Review: Wild Licks (Secrets of a Rock Star #2) by Cecilia Tan

no-brainer

Title: Wild Licks
Author: Cecilia Tan
Publisher/Year: Grand Central Publishing 8/2/16
Length:   352 Pages
Series:  Secrets of a Rock Star #2

Overview

Pleasure knows no bounds . . .

Gwen Hamilton is always looking for a thrill. Not even running a secret BDSM club can fulfill her true desires. It’s only when she’s backstage at a rock concert and attracts the eye—and experienced hands—of guitarist Mal Kennealy that she finds that perfect combination of danger and excitement she’s been craving. Calling herself “Excrucia,” she revels in his uncompromising dominance each night. And yet by day, he knows her only as Gwen, his new escort for public appearances.

Excrucia blows Mal’s mind with her enthusiastic submission to his harshest commands. Even though he has a reputation for never seeing the same woman twice, he can’t help being tempted by the woman willing to fulfill his every fantasy. And when Mal discovers that Gwen—the sweet arm candy designed to soften his surly public image—is really Excrucia, he never wants to let her go. Finally he can indulge his absolute power. But dancing too recklessly on the razor’s edge could cut deeper than he bargained for . . .

My Thoughts

So we met Ricki and Axel and went through their story in the first book of the series and we knew that Ricki’s sister Gwen was the one that was really more involved in the BDSM lifestyle so it’s nice that we get to see her get her own story next.

Gwen as you will remember is just a few years younger than Ricki and she’s trying to make her way in Hollywood where she really wants to break into acting.  As all struggling actors in the world, she’s having a tough time getting her big break, and it’s at the suggestion of Axel’s management that she gets more visibility as being on the arm of Mal, one of the members of his band.  Being seen with Mal will get her face out there which is good for Gwen, and will also keep the Rough (their band) relevant since Axel is out in public with Ricki a lot and Mal will now have someone attractive on his arm.

The story from there though takes a very dark and naughty turn.  We know that Gwen’s not really that new to the BDSM world, but she’s never been in a full D/s relationship because the one that she was in years ago wasn’t really anything more than a guy using her for his pleasure.  So the irony of things here is that Mal is very heavily into the lifestyle and when they come together, it’s explosive.

Mal on the other hand has some very dark and twisted tastes even for some of those who are really into kinky things.  He’s a pain fiend and he also exerts such control and dominance over his partner that you have to be fully obedient and open to be with him.  When Gwen gets selected to be an after concert groupie for Mal to use as he wants, we see that things get heated fast.  There’s a chemistry between them that makes Mal question his rules from the very beginning since he’s so intrigued by her.

Where we go from there is kind of frustrating, yet really exciting nonetheless.  We see that Gwen really feels something for Mal and wants to have a reality relationship with him, yet Mal isn’t willing to go down that path since he’s been burned in the past by many women.  The thing is though that there’s something about Gwen that makes him take pause and wonder if it’s possible to be happy and when he’s stressed and horrible to be around (especially how his band feels while they are recording their new album), Gwen is the only one who’s able to give him piece and make him come back down to earth.

The lesson that we learn in this book though is that sometimes it’s just not enough – and that sometimes no matter how hard you want something, you won’t get to see it come to fruition.  That seems to be the case here with these 2 since there’s just too much against them, and even with the help of Axel and Ricki, it’s just not something that seems like it’s likely to happen.

All in all though, a great second installment to the series.  We’re starting to get some of the exciting bits that Ms Tan is known for, so taking this a step up from where i was with the first book.  There are still a lot of aspects of the BDSM relationship that i’m a bit off on since i feel like her style is a bit off from what i’ve read by other authors but that could just be style and nuance.  In any event, i have to wait a bit for the next book since it’s not out yet but at least then we’ll get to see how Madison and Chino get along since we saw them meet in this book and i think there’s something to be said for their interesting chemistry.  Have a great day!

