Tangled Up in Blue, by J.D. Brick

tangled up in blue

Grade: B-

Doing it at: 54%

Catnip: Stalkers; Deep Dark Secret; Men in Uniform; Climb You Like a Tree; Guitar Hero

Shame Scale: The guy on the cover is eating the girl’s face, inside it’s less shameful.

Fantasy Cast: Josh Lucas circa Sweet Home Alabama; Emma Watson

Book Description:

Keegan Crenshaw needs a hero. She’s a straight-A student with a high-profile job on campus. She’s got a lot to prove. But someone’s out to get her. Someone’s got her running scared. And she runs right into the arms of a red-hot boy named Blue.

Deep down, Blue is still the brave soldier who risked his life for others. He’s still a hero, even if he no longer believes it. All he wants now, though, is to make music and bury the secret that could destroy his future. Blue tries hard to be a good guy. But he’s wrestling with demons he can barely control. And when Keegan moves into his house and very quickly into his heart, his hard-fought control begins to slip away.

Keegan and Blue can’t stay away from each other, can’t stop thinking about each other. They have a connection–body, mind and soul–they cannot resist. But it will cost them dearly. Secrets have a way of exploding into the light, and sometimes it’s hard to know who’s a hero and who’ll turn out to be a heartbreaker. Is Blue the love of Keegan’s life, her knight in shining armor? Or will he become an agonizing mistake?

Searing and sexy, Tangled Up in Blue takes readers on a wild ride. Along the way, it explores the heart-wrenching costs of courage, deception and sacrificial love.

Mary and I have decide that our fancy latin blog motto is: Venimus Facienda Ea (Don’t critique our Latin, that’s the best that Google Translate can do). We Came for the Doing it. Even if the sex is bad we still want to hear about it, damnit. No fade away for the Shame Girls. Tangled up in Blue had a lot of fade away happening, BUT, it also had good writing and a dramatic, engrossing story line. And it had Blue Danube.

Keegan is a good girl who has found herself in a terrifying situation. She’s the editor of her college newspaper, youngest ever since she’s a sophomore, and has just fled the dorms because she has a stalker who is growing increasingly bold and threatening. She took the first open room she could find, which happens to be at a rundown house that the other students have dubbed The Canadian Embassy. Its a party house, renowned for its wild parties, and as soon as Keegan pulls into the driveway she spies Blue and his very fine ass, laid out across the porch floor.

Our hero’s name really is Blue, Blue Danube, and he tells Keegan that his dad named him that on the predication of the Boy Named Sue theory of naming. Thanks Shel Silverstein. The name hasn’t hurt Blue at all, he’s dreamy cute, ex army, and came to Ikana College to study music with his hero, a 60’s folk singer who I think is modeled after Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. He’s the most responsible of the three people Keegan will be rooming with and takes an instant protective liking to her. We have big time insta-lust with our man whore and our mostly virginal heroine.

Blue is a gentleman and a sucker for a damsel in distress. He wants to save Keegan from the sick asshole who is taunting her and sweep her off her feet in the way she deserves. He wants their first time to be memorable. He wants to teach her about music and keep any other man from touching her. It is all familiar territory, but the characters are likable and the banter is pretty top notch. My swoon factor really started to notch up when Keegan climbed out on the roof to write in her diary, she keeps a journal and writes in it every day, and Blue climbed up a tree with his guitar strapped to his back to serenade her. SOLD.

Blue and Keegan fall for each other pretty quickly, and there’s flirting, kissing and oral sex. Except it’s implied oral sex, because Keegan is inching down and then… bam aftermath. Skipping over the good stuff is a big no-no here at Mybookshame, and it happened TWICE before we got some actual doing it. And that doing it still wasn’t terribly explicit. This wasn’t a D- for no D but it was close. Look at that book cover, go ahead look at it, he is EATING HER FACE. So I was expecting explicit eating of…other things… too. Luckily the actual plot had me tapping pages at a high rate and keenly interested in who the hell was stalking Keegan and what exactly had happened to Blue in the war that left him with nightmares and massive guilt. One plot line was easier to guess than the other, but both were enjoyable.

The lacivious content that we did get was perfectly steamy, with more dirty talk than I was expecting, considering the fade outs.

“Did you say you want to do Blue Danube? He’s right here, baby, ready and waiting.” Blue sits up and gestures toward the front of his jeans, where the proof of his interest is obvious.

Bonus points were awarded for making out on the roof in a thunderstorm, and Blue teaching Keegan to waltz in his underpants. Blue and Keegan are mushily, adorably in love by about 35% and all the sex is love making — this is not a thing I have just decided, its stated in the text. You’d be surprised how few times the phrase making love gets thrown around in these books we read.

We’re making love in the literal sense, creating something that hasn’t been here before. I guess you’d call it my sexual awakening. I walk around all day awakened, attuned to some buzz in the air I’ve never noticed before.

Tangled up in Blue ends in a cliffhanger, upon closer inspection Amazon warned me it was going to happen, but I didn’t realize until a new story line was amping up and I looked down to see that we were at 98%. I’m not a big fan of multi-book arches for one couple. I’m a ‘lets meet and fall in love and tie this up’ kind of girl, but I liked Keegan so much and found Blue so charming that I’ll very likely read part two to find out what happens and spend more time with them. If you’re looking for a sweet romance with liberal dashes of melodrama, and are OK with a non-sex-heavy story (I’m so doin’ it jaded!), I strongly encourage you to buy this book.

Check it out on Amazon:

Badass: A Stepbrother SEAL Romance, by Linda Barlow & Alana Albertson

badass

Grade: D+

Doing it at: 11%

Catnip: One Night Stand; Alpha; Motorcycles; Stepsiblings: Not Quite Incest; Mexico; Road Trip; Not Really That Forbidden To Be Honest; Dual Narrative; Men in Uniform; But it was 99 cents

Shame Scale: The cover is maybe less shameful than the actual writing in this one.

Fantasy Cast: Jeremy Renner and Lindsay Lohan

What do we taste like: She tasted sweet and spicy, like cinnamon and chocolate

Book Description:

I f**ked a SEAL—the human kind, the kind who shoots terrorists, sports rock hard abs and tattooed biceps, and scores an easy lay with every girl he ever wants.

I should’ve known better. I should be studying harbor seals’ native habits, not conducting my own research into mating rituals of the Navy variety.

He’s a jackass. A bad boy. An arrogant, womanizing, patronizing, Harley-riding jerk.

A one-night stand. One night of the most incredible sex I’ve ever had. Shane is trained to kill with his bare hands in 300 different ways—and he knows 300 ways to f**k me, too.

Now my father is engaged to his mother. And we’re heading to Mexico for the wedding. He’s threatening to ruin their big day if I don’t surrender to his demands.

Quit is not in his vocabulary. I hate him, but I know he’ll never give up until he gets everything he wants.

Screw that! I won’t give up—I’ll never submit to America’s cockiest badass.

I had just read three books in a row that gave me serious feels (About Last Night, Beautiful Secret, and a joint Ugly Love reread with Mary) and I wanted something light and trashy and strictly fun. You might have noticed that the Shame Girls like Stepbrother romances and when this one popped up for 99 cents, I added it to the library with the message to Mary and Paperback Purist that we DESERVE this. Maybe my hopes were too high, but this book let me down.

Cassie is down on the beach, admiring sea lions in their natural habitats, because she’s a marine biology student (she has a brain, guys, don’t forget it) and admiring the cocky guy who is about to do a night dive on his lonesome. She sees a baby sea lion who appears to be in distress and after realizing he has a piece of plastic wrapped around his neck wades in to save him. Shane sees her messing around with the baby and notices that a very angry mama sea lion is headed towards her. He rushes in, throws her over his shoulder and spirits her to shore. We’ve switched to his perspective and he’s immediately in cave man speak over Cassie, he wants to plow her plump ass and watch her red hair spill around his dick while she sucks it. So, in a not at all douche move, he tells her that he won’t report her to the marine animal police or what have you as long as she fucks him. And Cassie agrees to this with very very little outrage because he’s hot and he told her to, I guess.

I’d seen marine animals go into a mating frenzy — sharks went nuts sometimes– violent fucking that left blood in the water. If he– what did he say his name was, Shane? — if Shane was a shark, then I was a goner, because I needed that fat, hard dick inside me in the worst way.

Shane and Cassie go back to his apartment and have a lot of sex. With a break between rounds two and three for a burger at the local dive bar. Cassie leaves before morning, and Shane goes off to the Middle East with his SEAL squad (I don’t know if squad is the right term, but go with it) for nine months.

Cassie had left him her number, hopefully, and is pissed that he never called. She wished she could forget him , but the sex was so hot that she can not get him out her head. And her dating life isn’t so hopping since she’s so busy in school learning about whales and coral reefs and such. But her Dad’s love life is on point and he asks her to come to fancy dinner with him, his new girlfriend, and her son who is just back from a tour in the Middle East. Cassie had no clue he was a SEAL and was pretty shocked when Shane shows up to dinner. With a shitty attitude towards their parents and some heavy innuendo towards her.

Why Shane has this giant chip on his shoulder and thinks that everyone looks down on him, I could not figure out. Are elite military servicemen considered to be bad guys? Do fathers really not want their daughters marrying the patriotic gents fighting for our country? This is ‘Murica! When Cassie’s dad and Shane’s mom announce they’re getting married in Baja it doesn’t go over well and Cassie tells Shane they can never have sex again because they’re going to be stepsiblings. Again, I do not get this line of thinking. They’re in their twenties, they weren’t raised together, this isn’t incestuous. But, whatever she’s striving to be unanimous in this, and he’s all “the only way I will play nice and go to this wedding is if we go together and you be my sex slave the whole way down.” And Cassie is all “SIGH. YOLO. PUT IT IN ME.”

The actual trip to Baja took some seriously unexpected turns. I was imagining it would just be lots of sex, tenderness turning into love, and their parents accepting that their kids had also found true love. Maybe even a double wedding on a Mexican beach for good measure. Way crazier stuff than that happened. There’s a lot of action and if stepsibling romances are your thing I don’t want to spoil it for you, because this may not be the best book ever but its trashy and fun with plenty of sex. And that might be just your bag, baby. However, I do want to share two amazing (non ruining) quotes out of this one:

If I ran out I could hold my breath for five minutes – a useful skill for stalking pirates. Also came in handy when eating pussy.

Swoon. Our Real American Hero.

I had an idea for a present for Cassie – my dick in a box.

And a Lonely Island fan! What’s not to like?

Amazon