Saturday Sexcapades: Hammock

For those of you fabulous people who are regular visitors to my blog, you’ll know that I’ve done a few posts in the past featuring some of the more unusual locations romance novel couples have chosen to do the deed. From elevators to automobiles, airplane bathrooms and beaches, you just never know where the mood will strike!

Previously, I’ve included about 4 unique locations per post, but I’ve decided to mix things up a bit. Rather than crush together all of the fun into just one post, why not spread things out over time? Ergo, welcome to Saturday Sexcapades, where I’ll focus attention on just one location outside of the bedroom per post. It might not be every Saturday, but this is when you can expect to see them. So let’s get started with a Sexcapade you might come across in a romance novel when the weather is a tad warmer than what most of us are probably suffering through right now!

The Hammock

The way I see it, there is no rhyme, reason, or logical explanation for ever having sex in a hammock. How is it possible for anyone to walk away from this without experiencing at least one traumatic injury?!


I’ve only come across one romance novel so far which featured a couple who simply couldn’t wait to move things from their hammock of love to the bedroom. To be fair, I kind of get the romantic aspect of it. You’re snuggled up close with your significant other, letting the gentle sway of the hammock seduce you into a passionate bubble of lust. You’re outside, probably near a beach of some kind, and the exhibitionist in you kind of wants to put on a show for your neighbors. But someone needs to explain the logistics of it to me!


Ok, on second thought please don’t explain it to me, because I honestly don’t know you all that well. Hammocks are meant to sway side to side, but with the inevitable sexual movements you’ll induce with your lover, I just feel like you’re bound to unlatch the hammock from the hook around the tree, and end up in a tangle of limbs on the ground. Good luck getting the mood back after that jarring experience. Or the two lovers will just have to be very…very…gentle. NO UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS! Otherwise you’re looking at possible motion sickness repercussions.

Couple Lying Together on Hammock

Mkay, so when all is said and done I’ll have to say that I can understand the appeal of getting things started in a hammock, but for the love of safety please take things inside for the big finish. If you have a hammock like this one it might be a bit more realistic:

hammock bed.jpg

But let’s face it, most of us common folk just have one of these, and that doesn’t bode well for anyone:


Be safe out there people!

Only Yours by Nancy Fraser

The time of poodle skirts and letterman jackets is over. Let the sexual revolution begin!

What’s it About? 


Everyone expects Rebecca Winston to marry her high school/college sweetheart, Garrett Langley. The problem is, the flame’s gone out on their romance. They’re still best of friends, but only friends. When Garrett’s father has a heart attack, his older brother Wyatt (an L.A. attorney) returns home for the first time in years. The attraction between Rebecca and Wyatt is immediate. Can Rebecca expect her family and, especially, Garrett to understand that her desires have changed and turned toward Wyatt? Can Wyatt get past the feeling that he’s poaching his younger brother’s girl?

First Impressions

Ok, so it might not be as outrageous as a sexual revolution, but the plot of the story is pretty scandalous for the time period. Although it reads like a contemporary romance, this novella is set in the early 60s. As the attraction for her boyfriend Garrett wanes, Rebecca finds that she starts to have feelings for his brother, Wyatt. Gotta say, definitely a ballsy plot for a romance! We as the readers will either sympathize with the lovebirds, or view them as cheating hypocrites. When it comes to this particular novella, I found that you do end up rooting for Rebecca and Wyatt to get together. They just have all the chemistry which her relationship with Garrett is obviously lacking.


Attraction: Old and New

So why is it that we hope Rebecca will leave her current boyfriend for the man’s brother? Simple, she and Garrett have clearly grown apart these last few years, and it seems they’re just sticking together because it’s familiar. Even though their respective family members are all hoping they’ll finally get engaged, it’s blatantly obvious to the readers that there’s really nothing between them anymore except friendship.


Then Wyatt comes to town, and it’s like, “Well hello spark of attraction!” Now, is it possible that Rebecca is drawn to Wyatt because she identifies in him all of the excitement and passion that she used to have in her relationship with Garrett? How the hell should I know? I’m not a therapist! It’s possible though. I will say I still did like Rebecca and Wyatt together. They share a love scene that is described in such amazingly slow detail that you can’t help but be entranced. That being said, I imagine family dinners in the future could get kind of awkward. Not to mention the bedroom. I mean, is it really a good idea to start a relationship with someone when you can actually say, “Oh, that’s not how your brother does it.”


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

Series: A Candy Hearts Romance. I kind of wish the candy hearts and Valentine’s Day aspect of this series would have played in a bit more, but still a good read!

Should you read it? Now, spoiler alert that Rebecca and Wyatt do share a passionate kiss while she is still dating his brother, but that’s as far as they go. I get that this might bother some people but overall it’s still a sweet romance with a happy ending for all parties involved. Even Garrett.

