review: Alex (Cold Fury #1) by Sawyer Bennett

21794306

{Source: GoodReads.com}

Official Synopsis
Hockey star Alexander Crossman has a reputation as a cold-hearted player on and off the rink. Pushed into the sport by an alcoholic father, Alex isn’t afraid to give fans the proverbial middle finger, relishing his role as the MVP they love to hate. Management, however, isn’t so amused. Now Alex has a choice: fix his public image through community service or ride the bench. But Alex refuses to be molded into the Carolina Cold Fury poster boy . . . not even by a tempting redhead with killer curves.

As a social worker, Sutton Price is accustomed to difficult people–like Alex, who’s been assigned to help her create a drug-abuse awareness program for at-risk youth as part of the team’s effort to clean up his image. What she doesn’t expect is the arrogant smirk from his perfect lips to stir her most heated fantasies. But Sutton isn’t one to cross professional boundaries–and besides, Alex doesn’t do relationships . . . or does he? The more she sees behind Alex’s bad-boy facade, the more Sutton craves the man she uncovers.”

Review
Oh Good God.

I’ll just be over here, not sure what to say. Sawyer Bennett is shockingly adept at writing New Adult romance and hot-as-fuck heroes to the point where it’s difficult to review, because my only thought after putting this down was can I have him now please?

Alex Crossman. Um, where to begin?

fanning-myself

The guy is sex on skates, lemme tell you. Sure, he’s somewhat of an asshole, but don’t let that stop you from reading. The guy may have been voted “Most Valuable Prick” but that could be taken two ways is all I’m gonna say.

When he meets Sutton Price, a fiery, compassionate and beautiful (natch) drug crisis counselor, Alex is startled to discover he actually has… what are those now… oh right, feelings. He takes this about as well as most commitment phobic jerks do, and goes through the usual crisis where he just doesn’t know how to examine these ghastly emotions without completely breaking down into little man pieces of worry and regret and avoidance.

And I didn’t even hate him for it.

Mostly because their first sex scene is one of the most scorching things I’ve ever read. I won’t pick out the specific moment that surprised even me – a seasoned romance reader. I can’t say anything else without making this X-Rated. Dammit.

Suffice to say, my reaction to Alex in this scene – and every scene?

giphy

What else is there.

Good job, Sawyer Bennett. I am Rachel on Friends, proudly proclaiming to the world:

tumblr_mdwwvxN4yR1qcggyvo1_250

review: On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

ondublinstreet {Source: GoodReads.com}

So here’s the thing.

This is the thing.

On Dublin Street gets four stars because the sex was crazy hot. The hero was also crazy hot.

BUT.

Let’s do a list, shall we?

The Good

1. The sex. Again, it was just molten. I don’t normally get at all excited by sex scenes in books because well, I spent my teen years reading Harlequins and after one penis-in-vagina moment, they’re all pretty much the same. But I could spend a few days reading about Braden dirty talking and not get bored. My only quibble was Joss’ ability to orgasm purely from penetration, which I think is a myth perpetuated by New Adult books and I just hope young girls don’t feel odd when they need a little hand or oral action during sex. It’s NOT ODD, ladies. It’s NORMAL. Yes, some lucky souls can come purely from intercourse, but they’re honestly not the norm and we can only envy them and move on.

2. Braden, in a way. He was slightly alpha (and the scene in the break room was right up my alley, rawr…) and I also enjoyed how he pretty much made fun of Joss constantly. I understood his initial interest in her, because she was a challenge, but after that… not so much. The guy is hot, rich, smart and owns half of Edinburgh. Not to mention he was actually pretty… nice? In other words, he’s a catch. He’s not going to put up with constant mind games, drama and (excuse this phrase, but it’s apt when it comes to Joss) cock teasing, without peacing out. He just isn’t.

The Not-so-good

1. Braden’s girlfriends. It’s always interesting to me in books when we’re supposed to still like a hero even though he dates vapid Barbies who are cruel to his sister and friends. What does it say about Braden that he dates these girls for months? What do they talk about? It’s just the kind of plot black hole that I loathe.

2. Joss. Straight-up, she’s pretty much a foul bitch to everyone she meets (including Ellie – and although Ellie is a Mary-Sue at heart, I still thought she seemed like a nice person and she had ACTUAL problems going on right that second, and yet Joss STILL couldn’t be there for her) and yet we’re expected to believe she has tons of friends and people love her and Braden just can’t stay away from her? It doesn’t compute.

I GET that Joss has issues – who wouldn’t with what happened to her. BUT it just doesn’t give her a free pass to be heinous to everyone.

Not to mention, she’s got piles of money but she pretends she doesn’t spend it (oh please, are you enjoying your $5,000 a month apartment and your designer dresses?), she works at a bar because she ‘wants to’ (suuuure, everyone loves menial service jobs), she can’t “love” Braden because… oh no, wait, she didn’t really have a reason beyond manufactured drama… ehhh, she’s just a pill. When she FINALLY gets a little self-awareness toward the end, it’s nice, but too little too late. She even manages to make Ellie’s crisis about her… how did she do that?

The only thing I really liked was how Samantha Young had Joss at the gym pretty much every day, because if there’s anything I hate more than slut-shaming in books, it’s a girl who eats like a truck driver but tee hee doesn’t work out. It’s unrealistic, it’s insulting, it makes girls feel like shit, and it’s beneath female authors to write about. Joss having to work for her body was refreshing.

3. Again, Joss and Braden’s relationship. The sex – yes. The relationship. I just don’t know. I didn’t believe he would stick around long enough to actually fall in love with her. She was way too hot and cold, way too mind gamey and way too bitchy. I feel like anyone would get tired of that eventually – girl or guy. And when she basically abandons her supposed best friend – his sister – when she’s found out life altering news? Yeah. Goooooodbye.

It sounds like all I did was complain about this book and yet I gave it four stars. It’s interesting – I really couldn’t put it down, and Braden was exactly the kind of hero I like… kept picturing Logan from Gilmore Girls for some reason…

description

No idea why since he’s blond… I guess it’s that smirky rich boy thing.

Anyway, I’m not knocking On Dublin Street – it’s sexy hot, Braden’s smokin’ and it’s immensely readable. I guess it says it all that I ran to buy Down London Road doesn’t it?

review: Bought With His Name by Penny Jordan

boughtwithhisname {Source: GoodReads.com}

What a horrid romance… and I mean, in the best possible way. This is plain crack.

The heroine is a dumb bunny, and although in the beginning shows a bit of likable spark, by the end she’s a dizzy idiot, unable to even walk upright without falling over or feeling queasy(sort of like Bella from Twilight!). Every one of her issues could be cleared up by just explaining a misunderstanding, but she refuses to tell anyone the truth about anything.

The “hero” is a total asshole. And should be arrested. Not only does he threaten to rape the heroine numerous times, but he goes so far as to say he’s going to treat her like a prostitute (maybe someone should look into unsolved murders of prostitutes around where he lives… just a tip) and that if she continues to look at him the wrong way, he’s going to make their wedding night as horrific as possible. Real charmer. Of course the heroine falls in love with him for absolutely no reason and in the end, it turns out he loved her all along! That’s why he’s so tortured and manly and anguished!

Right.

review: Taste of Beirut: 175+ Delicious Lebanese Recipes from Classics to Contemporary to Mezzes and More by Joumana Accad

beirut {Source: GoodReads.com}

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I devoured this book. Heh heh heh.

My wit is blinding!

Anyway, I really did. I read this super quickly, and then went back through and highlighted recipes I want to try immediately. This book is an interesting one for me, because I mainly follow a LCHF (low carb / high fat) diet, and of course, staples of Lebanese food are pita breads, grains, chickpeas, etc. However, there are still tons of options for all diets – including vegetarians, and Accad gives easy substitutions and allows room for cooks to play around with the recipes. I love that.

Accad begins with a helpful and informative guide to Lebanese cooking. In fact, most of the recipes begin with a note about how particular foods fit into life in Beirut. It’s lovely and really adds to the experience of reading the recipes. They’re not just collections of ingredients – they’re building blocks of culture and life and memory.

Thankfully, many of the recipes are simple, and most only require a few ingredients. Some are obscure of course, but I do think they’d be easily found in ethnic stores. It may require a little treasure hunting, but that can be fun!

I’m most excited to try anything with tahini (oh, how I love that golden condiment!) but especially the Tarator sauce (which Accad says the Lebanese use like mayonnaise) and the Muhammara. I’m also going to use this cookbook as a basis for a dinner party and create a Mezzes for guests, so they can sample the various dips (especially the hummus with meat – yum!) and pastries.

All in all, a gorgeous cookbook with SO many options – a wonderful gift for the chef in your life, or a delightful addition to your kitchen. I highly recommend it. Can’t wait to start cooking! 5 Delicious Stars.