Review: Crashed Out by Tessa Bailey

Reviewed by Victoria

This book is the beginning of the Made in Jersey series from Dirty Talk Queen Tessa Bailey. Guys, this book is hot. How hot? I was trying to read it while making dinner, and chapter 4 was so hot, I burned the whole thing. That hot.

The story opens with our hero, Sarge Purcell, returning to the factory town he was raised in after a 4-year absence. As Sarge is amusedly noting all the things that are the same, he quickly realizes that one thing is very different. His sister, single-mother River, is having a hard time. She sends Sarge to stay with her best friend Jasmine Taveras, not wanting her daughter to get too attached to an uncle who isn’t sticking around. Sarge immediately realizes his error, and begins helping his sister in more ways than just sending money.  [Read more…]

Double Review: Even Money and Double Down by Alessandra Torre

Reviewed by Debz

Debz read both All In Duet books back to back as one long story and reviews both here, starting with Even Money.

At night, Bell Hartley works at The House, a premier and exclusive gambling den in the Vegas Strip for the rich and powerful who don’t want to be seen spending money at their competitors’ tables. A waitress extraordinaire, she does it all for her bosses, Rich and Lance, who she considers family. Bell is also a college student by day and a rape survivor.

Dario Capece is the richest, most powerful owner in Las Vegas. The Italian is a hotel mogul and mob boss on the side and he rules Las Vegas with an iron fist. Married in Las Vegas royalty, Dario and his wife Gwen are a formidable force. There should be nothing in common between Married Dario and Waitress Bell right? WRONG. [Read more…]

Review: Loving the Wounded Warrior by Adriana Anders

Reviewed by Sara

Adriana Anders has a way of using her novels to discuss very real societal issues, while also providing the escape many readers look for in a romance novel. Loving the Wounded Warrior is an example of this particular skill.

Kurt is a man left broken by his military service and the loss of a friend and fellow marine to suicide. He is pushing this same friend’s empty wheelchair up a mountain when he is nearly run off the road by O’Neal. O’Neal isn’t just the baby sister of Kurt’s best friend, a girl he crushed on, but she was also the intrepid high school reporter whose article on a concussion Kurt received due to football, led to the derailment of his college football career.

O’Neal has always been curious. Looking for the story in others’ experiences has helped her to avoid her own issues. She has trouble processing physical affection, is emotionally blunt, and has a career that she loves in theory, but is failing at in reality. Once she discovers the man with the wheelchair is Kurt, she’s even more curious than she normally is and she can’t let him or his story get away. [Read more…]

Review: A Taste of Pleasure by Chloe Blake

Reviewed by Sara

Danica (Dani) Nilsson loses her boyfriend and her job as a chef in one day. With her reputation in tatters, she leaves to visit her aging supermodel mother in Italy where she runs into her one night stand from over a year ago. Antoni (Toni) Lorenzetti, Dani’s fling, is also the nephew of her mentor, Chef Marcello. Both Dani and Toni are present when a tragedy occurs in Marcello’s kitchen and Dani steps up to save the whole evening service.

Toni wants Dani in his bed, but he’s not sure about having her in his kitchen. Begrudgingly, he asks Dani to help at his secluded farm to table restaurant in the countryside outside of Milan. Throw in a conniving ex-wife, a distraught teenage daughter, a meddling mother and the idyllic Italian scenery and the recipe for a tumultuous romance is set. [Read more…]

Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Reviewed by Caitlin

Stella Lane is 30 years old and a very successful econometrician (economics meets math – sounds like a badass job). She works everyday because she’s passionate about what she does. She hates dating just as she hates most social interactions in which she has to meet new people, but her mother is worried about her daughter’s biological clock and so continues to pressure her to go out on dates.

Also, Stella has Asperger’s. In the first chapter, it appears as if this is something to conquer in her mother’s eyes, while her father dotes on her. Mom suggests she date Philip James. They come from the same neighborhood, and they work in the same firm. It makes sense.

What is our introduction to Philip James? He’s in his 30s and agrees to date an intern in his office who is over a decade younger than he is. He sneers at Stella and casts aspersions about what she must be like in bed, then suggests that she practice sex until she’s good at it. At the workplace he says all this. AT THE OFFICE. [Read more…]

Review: Captivated by Tessa Bailey and Eva Dangerfield

Reviewed by Sara

It would be really easy to classify authors’ Tessa Bailey and Eva Dangerfield’s novel Captivated as a quick and dirty Erotic Romance. The book isn’t particularly long and the events in it happen quickly and without preamble. It’s also incredibly sexual and deals with the more taboo fantasy of forced submission.

