The Hooker and the Hermit, L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid

HH

Grade: B+

Doing it at:  45%

Catnip: Opposites Attract; Rugby; Sexual Healing; Secret Identities; Fake it Till You Make It; Funny Girls; Strong Female Lead; Light Bondage; Paparazzi; Awful Ex Girlfriends

Shame Scale: I feel like we are almost never ashamed anymore, at least not by books that don’t feature BBW shifters or terrible writing. The cover on this one has a good touch of the humor that’s to be found inside, and you can read it anywhere.

Fantasy Cast:  Colin Farrell (in S.W.A.T.); Katie Holmes

Book Description:

New York’s Finest
Blogging as *The Socialmedialite*
April 22
LADIES AND GENTS! I have an announcement!
You know that guy I featured on my blog a few months ago? The really, really hot Irish rugby player who plays the position of ‘hooker’ in the RLI (Rugby League International)? The one with the anger management issues, the body of a gladiator and the face of a movie star? The one with the questionable fashion choices leading me to ask whether he was the lovechild of a leprechaun and a hobbit? Ronan Fitzpatrick? Yeah, that guy. Well, I have a confession to make…

THE HERMIT
Annie Catrel, social media expert extraordinaire at Davidson & Croft Media and clandestine celebrity blogger, can make anyone shine in the court of public opinion. She is the Socialmedialite, anonymous creator of New York’s Finest and the internet’s darling. Virtual reality is Annie’s forte, but actual reality? Not so much.

THE HOOKER
Ronan Fitzpatrick, aka the best hooker the world of rugby has seen in decades, despises the media—social or otherwise. The press has spun a web of lies depicting him as rugby’s wild and reckless bad boy. Suspended from his team, Ronan has come to Manhattan to escape the drama, lay low, fly under the radar. Only, Ronan isn’t easy to overlook, and he can’t escape the notice of the Socialmedialite…

THE PLAN
When Ronan is sent to Davidson & Croft Media to reshape his public image, he never expects to cross paths with shy but beautiful Annie, nor does he expect his fierce attraction to her. He couldn’t be happier when her boss suggests pairing them together.
What lengths will Annie take to keep her virtual identity concealed? And what happens when the hooker discovers who the hermit really is?


After having my heart destroyed by Missed Connection, I went in search of something funny with a guaranteed happy ending, and I was lucky enough to find The Hooker and the Hermit. It was exactly what my brain needed after the NYE cry-fest. Penny Reid is an automatic buy for me, and I’ve got L.H. Cosway’s Hearts of Blue queued up in my to-be-read pile now, the two authors created a near perfect romance with mature characters and crazy-steamy sex scenes.

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Three Rivers, by Chloe T. Barlow

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Grade: A-

Doing it at: 15%

Catnip: Dead Husband’s Friend, Strong Female Lead, Sexual Healing, Light Bondage

Shame Scale:  No shame. This was a good read!

Fantasy Cast:  Issac Marion (he wrote Warm Bodies and I needed a cute author and he is adorable), Mila Kunis

Book Description:

How do you start over when you gave everything to one life, one plan, and lost it all?

Althea refuses to allow herself to love again. Imprisoned in grief at twenty-four after her husband’s sudden death, she’s convinced her heart died along with him. She spends her days honoring his memory by clinging to the legal career he helped her to build and to the remaining pieces linking them together.

Griffen’s been running from his past. Despite success as an author and investigative journalist, he’s been traveling through life on autopilot. For a decade, he’s chosen perilous adventures and meaningless sex over the danger of any attachments. When he finally returns home to Pittsburgh, he’s slammed by the awakened memories and regret he’s spent years trying to escape.

A chance encounter brings them together. Their instant desire for each other – and the bond they discover between them – shocks them both. Despite her best efforts, Althea can’t resist Griffen’s charm or his intriguing proposition – if she agrees to a no-strings affair with him for the two weeks he’s in town, he swears he’ll walk away when their time is up. Assured she can test the waters of a new life while keeping her vow never to betray her husband’s memory by opening her heart to another, Althea throws herself into the escape Griffen provides her.

Their perfect plans go awry when the intensity of their connection overwhelms them. Will they risk it all on the chance of something great together…or will the power of their secrets and guilt tear them apart.

Right from the beginning, I had a feeling I’d like this book. It takes place in my hometown, and I was secretly overjoyed at every mention of a Pittsburgh landmark. The book begins with Althea (Tea) and her son Johnny. We learn that Tea is a widow and that her husband Jack passed away in a car accident right before she found out she was pregnant. She is fortunate and has an amazing support system of women, two best friends (Jenna and Aubrey), her mother-in-law and mother, that help her cope with everything. Her friends, after 5 years, push her to go out and date. Maybe even consider a one-night stand. She’s had a few unmemorable dates since her husband’s death. But plain and simple, Tea needs to get laid. Her friends get her gussied up and take her out and insist that it’s time Stella Got Her Groove Back. With all the luck in the world and a few drinks helping to loosen her up a bit, she meets Griffen.

But not with Taye Diggs, sadly.

But not with Taye Diggs, sadly.

