Category Archives: erotica

Review: Crossing the Line

crossing the lineCrossing the Line

by Megan Hart
Published by Cosmo Red Hot Reads
80 pages
Genre: erotica
1.5 / 5

Summary:

5 Rules for Sexy Play in the Workplace!

1. Know the company policy;—You just got an opportunity to finally snag that sweet corner office. The last thing you need is a wicked distraction….

2. Don’t date your boss—Sure, Jamison Wolfe has a smile that could send a woman into instant orgasmic joy. But more important, he’s your strict, control-freakish boss. Your hot, sexy, control-freakish boss.

3. Keep PDA out of the office—Okay, so you slipped up. Once. It was just the temptation of having Jamison at your complete naked mercy.

4. Prepare for the worst—This can’t go anywhere. You know it, he knows it. So why stop now?

5. Be discreet—Even when it gets more intense. Even when you push every limit you both possess…

 

My Review:

I have enjoyed Megan Hart’s books for a while. The Every Part of You serious? Loved it. Flying? LOVED IT. The FavorTempted? Loved them all!

Alas, I do not have much love for this one.

Hart takes our typical, Christian Gray-esque notions of BDSM and turns them upside down. This time the domme is a woman, the sub a man.

Caitlyn has inherent Dominant traits, although she does not exhibit them in the work force. She’s a fairly content employee doing the bidding of her boss Jamison. He, on the other hand, is an Alpha Male and is always in charge, always in control, always telling others what to do. Always taking care of others.

When he and Caitlyn develop a sexual spark, Jamison realizes that he found someone who allows him to be the one taken care of, to not have to make decisions or be in control.

He likey.

He likey a LOT.

But what he doesn’t like is anyone else knowing about it, because then he’d appear all weak and everything.

The headboard rockin’ is quite hot, as is typical in Megan Hart fare. But the story is exceedingly blah and uninteresting. You see every plot twist coming from about 500 paces, which makes the scant number of pages a very good thing. I didn’t find Caitlyn or Jamison compelling – at all – so hot as their couplings may be, they didn’t hold my interest because Caitlyn and Jamison didn’t hold my interest.

There are hotter Megan Hart books out there. Go read one of those. In fact, go read Flying and give this one a pass.

 

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Flying

flyingFlying
by Megan Hart
Published by Harlequin MIRA
384 pages
Genre: erotica; romance 
3.5  / 5

 

When lives fall apart, each of us react in a different way. For some of us, we sink into addictions. Drugs, alcohol, shopping. Anything that dulls the pain. Others of us turn to religion, finding solace in God’s plan. Maybe we pull our family in closer, or maybe we become activists. Our responses are entirely individual.

Stella’s life has taken a bad turn. She has suffered some personal losses, and now, divorced and the mother of a teenager, she takes off every other weekend, flying to a different city. She does not go on tours or see the sights. She sits in an airport bar, meets a man – always a stranger, never someone known to her – and goes to spend some time with him.

In these anonymous hookups, she finds physical release and emotional escape. It’s a good plan for her, one that works fairly effortlessly.

Until, that is, she meets Matthew.

Their “relationship” begins on a different basis than Stella’s other interludes, and that immediately establishes this as something unique for her. She finds herself caring about him, and this scares her, for Matthew not only is unexpected, his presence is not entirely wanted or needed. And he has his own personal issues and crises.

I enjoy Megan Hart’s writing a great deal, especially the way she writes about the sexy times. Intimacy sometimes can be strictly physical, and Hart asks us to consider that and not judge a woman for needing an outlet. Stella can’t face the reality of her life without enjoying – even if temporarily – a connection with someone else. Preferably a physical connection. Preferably an anonymous physical connection.

As delicious as the headboard rockin’ is, there are some weaknesses to the story.

Stella stops her airport interludes, and the apparent permanence of that stoppage is unexplained; they were something Stella needed, and when circumstances arise that would make her need them again, we don’t have a satisfactory answer for why she doesn’t turn to the one thing she knows brings her comfort.

Her ex-husband is straight out of Central Casting for “embittered ex,” and nothing about him surprises or interests us. The redemptions for some of the characters seem easy and a bit too pat.

Still, though, this is an enjoyable book, and Hart’s writing will keep you turning the pages.

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Every Part of You

every part of youEvery Part of You
by Megan Smith
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin
256 pages
Genre: erotica 
4 / 5

 

Before I begin this review, allow me to point out that this book – all 256 pages of it – represents a compilation of five (count ’em, FIVE) novellas, originally published separately. Each one was less than 40 pages long.

The hell?

Am I the only one thinking “money grab” when I see this?

Mad props to St. Martin’s Griffin for DOING THE RIGHT THING and publishing this as it should be: all together, one book, one price.

Now, on to the review.

Most nights when Simone is at work, she can see into the window of a man who works in her building. She is intrigued by this guy – Elliott – largely because he seems to bring in different women on different nights and enjoys sex with them. He also appears to enjoy a little spanky panky.

When Simone engineers a way to meet him, Elliott is not immediately taken with her. But he is intrigued.

The two begin a dance of sorts, a push and pull as they try to determine whether or not they want to – or will – have a relationship.

One thing they know for certain is that they are quite simpatico between the sheets.

Oh, are they EVER.

Strap on your vibrators, girls, because Elliott and Simone are going to rock that headboard right into next month.

The thing with breaking this up into novellas is that it appears to be nothing more than a little plot – just enough – to get you from one sex scene to another. But when you read it in its entirety, you can see character development. Simone and Elliott each have Issues that must be addressed (he more than her), but what they may not necessarily realize is that they can address them more successfully together than apart.

Yes, there are a couple of plot points that sort of evaporate (particularly one involving a Louisiana politician … I’m still not quite sure what was going on there). But Simone and Elliott are a compelling couple, one whose story you will enjoy reading.

Plus, those sex scenes? THOSE DELICIOUS SEX SCENES?

Fabulous.

Don’t read the five separate novellas. Read this one, with all five together. Megan Hart can write some erotica, people, and you will enjoy it.

 

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The End of the Innocence (Innocence #3)

end of the innocenceThe End of the Innocence
by Alessandra Torre
Published by the author
Genre: erotica, romance 
Thanks to NetGalley for the copy
4 / 5

 

All good things must come to an end, and so it is time to bid a fond arrivederci to Brad De Luca.

Pardon me while I doff my nonexistent wig and observe a moment of silence.

Surely by this time – SURELY, faithful readers – you have read Blindfolded Innocence and Masked Innocence, the first two of the trilogy. (Yep. Another trilogy. I’m about to give up that fight, kids.) And sure – SURELY – you are acquainted with Brad De Luca.

If you aren’t, shame on you. Don’t you dare call yourself an erotica fan.

When last we left Brad (le sigh) and Julia, they were newly engaged and celebrated as only Brad knows how to celebrate: by rockin’ that headboard right into the stratosphere.

The engagement was precipitated by Brad’s mafioso family’s death warrant for Julia, but it isn’t as if Brad doesn’t want to marry her. He does. He loves her. They connect on a level he hasn’t enjoyed with his previous liaisons (including an ex-wife), and Julia challenges him, adores him, and loves him. Sure, there is the tried and true erotica age differential, but I can forgive it this time because it’s BRAD DE LUCA.

Anyway.

Brad and Julia find themselves navigating more domestic terrain in Book 3. They have to tell her family about their engagement, and then there is the niggling little detail about Brad’s. Does Daddy De Luca still want to off Julia?

Fortunately, the headboard rockin’ remains scorching hot. Brad and Julia’s forays into threesomes continues, and their couple sexy times are fabulous as well. The plot … well, it’s flimsy, as has been the case throughout the series. But who cares? It’s BRAD DE LUCA! Plot? Take me straight to the bedroom. Or the massage table. Or the back room at the bar.

Take me anywhere Brad is getting naked.

Torre includes a note at the end regarding Brad and Julia’s “happily ever after.” I thought the ending as-is works well and fits the story, but Torre realizes that some readers will want more closure. She includes a link to an additional scene that you can read online.

As much as I will miss Brad, it’s time to send him off. Torre is smart. She knows that it’s better to leave us wistfully sighing over her hero rather than wear out his welcome.

I enjoyed this series. It’s been a pleasure to read about two people who embrace their idea of – and need for – pleasure, especially such a delightfully deviant sort of pleasure.

