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reviewer: mamakitty

Review: Gay & Lesbian Coffee Break Quickies

Gay and Lesbian Coffee Break QuickiesAh, the allure of the office romance. The sly smiles across the room as you wonder if anyone else knows. The danger of being caught by the boss. The thrill of those stolen moments in the copy room or supply closet. It’s this feeling that we’ve condensed, distilled, and captured in the short shorts of Gay & Lesbian Coffee Break Quickies. We’ve compiled thirteen brief tales of men and women getting it on with a co-worker or a boss in a steamy office romance.

Some of them are established and have been sneaking around the office for some time, like Lori Hunt and her P.A. Ms. Lovell in She’s the Boss or Tom and Neal in Personal Assistance. Others, like The New Guy‘s Greg and Eli or the awkwardly-named Rebecca A. and Rebecca B. from Tele-Romance are just beginning to experience the allure that can come from keeping the secret. Nor are such trysts confined to the office itself, spilling out into stairwells, copy rooms, gyms, and even computer server rooms. Whatever the case, though, they’re sure to arouse your imagination, and maybe even leave you looking at your own co-workers a little bit… differently.

  • Publisher: Storm Moon Press LLC (April 12, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • ASIN: B00CC5RXEC
  • FTC Disclosure: copy provided by the publisher for the purposes of an honest review

Each story in the COFFEE BREAK QUICKIES anthology is a short, hot romp in an office-themed setting, giving me an entirely new vision of the office I used to drag myself to every day. I think if half the things went on in my office that go on in this anthology, I might actually still be working there!

My favorite story is, by far, “Hands On” by K Piet, about 2 masseurs who take care of each other’s achy muscles on a slow day at the massage clinic.

The stories are all quick, super hot, and easy reads. I highly recommend. 4.5 stars.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Mama Kitty

MamaKitty is a mother to a beautiful little girl, wife to her own real life hero, a registered radiographic technologist, student, book reviewer, and author of contemporary romance (as Paige Prince). She hates to be bored, loves a good book, and can usually be found on Twitter or Facebook.

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Review: No Romance Required by Cari Quinn

No Romance Required by Cari Quinn

Faking it never felt so good…
Cory Santangelo is used to getting his way, both in the boardroom and the bedroom. Lately he hasn’t had much opportunity to do anything but work, but one unexpectedly sexy night in a gazebo with Victoria, his gorgeous and feisty interior designer, changes all that—especially when they’re caught on camera. Suddenly Cory’s sterling reputation is no longer above reproach. Since his impromptu encounter coincides nicely with his need for a girlfriend to get his well-meaning, meddling parents off his back, he decides to ask his lifelong frenemy for a favor.
To pretend to be his girlfriend for a month. No strings attached.
The only problem? Vicky Townsend wants those strings tied all around her. She’s battled a long-suppressed crush on Cory, and their combative work relationship has only fanned the flames. When he suggests his needs are more than she can handle, she’s ready to up the ante. And her bargaining chip is lots of delicious, inventive sex.
Until they discover nothing feels as good as making it real…
  • Publisher: Entangled: Brazen (August 12, 2013)
  • ASIN: B00E2PSNH6
  • FTC Disclosure: bought with my own money

When I glommed No Flowers Required yesterday, I picked up on the spark between Cory and Vicky, and I was realllllly hoping that the next book in the series was their story. Much to my delight, it was!

Cory is an uptight workaholic. He only goes home to sleep, and even then he rarely sleeps because of his intense insomnia. Vicky is the designer helping him launch his company’s new magazine, and they’ve known each other since they were kids… And they fight like cats and dogs. Honestly, it was amusing to see them bicker in NFR because I could see the sexual tension, even if they didn’t realize that’s what it was at the time.

I’m a big fan of stories where the hero and heroine go from hating each other to being lovers. Call me crazy, but all that pent up hostility between them can be kinda hot. Anyway. Cory and Vicky hook up at the gala where his brother got the girl. Seems fitting. Except he takes off right after making her see stars. I couldn’t help but think “what a douchebag move.”

The paparazzi (that he hired for the event – whichever was never really addressed later) snapped pics of them in compromising positions and published them in the small town tabloid/newspaper…Ruh-roh. This leads to his parents declaration that he better get a woman and fast, or he’s going to lose control of the company he’s nearly killed himself trying to make into a huge success.

It was a little bit of a stretch for me to buy that Victoria would willingly pose as Cory’s girlfriend until I realized that her feelings for him didn’t exactly run as cold as she led everyone to believe.

They run hot and cold through the course of the book, frustrating me to no end. Why can’t they just strap on their big boy/girl pants and explain their feelings? Talk about why they’re so freaked out? Oh wait, they have very real issues that they have to work through first. Points for Cari for not just making them too stubborn to admit their feelings and to have genuine issues for them to have to deal with before they’re ready to admit that they genuinely want to be together.

I have to say, the yoga studio was probably my favorite scene. Or maybe the barn. Or the dining table…

Rating: 5 stars

 

Mama Kitty

MamaKitty is a mother to a beautiful little girl, wife to her own real life hero, a registered radiographic technologist, student, book reviewer, and author of contemporary romance (as Paige Prince). She hates to be bored, loves a good book, and can usually be found on Twitter or Facebook.

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Review: No Flowers Required by Cari Quinn

No Flowers Required (Love Required, #2)

He’ll give her everything she desires…except his identity.

Flower shop owner Alexa Conroy had it all before the recession hit and her customers fled to cheaper shopping grounds. Desperate to make ends meet, she sells her dream home and moves into the rundown apartments above her shop. When she spots six feet of sexy distraction—complete with muscles, piercings, and tattoos—ripping up flooring, Alexa knows the karmic windfall she’s due just landed on her doorstep.

And the attraction’s definitely not one-sided.

Dillon James, reluctant heir to the corporation about to foreclose on Alexa’s shop, is not about to jeopardize their scorching chemistry by admitting he’s not the building’s handyman. But with only weeks until her business goes under and his identity is revealed, Dillon must find a way to convince Alexa cooperation isn’t a dirty word, help her save the shop from his brother’s greed, and persuade her that he’s not the enemy…or risk losing the only woman who’s seen the real him.

  • Publisher: Entangled: Brazen (August 20, 2012)
  • ASIN: B00BFQDE38
  • FTC Disclosure: bought with  my own money

…and Cari Quinn does it again. I read this one in the span of about 2 hours, completely unable to put it down. Alexa struck me as a independent, carefree, and successful woman in the first book in this series, but in this book we find out that while she is fiercely independent, she isn’t carefree or successful (anymore). After her mentor died and left her the failing business, she’s left holding the massive debt…debt that Mr Hottiepants Dillion happens to own, since his family owns the storefront her shop is in. And owns her primary competitor, Value Hardware. So it’s no surprise that he keeps his identity a secret once he finds out just how much she loathes Value Hardware. Even though I understood his reasons (great job by Cari showing us both points of view), I still wanted to slap the crap out of him a few times when he had every opportunity to tell her the truth.

The relationship between Dillon and his brother had me scratching my head at times and laughing out loud (literally) at others. In fact, I “shared” a few quotes via my iBooks app on Facebook from Cory. I’m actually really interested in Cory’s story. Cari did a great job setting up the next book and piquing my interest in him.

The rooftop scene nearly set my iPad on fire, and I had to get myself a large glass of ice water to cool off afterwards. I might have to read it a few more times just to make sure it wasn’t a case of near spontaneous human combustion, though. Just to be on the safe side.

Rating: 5 stars

Mama Kitty

MamaKitty is a mother to a beautiful little girl, wife to her own real life hero, a registered radiographic technologist, student, book reviewer, and author of contemporary romance (as Paige Prince). She hates to be bored, loves a good book, and can usually be found on Twitter or Facebook.

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Review: No Dress Required by Cari Quinn

No Dress Required by Cari Quinn

After years of ho-hum dating, Noelle Gregory is tired of fooling around. There’s only ever been one guy for her—Jake Conroy, her best friend’s older brother. Now that Jake’s back in town, she’s headed to his sister’s New Year’s Eve party to make her move. Purse full of condoms? Check. Sparkly dress guaranteed to show Jake the sexy woman she’s become? Check.

Carjacker that makes off with both two hours before the party? Check.

When Jake finds Noelle stranded on the side of the road—looking sexier than ever in her striped socks and silly holiday shirt, damn it—he’s glad for the snowstorm that cancels his sister’s party. His and Noelle’s friendship has tormented him for years, and now, Jake wonders if he should dare to sample what he’s always wanted…and if he’ll be able to walk away when it’s over.

  • Publisher: Entangled: Flirt (December 27, 2011)
  • ASIN: B00C74VCU4
  • FTC Disclosure: Bought with my own money

I’ve been a Cari Quinn fan for a long time, so I’m ashamed to say it took me ages to read No address Required. What can I say? I was in college for a long time and my brain hurt with all the facts I had to shove in there. Luckily, I graduated in December and can now catch up on all the wonderful books I missed out on while drowning in education land.

Nellie and Jake were a delight to read about. They’re fun and sexy and made me laugh out loud more than once. Friends to lovers stories are some of my favorites, and so are best friend’s brother/sister stories. This was a perfect combination of the two. My only complaint? I wish it had been longer. I can’t get enough of them!

Rating: 4 stars

Mama Kitty

MamaKitty is a mother to a beautiful little girl, wife to her own real life hero, a registered radiographic technologist, student, book reviewer, and author of contemporary romance (as Paige Prince). She hates to be bored, loves a good book, and can usually be found on Twitter or Facebook.

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Review: Lover Undercover by Samanthe Beck

Lover Undercover (McCade Brothers, #1)

He’s undercover. She’s in over her head.

Yoga instructor Kylie Roberts is the good twin. At least she was—until an accident forces Kylie to step into her twin’s sexy stilettos at a posh Hollywood “men’s club.” But nothing could’ve prepared Kylie for the dead body in the club’s parking lot or the ridiculously hot detective who insists the killer is targeting her regulars.

Detective Trevor McCade needs Kylie’s help to draw out the killer. It means long nights undercover and long dances where Kylie’s body tempts him with sensual promises. Dances that leave them both wanting more. But despite Kylie’s hidden identity and the danger lurking in the shadows, it’s only a matter of time before Kylie and Trevor take this undercover operation under the covers…

  • Publisher: Entangled: Brazen (April 22, 2013)
  • ASIN: B00C2RVRHE
  • FTC Disclosure: bought with my own money

Kylie is the “good twin” to Stacey’s “bad twin,” but when Stacey injures herself stripping, Kylie does the good twin thing, and steps in for six weeks to help her sister out. I kind of wondered how she’d be able to pull off some of the moves strippers are known for (especially since Stacey is one of the more popular dancers) with only a few days worth of instruction by her sister who isn’t able to show her the moves properly, but since it’s a book I suspended my disbelief enough to let it go.

Kylie catches sexy cop Trevor’s eye the first night she’s in the club posing as Stacey. And what do you know – she also finds a dead body that night when she’s leaving the club and he’s one of the responding officers. Their chemistry is insane throughout the entire book. Seriously, I thought my iPad was going to set itself on fire, HOT.

I was back and forth on who the killer was, and ultimately only guessed it because I’ve watched entirely too many episodes of Murder She Wrote growing up (I do love a good murder mystery, haha).

I did think that Kylie acted older than her 23 years, even if Stacey acted every bit the spoiled, entitled, and all too young starlet-to-be. Being a twin, I know that one twin typically matures faster than the other, but they just seemed so light years apart, and I kept getting frustrated with Stacey and her constant ability to think of no one but herself. I hope the thing she’s starting with Ian goes somewhere (and I hope Samanthe Beck will write that sometime in the near future, if she hasn’t already) because I think the no-nonsense, sexy-as-sin cop would be good for her.

