01 June 2012

Review - Undercover Lovers

My apologies to the meta-talented Dee Carney who gave me this FOR.EVER. ago to review. When I got it, I had no idea how e-anything worked (except email, considering that's how I got the book), but now that I'm armed and dangerous with my Nook, it's on like Donkey Kong, peeps.

BTW, is this cover not the most adorable thing ever?

Undercover Lovers is a collection of four erotic romance stories with the same theme: at least one person in the relationship is undercover,and not just cops. I'll explain as I go through each story.

There is some heat in each of these stories. So those of you who like fade-to-black sex should probably steer clear. Or just skip over the naughty bits, because the collection holds quite a bit of heart and romance as well. One other thing these stories have in common is their collective ability to make you care deeply about the characters in such a short amount of time.

Dee's story, Consumed, speaks to the foodie in me. Food critic (best job ever, besides author, astronaut, and video game designer) Saffron Burton is posing as a customer in famous chef August Jaeger's high-profile restaurant. She knows that if August discovers her true occupation, he'll never give her the information she wants. But she gets more than she bargains for. August is instantly taken with the young woman, so much so that he invites her back to his home, and I guess you can get where it goes from there. However, Saffron knows she has to tell him, and in one of those horribly gut-wrenching moments, she tells August everything. Honestly, I was heartbroken for them both. When Saffron's article comes out, she returns to August's restaurant, and they reconcile FTW.

What I love about this story is A) there's food involved (and really REALLY delicious-sounding food) and B) there's a LOT of insecurity on Saffron's part. She's obviously striking to get August's attention, but she doesn't necessarily feel that way about herself. Once she and August get together, though, her insecurities seem to fade away, and in the end she becomes a much more confident woman. It's not all about the sex. It's about personal growth, too.

Conned by Chloe Cole is probably the most sensual of the four. Biology professor Tucker Lamb (I love the name Tucker; it makes me giggle) has the hots for human sexuality professor Cricket Malloy. And I mean, why not? She's gorgeous, she's open, and best of all, she's available. But Cricket's into bad boys, and Tucker seems totally harmless, right? Except, he's not. At all. Tucker's family was involved in organized crime, and Tuck's been in witness protection for YEARS. Of course, he can't tell Cricket this. When he proposes an experiment on aphrodisiacs to compliment the experiments their classes will be performing together, she agrees. Tuck's just so darn cute.

Admittedly, this one got me the hottest under the collar. The experiments are...well, hot. There's blindfolding and heart rate monitors and other such fun things involved. And they show Cricket a side of Tucker she never imagined. But secrets don't stay buried forever, and thanks to Google, Cricket learns the truth about Tuck's past. Of course, they reconcile. You don't find that kind of chemistry with just anyone, but the will they/won't they was TORTUROUS.

The third story, Cari Quinn's Conquered, is a pretty damn funny story about mistaken identity and a PI desperate to prove himself. Unfortunately for shy Emma Donnegan, she looks a lot like a woman Shane Madison was paid to spy on. Well, not just any woman, but one who's suspected of being a madam. Shane goes undercover as a stripper at a club where said woman is suspected of picking her men. When he sees Emma, he thinks he's found her, and he tries to get her to pick him up, so to speak. Some hilarious banter ensues, including Emma trying so hard to be seductive and failing miserably. She frequently tells Shane he can't dance (which he knows), and they end up at his place, where she treats him to a striptease, all the way down to her granny panties. Good on you, Emma. Shane doesn't give a crap, but after they sleep together, they figure out that the other isn't who they thought they were.

My one big gripe with this one? I could not buy that Emma's friend was a chemist. She just...doesn't seem like someone who should be around potentially dangerous chemicals. That's all. I connected with Emma. We're pretty much the same person. Except for the granny panties.

Dee Tenorio's Convicted might be my favorite of the bunch, though. There's a lot of danger, and intrigue and gunfights ^_^ I like explosions with my romance, okay? Anyway, Sheriff Cade Evigan *is hot* has taken refuge at his secluded cabin for some much needed R&R. But when Trina Killian knocks on his door, covered in blood and wounds, his Marine corps medical training kicks in. Turns out the leader of one of the local biker gangs has it in for Cade, and Trina, one of the gang members--and the only convict to EVER get under Cade's skin--has betrayed them to save his life. However, Trina's been working undercover for the last two years to nail these guys on drug running charges, and her case has been blown wide open. And her cover's been blown too.

Even after Cade learns the truth, he's willing to stay by Trina. After all, she risked a LOT to save his hide, including getting beat half to death for him. When the leader of the biker gang shows up at Cade's cabin, all hell breaks loose. And. It's. Awesome. I appreciate a man who buries landmines on his property and can stitch a person back together.

Anyone who enjoys spicy romance would love this collection. If you're heading to Lori Foster's Reader Author Get Together this weekend, find Dee. She'll have paperback copies available! If not (and I'm sad for you, seriously), then get your butt over to Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Also, check out Undercover Lovers on Goodreads.

1 comment:

Blogger said...

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