Uncommon Pleasure by Anne Calhoun
Erotic Contemporary Romance
Releases: March 5, 2013
Reviewed by Mandi
Uncommon Pleasure contains two novellas, each with a different hero and heroine (and happily ever after) but the stories do intertwine.
Over the Edge
A word used a couple of times to describe Ty Hendricks, former marine now part time oil rigger and part time security specialist in this book is “contradiction.” Our heroine Lauren sees him as two people. The first time she sees him on the rig (she is a geologist who flies out to the rig for a few days) he is purposeful. He is aloof, a little cold, but gets the job done. She immediately knows after exchanging a few glances with him that once they get back to the mainland she can have him in her bed. Once she gets him there, she sees another side to him. A southern gentleman, pain hidden in those eyes of his, a slight vulnerability that he is too stubborn to fully share with her. Ty is used to using women and then dumping them after getting back on the mainland. But Lauren – while she doesn’t push for more than just sex (although she is quite curious about his life) he finds himself going back to her time and time again.
This book explores their relationship through a lot of sex, but there is more to it. She comes to know him and oh so slowly Ty realizes he needs to deal with the stuff that went down while in Afghanistan so he can have a chance at a future life. His buddies John (owner of security firm) and Sean (fellow Marine) kind of give him a wake up call of their own. For a 137 page story, I feel like we really get to know Ty and Lauren. Anne Calhoun has a way with describing a scene that just throws you into it. I could picture everything happening so vividly. A nice ending too – nothing rushed. No promises of forever, but a promise of what could be. I do have a niggle! But you have to read the second review first.
All on the Line
I actually liked this one more than I thought I would. I wasn’t a huge fan of Sean in the first story but I liked him here. This is a reunion romance of sorts, as Sean and Abby were hot and heavy, until Sean got deployed again, breaking up with her over email while over seas. Sean realized it was going to take all of his concentration to keep his men alive, and broke it off with Abby. Abby has a lot on her plate with a very sick father and trying to go to school. Sean’s abrupt email crushed her. But now he is home, and seeks her out. Abby agrees to a fling with just sex, since Sean may be deployed again, but we can all guess how that works out.
I felt the author does a nice job with reuniting these two and building a solid foundation for their relationship. Abby is so set on declaring her independence that she doesn’t want Sean to do anything for her – but being a romantic hero of course he doesn’t listen! He mows her lawn and fixes her car…and gives her many orgasms. Man those romantic heroes can do it all *wink*
Now to my niggle. It is kind of spoilery so I’m going to hide it. Read at your own risk.
In both books, towards the end there is a M/F/M menage. The first book is Ty, Lauren and Sean. This menage has a little bit more of an impact with Ty and Lauren’s relationship and didn’t mind it too much. But I was so surprised to see such a similar menage in book two (this one with Sean, Abby and a friend of Abby’s). The second menage felt very redundant and didn’t really feel like it was necessary to further Sean and Abby’s relationship – or even if they are doing it just for fun – it just didn’t seem to fit. Anne Calhoun had a novella out late last year that had a similar menage in it. What’s with the second dude coming into all of these relationships for one night? Just to add more of an erotic tone? It feels recycled.
So there you go. Anne Calhoun has a great voice for these erotic stories despite my niggle. Looking forward to more.