Rating: 4 stars

Mama Kitty

MamaKitty is a mother to a beautiful little girl, wife to her own real life hero, a registered radiographic technologist, student, book reviewer, and author of contemporary romance (as Paige Prince). She hates to be bored, loves a good book, and can usually be found on Twitter or Facebook.

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Review: Her Summer with the Marine by Susan Meier

Their competition has never been so irresistible

The last person Ellie McDermott wanted to run into after returning to her hometown is Finn Donovan, her high school nemesis and the guy she crossed the line from enemies to lovers with one night years ago. Now ex-military, tattooed, and still sexy as hell, Finn is a complication Ellie doesn’t need—she needs to concentrate on saving her family business.

Finn’s entire life, Ellie was there, going head-to-head with him in every class, bee, and test. So it’s no surprise she’d show up just as he was about to take over her father’s struggling business. It is a surprise, though, that his attraction to her is even more explosive than it had been. Acting on their attraction is one thing, but Finn has to turn a profit to save his own family, and nothing—not even love—will get in his way.

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 260 pages
Release Date: March 2014
ISBN: 978-1-62266-498-6
Imprint: Bliss
FTC Disclosure: copy received from the publisher for the purposes of an honest review

Normally I don’t read books featuring military characters, but for the past few weeks I’ve been glomming as many military heroes as I can from Entangled Publishing authors. The chance to review Her Summer with the Marine landed in my email, and naturally I leapt at the chance.

What I liked:

Ellie and Finn have been competitors since high school, and their frenemy situation is actually kind of cute. I can definitely see how it would evolve into more.

I loved the secondary characters. Ashley, BB (I didn’t want to like her, but couldn’t help myself), Dan, Jason, the Dinner Belles, LuAnn…they all took on a life of their own.

What I didn’t like:

For some reason, it wasn’t as easy for me to get into this book as it has been for all the other Entangled military hero books I’ve been devouring lately.

The relationship between Ellie and Finn began in high school, when she gave him her virginity the night before a big calculus exam and then he took BB to some guy’s graduation party. This caused Ellie to think Finn used her when in reality he didn’t want to have real feelings for anyone because of the crappy relationship his parents had.

Based on everything from their past and everything that Ellie was going through (her dad’s illness, their competing businesses, etc), I had to wonder why on earth she’d get involved with Finn in the first place. Especially given how she felt about him from their high school encounter. It just didn’t gel with me. Sure, the eventual relationship was cute and I liked seeing them fight like cats and dogs and end up having super hot sex, but I couldn’t really see why the lust was there to begin with.

Rating: 3

Mama Kitty

MamaKitty is a mother to a beautiful little girl, wife to her own real life hero, a registered radiographic technologist, student, book reviewer, and author of contemporary romance (as Paige Prince). She hates to be bored, loves a good book, and can usually be found on Twitter or Facebook.

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Review: Mr. Darcy Forever by Victoria Connelly

Sisters are forever…

Sarah and Mia Castle are closer than best friends and share just about everything, including a deep and abiding love for all things relating to Jane Austen. Their annual trip to the Jane Austen Festival in Bath is a highlight of their lives—until the year they discover that no matter how close two sisters may be, it’s impossible to share one man between them. Even ifhe does seem like their own perfect Mr. Darcy, if one wins him, won’ t both of them lose?

  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (April 1, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1402251386
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402251382
  • ASIN: B009WHBKCO
  • FTC Disclosure: Received via NetGalley

I’m a huge Jane Austen fan. I routinely go through what I call my “Darcy Benders” where I’ll read nothing but Pride & Prejudice and the every variation/adaptation/retelling/told in today’s setting I can find. I was on one of these P&P benders when I found Mr Darcy Forever through NetGalley.I knew it wasn’t a P&P adaptation or even a story where Elizabeth and Darcy are placed in today’s society. It was a story about women much like myself who are Jane Austen obsessed. I got 27% through the book (according to the Kindle app on my iPad) before I finally gave up. I don’t know if you had to have read the previous books to understand what was going on or if the author left everything intentionally vague to drive the readers insane. I couldn’t invest in the characters. I didn’t care about the storyline because even 27% into the book I wasn’t entirely sure there was a storyline. I tried to push as far as I could for my love of Jane Austen and Mr Darcy, but ultimately it wasn’t enough and I had to DNF this one.

Rating: DNF

Mama Kitty

MamaKitty is a mother to a beautiful little girl, wife to her own real life hero, a registered radiographic technologist, student, book reviewer, and author of contemporary romance (as Paige Prince). She hates to be bored, loves a good book, and can usually be found on Twitter or Facebook.

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Review: Fearless by Cat Grant

Fearless (Irresistible Attraction, #3) by Cat Grant

After over a year together, Connor Morrison and Wes Martin decide to tie the knot. But an ethics complaint regarding their deeply non-traditional relationship threatens Connor’s job and Wes’s Ph.D. The fact that Connor tried to keep it from Wes—even with the best of intentions—makes the situation even worse and casts a pall over their plans for a Christmas wedding in New York.

It doesn’t help that Connor still treats Wes like glass, though Wes insists he’s recovered from the brutal assault he suffered a year and a half earlier. Wes may be okay, but Connor isn’t. Memories of taking a battered, terrified Wes to the emergency room that night still haunt him, and he can’t let go of the need to protect Wes from any and everything life might throw at him.

But Wes has had enough. Between the specter of the ethics complaint and Connor’s overprotectiveness, he’s already beginning to question their plans. Add in a family ashamed of and angered by his choices, and Wes might just leave Connor standing at the altar.

  • Publisher: Riptide Publishing (December 8, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • ASIN: B00ALJOLXC
  • FTC Disclosure: my copy provided by the author for the purposes of an honest review

Connor and Wes are living together and happily in love, planning to be married soon… until someone complains to the college about their relationship. I didn’t really understand how their relationship was inappropriate since Connor was not Wes’s professor nor was he Wes’s academic advisor. That had been addressed in the first book and I assumed all taken care of.

Even though Connoris not directly responsible for anything related to Wes’s academic or professional career, he is placed on suspension. I went with it though, because no plot means no book. Wes was understandably upset because Connor hid all of the craziness going on at the school, but to be so upset that he almost called off the wedding? Kind of borders on drama queen status, to me.

I have to admit that it was nice seeing them work together as a couple to get through their issues. Even more so since we’re revisiting them in another book and I’m the kind of reader that LOVES trilogies and series because it means I get to see what happens after they “ride off into the sunset together” (as it were).

I’m still hoping for at least one more novella in the series see what’s going on with Steve. His character intrigues me so much.

Rating: 3.75 stars

Mama Kitty

MamaKitty is a mother to a beautiful little girl, wife to her own real life hero, a registered radiographic technologist, student, book reviewer, and author of contemporary romance (as Paige Prince). She hates to be bored, loves a good book, and can usually be found on Twitter or Facebook.

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Review: Doubtless by Cat Grant

On the surface, Steve Campbell seems to have it all: a beautiful home, a snazzy car, and a dream job as one of the country’s top 3-D optics researchers. But underneath, he’s restless and dissatisfied, tired of empty encounters with leggy lab assistants and endless evenings alone.

A chance meeting with a handsome escort lifts Steve’s spirits and opens his eyes to his long-repressed attraction to men—and his love for his best friend and business partner, Connor Morrison.

Connor might’ve loved Steve like that once, but now it’s too late for their happily ever after; Connor’s about to ask his boyfriend to marry him. Fortunately, it’s never too late to learn about yourself, and maybe Steve can find a happy ending on his own.

  • Publisher: Riptide Publishing (July 14, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • ASIN: B008LH94BK
  • FTC Disclosure: my copy provided by the author for the purposes of an honest review

Steve played a part in the first book by hooking his research partner Connor up with the sexy (now former) escort Wes. When he admitted that he had gotten a test drive out of Wes before hiring him to seduce Connor, I immediately said that there was more to the story than just him “testing the waters.”

