Tangled in Sin (Bound and Determined: Book 5) by Lavinia Kent


Tangled in Sin (Bound and Determined, #5)

Title: Tangled in Sin

Author: Lavinia Kent

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of Publication: April 18th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: Unknown

POV: 3rd person

Series: Bound and Determined

Mastering the Marquess – Book 1

Revealing Ruby – Book 1.5

Bound by Bliss – Book 2

Sarah’s Surrender – Book 2.5

Ravishing Ruby – Book 3

Angel in Scarlet – Book 4

A Very Ruby Christmas – Book 4.5

Tangled in Sin – Book 5

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

An innocent young woman flirts with scandal and becomes the mistress of her own forbidden desires in this stimulating Regency romance from the author of Mastering the Marquess.

Lady Cynthia Westhope can’t believe the shocking rumor is true. Her childhood friend, the daughter of a duke no less, has become the madam of London’s most exclusive and notorious brothel. Though she’s known as “Sin,” Cynthia is scandalized—and surprisingly curious. Just picturing the whips, the chains, the uncontrollable urges men gratify behind closed doors sends a jolt of electricity through her body. Still, Sin can’t imagine taking part in such games—until she’s snatched off the street during a raging storm and swept away to a remote cottage.

When James Winters encounters the comely virgin, he assumes she’s one of Madame Blanche’s fresh new beauties, especially after Sin pulses in ecstasy as he ravishes her. Then he discovers that she’s Lord Westhope’s virgin daughter . . . or was. Now they will both be compromised unless James devises a plan to save Sin from disgrace. Before long, they’re entangled in a web of tempting propositions, family secrets, and sensual intrigue—and bound together so tightly that James never wants to let go.

Don’t miss any of Lavinia Kent’s Bound and Determined series
MASTERING THE MARQUESS | BOUND BY BLISS | REVEALING RUBY | SARAH’S SURRENDER | RAVISHING RUBY | ANGEL IN SCARLET | A VERY RUBY CHRISTMAS | TANGLED IN SIN

My review:

When I read the blurb for Tangled in Sin on NetGalley, my interest was piqued. Seeing that erotica and BDSM are usually not what you associate a Regency romance with, I actually couldn’t wait to read the book.

While this is the 5th book in a series, you can definitely read this as a standalone book. I am not a big fan of picking up a book mid-series because usually I am left confused about past relationships. Not with this book, though. There were references to Ruby but nothing was really gotten into. Just that she turned the brothel over to Jazz after training her. I really enjoyed that, to be honest. It let me focus on Sin and James’s romance without fearing that Ruby would return. Also, the other characters from the other books were not mentioned at all. Again something I liked. They stayed in their own books….lol.

I thought Sin was great and very forwards thinking for her time. She didn’t freak out when she was kidnapped, kinda freaked out when James took her virginity and then grasped her sexuality by the horns. It was so refreshing to read a Regency era character who didn’t freak out when seeing a penis for the first time and who took the first step to start what would be the world’s hottest sponge bath in the history of any book that I read. But she was also super stubborn. There were some scenes where I kinda wanted to shake her and say “Just accept that you are going to marry him. Stop fighting it” because you know that is how the book is going to end.

James was kinda a tool in the beginning of the book. Who demands that their sister leaves her newborn daughter and then tries to kidnap her but instead gets her best friend (that he knows), thinks that it is one of her “girls” and then proceeds to have sex with until he realizes that she was a virgin. He is. But he does more than makeup for it and turns into a pretty good guy. I did think that maybe he wanted to marry Sin so he could have intercourse with her (actually intercourse) but he proved to me that he did love her. Read the book to find out how!!

Let’s talk about the sex in this book. It was sizzling, page-burning hot. I couldn’t get enough of those two and their sexual shenanigans. I mean, they did everything but intercourse after the first time (even talked about anal, which surprised me). When they finally had intercourse again, I gobbled up those scenes not because they were hot but because you knew that Sin and James were going to be together and were in love. Which made that scene oh so much sweeter.

The end of the book was great but I was left wondering about Jazz and hoping that book 6 if there is a book 6, would feature her and let her have her own happy ending.

