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Box of 1Night Stands Anthology Review: Liz Crow, Becca Dale & Sara Daniel

Box of 1Night Stands

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Decadent Publishing presents some of the very best of the 1Night Stand series featuring NYT and USA Today Bestselling authors Jennifer Probst, Jen McLaughlin (writing as Diane Alberts) and J.M. Madden, along with 18 other trendsetting authors such as HOLT Medallion winner Desiree Holt. When Madame Eve arranges a date, you are guaranteed more than you’ll ever expect. More heat, more heart, more SIZZLE…

Caught Offside – Liz Crowe
A love of soccer may unite former international star Ramon Castillo and casino catering manager Gillian Winter, but their deep personal wounds won’t allow for a real connection until Madame Eve works her magic.

Erotic Healing – Becca Dale
“Together we will convert your discomfort to pleasure…before the sun rises, you will know exquisite satisfaction.”

One Night With the Bride – Sara Daniel
Can a 1Night Stand reunite Caroline with her first love, Javier, or will he see only her deception, leading one night with the bride to sever their ties forever?

Recap from the first review:

Box of 1Night Stands contains 21 stories by 21 different authors. Each story is roughly connected to each other by the framework of a dating service named “1Night Stand” run by Madam Evangeline. The dating service allows people to pay absurd amounts of money to be hooked up with someone “suitable” and willing to have a night of sex. The service includes reservations to a fabulous hotel, the Castillo hotels and resorts (owned and run by one of satisfied 1Night Stand clients). Madam Evangeline seems to be the world’s best match-maker as all of her single night stands turn into committed relationships.

Thus far the included stories are all either vignettes or very short shorts. Most seem to be between 3-5 chapters long as well.

Caught Offside by Liz Crowe (3 stars)
This was cute but forgettable. Two former pro athletes are united via Madam Eve and their love of Futbol/Soccer.

Erotic Healing by Becca Dale (2.5 stars)
I really wasn’t a fan of this one. At all. So I have a problem with deception and I especially have a problem with deception when used in context with BDSM. I feel that BDSM requires honesty and so for me this was a FAIL.

One Night With the Bride by Sara Daniel (2 stars)
This one felt very much like a Harlequin Presents book. I didn’t feel like I got a good feeling for either main character – they felt more like outlines than complete people. I’ve never been a big fan of those books where one of the main characters are in a committed relationship…but the H/h show them what real love is. Ugh. It’s like the boiler-plate language for Cheating 101.

Mastered Anthology Review: Juicy (Twilight Teahouse #1) by T.J. Michaels

Mastered: 10 Tales of Sensual Surrender

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Twilight Teahouse ~ Choose something decadent from our menu…

Solie Shaw is a brilliant self-made woman. After managing a corporation by day, at night, all she wants is to not be in charge. The last man she’d gifted her heart to had smashed it to smithereens and then did the mambo on top of the pieces. Now, along comes the chance to get exactly what she needs. All Solie has to do…is choose.

 
 
This was a really cute story that I sorta enjoyed. I say “sorta” because too much of the story was taken up by the mental angst of the heroine, Solie, and her issues with her horrible ex. Time and time again – no matter what was happening – the ex-bf would pop up in Solie’s head and she’d do the “woe is me” dance of angst. It got old pretty fast – even though I realize that she only broke up with the ex-bf six weeks ago.juicy

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Mastered Anthology Review: His Secret by Portia Da Costa

Mastered: 10 Tales of Sensual Surrender

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Note: This story has also been published under the title The Retreat.

Ben Chambers is the perfect boyfriend, the perfect lover, the perfect man. Sarah adores him, but she knows that despite the deliciousness of their lovemaking, their shared interests, and the fun they have together, there’s a certain special something missing in their relationship. And then, arriving for a hedonistic weekend of luxury at an English country house hotel, something happens that changes everything between them. A momentary, inconsequential pat on the bottom opens the door to a breathtaking world of daring and transgressive sexual pleasure…and forges a bond that’s both profoundly physical and a melding of their souls.

 
This was a cute and quick story – very short but extremely cute. I’ve read it previously as The Retreat and it was nice to re-read. Not too much to say about this one, to be honest – it’s a spanking (only) super short.

My favorite part of this story was the fact that it was obvious that Ben truly loves Sarah: he tells her that he wants to be with her even if she will not indulge him in his kinks. That’s love, folks. And even sweeter that she loves him (and his kinks), too.

Books I’ve DNF’d and Why (Part 1)

I’ve been having a bad time getting the reading mojo going this year. I do think it has something to do with being sick for so long.

But anyway, as I’ve searched and searched for a good book to read…I’ve run across a slew of books that I just couldn’t get into.

Now, I have a specific policy regarding DNFs: If I stop reading because of the book’s action/lack of action/trope/characterization, then I review it, one star it, and move on. If I stop reading a book because MEH! I’m feeling cranky! then I place it on my “Fussy Book Crankies, DNF” shelf with no rating. This reminds me to get back around to it one day.

But right now I’ve run into more than a handful of books that I just couldn’t get more than a chapter or a few paragraphs into. THIS is the list we are going to discuss today.
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Submission: A Treasury of Women who Like to Give In by Various Authors

submission

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Control the day, surrender the night.

A collection of explicit erotica about the thrill of power games, erotic control and submitting to the passions of a lover.

The pleasure of surrendering to the will of another, or others, is unique. But who is really in control and who calls the shots? From the head games to the heart flutters and the shivers of pleasure on your skin, this collection of explicit erotica explores the fantasies and experience of female sexual submission.

This was a rather quick read. The stories were all pretty well done and vaguely interesting – for the most part. There is a 1st person story written letter style that I skimmed as that style annoys me.

Most of the stories were rather forgettable with two exceptions:

Best in Show by Rose de Flur ***
You Already Know by Charlotte Stein ****
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The Seduction Hypothesis (The Science of Seduction #2) by Delphine Dryden

the seduction hypothesis

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(1 Curious Sub + 1 Dom in Denial) – Inhibitions = 4 Naughty Nights

Wildlife biologist Lindsey thought attending a fan convention with her new boyfriend Ben was a great idea—until their relationship fizzled. Lindsey still lusts after her ex—but if he wants her, he’s going to have to prove it.

Ben will do anything to win Lindsey back, and when he sees her in her skimpy black vinyl convention get-up, he realizes what she’s been craving all along. And he is inspired to finally give in to his own dark desire to take complete sexual control…

Lindsey is surprised by her reaction to Ben’s kinky new seduction techniques, and suddenly sees the brilliant but uptight code guru in a different light. After several erotic encounters in hotel rooms and stairwells, she’s falling for Ben all over again. And wondering if the intimate connection will last once they head home…

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the first book in this series, The Theory of Attraction, so I was very excited to see that Ms Dryden was writing a series. I was a little disappointed that the characters weren’t who I expected but excited all the same. The heroine in this book was the woman in The Theory of Attraction that Ivan focused his “Dom Powers” on the first time at the backyard BBQ.

What I liked about this book
Let’s just start with the fact that I am a fan of Delphine Dryden. That’s hurdle number one. I’m also a fan of BDSM focused D/s romances. Hurdle number two cleared. That’s like…an automatic two stars right there. Without even trying, lol.
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Santana’s Heat by Kitty DuCane

santana's heat

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Santana Jones barely escaped from the man-turned-wolf that attacked her during a camping trip that she’d won from a local radio station. But it turns out the radio station didn’t have a contest and she didn’t win. Then she meets the Luc who thinks he can detain her while he figures out this so-called mystery. Because of her past, allowing Luc to control her is out of the question even if he is the sexiest thing she’s ever seen and she can barely keep her hands off him.

Luc Delemere, the powerful leader of the North American werewolves, didn’t want a mate because her life would constantly be in danger. But when a bedraggled human crawls out of the icy river and stumbles into his barn, Luc finds it impossible to resist his sensual, but stubborn mate. The claw marks on her body confirm that she was attacked by a werewolf, but Luc wants to know who lured her to his land and why.

When Santana receives a note that says “Leave or Luc Dies,” she betrays Luc to save his life.

Can Luc untangle a web of lies and betrayal to find his mate before the assassin does?

Sanata’s Heat was very disappointing. It started so promising and then just exploded from there. I didn’t care about the characters. I started reading this last night and realized that I really didn’t like Santana too much. Her character was completely inconsistent. One minute she’s a strong woman who can take care of herself after being on her own (and homeless) for 10 years, having killed at least one person. The next minute she’s running away because someone slipped her an anonymous note or some woman wants to claim her man. Really? Seriously? The BDSM elements rang horribly false and seemed only to be thrown in so that the author could get this book put in that sub-genre.

I figured everything out waaaay too early and there seemed to be more than a little deus ex machina going on.

It’s hard for me to rate this because I was so disappointed. My gut reaction says “1 star” but the writing itself wasn’t that bad. Grammar was decent and there weren’t any noticeable typos. I guess 1.5 stars?