Improper Proposals by Juliana Ross

Grade: A
Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Historical
Series: Improper #3
Published: 3/24/14
Reviewed by Anne
122 pages

“Instead of instructing young wives on how to roast a chicken or darn a sock or ease colic in an infant, I want you to write a guide that will tell them, plainly and directly, what they might expect from marital relations with their husbands.  It will tell them that it could and should be a pleasant experience, and not a shameful necessity to which they are bound to submit.”  -p.24

When her husband of eleven years dies, Caroline is distraught and alone, with no other family to turn to.  As time passes, she throws herself into the project of writing an instruction manual for young wives.   Once it’s done, she seeks out a friend of her husband’s who is a publisher.  She’s disappointed when he says there’s no market for her book, but he contacts her again, impressed with her writing and proposes she write the same sort of book, but this time have it focused on “marital relations.”

Juliana Ross really shines in this story!  I devoured it in one sitting and wanted to turn around and re-read it immediately!  Since Caroline lives in the country, and her publisher, Tom, lives in London, they send letters and manuscripts through the mail, then meet in person about once per month to discuss things. I loved the contrast between the formal way they talk and write letters to each other and how very dirty they are in the bedroom.  It was great read and an incredibly hot one!  The author also manages to sell me on a second love of a lifetime without bashing the first – something I really appreciate!  

My biggest complaint was how Caroline handled the obstacle they faced near the end of the story.  It seemed out of character, especially when the solution seemed so easy to me.  However, the way Tom reacted really redeemed things.  He was so confident in her love for him and his for her that he was able to handle things well.

I also want to note that Tom is a dirty talker in the bedroom, and Caroline finds that she really enjoys it.  The sex scenes are very well written!  I highly recommend this book – it’s going on my best of the year list!

Love In Straight Sets by Rebecca Crowley

Love in Straight Sets          


Hotness Level-Blaze
Kink Level-No Kink
Reviewed by Kate
159 pages

Regan is the resident diva of the tennis world.  She’s gone through coaches faster than Augustus Gloop ate his way through the Wonka factory.  She’s planning on retiring soon, but wants one last win.  A big one.  At the Baron’s Open.  Enter Ben, a one-hit wonder who won the Baron’s Open years ago and then disappeared from the tennis courts.  He’s agreed to coach Regan and she’s agreed not to fire him.  Both Regan and Ben are drawn to each other, but his job hinges on his ability to keep his hands off Regan, and his sister’s safety depends on him keeping his job.

The world of sports romance is dominated by MMA, football, baseball, and hockey men.  And while I enjoy a good sports romance every once in a while, I’m kind of tired of the same-old, same-old.  How many big, buff guys running around the football field or sparring in the ring can you really read about?  The fact that this one is about a tennis playing female was such a refreshing change of pace.

These are characters that I quickly fell in love with.  Regan wasn’t just an outright bitch.  You get to see what’s under the surface that makes her a character you root for. I loved that Ben saw right through Regan’s diva act.  He didn’t put up with her crap at all and saw through to the vulnerability underneath.  They both have their moments of stupidity that made me just want to yell at them, especially Ben.  But if those moments hadn’t been there I would probably be complaining that they were too perfect.

My only complaint…I would have appreciated more sex in this one.  There’s no sex until 84% into the story and then we only get one scene.  Honestly though, the story was so engaging that I didn’t realize that I was already that far into the story.

I absolutely loved this one.  It’s the first book that I’ve read by Rebecca Crowley, but I’ve already added some of her back list to my TBR pile.  This one is definitely worth reading.

Up In Flames by Lori Foster

Up In Flames: Body Heat\Caught in the Act            

Hotness Level-Blaze
Kink Level-No Kink
Reviewed by Kate
368 pages

The book is split into 2 novellas.  Up in Flames is about the first third of the book, with Caught in the Act taking up the rest.

Up in Flames-Melanie and Adam went to high school together.  She was a rich girl, he was poorer than dirt.  Although they both were attracted to each other during school, neither made a move.  Now, years later, they find themselves on the same party boat.  When they go overboard during a storm and end up stranded on an island, things really start to heat up.  I will be honest and say that I love the whole stranded together on a deserted island plot line.  That’s pretty much a sure fire way to get me to read a book.  And this one did not fail to dissapoint.

Caught in the Act-Mick, a police officer, has fallen for a lady he’s never met.  He’s seen her jogging before and just knows he needs to meet her so he follows her into a jewelry store.  When the store is robbed, he protects Delilah and takes a bullet.  Delilah offers to let him recover at her place.  And while he does need time to recover, he’s also beginning to suspect that someone is after Delilah.  So he moves in with her to keep her safe.  Caught in the Act had just the right amount of suspense for me. Delilah is such a unique character and Mick accepts her for what she is.  There was a lot of secret keeping, especially on Mick’s side, that I didn’t appreciate, but otherwise I enjoyed this one a lot.

This is the first book I’ve read by Lori Foster but I’m looking forward to checking out her back list. I especially want to see if there are stories for the secondary characters (Mick’s friends) from Caught in the Act.

The combination of these 2 novellas made for a quick and enjoyable read.  Fast paced and engaging, I did not want to put this one down.  At one point I found myself mad at my 7 year old who interrupted reading to ask when supper would be.  Then I looked at the clock and discovered that it was already 7:30pm.