Enchant: Beauty and the Beast Retold by Demelza Carlton

A tale as old as time. With a few updates here and there of course!!

What’s it About? 33627778

Once upon a time…The wicked King Thorn forced the enchantress Zuleika to cast a terrible curse. She fled his court to travel the world, helping those who need her magic most. Until a search for her merchant father’s lost ships leads her to an enchanted island, where Prince Vardan, the island’s ruler, is afflicted by the most powerful curse Zuleika has ever encountered. She’s not sure she can reverse the spell, but she’s determined to try. After all, a prince who fights pirates can’t be all bad…no matter how beastly his appearance. Together, can the enchanting beauty and the beastly prince break the spell?

First Impressions

My initial first impression for this novel? Gorgeous cover, and yaaaaay short chapters! After about 1/4 of the way in though? Cover is still gorgeous, but shit, more short chapters. I discovered I’m unbelievably picky when it comes to chapter length. Sometimes short chapters are the perfect break for when I’m waiting for my coffee to brew, or pasta to boil. Not to mention a great way to kill time during commercial breaks. The fact that before tackling this book I had just come off a novel where the chapters were crazy long, well I was just in Heaven. However, it really didn’t take long for the frustration to start seeping in. In all seriousness, I would say the average length of time it took to finish reading a chapter in this book was just under 2 minutes. While this was an excellent way to introduce our characters and provide a brief back-story to our enchanted curse, it became a clear problem in later chapters where key scenes were rushed. This made the book itself feel almost stunted since you had so many short chapters at work which could flip-flop so easily between story lines, as well as switch point of views between our Beast and Beauty.

Beauty-Beast-2017-Sequel-Prequel-Spin-Off

An Enchanting Beauty

Personally I just love adaptations of classic fairy tales. It’s so fun to see which elements the author will keep the same, and how they’ll bring their own unique twist to the story. For this version, perhaps the biggest change involves our beauty. Her actual name is Zuleika; a far cry from Belle, and she’s not just the peasant daughter of a poor inventor. Oh no. She’s the enchantress who sets the curse upon our beastly prince. Gotta say, I totally loved this twist! From the classic tale the enchantress feature was always a bit of a mystery, and her motivations were kind of muddled. But in this we see how Zuleika is threatened by an evil king to put a curse on an object intended for his sworn enemy. Enter mirror.

BatB_2017_3341.jpg

To save her life and that of her family, Zuleika puts a curse on the mirror not knowing it will eventually end up in the hands of our prince. Upon using it for the first time he transforms into the Beast, while the servants and citizens of his kingdom become invisible. A unique change to a dancing clock and candlestick! When Zuleika magically appears in Prince Vardan’s kingdom after an accident he finds her indescribably beautiful, and because she refuses to reveal her true identity he resorts to calling her Lady Belle. And of course, it wouldn’t be Beauty and Beast without a ball featuring our beautiful enchantress in a gorgeous gown of yellow silk.

beauty_and_the_beast_2017

A Kind-Hearted Beast

Although I really enjoyed some of the variations to our classic tale, there were some I wasn’t a huge fan of, or at least had trouble understanding. When Zuleika first curses the mirror, she says that whoever uses it will transform into whatever they truly are on the inside. Therefore, when our prince first uses it he becomes this hairy beast with tusks. Not exactly the picture of a guy you’d wanna introduce to the folks. But here’s the strange part. When Zuleika arrives in the prince’s kingdom and speaks with his subjects, they all say how he’s always been a kind-hearted and just ruler. Soooo shouldn’t he have like, turned into a puppy or something?

TOP-30-Cute-Puppies-Cute-Puppy-10-570x570

In all the descriptions of his character, he was never revealed to be cruel, vain, or beast-like in any way. So why the beast form?! In my opinion, it was the one main flaw to the story. The other thing I found hard to believe was it took soooooo long before Zuleika realized she was the enchantress who cast the spell over the prince and his city. It just seemed strange that she wouldn’t have even been able to sense her own power within the magic blanketing the city. Hell, at one point she does sense it, but just brushes it aside. Come on now, you have all that magic, listen to it once in a while!

large

Series: Romance a Medieval Fairytale, book 1. Zuleika seems like the key that will unlock all the other novels in this series. During her travels throughout the novel we overhear her encounters with magical slippers, and even a trouble-making witch she banished to a lamp in a hidden cave. Sounds a tad familiar, no?