Smut Level: Nothing too graphic. There are some kisses, touches, and clothing removal though.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here– this novella just came out today! $1.99 Kindle Price. The Wild Rose Press, Inc. 59 Pages.


The Christmas Bridge by Elyse Douglas

You know, based on the snowy, idyllic scene and hugging lovers on the cover I figured this book would be like a cheesy Hallmark Christmas special. Sadly, it was more along the lines of a depressing Lifetime movie.

What’s it About? 

xmas bridge

A First Love. A Second Chance. A young widow travels to New York on business a few days before Christmas. She has reluctantly made a date with a lover she hasn’t seen in 20 years, and she is nervous and apprehensive. Twenty years before, she made a difficult decision that has both troubled and haunted her ever since. She knows she’s about to come face-to-face with her past and she’s hoping for some redemption and resolution. She also wonders if she can somehow pick up where she left off 20 years ago and start again.

An exciting chance encounter changes everything. Now, not only will she face the past with hope to rekindle an old romance, but there is the possibility that this chance meeting will bring her love and happiness she never thought possible. Once again, she will have to choose. She will have to make the right decision. She will have to believe that Christmas miracles can still happen.

First Impressions

Yeah, I know, I judged the book by its cover! But can you really blame me? Just look at that thing! However, I couldn’t believe how heavy the eventual subject matter was for a novel set around Christmas time. The entire book focuses on the moment, or in this case moments, when you are presented with two different paths in life, and you can only choose one to travel down. Will you be making a huge mistake so that you live the rest of your life in regret, or will all of your dreams come true? It’s not the most awful or depressing book I’ve ever come across, but it just didn’t create that warm and fuzzy feeling I was expecting.


Decisions, Decisions

So back in the day Olivia had a whirlwind affair in New York with a man named Andrew, but she left him to marry someone else and start a family. Fast-forward 20 years, her husband is dead, and she’s now wondering about the one that got away. Did she make a mistake all those years ago leaving Andrew behind? Did she ever really love her husband Carl? Was her daughter conceived in guilt? Gah! Too many intense questions for the holidays.

drama cat

Olivia decides to reach out to Andrew and see if she can finally find answers to all these questions. She travels to New York to meet him, and while waiting on her favorite Christmas bridge she meets another man named Brett who falls in love with and proposes to her in the span of 2 days. No exaggeration there. Literally 2 days! Now Olivia is faced with yet another life-altering decision. Should she rekindle her long-remembered romance with Andrew, or embark on something new with the free-spirited Brett? F*ck me, I can’t handle this much drama around Christmas!!

dear santa

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

Series: Nope. I can’t even imagine how much more drama could be created for a sequel.

Should you read it? Believe it or not, this book actually ends on a high note! Still not exactly the kind of thing I want to cozy up with in front of a fireplace, but if you like a high amount of drama mixed in with your Christmas miracles, then by all means grab a cup of hot cocoa and have at it!

Smut Level: Olivia and one of the numerous men presented in this book manage to go at it like rabbits,  although it isn’t too descriptive.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. 183 Pages. Amazon Digial Services, Inc.

What do you Have Against Romance? 

I READ ROMANCE NOVELS! There, I said it. To an infinite internet audience that I will most likely never meet. But to admit this to people I know? Honestly, it is terrifying. Can you believe that whenever someone asks me what book I’m reading, 9 times out of 10 I will lie because I don’t want them to know I’m reading romance? And to say I have dedicated a blog to the genre? It’s embarrassing. Now isn’t that silly? To be afraid of judgement for something that I love doing. But alas, you can’t ignore the stigma which seems to surround this entire genre.


“I’ll read anything but romance.”

“Romance novels are porn for bored housewives.”

“The writing is terrible.”

If I had a nickel for every time a blogger sent me a comment like this, well I’d have a shit ton of nickels. Most people out there try to disassociate themselves from this genre completely. But what’s wrong with a little romance? The most common criticism I hear from people is that the writing is terrible. I have read some amazing novels in this genre, with some of the best writing I’ve ever come across in my 25 years. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons, Both Sides of Love by Kimberly Wenzler, The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski, the list goes on and on.

Another common thing I see is that people are basing this “terrible writing” off of one romance novel they read. One book. That would be like me going into the mystery section of the bookstore, picking a book at random, and basing every book in that genre on this one book. Doesn’t seem very fair, does it? I talked about this with someone at BookExpo America, and she put it so much more eloquently than I could: you shouldn’t judge a book by its genre. Believe me, just because it’s a romance doesn’t mean the writing is awful.


