Beautiful Beloved by Christina Lauren

Having a baby changes everything. I mean, can you believe that Max and Sara haven’t been back to their exhibitionist sex club since the birth of their daughter? Think of the horror!!!

What’s it About? beautiful

In Beautiful Stranger, finance whiz Sara Dillon met the irresistibly sexy Brit, Max Stella, at a New York City club. Through the series we’ve watched them learn to balance commitment with their less than private brand of playfulness. In Beautiful Beloved, Max and Sara take it to the next step. But the question is: Will they be able to find a balance between the wild sexcapades they aren’t ready to retire, and the demands of parenthood that come along with their new Beautiful bundle of joy? Parenthood: it’s not for the weak of heart.

First Impressions

I’m usually not a fan of half-books, or 0.6 books as is the case with this novel. However, when it comes to this series I will read anything and everything the authors want to put out there. I’ve enjoyed every single book in this series, as each one is the perfect blend of comedy, raw sexual magnetism, and characters you can’t help but love. In this book, we see that it can be a slow road for a husband and wife to connect sexually again after having a child. Not that Max and Sara haven’t had sex since their daughter Anna was born, but it just hasn’t been like it was before. It’s not as rough, and they don’t film it anymore. Or take naughty photos. Going back to vanilla sex can be so boring.

vanilla

Oh the Hilarity

The majority of this novel consists of several failed date nights between Max and Sara, which are unbelievably hilarious. Every time they try and reintroduce some of the kink to their sexual relationship, they get interrupted by a phone call from one of their many babysitters explaining another issue that baby Anna has. I also loved the fact that their numerous babysitters are all characters from the previous novels. We developed such a strong connection with those characters when reading their own respective love stories, that it’s great to see them all again as a tight-knit friend group in this brief half-book.

Friends season 10

Oh the Seriousness

Even though there is a lot of humor throughout this book, there is actually a rather serious discussion taking place about adjusting to parenthood. Max always used to see Sara as his lover, but now he views her as his wife, and the mother of his child. It might not be on purpose, but he can’t help but view her differently. They fervently try to have the exact same sexual relationship as they did before, just to prove that having a baby hasn’t changed them. But they encounter some difficulties when trying to bring back some of their old tricks. For example, they perfectly demonstrate why you should never take dirty pics on your phone. You never know who you might send them to accidentally.

wrong number

However, by the end of the novel they eventually come to the realization that they don’t necessarily have to try so hard to do the same things as before, because their lives are in fact different now. No point in trying to hide it. It doesn’t mean they can’t still have fun though. They’ve always been kind of kinky, but the affect of motherhood on Max’s libido was quite interesting. Let’s just say he discovered a new found appreciation for Sara’s chest area.

boobs

Series: Beautiful Bastard, book 3.6. This book introduces us to Max’s brother, Niall, who is the focus of the next book. I can’t wait!

Should you read it? Only if you’ve read the other books in the series, which I recommend if you’re looking for something really hot and sexy. There’s a guaranteed alpha male in every book.

Smut Level: Holy mackerel. Max and Sara are determined to prove that they can still have an amazing sex life after having a baby. Let’s just say they succeed. Many, many times.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $1.99 Kindle Price. Pocket Star Publishing. 102 Pages.

Underneath it All by Bethany Bazile

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

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

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

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

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

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

Series: Sexual Misconduct series, book 2

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

Smut Level: Soooooooo smutty.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here

Hard to Love by Kendall Ryan

Hard to love? More like hard not to love! This book had some amazing characters, a lot of alpha-male possessiveness, and one of the most adorable meet-cutes ever! Alexa is a young nurse, and she helps Cade who was admitted to the emergency room with a BIG problem. You see, he’s a porn actor whose erection won’t go away because his director gave him a little blue pill on set. I’m telling ya, that’s a romantic coupling for the history books. Or Playboy magazine, either way.

hardCade was undoubtedly my favorite character in this book. He may have a tough exterior, but he’s actually a sweetie-pie who loves his younger sister. Although he’s a porn actor, he’s not a porn star. The only reason he’s decided to get involved in the “industry” is because his little sister has some very expensive health problems. He realizes that by starring in a few films he’ll be able to pay for all of her expenses, and get them out of debt. Aw, what a caring older brother. Is this plot-line completely far-fetched? Absolutely, but I couldn’t help but love it. I really liked that Cade wasn’t some sex-addicted porn star, but rather had an ulterior motive of trying to help his sister, who he was solely responsible for. He’s like a sexy onion, with so many layers to peel away before you are rewarded with his hot bare body and six-pack abs. Aaaaand, I’ve started to drool.

One of my favorite features about wordpress is that you can view the terms that people search for which ultimately lead them to your blog. I figured the top searches would be romance novels, or beach reads, but oh no. The repeating theme that you all seem to search for is jealous alpha male boyfriends who are possessive. Well then, if you all want possessive alpha males then this is definitely the book for you. And also, holy dirty talk! Consider yourself warned that the intimate scenes in this book are hella raunchy. Cade might not be an experienced porn star, but it appears he’s taken a few notes along the way because he is all kinds of a dirty talkin’ expert. It sort of makes the Caribbean look like a winter ski resort. Feeling hot hot hot!

Now, unfortunate erection meeting aside, I really enjoyed the rest of the story going on here as well. I’ve noticed with a lot of romance novels that the hero and heroine undoubtedly have some kind of kerfuffle towards the end of the book, which they ultimately overcome, but the argument in question is often something silly that poses a ridiculous delay to their relationship. I feel like I’m often wont to scream out, “oh get over it already!” But in this book our two lead characters actually have some legitimate reasons to get upset with each other. I mean, Alexa’s family is ridiculously wealthy and they all treat Cade like crap. Might make future Christmas dinners a bit awkward. On the other hand, although Cade and Alexa are dating, he chooses to sleep with other women whom he cares nothing for as part of his job. I could see how both these issues would cause some anxiety and shouting matches.