How many stars will I give Tangled in Sin: 4

Why: Ok, I am going to say it here. This is not a book for prudes or those who get easily offended over things (like it being an erotica set in Regency England). This is one hot, hot, hot book with explosive sex scenes and two people who were made for each other. I devoured this book, literally reading it within a day. Couldn’t get enough of it and I am going to read that other books in the series.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes but with a warning about the sex scenes

Age range: Adult

Why: Explicit sex scenes, language, and some mild violence

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

 

Dancing in the Rain by Kelly Jamieson


Dancing in the Rain

Title: Dancing in the Rain

Author: Kelly Jamieson

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: April 11th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 311

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A retired athlete meets the daughter he never knew—along with the woman who reignites his passions—in this powerful standalone romance from the bestselling author of Hot Shot and the Heller Brothers series.

Drew Sellers is drowning in broken dreams and empty beer bottles. Hockey was his world until a bum knee reduced him from superstar to has-been. Then he learns that thanks to a one-night-stand back in college, he’s the father of a preteen girl with major issues. Her protective aunt sees right through Drew’s BS, but “Auntie P” is no stereotypical spinster. With her slender curves, toned legs, and luscious lips, she has Drew indulging in fantasies that aren’t exactly family-friendly.

At another point in her life, Peyton Watt would have been all over a cocky alpha male who pushes all her buttons like Drew. Right now, though, she needs to focus on taking care of her niece during her sister’s health crisis, all while holding down a job and keeping her own head above water. Besides, Drew’s clearly no father of the year. He’s unemployed. He drinks too much. And he’s living in the past. But after Peyton gets a glimpse of the genuine man behind his tough-guy façade, she’s hooked—and there’s no going back

My review:

I don’t know what it is with the books I have read lately. They have all been surprise tear jerkers. I think I was blindsided because the Dancing in the Rain’s blurb didn’t show much information. I am not complaining and was very pleasantly surprised when I was brought to tears a few times during the book.

I thought the romance aspect of the book was fantastic. Sure there was mind blowing sex (we will get to that a little later in the review) but I loved that Drew and Peyton actually built a relationship, of sorts, before they had sex. It was very refreshing to read because the relationship was established and the sexual chemistry was built up way before they bumped uglies. What I didn’t like was that they thought that they had to hide their relationship from Chloe and I could see where that hurt their relationship. Also, they didn’t communicate and both jumped to conclusions about the other person. I actually cringed during those parts because I am guilty of doing the same things in my relationship (don’t let BK ever read that…lol). But it added to their romance, if that makes sense, and made it seem more real to me.

Drew was such a complicated character and I loved it. I really enjoyed that the author started him off with so many flaws. He drank too much and was wallowing in self-pity. The self-pity part I totally got. Any normal person would do that after being told that they couldn’t do what they loved ever again. Plus, his personal life kinda fell apart after his injury too. I mean, he found out that his ex-wife was cheating on him with his ex-best friend. What a blow to someone’s self-confidence. But the drinking part, I didn’t like and I agreed with Peyton when she made the assessment that he was on his way to becoming an alcoholic.  As much as I didn’t like it, though, again, it was part of what made this book really good and it humanized Drew. His reaction to having a tween daughter was great. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon when Sarah told him, he did the right thing and got a paternity test done. Which made me go “Hallelujah, Praise the Lord”. Why? Because I have read so many books where the hero is told that the kid is his and goes “Ok” with no questions ask. So when it was revealed that he had a paternity test done, I got up and did the happy dance.

Peyton kinda rubbed me the wrong way during certain scenes but I could totally get that she was stressing over losing her sister, having to raise her niece and she is falling in love with Drew…who is Chloe’s father. I would have probably acted the same way. But, she was a very strong woman who dealt with life’s blows with grace. She dropped everything to go be with Sarah when it was becoming pretty clear that she didn’t have long to live (and for the record, Peyton’s boss was a jerk). Then she had to mediate visitations with Drew until she felt that he would be ok to be left alone with Chloe. Plus, she was caretaking for Sarah until it was time to go to hospice. It was a lot.

I liked that the author chose to deal with tween/teen issues in a realistic way. Like when Chloe was asked to leave school because what she was wearing violated the dress code. The way that Drew handled it was a dream and for the record, I agree with him. If a girl is asked to leave because what they are wearing calls a boy to comment on their body, it wasn’t right. The boy should be called out on why he thinks it is ok to make comments like that to a girl. Like I said above, the way Drew handled that situation was perfect. Also what I liked was when Chloe was caught shoplifting. While it was on video, the other girl’s mother refused to look at it, has the mentality that her special snowflake would never do something like that and leaves. I could go on a rant about parents like that, but I won’t. I do think that the way that Drew and Peyton handled it was perfect.

When they finally had sex, it was off the pages hot and every time after that was scorching. Like I said above, what made it even hotter for me is that they had a relationship before hand. Something about feeling and sex gets me in the feels.

The end of the book was what I thought it was going to be and the decisions that were made were what I thought were going to be made. The epilogue was perfect!! I love it when the HEA is perfect for the book!!

How many stars will I give Dancing in the Rain: 4

Why: If you want to read a book that will get you in the feels, pick this book up. Seriously. It was well-developed characters, deals with heart-wrenching and real life issues in ways that you can only hope people in real life would and the sex scenes were through the roof hot. I will definitely be reading this book again!!!

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex and some mild language. Also some triggers for cancer, hospice, and death.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Fighting for Love (Boston Love: Book 2) by Kelly Elliott


Fighting for Love (Boston Love, #2)

Title: Fighting for Love

Author: Kelly Elliott

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: April 4th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 360

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: Boston Love

Searching for Harmony – Book 1

Fighting for Love – Book 2

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A larger-than-life firefighter inspires a career-driven woman to live in the moment—and trust in the power of love—in this flirty, emotional novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Searching for Harmony.
 
Finn Ward has two passions: being a firefighter and being single. Although his parents are constantly nagging him to settle down, Finn just wants to enjoy himself while he’s young. Then, at a union meeting, he meets a gorgeous lawyer with a dazzling smile—and suddenly, settling down doesn’t sound so bad.
 
Rory Adams is fresh out of law school and looking to make a name for herself at her mother’s firm. She doesn’t have time for silly games anymore. But when she catches the eye of a dashing fireman who makes her body tingle from across the room, something instantly ignites between them. The only problem? Her father is Finn’s boss.
 
Their relationship turns both of their lives upside-down. Rory tames Finn’s wild ways, while he shows her that life can’t be all work and no play. But it’ll take some serious determination to keep their love secret—and real courage to admit the truth.

My review:

I ugly cried during this book. Like nose running, tears streaming down my face ugly cry and I really dislike that the author made me do that….joking.  Ugly crying really isn’t my thing but when it happens,  I let nature take its course. I also love that the story was able to affect me on such a level.

Finn was such a player at the beginning of the book. He made me want to tear my hair out with his “love em and leave em” outlook on life in the beginning of the book. I could definitely see why Captain Adams didn’t want Rory anywhere near him. But at the same time, he had a soft side and he was, deep down, looking for “the one”. His immediate reaction to seeing Rory was the beginning of the end for him. I thought I wouldn’t like it when an alpha male fell hard but OMG….I need a Finn in my life (sorry BK). The dates he pulled off and what he did for their first time was fantastic. And he wasn’t afraid of letting his feelings out. Nope, not at all!!

Rory, I actually felt kinda bad for her. She was intimidated by her father to the point where, at 27, she let him dictate where she lived and who she dated. She had no life outside of work (well except meeting up with her besties from college).  To put it bluntly, she was boring and a wallflower. That was until she met Finn…who was the very man her father didn’t want her to date. Then she came alive and I loved her. She said the wrong thing at the wrong time (splooge anyone…haha) and was very clumsy. She also wasn’t very experienced, if you know what I mean, and I think that shocked Finn and titillated him at the same time. Basically, she was perfect for Finn and he was for her.

