Sunday, January 20, 2019

L-L-L-Little Reviews: Four Adult Romances

Only one from last year, the rest are all from this year, trying to stay on top of reviews this year!

Most Valuable Playboy by Lauren Blakely:
Release Date: September 5th, 2017
Genre:  Sports romance
Source:  Audiobook purchased from
My rating:  5 stars

I knew I needed to listen to this one after there was a short prequel at the end of the other Lauren Blakely book I listened to, Unzipped.  While the prequel was from Violet's viewpoint, this full length novel was from Cooper's viewpoint.  And Zachary Webber was the narrator, and I love him!  This was a lot of fun, although I wonder if the prequel or this came first.  As usual, Blakely writes a lot of sexy steam with a lot of humor.  I loved several different things, like the "mind over erection zone".  As with the other book, I loved that really the characters didn't do extremely unrealistic things. They were pretty honest when needed, and the other one believed without going nutty.  And I liked how the coaches were, and how the owner's sister was as well, I mean in the end.  I love how real this author is in her storytelling.  And it only encourages me to read more!

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
Hands down, my favorite thing in the world is to score. Touchdowns. Don't let the fact that I'm the leading pick in the Most Valuable Playboy charity auction fool you. These days, I'm only a player on the field. I've kept my pants zipped all season long - and it is long - because nothing's more important than leading my team to victory every week. Except maybe escaping from the team owner's recently widowed and handsy-as-hell sister, who's dead set on winning more than a date with me. Enter Violet and a well-placed Hail Mary. She's my best friend's sister with a smile as sweet as cherry pie, and a mind that runs quicker than the 40-yard-dash.

After Violet saves the day with the highest bid, I don't even give her a two-minute warning before I kiss her in front of the whole crowd, and then announce that she's my girlfriend. Which would be fine, except my agent tells me we've got to keep up the act while he's negotiating my contract. Violet takes one for the team and pretends to be mine, but our boyfriend-girlfriend scrimmage quickly turns into a full contact sport, and I want it to go into overtime. The problem is - I've been riding the bench for years. How can a guy like me, who finally has a chance to prove his worth on the field, convince the girl she's most valuable to his heart? 

Sure Thing (Gemini Duet #1) by Jana Aston:
Release Date: October 2nd, 2017
Genre:  Adult romance
Source:  Audiobook purchased from
My rating:  5 stars

My first thought as I began listening was that I wished I had the guts to do what Violet did.  Hey, just realized this is two audiobooks in a row that the main character was named Violet!  Although in this story, she had to go by the name Daisy, because she was pretending to be her twin.  I did get a little annoyed at times when there were too many chapters from the same character.  I get why it's done, it adds the drama/suspense for knowing what the other character is thinking, but sometimes I just need/miss the other character's viewpoint!   As the story went and we learned just how awesome Jennings was in bed, I couldn't help but compare to my own experiences and thought about who was that for me.  Now, I did agree with her sister Daisy about some things, like carrot cake, yuck!  This was one that I feel like neither of their secrets were bad enough to make the other upset when the learned them. But the way that Jennings kind of connected the dots and the assumptions he made based on seeing something out of context at the end, I can understand his being upset.  In the end though, we got more chapters from his point of view, and when he realized she was a twin, I'm glad that helped him see that her secret wasn't what he would think.  Loved so much about this.  I did want to strangle the author though for how she left us off at the end of one chapter with Jennings.  I couldn't believe when we joined him again towards the end that she'd done that to us!  One other thing to share, there is a quote that really hit me, really resounded with me:  Prepare for the inevitable or hold out hope.  That is how I feel about my love life.  I've kind of just given up and realized I'll be alone for my whole life.  Done holding out hope.  Now getting any love and romance from the books I read.  

Glad to hear there is going to be a book for Daisy too!

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
Have you ever set out to have a one night stand with a sexy stranger?
No? I’m the only one?
Just kidding, I would never. 
Not usually. 
But then I figured, why not? My entire life I’ve been good and it’s gotten me nowhere.
No job. 
No apartment. 
No boyfriend. 
I’m owed a little fun, aren’t I? A reward for being good.
Sure, a new pair of shoes would be more appropriate, but Mr. Sexy Stranger is more appealing. And when he speaks—in that British accent—it’s a done deal. Every American woman has a hot British guy fantasy. Well, most do. I haven't taken a poll or anything, but I’m pretty sure it’s a fact. 
You know that saying about best-laid plans? 
Good, because I don’t either, but I assume they go awry.
Like my one night stand… 