Visitors to my blog will often tell me that they don’t read romance, but they want me to recommend a romance novel for them. I’m happy to, but it’s not that easy people. Romance is such a varied genre, and incorporates so many other genres that it really depends on what you personally like to read. Do you prefer historical? Contemporary? Fantasy, sci-fi, war, paranormal, young adult, mystery, suspense? You might actually have to do a little research to find a plot which interests you before you pick a book at random.

Sex on the Brain


Yes, most romance novels feature sex. But guess what? Sex is actually a big part of life. You and I wouldn’t be here if our parents hadn’t gotten down and jiggy with it. But I get it, some of you don’t like reading about the more intimate and descriptive details of sex. Here’s a little secret: not all romance novels have detailed sex scenes. Just look at Pride and Prejudice. One of the greatest romance novels of all time, and not a lick of sex in the whole thing. Or any licking between Elizabeth and Darcy for that matter. There are also romance novels from this century which don’t feature any sex scenes. Again, it might take a little research, but you can definitely find them.

And now I have another little confession to make: I am an immature adult. For example, I think South Park is hilarious, and I watch The Simpsons about 5 days a week. I tell inappropriate jokes, and some of them even revolve around sex. Anything to make people laugh. I live off of people’s giggles. I probably have the maturity level of a 12-year-old, but I have been this way ever since I was 12!


However, can you believe that ever since I started this blog I have to monitor the number of sexual innuendos I might say in a given week? I can maybe get away with 1 or 2, but any more than that, and my family and friends will chastise me, “Oh Lauren, ever since you started that blog you’ve got sex on the brain.” Uh…no, I don’t. I’m not a sex addict. It’s not like I look at a banana and see a penis instead. I’m just an immature smart mouth. Again though, I’ve been that way for over a decade, before I even started reading romance novels, and this blog is not the sudden light bulb explanation for my immaturity. It’s not like people who read crime novels are constantly thinking about killing people, or the best ways to hide a body. Right?


Unrealistic Expectations

“You know that you won’t meet a guy like in one of your books, right? That’s not how it happens.” Wait a minute! You mean I won’t fall in love with my neighbor who will also happen to be a sex god billionaire? Well shit! I might as well dedicate the rest of my life to celibacy and just give up on meeting my prince charming right now! My neighbor is a 65-year-old Vietnamese woman named Alma. I wasn’t really holding out hope there.


Yes, I am 25 and single, and someone cautioned me with that statement above. This is another one of those things which really irks me, mainly because it’s questioning my intelligence. Do you also have heart-to-hearts with Twilight fans to warn them that vampires don’t exist? Do you boycott mystery novels because they imply that bad guys will always be brought to justice?  You wanna know what expectations I get when I read a romance novel? It makes me think that two people can care about each other enough where love is actually possible. That sex can be enjoyable. That a man can think you’re beautiful even if you aren’t stick-model thin. So, are you telling me that those things aren’t actually possible? That I should settle for a guy who is just into sex rather than getting to know me as a person? Because if that’s the expectation you’re trying to give me, I think I’ll stick with being single for just a little bit longer.

no thank


So what exactly am I trying to say here? That you are required to love romance novels as much as I, otherwise you’re dead to me? No. Here is what I’m trying to say. Don’t write off romance, and don’t laugh at those of us who like it. And if you do like reading romance novels, try not to feel ashamed that you do. You’re not alone. I also get if it’s not the genre for you. Hell, I don’t read thrillers because they make me nervous. But if you’re judging it just off of one romance book you read years ago, then maybe it’s time to give it another try. Not every romance novel is like 50 Shades of Grey, and Fabio doesn’t grace every cover. August is National Romance Awareness Month, so I’m here to let you know that there are some great romance books out there, and there are some great people out there who read them. Not that I’m one of them or anything. Don’t forget, I’m an immature smart mouth. But I’m proud of that fact 🙂


Short Stories by Marcia Carrington

Below are mini reviews of two short stories written by Marcia Carrington. The tales are both very distinct, but they are definitely quick reads. Like, really quick. Like, the one is only 15 pages.

adamAdam, My Guardian Angel

Nancy is at the end of her rope. Her husband has left, she’s been convinced that she committed a crime at work, and believes her family is too busy to listen to her woes. All of these unfortunate circumstances have led her to the seaside, where she’s contemplating ending it all by committing suicide. As she rethinks all of the things which are going wrong in her life, a man appears out of the ocean. He’s her guardian angel, Adam. Definitely a serious scenario, but I couldn’t help but wonder what the guy was wearing. Swim trunks? Speedo? Angel toga? Or totally commando?

All joking aside, it was heartbreaking to read about someone who has given up on life, and thinks that there is no other option but suicide. Adam helps her to see she still has something to live for: her family. It makes you realize that even if you don’t have a guardian angel, there is usually somebody out there who is willing to listen. Whether it be a friend, a family member, or even a stranger, help is out there. My favorite part of this short story was the ending. It describes how Nancy was able to move on with her life after her talk with Adam on that beach. She was able to repair her relationship with her family, and open up to them about what’s been troubling her. And although she still encountered hardships in life, it showed that life is still worth living, even if you encounter a few speed bumps along the way.


