We are going to try a new format at Smexy. Each day, one reviewer will post all the books she has read in the past seven days. Sometimes it may be long reviews like you are used to seeing. Sometimes they will be mini reviews. This gives each reviewer a week to read books, and their own day to talk about them. Mandi is Monday, Tori Tuesday, Sheena Wednesday, Helyce Thursday and Kini Friday. The Top Ten will be coming back this week, and we will still post a wrap-up and Smex Scene over the weekend. We are still accepting review requests as always and will be sprinkling in promo posts once in a while.
A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert
Released: March 14, 2018
A lot of people have recommended this book and I’m trying to make an effort to read books I see recommended in a timely manner, instead of buying it, and having it sit on my Kindle to be buried. Our heroine Ruth is many things. She is a comic book enthusiast, a comicweb writer, a lover of wearing pajamas 24/7, she is black, she is plus-size and she is autistic. She knows what she likes and if other people don’t like it, she couldn’t care less. She is very close with her twin sister and that relationship is presented so well in this book.
Our hero is Evan, former military, white, super muscled, blacksmith who moves in next door to Ruth. As they get to know each other, Evan cooks for her, and sticks up for her in a town that looks upon Ruth and her sister do not have good reputations. Ruth had a boyfriend for many years who treated her badly. Crushed her self-esteem. Controlled her, abused her, and somehow when they broke up, his reputation soared and Ruth’s fell apart. Evan’s boss happens to be this ex-boyfriend, and Evan is no dummy. He quickly realizes what a slimeball this guy is and doesn’t put up with it.
This is a slow-burn romance. Evan is a good guy hero, if you are looking for that in a romance book. Good to the soul. Ruth knows her social skills aren’t always the “normal” way people are used to. She is aware that her brain may work a little differently than others. She is smart and has a very biting sense of humor. I really enjoyed her.
Consent is a big thing in this book. Ruth hasn’t always experienced a man who truly cares about consent when he is with her. Evan is very open about this and it’s lovely. I really enjoyed this author’s voice.
Guardian by Emmy Chandler (Prison Planet #1)
Released: March 1, 2018
This series was recommended to me by Angela and Has. I was in the mood for some off planet smexy times and this book gave that to me – and more. As you can tell from the series name, the heroine, Audra (human) gets sent to a far away planet after committing a crime. When you arrive at this planet, you never leave – that is your punishment. Once she arrives, she realizes that the men treat the women as sex slaves. There is sexual assault and dubious consent. The hero, Evan, is this huge, quiet guy that Audra picks to be her protector. He turns out to be a good guy, although they do have sex when he first takes her, because she thought it was her duty. From that point on, he protects her and treats her like an actual person. All the while, the other men are milling around – and Evan is supposed to trade her for a new woman after four weeks. Once they fall in love, he doesn’t want to give her up.
This book has a bit of a Hunger Games feel to it, as prisoners roam free, fight for supply drops, live in chaos with no rules etc… I really liked Audra. Her fear of being dumped on this planet is done well, and yet her passion to stay alive and not become a sex-robot to various men is intense. Evan is quiet, and so big and muscled, not many men can take him in a fight. He is also skilled with mechanics and hunting.
Super sexy, dark, violent, with a HEA of course. I found it “cracky” – I couldn’t put it down.
Hunter by Emmy Chandler (Prison Planet #2)
Released: March 23, 2018
The heroine, Maci was featured a lot in book one. In that book, she is presented as very young looking (we learn she is 20) and she is extremely shy, timid, scared, traumatized. I was surprised her book was next, and a little disappointed in her very fast turnaround. She goes from not speaking and barely functioning in book one, to kickass and in love real quick in book two. I just didn’t buy into her romance and her feelings for Callum. Especially the physical romance. Maybe had I not met her in book one, I would be more on board, but knowing her previously, this Maci was not the same woman.
Callum is also a prisoner on this planet, but he is on death row. When his time runs out, he gets let out into the open, to be hunted by a wealthy patron. After a series of events, Maci is also put out into the open, they meet, and they try to survive together. With the help of some robo dogs, and Maci’s technical skills, they stay alive and fall in love.
This is still a very dark world, there is still sexual assault, as men dominate and use women. But in this book, we get a glimpse of the women coming together to save themselves and bring some hope to the future. As I mentioned, the romance didn’t do it for me, but I still enjoyed this one.
I just started Captivated by Tessa Bailey and Eve Dangerfield. I’ve been a long time fan of Bailey, and just last year I started reading Dangerfield and I love her voice. I’m so excited these two are doing a book together! The heroine just got dumped by her cheating boyfriend, and the big, grumpy landlord just walked into her apartment to collect rent money. There are pigeons in the bathtub and already an adorable heroine. I’ll report back on release day (6/11). I also plan to read Making Up by Lucy Parker and I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting this week.