When Steve meets Dylan, a high-priced escort, I actually felt sorry for him. Steve’s been avoiding dealing with his sexuality for so long that he’s alienated anyone who might be considered a friend except for Connor, who’s now happy in his own relationship and settling into life as a couple. Steve is so lonely that he feels he has to pay someone for company and conversation. How sad is that? I wanted to cuddle him so bad. And while ultimately this is a story of Steve’s self-discovery, I really wanted a HEA for him. I’m hoping for another story in the series about him, because I feel like he has a lot more story to tell and I really want to see him happy and in love.

Rating: 4

Mama Kitty

MamaKitty is a mother to a beautiful little girl, wife to her own real life hero, a registered radiographic technologist, student, book reviewer, and author of contemporary romance (as Paige Prince). She hates to be bored, loves a good book, and can usually be found on Twitter or Facebook.

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Review: Priceless by Cat Grant

Connor Morrison is a 3-D optics pioneer, the star of the UC Berkeley physics department, and a socially inept workaholic. And with his dear friend and business partner, Steve Campbell, handling their investors, he’s content to remain in the shadows. That is, until he meets the gorgeous and starry-eyed physics student Wes Martin.

Wes is brilliant but broke. Ever since his scholarship fell victim to the financial crisis, he’s had no choice but to sell his body to stay in school. Already half in love with Connor, Wes initially resists Steve’s offer to be Connor’s thirty-fifth birthday present. But in the end, Wes is too broke—and too smitten—to say no.

Connor has no idea Steve bought Wes’s attentions, and he quickly falls under the young man’s spell. Yet after one night together, Wes disappears. He can’t bear to hook with a man he could so easily grow to love, but he also can’t bear to tell him the truth. Besides, if he sleeps with Connor again, there’d be no way to hide the bruises one of his regular johns loves to inflict. Only one thing to do: let Connor go. Walking away is painful, but not nearly as much as building a relationship on lies.

  • Publisher: Riptide Publishing (May 12, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • ASIN: B0082TQLMM
  • FTC Disclosure: my copy provided by the author for the purposes of an honest review

Connor Morrison is a fuddy-duddy. He spends most of his time at work, very rarely goes out, and even less rarely spends time horizontal with anyone. He’s in a rut and his research partner Steve is determined to get him out of it. So, Steve hires an escort to seduce Connor for a night of hot sex. Nothing could possibly go wrong with that plan, right?

This escort, Wes, just happens to be interested in their research, so it’s easy for Connor to talk to Wes. Unfortunately, Wes’s first attempt at seduction fails spectacularly. Fortunately, he gets a second chance, and I saw instant sparks. When Wes snuck out in the middle of the night, I actually facepalmed. How could he pass up on attraction like that? To someone he liked and respected and who obviously liked him too?

Oh, right. He was paid to seduce Connor and Wes is too good a guy to start a relationship based on a lie.

Wes moves and down the hall from Connor and I was hopeful that they could start things up on the right foot this time… Until Connor  snubbed Wes in the hall (rightfully so – I’d do the same if someone snuck out while I was still sleeping after nookie that good). I almost reached into my iPad and slapped Connor a few times, especially when he ignored this strange noises coming from down the hall. Wes broke my heart so badly, I wanted to cry. By the time Connor got around to forgiving Wes, I was rooting for them to make it. They were so great together and I just wanted to get over their issues already!

Their journey to happiness was very bittersweet and not without a few bumps and bruises, but I was more than happy to be along for the ride with them. I know that this is a series, so I can’t wait to pick up the next book!

Rating 4.5 stars

Mama Kitty

MamaKitty is a mother to a beautiful little girl, wife to her own real life hero, a registered radiographic technologist, student, book reviewer, and author of contemporary romance (as Paige Prince). She hates to be bored, loves a good book, and can usually be found on Twitter or Facebook.

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