July Recommendations by Slick Reads of Guilty Pleasures

It’s so hard to believe that July is upon us and that 2014 is half over, how the hell did that happen?  I’ve had a busy 1/2 year that’s included three book conventions, a lot of travel, and of course reading.  As of today I’ve read 187 books this year and that doesn’t include re-reads and I re-read a couple of really long series this year.  Next to spending time with my husband, reading is my favorite past time and I’m never far from one of my Kindles.  So how about I give you a look at some of my favorites from last month and a peek or two at some books coming out this month?

CowboyTakeMeAway200Cowboy Take Me Away by Lorelei James

This book marks the end of a wildly popular and favorite series of many contemporary readers.  For me, this series is one I hold all other series up to because it’s just that good.  I’ll admit when I first heard she was ending the series I was devastated, but knowing for two years helped me get use to the idea, understand the reasoning, and make peace with it.  Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to such an epic series.  This book is the love story of Carson and Carolyn McKay and it spans 60 years.  We got to see everything from the time they first met, through raising their children, and well into their golden years and it was spectacular.  We learned a lot about this family in this book; we saw many trials and tribulations and we learned that as hard as this couple struggled over the years many times that together they were able to face what the world threw at them head on and with great strength.  I’ll admit I stayed up and read this one through the night cover to cover and even though I was dead tired the next day, I’d do it again.  I simply could not put it down.  This book is an emotional journey and it ended this remarkable series on a very high note.

Quote:  After he kissed her senseless she burrowed her face into his neck as his fingers drew circles in the middle of her back. “I’d never let anything happen to you,” he said softly. “You mean too much to me.”  That shocked her. “What?” We’ve known each other five days.”  His intense blue gaze never wavered.  “I knew five seconds after I saw you that you were someone special who’d change my life forever.”

MedGettingOutOfHandGetting Out of Hand by Erin Nicholas

Erin Nicholas is one of my “go-to” authors when I want to read smart, funny, sexy contemporary stories.  I’ve read everything she’s written and honestly there isn’t anything she hasn’t put out that I’ve enjoyed.  Getting Out of Hand is the first book in her new self-published series Sapphire Falls and I loved this small town and its quirky residents.  The high school geek returns after being asked to attend by the high school cheerleader who once made him feel small and insignificant.  Now mayor she wants him to open up his checkbook and help fund a shopping area and give up the farmland that he owns for it to be built on.  What he doesn’t expect is to come back to the town he hated and fall for the mayor’s assistant making him want to change his life and give up on his research to be with her.  It was so easy to love both the hero and heroine in this book and watch as they try and figure out their complicated relationship all in front of the obtrusive town members who of course want to add in their two cents worth.  There are many laugh out loud moments in this book along with some super sexy ones as well.  This book is a great start to a new series and I’m already anticipating the next one.

Quote: “Is it the Porsche making this feel so good?” she asked, breathless.  “I’ve had this car for two years and it’s never felt like this.”  She laughed and arched closer.  “I have the most insane urge to get naked and spread out right here on the hood.”  What little blood was left in his brain quickly rerouted south of that. “God, Adrianne.”  The next thing he felt was the button on his pants give. “I want you naked.  I want to feel every inch of you against every inch of me.”

ironrods_msr_smIron Rods by Brenna Zinn

I really couldn’t wait to read this book by Brenna Zinn that centers on a run-down male strip club in Austin, Texas.  Growing up in Texas, Austin is known for being different and they are proud to be and the owner of the club lives up to that culture but his New York raised/Harvard educated son isn’t quite on board with the whole “Keep Austin Weird” attitude and wants nothing more than to tear down the club that he associates with so many bad childhood memories.  However when Bennett meets the new club’s manager Tatum he begins to see things in a new light.  I really loved the way these two went from smoking hot sex right off the bat, to learning so much about each other, to figuring out their feeling for one another.  This book was funny, sexy, and heartwarming and it’s a great start to what promises to be an entertaining new series.

Quote:  “Are you motorboating down there?”  Tatum’s droll voice broke through his haze of testosterone-driven euphoria.  God, how he loved being a man.  He tilted his face, taking in her amused expression.  “As a matter of fact, I am.”  “I have to tell you, Slick, I didn’t take you for the kind of guy I’d catch playing patty cake with my breasts. You’re surprising me here.”  Bennett surprised himself.  He wasn’t that kind of man.  Behaving this way with his lovers from New York would have been unthinkable.  But then again, when would he have the time to do so even if he had the inclination.

no apologies sybil bartelNo Apologies by Sybil Bartel

Somehow I keep ending up with books in the New Adult genre to read but I have to say this one drew me in and even days after finishing it, I can’t stop thinking about it.  Graham and Carly have been through hell and back in their short lives but both cope with it in very different ways.  When they meet Carly becomes the light to Graham’s darkness and even though he feels he can’t be what she wants or needs, he finds himself unable to stay away; just seeing her smile makes everything better.  I won’t lie–these are two seriously messed up young people who have been through so much but I loved watching them figure out how to relate to one another on all levels, watch their trust build, see them accept one another and their faults, and learn they both deserve friendship, love and more.  This is a remarkable story and it touched my heart so much.

Quote: I dropped my head and ran my hand over it, checking my words before I said them.  I knew what she was asking.  I looked back at her anxious blue eyes.  “You’re worried about my sudden change in heart.”  She nodded.  “It’s not sudden, Hummingbird.  I meant everything I said last night.  I fought my feelings for you because I never thought I wanted this.  But the more time I spent with you, the more I wanted you.  I didn’t think I could be what you needed.  I wasn’t concerned that I couldn’t be faithful; I was concerned that I wouldn’t want to be.  Do you understand the difference?”

up to me christi barthUp to Me by Christi Barth

I was really excited about this new series by Christi Barth; it has everything I’ve come to expect from a book by this author: humor, a crazy cast of characters, and a sweet yet sexy love story.  Gray is a corporate hit man and the minute he meets Ella, he’s entranced by her.  When he finds out she actually owns the hotel he’s been sent in to review for a takeover, he knows his life just got way more complicated.  I loved these two characters, Ella’s group of intrusive friends, and the way their relationship played out both good and bad.  Ella is still recovering from her parent’s untimely death and the fact that she now owns the hotel and is responsible for it.  Gray really wants what is best for her even if he does go about thing not quite the right way.  While this book is more on the sweet side, I still enjoyed it thoroughly because getting to that magical moment was so much fun.

Quote: “This has been soaked in peppermint oil.  It’ll lower your temperature and refresh you.” ….Shaking it out of its tidy roll, Gray vigorously rubbed it over his chest, neck and forehead.  She’d scrubbed at shower scum with less force than he used.  “I smell like a candy cane,” he complained.  Oh. God.  The vision of licking him, sucking on him, streaked through her mind.  Any more thoughts like that and she’d need to dab at her own flushed cheeks with the icy towel.  No way could she ignore this visceral attraction.  So it had to stop.

Down-and-Dirty-CoverCompliance by Lexxie Couper (available now in the Down & Dirty boxed set)

**Note I got an advance copy of Compliance to read, so while I haven’t read the entire box set I loved this book and wanted to include it. Compliance will be available separately at a later time. I have read all of the authors in this set and love their work and can’t wait to read the rest of it especially at the 99 cent price tag!

One thing I really love about Lexxie Couper is how often she’ll write a story for a secondary character from another book.  In Compliance, Bethany who was the PA to action movie star Chris Huntley in Guarded Desires, has the time of her live while on holiday in Australia with two fine men; one an ex-national Cricket hero and the other a computer nerd who rivals Bill Gates in wealth (only a whole lot sexier).  Curtis and Logan have been friends since their teens, an unlikely duo but there is no denying these guys are close and they both want Bethany but refuse to go after her because they don’t want to hurt each other, so when Bethany takes that decision out of their hands, they are all in.  I loved the interplay between these three and I really loved geeky Logan showing his very large and in charge side, something that took both Bethany and Curtis by surprise.  Most of all it was interesting to see that there was something special growing between Bethany and Logan even in the midst of their wild and wicked threesome.  This is a short story and it moves at a rapid pace but I was amazed at what we learned about the characters (especially the men) and the emotional connection between the characters was present from the start and only grew as the story played out.  Sexy as all get out, yet it is a tender love story between two people who really are perfect together.  Now of course I’m wondering when Curtis will show up again and get his happily ever after!

Quote:  It wasn’t the first time Bethany had stood naked outside in Australia. Nor was it the first time she’d been outside naked in Australia in the company of two hotter-than-hot guys. The difference between the last time and this time was two-fold: one, the two hotter-than-hot guys from the last time wanted each other so much they could hardly breathe, and two, Bethany hadn’t been completely and irrevocably in lust with those two men. Not like she was with these two men. Holy. Fuck.

There you go a couple of sweet romances, a few smokin’ hot erotic romances, and a New Adult round out my picks.  I hope you’ll check them out and when you do, drop me a line and let me know how you liked them.  Feel free to friend me on Facebook (Slick Reads), find me on Twitter (@slickreads1100), or email me (slickreads1100@gmail.com) and you can find all of my reviews over at Guilty Pleasures (www.guiltypleasuresbookreviews.com).  I’m a contemporary reader at heart so if you ever need a suggestion of what to read or want to chat books, look me up!

SlickMeet Slick of Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews I’m an avid reader and average around 30-40 books per month, most I read for review at Guilty Pleasures but I do take time out to read simply for my pleasure. I prefer contemporary erotic romances, love anything with multiple partners, BDSM, and I enjoy a good man love story now and again. As far as my reviews, they will depend on the book. I have a lot (and I do mean A LOT) of favorite authors but I have no problem letting them know if a book doesn’t meet my expectations. I feel authors deserve and appreciate honesty from their readers. I’ve been reviewing for Guilty Pleasures for about 2 1/2 years now and have loved every minute to it.  These fine ladies are my book family and I appreciate each and every one of them!