Jeremiah and Georgina’s Christmas

In the week before Christmas, Georgina is stuck working on an ad campaign in a woodsy hotel with her arch nemesis colleague, Jeremiah. He’s the ultimate lady’s man, and annoys Georgina to no end. But as the two are forced to work together, will they be able to fight their growing attraction for one another? Kind of sounds like a Hallmark Christmas special, doesn’t it? I mean, can you think of a more romantic setting than being in a secluded hotel with snow all around? I guess it could also be a horror film in the making.

jeremiahIdyllic setting aside, I did have a few issues with this story. Firstly, the writing was a tad simplistic. Practically every sentence of dialogue ended with “he said”, or “she said”. Sounds silly, I know, but it was really distracting after a while. It wouldn’t hurt to maybe throw in a “he exclaimed”, or “she responded” in there. Secondly, her relationship with Jeremiah could have used another layer of depth. Instead of just hating him for being a womanizer, maybe they could have also had a work rivalry going on.

All in all, my biggest issue with this story was how Jeremiah and Georgina came together at the end. She has hated this man for years, and the only reason she starts to look at him any differently is because other people basically tell her to do so. It’s not that he started acting any differently, or even treating her with more respect, for her to suddenly change her opinion of him. Lastly, just when Georgina starts to open up to the idea of being with Jeremiah, he proposes! Talk about jumping the gun! Maybe they should go out on a date first? See if they have the same taste in movies? Does he keep his socks on while having sex? Does he pick his teeth with a straw after eating? Do you know this man at all?!?!


The Reporter and the Girl MINUS the Super Man by S.C. Rhyne

I’m not gonna lie, I had some issues with this book.

What’s it About?

the reporterWelcome to the rabbit hole…I am the last person in New York City who would fall head over heels in love. Independent. Self-possessed. Why would I want to f**k that up? My online dating profile at simply reads: “Just looking.” So why am I obsessing about Jon Sudbury? Jon, the reporter, is vanilla as a milkshake and has probably never tasted rice and beans on the same plate before we met. At least that’s what I thought. Why can’t people remain simple and predictable? All I want is control, not to be sent hurtling at maximum speed into the unknown. Nothing about our story makes sense. The thing is, I can handle desire, lust, passion, even betrayal…But love is another world altogether. And this is not a love story.

First Impressions

Intriguing cover art, but what the f**k did I just read? Sabrien and Jon might take the cake as the most dysfunctional couple I have ever encountered. Talk about an unhealthy relationship! Neither really has any redeeming qualities. He’s stoned half the time and she brags about how smart she is. They argue constantly, and in general don’t seem to like each other. I can’t even say that at least they have the sex, because honestly their physical relationship is nothing spectacular. The synopsis wasn’t lying when it said, “this is not a love story.” No kidding!

The Main Characters

Jon and Sabrien are either experiencing extreme cases of PMS, or they’re bi-polar. Their emotions were constantly switching from moody to seductive, insulting to cuddly. Moodiness aside, what really confused me about this book was why Sabrien or Jon put up with each other at all. They initially met online, and during their first phone conversation he cusses her out. The fact that she was still willing to meet him in person makes me question her sanity. She then complains that his teeth are nasty, they don’t connect sexually at all, he smokes pot, does coke, they yell, and to top it all off they don’t have anything in common. In spite of all of this she insists she loves him. Can anybody explain this to me in a logical way?

helpI really want to have a convasation with this girl about her concept of love, because it appears to be warped. She says she loves him, but any time Jon tries to be intimate, or cuddle with her, or suggest that they freakin’ live together she gets all pissy. There was one scene in particular where she said she was actually repulsed by him, and when she saw the real him she realized he was ugly. So what does she do after she comes to this realization? She tries to get him in the mood for sex. Seriously, what?

Their Physical Relationship

Just…no. I’m not a huge fan of BDSM in general, but I can usually tolerate it to a certain degree. The whole dominant vs. submissive power play, pain is pleasure stuff, sure I’ll deal. But I had trouble stomaching the scene portrayed in this book. I’m sorry but the drinking of somebody else’s urine simply doesn’t do it for me. Then after the scene plays out Jon suggests that they have sex, and Sabrien goes off an a temper tantrum accusing him of just using her for her body. Chica! Not five minutes ago you were forcing this guy to drink your bodily fluids, but having sex is a no-go area for you?

nopeThe Writing

At times I had issues with this too, as certain attempts to be clever rubbed me the wrong way. For example, one of the chapters was entitled, “I have STD”. Sabrien says how it burns and itches, that you see it portrayed all the time on TV, and that you need to use protection while having sex. Then at the end of the chapter you find out that STD stands for Self-Explanatory Typical Dysfunction. Sorry, but I don’t find this funny, and I laugh at just about everything. This technique was also employed to highly suggest that Sabrien was pregnant. Sabrien talks about how the doctor confirmed her suspicions, she’s 12 weeks along, etc. when in reality she was talking about her tumor. It was more along the lines of blatantly misleading the reader rather than leaving something open to interpretation.

