UNDONE BY YOU by Kate Meador

March 30, 2018

Click to purchase for Kindle

The Chicago Rebels Series, Book 3

I am really enjoying this series – ice hockey, hot sex and terrific romance all work for me. This book, the third in the series, is actually a novella, not as long as the other books. And it sort of runs side by side with book 2, it doesn’t move the time line any further along.

The other big change is this book is a gay romance. The team manager, the very hot Dante Morelli, is the first NHL manager to come out as gay. The team is fine with it, except for one player – there always has to be a jerk on any team. I once had a manager at Borders who kept on this really awful employee for way longer than he should have, he called him our”Germany'” – that bad employee let everyone else on staff band together and form a more cohesive team in the face of a common enemy, so to speak. There is a character here that performs that purpose as well. He is always mouthing off about the gay manager, the Russian player, the women owners of the team, etc. Needless to say, he is not the most popular player on the team.

Dante is new in town, and ends up at a very private, invitation only gay club. To his shock, he sees one of his players there, Cade, the player that he has been crushing on since he moved to Chicago. Nonplussed by seeing Cade, Dante drags him out of the club and Cade is quite happy to go along. He has had a crush on Dante since he was a teenager and Dante was a professional hockey player – he even had his poster hung up in his room. In fact the only reason he was at that club was because he had heard Dante might show up.

Dante realizes that anyone could out Cade, and he wants to have a plan ready for that to minimize any kind of public relations nightmare that could evolve. Meanwhile, there is so much heat between these two that it is apparent where they will end up. But Dante is concerned about the power relationship, he is Cade’s boss after all, not to mention the twelve year age difference.

Dante also had been in a long term relationship with a man who hadn’t come out, and he didn’t want to be in that position again. I have to say I really empathized with Dante. I have a very good friend who, years ago, was in a similar relationship, with a partner that wasn’t out, and it was painful at times. I am very happy to report that he has found love and happiness since.

With all these hurdles, this relationship seems doomed but we all know that true love will always win out and it certainly does here. There is a lot of graphic sex, as there is in all the Meador books I’ve read, and I learned a few things.

Dare I say this is another Meador romance that is so hot the ice can’t cool it off? It really is!

Just a note about the NHL – I know as sure as I’m typing here that there are gay men playing for and managing hockey teams. As far as I know, none of them have been open about it. It just seems silly to me, like Adam Rippon being the first openly gay Olympic skater. Why on earth did it take so long? But what do I know.

3/18  Stacy Alesi AKA the BookBitch™

UNDONE BY YOU by Kate Meador. Pocket Star (March 5, 2018). ASIN: B074ZRHPGC. 147p.

 

 


DARKER by E. L. James

January 11, 2018

Click to purchase

Fifty Shades Darker as Told by Christian

The second entry in the Fifty Shades trilogy was my favorite. It is the most like a traditional romance, albeit a contemporary, highly erotic version, so when James released the “Christian” version, I was all in.

This is from the publisher:

E L James revisits the world of Fifty Shades with a deeper and darker take on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the globe.

Their scorching, sensual affair ended in heartbreak and recrimination, but Christian Grey cannot get Anastasia Steele out of his mind, or his blood. Determined to win her back, he tries to suppress his darkest desires and his need for complete control, and to love Ana on her own terms.

But the horrors of his childhood still haunt him, and Ana’s scheming boss, Jack Hyde, clearly wants her for himself.  Can Christian’s confidant and therapist, Dr. Flynn, help him face down his demons? Or will the possessiveness of Elena, his seducer, and the deranged devotion of Leila, his former submissive, drag Christian down into the past?

And if Christian does win Ana back, can a man so dark and damaged ever hope to keep her?

If you’re a fan of the books, you’ll enjoy this one. If you’re not, this won’t change your mind. I enjoyed it.

1/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

DARKER by E. L. James.  Vintage (November 28, 2017). ISBN: 978-0385543910. 560p.

Kindle


SO OVER YOU by Kate Meador

December 20, 2017

Click to purchase

The Chicago Rebels Series, Book 2

Ice ice baby! The Chicago Rebels are a fictional NHL hockey team whose owner has died. He’s left the team to his three estranged daughters, all from different baby mamas, with the caveat that if the team doesn’t make it to the playoffs, it will be sold off.

Hockey is one of the mysognistic sports for sure, so women owners are a rarity. In this case, Isobel Chase  is the middle sister and the one her father favored. He raised her to play professional women’s hockey, but in her first game she got seriously injured and had to leave the game. She is trying to work her way up to coaching the Rebels, and her first assignment is to work with their new left wing. Vadim Petrov, nicknamed the Czar of Pleasure, not that Isobel would call him that. He was her first lover when they were both teenagers, and she didn’t tell him she was a virgin so it was not a wonderful deflowering.

No one knows about their history until one of the players overhears her conversation about it with her younger sister. He blabs, and the gossip is thick. Meanwhile, the Czar of Pleasure has been in love with Isobel since they were together the first time, not that she knows it and he barely admits it to himself. Nonetheless, they find their way back to each other with a lot of hot sex and some real bumps in the relationship along the way.

Another Meador romance so hot the ice can’t cool it off!

12/17  Stacy Alesi AKA the BookBitch™

SO OVER YOU by Kate Meador. Pocket Books (December 19, 2017). ISBN 978-1501180897. 400p.

Kindle

 


SCORED by Sloane Howell

October 20, 2017

Click to purchase this Kindle book

This is another sports romance, this time baseball, with an erotica bent. It’s pretty hot and a lot of fun.

Kelsey works in a record store – vinyl records, and she’s really into music. Her best friends introduce her to Matt, a professional athlete, and while physically she is drawn to him, she can’t imagine them having anything in common.

Matt thinks she’s really cute and unbeknownst to Kelsey, he really loves music. So when he finally asks her out, it’s to a concert at one of his favorite venues. Turns out it’s one of her favorites, too.

Try as she does to fight it, Kelsey and Matt have a lot in common and things really heat up between them. It wouldn’t be a romance without some aggravation along the way, but of course they get their happy ending. This is a fast, fun read, available as an ebook only.

SCORED by Sloane Howell. Loveswept (October 17, 2017). ASIN B01M3TJQA6. 221p.


RUSH by Maya Banks

September 23, 2017

Click to purchase

Breathless Trilogy, Book 1

Because of the bad review I gave Dirty Little Secret, I decided to read another book in that genre just to see if it was me, my mindset, or the book. I’m happy (sort of) to report it was the book. Rush is a fun read.

Another 50 Shades of Grey readalike, this book has main characters that are fairly well defined and feel like actual people more than just stereotypes. No sirs, no pets, but still BDSM in all of its sexy glory. If you like that sort of thing, and I do when it is done well.

Gabe Hamilton has had a major crush on Mia for years, but she’s his best friend’s baby sister, fourteen years his junior. When she was 16, that was a problem but now that she’s 24, it doesn’t seem so insurmountable anymore. When Mia arrives at a work party looking for her brother, he is nowhere to be found but Gabe dances with her and gets her home safely – after ordering her to be in his office the following Monday morning.

He offers her a job as his personal assistant, but there is a catch – he has her sign a contract basically making her his sex slave. She has a major crush on him, so she goes for it but they both decide her brother can’t know anything about that part of their relationship. Of course, all good ideas go asunder, or what would be the point.

This is an erotic romance with the requisite happily ever after and it was a good read. My faith in erotica is now restored.

9/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

RUSH by Maya Banks. Berkley; 1 edition (February 5, 2013). ISBN 978-0425267042.  416p.

Kindle


DIRTY LITTLE SECRET by Kendall Ryan

September 22, 2017

Click to purchase

Forbidden Desires, Book 1

I don’t read a lot of self-published books, primarily because they generally aren’t edited properly, and this book just reinforces that.

I was stuck at home for several days because of Hurricane Irma, and I had gotten an advance copy and it was on my Kindle so I read it. The best thing I can say about it was it was a quick read.

I didn’t like the characters, I didn’t understand them and they felt entirely two-dimensional to me. The main character is Gavin, who owns an escort service with his brothers, and Emma, a librarian. Of course.  I didn’t even like the sex scenes much, they just felt trite and so done already. Like when the dominant calls the librarian, “Pet.” Yech.

It ends in the middle of the story, the better to get you to buy the next book in the series I suppose, but I didn’t care enough about any of it to look for more.

Ryan has hopped on the 50 Shades of Grey/E.L. James bandwagon, and apparently there just aren’t enough of these books to satisfy demand. To be fair, this book has 4.5 stars on Amazon and other review sites.

9/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

DIRTY LITTLE SECRET by Kendall Ryan. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 14, 2017). ISBN 978-1548139148.  354p.

Kindle


THE SCANDAL OF IT ALL by Sophie Jordan

August 9, 2017

Click to purchase

 The Rogue Files, Book 2

I know I’ve read at least some of the books in this series, but I don’t remember any of them being this hot. Smoldering hot!

Graciela, the Duchess of Autenberry, is originally from Spain and has been widowed for a long while. The marriage was abusive but for the children’s sake, she has kept alive the fairytale version. The ton never really accepted her as one of their own due to her Spanish background, and her dark, sultry looks don’t help.

When Graciela’s closest friend tells her about a club where she can find a lover, she is tempted. It has been a very long time since her husband died. So she goes, but to her horror, her stepson and his best friend, Lord Strickland, are there.

Mortified, she tries to hide but Strickland finds her. He has always been drawn to her but their relationship and their age difference doesn’t work. Strickland helps her hide from her stepson, but takes advantage of her – until he has her begging for more. They become lovers, despite her reservations about their age difference, but circumstances conspire to leading them down a different path.

