Underneath it All by Bethany Bazile

Holy mother of all dirty talkers! It’s been a while since I read the first book in this series, Insomnia, so I sort of forgot that our main character Xander is the king, nay the emperor, of dirty talk. He also takes the term “alpha-male” to an all new level, but not necessarily in a good or healthy way. This book definitely had more substance than the last one, and although there was still a decent amount of build up in regards to the plot, there was less of it. I actually enjoyed that there was less build up because it consistently held your interest throughout, whereas nothing really happened in the first book until the last few pages. I’ll tell ya one thing though, the author definitely likes dirty talk and cliffhangers.

Beautiful men looking through window and thinking positivelyBefore we continue on with my review of this book, it might help if we do a recap of book one, just as a reminder. You can also read my review of the first book here. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Dum dee dum. Ok, nice to have you back. So in book one we met Xander, a Hollywood superstar, who had trouble sleeping due to the constant nightmares plaguing him from some mysterious incident in his past. He copes with these nightmares by having sex. Definitely not my go-to remedy after a bad dream, but whatever works for ya! At the urging of one of his lovers, he goes to a sleep therapist, Avery, who has secrets of her own, and the two proceed to bump uglies. Book one ended with a ridiculously amazing cliffhanger that I definitely didn’t see coming, so I was beyond excited to start book two to see how everything plays out. Overall, I think I enjoyed this second book more than the first one, but in regards to how it handled the cliffhanger from Insomnia it was extremely disappointing.

Alright, so I’m gonna spoil the cliffhanger. It turns out that the lover who suggested Xander go see a sleep therapist in the first place was Avery’s foster sister Ellie! Say what?!! Oh, and Ellie is a stripper, unbeknownst to Avery, which is how she and Xander first met. Are there any characters in this book who don’t have a mind-blowing, life-altering secret of some kind!?! At the end of book one Avery was nervous but excited to introduce her beloved foster sister to Xander, and the book ends right when the two meet and Xander realizes who Ellie really is. Enter book two, and I’m already sitting at the edge of my seat to find out what’s gonna happen. A screaming match perhaps? A big reveal that results in a cat fight between Ellie and Avery? Uh, no. Basically, Xander and Ellie pretend that they’ve never met, and the entire situation is sort of swept to the side with no resolution throughout the entire book. Well boo hicky! There was all that intensity and build-up for nothing.

So let’s get to the good stuff shall we? In the first book Xander definitely demonstrated his proficiency in the arts of dirty talk, but the eventual sex between him and Avery was kind of quick and unsatisfying. Well, for me anyway. They seemed plenty satisfied. But cheese and ricecakes did they go at it in this one! He alpha-maled the crap outta her, and she was pretty alpha-female (is that a thing?) herself. He would become a raging fit of jealous testosterone every time another man interacted with her, and Avery would also seethe with resentment whenever another woman attached herself to Xander’s arm. Seriously, the two might as well have just gone ahead and peed on each other to mark their freakin’ territory. It would actually probably be the best solution for them, because I personally know I wouldn’t step near a guy who smelled like piss.

We never really learned much about either character in Insomnia, just that they both had secrets. However, in this book Xander really opens up to Avery about where his nightmares stem from, and we are sort of offered a glimpse as to why he is so possessive and controlling when it comes to women. That being said, we still don’t learn much about Avery, which was extremely annoying. Here is Xander, opening up like he’s on Oprah Winfrey’s couch for crying out loud, and yet Avery remains tight lipped to the very end. Even after the two exchange “I love yous”, she doesn’t share how she ended up in foster care, or how her life was affected because of it. Out with it already woman!

There is another big reveal at the end of this book, which was definitely an OMG moment, but less climactic than the first one. Even though it’s been a while since I finished book one, I remember after reading it I was like, “Holy shit, where’s the next one!”. Now, I’d say I’m mildly intrigued to find out how all of the lies and deception between our various characters will come together in the final installment of the series. You pretty much know it’s gonna blow up in a nasty way.

Series: Sexual Misconduct series, book 2

Should you read it? It’s another short read at only 92 pages, so if you’re bored one afternoon with nothing else to do you could probably read the whole series. Be prepared though that this book was a bit more frustrating than the first, mainly because of Avery.

Smut Level: Soooooooo smutty.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here

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4 thoughts on “Underneath it All by Bethany Bazile

  1. Pingback: Lie to Me by Bethany Bazile | Romance Novels for the Beach

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