Review: Mouth to Mouth by Tessa Bailey

Reviewed by Caitlin

I’ve read a handful of Tessa Bailey books. They’re easy to read and mostly fun. I do believe if you think too hard about them, they can get problematic — and since there is so much fun, easy romance out there that isn’t problematic, there isn’t really an excuse for it — but the ones of hers I like manage to avoid my worst triggers. I especially enjoyed The Major’s Welcome Home and Getaway Girl. Her collaboration with Eve Dangerfield in Captivated is lovely (but then again, I love Eve Dangerfield).

Mouth to Mouth‘s blurb should have been a warning to me. It’s just that I’d had a tough day, and it was on Kindle Unlimited, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Rory Prince is 24 years old and from the wrong side of the tracks. He’s got tattoos. He has a motorcycle. He’s got an anger problem. He beat someone so bad once that the police had to pull him off, and he did time for that crime. He works at the bar his family owns and he lifeguards as well. He’s a townie in a beach town that is full of rich people in the summer. And he is a total ladies’ man. He is a walking bundle of Bad Boy Tropes.

Olive Cunningham is rich. She is 18, a virgin, and book smart. She was homeschooled and unbelievably sheltered. She is young and naive and vulnerably sexy and wears glasses and sundresses and white shorts. She likes milkshakes for breakfast. She came to Long Beach for the summer to take a class for her psychology major before the school year started.

When Olive almost gets hit by a bus because she’s too engrossed in the book she’s reading, Rory saves her life. And he saves her life again in the ocean. And again when she’s near where a fight breaks out. They each fall in love at first sight. He calls her sunbeam. She thinks he’s the most handsome man who doesn’t understand how good his own heart is.

Sunbeam. He calls her sunbeam. The whole book.

Sunbeam.

Sunbeam.

Fine, we’re leaning into tropes. Fine. I can work with that.

Rory has a brother named Jamie. Jamie is gay. We find out Jamie is gay because when Jamie cleans up a cut Olive sustains, they’re interrupted by Marcus, who decides that Jamie being alone with a woman means he “change[d his] mind about liking dudes.” I almost wish we had Jamie introduce himself to Olive as “Rory’s super gay brother,” because it would have been the same level of awkward expository clunk.

Some authors think the hero telling the heroine she’s wearing something too revealing is romantic. I’ve also seen over-the-top jealousy used as proof that this love is so real. I hate both of those tropes, but Bailey obviously does not share my disdain for them. Seriously, boyfriend wouldn’t care if I walked out the house naked as long as I came home to him, and I’d much prefer seeing heroes view women’s bodies and choices that way.

Bailey LOVES a possessive, jealous alphahole. Some books it works okay, like when the heroine is older and already sexually and romantically experienced. Olive literally just graduated high school. 

Oh! If you’re wondering whether Rory’s jail time and all-consuming guilt is warranted, well, it’s not. 

Jamie was being attacked by five men for being gay and Rory beat the shit out of one of them until the cops came.

This jail time was the reason he stayed away from his mother for years. He was ashamed for being a hothead. Look, if you’re going to have a hero being violent like that and trying to be a better man after the fact, at least make the reason he feels shame be somewhat ambiguous. Rory’s Big Mistake was so obviously justified that it makes all his worries about not being good enough for Olive seem like an eye-rollingly obvious plot contrivance.

At the end of the novel, after some silly obligatory made-up road block from Olive due to some very-quickly-overcome insecurities, Rory promises to never leave her again, even if she breaks up with him. Some light stalking is treated as very romantic, despite their love story taking place over the course of a month, and the fact that Rory is possessive and jealous and so full-on, and keeps making a big deal about how young and innocent Olive is, means that the only feeling I’m left with when I finish this novel is the idea that this relationship is toxic. Get out, Olive, he’s seriously bad news.

If you want something light, fluffy, and fun, there are some very cute romances out there that have a lot of fun with romance tropes. I would not recommend this one.

Rating: D+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Mouth to Mouth
by Tessa Bailey
Release Date: November 12, 2018

Review: Runaway Girl by Tessa Bailey

Reviewed by Sara

In Runaway Girl, the follow-up to Tessa Bailey’s Getaway Girl, Naomi Clemons has an epiphany just before she’s about to walk down the aisle. She realizes she’s nothing more than a pretty face. She’s never done anything with her life, and if she goes through with her wedding she’ll be committing to a boring, passionless lifetime as a trophy wife and party hostess to a man who can’t even remember what she likes to drink. So, she hits the road, committed to living her life to the fullest only to discover that she lacks the skills to support herself on her adventure. It’s at a Florida truck stop, while a stranger helps her maneuver a bathroom stall in her wedding dress that she applies for the only job she has any training in, a pageant coach. Which is how she meets Jason Bristow. [Read more…]

Review: The Major’s Welcome Home by Tessa Bailey

Reviewed by Sara

Tessa Bailey’s new release, “The Major’s Welcome Home,” isn’t technically a new release. The short story of Major Beck Collier and Kenna Sutton was previously released in 2015 as part of an anthology with author Sophie Jordan called Off Base. With an additional epilogue, previously only released on Wattpad and half of all its release week sales going to fund research for Juvenile Diabetes, picking up this novella and becoming reacquainted with Beck and Kenna was a no-brainer.

