A female lead with a 38E bra size, weighs 160 pounds, wears a size 16 shirt and thinks dieting suuuuucks? Well that’s the most refreshing thing I’ve ever seen.
What’s it About?
I’m a total mess. My boyfriend dumped me – get this – because I diet too much. Not because I’m fat, mind you. Of course, this spurs me into the diet-fitness-revenge-plan of the century, which leads me to the gym and a scorching hot personal trainer. I even manage to make some cool new friends, including a millionaire if you can believe it. Things are looking up! Naturally, that’s the moment my ex decides he wants me back, the personal trainer asks me out, and my millionaire male buddy decides to throw his hat in the ring. But that’s not enough drama. No, not for me. Because I’ve also lost my job and decided to start my own business. Just call me Ms. Drama.
Warning: Bad language, bumpy roads, and embarrassing moments ahead. But there’s also more than a bit of romance and even, if we’re lucky, love. Fingers crossed. Not endorsed by or affiliated with any brand of tequila.
When this novel first started I had a plethora of assumptions of how the story would progress, which was influenced by not only the synopsis of the story, but also the title. I figured we’d be dealing with a slightly overweight female lead who starts a diet and gets in shape with the help of a personal trainer. She must proceed to slim down considerably which causes her to become irresistibly beautiful to said personal trainer, and they end up with a fairy tale-like happily ever after. Well, I have never been so happy to be wrong on so many different accounts in my life!
Although our female lead does proceed to get a bit more physically fit throughout the novel, the main focus is really so much more on how she gains confidence, and that is what draws men to her like a moth to a flame. It was just so empowering to know that you don’t have to dramatically drop from a size 16 to a size 6 in order to find love. You don’t need to starve yourself, or lose all of the junk in your trunk in order for a man to think you’re beautiful. You just need to be happy with yourself, happy with your life, happy with those around you, and it’s just a matter of time before you’re happy in love. And sure, a few trips to the gym won’t hurt, but they aren’t required. Who knows though, you might also just happen to find the future love of your life waiting for you at the smoothie bar!
The Dreaded Gym
Another one of the first things I assumed about this book was that it would all be about dieting, exercise, and in general making me feel guilty for baking a double chocolate chip fudge cake when I live by myself. But lo and behold this book really doesn’t lay on the guilt trip about how you should hit the gym 5 days a week, or anything like that. Instead we see how our female lead, Everly, has been having a pretty bad week after her boyfriend of many years dumped her unexpectedly after complaining about her continually giving up on her many attempts to diet and lose weight. In a drunken blackout, she signs up for an entire year of private training sessions at her local gym and vows to get in shape so that she’ll make her ex, Josh, unbelievably jealous and beg to get her back.
Now I know what you’re thinking, why doesn’t she just say to hell with it once she sobers up from her binge night and just drown her sorrows in a vat of ice cream? Simple. Not only does Everly’s best friend kick her butt to the gym with her sexy as sin trainer, but she comes to grow an incredible support network of sassy gal pals, the aforementioned sexy trainer, and a geeky guy friend with incredible abs. I must say in addition to our lovable lead, I 100% fell in love with all of her incredible friends who try their hardest to show Everly that she’s beautiful on the inside and out. They let her know that she doesn’t need to lose 50 pounds to be beautiful, but instead encourage her to get fit to the point where she finally feels comfortable in her own skin, while also being there for her when she needs to break her diet by indulging in some tequila.
Looking Beneath the Glasses
I couldn’t help but identify with Everly’s character, from her relationship woes to her stresses at work, and especially her lack of confidence in her body image. But that’s why her support network is everything and more, especially Carter, her geeky guy friend who might just be on the verge of becoming something more. These two are the epitome of relationship goals, and are so freakin’ adorable you can’t help but fall in love. At the start we just assume that Everly is the one lacking confidence in their relationship, for Carter is ripped with sexy abs, not to mention a millionaire.
What could a guy like him ever see in a girl like her? But although Carter seems like the perfect male, we see that he too lacks confidence, and holds Everly up on a pedestal where he also wonders what she could ever see in him. Awwww, swoon worthy. Lastly, he’s unbelievably supportive of her goals to lose weight, yet continually lets her know that she’s beautiful just the way she is, and her continuing diet is totally up to her rather than something she should feel pressure to maintain. Mkay, Everly girl I love ya, but not gonna lie I might need to kick your ass to steal Carter for myself.
A Tequila or Two
One feature of the novel that I must admit I wasn’t a huge fan of was Everly’s propensity to get blackout drunk to the point where she couldn’t remember crazy antics from the night before. It sort of indicates her inability to know her own limits, as well as highlight a concern that when unable to deal with the pressures of life with food she instead turns to alcohol as a crutch. However, this was never really addressed as a concern in the novel, but instead was almost featured as a comedic character trait. And I will admit, Everly did get into some pretty funny hi-jinks while intoxicated.
Personally I thought it was kind of disappointing we could never really experience those moments as they happened though. Instead we get the short abbreviated version the next morning from one of her friends who happened to witness it all since Everly herself couldn’t remember. I think it would have made the story all the more enjoyable if Everly had just gotten a bit tipsy which made her loosen up rather than drinking to the point where she couldn’t remember anything. Just goes to show that when you limit your calorie intake, getting drunk happens a bit more quickly than you might be used to!
*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*
Series: I think this is just a stand-alone, but I think it would be hilarious if we could either get a series, or maybe just one novel of short stories featuring the romantic exploits of Everly’s hilarious gal pals from her Zumba class. They were a riot!
Should you read it? This is definitely a fun and comedic read all about being happy and confident with yourself. Whether that entails losing weight, trying new things, dating someone new, or venturing out for a new job opportunity, this book highlights that sometimes it’s worth taking the risk. You might be terrified at first, but as long as you give it a solid effort, and maybe have a few close friends who have your back, you can do anything. A cute beach read that’ll make you giggle, and empathize with someone who hates dieting and going to the gym just as much as you do.
Smut Level: We have flirtations galore, but no detailed sex scenes in this one. We just get one brief build up to sex at the very end of the novel.
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.49 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 208 Pages.
A second chance at love. Can Liv and Zane overcome their troubled pasts to find love with each other, or will it be too heavy a burden to bear?
What’s it About?
After the incident that caused Liv Morozov to drop out of college, years later she’s still trying to pick up the pieces of her life. She’s managed to carve out a career for herself as a photographer, but when it comes to guys? Her issues send them running for the hills, every damn time. Zane Parata has declared himself off-limits for relationships. Between trying to maintain sobriety and the long hours he works as a chef, no one wants to deal with his brand of damage, and he wouldn’t want to burden them in the first place.
When Liv shows up at Cupid’s Café, she never expected to find Zane, her brother’s former best friend who had vanished one day and never returned. The sparks that surged when they were both teens rekindle stronger than ever, and all too fast, Liv and Zane entangle in each other’s lives, breaking their own rules. Except with both struggling with the demons from their past, the love that’s begun to grow is one lapse away from shattering the two of them beyond repair.
I feel like there is one quote from this novel which perfectly encapsulate the power of the love story being told: “I’m never going to be an easy choice.” Here’s why this sentiment, and the tale love presented to us in this book is absolute perfection. Their love is intense, it’s raw, and most importantly, it…is…real. This story shows us how life is full of unexpected challenges, and to be quite frank, it can be an absolute bitch at times. However, while these external forces can sometimes test the relationship of our lead couple, they never break it. This isn’t one of those romance novels where a simple misunderstanding causes an unnecessary amount of drama, and results in our lovers spending time apart. Oh no. These characters fight for each other, and hold the other up if they’re ever at risk of falling down.
These two have also been through hell and back. They are scarred lead characters who have experienced emotional and physical turmoil in their pasts. But they don’t just love each other in spite of these troubled pasts, they love who the other person is because of how these experiences have shaped them into who they are today. “I’m never going to be an easy choice” shows that their lives might be complicated, they might be thrown a couple of curve balls along the way, but in the end they will always choose the other. I’ve got all the goosebumps here people!
