Weekly Wrap-Up

This week at Smexy….

B+ review – Wolf Nip by Vivian Arend (pnr novella)
B review – Caleb by Emma Lang (historical western)
B review – Collide by Juliana Stone (contemporary)
B/C+ review – Confidence Tricks by Tamara Morgan (contemporary)
B- review – How Beauty Saved the Beast by Jax Garren (pnr)
B- review – Dirty Laundry by Heidi Cullinan (m/m contemporary)
C+ review – Secret by L. Marie Adeline (erotic)
C+ review – Gods of Mischief by George Row (nonfiction)
C+ review – If You Stay by Courtney Cole (new adult)
C review – Midnight Alias by Elle Kennedy (romantic suspense)
C- review – Game for Marriage by Karen Erickson (contemporary)
D- review – A Duke Never Yields by Juliana Gray (historical)

Smexy’s Top Ten

News From Mandi: I didn’t read much this week. Gasp and shock! I must pump it up next week. I finished High Risk by Vivian Arend. The start of a new series set in Banff Alberta, Cananda. Featuring a climbing/rescue school. I like the idea of this series. The romance in this one didn’t quite do it for me. There was too much sex and sex on the brain. It got a little old. But I like the climbing aspect for the most part. Review coming soon.

I read and really enjoyed Lord of Darkness by Elizabeth Hoyt. I wasn’t super excited for Godric’s story for some reason but oh the angst! And great set-up for the next book. I’m excited.

Love Irresistibly by Julie James is a lovely, sexy book. I love her voice. Cade is super sexy and Brook, while she starts off cold, she really warms up. Review coming in early April.

I DNF’d Making Him Sweat by Meg Maguire. Hero and heroine had zero chemistry. Felt really flat to me.

I’m currently reading Sins & Needles by Karina Halle (which I’m really enjoying) and I’m going to start Recipe for Satisfaction by Gina Gordon.

News From Tori: -Not a lot going on here. FL can’t decide if it wants to be hot or cold so one day, I am wearing shorts and t shirts then the next day I’m dragging out my gloves, boots, and whining that I can’t feel my hands.

A.L Jackson’s Take This Regret is a NA romantic contemporary about a young woman who gets pregnant in college and her boyfriend makes her choose between him and the baby. Needless to say, she chooses child, leaves college and 8 years later, our hero (I use this lightly) shows up wanting to make amends. A sweet angsty story that deals with love, loss, and second chances. I did like our hero didn’t have it easy. Our heroine makes him work to prove that being part of his child’s life won’t harm the child or anyone else.

I read both books in Maureen Johnson’s YA Shades Of London series. The Name Of The Star (Book one) introduces us to heroine and sets the scene for her to spend a year in England attending school. During this time, women are being murdered in a style similar to Jack the Ripper. Slow to build, we spend a lot of time getting to know heroine and interacting with her on a day to day basis. The premise is interesting though the conflict resolves quickly. The Madness Underneath (Book two) was disappointing for me. I felt the storyline dragged and many unnecessary plot devices were used. Reviews to come.

Kristen Ashley’s Raid, the third book in her Unfinished Heroes series, brings us what we have come to expect with an alpha hero, a sweet heroine, and an enjoyable journey to love. This one is shorter than her previous books and I felt some common classic Ashley plots didn’t reveal with the same intensity, but enjoyable all the same. Review to come.

I’m getting ready to read Amanda Bonilla’s March release, Crave The Darkness, so I decided to read her short novella, Lost To The Gray, which revolves around Tyler. Short but powerful, we learn more about why Tyler left Darion and I found myself sympathizing more with his reasons than before. A little high energy drama and action left me more then ready for CTD.

Under His Command by Kristine Cayne is a super sexy smoking hot erotic romance with a hot dominant firefighter and his estranged wife. A well plotted story line that addresses the need for communication. I admit, the heroine annoyed me in the beginning with some of her decisions and I found it hard to believe none of their issues were addressed for 5 year. Light BDSM adds sizzle to the book and we get a believable HEA.

A Week In Winter by Maeve Binchy is a well written small town contemporary with hints of romance. The book is actually a series of small character novellas comprised within the main storyline. The book deals with family and the gray line we all walk as we try to live our own lives while living up to our family obligations and expectations. Review to come.

