Sweet Filthy Boy (Wild Seasons #1) – Christina Lauren MUST READ REVIEW

The Hangover: Wedding Edition?

sweet-filthy-boy

Sweet Filthy Boy

Christina Lauren


 

FROM GOODREADSOne-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him.

But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play.

When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away.


REVIEW

Christina Lauren is why, no matter what Diana Gabaldon or Robin Hobb say or even the writing crimes of E.L. James, fan fiction is a good thing. How could anything that provides that lightning strike of inspiration to create not be? Particularly when the result is so very satisfying.

BBWhen I read Beautiful Bastard, the writing duo comprised of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, who are professionally known as Christina Lauren’s first novel, I thought to myself “Now this is what Fifty Shades should have been”. Whether it was in fact Twilight or FSOG fan fiction notwithstanding, Beautiful Bastard was a wonderfully dirty romp with an unexpectedly sweet love story at its core. Free of some of the more disturbing themes present in FSOG and portraying a romance between two people with a much more straight forward power dynamic I look forward to its inevitable film adaptation for which the rights have already been purchased and is stated to be in development. From that unlikely foundation these two gifted writers have forged an entire wildly successful series that I can tell I will be revisiting in the near future.

AllyssaMilanoDespite my appreciation of the Beautiful Bastard series I wasn’t particularly moved to read the Wild Seasons offerings. It could have simply been a “so many books, so little time” moment or my inner prude may have objected to the title… nah, let’s be real that’s not it. But for whatever reason I didn’t embrace this newest series until I came across it when looking for something to treat the book hangover inspired by the recent binge re-reading I did of every single available book in Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series. These two series might seem like unlikely bedfellows but let me tell you the love scenes in Ms Hoyt’s Regencies are HAWT.

Upon college graduation Mia, Harlow and Lola plan to spend a girl’s weekend in Sin City as a reward for a job well done. Mia is naturally very quiet and reserved, mentally preparing to sacrifice herself and attend business school in Boston come the fall semester. Realizing her domineering father’s dream since her own was demolished when she was involved in a hit and run accident ending her burgeoning dance career before it had even begun. They have barely arrived at their Hangover style suite when across the crowded bar she spies the most attractive man she has ever seen. A silent conversation ensues. Personally, they had me the moment they mentioned his dimples. Really is there anyone alive who can resist them?

the-hangover_400
The Hangover (2009) R | 100 min | Comedy | 5 June 2009 (USA)

Instead of marching across the bar and taking Mr. Man-Candy back to her room for some happy fun time she allows herself to be dragged to the next stop on the Vegas strip pub crawl with her besties. Unsurprisingly after their heated silent exchange Mia can’t sleep, their raucous neighbours across the hall only add to her insomnia. When she decides to rain on their parade she discovers none other than Dimples himself, flirting ensues.

JP
Jared Padalecki

The next morning Ansel aka Dimples finally and rather adorably locates his quarry with his two closest friends in toe. In a different and only mildly unbelievable twist of fate Mia awakens the next with the mother of all hangovers and a wedding band on her left hand. Apparently, in a fit of previously latent spontaneity Mia proposed to Ansel. The folie à deux or in this case à six was the only place I had to tamp down suspension of my disbelief that not one of them would think this was a sketchy idea BUT if we let reality intrude that would be flushing the potential for a very entertaining series right down the drain. So I shushed the inner voice that sounds suspiciously like my mother and read on.

Sweet Filthy Boy was remarkably entertaining, most of all I found Mia’s character to be particularly surprisingly likeable. To write a shy character who is somewhat retiring without crossing the line into insipidity is more difficult than one would assume. Case in point – Isabella Swan, did even the Twi-hards not want to punch her in the face? I could give example upon example as this fawn-like caricature seems to be extremely popular in commercial fiction and rather than coming across as appealing in their vulnerability it ends up inevitably translating to “annoying victim”. However Mia’s reserve and quiet nature seemed completely genuine and appropriate for the story. Her personal difficulties were easy to empathize with, even for an extrovert like myself. Finally a heroine who doesn’t orgasm with just a steamy glance from the love interest. Don’t get me wrong Mia and Ansel tore up the sheets but it wasn’t always effortless, which was a refreshing change from the typical love scenes in romances.

Ultimately, Sweet Filthy Boy was perfect, a fast fun read that made waiting on the sidelines for soccer practice to be over a pleasure rather than a chore. And just in case you are wondering I did pick up Dirty Rowdy Thing immediately to find out how the “playah” Harlow and the Canadian Finn reach their happy ending.

About the Author


christina-laurenChristina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced ten New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 23+ languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)

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MAKING A COMEBACK (More Than a Game #3) – Kristina Mathews

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MAKING A COMEBACK

More Than a Game #3

Kristina Mathews

Releasing July 7th, 2015

Lyrical Press: Shine

 

With a divorce in the works, Annabelle Jones heads out to Southern California, the land of sun and starting over. She wants to prove to herself and her young daughters that she still has what it takes to turn heads as a swimsuit model—that she doesn’t need a man to take care of her. Until an accident forces her to rely on the hunky, yet mysterious man next door…

Nathan Cooper is trying to revive his own career. Once a top left-handed relief pitcher, he tried to get over a hidden injury with the aid of banned substances. Not only was he caught and suspended, he was traded and missed out on winning the championship. Now he’s a free agent without a contract, and that means life is ready to play ball…

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Today was a good day. A glorious day. Sitting at the stoplight in the Southern California sunshine, Annabelle Jones did a drum solo on the steering wheel of her convertible Mercedes. She didn’t care if people stared at her singing along to “Don’t Stop Believing.” She hadn’t stopped believing, and look at her now, fresh off her first modeling job since filing for divorce.

So it wasn’t the cover of Sports Illustrated, still, it was a job. Something she could be proud of. Her daughters could be proud of her.

It wasn’t about the money. The income she earned from this modeling job was more about pride. Having something to offer the world, even if it was just her face.

Annabelle wanted to show her daughters that a woman didn’t need a man to take care of her. She could stand on her own two feet, and return to the career she’d given up when she married Clayton Barry. She might not fly off to exotic locations or work with the world’s most famous photographers, but she was working.

She lifted her face to the sun, soaking in its warmth. It was as if the fog of the last few years had finally lifted. Nothing but blue skies ahead for her and her six-year-old twin daughters.

Today’s shoot was just the beginning. Her agent had two more jobs lined up for her before the end of the month. He’d also scheduled her to attend the televised celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. She hadn’t been able to make the photo shoot last fall in New York for the magazine, but he thought making an appearance on the live show would give her plenty of exposure.

Hopefully, she’d be able to juggle it all. Part of what appealed to her about today’s job was that it was close enough that she’d be able to shoot for a few hours and still get home in time to meet her daughters when they got off the school bus.

Annabelle glanced at the clock. If the light didn’t change soon, she wasn’t going to make it to the bus stop in time.

The song ended and Annabelle turned down the volume. She’d started listening to Journey during the Goliaths’ World Series run. So the song was five years older than she was, the message still rang true. It was about hope. Starting over. Believing.

The traffic light turned green, and she pulled into the intersection. A flash of yellow appeared out of the corner of her eye. She turned in time to see an SUV blow through the stoplight. Before she could react, the vehicle struck her Mercedes just behind the driver’s side door.

Her head slammed into the side window. Glass shattered and she looked down at the blood on her blouse. A thousand black pixels danced before her eyes.

And then nothing.

 

 

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Kristina Mathews doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t have a book in her hand. Or in her head. But it wasn’t until she turned forty that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer was because she was busy writing.

While she resigned from teaching with the arrival of her second son, she’s remained an educator in some form. As a volunteer, parent club member or para educator, she finds the most satisfaction working with emergent and developing readers, helping foster confidence and a lifelong love of books.

Kristina lives in Northern California with her husband of more than twenty years, two sons and a black lab. A veteran road tripper, amateur renovator and sports fanatic. She hopes to one day travel all 3,073 miles of Highway 50 from Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD, replace her carpet with hardwood floors and serve as a “Ball Dudette” for the San Francisco Giants.

 

Release Me (Chasing Fire #2) – Ann Marie Walker & Amy K. Rogers COMING SOON

RELEASE ME

Chasing Fire #2

Ann Marie Walker & Amy K. Rogers

Releasing July 21st, 2015

Berkley/Intermix

 

The second in the “seriously sexy and sinfully steamy”* Chasing Fire series, about a pain too deep to forgive and a passion too hot to forget…

Alessandra Sinclair knows that Hudson Chase is the last man she should want. The boy from the wrong side of the tracks has grown into a man who would do anything to get ahead, even if it means breaking Allie’s heart. But whenever she’s near him, the attraction between them is undeniable. And now that they’re working together, keeping her distance from Hudson is almost as impossible as keeping her feelings in check…

Hudson already lost Allie once and he refuses to lose her again. He’s determined to use their new business partnership to rekindle the spark he knows is still there. Only the closer he gets to winning her over, the clearer it becomes there are still secrets that could tear them apart for good…

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“I hate you,” she whispered. Her words were venom but they lacked conviction. Her hands flattened against his chest and her biceps tensed as if she were going to push him away, but instead her fingers curled around the fine fabric of his suit jacket, holding him in place.

Hudson took a deep breath through his nose. His heart pounded, pumping adrenaline through his body. “You wish you did,” he rasped in her ear, then tugged the lobe between his teeth.

Allie’s head thudded back against the elevator wall. “Bastard,” she breathed.

“I know, baby, I know.”

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Though thousands of miles apart, Ann Marie Walker and Amy K. Rogers are in constant contact, plotting story lines and chatting about their love of alpha males, lemon drop martinis and British supermodel, David Gandy. You can find them on twitter as @AnnMarie_Walker and @Amy_KRogers.

Amy K. Rogers

 

Ann Marie Walker

 

LUCKY’S CHOICE (The Last Riders #7) – Jamie Begley COVER REVEAL

Ask and You Shall Receive…

LUCKY’S CHOICE

The Last Riders #7

Jamie Begley

Releasing July 29th, 2015

Young Ink Press

Life dealt him a dead man’s hand.

Lucky had always led a life of service, always putting his life on the line for someone else, managing to survive by pure luck and skill. After bringing an end to a multi-state drug ring, he was finally able to live the life he had wanted as a Last Rider.

A good man would walk away and not touch the curvy woman who had been tugging on his heartstrings. Lucky wasn’t a good man. Therefore, the bad-ass biker in him had a choice: once again become the man he had pretended to be and stake his claim or take the devil’s highway.

Some girls had all the luck.

Willa wasn’t one of them. All she wanted to do was give a home to the children she had made orphans. Instead, she found herself needing help from the man who had left the pulpit behind to embrace a life of sin.

Painfully shy and withdrawn, she wanted a quiet life, a simple man, and well-behaved children. The last thing she had ever expected was for Lucky to want her size twenty body and show her a passion that would lead her straight to hell.

 

 

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“I was born in a small town in Kentucky. My family began poor, but worked their way to owning a restaurant. My mother was one of the best cooks I have ever known, and she instilled in all her children the value of hard work, and education.

Taking after my mother, I’ve always love to cook, and became pretty good if I do say so myself. I love to experiment and my unfortunate family has suffered through many. They now have learned to steer clear of those dishes. I absolutely love the holidays and my family puts up with my zany decorations.

For now, my days are spent writing, writing, and writing. I have two children who both graduated this year from college. My daughter does my book covers, and my son just tries not to blush when someone asks him about my books.

Currently I am writing five series of books- The Last Riders, The VIP Room, Predators MC, Biker Bitches, and The Dark Souls.

All my books are written for one purpose- the enjoyment others find in them, and the expectations of my fans that inspire me to give it my best.”

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