Amour Amour: by Krista and Becca Ritchie

Grade: A

Doing it at: 73%

Catnip: Strong Female Lead; Circus; Russians; Piercings; Alpha; Las Vegas; Gymnasts Are So Bendy; CoHo Exception

Shame Scale: No shame, I read a paper copy of this and the cover is so pretty, I took it all over town with no qualms. Plus it reads like a Real Book.

Fantasy Cast:  Cooper Neilson (I’m sorry that’s just where my brain goes!); Anna Kendrick

Book Description:

Love is a circus

“Every day,” he says lowly, “I hold a person’s life in my hands. The circus is based one-hundred percent off trust. I give it all to someone, and they give it all to me.”

The best aerial technique won’t land 21-year-old Thora James her dream role in Amour—a sexy new acrobatic show on the Vegas strip. Thora knows she’s out of her element the second she meets Amour’s leading performer. Confident, charming and devilishly captivating, 26-year-old Nikolai Kotova lives up to his nickname as the “God of Russia.”

When Thora unknowingly walks into the crosshairs of Nikolai’s after-show, her audition process begins way too soon. Unprofessional. That’s what Nik calls their “non-existent” relationship. It’s not like Thora can avoid him. For one, they may be partners in the future–acrobatic partners, that is. But getting closer to Nik means diving deeper into sin city and into his dizzying world.

Thora wants to perform with him, but when someone like Nikolai attracts the spotlight wherever he goes—Thora fears that she’s destined to be just background to his spellbinding show.

Amour Amour had all the catnip in the world for me, when I read the blurb online that it was like Center Stage at the circus I was So Sold. We’ve mentioned our Center Stage obsession more than once, right? Both Mary and I love dancing movies, and I’m still on my quest for a book about a male ballerina (besides Julian Marquet in the Dollanganger books of course), Nikolai the Russian-Aerialist-Alpha was pretty close to my dream though, guys.

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Rule, by Jay Crownover

Meet our friend, and guest reviewer, The Paperback Purist. PP is a reader of Books: real literature type books in actual paper book form. At least she was.

Mary and I weren’t content to be in this trash book vortex on our own, so we decided to corrupt some friends to join us on our journey. And PP was ripe for the ruining. Two weeks ago she was reading Gaiman for fun, was horrified at the thought of reading electronically, and wasn’t spending her days ruminating over the 300 synonyms for cock that pop up in our book selections. Flash forward and she’s burned through Bared to You, Beautiful Disaster, Sweet Filthy Boy, and is currently reading a book with stalkers and virgins and BDSM. How did we break our friend you ask?

We gave her Rule.

rule 3

Grade: B+

Doing it at: 24%

Catnip: Tattoos; Piercings; Odd couple; Best Friend’s Brother; Deep Dark Secret; Virgin; Dual Narrative

Shame scale: Medium, it’s still a sex book. And the guy on the cover is cute.

Fantasy casting:  Random tattooed internet guy and Amanda Seyfried

Book description: 

“Sometimes opposites don’t just attract – they catch fire and burn the city down

Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight-A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want – and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess – and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw – even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love…or each other.”

Once I gave in to Cleone and Mary’s insistence that I give up my quality literature and delve into the dirty written-word underworld, I found myself unbelievably hooked. This one was an easy start to my decent into romance. Jay Crownover is a quick read, her characters are likeable and real, and even though the story line was fairly predictable, I wasn’t reading this expecting a M. Night Shyamalan twist.

Shaw is the typical good girl. She’s rich, smart and beautiful. And her life is somehow still tragic. Her best friend is dead and her parents seem to barely tolerate her. Lucky for her, her dead friends’ parents love her, and invite her to Sunday dinner every week. Sadly, she has deal with waking the dead friend’s super hot twin brother and his flavor of the week every Sunday as well. (coughMANWHOREcough) This is just awful for her, mostly due to the secret feelings she’s carried for him from the beginning. Rule is a tattooed/pierced rich bad boy who is young and rebellious.  And he’s a successful tattoo artist. And he’s just plain pretty.  And he loves random women.  These two HATE each other at the beginning. HATE. But swimming just under the surface is some good old fashioned lust. Tequila helps. And right away, virgin Shaw is smitten.

The budding relationship that follows is challenged by seemingly everything: disapproving parents, stalkers (the ex-boyfriend always seems to be a stalker), jealousy….and a giant secret about the dead best friend/twin brother (I’ll let you figure that one out.) We get to see the couple go through the make-up/break-up routine more than once. And Rule is so emotionally disconnected at times that Shaw just has to save him. And by save I mean blow.

But Crownover keeps the sexy times hot and consistently spaced, so just when you reach the “come-on-get-naked-already” point in the story you are rewarded with a pierced penis description. That alone makes the 40 pages in between worth reading.

I will read more by Jay Crownover. She writes well, and her story sucks you right in. Also, she has an entire series devoted to tattooed men. Sign. Me. Up.

Check it out on Amazon: