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Back to Old School, Dueling Review

Back to Old School: The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss (1972)

Birmingham, Book #1

Heat Factor: “His warmth and passion” is “led on to his nest.”

Character Chemistry: Is it abuse or is it love? Hard to tell.

Plot: Brandon rapes Heather. They are forced to get married. And then Brandon takes Heather to South Carolina, where shenanigans occur and also they somehow decide they’re in love.

Overall: It’s all totally yikes or totally infuriating and sometimes both!

Please note: This book includes rape, abuse, chattel slavery, and ableism (among other things), which we discuss in this review.

Continue reading “Back to Old School: The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss (1972)”
Rant, Review

 Review: Can’t Resist Her by Kianna Alexander (2020)

Heat Factor: We’ve got some dildo action!

Character Chemistry: It’s pretty insta.

Plot: Summer is trying to stop gentrification; Aiko works for a developer. Even though they’re on opposite sides of a proposed building project, they can’t help wanting to date.

Overall: This book made me irrationally angry.

Continue reading ” Review: Can’t Resist Her by Kianna Alexander (2020)”
Recommended Read, Review

Review: Bet on It by Jodie Slaughter (2022)

Heat Factor: It starts out really emotionally heavy and gets lighter and steamier as it goes.

Character Chemistry: In the beginning it’s hard to see how much they have in common beyond their mental health issues, but they do end up building a fun, relaxing relationship together.

Plot: Aja has a panic attack in a grocery store right when it’s about to close, and is helped by a stranger—who happens to be her Bingo buddy’s grandson. Both of them have serious mental health issues, and an instantaneous connection that develops into something more (whether they’re ready for it or not).

Overall: It was so heavy in the beginning I had a hard time rooting for anything but more therapy for the two of them—but they did end up creating a really beautiful relationship.

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Dueling Review, Rant

Dueling Review: I’m So (Not) Over You by Kosoko Jackson (2022)

Holly’s Take

Heat Factor: The first kiss happened around halfway, and then I called it quits.

Character Chemistry: Textbook definition of a toxic relationship.

Plot: Hudson bribes Kian into doing a fake relationship with him by promising an introduction to a guy who can get Kian his dream job.

Overall: DNF at the halfway point.

Ingrid’s Take

Heat Factor: I mean, it was nice and steamy. 

Character Chemistry: I could see the chemistry but there were so many aspects that didn’t seem to get worked out, that I didn’t necessarily buy in all the way.

Plot: Kian agrees to pretend to be Hudson’s boyfriend again despite his better judgment so that Hudson can get Kian a job that is supposed to launch his journalism career.

Overall: I ended up with very mixed feelings about this one.

Erin’s Take

Heat Factor: They have very playful sex.

Character Chemistry: Horny, not healthy.

Plot: Hudson inexplicably dumped Kian three months ago, but now he’s back asking Kian to fake being his boyfriend again because he never got around to telling his parents they broke up.

Overall: This should have been a 300 page grovel and IT WAS NOT.

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Recommended Read, Review

Review: D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins (2022)

Heat Factor: The making out is hot and heavy (plus there’s some sex, too)

Character Chemistry: Their families believe it instantly, but there’s no way this can be anything but fake. Right?

Plot: Kris and D’Vaughn are on a reality show where they have to convince their families that they’re in love—and then plan a wedding together

Overall: Utterly charming

Continue reading “Review: D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins (2022)”