Heat Wave, by Karina Halle

hw-kh

 Grade: A

Doing it at: 57%

Catnip: May-December Romance, Older Man, Aussies, Calgon Take Me Away, Dead Ex, Mild Hardship Porn, Forbidden Romance, Food Porn, The Other Sister, My Dead Sister’s Husband, Ocean Sex, #DISP

Shame Scale: Why are we even rating this anymore? You know we’re completely shameless. Plus this one has a gorgeous cover.

Fantasy Cast:  Hugh Jackman, Brie Larson

What does he feel like?: Like velvet steel, and silky to touch

Book Description:


They say when life closes one door, another one opens.
This door happens to lead to paradise.
And a man I can never, ever have.

Still grieving the loss of her sister who died two years ago, the last thing Veronica “Ronnie” Locke needed was to lose her job at one of Chicago’s finest restaurants and have to move back in with her parents. So when a window of opportunity opens for her – running a kitchen at a small Hawaiian hotel – she’d be crazy not to take it.

The only problem is, the man running the hotel drives her crazy:
Logan Shephard.
It doesn’t matter that he’s got dark brown eyes, a tall, muscular build that’s sculpted from daily surfing sessions, and a deep Australian accent that makes your toes curl.
What does matter is that he’s a grump.
Kind of an asshole, too.
And gets under Ronnie’s skin like no one else.

But the more time Ronnie spends on the island of Kauai, falling in love with the lush land and its carefree lifestyle, the closer she gets to Logan. And the closer she gets to Logan, the more she realizes she may have pegged him all wrong. Maybe it’s the hot, steamy jungles or the invigorating ocean air, but soon their relationship becomes utterly intoxicating.

There’s just one major catch.

The two of them together would incite a scandal neither Ronnie, nor her family, would ever recover from.


Mary: Hey there! How’s your 2016 going? Anything like ours?

dumpster-fire

We wrote a little ditty about it. Just hum ‘We Didn’t Start the Fire’:

Prince died, Mrs. Brady, Phife Dawg, David Bowie
Alan Rickman, Leonard Cohen, Muhammad Ali
George Michael, George Martin, Nancy Reagan, Gene Wilder
Miss Cleo, and my dad, Leia and Harper Lee
Donald Trump and Mike Pence, Gary Johnson, Conservatives
Endless wars, Police shootings, Brexit, Misogyny
Diarrhea, Raging Periods, Alzheimers, Christmas Plagues
Gawker’s Gone, Rats in cars, Fuck off 2016
 
We didn’t light this dumpster
It was always burning since the world’s been turning
We didn’t light this dumpster
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it

 

M: What a fucking shitty year this has been, amiright?

C: My 2016 has actually not been as bad as my 2010-2015, but I feel physically scared to say that out loud-like the 2016 boogey man is lurking for me.

M: If ever there was a year to lose yourself in some romance books, 2016 would be it. So let us tell you all about this dreamy book set in Hawaii, inspired by paradise and Hugh Jackman at his hottest. And to those who have tried to tell me that Hugh Jackman isn’t hot, I counter with Australia.
australia-1

australia-2

M: I would do terrible things for some of that fresh creamery butter.

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Keepsake, by Sarina Bowen

keepsake

Grade: A

Doing it at: 50%

Catnip: Male Virgin, Farmer Boy, Strapping Men, Sexual Healing, Cults, Food Porn, Dual Narrative, Kidnapping, Pickup Truck Sex, PTSD, Seasonal Romance, Autumn, Beta Hero

Shame Scale: 0%, you can tell people what you’re reading and be like “it’s about developing nations, America’s farming crises, PTSD, religious cults, and apples”

What Does He Taste Like?: The cool night air, the outdoors, and a hint of sweat.

Fantasy Cast: Ryan Gosling, Rosario Dawson

Book Description:

Lark Wainright used to be fearless. Her life was a series of adventures, each one more exhilarating than the last. But her recent overseas adventure was one too many. Now she’s home and in one piece. Mostly. But her nights are filled with terror.

When her best friend offers her a stay at the orchard in exchange for help at the farmers’ markets, Lark jumps at the chance to spend fall in Vermont. But her nightmares don’t stop. Desperate to keep her fragile state a secret, she relies on the most soft-spoken resident of the Shipley Farm to soothe her when her dreams prove too much.

Zachariah is a survivor, too. It’s been four years since he was tossed aside by the polygamist cult where he grew up. He’s found a peaceful existence on the Shipley’s farm, picking apples and fixing machinery. But getting thrown away by your own people at nineteen leaves a mark on a guy. He doesn’t always know what to make of a world where movie quotes are the primary means of communication. Before hitchhiking to Vermont, he’d never watched TV or spoken on the phone.

Actually, there are a lot of things he’s never done.

Zach and Lark slowly grow to trust one another. One night they become even closer than they’d planned. But Lark may still be too broken to trust anyone. When she pushes Zach away, he will have to prove to himself that he’s good for much more than farm labor.

Cleone: Mary and I have some very specific catnips, that do not always overlap, so when we stumble on a book that hits so many sweet spots for both of us, we know things are going to be good.

Mary: There’s a virgin beta hero fresh out of a cult, strapping farmers, it’s Vermont in  Autumn, and they talk about pie all the time. If you asked me to describe the perfect October book, this one pretty much nails it.

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Nuts, by Alice Clayton

nuts

Grade: A

Doing it at: 50%

Catnip: Farmer Boy; Small Town; Sex En Plein Air; Strong Female Lead; No Strings Attached; Summer Loving; Skinny Dipping; Food Porn

Shame Scale: There’s no hiding this is a romance, but its a sweet, smart romance that evokes no shame in the enjoying.

Fantasy Cast:  Wilson Bethel; Rachel Bilson

Book Description:

Roxie Callahan is a private chef to some of Hollywood’s wealthiest, and nastiest, calorie-counting wives. After a dairy disaster implodes her carefully crafted career in one fell ploop, she finds herself back home in upstate New York, bailing out her hippie mother and running the family diner.

When gorgeous local farmer Leo Maxwell delivers her a lovely bunch of organic walnuts, Roxie wonders if a summer back home isn’t such a bad idea after all. Leo is heavily involved in the sustainable slow food movement, and he likes to take his time. In all things. Roxie is determined to head back to the west coast as soon as summer ends, but will the pull of lazy fireflies and her very own Almanzo Wilder be enough to keep her home for good?

Salty. Spicy. Sweet. Nuts. Go on, grab a handful.


Alice Clayton gives her books fantastic names, like Wallbanger and Screwdrivered. And while the books have salacious titles, they all have smart heroines, and a tendency to make me laugh out loud. Mary pre-ordered this one way back in April, and after I finished Nuts I was ready to pre-order the second book in this series (Its called Cream for cripes sake). Nuts is crazy good, you guys.

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