I’m convinced Valentine’s Day was invented by Hallmark and subsidized by Godiva. It’s a little ridiculous, don’t you think, that we need a whole day out of the year to remind us we’re supposed to tell our loved ones that we, well, love them?
That’s not going to stop me from recommending some books. Oh, no. Can’t do that 🙂
First up is Kristen Ashley’s Motorcycle Man. Tyra’s convinced after one night in Tack’s bed she’s met her perfect man. But that’s before she walks into work the next morning and sees him engaged in some tonsil hockey with someone else. Tack doesn’t sleep with his employees, so he tries to fire her. She refuses to leave. It takes a while, but Tack manages to get himself back into Tyra’s bed, and the things they do in it are all in the name of sweaty, filthy fun. Tack’s an ass, Tyra lets him know it (many, many times) and part of the fun is watching how many times Tyra will walk away before Tack changes his tune.
Don’t want to start off with something quite so epic? Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye is hand-waving in front of the face hot. McKenna and Cade get stuck in an elevator. As the minutes pass in the darkness, their game of Twenty Questions takes on a lustier edge. This novella made me want to get trapped in an elevator with a hot paramedic, and fuuuuck, is Cade hot. Tats, piercings, and muscles all give this sweet man a hard edge that would chase a lot of women away, but not McKenna.
Or maybe you’d like to play with ropes and floggers? BDSM is popular in erotic romance, but I rarely enjoy reading about it. Not the case with Delphine Dryden’s When in Rio. Katie’s had a thing for her boss Jack for a while. A business trip to Rio gives her the perfect chance to act on it – if she dares. She doesn’t. Jack does. Their affair is blisteringly hot and seems destined to be short-lived when Jack’s ex enters the picture. Katie might be submissive, but she’s got a sassy mouth on her, and she’s definitely one of my favorite Dryden heroines.
You can’t have Valentine’s Day smutty fun without a menage, and there are so many to choose from. I love Em Petrova’s Country Fever series, and the first book, Hard Ridin’, is one of my favorite menage stories, hands down. Laurel fell hard for Holden, and when he left her behind to go work in Alaska, it took her a while to put herself back together and move on. But she did – with the man who turns out to be Holden’s best friend, Jens. Holden comes back to find Laurel in Jens’ arms, and he’s furious. Jens, rather than make Laurel choose between them, comes up with a solution: share her. Holden gets her during the day, Jens gets her at night. Lines get blurred and crossed quickly, though, and Laurel finds herself sandwiched between Holden and Jens, and it just feels…right. Okay. Hot cowboys. HOT. COWBOYS. I do not need to elaborate further, do I?
Charlotte Stein earned a place on my must-read list with Addicted. Kit’s written an erotic romance, only the erotic scenes are anything but erotic. She can’t help it; she doesn’t have much experience to draw from. She ends up at a support group meeting for sex addicts and meets Dillon, who offers to tell her stories so she can expand her repertoire. He doesn’t just want to tell her stories, though: he wants to show her. Talk about blurred lines: is Dillon really an addict? Or is Kit, and Dillon her drug of choice? This was the first Stein novel I read, and the tangents Kit goes on are filthy and perfect.
I’ve read Liberating Lacey by Anne Calhoun three times since I bought it last fall. Three. Times. Recently divorced Lacey thinks she’s just getting a one night stand, something she’s never done before, when she hooks up with Hunter. Hunter thinks he’s just showing Lacey the ropes of casual sex. There is nothing casual about Lacey and Hunter’s relationship. Lacey is greedy for sensation after escaping a marriage where sex happened maybe once a week, and always in the same position. This book plays on a couple of tropes: older woman and a younger man and class differences (she’s got Money, he’s a working-class cop) but the age difference doesn’t feel like a big factor to either of them. If you needed an example of a book that illustrates the definition of erotic romance (the relationship evolving through sex, rather than emotion) this book is it. The growth both characters go through, particularly Hunter, is incredible, and getting to see them play out their fantasies? HAWT.
Happy Valentine’s Day, my lovelies, and I make no apologies for the hit your wallet will be taking.