Review: Taking the Lead (Secrets of a Rock Star #1) by Cecilia Tan

no-brainer

Title: Taking the Lead
Author: Cecilia Tan
Publisher/Year: Grand Central Publishing 1/26/16
Length:   277 Pages
Series:  Secrets of a Rock Star #1

Overview

When the rich and famous come out to play, nothing is off-limits . . .

Everyone knows Ricki Hamilton as the icy heiress living in a billion-dollar mansion, high up in the Hollywood Hills. But few realize that behind the gilded gates, Ricki is the mistress of LA’s most exclusive private club. A place where no fantasy is forbidden and no one goes unsatisfied-except for Ricki. If she had her way, she’d leave the business behind . . . until she meets the one man with the power to change her mind.

The hottest rock star in the world, Axel Hawke, has the requisite sexy look and bad-boy reputation. Yet even his biggest fans have no clue just how decadently dangerous he can be. From the moment he meets Ricki, he knows there is no other woman who will satisfy him. He can feel the heat hiding beneath her cool demeanor and he’s determined to stoke her flame.

Together Ricki and Axel indulge their every desire. The deeper they go, the more she craves. Submitting to Axel opens her eyes, and for the first time Ricki knows exactly what she wants. All she has to do is take it . . .

My Thoughts

I’m a huge fan of Ms Tan and i think that i had higher hopes for this first introduction to a new series than what it delivered.  The story is sweet and definitely in the right direction, but the depth and complexity that we have seen in Sweet Surrender and like just wasn’t here.

What we have here is a story of Ricki – a 24 yr old who has come into authority and power after the passing of her grandfather, and being young and a woman means that she’s got so much to prove for herself even though she’s incredibly smart and capable.  the other bit is that in her grandfather’s will, there are stipulations on things that she and her sister need to do in order to gain control – so that’s another problem to deal with.  On top of the fact that their family has a few secrets, the cause of the death of her mother, and the secret exclusive BDSM club in their basement.

enter in our leading man though, appropriately rocker like star named Axel.  He’s up for ‘New Artist of the Year’ at the Grammy’s and that’s where he and Ricki cross paths.  A stunt that he decides to change mid stride brings these two together and shows that there’s insane chemistry and a hint of BDSM, but where they will take it is an big question since Ricki isn’t into BDSM at all and wants nothing to do with it.

The course of the story is one of will they / won’t they ,since we know that Ricki is so afraid of anyone having anything bad to say about her in the press, and how she just wants to be able to prove her self professionally.  Axel is in the peak of his career and all he wants is Ricki.  So the question is whether their friends will be able to bring them together, or if fear will tear them apart.

In true Cecilia Tan fashion, there are some pretty racy scenes between them.  I think that they are more ‘erotica’ than BDSM although it seems like the intention was to skew BDSM given the theme of the book.  While i’m not an expert by any means, from all that i’ve read in the genre, i think that this was the biggest miss – since there’s so much more that could have been done to build up the intro to the lifestyle and the nature of the club and what goes on in there.

There are a few characters that make you question what’s going to happen.  Schmitt, one of their grandfather’s best friends has his own agenda and is trying to undermine the girls at every turn.  Paul (Ricki’s assistant) personally gives me pause since i feel like there’s something else there but that could be my paranoia, and then there’s Sakura and Gwen (the friend and the sister) who all definitely need their own installments, and i think that we’ll likely get them in the coming books.  That or we’ll get to see a lot more of Axel’s band.  Who…hopefully will give us more of the BDSM that i was expecting since one of his friends has been in the lifestyle longer.

Anyhow – decent read – and it won’t keep me from continuing on with the series.  Have a great day all!

ARC Review: The Billionaire’s Virgin (Billionaire Fairytales #1) by Jackie Ashenden

no-brainer

Title: The Billionaire’s Virgin
Author: Jackie Ashenden
Publisher/Year: St Martin’s Press 1/10/17
Length:   150 Pages
Series:  Billionaire Fairytales #1

Overview

Book #1 in the intensely sexy Billionaire Fairytales by Jackie Ashenden where sometimes dark and tortured, sometimes bad boy and charming, but always dominant and sexy billionaires steal their heroines’ breath away.

