#BookReview Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4 by Rachel Kramer Bussel et al.

When I saw that my fave Tamsen Parker had a short story in this collection, I jumped on it! She is always apart of the best compilations and anthologies, so this book became a must read for me. And of course, this book did not let down! There are stories for every erotica lover (whether you love the crazy hot and heavy, or the sensual and romance).

The best part about this collection is that there are so many varieties of stories. Not only does this introduce the reader to each author’s work, but it’s just enough to get your mouth watering for more. When I read anthologies like these, I love picking out new authors to follow. You can test the waters with each little story to see the true potential of each author to open up your bookshelf for a few more readers.

I definitely had my faves from the collection – Tamsen Parker, Alessandra Torre and Mica Kennedy to name a few – but they were all fantastic! I think this is the best way to check out some new authors without committing to 12+ 300 page novels.

Each story had a few chapters to sink the reader’s teeth into, and all of them were spicy! The diverse types of stories is also a nice touch – BDSM, existing couples, new couples, experimenting, kinks and more! It dabbles in each “category” of erotica to spice up the reader’s life.

Overall, I think this is an excellent collection. There’s a little bit of erotica for every type of reader and it is truly the best way to find a new author (or two!) to add to your collection.

Five out of five stars!

I received an ARC of this book from the editor.

 

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#BookReview Thrown Off Track by Tamsen Parker

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“It sounds serial-killer creepy” = the best quote of this entire book (and it’s pretty darn quote worth).

Here’s the thing – I don’t normally like M/M romance. Not because I don’t enjoy M/M romance stories, but because every book I’ve ever read that involved M/M centered around stereotypical men and always made M/M seem like a joke. But this book? It has characters that felt real, with awkward situations that would actually happen, and doesn’t make M/M look like some weird fairy tale full of characters without personalities.

I loved it, like normal. Tamsen clicks with me, and all of her nerdy references make me fangirl beyond believe. Narnia? Schrodinger’s cat? Heck yes!

Continuing on with this series (some characters from SIG, and now LtL) is an excellent way to keep these characters alive. I love Tamsen’s creativity with her series – Olympics, boy bands. What’s next?! This fantastic author is filling my childhood obsessions up, now she just needs to make a story about a swimmer and she’s hit almost every point in my childhood (because I was a highly competitive swimmer…most readers won’t understand that reference if you don’t know me). Essentially, these series feel like throwbacks, and I love it!

This book is fun, lovable and about boy bands (of all topics…) and raises this genre to a new high for me. I was hooked and addicted (yes, I got side tracked often by the nerdy references and had to tweet Tamsen about it, but what can you expect from me? I embrace my nerdiness). Although, this book isn’t as R rated as her past books (the deleted scene is very hot and heavy, but I’m not sure if that will be in the final copy).

Thank you for including LGBT characters in this story – I have never heard of the term demisexual before, and I’m so thankful you’re introduced me to more terms that I can totally understand and relate to. On top of that, having these male leads with personalities and likes and dislikes and not being perfect? It makes it even better. It felt more realistic (within the realm of a superstar boy band, realism).

So, delving into these characters – Teague and Christian are a really different/unique pair (in a good way). Teague is a superstar, rock star who is a demisexual. Christian is the drummer (in the same band of Teague) and is a little more shy and awkward (and always JUST on time). Christian likes guys, Teague’s been with both genders. And then Teague develops a little crush on Christian, who’s been crushing on him for a long time and sexy antics ensue! I feel like everyone saw this coming with the boy band theme, but that doesn’t make it any less cute! They’re awkward together at first (which felt wildly refreshing, since everyone just seems to mesh well the first time and BAM they’re a couple, which isn’t always the case in real life) and slowly grow.

Even though most readers could see a relationship between members coming from a mile away, the bassist and the drummer? I wouldn’t have seen that pair coming.

If you haven’t read anything by Tamsen before, I highly recommend her (as a fan). But, she might not be for you (because it happens). I find her books are fun and uplifting, and are never too serious. They move fast, are full of romance, and will open your eyes up to different worlds (religion, sexuality, lifestyles, etc). I keep praising over and over, and I’ll do it again in this review – she doesn’t stick to the same old story. There are some really fantastic authors (who I love and still read) that do that, but Tamsen changes it up and keeps me on my toes! The likelihood that there will be one book you like (because she has so many different types of romance books) is high! Read through her catalogue and find the topics you like, but keep in mind all books might not be for you!

My reading style and Tamsen’s writing style just click, and the nerdy references on top of that lift these books up. This is definitely a must read and a recommendation from me, as I think it’s one of her better books (at this rate, I can’t pick a best. It rotates depending on the day and how I feel, but this book will be included in that “top tier”, ever rotating list).