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

Series: Stand-alone

Should you read it? I personally couldn’t get into it, but if you do give it a try let me know what you think.

Smut Level: Confusion abounds.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $9.99 Paperback. CreateSpace Independent Publishing. 346 Pages.

Risk Factors by Calisa Rhose

Is there anything sexier than an EMT? Seriously! They usually wear a sexy man uniform, and save lives for a living. I mean, sure, the EMT in this novel comes with a rather extreme amount of baggage, including a daughter, and keeps terrible hours, but still. Gotta love the uniform.

risk factorsVivian is the new veterinarian in town, and she’s having some trouble fitting in. The locals question if she’ll ever be as good as her predecessor, and the fact that her parents are world-renowned wildlife vets makes it seem like she took the easy road as far as animal care is concerned. Pause. Cheese and crackers the people in this town are judgmental! Who knew the field of veterinary science could be such a cutthroat gossip circle? Unpause. Viv hasn’t been around very long when a gorgeous male of EMT named Connor comes into her shop with his daughter’s pet, and starts sniffing around if you know what I mean. Hint hint, wink wink, nudge nudge. Ok, you want me to spell it out for you, he thinks she’s hot! The only problem is, Connor is extremely protective of his daughter’s feelings. After his wife walked out on the both of them without looking back, he’s wary to ever bring another woman into their lives who might abandon them once again. See what I mean? Baggage.

First off, this book is an extremely quick read at only 153 pages. Normally, I love quick reads. You’re in, you’re out, boom, you’re done. However, with this book I think the shortened length was actually a hindrance. I feel like we never really experienced any depth to the main characters. For example, Vivian references her best friend Patsy multiple times, yet we never see Patsy, and she never has one conversation with her throughout the entire novel. It may seem silly, but trust me on this one. Viv was dealing with so much hot and cold from Connor, as well as demeaning comments from her douche-hole excuses for parents, that she would have had to dish things out with her best friend over a margarita…or maybe five. Hell, if I were facing the same problems as Viv in regards to crappy parents, pretentious townsfolk, and a sexy man who didn’t trust me enough to meet his daughter, I’d probably bypass the margaritas and go straight for the tequila shots.

Another issue with the shorter length of the book was that it really only allowed us to delve deep into Vivian’s character, but not really Connor’s. Vivian is very open with Connor regarding her strained relationship with her parents, but Connor is sort of a closed book, and we are only offered a brief glimpse into the demons he keeps hidden from those around him. At the beginning of the novel Connor references a roadside accident he responded to years beforehand in which a woman died. It obviously left a big impression on him, and yet he never talks about it again for the rest of the book. Another example in which we don’t really get to delve deep into the issue at hand is during a conversation between Vivian and Connor’s daughter, who admits that she sometimes catches her father crying by himself. Is this because of the fact that he’s a single father? Because his mother abandoned him when he was little? Because they actually made a Fifty Shades of Grey movie? I don’t know, we never find out why.

In spite of this surface level glimpse of Connor, there are two things which are indisputably true about his character: he’s a highly skilled EMT, and he’s an amazing father. I mean, the guy let his daughter keep a skunk as a house pet. The only problem is that when it comes to his interactions with Vivian, he tends to act like…well, a dick. Don’t get me wrong, he really likes her, she really likes him, and they have a shared love of seafood. However, at one point they are having a conversation about Connor’s parenting techniques, and Connor comes right out and says that Vivian doesn’t understand because she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Even more shocking than that is the fact that she didn’t immediately kick him in the ball sac. Common courtesy isn’t something you should have to teach the man! Believe it or not, he actually does something way worse than this. Towards the end of the book, Viv and Connor’s daughter are involved in a near-fatal car crash. His daughter sustains minor injuries, but Viv spends several nights in the hospital recovering. After checking on her once, Connor leaves the hospital, and never…comes…back! Dude! Major WTF moment man! You don’t just leave the woman you love alone in a hospital, without ever calling to see if she’s ok, because you mistakenly thought she put your daughter in harm’s way. Not cool man. Not cool!

