12 Tropes of 2020 – Two Dukes and a Lady by Lorna James

Love Triangle from
12 Tropes of 2020

When two people both love a third person, and that third often loves them both. The object of their love may be conflicted as to whom he/she wants.

Taken from Urban Dictionary.

A state of affairs in which one person is romantically or sexually involved with two others (one or both of whom may not be aware of or complicit in the situation).

Taken from Lexico.

Two Dukes and a Lady
by Lorna James (aka Jamie K. Schmidt)

Charles Ashdown, Duke of Densmore, and his closest friend William Kenwood, Duke of Tennison, love gambling and womanising too much to ever be ensnared by a debutante. Certainly, no decent wife would allow the debauchery they enjoy. But the only woman they’ve ever loved has returned. Unfortunately, Society, and likely darling Lily, will never accept the sharing relationship they’d like to propose.

Lillian Drew returns to England after her husband’s mysterious death and finds solace with her girlhood crushes, Charles and William. Sure, they’re as unapologetically crass and self-centered as always, but she loves them both. When her dead husband’s creditors come after her, she has no choice but to remarry, though she can’t make up her mind which duke she’ll propose to. With a toss of one of the few coins she has left to her name, she hopes the loser will understand.

Taken from blurb

My thoughts

Full disclosure, I am a bleeding heart and couldn’t stomach the typical ‘love triangle’ trope. So instead of the usual V pattern of a relationship where one person is ultimately chosen, I went with a book where both romantic options are chosen 😋 Yes, yes I am aware that this is a menage or polyamorous trope but I couldn’t handle the angst of someone being rejected 😥

Continue reading “12 Tropes of 2020 – Two Dukes and a Lady by Lorna James”

Smut Talk: The Seen Trilogy by Cynthia Sax

Made up of five parts, The Seen Trilogy is an erotica romance series that explores a number of kinks and romantic entanglements. The first three novellas of the original trilogy follow Anna Sampson and her romantic adventures with Gabriel Blaine unfold across three main arcs, watch, touch, and claim.

The other two books in the series follow two side characters from the first three books as they too find not only love but some steamy action in Blaine Technologies.


He Watches Me

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The first novella in the series starts off strong with the main focus being on the start of the relationship between Anna and Gabriel. Established quite quickly is the fact that Anna is quite impoverished, currently house sitting a large mansion, she struggles with money and has self worth issues stemming from her mother’s abandonment and father’s death in jail.

Sneaking into her neighbours yard, Anna begins to skinny dip in the pool. Thus begins the voyeuristic relationship between Anna and Gabriel. The romance around the pair focuses on Gabriel watching Anna and doesn’t branch out until the second novella.

He Touches Me

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Starting where the first novella left of He Touches Me sees the relationship between Anna and Gabriel develop. No longer just a sexual relationship based on voyeurism, the pair begin a more hands on approach to their encounters. While not taking the final step in the relationship, Anna and Gabriel explore a number of kinky situations with a focus still being on the exhibitionist tendencies of the pair.

The second book also sees Anna look for a second job as she continues to struggle with money and mounting issues relating to her house sitting. The power dynamic of the pair makes a big change as Anna begins to work for Gabriel. Coupled with Anna’s issues with money and her struggles to adequately feed herself (every lunch time we see her not eating very much or only eating crackers) the shift in power dynamics does start to raise some red flags.

Another problematic part of the series really starts to hit in the second book, Anna’s coworker Michael. Wealthy son of a Hollywood actress, Michael works alongside Anna at a charitable organisation. At first he is harmless but as He Touches Me he really pushes the line.

He Claims Me

Rating: 3 out of 5.

He Claims Me sees the main story of Anna and Gabriel end, with the pair overcoming boundaries, criminal accusations, and personal issues to be together. He Claims Me also sees the introduction of the character Henley who is not only included in the pairs voyeuristic encounters but features in the next novel.

The story does wrap up rather well, with Anna’s job at Gabriel’s business, Blaine Technologies, going well. It was quite comforting to see Anna start to form more positive and healthy relationships with those around her and any issues I had with the power balance of the first two books even out as Anna settles more into herself.

What I did enjoy about the series is the insistence throughout the three books from Gabriel that what they have is a serious relationship. While Anna was a bit skittish at the beginning, Gabriel was clear from the beginning what the relationship was and meant to him.


