Kilt Tease, by Melissa Blue

kilt tease

Grade: B

Doing it at: 48%

Catnip: Panty Sniffing; Kilts; Fake it Till You Make It; Rugby; Foreign Affair

Shame Scale: There’s some blush inducing sex in this one, and that cover isn’t family reunion friendly.

Fantasy Cast: Richard Madden; Gugu Mbatha-Raw

What do we taste like: Strawberries and champagne

Book Description:

Kate Campbell promised to have an affair with a Parisian, says yes more than she says no and sin so she can actually have something to repent on Sunday. As a way to honor her grandmother’s wishes, she takes a job as a traveling nurse so that she can see Europe–a trip they had once planned on taking together. She never bargained on meeting a sexy Scot who makes bad look so, so good, and he needs her help.

Quinton Baird, a retired, high-profile rugby player, has spent over a decade surrounded by people who all want something from him. From his former coaches to the groupies. He now has two rules for anyone he deals with: Don’t talk to the press. Don’t talk about him to anyone. Ever. His rules are the only way to protect himself from people wanting him to be their meal ticket. No matter how much he likes the sweet, sassy nurse, he can’t believe she’ll help him while asking for nothing in return.
The deal between them is simple. All Kate has to do is pose as Quinton’s girlfriend in public. In exchange for helping him salvage an important business deal, Kate gets many opportunities to say yes–in bed and out of it.

Then reality, and the press, threaten their fictional romance. Quinton will have to trust that Kate’s feelings for him are genuine or risk losing her for good.

Just look at that cover, how’s a girl not going to snap up Kilt Tease? As per usual, I didn’t care that this was the fourth in a series that I hadn’t read the first three of, I fly by the seat of my pants! The description was also hitting all my sweet spots: Scots, fake relationship, good girl looking to sow some oats. It was pretty much a guarantee that I would like this slim book.

Katherine has come across the pond from America to fulfill her grandma’s dying wish that she live a little, damnit. Since Kate isn’t an heiress she actually has to work in order to take her grand tour of Europe. This was immediately refreshing, nice to have a heroine that isn’t rich or just magically possessed of endless funds. Kate has a budget. In Scotland she has found work as the care worker for a stubborn older man who recently had a heart attack. He doesn’t want to accept her help, but she wears him down with charm and grit. Kate has a backbone and a smart mouth, she’s entirely likable. I rolled my eyes at her zero times the entire book. I can’t say for sure, but that may have never happened before (BINGO!).

Kate meets Quinton her first night on the job, in the pub her now employer owns, he’s suddenly sitting right next to her and Kate didn’t see him coming on several levels. Quinton, a recently retired pro rugby player, is hot. He’s heavily muscled, and has tousled auburn hair, and the Scottish accent and killer charm. Kate knows she’s a goner before they’re even properly introduced.

Quinton is similarly charmed by the lovely kitten with claws, Katherine, but is all “Oh, I better keep my distance, because I’m rich and secretive and trying to repair my image so I can buy this jewelry store and get on with my post-rugby life.” Lets all guess how long that lasted. Did you pick not bloody long? You’re so smart.

For reasons involving his reputation, the aforementioned jewelry store, and a nasty ex girlfriend; Quinton and Kate enter into a fake relationship deal. She’ll pretend to be his girlfriend for a few weeks for the paparazzi. They’ll pretend to ignore their serious chemistry for about two minutes.

Kilt Tease has some great banter, which is generally my favoritest part of romance novels (even trumping the doing it sometimes):

“Ditto, my lass.”….”I like that we have so much in common, since you’re my girlfriend and all.”

She smiled and his heart stuttered at the way it beat back in the shadows in her eyes. “I bet you say that to all the girls.”

“Kate, I can attest that you’re my first and I pray to the Virgin Mary my last, pretend girlfriend.”

Her smile went naughty. “I promise to be your best then.”

Aye, she probably would be. Daft. He was fucking daft.

I loved the dual narrative in Kilt Tease, because Quinton’s came with his Scottish brogue.

“You want to know if I’m the kind of man you think I am. Pushy when I want to be. Charming when I want to be.” His mouth tilted up. “Cocky, always.”