Should you read it? A fun and fantastical retelling of a beauty who falls for a beast. Spotting all the classic elements within the new changes was like a fun scavenger hunt. Unfortunately, I think the short chapter format of the novel impeded the depth of the writing, and made the story seem stunted. Overall an interesting start to the series, but there’s some definite room for improvement going forward.

Smut Level: Only at the very end of the novel do we get one beautiful love scene. It didn’t hurt that some witches had previously cast a spell on the prince’s…saber…to always please his woman in the bedroom.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. FREE! Lost Plot Press. 248 Pages.

Way Too Deep by Andrea K. Stein, Sawyer Stone

The flirtations between our lead couple are sometimes too hot to handle! I had a ridiculous laughing smirk on my face throughout most of this read.

What’s it About? 

35052526

Captain Lindsay Fisher has committed the unthinkable in the tight little world of super yachting. She takes chances, she’s a little too abrasive, and oh yeah, she’s taken swearing like a sailor to a whole new level. Celebrity Chef Alton Maura earned the acclaimed “Kitchen God” title and basked in the international limelight for years until his affairs with his kitchen staff landed him in a poisonous stew. When Lindsay and Alton are thrown together on an uneasy cruise through the Grenadines, sparks fly. She doesn’t like his shoes, or his attitude. He can’t believe a woman who looks that good in a captain’s uniform can be such a hard ass. This is their last chance to prove themselves, but the worst thing you can do when trying to save your career is to fall in love…WAY TOO DEEP.

First Impressions

Good God this novel blasts off with a suspenseful start! We have a storm at sea, a sinking yacht, and a couple of sailors flung overboard. This is why we mere humans don’t belong out on the open ocean people! Phew, ok mini rant over. Lindsay and Alton are both at the ultimate low points in their careers. She has now lost two ships at sea, and he gave an entire room full of uppity socialites food poisoning. They see this next cruise as their one last chance to prove themselves. Problem is, they pretty much hate each other at the start. Lindsay is a strict captain who expects everyone to follow her every word, and Alton is the artistic chef who’s not used to living on a boat and working in a galley kitchen. He’s used to giving orders, not taking them. While initially at odds, they quickly come to realize they’ll need to rely on each other to make this trip a success. As well as an outlet to let off some…sexual tension.

Processed with VSCO with 5 preset

From One to the Next

If I had to summarize this book in one word it would be: fun! I was expecting the relationship between captain and chef to be the main focus of this book, but something I didn’t see coming was the plethora of supporting characters who really made this story such a comedic and fun read. With the introduction of every new character we get another crazy personality, and I just loved it. In particular I adored Lindsay’s uncle, Tommy, who starts off so rough and gruff, but also has such a sweet side to him. He provides the words of wisdom to both Lindsay and Alton regarding how they should approach a relationship with each other. He has read pretty much every issue of Cosmopolitan magazine in the Caribbean after all.

cosmothumb

In addition to our captain, chef and first mate, we have a smarmy Russian, a music mogul and his vegan-organic-gluten free girlfriend who is enthralled with herbal medical remedies. There’s the spoiled wife of the yacht owner who always has a wine glass in her hand, not to mention Alton in her sights. Lastly, the trip simply wouldn’t be complete without also having the mistress of the yacht owner on board, as well as his business partner who is a James Bond uber spy wannabe. And that’s just everyone staying on the yacht! It doesn’t include some of the other delightful people we meet on various islands and other vessels. While this motley crew of characters is slightly over-the-top, it never got to the point of being just plain ridiculous. It was just the right blend for me of silliness, sexiness, and even some suspense thrown in as well. There’s eventually an inkling of intrigue and espionage, seeing as our yacht owner is the one noticeable key player missing on this crazy cruise. The ending does sort of cross over into outlandish territory, yet considering this blend of characters and build-up of suspense it also does feel like an inevitable climactic end.