As you can tell by this point, I really enjoyed this book. That being said, it wasn’t without its faults. Firstly, Cade is able to pay off all his sister’s medical expenses just by starring in about 2 or 3 porn videos. I have a feeling that if he had simply started an online campaign, or Facebook page, he probably would have been able to raise enough money without having to whore out his body. But then he never would have met Alexa, and they wouldn’t have fallen in wuv! Second issue: Alexa watches Cade’s videos online. Multiple times. Over, and over, and over again. That’s just not ok. Other than these minor logistical and icky issues, I couldn’t help but love this book.

Series: No, which is so disappointing! It was such a quick read that I couldn’t put down, and I want more!

Should you read it? Yes, yes, yes. So much alpha-maleness! A perfect beach read. But be prepared for some naughty dirty talk too. I realize it’s not for everyone.

Smut Level: Humina yumina YES! Wonderfully smutty, yet underneath it all it’s surprisingly charming and sweet.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here

Dirty Trick by Christine Bell

The Halloween season is upon us! Although, can you really call it a season? I was gonna say Holiday, but that didn’t seem right either. Festivities? Anyway, it’s almost Halloween, so to celebrate I decided to dedicate my posts for the week to romance novels featured around the creepy day. After all, nothing screams romance like costumes and trick-or-treating. To kick things off, here’s Dirty Trick!

Oh my, dirty indeed. The “dirty trick” referred to in this title actually has two dirty trickmeanings. The first is our male lead, whose name is Patrick, but he goes by Trick for short, and he has a dirty little mind, that rascal. Ok, I’d like to take a time out here and point out that Trick has got to be one of the douchiest nicknames I’ve ever heard. If I met a guy and he said, “Hey, my name is Patrick, but you can call me Trick”, I’d be like, “Ok, bro, sounds good, I’ll check ya on the flip side, know what I’m saying? Now get the hell outta my way.” Alright, rant finished. The second meaning of the title is that Trick (ugh, what a dumbass name) plays a dirty trick on his best friend Grace, who he’s had a major crush on for ages. She thinks they should just be friends, so he comes up with the plan to wear a costume at a Halloween party which will conceal his identity, and show her that they have a sexual chemistry which goes beyond the lines of friendship. See, he’s a dirty little rascal.

This book was published by Entangled:Brazen, and I have found that whenever you’re in the mood for a quick sexy romance, you are almost guaranteed to find a good one here. Now, this romance definitely had it’s flaws, which I will proceed to outline below, but you’ve got friends who are neighbors that decide to begin a sexual relationship full of dirty talk. What’s not to like? And holy monkeys can these two talk dirty. Well, he can anyway. She has some trouble getting the hang of it in the beginning. Unless of course you find it sexy for a woman to ask her lover to put his cockadoodle in her lady business area. No joke, that’s a direct quote.

My main problems with this book were the logistics of it. Firstly, Trick dons an intricate Halloween mask to appear before Grace as a stranger, so that they can flirt with each other and go a few rounds of hanky panky before eventually revealing his true identity. The guy is your best friend, who also happens to live next door to you, and you have no idea that he’s the one behind the mask? It’s sort of like a superhero scenario. He even adopts a Batman-like voice to try and fool her, but come on already! Wake up and smell the hummus! Mmm, hummus. Now, I can sort of understand how she might not know it was him if they were in a crowded party, it was dark, he had his mask, etc. But eventually they go to a well-lit secluded area to be alone, and she even meets him on another day to do things in a movie theater that you aren’t supposed to do there, and she still has no idea it’s him. The author did try to describe her as a very trusting person, so there was an attempt to make the situation seem more plausible, but I’m still not buying it.

And now for the more concerning issue: when Grace meets this sexy “stranger” at the Halloween party, after only about 5 minutes of chatting they wander off to a secluded sauna (you know, because they are in a mansion that has a sauna) and proceed to have hot, sweaty sex while he’s still wearing his mask. At one point she even tried to take the mask off, but he insisted on keeping it on. Honey, there are only two reasons a guy wouldn’t want to take off his mask during sex 1) he’s terribly scarred, or 2) he wants to make sure you would never be able to identify him in a police lineup! Again, if it was just the one foray into the unknown with a stranger I might be able to understand it, but when they meet for a second time at the movie theater he is wearing a hoodie which hides his face in shadow, and he won’t take it off. GAH! This girl is so trusting she would probably follow a serial killer with a knife into the woods because he said he saw Bambi.

Logistical flaws aside, I actually really liked the story-line. You know me, I’m a sucker for a romance about two friends who become more. Grace had always been attracted to Trick, but always thought of him as a player. Granted, his dirty trick sort of reinforces that assumption, but he just wanted to show her that they belonged together. So cute! Sure, Grace is pissed when she finally discovers the truth, but we all know they’ll get together eventually. I mean, he’s her best friend 🙂 He’s also a member of a SWAT team, which is just so freakin’ sexy.

Series: Perfectly Matched series, book 1. I must say I am intrigued for the second book, as it involves Grace’s colleague who always seems to speak her mind.

Should you read it? I finished it in a day, so it’s a quick read, and it might even put you in the Halloween spirit. Maybe even inspire you to play a dirty trick of your own 😉

Smut Level: We’ve got sauna sex, dirty talk, movie theater shenanigans, more dirty talk, and some sweet sweet lovin. Like I said, it just screams Halloween.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here