Kenna Sutton was a wild child and has done her best as an adult to make up for that by making herself indispensable to her General father. Which is how she ends up as the pick up driver for Major Beck Collier as he returns from a six year deployment overseas. Considering Major Collier’s expertise is in engineering strategy, Kenna assumes she’ll be picking up a bespectacled, paunchy desk jockey. Instead she’s met with a hulking, military Adonis with a heart of gold. Determined to see that he’s welcomed home properly, Kenna gets particularly hands on with Beck and soon finds an attraction to the major that’s more than skin deep. [Read more…]

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…]

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: Disturbing His Peace by Tessa Bailey

Reviewed by Sara

In all honesty, I wasn’t going to read Disturbing His Peace. I wasn’t a huge fan of the other books in this series and figured I’d just leave it. That was, until I saw a couple posts Tessa Bailey put up on Instagram about the book. I snatched it up on release day and I am so glad I did.

Dannika is a people-pleaser, she’s always the one her family comes to for helps. So, it only makes sense that her dream job is helping the citizens of New York. She’s at the top of her class in the police academy and would love it if it wasn’t for Greer. Greer is Dannika’s incredibly good looking, incredibly demanding instructor and she hates him. However, there’s more to Greer than meets the eye; he’s hard on his students because he knows what happens when you’re not perfect at this job. Greer’s partner died on the job, and between that and a very man’s man kind of upbringing, he holds people at arm’s length. Except it’s getting harder and harder to keep his brightest and most tempting student, Dannika at a distance. A slip up on Greer’s part, as well as a potentially dangerous mistake on Dannika’s brings the two together and the sparks fly. [Read more…]

Review: Too Hot To Handle by Tessa Bailey

Reviewed by Joanna

Rita burned down her mother’s restaurant. It was an accident, and her mother has been dead a while so she won’t miss it, but even so. It’s shaken our girl up a little bit and made her refocus on what she wants to do with her life. It ain’t cooking, that’s for sure.

A request from beyond the grave has her heading out on a long road trip with her sister and two brothers. They don’t really get along, and they aren’t close. I guess that’s what her mama was trying to fix.
[Read more…]

Review: Risking it All by Tessa Bailey

risking it allReviewed by Carrie

Tessa Bailey is back with her dirty talking alpha heroes! This time she pulls in several characters from previous books (Ruby and Troy from His Risk to Take and Derek from Protecting What’s His) and pushes this first book in a new series into a really interesting direction.

Seraphina Newsome is on a mission. The ER nurse turned cop is attempting to avenge her brother’s death by going undercover as a bar waitress for a crime lord in order to obtain incriminating evidence in the form of a ledger. Sera, as a rookie cop, has the deck stacked against her going into the unsanctioned operation with no support, but she just can’t let the man who killed her brother get off so easy. [Read more…]

Review: Owned by Fate by Tessa Bailey

owned by fateReviewed by Carrie

Readers, you are going to have to take this review with a grain of salt.  See, I knew after reading the blurb that this book wouldn’t be for me, but I love Tessa Bailey’s work and I was hoping that she would bring a fresh take to this tired story.  I was wrong and I have learned my lesson – this trope just isn’t for me.

Caroline Preston is desperate to help her family’s financial magazine keep from going under.  She’s so desperate she agrees with her brother’s harebrained idea to write a lifestyle piece for the magazine on New York’s exclusive BDSM club.  What does BDSM have to do with a financial magazine, you ask? Apparently, the wealthy are just going to these clubs in droves after the release of the book that-shall-not-be-named. [Read more…]

Review: Baiting the Maid of Honor by Tessa Bailey

baiting the maid of honorReviewed by Carrie

If you’ve been reading my reviews, you know how much I love Tessa Bailey’s writing (especially her dirty talking heroes).  As soon as I saw Bailey’s name come up as one of the authors involved, I requested the whole series.  I am sooo glad I did because she does not disappoint.  This is the second book in the Wedding Dare series.  The stories seem to run concurrently and are interwoven, but I think it would be fine as a standalone. [Read more…]