Manwhore +1, by Katy Evans

manwhore

Grade: A

Doing it at: 42%

Catnip: Billionaires; Second Chance Love; Yacht Sex; Swooning; Sequel

Shame Scale: Regular old medium shame.

Fantasy Cast: Matt Bomer; Carey Mulligan

What do we taste like?: Mint and chocolate and whipped cream

Book Description:

Malcolm Saint was an assignment. A story. A beautiful, difficult man I was supposed to uncover for a racy exposé.

I intended to reveal him, his secrets, his lifestyle—not let him reveal me. But my head was overtaken by my heart and suddenly nothing could stop me from falling. I fell for him, and I fell hard.

Malcolm Saint is absolute Sin, and I’ve become a hopeless Sinner.

Now that the assignment is over, Saint wants something from me–something unexpected–and I want this wicked playboy’s heart. But how can I prove to the man who trusts no one that I’m worthy of becoming his plus one?


Cleone: I was so glad that I only had to wait four days to get this book, the cliffhanger at the end of Manwhore made me so mad, authors can’t just do that to us! Stop playing games with our hearts, romance authors!

Mary: Agreed. Even though this is Romance Land where everyone gets a happily ever after, it’s still maddening to pause a story in the middle of a break-up.

C: Manwhore +1 picks up right where Manwhore left off, with Rachel being summoned to meet Saint after a month of crying and pining for him since her deception was revealed to the world. You can’t really blame him for cutting off contact with her, he had been pushing pretty hard for Rachel to be his girlfriend, to share his extravagant playboy life with him, and to let her walls down. Instead he finds out that she was investigating him for her magazine. Poor Saint, I’d help dry his tears.

M: With my body.

C: Saint isn’t trying to make up though, he’s offering Rachel a job with his company. For an exorbitent sum, with an HR talking head there to act as a buffer.

M: Ice cold. Poor Rachel just wanted to tell Saint how much she loves him, and to try and explain herself. Saint wasn’t having any of it though – he tells her that a job is all he can offer her. And Rachel remembers him stating that he never makes the sex with his employees, so she holds on to her last thread of hope and declines.

C: Rachel is crushed that he wasn’t just trying to win her back, but as her friend Gina (whom we adore) points out, Saint is obviously still trying to take care of her:

“Saint is too smart, Rachel. He wanted to make sure you showed up. He fucking wants you there. He is offering health insurance for your next of kin, Your mom. Do you realize what this means for you on the work front?”

C: Because she’s stubborn and can’t just submit to Saint wanting her for her brains, Rachel resists and tries to be happy working at Edge. Except her boss is trying to capitalize on Rachel’s newfound fame as the girl who landed and duped Malcom Saint and has her writing dating pieces. “You too could land your own billionaire in eight simple steps!” type articles. Which, is pretty not ok. Her friends are urging her strongly to just take the job. Plus they’re being hilarious in their supporting:

“Saint is  very physical. You know what would do you and Saint a world of good? Tyrannosaurus sex: mean, violent, delicious, painful, and cathartic.” Wynn adds, “That will lead you then to spooning. Emmett and I are still so new though, we can’t even spoon. It’s more like sporking.”

Let’s be honest in this sacred space, guys, spooning always leads to sporking.

M: You’re right there, it’s right there, everything is all lined up…

C: I was worried we would have to wait till the very end to get our HEA, and Mary was on a yacht of her own floating around the Caribbean so I was just texting all my frustrations into thin air.

M: This book was released while I was on vacation, but I insisted someone take me to land in a dingy so I could hook my kindle up to some Wi-fi and download it. I was not able to get the coveted midnight download, but c’est la vie. By the time I had my book in hand and some internet, Cleone had filled up my inbox with friendly texts like these:

manwhore text

C: Saint is still mad at Rachel but he can’t stay away and soon he’s agreeing to give her another chance on the condition that she stops saying no to him. He’s not going to be the only one all-in this time around.

M: Rachel’s deception genuinely HURT him, and I liked that Saint didn’t just jump back into a relationship with Rachel at the start of the book even though they obviously still have all the chemistry. He’s honest about how he felt before she wrote her article, how it made him feel to find out that she was pursuing him for a story, and how he’s feeling about her now. It was all terribly mature for a romance novel. She had to work for it, earn back some trust. Luckily we didn’t have to wait till the end of the book, thank god.

C: Of all our billionaire book boyfriends Saint is the very hottest. He’s not holding a grudge or being emotionally unavailable, he’s just fucking away all her reservations and saying all the best things.

Saint says nothing for a long time.

Then: “Do you miss me?”

He rolls to his side and the fabric of his shirt is about to tear open under the flex of his muscles as he searches my face. He leans close to my ear, and says, “Do you think of me sometimes when you don’t want to … do you need me … do you still feel me?”

“I feel you everywhere.”

C: Once Rachel and Saint have reunited we get lots and lots of hot sex, Evans must have known the readers were salty over being cliffhangered and threw us a bone. Several bones.

“Is that you want, little one?” he asks, pulling me up so I feel him between my legs. In a world where he can buy anything he wants, I’m his littlest thing. And he’s my biggest, grandest thing.

M: You just can’t resist a guy who gives a girl tiny nicknames, can you? #TallGirlFantasies

It was crazy hot though. It was the A+ doing it from Manwhore, with more sweet. As with life, it seems that sex in romance novels is better when there are feelings involved.

C: Rachel was annnoyingly stubborn about letting Saint buy things for her, maybe its my constant poverty, but I was eye rolling at her inability to just let the dude buy her a dress.

M: That was my only pet peeve as well. It seems like all the heroines in billionaire books have to go out of their way to prove that they ain’t in it for the money. It’s ok honey, you can enjoy the money a little bit. Billionaire means never having to budget.

C: It takes a while, but not so long that I got vexed, to get to our HEA. Evans wrote us a good one too. I was in no way disappointed. She wrote us an alpha billionaire hero with a soft heart and the ability to tie cherry stems in a knot. I’d be a picky bitch to quibble.

Check it out on Amazon:

Manwhore, by Katy Evans

Manwhore

Grade: A

Doing it at: 59%

Catnip: Billionaires; Undercover Lover; Frenching; Yacht Sex; Swooning; Star Reporter; Cliffhanger

Shame Scale: Cover and title all scream sex book, and it’s a sex book. Nothing overly shame-y about this one though – it’s well written, great plot. Medium shame.

Fantasy Cast: Matt Bomer, Carey Mulligan

What Do We Taste Like?: Toothpaste and coffee

Book Description:

Is it possible to expose Chicago’s hottest player–without getting played?

This is the story I’ve been waiting for all my life, and its name is Malcolm Kyle Preston Logan Saint. Don’t be fooled by that last name though. There’s nothing holy about the man except the hell his parties raise. The hottest entrepreneur Chicago has ever known, he’s a man’s man with too much money to spend and too many women vying for his attention.

Mysterious. Privileged. Legendary. His entire life he’s been surrounded by the press as they dig for tidbits to see if his fairytale life is for real or all mirrors and social media lies. Since he hit the scene, his secrets have been his and his alone to keep. And that’s where I come in.

Assigned to investigate Saint and reveal his elusive personality, I’m determined to make him the story that will change my career.

But I never imagined he would change my life. Bit by bit, I start to wonder if I’m the one discovering him…or if he’s uncovering me.

What happens when the man they call Saint, makes you want to sin?


Mary: I loved Katy Evan’s REAL series. Overprotective, testosterone-heavy, buck-rowdy MMA fighter? Catnip city. Do yourself the favor. I’ve wanted to read Manwhore for so long, but I have this big giant pile of books to read, you know? I try to stick to a budget and buy books when they’re on sale, but this one has been holding firm at $7.99, taunting me. Fortunately, it was one of the books I snatched up during the Great Book Buying Spree of June 2015, when I impulse purchased a buttload of books because I was stressed at work and had $100 on a prepaid visa card that my husband didn’t know about. And man, I’m glad I waited to read it, because it ends with a cliffhanger I actually cared about, and when I finished it, I only had to wait a week for the sequel.

Cleone: Your book buying spree coincided with my book buying spree, and I think the family library got 20 new books that we’d been long term coveting. Immediately after finishing Manwhore I one a.m. text messaged Mary to ensure that we had the sequel to this pre-ordered. I’m not a cliffhanger fan but this one has me hooked.

M: Rachel is a reporter at a print magazine that’s struggling financially. They’ve been laying off loads of employees, when Rachel’s boss gives her an assignment that she thinks could revive the magazine. She wants Rachel to cozy up to the city’s favorite billionaire bachelor, Malcolm Saint – hottest name of all time btw- and answer some of the questions people have about him. She doesn’t come right out and say it, but the assignment is basically to fuck him and find out his secrets. Rachel has a brief moral debate over it, but then jumps at the chance to write something big and gain an audience so she can finally talk about things that are meaningful to her.

C: I don’t know what the OSHA standards are for asking your employees to open their legs for a story, but lets just roll with this.

M: Also, he’s insanely hot and known for fucking the brains out of half the city’s brainless bitches, so lets be real, it’s not like her boss assigned her latrine duty. “Sure, I *guess* I could fall on that ‘sword’…”

Rachel manages to get an interview with Saint, by pretending she’s interested in his new social media start up. Except they give her almost no notice, and she’s in the middle of a charity painting project when she gets the message. She races to Saint’s office, in paint covered overalls, and they have a meet-cute in his office when she attempts to act like a professional journalist, and he spends the whole time stifling laughter. It’s a total disaster, looking a little hopeless for Rachel’s big important assignment. Except this is a romance, and we know better.

C: Saint is either so distracted by her outfit, or worried about her getting red paint on his furniture, that he gives her one of his shirts to put on, and this is when my swoon-o-meter amped up to high.

They then have another interview where she gets not nearly enough information and it seems like Saint is quietly laughing at her the whole time again.

M: Rachel figures third time’s the charm, so she puts on her hottest dress, talks her way into an invite at a club party Saint is throwing, and sets out to stalk some manwhore. When she find’s Saint, he’s already got two skanks (we hate them) on his lap, but he swats them away and beckons her over.

C: They’re just run of the mill club skanks, Rachel is SPECIAL.

M: Saint’s friends Tahoe and Callan are getting a bit flirty with her, when SAINT CALLS DIBS. This shouldn’t be as hot as it was, but I promise you, it was one of the hottest romance lines ever. Fucking swoon.

“Apparently there’s a dress code – Saint had to drop his tail and horns at the door,” Callan jokes as a waiter sets a drink before me.

“Oh yes.” I tug the hem of my skirt self-consciously. “I had to drop half my dress.”

“Did you now?” Tahoe asks.

“T.”

One word, one letter, from Malcom.

“Yeah, Saint?” Tahoe returns, lifting his eyebrows.

“Dibs.”

C: Mary sent me the dibs screenshot before I started reading (I was finishing up another book for our super fun Summer ReReads that are coming up!), and I didn’t think it was that hot until I read it in context. Saint is written a lot more three dimensionally than some other billionaire playboys we’ve read about ::coughGreycough:: and I was already worried about the inevitable explosion when he discovered Rachel was writing about him personally and  not about his business ventures.

C: Saint calls “dibs” but then sends Rachel home in his car, he doesn’t think she’s up for the kind of debauchery that he and his friends will be getting up to that night. Which is a pretty astute observation, Rachel’s only had two sexual partners and has never been in a long term romantic relationship. She doesn’t want to fall in love and risk getting her heart broken. But it is proving harder and harder to resist Saint’s full-court-press advances as she keeps putting herself in his circle — you know for “research,” and the next time she meets up at a club with him there’s extremely hot second base action in a private room at the club. Private make out rooms at clubs are such a billionaire perk, amiright?

M: They end up making out on her couch, but Rachel’s roommate Gina comes home and cockblocks, and Rachel sends Saint off with some frenching, and strangely enough, I’m not sure I’ve every actually heard “frenched” used in a romance before? Plus ten points for reminding me about frenching, Ms. Evans.

I adored Rachel’s roomates.

“What was that?”

“He was saying goodbye.”

“I’m Gina, remember. Your best friend. I can tell when you’re lying. Were you guys… sleeping together on the couch like some item?”

“I had a few drinks. So did he. We had that… thing. I’m beyond… not think well.”

“Okay. ‘Cause we know deep down he’s Lucifer, right? The Arch Douche himself? We don’t sleep with the bastard, we do not drop our walls!”

C: Evans did a wonderful job writing those female friendships in ways that rang true. Her friends give her shit, don’t let her lie to them or herself, and really support her even when she’s being an idiot. This is what friendship is like in real life. I bet the author has great bitches in her crew.

As Rachel and Saint’s relationship deepens, Saint is the first to open himself up and seek a higher level of commitment. Rachel is still trying to maintain the pretense that she is going to write this big expose about him and that the mind shattering sex they’re having all over his house and yacht is just sex.

M: Oh and that yacht? Is called The Toy. Could you be any hotter, Malcolm Saint?

C: The sex is good in this one, guys. There is a dibs call back that had me all texting Mary and fanning myself. Saint’s manwhoring has paid off and Rachel is not immune to his skills. Saint is also just extremely sweet:

“Shut up, asshole. I’ve got this pocket on lockdown.” Malcolm crosses to my couch and drops beside me, reaches out and kisses my temple, his whisper low and husky so that only I can hear, “This Hershey’s Kiss, all mine.”

M: Really really good. There was lots, but not too much, and it was descriptive, but not overwrought. Just the hottest. It was the sex I basically wish I was having.

When things got emotional between the two, Rachel became consumed with self loathing for all her duplicity. I started to dread the fall out I knew was coming.

C: By the time they’ve both obviously fallen hard for each other the secret explosion is imminent. Things implode and it made my heart hurt, I was super attached to these characters. And then we got the GD cliffhanger. I spent the next four days glad that I didn’t have to wait a year to (hopefully) get an HEA for these two.

“I’ve fallen completely in love. Spectacularly so. If you want a front seat for the debacle, I’m sure there’ll be blood.”

Check it out on Amazon:

The Taming of the Billionaire, by Jessica Clare

The taming of the billionaire

Grade: B-

Doing it at: 51%

Catnip: Shakespeare; Enemies to Lovers; Billionaires; Cat Lady; Evil Sister; Dual Narrative; Sex En Plein Air

Shame scale: Low to moderate. It’s light and formulaic, but well written.

Fantasy casting: Timothy Olyphant, Jennifer Garner

Book Description:

The New York Times bestselling author of The Billionaire and the Virgin returns with a tale of Shakespearean-style seduction…

Edie’s an overbearing cat behaviorist who’s not big on people. Magnus is a newly-rich game developer who likes to be in control. When the two of them meet at Gretchen and Hunter’s masquerade engagement party, the loathing is mutual. Unfortunately for them—and everyone else—they’re in the wedding party together and must deal with each other for the next few months.

But when Magnus’s younger brother falls for Edie’s sister, he begs for his brother’s help in concocting a plan to win her over. If Magnus can keep the prickly Edie occupied, his brother will have time to woo Edie’s sister. Of course, Magnus isn’t interested in the slightest, but Edie is…intriguing. And stubborn. And smart. And sexy. And they might have more in common than they thought.

This book is part of the Billionaires and Bridesmaids series. We were lucky enough to receive an ARC for this one, which will be released on July 21, 2015. I’ve had a few Jessica Clare books on my wish list for awhile (Yes, Beauty and the Billionaire is the one I’m most anxious to get my hands on if you must know), so I was excited to see what her style is like. This book is loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘The Taming of the Shrew,’ which admittedly, I have not read. Confession time: even when I read Books, I didn’t ever really get into the classics. I googled it though, and based on my extensive Wikipedia research I can say that there are indeed some similarities between ‘The Taming of the Shrew,’ and ‘The Taming of the Billionaire.’

The book opens with Edie and her sister Bianca arriving at Gretchen and Hunter’s mansion (the couple from Beauty and the Billionaire, which I now definitely have to read because Gretchen is amazing) for a dinner for the members of their wedding party. Edie has a bad knee from an old accident that causes her to limp, and she brings her sister Bianca everywhere “for help” – although as far as I could tell the help was pretty much just driving and being awful. Bianca is a giant See-You-Next-Tuesday, the kind of woman who acts angelic and selfless as a way to make herself look good. AKA my favorite kind of villain. She’s obviously intent on going to the party she wasn’t invited to because the host is rich and she wants to land a rich husband. Spoilers are coming. If you’d like to avoid, scroll directly down from one cat lady to the other.

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After a brief tour of the mansion, Edie’s bum knee is bothering her, so she sneaks off to rest. She happens upon Magnus in the kitchen, where he some of the groomsmen are joking about how there won’t be any hot bridesmaids at this wedding to hook up with, since Gretchen is weird. Likely all nerds and cat ladies. Edie just so happens to be a professional cat lady. Like, she runs a business as a cat behaviorist.

Edie is outraged (probably because everything they’re saying is true and she knows it), and makes sure they all know how grownup mad she is by giving them the stone cold ice queen treatment. Magnus is our billionaire hero in this one, and he thinks Edie is hot, but that any potential bangability is completely negated by her personality. So basically, great cat nippy foundation for a romance. Girl hates guy, guy thinks girl is a frigid bitch.

Later though, Levi, Magnus’s brother/business partner/creative genius, proclaims that he is in love with Bianca, and can’t work until he is able to date her. For some reason Bianca has told him she can’t go out with him because she’s too dedicated to her sister. It’s an awkward plot device, but we’ll let it go. Bianca and Levi came up with a plan to have Magnus adopt a cat and hire Edie as the cat behaviorist, so they can sneak off and fool around. It’s obnoxious and manipulative, but Magnus agrees because he is annoyed and wants to get this over with so they can meet their software development deadlines.

