Never Been Kisssed by Mari Carr

Grade: A-
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: Mild Kink
Genre: Contemporary, menagé
Series: Second Chances #5
Published: 8/19/14
Reviewed by Kate
155 pages

As a New Year’s resolution, Shelly has vowed to become someone else.  Someone other than the shy, overweight virgin that she currently is.  She’s got a diet underway and has joined a gym.  Maybe her coworker, Christian, can help her with that virginity issue.  Or maybe her kickboxing instructor Lance.

I’ve read other menagé romances before.  Okay.  I’ll be honest.  I’ve read a lot of menagé romances before.  And it seems like if the heroes don’t start off with a really strong relationship (I’m talking non-sexual here, like brothers, cousins, life-long best friends, etc.), then the menagé relationship seems more of a spontaneous decision that we’re expected to believe is completely logical course of action.  A well-there’s-one-of-her-and-two-of-us-what-else-can-we-do? kind of mentality.  I loved that this one didn’t follow that pacing at all.  It starts off as a friendship that very gradually grows into more.

There is no secret that Shelly is overweight.  I appreciated that it was not something that was only mentioned once or twice.  Each chapter started off with an entry from Shelly’s weight loss journal.  And Christian and Lance are supportive of Shelly, no matter what weight she’s at.  It isn’t because she’s losing weight that they love her.  In fact Christian was well on the way to falling for her before she even started the diet.

This was a great friends to lovers menagé, the kind you don’t run across too often.  While they’re not all in bed together by the end of the first chapter, we still see that they’re working toward something lasting and special.  I wish I could find more of this kind of relationship to read.


Tempting Alibi Review by Savannah Stuart

Grade: D+
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: Mild Kink
Genre: Contemporary
Published: 8/19/14
Reviewed by Kate

Michaela and Scott have barely spoken to each other, even though they’ve been neighbors for months now.  But when Michaela’s car needs some work, she takes it to Scott’s garage.  While she’s there the sheriff comes in and asks Scott where he was the night before.  Michaela pipes up and tells the sheriff that Scott was with her.  Later that day, Scott knocks on her door to say thank you and the relationship builds quickly from there.

I was happily reading my way through the pages of this one and then the last page snuck up on me.  I knew it was on the shorter side as far as length goes, but I didn’t feel like the story was done yet.  It almost felt like a long exerpt from a novel rather than a complete story in itself.  The summary made me think there was going to be a lot more conflict than there ended up being.  The main conflict would be the issue with the sheriff, but after she provides an alibi it’s a complete non-issue.  And even the climax of the book (no, not that kind of climax) was rather anti-climactic.  I didn’t feel like there was much, if any, character growth.  Rather than watching the pair of them discover each other and themselves this one seemed to be a matter of one of them finally getting up the nerve to talk to the other.  After that, all communicating was done in the buff.  And there was a lot of in the buff stuff being done.  All in all, I was left with a definite feeling of “there should have been more.”

Meet the Baumgartners by Selena Kitt

Grade: C+
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: Mild Kink
Genre: Contemporary, m/f, m/f/f, f/f
Series: The Baumgartners #0
Published: 9/12/10
Reviewed by Kate
85 pages

I’m not really sure where to even start with this one.  Carrie and Maureen are college roommates and lovers and Carrie’s perfectly satisfied until she catches Steve “Doc” Baumgartner masterbating in the shower.  What follows is a sexfest involving the three of them, but especially Carrie and Doc.

To say that this one was steamy and hot would be the understatement of the year.    This is not a book that you read in the living room with the family all around.  They’ll start asking questions about why you’re blushing and sweating.  This is a book that requires privacy for reading.