Xavier De Santis: Charming. Disgraced. Playboy.

The headlines are always shouting about the excesses of the so-called Prince Charming of the De Santis family. Problem is, Xavier is everything they say he is.

But now he’s gone too far, and he has has been ordered to clean up his image. Volunteering at a homeless shelter, Xavier sees a bright light amidst all the bleakness. An angel whose luminous face and tragic beauty call to him in ways he can’t explain.

Mia: Homeless. Vulnerable. Virgin.

When the shelter Mia calls home closes, she is left with nowhere to go. Nowhere except the luxurious, glorious palace of a home where Xavier De Santis has invited her to stay. This too-handsome billionaire is dark, dangerous…and also too good to be true.

Surely Mia can indulge in her fantasies and escape the hardness of her daily life for just one night?

As one night turns into two, Mia knows that eventually, the magic will end. She can’t keep the beautiful clothes. She can’t keep the soft bed. And most of all, she can’t keep the hard, handsome man who makes her crave his touch with every breath she takes.

Mia doesn’t belong in his world. But as Xavier tempts his rags-to-riches heroine with exquisite pleasure and heady desire, Mia may have no choice but to surrender to him completely.

My Thoughts

I should first start by thanking Netgalley for getting me an ARC of this book since i do love discovering new authors that i’m not familiar with.  In this first installment to the series, we first meet Xavier, the youngest son of a business magnate, who has to pay his dues a bit because of a scuffle with the papparazzi.  As a result, he’s working at a homeless shelter as a means to get people back in their good graces.

At said homeless shelter, he comes across Mia, who’s there each night (or most) to get a meal and then be back out on her way.  There’s a connection that he feels towards her, but he doesn’t know what it is – he feels protective towards her in a way that he’s never felt before, and he doesn’t know what the draw is past that, but he’s intrigued.  When she doesn’t show up each night, he begins to worry and when he feels like she’s not cared for enough, he tries to do small things like giving her a new hat.

Being homeless has hardened Mia.  Aside from the fact that her mother bailed on her when she was just a few years old and her grandmother beat her and made her feel like she was worthless, being homeless and on her own at least is something she’s done for herself.  All she wants is a home of her own and to feel safe but she doesn’t even have the basics in terms of her SSN or her birth certificate to make that happen and that’s the biggest struggle.

One night changes all of that for her though.  The shelter is closed, and she doesn’t know where to go since the other shelter alternative has proven to be unsafe for her.  That same night, Xavier sees her trying to sort things out and takes it upon himself to bring Mia home with him and into his world.

Where the story goes from there is a bit of a stretch, but i suppose a necessary one.  We quickly see a bond grow between them, what started off as no touching quickly changes to be touch as much as you can – giving Mia experiences that she’s never had at all.

We also see Xavier trying to battle himself on this.  He blames himself for his mom’s death and we see that her voice constantly pops up in his head as a voice of reason, yet it seems to the reader that the logic there is flawed.  And just when we think that things are going to be perfect for them, family gets in the way and crashes things down, and then we see that Xavier leaves – without full explanation, and Mia is on her own again.  Will Xavier come back to find her and will he be successful?  that’s where this story takes us and you’ll have to read to find out.  Enjoy!

Review: The Bad Boy of Bluebonnet (Bluebonnet #4.5) by Jessica Clare

no-brainer

Title: The Bad Boy of Bluebonnet
Author: Jessica Clare
Publisher/Year: Penguin Publishing 9/2/14
Length:   69 Pages
Series:  BlueBonnet #4.5

Overview

Emily Allard-Smith enjoys running her tiny bed and breakfast in quiet Bluebonnet, Texas. The only problem? It�s haunted, and she�s got no one to call when things go bump in the night.

Enter Jericho Lozada. He�s tall, sexy, mohawked, and good with his hands. He�s also not scared of Em�s ghost. And just when Em decides that she needs a man in her life with lots and lots of tattoos�her ex shows up again.

Now Emily has to figure out if she wants to keep a hold on the ghosts of her past�or look into a future with Jericho. But does Jericho even want a future with her?

My Thoughts

we met Emily when we had Elise and Rome’s story and it’s nice to get this little novella to see how things played out for her since there was a tease in that installment with Jericho (Rome’s brother) staying at the B&B o being there more often than expected.

So in this post 4th installment, we have Emily who’s a divorcee and owner of The Peppermint House trying to get on with her life while business is slow and she’s trying to make repairs to the house.  The nuance of course is that this is an old house and has a lot of repairs, and supposedly is haunted.  Living alone and not having any guests at the moment makes things even worse since she’s terrified at night.

Then there’s Jericho – the brother we met in the last installment, who’s also tatted up and looks amazing yet a bit too rough and edgy for this little town.  When Emily hires him to do some of the work around the house, we see how things quickly take an overly friendly turn for them and it’s sweet to see that happen.

Given that this is a novella, there’s no real build here and not a ton of suspense – just a story of these two finding out if there is something to pursue and how to take that.  It’s when Emily’s ex shows up and tries to sweet talk her that we see any real action, but all in all, still a good sweet story.  Supposedly there’s a novella out there for Luanne – Emily’s sister – so we’ll see if i can track it down.  Otherwise, i think that i may have read everyone’s story so it’s on to something else now.  Have a great night all!

Review: The Virgin’s Guide to Misbehaving (Bluebonnet #4) by Jessica Clare

no-brainer

Title: The Virgin’s Guide to Misbehaving
Author: Jessica Clare
Publisher/Year: Penguin Publishing 6/3/14
Length:   304 Pages
Series:  BlueBonnet #4

Overview

Playing innocent is easy.

After being the quiet, shy girl her whole life, Elise Markham is ready for a mental makeover. She’s done keeping to herself and staying out of trouble—it’s time to break out of her shell and maybe meet someone intriguing in the process. So, on a photography trip to Bluebonnet, she has a whole lot more on her mind than snapping photos, especially when Rome walks into the picture.

Playing dirty is fun.

The newest instructor at Wilderness Survival Expeditions has a colorful past, to say the least. Having come from a family of notorious con artists that destroyed his credit and reputation, all before his eighteenth birthday, Rome just wants a decent job and a quiet life in a town where no one knows his name. He’s exactly the kind of bad boy that an innocent girl like Elise should stay far away from.

But Elise is tired of doing what’s right. She’s ready to throw caution to the wind—and let Rome show her just how exciting being bad can be…

My Thoughts

There are so many folks for us to get into their stories for in this series, so it’s nice that we get to see what happens when Grant’s sister Elise crosses paths truly with Rome -their new employee.

From what you’ll remember from Grant’s story, Elise is in town with the family for a visit, and she’s quite the complex young lady.  We know that she’s really shy and reserved and that she has this past that we don’t know much about – she never went to school in town and that’s something that makes you take pause right?

She met Rome when he came to the ranch in search of a job, and he’s exactly the kind of bad boy that ideally would have been perfect for Brenna, but the sort of guy that makes Elise think and feel things that she’s never experienced before.

Her time back in Bluebonnet is an opportunity for her to stand on her own two feet, to be an adult since she’s been protected and sheltered by her parents her whole life.  Rome wakes something up inside her and if he’s strong enough to take on that challenge, what we’ll likely see is something intense and passionate.

The nice thing about this story is that where we had opposites in Grant and Brenna, there’s an even deeper level of opposites here with these two, and Rome is definitely not what he seems on the outside.  He’s got a past that’s shaped him into the kind of guy he is now, and all he wants to do is get by.  He’s not even searching for happiness anymore  just freedom.

