Short & Sweet (8)

Mini-reviews of New Adult and Romance novels that I enjoyed

Need Me + Make Me by Tessa Bailey
[Publisher: Avon Impulse | Pub. Date: 4/2015, 8/2015 | Genre: New Adult]
I’m a Tessa Bailey fan so when I found out about her NA romances, I couldn’t wait to read them! I’ve already mentioned how much I enjoyed the first in the series, Chase Me, so I was looking forward to seeing how the rest of the books would hold up. In Chase Me, we met Roxy plus her two best friends and roommates, Honey and Abby. We also met Roxy’s soon-to-be love, Louis and his two best friends Ben and Russell. These next two books are basically about their best friends falling for one another in messy, funny and sexy ways. Of the two, I did enjoy Honey and Ben’s romance more. I think because neither of them are what they seem. She’s this blonde Southern girl from Kentucky and he’s a young English professor prone to wearing tweed. They’re easy to stereotype when she’s actually this very intelligent, eloquent writer and he can have a bit of a darker, alpha male side to him.
Basically, it’s just lots and lots of chemistry between these two as they try to be together despite their student-teacher relationship. With Russell and Abby, it’s more of a friends become more type of relationship. Except Russell has always wanted to be with her, he just didn’t think he was good enough. For Abby, her life has been filled with so many other responsibilities that she never truly stopped and considered Russell being more than her best friends. Then something happens that forces her to open their eyes and suddenly there are all sorts of possibilities between them. I like their romance but the book itself delved into a bit too much drama and obvious miscommunications. It was okay but I had to rank the books from favorite to least it would be: Chase Me, Need Me and then Make Me.

[Publisher: Mira | Pub. Date: 1/1/2012 | Genre: Erotica]
Kelly bought this book for me and told me I had to read it, so who am I to argue? I did wait a while though (Sorry Kel!) but when I did finally read it, I wish I had sooner! It wasn’t what I expected at all. I mean when you know the book is about an erotica author named Nora Sutherland who obviously dabbles in what she writes about (that’s putting it mildly). I kind of expect the book to be one big smutty session with Zachary Easton, her new British editor who is demanding and ruthlessly edits her latest work. And it’s not! At least, not completely. It’s smartly written and candidly talks about the S&M lifestyle. I also enjoyed how the author provided different views on it. You have one character who’s obviously into it, one who’s strongly against it and the few who are somewhere in the between (curious to read about it but not experience or vice-versa). And there’s “love” of all kinds and none are clear-cut black and white. It was still a steamy book but a lot more thought-provoking that I anticipated and way more about the complicated feelings of each person involved. I felt very much invested in Nora’s story by the end and immediately bought the second book after finishing. I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes next and I hope to learn more about Nora’s past!

[Publisher: Metal Blonde Books | Pub. Date: 9/13/2015 | Genre: Romantic Suspense]
Dirty Promises is the final book in the Dirty Angels trilogy. We come back to Javier and Luisa’s story and they’re not the couple we last saw. We started to see a crack in their relationship during our fleeting glimpse of them in Dirty Deeds but it’s Alana’s death that truly sends Javier over the edge. He may be the king of the Mexican drug trade, but family has been his price over and over again. Alana is the final straw and as a result, he begins turning away from Luisa, who then turns to Esteban (Javier’s right-hand man) and everything just gets totally f-ed up. I have to say that despite a few stand out moments, this book was the weakest in the trilogy. The book shined when it was about Javier and Luisa fighting, making amends, loving one another and fighting those who opposed them. But they spend a good portion of the book at odds and separate from one another. And it was those moments I sometimes had trouble wrapping my mind around. I’m used to the darkness in this series but this felt gratuitous and unnecessary, like the author was obviously going for the shock factor. It surprised me because I’ve never felt her writing was heavy-handed before. The book and series overall did end on a good note but I wish it had gotten there differently.

[Publisher: Avon | Pub. Date: 9/29/2015 | Genre: NA]
I can’t believe I’m saying this but while Cam and Avery will always be my #1 couple in this series, Steph and Nick are my #2. Steph has been this character in the periphery since the beginning. Usually as that girl who initially hooked up with the first two guys in the series and often jealously looked upon for being gorgeous and a flirt. We finally get her story, along with Nick’s (who was introduced in the previous book as a friend of Roxy’s) and man, is it a good one. JLA uses Steph as a way to voice her opinions on the double standard against women who are in charge of their sexuality and the important of positive female friendships. Even though it’s obvious, it was well-received by me. Sometimes you just do have to put it out there and I’m glad she did. Because it also gave us insight into Steph, who she is, what her dreams are and what led her to where she is. When she meets Nick, he’s the guy version of her in a lot of ways. Totally hot and not looking for a relationship. They experience a huge case of insta-lust but neither expect it to go further than a one night stand, despite their chemistry. Then something happens which brings them closer together. They get to know one another and soon, their feelings become very, very real. (Although let’s face it, it was real from day one even if they didn’t know it yet!). The things they experience as a tentative couple get pretty heavy and raw and that’s probably what surprised me most of all. The book was sexy, serious and just real. I have no idea which couple she'll feature next in this series, but I hope there's more to come!

Did you read and enjoy these books as much as I did?
Or do you have any NA or romance recs for me? 
Let me know in the comments!

1 comment

  1. I haven't read any of the Tessa Bailey books, but now I want to! I'm particularly looking forward to Need Me, mostly because you said this: "he’s a young English professor prone to wearing tweed". SOLD.


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