If there was one person I couldn’t stand in this book, it was her father. He was a controlling, manipulative idiot and what he forced her to do was beyond wrong. I also couldn’t get why he took what a 5-year-old said and started to hate him for it. Seriously, that man had some deep-set, serious issues. Put it this way, I wasn’t unhappy when he was rarely mentioned in the book after Rory flipped out on him.

The sex between Finn and Rory was hot and there was a lot of it. I love that there was humor in some of the sexual situations. Those situations made it so much easier to connect to Finn and Rory.

Now the scenes that made me ugly cry were heartbreaking. But you need to read the book to find out.

I will say that I thought the ending of the book was a bit rushed. I get why the author did what she did (and I totally approve because it was fun to read about Rory’s payback….lol) but I really wish it wasn’t so rushed. I felt like I was reading a marathon by the end of the book….lol.

How many stars will I give Fighting for Love: 4

Why: I loved this book. Not only was it set in Boston (I lived in MA for 38 years) but the love story was unbelievably sweet and sensual. I think I read this book in a day and I can’t wait to read book 3.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex, language, and some mild violence

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Forbidden Kisses (Blushing Bay: Book 1) by Annie Rains


Title: Forbidden Kisses

Author: Annie Rains

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: April 11th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 237

POV: 3rd person

Series: Blushing Bay

Forbidden Kisses – Book 1

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book Synopsis (from Goodreads):

For years, Jack Sawyer’s family has been running their upscale seafood business like a finely tuned machine. But every machine breaks down eventually, and suddenly Jack needs a new office manager, a new kayak launch, and a new lease on life. Then Grace Donner shows up again. She’s smart, motivated, and perfect for the manager position, but if she’s anything like her mom, she can’t be trusted. And Jack has never been able to trust himself around Grace.

Grace hasn’t seen her former stepbrothers since their parents’ messy divorce, but she never forgot them—especially Jack. She misses being part of the big rambunctious Sawyer clan, and if there’s an opportunity to set things right, she means to do it. But she can’t ignore Jack’s irresistibly kissable lips or the searing way he looks at her when he thinks she’s not looking. Their chemistry is more explosive than ever. And if the Sawyers can forgive and forget, anything is possible.

My review:

While this is kinda a stepbrother/stepsister romance, it really isn’t. It isn’t as hardcore as some of the stepbrother/stepsister romances that I have read. Also add in that Jack and Grace’s parents got divorced and they are no longer semi-related, it takes the kink right out of it. Which is fine by me because the story ended being so much more than that.

I really liked Grace. She put up with a lot of crap from her mother growing up but was still there for her when her mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. To say her mother wasn’t June Cleaver was an understatement. She also took a lot of crap from her old boss, the owner of a bar and ended up quitting when she couldn’t deal with his sexual advances anymore. So that leaves her without a job. Which brings her back into Jack’s world again.

I liked Jack. He had never forgotten Grace or his attraction to her but his rage at her mother’s actions kept him from talking to her. Not to mention that Grace went out of her way to avoid them because of what her mother did. So, he was surprised when Grace overheard him giving a job interview (not know it was him) and approached him for the job. He was in a bind, didn’t like the other applicants and hired her…without his father or brothers knowing. So, it wasn’t surprising when his brothers acted very negatively to Grace being there. What surprised me was his father’s reaction and I wanted to hug him.

The other story lines of Tristan and Tammy were very sad. I thought it was great when Jack stepped up and went to bat for Tristan. He gave him a job when most people wouldn’t and he stepped in when most people didn’t (read the book to find out what the situation was). Tammy’s storyline was sad but at the same time, I wanted to smack her. She laid so much on Grace about her past regrets and making things right before she died that Grace thought the only way to heal the rift between their families would be to buy back the boat Tammy sold.

I also could totally understand where Jack was coming from with his hatred of Tammy. I mean, she did sell off all of his mother’s belongings. I did wonder, at points in the book, if he would find it in himself to forgive Tammy (read the book if you want to find out).

The sex scenes between Grace and Jack were very hot and a little naughty (remember stepbrother/stepsister). The pages did burn up when they got into bed with each other and the pages burned up even when they weren’t sleeping together.