Cocktales:  The Cocky Collective:
Release Date: May 26th, 2018
Genre:  Many different types of adult romance
Source:  Purchased physical copy
My rating:  4 stars

So, if you follow the romance book world, you probably remember the whole deal with the author who tried to copyright the word "cocky" last year.  And the author's books that she reported to Amazon and they had to change their title and it cost them a lot of money.  This anthology was published by authors in support of the authors who had been hurt by this crazy idea of trying to copyright a word.  So of course, I had to buy a copy!  I got a lot of autographs in it at Book Bonanza last summer.  I just finally finished reading it this year though.  There are almost 40 different stories in this anthology.  I didn't actually read all of them, because they weren't my types of stories.  I'm not going to talk about every single story, that would take too long.  I'll just go over a few of my favorites.  As soon as I got it, I immediately turned to the Amy Daws story and read it, and of course loved it. Cam is my favorite Harris brother after all!  Surprised I didn't immediately turn to Kylie Scott's story next, because it was Mal, my favorite book boyfriend, or one of the top three.  But I did love that one too!  Some new authors I think I've found from this book are Dylan Allen, Whitney Barbetti, Ruth Clampett, Mariah Dietz, Lex Martin, Jessica Prince, Julie A. Richman, Kate Stewart, and maybe Karla Sorensen.  A great book!  You can't get it anymore I think, other than used copies.  Not sure if they're even selling the ebook anymore either.  But they made a good chunk of money to donate to those authors who needed the legal fees and such.  So if you can get a copy, you should check it out!

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
Cocktales is a limited-release anthology (available *only* from May 26 – August 26, 2018) of original, never before published material, some of which is raw and unedited. Each story was specifically written for this anthology.

The goal of the Cocktales Anthology is to raise funds to fight against obstruction of creative expression. Specifically, what we believe are obstruction attempts through the trademarking of common (single) words for titicular use in books / or as a book series (eBooks, print, and audio).

*ALL* net profits will be donated to:
1) Authors already impacted by creative-obstruction (10%), and
2) Romance Writers of America (RWA) (90%) as a general donation intended for their Advocacy Fund.

Disclaimer: This anthology is not being conducted on behalf of RWA, nor does RWA endorse this anthology or effort. They have, however, graciously agreed to accept the funds. 


Clam Jam by R.C. Boldt:
Release Date: January 10th, 2017
Genre:  Adult romantic comedy
Source:  Purchased physical copy
My rating:  5 stars

Okay, my first book by this author and I'm hooked!  Loved so much about it!  It had so many pop culture references that are right up my alley.  Like a reference to one of my favorite kid books, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and then a reference later on to Pretty in Pink, about how Duckie should have got the girl in the end.  Vocabulary such as the word "stabby" which made me think of my favorite tv show of all time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  This book was not only perfect for me personally, it was hilarious, the whole clam jamming idea, so funny! The way that he did it, I laughed so hard at that. And then, later, it got so darn steamy!  Loved this story and characters so much.  I got to meet the author and get it signed at Book Bonanza last year, hope to read more soon!

Here is the blurb from Goodreads:
"Clam Jam" 
Definition: the female equivalent of a cock block. 
Example: You're chatting with a guy you're interested in and your friend comes along and lays claim to him. 
That's my life--except it's worse. My friend who keeps "jamming" me is my gay roommate, and if that isn't a W.T.F. moment, I'm not sure what is. 
Fact: He went home with three--yes, three--of the guys I had been so sure were into me. 
Fact: He's really pissing me off. I mean, hello? I'm trying to get back in the saddle, but I'll never manage to get a boyfriend before the age of fifty if he keeps this up. 
Fact: Secretly, I wonder what it would be like if he weren't gay. Why do all the hot, sweet, tender-hearted guys have to be gay? 
Fact: My gay-dar needs a serious tune-up. 
The day I interviewed for the room to rent, everything changed. I knew I had met "the girl," except there was one small problem: she didn't want anything to do with men. I recognized a top-notch force field when I saw one. She'd been burned badly and didn't want to deal with a heterosexual guy as a roommate. I could've turned around and found another place to live, but I wanted to live there--with her. 
So I had to go "undercover." 
Fact: I'm in love with my roommate. 
Fact: I'm a likely candidate for carpal tunnel surgery since all the action I've had for the past year has been my hand. 
Fact: She's going to hate me if I come clean now. 
Fact: I'm not giving up. Which means I'll just have to continue to run defense until I figure out a way to get Maggie to see the "real" me. 
The me that loves her. 
The me that would never do her wrong. 
Until then, I'll keep running off every guy who shows any interest. 
Until then, I'll continue to Clam Jam.