In the end, Connor is able to redeem himself, and come through for Vivian while remaining a loving father. I’ll admit, it was difficult at times to completely follow Connor’s line of thinking, or to even like him as a person. That being said, you can tell that he struggled with the many responsibilities related to being a single parent, and in the end he just needed a partner who could help shoulder some of those burdens. Yeah, he may have only known Vivian for about a month and a half before determining she would be the future mother of his child, but that’s life I guess. It was definitely interesting to read about a character as conflicted as Connor, who appears so strong and confident on the outside, but refuses to let anyone new into his life because of his continual fear of abandonment. He says how he doesn’t want to introduce Vivian to his daughter, as he is concerned that she’ll eventually leave them both behind just like his ex-wife did. However, I think he was also afraid that if someone as wonderful and caring as Vivian came into their lives, his daughter might focus more attention on Vivian, thereby abandoning the close relationship she once had with her father. Damn, that’s some Dr. Phil sh*t right there.

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

Series: Nada

Should you read it? The guy is an EMT, therefore the answer is always yes. It’s short and sweet, but also kind of frustrating. There are some issues which aren’t really resolved, such as whether or not Viv was accepted by the judgy judgy townspeople, and she basically breaks off all ties with her parents, but in the end you also have a few awwww moments.

Smut Level: There was some pretty intense foreplay, and the two get interrupted during their sexy alone time a LOT, but overall it was good.

Beautifully Broken by Christa Simpson

in jeansWhen it comes to books and movies I try to keep my own self-created rule in mind: go in with low expectations. Personally, I have found that whenever I expect something to be all fantastical and amazeballs, I am ultimately disappointed because it didn’t live up to all the hype. On the other hand if my expectations are low to begin with they’ll have nowhere to go but up. When it comes to Beautifully Broken I kind of broke my own rule. I really enjoyed the first novella in this series, Finding Destiny, and after reading it I couldn’t wait to just dive right into the next one. Therefore, I feel I have myself to blame more than anyone for being slightly disappointed with this book.

To recap the first book, we were introduced to three women who were stranded along the side of the road due to unforeseen car trouble, but they were magically rescued by some dashing hunks on snow mobiles. Va va vroom! That novel mainly focused on the love story between Destiny and Skylar, but there was also some side action taking place between Skylar’s brother, Matty, and Destiny’s friend, Felicia. Although they just met, they weren’t afraid to immediately jump into bed together and stay there for the majority of the weekend. However, things changed rather quickly and dramatically when, at the end of the book, Matty is almost killed when he’s hit by a car and pinned up against another vehicle. Although touch and go for a while, we discover that Matty is going to recover, but we don’t hear what happened as far as him and Felicia were concerned.

And now we enter book two. I was sooooo excited to start this book, mainly because I absolutely adored Matty’s character in the previous novel. He was so funny and care free that I couldn’t wait to read more about him. Unfortunately, yet understandably, after his accident he has become a bit more serious and downtrodden. The doctors believed he would never walk again, and he spends a lot of time in a wheelchair, but after some extensive therapy he can walk at times with the help of a cane. But whatever happened between him and Felicia? As it turns out, nothing. After that almost tragic weekend they broke off all communication, and aren’t reunited until Skylar and Destiny’s wedding, which is the focus of this book.

Although I still enjoyed this book it paled in comparison to the previous novella, and I think the main reason was because it was kind of confusing to understand at times. Firstly, the descriptions of Matty and his wheelchair were kind of hard to follow. I’d be picturing him sitting in his wheelchair, but then in the next scene he’d be walking around with his cane even though it was never mentioned that he stood up, or that he even had a cane to start with. It might seem like a silly thing to get confused about, but Matty’s handicap is a main feature of this novel which leads to many an argument between him and Felicia, so it was pretty important to understand exactly what was going on as far as his wheelchair was concerned.

Another confusing aspect was the plethora of arguments between Matty and Felicia. Frankly, I couldn’t follow a single one. It seems that they are both upset over the fact that what could have been the beginning of an amazing relationship between them was shockingly interrupted by the accident. When they come together at this wedding, he admits that he likes her, he knows she likes him, he says he’s falling for her, that they are in a relationship, that they are a couple, and yet she argues that he is being confusing and that she doesn’t know how he really feels. What the f*&k?! Is she deaf? She would always say he was speaking hypothetically, and seemed to turn every admission of feelings he had for her into an argument. I simply couldn’t understand why. Eventually it comes out that she’s afraid of commitment, and he’s afraid of marriage, but their fights were so difficult to follow that it made it difficult to sympathize with either character.

As I mentioned earlier, Matty’s accident is a prominent feature in Beautifully Broken, but I wish we could have delved a bit deeper into both Matty and Felicia’s reactions to the incident. We learn that although Felicia went to the hospital following the accident, she never made her presence known to Matty, so when he finally came to he was under the impression that she just abandoned him. Although we sort of learn their own inner views regarding what happened that day, they never really discuss those reactions together, or resolve the issues which came about because of it. For instance, when Matty was pinned up against the car he wanted to give up because of all the pain, but it was only because of Felicia’s presence that he fought to hang on. He even compares her to an angel. As for Felicia, she stayed with him the entire time waiting for help to arrive, and never let go of his hand. Yet they never share these details with each other. Instead Felicia will make some hurtful comment about how Matty can’t help at the wedding because he can’t even walk, and he’ll bring up his handicap in a conversation having nothing to do with the accident, accusing Felicia that she could never stand to be with someone as broken as him. Again, it was confusing to follow at times.

Matty and Felicia were pretty hot and heavy in the first book, and although their lovin’ is extremely delayed in this novel with having to wait over 60% before the deed is done, once they finally get there it is all kinds of steamy. Holy snorkelblat do they both like their dirty talk. I almost wish we could have gotten a closer glimpse as to what went down between them in the cabin during the first book. Flashback please! After his accident Matty was always concerned about his ability to perform in the bedroom, but let’s just say that Felicia helps make sure that isn’t an issue. He’s still got it!

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*An ARC of this book was provided by Black Widow Publishing for an honest review*

Series: Destiny series, book 2. Despite the fact that this book didn’t meet my extremely high expectations, I am still excited to read the next one! The third female friend from book one is finally going to get her love story with Matty’s other troubled brother. Hopefully between now and it’s release I can lower my expectations so I don’t end up with the same issue again.

Should you read it? Definitely read Finding Destiny first. It sets up the entire back story between Matty and Felicia which is a definite necessity. It is still a good read, but my biggest piece of advice would be to take your time when reading one of their arguments so you can try and understand the reason behind their quarreling.

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Finding Destiny by Christa Simpson

Happy day before Valentine’s Day everyone!! Are you all ready to spend the day with your significant other in a blissful bubble of love? Well, I’m single, so I’ll probably be spending tomorrow watching Oscar nominated movies by myself, and curling up in bed with my Kindle. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m totally looking forward to it. Seriously! Sort of my idea of the perfect weekend. Anyway, to get you in the Valentine’s Day mood, here’s a great little romantic Valentine’s novella to light your fancy. Enjoy! finding

Honestly, when I first started reading this book I was slightly concerned that I had gotten myself involved in a horror story instead of a romance. It starts off with three young, single women who decide to go away over Valentine’s weekend for a spa trip. On their drive to the spa they get lost in a terrible snow storm which causes their truck to break down. They all decide to get out and walk for help, but one of the ladies sprains her ankle during the journey. Along come three burly men on snowmobiles who take them away to a secluded cabin in the middle of the woods. And cue creepy horror music!

Don’t worry though! This book has nothing to do with pretty women getting hacked to bits by masked villains. Instead, it’s a tale of love between Destiny, one of the women from the broken down truck, and Skylar, one of the snowmobile men who rescued them. Skylar and Destiny are immediately smitten with each other, but they are hesitant at first to act on their desires. Probably because they just met about 35 minutes ago. On the other hand Skylar’s brother Matty, and Destiny’s friend Felicia aren’t afraid to make use of their stranded situation to jump all over each other. Literally. Those two definitely know how to rattle a headboard, and it makes it more and more difficult for Destiny and Skylar to keep their hands off of each other. Although I really enjoyed the lustful exploits blossoming within this tiny cabin, I couldn’t help but feel bad for Natalie, the girl who sprained her ankle. She wears glasses, has a bad injury, and yet no hunky man is interested in sweeping her off her feet. Poor gal.

This book does take place over Valentine’s Day, but thankfully it isn’t filled too cheesily with flowers, boxes of chocolates, hearts and kisses. It’s mainly a weekend sex fest for all involved, except for Natalie of course. That being said, considering the female lead’s name was Destiny, it’s pretty obvious that there was going to be a play on words with her name and their “destiny” to fall in love. I think it happened at least twice, and although each time was extremely cheesy the rest of the book wasn’t too bad. The sex between our characters was oh so wonderfully hot and descriptive. Again, a few headboards were banging, they steamed up some car windows, and there was quite a lot of nylon ripping involved. Personally, I’d be pissed! Do you know how hard it can be to find a good pair of nylons? And then to just have some tattooed man come along with his bulging muscles and start tearing them in the heat of passion and…ok so maybe I wouldn’t mind so much.