Since this is a relatively short book, the relationship, and inevitable third act break up happened at an accelerated speed. This was fine, no depth was lacking, all the characters felt flushed out and I found myself slowing down around the 85% mark to make the story last a bit longer. Katherine is black and Quinton is white, this is addressed only in physical descriptions of the characters and is in no way an impediment in their relationship. African Americans seem under represented in the romance book world, so it was lovely to get one where there was zero drama attached to our heroine’s color. Kilt Tease is sweet and hot, a charming little book that I can endorse wholeheartedly.

Check it out 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:

Deep, by Kylie Scott

Deep

Grade: A-

Doing it at: 30%

Catnip: Beards; Rock Stars; Bass Players; Tattoos; Strong female lead; Stage Dive; Accidental Pregnancy; Panty Sniffing; Brother in law’s Best Friend

Shame Scale: Shirtless tattooed dude playing a bass is a Shame-Inducing cover. It’s also a GREAT cover. Actual content isn’t particularly shame-y. There’s a real plot, the characters aren’t paper dolls, and Kylie Scott has a good ear for dialog.

Fantasy Casting: Christopher John Millington and Mandy Moore

Book Description:

Positive. With two little lines on a pregnancy test, everything in Lizzy Rollins’ ordinary life is about to change forever. And all because of one big mistake in Vegas with Ben Nicholson, the irresistibly sexy bass player for Stage Dive. So what if Ben’s the only man she’s ever met who can make her feel completely safe, cherished, and out of control with desire at the same time? Lizzy knows the gorgeous rock star isn’t looking for anything more permanent than a good time, no matter how much she wishes differently.

Ben knows Lizzy is off limits. Completely and utterly. She’s his best friend’s little sister now, and no matter how hot the chemistry is between them, no matter how sweet and sexy she is, he’s not going to go there. But when Ben is forced to keep the one girl he’s always had a weakness for out of trouble in Sin City, he quickly learns that what happens in Vegas, doesn’t always stay there. Now he and Lizzie are connected in the deepest way possible…but will it lead to a connection of the heart?


Lucky readers! This review is a gang bang, Mary and Cleone both dropped everything to inhale Deep the minute it loaded onto our ereaders. We finished within ten minutes of each other, and under the 24 hour mark. There was copious and sometimes frantic texting happening:

deep text

We are big Kylie Scott fans and we adore the Stage Dive series. Ben is the last Stage Dive member to get his book. Poor bassists always finish last.

Cleone: My ranking of the Stage Dive novels is as follows:

  1. Play (Mal 4eva)
  2. Lead
  3. Deep
  4. Lick

We open up with Lizzy, Mal’s new little sister-in-law, peeing on her second pregnancy test and seeing her second set of double lines. She spent one night with Ben, and is now all knocked up,because what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Liz is also on her way to family dinner where she’ll be seeing Ben, the other band mates and their ladies,and a surprise mystery guest- Ben’s date. Ben’s hipster, burlesque dancer, naturopath date who spills the beans to the whole party that Lizzy (and Lena, Jimmy’s girlfriend from Lead) are both pregnant. Nobody takes this well. Mal freaks out because he specifically asked Ben to stay away from his wife’s baby sister. Anne, Liz’s sister, freaks out because she can’t believe Liz was so irresponsible and was sneaking around with Ben behind her back. There’s an actual melee, boys get bloody, dinner gets ruined, hipster date gets huffy, and Lizzy flees after taking the blame for her and Ben’s hooking up.

The book flashes back to Liz meeting Ben for the first time and being immediately into him, like can’t take her eyes off him electric connection into him. There is some cute text flirting. Kylie writes good flirt, and I enjoy text “dialog”, it reminds me of epistolary novels which are another of my catnip triggers. Ben keeps telling Liz, who is 9ish years his junior, that nothing can come from the flirting because Mal has forbidden it, and the band is too important to him to risk jeopardizing. So, hot, giant, tattooed, bearded, man-bunned (I have basically just described my perfect guy) Ben avoids Liz. And then Liz avoids Ben. Until Mal and Anne’s Vegas wedding. When the doin’ it happens. And the doin’ it is hot, Ben is *very* well endowed and doesn’t fit when the duo try to have sex up against a wall in the bathroom at the hotel; Liz is super embarrassed and worried that Ben is going to just give up on the encounter. Luckily, Ben isn’t deterred and figures he just has to make sure Lizzy is properly prepared to accept his largess, so we readers get the first of several odes to how lovely a beard feels between a woman’s legs. I came away from Deep fully sold on that concept if nothing else. The sex is amazing and Ben and Lizzy are about to settle into post-coital bliss when Ben’s phone rings and it is Mal calling to make sure that Ben is not in fact sexing up his sister in law. Ben lies, Lizzie gets mad and kicks him out, and we flash back to current day pregnant single Lizzie.

Ben is kind of a dick, he keeps assuring Lizzy that he will take care of the baby and her financially, but is very checked out emotionally. Lizzy still has a crush on Ben, and she has crazy pregnancy hormones that make her want to jump him every time he gets within ten feet of her, but she also knows that from now on her “Bean” is going to have to come first. I found myself really liking Lizzy, she’s tough and funny and does not want to take any shit from Ben. She very quickly decides that NOT having the baby is not for her; as all women who accidentally get pregnant in romance novels do– I love babies but do wish that abortion as an option could be considered for maybe three paragraphs instead of just one sentence. I was also delighted by any glimpses of Mal who is my main Stage Dive man and all other Stage Dive men pale in comparison for me. Grumpy Ben was coming in at a serious disadvantage.

I give Deep an A-/B+, Kylie Scott is one of my must-read authors and this book was a lot of fun.

Mary:

Stage Dive Ranking:

  1. Play
  2. Lick
  3. Lead
  4. Deep

Soooooo…. this is where I confess that accidental pregnancy romances have a special place in my heart and are a major catnip of mine. I had a lovely shotgun Vegas wedding a few years back, so I had some high hopes for this one going in. Kylie Scott is a one-click author for me, and the Vegas/accidental pregnancy themes made me feel like this book would basically be exactly like my life, except for the wealthy rockstar part. But, I had a hard time getting on board with the characters for the first half of the book. Lizzy seemed a bit childish and star-struck coming out of the gate, which was a contrast to the heroines in the rest of this series who all seemed very nonchalant about the whole fame thing. And Ben. I still hadn’t forgiven him for how much of a dick he was in Lick, I guess. And I had formed a negative perception of him based on his behavior (texting, leaving unannounced) when he went on the date with Lena in Lead.  I enjoyed seeing the date from the other perspective: mainly, he was texting Lizzy and ran off to rescue her from a crappy bar. I had pretty much thawed to him by the time they get it on in Vegas. And then he blows it again by telling Liz that the band comes first and they can’t be together (in a nutshell).

Also, the way Ben reacted to the pregnancy was pretty shitty, if I’m being honest. And this is from someone who’s (then) boyfriend responded to similar news with a hearty, “Well great. Now both our lives are ruined.” Ben basically went from shock, to throwing a large amount of money at Lizzy, to ignoring her for several weeks. When Lizzy joined him on tour and we finally got to see them interacting face to face, rather than via text, they started to grow on me as a couple, and I was finally able to start rooting for them. And the #pantysniffing!!!

The obligatory pre-HEA end of book break-up felt rushed, and I wished we could have gotten more of Ben’s evil sister doing evil things. Evil women scheming against destined lovers are a trope I love to hate.

I’d probably give this one an A-, because it wasn’t as good as the rest of the series. But even though it was my least favorite Stage Dive, I still enjoyed it a ton. I had to put it down at 10% to go to work, and spent the day frantically texting back and forth with Cleone, and lamenting our misfortune of actually having to work jobs that aren’t reading Kylie Scott novels all day long. If this is the end of Stage Dive, then I think I’m finally going to have to read that sexy zombie apocalypse series I’ve been putting off to get my Kylie Scott fix, and I can’t wait to hear what she comes up with next.

Check it out on Amazon: