Sizzle by Gina Watson

Hot tamales and Tabasco sauce, this book is steamy and totally awesome!

What’s it About?

sizzle

A Louisiana fireman, Clay St. Martin liked his hoses bound tight and his women bound tighter. He’d not had a traditional relationship in years and was positive he’d found the answer to all his needs and desires: The Hoodoo Pot-Baton Rouge’s elite members only sex and bondage club. Eve Ivey had escaped the clutches of her evil ex, but still she constantly looked over her shoulder. That is, until she met Clay. At six feet five, he was a king among men. She’d certainly like to be his queen. He’d rescued her from a hurricane’s lashing winds and rising water, but his first mistake was in bringing her home. Yet she’d had nowhere to go. A bigger mistake would have been not going back for her. And now neither of them wanted her to leave. The only thing to do was let the storm rage outside while they focused on the personal storm raging between their bodies. A storm that was advancing on their hearts.

First Impressions

Clay is a member of the local sex club, and likes to tie people up. I’ll admit, this immediately put me on edge, as I’m not a huge fan of the whole dom-sub romance story line. However! I’m happy to report that this is in no way your typical d/s book. Sure, he’s a dirty talker and slaps her behind a couple times, but he definitely tones down his sexual urges when it comes to his relationship with Eve. Hell, at the end of the book he even gives up his club membership. Such a gentleman! For those of you like me who aren’t huge fans of BDSM, rest assured when I tell you that you can definitely handle this one.

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I’m Burning Up Over Here!

In case I didn’t mention it earlier, in addition to being a member of a sex club, Clay just also happens to be a fireman. Hell yeah! He also rescues Eve in the midst of a hurricane. Double hell yeah! After rescuing her, Eve has no place to go, so she has to wait out the rest of the storm in Clay’s house. Mkay, I’m seriously considering moving to a high flood area for crying out loud!! Let’s face it, worse things could happen than being trapped in a house with a sexy fireman who also happens to be good at tying knots. How will they ever pass the time I wonder? Tee hee, giggle giggle.

hot-fireman

Running From the Past

In addition to all the fabulousness of the setting, as well as Clay’s general fireman presence, we also have a really interesting back story happening here. Eve has wound up in this Louisiana town because she’s running from an abusive ex. There are some moments in the book where she cowers from Clay as she mistakenly expects him to mistreat her just like her ex. I must say these scenes were fascinating to read, as we see the dominant Clay treat her with nothing but care. Ahhhhh, I think I just swooned.

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Series: St. Martin Family Saga: Emergency Responders, book 1. I’ll be reading book 2 right about…now.

Should you read it? Um, did I stutter? Fireman here people. Fireman! The dynamic between Clay and Eve was mesmerizing, as we see the two learn to trust and open up to each other. I also loved that Clay was willing to adjust his sexual lifestyle to Eve’s needs. Such an unselfish hunk of man love. My only complaint was the ending was rather anti-climactic in regards to Eve’s past, but I think this will play out more in the second book.

Smut Level: Clay’s BDSM tool of choice is rope, as he ties knots all over Eve’s body at some…conveniently placed pressure points.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $10.99 Paperback. Self-Published. 220 Pages.

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Sarah: Malcolm’s Prize by Sasha Holden

Well. That was…different.

What’s it About? 

sarah

So you are beautiful and sexy, yet lonely. You just want love, affection. But when you can’t reach between the bedroom walls into the bed of your best friends husband, with whom you live, it becomes more than love and affection you lust after. What do you do when the thirst you crave can’t be quenched? Set on the beautiful Australian Coastline, maybe, just maybe, all your dreams will come true.

This stylishly written romantic tale of three lives intertwined escalates over time into one of not just passion, lust and desire. Out of nowhere the unexpected arrives to release unparalleled scenes of erotica that sweep you away on a wave of ecstasy. Confused as you are, vulnerable and uncertain as you may be, you know deep down in places only you have visited, that he has been looking. There’s only one problem. While he’s been noticing, your best friend has been protecting. She’s not about to give up everything she’s worked hard for. And why should she. She has him, you just want him. Or should I say, need him. Three’s a crowd. Or is it?

First Impressions

This was a rather jarring read in 2 respects. Firstly, the writing style. It’s a short story presented entirely in poetry-style layout. Definitely a unique approach, but one that I ultimately found to be a hindrance. It sort of made the whole thing seem like one, giant, run-on sentence. There weren’t really any periods or commas throughout. It’s difficult to know where one thought ends and another begins, and sometimes this thought process would change mid-line. Hard to keep track of what’s what.

