Womanizer, by Katy Evans

womanizer-v2-ebook

Grade: B+

Doing it at: 21%

Catnip: Banging the Boss, Brother’s Best Friend, Sex and Cigarettes, Working Girl, Manwhore

Shame Scale: Zero shame

Fantasy Cast:  Cam Gigandet, Cara Delevingne

Book Description:


You’ve seen the headlines: Womanizing billionaire player! Watch out! Stay away!

We were just two strangers. Facing a forbidden attraction, a chemical connection. Neither of us expected or wanted it to amount to more.
But I had never been drawn to a guy the way I was drawn to this one: my brother’s best friend, and CEO of the company where I interned.
Even knowing I should stay away, I proved to be too human, after all.
The chemistry was amazing.
The laughs were incredible.
I opened up to him in more ways than I’d opened up to anyone before.
But sex was as far as I’d go.
Just sex because he was too irresistible.
Just sex because I wouldn’t be falling for him.
Just sex because I’d leave in three months, and I’d like for my brother not to kill me, and for nobody to find out he was my wicked little secret.
He wasn’t the One.
He was just a womanizer.
But for a time, he would be mine.


Katy Evans is one of our faves here at Mybookshame, and we were excited to get our hands on Womanizer, the 4th book in the Manwhore series we love so much. Callan Carmichael is the last of the billionaires to be paired up, this time with Tahoe Roth’s little sister, Olivia.

The story starts shortly after the end of Ladies Man, with Olivia moving to Chicago for an internship at Carma, Callan Carmichael’s Fortune 500 company. Tahoe pulled some strings and got her the job, which chaps her a bit as she’s really determined to become a big business lady on her own with no help from anyone.

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Monster Prick, by Kendall Ryan

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Grade: B

Doing it at:  49%

Catnip:  Brother’s Best Friend, Secret Lovers, Your First and Your Last, Novella, Dual Narrative, Dirty Talk, Virgin, Teach Me Tonight

Shame Scale: Low shame, the guy on the cover is fully dressed!

Fantasy Cast:  Penn Badgley, Leighton Meester

Book Description:

Over my dead body.

That’s what I told Gracie when she informed me of her plan to pick some random guy she met online to get rid of her pesky virginity.

If anyone is touching her, it’s going to be me.

I shouldn’t even be considering it, but I can’t get it out of my head: her, under me, begging me.

***
Arrogant. Cocky. Prick.

Those are the words I’d use to describe my older brother’s dangerously handsome best friend.

When he learned of my plan to kick off my white cotton briefs, ditching my good girl persona once and for all by losing my virginity to the first eligible bachelor I could find, he flipped out. Said over his dead body.

He says if anyone’s going to do it, it’s going to be him.

I hate that I’m even considering his offer.

But I am … I sooo am.

Ever since he suggested it, all I can think about is his cocky smile on those full lips as he’s driving in to me.

But if we cross that line … will I ever be able to go back?

MONSTER PRICK, a sexy romantic comedy, is a spin off novella from SCREWED, but can be read as a standalone, as it features a new couple.


We read Kendall Ryan’s last release Screwed, which introduced the main characters in Monster Prick, Grace and Hudson.  And there was no way I wasn’t reading a book entitled Monster Prick, well played Ms. Ryan, well played. This is a novella length story, which can easily be read in one sitting. It’s a fluffy palate cleanser with some good sex scenes sprinkled throughout.

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Overtime, by Toni Aleo

Overtime

Grade: B

Doing it at: 47%

Catnip: Hockey Players, Beards, Second Chance Love, Hate to Love You, Addiction, Serious Problems, Sports Stuff, Strong Female Lead, Brother’s Best Friend, Reformed Bad Boy

Shame Scale: Super low shame, the cover is obviously romance, but look at that guy.

Fantasy Cast: The glorious and sadly unknown to us man on the cover, Charlize Theron

Book Description:

Down and out with an injury keeping him away from the game, Assassins’ defenseman Jordie Thomas lives for the blades of his skates on the ice and the feeling of oblivion off it. With no choice but to heal, he’s forced away from the sport that runs through his veins. With everything at stake and darkness setting in, he quickly finds himself spiraling even further out of control. As his life begins to come crashing down around him and his contract with the Nashville Assassins on the line, he’s given an ultimatum. Ready or not, Jordie is forced to face his past, the fears that consume him, and the one woman he let walk away. 

Kacey King had her professional dreams come true, yet her heart was battered and broken. With an Olympic gold medal around her neck, she’s ready to look forward to the future but without the one man she wanted in it. She’s missing the key pieces of her heart she left months ago with the only person who was capable of destroying it, causing her to falter in all her plans to move on. 

In the game of life, there are winners and losers, and neither Jordie nor Kacey want to be on the losing bench. If only Jordie could convince Kacey he’s a changed man and that he wants her right by his side as his MVP for the biggest and best parts of a life they build together. With emotions running high and the game on the line, can two proud people find happiness with each other, or will their hearts and souls be left in the cold? Will they see that sometimes having someone by your side who knows the good, bad, and broken is better than going it alone and losing everything through the back of the net? They are out of time on the game clock and fighting for the win of their lives. 

But overtime was made for an Assassin like Jordie. 


Mary: Full disclosure. We bought this book for the cover model. 100%. Look at him:

Overtime

I don’t even want to admit to the lurid, depraved, bottomless depths of Tumblr I have explored, trying to find a dirty lookalike for this guy.

Dear Toni Aleo, *Slow Clap* Also, how about you HABO (Help A Bitch Out) and tell us who this model is so we can stalk him incessantly on Instagram.

Cleone: Seriously, this is maybe our best cover model of all time, if we didn’t want to avoid angering Jay Crownover we’d tweet this at her RE: this is how you do it (plus she redeemed herself with #HotCop).

Overtime 11

M: And also, hockey is kind of hot. I guess. I’m not really a sports person, but I think out of all of the sports, hockey has some of the better looking players (not counting the dental issues).

C: Hockey has Henrik Lundqvist. It is definitely hot. Plus I adore the Rachel Gibson Chinook series, so hockey has serious catnip for me.

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Leaving Amarillo, by Caisey Quinn

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Grade: B

Doing it at: 63%

Catnip: I’m With the Band; Drummers; Deep Dark Secret; Brother’s Best Friend; Forbidden Romance; Adorable Nicknames

Shame Scale: Leaving Amarillo has some flowery language that made me a bit cringe-y, but a strong story and a cute cover puts this at low range shame.

Fantasy Cast: Matthew Goode; Clare Bowen

What do we taste like?: Better than ice cream

Book Description:

Dixie Lark hasn’t had it easy. She lost her parents in an accident when she was young and grew up in a ramshackle house on a dirt road in Amarillo with her ailing grandparents and overprotective older brother. Thanks to her grandfather, Dixie learned to play a mean fiddle, inspired by the sounds of the greats—Johnny and June, Waylon, and Hank. Her grandfather’s fiddle changed Dixie’s life forever, giving her an outlet for the turmoil of her broken heart and inspiring a daring dream.

Ten years later, Dixie and her brother Dallas are creating the music they love and chasing fame with their hot band, Leaving Amarillo. But Dixie isn’t enjoying the ride. All she can think about is Gavin, the band’s tattooed, tortured drummer who she’s loved since they were kids. She knows he feels the connection between them, but he refuses to see her as more than his best friend’s little sister.

Convinced that one night with Gavin will get him out of her system, Dixie devises a plan. She doesn’t know that her brother has forbidden Gavin from making a move on her-a promise he swore he’d always keep . . . a promise that once broken will unexpectedly change the future for Dixie, Gavin and the band.

Here’s a shameful, non-book-related, Cleone secret: I’m a closet country music fan. I blame my hillbilly roots, my pappy left me his Hank Williams records (Hank I thank you very much not Jr.) in his will, and Friday nights at my grandparents were spent watching The Statler Brothers. I love the TV show Nashville, have seen the deeply underrated The Thing Called Love multiple times, and was pretty pumped to read Leaving Amarillo – a reference to a Bob Willis song that I knew before finding this book.

Dixie Leigh Lark (that name is exactly what I would have wanted to name a character in a romance set in Texas so even though its twee we are letting it go) plays the fiddle in a country band with her brother, Dallas, and their childhood friend, Gavin. She’s the youngest of the three and used to letting her brother boss her around and have his way for the most part. This includes her not pursuing a romantic relationship with Gavin even though she’s had a crush on him since she was nine and he was ten, since the very day they met at her parents funeral. Dallas, age twelve, forbid Gavin to EVER touch her if he wanted to be their friend.Which, I don’t know, are twelve-year-old boys concerned with people touching their nine-year old sisters? I’d ask my older brother but he’s a jerk.

Gavin promises to never touch Dixie,  a promise he upholds to the letter for ten years, he never touches her despite being a flirty manwhore with almost all other women. He never touches her despite his eyes holding what Dixie calls his “I’d really like to take your pain away, take you to bed and make it all better with my dick” Look. Dixie’s reaching her breaking point with the sexual tension with the band’s super hot drummer. She’s prepared to make a move if he won’t, her brother be damned.

Her move making corresponds with the band getting a big break and being entered into the line up at the Austin Music Fest. Now not only is Dixie stuck with her brother and her object of secret desire 24/7; her grandpa is sick and she’s worried being so far away from him, she’s trying to decide if she wants to continue on with her college education, and Dallas has signed the band with a manager that doesn’t seem crazy about her.

Gavin agrees to spend one night with Dixie, one night to get each other out of their systems, and then they’ll move on and never mention it again is the plan. Because that ALWAYS works. Once the deal is made things start to change between Gavin and Dixie: they share kisses, he gets openly angry when the lead singer of another band on the festival flirts with her, and her brother almost catches them going beyond the friendship boundaries in her hotel room. Do brother’s dislike their best friends licking ice cream off their little sisters stomachs and then giving them oral sex? Probably. That one seems more likely than the twelve-year-old cockblocking, I’d ask my brother but I reiterate he’s a jerk.

The writing in Leaving Amarillo is an interesting mix of really excellent dialog and extremely flowery prose:

He’s white-hot, burning flames licking up everything in his path. And I’m just a little bluebird flying dangerously close to the fire.

Like a flower cast out in the darkness, I withered day by day, withdrawing into myself and into the girl I likely would’ve become if Gavin Garrison hadn’t wandered up onto my grandparent’s porch the day of my parent’s funeral.

Gavin blocks the glinting sun and it shines around him, creating an angelic effect around my tattooed, tortured soul mate.

The over the top romance writing was so well-balanced with the good writing that I could forgive almost all of it:

“What have you got in store for me, little Bluebird? Some Fifty Shades fantasy** you can’t wait to play out with a willing participant?”

My heart quickens its pace at his naughty suggestion. “Gavin Garrison, have you been reading mommy porn?”

“I’m glad you came,” I whisper.

“I’m glad you’re wearing my shirt,” he says evenly, leaning back in the chair as his chin lifts slightly. “Now take it off.”

….

I bite his lower lip and he growls. “You can bite me as hard as you want to. I like for it to hurt.”

This one night of really hot sex does nothing to ease the desire that Gavin and Dixie feel for each other, they’ve known each other too long and have too many connections outside of sex for this to be a clean and easy one night stand. Gavin had a terrible childhood, that led to him accumulating some dark secrets he hasn’t fully disclosed to Dixie. He may not recognize that he loves Dixie, but it is pretty obvious to the reader that he does. He’s gentle with her, and extremely protective. Standing up for her to his best friend can’t be easy, and it can’t be easy risking the relationship with basically the only two people he has in the world to pursue a romance with Dixie, either.

Bad boy manwhore drummer with a heart of gold is basically my ultimate catnip, you guys. And have we talked about how he calls her Bluebird? We LOVE when our book people have adorable nicknames for each other, it’s why Mary and I are in each other’s phones as Shortcake and Plum. I was rooting really hard for Gavin and his Bluebird to figure out their shit and get together.

Sadly, Quinn ends Leaving Amarillo on a cliffhanger, book two was released 6/15 but it is Dallas’ story and oh my God you are killing me smalls! I will read however many books it takes to get to a Dixie and Gavin HEA, but I won’t be happy about it, making readers wait is cruel, when said readers have limited patience and the desire for instant gratification.

If you’re also a secret country music fan, or you also love the brother’s best friend trope, or if you too have drummer catnip pick up Leaving Amarillo and join me on my HEA wait, we can internet glare at Caisey Quinn together!

Check out Leaving Amarillo on Amazon

**I’m delighted to report the book sex in Leaving Amarillo is way better than the book sex in Fifty Shades.

Be With Me, by J. Lynn

Be with me

Grade: B+

Doing it At: 67%

Catnip: Brother’s Best Friend; Holding Out For A Hero; Dark Secrets; Horses; Ballerina; Road Head; Dangerous Criminal Villain; One Waffle Too Many

Shame Scale: The cover looks like it could be YA, which is less shameful than romance in our current social climate, so low shame there. The writing is good, there’s an actual plot, and the sex doesn’t use too many awful euphemisms. HOWEVER, I read this on the bus with the print very large and I was actually blushing. So Medium Shame.

Fantasy Casting: Theo James and Amanda Schull (because when I think ballerinas, I think Center Stage)

Book Description: 

“Do Teresa and Jase have a real shot at getting together or will life get in the way?

Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, life-changing kiss. Then she got out of a terrible relationship. Now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for plan B: college. And maybe she’ll have a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real.

Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone—especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about is kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him.

As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Teresa can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not. . . .”


A few weeks ago Mary gave me a must-read list of New Adult titles, because while I have read A LOT of historicals, I am woefully behind in this genre. The book before this one in the Wait For You Saga was on the list, I’d already read the book after this one, and for some reason I couldn’t find Wait For You in the Kindle library (it was there, I’m just special sometimes) so I went with Be With Me. And guys, I am super glad I did.

The book opens with Tess and her brother, Cam, driving to the Jase’s parent’s farm to deliver him a sweet tea. I thought it was weird that he’d drive way out into the cut just to deliver his buddy a tea, but whatever it introduces us to shirtless sweaty Jase playing with his adorable five-year old brother so its A-OK. A year before Jase kissed Tess in a serious way and he has been ignoring her ever since; this was easy before because Tess is a ballerina and was supposed to be at the Joffrey School of Ballet on a full scholarship before a bad jump injured her knee and put her life plans on hold. Now she is in the same college as her brother and Jase, studying to be a teacher, and waiting to get the OK to dance again. She and Jase ignoring each other is no longer an option.

Tess and Jase end up in Music Appreciation Class together. He sits next to her, makes the I’m sorry let’s be friends speech, and starts driving her across campus after class to preserve her poor sad knee. He also starts bringing her very fancy cupcakes, which is courting behavior if I’ve ever seen it- there’s definitely a verse in Froggy Went-A-Courting about baked goods. Tess tries very hard to convince herself that they can be just friends, like Jase keeps saying he wants. After all this is just a pit stop for her until she can start dancing again and flee the dorms where she lives with a room-mate who has a not-very-nice boyfriend. It’s easy for Tess to realize what’s going on with her room-mate Debbie and her douche canoe boyfriend, Erik, because as a teenager Tess was also in an abusive relationship. She wants to speak up to Debbie but can never seem to find the right time, or the courage to do so. Tess still feels ashamed of what happened years ago and chastises herself for staying with her abusive ex as long as she did. Despite her history of abuse, Tess is not some shrinking violet. She isn’t scared of physical contact, she isn’t shy around all men or bad in social situations. She is smart and tough and deals well with the many many things that get thrown at her in this story. Like seriously, all the conflict- the loss of her dancing career, a vicious physical attack, Jase being unable to make up her damn mind about their relationship.

When Jase finally starts giving in to his feeling of lust for Tess it is with so much waffling, I know the waffling is common in romance novels but it was maybe one waffle too many in this book for my taste. Major points added for what might be the first instance of road-head that I have encountered in my shame reading. It is initiated by a tipsy Tess, and then quickly reciprocated when Jase pulls the car over on a deserted country road and drops to his knees in the dirt. Actual sex doesn’t happen until 67%, first Jase has to reveal his deep dark secret (which you will probably easily guess by 5% in the book), they have to tell her brother, and something really bad has to happen to her roommate. The plot and the writing of Be With Me made me OK with waiting. There’s an extended prologue, which was sweet, but also felt kind of extra long to me since I was staying up well past my bedtime to finish.

J Lynn is a good writer, she writes books that are hard to put down and suck me right in– please check out her teen alien romance series written under her real name, Jennifer Armentrout, starting with Obsidian.  I will definitely be reading the rest of the books in this story, (but not right away because next on tap I have a book where the cover model looks like a sociopath and the chapter titles made me LOL on the bus). The series ties in the characters and the plot elements and does not spend a lot of time trying to explain what happened in previous books. If you don’t like not knowing everything you might want to read these in order. But you should definitely read Be With Me.

Check it out on Amazon: