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Perfect for the Beach (Anthology 6-in-1)

by Lori Foster (Contributor), MaryJanice Davidson (Contributor), Janelle Denison (Contributor), Morgan Leigh (Contributor), Erin McCarthy (Contributor)1 more, Kayla Perrin (Contributor)

Series: Florida Doctors ("Blue Crush", 1), Parish/McCauley ("Murphy's Law", 2), Dean Brothers ("Some Like It Hot", 2), Wilde ("One Wilde Weekend", 2.5)

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300667,320 (3.36)5
Temperatures will rise in this sultry collection of six novellas that includes Lori Foster's Some Like It Hot, in which Dr. Cary Rupert is unable to deny his attraction to sexy patient Nora Chilton, along with other works by Kayla Perrin, Janelle Denison, Erin McCarthy, MaryJanice Davidson, and Morgan Leigh.… (more)

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Some Like It Hot by Lori Foster - Some Like It Hot is the second story in Lori Foster's Dean Brothers & Friend novella series. It represents the “friend” portion of the series, featuring Axel Dean's best friend, Cary Rupert, a family practitioner, who has is bad for Axel's nurse, Nora. She's a tough nut to crack though, as she keeps turning him down, so Cary really has his work cut out for him convincing her they can be good together and that he can be trusted.

Nora is just too cute and sweet for words. She's a kind of geeky plain-Jane who wears glasses. I could totally relate to her social awkwardness, as well as her preference for relationships over casual sex. She's probably one of the most, if not the most, innocent heroine I've ever read in a contemporary romance, which might be off-putting to some readers, but worked incredibly well for me. In spite of being married for six months, she's still near-virginal and very self-conscious about sex, but her reasons were sound and believable. I thought that Ms. Foster built Nora's characterization quite well, especially considering the brevity of the story.

Cary was an almost perfect hero for me as well. He's definitely an alpha, but one of the good guys with a heart of gold. I love that even though Nora shot him down multiple times, he wouldn't give up on her. He knows that she's the woman for him and would do almost anything to prove it, right down to giving her everything she's always dreamed of. He's very sweetly seductive, gently persuading Nora to give him a chance and then coaxing her out of her shell. I also loved that Cary went for the shy, plain girl even though she's not his usual type and Axel thinks he's a bit strange for it, and that he thought she was so sexy, he lost control in a way he never had before. He was just an all-around great guy.

I absolutely loved this little novelette. It may have been short, but it was very satisfying to the hopeless romantic in me. Things may have moved quickly, but I was totally able to buy into the scenario. Cary and Nora's relationship is sweet and romantic, just the way I like it, while their love scene is super-hot and emotional. Since Cary is best friends with the Dean Brothers, Booker (He See's You When You're Sleeping) and Axel get some page time too. Axel is such a playboy, I'm still not sure what to think of him, but hopefully he'll find his match in his own story, Playing Doctor, which is the third and final one of the series. Some Like It Hot was originally published in this multi-author anthology, but is soon to be reprinted (Dec. 2015) in the single-author anthology, Give It Up, along with it's two companion novellas. Star Rating: *****

One Wilde Weekend by Janelle Denison - One Wilde Weekend is a short novella that falls between The Wilde Side and Too Wilde to Tame in Janelle Denison’s Wilde series. It features Alex Wilde, brother of Scott (The Wilde Side) and Mia (Too Wilde to Tame) and cousin to the Wilde men from the earlier stories, as the hero. He and his girlfriend, Dana, are celebrating their one year dating anniversary. Alex is more than ready to take the next step in their relationship, but Dana isn’t too sure. That makes Alex pull out all the stops to prove that she’s the only woman for him, she can trust him with her heart, and that they have a future together.

Dana is a career-driven woman who never thought she would get married. In fact, until Alex, she’s never dated the same guy for more than a few months. Not unlike all of the other heroines in this series, she’s a commitment-phobe. Because of the short length of the story, her background isn’t hugely developed, but there was just enough for me to understand her. It seems her mother was always dependent on having a man in her life, so Dana swore she’d be independent and never rely on a man for anything. Now she has Alex, a man whom she’s more comfortable with than anyone else she’s ever dated, asking her to marry him. But she doesn’t know if she’s ready to take than big of a step.