Griffen is a writer. His book has been made into a movie. He’s hometown famous! But, he has some severe writer’s block happening since the death of his friend Jack. That’s right. His BFF was Tea’s dead husband. And somehow these two had never met. I find this hard to believe, but it’s fiction. So they meet in a bar, exchange a lot of flirty back-and-forth, and Tea signals to her friends that she’s going for it. She feels a strong connection to Griffen, and understands that her vibrators just aren’t doing the job that a man can do. After a few drinks, they head back to Griffen’s hotel and get down to business. Let me tell you, the down and dirty in this one is HOT. Slow and deliberate. Griffen is obviously feeling a connection, one that he hasn’t felt in a while with a woman. The problem is, Althea is honestly looking for a one night stand to get her back in the saddle. And it works. She feels sexually liberated when she sneaks out the following morning. Griffen, however, makes it his mission to find her and spend time with her for his remaining two weeks in Pittsburgh.

The next morning, Griffen is asked by his mother to attend a birthday party being held for his dead friend’s son. And although he has already decided to find Althea, he puts his plans on hold to appease his mom and suppress a little of the guilt he feels for losing touch with Jack right before he died. The shock when he walks in the door and see Althea is fantastic, and very indicative of small town/ big city Pittsburgh. Everyone knows everyone. It’s probably one less degree of separation than Kevin Bacon. They both muddle through the party, managing to have most of the awkward conversation away from the overbearing ears of Carol, Jack’s mother, who still refers to Tea as “Jack’s wife.” She’s kinda nuts. But grieving, so it’s forgiven. Althea also manages to avoid David, Jack’s former coworker, who has, since Jack’s death. been possessive of Tea and her son. Griffen works hard to win over all the women, Tea most of all. He plays football with her son, helps with the food, and at the end of the day, offers up a suggestion she can’t refuse. Two weeks, no strings attached, dates, sex, whatever. Who could pass that up?!

Tea takes him up on the offer. It’s only two weeks. Almost no commitment, loads of steamy sex, and at the end of the time, Griffen disappears back to New York City. She feels like unattached sex is just what’s needed in order to bring her back into the dating scene. Her friends offer Griffen a ride back to his hotel after the party, and divulge tons of information about their friend. They want to insure that Tea has a perfect time over the next two weeks.

So Althea puts her trust in Griffen. And loves every minute of the time they spend together. They date. They spend real quality time together. They do it pretty much constantly. (This chick has some solid friends offering up babysitting for her. All the single moms I know never have this much down time. Ever.) Griffen play football with her son, Johnny. It’s picture perfect. Until Griffen visits his childhood home and opens a lock-box that used to belong to him and Jack as kids. It was something they would use to hide things from Griffen’s abusive father, a safe place to keep things like dirty magazines. But now there’s a flash drive that wasn’t there before. And it’s encrypted and secured. The investigative writer comes back into focus and starts unraveling the information that dead friend Jack left behind.

The remaining novel is a little mystery, a little action, and lot and lots of sex. Lots of really good sex. Honestly, I felt like cheering this woman on for finding this guy. These two have fantastic chemistry. And the backdrop of the story thrilled me, since it’s my city and all the landmarks I love as well. Yinz should read it!

Viper’s Den: Part One, By J.B. Heller

vipers den

Grade: C-

Doing it at: 43%

Catnip: Hate to Love You; Fake it Till You Make it; Light Bondage

Shame Scale: The cover is actually really cute, right? The writing isn’t great, but its not the worst. Low to medium shame, like the half cooked toast of shame

Fantasy Cast: My brain didn’t bother getting attached enough to cast

Book Description:

Piper owns and runs Vipers Den. She worked her butt off to get the salon off the ground and now, the only problem she has is her meddling mother… She is determined to set her only daughter up with a suitable man. However, Piper and her mother have VERY different taste in men.
Enter Kade Benson, who is not only her big brothers incredibly sexy, yet very geekish best friend but also the bane of Piper’s existence. And with him he brings his masterful/ridiculous plan to get Piper’s mum off her back and to throw a crazy stalker girl off his trail…
Problem is, Piper and Kade, HATE each other…
Let the fun begin!

I picked out Vipers Den based on how cute the cover is, which is as good a reason as any for book picking. Bonus that it has the love to hate trope AND the fake relationship trope which are both catnippy to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t love this one.

Kade is best friend’s with Piper’s brother, and Piper has always hated him for what she perceived as stealing her brother’s attention from her. Kade has always pretended to hate Piper while secretly lusting for her, natch. The two decide to pretend to be dating to get Piper’s mom off her back and to distract the crazed stalker that is obsessed with Kade. This is all fine, I’m down for this whole plot, it was the execution I didn’t enjoy.

Even for a novella this felt very rushed, and we know that just because things are short we don’t have to feel like the story was thrown together. There is very little character building. Kade is a hot tech nerd whose mom died and who was also on the football team and restores cars. All of that info is shoe horned into the little book with almost none of it being reflected in his character. I couldn’t help feeling like this was all added in like a plot paint by numbers. Piper is supposed to be quirky: she eats a lot, she does martial arts, she wears “edgy” clothes; but it just seemed like there was no depth.

Could I be overly critical because the last book I read was so damned good and full of feels and plot and character development? It’s possible, I’m only human, brah.

One thing this book did get right? The sex scenes are well written, sexy, and didn’t feel as rushed as the rest of this little book.

Using my shirt, he tied my hands in place. I had never been this constricted, and never felt so powerless.

