Better When He’s Brave, by Jay Crownover

Better When He's Brave

Grade: A

Doing it at: 47%

Catnip: Hot Cop, Cop and Criminal, Hot Cars, Dangerous Criminal Villain, Bathroom Sex, Hate to Love You, Fake it Till You Make It

Shame Scale: No shame, this is a good one, guys.

What Does He Taste Like?: Warm cleanness that was somehow simply Titus, he tasted like he looked, strong, sure, and potent.

Fantasy Cast: Henry Cavill, Adelaide Kane

Book Description:

In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jay Crownover’s third novel in her sexy, thrilling Welcome to the Point series, a woman’s search for repentance leads her to the one man from her past she can’t forget as they join forces to save their city—and the explosive love neither can live without.

Titus King sees the world in black and white. Right and wrong. Which is why as a teenager he left behind the only family he’d ever known to make a better life for himself. Now a police detective in one of the worst cities in the country, he can’t deny his life has turned into a million different shades of gray. 

The new criminal element in The Point has brought vengeance and destruction right to Titus’s front door, and the difference between right and wrong is nothing compared to keeping those he loves alive. To add to his already strained moral compass, the beautiful and mysterious Reeve Black has made her way back to town, and she might be as dangerous to Titus as the guy trying to destroy the Point because he needs her—in more ways than one.

Reeve knows all about how ruthless this new threat to destroy The Point can be… and instead of running away, she wants to help. She has a lot to repent for and saving the city, plus the hot cop that she hasn’t been able to forget might just be the only way she can finally find some inner peace.

With an entire city poised on the brink of war, Titus and Reeve stand in the crossfire—and it will take two brave souls to fight for the ultimate love.


Cleone: We have been counting down to HOT COP for months, basically since the second we finished Better When He’s Bold. Mary and I are Crownover fan girls and we are of the opinion that she just gets better every book.

Mary: All of her books are great, but I think we fell hard when we hit Nash and they’ve only gotten better since then.

C: She especially got better on the cover for this one:

better 1

M: The Race cover model. Our favorite 80’s frat boy from Revenge of the Nerds. He was an outlier in an otherwise impeccable series of cover boys.

C: We met the main characters in this one, Reeve and Titus, in previous Point books. Reeve was a villianess in Bax’s story and Titus is Bax’s police officer brother. Titus might be the one genuinely good guy in all of the Point. Which is why Reeve goes to him when she rolls back into town with secrets and scores to settle.

M: Also, maybe because she has a teeny bit of a crush on him. As one would. Tall, dark, rough – I’m imagining a little bit of taco meat peeking out of the one-button-open collar of his shirt because I don’t think it was specified and this is my fantasy you guys – and a stickler for The Law. Did this book give me a temporary fixation on Hot Cops and have I spent an inordinate amount of time looking into the feasibility of getting a Hot Cop stripper for my next favorite ladies party? I’m not not saying that.

hot cop

“Open up. It’s the police.”

Back story: Reeve was the one who ratted out Dovie to the really bad guys (not the bad guy she was hitting the sheets with), leading to her kidnapping and torture. So we really didn’t like Reeve. But Crownover is great for a redemption story, and we got on #TeamReeve pretty quickly.

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Sated: A Dark Romance, by Charity Parkerson

Sated

Grade: C

Doing it at: 17%

Catnip: This Shit is Bananas; Threesome; Foursome; WTF; Rock Stars; Hot Cop; Multiple Timelines; Butt Stuff; Team Anal

Shame Scale: High, high shame.

Fantasy Cast: Just pick a hot band of guys and sandwich in a virginal blonde.

What do we taste like: Innocence. “Like ambrosia — sweet and citrusy”

What does he smell like: Spicy chocolate

Book Description:

(Dark Romance, F/M and M/M scenes, Rock Star Romance, Ménage, Sexy Detective, Alpha Male, Supernatural themes)

“Losing her mind wasn’t an experience she enjoyed.”

After a steamy night of passion with a dark stranger, Arbor’s life takes on a surreal edge. Disturbing dreams, lapses in memory, and entire buildings going missing are only a few of her problems. Her search for answers leads her to Detective Trey Murphy, the man in charge of investigating satanic and ritualistic crime for the New Orleans area.