Flashes of Me

(The Seen Trilogy 3.1)

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Henley, the head of cyber security at Blaine Technologies, is a man no one crosses. He watches employees constantly, using his network of cameras, and enforces his rules by any means possible. Rumors of his violent past, along with his scarred hands and huge size, have resulted in his being feared by everyone … almost everyone.

Katalina, the new intern, worries about the revelation of her most painful secret much more than she fears her sexy boss’s wrath. She sees the loneliness in his dark eyes, feels the gentleness in his marred fingers, tastes the need in his kisses … and she knows he watches her. His silly rules about not stripping for the cameras and no sex at the office are destined to be broken.

Kat likes to be watched. Henley can’t look away. Will this beauty be able to tame her beastly boss?

Taken from book blurb

After finishing He Claims Me, I was looking forward to seeing more of Henley. While I did enjoy the book and did like Henley as a character, I really wasn’t sold on Katalina. I often found myself rolling my eyes or feeling put out about her behaviour, especially seeing as the main kink that is explored in the novel is exhibitionism. Which often saw Katalina acting out by ‘flashing’ security cameras, which for me, came off as more childish than sexual.

What really threw me with Katalina was the almost bimbo persona she was happy to wear almost all the time. The book was littered with her referring back to ‘what her Father would say’ and acting oblivious.

While I can understand and see quite clearly that these were defence mechanisms that Katalina used to deflect from personal and emotional subjects, it none the less had me quite put out at her behaviour. Especially since by grace of her appearance and act, she was somehow above reproach about braking uniform regulations and other code of conduct behaviours.

While Flashes of Me was an entertaining read that explored more of a character I enjoyed from the first three books in the series, it was a real let down.


Breaking All The Rules

(The Seen Trilogy 3.2)

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Nathan Lawford, Blaine Technologies’ chief financial officer, is known as the Iceman. He conducts his personal and business affairs without emotion, never allowing himself to become involved with anyone. When Nate sees something or someone he wants, he negotiates, paying a simple, set monetary price.

Now he wants Camille, the company’s green-haired intern.

Camille Joplin Trent never expected to be paid to pleasure the man of her dreams. She can’t quite figure out why this is a bad thing. Nate is intelligent, handsome, sophisticated, everything she’s ever wanted in a lover and never thought she could have. Their contract is for a month, thirty lust-filled days of making every sexual fantasy they’ve ever had come true. At the end of this month, the rules state their relationship will end.

Of course, Camille has never been good at following rules.

Taken from book blurb

Once again I was looking to seeing more of a character from the first three books in the series and once again I was disappointed. Camille, otherwise known as Goth Girl, from Anna’s previous charity job was a large character, not large in that she had a big part in the story or physically, just that she was quite uncompromising in her appearance.

In Breaking All The Rules we see Camille as a toned down version of herself. Where she once had tattoos and piercings we find out that the tattoos were all temporary, and her piercings have been taken out. The one remaining feature from her time in the first three books is her green hair. Sadly no longer a mo-hawk now long and flowing. The toning down of Camille was not only disappointing but insulting, almost as if we are readers couldn’t handle or envision such a characters as a romantic lead. No, in order to fit into not only Blaine Technologies but romance viewership, she had to conform 🙄🙄🙄

The kinks exhibited in Breaking All The Rules are a bit different than those of its predecessors. While certainly there are voyeuristic and exhibitionist elements, the main ‘kink’ comes from Nathan’s inability to be with anyone without it having to be a transaction. That is, Nathan doesn’t sleep with people unless he is paying them. Camille is happy to go along with this however, as she just wants to spend time with the notorious Iceman.

The last book in The Seen Trilogy feels like such a cop out. I was looking forward to seeing the ‘Goth Girl’ get her happy ending but instead was treated to a watered down version of the character with all of her ‘nonconformist behaviour’ being attributed to her hippee parents. Also, leather suits? Really?!


The Seen Trilogy

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Seen Trilogy is very kink friendly and while it is written in first person, it still manages to make an emotional connection with readers. While parts of the books can be seen as problematic, they are not all bad with a lot of the issues playing out naturally (Anna and the harressment at her job) or being explained through character actions (Katalina’s ‘bimbo’ persona).

All of the books were okay, almost all of the books rated three stars but as is with a lot of contemporary erotic romance novels, the books did push the idea of the ‘alpha’ male. Each book exhibited problematic language around men being in charge and the woman being subservient to them. While the female characters did hold an equal footing in the physical, emotional, and sexual relationships of the book, there none the less was this element within the books.

Either way, I read them all in a day and was otherwise entertained from my illness that allowed me to read all day. I suppose as long as you take all of these books with a grain of salt, they aren’t too bad.

Super Fun Sexy Times by Meredith McClaren

Super Fun Sexy Times

by Meredith McClaren.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.

|| Book Depository ||  Amazon  ||  Booktopia ||


Cartoonist Meredith McClaren (Hinges) tells five short, sexy stories featuring superheroes, supervillains, sidekicks, and the people who love them.

Showing consent and character-driven erotic relationships, Super Fun Sexy Times answers the age-old question: what happens when the mask comes off? 

Two sidekicks on opposite sides get stuck in an underground lab together, and find a great way to pass the time. A tactician and superhero discuss their desires, limits, and kinks before their first time, and perhaps get a little too excited in the process. A pair of supervillains explore gender and sex together, while growing closer in their relationship. Lesbian heroes try out a kinky rolepaying scenario, and discover how to make it work for both of them. And an exhausted assassin relaxes after a long day with the kind (yet firm) attentions of his husband.

Told with care, sex-positivity, and humor, and featuring a wide variety of sexualities and bodies, Super Fun Sexy Times aims to create an erotic reading experience that lives up to its name!:

Taken from book blurb

Release Date: 20th August, 2019.

Length: 128 pages.

Series: Super Fun Sexy Times Vol. 1

Genre: Graphic Novel. Erotica. QUILTBAG.

Read as: eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

If you are looking for a sex positive, queer inclusive, superhero themed erotic graphic short story collection – then look no further! If you suddenly want to read a book like that, then Super Fun Sexy Times is for you!

Continue reading “Super Fun Sexy Times by Meredith McClaren”

Bet Me to Stay by Candace Havens

Bet Me to Stay

by Candace Havens.

|| Publisher || Goodreads || Amazon ||

Blurb:  After a bet with his brother, Liam O’Connor has to date the next woman who walks into the pub. And he’s all in, because his pub is on the line. What he didn’t expect was Cassie Meadows, who at first glance with her big glasses and bulky sweater looks like a woman who has many, many cats—but her wit and smile make him wonder what’s underneath her bulky armor.

Cassie Meadows aka sweet romance author Cassie O’Brian is about to lose everything. As in, her writing career is going down the drain because she can’t write the sexy stuff that’s selling these days. She needs inspiration in the worst way. That’s when she walks into the wrong pub at the right time. Sexy owner Liam is just what the writing doctor ordered. Her whole body is feeling inspired—and when he makes a proposal she can’t refuse—she’s all in. Oh, hell yes. Best. Sex. Of. Her. Life. Thanks to Liam, she’s about to write a best-seller.

But having an erotic romance alter ego is nothing compared to the real secret Cassie is hiding—and that one could destroy everything.

Taken from book blurb.

Release Date: 8 July, 2019.

Length: 193 pages.

Series: Stand alone.

Genre: Romance. Erotica.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

Bet Me to Stay is quick and sexy read that has the two main characters enter into a physical relationship on the prompting of a bet. Liam, who is sick of his brother falling in and out of love and engagements, bets that his brother can’t stay away from the ladies for a month. The trade off is that Liam must date the first woman to walk through the door.

Enter Cassie.

What sets Bet Me to Stay apart from other romance novels that feature ‘the bet’ trope is that Cassie is looking for inspiration to write better erotic scenes for her novel, and has been told by her friend/agent to find a one night stand to help. Both enter into a physical relationship wanting something from the other, which for me, really evened out the power imbalance and angst you sometimes find with this trope.

Continue reading “Bet Me to Stay by Candace Havens”

Smut Lovers Reading Group: One-Two Punch by Katie Allen

One-Two Punch

by Katie Allen.

Goodreads: link.


Blurb: Beth is willing to do almost anything to meet her dream man-including taking boxing lessons. She passes Harry’s gym for weeks before mustering up the nerve to walk in and talk to the gorgeous owner. Once she does, sparks fly as well as punches. Their budding relationship is tested with the arrival of Ky, Harry’s old Army buddy.

After years of frustrated longing for his fellow soldier, Ky is hoping that he can win Harry’s heart. He hadn’t planned on Beth, however – or the scorching desire she inspires. As the trio struggle to accept their feelings for each other, a menacing figure stalks Beth, watching, waiting-and preparing to snatch her away from the two men she’s grown to love.

Taken from Goodreads

Length: 264 pages.

Series: N/A Standalone.

Genre: Romance. Erotica. Menage.

Read as an: Paperback.


My Thoughts

I absolutely love this book. The book was originally published in 2008 by the now defunct Ellora’s Cave. I read the book initially when it was released years ago, but as soon as I found out the company was closing, I snapped up this book as a paperback. Which was such a good idea, as I cannot find it anywhere online.

I think this book started me on reading the m/m and LGTBQI romance genre and since then I have not looked back. I loved the story, and the characters of this book really jump off the page. Beth had me smiling, Harry had me swooning, and Ky had me falling in love.

I would really recommend this book or any of Katie Allen’s books. If you’re interested in finding more of her work, Allen is currently writing under both her own name and Katie Rundle.


Smut Level

Oh. My. God. This book, while not full of a lot of sex scenes, was so intense! The love triangle in this book wasn’t so much a rivalry rather a polyamorous relationship. On goodreads the books has a readers advisory that states: ‘This book contains smoking-hot scenes of ménage and M/M sex.” So yeah it was smutty.

The novel starts off with the relationship between Beth and Harry which features a lot of passionate scenes and even an anal scene. The story then extends to include Ky, where the scenes develop into threesomes which includes the men loving each other as well.

So to conclude, this books smut level was intense, not so much in the amount but in the intensity and variety! Loved it ❤


What did you think? Are there any romance novels that you love to read? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you 😊

Taming Fire by Leora Gonzales

Taming Fire coverTaming Fire

by Leora Gonzales.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.

||  Amazon  ||  Kobo ||


Blurb: Steam 

Yoga instructor Louise Pine is the ultimate caretaker. Everyone around her seems to have an emergency, but Lou hasn’t met a fire she couldn’t put out—until she’s faced with the hunky, bossy firefighter who crashes into her own backyard—and her life. No one tells Lou what to do, yet somehow the guy’s take-charge style makes her tingle . . .

Simmer

Phoenix “Nix” Jones is used to calling the shots, whether he’s dealing with his younger siblings or taking on a dangerous blaze. Luckily, the fire at Lou’s is a false alarm. But the heat the fit and feisty woman ignites is far from dying out…

Afterglow

As the sparks turn into 5-alarm passion, can two strong-willed people end up engulfed by love—or will they crash and burn?


Release Date: November 27, 2018.
Length: 208 pages (on my tiny phone).
Series: Braving the Heat #2.
Genre: Erotica. Romance. F/M.
Read as an: eBook.
Sourced: NetGalley.

My Thoughts: Taming Heat was a quick and punchy read. While enjoying a nice glass of wine next to her fire pit, Louise (or Lou or Aunty Loulou) is interrupted by the fire brigade as they kick down her fence. It is here that Phoenix (or ‘Nix’) meets Lou. The story follows the pair as they hit it off, get turned down, and then fall in love.

Continue reading “Taming Fire by Leora Gonzales”

SLRG: Show Off by Ember Cole

showoffShow Off

by Ember Cole.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.


Blurb: Don’t look away…

I’m the kind of guy people avoid. Yeah, I’m harsh, but it’s the scar that runs from my chest to my face that isn’t doing me any favors. Doesn’t matter that it came at a huge price or that I’ve made something of myself since—experience has taught me chicks don’t dig the kind of scars I carry.

Which is why, when a gorgeous woman moves in next door and isn’t at all intimidated by me, I feel like my luck is about to turn.

Man, does it turn. Seems she gets off on me seeing her sexiest, most private moments…a lot. And I really, really like watching. Enough that I can’t resist giving her a taste of her own medicine.

What follows is the hottest week of my life, and we’ve never even spoken. Or touched. We’re both so worked up that when we crash into each other at the grocery store, no backyard fence between us, I’m ready to take her right there in the frozen foods aisle.