In true form of our author, we get a sweet story more of romance than sex, which takes us in a different direction than the last installment.  there are true and real feelings that develop in this story and it’s really a question of when Grant’s going to find out and what that will mean since we know that he won’t approve.

Secrets are revealed, Rome’s past comes to haunt him in both the form of his brother and his parents, and you really don’t know what that’s going to mean for his sanity, his career and his hopes for ever being with Elise.

Elise on the other hand has a load of experiences that she wants to get under her belt – she really hasn’t done much in the form of living through her life and being with Rome and around the girls makes her take leaps that are so new to her.  I love the progression that we see her take and i love that the girl that we met in book 3 is not the same that we see towards the end of book 4.  It’s a sweet romance, but one that’s really destined not to work out.  Can’t wait to see what happens next in this series.

Review: The Expert’s Guide to Driving a Man Wild (Bluebonnet #3) by Jessica Clare

no-brainer

Title: The Expert’s Guide to Driving a Man Wild
Author: Jessica Clare
Publisher/Year: Penguin Publishing 1/7/14
Length:   238 Pages
Series:  BlueBonnet #3

Overview

Being out of control…

The product of a rigid upbringing, Brenna has grown into a sexy free spirit who does things her way. No possessions, no debt, no man, and no rules to tie her down. And if she has to work, what better way than as assistant in a wilderness expedition team? So many opportunities to go wild.

…can be risky when you’re falling in love.

One person who doesn’t “get” Brenna is her boss, Grant. He prefers order and emotions kept in check, which means Brenna loves to push his boundaries. He’d be impossible to work for if he wasn’t so infuriatingly hot. But when his overbearing, matchmaking mother arrives in town, Brenna volunteers to be Grant’s pretend girlfriend. After all, it’s the perfect opportunity to drive Grant crazy at every turn.

Brenna’s just a little surprised when Grant agrees to her wild, impulsive schemes. And she’s more than a little surprised when their games take them to the bedroom…

My Thoughts

There’s been a lot building up to hearing Brenna’s story and Grant’s story so it’s nice that we got to finally have it all come to a head in this third full installment.  We’ve seen their pranks and teasing and it’s definitely a bit of foreplay (as his sister notes) but it takes Grant’s parents coming into town and meddling once again about how he needs to get over his wife who passed away five years prior that makes things actually change between then.

We know that Brenna is a free spirit and down for almost anything, so it’s her impulsiveness that changes the dynamic while letting them open up to all things that you can participate in when you’re ‘together’ but not together.

It’s so cliche to me when you start to read about characters who go into things with ‘no strings attached’ and no emotions in play since we’ve seen it time and time again that it just doesn’t work.  We saw it as recently as the first book with Miranda and Dane so it’s really no surprise when it blows up in their face.  In any event, the journey that we go on with them in the meantime is really fun to read.

We see that there are secrets in Brenna’s past that she’s not ready to share with anyone and yet is forced to open up about once things get complicated and deep.  Grant also has his own control issues that we learn about after a bit of time which makes it all make sense.

The nice thing though is that we’re quite easily distracted from all that when we get all of the amazingly sexy scenes that Ms Clare is known for.  I don’t know how she does it, but each couple has an interesting and unique dynamic that we get something totally different in each installment.  Here we have the sexiest dirty talk yet from Brenna, a girl who knows what she wants and asks for it.  And we have Grant who’s held himself back from everything for five years, and once he’s able to get back into the swing of things, he’s so sexy and steamy that it makes the story come alive.

The question of course becomes, we know that they started their relationship out of a lie, and i spent much of the book wondering if anyone would realize that it was a lie before the couple made an honest situation out of it.  You;ll have to read to find out, but know that there are questions of motives throughout and a lot of splitting up and running away.  I can’t wait to see what’s next.  We saw that Elise (Grant’s sister) has her own dark past, yet she’s got this amazing attraction to Rome (the new employee for their company) and his past is something of a mystery as well.  There’s going to be something great coming from their story and i can’t wait to see what that is.  Have a great night all!

Review: The Billionaire of Bluebonnet (Bluebonnet #1.5) by Jessica Clare

no-brainer

Title: The Billionaire of Bluebonnet
Author: Jessica Clare
Publisher/Year: Penguin Publishing 9/18/12
Length:   79 Pages
Series:  BlueBonnet #1.5

Overview


Risa’s luck was running out…

Risa Moore is content with her work as a live-in assistant to an elderly lady—until her boss passes on. Now, she’s stuck in the tiny town of Bluebonnet, Texas, with no job, nowhere to live, and no prospects. Leaving Bluebonnet means starting her life over from scratch, so when Risa gets the opportunity of a lifetime, it’s hard to turn it down. But does her sexy new boss want something more than just an employee?

Until she met a man worth his weight in gold.

Young, hot, and fabulously wealthy, Travis Jesson has no intention of ever returning to his small Texas hometown. Then his grandmother passes away, leaving him her estate and her pet. His plans involve disposing of her things as expediently as possible…until he meets her gorgeous live-in help. And Travis finds himself proposing an entirely different sort of relationship…

My Thoughts

This series is definitely giving me something to hold my attention while there’s nothing on TV and no stores are open.  (Gotta love when it’s Christmas and you don’t celebrate it).  Anyhow, in this novella, we get to have a story supported by characters that are not part of those that we’ve met before, we haven’t heard of either and the only link to the main bits of the series are through the salon that Beth Ann owns.

It’s a quick story nonetheless but a sweet one where we see Travis trying to come to terms with the death of his grandmother and trying to sort out her last and final wishes while trying to get back to his life in Houston.  of course when the door to her house is opened by a sexy and delicious looking woman, plans change.

As we’ve seen in the series for the other installments, there’s really no delay in getting down to business with our couples – the chemistry that they have is something the ignites quickly and it’s really sweet to see how our alpha males, how the controlling and dominant men are able to make these women putty in their hands.  Risa really had no choice.

So after a steamy night in Bluebonnet, Risa finds herself going with Travis back to Houston to help him acclimate to the pig that was left to him, and it’s worked out well for her as she doesn’t have a job or a home and he’s offered her an excessive amount of money for the two weeks that he’s got before a trip.

where this story goes off the rails a bit is that it’s clear that there’s an attraction, but the intention in my head was never for this to turn into a relationship yet it jumps the shark a bit quite quickly to a place where Risa is making demands on him and his time in the form of a relationship.  All that taken into account though, at least we get a quick resolution to all that and an ending that fits the novella.  Can’t wait to see what’s next in this series.  Enjoy!

Review: The Care and Feeding of an Alpha Male (Bluebonnet #2) by Jessica Clare

no-brainer

Title: The Care and Feeding of an Alpha Male
Author: Jessica Clare
Publisher/Year: Penguin Publishing 5/7/13
Length:   283 Pages
Series:  BlueBonnet #2

Overview

Beth Ann needed a hero.

Beth Ann Williamson is done with her on-again, off-again fiancé. The problem? No one in her small town believes that it’s really over. Beth Ann is determined to show Bluebonnet, Texas, that she can take care of herself. But her plans go awry when she gets stranded in the woods and has to be saved by a handsome, if scowling, Marine.

She got more than she bargained for.

Survivalist Colt Waggoner is not pleased when he’s sent to rescue the pampered princess, and he’s even more annoyed when Beth Ann isn’t grateful for his help. He decides to teach the sexy blonde a lesson—a weekend alone in the wild. Just the two of them, in muddy, wet clothing that needs to come off…

But Beth Ann is not as spoiled as he thought. And when she propositions him for a one-night stand, he knows he should turn it down, because this alpha male might need more than one night to satisfy him…

My Thoughts

This is a really sweet series and the fact that there are so many characters involved that we know that they will all have their own fun filled installments makes it that much better.  As you’ll recall, we met Dane and Miranda in the first book and now it’s time to get into Colt (Dane’s best friend and business partner) and Beth Ann (Miranda’s best friend).  They both know each other from high school yet they were not friends at all, so seeing where they are 9 years later makes it that much more exciting.

The biggest thing about their story is that Beth Ann is a girl who’s life has been dictated by everyone around her.  Her family has expectations of her, her father is the Mayor and of course that means that she has to look and act a certain way.  She’s also coming out of a relationship that lasted for the past 9 years with a man who says he loves her but shows the opposite – cheating on her every chance he got.  So Beth Ann had set out to survive on her own, be independent while not embarrassing anyone and revealing secrets.

Colt on the other hand is ex Marine and owes nothing to anyone.  He has a strained relationship with his family since they have a reputation and are part of a life that he’s tried to leave behind.  So when he’s doing well on his own now with the survival school, he’s in a good place with his friends, it’s definitely interesting to see what happens when Beth Ann comes into the story.

It’s quite sweet actually to see how they are both so good for each – showing the other what it’s like to be cared for and to be wanted by someone else.  It’s tough of course that Colt has had to mislead her a bit on a few things so that he could really get to know her better, and it’s just a matter now of when those secrets are going to come out and who’s going to reveal them.

In true Ms Clare form, we get some amazingly hot scenes – the heat and chemistry between these two is intense.  We see that their connection is something heated and i like that Colt’s able to bring out a side of Beth Ann that she wasn’t able to express with Allan.  The other bit is that there’s really a safety here – one that they both give the other and that’s a nice thing especially with such a macho guy.

There are so many smarmy folks though in the story that are setting them up for failure – and i think that wonder throughout when things will take their toll.  Beth Ann’s business is failing and we can’t figure out how and why.  We see that there’s a lot of family drama with Colt but really don’t even guess the root of things until a secret is revealed.  All in all, plenty of great details to keep us interested.  So now i’m off to find another installment in the series and i hope that you all enjoy your Holiday days!

Review: An Indecent Proposal by Julia Ross

no-brainer

Title: An Indecent Proposal
Author: Julia Ross
Publisher/Year: Head of Zeus 12/1/16
Length:   187 Pages

Overview

Sara is 25 and has recently moved to Basel to work on a doctorate in cytogenetics in a laboratory. Having recently broken up with her boyfriend, she is feeling depressed, shaken and lost. Then she meets Leo and Oscar at the laboratory, and to her surprise feels strongly attracted to both of them.

Blue-eyed, fair-haired Leo is gentle and sensitive. Oscar, his best friend, is the opposite: dark-haired and brown-eyed, and direct to the point of brusqueness. They make her a proposition – that she spend four days with them in Barcelona, going along with anything they suggest. The only condition is that no relationships are to be formed. But what happens in Spain perturbs her so much that she finds it impossible keep to their agreement…

My Thoughts

Thanks to the folks over at Netgalley for getting me access to this book as i’m always looking for new authors and stories to get into.  Based on the cover art and the description, i was into what this story had to offer and i guess it was ‘ok’

What we have here is a story of a girl who’s trying to put her life back together after she finds her boyfriend in bed with her best friend.  So as her life is continuing now that she’s found a new place to do her masters work, she’s also found herself being swept up by 2 really good looking guys who happen to be best friends.

Of course they are so different that she’s able to find things about both that really make her excited but then she’s also finding that it’s quite hard to make a decision between the two since both arouse and excite her in ways that the others don’t and in fact in ways that kind of brought the demise to her relationship. It’s only when they offer her a weekend of more passion and intrigue that we see that her hand is forced to make a decision.

The way that this story is written is that we’re focusing for a bit around 5 years in the future when we are at Sara’s best friend’s wedding, of course to a guy who’s best friends with the same two men that made her life a challenge years ago.  Those two guys, Leo and Oscar of course are at the wedding and this forces the situation a bit more since there’s so much uncertainty from when they parted ways all those years ago.

The question that we ask ourselves throughout this story is whether she’s able to make a decision and who she chooses – and then what that means for the triangle.  Will she turn friend against friend or will there be a way to make this threesome work as it often does in this genre.  I think that we’re pleasantly surprised yet we completely expected the outcome that it’s an interesting read.

To be honest though, there’s something about the style of writing that kept throwing me off.  It was almost as though English was not the language that this story was originally written in since there are often times when the conversations seem a bit uncomfortable in grammar and phrasing.  And i feel like there are words and sentiments that just didn’t work as they should in conversation since it felt like it was a translation.  I think that had the editing been a bit smoother, then the story would have flowed just a bit better and i would have liked this all.  It’s a good direction for a story, but there’s that one bit that kept it from being something ‘great’.  Oh well.  Have a good night all!

Review: The Girl’s Guide to (man) Hunting (Bluebonnet #1) by Jessica Clare

no-brainer

Title: Girl’s Guide to (man) hunting
Author: Jessica Clare
Publisher/Year: Penguin Publishing 3/5/13
Length:   278 Pages
Series:  BlueBonnet #1

Overview

Once, Miranda felt a little exposed…

 

Miranda Hill’s cocky ex-boyfriend is back in Bluebonnet, Texas. He ditched her—and their little town—just as some rather shocking photos showed up on the Internet. Miranda wasn’t so lucky. Stuck in Bluebonnet and left to fend for herself, she’s never really shaken the scandal—or his betrayal. After nine long years, he’s back…

It’s time she gets even.

 

Former NHL hotshot Dane Croft has returned home to open a survival training school and reinvent himself. When his high-school girlfriend enrolls in the program, he has no idea that Miranda plans to get him in a compromising position. But to carry out her deviously sexy revenge, Miranda will have to get up-close and personal with Dane all over again. She got nowhere being a good girl; it’s time to be a little naughty. But falling in love with the man who broke her heart was never part of the plan…

My Thoughts

I’m a big fan of Ms Clare from the Billionaire’s series and spin-off that i’ve read that i figured that i could give this one a shot.  It’s been out for a while and i haven’t necessarily been compelled to read it, but i guess it’s good that i’ve got some time on my hands.  None the less, what we have is a sweet story, but maybe one that could use a bit more finesse.

As the description tells us, we are back in Bluebonnet Texas, about 9 years after an infamous experience causes our leading lady Miranda to become the laughing stock of the town, all because a picture was taken of her while playing seven minutes in heaven with Dane, a guy she had a major crush on at the time.  This picture then was posted on line and 9 years later people are still talking about it.  Of course when the chance comes to stake her revenge now that he’s back in town after his NHL career goes to crap, things become all that more interesting.

What we have in this story is a tale of a girl trying to get back at the guy who did her wrong, but as we all know, things will always get complicated.  We see that there are actual feelings developing between them, both physically and emotionally and when things seem to be going her way, secrets are found out and htat makes it all the worse for them both.  i think that throughout the week long survival expedition that they are on we are always wondering who’s going to discover what’s going on and then we also wonder at the same time if Miranda will be able to get her revenge without getting hurt.

The path that the story goes on once they are back from the trip makes you wonder what’s real and what’s not.  We know that Miranda hasn’t told him that she’s moving away, and yet we also know that Dane isn’t telling his friends that he’s with her.  All that together makes it dynamic when Miranda does finally move away for her new job and leaves Dane to wonder what the heck is really going on.

Because it’s a sweet story – the ending that we get is exactly what we expect.  I think the right intentions are all there, but the build was maybe not nearly as dramatic as i would have hoped – knowing what i do from the other series from our author.

All in all, it’s sweet.  steamy and engaging from a passion standpoint which is another thing that we do know that we’ll get from Ms Clare.  But i feel like this was perhaps ‘average’ when the others have been ‘hit out of the park’ .  I’ll give the rest of the series a chance though, so i’ll track down book 2 soon and read it.  Have a great day all!