Review: The Enlightenment of Daniel (Sex in Seattle, #2) by Eli Easton

Sex in Seattle: Book Two

Business tycoon Daniel Derenzo lives for his work until his dying father reminds him life is short. When Daniel starts to reevaluate his world he experiences a startling revelation—he’s attracted to his business partner and best friend, Nick, even though Daniel always believed himself to be straight. In typical type-A fashion, Daniel dissects his newfound desires with the help of the experts at the Expanded Horizons sex clinic. He goes after Nick with the fierce determination that’s won him many a business deal.

Nick Ross was in love with Daniel years ago, when they were roommates in college. But Daniel was straight and Nick patched his broken heart by marrying Marcia. Two kids and fourteen years later, they go through the motions of their marriage like ships passing in the night. But Nick’s kids mean the world to him, and he’s afraid he’ll never get joint custody if they divorced. If he can trust his heart to an awakening Daniel, they all might find their way to a happily ever after.

So the author of the month here at BMBR is the wonderful Eli Easton. Once upon a time a, nay,  the Stallion pointed me in the direction of Superhero, two pages in and I was hooked. Blame it on the Mistletoe came *fans self*, I mean have you read it, that stuff is HOT. So not only could she do YA brilliantly, she did NA (that's the right term for college student type books isn't it, New Adult?) brilliantly.....but how would I feel about her adult books, would I feel the mojo had been lost? The answer is a resounding NO. So I went on an Eli Easton book buying spree and today I'm here to tell you about The Enlightenment of Tony, Sex in Seattle book 2, (see SRAL's review of book 1 here).

Two hot business tycoons falling in love, what's not to like? It covers many of my favourite themes, friends to lovers, GFY, oh yes and it did all in Eli's inimitable fashion. Nick was in love with Daniel years ago but his super-straight BFF was way off limits, so he does what he thought was right and married Marcia. 14 years on and Daniel has his revelation - Nick is HOT. Nick is waaaaay hot and, by gum, he wants to fuck him. Now though there are two children involved.

I liked how this book explores marriage, separation and the needs of children in divorce proceedings. Is it the ideal situation? - no, ideally Nick and Daniel would have got together in college and had their HEA....but then Nick's children wouldn't exist and that is something he could never regret. No loving parent would ever wish that their children didn't exist so their lives could carry on conveniently. His children are the most important thing in the world to Nick and I really believed this.

Eli writes this well, sometimes Marcia is painted as the horrible ex-wife, and her mother, OMG talk about interfering, but generally I loved it.The romance, as ever in anything by Eli Easton, is super hot. SUPER HOT.

If you've read the first book we meet Jack, Tony and Michael again - but you certainly don't have to have read book 1 to read this, it works perfectly well as a stand alone.

All in all I would highly recommend this book (and to be frank, all her others).

Review: Sixty Five Hours by N.R. Walker

Cameron Fletcher and Lucas Hensley are advertising executives who have Sixty Five Hours to pull together the campaign of their careers.

Sixty Five Hours to get along. Sixty Five Hours to not kill each other. Sixty Five Hours to fall in love.

Sixty five hours. That's how long I wish I could have been reading about Cameron and Lucas. They were just that good together.

This had everything I love. It was sweet, sexy and the perfect amount of snark. 
"'How did I ever get so lucky?' he wondered out loud.
'Don't you remember?' I teased him. 'Six months ago you made me spend the weekend - and you showed me your feet.'"
And their weekend together was glorious to be a part of. Just wonderful! Cameron and Lucas complemented each other so well. There was so much chemistry between them and then they had their 'moments'. Oh, their moments. *swoony sigh*

I especially liked how Lucas never pushed Cameron to come out or for more than he could give. He was loving and understanding and just perfect. He gave Lucas the time he needed, which then made Cameron swoon just a little. And me, too.

And the socks! Oh, the socks.
"'Gay socks?'
He laughed. 'The socks aren't gay.'
I begged to differ. 'Well, they're not fucking straight.'"
I loved how they added a bit of quirkiness to Cameron's serious and confident exterior. They made him that much more likeable, if it were possible for me to like these characters any more than I already did.

There were so many little things that added to my enjoyment of this book. Not to mention the chapter titles, this one being my favorite: "I am... a complete fucking emotional sap. And I am... okay with that." <- this meant I was getting some emotional feels and I LOVE THAT! I got snarky and sweet the whole way through, and then Sixty Five Hours turned around and made me cry. Just perfection.
"'Well, crazy socks and foot fetishes... There was never a doubt. It was always going to be a perfect match.'
'Never a doubt.'"
D'aaaaaaawwwwwwwww!! *sappy grin*

Review: The Trouble with Tony (Sex in Seattle, #1) by Eli Easton

As part of the investigation into the murder of a young woman, Seattle P.I. Tony DeMarco poses as a patient of Dr. Jack Halloran, the therapist who treated the victim at a Seattle sex clinic. This isn’t the first time Tony has gone undercover, but it’s the first time he’s wanted to go under cover with one of his suspects. He can’t help it—Jack Halloran is just the kind of steely-eyed hero Tony goes for. But he’ll have to prove Halloran’s innocence and keep the doctor from finding out about his ruse before he can play Romeo.

Dr. Halloran has his own issues, including a damaged right arm sustained in the line of duty as a combat surgeon in Iraq and the PTSD that followed. He’s confused to find himself attracted to a new patient, the big, funny Italian with the puppy-dog eyes, and Tony’s humor slips right past Jack’s defenses, making him feel things he thought long buried. But can the doctor and the P.I. find a path to romance despite the secrets between them?

"But...if two people who are right for each other can meet in a bar, why can't they meet in a doctor's office?"
Really, why can't they? Especially if they have a good connection like the two main characters did in Eli Easton's "The Trouble with Tony", the first book in the Sex in Seattle series. I know I'm sure I'd get a lot of ethics arguments but just give this book a try and see why I agree with the quote. Eli Easton delivers a sexy, funny novella about sex. I should say a sex clinic. And what I am learning with this author, she gives excellent dialogue. My third book that I've read from this author and another slam dunk.

Tony is an ex-cop turned private investigator. He's a Brooklyn implant with an Italian Catholic background. He has yet to come out to his family so the thousand miles between his tight knit family helps. He's investigating a  murder and has to pretend to be a patient for a sex clinic in Seattle. But the thing is, he actually does suffer from an ailment. According to Tony, he has "picky dick".

Before you start trying to figure out if you have that, it's a pretty simple diagnosis. Not telling you what it'll have to read to find out. But just note it's hilarious reading Tony's near panic attack discussing his 'ailment' to the other main character, while being attracted to him and pretending to be a patient but he sorta, kinda is.

And Dr. Jack Halloran...yum, yum, yum! Blonde, a wounded ex-solider who is not super tall but don't let his height fool you. He can kick ass. He's battling PTSD while trying not to be depressed about not being able to practice surgery. His job as a sex therapist seems to be going well for him until he meets Tony, whom he thinks is a patient. 

These two struggle to deny the heat between them but it's there. Oh, it's there.
"What's that I smell? Oh yum. Sexual tension." He winked, licked his finger, and planted it in the air with a sizzle sound. 
Michael, the saucy sex surrogate at the clinic, nailed it with that line. (I think I am going to like Michael's book coming out later on this year) The sexual tension is everything, it outshines the murder mystery, in my opinion because I devoured the words waiting for these two to finally succumb to their desires. And when they finally do...explosive. 

Hint: a memorable hand job. ;D

The clinic and how it is run is pretty interesting. I definitely will be reading the rest of this series because I find the profession or sex surrogacy intriguing and sex therapy as well. Tony has one cloying mother...she asks about his BM at one point. Oh man, she has a tight grip on her son. But it's out of love so it didn't annoy me. But I can see where Tony gets his hangups about sex.