Autumn, an Aussie transplant, freshly broken up with her cheating, comedian boyfriend has a run in with her landlord, Blake. During this run in, her fantasies, that just happen to be with Blake, come to light. They’re dark and illicit and Blake, who is more or less a shut-in, is moved by them and agrees to some role play with Autumn if she’ll go on three dates with him. This leads to more than just sex and eventually the two are wrapped up in a whirlwind romance that has them questioning their pasts and futures as individuals and as a couple. [Read more…]

Review: Making Up by Lucy Parker

Reviewed by Caitlin

I’ve been putting off this review because I couldn’t figure out what to write about it. This is the third book in Lucy Parker’s London Celebrities series and it has my two favorite leads so far. The book was funny and endearing, and I really enjoyed getting to know Trix and Leo. I’m a sucker for the strong, silent type who isn’t also a dick, and Leo fills that role nicely.

Trix Lane is a performer in The Festival of Masks, a Cirque-du-Soleil type show enjoying a good run in London. She is incredibly talented, but her verbally abusive and controlling ex-boyfriend Dan has done a number on her, and her confidence is in the gutter. When the lead injures herself bad enough that she won’t be able to perform anymore, Trix is next in line to fill in. [Read more…]

Review: The Varlet and the Voyeur by Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway

Reviewed by Sara

The Varlet and The Voyeur is book four in Penny Reid and L.H. Cosway’s Rugby Series. I really enjoyed the previous three books in the series and was stoked for this book to come out.

Will Moore is the strong silent member of the Irish Rugby team. He is seen as well-mannered and scandal free until a tabloid accuses Will of paying prostitutes to perform sex acts so that he can watch. The team is shocked and so are Will’s sponsors. Will is all about rules, ethics and preventing misunderstandings. He is also, definitely, a voyeur and, while never having paid prostitutes (he views this as unethical because prostitution can be exploitive), he has had a non-monetary arrangement with several married couples. So, to make things up to the team and regain his good name he hires Josey Kavanagh to be around him to keep him from finding another couple to watch. Will initially views, sweet, exuberant Josey as a little sister or a puppy. However, unexpected things can happen in close quarters and soon Will doesn’t see Josey as a little sister at all. To avoid misunderstandings he puts both rules and a deadline on their interactions, which (of course!) means misunderstandings abound. [Read more…]

Review: Breathless by Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan

Reviewed by Sara

In Breathless, Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan have taken two stories and woven them together into an epic love story that crosses centuries and continents.

The historical portion of the book centers on The Swan, London’s premiere courtesan. The Swan has worked her way up from the bowels of Newgate Prison to the height of the London ton. She is independently wealthy, dictates fashion, and can have any man she wants. A man, however, is how she finds herself shipwrecked with amnesia on the coast of Catalonia. Here, she is taken in by The Artist, an immensely private, British deserter of the Napoleonic Wars. As The Swan finds herself in The Artist’s humble, coastal cottage, as well as on The Artist’s canvas she also finds the greatest love of her life.

In the Contemporary portion of Breathless, we meet Brenna Anderson, an Art History professor who, like many in the art community, is obsessed with a series of painting of a woman known as The Siren. When she discovers that The Siren may in fact be The Swan, a courtesan of renown who disappeared out of history she believes she may have the key to a centuries old mystery. However, to prove her theory correct she’ll have to except the help of her rival, Fitch Wilder, a treasure hunter with no formal training who seems to always be two steps ahead of her professionally. Brenna knows men like Fitch and refuses to be swayed by his charm, but the closer they get to uncovering the mystery of The Siren, the harder it is for her to deny her feelings for the handsome adventurer. [Read more…]

Review: Bane by L.J. Shen

Reviewed by Joanna

One of my favorite tropes is the wounded hero who is self-aware, even as he repeatedly messes up his life. Roman ‘Bane’ Protsenko is one of those guys. A mixture of cocky and resigned to his choices, he’s a prostitute, hired by rich women to satisfy their needs, but he’s also a businessman, he runs a protection racket, and lastly, he surfs. Naked. There isn’t much this guy won’t do to make his mark on the world. You’re probably thinking what an unappealing chap he is, and to some extent, you’re right, but he becomes sympathetic. He’s funny, too, in a way, and ballsy despite his sad background.

His redemption comes when he happens across Jesse Carter. This woman has been through the most awful, traumatizing events (trigger warning for rape), and doesn’t go out anymore, except to her therapist’s. She’s anxious and scared, taunted, unsupported, and wounded beyond help. Her despairing step-father hires Bane to bring her out of her shell. [Read more…]