On a side note, I really like the little guitar symbol that was above the names of when the characters switch back and forth between point of views. My copy is an ARC, so I’m not sure if that will be on the final copy, but I thought it was a nice addition and looked aesthetically pleasing!

Five out of five! Ten out of five! Fifteen out of five! I’m pulling an Oprah with these stars! Every gets one! Five for every boy in the boy band and Rowan gets six for a surprise cameo!

I received an uncorrected proof from the author Tamsen Parker in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out Thrown Off Track on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40144194-thrown-off-track

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Find out more about Tamsen Parker on her website: http://www.tamsenparker.com/

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Did you enjoy this review? Check out part of my collection of reviews of Tamsen Parker books:

#BookReview Rogue Hearts (Anthology) by Tamsen Parker, Amy Jo Cousins, and more

#BookReview Craving Flight by Tamsen Parker

#BookReview #OnTheBrinkofPassion by Tamsen Parker

#BookReview In Her Court by Tamsen Parker

Book Review: The Cartographer by Tamsen Parker

 

#BookReview #OnTheBrinkofPassion by Tamsen Parker

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Round Five of the Snow and Ice Games! I’m sad to see this series go, because I never knew how much I needed a sports romance book! But, this series is worth the ride! Maybe if we’re lucky, Tamsen will make a summer Olympics version of this series for Tokyo 2020… Hey, a girl can hope!

So let’s get into the meat of this story:

This time around we are graced with Jubilee and Beckett, and they are world class figure skaters. They weren’t initially paired with each other: Jubilee was originally with her husband (who has since passed away), and Beckett had been playing around with who his perfect partner would be. Finally, they settle on each other and seem to be the perfect fit. And of course, what’s figure skating without some competition? Sabrina and Todd, two of the people Jubilee and Beckett had been paired with, are their rival competitors.

Not even 24 pages into this sexy story, and I already love the dynamic between Jubilee and Beckett. They are sassy, competitive and keep each other on their toes. I absolutely love the fact that yet again Tamsen changes the dynamic of her main characters’s relationship. And if you think that this dynamic wavers at all, it doesn’t. The snarky and sarcastic comments keep coming and have perfect comedic timing. Honestly, this pair is my favourite out of all five of the books Tamsen has written in this series.

I liked the fact that Tamsen slowly revealed what happened to Jubilee’s husband Stephen. The way she slowly weaved it into the slowly really hit me emotionally. If she would have given away what happened earlier, I don’t think the story would have worked as well.

This story is sweet, sometimes heartbreaking, and fulfills everything I wanted in the final novel of this series. It felt like a roller coaster of emotions and it hit every note it needed too.

One thing about Tamsen Parker is she knows how to keep her fan base happy – she isn’t afraid of change. I can’t say enough how proud I am to watch her grow as an author because SHE’S SO GOOD. Ugh. Her books are so frustratingly good!

So, brief summary of this book for those wondering what type of topics this novel includes – minor spoilers of the plot without spoiling specifics…be warned:
1. Sexy figure skating pair get some sexy time on (Jubilee – female lead, Beckett – male lead).
2. Jubilee’s past partner (on and off the ice) has died, and both Beck and Jubilee have had other skating partners since.
3. Jubilee and Beck start having a sexual relationship, Jubilee is but isn’t into it (but consents)
4. Jubilee and Beck’s pasts are slowly revealed, which includes some harassment
5. Past partners Todd and Sabrina should not be trusted…
6. Lots of detailed sexy time

Overall, this book is super steamy and is worth the read. If you were only going to pick one book out of this series, I’d pick this one. It’s my favourite, I love it! All the books are good, but this one just inched by the competition (I’m not sure if it’s technical points or performance points where it surpassed, if we’re using figure skating as a reference).

Five out of five stars!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley & the author Tamsen Parker in exchange for an honest opinion. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not influenced by other sources.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Fire on the Ice by Tamsen Parker

Head to twitter to give @TamsenParker or Briar’s Reviews a shoutout!

Check out the rest of Tamsen’s library on Goodreads! Tamsen Parker on Goodreads or on her website TamsenParker.com

Do you have a favourite romance novel? Share it below in the comment section!

#BookReview Fire on the Ice by Tamsen Parker

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Maisy and Blaze are the newest feature in the SIG, and these two ladies will leave you breathless!

Maisy is a figure skater and Blaze is a speed skater. The two get hot and heavy early on in this book and already have a relationship of sorts going on. It’s a nice change from strangers or friends to lovers, to be honest. But if you were thinking these would be soft, vanilla sex scenes – you’d be wrong! Tamsen is shockingly amazing at writing these scenes that they will make you blush (so maybe don’t read them in public…?). I think this has to be the “hottest” book of the series so far, so be warned!

The “parents don’t like that I’m gay” was something new from Tamsen, but I think it worked well. There needed to be some conflict in this book, and it fit perfectly! I didn’t totally enjoy the opposites attract portion of this book, but it fits well enough within this story.

These characters do grow within this story, and I have give me praise to Tamsen for doing such. Having characters that try to change and grow was a lovely addition to tie this book in together. It really shows how much Tamsen is growing as an author – she keeps implementing new and better plot points in her books. Personally, I didn’t like the personalities of the main characters (it’s a personal problem, to be honest. They remind me of people I know, and you know how that is…). I think in relation to the story, they have the best personality for the scenario, but it just didn’t bode with me. It’s nothing against this story (because it’s a great story, honestly, READ IT).

If anything, I would have liked a little more plot in this story. I found this to be a really heavy romance compared to a plot focused one. This can be great for some readers, but for others it might not work. Keep that in mind if you’re going to read it – don’t expect a crazy, complicated plot.

This might be my least favourite SIG novel (but they are all fighting for top spot, so it’s a tight race for first place) if I had to place them in a list. It’s still a fantastic book, I just liked the others more (I related more to the characters from the other books on a personal level).

Overall, I would definitely recommend this story to anyone looking for romance, F/F, or sports romance books. It’s still top tier! Comparing them to Tamsen’s other books (based on my own personal opinion) it’s one of the best, just not MY favourite. It’s definitely one of her best.

Four out of five stars.

Side Note: Who would have thought Olympics erotica would be a category of books? It’s probably one of the few I never considered until Tamsen actually wrote these books.

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Tamsen Parker and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Leave a comment below about your favourite unique romance reads!!

Visit Tamsen Parker on Goodreads: Tamsen Parker on Goodreads

Give Tamsen a shoutout on twitter! @TamsenParker or me! @ReviewAlholic

Or check out another review you might enjoy! Quick Review – Uncharted Territory by Tamsen Parker

#BookReview Love on the Tracks by Tamsen Parker

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Love on the Tracks is another top tier romance by Tamsen Parker that should not be missed!

I’d hate to say it, but I love this book WAY more than The Compass series (and I was overly obsessed with that book). I didn’t think Tamsen could make me love a book or series more than her original, but she did!

This novel is a contemporary romance that follows a female sports star and a male pop star – something that makes so much sense, but I haven’t seen much in the books I’ve read. Our leads, Rowan and Zane, are a perfect duo that I definitely want to see more of in the future. Our setting, The Snow and Ice Games, introduces us to a unique setting – competition, sports stadiums, Olympic tones, etc. Our antagonists are not bad guys, and are merely trying to do their best under what they think is the right thing. Every inch of this story feels more realistic than most romances I’ve torn through in the past few years.

Positives:
1. Luge/Sports – I really liked the introduction of a sport that most people don’t really think about on a day to day basis.
2. Strong Female Lead – Yes, India was an excellent character written by Tamsen but she had her faults (which is what made her so good, FYI) but Rowan is stronger, knows what she wants and has her head on straight (for now, anyways).
3. Lighthearted, Engaging Story – I enjoy a sweet novel that doesn’t make you cringe at every turn. This book is so sweet, so simple, and an overall lovely story to make you feel good.
4. Respect – Also, if you haven’t noticed many novels don’t have the level of respect between the two leads like this book does. A+ for effort Tamsen!!

Negatives:
1. Speed – I found some portions of this book was a little fast (no spoilers), but there are more books in the series to explore different issues among characters, competitions, etc.

Overall, this book is a fantastic, romance read for all you romance enthusiasts! This book does not disappoint!!!

Five out of five stars!

I received a copy of this story through NetGalley for an honest review.

 

Did you enjoy this book? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview In Her Court by Tamsen Parker

Check out Tamsen Parker on Goodreads! Tamsen Parker on Goodreads

Or visit her website! TamsenParker.com

#BookReview Rogue Desires by Tamsen Parker, Adriana Anders, Amy Jo Cousins and more!

Rogue Desire, an anthology of incredibly sexy stories, will play with your temptations.

This anthology holds stories from Adriana Anders, Tamsen Parker, Dakota Gray, Emma Barry, Jane Lee Blair, Ainsley Booth, Amy Jo Cousins and Stacy Agder.

If you’re looking for some sensual stories to fulfill your fantasies, this is the book for you. Especially if you want some quick, easy reads instead of a super long romance novel to fill up your time – you’ve found what you’re looking for!

