Honor, by Jay Crownover

honor-jc

Grade: A

Doing it at: 49%

Catnip: He’s Basically a Criminal, Stripper with a Heart of Gold, Mafia, Tattoos, Strong Female Lead, Dual Narrative, Car Sex, Slow Burn, Sexual Healing, Regular Ol’Sex Club

Shame Scale: Low Shame, I’m pretty into the cover, and it really just takes way more to make us blush than it used to, we’re so jaded.

Fantasy Cast:  Zayn Malik-plus-ten-years (Don’t judge us) & Amber Heard

Book Description:

Don’t be fooled.

Don’t make excuses for me.

I am not a good man.

I’ve seen things no one should, done things no one should talk about. Honor and conscience have no place in my life. But I’ve fought and I’ve survived. I’ve had to.

The first time I saw her dancing on that seedy stage in that second rate club, I felt my heart pulse for the first time. Keelyn Foster was too young, too vibrant for this place, and I knew in an instant that I would make her mine. But first I had to climb my way to the top. I had to have something more to offer her.

I’m here now, money is no object and I have no equal. Except for her. She’s disappeared. But don’t worry, I will find her and claim her. She will be mine.

Like I said, don’t be fooled. I am not the devil in disguise… I’m the one standing front and center. 


Cleone: We are always pretty excited for a new Jay Crownover book, we have read essentially every book she’s written, and I blame the Marked Men books for really ruining me completely for non-romance (thanks Jay!).

Mary: I recommend these books to everyone who’s interested in romance. They’re delightful and easy with just the right amount of drama, and the absolute hottest heroes around.

C: Her men are all alphas, with tattoos, and hearts of gold, and a lot of them have pierced dicks.

M: No joke, these books have me wondering if there’s any way I could tempt my mild mannered insurance broker husband to consider a dick piercing.  They’ve expanded my vocabulary of what a hot guy looks like, and my porn searches have been revolutionized.

C: If you have never read a Crownover book, we strongly urge you to take the plunge. Her series are standalone novels, within an interconnected universe. And here is where I say something that is going to make Mary really happy: You should probably read the other Point books before you start Honor.

M: Yes pretty please read these books in order? It’s so much better that way! You technically don’t have to, but I really can’t with that attitude. Don’t half ass it.

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Missed Connection, by K. Larson & Mara White

missed connection

Grade: A+

Doing it at: 42%

Catnip: Second Chance Romance, Dual Narrative, Opposites Attract, Grownups in Love, Tearjerker, Ugly Cry, Sadistic Authors, Tattoos, Beta Hero, Sexual Healing

Shame Scale: Super low shame; this well written, engrossing book is only guilty of the sin of making you cry till your face hurts.

Fantasy Cast:  Rosamund Pike, Victor Ross

Book Description: 

Twenty years weren’t enough for either of them to forget.

A chance encounter, a missed connection.

Two wayward stars that collided in a turbulent sky, at the right place, but at the wrong time in both of their lives.

What happens when they meet again? Do the same unforgettable sparks still fly?

Titan Jennings and Jesenia Van Buren may come from two different worlds but their hearts are open to second chances. No matter who or what may stand against them, love is what anchors their lives together.

Love may be infinite but time is not, Missed Connection is a novel about making the very best you can with what little you’ve got.


Cleone: Regular readers might know that we are Mara White super fans here at My Book Shame, our love affair starting after we read Maldeamores, and Ms. White received more than one Golden Boner in our year end round-up. What you might not know is that we super fan-d her so hard that we made her be our friend and our Facebook friend on our real life pages (the pages where we share things that are 85% non boner related). And at some point I shared this viral craigslist posting: and this might be all my fault.

Mary: Even if it wasn’t your fault, I like imagining that it was. Gives me someone tangible to blame.

Cleone: This was our first outing reading anything by K. Larsen, and we dumbly didn’t realize that she is also a sadist, and that this book was probably going to make us sleep on salt-encrusted pillows.

