Teaching the Boss by Mallory Crowe

You gotta love an office romance. There are just so many desks, stairwells and elevators where two lovers can find passion!

What’s it About?

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Business-school student April Morgan is ready to graduate–from school, from the secretary pool, and from never-gonna-happen fantasies involving Sam Hunt, her hunky billionaire boss. But when Sam’s girlfriend of the week pushes her too far, April finds herself quitting on the spot with only a mountain of student loan debt to keep her company. In steps Sam’s worst enemy, his father, with a job offer she can’t refuse.

Sam was born into privilege, but refused to live life with a silver spoon in his mouth. After a decade of hard work, he’s on the verge of taking his business public and proving to his tyrannical family that he can make it without their help. When he finds out that April is working for his father, he knows she’s been turned into a pawn in his father’s twisted games.

Despite Sam’s warnings, April is determined to prove she doesn’t need him to make in New York City. But when she finds documents that could lead to Sam losing everything he’s worked for, April realizes that she and Sam have to work together to save the empire they’ve both worked to build.

First Impression

This book certainly started strong, but sort of fizzled for me as it went along. I did love that the first kiss between Sam and April was in an elevator. The only way it could have gotten better was if they’d gotten stuck in said elevator, but we can’t always get what we want! What I didn’t particularly care for though with their first foray into tonsil hockey was that April was on the verge of quitting after hearing Sam discuss transferring her to appease his current jealous girlfriend, and when April was ripping him a new one he basically just kissed her because he knew it would shock her into silence. And then they both realized how much they liked it.

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Really? That’s the impetus for them taking things to the next level, he essentially wanted to shut her up? At least April had a rather longstanding crush on the guy. For Sam he acknowledges that he checked out her curves pretty soon after she started working for him, and that he came to rely on her professionally as his administrative assistant. Only when she decides to quit does he realize what he’s about to lose. Here’s the thing, I know their connection goes deeper than that. I knowwwww it. They just do a pretty poor job of verbalizing it to each other, to the point where it seems like she’s just happy to finally get him in bed and he doesn’t want to lose her as an employee. Not as romantic as I’d hoped.

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Welcome to Family Feud

The other primary feature of this novel was the feud between Sam and his father, Donald. In my opinion it went on for way…too…long. Sam has always had a troubled relationship with his father, who he insists is determined to make sure Sam fails in the business world, as well as in his personal life. This animosity is heightened even more when Donald buys the majority shares in Sam’s company just as he plans to take it public. Here’s the problem. It is unbelievably evident that Donald is actually a loving father who just doesn’t always go about communicating this to his son in the best way. Gee, another issue with verbalizing emotions. Sounds familiar, no? While Sam insists that Donald has underhanded intentions throughout the entirety of the novel, I personally thought it was obvious that Donald was just looking out for Sam.

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This made Sam’s resolve to hate his father seem rather immature and close-minded, especially towards the end of the novel when we see he’s willing to set his father up to spend time behind bars to pay for stealing his company out from under him. What bothered me even more though was that they both sort of used April as a pawn in their interactions with each other. Neither man seems capable of stepping up to lay all their cards out on the table. Instead they relay just a bit of information to April to disclose to the other, without ever revealing the whole story. This frustrates April to the ultimate breaking point where she eventually just confronts Donald to speak the truth. Unfortunately we have to wait around until the last couple chapters of the book for that to come about. For the rest of the novel I was tempted to start banging my head against a wall, or maybe force Sam and Donald to remain in a locked room with each other until they hug it out in a mess of filial tears.

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Series: Billionaires in the City, book 1. I’m not sure I’ll continue with this one. We are introduced to a rather intriguing character towards the end of the novel who will be the primary focus of our sequel, but it’s nothing I’ll rush out to pick up.

Final Impression: I’ve definitely read better, and I’ve also read worse. It wasn’t a terrible read by any means, but for a rather major part of it I was just kind of thinking to myself, “mkay…boop dee boop”. The story just didn’t grab me. There was one scene towards the end that was the most emotional moment in the entire novel for me, and almost brought me to tears. Funnily enough though it wasn’t because of the words or actions of either of our main characters, but rather a supplemental character. I guess it shows there’s potential for an added depth to the emotional connection of a future story, but it just wasn’t here for me in this one.