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Mad Love

mad loveMad Love
by Colet Abedi
Published by Bird Street Books
262 pages
Genre: erotica, romance 
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
4 / 5

 

On the one hand, it must be nice to be Sophie Walker. An adored only child, she has enjoyed a privileged upbringing, wanting for nothing (nothing material, anyway). She got accepted into law school, and destiny holds that she will take over her father’s successful law firm one day. When she decides to jettison those plans, she doesn’t go live in a fifth floor, roach-infested walk-up in the Bronx; instead, she hops onto a plane and heads first class to the Maldives, where she plans to spend a week relaxing with spa treatments, her gay best friend, and his partner.

On the other hand, it wouldn’t be so nice to be Sophie Walker. She is almost too adored. Her parents strive so earnestly to protect her that they don’t even let her go on a school trip to Washington, DC. Granted, that’s clear across the country from her LA home, but still. They have charted their course for her life, and they expect her to follow it. When she quits law school to become an ARTIST, of all horrors, they threaten to withdraw all financial support. Worse, they withdraw emotional support.

Yes, Sophie (somehow) has the wherewithal to head to the Maldives, but she deserves this chance to decompress. I mean, it must be exhausting hoisting that silver spoon.

Okay, so the premise is utterly contrived. Not many college grads can afford a first class trek to the Maldives, and even fewer can do so knowing that they have no professional support now that they detoured off their career trajectory. You will need to make that logical leap in order to enjoy this story, and it is quite enjoyable indeed.

While in the airport, Sophie meets Clayton Sinclair, a wealthy, older (by eleven years) Brit. (Sing it with me, faithful readers: THEY ARE ALWAYS WEALTHY AND OLDER.) As we are told several times, Clayton’s immediate attraction to Sophie is “new” for him and out of character.

But attracted he is, and attracted she is. Before too long, they act on their attraction.

Naturally, emotional chaos ensues.

I did like this book. In fact, it ends on a cliffhanger that I want resolved, like, NOW. So come on, Colet Abedi, and publish that sequel. (An aside: please don’t traipse down the trilogy path; keep it to two books and buck the trend, would you, please?)

I did not like it without reservation, though. For one thing, I can’t figure out why Sophie’s self-esteem is so low. She’s gorgeous. Her friends, Clayton, his friends – EVERYONE tells her how gorgeous she is. I’m not saying she needs to be narcissistic, but her apparent total unawareness of her looks seems a bit odd, as does her inability to see that she is a valuable, contributing member of the human race. Yes, Mommy and Daddy were controlling, but her conversation with her father makes him seem somewhat supportive of her.

So there’s that.

But the ending … dear sweet mother of Michelangelo, the ending. It is as artificial as they come. I know we need a mechanism to make us want to read the sequel – and it worked, because I do – but I also feel manipulated, and I don’t like that. For one thing, Sophie’s best friend is a Hollywood stylist. He, of all people, ought to know the perils of believing the tabloid press. Yet there he is, cheering along the questionable conclusions she draws.

Still, though, Sophie is likable. Yes, she’s a bit too prone to fits of pique and drama (if I were Clayton, I would have left her because of her immaturity, but then we wouldn’t have the book, would we?), but she’s a loyal friend, and she’s fairly kind-hearted. Clayton is … well … he just IS. And what he IS is hot and gorgeous.

One more complaint: the sex scenes are not detailed enough. Yeah, I’m a big fat perv, but I would have liked MORE, Colet Abedi. More, more, more. This book has an “erotica” tag (per the publisher), by the way. So let’s have some EROTICA. There is a hint that Clayton has a Dominant streak in him, but it is not pursued. Yet, anyway. We do have a sequel coming.

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Telling Tales

Telling TalesTelling Tales
by Charlotte Stein
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
240 pages
Genre: erotica 
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
3 / 5

 

Do you enjoy erotica? Delicious, arousing erotica? Do you care if the story surrounding the erotica makes sense? If your answers are yes, yes, and no, then this is the book for you.

If, however, you like a little – oh, I don’t know – plausible story, then pick up something by C.C. Gibbs and give this one a pass.

Allie and three friends from college – Kitty, Wade, and Cameron – have inherited the home of a former professor. As part of their claim, they must spend a month there.

And so these four people gather together and begin doing what they did in college: they share stories. The four apparently are writers of some sort – or at least they were in school – although none of them wrote erotic fiction. Let’s just say that that changed … considerably.

The relationships between the four are a bit muddy. Allie has loved Wade for years, although Kitty didn’t know (or so Kitty claims). Cameron has loved Allie, although Allie didn’t know. Wade? Wade loves Wade. And sex. Kitty loves Allie like a sister, and she also loves the sexy times.