Mary: This book made me cry so hard my face hurt. I loved it so much you guys.

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Dirty Past, by Emma Hart

emma hart

Grade: B

Doing it at: 43%

Catnip: I’m With the Band; Tattoos; Holding Out for a Hero; Dirty B; Dangerous Stalker; Reformed Bad Boy; Sexual Healing; Bassists

Shame Scale: Low shame, like most of what we read now that we’re openly blogging about our romance addiction.

Fantasy Cast:  Jared Leto (ala 30 Seconds to Mars); Katie Cassidy

Book Description:

Walking out on my wedding wasn’t my best idea.

Neither was throwing my cell in the lake and taking a job as PA for Dirty B, America’s favorite rock band, complete with every teen girl’s dream man, the eldest of the Burke brothers.

Tate Burke is pure sex. Women actually throw their panties at him during shows. And Ella Dawson is the lucky little thing that gets to escort their fangirling butts out when he’s done with them.

Yay.

He’s a cocky son of a bitch, but there’s more to him than meets the eye. Every now and then Ella gets a rare glimpse of the Tate behind the “bad boy” act, and it attracts her in the most annoying way. The most annoying, heart-thumping, panty-wetting way.

When her abusive ex turns up at the hotel room Ella and Tate are sharing, raging mad, she knows she’ll need more than just a little protection. Tate sees red, and Ella can’t help but lean on him, despite his bad-boy ways.

And now? Now, he’s in a whole lot of trouble.


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Reaper’s Fall, by Joanna Wylde

Reaper's fall

Grade: A

Doing it at: 36%

Catnip: Bikers, He’s Basically A Criminal, MC Romance, Tattoos, Opposites Attract, Strong Female Lead, Accidental Pregnancy, Hate to Love You, Dual Narrative, Pen Pals, Johnny Castle Complex

Shame Scale: Lower than it maybe should be? The men in Joanna Wylde’s books are not particularly concerned with being politically correct with their women, or anything else. But they’re so damned hot. The plot might be a fun one to explain to your great aunt Helen when she asks if you’ve read any good books over Thanksgiving dinner.

Fantasy Cast: Josh Mario John, Sophie Turner

Book Description:

He never meant to hurt her.

Levi “Painter” Brooks was nothing before he joined the Reapers motorcycle club. The day he patched in, they became his brothers and his life. All they asked in return was a strong arm and unconditional loyalty—a loyalty that’s tested when he’s caught and sentenced to prison for a crime committed on their behalf.

Melanie Tucker may have had a rough start, but along the way she’s learned to fight for her future. She’s escaped from hell and started a new life, yet every night she dreams of a biker whose touch she can’t forget. It all started out so innocently—just a series of letters to a lonely man in prison. Friendly. Harmless. Safe.

Now Painter Brooks is coming home… and Melanie’s about to learn that there’s no room for innocence in the Reapers MC.


Cleone: In a genre cluttered with MC novels, Joanna Wylde is writing some of the best ones out there. She’s created a world filled with hot alpha men and strong women we’d actually want to be friends with. We talked a little about our stance on feminism, and how being ok with the things that you like sexually IS feminism in our review for Silver Bastard. These men take what they want and we like what we like and no one should be apologizing for that.

Mary: I discovered the Reapers MC series way back when I was still getting my feet wet in the romance waters. It was after I stopped pretending I wanted to read anything other than sex-filled romances, but before I stopped being a little bit embarrassed by it. I picked up Reaper’s Property on a whim, and I loved it so much you guys. It’s about a biker who kidnaps a woman and tells her she’s going to have to work off her brother’s debt on her back if she wants to live. It was one of the books that made me begin to embrace the fact that yeah, I’m a feminist, and sometimes it’s really hot to read about criminal, maybe-a-tiny-bit-rapey, biker studs. I’m also pretty sure it was one of the first “should we maybe be a little bit ashamed of ourselves for thinking this is sofuckinghot?” books that Cleone and I bonded over. But we’re so so so very past that now. Bring on the criminals and the grey area and the men who just need to own their women.

