Tag Archive | sexy

Passion Unscripted, Anya Sharpe

Passion Unscripted, Anya Sharpe

Passion Unscripted by [Sharpe, Anya]

Genre:  Romance, erotica

As readers of my reviews know I have a weakness for film star romance so when i saw this it was “Hurrah”. I did enjoy it but…didn’t love it as I expected to.

The sex scenes are well written and hot, and as its an erotic novel I expected the book to contain plenty of them, but I did feel they made the romance take a little bit of backseat, that they overtook the main story a little. As I said, its in the Erotic genre though so for many readers that’s exactly what they want.

Carson, what a way to lose the love of your life, dumped by a Dear John( or Carson!) note, she didn’t even have the guts to face him. He’s kind of blaming all women though for her actions, turned into a love ’em and leave ’em guy. Lets face it, the ladies he picks are exactly relationship material anyway.
His friend Grey is concerned as he can see that Carson does respect one lady, seems to have feelings for her that he’s pushed down deeply and from his position he can see that Lara also has feelings for Carson – though at that point he’s such a manwhore I did wonder why?

When they do get together that reputation haunts them, with echoes of his past affecting the present and the future. There are secrets here too, from his ex and from Lara and they have the potential to derail the fledgling relationship.
Despite all that I did like Carson, he’s not respecting the ladies he sleeps with but they know the score, and he’s pleasant and polite to all of them including ones that are just freinds, acquaintances, work colleagues. I felt he was still grieving his breakup really – having told himself he judged her wrong he now doesn’t trust any lady or himself to see if they are genuine.
He does respect Lara though, initially pushing her towards Grey, til grey tells him no. And after looking at himself and his actions he finally takes the plunge with her, but wants to date her, take things slower.
That was sweet as were the gifts, but each time something crops up I was so angry at Lara for immediately thinking the worst, and running. Every Time. She knows how the press work, how rumours are created from nothing, how photos misconstrued and yet every time she rushes off, believes the worst.
I so felt for poor Carson and wondered if with so little trust they could make things work.
Its not just the romance though and the media issues, but there’s a snippet of suspense and danger creeps in towards the last quarter that added to the story and was fun to read.

Stars: four, a fun read but I wanted to shake Lara, ask her to have more trust.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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Hooking Up, Helena Hunting

Hooking Up, Helena Hunting

Hooking Up by [Hunting, Helena]

Genre:  Romance

This was a fun, spicy read, but not my favourite of Helena’s books. I really enjoyed reading it, its a worthy 4 stars for me but not the spark that makes a five.

One of the reasons for that I guess is that its a very sensual read, and much of that spice covers a huge chunk of the story but only a couple of weeks in time, meaning the rest of the story tended to get a bit crammed. It’d be hot car encounter – very steamy and then…its several weeks later.
Though those gaps were covered it left me thinking did they really have no contact? what else went on? It just left me feeling a bit disconnected.

The characters were great, Amie, perfect girl, but her past has lead her to try to save her family any more embarrassment and take the safe route.
She thinks Armstrong loves her, they will be happy and if he doesn’t set her on fire, well, his respectability makes up for that.And then at the wedding reception all that goes so very wrong, and she faces what she knew in her heart, Armstrong isn’t the good guy, the one for her, she deserves better.
She knew it really but wanted to please her family, and ignored all the little clues, started moulding herself with Armstrong’s not so subtle hints into a stepford wife type lady.

Armstrong, he really was a prig, so self assured, so much belief that his way was the only way. He doesn’t regard blow jobs as cheating, tries to spin it that he was doing it for Amie, so that he could last longer with her later…WTF, the man’s incapable of seeing his actions are ever wrong.He even says in their sphere its accepted that a man have a couple of mistresses and they don’t count, that Amie is making a fuss over nothing, bringing bad publicity to the family. she’s had a lucky escape.