I like Sophie Jordan’s books, and if you enjoy historical romances that pretty much cross over to erotica, this is the book for you.

8/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE SCANDAL OF IT ALL by Sophie Jordan. Avon (July 25, 2017). ISBN: 978-0062463623. 384p.

Kindle


MASTERED by Maya Banks

December 29, 2015
Click to purchase

Click to purchase

The Enforcers #1

Evangeline is struggling to make ends meet. When her first serious boyfriend dumps her, her friends arrange for her to get all dressed up and go to a fancy club on a VIP pass. The bouncer doesn’t want to let her in but has no choice, and of course she runs smack into the ex, who treats her abominably. Some of the staff come to her rescue.

Drake Donovan keeps an eye on his establishment via security cameras, sees the fracas and is immediately entranced with Evangeline. He asks his bouncers to bring her upstairs to him and one thing leads to another, and Drake falls hard for his “Angel.”

Drake is a dominant and introduces Evangeline to the lifestyle very slowly. He buys her extravagant gifts and helps her family out, and she falls in love with him. Until the night he brings some business associates home…and Evangeline disobeys him, leading to a shocking ending.

The next book in the trilogy, Dominated, doesn’t comes out until May and hopefully will resolve the cliffhanger. Maya Banks’ fans (and Fifty Shades fans) will love this.

12/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

MASTERED by Maya Banks. Berkley (December 29, 2015). ISBN 978-0425280652. 368p.

Kindle


FAN THE FLAMES by Michele Dunaway

October 17, 2015
Click to purchase

Click to purchase

Scarlett Harrison is widowed when her husband, Todd, a member of Seal Team 6, gets killed saving his men. His best friend, Brad Silverman, didn’t re-up with Todd and is feeling survivor’s guilt. To make things worse, Todd left instructions with Brad to take care of his wife. The guilt keeps coming though – Brad has been in love with Scarlett since high school.

Scarlett and her daughter move back to St. Louis when Brad offers her his house rent-free. She needs the help to get back on her feet. Slowly they form a friendship and then much more.

The characters were engaging and the story compelling. This is a contemporary romance/erotica and is a quick read. eBook only.

 

10/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

FAN THE FLAMES by Michele Dunaway. St. Martin’s Paperbacks (August 18, 2015) ASIN: B00WRESJ6O. Print Length: 180 pages

 


GREY by E.L. James

July 24, 2015
Click to purchase

Click to purchase

Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian

The announcement of this new book, a mere 18 days prior to publication, took the publishing world by storm, and that includes bookstores and libraries. I had gotten an email early in the morning so I was aware, but when I got to work a co-worker told me she had been asked for the “Christian Fifty Shades” and thought there was, somehow, a religious version of the book out there! A quick internet search revealed the new book, but that sure was a fun way to learn about it.

I read the Fifty Shades trilogy back in 2012 (and reviewed here) and these were my final thoughts…and they still hold true for Grey. The appeal of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy (and now just a series, I guess) lies with the characters and their great love affair. We can’t help but root for the insecure girl who lands the gorgeous rich guy, and the damaged man she brings out of the dark.

Ana and Christian save each other, inspire each other so that their sum together is greater than their parts. Their torrid love affair, the “mommy porn” aspect is candy to some, inflaming imaginations and libidos, while others will fly past those pages. Nonetheless, Ana and her 50 Shades bring to mind other great loves in literature like Romeo and Juliet, and Scarlett and Rhett, with apologies to Shakespeare and Mitchell. Most romance readers are looking for that, and those that don’t usually read romance are perhaps surprised at how they are swept away with Ana and Christian, enough to overlook the abysmal writing, the lip biting, the smirking. I know I was.

All that said, I got the feeling that James wrote Grey by pulling up the manuscript of the original, and changing the “she thought” to “he thought” and adding in a bit more of Christian’s background. But the writing seemed much better to me, not nearly so repetitive and deplete of those awful series of superlatives and multiple mentions of Ana’s “inner goddess.” So I’m thinking Random House got to put a strong editor on this since it hadn’t been previously self-published.

I liked seeing Christian’s point of view. The character development was better, the story was better if somehow still the same, and I am glad I read it. It probably helped that there were three years between books. Whatever her faults, E.L. James created a hot romance with lots of sizzling kinky sex, and that was all still there. It isn’t nearly as shocking, unless you haven’t read the other books, I guess. If you’re a fan of the series, enjoy. If you haven’t read them, this is a good place to start. And don’t get me started on the movie! (Love to hear your comments about any of this.)

7/15 Stacy Alesi AKA the BookBitch

GREY: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian by E.L. James. Vintage (June 18, 2015).  ISBN 978-1101946343. 576p.

Kindle