An Unbreakable Bond
I think the reason I enjoyed this tale of love between Liv and Zane so much is that the novel primarily just focuses on them. Sure, we are introduced to a few supplemental characters along the way, but for the most part we are encapsulated in a little Liv/Zane bubble that you never want to see burst. They are aware pretty early on in the book when they meet again after so many years that a LOT has happened during that time apart. Liv was raped in college, which impacts the physical relationship these two start up pretty quickly. Zane is a recovering alcoholic who still feels the constant pull of the bottle.
While some would run away from getting romantically involved with another person with such deep-rooted issues, these two refuse to be scared off. Zane does remain convinced for a large portion of the novel that it’s just a matter of time before Liv realizes how messed up he truly is and hightails it out of there, but he’s going to embrace every possible moment he can between now and when that day might come. In addition, he vows to take things at her own pace, refusing to rush her into a physical relationship before she’s ready.
A Tough Road Ahead
I also loved that this novel demonstrates how past experiences such as theirs won’t simply be forgotten and magically healed forever by the power of love. Even after they build up to the point where Liv is ready to have sex with Zane, she asks him to realize that there might be a moment down the road where she could be triggered to flinch or push away from his touch.
At the same time, Zane’s reality is that while he might attend AA meetings multiple times a week, and go for long periods of time without drinking, there will be times where the allure of the alcohol could force him to take a step back from socializing. And they both get it!! They understand when others won’t. They realize that life can be a constant struggle for some people, but they’re there to help and support each other. LOOOVE!
A Step Away From Perfection
At this point I think you can tell I really enjoyed this novel, and while I think the love story described is damn near perfection, I must admit there were a few flaws. The first I consider to be the main flaw, and the one I found to be the most perplexing. The impetus for Live and Zane to reconnect after so many years is that they both receive a cryptic invitation to visit Cupid’s Café where, “an admirer looks forward to meeting you”. Zane is humorously intrigued, and decides why the hell not? Liv is convinced she’s being taunted by her former rapist, and goes to confront him. When they both show up and their eyes lock through the crowded café the rest, as they say, is history.
But that my friends is the flaw. The rest is history. Who the hell sent them these letters?!?! We never find out. There’s no clue or suggestion if it’s one of their friends, a matchmaking café proprietor, or just the cosmos being all funky. I was absolutely shocked that our lead characters never even bother to discuss it with each other. Now, I will say that this is the third book in this Cupid’s Café series, so maybe the one sending invitations is presented in a previous novel? Maybe it will finally be a big reveal when the series comes to a close? I don’t know but give me something!!!!
Waiting for No One
The one other flaw was relatively minor all things considered, and in the end sort of turned into a positive. Our novel opens with Liv on a date from hell, which abruptly ends when she hears the trill of her date’s phone and it immediately reminds her of the night she was raped. When she returns home to find a mystery envelope inviting her to meet someone from her past she’s immediately convinced it can be only one man, her rapist. Her reason for going was decidedly to finally find justice after so many years. Instead, she finds Zane waiting for her.
Throughout the whole novel I kept waiting for the inevitable scene where Liv and Zane would be confronted with this man from her past. So imagine my surprise when it never comes! No glimpse from across the street, or even a more intense confrontation, nothing! Now, in hindsight I’m actually happy we were never presented with a threatening scene between Liv and her rapist. I think that scenario, combined with Zane confronting his own struggle with alcoholism, would have made the whole plot seem too artificially orchestrated. I guess I just would have preferred that it wasn’t implied at the outset that it could have been a possibility. I sort of felt like I was anticipating something I had no need to worry about for the whole book!
*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*
Series: Cupid’s Café, book 3. I kind of want to go back and read the first few novels from this series to see if I missed out on our mystery letter writer inviting our lovebirds to Cupid’s Café.
Should you read it? This is an emotional roller coaster of a read that shows you just how powerful, yet difficult love can be. While I definitely loved both of these characters, I personally found Liv to be truly inspirational. She survived a trying ordeal, and was brave enough to share what happened with Zane even though she thought it would put distance between them. Then when Zane experiences a relapse with his alcoholism she chooses to stand by him and refuses to give up even when Zane tries to convince her that she’d be better off without him. It’s such a refreshing contrast to your typical romance novel drama.
Smut Level: Liv and Zane recognize that after all these years their bodies still crave each other, though this sparked attraction is put slightly on hold after Liv experiences a trigger from her rape. But Zane sticks by her side and is willing to take things slow. Just because it’s slow, don’t think it isn’t delectable!
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.03 Kindle Price. After Glows Publishing. 200 Pages.
Nothing quite spices up a courtroom like sex between opposing counsels in the jury holding room!
What’s it About?
Gabrielle and Braden have fallen in love and face a bright future together if they can just survive all of the crazy people they encounter, like anonymous napkin droppers, UFO enthusiasts, crooked businessmen, nude drunk drivers, and a woman who tries to break into jail. When the gavel falls will the verdict be happily ever after? Come join the fun as the sexiest couple in the Philadelphia Criminal Court System shares more witty banter and red hot lovin’ with a dash of mystery thrown in. The story that began with The Law of Attraction concludes with lots of love and laughter in The Home Court Advantage.
I remember not only being pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the first book in this series, but also my surprise that it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. After all, we’re mainly dealing with a romantic comedy here, what could we possibly have to continue story-wise in a whole other full-length novel? Turns out…not much of anything. I gotta say, all in all while this second book did provide me with a fair number of chuckles, it was pretty much entirely unnecessary. The resolution to the story line from book one could have easily been answered in just one more chapter at the end of the first book. Instead what we have are just a series of over-the-top shenanigans and sensually detailed sex scenes that prolong us from finding out what sadly isn’t even a very exciting conclusion to the question of who was sending our heroine cryptic messages.
A Not-So-Unique Sequel
I’ll admit I do still love the characters presented in this novel, and I’m beyond excited to see some of the other characters highlighted with their own stories in books going forward. As for this novel, it’s basically just a continuation of what we saw in book one. The end of the previous novel ended with us questioning who could have possibly sent Gabrielle these messages considering her top three suspects were all cleared, and this book opens pretty much right after the end of that first book.
Unfortunately that main mystery story is pushed to the background almost immediately to instead focus on our lead couple going through their usual courtroom antics and sexual dalliances. Some of these courtroom scenes were fun, short chapters to intersperse the other things going on in the book, but there was one unbelievably long chapter with various cases one after the other that just seemed out of place. In need of some editing for sure.
As for the sexual dalliances, holy shit definitely turned up the dial in this one! Not gonna lie, some were borderline porn, especially considering in one scene the characters kept saying it would be a great thing to write Playboy about. The scene in question had the lead characters wandering into the jury sequester room to “let off some steam”, and another case with judge and lawyers started up as they tried to…finish. While comedic, it was a bit much, almost like trying too hard to be funny and sexy.
From Notes to Stalking
Then we get to the drama of the story that comes back form book one. In the first Gabrielle was receiving notes from an anonymous someone who was warning her to stay away from Braden. Things are slightly ratcheted up in this one as she starts to see and sense someone following her. Thankfully she chooses to share these sightings with Braden, and the two remain relatively calm about the whole thing for the entirety of the novel. Their cool-headedness actually made it kind of a boring read. They just never seemed too worried about it.
In the previous book Gabrielle employed the help of her friends to try and figure out who was writing these secret messages to her. In this sequel she asks for their help yet again, but just like with the sex scenes things are heightened up to the Nth degree in this book to the point where they are just over the top sitcom level shenanigans. Again, trying too hard, and ultimately unnecessary. Let’s just say a UFO enthusiast group gets involved.
Series: Lawyers in Love, book 2. Although I wasn’t a fan of this second book I’m definitely continuing with the series. The next novels focus on the friends of our lead couple finding their own true loves, and I’m beyond excited.
Should you read it? As a whole, this book wasn’t needed. There were funny parts and sexy parts, but plot-wise it should have all been resolved at the end of book one. I did enjoy the development of the friends group we’ve got going, and we were able to see the introduction of how some of these friends will pair off into something more going forward.
Smut Level: Daaaaaaamn. These two are freakin’ saucy, and they certainly up their dirty talk level. Made me blush a time or ten, and that isn’t always easy to do.
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Mendelssohn Levy Publishing. 232 Pages.
Alright folks, it’s official, I am totally in love with this series, and all of the characters. Not to mention the iddy biddy widdle puppies!
What’s it About?
FBI agent Max Carter lives his life by a strict set of rules–rules that don’t allow for distraction, deviation…or a relationship. But tell that to his matchmaking mama. To avoid yet another set-up, he announces he has a girlfriend. And now has to produce said girlfriend at Christmas dinner. Maybe Santa has a suitable actress in that red bag of his…
Gina Castillo is about to break her building’s iron-clad “no pets” policy to give her little brother the perfect Christmas gift–a dog. Too bad Max, the most inconveniently sexy tenant in the building, catchers her red handed. Gina expects to be evicted, but instead finds herself blackmailed into playing the role of his girlfriend. Two lies plus one dog should equal a hot mess of a holiday, but attraction and Christmas magic might just defy the rules…
I can’t help it guys and gals, I love, love, LOVED this book! Let me put it to you this way, I absolutely hate New York City (psychotic, I know), and yet if it were in any way possible I would want to live in this world, and have a glass of wine with all of the characters. Maybe two glasses. Ok…a bottle. In my opinion, this is the perfect example of a quintessential beach read. Although, considering this novel takes place at Christmas time I guess it’s technically a better snowy cabin read. It’s quick, cute, funny, sexy and endearing. You can’t ask for much else. And did I mention there’s a puppy?!?! Squeeee!!! This was such a fun read I found it hard to put down. Seriously, the number of times I considered going in late to work with the excuse of “sorry, I was stuck reading a good book”, was too many times to count. Actually, come to think of it, it happened approximately three times, as I finished it in just as many days.
A Colorful Fake Girlfriend
So let’s start with the premise of the novel; we’re dealing with a fake girlfriend tale here. When Max discovers Gina is keeping a puppy in a no-pets allowed apartment building, he blackmails her into being his fake lady love over the holidays to keep his matchmaking mother off his back. Honestly, fake girlfriend romance novels can really be hit or miss. Let’s face it, we all know how they’re going to end. Playboy guy will fall for said fake girlfriend, and before you know it their phony relationship isn’t so fake after all. But here was the absolute brilliance of this book; Gina fully acknowledges the ridiculousness of the situation.
Gina even warns Max that according to every romance novel ever, if she accepts this ploy they’re bound to fall in love. In my view, the best sure-fire way to make a cheesy story line work is to highlight the fact that it’s cheesy. Don’t hide it people, revel in it! The other positive aspect of how this rather common romance novel trope was handled was the fact that it doesn’t take long at all before both Max and Gina admit they’re not only attracted to each other, but also that their feelings extend beyond the physical. Their continued hesitation to transition from fake to real deals with the mutual assumption that they’re too different to ever fit into the other person’s life. It adds another layer of depth to the traditional fake GF story line.
Obsessively in Love
Now while I really enjoyed the approach to the blackmail story, the absolute standout feature of this novel was the incorporation of Max’s OCD. On the surface, that actually sounds really insensitive, and makes me sound like a weirdo, so let me delve deeper into why I enjoyed this aspect so much. I have read many a romance novel featuring a lead with OCD, and many of them default into treating it like a kind of humorous character trait. Only meeting the love of his life does the male lead magically learn to unwind and not be so obsessive. This novel sort of starts off that way in that Gina’s carefree and colorful nature is at odds with Max’s structured life, and their little arguments over it are kind of silly and quirky.