Smut Level: While I didn’t get the trapped in an elevator steamy make out scene that would have been fantabulous, we did get a rather delightful romp on Sam’s office desk.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $3.99 Kindle Price. Sprinters Press. 203 Pages.

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Company Ink by Kat Colburn

A delicious office romance with a secretive twist.

What’s it About?

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I think this might be someone else’s story…because it certainly doesn’t feel like mine anymore. I can still remember a time when I was happy, when I didn’t go to sleep each night with a stress headache, and wake up each morning and cry because I no longer recognized my own life. A sick parent, a job I can’t stand, a company I hate, and too many people counting on me to stick it out and be strong. This can’t be my story. I guess I’m an unlikely heroine anyway- sarcastic and feisty, and more than one person has called me foulmouthed. Yeah, I guess it’s pretty unlikely that there is a hero and a white horse in my future.

Enter Dan Kelly. The new smoking hot vice president at this horrible company. He’s offered me a way out, one more shot at my dreams and the life I always wanted. He stands too close to my desk with his cocky smirk and makes it hard to type, he pushes our workplace flirting until it’s all I can do not to beg him to bend me over his desk, he challenges me, makes me want to argue with him until our fights verge on something…more. He makes me feel alive like no other. He makes me feel like there just might be a happily ever after in my future.

The problem is…his mountain of secrets.

The problem is…we can’t cross that line or I’ll be fired.

The problem is…he’s my best friend and now I want more.

The problem is…I’m about to be sucked into a story I never imagined I’d be a part of, and I’m not sure if I can make there be a happy ending.

First Impressions

I really enjoyed this book! It was such a good combination of funny, romantic, slightly suspenseful, yet also kind of sad. Office romances are always a tricky thing, and must be handled delicately so that we don’t cross over into inappropriate work behavior/sexual harassment. However, this book cleverly avoids that scenario. Sure, there’s that first initial physical attraction upon first meeting for our lead characters, but they don’t take things further for a really long time. Instead what we see is a true blossoming of friendship. They help each other in work, he helps her with managing stress, and only by opening up through spending so much time together do they slowly start to fall for each other. I for one appreciated how natural it seemed. And sure, once their friendship is secure we do see some fabulous sexual innuendo thrown in there too!!

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Trapped

The work factor of this novel was just as gripping as the romantic side of things. Now, I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t fully comprehend whatever the hell technology it was these two were working on. However, that wasn’t really the most important facet of it. Instead it was all about Dani, and how we’ve seen her become trapped by something she used to love. How this company is running her into the ground with stressful hard work that she doesn’t receive appropriate compensation for. Yet she’s unable to leave because she needs the money to help pay for her mother’s cancer treatment. And that’s when Dan comes along.

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The two of them are forced to work together on a big international proposal, the commission from which would allow Dani to finally have enough funds to help her mother, quite working for a company she hates, and finally get back to the woman she once was before corporate suits and fake personalities buried her true self. She can finally focus on living her life and escape from the depression she’s slowly steeping herself in. And I just found this part of the story so compelling. We find this strong woman at her wits’ end. At first she is hesitant to work with the domineering Dan, but they quickly discover how similar their personalities are. They have the same interests, laugh at the same jokes and truly become best friends. He helps her smile again, and uncover the sassy side she’s kept hidden for so long. They both want to take things to the next level, yet also don’t want to rush the possibility of ruining their friendship. Not to mention breaking a few HR rules along the way!

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Taking Their Time

After a while I really started to wonder if we would ever be privy to Dani and Dan breaking those HR rules, because damn do we have to wait a long time for them to get around to it!! Again, when push comes to shove I’m happy we were able to see them develop an emotional connection beyond anything physical, but good God! Eventually there was so much sexual tension I was ready to burst. While you do have to wait until a good three quarters of the way through the novel to get to the good stuff, lemme just tell you it…doesn’t…disappoint! I’d say we get a good full chapter of details, and my word do they make every second of it count. Simply delicious!

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

Series: Nope!

Should you read it? Personally I really liked this one, and I think it’s a good one to take to the beach. You can’t help but root for Dan and Dani to eventually find a way to be together. There are some secrets to Dan that I won’t give away here, but let’s just say they also impact his decision to hold off on taking things further with Dani. There was one element brought into the very end of the novel that I can’t 100% say was necessary, but overall I thought it was a fun, sweet, sexy read.

Smut Level: We have some warming up in a pool, shower, and against a window. See, I told you it didn’t disappoint!!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $12.89 Paperback Price. Self-Published. 245 Pages.

Henry by Andria Large

I love me an office romance. However, I think I can safely say this is the first one I’ve ever read where we aren’t privy to any office sex scenes. Shocking!! It’s definitely implied they do it at least once in his office, but we don’t get any of the juicy details. The scene “fades to black” as it were.

What’s it About?

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Henry Beck, the gorgeous CEO of an advertising company, was in need of a new personal assistant. He expected HR to hire someone older, more experienced, maybe even with gray hair. Who he got instead was the beautiful, young, single mother – Claire Russell. A woman who he is having a hard time keeping his eyes off of…Claire never expected her new boss to be the most gorgeous man she’s ever laid eyes on. She also never expected him to be sweet to her two year old son, Ethan. But Henry is her boss and there is no future with him. Or so Claire thinks…Will Henry and Claire be able to fight the obvious attraction between them? Will Henry’s overbearing mother come between them? Or will a freak accident change their perspectives on life and what’s most important.

First Impressions

As mentioned, this is an office romance, so right off the bat we know we’ll be dealing with some ethical dilemmas. Sex between boss and employee? Yikes! However, I will admit office romance novels are kind of a guilty pleasure of mine. That sense of the forbidden can really amp up the lust. Therefore, I couldn’t help but be surprised that it takes these two so long to do the horizontal deed!! About 60% of the way through the book as a matter of fact. Their desire for one another is extremely palpable, so you’ve gotta give it to them for waiting a few months and getting to know each other outside of the office before tearing their clothes off. Unfortunately, just because Henry waited so long before officially pursuing Claire, I can’t really call the man a professional, and here’s a few reasons why.

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Professionalism in the Workplace

Henry is the head honcho in the office, and Claire is his personal assistant. Within the first month of her working for him, he already has a pet name for her: darlin’. In addition to Henry, we see anther co-worker in the company, who just happens to be Henry’s best friend, refer to Claire as sweetheart. I’m sorry, have we lapsed back into the days of Mad Men? I get pissed when someone refers to me as “girl” in the office. I’d probably have a coronary if someone went as far as to call me “darlin'”. 

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From Near Death to Smooth Sailing

The flow of the plot was rather interesting in this novel. On the one hand it was good, on the other…not so much. As previously discussed, these two don’t officially start a physical relationship until 60% of the way through the book. The influencing factor which finally tipped the scales was that Henry experienced a terrifying near-death experience. In that moment, he was able to admit to himself that Claire and her son were the most important people in his life. He wasn’t going to wait anymore. Life’s too short for that. Claire also realized in that moment that the thought of living without Henry wold crush her. In that sense, I kind of appreciated how they came together.

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After that though? I kept waiting around for one final twist to the plot. Surely everything can’t come together at 60% without one final hiccup or problem to come along. Nope! Everything is basically smooth sailing from that point on, and it all ends with a Merry Christmas kind of happily ever after. Almost like a build-up of anticipation that leads to nowhere. Usually with these kinds of books there’s some kind of argument or drama surrounding another woman, like an ex-girlfriend. In this case it was Henry’s overbearing mother who didn’t approve of Claire, someone who had a child out of wedlock. Again though, Claire and his mom’s main disagreement came at that 60% mark. They eventually make up with no real fuss.

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Series: The Beck Brothers, book 1. I might read the next book featuring Henry’s brother Sebastian. No rush though.

Should you read it? Meh. It was just ok. The characters were likable for the most part, especially Claire’s adorable son Ethan, but the writing was rather sub-par. There were many grammar mistakes, including your standard your/you’re and there/their errors. However, this might be the first time I’ve ever seen “heals” used instead of “heels”.

Smut Level: These two get naughty in his garage. Seems like the ultimate private location. That being said, garages do have the tendency to echo, and in this case the noise drew the attention of Henry’s mother, who proceeds to walk in on them. Oh my!

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $0.99 Kindle Price. Self-published. 177 Pages.

Not Planning on You by Sydney Landon

Well, this one was definitely better than the first book in the series, Weekends Required, but that’s not really saying much. You know how some people say they can never not finish a book? I’m starting to realize that I’m the kind of person who can’t not finish a series. I have now finished two books from the “Danvers” series, both were lackluster reads, and yet I can’t bring myself to not read the next one at some point. Maybe I’ll have to stick to the three strikes and you’re out rule. You hear me Sydney Landon? I’m giving you one more chance to wow me before I give up on this series completely! Maybe…probably…oh hell I need help.not planning on you

Ever since the corporate merger at the company Suzy works for she has been having trouble refusing the advances of the new CEO, Grayson Merimon. Why has she been constantly turning him away? Hell if I know! He’s handsome, wealthy, totally into her, and has made it quite clear that he wants to ravage her body. Yeah, sounds like something you’d really want to avoid. Puh-lease! I guess if it didn’t work out it could make office interaction awkward, but I don’t even think this was one of Suzy’s main reasons for always pushing Gray away. After almost a whole year of saying no, Suzy finally decides to give-in to her attraction for the sex in a suit CEO, but of course only for one night. You gotta give it to Gray, the dude has the patience of a monk!

This book had a much larger build-up of sexual tension than Weekends Required, which was kind of frustrating. There was definitely a tease going on here, considering that it was very early on in the book that Suzy decides to have her one night with Gray. But alas, on the evening of their intended sexual romp, Suzy falls down a flight of stairs and breaks her ankle, thereby preventing any physical extra-curricular activities with Gray for quite some time. So close! Seriously, Gray deserves a freakin’ medal for all the waiting he has to do. Consider this a lesson to all women who wear heels that are way too high for practicality: they could postpone your sexual fun with a sexy businessman.

I have two major complaints with this book. The first relates to the writing style. It sounds weird, but it was almost written too well. I noticed this in the first book as well. The grammar is just too perfect, to a point where it made it sound like the characters were from the 19th century. In my opinion, it was sort of unrealistic to have two people in this day and age speaking so formally with each other. It also made the eventual dirty talk extremely unenjoyable. I just think it’s weird to read dirty talk and think I’m in English class. Although, that would make for a very interesting English class. I might actually pay attention.

And now for my second complaint, and biggest problem with the book: the stalker side story. Normally, I have no problem with this kind of side story. If anything it adds a lot of suspense to the book, and makes for a more interesting read than just a story about two people falling in love. The issue with the stalker story in this novel was that it had such potential, but it completely fell apart at the end. Basically, Gray slept with a woman a few months before getting together with Suzy, and she’s refusing to let him go. I’m talking harassing phone calls, text messages, and she even claims that Gray is the father of her unborn child (which we all know isn’t true, come on!). In a word, the bitch is crazy. She makes things ridiculously rocky for our couple, and even results in them breaking up for quite some time. Personally, I would have called the cops about 100 pages ago, and given the girl an old-fashioned bitch-slap or two. Maybe ten. At the very end of the book this stalker slut comes to Suzy, and says that she was actually impregnated by a security guard she was in love with, but because her wealthy parents would never approve of their precious daughter ending up with such a low-life she decided to frame Gray as the father. Suzy just says, “Well, you’ve made things difficult for us, but it sounds like you were under a lot of pressure.” Excuse me? That’s it?!?!?! I’m sorry, but people would have had to hold me back from this woman! I would have been like, “You made my life hell you stupid biatch! Now get out of my face, grow a pair of balls, and face your parents like a grown up!” Wow, I might have some anger issues.

Series: Danvers series, book 2. I can’t help it! The blurbs of the books in this series just suck me in, and then spit me out like unwanted gum from a gumball machine. You know, the ones where the flavor lasts like 30 seconds. Even if you know it won’t be good, you just can’t help yourself from giving it a try.

Should you read it? Don’t make the mistake I made and get drawn into this series. Sure, they aren’t terrible, but there are much better series out there to become addicted to.

Smut Level: Meh, nothing too memorable.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here

Insomnia by Bethany Bazile

This was the basic play-by-play as I read this book: mkay, hot dude has issues sleeping, goes to a therapist, they have some sex on her desk, dirty talk, possessiveness, some more dirty talk, book is almost over, not many difficulties encountered, hmm I wonder what’s gonna…holy crap cliffhanger!!Beuatiful men relaxing naked in bed

Xander Pierce is a hot Hollywood stud, who for some reason has trouble sleeping. The reasons behind his insomnia are never revealed to us, which was kind of annoying, but the book was really short, so it wasn’t too trying on my romance nerves. The only thing which helps him fall asleep is sex, so he has it…a lot. One of his sex partners suggests he speak with a therapist to tackle the underlying issue, so he gives in, thinking that he’ll find someone to give him some drugs to help knock him out. Tee hee, oh you naive little thing.

Avery has some secrets of her own, again which we never truly uncover, but we do know that she’s an orphan, and her only real family is her foster sister. She hasn’t had sex in over 3 years, until of course sexy man Xander comes for a therapy visit. Avery tries to keep things purely professional and avoid the electricity streaming between them, but she simply can’t resist his smolder, dimples, or numerous eyebrow lifts.

Not only did Xander know that Avery would eventually succumb to his sexual innuendos and suggestions, but we as the audience knew it as well. It’s only a matter of time. And when that time comes, it’s rough, hot, and sadly pretty quick. After so much build up from her continuously denying him I expected a little more foreplay, but they just went for it. Oh well. Xander is also a pretty big dirty talker, even when they aren’t having sex. He’s not afraid to say what he wants…or text what he wants for that matter.

I had no idea going into this novel that it was a cliffhanger. In hindsight, it probably would have been better to know ahead of time, because I was so confused as to why nothing really significant had happened almost 95% through the novel. I mean, yeah they had sex, but we still hadn’t discovered what plagued Xander’s nightmares, or what exactly happened in Avery’s past to make her so untrustworthy of others. The cliffhanger takes place at the very end of the novel, I’m talking last page here, and it was a big one. I think my jaw even dropped down to my chin. Now you know I’m not going to spoil it for you, so if you want to find out what it is you’ll just have to read it for yourself. Don’t worry, it should only take you about an hour or 2 to read, it’s so short. I can’t wait to read the next book, because although this first one was really sexy, I’m excited for there to be more of a storyline than just the sexual chemistry between the two main characters.

Series: Sexual Misconduct series, book 1

Should you read it? It’s not the most mind-blowing piece of literature, but it’s sexy, and it’s a really quick read.

Smut Level: So dirty, you might have to take a shower, a cold one that is.

Buy it on Amazon: Click Here

Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

This book is so freakin’ hot, and is the first in a series that is absolutely amazing! You definitely don’t want to miss out on this one, so be sure to bring it along on your next beach vacation. One of the best things about this book is that our two main characters don’t even like each other very much at first, but the sexual tension between them is enough to keep them coming back for more. Multiple times. Tee hee.beautiful bastard

Chloe Mills is an MBA student who really doesn’t like her boss Bennett Ryan, but she can’t deny the fact that he is gorgeous. Beautiful even. Get it, he’s a beautiful bastard. One night, the two of them are alone together in the office, one thing leads to another, and he ends up having sex with her against the windows of the conference room. You don’t need to wait around very long for this book to get steamy, and it just gets hotter throughout the rest of the book.

There is something about a good office romance that I just love, and this is without a doubt one of the best. Everything about this book is sexy, from the cover (yummy) to the urgent need of the characters to get in each others pants/pencil skirt as soon as possible. Their sexual chemistry simply can’t be denied. They can’t keep their hands off of each other, and I think that’s part of the reason why they are so resentful of each other. They’re both so focused on success, that anything else (including feelings for someone else) is considered to be a distraction. Ergo, their sexual activities are rough, angry, and full of trash talk. What more could you want I ask ya? Personally, I want them to make it into a movie!

Eventually our two love birds start to question if this electricity between them is something more than just sex, and if it could possibly be love. Perhaps it’s something they can’t work or screw out of their systems, no matter how many times they try to do so. Beautiful Bastard is definitely the best book of this series, but the others are still awesome. All are funny, sexy and full of characters you can’t help but love.

