Weekly Wrap-Up

This week at Smexy…

A- review – Broken Blade by JC Daniels (urban fantasy)
B+ review – Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett (historical paranormal)
B+ review – Back to You by Jessica Scott (contemporary)
B review – Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young (contemporary)
B- review – Rome by Jay Crownover (new adult)
C review – The Smuggler Wore Silk by Alyssa Alexander (historical)
C- review – Love your Entity by Cat Devon (paranormal romance)
C- review – Hope Flames by Jaci Burton (contemporary)

Feature: An Indecent Proposition by Stephanie Julian
Edie Harris Cover Reveal!
Interview with Molly Harper
Must I Take the High Road? A rant in the making.
Smexy’s Top Ten

News from Mandi: I DNF’d two m/m books this week – I felt zero connection to  Kick Start by Josh Lanyon. I didn’t make it very far in this one but I was confused by the story and didn’t feel any type of chemistry from the heroes. I’m not current with this series so maybe that was the problem. I made it much further into My Heartache Cowboy by ZA Maxfield – I think I DNF’d around the 55% mark. This one started okay – but the one hero goes from straight to gay and it didn’t make sense. It was like forced sex scenes onto the reader to make it erotic but the scenes didn’t make sense to me. I’ll write a dnf review for this one soon.

Live by Mary Ann Rivers (her first full length) is so very good. I wrote in my review (which I’m posting this coming week) that it has a bit of a rain cloud over the story – meaning – it’s a little heavy but such a good story. It introduces us to the Burnside siblings who live in a small town in Ohio. The hero in this story is from Wales and he is SO sexy. Such a hot, hot book. I highly rec it – we’ll talk more this week.

Finally I read Still so Hot by Serena Bell. I didn’t love the set-up in this story and some of the supporting characters. Full review coming.

Tori’s News: HOLA!! I had HUGE internet fail last week so this is about 2 weeks worth.

Before Jamaica Lane by Samantha Young: A fun sexy friends to lovers romance contemporary. Laughter and heartbreak will drag you in as our two lovers struggle to define themselves and their relationship. Review.

Rome by Jay Crownover: An emotional NA that deals with a baggage laden war veteran trying to reacclimate to civilian life and a young woman who wants a drama free romance. Review.

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sarish Wilson: A cute humorous YA that offers a unique twist on a popular fairy tale.

Sex Piston by Jamie Begley: A wild and crazy in your face rom com featuring a loud mouth biker babe and the man who intends to claim her.

Believe by Erin McCarthy: The 3rd book in this sweet NA series shows us how to complete opposites can make it work when their needs are the same.

Conflicted Love by Lola Stark: Hilarious at times, this rom com could have been better if the drama and the heroine’s constant “screaming and screeching” could have been toned down quite a notch. Plus, the whole “playa bad boy goes monogamous” trope only works when you can see the change in the hero. Don’t tell-show-or I call BS.

The Destiny of Violet & Luke by Jessica Sorensen: OMG. *breath in-breath out* Sorenson guts her readers with the 3rd book in her dramatic and emotionally heartbreaking NA series. In this one, we see two untrusting emotionally battered souls reluctantly gravitate towards one another. Beware though. The cliffhanger is a doozie.

Home for the Holidays: LB Gregg, Ally Blue, ZA Maxfield: A sexy emotionally sweet MM rom com anthology that features 3 best selling authors who write of love, loss, and second chances. My review will appear in the Feb issue of RT Magazine.

The Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin: Jen from Fiction Vixen turned me on to this one. An enjoyable start to the new UF series with an interesting plotline and engaging world building. I wasn’t a fan of the heroine but hopefully she will level out as the series progresses. Review to come.

On The Edge by Caroline Crane: Crane is a master at creating romances using unique and unusual characters. In here, spy meets cabaret girl and the sparks between them FLY as they dodge bullets, villains, and their own attraction. Another winner.

Back To You by Jessica Scott: Have some kleenex handy when you start this one. The 3rd book in a military based rom com that deals with a floundering marriage and the price one pays when married to a military man. Review

Consumed by Emily Snow: A continuation from Devoured. This one was okay. I saw some growth in Sienna and Lucas but not enough to actually engage me in their romance. I thought after Devoured, Lucas would have learned to open up but it takes traumatic event to shake him loose. I commend Si for sticking up to him more and not fearing he may leave her again. The ending is a bit too pat for me and there are still some loose ends that need addressing.

Fury Of The Demon by Diana Rowland: OMG The FEELS. This compelling urban fantasy series hooks me in like free for all in a chocolate factory. I can’t say much as the whole book is one big spoil. Lets just say that Rowland addresses previous storylines, continues to expand her world and her characters, and remind us that things are never just black and white. Review to come.

Family Man by Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton: An adorably sweet and emotionally satisfying mm rom com about a man whose sexual identity comes into question when he is attracted to a family friend. My review will appear in the Feb issue of RT Magazine.

This weekend has me reading Almost Real by Charlotte Stein and A Gentleman Till Midnight by Allison DeLaine.

News From Helyce:  Wow, I haven’t done one of these in a long, long time! So let’s get to it! This week I started two books, but set them aside when I received Strain by Amelia C. Gormley for review.  The blurb had me thinking this m/m romance would be some sort of syfy story laced with altered genetics or gene splicing, but I was wrong.  The quest for creating a super soldier releases a virus on the world that almost totally erases the human population except for a few with only one way to save them. Sex.  Full review to come.

Prior to that I finally found time to read Anne Calhoun’s Liberating Lacey.  I should have listened to Mandi ages ago! I Loved Lacey and Hunter’s journey.  I can’t wait to explore more of this author.

I also recently read Hard To Love by Kendall Ryan.  This was a pleasant surprise for me!  I’d seen Jen tweet some funny quotes on Twitter and decided this one might be worth a laugh, but I was so very wrong.  This rich girl who falls for the poor boy was a sweet romance and pushed all my buttons.  Very sweet!

Last week I read Heart of Timber by Brandon Shire. This is the follow up to Cold, which I loved.  Sadly, Timber did not live up to it’s predecessor.  Though I still enjoyed the character of Lem and loved his parts in the story what worked for this couple in book 1 didn’t feel the same in book 2.

Amy from Fiction Vixen recommended The Backup Boyfriend by River James to me and I’m so glad she did. **Thanks Amy!!** This gay for you m/m romance starts our couple off in a ruse to make an x jealous.  But soon, our decidedly straight Dylan finds himself more than enjoying his time spent with Alec and sparks fly.  I look forward to more from this author.

Currently I’m reading an adorable novella, Going Up by Amy Lane.  Known for her deeply angsty and emotional m/m stories, I love seeing Ms. Lane’s take on something light and sweet.  Zach and Sean are adorable as they get to know each other in the brief snippets of time they spend when they see each other in the elevator of their apartment building.  Review to come.

This weekend, I hope to finish up with Forsaken by Jacquelyn Frank (for review) and dive into Marked, an anthology featuring Lauren Dane, Vivian Arend and Kit Rocha. I’ve heard good things and can’t wait to read it!


  1. Helyce says

    Damn, I suspect the Violet and Luke book will magically move up to the top of my reading pile. I am so weak that way!

  2. Adrienne says

    Hey Ladies,
    Might want to check out RAW by Belle Aurora. Fantastic and disturbing love story.
    Quite interested in your opinion:)

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