Hottie hook-up – I think that’s what Amie’s best friend Ruby calls him, ( as requested by author I’m avoiding naming him!!) – is gorgeous, a great man but there are things he’s keeping quiet about for reasons that are clear later . I loved him, so kind, genuinely so, and so sensual. He knows what he’s doing when it comes to sex, and he’s happy to explore further, to have fun. He was perfect for Amie, but she needed to get rid of Armstrong first and that guy’s not going easily….

There are some funny moments here, bits that made me smile, ( the luggage inspection) and some sad ones too.
The sex, wow, hot and steamy and fitted the story so well, its just that at times it took the place of possible plot expansion, filled the time when the story could have been moving forward.
Its not a hugely long book, 4373 kindle locations – and the sex does take up a disproportionate amount of time I feel, making that actual story a bit rushed. I would have liked parts to be more expanded. Still, that’s just me, others are happy to have less story and more sex…you can’t please everyone.

Stars: four, a fun and sensual read.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Burn for You, Slow Burn Book 1, J. T. Geissinger

Burn for You, Slow Burn Book 1, J. T. Geissinger

Burn for You (Slow Burn Book 1) by [Geissinger, J.T.]

Genre: General fiction (adult), Romance

A quick word about Genre headings. I’m so glad this is General Fiction and not the (for me) dreaded Women’s Fiction. I find that so demeaning, so sexist in this supposedly enlightened times. Are we really saying a while category of books will only appeal to women?
Anyway, that off my chest and on to the book.

I’ve enjoyed many of J.T.Geissinger’s stories, both paranormal and contemporary, so clicked request soon as I saw this. I read it last night and loved it.
I was thinking about what to put in my review this morning earlier, and the dialect was something that struck me. So often its done badly and I cringe ( all those “doona worry lassie” “ach, I’m noo worrit ye fashit man” really make me want to hurl) but done well, as here, it makes me feel I’m there in that setting, that the characters are real. And I’ve never been to any part of US, but love books with this Southern setting, and have read so many I feel I know the place and the people.

Jackson, what a rude surly man he appeared to be, and his first dictatorial appearance was enough to have many people in tears. That he made one of her staff cry infuriated Bianca, and she lets him have it. Full flow, and she’s an amazing range of expressions, one for every circumstance. Of course after meeting her mother and her staff I can see where she gets it from.
I loved the banter between the two, the Slap, Slap, Kiss as it gets termed later 😉
Bianca’s a real star too, hard working, been burned by a man in the past, thrown everything into her restaurant. (I so want to try some of those recipes – though not okra, that stuff just seems to look like mush, jelly, slime, when I’ve seen it cooked!)

Of course the more we see of Jackson (Jax) and Bianca the more I fell in love with them. I loved hearing their innermost thoughts, seeing what the felt as opposed to what they were saying or doing.
Circumstances are such that they get thrown into an engagement, and Bianca learns more about Jax and begins to see beyond his grouchy exterior to the man hidden underneath.

Its a fabulous story, full of sharp, fresh humour, sizzling sex scenes, characters that I felt I knew, could understand, could “see” in my mind. There something really sad too, that was unexpected, and made me shed a tear or two, that’s how emotional and real this book felt.

Stars: five,  a very worthy five star read, and one to keep for re-reading.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Adam, Doms of the Silver Screen Book 2, Marie Tuhart. Breaking Hollywood, Samantha Towle

Adam, Doms of the Silver Screen Book 2, Marie Tuhart

Adam (Doms of the Silver Screen Book 2) by [Tuhart, Marie]

Genre: erotica, Romance

I struggled with book one in this series as it was just so short, but having enjoyed other books by Marie I wanted to give this series another go. Hollywood – one of my trigger tropes so I really wanted to like this series.
Sadly though this one is longer, just over 150 pages compared to 65 for book one, I still didn’t really enjoy it. It was the characters that didn’t work for me more than the story. Adam made me so so cross, and Nicki, well – I wanted to say Stand up for yourself woman!