I thrust my hips forward at the same time as I slipped two fingers inside of her. She was so wet for me, I had to bite down on her shoulder to keep from moaning myself.

This story may have been better if it had been given an entire novel to play itself out, and I would definitely be willing to try something full length by this author. The problem certainly wasn’t in the ideas, just realization of the ideas. If you want something light that you can read in under two hours, maybe as a between book palate cleanser, this might be just what you’re looking for.

Buy on Amazon:

Grey, by E.L. James

Grey

Grade: D-

Doing it at: 20%

Catnip: Panty Sniffing; Nipple Orgasm; Light Bondage; BDSM; Hate Read; WTF

Shame Scale: If you make it all the way through this book it’s because you really loved the first one and needed more, or you’re masochists like us. Either way: Red Hot Burning Shame

Fantasy Cast: We’re going to be safe and just go with Dornan and Dakota.

What do we taste like: Mint and tea and an orchard of mellow fruitfulness

Book Description:

See the world of Fifty Shades of Grey anew through the eyes of Christian Grey.

In Christian’s own words, and through his thoughts, reflections, and dreams, E L James offers a fresh perspective on the love story that has enthralled millions of readers around the world.

Christian Grey exercises control in all things; his world is neat, disciplined, and utterly empty—until the day that Anastasia Steele falls into his office, in a tangle of shapely limbs and tumbling brown hair. He tries to forget her, but instead is swept up in a storm of emotion he cannot comprehend and cannot resist. Unlike any woman he has known before, shy, unworldly Ana seems to see right through him—past the business prodigy and the penthouse lifestyle to Christian’s cold, wounded heart.  

Will being with Ana dispel the horrors of his childhood that haunt Christian every night? Or will his dark sexual desires, his compulsion to control, and the self-loathing that fills his soul drive this girl away and destroy the fragile hope she offers him?

This book is intended for mature audiences.

Disclaimer: We love romance, the trashier the better generally. We love formulaic plots and alpha heroes. We love accidental pregnancies and #teamanal threesomes. We are in no way book snobs: check out some of our top rated reviews. So if we say this book is capital B Bad, you should probably trust us.

Mary: Alright friends. We sucked it up and read this fucking horrible book for YOU, and as much as we’d like to never give it another thought, it’s time to put on our DJ’s (our Dom Jeans) and get this over with.

I confess that I read the original trilogy, and while the writing was terrible, I did actually enjoy the plot. #sorrynotsorry. There’s a stalker! Kidnapping! A Virgin! A helicopter crash and missing hero! Accidental Pregnancy! All the catnip. The story as a whole is dare I say it, kind of enjoyable? It’s tempered with some of the most WTF dialogue we’ve ever read, but I don’t think it’s fair to categorically write this series off. What I’m saying is that if you enjoyed the original Fifty Shades series, I’m not judging. I kind of did too.

And of course, C and I saw the movie. It was our very first Drinking at the Movies, the very first time we ruined a movie for an entire theatre, even before we had a blog. It’s how we fell in <3.

C: I made it through the first book, and a few chapters into the second one and then I just couldn’t finish. To me, the Fifty Shades trilogy, is the definition of Can’t Even. When we pre-ordered Grey, I thought that it would be ok. We could mock it, I could take one for the team. It surely wouldn’t drag endlessly and make me contemplate what exactly I was doing with my life. It wouldn’t make me yearn for Faulkner and consider writing hate mail to E.L. James, counting her piles of money on her full-sized bed made up with Shabby Chic sheets. But it did. It made all those things reality.

can't even

M: This book was a complete verbatim 576 page rehash of the original book – with ALL of the dialogue, ALL of the emails, ALL of the contracts. The only difference really is that instead of hearing about Anastasia’s stupid inner goddess doing gymnastics moves on the pommel horse, we get Christian Grey’s obnoxious inner monologue and notification every time his dick twitches.

And I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that having him clarify his inner thoughts was completely unnecessary. It’s not like anything he was feeling wasn’t completely obvious the first time around. E.L. James is probably a lovely woman, but subtlety is not one of her strengths. We were hoping we’d get some new insight to the series. I actually had just assumed that this would be Christian’s perspective for the whole trilogy. But Grey only covers the material in the first book – none of the fun action-y parts. Not even any butt stuff. I was hoping that in the time since her arrival on the writing scene, we’d see some improvement in James’s style at least. Tragically, not the case.

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M: I don’t think there’s a person alive who doesn’t already know this story from pop culture osmosis. Anastasia is a plucky, young virgin, who captures the eye of Seattle’s most eligible billionaire when she literally stumbles into his office for an interview for her college newspaper. Christian is pretty much instantly enamored with her; she bit her lip, his palm twitched, we all know the rest.

C: I thought we might get some interesting (what, it could happen) insights into Christian’s past and motivations and why exactly he’s fifty shades of fucked up. Instead it was mostly dream sequences in faked, twee little kid voice and his cock’s internal monologue:

My green car is fuzzy. Covered in gray fur and dirt. I want it back. But I can’t reach it. I can never reach it. My green car is lost. Lost. And I can never play with it again.

…..

The sweet appreciative noises echo through me– to the end of my cock.

M: This was the hardest book we’ve ever read. It dragged. I dreaded picking it back up and forcing myself to read a few more chapters. James is verbose and redundant, frequently repeating things in triplicate:

I run my nose from her ear to her shoulder and back again, inhaling her heavenly scent.

