Review

Review: The Priest by Tiffany Reisz (2020)

Original Sinners, Book 9

Review of Original Sinners Book 1 (loved it!), Book 2 (eh)

Heat Factor: As expected, there’s a lot of sex.

Character Chemistry: Nora and Cyrus have good banter. And Nora and Søren have some beautiful moments.

Plot: A priest has committed suicide; right before he killed himself, he tried to call Nora. She had never met the man, so when Cyrus the private detective starts investigating, she helps him crack the case. 

Overall: Some aspects of this book are really excellent, but I would not recommend The Priest to anyone who was not already well-versed in the Original Sinners universe.

Continue reading “Review: The Priest by Tiffany Reisz (2020)”
Recommended Read, Review

Review: Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev (2020)

The Rajes, Book 2

Review of The Rajes, Book 1

Heat Factor: Fade to black

Character Chemistry: Swoon-worthy

Plot: Ashna enters a cooking competition in a bid to save her floundering restaurant, only to discover that her competition partner is her high school boyfriend slash love of her life. 

Overall: If you can power through the angst, the payoff is so worth it

Continue reading “Review: Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev (2020)”
Smut Reporting

“He slanted his mouth across hers”

When I wrote about licking sweat and how it wasn’t sexy, Silver Button Books (whose blog you can check out here) brought up another ubiquitous romance phrase: “he slanted his mouth across hers,” noting that it was weird and always made her think of toddlers smearing their faces across a glass window. 

If you think about it, this is kind of a weird way to describe kissing. All we really have in this description is an angle – the “slant.”

And if we go to my trusty Merriam-Webster, the predominant synonym is “slope.” Unless we’re talking about “slant” in a metaphorical sense, in which case synonymous words distort, falsify, pervert, etc. I think it’s safe to assume that romance writers who use this phrase are talking about a literal slant, not a metaphorical one. 

I decided some further investigating was in order. 

This phrase most commonly appears in historical romance, so I turn to some classic (and maybe less classic) clinch covers to help illuminate exactly what kind of kisses are happening here. Also, this is an excellent excuse to look at romance novel covers because they are an art form that deserve to be talked about all the time.

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Rant, Review

Review: A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos (2020)

Heat Factor: There’s a fire in this kitchen

Character Chemistry: He’s a manipulative douchenozzle

Plot: It went some unexpected places

Overall: I was so excited about the premise, but the execution was disappointing

Continue reading “Review: A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos (2020)”
Recommended Read, Review

Review: Some Like it Plaid by Angela Quarles (2019)

Heat Factor: It’s cold in Iron Age Scotland in February. Gotta do something to keep warm!

Character Chemistry: Him: “I need a woman so my village doesn’t die out. You’ll do.” Her: “Look at those yummy biceps! Did you say something?”

Plot: Druid magic sends Connall to San Francisco, where he places a Craigslist ad for a wife. Ashley answers because her current life suuuucks and ends up in 2nd century Scotland.

Overall: This book is ridiculous and I was utterly tickled.

Continue reading “Review: Some Like it Plaid by Angela Quarles (2019)”
Review

Review: The Angel by Tiffany Reisz (2012)

Original Sinners, Book 2

Review of Original Sinners, Book 1

Heat Factor: There is a lot of sex, between a bunch of different people (separately and together).

Character Chemistry: Everyone is beautiful, and everyone wants to get laid. 

Plot: There’s a submissive in training. There’s a priest under investigation. And there’s a writer trying to figure out the truth in her heart. 

Overall: There are a lot of dyads here, and while one couple does get a HEA, others do not. I would place this firmly in the category of erotica, rather than romance.

Continue reading “Review: The Angel by Tiffany Reisz (2012)”
Smut Reporting

I Want to Lick the Sweat from His Body

Have you ever wanted to lick someone’s sweat? Because I haven’t. 

Yet this image is something that appears quite frequently in romances. Specifically, the heroine sees the hero all sweaty from doing a Manly Thing (laying pipe, making a soufflé, playing sportsball, etc) and is like: “I want to lick that sweat.” 

Time for a poll!

Unlike my previous discussions of things that are not sexy (smirking, moist apertures), I can kind of see the logical progression of this one. 

Step 1: Man doing Many Things is attractive. 

Step 2: Man sweat – when it’s the Right Man – smells so delicious. 

Step 3: I want to put my mouth on Delicious Man.

It’s the final step that loses me – the move from salivating over someone to wanting to lick their arm or whatever. I suspect that the desire to lick sweat is generally concentrated on, say, the chest, neck, and back, but if that’s the case, maybe we should be a little more specific, eh? Also, I’m not a germaphobe, but if I’m attracted to someone, I feel like it’s a bit more sanitary to touch them with my hands rather than my mouth. Until the right moment, obviously, but you’ve got to build up to it! That’s what foreplay is all about. 

Maybe it’s because I live with a toddler who licks my arm on the regular and…it is not pleasant. Just the feeling of someone’s tongue suddenly running over your skin is…well, just typing that sentence was a little bit shudder-inducing. Unsolicited licking in general: not sexy. 

This has been a Hot Take by Holly, brought to you by every single contemporary romance ever written.