Mini Romance Reviews: The Kinky & The Steamy

I’ve still been reading an unsurprising number of romances lately because they’ve been the easiest to get into while I’ve been in this fickle reading mood. Some of these have seen me stepping out of my romance comfort zone but for the most part, I had fun with them! Well, except for one and that was a little disappointing cos it’s a pretty hyped title!

Games We Play (One Night #1)
Publication Date: 27 August 2021
Genre:
Contemporary Romance, Erotica

Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)

Jaclyn Love is a magnet for trouble – it seems to follow her wherever she goes.

Unfortunately for Kadan Davenport, she also seems to be a magnet for him – even after a disastrous first impression that leaves him – literally – black and blue.

Jaclyn is busy trying to find some sort of balance, and Kadan is just trying not to get swept up in the chaos.

In a small city like Blakewood, it’s hard to avoid each other… especially when each additional encounter makes them wonder if they really want to.

“I Think I Might Love You” is a first-in-series novella.

I’d seen this cover and rave reviews everywhere lately so I decided to pick it up on a whim (FYI: it’s on Kindle Unlimited) and I definitely get the appeal and understand why it’s so popular! It was insta-lust (with a very cheesy epilogue) and there wasn’t much of a plot, but I still had a lot of fun with these characters. Jack’s deep sexy voice wasn’t difficult to imagine and his chemistry with Quin was potent! This does have kinks that weren’t really for me but there’s no denying that some of the steamy scenes were ridiculously hot, especially thanks to Jack and his filthy mouth (help). 🥵 I really liked Quin too, she’s intelligent and sassy, but she does have a dark past (CW/TW: detailed description of past suicide attempt). I was able to easily empathise with her character though!

I also liked that this was told entirely through Jack’s POV and I’m assuming that the rest of the series, which is presumably about his group of friends, will also be told through the hero’s POV. While his group of guy friends were fairly stereotypical, I can’t deny my curiosity about them and their ability to attract trouble everywhere they go, and I’m eager to get their stories (hopefully soon?)!

Follow
Publication Date: 28 October 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotica

Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)

He wants her soul. Too bad she already sold it. 
Family is everything to gambling den darling, Teresa Valentini. Blood comes first, especially before men. So when her brother lands himself in hot water, she’s willing to do whatever it takes to save him. And showing up topless in her unwitting savior’s motel room is turning out to be the furthest thing from a hardship…

Will Caruso is the bad boy of New York’s financial scene…and he just found out the very thing that drives his success is a damn lie. Now, he’s exchanged his high-stress life for the open road, no one but his Great Dane…and half a million Instagram followers to keep him company. When a mysterious beauty arrives, her secrecy prods his suspicions, even while she tempts his lust to the breaking point.

Teresa met Will under false pretenses, but the bond consuming them is real. They’re strong enough to overcome a little betrayal…aren’t they? 

I’m gonna be straight with you: this isn’t the kind of book you read for the plot because the plot is basically sex? And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that! This is a book you read for the smut and for the absolutely dirty-mouthed hero that is Will Caruso. 🥵 Holy hotness, I’m not sure how Tessa Bailey will top the filth that comes out of Caruso’s mouth in this book but I’m definitely keen to read her other books to find out! 😂 The romance was very insta-lust bordering on insta-love the further we get into it, which isn’t my favourite trope, but also kind of expected for erotica. The chemistry between our H/H was absolutely insane though! I’m honestly surprised my Kindle survived the heat of these smutty scenes (of which there are plenty). 🙈

This does start off with a semblance of a plot until it becomes very horny but I did like Teresa and Will! It was easy to connect to their characters and to get pulled into their romance. Teresa is a feisty and tenacious heroine and I admired the lengths she went to for her brother’s safety, despite him being a bit of a shithead. In an effort to get her brother out of the mafia, she’s manipulated into seducing Will back to NYC, and so the drama begins. If you like your heroes dominant, possessive, filthy and willing to do anything to make their women happy, then Will will definitely have you weak in the knees. He’s the kind of hero with a vicious need to spoil his heroine silly, whether it’s sexually or basically in every other way. Did I mention that there’s also a loveable giant of a doggo who stole my heart? Not to mention how Will has basically taken off on a cross-country adventure for said doggo—I definitely swooned over that!

A Lesson in Thorns (Thornchapel #1)
Publication Date: 21 March 2019
Genre: Dark Romance, Erotica

Panda Rating:

(2 pandas)

When librarian Poe Markham takes the job at Thornchapel, she only wants two things: to stay away from Thornchapel’s tortured owner, Auden Guest, and to find out what happened to her mother twelve years ago. It should be easy enough—keep her head down while she works in the house’s crumbling private library and while she hunts down any information as to why this remote manor tucked into the fog-shrouded moors would be the last place her mother was seen alive. But Thornchapel has other plans for her…

As Poe begins uncovering the house’s secrets, both new and old, she’s also pulled into the seductive, elegant world of Auden and his friends—and drawn to Auden’s worst enemy, the beautiful and brooding St. Sebastian. And as Thornchapel slowly tightens its coil of truths and lies around them, Poe, Auden and St. Sebastian start unravelling into filthy, holy pleasure and pain. Together, they awaken a fate that will either anoint them or leave them in ashes…

I remembered the hype around this book when I saw it on Kindle Unlimited I decided to pick it up on a whim. I wasn’t particularly “wowed” by the dark and erotic part of this story and that’s entirely to do with the fact that I just couldn’t connect to or care about the characters.

I loved the sex positivity and the openness of each character about their sexuality. There was an interesting discussion about virginity as a social construct that I also liked and it did have some thought-provoking moments. Simone also manages to create a rather dark and spooky atmosphere surrounding the manor and chapel that had me questioning what exactly was going on. However, I felt all of it was overshadowed by my general disinterest in the characters and in the ritual. I didn’t really get the purpose of it, and frankly, I was more than a little bored so I ended up skimming 80% of the book as I just couldn’t get into it. I probably should’ve just DNF’d this but I did want to know what exactly was happening (was it paranormal/supernatural?) but we don’t even get the answer to that by the end of this book. Or did I miss it? 😂 While I don’t think the writing is bad, I just feel like perhaps this author’s stories aren’t for me.

Have you read any of these steamy/dirty/kinky romances or are they on your TBR?

11 thoughts on “Mini Romance Reviews: The Kinky & The Steamy

  1. I’ve been seeing the Games We Play book around but I heard about this one scene that traumatized me just based on the description lmao. I do like a books that are told entirely through the hero’s POV, so that intrigues me a little.

    Follow was such a strange TB book for me. I knew what I was getting myself into, but it was still a strange experience reading it. I don’t think it’s my favorite from her because like you said it’s mostly just sex and I like her books with more plot better.

    Ari is a big fan of this series by Sierra Simone. I’ve read the Priest series but haven’t tried this one yet. It’s a shame that you were bored though. I think her writing can be a little clinical.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, now I’m curious about which scene you’re talking about cos there was one that had me a little shook but like people seemed to love it (based on reviews I saw so…) 😂 The hero POV surprised me cos I feel like I don’t read a lot of romances with just the hero POV so that was def great!

      I haven’t read a lot of TB yet but the few I’ve read seem to have more of a focus on the sex 🤔 Probably need to try some of her more contemporary romances!

      Would you recommend the Priest series? I’ve seen it and I gotta admit my interest is piqued cos it sounds wild? Haha but I don’t know now. It’s not that her writing is bad but I just couldn’t really connect to the characters or care about what they were doing, ngl I was pretty disappointed as well cos I thought I’d like it! 🙈

      Like

    1. I feel like I’m definitely in the minority with my Lesson in Thorns opinion but I was pretty disappointed that I just couldn’t get into it! Would be keen to see your thoughts on it whenever you read it! I hope you enjoy it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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