Tropical Desires by Vivian Arend, Lexxie Couper and Jess Dee

Tropical Desires
Hotness Level-Inferno
Kink Level-Mild Kink
Series-Bandicoot Cove #1-4
Reviewed by Kate

The manager of Bandicoot Cove, an Australian resort, has invited some of her close friends and family to be guests at the resort’s soft opening. And apparently, there’s something in the air or water at Bandicoot Cove. Something that induces a tendency towards threesomes.

Paradise Found by Vivian Arend
Paige has been working in Australia for a while now, but will be leaving the country soon. When she does, her casual affair with Trent and Mason will come to a screeching halt. They knew from the start that there would be an end to the triad. But even though all three of them are secretly hoping for something permanent, they know their stay at Bandicott Cove will be their last time together.

Tropical Sin by Lexxie Couper
McKenzie and Aiden have been close friends since childhood. Aiden has also harbored a secret crush on McKenzie for just as long. Taking the advice of famous rocker Nick(who they meet for the first time at Bandicoot Cove), Aiden finally tells McKenzie how he feels. McKenzie realizes she’s loved Aiden all along. Then Nick knocks on the door and asks if he can join in.

Island Idyll by Jess Dee
Sienna is using her trip to Bandicott Cove to recover from a broken heart. Her ex-fiancé, Ben loved her but loved his work more, so she broke it off. While at the resort she meets Josh, her high school crush. After spending a glorious day with Josh, Ben shows up at the resort determined to win Sienna back.

First off, let me say that this book of three stories was a hot, hot read. But I think you need to understand that I am at heart a reader who looks for that HEA. Even in my ménage books, meaning I like all 3 to have a HEA-together. For that reason, Paradise Found was my favorite of the three stories. Tropical Sin and Island Idyll did not end with all three participants together.

I also had issues with Tropical Sin and Island Idyll that I just didn’t feel comfortable with, although I understand not every reader has the same issues I do. I didn’t like that in Tropical Sin, a threesome was created with someone they knew for only a few hours, and the decision was made without any conversation between the couple. In Island Idyll, I didn’t care for the sense of competition that occurred between the two men and I didn’t like that one of them felt completely uncomfortable with the situation but went with it anyway. Again, those are just my issues, and they might not bother you. Despite my issues, together these three authors have managed to create a resort that I look forward to visiting again.

So now you know my hang-ups with ménage books. Do you have any make-or-break issues in your reading?

Hope Breaks by Alice Bello

Hope Breaks
Grade: C
Hotness Level: Inferno
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary

Series: 1st book in a same couple trilogy
Reviewed by Kate

Hope is a professional photographer whose specialty is romance book covers. She needs an exciting and new cover or her job is toast. Unfortunately, the only model agency in town is fresh out of models. A trip to the local Wal-Mart produces two potential models (see Wal-Mart really does carry everything, cover models-aisle 23) as well as a broken down car. Luckily Jake, a mechanic in the Tire and Lube Express department is there to save the day. Jake and Hope go on a whirlwind dating adventure. Then Hope makes a mistake that makes Jake walk away.

I liked that Jake and Hope are such normal people, not über-rich. Jake, of the thick and luscious lips, is your everyday grease monkey (but sexy, of course). Hope has worked her way into a rut lately, just the same old, same old. Her main excitement comes from her dreams of Brad Pitt. Jake and Hope together are cute and sweet and they have that urgent excitement of a new relationship. I felt like I could know them in my daily life.

While I found the dialogue well written, at times the rest of the writing wasn’t as smooth. There were also a few things that pulled me out of the story. At different points in the story, Hope is referred to as being both twenty six and thirty-seven. Hope has some relationship issues that are strongly hinted at, but never disclosed. On the other hand, Jake’s history seems to be a blank slate. No issues or problems to speak of. The love scene, while very descriptive, went on way too long for me.

Hope Breaks, the first in a trilogy by new author Alice Bello, does not include an HEA. I would assume that will come in the last book. The characters and dialogue were the strong points of the story. In this debut novella, Ms. Bello shows promise. I look forward to finding out what happens to Jake and Hope next.