Review: Friends with Partial/Full Benefits by Luke Young

Reviewed by Cara Lynn

There are now 6 books in this series. I received the first 2 for free at different times when they were offered free for Kindle. (Book 1 is permanently free.)

This is not my usual genre as they are erotica, but to me they were laugh out loud funny, with silly situations, some were unreal (still funny.) And some scenes seemed like parodies. (He actually has written a parody Chocolate Covered Billionaire Navy SEAL: A Parody whose title itself is funny. That one only has 3 stars.)

I suspect the later books may be more explicit. Some call it porn; others erotica. There really isn’t gratuitous sex, but there is a lot, and there is a lot of love between characters.

Here’s the cast:
Jillian, famous wealthy romance author, caught her husband cheating, now divorced; tennis player; hilarious book excerpts as she morphs her ex into scenes and has to rewrite them. She loves her son and he loves her.
Victoria, her long-time girlfriend, widowed, always on the prowl, with her reason(s).
Both have good bodies — better than good.

Rob, Jillian’s son in college, who doesn’t like tennis at all.
Brian, his friend, who really loves tennis.

The first book has a surprise at the end (a good one.)

full-benefits-400In the second book we meet Brian’s awful parents and his younger brother Jim. It’s a wonder either of them turned out good.

And there is a surprise at the end of the second book (also good.)

Here’s the disclaimer on Amazon for the second book:

NOTE: Recommended for readers 18+. This book contains explicit language, sexual content, slightly inappropriate humor and is recommended for mature audiences who like that sort of thing. This book is also a less explicit version of Ian Dalton’s novel Secret Thoughts. For more information, please see Luke Young’s Amazon author page.)

Jillian and Brian fall in love.

Jim falls for a college girl, sorta, who sorta falls for him.

Jim and Victoria fall in love, sorta.

Rob…

I really enjoyed the characters and would like to know what happens next. I give the books 4 star. Nothing is off limits to talk about. There is some anal sex, which doesn’t appeal to me. But it is funny … ah well…

Friends with Partial Benefits [Rating:4]
Friends with Full Benefits [Rating:4]

Buy: Friends With Partial Benefits (Friends With Benefits Book 1), Friends With Full Benefits (Friends With Benefits Book 2)

Top 10 Misconceptions about Heaven, Hell, and Everything in Between (at least in the world where my story takes place)

Point of no Return 200x300Guest blog by Torie James, author of Point of No Return

  1. The Archangel Michael doesn’t hold a flaming sword. He’s not allowed to use sharp objects on fire after an unfortunate incident involving the Ominomicon, a sleek white bird with huge eyes and a whistling song. What? You’ve never heard of the Ominomicon? Well, now you know why.
  2. The Three Wise Men were notorious grifters who rolled a few drunk townsfolk and stole the gifts they gave to the wee baby J. Their real names were Big Tom, Shunk and Norm.
  3. The first Dine and Dash took place at the Last Supper.
  4. After Abraham came down from Mount Moriah, relations between he and his son, Isaac, cooled entirely. Apparently, Isaac had no sense of humor and wasn’t thrilled with being Punk’d.
  5. Lucifer never “fell” from Heaven. He was pushed.
  6. The Universal Flood was more akin to a Tropical Storm but Noah liked to exaggerate.
  7. There were actually 11 plagues, not 10. The 11th one has currently re-emerged. They’re called Pop Ups.
  8. Moses, like a typical man, got lost leading his people and refused to ask for directions. That’s why it took them 40 years to get to where they were going.
  9. The Twelve Apostles were really just a prototype for the numerous Boy Bands we have these days.
  10. Not only was Adam the “first man” created, he was also the “first man” to sleep in the doghouse after he threw Eve under the bus for that nasty apple business.

I’ve had a massive blast hanging out here today and thanks to LRP for having me! So, talk to me, Dear Readers. Who do you think played a better God? George Burns or Morgan Freeman? Or are you quirky like me and think Alannis Morrisette rocked the robe in Dogma? Phone lines are open!

Blurb

Full of seething, sensual shadows and hidden faces, the annual Masquerade Ball at Lymbo Resort is one event anyone would sell their soul for.

One night a year, impiety and temptation take center court at the invitation only event hosted by the mysterious Avan Noxturna. Decadent darkness, burning lust, and wicked intentions hide behind innocent masks in the most innocuous places.

The fires of hell may blaze hot, but the flames of passion consume common sense when obsessive memories escape to ignite an inferno of intimate bliss that will sear both saint and sinner.

Excerpt

She enjoyed being a highly sexual female who felt no shame in shagging a man for recreational purposes. Guys did it all the time and they were called studs. A woman with the same goal? Slut. Luckily, she didn’t much care what anyone thought. She had no desire to settle into a bullshit relationship where she lost her identity. Her mother had schooled her. She was an island and it suited her fine when the occasional ship came into port, docking on a temporary pass. A lustful interlude with a masked stranger on Halloween? Cliché. And tempting. She did have a few extra minutes.

Then he filled her vision and she grew damp under the heated gaze.

One. Quick. Fuck.

Medicinal purposes only.

