Heat Wave, by Karina Halle


 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?


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.


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

Continue reading

Beneath Blood and Bone, by Madeline Sheehan and Claire C. Riley

beneath blood and bone

Grade: A-

Doing it at: 73%

Catnip: For Your Own Protection, Older Man, Post-apocalyptic, Tattoos, Beards, Widower, Zombies

Shame Scale: Zero shame

Fantasy Cast: Andrew Lincoln, Lucy Hale

Book Description:

It is the end of the world. 

They call him Eagle, like the grand and beautiful bird that symbolizes freedom. During these dark times, when humanity is experiencing nothing but suffering, a man with such a powerful name should be a beacon of hope, yet he is anything but. 

Her name is Autumn, but she hasn’t said this name or much of anything else in the four years since the fall of civilization. A shell of her former self, living wild in a cave at the bottom of a ravine, Autumn is accustomed to being alone. She prefers it, actually, especially when her only options for company either try to kill her, or worse, to lock her up inside their walls. 

Captured by Eagle’s people, Autumn is suddenly thrust back into the land of the living, but she would hardly call it living. The community of Purgatory is full of sinners, the most evil of whom seem to have set their sights on her. 

In an act born of anger and defiance, Eagle becomes Autumn’s unexpected savior, forcing these two solitary people into each other’s broken worlds. Neither knows quite what to make of the other, but one thing is certain. To survive Purgatory, they must learn how to rely on each other, a feat that could possibly teach them both how to live again

This book started popping up all over my news feeds, and the cover caught my eye because it looks like some serious hipster beard porn you’d see on Instagram. We’ve admittedly got a bit of a thing for beard porn. Then I realized that it’s post-apocalyptic, hinting-at-Zombies romance, and I had to have it. Because I have a bit of a thing thing for zombie books. Good zombie books, shitty zombie books, zombie comics – I love them all. Zombies and trashy romance, that’s me. I like to think that I’m one of the only people out there who collects zombie books and stepbrother romances.

This book drops you right into the story and assumes you are intelligent enough to figure out whatever the fuck is happening from the clues they give you – it’s a bit disorienting, but I adore that. It’s the second book in a series of standalone’s, and there was a brief moment of panic when I started thinking that maybe I shouldn’t have broken my rule and read this series out of order, but I was able to keep up. I’m pretty sure that Eagle, our main character was featured in the first book, but I didn’t feel like it was a giant hinderance to be missing that bit of backstory.

The story takes place in a dystopian community called Purgatory. There are walls to protect them from the undead, but inside things are grim. There’s prostitution, violence, and laws that are almost biblical. Eagle is one of the original founders, but he is so filled with anger and hatred that he avoids relationships, keeps to himself, and lives by his own rules. 

Dying was a messy and painful business for most, but not nearly as painful as living was. Nothing could touch the incessant throbbing ache that another day here on hell offered, not even death.

Obviously, he’s not a glass half full kind of guy.

Continue reading