Things seem to be turning around for my reading. Either I am in a better mood or books are getting better. I think it is a combo of both though. Regardless, I am excited that I read a better batch of books this past week.
Sleepover by Serena Bell- I have enjoyed ever book by Bell that I have read and this was no exception. She typically writes emotional and incredibly sexy romances. As a side note, Bell was part of a group of authors, along with Care McKenna, Charlotte Stein, Amy Jo Cousins and several others, that ran a site called Wonk-O-Mance and I really, really miss that site.
Back to this book. General premise is that both main characters are single parents and live next door to each other. To complicate things even further ( I say this with love) the H/H previously hooked up at a bar. Sawyer is pretty firm in his desire to only see a woman once. So of course when he moves next door to Elle, he doesn’t know what to do with that attraction. I don’t want to spoil it, but Sawyer does end up breaking this rule.
Sawyer is a widower and his journey to finding love again was bumpy, but felt realistic. I was very invested in their love story. I really wanted them to get their HEA. This book is also pretty high on the sexy scale.This book does touch on grief and loss due to Sawyer’s wife having passed away, so if that is a thing for you, this book may not be for you.
The Cowboy: The King Family Saga #4 by Molly O’Keefe- By now y’all know I am an unreliable reviewer of O’Keefe books due to my overwhelming love for all things O’Keefe. I loved book one in this series but DNF book 2 (different author) and didn’t read book 3 (also different author). Anyway, I think there were a few small things I was missing from not reading those two, but I was still able to enjoy this book. And I really did enjoy it. It kept me reading until 2am. Molly has an incredible knack for doing this to do.
Bea, our heroine, is feeling a little lost in her life. She recently inherited lots of money, but doesn’t have a lot of direction. She is afraid to come to terms with some of her truths. One morning she is on her deck feeding her dogs and she isn’t wearing a lot of clothes. The contractor from next door let’s her know he can see her in her skivvies. Some naughty, in the very best way, sexy time occur when Bea and the faceless man engage in mutual masturbation for each other. The heat level is off the charts.
But O’Keefe brings high emotions too. Cody, the heroine, is a retired by injury, cowboy. He too is struggling with what is the next chapter in his life. There is a scene with Cody and his horse that had my eyes getting wet. Seriously, it was so sad yet wonderful.
I was heavily invested in Bea’s story after book one. O’Keefe delivered everything I wanted and more. I will leave you with this quote from Cody.
“You said… you said you were mine.” During sex. We’d been frantic saying that to each other. Like we needed to say it or die. “You said I was yours.” “That’s what I want,” he said, kissing me again and then again. “That’s all I want. For you to be mine and for me to be yours.”
Before Girl by Kate Canterbary- I absolutely loved her Walsh series, and in case you need a reminder, Erin Walsh (The Spire) is my number one go book to refer when someone is looking for a difficult to love heroine. But enough about my crush on Erin Walsh, let’s talk Stella and Cal.
This book opens with a dedication to “big girls who like getting some”. The hero, Cal is 42. Stella, the heroine, is 35. Cal is awkward, yet has a rumbly-grumbly way about him when it came to sex. Stella has insecurities about her body, but doesn’t let that prevent her from feeling sexy. This checked off a lot of boxes on things I want in my books.
The story was pretty solid too. I enjoyed Cal and Stella’s journey to finding love. Stella has some previous experiences that weren’t great. So she has put a lot of boundaries on herself in the love/sex department. Cal intended to break them all down. He asks her to marry him the first time they meet, he is only sort of joking. This book is definitely a bit of instalove, but Canterbary gives us some emotional depth to go along with that instalove.
The conflict was foreshadowed early on and I wish that had not been the case, but there are worse things to happen in a book. Some side characters got a little bit too much on page time that I found distracting from this story and I had to skim when they were on the page. But Canterbary also planted seeds for another book that I will be very excited to read. I want to go on record that I really, really want Stremmel’s story.
Overall I enjoyed this story, it balanced emotion and sex well. It wasn’t as heavy as some of the Walsh books, and that it okay.