Series: Beautiful Bastard series, book 1

Should you read it? If you haven’t bought it yet you need to do so immediately.

Smut Level: This book might even be too hot for the beach.

Buy it on Amazon: Click Here

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

If you want people sitting next to you on the beach to stare at you like a weirdo because you keep laughing out loud with no warning, then by all means, read this book in public. I did, and I think my sister menacingly glared at me about 50 times. But I just couldn’t help it, this book is freakin’ hilarious. neanderthalI also have to give a shout out to the cover art, which is just adorable.

Janie is, how should I put this…a little strange. She knows an inordinate amount of detail about the most trivial topics, and can’t help but spout useless factoids whenever she’s nervous. When I’m nervous my face gets hot, my voice shakes, and my hands sweat like a whore in church. What can I say? We’re all different.

Janie just lost her job, her boyfriend and her apartment, all in the same day. Yikes! And I think it’s a rough day when my internet connection is slow. Anyway, who should come to her rescue, but the hot security guard she’s been lusting after forever, Quinn. Let’s pause for a moment. The guy’s name is Quinn, you just know he’s gonna be sexy as hell. Okay, unpause. Despite the fact that Janie acts like a nervous wreck whenever Quinn so much as looks at her, he can’t help but be smitten with her and offer her what seems like a dream job. What ensues is a frustrating sexual chemistry which isn’t resolved until the last half of the book, but it involves some nice office desk sex, so I won’t complain.

Overall, I really did enjoy this book, but there were two things I didn’t really care for. Number 1: Janie is unbelievably naive. I understand that she doesn’t do well in social interactions (she considers herself to be the neanderthal in her relationship with Quinn), and might not understand all of the subtle nuances in human behavior, but come on! The guy offers you a job, has a driver chauffeur you around in a fancy car, and you think he’s just a security guard? Open your eyes sweetie, and see the sexy hunk of burning millionaire standing right in front of you! The dude is loaded, and owns the company you now work for. I think I figured that out in about the first 20 pages.

The second thing I really didn’t care for was the storyline surrounding Janie’s sister. Apparently, she’s a bit of a criminal, and attracts the wrong kind of attention, like from other criminals. After a few cases of mistaken identity, a bunch of thugs assume that Janie is actually her sister, and try to take her with them to meet their crime boss. Quinn eventually gets involved because he somehow knows the criminals involved. I don’t know, it was kind of confusing. Anyway, I understand that the author was trying to interject some mystery and intrigue into the plot, but it didn’t really come together all that well, and simply detracted from the humorously awkward relationship between Janie and Quinn.

Now for the absolute best part of the novel. OMG the knitting group ladies! I never would have guessed that a knitting group could exist in this day and age consisting of women who were under the age of 60, but this novel has it. Each woman in the group is a riot, and provides for the majority of the comedy throughout the novel. You need advice on love? You go to the knitting group. They might get intoxicated on a fairly regular occasion and continue to knit sweaters while you recount your story of love, but they’ve got your back. There was one scene in particular which had me cracking up. It’s actually the climax of the book where thugs break into Janie’s home during one of her knitting groups, and attempt to kidnap her. Quinn just happens to be there with a gun, and the bad guys have guns as well. Just when you think a shootout is going to ensue, the ladies of the knitting group go all bad ass with the criminals; jumping on them, stabbing them with knitting needles, etc. When you mess with one in the knitting circle you mess with all of them!

Each book in this series revolves around a different lady in the knitting group, and I honestly can’t wait to read them all. Are they the best novels ever? Nah, not really. Also, just a warning: the author loves to drag out the sexual suspense to the breaking point, but when it finally does snap you can expect some juicy details. Nothing too graphic or explicit, but it’s pretty decent.

Series: Knitting in the City, book 1

Should you read it? Sure, why not? It’s not too long, and will make you giggle.

Smut Level: There is a lot more sexual tension than sexual action in this one. If you’re in the mood for something that’s sexy right away, then this definitely isn’t it. It’s more of a slow build.

Buy it on Amazon: Click Here