I did have one main issue with this book, and that is it was too short! Not just because I liked it so much and wanted more, which I did, but also because Destiny and Skylar basically fall in love over the span of a weekend. I get it, that’s maybe possible, but the two pretty much went from sex bunnies to soul mates in the blink of a snow storm. It was a minor issue I had, but definitely not a deal breaker. There is a pretty big event which happens near the end of the book though that brings them closer together. For such a short novella it’s surprising how much actually takes place plot-wise. Skylar was a delightfully possessive man, and was quick to stake his claim for Destiny over his brother Matty. Although the sex scenes were passionate and fun to read, I think my favorite parts of the book were the interactions between the two brothers. Matty knows how smitten Skylar is with Destiny, so he constantly flirts with her in an attempt to get a rise out of his brother. At one point, Skylar has to go to Matty to ask for condoms, and it is one of the most hilarious scenes in the entire book! Overall, this short novella has a bit of everything: comedy, sex, love, family. A great Valentine’s read!

BWP Book Tours Button*A copy of this book was provided by Black Widow Publishing for review*

Series: The Destiny series, book 1. I can’t wait to read the next book, Beautifully Broken, which continues the love story between Matty and Felicia. And it’s a full-length book which has me super duper excited!

Should you read it? Why not? It’s a quick and steamy read which you can probably finish before going out for Valentine’s Day dinner. Or while you wait for a table in a crowded restaurant.

Smut Level: We’ve got nylon ripping going on here for crying out loud!

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Forever with Me by Kristen Proby

This is the last book in the With Me in Seattle series. But WHYYYYY?!?!?!?! I loved every single book in this series, and this one was no exception. It’s the end of a saga, the end of an era, the end of our lives as we know it! Ok, that may have been too much, but at least you get the picture that I’m so sad to see this series draw to a close. In each book we are presented with a pretty strong female lead, as well as an affectionate male character with alpha tendencies who isn’t afraid of public displays of affection. If anything he might want to be a tad more reserved when it comes to those PDAs. Although reading about the sexual activities that these characters engage in in a public setting is quite scintillating.

forever with meAt the end of the previous novel in this series, Breathe with Me, we were offered a glimpse at the beginning attraction between the Italian half-brother of the Montgomery clan, Dominic Salvatore, and their unofficial family party coordinator, Alecia. In this novel, we see how Dominic has been pining for Alecia for over a year, but she constantly refuses his advances. Enter some advice from a few of his strong-willed sisters, and Dominic is finally able to win a coveted date from the lovely event planner. Their subsequent romance is heated, passionate, but of course not without some issues.

Honestly, of all the books in this series Dominic is probably one of my favorite male characters. He’s loving and caring, Italian (hello sexy accent), he owns a vineyard, and has a tendency to forget his English when sexually active. Mamma mia! He also doesn’t take no for an answer, but not in a chauvinistic or infuriating way. He isn’t out to just conquer Alecia sexually, but realizes he is drawn to her and she to him, and that they should explore these feelings they have for one another. Alecia was also a very strong-willed female character with her own successful business, and she didn’t really let her romance with Dominic turn her into a withering heap of fragility. When compared to the other books, this one probably had the tamest of all side stories. There were no stalkers out to kill either of our main characters, or an overwhelming media frenzy which threatened to tear our two lovebirds apart. They basically just had some trust issues, but who doesn’t? Alecia doesn’t believe in everlasting true love, and Dominic takes a situation out of context and assumes that Alecia cheated on him. You know, typical relationship issues.

Even though I am saddened to see that this series is coming to a close, this book was actually a great way to end it. Because Alecia is the main party coordinator for all of the Montgomery family’s events, we get to see all of the characters come back from the previous novels. It was fun trying to think back on all of the stories and couples that had come before, and see what their lives are like now after their happily ever afters. And although there are eight books in total with this series, each character is so unique with their own personality that it wasn’t too hard to remember all of their individual stories. That being said, there is a family tree at the very end of the book which was definitely welcome to keep them all straight. Kristen Proby is a master of detail and has the ability to make you feel like one of the gang. The female characters in particular are really fun, especially when they get drunk, and are prone to discussions concerning the multiple orgasms their husbands give them. Sounds like a fun night out on the town. Count me in next time ladies!

I would definitely recommend this entire series to those of you who are looking for great tales of romance, as well as some deliciously descriptive, yet not disgusting, sex scenes. The love these couples have for each other is intense, passionate, and I think every single male lead can be described as a more than talented alpha male in the sack. Each book is also quite funny, and is guaranteed to make you laugh a few times. Not at the sex though. Oh no, that is no laughing matter. More of a “let me fan myself immediately from all of this steaminess before I pass out” matter.

Series: With Me in Seattle series, book 8. The last…one. Cue tears.

Should you read this series? Do it!! The first book in the series is Come Away with Me. Get started already! I could actually see myself re-reading this series again in the future. Now, if you don’t like this series, well then I’m sorry for singing it’s praises here.

Smut Level: This entire series is habanero pepper level of hotness. They do it everywhere, some characters are kinkier than others, and there are some very eloquent dirty talk speeches. That being said, each book usually has a pretty romantic love story going on in addition to wild and crazy sex, and each couple has a unique story. In essence they are ideal beach reads.

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