Friday Reads: Sex, Lies, and Online Dating by Rachel Gibson

So remember how I was asking for help dealing with my epic TBR pile earlier in the week? Well, while I was culling some books, I plucked this one off my shelf and read the back. It sounded funny, and I was in the mood for that, so I figured I'd give it a try. I guarantee this book has been on my shelf for at least three years. A while back I bought two "grab bag" boxes of romances from the used book store, and this was one of those in the mix.

And see, this is EXACTLY why I have trouble getting rid of TBR books even when they've been languishing on my shelves for years. Because I KNOW that there are some gems on those shelves and I don't want to miss out on them. (Yes, I have major FOMO over books.) But anyway, Sex, Lies, and Online Dating by Rachel Gibson proved the point and will now make me even more paranoid about donating books I haven't read.

So, let's get to the book. First, the back cover summary, which has a bit more of a chick-litty feel than the actual book, so take that with a grain of salt:

Sex . . .

What is it about men anyway? Bad cars, bad jobs, even bad teeth—nothing convinces them that they can't snare a Size Two Babe with a D-cup chest. And after way too many internet dates with men named "luvstick" and "bigdaddy182," Lucy Rothschild should know.

Lies . . .

But sitting across from her now is "hardluvnman," and he seems different—sensitive, honest, and hot! He says he's a plumber, while Lucy claims she's a nurse! She's really a mystery writer, dating online while researching her next book. Hey, everyone lies a little, don't they?

And Online Dating . . .

But Quinn's really an undercover cop hunting down a serial killer, and he sees Lucy as his top suspect. And while he could really go for this smart, sexy woman with the killer bod—if that's the only thing "killer" about her—he knows he needs to wine and dine her and discover the truth. Hey, he realizes the dating scene can be deadly—but this is ridiculous!

Okay, so first, this is a series following four writer friends, each getting their own book. Obviously, I'm a writer, and I have a group of writer friends who I'm very close to. So this was ridiculously relatable. Almost freakishly so at points, lol. I actually texted my friend Dawn mid-read and was like--go get this book right now. 

But besides that, why did I love it? Well, this story is funny and sexy with a great voice (and I'm a junkie for a good voice.) Plus, after picking up a few books lately that I couldn't get into and worrying that it was me or my mood, this one instantly hooked me. Now, fair warning, some of the references are outdated since I think this was released in the mid-2000s. (Hero wears button fly jeans which made me snicker. And there are lots of references to high end brands, which makes me think of Sex in the City chick lit.) But it wasn't a distracting amount of dated stuff. Also, this has a suspense element to it, but it's very solidly contemporary romance. The focus is on the couple and their developing relationship.

I'm not going to go into a detailed plot synopsis because you can get the gist in the back cover summary, but the reason I'm recommending it is because it's hard to find books that pull off humor well, while still being romantic and sexy. This one does. I laughed aloud multiple times and still got the payoff of a great, sexy romance. If you're looking for a lot of angst and emotional backstory, this is not the one for you. But sometimes it's nice to read something light-hearted and fun with characters who could be your friends.

Now I'm going to have to track down the remaining books in the series and add MORE to my TBR pile. It's an endless cycle, people.

Grab this one for only $3.99 right now.  And have a great weekend!

Friday Reads: Tempting Fate by Jane Green

Look! A Friday Reads! It's been SUCH a long time since I've had one of these. I have to admit that I've been in a major reading slump this year. I'm not sure what's gotten into me, but I haven't had a maybe-I-don't-need-sleep, page-turning read in a long time. But this week, I finally came across one that had me sacrificing sleep so I could read more pages - Tempting Fate by Jane Green.

Now, first, a warning that this is NOT a romance. This is a women's fiction book, which is outside of what I normally read. There isn't a tragic ending or anything, but it's not a romance. So know that going in. Also, based on Goodreads reviews, this is one of those kinds of books that you're either going to love or hate. I happen to fall into the loved-it camp.

It's about infidelity, which is why I think it has such a love/hate reaction from readers. A heroine who cheats is hard to like. And much of the book, I didn't like her. BUT I also think that this situation could so easily happen to someone who never thought they could be a cheater. The way it was portrayed--woman in her 40s, feeling insecure about aging, in a rut, feeling resentful toward her husband about something he did gets unexpectedly swept up by the attention of a young, hot, funny guy.

Yeah, so think hot internet mogul who looks like Ryan Gosling walks into this woman's life. As you can expect, things in her life blow up. She makes a decision that had me yelling at the book (and I had to put that aside because it made an otherwise intelligent heroine seem really stupid, but I didn't want to give up on the book because of it. I'm glad I didn't.) I won't give spoilers, but I thought the drama was well done and realistic. And though there isn't a ton of action in this book (more internal, quiet type drama), I found it a page turner and very compelling. Some may have an issue with the ending, but I also think it was relatively realistic. 

Overall, I definitely recommend. 

Here's the official summary (from Amazon):

What is a woman's greatest temptation? How far will she go to find fulfillment―and how much is she willing to lose? This is an unforgettable, enthralling novel about the risks and rewards of "having it all" from beloved New York Times bestselling author Jane Green.

Gabby and Elliott have been happily married for eighteen years. They have two daughters. They have a beautiful, loving home. Forty-three-year-old Gabby is the last person to have an affair. She can't relate to the way her friends desperately try to cling to the beauty and allure of their younger years. And yet she too knows her youth is quickly slipping away. She could never imagine how good it would feel to have a handsome younger man show interest in her…until the night it happens. Matt makes Gabby feel sparkling, fascinating, alive―something she hasn't felt in years. What begins as a long-distance friendship soon develops into an emotional affair. Intoxicated, she has no choice but to step ever deeper into the allure of attraction and attention, never foreseeing the life-changing consequences that lie ahead. If she makes one wrong move, she could lose everything―and find out what really matters most.

Grab a copy: Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

 

 

*Disclaimer: I have not been asked to review this book and have purchased it with my own money. All opinions are mine. Links to Amazon and iBooks are affiliate links, which means I earn a small percentage (no extra cost to you) if you purchase from links on my site.

My February Book Wish List

Right now I am judging for the RITA contest, which is basically the Oscars for romance writers. This means I need to read seven books by March. Therefore, my Friday Reads posts haven't gotten any love because I can't reveal which books I'm judging.

Also, I haven't allowed myself to get any new books until I'm done with the contest. So I've been making a wish list on Amazon of what I'll be buying once I'm done judging. And I thought in lieu of a Friday Reads post, I'd share my current wish list.

Isn't that a gorgeous cover? That's what drew me first but the premise sounds really intriguing, too.

Blurb: 

Katherine Barrett, a dedicated young doctor, receives a terrified phone call from her brother, TJ. He is running away to Mexico to save himself and their family from an unnamed killer. He warns her not to come after him and not to go to the police, as there is no one she can trust. But Katherine realizes there might be someone she can trust… 
She turns to her former high school sweetheart Jake Monroe—the man whose heart she broke a decade earlier. Katherine asks Jake to fly her into a remote and dangerous part of Mexico where no one else dares to go. 
Jake had always thought that one day Katherine would realize she needed him, but he didn't expect it to go down this way. Still, he can't resist the beautiful blonde he has never been able to forget. 
They set off on an adventure that will take them into the past, unravel a decade of secrets, and lead them into the heart of a lightning storm that will change the way they look at their families, the world, and each other… 

 

Two Cuts Darker (A Killer Need)
By Joely Sue Burkhart

I loved the first book in this series and am really looking forward to this one. Warning: Dark romance. I'm not going to link to the blurb in case you don't want to be spoiled on the first book. You can read my take on One Cut Deeper here.

 

Little Secrets
By Megan Hart

I really enjoy Megan Hart's erotic books, and they all tend to have some darkness in them. So it's no surprise to me that she's writing some horror. I happen to love horror, so I'm looking forward to this one. 

Blurb:

They’re not alone in the house.
With a baby on the way and a brand new house, it seems Ginny and her husband, Sean, are on their way to a fresh start. But strange occurrences and financial strain seem determined to keep Ginny and Sean stuck in the past. Ginny begins to believe the house may be haunted…or that her husband might be trying to trick her into thinking so. As Ginny researches the house’s former owner and the tragedy that happened there, it becomes clearer than ever that something is in the house with them. The question is, who…or what…is it?

 

This one first came to my attention in Annika Martin's Dirty Quote newsletter and then I saw Smexy Books review it. The premise sounds intriguing. Alaska. Running from bad guys. Sexiness. I'm in.

Blurb:

From enemies to allies… 
When archaeologist Isabel Dawson stumbles upon an unconscious man deep in the Alaskan wilderness, her survival skills are put to the test. She tends his wounds and drags him to shelter, only to discover she’s saved the life of Raptor CEO Alec Ravissant—the man who may have covered up her brother’s murder to save his senatorial campaign. 
With no memory of the assault that landed him five miles deep in the forest, Alec doesn’t know what to believe when he wakes in the clutches of the beautiful redhead who blames him for her brother’s death, but he quickly realizes he needs her help to uncover the truth about his lost hours. 
Isabel never imagined she’d find herself allied with Alec, and he’s the last man she ever expected to find attractive. But the former Army Ranger-turned-politician proves seductively charming, and he’s determined to win much more than her vote. When their quest for answers puts Isabel in the crosshairs, Alec must risk everything—his company, his campaign, and his life—to protect her.

 

This one is on sale for 99 cents and is m/m/f menage where the guys are a couple first (from what I understand.) Sign me up! :) 

Blurb:

Self-made billionaires Zane and Trey have been a club of two since they were eighteen. They’ve done everything together: play football, fall in love, even get smacked around by their dads. The only thing they haven’t tried is seducing the same woman. When they set their sights on sexy chef Rebecca, these bad boys just might have met their match! 

All right, that's what's made it onto my wish list. What's on yours right now? 

Have a great Valentine's weekend!

 

Note: I have not been asked to endorse or feature any of these books. Selections are my own. But Amazon links are affiliate links.