having it mentioned merely as an afterthought. BUT.....I didn’t write it, so I have to respect the author’s choices. But even with that, I still can’t give less than 5 stars because I did love the characters so much.

Ya know, I feel so smug about having found this book. Why smug? Because it was a great story with lots of hot sex, action, and a hero I could really fall in love with - and I discovered it all on my own. It wasn’t a recommendation from anyone. (I know, what am I....a five year old? LOOKIE! I did it all by myself!) And furthermore, I don’t even remember how I found this book to begin with. I think it was an impulse buy on Amazon due to those “customers who bought this book also bought this book".  I think. But whatever the reason, I’m so glad I found it.

Experimenting With Ed happens to be the first in a series that will focus on all the men that were “altered”. I know from reading the author’s blog that the next book with focus on Ed’s friend, Darwin. There are 5 men in all, so I can only assume that there will be 5 books in the series. All of the men were assigned letters and when they escaped, they choose their own names. We have Ed, then Darwin....because I’m a genius, I’m guessing the remaining three guys will have names that start with C, then B, and finally A.

Bring on boys D, C, B, and A! I can’t wait.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Review: Yuletide Greetings (#3)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another good but all too short story from Brynn Paulin.

Zach (brother of Rob, the owner of The Dungeon) is not having a good holiday. He sort of got suckered into being the mall Santa and he isn't happy with the gig. As a cheer-him-up gift, brother Rob tells him he's sending him over a surprise. Not long after, Kate shows up. Kate thinks she's showing up at this guy's house that she's been talking to on one of those sex-hookup websites. But as soon as Zach opens the door, she realizes it's not the guy from the pictures they exchanged. BUT, she goes in anyway and they have some naughty fun and do some inappropriate things with a candy cane and so on and so forth.

Overall, I really loved the story. all of the other novellas I've been reading lately - I want more info. There was so much room for a ton of character development, the scene at the mall could have been greatly expanded, etc. There was just so much more story that could have been told, that should have been told. I just think that the writer is selling herself short by not making these stories longer. BP is a good writer, she knows how to write a hot scene and characters we care why not go full length with that.

And now for the things that make me go "hmmmmmmm". Ok, so you're Kate....and you just go to this guy's house and have sex with him? You've never met him! He's not the guy from the hook-up site, but you do him anyway?!? And where are the condoms? For real. I know it's a STORY - but come on, people.....I will only suspend so much disbelief and I don't for a minute thing that any sane person will show up to a stranger's house and have unprotected sex. Geez. And on top of that - you let said stranger stick a candy cane up your hoo-ha? OMG. Nothing screams raging yeast infection like sticking candy up in your lady-parts. But I guess if you've already rode him bareback, I'm guessing yeast infection isn't high on your list either.

Review: Take Your Pleasure

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Good Lord, the hotness of this book.

Lincoln Masters and Natalie Beaumonde.....boss and employee. Natalie has been a little "off" lately, seeing as how she just caught her jackass boyfriend of two years with another woman. Lincoln is a stickler of a boss - and doesn't like mistakes. And up until this week, Natalie had never made any. When he calls her into his office, she is sure she is about to be fired. Instead, he offers her a choice - take a spanking or report (in detail) what has happened to cause her mistakes. She chooses the spanking and the hotness just goes up from there.

As the relationship progresses, Natalie eventually tells Lincoln what happened between her and her asshole BF, Van. (Natalie caught Van with a leather clad dominatrix......double-teaming it with some toys of the rubber cock variety. They boyfriend tried to say it wasn't cheating. I would love to have heard a more graphic explanation from Van as to how this wasn't cheating. "No baby, it wasn't a human dick in my ass. It was rubber. It ain't cheating if it's a rubber dick." Um, that's not in the book....that's just in my head. Anyway...)

After Nat tells Lincoln the deal with Van - Lincoln offers to help Natalie dominate Van in the way he wants and possibly help them get back on track. OK - for a hot minute there, I did not like where this was going. I was all......Lincoln, you asshat, YOU want Natalie. Why the hell do you want her back with her artsy-fartsy douche of an ex? I seriously considered not finishing this book because I was so convinced that I was going to be pissed off. BUT, it came highly recommended to I didn't give up. I new my GR friends wouldn't recommend a book that had a bullshit ending. :) So I kept on trucking. And thank goodness I did. Besides the whole scene between Natalie, Van, and Lincoln being awesome ("Suck my dick, boy." I'm paraphrasing, but whatevs....), it was actually nice to see Lincoln step outside of himself and think only about Natalie. And then it was nice to see Van man up and think only about Natalie. THEN, it was nice to see Natalie stop rolling over and playing dead with her wants and needs and lay it all out on the line for Lincoln. And the memo she gives him is priceless.

Because I'm selfish, I always want more story, more background, more character development....everything. This book was no different. BUT, the characters seemed to be more defined than in other books of similar length, so at the end of the day....I was kind of OK with the shortness of the story. I wouldn't hate it if there were more to the book.....but at the end, I wasn't pulling my hair out, dying for more. I was satisfied. (I think it was the memo that did it. It made me LOL.)

Gah. Easy 5 stars here.

(And finally - an erotic story that knows what a condom is!!!)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Review: In The Dark

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Taking place in 1351 - the plague has just swept through England, killing or displacing almost everyone, including Katherine's entire family. Katherine - who has been forced to hide away her entire life because of the "devil's mark" on her face. She lives in a secret tower in the castle and gets around using hidden passageways. She and two of the servants in her father's castle were the only lives spared.

Shortly after, Calen the Black, arrives at the castle. It has been given to him by King Edward. (Because they think the castle is empty, except for the remaining servants. No one knows of Katherine's existence.) Calen and his men immediately starts cleaning out the castle and burning all of its contents. Katherine silently watches from her tower, as Calen burns all memories of her family. As the days go on, Katherine's fascination with Calen continues to grow. She wants to know more about this man. So one night, she visits his room - using her secret passageways. The have a night of passion - in the dark, so Calen can't see her disfigured face, and Katherine is gone before Calen wakes up the next morning. Calen feels that it's a dream, except he has some of her red hair tangled in his hand.

This happens several more times - and each time, Katherine makes her escape before Calen wakes. Finally, knowing that Calen has fallen for her, Katherine decides to leave the castle before Calen tears it apart looking for her. As she's making her escape, she is caught by some of Calen's men. They threaten to rape her and then burn her at the stake for her "devil's mark" on her face.....but before they have a chance, Calen comes in and demands the prisoner be released. Katherine is crying and doesn't want Calen to see her in daylight - because of her hideous scar. As soon as he sees her face and hears her speak....he knows that it's his beloved Katherine. And, of course, he could care less about the scar. He finds her beautiful anyway, and he begs her to stay with him as his mate.

OK - so, what the fuck is up with every single piece of erotica that I read being so damn short! This novella was just BEGGING to be a full length novel! Good Lord. It was sooooo good, but damnit, it was too short. There was enough character development to make you love the characters, but there could have been so much more. I wanted a back story. I wanted an epilogue. I wanted more hot 1300's sex. I wanted to know more about the mark on Katherine's face. Was she truly disfigured or was it just a birthmark? Geez. What was Calen's life like before he arrived at Warg Castle?

I really loved this story - but I can't give it 5 stars because it SHOULD have been a full length novel. Not to make it so was just an injustice to the characters.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review: Brazen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Super short and super hot!! It's been a while since I've read a book written in first person. It seems a little awkward at first, but you get used to it after a few pages.

Caroline is a photographer just out of a shitty marriage. She has her assistant, Will, arrange for her to have a harem of men at her house. There are strict rules (no shirts, no talking, no touching unless asked, etc.). If they break the rules, they're fired. Then Caroline meets Sean. An English violinist who breaks all her rules. She fires him (of course), but he returns anyway.

And y'all - when I say this book is short - I mean, it will take about 20 to 30 minutes to read. And when I say it's hot - I mean it is scorching.

Easy 5 stars. But damn, I wanted more! (I'm soooo greedy.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Review: Getaway (#3)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a sequel to Backwoods and Shivaree.

The book starts with Natalie back home in upstate NY. When leaving work one day, she sees Shane waiting for her. She was shocked, as she never expected to see him again.....much less in snowy NY. (Shane wasn't fond of the snow.)

Come to find out, Shane has made his escape from Gabriel. They've been lovers for a year, but Shane still can't reconcile that he is in a relationship with a man. And he can no longer stand the mysterious hold that Gabriel seems to have over him. He basically comes to Natalie seeking a rebound.

Come to find out, Shane just left Gabriel - with no clue about where he was headed. When they finally did talk, Shane officially broke up with him and also told him where he was. He didn't think Gabriel cared about him as more than a casual fuck.....until Gabriel also showed up in NY.

Of course, Shane and Gabriel have some hot "reunited and it feels so good" sex. And both confess their feelings for each other. Eventually.

Ok - so where does this leave Natalie. Well, before Gabriel arrived, she was having the hot monkey rebound sex with Shane. And honestly, I loved Natalie and Shane together. They had true passion and I think there was love there.....although maybe not the conventional vanilla variety. Shane was definitely in love with Gabriel too, but there was no doubt that he wanted something with Natalie. He just wasn't sure what it was.

After Gabriel arrives, Natalie knows she's no longer needed for the hot monkey rebound sex. Until Shane invites her to help him with the one last thing he has yet to give Gabriel. (Entrance into Shane's backdoor, if ya know what I'm sayin'.) Meh, it seems a little weird - but it really isn't. It's actually really sexy and sweet - with Shane finally giving himself over to his true desires.

My only real issue with this book, besides it not being long enough (I ALWAYS want more!) is that I would have liked to have seen the three of them all end up together. There were hints that it was headed in that direction....but it didn't happen. While Shane did make the offer, Natalie declined, deciding that she didn't want to share. (Boo, Natalie! Two hot men want you? Say yes!)

Overall - I really loved this series. It was my first foray into m/m romance, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I can only hope that book 4 (and there are rumors of a book 4) will resolve my issue with the book. ;)

Solid 4 stars.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Review: Shivaree (#2)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was the 2nd book in the Shivaree series. The same main characters from Backwoods, with the addition of Natalie Foster - a woman from upstate New York who is on her way back home from Miami - and she's on the rebound from her asshole ex-boyfriend. Her truck breaks down in the middle of the night - not too far from Shane's bar - and this is where she ends up for the night.

She meets Shane and Gabriel - not knowing that they are lovers. She is infatuated with Gabriel and it isn't long before she is dancing with him - and making Shane very jealous. BUT - Shane and Gabriel have a deal. Gabriel can sleep with women, provided Shane knows about it - and can join in if he chooses to. And of course - eventually - he does. Although, Natalie does sleep with Gabriel solo first. THEN they go for the threesome.

The chemistry between all three characters works.....quite well, actually. And there was an element to their threesome that I have yet to encounter in other books involving more than 2 people in the that was, um, interesting. Shane was his normal dickish self, which is surprisingly hot. I don't like dominate/asshole men.....but it worked for Shane. And Gabriel is still somewhat of a the people he encounters as well as the reader.

Again - my only complaint was that this could have easily been a full length novel. With good stories, though, I always want matter how long they are. And I definitely wanted more of this story.