"Sad, isn't it? I've already ordered the tombstone for my penis at Everlasting Hills," Tony agreed morosely.
"What about masturbation?"
Tony groaned. "Doc! You're killing me. Can you call it something else? Like 'tenderizing the steak'? I'd feel better."
And Tony has other euphemisms for sexual acts. It's quite hilarious reading that Catholic boy squirm and sweat when talking about sex.

The story progressed at nice pace, it's closer to novella in length. I liked Jack a lot, he was a cool customer struggling to deny how he felt for Tony. I do love a good struggle. Makes the coupling hotter, in my opinion. There was a little medical was light. It's my first brush with this particular kink in a book (what I can remember) but it was tame comparing to some of the other examples I've heard, sources. All in all, the sex was vanilla. And it ends with a HEA. Loved the epilogue.

Recommended? Oh yes!

I already have book #2 waiting on my e-reader.

Review: Clockwork Tangerine by Rhys Ford

The British Empire reigns supreme, and its young Queen Victoria has expanded her realm to St. Francisco, a bustling city of English lords and Chinese ghettos. St. Francisco is a jewel in the Empire’s crown and as deeply embroiled in the conflict between the Arcane and Science as its sister city, London—a very dark and dangerous battle.

Marcus Stenhill, Viscount of Westwood, stumbles upon that darkness when he encounters a pack of young bloods beating a man senseless. Westwood’s duty and honor demand he save the man, but he’s taken aback to discover the man is Robin Harris, a handsome young inventor indirectly responsible for the death of Marcus’s father.

Living in the shadows following a failed coup, Robin devotes his life to easing others’ pain, even though his creations are considered mechanical abominations of magicks and science. Branded a deviant and a murderer, Robin expects the viscount to run as far as he can—and is amazed when Marcus reaches for him instead.

I’m a super picky pain in the ass when it comes to fantasy, sci-fi and steampunk. Not because I know much, but because I know what I need to make these genres completely work for me. And when I find the flavor of these genres I love, I want more, more, more! Then, after that, I want some more.

I just finished Clockwork Tangerine and damn I want some more. This was the flavor I love. I love when a story doesn’t take itself too seriously but isn’t patronizing either. I want one MC who’s big, strong, brave, powerful and still the biggest softie when it comes to the one he loves. I want my other MC to be brilliant, eccentric, damaged and loyal to a fault. I want the setting to be proper on the surface with all the niceties of a Victorian parlor but with rust around the edges and an underlying sense of decay and danger. I want villains with no redeeming qualities and evil intentions. I want the language to be full of visceral words, ones that, even if I’m not completely sure of their meaning, I can feel their definition in the phrasing. I want my secondary characters to be full of dry wit and have unexpectedly understanding natures. And mostly, I want smark* and true love. Clockwork Tangerine has ALL of that and I loved it.

Set in an alternate reality of San Francisco, Marcus Stenhill, the Viscount of Westwood is traveling through the dangerous are of the Little Orient after running out to fetch his grandmother’s favorite tea when he comes upon a group of thugs beating on a man who is already down on the ground. Marcus remembers what his deceased father always taught him, “A man with power protects and serves those lesser than he is. It is only the weak who use their power to do harm.” Little does he know at the time, the man he rescues is Robin Harris, The Toymaker, the inventor of the device that killed his father. There is so much more to Robin and his history and Marcus is intrigued by the man and how he went from being the golden boy of The Society to a marked prisoner at New Bedlam, to an outcast of society. Robin’s story is heartbreaking, damn, the shite he endured as the scapegoat of The Society was brutal.

As Marcus nurses Robin back to health, the best description I can think of for their blossoming friendship is a slow and sweet courtship. I loved reading of the little things they did together and it made me melty. My only gripe, and it’s both a big and little one is I wanted more. As I said earlier, this story made me want more. I wanted ALL the details and background. I wanted to read about young Robin and how The Society took advantage of his youth and brilliance. I wanted to read about Marcus and his family. I wanted Robin’s time in New Bedlam and I wanted more of Robin’s redemption. So, those are lots of big things that I want, but it’s not like I didn’t get a full story without them. I’m just greedy and when I get a taste of something I like, I want MORE. The sexy times were extra sexy and the tension between these guys was palpable, making the payoff that much sweeter.

A highly recommended fun and sexy read.

*smark = snark + smut

Sunday Funday!!

All of us at some point have ended up on the far ends of Amazon, only to look up, scratch our heads, and think "WTF is that??"

I recently had such an experience with the Wake-Up Vibe.

It is...exactly what it sounds like.

An alarm clock.

That wakes you up.

By vibrating against your junk.

The Wake-Up Vibe is available on Amazon now!

Other crazy finds in the Amazon-WTF category are...

55 Gallon Barrel of Passion Natural Water-Based Lubricant (even better than buying it at Costco!)

Weener Kleener Soap (making sure you get extra clean in every nook and cranny!)

Stress *ahem* Balls (because it's always better if you can grab 'em by the balls!)

And, finally, the saddest find yet... Unicorn Meat (we mourn for you, lost unicornian brother or sister!)

I know I'm not the only one who's run into some oddball finds on Amazon, so if you have any of your own, now's the time to let your freak flag fly! :)

Review: The Bitter Rednesses of Love by Dominique Frost

Anthony Clark, degenerate genius and impoverished nobleman, finds himself wedded to the painfully proper young aristocrat, Stephen Ayers. They've been pledged since before Stephen's birth.

Will their marriage prove intolerable to them both, or will they find a happy equilibrium, instead? As Anthony teaches Stephen the pleasures of the body, will Stephen be able to teach Anthony the pleasures of the heart?

I am fan of Dominique Frost. She hasn't written many books but from what I've read (all but one),  there's something about her writing that just works for me. Her characters are never dull or read one-dimensional. And when the snark is on, oh baby, is it on. In "The Bitter Rednesses of Love", the author uses a few of my favorite historical romance themes and did a swell job with them. What themes you may ask? The degenerate rakehell falling in love with a virgin (who is no wilting flower) and arranged marriage, having to marry for money. The story is steampunk but not heavy with any steampunk references, it read more like a historical...closer to Victorian England. It's like a marriage of both where it is normal for same sex marriages to take place. For full enjoyment, just take a spot of:

Thirty-six year old, poor scientist and rake, Anthony was betrothed to marry twenty-one year old, virginal solider, Stephen. Anthony was arranged to marry Stephen before Stephen was born. The silver tongued hero has sex with married people (he likes to sleep with wives and husbands for fun), he doesn't get married. But he needs money for his creations, so he can just marry the virgin, pluck his cherry and carry on with his philandering ways right? Maybe bring the virgin along for some fun.

He he he...luckily his plans never come to fruition, no matter how hard Anthony tries to remain a rake.

"It was mad. It was inconceivable. Anthony began to detect in himself the symptoms of a disease he had sworn never to acquire--lovesickness--and thus berated himself for a clodpoll to so fall into the gilded trap."

Oh boy, his downfall into love was fun. I just wished there was more. I could have easily read hundreds of more pages about Anthony and Stephen. Anthony was charismatic as was Stephen. Stephen was not a fainting virgin, he gave as good as he got. (Though sometimes he could be a bit too stubborn) I zipped through this story and ate it up.


The dialogue was sexy.

"Today, I shall have you as you are meant to be had. Tomorrow, you can expect more patience from me."

But the characters when they were together...even sexier:

Anthony took one of Stephen's hands and placed it on his own chest, above his racing heart. "Feel the beat of it," Anthony said, "the beat and the roar. I am no less disarmed than you." He glanced downward at Stephen's hardness, mirroring his own, and smiled. "Though we may seem well-armed indeed, with lances of our own..."

The plot was a fun one. I loved the struggle between the two and the ending especially. There were minor issues with transitioning - not a lot hence my rating of 4.5 hearts. But definitely an engaging read, with delicious main characters, great banter, and memorable secondary characters. I really enjoyed the valets.

I think this was the best the author has published to date.