Fuck, she smells good.

You smell as divine as ever, Anastasia.”

I inhale her heavenly scent. She smells good. You smell good! We get it, she smells good. If we hadn’t absorbed the fact that Christian loves the way Anna smells of apples and autumn approximately each chapter, we sure fucking get it now. For the love of god please stop talking about her smell. The whole book is like though: Something happens. We hear his feelings. And then sometimes he repeats them out loud. It’s painful.

C: She also has the characters fondly remember things that happened in “happier times” meanwhile the entirety of the book takes place over a month. Thanks for the reminder E.L.,  but I think we remember the painstakingly boring thing we just read two chapters before.

M: There’s so much that’s cringe-worthy about this book. It’s easy to see why the movie was such a bomb, because there isn’t an actor alive who can deliver these lines:

“No fisting, you say. Anything else you object to?” I ask.

She swallows. “Anal intercourse doesn’t exactly float my boat.”

“I’ll agree to the fisting, but I’d really like to claim your ass, Anastasia.”

C: There is nothing likable about Christian. He’s a smirking jerk who wants to fuck and beat Anastasia because she smells like apples and reminds him of happier times — that’s me giving him a motive. I just delved deeper into his psyche than the book ever does. You can all thank me. Seriously, these quotes:

“Are you gay Mr. Grey?” What the hell! I cannot believe she’d said that out loud! Ironically, the question even my own family will not ask. How dare she! I have a sudden urge to drag her out of her seat, bend her over my knee, spank her, and then fuck her over my desk with her hands tied behind her back. That would answer her ridiculous question.

Important lesson, gentlemen of the world, brutal fucking is the only way to prove to women that you aren’t gay. I hope E.L. has some sons.

I’ll fuck her in time. I’ll fuck her bound and with her smart mouth gagged.

What? Me? Make love? Oh, Grey, let’s disabuse her of this straightaway. “No, Anastasia, it doesn’t. First, I don’t make love. I fuck, hard.”

C: At least Mary and I went through this together and got to text through our frustrations

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C: Christian’s insane obsession with Ana’s eating somehow felt even more annoying from his point of view. We should have kept count how often this comes up. I’d go back and count but I love myself too much.

M: Right? We get it, he was starved as a kid and has weird food issues. Ugh, get over it already. Somehow this book managed to make me feel unsympathetic about an abused child, and that’s saying something.

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C: Pretty sure that Christian has the worst internal monologue of any person we’ve ever read. And we read Beautiful Disaster from Travis’ perspective. I read the online only leaked draft of Twilight from Edward’s perspective. We aren’t novice trash readers. We are experts and this was so so bad. SO SO.

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(wanna know something we do like? Orange is the New Black!)

M: A Baby for my Billionaire Stepbrother was better than this, and we’re pretty sure that was some creepy coded incest fetish shit.

C: At least the billionaire in that book didn’t have special jeans he wore just for spanking-sexy times

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C: The most shameful thing of all about reading this book? I had to look up a word. This horribly written book used a word I didn’t know and now I have to do penance by admitting this on the internet for all to know. (The word was louche)

M: hahahahahhaaaah #bookshame

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C: It’s all lowered expectations from here though. Other authors can thank E.L. for our gentler reviews of THEIR crappy books. And we never have to read what Mr. Grey is thinking again. Unless they release the whole trilogy from his perspective. I’ve just jinxed us, haven’t I? We’re fifty shades of fucked.

Click to purchase on Amazon:

Drinking at the Movies: Fifty Shades of Grey

fifty

Grade: C-

Catnip: Light Bondage; Spanking; #pantysniffing

Lip bites: 24

Last week E.L. James announced that Grey, the Fifty Shades sequel from Christian’s perspective is going to be released in June, for $10 goddamn American dollars (shortly afterwards, the price was dropped to $8). Even though the first three were terrible, and Cleone couldn’t even #hateread all the way through the second book, we are masochists and decided to preorder it. This is a Big Deal because we almost never spend more than $4 on books as a rule. We’re thrifty ladies. We shop sales and take advantage of our local library!

But since it was on our mind, we decided to re-watch Fifty Shades. We were very, very intoxicated the first time around (this was the movie where we christened our giant Movie Flask), and we thought it might be fun to pay attention enough this time to be able to review it. Also, the Paperback Purist has neither read nor watched any of this train wreck franchise, and we wanted to get her drunk and pop that cherry so to speak. And her husband, Mister Paperback Purist, hung out just to heckle us.

For snacks we recommend Snyder’s Cinnamon and Sugar Pretzel Poppers. They’re like if pretzels and churros had a baby.

What follows is not so much a plot recap, as much as a running commentary provided by sarcastic assholes. Please enjoy.

One minute in to the “film” we decided to pause and find a piece of paper to track lip bites on. It’s a big thing in the books, and they really worked it in the movie.

We get some nice shots of Jamie Dornan getting dressed, then he’s jogging, like in The Fall. (The Fall is really good! You should totally watch that if you’re looking for something that’s actually good) We almost wish that he was running so he could go stalk Dakota. He is a beautiful man. This is not a great movie, but it’s worth watching just to stare at his face for a few hours.

Dakota is also gorgeous. You can really see the Don Johnson in her.

don dakota johnson

Five minutes in, the lip biting is starting to get annoying.

Mr. PP: I like her mouth.

C: You’re going to be seeing a lot of it.

M: He looks better with scruff (Look at this goddam beautiful face:)

dornan scruff

Anastasia shows up at Christian Grey’s office to do an interview for the school news paper as a favor for her best friend Kate. She’s mostly repeating the questions Kate gave her, but occasionally slipping in her own pensive musings.

M: She’s so insightful

C: She’s so smart

C: “We’ll never be finished. I’m going to be your first and your last.”

“Tom Hardy made me fall in love with literature.” See! She picked Hardy.

Afterwards, Anastasia leaves the building and has to stop in the rain to cool off. She’s so hot. Meeting Christian was just so moving.

Mr. PP: That actually happens, right? When you see a hot guy, you go out in the rain to cool off?

He stalks her after her graduation ceremony and poses for a photograph with her for the local paper.

M: He would never even bring a woman out in public before her. That’s how special she is. She changes him.

C: She IS special. Looking her eating that stupid chicken salad that no girl ever would be making at 10 o’clock at night. That girl is like chicken salad on dry bread. That’s her personality. Virginal Chicken salad. That’s why the bread is dry.

Mr PP: Jose has some pussy ass baby lips. And a stupid mustache.

Later, at the hardware store, Christian comes in to stalk Anastasia and buy some rope and light bondage supplies.

M: That plaid print she’s wearing is so mid 90’s B Moss. Don’t you guys remember B. Moss?

PP: This is the combination of all the bad movies and books we’ve ever read! The hardware store is just like The Boy Next Door.

M: That’s an awfully nice rope display for a hardware store. Great selection. Maybe they’re a nautical hardware store?

C: My next wedding theme is going to be Naughty and Nautical

M: His accent is so bad. Imagine him with an Irish accent trying to speak like an American.

PP: I don’t have to imagine it. It’s happening right now?

C: They couldn’t afford a dialect coach.

C: He doesn’t try to force feed her as much as he does in the book.

M: Seriously. I’m glad they cut that. It was so awful.

Mr. PP: I look down and they broke up already?

PP: They dated for half a cup of coffee!

M: MORE FIRST EDITION BOOKS!!!

C: At least you can get first editions of Tom Hardy books. Thomas Hardy. There’s only ONE edition of Tom Hardy 🙂

C: Look how she doesn’t even make friends in the bathroom line. That’s how you get friends. You complement each other’s shoes.

C: He has the same computer as you Mary! It’s like you’re in the movie!

M: Her drunk acting is just awful.

C: She’s never been drunk in real life because Don Johnson doesn’t approve. He’s straight edge. I’m just making this up. I don’t know if he’s straight edge or not… Ok Don Johnson isn’t straight edge.

C: WHICH BAR. WHY ARE YOU DRINKING.

M: Why does she have a flip phone???

Mr. PP: She works at a hardware store!

PP: See! Mr. PP’s paying attention.

C: Mr. PP is very pro Anastasia.

Christian shows up to drag Drunk Anastasia out of the bar and rescue her from a sloppy kiss from her best friend.

C: He’s very Edward Cullen.

C: That’s Christian’s brother. He’s going to “do the sex” with her friend.

M: No one faints in real life. Jesus Christ.

PP: I’ve never fainted in real life

Anastasia wakes up (mostly dressed) in a nice hotel room. There’s a bunch of pills and glasses on the night stand with a “Drink Me” note.

C: Eat me. drink me. This one makes you larger, this one makes you smaller. this one’s Viagra.

M: What’s in the glass? Metamucil?

Mr. PP: Yes. He wants her to be regular.

PP: Eating my breakfast out of my hand is not fucking sexy. Make note of that Mr. PP. It’s not a good way to seduce me.

PP: That dumb face she makes when he touches her is obnoxious.

C: It makes her orgasm! It’s like in books, when they’re like, “He looked at my vagina and I exploded”

Elevator kiss. Business men get on. He drops her off and Elliot is making out with Kate on the couch. We get our first “laters baby”

And then our second. Blergh.

M: Kate’s satin camisole nightie with a strapless bra under it is bugging me. We should be seeing her nipples.

Mr. PP: “What are we waiting for” this song is my jam! (Note: Song is Love Me Like You Do, which is also Mary & Cleone’s jam)

Christian takes Anastasia out on their second date. He’s flying her to Seattle, to go to his penthouse.

M: “Seattle? That’s where we’re going?” Where the fuck else would you be going? You’re in the middle of Twilight, Washington. There’s literally no other city around.

C: Maybe she thought she was going to San Francisco like in Pretty Woman. To go to the opera!

M: His apartment isn’t what I thought it would be. It looks like the Beetlejuice house after the family moves in and renovates. It’s modern but weird. That is a lovely dining room table tho.

(Everyone agrees with me because it DOES look like the Beetlejuice house. The bulky staircase really bothers me)

beetlejuice

Christian lays everything out for her, tells her he wants her, but that he’s into the kinky stuff, and tells her that she’ll have to sign a contract. Then he takes her to his playroom, AKA the red room of pain.

PP: “Like your Xbox and stuff?” Oh my god. she’s 12.

M: It’s well organized. He’s definitely a tidy type A.

PP: This seems like a lot to take in on a second date. And one of those dates was only half a cup of coffee

He’s a dominant and wants her to willingly submit to him. to please him.

C: “What would I get out of this?” “Me. The biggest prize of all!” How did his ego get so big?

PP: I’ve met you 4 times and you want me to move in with you?

Christian explains that this is the only sort of relationship he can have. “It’s just the way I am” (dramatic arm). This is the point where Anastasia fesses up that she’s still got the big V.

C: That tiny little girl voice is more annoying when I’m sober.

PP: How does she make it through college without even messing around?

C: She was very focused on her English literature degree!

Mr. PP: She’s not a whore!

C: Mr. PP is VERY defensive of Anastasia…

Christian is shocked, but then he whisks her off to the bedroom to rid her of her hymen with proper romantic sex, not bondage sex. It changes him, you guys.

M: She’s just throwing it away here. Give it up, girl!

C: If she had done it when she was 17 like normal people, this wouldn’t be happening.

M: He’s just breathing on her. That’s all it takes to get off.

C: Anytime there’s a book where she actually needs clitoral stimulation, I’m like, hooray! 10 points to Gryffindor!

M: Aw look! He slept (actual sleeping) with her.

C: Only because it was her first time.

She gets up and decides to dance around in the kitchen and cook breakfast.

M: She obviously doesn’t have spidey sense bc he watches her dance for a full minute before she turns and sees him.

C: The tampon scene isn’t in this right?

M: No they took that out.

PP: What was the tampon scene?

C: He pulls her tampon out before they have sex. The women who are reading this were like 50 year old women and this was very shocking.

PP: That doesn’t seem that shocking to me.

C: Don’t act like you use tampons

He ties her up. Breathes on her rib cage.

M: She’s close! It’s the G spot. Not touching it. Just breathing on it.

They’re fooling around, then his mom shows up.

C: This could be all yours! He doesn’t date. His mom has literally NEVER seen him with a woman.

C: 15 women. That’s not that many really.

She gets saucy and they bicker. She demands to go home.

M: Ooooh our song! What’s this one called again?

C: Earned it. by The Weeknd. Elle and I just sit around at work listening to pop music.

M: We’re basic.

Mr. PP: Ooh, they’re like the new Bel Biv Divoe!

C: “Lets go for a walk in the woods and I’ll show you how I can climb trees.”

M: Is that the meadow? With the flowers????

C: It is! Oh no, it’s water. Well it’s supposed to be the meadow. He’s going to show her how he can climb trees like a spider monkey.

He’s never actually slept with anyone before in his life. She’s so special.

Kate smiles a lot and doesn’t ask about her big date. “You look different.” Anastasia says she feels different, and Kate is like “Of course you do.” Smiley face.

M: That was the most impersonal best friend losing your virginity conversation.

C: Right? When you lose your virginity your best friend is like, “Tell me everything. I brought you these snacks. How is your vagina?”

Anastasia decides to do her research and learn about BDSM relationships.

C: She just types submissive into a search engine. It’s not even google, it’s like Bing or something!

Mr. PP: Every day, PP and I have a new safe word. We like to change it up. Yesterday it was “Pork Pie Hat.”

M: It’s like Pee Wee’s Playhouse word of the day!

Mr. PP: One time I made it Rutherford B Hayes.

Queen B comes on. Jamie comes to her apartment. He just can’t wait. Ties her up with a belt. Blindfolds her with a shirt. She’s in ecstasy from the sensory deprivation. She’s about to come from ice on nipple stimulation.

M: That flip and spank was hot though.

C: See! Condom.

M: I can’t believe I paid $10 to buy the next book.

C: I hate wicker furniture. It’s the stupidest material to make furniture out of.

C: She’s not #TeamAnal

M: My favorite line: What are butt plugs? “They’re plugs for your butt, dumbass!” 

Dornan’s accent is really, really bad when he’s telling her what he wants to do to her on the boardroom table. I don’t think there is anyone alive who can deliver these lines.

M: Oh! her dad is Cylon 2!

C: “Remember when I tied you up with this tie? And now I’m wearing it at your graduation. You’re a woman now.” How’s he supposed to concentrate when he knows she’s out there with her lip biting and her bush? He knows she’s naked under that gown.

There’s a spanking scene because Anastasia rolled her eyes.

M: She’s really into this light spanking. It was a gentle welcome to the world of BDSM at best.

C: This movie is really long.

M: We were REALLY drunk the first time we watched this.

C: “Mom. He makes me so happy. I like being spanked.” (crying)

M: Her apartment is really nice. Did they ever explain how they can afford such a nice place?

Mr. PP: I hate when pretty girls have cleft chins.

This is where we (We being Mary and Cleone, PP and Mr. PP were still focused, even NOT in the theater we annoy our fellow movie goers) stop paying attention and google pictures of Jamie Dornan with a beard, nude Jamie Dornan fan fic….

C: I feel like in the book Anastasia is a lot less eager about everything. Not just YOLO.

Oh now he’s braiding her hair.

M: “Efficiently”

M: Those jeans are terrible on him.

C: Whatever, they’re fine. I still really appreciate that she’s in the tiny titty club with me. It’s a sisterhood.

Mr. PP: Pussy ass baby tits!

PP: Whatever, I’m in the underwire, backache for life club.

Mr. PP: Nice butt crack.

C: That’s her belly button.

Mr. PP: Oh. That’s what happens when you have small boobs. You look the same from the front and the back

M: Like a palindrome.

There’s some #pantysniffing. We always approve of that move.

C: I really wish they’d let him have some type of beard

Mr. PP: Whatever. This sissy ass film. I wish they’d show more of the sex.

C: It’s not porn Mr. PP. It’s an ART FILM

M: He cares for her so tenderly afterwards

C: Aftercare is very important

We stopped paying attention for awhile. They dance, they go to dinner at his family’s house. She goes to Phoenix.

M: Was that DON JOHNSON?

(It wasn’t.)

C: There’s her awful flip phone again.

M: He looks really good when he’s in the dark like that.

C: Yeah, he always looks best when he seems just a touch homicidal.

Mr. PP: I don’t like his nose.

C: Now I can’t stop looking at his nose!

M: Stop ruining this for us!

C: I love her wardrobe in this, with the exception of that flannel at the beginning. She starts dressing really well when she starts dating Christian.

At this point Mary (our note taker) literally fell asleep and all witty commentary turned towards her narcolepsy and how maybe Mr. PP should wake her up with a tit punch.

Verdict? This movie is way better when you’re REALLY drunk and the best parts are when there’s no dialog.

Holiday Cruise, by Erzabet Bishop

holiday cruise

Grade: C+

Doing it at: This all depends on what path you choose!

Catnip: Holiday Romance; Sexy Santa; Light Bondage; Girl on Girl; I’m on a Boat

Shame Scale: Light shame, reading a choose your own adventure is too gimmicky to be anything but fun

Fantasy Cast: N/A

Book Description:

Erin’s friends drag her on a weekend holiday cruise to distract her from a breakup, and various erotic encounters await her onboard

When a choose your own adventure romance popped up in our ARC’s we got pretty excited. We read for FUN here at Mybookshame, and what’s more fun than taking a piece of your childhood and adding a healthy heaping of sex? We were also excited because this was the perfect opportunity for a joint review where we were kind of reading different stories. Cleone already owns one adult choose your own adventure book, but it’s adult as in “hey you could end up digging your own grave after falling in with some meth dealers in Australia!” Not adult as in detailed writing about thrusting. We never don’t want thrusting.

Cleone: This is a compact little book with a few paths to choose from; we open with Erin going on a holiday cruise with her roommates. It was a bonus that this was not only a choose your own adventure book but a HOLIDAY choose your own adventure. When I told this to Mary and Paperback Purist they were both like SEXY SANTA??? And yes, that’s totally an option you can pick.

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The author does a good job of giving us some back story for Erin before getting down to the sex’ing. Erin is coming out of a break up and her four room mates (two gay guys, two straight girls) have brought her on this cruise to hopefully get her some action and perk her on up.

Mary: If by good job, you mean she spends about two pages on back story. Two pages I mostly skimmed because that’s not what I came for. I guess there’s a plot though? Something about an ex who’s engaged?

C: I chose the options that led to Erin having light bondage sex with a photographer who does boudoir photos on the ship. This means that I declined Sexy Santa and a F/F encounter on my first go round. The good news is that you can always go back and see what would have happened if you’d taken a different path! It’s too bad life doesn’t let you do this with regrettable bar adventures and one night stands.

M: I went for the F/F spanking encounter the first go around, but it wasn’t doing much for me. I was in the mood for something a little more al dente, so I started over and went for the Sexy Santa option. Clearly, this ended up being the best choice. This is the only part of the book you need to read, IMO:

“Do you want my special candy cane?” he whispered.

“Oh, yes.”

He reached beneath her and popped open the snaps on the Santa pants. His erection burst forth, and she marveled at just how thick he was. The distinct sound of a foil packet crinkling met her ears, and he slipped the condom over his cock.

“What should santa bring you for Christmas?” Nathan kissed the back of her neck, and her breasts tightened beneath the dress.

“Hmmm. Something hard, I think.” Erin began to gyrate on Santa’s lap and bit back a smile when she heard him suck in a haggard breath.

“You are a very naughty elf.”

….

“Fuck me, Santa!” Erin ground herself into the root, marveling at the sensation of him inside her.

….

“Not quite, but I am going to make you scream out the names of every one of my reindeer. And you don’t get to come until you do.” He pounded his length into Erin’s channel.

“Rudolph!”

“Too easy. Another one.”

“Blitzen.”

“Good.” The thrusting continued, and a frisson of electrical sensation sizzled through Erin’s veins as she cam all over his thrusting cock.

“You’re a very naughty elf. Coming before Santa.” Nathan smacked her on the ass and rode her harder. “Another one!”

“Donner.”

“Good.”

“Dasher. Prancer. Cupid.” Erin panted as he drove her harder.

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C: Bishop does a good job of packing her options with a little something for everyone: m/f, f/f, bondage, spanking, SANTA. There isn’t any m/m, but I don’t think that is going to be a detractor for most readers. The sex was fine, fun without much eye rolling on my part, but I wouldn’t have minded a longer book with more branching from choices. For what this is though, it’s pretty fantastic, I’d definitely tell any of my romance-loving friends to check it out.

M: Excellent idea, could have had some better writing. But I feel like you don’t pick something like this up for quality. It’s like something you’d buy at Spencer’s. And look at these chapters! Solid C+ for novelty.

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Love Her Madly, by Christie Ridgeway

love her madly

Grade: B

Doing it at: 48%

Catnip: Girl Next Door; Best Friend’s Brother; Twins; Deep Dark Secret; Fake Relationship; Rock Stars; Tattoos; Drummers; Light Bondage; Emotional Unavailability; Dual Narrative; Floor Sex

Shame Scale: This story had way better sex than I was anticipating and several moments of Jeez I hope no one looks over my shoulder, but the real shame here comes from the cover. That model reminds me of the man who claims to be so beautiful he’s illegal in his country or some nonsense like that, and bathed in a ridiculous ethereal light. Cover SHAME.

Fantasy Cast: Ian Somerhalder and Rachel Bilson

Book Description:

“Years ago, Rolling Stone magazine dubbed the nine collective children of the most famous band in the world “Rock Royalty.” Now all grown up, the princes and princesses are coming back to L.A.’s Laurel Canyon to discover if love can be found among the ruins of a childhood steeped in sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. “Bad twin” Bing Maddox has wanted his brother’s BFF Alexa Alessio for months, but he’s stayed away because she’s too hearts-and-family for his jaded soul. Ever since a good deed turned to a dark regret, he’s buried his guilt in a series of forgettable flings with women who wanted nothing more. But when delicious Alexa needs a plus one to some upcoming wedding events, he gives in to his urges and goes all out in pursuit of getting her into his bed. Alexa Alessio doesn’t know how it happened—one moment she was being smart and keeping herself separate from seen-everything, done-everything, wildly sexy Bing Maddox and the next she was agreeing he could be her date. Sure she wants back-up when her cousin marries Alexa’s own stolen ex, but Bing’s made it clear he wants her on her back. Her heart says yes—but her common sense tells her it might be the very thing broken when commitment-phobic Bing moves on. She can have him, but can she hold him?”

The synopsis of this one has so much catnip for me: bad boy, weird rock star parent past, best friend’s brother, fake relationship, and a big wedding. I’ve never read anything by the author, or heard of her, so I was a little worried this might be a book with either no buttering the biscuit or really lame buttering the biscuit. Luckily my fears were dispelled by page 10 when I got this snippet:

He wondered what she’d do if she knew how bad that pose made him want to flip up her skirt, rip off her panties, then shove her thighs apart to taste her honeyed heat. The tip of his tongue would slide between her soft folds teasing out the button of her clit.

Once I knew no prude-ery was in store for me, I plunged right in to enjoy the story. Bing Maddox (I know I KNOW) and his twin brother Brody, are the children of a rock star, brought up pretty much feral with the seven other offspring of the band members. They indulged very heavily in the rock’n’roll party life style of their father until their 18th birthday when SOMETHING BAD happened; and they fled to start new slightly more wholesome lives. The twins ended up living in bungalows on either side of sweet, good as gold, pretty as pie Alexa. Alexa and Brody are buddies, they run together most mornings, drink beer and chat, and have zero sexual chemistry. Bing, on the other hand, Alexa tries to completely avoid because even though he’s Brody’s identical twin her feelings for him are completely different. She wants to do all the dark dirty things with Bing. And unbeknownst to Alexa, he wants to do those dirty things right back to her.  The two manage to avoid each other until Alexa mistakes Bing for Brody and spills how her evil cousin has stolen her fiance, is marrying him herself, forcing Alexa to play the happy bridesmaid, AND stealing all the wedding ideas that Alexa was going to use at her own wedding. This cousin Drea sounds real fun right? Alexa ends her rant by demanding that Brody go with her to wedding functions to have her back and prove to the family that she isn’t some pining, heart sick loser. Only its not Brody who agrees, its Bing. I think we all see where this is going, right?

Bing and Alexa think they can go about their arrangement, fool her family, and not give into the desires they have to rip each others clothes off. Alexa because she is scared of how much she wants him, and because she thinks she wants a nice steady boring type guy. And Bing (that name ladies, you just don’t ever stop thinking its ridiculous) because he thinks he’s dirty and irredeemable and would soil Alexa by being with her for real. Of course, their attraction proves to be too much and when Alexa goes to find Bing after a bad night when she fears he may be battling demons they give in to their desires and have hot dirty sex on the floor of what is basically a finished basement. Bing’s Bing’ing her and thinking how he could never get enough and he’ll have to go against his life-law of never sleeping with a woman more than once; and Alexa rolls off him and is all “OH! Thank goodness we got that out of our systems and will never have to have the sex again.” He’s disappointed but figures its for the best and that he’s too big and bad and full of secrets for her anyway.

When we finally find out his DEEP DARK secret, it’s pretty non shocking, as I figured it would be because this is an easy soft kind of New Adult read. I mean that in the best possible way, the characters are likable, the dialog is believable and funny, and the HEA comes before the author wears out her welcome with waffling and drama. The sex scenes were better than I was anticipating; not too heavy on bad metaphors for female moisture and with some light bondage thrown in for good measure. Bing plays the drums and after this and Play, I’m becoming concerned that I might have a legitimate “thing” for men and their sticks. I read this on a sunny, lazy weekend and it was the perfect book to go with the weather. Love Her Madly is the second book in the Rock Royalty series, and I’m already pretty solidly decided on reading the entirety of the series.