Adam as a Dom was a complete failure IMO. I only know BDSM from books, but everything I’ve ever read suggests Doms consider their Subs needs first, and are always very composed, restrained, in control.
Adam isn’t, he’s angry, hot headed, jealous even though he has no cause, and to me he doesn’t deserve to be a Dom. Having someone’s trust means earning it and treating it as something precious, but he just steamrollers over Nicki’s feelings, ignores her wishes to get the result he wants. Bad Dom!!
And yet Nicki is so busy blaming herself for everything that when wrong. I wanted to shout at her, Stand up for yourself, he’s in the wrong, not you. They seem trapped in a vicious circle.
They reel from crisis to crisis, getting together for some hot and heavy scenes off-screen, and then something – usually Adam’s jealousy, crops up and its all off. I could see where the yoyo-ing was exhausting and why Nicky had enough.

When they do finally try to get to the bottom of their issues, to work things out I wasn’t convinced that what they did was the answer, they had much deeper issues, and needed to do so much more IMO before they stood a chance as a happy couple. Sometimes Love just isn’t enough, its needs some outside help and intervention.

A series that sounded perfect for me, but which has turned out to be one I’m better off without. As always though this will be perfect for other readers, even though its not one for me.
I do like Marie’s style, and have enjoyed other books she’s written, so though I’ll stay away from more of these I’ll happily look at others she has.

Stars: 2.5, there were bits I enjoyed but overall it was a miss for me.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

 

Breaking Hollywood, Samantha Towle

Genre:  Romance

Well, I loved the Storm reads, loved the Alexandra Jones ones too – years back when I read them, but like other readers pretty annoyed that series never finished. Its a real pet hate of mine that.
So I know I enjoy Samantha’s writing style, but this book didn’t quite hit the spot 😦

I guess that “hilarious” tag should have warned me. I’ve found in the past that’s usually humour that feels forced, and that’s exactly what I found here. At first I did find their banter funny, but it got old pretty quick, and at times felt like two teens were joking around not two adults.
I was disappointed too that almost all the book seems to take place in his apartment, and though he’s a Hollywood star he seems to be able to go out incognito pretty easily, and there wasn’t any actual film connection other than them spending a couple of pages talking about his past films and reading a script.
He could have been anyone, there wasn’t anything of the film world included and for me that was a big lack.

The romance was cute, I did feel some serious Lust between them but Love? I’m not sure about that. Whatever they feel Gabe falls at the first hurdle though, and even though the evidence looks solid he didn’t even question it internally, just waded in with blame. #Fail, Gabe!
There’s an event that makes this part clear to see coming from a long way off, and if it had been a bit more protracted then I could have got past that. However when the sh it hits the fan it blows over very quickly, and Ava just knuckles under and comes back. Gah, he was Awful to her, I wanted her to make him work a bit more, not just accept his apologies.

The pygmy goat….well, I’m keeping quiet on that except to say goats are Spawn of the Devil, I grew up with them, and Pygmies are no different 😉 They eat everything except what they should, smell atrocious – even the females ( though I don’t know what sex Gucci is it wears pink so I guess female), and how the heck she house-trained one that’s only 4 months old… a dog, cat, even a rabbit would have been a better choice, goats don’t belong in flats.

Its a decent read, if you like forced humour then you’ll probably love it. I’ve read other books where the humour has spoiled the story for me, but where its made it a five star read for other people. Thankfully we all have different tastes so this could be just what you want, it isn’t great for me though.

Stars: three, an OK read, but not the story I was hoping for.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Killing June, A Dark Romance, (Saved by Sin 1), May B. Bridges 

 

Killing June, A Dark Romance, (Saved by Sin 1), May B. Bridges 

Killing June: A Dark Romance (Saved By Sin) by [Bridges, May]

Genre:  Romance, Erotica.

I enjoyed this book, a sensual romance with a very interesting story-line.
I’m always interested when the BDSM side of a story comes with a psychological angle and here June exists to help Alex cope with her past. Is it June that needs the pain or Alex?
Alex wants to leave June behind but she’s tangled up with some dangerous characters and its not an easy decision.