However, after a while we see how deep Max’s OCD runs, and how it impacts his relationship with not only Gina, but his family as well. He knows that his need for organized structure is on the unhealthy side, and he feels Gina deserves better than that. He doesn’t want his obsessive nature to squash her zest for life, so he draws away from her. But the most heartbreaking moment had to be when Max finally confronts his family for all their teasing about his obsessive habits. He insists that he doesn’t need fixing, and that he’s not some sideshow to be laughed at. During this passionate scene there is one person who fully understands what he’s saying and is willing to stand by his side: Gina. That is why when push comes to shove this book is so much more than a simple fake girlfriend tale.
*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*
Series: Love Undercover, book 2. Yeah so I need an ETA on book 3 like, yesterday. Also, be sure to check out book 1 in the series, The Wrong Kind of Compatible, on sale for $0.99 on Amazon from Feb 12-16!
Should you read it? This is one of those few moments where I think I like the sequel even more than the first book in a series. And I liked book 1! I understand how fake girlfriend novels aren’t necessarily for everyone, and this one does have quite a few moments of cheesiness, but I definitely think it’s one worth reading. It starts off adorably silly, but as it goes on we uncover a surprisingly sensitive and vulnerable side of Max that is so heartfelt I couldn’t help but fall in love. As for Gina, she pushes Max’s buttons, but also brings out the best in him. Again, love, love, LOVE!!
Smut Level: Hot damn! I was wondering at first if this was going to stay mainly on the cutesy chick-lit side, but this baby is brimming with passion. We’ve got some action up against a door, in bed, and even a late night naked workout in the apartment building gym. Yummy!
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Entangled: Lovestruck. 197 Pages.
The courtroom antics of our lead characters are like foreplay. Constantly going toe-to-toe certainly heats things up a bit!
What’s it About?
Gabrielle Ginsberg is a public defender with plenty of nerve and Braden Pierce is an assistant district attorney with a whole lot of swagger. Together Gabrielle and Braden discover that the path to true love is not always smooth, and is sometimes tread upon by some really wacky people like crazy ex-girlfriends, kinky politicians and a gentleman who throws a wine and cheese party in his pants. Can true love overcome a lack of privacy, interference by jealous rivals and the insanity of the criminal court system? Find out in the book that reviewers called a “Stand-out Romantic Comedy.”
Overall this was a light and fun read with a steamy side to boot. When this novel first started I’ll admit I was slightly worried about what it would entail. Our lead characters start off with fun courtroom banter as opposing counsels for the Public Defenders office. Braden represents the prosecution; Gabrielle the defense. I was immediately put on edge with the worry that eventually these two must get involved in a courtroom drama, have a misunderstanding about a case, or somehow or other become enemies at some point in the game.
However, I must say it was delightfully refreshing that for the most part this novel remains a funny comedy, with these two facing off in some of the silliest cases imaginable. You can’t help but giggle aloud at the ridiculousness of the grandma in her 80s caught with a pound of marijuana, the 75 year old man found guilty of reckless driving as he sped to get to his woman while his erection was still good to go, or the frat boy in trouble for going through a drive-through window naked and asking the cashier to get a load of his “whopper”. All in all, these courtroom scenes provided nothing but laughs, and drama was nowhere to be found.
Lack of Substance
I would also have to say that this is one of the main detractors from the book being perfect, which is there’s really no drama. Or evena major plot point until really late in the game. The first half or so primarily focuses on the development of our lovebird’s relationship, as well as the aforementioned courtroom fun. But I’ll never forget reading this in bed one night and thinking, soooooo is anything of substance actually going to happen here, or is this just going to be a continual blend of fun-loving crazy antics and their sexual relationship building a solid foundation? Eventually we do get what is supposed to be the main crux of the novel, and that is the fact that Gabrielle receives two anonymous letters warning her off of our perfect male specimen, Braden. That’s when my attention definitely perked up as I thought, ahhhhh, are we going to have a twist from comedic chick-lit to romantic suspense????
The answer to that previous question is hell to-the-ever-loving no. Gabrielle’s approach to these mystery letters was by far my least favorite aspect of the book. As most of you would probably expect in this situation, she downplays the threat entirely and doesn’t tell Braden or the police that she’s been receiving them. Such a familiar and frustrating romance novel trope. Now, I will say her reason for not going to the police was probably the best explanation I’ve ever seen in a romance novel.