As the tales get told, we begin to learn more about the characters. Allie narrates the book, so we spend most of our time with her. She has a visceral response to Wade’s story, all the more fierce when she finds out where he got the idea for it. Her greatest response, though, is for Cameron. As she realizes the depths of his feelings for her, she finds herself drawn to him.

Is Allie so shallow that she does not love a man until she thinks he loves her? So it would seem. Yes, she self-flagellates in regret that she wasted so much time mooning over Wade when good and wonderful Cam was there, but otherwise? She loves when she thinks she’s loved back. Fortunately, the ending throws us a bit of a curve as far as that’s concerned.

As sparse and flimsy as the plot is, the headboard rockin’ … oh, faithful readers. The headboard rockin’ is H-O-T. Strap on your vibrators, girls, because you will need them when you’re finished with this one. While you finish it, in fact.

Charlotte Stein knows how to write some sexy times. And the sex here is graphic with a capital GRAPHIC. There are threesomes, foursomes, sodomy, and raw, feral coupling. And it is delicious to read. Supposedly the sex is a means by which we get to the inner psychological core of the characters. Really? It’s that high brow? Because it sure seems like the plot is there just to propel us from one bed to another.

I liked it, and if you enjoy hot headboard rockin’, you will too. Just don’t go looking for much plot.

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Masked Innocence

masked innocenceMasked Innocence
by Alessandra Torre
Published by Harlequin
304 pages
Genre: erotica 
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
4 / 5

For all of you erotica fans out there who have not discovered Alessandra Torre, consider this a hint: GO DISCOVER HER NOW.

Torre can write some sexy times, faithful readers. Yes, yes, she can.

This is the follow-up to Blindfolded Innocencein which we first met Julia Campbell and (le swoon) Brad De Luca.

Julia is a young (yeah, yeah, they are always young) college co-ed intent on pursuing a law degree, and Brad is a divorce attorney (so, you know, he’s OLDER and he’s RICH, which of course are two things you NEVER see in an erotica hero …) in the firm where she interns, and the two have embarked on what you might call an untraditional romance.

Now that Julia has accepted that Brad enjoys – he NEEDS – to share her and share himself, they can pursue their kink together. There is only one episode of that in this book, but it’s ever present. Whereas the first installment focused on Brad and Julia coming together, this one is focused on them staying together. Can they? Will they?

Whatever happens, it won’t be easy.

For one thing, there is the age gap. Brad has been married, and as a man in his late thirties, he knows himself. He knows what he needs, he knows what he can’t accept in a relationship, and he also knows that he does not want to be alone. Still, though, there are some aspects on which he cannot – will not – compromise. Julia, though, is only twenty-one. What does she know? She was engaged for two years, but she didn’t even know she could orgasm, much less how to have one. What does she know of a relationship that entails occasional threesomes or swapping?

One thing she does know is that she loves Brad De Luca. She also knows that loving him could be a huge mistake.

Into this emotional angst comes a subplot that seems a bit odd considering Torre doesn’t seem like a crime writer, but it turns out to be a decent plot manipulation. A murder occurs, and Julia’s life becomes at risk. Brad must save her, and in doing so, he has to face his feelings for her.

But that’s all plot. It’s fine, it serves its purpose, and Torre does not write in a way that makes me want to strangle Julia. In fact, I rather like her. She’s feisty and hard headed, but she loves Brad. Yes, she knows this romance will be bumpy at best, but he’s worth it.

However solid the story and characterization are, the sexy times are delicious. Strap on your vibrators, girls, because Brad can rock that headboard straight beyond the ozone layer, and he does. As often as possible.

Bless him.

Torre’s sex scenes are more than just two people’s naughty bits connecting. They’re also part of the learning process between Brad and Julia. Yes, that sounds a bit much, but it’s true. In one interlude, Julia looks back at Brad and nods in acceptance and encouragement, letting him know that she not only enjoys what he’s doing to her, but she wants it. She has her jealous moments; she does not relish seeing him attracted to another woman, nor is she keen on watching him pursue one. Brad, though, is considerate of her fears and includes her in every move he makes. He’s all about sharing physically, but the intimacy that counts – the emotional sort – he reserves for Julia.

I like Torre’s books. I enjoy how she writes, I enjoy her characters, her stories, and those sex scenes.

And Brad. I like Brad.

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