Mini Reviews: Tempted by His Best Friend & The Fantasy

I’m here today with a couple of mini-reviews for novellas I’ve read recently, so lets get to it!

Tempted by His Best Friend by Cari Quinn

temptedbyhisbestfriendFrom Goodreads:

Real identity optional… Kindergarten teachers aren’t known for breaking the rules, but Steph is ready to go undercover—and get under the covers—to work her magic on her best friend, Landon. Sexy costume necessary, multiple orgasms crucial, real identity optional.

Entangled’s Brazen line is a go-to for me when I’m looking for a quick and fun read and I’m happy to say that Tempted by His Best Friend didn’t let me down.

This is a novella that features characters that were amazingly fleshed out considering the length of the story. I felt like I was getting a peak into this established relationship and I wasn’t lost or wondering about anything, I was just able to enjoy all the ups and downs as it turns into a whole new kind of relationship. It also didn’t hurt one bit that it featured one of my favorite romance tropes.

All in all, Tempted by His Best Friend was a very fun read. The story moved along quickly and it did not lack for steamy moments. If you like a quick erotic romance, this one is worth a read. 4/5 stars.

The Fantasy (A Desperate Man #1) by Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine

thefantasyFrom Goodreads:

Fantasies – we all have them.
For some it’s their dream job; others want the wedding, the 2.5 kids, the white picket fence.
My fantasies are a bit more…depraved.
Dark and sinful, they have destroyed relationships and my livelihood, yet I still submit to them like a slave.
Sex.
For most, it’s a natural expression of love, caring, or lust.
But there are those of us who can’t stop once we’ve had a taste.
Those of us who don’t want to.
And the shame of that never-ending cycle will eat us alive…
My name is Evan James, and I am a sex addict.

The Fantasy is a book that I recently came across from this list and I was incredibly curious. So, like any good book worm, I got my hands on a copy right away and read my little heart out. While it wasn’t quite what I expected, even having read the synopsis, I still very much enjoyed the read.

I love the hard-edged, gritty feel that this novella has. It reminded me a lot of when I read Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners books. There was none of the flowery language or ridiculous descriptions that we so often see in romance and erotica and I just loved the change of feeling that this novella gave off. Add to that Evan’s character, this struggle he has with himself and the feel of the harsh reality he’s living due to his sex addiction and you’ve got a great read.

Bottom line, this is a great erotic novella with a very different feel than a lot of the stuff that is out there. It kept my attention from start to finish, I don’t think I looked up once while reading. I am eagerly awaiting news of a second installment and definitely recommend it for anyone looking for something a bit different. 4/5 stars.

 

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Book Review: Vanilla on Top by C.J. Ellisson

vanillaontop

Heather Pierce has dealt with a lot of crap from men in the past, so when she sees an opportunity where she can call the shots and things will happen on her terms she jumps at it, even if she’s not one hundred percent sure it’ll work. After all, she’s never really let herself have that take charge personality in any aspect of her life. Tony Carmine is the opposite. He’s a right hand man to one of the most powerful businessmen in the city. He’s well known, both in boardrooms and for being a bit of a playboy, so when Heather Pierce leaves him spinning he’s pretty sure there’s something between them to investigate. However, will she hate him once she really figures out who he is?

I picked this book up for two reasons, the title made me giggle and it was published by Entangled Publishing whose books I simply can’t get enough of.

I kind of loved this story, plain and simple. The characters had strengths and faults and both came into their own in some way or another during the book. So yes, while it is an erotic romance, it still had this awesome character development throughout. It’s also got one of my current favorite tropes which is the powerful businessman. That didn’t hurt one bit.

The story was in some ways kind of predictable which did take a little of the excitement from me, but nonetheless I still absolutely enjoyed immersing myself into the tale of Heather and Tony’s budding relationship. There were the ups and downs of course, and the work life drama that played into how both of them approached their out of office hours, but it was still awesome to see Heather start wielding this power and fighting for her independence so to speak in a largely stuffy corporate world, but more importantly in her personal life.

All in all, Vanilla on Top was a quick enjoyable read. Fun, a bit spicy, and a bit thrilling – I’d say give it a shot if erotic romance works for you. 4/5 stars.

Walk on the Wild Side Series:

1. Vanilla on Top
2. Avoiding Mr. Right
3. Vanilla Twist

Book Review: Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair

clubshadowlandsWhen Jessica runs her car off the road to avoid hitting an armadillo during a rainstorm in the middle of nowhere Florida, she runs to the nearest shelter she can find to wait the storm out. She never expects to find herself in a beautiful mansion housing an exclusive BDSM club. That one night among the forbidden, so to speak, she meets Master Z, discovers submission, makes a huge mistake or two, and her life changes… all for the better.

My Thoughts:

When I first started this book I have to admit to being a little bit apprehensive. Even though I had heard tons of good things about the Masters of the Shadowlands series, I hadn’t read much erotica with a BDSM focus when I read this book for the first time. It seemed a bit… cheesy, I guess? I also had a couple of issues with Jessica’s character at the start. I was having flashbacks to 50 Shades of Gray when she would mention Master Z touching her ‘there’ and I so did not want to walk that road again. Luckily, as I read on I realized there wasn’t really any reason for me to be worried. I fell in love with the characters and the story quite quickly and I ended up loving this book.

So, main characters… Jessica was awesome to read about regardless of my first impressions of her. This is a fairly short book, yet Jessica’s discovery of this world and her part in it was fairly realistic. She does a whole lot of growing through out the story and by the end she has totally become this confident woman who can own her sexuality. It’s refreshing to see. Master Z, regardless of the totally random mindreading thing, is also a great character for one main reason. He’s a nurturer. It seems like there’s this idea among some people that males who have a nurturing side to them are weak or less than the other callous dominant males out there and this book just totally blows that idea out of the water.  There is of course, a brief introduction to several of the other characters who will get their own story and it was hard for me to not be excited to read about them all as they were introduced.

One thing that stood out for me as I re-read Club Shadowlands was how the author depicts BDSM. Since my first go around with this book I’ve read several other books that have a BDSM aspect to them but there are huge gaps as far as the realism or common sense goes in some of them. I love that the author isn’t afraid to hit key issues about this lifestyle head on in her books and that she doesn’t put maximum effect ahead of things like safety. There are so many stereotypes out there about this particular lifestyle and it’s awesome to read about it in such a realistic and intelligent way.

All in all, this was a fantastic opener for the Masters of the Shadowlands series. Once I got past those first 20 pages or so it was smooth sailing. I’m hyped to finish re-reading the series! I wouldn’t recommend this for those who don’t like books with a lot of sexual content in their reading, but for those who like a little spice with their lovin’, go for it! 4/5 stars.

Masters of the Shadowlands Series:
1. Club Shadowlands
2. Dark Citadel
3. Breaking Free
4. Lean On Me
5. Make Me, Sir
6. To Command and Collar
7. This is Who I Am
8. If Only