She explains that technically the letters aren’t threatening her, but rather just warning her away from Braden. She suspects that three different people could possibly be responsible for sending the letters. However, she doesn’t want to go around falsely accusing people who are pretty prominent members of society, and could potentially have very negative repercussions for these people’s interactions with Braden’s politician father. All in all, a pretty logical explanation. But I feel like my first gut reaction in such a situation would be to immediately rush to Braden and be like, yo who the hell could this be from? She doesn’t want to unnecessarily worry him for fear that he’d overreact and get uber protective. Well, then open your mouth and at least have a conversation about it. He is your lover after all.
The most ridiculous aspect though was how Gabrielle goes about trying to find out the identity of the letter writer. She employs the help of her friends to try and get handwriting samples from each of her three suspects which she can then take to a handwriting expert. The shenanigans that these people get into were so over-the-top my head hurt. From scrounging around in one suspect’s trash, to dressing up in costumes and attending a secret sex club, to having her one friend convince a suspect to write down every way he’s been a naughty boy. I mean…come on now. Let’s try and keep some sense of reality to the situation. You’re telling me doing all of that shit was less troublesome than just having a frank conversation with your boyfriend?
Series: Lawyers in Love, book 1. This book shockingly kind of ends on a cliffhanger, as we don’t actually discover the identity of our mystery writer. I must find out!
Should you read it? Overall a very funny read, although pretty lacking in plot. I loved the courtroom scenes, many of which had me giggling out loud. The sexual chemistry between our two leads will leave you panting. The letter storyline just didn’t come together for me, especially considering the identity of the writer is never disclosed. Plus the cray cray shenanigans Gabrielle and her friends get into were over-the-top, and really detracted from the flow of the book.
Smut Level: If it pleases the court, I must say this book had all kinds of pleasurable sexiness in it. As Gabrielle’s outspoken grandmother says, you can’t neglect your oral skills when trying to make your relationship last. Based on this sentiment, Gabrielle and Braden will be pleasantly happy for years and years to come.
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. FREE Kindle Price. Mendelssohn Levy Publishing. 242 Pages.
I personally found this to be a delightfully magical read. And yes, I perfectly understand the ironic cheesiness of calling a novel featuring two uber hot magician twin brothers “magical”, but you know what? I don’t care.
What’s it About?
Melina Parker has always excelled in two things: research followed by hands-on application. She prides herself on being a lady in public, but after she’s dumped yet again for being a lady in the bedroom, she’s ready to go back to school. Determined to find her inner sex diva, she enlists her childhood friend, Max Dalton, to tutor her after hours. Instead, she ends up in the wrong bed and gets a lesson in passion from Max’s twin brother, Rhys Dalton, a man Melina’s always secretly wanted but never thought she could have.
Despite craving the occasional adventure, Melina’s a small-town girl who wants roots and a family. Rhys and Max, on the other hand, are celebrities who travel from one city to another, changing bed partners as easily as plane flights. Rhys is outwardly the more reserved of the two but, unable to believe his good luck when he finds Melina waiting for him, he gives Melina her first taste of multiples right out the gate. Come morning, she’s so mortified that she threw herself at Rhys that she blurts out the truth about her tutoring experiment. Not about to let her get away from him, Rhys convinces Melina that when it comes to sexual lessons, he’s more than man enough for the job. His biggest challenge is teaching Melina that when it comes to pleasure, the key to his own is hers. Can a woman who’s always longed for hearth and home find satisfaction with a man whose entire life has been about moving on to the next big thing?
This novel features a female lead who labels herself as slightly chubby, and she has absolutely zero confidence in her ability to keep a man satisfied in the bedroom. Um, I’m sorry, but is this thing about me??? Well, turns out no, because I’m certainly not friends with two unbelievably hot twins who would drop everything to help her out, including help her learn how to please a man in the bedroom. Oh well, a girl can dream. Anyway, I could personally really identify with Melina, and how her lack of confidence with men makes her hesitant to take risks or go after what she really wants in life. And what Melina really wants is one of her best friends since childhood, Rhys.
But she’s convinced he could never fall for someone as plain-looking as her, so she’s always settled in her relationships with other men. When yet another boyfriend breaks up with her because of her lack of passion in the bedroom, she’s determined to act the scientist she is by researching how to keep a man satisfied. Her heart wants Rhys, but because she fears his rejection she instead turns to his twin brother, Max. Shocked by her request, Max initially wants to say no, but also doesn’t want her running off to some random hookup. He says yes to Melina, but secretly devises a plan to make sure his brother is the one she takes to the bedroom knowing that the two have had crushes on each other for years. Cheesy premise? Sure! And yet, it shockingly comes together by blending cuteness, sexiness, and the search for confidence. What can I say? I finished it in one sitting.
As the premise of the novel was developing, and we started to see the direction it was going in terms of Max deceiving Melina to sleep with his brother, my immediate thought was: “well, how the hell is he gonna pull this one off?” After all, Melina supposedly knows these guys better than anyone, and never has any trouble telling them apart. They’ve even tried to trick her a few times in the past with no success. However, I must say the way this all came together was comedically cheesy, yet clever enough where it actually had a sense of reality to it.
First off: alcohol!!!! A tried and true classic. Melina is understandably nervous about bedding one of her best friends, so she indulges in a bit of liquid courage as she’s waiting in “Max’s” hotel room wearing nothing but her intimates. It’s not enough to get her plastered to the point of concern or indecency, but it’s enough to make her relaxed, and maybe skip over some of the finer distinguishing features between brothers. Second: her glasses! When Melina first propositioned Max with the idea of helping her out in the bedroom, she makes a flippant remark about how everything’s a blur without her glasses. This makes Max’s ears perk up, and he insists that when they first do it she must keep her glasses off, claiming they’re too ugly to behold. Enter Rhys who is excited beyond belief that Melina seems to finally be offering herself to him, and the rest is history.
Sexual Confidence, or Lack Thereof
This book mainly explores the sexual awakening of Melina, and how Rhys manages to bring out the passionate side of her. This means the book is pretty sex heavy, so I could see how some might find it boring. However, for me it was the opposite as we see an almost poetic mirroring of both Melina and Rhys on their journey to overcome their own lack of confidence.
For Melina, she lacks confidence in her sexual abilities and her own looks. She’s convinced that if only she could learn what a man likes in the bedroom she could finally keep a guy around long enough to marry and have children with. She’s also never acted upon her feelings for Rhys because of these same reasons, as well as because she thinks her looks aren’t on the same level as his former girlfriends. Only by getting involved in this “experiment” with Rhys does he show her that she’s always been beautiful to him, and that she already possess all the passion she’d ever need in a relationship, as long as she can find a man who can bring it out in her.
At the start of the novel it seems as though Melina is the only one with confidence issues, but it doesn’t take long for us to realize that hottie Rhys has them too. He too lacks confidence in his relationship with Melina, worrying that she simply sees him as interchangeable with his twin brother. This is especially compounded by the fact that Max and Melina shared a kiss years before, not to mention Melina first approached Max instead of Rhys in her research on male pleasure. If he puts himself out there and lets his true feelings known, will she reject him? Or can Melina make him believe that it’s always been him? Such an interesting dynamic.
Series: Bedding the Bachelors, book 1. Oh hell yes will I be continuing with this series, especially considering book 2 features Max himself and one of Melina’s friends.
Should you read it? I went into this book with zero expectations, and in the end was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. It’s a quick, cute read with humor and a ton of sex thrown in. My one complaint was that both Rhys and Melina set out to view this sexual experiment as a one-time weekend only activity. They are both so convinced that their lives with him being on the road and her being a homebody won’t mesh, so they don’t even have a discussion about trying to compromise to make things work out. These two have had crushes on each other forever, yet apparently still lack some basic communication skills.
Smut Level: Rhys certainly is magical with his hands alright. And his tongue. And other…extremities.
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. FREE Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 254 Pages.