The end of the book was pretty good. Be ready to shed a tear or two and definitely be ready for the HEA during the epilog. I love it when authors to let the readers know what is going on after the story ends. Made me smile!!

How many stars will I give Forbidden Kisses: 4

Why: Enjoyable, relatable characters, hot sex, and a great plotline. I read this book in one day, it totally captivated me. I can’t wait until book 2 comes out!!

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex and some mild language

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Pillowtalk by Cassie Mae


Pillowtalk

Title: Pillowtalk

Author: Cassie Mae

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: April 4th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 191

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads): 

In this heartfelt romance from the author of the All About Love series, two people who thought they’d given up on passion turn to each other for emotional support—and maybe something a little more physical.
 
Kennedy Walters has had a tough year. Now she’s come to the lakeside town of Lyra Valley to finally say goodbye to the memory of her first love. But while she’s staying at his sister’s B&B, Kennedy is shocked to find herself undeniably drawn to a handsome local heartthrob—especially since she isn’t  sure if she’s ready to move on.
 
Aaron Sheppard returned to Lyra Valley because he was fed up with the big city and everything it didn’t have to offer—like the beautiful, down-to-earth girl staying at the B&B. Aaron’s enjoying a little flirtation until he realizes that she’s Kennedy Walters, the girl who was dating his best friend. But after a power outage strands them together, Aaron and Kennedy wind up sharing some intimate conversation. And over the course of a night that neither will ever forget, they learn just how compatible they could be—if only they knew how to let go and fall into each other’s arms.

Look for Cassie Mae’s charming All About Love novels:
DOING IT FOR LOVE | NO INTEREST IN LOVE | CRAZY ABOUT LOVE

My review:

If you are looking for a book that focuses mainly on sex, then pass on this book because while sex is had in the book, it is not the main focus. Don’t let the title fool you like it did me. I really thought that there was going to be no plotline, one-dimensional characters and people having sex at least once a chapter. Instead, this is a beautifully written book about first love, grief, forgiveness, letting go and moving on.

Kennedy’s boyfriend, Jared, died a year earlier from cancer. Destroyed by grief, as any normal person would be, she put off spreading his ashes until she felt that she could handle it. Which I thought was great that the author did that. I have read too many books where the heroine is grieving and then the hero comes along and everything is forgotten and/or is made miraculously better. Not in this case. Kennedy is still raw from losing Jared and she doesn’t want anything to do with romance or men. And that is what made this book so bittersweet to me.

Aaron was Jared’s ex-best friend. Their friendship ended shortly after they graduated high school. I am not going to say why it ended only this: teenage boys are stupid and make stupid mistakes. He knew who Kennedy was and felt awful that he was so attracted to her. In his mind, it would be betraying Jared again. I was heartbroken for him because he hurt so bad. I kinda wanted to reach through the book and give him a huge hug. I also cried when Chelsea (Jared’s sister) talked to Aaron and basically gave him the go-ahead to go after Kennedy.

There were a few touches of humor in the book. Like when Kennedy hit on Austin, who is Aaron’s gay twin brother, and then went off on Aaron, assuming it was Austin when she saw him kissing his “friend” (use your imagination for the meaning) about two hours afterward. I was giggling my fool head off. She was so mad and then that turned into being beyond embarrassed. Charlie the husky puppy was another point of humor. He was comic relief for a couple of scenes when it was needed.

The sex scenes were hot. While there were only two sex scenes, I felt that the build up to them was awesome. There was so much sexual tension between Kennedy and Aaron, it wasn’t even funny.

I loved the end of the book and the epilogue. Talk about a perfect ending for a great book!!

How many stars will I give Pillowtalk: 4

Why: A great book with relatable characters. I felt that the author did a great job portraying how hard it is to let go of a loved one and she also did a great job portraying how hard it is to get over losing a loved one.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex and language

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Bossed by Sloane Howell


Bossed

Title: Bossed

Author: Sloane Howell

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: March 28th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 203

POV: Alternating 1st person

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

He’s the boss. But she’s ready to take charge.

In this provocative and sexy* office romance, a cheeky new hire tempts a hotshot sports agent to mix business with pleasure.

Jenny: Job interviews are a bitch under the best of circumstances, but when your potential boss is the world’s biggest prick, that’s when you should simply walk away. It’s just that I need this job so badly—and I’m mesmerized by Ethan Mason’s piercing gaze. Men like him aren’t supposed to exist in real life. But under the tailored suits and GQ looks, Ethan simmers with barely restrained ambition. And no matter how hard I work to fight the attraction, I’m going to get burned.

Ethan: You don’t become a top agent without learning how to close a deal. I always get what—or who—I want, by staying cool and in command. Then Jenny Jackson walks into my office with her lush curves and “screw you” attitude and blows away my intentions of keeping things professional. All I can think about is exploring the perfect body hidden beneath those conservative clothes or shutting her saucy mouth with one hot kiss. Jenny’s worth breaking the rules over—if I can convince her to break the rules for me.

*By sexy, we mean sexy. Like, 18+ sexy.

My review:

I was actually looking forward to reading Bossed based on the cover alone. I couldn’t get over the smirk that the model had on his face and hoped that the cover would live up to the book. I wasn’t disappointed on that end. The cover more than lived up to what I thought Mason would look like and to his arrogant behavior. I am just glad that Jenny wasn’t shown on the cover.

I couldn’t stand Jenny. She annoyed the ever-living out of me. I mean, she went into her interview and immediately started verbally sparring with Mason and then every scene with them afterward, at work, she was insubordinate. If she was my employee, she wouldn’t have been hired and if she was, she would have been fired as soon as she screamed at me to apologize to an employee who cost me millions of dollars. She was whiny too. I mean, she had her first orgasm, ever,  in the back of Mason’s car and then checks her phone to find out that her dad, who had terminal cancer, was in the hospital. She flipped out on Mason….like hardcore screaming and yelling at him. I get that her emotions were all over the place but dang, she needed to check it. And when her dad died, her flipping out on him because he went to a business meeting and his cell phone. I can’t even put that at grief. She was acting like a witch with a b. She was the one who sent him on the darn business trip…..with her blessings. There were some places in the book where I wanted to slip her a chill pill. She annoyed me that much.

Mason was just as unlikable at the beginning of the book. But I did like the change him in once he started seeing Jenny. I actually started to like him and by the end of the book, he achieved hero status by dealing with her. But, he wasn’t all nice. I mean, he broke up with her because he assumed that she cost him 10 million dollars on a pitcher when it ended up being information that he gave to her that was incorrect. And how he was at the beginning of the book…..he was a grade A idiot.

The sex scenes were pretty hot but what was hotter was the sexual tension between Jenny and Mason. It blew the book out of the water in that aspect because it made the first time they had sex beyond hot.

I thought the storyline with Jenny’s father was pretty sad and I really thought that he was going to make it. I actually cried when I found out he died.

The end of the book I liked. It was pretty standard with an HEA.

How many stars will I give Bossed: 3

Why: While I liked the story and half of the main couple, I really couldn’t get past Jenny

Will I reread: Maybe

Will I recommend to family and friends: Maybe

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex and language

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Stripped Bare (Vegas Millionaires: Book 1) by Heidi McLaughlin


Stripped Bare (Vegas Billionaire, #1)

Title: Stripped Bare

Author: Heidi McLaughlin

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: March 28th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: Unknown

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: Vegas Billionaires

Stripped Bare – Book 1

Can be read out-of-order from series: Yes, 1st book in series

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Goodreads synopsis:

They don’t call it the Strip for nothing. . . .

In this sinfully sexy Las Vegas romance from bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin, a man who has it all reunites with a woman who takes it all off.

Living in Sin City, Finn McCormick is no stranger to one-night stands, but the last person he expects to find losing big on the casino floor is a former high school fling. Even though Macey Webster’s clearly down on her luck, she’s still a knockout, and she’s dressed like a stripper—because she is one. Drunk off an unfamiliar cocktail of lust, pity, and compassion, Finn offers to pay Macey’s debts if she cuddles up to him around town . . . and does whatever he wants between the sheets.

Macey came to Vegas for one reason only: money. She’s got a young daughter to support, and the tips really are bigger in Vegas. But when she blows her earnings on blackjack, her guardian angel is the rich boy who once stole her heart and never called her back. Although Macey would love to turn the tables on Finn, she can’t afford to refuse his proposition—and soon she’s enjoying herself much more than she cares to admit. Macey’s used to bare her flesh, but baring her soul will take far more courage.

My review:

I am going to admit, I had very low expectations for this book based on the blurb. I should have known better than to read the blurb and go to myself “Oh, this book is going to interesting (insert sarcasm here) to read”. I really should have known better…sigh.

Instead of getting two people just banging each other for the entire book and then “falling in love”, there was a story. And the love part of the story, which mainly took part over two weeks, was drawn out. Sure there was sex and sure it was mind-blowing but that wasn’t the whole story.

My heart did break for Macey during the book. She really got the short end of the stick in life. She got pregnant at 17 after a one-night stand at a party, dropped out of high school to have her daughter and restored to stripping at night and waiting tables during the day to help pay the rent and keep a roof over her, her mother’s and her daughter’s head. She felt stuck because she couldn’t make enough money to move out of her mother’s apartment and she was upset because while she was working, her mother took care of Morgan, her daughter. Well if you called getting drunk and having strange men over all the time watching her. Macey feels awful because she has told Morgan to hide in the closet if strange men came over and that is not a way for a child to live. She also lives in fear that Children’s Services will eventually show up at her door and take Morgan away.

So, when she is told about how stripping in Las Vegas is so much better than stripping in the town she lives in, Macey decides to jump at the chance. She is desperate to get Morgan out of that living situation and feels that she has no other option but to go strip in Las Vegas. What a hard situation to be in and then to find out that when she went to the paternal grandmother for help, only to have the door slammed in her face, made it unbearable.

Finn, however, was a jerk in the beginning. When he saw Macey playing blackjack, he not only recognizes her as someone from his hometown but he tells Lamarr, his best friend, that he thinks he slept with her back before he went away to college and he pegs her as a stripper and maybe an escort. He then gets punched by Macey as she is leaving the casino in tears because she lost all the money that she earned. When he follows her, he propositions her. One week with him, doing what even he wants when he wants for $30,000.

I found it funny that he assumed that Morgan was either Macey’s boyfriend or pimp. And I found it very ironic that Lamarr knew who Morgan was and if Finn had just asked, he would have known sooner and wouldn’t have put Macey through the wringer about it. I have to give her credit, though, she put up with his crap until the end and only because she needed the money.

Macey did get on my nerves, though, when she was dealing with Brandy. For such a strong woman, she was pretty weak about confronting Brandy and calling her out. She never thought to go to Finn and see if he actually said or did the things that Brandy said he did. She would just run back to the penthouse and cry about it until he came back and he explained things. Uggh.

I will say that the sex was very hot. Off the pages hot. I also liked that safe sex (because you know, I have nothing better to do with my life than worry about fictional characters sex lives) was used until almost the end. But by then, a lot of things had changed between Macey and Finn.

Like I said above, I thought the storyline was pretty reminiscent of Pretty Woman….except that Macey wasn’t a hooker, she was a stripper and she had a kid.

The storylines were wrapped up pretty good. I loved that Brandy got what was coming to her. I was in bed by the time I read that scene and I did a double fist pump. She was put in her place and then some!!!

I did figure out who Morgan’s father was by the middle of the book. I mean, the author didn’t try to hide it or throw red herrings out. So when it was revealed who it was, I was like “Yes” and “What’s next”.

The end of the book was a pretty standard HEA and the author made me jealous with the vacation location….lol.

How many stars will I give Stripped Bare: 4

Why: This was a hot read with a good but predictable plot. What I really liked is how strong Macey was. I also did like Finn towards the end of the book but I did think he was a jerk at the beginning.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes but with a warning about explicit sex.

Age range: Adult

Why: Explicit sex and language

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**