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Secondly: the sex. Holy snickerdoodle! I obviously read a lot of books which feature a lot of sex, but this story took things to a whole new level of sexual that it almost felt like porn. There’s some girl on girl action, a heavy focus on butt sex and it’s preparation, as well as an extremely descriptive sex scene between Sarah’s parents. Sure, old people sex is a good way to stay active, and possibly break a hip, but it was almost like Fifty Shades with your parents. Once you picture that you can’t really un-see it.

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A Bit of a Bother

The main thing that bothered me about this tale was the lack of a real story, or for the main characters to have a thought which didn’t revolve around sex. Sarah has been pining for Malcolm, he has been pining for her (he’s married!), but it seems like their entire connection was just sexual. She continuously refers to him throughout the book as her “Mr. Right”, but in my opinion he wasn’t so much a “Mr. Right”, as more of a live-action dildo.

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Then you have Jess, who I couldn’t help but feel a tad sorry for. She’s Malcolm’s wife, as well as Sarah’s close friend, and she knows how much these two want to be with each other. She and Sarah also get it on at one point, but whereas it seems like Jess may have actually had some feelings for her friend, it was almost like Sarah just saw it as a way to get one step closer to Malcolm. As though bedding his wife was the right of passage to his penis. And then the whole thing concludes with a three-way! So…yeah.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: As a matter of fact, it is. Sarah’s Story, Book 1.

Should you read it? It’s extremely short, so you’ll probably finish it in one sitting. That being said, I personally couldn’t really get over the bizarre writing style, or lack of real connection between the characters. All three of them.

Smut Level: I probably should have paid more attention to the author’s note at the end of the synopsis: this series contains strong language and scorching sex scenes including masturbation, mutual masturbation, oral, anal, lesbian, threesome, slight BDSM and straight sex. That’s…quite a warning.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services. 136 Pages.

Jewell by Tina DeSalvo

Jewell is a bit down on her luck. She’s about to go on trial for theft, her business isn’t going so well, and her grandmother Mimi is losing her memory. She also has a hot piece of southern male who insists on following her around wherever she goes. Woe is me.

What’s it About? 

Once invited into New Orleans’ historic mansions to evaluate prized antiques, Dr. Jewell Duet held a coveted professorship at a top university. With her deep knowledge of Louisiana history and antiquities, she was the go-to person for anyone requiring professional appraisals. But, one hasty decision cost her both her reputation and possibly her freedom. Now, as she waits to discover if her future includes prison, Jewell knows that taking the job at Sugar Mill is necessary if she is to support her beloved grandmother who has advanced dementia.

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Charming, sexy lawyer Beau Bienvenu’s attraction to the intriguing historian vies with his distrust of her motives. Beau has one simple goal when it comes to the family that rescued him and made him part of their clan…protect them at all costs. He doesn’t trust Jewell, nor her reason for taking the lowly job at Sugar Mill Plantation. What is she really up to? Is it possible Jewell and her quirky grandmother are there to try to profit from a Bienvenu family mystery? If so, both women are out of luck. Jewell and Beau are at odds about almost everything. The only things they agree on are that family is everything…and that their mutual attraction is inconvenient.

First Impressions

When Jewell arrives at the Sugar Mill plantation, Beau is immediately suspicious of her intentions. After a bit of digging he discovers she stands accused of stealing personal items from another estate, and he vows to stand guard over her as she works at Sugar Mill. Nobody is gonna scam his family! At first, I’ll admit I wanted to call him a jackass for insisting that she’s guilty before ever standing trial, or hearing her side of the story, but on the other hand you can definitely see where he’s coming from. The evidence against her is pretty convincing, and Jewell doesn’t help matters all that much when she doesn’t deny that she did in fact take something from the other estate.

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A Family Affair

The novel begins with a focus on Jewell and her eccentric grandmother Mimi, as well as a few hints to the legal woes that Jewell is experiencing. However, once she arrives at Sugar Mill we switch gears completely to focus on Beau’s family history, and how Mimi might be connected to an unanswered mystery surrounding the plantation. This family history comes to dominate the story line, and unfortunately I thought it was kind of hard to follow. There were so many family members involved, both past and present, that keeping them all straight without a family tree was rather difficult.

family tree

Courtroom Drama

After focusing on Beau’s family history for the majority of the novel, and the budding romance between him and Jewell, it isn’t until the last 10% of the novel that we finally come back to Jewell’s legal troubles. Everything builds to one final courtroom drama which, although suspenseful, sort of seemed like an afterthought after being absent for so much of the novel. I wish they had talked about her trial more throughout the book, so that it didn’t fall by the wayside. In addition, although the characters don’t know who was responsible for the theft Jewell stands accused of, I thought it was pretty obvious from the get go who was responsible. I must watch too much TV.

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Series: A Second Chance Novel, book 2. I never read book 1, but that wasn’t a problem.

Should you read it? I do think there could have been a better balance between the two story-lines going on, but overall the combination between the mystery of Beau’s family history and Jewell’s accused theft definitely holds your interest.

Smut Level: You will need some patience to wait for these two to finally get around to the good stuff, but they eventually go at it rough and steamy in the front seat of his truck. Oh my!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Self-Published. 347 Pages.

Side Note: Beau is described multiple times as a handsome southern boy with a sexy Cajun accent. I’m sure we’re supposed to picture something like one of these guys:

hot-guy-true-blood-main But all I could ever picture was Swamp People like this:

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What Turns you On? 

Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to divulge your deepest and darkest desires for all of the blog world to see. I’m not that much of a sicko! No, no, I’m talking about the descriptors, covers or themes you might encounter in different romance novels that make your toes curl, and have you fanning yourself because they take things to a whole new level of hotness. You might not be able to explain why you like it so much, but for some reason it just does it for ya. Let’s look at a few of mine, shall we?

References to Food

There is something about an author describing a man’s features in terms of food that I just can’t help but love. Prime example: a man with olive skin. I feel like you see this reference all the time! It’s a classic, and I love it. Recently, I’ve come across a few other food metaphors that help to make a leading man seem utterly divine. One book I just read said the man had a voice like dark chocolate fudge.

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Oh…my…God. Now, I’ve personally never been a huge fan of fudge, but when it’s used to describe a man’s voice? Mother may I?! You’ll also see that a lot of authors describe a man’s eye color in terms of food, which is just deliciously delectable. Chocolate brown. Eyes like melted caramel. I always thought I liked a man with blue eyes, but damn! I’ll take some smooth caramel eye color any day of the week. Although, maybe I just need a Milky Way bar.

Man Back and Neck Breathing

If that title doesn’t catch your attention, I don’t know what will. I usually try my damnedest not to judge a book by its cover, but I’d say I fail at that goal about 9 times out of 10. A lot of romance novel covers like to feature a man with six-pack abs, but I find I’m more drawn to those that have a man’s back as the focus. Why do I like it so much? Hell if I know! But simply look at the covers below, and tell me they don’t do something for you. Add in the detail of a woman digging her fingernails into said back, and you just know this book will drip with sensuality. Then you’ve got the covers that have a man and woman clutching each other in a gripping embrace, and the man seems to be breathing heavily on the woman’s neck. Yup, that’ll do.

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Friend Theme

If a book revolves around two friends who decide to take things to the next level, I will read it. There is often an intense amount of repressed sexual tension just waiting to burst forth, so they usually make for pretty sensual reads. The fact that these lead characters were friends first means that they have a deeper emotional connection rather than a physical one based solely on sex. Add in that initial sense of the friend being “off-limits”, and you’ve got an element of the forbidden mixed in with an undeniable urge to be more than friends. Yes, and yes!

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Well there ya have it. Those are a few romance novel features that seem to get my blood pumping every single time. I’m sure you all have some of your own, so feel free to share them in the comment section. Also, be sure to check back in next Thursday, when I discuss “What turns you off?”

Until July by Aurora Rose Reynolds

We’ve got a leather-wearing biker bad boy who used to be in the military. Can you really get more alpha than that?

What’s it About? july

Wes Silver wasn’t looking for love, but when July Mayson literally knocks him on his ass during their first encounter, his world is turned upside down by the quirky blonde, and every moment with her makes him more determined to protect her. July Mayson doesn’t understand the pull she feels toward the bad boy biker Wes Silver, but she knows being with him is like nothing she’s ever felt before. Now all she has to do is tell her overprotective father, Asher Mayson, that she’s found her boom.

First Impressions

July first meets Wes whilst riding on her motorbike. She then proceeds to call him a jack ass before using her taser on him. Ah, isn’t that how all the great love stories begin?

taser

This series is a spinoff of the Until series by the same author, but instead follows the children of the characters from the first books. I was so unbelievably excited for this book to come out, and it wasn’t half bad. I will say there are a LOT of characters in this book, considering that the original Mayson clan procreated like crazy. This made it a little confusing to designate who was who, and I really think that a family tree in these kinds of series would be extremely helpful. That being said, it was a lot of fun to see the characters from the original series again, not to mention that you can see how the story lines are being built between all of the characters for future books.

The Alpha Male

The Until series was packed full of alpha males, and it looks like that theme is continuing into this series as well. However, Wes was almost too controlling at times. Basically, whenever July would try to speak her mind about how their relationship was moving too fast he would call her a pain in the ass. Listen here duck monkey, being an alpha is fine in the bedroom and all, but don’t be a controlling dick when you’re outside of it. Speaking of the bedroom, Wes may not have written the book on dirty-talk, but he was definitely a co-author. He’s got a naughty mouth, and my goodness does she like it.

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A Little Fact Checking

There was some intrigue in this novel surrounding a biker bar, and Wes tries his damnedest to keep July in the dark about it. However, in doing so we too are left in the dark, so I felt like that story line wasn’t really explained completely. All we really know is that there are some bad people doing bad things, and Wes and his biker bros are helping out. Maybe a chapter where we follow his character into this hellish biker bar to find out what’s what would have been helpful. There were also a few grammar issues. I get it people! The difference between your and you’re is confusing. And then when you throw there and their into the mix, well it’s just like somebody created words with 2 different meanings!

As for my last point, I’m kind of embarrassed that I know this, but it just demonstrates that a little fact checking can go a long way. Towards the end of the book, July and her friend pretend they are going to the premier of Fifty Shades of Grey, when in reality they want to do some sleuthing to follow Wes and his bros. Considering that all men are under the impression that their penis will shrivel up and die should they see that movie, he lets them go, and they are able to sneak away from the theater because their designated bodyguard refused to see the movie with them. However! I sadly recall that Fifty Shades of Grey premiered on Valentine’s Day, and I am 100% positive there is no way in hell that Wes would’ve allowed July to spend that day separated from him, so I know they didn’t actually go to see this during the premier in February! Again, it’s not like the plot fell apart because of this error, but fact checking is important.

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Series: Until Her, book 1

Should you read it? You really need to love your alpha males if you’re gonna read this one. I’ll admit that I love a good alpha, but even I wanted to slap Wes at times for being too damn controlling.

Smut Level: They do all manner of dirty things, including a spanking session in her veterinary office. It kind of makes ya think what really happens behind closed doors at those places.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Self-Published. 238 Pages.

Double Dare by R.L. Mathewson

Goodness gracious golly monkeys how I love this series. For all of you out there who are contemplating giving the romance genre a try, I would recommend starting with the Neighbor From Hell series. Each one is funny, sexy, and has a male lead that I want to lock myself away with in a bedroom for at least 2 days.

What’s it About? double dare

Marybeth still couldn’t believe that she’d survived this long with a friend like Darrin, but somehow she’d managed to beat the odds and not give in to temptation and smother him with a pillow while he slept. Of course some days were more difficult than others…For twenty years he’s been biding his time, waiting for the right moment to make his move and now that it was here…He couldn’t seem to stop screwing up.

First Impressions

For a Neighbor From Hell book, this one definitely breaks the mold when compared to the other books in the series. Firstly, although it definitely has its funny moments which will make you laugh out loud, it’s probably the novel which has dealt with the most serious subject matter so far. Marybeth is unable to have children, and rather than have Darrin look at her as less of a woman, she tells him that she simply doesn’t want children.

Another big difference was in the progression of their relationship, in that they didn’t really have that initial phase of annoyance and hatred which was present in every other book. Instead, they were best friends since childhood. They still certainly had their moments where they pushed each others buttons, especially when it came to double daring each other to do crazy things. I must say though, I was shocked that throughout the entire book we were never witness to a triple dog dare.

triple dog dareNot So Secret After All

Marybeth and Darrin have been best friends forever, but for the last 6 years they’ve been keeping their romantic relationship “secret” from their family. That being said, they haven’t done a very good job at the whole “keeping it a secret” plan considering that practically everyone has walked in on them doing the vertical mambo up against a wall. Marybeth has been hesitant to make their relationship known because deep down she feels Darrin deserves someone better; someone who can actually give him children. Poor chica.

Overall I really enjoyed the story line, and their double dares provided several scenes of hilarity. However, I was rather disappointed that we never got to see that moment when they transition from being friends to lovers. That is always my favorite part of any romance novel between friends! I was cheated out of my moment! The prologue does offer a brief glimpse of the progression from friendship to something more, but basically they were friends in one scene, and then they flash forward a few years to Darrin rubbing up on Marybeth’s behind in bed. Oh my!

man-kissing-woman-on-the-neck-pfSeries: Neighbor From Hell, book 6. The next one comes out in 2016! Is it 2016 yet?

Should you read it? You should read the rest of the series first, mainly because each book is a hoot, but also because you meet a lot of the characters from the previous novels in this one. It was sad to read about how Marybeth thought she was less of a woman because she couldn’t have children, but you’ve gotta love how Darrin tries to prove that she’s still all woman.

Smut Level: At one point there is a bet between the two over who can hold out the longest from having sex. If he wins, they get married. If she wins, he’ll never mention marriage again. This bet may have prevented them from actually having sex for a while, but there are some hilarious scenes of teasing and a tortured denial of gratification.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Rerum Industries, Inc. 305 Pages.


Nowhere to Hide by Lindsay McKenna

The two lead characters in this novel share a love of spelunking, also known as cave diving. Deep darkness. Tight spaces. Limited flashlight use. God, it’s like a horror movie waiting to happen.

What’s it About? 

nowhere to hide

Lia Cassidy left the Army scarred physically and emotionally after a vicious attack by two fellow soldiers. She turns to helping others, working at a Delos Home School Charity in Costa Rica that aids abused women and children. But when the deadly drug lord, La Arana, attacks the school, Lia finds herself on the run for her life. The only person she can trust is the ex-SEAL sent to protect her. Cav Jordan is strong, honorable and gorgeous…and intrigued by Lia. He knows she has suffered pain in her past, and he is determined to break through her barriers and earn her trust. But as Cav slowly chips away at the walls Lia has built, ghosts from her past threaten to destroy their fragile relationship.

First Impressions

The first half of this book was really interesting and suspenseful. A local drug lord has attacked the school where Lia works, killing two of her friends in the process. Cav has been hired as a bodyguard to protect her at all times, which means the sexual tension builds between them pretty quickly. The sad thing is I’m sure this crime threat happens all the time to real charities all over the world, but they don’t have billion dollar owners who can hire private security for all their employees. So for the entire first half of the book we are watching the blossoming attraction between Lia and Cav, while also waiting for shit to hit the fan with the drug lord. Very exciting. Unfortunately, the 2nd half is a bit dull.

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Isn’t it Over Yet?

Surprisingly enough, all of the drama with the drug lord ends about half-way through the book. You’d think that would mark the end of the novel seeing as the plot line has officially ended. But alas, the story sort of drags on to show Lia and Cav dating in the United States, and making their relationship work. We went from the jungles of Costa Rista with a vengeful drug lord to basically a dating show in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Talk about whiplash!

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I think the most disappointing aspect of this switch from suspense to a complete lack thereof was the fact that we never got to see the final showdown with the actual drug lord! The entire book switches back and forth between Lia and Cav’s points of view, and yet when Cav goes to take out the drug lord we don’t get to follow his side of the story where the action takes place. Instead we follow Lia back in the States, and just hear that everything was taken care of with the drug lord. Such an anti-climactic climax.

Let’s Tone it Down a Bit

At times, the writing kind of got on my nerves for being overly dramatic. For example, Lia describes the experience of cave diving as being a child carried within Mother Earth’s womb. Uhhhh…I don’t really have a response to that. There was also an excessive use of exclamation points, so that every little suggestion seemed like the best idea EVER! Another confusing aspect of the writing was that information would be repeated quite often, but as though the characters were hearing it for the first time rather than the 3rd or 4th. Sort of made it seem like it was an attempt to make the book longer.

spelunking

A major aspect of this story is Lia learning to get used to her many scars, which she got after being attacked and almost raped while in the military. Cav is instrumental in helping her with this, and says how he noticed her beauty, not her scars, when he first saw a picture of her. In my opinion, this was ridiculously misleading, as the photo to which he is referring had her angled in such a way where the main scar covering half her face wasn’t visible. Listen up buddy, you can help the chica move on, but don’t down and out lie about never noticing her scars.

*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Delos series, book 1. The prequel to this novel, Last Chance, was awesome! Action-packed and suspenseful from start to finish.

Should you read it? There were some grammar issues throughout the book that you have to look over. I mean, at one point Cav was referred to as Cal. Personally, I thought it was pretty disappointing that the suspense ended at the half-way point, and we never even got to see how it ended.

Smut Level: There is only one sex scene at the very end, but the tension builds throughout.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here– This book comes out tomorrow! $4.99 Kindle Price. Blue Turtle Publishing. 278 Pages.

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