Where do you turn when your mind is the enemy?

Meeting Trey only adds to Arbor’s confusion. By day, he keeps her captivated and gains her trust in a way no one else ever has. At night, Arbor’s every fantasy is brought to life by two sexy men who steal away her inhibitions. Torn between what her heart knows is real and what her eyes show her, Arbor must find the truth before she loses herself completely.

But, then again, sometimes reality is more twisted than any dream and love is the cruelest form of insanity.

**Author Note**

Warning: This isn’t your typical love story. It’s dark with scenes some may find disturbing. Sometimes love is senseless, and the heart is so very stupid.

We requested an ARC of this book, because: cover, description. I was assuming we’d get some bananas shit, because that guy in the middle looks like a zombie. But after reading, I think it was probably just bad graphic design that has him looking like a corpse compared to the fleshy stock photo models (and possible Jensen Ackles?) behind him. That’s not to say this book wasn’t bananas though. Because it definitely was.

This book switches back and forth between different perspectives and timelines. We open in a bar, while Killian watches Arbor reject the advances of Trey. He decides to approach her, and they have a hot, deja vu connection. Killian excuses himself to go join the band, because of course he’s in a band. He has tattooed on eyeliner and that sounds ridiculously unattractive to me, just saying. Some kind of fight or riot breaks out in the bar, and Killian and his hot bandmate Lyric (with tousled blonde hair, no eyeliner tattoos) escort her out of the bar through some kind of underground tunnel? None of this made any sense, and it’s never really explained.

Killian takes Arbor back to her apartment, and they pretty much immediately jump into some over-the-top analingus. It’s just that kind of book.

“Has anyone ever eaten your ass?” he asked, pushing up her shirt as he spoke. She didn’t respond. It didn’t matter. He already knew the answer.

….

“When my fingers are buried in your sex and my tongue is fucking your puckered strawberry, you’re going to feel fuller than you ever have before. But I promise you, it won’t be the last time.”

….

“Her arousal filled his lungs, feeding his darkest desires.”

For the record: points deducted for use of puckered strawberry.

Killian leaves afterwards, and the next day when Arbor goes back to the bar, all she finds a vacant lot. At this point the book gets pretty bat shit, switching back and forth between multiple timelines, points of view, buildings appearing, disappearing. Arbor starts seeing Trey, a detective, while also dating Killian and Lyric. She is having all sorts of flashbacks and dreams, while Killian and Lyric seem to know all about her.

There’s a twist, and it’s pretty easy to guess, but I’m not going to give it away. The plot went from bonkers to wrapped up in about a chapter, and I felt like the story itself could have been much more developed. And really, while there is a pretty decent original plot in this one, it’s more noteworthy for being one of the kinkier books I’ve read in awhile: Threesomes in a restaurant bathrooms with upright DP. Foursomes with some pretty fluid sexuality. Solid B level doing it, but the plot and writing needed work. If there was a sequel, I’d be curious enough to read it.

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Fall With Me, by Jennifer L. Armentrout/J. Lynn

Fall With Me

Grade: A-

Doing it at: 42%

Catnip: Hot Cop; Misunderstandings; Mysterious Stalker; Childhood Crush; Strong Female Lead

Shame Scale: Low shame

Fantasy Cast: Henry Cavill, Jennifer Lawrence

Book Description: 

Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire
Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of.
She’s been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that
night they shared never happened. She’s sworn him off forever, but the
past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke
her heart not once, but twice.

Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility
since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who
put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him
and Roxy. She’s not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when
she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end
of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man
who already destroyed one life already.

But Reece isn’t convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if
Roxy doesn’t believe him, he’s not willing to let anyone hurt her.
Including himself. He’s already messed up more than once when it comes
to Roxy and he’s not going to let history repeat itself.

Mary: Jennifer Armentrout is amazing and I will read literally anything she writes. This is book four in the Wait For You series.

Cleone: Jennifer Armentrout made me deeply invested in books about teen aliens as a 33 year old woman, she’s a genius.

M: Yes. That series was everything. Jennifer Armentrout excels at giving characters distinct voices. I always feel like I’m reading about different people in each book. I wasn’t crazy about the heroines in the first two in this series (too nervous, too childish), I didn’t read the third. But this one: Roxy feels like someone I want to be friends with. She swears, she says “butt sore,” and “holy balls:”

Oh, holy balls, what he just said was light-me-on-fire-hot.

….

“But you could’ve cleared it up right then,” Katie pointed out. “No shit,” I replied. “But I didn’t. I was so embarrassed and… yeah, my feelings were hurt, so I left his place and just so much time passed, and I was still all butt sore about it that I never cleared it up.”

She even has small boobs and thick glasses. I believe I texted Cleone: “The new J. Lynn is in the cloud. You should read it. She has small boobs too!”

C: I love small boob heroines! It’s a very personal catnip. Plus Roxy is funny and random, and owns a ‘Hufflepuffs do it better’ t-shirt. Of the J Lynn heroines, she’s ranking as my number one.

C: We met Roxy and Reece in Calla’s book, and they spent the entire book not talking – more specifically Roxy not talking to Reece. Every time he’d come into the bar where she worked she’d hightail it to the back room or get someone else to wait on him. In this book we find out its because they had a drunken night together that didn’t go as either would have liked. And Roxy has liked him FOREVER. Like forever ever, he was literally the boy next door and she’s been pining for a decade. She’s an artist and she paints him all the time and then hides the paintings in her closet and mentally berates herself for liking him so much.

Reece has decided that he is done waiting for Roxy to get over her snit and forgive him, he’s wanted her for a really long time as well — since he saw teenage Roxy on the slip’n’slide in a wee bitty bikini. And after some work trauma, some serious emotional heaviness after a stint in the armed forces, and a year of not talking to her he can not wait any longer.

Roxy’s good friend was the victim of a hate crime several years ago, and has been living in a vegetative state. She blames herself for what happened, and goes to visit him every week, despite him having no response to her visits. And lately he really hasn’t been doing well. The guy who attacked her friend has just been let out of prison and wants to make amends. To which Roxy is pretty much “F Off Dude.” On top of all of this, some really weird stuff has started happening around her apartment.

M: So the stalker. I’m sure it was intentional (I hope), but the big mystery stalker was absurdly obvious. As in, at the very first mention of weirdness, I was all, It’s X, and he’s doing X. I texted Cleone my prediction, and she was all, NO SPOILERS. But is it a spoiler if I’m just making an accurate prediction? There were anvils, not clues.

C: Yes, as soon as X was involved, I totally knew he was the stalker. The stalker story line still managed to creep me out though! I was reading this late at night in my dark bedroom and without being spoiler-y an especially scary thing happened and I had to turn on Bob’s Burgers to calm my nerves (The Belchers make me brave).

Reece is very very hot. J Lynn knows how to write a dreamy guy who isn’t just fawning over the girl or a complete alpha jerk. She hits a nice balance and this one had me google image searching “hot cops”

M: Like this?

man-impersonates-policeman-pulls-over-real-policeman

1x10-Pier-Pressure-Animated-gif-Hot-Cops-arrested-development-7915510-300-170

M: Or more like this?channing-tatum-magic-mike-stripping-cop

M: Sigh. I want a Hot Cop. Remember that super hot meter maid we saw who kind of looked like a Hot Cop because of his navy blue uniform? We made him so uncomfortable.

C: If by uncomfortable you mean super flattered? Then yes, I remember him.

I liked that Roxy decided to cool her commitment bullshit and BE with Reece before she went back and forth too many times and made me hate her. J Lynn also got me ready for the next book, by making Nick seem like a hot/decent guy as a side character in this.

M: Yes. And even though the plot was a little predictable, it was still very suspenseful and creepy. It was like when you watch a horror movie, and you’re like, “You idiot! Why are you going upstairs!” That was pretty much the way I felt throughout the whole book. Plus sex. There was just enough talk of him taking off his big cop-y gun belt and dropping it on the floor so they could do the thrust and repeat.

Check it out on Amazon: