Monday, January 9, 2017

Review – ‘Big Guns Out of Uniform’ by Kenyon, Carlyle and Camden


Blurb 

They are the intriguing strangers we pass on the street -- men who do whatever it takes to keep us safe from the evils of the world. Mysterious and untamable, they hold honor, strength, and courage close to their well-guarded hearts. But no matter how much their jobs require them to lay aside their personal lives, they can't deny that when their facades and clothes are stripped off, they have burning needs like any other man.... 
In Sherrilyn Kenyon's "BAD to the Bone," teacher Marianne Webernec wins the "Hideaway Heroine Sweepstakes" and a chance to pretend to be the heroine in her favorite romance novel. Whisked away to a remote tropical island, Marianne's fantasies become real when BAD (Bureau of American Defense) agent Kyle Foster kidnaps her. Together they uncover Marianne's every desire, and Kyle's secret fantasy, too. 
In Liz Carlyle's "Let's Talk About Sex," Dr. Delia Sydney dishes out perfectly sound sex advice on the radio. So how is it that this slightly repressed divorcée is so easily seduced by her bad-boy neighbor? And just what is it about Nick Woodruff, a smooth-talking sergeant on a forced "vacation," that makes Delia feel she'll do anything -- anything -- when she's with him? 
Things get even hotter in Nicole Camden's "The Nekkid Truth" when crime scene photographer Debbie Valley works more closely than ever with the detective who has fascinated her for years. After a harrowing accident Debbie finds her life forever changed when she loses the ability to recognize faces. She is forced to identify people by their bodies and soon finds that the wonders of Detective Marshall Scott's body never cease...and that he needs her unique gift to help catch a killer.

Review

I’ve had this book for a few years and finally got around to reading it. I’m a big fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon but I’ve never read anything from Liz Carlyle or Nicole Camden until now.

In the first book of the anthology, ‘BAD to the Bone’ by Sherrilyn Kenyon, school teacher Marianne wins the sweepstakes! But it’s not just any sweepstakes. The host is a romance book publisher and the winner can pick any book the publisher owns to reenact at their private island. As she’s living the fantasy—a secret agent/spy romance with a kickass heroine—she’s bored because all the actors meant to portray the characters in the book are duds. When Marianne wanders to the off-limits part of the island, she meets the gorgeous Kyle and all her action-packed, hot sex dreams with a real life secret agent are about to come true!
I love insta-love stories and their chemistry was off the charts. I laughed out several times and the H/h really clicked. The ending is super sweet but hilarious. Though I enjoyed the story, it was a little farfetched. I mean, Marianne is a tourist and she’s hiding in a cave from the publisher’s fantasy workers for a week. I understand she doesn’t want to go back but she’s not even concerned that her disappearance and ‘kidnapping’ by Kyle could pose major problems. Kyle is hitting and scaring off the people who are doing their job and trying to find her, not even concerned he could get in big trouble with the agency he works for.
The novella is well-edited, but the author jumped POVs. The switches flowed, however, and I never lost track of who was telling the story. The pacing could’ve been tighter but I liked it overall.
3 Stars

In Liz Carlyle’s, ‘Let’s Talk About Sex,’ recent divorcée Delia meets her next door neighbor Nick after the home owner’s association of her fancy gated community decides to cut down the border of trees between her place and Nick’s. (His ramshackle adjacent property isn’t part of the gated area.) They have little in common but sexual tension sparks between them.
I didn’t connect well with either Delia or Nick. She’s a snobby sex physiologist and assistant college professor, and she hosts a daytime talk show about sex. The problem is that she’s naïve and has very little sexual experience. She’s totally vanilla and unsure about her own sexuality. This makes little sense due to her job.
Nick, on the other hand, is too arrogant and pursues her way too strongly. He works for the State Bureau of Investigation in North Carolina, so it’s understandable he’s rough around the edges. To make matters worse, he’s a good ole boy with a Southern drawl and he calls his father Daddy. He makes it clear he only wants sex from her, not a relationship, and he refuses to talk about anything important. When she tries to have a meaningful conversation, he very crudely seduces her and she gives in without a fight.
The story is well-written but needs a little content editing. For example, how old is Delia? On one page she’s 29, a few pages later she’s 31. I really wanted to like this book but I struggled to get through it. It just wasn’t for me.
2 Stars

In the last book, ‘The Nekkid Truth’ by Nicole Camden, Debbie is a professional photographer who also sidelines as a crime scene photographer for the police. A drunk-driving cop hit her car five years ago and left her with a mental disability. She’s fully functional and lives a strong, healthy life, but she has trouble recognizing people, even those she knows well. She’s a flirt, lives in the moment, but there’s only one man she wants. Marshall was the drunken cop’s partner and he feels responsible for her accident. They’ve become friends and started working together, and the sexual tension between them is high. When a murder investigation draws them together and their feelings for one another out in the open, neither of them expected the sparks to fly.
I liked this book a lot. Though Debbie’s problem confused me (I’m not sure if the disability is even a real medical problem), I definitely felt her pain, unease and self-doubt. I teared up a few times. Marshall was so sweet and understanding. He’s surly and protective but definitely doesn’t seem like a realistic cop, at least none I’ve met or heard of in real life. For instance, he kisses a man on the mouth for laughs at his birthday party (also, the whole station accepts two openly gay cops who work there). That’s wonderful, but a little unrealistic in my opinion.
The story is well-written like the previous two but, unlike them, it’s in first POV and told from Debbie’s POV. I’m not a big fan of first POV but I enjoyed the story.
3.5 Stars

The Book Overall – 3 Stars


Disclaimer – I bought this book for my own enjoyment. I am not paid or compensated in any way, shape or form for this honest review. I will not change or alter this review for any reason unless at my discretion.