Levi and Bianca continue to jerk Magnus and Edie around. They even go so far as to make Magnus take Edie out on a date. At this point he is rather sick of the two of them, realizes that he actually kind of likes Edie, and decides he wants nothing to do with their bullshit games. He decides to be an adult and starts dating Edie for himself, but the betrayal of his initial pursuit of her is still buried there between them.

There’s not too much doing it in this one, but what there is is decent. It’s not bad, not exceptional. The first time the P enters the V is in a garden, that was pretty fun. But otherwise, the sex in this one is metaphorically canned chicken soup.

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This book wasn’t life changing, but it was very engaging for a regular old romance. The characters were interesting enough to be memorable, and the enemies-to-lovers story managed to feel fresh. It was kind of like a Kate Hudson Rom Com: fun, enjoyable, with no emotional hangover. A great lazy weekend book. I’m definitely going to pick up Beauty and the Billionaire, but I’ll probably wait for a sale.

Click to purchase on Amazon:

A Baby for My Billionaire Stepbrother, by Cassandra Zara

billionaire stepbrother

Grade: Maybe a D- (despite there being D)

Doing it at: 1%

Catnip: Protagonists who hate each other; Stepsiblings: Not Quite Incest; Billionaires; WTF; But it was 99 cents

Shame Scale: Red Hot Burning Shame. This book is badly written, badly plotted, and no amount of sex can help.That cover isn’t anything you’d want a parent or child or dentist to see either.

Fantasy Casting: My brain couldn’t even cast this one, just pick two people you hate and pop them in.

Book Description:

“I’ve been waiting to claim you for a long time…”

“Go take the bus, freshman.”

With one cruel phrase, James had shown me exactly what kind of person he was. Refusing to give me a ride home had shown the catty girls at my high school that I was fair game. It didn’t stop there. For Christmas, he gave me nothing more than an IOU. I had to listen to him making girls from our high school moan through our shared wall. Even though our parents were now married, I knew I’d never think of him as a brother.

I was right, but in the worst way. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop fantasizing about acts that society would consider forbidden.

Four years later, when I came home for Christmas, James was there as well. Only he wasn’t just a popular high school kid anymore. He was the billionaire CEO of his own company. And whatever feelings I had for him resurfaced immediately when I accidentally walked in on him when he was naked. He relished the opportunity to tease me just as he had when we lived together, and I fell for it every time.

Only, when I left the house to do something I might regret, he saved me. It was only then that I found out that he had not only been protecting me, but he had wanted me just as fiercely all along. And, even though that IOU from all those Christmases before said that he owed me a gift, I wanted to use it to give him a gift that would last a lifetime.

A baby.

This was a 99 cents purchase, we figured how bad could it be, which is a thought that never ends well. A Baby for My Billionaire Stepbrother introduced me to a whole subset of Kindle books I didn’t even know existed. I urge everyone to go over to Amazon and type in “hard and unprotected”. You’ll learn so much about human nature, and about girls who just want men to cum inside them and get them pregnant. For college student Allie not just any man hot and unprotected inside of her will do; the only man she wants to fill her with a baby is her billionaire stepbrother. James taunted Allie throughout high school and she lusted over him, all while hating him. There isn’t much in the way of back story here, and what is there is hard to follow and not particularly compelling. Allie is EXTREMELY unlikable, I found myself wishing this was a dual narrative and I could switch to James’ head because he seemed slightly less awful.

Allie has come home from school over Christmas break from college, and her stepbrother who has made himself a billionaire since the last time she saw him- is coming home as well. She’s become a “sophisticated” new woman at college and uses her new wiles to go trolling for D at a local bar where everyone from high school has congregated to get drunk and see who has gotten fat (AKA the best part of winter break). James saves her from getting date raped in a car, she yells at him for it, displays no emotional maturity, and does not get his hot cum inside her before they both part ways.

When Allie and her billionaire stepbrother finally get it on (hard and unprotected) in his swanky penthouse office, she KNOWS that he got her pregnant.

I sighed with ecstasy as I felt my stepbrother’s seed completely fill me. His life giving semen was already finding its way toward my fertile eggs

This books saving grace is that it is short, and that I was in a mood for hate reading when I picked it up, hate reading can be pretty pleasurable. It’s possible this is my top shame read of all time!

PS: I think this has a sequel