Monster Prick, by Kendall Ryan

mp

Grade: B

Doing it at:  49%

Catnip:  Brother’s Best Friend, Secret Lovers, Your First and Your Last, Novella, Dual Narrative, Dirty Talk, Virgin, Teach Me Tonight

Shame Scale: Low shame, the guy on the cover is fully dressed!

Fantasy Cast:  Penn Badgley, Leighton Meester

Book Description:

Over my dead body.

That’s what I told Gracie when she informed me of her plan to pick some random guy she met online to get rid of her pesky virginity.

If anyone is touching her, it’s going to be me.

I shouldn’t even be considering it, but I can’t get it out of my head: her, under me, begging me.

***
Arrogant. Cocky. Prick.

Those are the words I’d use to describe my older brother’s dangerously handsome best friend.

When he learned of my plan to kick off my white cotton briefs, ditching my good girl persona once and for all by losing my virginity to the first eligible bachelor I could find, he flipped out. Said over his dead body.

He says if anyone’s going to do it, it’s going to be him.

I hate that I’m even considering his offer.

But I am … I sooo am.

Ever since he suggested it, all I can think about is his cocky smile on those full lips as he’s driving in to me.

But if we cross that line … will I ever be able to go back?

MONSTER PRICK, a sexy romantic comedy, is a spin off novella from SCREWED, but can be read as a standalone, as it features a new couple.


We read Kendall Ryan’s last release Screwed, which introduced the main characters in Monster Prick, Grace and Hudson.  And there was no way I wasn’t reading a book entitled Monster Prick, well played Ms. Ryan, well played. This is a novella length story, which can easily be read in one sitting. It’s a fluffy palate cleanser with some good sex scenes sprinkled throughout.

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Raze, by Tillie Cole

Raze 2

Grade: B+

Doing it at: 47%

Catnip: Mortal Kombat, Russian Mobsters, Amnesia, Revenge, Dangerous Criminal Villain, Star-crossed Lovers, Virgin

Shame Scale: Low.

Fantasy Cast:  Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy

Book Description:

TO TAKE BACK LIFE, ONE MUST FIRST FACE DEATH…

Conditioned in captivity to maim, to kill and to slaughter, prisoner 818 becomes an unrivaled and unstoppable fighter in the ring. Violence is all he knows. After years of incarceration in an underground hell, only one thought occupies his mind: revenge… bloody, slow and violent revenge. Revenge on the man who wronged him. 
Kisa Volkova is the only daughter of Kirill ‘The Silencer’ Volkov, head of the infamous ‘Red’ bosses of New York’s Russian Bratva. Her life is protected. In reality, it’s a virtual prison. Her father’s savage treatment of his rivals and his lucrative and coveted underground gambling ring-The Dungeon-ensures too many enemies lurk at their door. She dreams to be set free. Kisa has known only cruelty and loss in her short life. While working for her church-the only reprieve in her constant surveillance-Kisa stumbles across a tattooed, scarred, but stunningly beautiful homeless man on the streets. Something about him stirs feelings deep within her; familiar yet impossibly forbidden desires. He doesn’t talk. Doesn’t communicate with anyone.

He’s a man beyond saving. But Kisa becomes obsessed with him. Yearns for him. Craves his touch. Needs to possess this mysterious man… … this man they call Raze.


Tillie Cole really impressed us with her Hades Hangmen series, so I was super excited to tuck into Raze, the first book of four in the Scarred Souls series: Russian mafia, underground Mortal Kombat fighting, star-crossed lovers, and amnesia. It basically has everything. 

Prisoner 818 (Raze) has been imprisoned in an underground cell in a deplorable Russian Gulag prison/fighting club for as long as he can remember. Like, he literally can’t remember anything before being brought there as a boy years ago; he has been shocked, tortured, and drugged till he had no recollection of his identity. He has been forced into death match fighting, and he is a monstrous killing machine filled with nothing but hate, with over 600 kills under his belt. His only goal is revenge on the man who did this to him; he has a name and an address in Brooklyn carved on the wall of his cell. Raze has no idea about the specifics of why he needs revenge, but the wall says he needs to kill him, so, YOLO. Then one day the prisoners overpower the guards and he escapes. With nothing on his mind but revenge, he heads to NY.

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Dirty Angels, by Karina Halle

Dirty Angels

Grade: A-

Doing it at: 68%

Catnip: Mexican Drug Cartels, Dark Romance, Dangerous Criminal Villain, He’s Basically A Criminal, Revenge, Hate To Love You, Stockholm Syndrome, Virgin

Shame Scale: I don’t even know why we’re still rating this. We’re hardly ashamed of anything anymore. No shame, even though the hero is a savage who literally enjoys sawing off people’s body parts.

What Do We Taste Like?: Seductive, more delicious than milk and honey. “I should drink you with my tea in the mornings.”

Fantasy Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal, A young Penelope Cruz

Book Description:

For Luisa Chavez, a twenty-three year old former beauty queen, a better life has always been just out of her reach. Sure, she’s had men at her feet since she was a young teenager but she’s never had the one thing she’s craved – security. Having grown up in near poverty, her waitressing job in Cabo San Lucas can barely let her take care of herself, let alone her ailing parents. Every day is another unwanted advance, every day is a struggle to survive. 

When Salvador Reyes, the depraved leader of a major Mexican cartel, takes an interest in her, Luisa is presented with an opportunity she can’t afford to pass up. She’ll become Salvador’s wife and exchange her freedom and body for a life of riches – riches she can bestow upon her deserving parents. But Luisa quickly finds out that even the finest wines and jewels can’t undo the ugliness in her marriage, nor the never-ending violence that threatens her every move. 

Soon, Luisa is looking for an escape, a way out of the carefully controlled life she’s leading. She finally gets her wish in the worst way possible. 

As it is, being the wife of Salvador makes her an ideal target for rival cartels and there’s one particular man who needs Luisa as part of his cartel’s expansion. One particular man whose quest for power has destroyed lives, slit throats and gotten him out of an American prison. One particular man who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants. 

That man is Javier Bernal. And he wants Luisa. He wants to take her, keep her, ruin her. 

Unless she ruins him first. 

Some men were born to create empires, some women were meant to be queen. 


Mary: This book was so much fun, you guys. It’s a dark romance, but it’s also really light, if that makes any sense? The hero is a ruthless savage who kidnaps the heroine and literally carves his name in her back, but it was also incredibly funny and sexy. And not in a torture pain sexy way, but in a legit that sex sounds real fun way.

Dirty a 8

M: We met Javier in The Artist Trilogy, and admittedly, Cleone and I were both strongly #Team Cam, but with sympathy for Javier – so I was looking forward to him getting his HEA.

C: Javier is a real bad man, he’s not like villain-lite or a guy who just made some bad choices, he’s damaged and dangerous. He’s everything Dylan McKay claims to be when he says he’s mad, bad, and dangerous to know.

M: This book picks up several years after we last saw Javier. He’s back in Mexico, and is now the leader of a medium sized drug cartel.

C: He has money and power, but not as much as he would like, Javier is looking to move up the ranks and control more of Mexico’s drug trade. Reading these books is making Mexico sound like a really scary place, googling cartel+violence is making it seem even scarier. You might want to safe-search your images if you decide to do that, I don’t know your level of comfort for pictures of corpses on pastoral roadsides.

M: Luisa Chavez is a ex-beauty queen, struggling to make ends meet while taking care of her parents. (Note – googling “Mexican beauty queen” is also a terribly depressing search) One day, Salvador Reyes, the leader of Mexico’s largest and most powerful drug cartel, walks into the bar where she works, asks her some really intrusive questions, and just generally scares the crap out of her.

When he asks her to marry him, she says yes, because it would allow her to give her parents a better life. And also because she’s no dummy. She knows that if she says no he’ll kill her.

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Chaos, by Jamie Shaw

Chaos

Grade: B

Doing it at: 5%

Catnip: Rock Stars, Friends to Lovers, Virgin, Alpha Heroine

Shame Scale: Low shame. It’s well written with characters that feel like real people, and more plot than parts that will make you blush.