Bianca is bold. She hints that she’s sick of watching the previews and wants to see the whole show. I’ve never done anything like what she’s suggesting, but the ideas spinning through my head turn me the hell on. I’m going to give that woman every one of her wildest fantasies, and then maybe, just maybe, I’ll win her heart…

SHOW OFF is a scorching hot standalone M/F romance with a little M/F/M/M surprise. If you like voyeurism, exhibitionism, and ménage, this one’s for you. As with all my books, there is no cheating, and a HEA is guaranteed!

Release Date: 8 Octover, 2018.

Length: 107 pages (on my tiny phone screen)

Series: N/A Stand alone.

Genre: Erotica. Romance.

Read as an: eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley


My Thoughts: At its heart Show Off is a smut filled romance novel between a scarred architect and his neighbour, who happens to have a bit of a voyeurism kink. The novel is an very quick and engaging read that effortlessly balances plot with passion .

Continue reading “SLRG: Show Off by Ember Cole”

Exercising Restraint by Tamir Drake

ExercisingRestraintExercising Restraint

by Tamir Drake.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.

||  Amazon  ||  Kobo ||


Blurb: Pierce may have a crush on Steve, his sweet, funny personal trainer, but he doesn’t plan to act on it. They have a great relationship in the gym but are also friends outside of it, and Pierce has no intention of jeopardizing that. Besides, he may be an omega, but he’s got a good handle on his body’s biology. He’s not worried he’ll accidentally take things too far.

Steve may have a crush on Pierce, his smart and incredibly hot client, but he’s definitely not planning to say anything anytime soon. Pierce can do way better than Steve, and anyway, Pierce is a pretty casual dater. What Steve wants is anything but casual. And that’s not just the alpha in him.

When Pierce goes to Steve’s gym one snowy afternoon to work out, he thinks nothing of the fact that he’s in heat. He’s taken his libido inhibitor and is wearing his odor blocker, so there’s no chance of bothering Steve. Except, then the blocker wears off.

Steve wants nothing more than to keep himself under control, keep himself from doing something Pierce might not want. But Pierce might have something else in mind…


Release Date: July 30, 2018.
Length: 16, 800 words.
Series: Different Dynamics #2.
Genre: Erotica. QUILTBAG.
Read as an: eBook.
Sourced: Purchased.

My Thoughts: Exercising Restraint proves to be just as punchy as the first book of the series, Different Dynamics. Set in the same world as the first novel, the second expands upon the concept of the Alpha/Beta/Omega (A/B/O) universe and features two incredibly likeable characters.

Continue reading “Exercising Restraint by Tamir Drake”

Different Dynamics by Tamir Drake

DifferentDynamicsDifferent Dynamics

by Tamir Drake.

Publisher: link.

Goodreads: link.

||  Amazon  ||  Kobo ||


Blurb: Richard doesn’t mind being an omega; all he cares about is playing good hockey, even though it means ignoring the media that tries to rip him apart for it. They don’t think omegas should be allowed on the ice, but he gets along fine. He’s team captain. He can play with the best of them.

The one sticking point is his heats; Richard might be on suppressants, but he’s one of the unlucky ones who still gets a heat every four months or so. They suck to deal with, especially alone, but seeking out a heat partner isn’t an option. The PR nightmare alone keeps him from any kind of hook-up. He can’t risk it. Hockey is all he’s got.

When Richard’s heat comes early while his team is on a roadie, teammate and best friend James helps him out of a bad situation. Tired of hurting, Richard decides it’s better not to go it alone. And James is safe and warm; he’s a great alpha who knows just what Richard needs. When Richard also imprints on big, bad rival player, Dmitry Sokolov? There’s sweet comfort in a three-way with lots of knotting and dirty talk.

Richard might be on cloud nine.


Release Date: June 26, 2017.
Length: 63 pages.
Series: Different Dynamics #1.
Genre: Erotica. QUILTBAG.
Read as an: eBook.
Sourced: NetGalley

My Thoughts: Short, punchy, and a sexy little read, Different Dynamics is an erotic roller coaster. For the length of the novelette, I found myself immersed pretty quickly in the world and the characters.

Continue reading “Different Dynamics by Tamir Drake”