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Bad Boy Daddy, by Chance Carter

bad boy daddy

Grade: D+ (A+)

Doing it at: 14%

Catnip: Motorcycles, Tattoos, Bad to the Bone, Hard and Unprotected, Intentional Pregnancy, #TeamAnal, Butt Stuff, Dual Narrative, Book Shame, Male Author, So Bad it’s Good, Red Hot Burning Shame, But It Was 99 Cents…

Shame Scale: Red Hot Burning Shame. Like this is essentially the epitome of a shame book. Look at that cover! Blue Steel! And the writing is over the top and unintentionally hilarious.

Fantasy Cast: Ian Somerhalder, Claire Holt

Book Description:

He wanted a baby. I needed a man.

Faith
The first time I saw Jackson, I hated his guts. He was everything I could never have. Pure, panty-wetting, manhood. And I was trapped in a loveless relationship with his worst enemy. I never would have dreamed he craved my womb so badly he was willing to do anything for it.

Jackson
My father’s death taught me a lot of things. Most importantly, I needed a child. I had to have a son before my enemies caught up with me. So when Faith came begging for protection, I knew exactly what I wanted. I yearned for her body. Lust raged through me like a wildfire. I longed to make her pregnant with my child. I gave her an offer she couldn’t refuse. A life for a life. My protection, in exchange for everything she had to offer. I’d die for her, but she would give me a son.

I took her womb. I never suspected she’d take my heart.


Cleone: Mary and I were still battling fierce The Play book hangovers this weekend, and looking for a new book to buddy read. She was at a boring party (at her own house) and I was lying in bed doing what I always do on Saturday nights (going to bed before 11 pm), when we decided to tackle Bad Boy Daddy. In no way do we regret this decision. This book is so bad that it looped right around and became good again.

Mary: We picked this one up awhile ago because it was 99 cents and had an A+ cover and title combo. It rivals Knocked Up By The Bad Boy in terms of level of cheese. But we hadn’t gotten around to it, and lately it feels like we’ve strayed from our roots, sticking to books from our tried and true authors and avoiding the occasional over-the-top cheap romance from someone we’ve never heard of before (Step Beast I promise I’ll get to you soon!). There have been a ton of new releases this fall we’ve been really excited about, and Cleone got a stupid new JOB so she doesn’t have as much time to waste on books that might not be all that great. But we had a book hangover, and we needed a palate cleanser, and fuck it, why not.

Bad boy daddy 1

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The Play, by Karina Halle

The Play

Grade: A+

Doing it at: 33%

Catnip: Hot Scot, A Foreign Affair, Puppy Love, Tattoos, Beards, Strong Female Lead, Big Brooding Hero, Brogue, Hot Scot, Rugby Players, Epic, Deep Dark Secrets, Shower Sex, Dual Narrative, #DISP, #TeamAnal

Shame Scale: Not a drop, The Play is a big, sweeping romance that will break your heart and you will feel fine recommending to anyone (no machetes in this one!)

Fantasy Cast: Tom Hardy, Kristin Kreuk

Book Description:

A troubled Scottish rugby player who doesn’t play by the rules.
A vivacious man-eater who’s given up on love.
When it comes to Lachlan and Kayla, opposites don’t just attract – they explode.

From the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact and The Offer, comes The Play, a standalone spinoff and contemporary romance about taking chances and rescuing hearts.

Kayla Moore has always been comfortable with her feisty, maneating reputation. At least it was fine until she hit her thirties and saw her best friends Stephanie and Nicola settle down with Linden and Bram McGregor, leaving Kayla to be the odd one out. Tired of being the third wheel with nothing but one-night stands and dead-end dates in San Francisco, Kayla decides to take a vow of celibacy and put men on the backburner.

That is until she lays her eyes on Linden and Bram’s cousin, hot Scot Lachlan McGregor. Lachlan is her sexual fantasy come to life – tall, tatted, and built like a Mack truck. With a steely gaze and successful rugby career back in Edinburgh, he’s the kind of man that makes her want to throw her vow right out the window. But Lachlan’s quiet and intense demeanor makes him a hard man to get to know, let alone get close to.

It isn’t until the two of them are thrown together one long, unforgettable night that Kayla realizes there is so much more to this brooding macho man than what meets the eye. But even with sparks flying between the two, Lachlan can’t stay in America forever. Now, Kayla has to decide whether to uproot her whole life and chance it all on someone she barely knows or risk getting burned once again.

Sometimes love is a game that just needs to be played.


Mary: By now you all probably realize that we’re a little evangelical about Karina Halle new releases. We’re fan girls and it’s hard for us to have any chill. But this book, you guys. This was the best thing I’ve read all year. Ridiculously sexy, achingly evocative, this one dragged us all over the emotional map.

PLUS: $1 from every preorder/release day sale is going to save-the-puppy charities, which is so fucking generous you guys – it’s a $3 book. And I’m not saying that a month of rescue dogs flooding my news feed sparked the start of a long-con on my husband so that we can get a puppy, but I will say that I will probably have a doggie by Christmastime.

Cleone: Rescue pups play a big part in the book, and this one had me hugging my pup extra tight (for support while I cried). AND looking at local dogs for adoption, for Mary ostensibly.

M: The Play is huge; it’s really two novels in one. Karina Halle generously sent us ARC’s for early review, but we got it in two chunks, roughly two weeks apart. So we read the first half and then tried to live normal lives even though we were basically dead inside, waiting for the second half. We could really do this whole review via text screenshots.

Play hangover

play hangover 1

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Breaking Away, by Toni Aleo

breaking away

Grade: B

Doing it at: 21%

Catnip: Hockey Players; Beards; Tattoos; Dancers; Secret Lovers; Shower Sex; Strong Female Lead; Dual Narrative

Shame Scale: Low Shame, but since I’ve come out of the romance closet I’m experiencing less book shame in general

Fantasy Cast:  Brooks Laich*; Ginnifer Goodwin

Book Description:

To Nashville Assassins’ leading scoring center Phillip Anderson, playing hockey has always been easy… as natural as breathing. His life is no different. That’s until his world is turned upside down by the death of his sister. While mourning his loss, Phillip has to find a way to make his very angry sixteen-year-old niece, Claire, happy. Now, as her guardian, he discovers the only thing that seems to heal her lonely heart is dance class. But what he didn’t count on was the attraction he’d feel towards her drop-dead sexy dance teacher.

For Reese Allen, dancing has always been part of her soul. After having her heart broken in New York, she comes home with the determination to make her dance studio one of the best in Tennessee and succeeds. When she sees Claire dance for the first time, she knows the girl is bound for greatness and takes the troubled teen under her wing. Using dance as therapy, she suddenly finds herself bound to the young woman… and her hot-as-sin uncle.

However, Phillip and Reese are happy in their single lives. It’s simple. They do what they want, who they want, and how they want, but from the moment they meet, the attraction is undeniable. Soon, they are more than willing to spend just one night tangled in the sheets. But, one night turns into two, and two turns into three, until they find themselves in a repeated dance of “One Last Time” that has the potential to be something more… if only Reese and Claire allow it.

Can Phillip find a way to thaw the hearts of both the women in his life, or will he be forever trying to break them away from their pasts?


Breaking Away is my second Toni Aleo read, its the fifth book in her Assassin’s Series, which I am (of course) gleefully reading out of order. And you know what I’m really liking about her book boyfriends? These boys are all in, the hedging and mixed feelings are coming from our heroines. It’s a genuine delight to read about guys who aren’t scared of their feelings.

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