Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review: IOU Sex

IOU SexIOU Sex by Calista Fox

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t know about you, but I love a story where a bitch gets what’s coming to her. Combine that with some hot sex and a happy ending and you’ve got the makings of a great story. And that’s just what IOU Sex is.....a great story. (Though, I wish to God it had a different title. I *almost* didn’t read this book based on the title alone. I don’t know just has that “cheezy” vibe to it. Granted, I can’t think of a title that I would prefer over this one, so there ya go.)


Like all of the books I read that are well done,,,,,I wanted more. I loved the concept of this book so much, but it SO deserved to be a full length novel. It felt more like the final act of a really good book versus a stand alone novella. That being said....I loved it to pieces.

Fiona comes from an affluent family. The kind where you do what you're told without question. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Fiona isn't the type to just obey orders. She marches to the beat of her own drummer, much to her overbearing mother's chagrin.

Fiona has just received an invitation to her baby sister’s engagement party. No big deal, really, except that the sister, Lizzie, is marrying Fiona’s FORMER fiance! How did he become her former fiance, you ask? Well.....Fiona caught them 69-ing it in HER bed right before the wedding. Classy, right? And even classier.....Fiona gets an invitation to the engagement party - on the SAME stationary that Fiona herself had picked out when she was the intended bride. (Gah. Uppity folks can be so tacky.) To show that she’s the bigger person and that’s she’s over it.....Fiona decides to go to said engagement party. In a racy red dress - with some super hot mancandy on her arm. That man is her best friend and occasional fuck-buddy, Michael Houston. Michael is a famous photographer, a hot piece of ass, and a super nice man. And.....well.....he’s also somewhat of a player. Because of this, Fiona has kept her heart away from him. Because, really, the last thing she needs is another broken heart and another failed relationship.

So, the day before the nightmare engagement party, Fiona calls up Michael and says she needs to ask him a favor. In his oh-so-sexy voice, he asks her to come over and ask her in person. She’s not stupid.....she knows what he wants. And even though it’s been almost a year since she’s been with him - and she’s horny as hell - she promises herself that she’s not going to sleep with him. (Yea, right!!)

Of course, they end up having some amazing sex....and in the midst of all that, we realize that Michael just might not be as much of a player as he used to be. It’s obvious from their interaction that Fiona is special to Michael. In fact, he wants a real relationship with her, but Fiona doesn’t want to go there. (OK, yea, she really does....but she’s scared. A broken heart is a hard thing to forget.) Of course, Michael agrees to go to the party on her arm....IF....she agrees to spend the rest of the weekend with him. (And like a fortune should tack on “in bed” to that previous sentence.) Reluctantly, she agrees.

The party is everything you would have hoped it to be. Fiona gets exactly the reaction she was hoping for. She looked smokin’ hot, and she was with an equally smokin’ hot man that only had eyes for her. She got to tell off her fake-ass-fiance-stealing sister and she finally realized that she really was completely over the cheating-bastard-ex-fiance. Oh yea, the uppity mother who turned a blind eye to her younger daughter stealing the other daughter’s fiance.....yea....she got told off too.

AND, Fiona finally realized that Michael is a man worth going out on a limb for and risking it all for.

*Sigh* I love stories like this. I love seeing worthy people get what they deserve and asshole people getting told where they can shove it. But like I said in the beginning....this felt so much like the third act of a really good novel. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the story. But when I think of the potential backstory that could have been.....I feel a little let down. The conflict resolution was so sweet....but I couldn’t help but feel just how much sweeter it could have been if the book started....say.....right after Fiona caught the fiance and the sister going at it. And then how she met Michael, etc. I always hate to base my rating on what ISN’T there versus what IS.....but in this case, I can’t help it. I would totally give this 5 stars, but there was so much more I wanted.

*ARC provided by NetGalley

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review: Let's Get Naked

Let's Get Naked (Naughty Nooners)Let's Get Naked by Marianne LaCroix

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I can describe this entire book in 6 words: contains every cliche known to man.

Hot, older woman lusts after hot, younger neighbor. Woman has online fling with mystery man....they agree to meet. Mystery man is the hot neighbor. They proceed to have hot monkey sex. Really, that's the book in a nutshell.

The sex scenes were hot, but nothing special. Mostly, the book was just really predictable.

But was free from Amazon. And, it was an ok way to spend 30 minutes of my time. I didn't hate it.....but I didn't love it either.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review: Sugar and Spice (#1)

Sugar and Spice (What Women Like, #1)Sugar and Spice by Mari Carr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ginny is turning 30 and she just got dumped by her douchey boyfriend. In steps Travers, her best friend since childhood. He agrees to take her out for some birthday fun - at an exclusive sex club that she's been dying to go to. Once they arrive at the club, Ginny spots the douchey boyfriend all up in some blonde bimbo's fake tits. To comfort her, Travers says all the right things and then takes her back to his private room for some, um, fun.

I love a good best-friend-turned-lover story, but they only work when we get to see the friendship first. That's the element of this book that just made me giddy. I loved the friendship between all of the characters. Ginny is the lone girl in a group of three guys. They've all been BFFs since childhood, and now they all work together. Travers has always had the hots for Ginny, but he never admitted it to himself or anyone else. Too bad....everyone else sort of already knew. Well, except for Ginny. Ginny had always sort of had a thing for him too. (Damn it, these kids and their failure to communicate!) There are several great flashbacks to their childhoods that do a good job in establishing not only the deep friendship and love the four have for each other - it also shows that there was something all along between Ginny and Travers, if you read between the lines.

I absolutely love all of the characters that were introduced in this book, so it makes me quite happy to know that we'll be seeing this world continue to expand in the form of a series. (YEA!!)

Review: Happy Hour (#4)

Happy Hour: From the Black & White CollectionHappy Hour by Mari Carr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jamie, Trey, and Grace are all teachers at the same high school. On Fridays, they like to get together at the local bar for happy hour. It's April....almost graduation....and they're all about to go crazy. If it wasn't for their Friday night get-togethers, they all probably would.

Grace is 40 and has been single for quite a while. Her husband died in a car accident, leaving her alone with their young daughter who is now about to graduate from high school. Grace has devoted her life to raising her daughter and now that she’s about to be faced with living alone for the first time in her life, she realizes how much she’s missed out on. With the encouragement of her BFF (and fellow teacher) Cheryl, Grace is determined to make this happy hour a different one. She’s going to cut loose and allow herself to be that person she’s always held back from being. And Jamie and Trey both pick up on her new attitude on life. Jamie, who is secretly (or really, not so secretly...according to his friends) is in love with Grace. And he has been for a while, but he’s never bothered to act on it. He’s about 8 years younger than Grace, is Grace’s daughter’s softball coach, oh, and he also suffered a devastating loss of love when his fiance walked out on him. Needless to say, these two crazy kids have a lot stacked against them.

So, what will it take to get Grace and Jamie together? A little good, old fashioned jealousy. Trey, fellow coach at the school and best friend of Jamie, tries out a little bump-and-grind dancing with Grace and Jamie doesn’t seem to like it one bit. Then Trey admits that he did it only to put a boot to Jamie’s ass to get him to ask her out. What Trey didn’t count on was that he would genuinely get the hots for Grace. Although Jamie isn’t too keen on sharing a woman, Trey assures him that it would only be for one night. He basically just wants to tap that and move on. Trey knows that Jamie and Grace are meant for each other, but he thinks she needs to sow some wild oats before she settles down with Jamie. (Mind you - Jamie has yet to ask Grace he’s making a lot of assumptions. But apparently anyone with eyes in their head can see the chemistry and affection between Jamie and Grace.)

While Jamie is initially hesitant to proposition Grace with their menage scheme, he soon realizes that his raging hard-on for the hot English teacher trumps any fears he might have about her saying no. And of course, Grace doesn’t say no.

The trio leaves the bar and heads to Jamie’s house for some, you guessed it, smoking hot-for-teacher sex. The thing I love most about Mari Carr’s books is her ability to write consistently hot sex scenes. Even if I don’t care for the characters, the sex is always super hot. Luckily for me.....I did love the characters in the book. So much. While Grace and Trey are obviously hot for each other, it’s also obvious that Grace and Jamie are meant to be together.

Menage stories are sometimes hit or miss for me. I loved this one because it didn’t aspire to be a “let’s live this threesome alternative lifestyle” type of story. No. It was just three people, having smoking hot three-way sex and then going about their normal lives. No trying to buck society’s norms. No, it was just some one night only naughty sexytimes. And it worked. So well. Jamie seemed just like the kind of guy you’d want to take home to meet your parents. You know, as long as no one brings up the threesome with his best friend over the get-to-know-you dinner.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Review: Tequila Truth (#2)

Tequila TruthTequila Truth by Mari Carr

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kylie, Colt, and Heath have been best friends and roommates since college. It's their tradition to play "Tequila Truth" during every birthday celebration. What is tequila truth? They each take a shot and honestly answer a question that is asked of the group. Usually the questions are highly sexual. their most recent birthday celebration, the question was about what their ultimate sexual fantasy was. Kylie's be with two men, with bondage and spanking thrown in for extra fun. Fast forward to a shot time later. Neither Colt or Heath can forget about Kylie's answer, even though they are all "just friends". It's not until Heath walks in on Kylie and her boyfriend and a BDSM session that turned into an actual beating that things change. Heath and Colt think that THEY should be the ones to fulfill Kylie's ultimate fantasy, rather than her getting careless with guys that don't have her safety and well-being in mind. So, they purpose a weekend of sexual fantasy fulfillment for Kylie. When the weekend's over, they go back to the way things were - friends and roommates. But after the sex play begins, all three realize that they all might have been more than "just friends" all along.

So much of this book worked for me.....but so much of it didn’t. I didn’t like Colt’s constant use of the word “darlin’”. Yea, I know he’s a Southern gentleman and all of that. I get it....I’m Southern, and I know people like that. And it gets on my nerves in real life as much as it did in this book. And while I bought them all as friends, I didn’t buy them as much as a sexual trio. No doubt, the sex was super hot....but I never saw that transition from hot sex to love between the three of them. I think it was probably there all along, so there wasn’t a place for a transition from just friends having hot sex to true love....but I wanted to see it. I needed it in order for me to be able to buy them as a lifetime committed trio.

And there were just a few lines that made me groan. Granted, they were said in jest....but they took me completely out of the moment. They happened in the same scene, almost in the same paragraph. “Darlin’, are you ready to take a little ride on the roommate roller coaster?” and “Buckle up and keep your cocks inside my body at all times, boys.” Oh good God, no. I repeat....the characters were joking when they said these lines....but really? Really.

I’ve read many books that involve a menage fling winding up as a full lifetime commitment - and it’s worked. I just didn’t buy it in this book. Realistically, I don’t really get people having these relationships in real life, but when it comes to fiction, I can suspend my disbelief. I is fiction, after all. But I just wasn’t able to do it in this book. Don’t get me wrong, though....there is some entertainment to be found in this book. The sex is smoking hot, no doubt. I just didn’t grow to care about these characters like I have in some of Mari Carr’s other books.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Review: Erotic Research (#1)

Erotic ResearchErotic Research by Mari Carr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Julia and Ross have been coworkers and best friends for ten years. She is a best-selling romance novelist and he is her editor. But for those same ten years, Julia has been somewhat of a recluse - she hardly dates or goes out. Ever. And then her cat dies and she loses it.

To help her out of her funk, Ross suggests she try writing erotica and he gives her a ton of books and the keys to his mountain cabin so she can go do "research". But underneath his helpful exterior, Ross is plotting to seduce his best friend. He's been in love with her forever and he can't keep it from her any longer. BUT, he fears his somewhat kinky sexual tastes might scare the somewhat vanilla Julia.

While Julia is secluded in Ross's cabin during the winter, he drives up from the city for a surprise visit (and hopefully a seduction). Of course, they get snowed in together. And that's when things really begin to heat up. (bad pun, *rimshot*)

The sex is, whoa, incredibly hot. And about as un-vanilla as you can get! While it starts off as "research"....or at least that's what Julia quickly turns into so much more. What these two crazy kids had was a failure to communicate! Both have always had the hots for the other one, but neither of them ever had the balls to admit it. But I swear, during the story....I just wanted to slap them both to make them confess their feelings to each other. They're bubbling just barely below the's the subtext of every word they say to each other.....and yet it goes unsaid for so long! It's so frustrating as a reader, but as frustrating as it's that much more satisfying when their feelings true finally do come out.

I can't think of a hotter fantasy than best friend turned love of your life. And if said best friend-turned-true love can also manage to give you the best sex of your life....well, that's all just icing on the cake, baby.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Review: Cracklin' Rosie (#2)

Cracklin' RosieCracklin' Rosie by Lissa Matthews

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We first meet Rosie in the first book of this series, Sweet Caroline. She's the waitress/owner of the local diner, and she's a pistol. A pistol with a fetish for being spanked. But due to the small town she lives in and their everybody knows everything about everybody else has remained her dirty little secret. Until she meets Decker.

Decker is a friend of Buck (from book 1) and after Buck moves to the mountains to be with Caroline, he calls Decker and asks if he wants to go into business together. Shortly after sort of moving to the mountain town, Decker meets Rosie when she hires him to replace her roof. And he's a goner. He wants Rosie and he has a feeling she wants him - but she is stubborn and doesn't want to admit that she feels the same for him. Eventually she admits it, and somewhere in the conversation Decker also realizes that Rosie has thing for being spanked. And wouldn't you know it....Decker likes to spank.

I loved Decker. He's super sweet, hot as hell, and he's covered in tattoos. What's not to love? Rosie, as I said, is a pistol. A pistol that I sometimes just wanted to smack. I was all "Girl, you have this hot man lusting after you!! Stop running away from him!!" But in her defense, she had a strong fear of being in a relationship that might get a little kinky and might not be the "norm". And more importantly she was terrified of the people in town finding out about her fetish. She's a little paranoid about her kinks anyway, so I can see where she could take any potential relationship and mentally fast forward it to the point where it goes horribly wrong and then suddenly the ex has loose lips and tells everyone in town that she's a kinky wench. Ok, so maybe she's more than a little paranoid. But I come from a small town, so I can certainly understand where she's coming from.

The sex is hot and takes place all over - in a truck, in the woods, on a porch, and yes....even in a boring old bed. But I can promise you that the sex is anything but boring. As with all of this author's books, the sex is smoking hot. (And there is plenty of spanking for those of you into that sort of thing. *wink*)

I love this series, and the world that's been built for it. And I can't stand the wait for book #3. I just know it involves Cort and Blue. (Cort being a friend of Decker and Buck's.....and Blue being Rosie's childhood best friend)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Review: Sweet Caroline (#1)

Sweet Caroline: Blue Jeans and Hard Hats, Book 1Sweet Caroline: Blue Jeans and Hard Hats, Book 1 by Lissa Matthews

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The hotness drips off the pages of this book like lava. Good Lord....

Caroline is a 40 year old, recently divorced woman who is looking to sell her house and move to the mountains. While wandering through the a home improvement store, she encounters Buck. Buck is a contractor who normally doesn't do the kind of work that Caroline needs done....but he feels an attraction to her - so hey, why not. Things stay completely platonic until he runs into her in a sex shop. Here, the slightly shy Caroline boldly shows Buck what kind of things she likes - from clamps to whips to glass dildos. And thus their relationship begins.

The hot monkey sex starts out hot and continues to get even hotter....if that's possible. If you're not a fan of BDSM, I would suggest you skip this book.....because it does go there. A lot. But don't get me wrong. While there is a TON of sex in this book - there is a good storyline as well. Caroline's ex-husband got her interested in the lifestyle, but after years and years, the relationship eventually morphed into something Caroline didn't want. Swinging was always something they did.....but when the ex-husband started getting it on without Caroline's knowledge....well, it just started going downhill from there. Finally, she asked him to move out. It was this move that prompted Caroline to take a road trip that landed her in the mountains of Georgia, in what would soon be her new home. As soon as the repairs on her old home were made, that is, and she was able to sell it. The one thing she didn't factor into her new life was Buck - and falling in love with him.

Start reading this book for the hot sex....but keep reading it for the great characters you'll be introduced to here and in the other books in the series. I love Lissa's writing style and she sure as hell can write a hot scene. No doubt.