When She Said I Do by Celeste Bradley is a regency historical romance that retells the story Beauty and the Beast. A humorous erotic story with a take no prisoners heroine and the hero who never saw her coming. Some aspects were a little unbelievable (her family for instance) but the story overall is an enjoyable fast read that had me giggling the whole time. What?? Review to come.

I have no idea what I’m reading this weekend. lol I have Anne Bishop’s new fantasy, Written In Red and Jaci Burton’s Thrown By A Curve in queue but I also have a HUGE TBR I plan on digging into.

News From May:  It has been too long since I did a weekly wrap-up, but I solemnly swear to talk more from here on out!

Ok. So the best thing of my week was by far and away watching the Lizzie Diaries. I am now obsessed, and fully invested. So much so that I re-read Pride & Prejudice this week in order to further analyze and obsess. Oh how I love that book.

Moving into books that are more recently written, I will give you some
five-word reviews of books I read this week. Real reviews to come here at
smexy in the near future.

Wolf with Benefits by Shelly Laurenston: Novikov for president. Very funny.

Demon Hunting in a Dive Bar by Lexi George: Shapeshifting peen for the win.

How Hard Can it Be? By Robyn Peterman: YES! Silly for the win!

A Most Scandalous Proposal by Ashlyn Macnamara: two stories in one.

Overall a pretty smexy week! I also read Mindy Kaling’s book Is Everyone
Hanging Out Without Me (and other concerns) and loved it. Especially the
part where she begs men to let their chest hair grow. (YES!)
Now excuse me while I go stalk the Lizzie Diaries twitter accounts while
re-reading more Austen and pillaging my children’s Valentine’s Day loot.

News From Helyce: It’s been crazy around here. Too much on my plate and not enough time in the day and there is never enough time to read it seems.  I started off with Blood Oranges by Caitlyn R. Kiernan which did not go well for me and ended up being a DNF for me. I just couldn’t get into it. The first person POV did not work for me as I felt like I was being lectured more than being told a story.

I jumped to my Kindle and kind of scrolled through and picked Because of You by Jessica Scott. This was a well done contemporary romance with a military element. I loved the Shane and Jen together and enjoyed their story. It had a crazy cliffhanger and I jumped to read book 2 only to learn that it was not a continuation but was about a completely different couple. What????  So, I followed it up instead with a novella about them called Anything for You where this same couple, now together for a while, are faced with making a very important life choice.

I then jumped on the wagon and read Reaper’s Property by Joanna Wylde.  For the most part I liked this book. It was a grittier and more realistic approach to a motorcycle club and I enjoyed Horse in all his alpha-ness.  I really liked Marie more, though. She stuck to her guns and didn’t take shit and actually stood up to Horse on occasion which was refreshing.  There were some things that didn’t work for me and I didn’t like that certain aspects of the story weren’t explored more but perhaps my questions will be answered in future books. 

Addicted by Charlotte Stein was next. Ms. Stein is a new to be author and I’ve only read one other book of hers which I loved! This one, though, was just okay for me. I never seemed to connect with the male lead, Dillon. Kit was funny and quirky and it was fun to watch her blossom and explore her sexual nature.  Dillon was a mystery for me throughout. I never knew what was real for him and what wasn’t and even when he was stating something outright, I still wasn’t sure. When he reveals his big "secret" at the end, I was disappointed. I expected more. Mandi mentioned she’d read the novella, Curve Ball, also by Stein so I looked it up and found the blurb intriguing so I read it. It was just ok. The premise of the overweight girl getting the hot guy was interesting, but Steve was kind of an ass and went about his "wooing" in a very odd way. If Judy hadn’t already been in love with Steve since forever (she’d known him a long time as Steve was her brother’s best friend), this wouldn’t have worked for me at all.

I am currently reading Ilicit by Opal Carew which is a story about a woman who explores her sexuality in triplicate when she accepts an invitation for a weekend and spends it with three gorgeous hot guys. Yes, menage times three or is it four. I don’t know why I do this to myself. All I can say is that I’m glad this is a print copy because I am highlighting and making notes in the border as I go. It is a bit over the top for me-but there is lots of m/m action so I persevere. Review to come later this month.
After that, I’m not sure-I’ll probably need a brain scrub first! Have a great weekend!


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