Alex is a very successful business woman, has two parents that adore her, traditional southern church going types, and she thinks if they knew about June they’d be ashamed of her. So she keeps that part of her life very separate, and presents a different front to them, a career woman doing well, who only has time to pop back home to visit and attend church with them every few weeks…

In her alternate life she plays the part of June, her own creation, a woman who dominates men for money, all arranged by her old school friend and former lover Rob.
He’s an odd guy and a bit of me felt sorry for him when Alex is talking about their childhood. It doesn’t excuse the man he’s become though, a dangerous criminal, with some strange delusions about Alex and what she needs. He’s helping her track down someone from her past, as well as arranging clients for June.
They have a strange relationship, she seems to think of him as the sad, gentle boy she knew, not the vicious drug lord, moneylender he is now.

She’s busy with one of her clients when Cade and two other men burst in. That’s a part that I’m uncomfortable about. She sees first hand how Cade works, how he’s a hired mobster, happy to dish out physical violence.
When he’s with Alex we see another side to him, and I really liked that man but he’s also the man that is part of the underworld, works for Rob, doing whatever he needs to keep people in control.
Its why I usually stay away from MC or Mafia style romances, I have issues accepting that level of violence as OK, that men can dish it out, beat up, blackmail people, commit murder,s  and still be a romantic lead.

I really enjoyed the psychology of this though, seeing just why Alex craved the pain, seeing how it let her mind free from the guilt she carries, even though it wasn’t her fault. It was interesting the way she created June, thinking of her as a separate person with differing needs, and yet the past interacts with June too, dictating how she allows people to respond to her, what she wants/needs them to do.

I liked how Cade took care of Alex, how he tried to understand her, anticipated her needs, tried to keep her safe even when it meant risking Rob’s wrath, knowing just what he is capable of doing to get his own way.
When things went wrong between them I understood his reasons, and sympathised with him, even though I don’t like the violent part of him.
That drama part was perfect for me, played out well, lasted some time, not just over in a couple of pages. That’s just how I like the emotionally sad parts of stories to be.

Stars: Four, a great read, perfect suspense, great balance of sex v story with neither dominating, but I just can’t go five stars and accept that Cade can be a romantic hero, knowing he’s also a violent thug and very likely a killer too.
That’s my issues though, won’t affect others of course so it could be a five star read for you 😉

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Strong Enough, Melanie Harlow.

Strong Enough, Melanie Harlow.

Strong Enough by [Harlow, Melanie, Romanov, David]

Genre:  Romance, LGBTQIA

I’ve enjoyed some of Melanie’s past novels and was delighted to get this for review – I do so like a good M?M romance, somehow there’s so often the tenderness, the real romance side that’s often lacking in hetero novels. And this book had bags of that, along with some very sensual heat.

I loved Maxim, he’s just such a true gentleman, loves his mum and little sister, opens doors for ladies, always polite, that sort of guy.
He wants more than the life waiting for him in Russia, with its anti-gay stance, and has taken a 6 month visa to the US to follow his script-writing dreams. Sadly though, like so many he’s unprepared for the vicious, cruel world waiting to take advantage of an innocent.
The guy who’s meeting him and showing him to his new home doesn’t show up, then having a drink in a bar wondering what to do next his luggage gets nicked, and he’s homeless, jobless, cashless all in one fell swoop.
Luckily Derek’s sister has a penchant for strays, for helping people and animals and when she hears whats happened she invited Max to stay with Derek, then rings Derek and tells him 😉

Derek’s kind of  a neat freak, a place for everything and everything in its place. His friends take the mickey but its how he is, along with his long held dream of wife and family. Times passing though, he’s approaching forty and hasn’t got there yet despite trying hard.
Of course when we see him with Max its clear why, he’s really not that into women, maybe he’s bi, but its clear he wants Max. He’s had an upbringing though that’s taught him Gay Is Bad.

What a disservice parents do when they inflict their bias and views on their kids, and how hard it is to come out and go against parental dictates.
Its not good parenting doing that, but sadly for so many people its what they get. I get the feeling its not so much homophobia, as not really understanding it and fear that drives his parents.
Never the less Derek is not going to act on his attraction, it makes him angry with himself and Max, just knowing its there. And then it all gets too much and he snatches Max into one searingly sensual, erotic, life changing kiss that shocks them both.

Gah, Derek made me so angry with his hot/cold, not-my-fault attitude, and poor Max was totally confused.
I did understand and sympathise with Derek though, he’s repressed these feelings for so long, won’t even acknowledge them to himself, so he’s had his world turned upside down when he cant do that with Max.
Max isn’t going to be anyones dirty little secret though, had to hide himself in Russia, isn’t doing that again…

So can they make it through, can they find a HEA or is their romance doomed?
Its heartbreaking at times wanting them to be together and yet seeing Derek’s barriers fall down tight again.
I really enjoyed their story, the emotions, the sweetness, and of course the angst.

Stars: five, a really emotional read, with a sweet and yet steamy romance.

ARC supplied for review purposes by author

Exclusive, A VIP Desire Agency Romance, Mel Teshco

Exclusive, A VIP Desire Agency Romance, Mel Teshco
Exclusive (The VIP Desire Agency  Book 3) by [Teshco, Mel ]

Genre:  Romance, Erotica

Ping, Rock-star romance and erotica? Yes please 😉 I was keen to read this, sneaked it up the TBR list but its wasn’t a must-keep-reading book. I enjoyed it but its not a keeper/re-reader for me.
Its quite a short read at 125 pages, and I hadn’t realised that. Maybe if I’d read books one and two I would, but I hadn’t, simply noticed they were there but that each novel was a stand alone but connected one.

I felt that Amos, the definitely no-relationships Amos, fell in love and changed his mind about that far too quickly for me.
Likewise that Tiffany was ready to give up everything for a man she’d known a few days when she has a serious and compelling reason for working in the VIP Agency.
I guess the books brevity meant that was inevitable, but its why I so rarely read novellas, they just don’t have enough detail and timescale to make the stories feel real.

There’s some sensual, erotic heat here, really well written, not just the same scene churned out ad-nauseum as often happens, and that fitted the story perfectly.
There was a secondary thread, an issue that was one of the reasons Amos didn’t do romance, that if the book was longer would have been a really great addition, but it was simplified and soon over 😦 Tiffany’s issues too with the man she thought she was in love with would have been good if expanded but…

As a full length book I think I’d have loved this, the writing is good, the background plausible and the characters great, but it just felt too abbreviated, plots over almost before they start and with the romance full pelt from the off, that it didn’t make for a great read for me.  Others love novellas though, perfect length for them so you choose.

Stars: Three, at full length this would probably be a five, but its just too short and condensed for me.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Hunter’s Captive, Cassandra Bella. Memory of Love, JJ Keller

Hunter’s Captive, Cassandra Bella

Hunter's Captive by [Bella, Cassandra]

Genre:  Romance, Mystery and thrillers

I enjoyed this story, but parts were a little hard to take, and though they moved the tale to where it needed to be they lacked real credibility.

Paxton, rich girl, daddy’s girl, trust fund baby, shared a beautiful summer with Hunter ten years ago. Then it all went wrong, and he’s been bitter about it ever since.

He’s focused on his career, and the boy from the poor side of the town has done well, is a top agent and he thinks he’s moved on.
Then the case he’s on involves Paxton. He can’t bear to think of her locked up just because its her wedding day to the jerk who’s finally being brought in. So….he kidnaps her.
That part one of the hard to take bit. Would a professional really do that? and get away with it with his boss and colleagues? Still, they’re on the run now and it seems her fiancee has sent killers after them.

Paxton is so angry at Hunter and thinks he’s just doing this out of revenge. Her fiancee a wanted man? Please ( roll eyes), he’s not like that she says, he’s a good man, her father admires him, he’s a solid businessman.
She won’t believe Hunter until the others track them down and they’re running ( well driving) for their lives, at breakneck speed down the mountain side. How did they find them?
Well, that’s the second hard to take part. She’s an intelligent woman and would she really do that? I can see the first part, out of concern and worry but the second thing she lets out, perleease…she’d have more sense surely. Or maybe she is just a dumb blonde…

Anyway, there they are running out of danger and the tensions are high. The attraction between them that each thought was gone is clearly still there, and before long they’re talking about the past, have become close again, very close and are into some erotic and sensual sex. Can they have a future?

Well, first thing is to escape the danger they’re in..

Its a fun read, some hot and heavy sensuality, some danger and excitement and made for a decent read to pass away a coupe of hours.

Its not one I’d re-read, but I did enjoy it despite those couple of irritations in inconceivability factor.

Stars: four, a decent but one off read for me.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

Memory of Love, The Valkyrie Series, JJ Keller

Memory of Love (The Valkyrie Series) by [Keller, JJ]

 

Genre:  Romance,

I was so taken with the synopsis that I didn’t do my usual checks so missed that this was thrid in a series, and also its a novella. My bad.

Lots of readers love them, but for me they just don’t work, I don’t feel they have the space I need to understand the story, the characters or really get to feel for them.

Its a good read if you are following the series, and of course, if you like novellas.

I was able to keep up with the story OK, but it would have worked better for me if I’d read the first two books, as the characters and plots follow – or I assume they do – from things that happened back then. It meant I had to guess at parts, and how each person was connected.

Its a fun read, I liked the Viking legend part, something not often seen in fantasy sadly, as its very interesting and can create some great stories.

If you’re happy with shorter reads this could be a great series for you. For me it’s just not in-depth enough, even if I had read the first two novels.

Stars: three, interesting premise, and a good series if you like shorter novels.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

 

I Knew You Were Trouble, An Oxford Novel, Lauren Layne

I Knew You Were Trouble, An Oxford Novel, Lauren Layne

I Knew You Were Trouble: Oxford 4 by [Layne, Lauren]

Genre:  Romance, Humour

I’m always wary when a book is classed as Humour, too often I find its overdone and forced, but Lauren’s books aren’t like that, they’re perfect for me with lots of humour but of the more subdued type. The sort where words and undercurrents provide the laughs, where its what’s left unsaid that is often the part that makes me smile.
Its often clever, subtle snark, not in-your-face, dumbed down comedy.  Its not laugh your head off humour but the gentle sort that makes me smile, feels so satisfying and provides a counterpart to the the emotions floating round the story.

This one was typical, full of drama and action, people with real issues, hard backgrounds, sad stories, who just knuckle down and get on with life and don’t give up, don’t turn it into drudge and bitterness, where the humour shows us they can still smile, can still appreciate the lighter side of life.

I loved Nick back in Lincoln and Daisy’s story, and here we get the full-on Nick experience.
Part time Oxford worker, part time fiction writer and part time bartender, he’s a busy man and yet still finds time to help others, appreciate his freinds. I felt he and Taylor were just perfect together.
If only they could see that…Taylor is prickly though and something about Nick rubs her the wrong way, she snarks at him and he’s reciprocates in a similar vein. Methinks the lady – and the gent – doth protest too much. Its kind of how their freinds feel too.

Taylor though is about to move to a new apartment with the love of her life…until she finds a note at the flat in place of Bradley. The jerk dumps her by a note on moving day. What a first class burke he was, gone back to his old love.

Taylor has a sad past, orphaned young, brought up by a career driven aunt and now she’s no-one left.
She very focused on her career, knocked hard by Bradley’s actions, and feels lost. Lucky she’s got her good friends who can see the attraction between her and Nick, and are on hand with some advice!

Its a fun story, lots going on, great characters that are very believable. You can feel this story, these people could be real, imagine it happening to people you know.
Life is a b itch sometimes, we do get cut back just when it looks like things are going well, and that’s where good friends come in.

I love the whole Oxford crew, Lincoln has a special place in my heart, he and Daisy are my favourite couple, but Nick comes close to Linc, he’s such a lovely man, can see under Taylor’s act, supports her even when he thinks she hates him.
His actions towards the end were hard to take but I understood how he felt, loved the way that played out, the deep emotions that plot engendered.
Have to mention Twinkle (Twinkie?) I adored her, a great character, fitted the story really well 😉

Its another great read, and I know it Should be the last…but Lauren, what about Hunter and Brit? I’m sure there’s loads of us rooting for them too.

Stars: five, a fabulous story, not quite up to Lincoln and Daisy, but very close.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers
 

Twist, A Dive Bar Novel, Kylie Scott

Twist, A Dive Bar Novel, Kylie Scott

Twist by [Scott, Kylie]

Genre:  Romance

I love well written rock star romance and Kylie is the Queen of the genre IMO.
This series isn’t rock band romance, more romance with cameos from rockers ;-), but its so well plotted and carried out, plays out the same magical way the Stage Dive books did and is perfect for me.
I’ve recently reread Dirty, the first Dive Bar story, so the characters were fresh in my mind. I enjoyed Vaughn and Lydia’s story even more the second time round, so was keen to see to the characters and where they’re going now. But beards….I don’t do beards. Face fungus. Yuk. Still each to their own 😉 I guess I can Just About live with a sharp neatly trimmed short beard….

Joe reminds me of Ben in description, bearded, huge, quiet, and Ben isn’t my favourite character so I wondered what I’d think of Joe.
I liked him, which surprised me. He’s a kind of gentle giant, and he’s a real people pleaser. I feel for him, I’m one of those, find it really hard to say no, and end up with too much on my plate.

Poor Alex, what an embarrassing situation she found herself in, and what a total jerk Eric was. He is anyway, but his reaction here really took the biscuit! She was crushed, (oh – crumbs…) gutted, destroyed. She’s really put herself out, traveled across the country when normally she is so stay-at-home she finds it hard to interact with people, and works from home much of the while.
She’s got one good friend, Val, who’d chosen her outfit. Val’s style of dress is perfect – for Val, not so for poor Alex. There she is dragging her suitcase, dressed in skintight LBD and sky high heels, feeling pretty uncomfortable and Eric hasn’t a clue who she is. She thinks he’s kidding, he thinks she’s a stripper or something hired by the family for his birthday. Then the truth comes out, she’s been emailing Joe, who used Eric’s photo and details….oops. Big shock.
I so felt for her, its like everyone’s worse nightmare, certainly hers. She’s taken herself out of her Comfort Zone, hoping the guy she’s been emailing, who seemed keen on meeting her when they started, will be delighted to meet her. Instead she’s humiliated. Not a good start to a relationship.

Through a catalogue of events Alex ends up staying longer than planned and becomes friends – and more – with Joe. He’s really taken by her but doesn’t do relationships after getting his heart broken years back, but freinds, he can do that. Friends with benefits when the friend is as hot as Alex, he’s in! They’re in a hot and steamy relationship, kidding themsleves they’re just friends, insisting to family and friends there’s nothing more when its plain to the others how it is.
Then tragedy strikes, everything gets changed, someone from the past creeps in – and I love characters like Star, fantastic the way Kylie does them.

Its a great read, so good to catch up with Eric – even though he’s a real self obsessed jerk, Pat, Andre, Nell, Rosie, Vaughn and Lydia. The Stage Dive guys and girls drop in too at the end and it was fun seeing them a couple of years after we left them.

Kylie does a great line in strong females, great drama that’s a mix of sadness, pathos and lively, fun action, men that can be jerks but also men that can be sensitive, thoughtful and gentle. The sex scenes are hot and sensual, the funny parts are perfect, the sadness nicely drawn out and the comic scenes off the wall quirky at times, snappy one liners that could be missed at others.
I found rereading the first book, and when I reread the stage dive ones that I’d missed some of the humour first time round, being too engrossed in seeing where the story took me next, so I’m already anticipating rereading this one.

I’m really looking forward to the next story, and at some point to what/how Kylie is going to do/deal with Eric. How can she make this overconfident, ar sehole, this selfish, immature guy into one we readers will like? But I have no doubt through her magical writing she’ll do it 😉

Stars: five, another cracking read, meeting old freinds and new. A great keeper book for rereading.

ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgalley and Publishers

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