He opened his mouth to speak and she shook her head. “Shh. Don’t talk. You’ll ruin it.”

Torie James author picAuthor Bio:

Torie James has loved reading since she was old enough to hold a book in her lap. While her friends were out playing, she was generally curled up nearby falling down rabbit holes, catching second stars to the right, and stepping through wardrobes into mysterious lands and countless adventures. When those stories ended, she made up her own and kept going.

Find Torie James on Amazon

Where you can you find Torie:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WriterGurl216

Blog/Website: http://torienjames.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Writergurl216

Get into Bed with Molly Harper (Author Interview 2)

molly harper snow falling bluegrassKeira: If Kelsey, the heroine of Snow Falling on Bluegrass were to recommend her top five places in Kentucky – where would she tell us to go?

Molly Harper:

  • Moonlight Barbecue in Owensboro, Ky. – a Kentucky tradition. Get the pulled pork shoulder.
  • Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville
  • The Kentucky State Fair
  • Tater Day in Benton, Ky. – A local festival that has to be experienced to be believed
  • Vent Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell, Ky. – The only museum in the world solely dedicated to the ventriloquist arts.

Keira: I love secluded romances where a set of circumstances (such as a snow storm) cause the main characters to be isolated together away from the “real world.” What is your favorite aspect of secluded/isolated romances?

Molly: The improvisation.  I love that they cook frozen pizza on a gas grill and make romantic pillow forts. It was like writing a “desert island” romance because any random item can become a solution to any problem.  My only regret is that I didn’t get to build a fictional Swiss Family Robinson house. It’s considerably sexier than my own ice storm experience, when the only time I saw my husband was when he stumbled in from twelve-hour emergency police shifts to sleep for a few hours and then get back out for another shift.

Keira: Snow Falling on Bluegrass also features a love triangle. What are the three best aspects of Luke and Charlie (in their opinion and/or Kelsey’s opinion)?

Molly: Well, there’s insane hotness on both of their parts, which is always a plus. Kelsey enjoys Charlie’s quiet genius and the fact that he has a snarky center she is trying to help him cultivate.  They share the same sense of humor and enthusiasm for their work. They were friends first and slowly fell for each other.

But while Charlie is shy and reluctant to tell Kelsey how he feels, Luke is very upfront about his appreciation for Kelsey.  Not only does he enjoy her subversive personality, but he very openly admires her looks, something that Kelsey is a little insecure about, after getting out of a relationship with a guy who made her self-conscious about them. She appreciates that he’s straight-forward with her.  He doesn’t make her guess.

Keira: What’s the best part of writing a love triangle and what’s one of the pitfalls?

Molly: It’s fun to write not one, but two, romantic connections. The drawback is writing the characters to be equally good matches for the hero/ine, without obviously leaning toward one or the other.

Keira: As a former humor columnist, do you find humor to be easy to write or is it one of those things that’s difficult to always get right?

Molly: For me, humor has always come effortlessly. It comes a lot easier than plotting, characterization, etc.  In some cases, it happens unintentionally and I have to go back and remove it because it’s inappropriate.

OK, that happens a lot.

Keira: What’s next for you in life and/or books?

Molly: I’m writing five more Half-Moon Hollow spin-offs.  My Christmas novella, I’m Dreaming of an Undead Christmas will be released in November.  And I will have some interesting news to announce in the next few weeks!

Book Blurb:

Kentucky Tourism Commission employee and executive assistant extraordinaire Kelsey is known around the office for having everything under control. So it’s not surprising that she and her boss, Sadie, have everything planned to the second for the office winter retreat. But there are things even Kelsey can’t micromanage.

An unprecedented snowstorm smothers half of Kentucky and knocks out the power, closes the roads, and generally shuts down the state. Luckily, the lodge has working fireplaces and enough food to keep the staff from turning on each other like something out of The Shining. Kelsey wouldn’t mind being stuck inside if it wasn’t for the tension with her not-so-secret crush, Charlie, the office’s statistician. But handsome Ranger Luke, the lodge’s only employee on hand, is there to take Kelsey’s mind off her discomfort.

Even though this weekend is supposed to be a planning session for KTC, Kelsey can’t help her mind from wandering and finds herself conflicted over Luke and Charlie. Someone’s love will keep her warm, but whose will it be?

Buy: Snow Falling on Bluegrass

Giveaway: Two readers will get a digital copy of Snow Falling on Bluegrass by Molly Harper. Leave a comment to enter! Last chance to enter is 9/28/2014.

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Where is the Love? How Writers are Forced to Cheat

Glorious-Sunset-front-final[1]I’m Ava Bleu, author of contemporary and edgy inspirational romance, and I just want to know why things have to be so hard for writers?

If you are a lover of romance novels you have probably heard more than one author explain that they still have their day job because it is terribly hard to earn a living income as a romance novelist.  And the fact remains that writers write because they must.  Day job or not, a writer is compelled to write. Alcoholics have their wine.  Food addicts have cake.  Writers have writing.  Okay, some of us also have wine and cake too, but that’s beside the point!

Writers need to live — pay mortgages, put our kids through puppy kindergarten, get our hair done — and these things cost money so we must work second jobs.  Yes, the nine-to-five is the second job despite the fact that it is usually the only job bringing an income.  The nine-to-five is not the job we love; it is the one that makes the job we love possible.

It’s much easier to understand when I put it in my own, personal romance novel terms:  My nine-to-five is the husband I have fallen out of love with but must stay with because of the needs of the children (and by children I mean food, shelter, puppy kindergarten, and those hair appointments).  The writing?  Clearly, Lady Bleu’s scandalous lover.  He’s gorgeous, he’s addictive, he’s a delicious, devilish rake. Sometimes he’s bad but he’s always good, if you know what I mean ;-).

I’m no harlot. I want to love my husband, but he doesn’t have my heart. The best possible solution would be if my scandalous lover could afford to keep me in the lifestyle to which I’ve become accustomed. Instead of buying him dinner and sustenance (paper, toner cartridges, time), maybe he could afford to feed me for a change.  Instead of paying to dress him up all pretty with a website and postcards and a fancy new logo, maybe he could afford to get me something nice like an electric stapler or a tank of gas or, I don’t know … a shiny new savings account.  An actual real vacation would look fabulous on me and would go a long way towards keeping my respect.  I mean, you’d think he’d get tired of being a “kept” career and have the dignity to contribute a little more.  Just sayin’…

But who am I kidding?  Despite all he costs me, I would pay anything to keep writing.  The joy it brings is priceless.  So I will bite my tongue and pretend to love my day job for as long as it takes.  And someday – one glorious day – my lover will find his financial legs and we will sail off into the great beyond leaving only a dear John resignation letter to end the nine-to-five commitment I once held so dear.

Yes, it seems cold.  Yes, it’s reckless and scandalous and wicked.  But let’s face it … the heart wants what it wants.

And when it’s all said and done, doesn’t everyone want just a little wicked?

~~

Ava Bleu lives and loves in the Midwest, countering bitter winters with smooth jazz and tasty edibles. She can be found in bookstores and the public library camped next to the cookbooks and/or on the town keeping an eye out for hero-material.

Website: http://www.avableu.com/subscribe/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ava.bleu

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AvaBleu1

Ava’s latest novel, Glorious Sunset (Blurb):

African King Taka Olufemi has traveled over four hundred years to find the woman who holds the soul of his murdered queen and he’s a little cranky.  With a ruby brooch as his vessel, the former king is forced to grant wishes to ungrateful mortals hoping to one day find, and win, the heart of his lost love.

But it will take more than good looks, superior intelligence and an impressive pedigree to earn the love of Violet Jackson.  The ambitious interior designer doesn’t remember Taka or their history.  Love—with its inevitable heartbreak chaser—has no place in Violet’s immediate life plan.  All the handsome “genie” can do for her is pony up on the three wishes he’s promised and try not to be a pain while he’s at it.

While the arrogant king is praying for his submissive queen and the faithless object of his affection isn’t praying at all, guardian angel, Aniweto, is praying for them both.  With Ani’s help, Taka and Violet’s epic love will be rekindled and this royal couple-behaving-badly will finally earn their happily-ever-after through the grace of the Almighty.

Buy: Glorious Sunset (Urban Books)

Audio Review: The Unexpected Duchess (Playful Brides, Book 1) by Valerie Bowman

unexpected duchessHero: Newly appointed by the crown, Lord Derek Hunt, the Duke of Claringdon, made a promise to his friend Julian, who is dying. His moniker among the ton is the Duke of Decisive for he makes quick decisions and sticks to them – winning many battles and honors because of it, including his dukedom. He will wed Lady Cassandra because it not in his nature to be indecisive or to change his mind. But a kink quickly appears in his plan when a friend of the lady in question insists Cassandra is not interested.

Heroine: Lady Lucy Upton will not let her dear friend be coerced into a courtship with the dashing duke. Cassandra is in love with another and waits for his return from the war. If the duke and Cassandra’s mother had their way, Cass would be wed before the fortnight was out. When Cass asks for help, Lucy does what she does best – interfere and deliver cutting set-downs. But it doesn’t scare Claringdon off. Instead he comes back for more again and again and Lucy’s traitorous heart hopes it’s because of her and not Cass.

Review: One of my favorite scenes is the verbal wit challenge between Derek and Lucy. He asks her to dance and she says “no.” He must then come up with 20 cleverer ways to turn a gentleman down for a dance. I won’t share my particular favorites, because they’re just too good to give away. I also enjoyed Derek wooing Lucy by writing letters to her appearing to be from another suitor. She sees the differences between the letters and the person and can’t quite make them fit, but doesn’t suspect Derek is writing to her.  The friendship between the ladies is strong, which is nice to see. The story itself is silly and very humorous. I would only change the timing of Derek’s change of heart and the start of his pursuit of Lucy sooner. For somebody decisive, he was too hesitant to break a promise that needed breaking.

Narrator: Alison Larkin could deliver on Lady Lucy Upton. She brought much life to the heroine and brought out her personality and wit. She delivered Lucy’s set-downs with a flourish!

[Rating:3.5]

Buy: The Unexpected Duchess, The Unexpected Duchess (Audiobook)

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