Fantasy Cast: Kit Harrington, Lily Collins

What does he taste like?: A young whiskey

Book Description:

From the moment she saw Shawn Scarlett perform at a school talent show, Kit Larson has loved two things: the guitar, and the gorgeous, green-eyed boy who inspired her to play. But one careless night in high school shatters her hope of ever being more than a notch in his bedpost.

Six years, two bands, and one mostly mended heart later, Kit’s about to make her rock star dreams a reality as the new guitarist for Shawn’s band, The Last Ones to Know. He may not remember their reckless night together, but Kit has never forgotten…and she’s determined to make him eat his heart out.

The release of their new album means a month cooped up on a tour bus, sleeping inches away from the ridiculously sexy musician she’s never quite gotten over. And as Kit gets to know the real Shawn—not Shawn Scarlett, the rock god, the player—their attraction becomes too hot to resist. But the past is paved with secrets, and when they finally surface, Kit could lose everything: the band, the music, her dreams…and Shawn.


This is book three in the Mayhem series, and if you are into rock star romances, I definitely recommend checking these ones out. Each book is a stand alone, focusing on one of the band members, but you’re probably better off reading them in order. In Chaos, the story focuses on Shawn Scarlett – the guitarist, and Kit Larson – the backup guitarist hired in Riot.

Kit went to school with all of the guys in The Last Ones to Know, but she was a few years younger than them. She saw Shawn play at a school talent show in middle school, and he inspired her to learn to play the guitar. And he inspired her first big crush, the kind of crush you have when you’re in your teens that just consumes you. Obviously, he doesn’t know she exists.

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First Position, by Melody Grace

first position

Grade: D- (for no D)

Doing it at: n/a NO Doing It :sob::

Catnip: Ballet; A Foreign Affair; Virgin; Breaking the Rules

Shame Scale: Shame on this book for invoking Dirty Dancing and then having no sex.

Fantasy Cast:  No cast for a disappointing short book

What do we taste like?: Chocolate sweetness

  Book Description:

A man dances the same way he f*#ks. His stamina, his rhythm, the slow grind of his hips. Some people are born to it, others learn through years of careful study. And dancers? We f*#k best of all. The moment I saw her, I knew. Her innocence is intoxicating. My lust is fierce. Primal. To watch her dance is to know the torment of true temptation. She will be mine.


I have a thing for male ballet dancers, I blame Julian Marquet, and the release of this video a few months ago:

I asked Mary if we had anything in the treasure trove of smut that is our family library that featured a male ballet dancer and she sent me back First Position. And I was so pumped guys, its a serial, but I figured with talk of being the best of all at fucking in the synopsis I’d get some good down and dirty toe-shoes action. It let me down, you guys.

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Stripped Bare, by Tabatha Vargo & Melissa Andrea

stripped bare

Grade: C

Doing it at: 80%

Catnip: First Love; Virgin; Dual Narratives; High School Confidential; But it was 99 Cents

Shame Scale: This book starts out wonderfully dirty and then doesn’t deliver, low shame but high annoyance.

Fantasy Cast: High School Blaine & Chelsey: Dylan McKay and Brenda Walsh (Because I can)

Book Description:

Blaine Wesley
If you love something… leave it. Because in the end, love tears you down.
Those were my exact thoughts the day I walked away from the only girl I ever loved. The boy I used to be is long gone, and now I’m the Jack Hammer. Exotic dancer extraordinaire. The teaser and the pleaser. The paid for penis for play.
I have to be these things to survive. It’s who I became when I lost her. But now she’s back, and I can’t decide who I want to be more. The Jack Hammer or Blaine Wesley. All I know is she’s foreplay at its finest, and it’s my job to get them wet and ready.

Chelsey Ford
Liar. That’s what I called him when he walked out of my life. He left me when I needed him the most, and I’ll never be the same. Losing your first love will turn you into someone bitter. Hateful. Angry. But now he’s back, and he’s determined to torture me. The only problem is, I’m enjoying his form of torture too much. And the hatred for him that holds me together is slowly starting to dissolve.

Stripped Bare opened up better than almost any trashy book has ever opened. Page one had a cock in our heroine’s face and an explanation of penis vs. cock.

He had a cock – a thing of beauty – standing tall with the confidence that any woman who took a ride would be more than thrilled with the results. He had a cock that throbbed with want and arousal – ready to explode like a fountain of pleasure.

I was so excited, guys, I sent a picture of the highlighted text to Mary and Paperback Purist and settled in to devour this book.

Chelsey has just run into her first love for what must be the first time in years, at a strip club, where he is grinding his dick in her face. Sorry, his cock. Chelsey looks up at the strippers face for the first time (who cares about faces amiright) at the same time that Blaine realizes that the girl he’s grinding on is Chelsey. Their eyes meet, and the next chapter we flashback to high school, to Blaine and Chelsey meeting cute their senior year of school. Chelsey is a good girl, she has her nose to the grindstone, and barely looks up to notice anything that isn’t going to help with her ultimate goal of attending Columbia. Which is why she has never noticed Blaine before, despite him being drooled over by most of the girls in school. And him having slept with a good number of them. This book is dual perspective and we get some high school senior narrative RE: how many girls Blaine’s been with. I’m old now and this teenage bravado gave me a little LOLOL, this is why I strive not to pick books set in high school.

I was ok with this being a flashback though, when you have an old loves meet again story you expect to get some back story on their first time around. Blaine plays the hero for Chelsey, fixing her book bag, but then makes her late to class for the first time ever by flirting with her. He gives her first kiss (and she slaps him), he acts disinterested even though he’s very very interested. Blaine has never had a girl like Chelsey for himself, girls sleep with him for sex – those crazy sex starved teenage girls! – or to piss off their parents. Blaine isn’t a bad guy, he loves his family, he works in his dad’s auto repair shop, and he gets just good enough grades to graduate because he doesn’t want to disappoint his parents. There’s cute banter, there’s up and down will they or won’t they drama. It was all fine for a back story flashback.

When we started chugging towards 50% and we were STILL in high school I got a little worried, how much flashback were we getting here? I mean, look at that synopsis, it says nothing about the heroine inching towards her 18th birthday so we can finally get with the doing it. I felt betrayed and misled.

Mary and I had agreed that we would each read our respective books until we got to the sheet dancing. We like to read books together, nudge each other along to stay on schedule, and offer commentary even on the books we aren’t reading. We’re book bae. So, I wanted to keep my agreement. But I was also really tired, and there was a podcast on farming hippos for meat in the early 1900′s that I wanted to listen to. My C rating might reflect this personal vexation.

Really, the book is fine, the couple is cute. There’s plenty of drama, it isn’t a D- because of no dick. The book ends before we get to current day Blaine and Chelsey, if you want to know what happens you need to read part two, which I probably will. In a month or two when I’m done being salty about being tricked into a high school romance and not nearly enough cock talk.

Additionally: points deducted for Chelsey’s lip biting driving Blaine crazy. In a post-Fifty world, this is an unforgivable cliche.

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All Played Out, by Cora Carmack

all played out

Grade: B

Doing it at: 63%

Catnip: Girl Genius; Virgin; Football; Rusk University; Friday Night Lights; Dual Narrative; Libraries

Shame Scale: Almost zero, Cora Carmack’s new adults are sweet and have real plots and you only have to worry a little about the advanced reader in your house looking over your shoulder

Fantasy Cast: Demi Lovato; Diego Boneta

What do we taste like: sweet, like the drink I’d given her earlier

Book Description:

In the third book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack’s Rusk University series, a good girl is about to find out what happens when she creates the ultimate college bucket list and she sets her sights on a jock.

First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.

Straight A’s? CHECK.

On track to graduate early? CHECK.

Social life? …..yeah, about that….

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay… Scratch that. She knows she hasn’t had the full college experience).

So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a “to do” list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it’s impossible to get hurt… again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she’s never known.  But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he’s willing to take the chance when it’s more than just a game.

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.

Welcome back to Texas and the lives of the Dillon Panthers! Or the Rusk University Wildcats, it’s the same, just college instead of high school so it feels more OK to be into the sex. I was a little disappointed that we weren’t getting Stella’s story in this book (this is what happens when I read things in order! I face disappointments), I’m dying to read about her and Ryan. However, Nell and Mateo won me over pretty quickly.

All Played Out gives us Nell, Dylan’s room-mate and the team-mate of the boys from the previous two books. Mateo Torres is loud and flirty, always joking and showing off and charming the pants right off of girls. Antonella DeLuca is a girl genius. She’s graduating from college two years early and has spent all of her time on campus studying. No partying, no going to football games, no regretful one night stands with the weird guy who sells weed in history class. At first I was concerned that Nell was going to be too straight-laced for me to root for, I didn’t want to read a whole book about a female Sheldon Cooper. But Nell is not a lady bazinga, she’s softer and sweeter and worried that she’s missed out on the whole college experience by sticking to her strictly dictated life plan. Sure she’s on task, but what does she really know about love?

Seeing Dylan so madly in love with Silas has Nell questioning everything. Which is why she makes her list and why she ends up going to play Ultimate Frisbee with Dylan and Silas and friends. There’s some explaining of the rules of frisbee which is tolerable only because we get to meet Mateo through Nell’s eyes (seriously Carmack, I love you, stop sneakily teaching me about sports).

Mateo is instantly flirting with Nell, because that’s what he does, but she calls him on his shit and he starts to actually like her beyond wanting to bang her. Also, she reminds him of his high school ex girlfriend, Lina, who broke his heart. I immediately knew that was only going to be trouble for our couple, but what can you do? You can’t yell at book people to not be idiots and think they’ll hear you, you can only cringe and move on.Nell likes ‘Teo as well, he’s big and handsome and warm and makes her feel all tingle-y. Being near him reminds her that her to-do list has “hook up with a jock” as an item. Mateo makes her nervous, but not so nervous that she can stay away from him when she goes to a party at his place to cross getting drunk off her to-do list.

He tips in some cranberry juice and two more kinds of liquor. “What is that?” I ask “A bad decision.” “Then why are you making it for me?” He shoots me a lopsided smile, and I’m forced to acknowledge that maybe the warmth creeping up my neck has far less to do with alcohol than I wish it did. “No sweetheart. It’s called a Bad Decision. The drink. It’s my own special invention.” ….. “It’s really good. Thank you.” He’s looking away from me and out at the party as he says, “For you, Nell, I’ll make as many bad decisions as you want.”

It is later that night after Nell is feeling the effects of that Bad Decision that Mateo discovers her list. And decides that it is his duty to help with it; starting with crossing off “go skinny-dipping.”  Nell might be shy and not that experienced with the gents, but she’s also emboldened by alcohol and determined to mark some things off her list. So, we get a steamy naked make out session in the pool, that stops just short of P in the V. Like extra super close:

What if he’d just…I don’t know…stuck it in, no warning or whatever. Like…SURPRISE! Here’s a penis

Cora writes some great dialog, both of the internal and spoken variety, her girls always seem like REAL girls, which makes it so easy to root for Nell. We want her to get her best orgasm ever, lose her virginity, do a keg stand, take a picture on an iconic campus statue. We want her to fall in love Mateo and we want him to fall in love with her. At no point did I feel like those two didn’t deserve their happily ever after. It takes a while for Mateo and Nell to actually get with the getting, but there’s plenty of fooling around all over campus. Including fooling around in the library stacks, which is pretty catnip-y for a book lover. He wants to help her live her last two months as a college student to the fullest, ‘Teo also is feeling very possessive about being the one to help her with all her firsts. They’re “his firsts” to give her. Nell tries to resist, but it isn’t long until she’s going head over heels for the charming football player. She wasn’t sure she was even capable of feeling something so strong about someone after years of keeping everyone at arm’s length in pursuit of her goals. But, here she is.

Mateo is falling hard for Nell, but isn’t sure how much of that is for Nell herself and how much is because of his memories of Lina. This is a dilemma for him because he’s just the tiniest bit of an asshole. I really really liked him. He’s a charming, sweet book boyfriend. But this old girlfriend hang up irked me and when that + football caused the inevitable problems in the final book stretch I had all the sympathy for Nell and none for ‘Teo. The boy needed to get his shit together.

He does of course and we get a cute (maybe just the tiniest bit saccharine) happy ending. Bright futures all around and enough Stella and Ryan action in the side story to really give me the hope that she’s coming up next! Until then, as always, Tramps: Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, P in the V, Can’t Lose.

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