Alex was a wonderful man. He understands Dana in a way no one else in her life ever has. He knows how much her career means to her, and he’s never tried to change a thing about her. He’s even been comfortable letting her take the reins in their relationship, because he understands her need for control. But now that he’s ready to propose, he needs her to know that she can trust him not to ask too much of her and not to hurt her. To prove that, he decides to take control of their sex life for the duration of their weekend anniversary getaway, and boy does he ever do an amazing job with that. Whew! (Fans self.;-))

For such a short novella (43 pages), it was packed with some of the most delicious, smoldering hot love scenes I’ve ever read, and they’re just barely this side of erotic. Alex sure knows how to please a woman and persuade her to take a chance on a forever love with him. Having the hero and heroine already in a well-established relationship when it begins definitely helped to make the short length pack a huge punch and be totally satisfying. It didn’t take me long, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I spent reading it. It’s my favorite story I’ve read by Janelle Denison so far, which makes me look forward to the rest of the series.

Note: While perhaps not quite what I would term erotic, this book contains some very steamy content including mile-high sex, light bondage, and mild dominant play. IMHO, everything was tastefully done, but it could make some readers uncomfortable. Star Rating: *****

Blue Crush by Erin McCarthy - Blue Crush is a super-steamy little novelette that is the first story in Erin McCarthy's Florida Doctors series. In all honesty, it's pretty much one long extended love scene that takes place over one day's time. There are no unrealistic declarations of love, and the ending while happy, is more of an HFN than an HEA. Normally, these things would be a downside for me, but somehow the story and characters really clicked for me, making it a fun, enjoyable read.

Sara is a busy pediatrician who's been caught up in work for far too long and feels like she's forgotten how to be woman. In an effort to make herself feel desirable, she goes to the beach, hoping to get a hot, studly surfer to take notice of her and give her a quick hook-up. Usually a heroine who is looking for sex only would be a turn-off for me, but in this case, Sara showed just the right amount of sweetness and vulnerability to make me really like her. She's self-conscious about her body, feeling that her legs are too long and lanky and her breasts are too small. She's also rather shy and modest, almost preferring to stay in the ocean during a tropical storm, when Kyle comes to rescue her, than getting out of the water topless. She's a little clumsy and awkward, and she worries that when Kyle finds out she's a doctor he'll be intimidated. Yet, at the same time, she has enough confidence to proposition Kyle and ask for what she wants. Sara was a nice mix of shy and sweet with just enough self-assurance to put herself out there and fulfill her purpose in coming to the beach.

Kyle was a sweetheart too. He's finishing up his last day as a lifeguard before going back to school to become an EMT. He swims out to save the blonde woman who he thinks is drowning, only to discover she's lost her bikini top instead. Of course, he's instantly aroused, but I liked that he was trying his best to be nonchalant about it. What I really loved about him is that he's not a one-night stand kind of guy and he genuinely wants to do the right thing. He's very attracted to Sara and wants to ask her out on a real date and get to know her first before making love to her. With Sara being so seductive and them being stuck in the lifeguard hut for a while during the storm, it doesn't really work out that way, but for me, it was the thought that counted. He also made her promise that if he had sex with her, she would give him her phone number and wouldn't just run off afterwards. I also liked that Kyle is a tender lover who's very focused on Sara's pleasure. He also shows some vulnerability in that when she finally tells him her profession, he's a little taken aback, wondering what a smart girl like her would want with a guy like him, but he doesn't allow it to intimidate him to the point that he doesn't still pursue her. I really liked Kyle and thought he was a great match for Sara.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Blue Crush. Even with the HFN ending, I felt like there was enough of a connection to make me believe these two had a great chance at a long-term committed relationship. I hope to see more of Kyle and Sara in the next book of the series, Houston, We Have a Problem, which features Sara's friend, Josie, as the heroine. Blue Crush was so short, there weren't really any secondary characters to speak of, so Josie only warranted a mention in this story, but I look forward to learning more about her. Star Rating: *****

My Thief by MaryJanice Davidson - My Thief is the second novella I’ve read by MaryJanice Davidson that didn’t really do much for me. It was a little better than the previous one, but much like it, had a rather far-fetched plot that was difficult for me to believe. It also begins very similarly to Karen Kelly’s Southern Comfort with the heroine accosting the hero in his hotel room and demanding that he strip for the purpose, we discover, of creating a cover story. The main difference, though, is that in Ms. Kelly’s book, the heroine is an undercover DEA agent, while in My Thief, the heroine is – obviously – a thief.

The main reason I couldn’t truly get into this story is the highly improbable nature of the plot. Maybe some guys would be happy to be accosted by a strange woman who demands he strip naked, but there are plenty of guys I know who would be extremely dubious of such an ultimatum, unless of course she was holding a gun on him, which in this case she’s wasn’t. I couldn’t help but lose some respect for John right then and there, especially when he’s ready to have sex with Robin at the drop of a hat and rather disappointed when she splits moments later. John is an accountant, a profession stereotypical of cerebral types, but he barely questions what’s going on and he’s instantly intrigued by this oddball woman. Maybe he’s bored with his job or something and the spontaneity of it all is appealing, but if that’s the case, it isn’t really brought out well. I had a hard time believing that Robin has spent the last ten years of her life (all of her time as adult) doing nothing but playing a cat and mouse game with her uncle, stealing an initially mysterious item that belonged to her dad back and forth between them. I know she had an unconventional upbringing, but this was strange in the extreme. I most definitely wouldn’t want to get romantically involved with someone who’s possibly engaging in illegal behavior, not to mention, the whole scenario seemed a little immature to me. Then there’s the instant romance that felt rather forced. Thankfully John and Robin make no unrealistic declarations of love, only a tacit agreement that they want things to continue between them, which wasn’t entirely satisfying since I didn’t feel much of an emotional connection.

I think there are two reasons why I liked this novella a little better than the other one by Ms. Davidson that I read. The first is that, while I still didn’t find the heroine to be particularly relatable, I did like her a bit better, because she isn’t quite as abrasive. The other reason is that the one sex scene didn’t completely fizzle for me. Now as I said, though, I didn’t feel much of an emotional connection between them, so it really is pretty much just sex. It happens the same day they meet each other with virtually no build-up to it, but somehow it seemed a little steamier and more to my liking. I didn’t however like the lack of protection. Even though John mentions it, Robin simply bushes it off, saying she’s on the pill and assumes he not riddled with disease. I know this is a fantasy, but in real life, careless assumptions like that could potentially be disastrous, especially since they’d just met and had no idea if the other one was trustworthy.

Intellectually, I know this novella wasn’t meant to be taken too seriously, and I’m certain there are readers out there who would get a kick out of it. Even I admit that it was mildly entertaining, but I just don’t think I have the right sense of humor to fully appreciate it. At least the writing itself was pretty solid and more readable than I’ve found in some other stories, but overall, My Thief was simply too unbelievable to be fully enjoyable for me. Star Rating: ***

Hot and Bothered by Kayla Perrin - Hot and Bothered turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. I’d never read anything by Kayla Perrin before. In fact, other than seeing her name mentioned once or twice, I really knew nothing about her. Therefore, I was somewhat shocked to discover that she’s a pretty prolific author who’s been published for going on two decades, with quite a number of books to her credit. Of course, not knowing all that going into reading this novella, I had no idea what to expect, but it turned out to be a very good read.

Trey and Jenna married after a whirlwind romance that only lasted for one month. They were crazy attracted to one another and the sex was off the charts, but they perhaps didn’t know each other as well as they should have before making such a serious commitment. That’s why when a major conflict arose, Jenna went running back home. I have to admit that I was a little concerned in the beginning of the story, because their rash actions didn’t entirely make sense to me. But after reading the entire novella, I’m happy to say that every question I had was answered to my satisfaction. It just took a little while to get there.

Trey and Jenna have been separated for two years with no contact, and now Jenna is feeling her biological clock ticking and has decided to get on with her life and find someone new. The only problem is that in New York, she has to file for a legal separation and remain in that limbo for a year before officially seeking a divorce. She sends Trey the separations papers, but he won’t sign them without seeing her first, so she must travel to Key West, Florida to convince him to let her go. This leads to yet another problem for her. Being around him again, stirs up all the feelings she’s been trying to put to rest, as well as the combustible chemistry they share.

I loved that both Trey and Jenna have remained faithful to their marriage vows for the entire two years, and neither has sought out a relationship with anyone else, even though Trey, as a bartender, has been propositioned by women who come into his establishment. I also like that they both still love each other to distraction, and Trey is willing to do almost anything to get Jenna to give him another chance. He’s grown as a person since the blow-up fight that drove Jenna away and willingly admits his mistakes and explains everything that he couldn’t before. Jenna also comes to realize that she wasn’t entirely innocent in their break-up either. With a little help from Jeanna’s best friend, who has always thought they were soul mates, Trey pulls out all the stops to romance Jenna and remind her of their wedding night. I love that he remembers all her favorite things and knows her so well even after all this time. His actions totally made Jenna (and me) melt. Their love scene is deliciously sexy and filled with emotion too, which was the icing on the cake.

I wouldn’t have changed a thing about Hot and Bothered. It was a very tightly plotted little novella that was quite satisfying in spite of its short length and was yet another winner for me in this anthology. Now that Trey and Jenna had all their concerns out in the open, I was totally convinced that their reconciliation was going to be a success and that they’re definitely getting their happy ending this time around. This may have been my first read by Kayla Perrin, but it won’t be my last. I look forward to checking out her backlist and finding more great reads by her. Star Rating: *****

Murphy's Law by Morgan Leigh - Until picking up Perfect for the Beach, the anthology in which this novellette is found, I'd never really heard of Morgan Leigh before. As I discovered, it appears she's only published a handful of novellas in anthologies like this, so that would probably account for me not knowing her. With that being the case, I went into reading Murphy's Law with no idea what to expect. I ended up having rather mixed feelings about this little novelette. The writing itself is reasonably strong and the story has some other positives going for it, which I'll get to in a moment, but I had a hard time fully liking the heroine. I'm not a fan of game-playing in relationships. I'm also not a fan of misunderstandings in romance, and that seemed to be the primary conflict here. That, as well as the hero and heroine starting off the story in a heated argument, kind of dampened my enthusiasm right out of the gate. However, the things I did like mostly saved it for me in the end.

As I said, Kat wasn't the easiest of heroines for me to like. She's basically been Sam's legal assistant for two years. She was attracted to him immediately, but she started the job right after his wife died. Therefore nothing happened between them for quite a while. Then she began to notice him giving her heated glances, which he would then instantly mask. This frustrated her, because she believed he was still grieving for his wife and experiencing guilt over having feelings for another woman. So she starts making him think she's a loose woman, supposedly so that he doesn't have to feel that guilt anymore, which didn't make a lot of sense to me. Of course, we find out later that she sabotaged herself by doing this, because Sam wanted a woman who was his and only his. Then Kat accidentally found an invoice for a standing order to have flowers delivered to the cemetery every year. This was a personal paper that she admitted she shouldn't have read in the first place. Not to mention, this seems like a perfectly reasonable thing for a man in his shoes to do. But again, she takes this to mean that he's still grieving for his wife and will never be hers, so she quits her job and takes a little beach vacation, during which he comes after her. I can't help feeling like Kat was being a bit selfish. Yes, it had been two years since Sam's wife died, but everyone grieves at their own pace. If she knew him well, she should have known where he was in that process, but instead, she makes all these wild assumptions that very nearly kills her chances of getting the relationship she was hoping for. When something could be cleared up with a simple heart-to-heart discussion, as this could have been, it seems like a weak excuse for conflict.

Sam, on the other hand, was a pretty great guy. I'll admit that he was maybe just a teensy bit too alpha for my taste with it mostly coming out in his cockiness and demanding demeanor, but when I found out what kind of guy he was, I couldn't help but like him anyway. First of all, he's been celibate since his wife died and now he wants to turn all that pent-up sexual energy on one woman, which is a heady brew. Not to mention, I find it extremely romantic that he loved his wife that much. Like I said, he's been falling for Kat for a while, but thought she was a party girl and that's not what he was looking for. But when she walked out, without saying a word to him, that made him angry enough to go after her, which again was pretty romantic. Unfortunately, though, without help from their friends, he wouldn't have even known why she left or that she had feelings for him. Sam is also a scrumptious lover. Their love scene is super-hot. and his proposal was top-notch. I couldn't help but agree with him, however, that Kat was being a "crazy woman." While I'm not quite sure what he saw in her or whether she fully deserved him, Sam's overall awesomeness definitely saved this little story from Kat's irrational behavior.

Although I couldn't find any information about this novella being part of a series, it obviously is. Even though the series doesn't seem to have a title to designate it (Actually I found someone on LibraryThing calling it Parish/McCauley, so I guess I'll go with that since I haven't found anything else.), it appears to be about three law partners and their respective legal assistants with whom they all fall in love. I could tell it was a series right from the start when Kat mentions her best friend, Camelot, and Sam's law partner, Jonah, and how they're happily engaged. It just felt like I was missing something. I've since discovered that they were the hero and heroine of Voices Carry from the anthology, Wildest Dreams. Then the final chapter, which is more of an epilogue, is mostly devoted to Kat receiving a phone call from her other friend, Summer, saying that she's in jail due to a misunderstanding and Sam getting his other law partner, Elliot, who it's said has a thing for Summer, to go help her out. These two sounded particularly interesting to me, but sadly it doesn't appear that their story has been published yet. Overall, despite some shaky parts, I mostly enjoyed Murphy's Law and might consider checking out the other connected novella at some point. Star Rating: ***1/2 ( )
  mom2lnb | Sep 25, 2016 |
Perfect for the beach by MaryJanice Davidson, Perrin Kayla, Denison Janelle, Foster_ Lori, Leigh Morgan and McCarthy Erin
6 various authored book with a theme of perfect for the beach.
Some Like It Hot by Lori Foster
This story is about a doctors practice in OB/GYN where she works as a nurse and is widowed, 2 years and her spouse was a virgin also.
One of the doctors, Carey shows an interest in her, Nora and they agree to go swimming then they move the action to the bedroom in her apartment.
Very hot steamy sex scenes. Misunderstandings draw them apart....
One Wild Weekend
She's not wearing any panties and he can't move fast enough. He has the ring also.
Dana has always been the leader, he wants a turn at it...
One Blue Crush
Kyle is doing his last minutes as a lifeguard and the hurricane is moving towards them.
Sarah has lost her top with the undertow and he rescues her...

My Thief
An uncle and niece mess with each other as they steal from one another.
Now she's put the accountant in the mix...
Hot and Bothered
Jenna and Trey had known their marriage was over. She had papers for him to sign and wasn't looking forward to it.
Maybe they can work things out?
Murphy's Law
She works at a lawyer's office and was in love with him, she left the job, now down sunning in warmth of FL.
Jonah's apt is where she's staying, he's engaged to her bff and is a lawyer also.
Sam's followed her ...they are both staying at Jonah's.... ( )
  jbarr5 | Nov 30, 2015 |
Collection of short stories.

Some Like it Hot by Lori Foster (Dean Brothers #2)
One Wilde Weekend by Janelle Denison (Wilde Series #6)
Blue Crush by Erin McCarthy (Florida Doctors #1)
Murphy's Law by Morgan Leigh (Parrish/McCauley)
My Thief by MaryJanice Davidson
Hot and Bothered by Kayla Perrin ( )
  AddictedToMorphemes | Aug 21, 2013 |
I read the short novella "One Wilde Week-end" which is #6 in Janelle Denison's Wilde Series. What a waste. This was the ultimate jumble of clichés that I find boring, uninteresting. Bottom line it's boring, very boring, 43 pages of boring, uninspired, badly written sex scenes (2, one in a commercial airplane), how to turn a somewhat interesting lead male character into a boring, I will "cure" you of your emotional insecurities (in 2 days no less) through submissive sex (complete with bondage and blindfold). A female lead character that just fold like a house of cards.

This was embarrassingly boring and not up to the Denison's talent. Poor Alex got the short end of the stick, end of the barrel in the Wilde series so far. ( )
  writerlibrarian | Apr 4, 2013 |
This collection of romances are quick reads designed to take along to the beach, or anywhere else you might be vacationing, and pick up and put down at your leisure. I enjoyed most of the stories, but found I couldn't get interested in one of them. Still, a nice way to spend some relaxation time. ( )
  Neverwithoutabook | May 31, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Foster, LoriContributorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davidson, MaryJaniceContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Denison, JanelleContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Leigh, MorganContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
McCarthy, ErinContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Perrin, KaylaContributormain authorall editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

Dean Brothers ("Some Like It Hot", 2)
Florida Doctors ("Blue Crush", 1)
Parish/McCauley ("Murphy's Law", 2)
Wilde ("One Wilde Weekend", 2.5)
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Temperatures will rise in this sultry collection of six novellas that includes Lori Foster's Some Like It Hot, in which Dr. Cary Rupert is unable to deny his attraction to sexy patient Nora Chilton, along with other works by Kayla Perrin, Janelle Denison, Erin McCarthy, MaryJanice Davidson, and Morgan Leigh.

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