I wouldn’t necessarily call it just contemporary romance – some of these stories are a bit more sexy than that name hints – but this still hits all the notes of a sexy, steamy romance.

For me, as a Tamsen Parker fangirl extraordinaire (can I get a button or something pronouncing my love for Tamsen’s writing? I feel like I’m apart of the fan club by now) I really love that her writing is growing yet again. I grew to love and feel for the characters in such a small set of chapters, and melt into a puddle reading the sexiness in that story. And I probably blushed a lot – that story was really steamy…

I will applaud this anthology as a whole though. Normally anthologies all have very similar stories or similar styles of writing – this one does not. Yes they are “similar” – you know, romance and sexiness all over – but they all have different themes and plot lines. Not just ‘hey you’re sexy, let’s get together” plot lines. Also, each writer is unique and completely different than the others. It’s not just carbon copies of the same type of author over and over writing a slightly different story. So, you will most likely find at least one story in this if you like romance – or hopefully more than one!

I kind of wish I could give each individual story star ratings, but they all rate between 4 and 5. Some of the stories weren’t necessarily my cup of tea, but they were all great reads – they kept me hooked and interested, I felt invested in the characters, and I enjoyed reading the stories. It didn’t feel like work or like I was forcing myself through the stories.

Reading some other reviews, I have seen that some people think these stories are “rushed” and yes, I might agree – but you need to remember these are short stories with little wiggle room for giant character development. Many of my favourite short stories seem “rushed” to me – The Veldt – but they still worked. If given the opportunity, I would love to see all authors expand on these stories, but to me they felt like they were just “rushed” enough – not so crazy fast it’s unbelievable, but not to slow to make it an entire novel.

Another great point about this book is the new authors you will be introduced to. While I’ve seen the names of some of these authors floating around Goodreads and Twitter, I never really looked into them – and now I know I should! Being able to see some of these authors write a full length novel instead of a tiny, itty, bitty story will be delightful!! So you may find your new must-read in this series!!!

My other thought from other reviews I peeked at after reading – “political” is a word used a lot, and it does seem fitting but I, for whatever reason, don’t like that word necessarily being put with this. Sexy politics seem so off…yet the politics behind each story made each a little bit better. It’s not like your following a sexy election from beginning to end, which is what that word leads me to believe when I see it pop up. So readers beware!

Overall, five out of five stars. It was sexy and a great read!

I received an uncorrected proof from Tamsen Parker for an honest review.35654211

Book Review: The Cartographer by Tamsen Parker

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If you’re looking for heat this summer don’t bother going outside, Tamsen Parker’s The Cartographer brings all the heat and so much more!

This book infuriates me. Why, you might ask? Because it’s the last (Yes! The last!!) book in the compass series. It’s such a wonderful arching storyline over these six books and it’s all done! The fantastic part that doesn’t infuriate me, is how beautiful this story was tied together.

I really appreciated this book being in Reyes’s point of view. Watching our other characters grow with Reyes in the background was wonderful, but having him tie this story together and finished it made it so much better. I wouldn’t have wanted any different!!

This book is a sexy ride – M/M, hard R if you catch my drift – with Allie being our protagonists love interest. He is an interesting character – definitely not Cris or India. I really enjoyed his character, but I would have seen him being more stubborn than he actually was. It was a nice change not having him stubborn, but if there’s anything “wrong” with this story, that would be my only negative point.

In this book you will find lots of kink and sexy times, but you will also finds lots of heart wrenching back story. What’s nice about these novels is it’s not just an erotic read without any thought behind it. Tamsen has been getting better and better with her writing abilities with each book she writes. Not only has she increased the sexiness of these books, the characters, back stories and plots have grown with her. It’s so wonderful watching her grow with each book and seeing the characters grow along with her.

You could definitely read this book as a standalone, but I would definitely suggest reading the rest of the books. This book won’t cause any confusion to those who don’t know India/Cris – you might not understand a few references here and there. But, it doesn’t take away from the story in any way. Also, readers who haven’t gone through the first five books might find they don’t connect to Reyes as much as they should. He’s a very lovable character, so reading the other books will make you appreciate him so much more than what’s just introduced in this story.

Tamsen’s writing style is very easy to read – she doesn’t use difficult language, but doesn’t make it so simple either. Her sentences and words flow smoothly and don’t seem choppy like some BDSM novels I have read in the past.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I think this is a great addition to any kinky readers library and is a must read!! If you want some sexiness in your life, pick up some Tamsen Parker books. She’s becoming such a fantastic author and is growing so much, it’s almost foolish to not pick up her books if you want some super sexy romance in your life!!

Five out of five stars.