Superyacht-SWAN-95-FD-Image-courtesy-of-Nautors-Swan-665x468

Crullers and Eclairs

As I alluded to earlier, Lindsay and Alton don’t have the best first impression of each other. He thinks she’s a hard-ass bitch, and she sees him as a goody-two shoes chef who’s clearly in love with himself. That being said, they are both clearly attracted to the other, but they’re adamant that they shouldn’t make a move. For one, there’s too much at stake with this entire trip. In order for their careers to rebound, there can’t be any distractions. In addition, it’s funny how long it takes before they realize the other isn’t gay. To quote one of Alton’s thoughts, “…he had the feeling she might be more interested in thick-lipped crullers than cream-filled éclairs.” Not gonna lie, I chuckled like an idiot with every culinary sexual innuendo that Alton could think of, and believe me there were many to enjoy. As their trip through the Caribbean progresses, their sexual chemistry becomes more and more difficult to ignore. With so many small and cramped places on this yacht to get down and dirty, it’s not long before they can’t say no anymore.

Capture

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

Series: Love Overboard, book 1. I definitely want to continue with this series!

Should you read it? This pretty much checks off every point of a good beach read. It’s fun, kind of silly, but full of unique characters. The flirtatiousness of Lindsay and Alton had me giggling, yet their scenes in the bedroom had me fanning myself from all the heat. The intrigue surrounding the yacht owner was a bit much, and I wish he had been featured more throughout the novel. Also, be sure to have some appetizers on hand while you read this one, as the descriptions of Alton’s culinary creations will keep you hungry!

Smut Level: Romantic comedies aren’t always the sexiest of reads, but this one definitely stands out! We don’t just have a handful of passionate kisses which fade to black. Oh no, we get every delectable sexy detail!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $2.99 Kindle Price. Muirgen Publishing, LLC. 219 Pages.

dv629050

Seduction and Snacks by Tara Sivec

I seriously cannot remember the last time I read a book that mentioned the word “vagina” so many times. At over 120 mentions, this doesn’t even take into account all the possible variations of the term! But I think what made it standout so much was that the majority of the mentions had nothing to do with sex! It was just your typical, everyday conversation vagina mention.

What’s it About?

seduction

Claire is a twenty-something, single mom that grudgingly helps her best friend sell sex toys while she attempts to make enough money to start her own business to give her foul-mouthed, but extremely loveable (when he’s asleep) toddler a better life.

When Carter, the one-night-stand from her past that changed her life forever, shows up in her hometown bar without any recollection of her besides her unique chocolate scent, Claire will make it a point that he remembers her this time.

With Carter’s undisguised shock at suddenly finding out he has a four-year-old son and Claire’s panic that her stretch marks and slim to none bedroom experience will send the man of her dreams heading for the hills, the pair will do whatever they can to get their happily ever after.

First Impressions

When this novel first started, I was actually pretty excited. I mean, there’s a chocolate bar on the cover. Beyond that though, the lead female character was bursting with energy and enough sarcasm that was just in line with my own perverse sense of humor. But then the sarcasm continued. Non-stop. On, and on, and on for the entirety of the novel. It didn’t take long at all before this comedic aspect I was initially looking forward to came out way too forced. After a while, it became so distracting that it was hard to finish the book.

was-that-sarcasm.jpg

Rambling Thoughts and Unfortunate Timing

In this book, we are privy to every random thought that enters into the main character’s brain. Normally, that can be a good thing to further understand the inner-workings going on, but in this instance she would go off on these long rambling tangents that were so extensive it was often difficult to remember how or why we got onto such an unrelated, and often stupid topic.

rambling

I’m of the mind that there’s a time and place for everything, especially comedy. With this book, I felt like the author was so desperate to come across as funny, that humor was injected at some rather inopportune times. Prime example, at one point Claire and Carter are getting intimate, and Carter starts to go down on her. Oh yeah baby! Claire starts to worry about how she’ll…taste. Totally legitimate concern! But then she starts rambling in her mind about how she had spaghetti for dinner, and she hopes her vagina doesn’t taste like Chef Boyardee. Well, I don’t know about y’all, but my mood is officially ruined.

chef_boyardee

And Another Thing!

Another issue I had with this book was that there was essentially a lack of a plot for about 2/3 of it, making it kind of a boring read. When Claire and Carter reunite after so many years apart there is obviously some tension. Throw in the fact that Carter discovers he has a son, and things definitely get a bit awkward. It’s a hurdle to jump, but for the most part they overcome it with as little pain and conflict as possible. After that? Nothing…really…happens. I kept waiting for there to be one final obstacle they’d have to face, but it never comes, and the book just sort of ends.

1383866112

Series: Chocolate Lovers, book 1.

Should you read it? This initially seemed like my cup of tea, but the constant attempts at humor just came across as forced, and the characters as immature.

Smut Level: Nothing like a Chef Boyardee flavored vajayjay to get ya in the mood!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services. 261 Pages.

My Dirty Detour by Grace Risata

Technically, the full title of this novel is My Dirty Detour: An Alpha Male Mafia Comedy Romance. Kind of a mouthful. I guess I’ve just never been a huge fan of titles with a colon.

What’s it About?

my dirty detour

A dominant leader flees the mafia, looking for a fresh start in a small town. He put all his effort into starting a business and resigned himself to a life without love. A neurotic germaphobe lives vicariously through the books she reads, preferring to play it safe in real life and hide behind her sarcastic remarks. One fateful day, the simple act of taking a wrong turn leads Violet right into Rocky’s life and completely turns it upside down. Accustomed to his orders being obeyed immediately and without question, Rocky doesn’t appreciate Violet challenging his authority at every opportunity.

Violet charmed her way into his heart with her quick wit and stubbornness, causing Rocky to fail at his many attempts to resist her. Rocky tries to keep his violent past hidden from Violet, but it suddenly catches up to him and he can no longer deny who he really is. Will Rocky turn his back on the life he built or stay and fight for what’s his? When Violet is faced with situations that rival anything she’s merely read about, will she be able to face her fears and work together with Rocky or will the truth tear them apart? Follow the journey of Rocky and Violet as they take a dirty detour…

First Impressions

I must say I really did get a kick out of the first half of his novel. While driving around after running an errand, Violet stumbles upon a brewery with a rather intimidating proprietor. In spite of his rather off-putting demeanor, Violet agrees to work nights at his brewery in exchange for self-defense lessons. Sure, it’s a bit outlandish, but it still has its light-hearted and comedic moments that will bring a smile to your face. Not to mention a blossoming romance with a quintessential bad boy that will have you fanning your face. I loved the fact that Violet speaks her mind and has some interesting quirks on top of everything. When Rocky finally gives in to his feelings for her, Violet has to adjust to a new relationship unlike any she’s ever had before: one with a pure alpha male. Do you see why I enjoyed the first half so much?!

alcide3

Second Half

Unfortunately, the second half of the book wasn’t my fav, as it deviated from so much of what I liked about the first half. The light-hearted comedy is still there at times, but now it’s mixed with the drama of Rocky’s mafia past. What bothered me most about this part of the novel was that everything that Rocky and his friends once found endearing about Violet now appears to annoy them, from her sarcastic wit to her multitude of questions. It seemed like Rocky told her to be quiet more often than he said anything nice towards her. I felt like by constantly telling Violet to shush, he was acting just like her ex-husband by repressing what made her so unique and lovable.

stop-talking-cats-kitten-kitty-pic-picture-funny-lolcat-cute-fun-lovely-photo-images

They also sort of treated Violet like an idiot every time she expressed confusion over the delicate intricacies of mafia protocol and hierarchy. Seems a bit harsh! After all, Rocky and his friends had all kept the details of their mafia past hidden from Violet, and she was thrown into this world after knowing them for only a matter of weeks. How is she magically supposed to know how to act and, more importantly, what not to say in front of a mafia don?  I personally don’t know if I could have put up with all that, even if Rocky was an apparent sex-god in the sack.

il_fullxfull.213814496

Putting Up with so Much

Violet is introduced to Rocky’s past mafia link when his crazy ex-girlfriend, Ursula, comes to town with her posse in tow. He hasn’t seen her in over two years, yet Ursula immediately throws down a challenge to fight Violet. I’m talkin’ hand-to-hand combat here. Which is kind of like…what?

tumblr_inline_o1vuxyipcq1qzvsot_500

Seeing as Rocky never actually provided Violet with those self-defense lessons she was working nights for, he decides to take her place and fight Ursula’s brother instead. Um, ok? I remember at one point towards the end of the novel Violet said that Rocky is really the only one who could get her out of this precarious situation alive. I couldn’t help but question if that was the main reason she put up with so much of the drama from Rocky’s turbulent lifestyle instead of just saying “See ya later buddy!”. Again, they’ve only known each other for 3 weeks. Might have a happily ever after, but I wonder if it will last forever.

rough

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

Series: Nope, stand-alone with no cliffhangers.

Should you read it? I was definitely more of a fan of the first half of the book, from the plot itself to the actions of the characters. That being said, it has its funny moments, mixed with a bit of drama, mafia connections, an ex-girlfriend you’ll wanna slap, and an alpha male you’ll wanna…well, use your imagination 😉

Smut Level: Thankfully, the nooky mainly takes place during the first half of the book, and it’s pretty saucy. He may be an alpha male, but Violet can also take the reins and play dominatrix when the situation calls for it.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services LLC. 323 Pages.

Text Me by Erin Bevan

If my office had a Valentine’s Day dance I think I’d have a chat with HR. It’s not that I don’t like the idea of fun, it’s just that the idea of standing awkwardly around an empty dance floor and making small talk with colleagues that I only somewhat get along with fills me with anxiety. Hostile working conditions!

What’s it About? 

text me

When Erika’s ex becomes her boss less than a year after dumping her by text, she gets desperate to find a date to the corporate Valentine’s dance so he doesn’t suspect she still has feelings for him. Though not a fan of texting for the obvious reason, she doesn’t have much choice but to tap the keypad in order to gain the attention of the only viable candidate from the classified ads.

Grayson made the mistake of listening to his brother a year ago and has regretted what he did to Erika ever since. But his brother’s next suggestion just might be his salvation when he takes out an ad for a Valentine’s date…and Erika answers. Using a pseudo name and keeping contact to text messages only, Grayson’s plans to make Erika fall back in love with him appears to be working…until the date of the dance draws near, and she pushes a meeting—face to face.

First Impressions

What an awesomely unique concept for a romance novel! I mean, it’s not every day that you read about how our romantic lead is the ex-boyfriend who broke up with our heroine in a pretty piss-poor way. Both Erika and Grayson are trying to move on from one another, but when she answers his personal ad for a date to the office party, he sees it as a sign that they belong together. The author does a really good job of making us see Grayson’s text message break-up as an extremely unfortunate mistake, and you’ll be surprised to find yourself rooting for the guy to succeed in winning Erika back.

cell_phone

A Silly Premise

My absolute favorite part of this novel, aside from the unique concept of having exes falling back in love with each other, was the fact that Erika is a positively terrible liar. The premise of the book is kind of silly when you think about it: she wants to find a date for the office Valentine’s dance to make Grayson jealous. Sort of like a high school drama. However, her inability to lie about her fake boyfriend, Sunny Flowers, who works in a staple factory sort of poked fun at the whole situation rather than take it too seriously.

brady bunch

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

Series: A Candy Hearts Romance

Should you read it? Do I think these two will live happily ever after forever and ever? Probably not, but it’s still a sweet, light-hearted read which will make you giggle.

Smut Level: We only have one passionate kiss.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $1.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 64 Pages.

cupcakes

Fifth Avenue Fidos by Holly Schindler

I feel like cat people always get a bad rap for being kind of weird or quirky…like myself. However, this book goes to show that dog people can be nutty oddballs as well.

What’s it About? 

fifth

Mable Barker, a hilarious, good-natured sweetheart who is always the pal but never the girlfriend, endures nine horrendous months of bouncing between lackluster New York City jobs (and suffering unrequited love) in her unsuccessful attempt to find her one true talent. So when she meets Innis, the ill-tempered Upper East Side Pekingese, she assumes her dog-walking days are numbered, too; soon, she’ll be heading back to Queens brokenhearted, tail tucked between her legs. But Innis belongs to the adorable yet painfully shy young veterinarian, Jason Mead, a man whose awkward ways around women have him dreaming not of finding love for himself but of playing canine matchmaker—breeding Westminster champions.

When Mable and Jason meet, romance is officially unleashed: they find an instant connection and shared goal, as it appears that Mable could very well have what it takes to be a professional handler, soon to be seen holding Innis under a banner labeled, “Best in Show.” As Jason and Mable get closer to putting a new twist on the term “dog lovers,” outside forces—Mable’s overprotective brothers, a successful wedding planner with her eye on Jason, even the theft of purebred pups from Jason’s Fifth Avenue apartment building—all threaten to come between them. Will Mable and Jason simply let their burgeoning love roll over and play dead? Or will they rally to make sure Innis emerges as the leader of the pack?

First Impressions

This book was definitely quirky, just like the main female character, who has a one-liner for everything. At first I found myself chuckling along, but after a while all of the jokes (and humorous asides presented in parentheses) seemed really forced. It was almost like a desperate attempt to be funny. Let’s face it, when your main character is described as “hilarious” within the first sentence of the synopsis, you might be pushing it a bit. I personally like to determine the personality traits of the characters on my own, rather than having them spelled out for me.

funny

The Story

There was actually a lot going on in this novel, from Mable trying to make her way in the big, bad city, and Jason trying to prove his worth as a champion show-dog breeder. Then there’s a little mystery thrown in with a dognapper. See what I mean? Dog people can be obsessive and weird too.

dog people

Overall, cute and interesting story, but I thought it took a tad too long for the story to really get going. I understand not wanting to immediately throw our love birds together, but waiting until 40% of the book was finished before they have an actual conversation? What exactly are we waiting for? I’ve got places to be. And by “places to be” of course I mean in my apartment reading another romance novel.

The Best of the Best

The absolute best part of this novel was the chemistry between Mable and Jason, which makes the fact that we had to wait so long for them to actually come together seem like even more of a waste. We see how awkward Jason is when communicating with basically any other human being, but with Mable they just connect and feed off of each other’s particular brand of humor. As a matter of fact, I think I giggled the most when these two were together. It just goes to show that no matter how quirky, nerdy, or awkward you may be, there really is someone out there for everyone. It’s like puppy love!

shamy

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

Series: Stand-alone

Should you read it? It’s cute and silly. A slight hint of drama, though not overly dramatic. I do think a lot of the comedy was forced, which was kind of annoying after a while. However, if you’re a dog person, and you just want to sit back and relax with a sweet romance, then this might be the book for you.

Smut Level: There’s only one love scene, but they break a chair for crying out loud! Not too shabby!!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Amazon Digital Services. 391 Pages.

Juggler, Porn Star, Monkey Wrench by Rich Leder

Well, I’ve gotta hand it to this book, it has one hell of a unique title. As for the story goes, I’m not really sure what just happened.

What’s it About? 

juggler

My name is Mark Manilow. I am a LA screenwriter. Here’s my recipe for a cocktail called “Romantic Hollywood Sex Comedy.” Start with my estranged wife, who left me two years ago to become a juggler. Pour in the ensuing emotional tailspin conjoined with my brutal case of writer’s block. Mix with my last-gasp writing job, a ridiculous porn flick called Broken Boner. Add in the Broken Boner porn star, who seduces me into an ill-fated partnership. Throw in the gun-toting producer and eccentric Montecito billionaire who hire me to adapt the phonebook into a movie. Combine with the return of my headaches and a trip to an ancient Chinese healer, where I meet the healer’s beguiling granddaughter—my monkey wrench. Serve with wonderment as to whether or not I’ll find a way to settle things with the juggler, break it off with the porn star, and fall in love with the monkey wrench…or if anyone will stop laughing long enough to notice.

First Impressions

So Mark is a screenwriter, and from what I can tell, he’s not a very good one. He’s only written one mildly successful script which has been shelved for all eternity due to some kind of Hollywood mumbo jumbo. He’s a bit down in the dumps trying to think up the premise for his next story when he gets a shot to write the script for a porn film. Just as Mark is starting to warm up to the idea of being the next big name in porn writing, the director of the film informs Mark that he just doesn’t have what it takes to write a porno. I’m sorry but if the guy can’t write porn, I question if he can write anything else.

skeptical

The Characters

Mark meets a plethora of different characters throughout the novel, and each one is crazier than the last. In my opinion, the personas were too outlandish to be believable, which took away from how much you could really connect with any of them. The entire novel culminates in one tediously long, drawn-out scene in which practically all of the characters from the book come together for a reading of Mark’s newest script, Phone Book: the Movie.

That’s right! The guy who couldn’t write porn wrote a movie script inspired by the phone book. This script reading is one of the most ridiculous scenes I’ve ever come across, and escalates to include an orgy and attempted murder, although nobody really seems to care that either is taking place. Unfortunately, what I assume was an attempt at hilarity left me feeling more confused than amused.

REALLY_SNL_AIGflv

The Writing

Although it was unique to see how this struggling writer goes from attempting to write porn to adapting the phone book for a feature film, the writing did annoy me at times. Firstly, there were way too many anecdotes which added nothing to the storyline, including a multitude of flashbacks and possibly imagined scenarios. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with flashbacks, but they have to tie in somehow to the overall plot.

going

The second element which I barely noticed at first, but had me on the brink of chucking my Kindle across the room by the end, was the addition of rambling lists. For example, did you know that Mark has written dramas, comedies, dramedies, romantic comedies, sophomoric comedies, teen comedies, family comedies, action, adventure, action-adventure, thrillers, sci-fi, and westerns? He also talks about producers and directors and writers and actors and agents and managers and painters and carpenters and this guy really needs to learn the use of etc.

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

Series: Stand-alone

Should you read it? It was a little out there for my taste, and has convinced me to never move to LA if there’s even a smidgen of a chance I’ll meet people like this out there.

Smut Level: Believe it or not, the absolute funniest scene was when Mark visited a beautiful mansion which actually contained sets for multiple porn flicks. An amusing experience to say the least.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Laugh Riot Press. 390 Pages.

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

This piece of chick-lit is laugh out loud funny, and such a fun read. If you’re in the mood for something lighthearted, romantic, and empty of BDSM outrageousness, then this is definitely something you’ll enjoy. i've got your number

Poppy Wyatt is engaged to be married, but after losing her priceless engagement ring, as well as her precious cell phone, she quickly realizes that desperate times call for desperate measures. This includes “borrowing” a cell phone she just happens to find in the trash of a hotel lobby. After all, how will anybody be able to contact her if her ring does magically show up?

Well, it turns out the phone belonged to the personal assistant of tough-as-nails businessman Sam Roxton, and he wants his phone back. What follows is a hilarious back and forth between a stern man and a cheerful young woman; two opposites who become drawn together through text messages, e-mails, and even a few personal close encounters.

Because this novel belongs in the chick-lit genre, there isn’t a whole lot of smut. No hanky panky, and we are rewarded in the end with a passionate kiss rather than a roll in the sack. But this novel is so damn funny, you won’t really mind, and the chemistry between these two is spot on. Poppy is hilarious in trying to make Sam less of an ass, and takes it upon herself to respond to some of his work e-mails from the phone she happens upon. One of these includes sending a heartfelt poem to one of his employees whose pet recently passed away. I laughed so hard I almost had tears in my eyes! You might want to consider reading this one at home, unless you don’t mind looking like a laughing idiot in public. I leave it up to you.

Although Sam can’t stand Poppy at first, and Poppy is convinced that her fiancé is the perfect man, these two start to develop a chemistry, and start to question if the animosity they once felt for each other is becoming something more endearing. Towards the end of the novel I must admit that Poppy started to get on my nerves a bit, especially when she finds out that her fiancé has been a bit of a dick, but still decides to marry him anyway. And hello, you’ve got a hot businessman who will be sure to comfort you through your times of woe. However, the ending more than makes up for it, especially when Sam acts out in a moment of desperation to try and prevent Poppy from going through with her wedding. So freakin’ cute I just can’t stand it.

Series: Nope

Should you read it: Yes, as long as you’re not looking for a romance book full of the horizontal mambo.

Smut Level: Pretty much non-existent. You might want to have a steamier novel on hand for when you’re finished to release some sexual tension build-up.

Buy it on Amazon: Click Here.