Liked It: Working With Heat by Anne Calhoun

Series: Cosmo Red Hot Read
Format: eGalley
Release Date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Cosmo via Harlequin
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Contemporary Romance

For now, Milla Jackson is an American in London, but she’s also been an American in Paris, Rome, Prague and more. She’s working hard to combine her love of travel and growing social media presence into a career, even involving her followers in her (somewhat dismal) dating life. When the combustible heat between her and her best bloke, Charlie, explodes, she’s unprepared for the secrecy of “friends with benefits.” Charlie’s an artist who’s already been burned by one woman who used social media against him. He’s determined to keep his hands on the glass he works with–and off the irresistible Milla, who’s sure to share every detail with her followers. Will their best intentions survive a secret relationship? Or will the heat transform their fling into something that can overcome Milla’s fear of permanency and Charlie’s reluctance to trust again?

With my unlucky reading streak of late, I decided to take it easy and tackle something I’m familiar with and something short because I am exhausted! Well I’ve read one of Anne Calhoun’s The List a while back and totally loved it! It was smart, well-written, and very relatable. I thought, hoped, prayed, that Ms. Calhoun would be a godsend and give me something worthwhile. 
WORKING WITH HEAT was fun, flirty, young, sweet, short, and exactly what I need right now. This might be a shorty, but it’s well crafted and didn’t feel incomplete nor rushed unlike other novellas/short stories. The plot is quite simple, Milla and Charlie are friends and roomies who hooked up and fell in love. Both weren’t looking for anything serious and ended with one anyway. 
I love Milla and Charlie’s dates, ACalhoun highlighted their chemistry as well as their easy going vibe. The conflict was believable as its rooted in their individual differences so I get why Charlie got upset. Milla’s apology was a bit cheesy, a personal letter combined with a vague blog post, the cheesiness extended to the resolution which I didn’t mind, it coule easily be translated as a grand gesture of love. Overall, I had fun with WORKING WITH HEAT and I am hoping this shorty is the beginning of a streak of outstanding reads.
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It’s that time of the week where we share sexy eats!
Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts
hosted by the lovely lady over at UnConventional Book Views

I don’t know what is it about breakfast, didn’t realize it can be so sexy!

Talk Supe


Quick Hits: Absolute Beginners by SJ Hooks & The List by Anne Calhoun

Absolute Beginners by S.J. Hooks
Absolute 1 | Erotica | Full Fanthom Five Digital | March 18, 2015
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When I saw ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS on NetGalley I felt like I have to read it. First of all, I love how Julia Wilde and Stephen Worthington, the student and professor respectively, are somewhat total opposites, and yet they complement each other perfectly. Julie is this hippie wildchild, very sexual and uninhibited, while Stephen is conservative and has a stick up his butt. Julie had to coax out Stephen’s inner sexual beast and it was a fun role reversal in the bedroom. 
However there’s not much character depth and growth in ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS. Stephen in particular irritated me a lot. I adore sexy geeks and I found his inexperience adorable, but I got so annoyed by his immature ways. Julia’s character was very flat too, there’s not a lot of facet in her character including Stephen’s, and coupled with the stereotypes incorporated, this formula novel fell short in a lot of ways.

The List by Anne Calhoun
Irresistible 3 | Contemporary Romance | Berkley | March 3, 2015
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

Why haven’t I read Anne Calhoun before? The girl’s writing is so beautiful reading THE LIST is like eating a very tasty treat. Though this is the third book in the series, I believe the couple featured is a different one and it doesn’t seem like there’s a series arc because the book can be read as standalone. 
That said, THE LIST is labeled as erotica, but to me, it was more like a really poignant contemporary romance that features a couple whose marriage is on the rocks. Matilda Davies (shop owner) and Daniel Logan’s (FBI agent) love story is of the whirlwind type and the book opens with the couple in therapy because Tilda wants a divorce while Daniel doesn’t. The story is then told in flashback with Daniel narrating the story of how they met, fell in love, and eloped. But things got complicated in a lot of ways and Tilda felt very overwhelemed and eventually withdrew from Daniel and their marriage. 
I loved their love story, it’s very daring and romantic IMO. Daniel is such a lovely guy, he really fought hard for his marriage and really batted for Tilda. He made excuses for her even when it’s obvious she’s gotten cold and distant from him. Tilda I connected with, I don’t know why I related to her character so much. Maybe it’s the paradoxes of her character? Or maybe it’s her penchant for the old-fashioned? I just love her drive and strength. Tilda is a carefree, unabashed, self-made woman who runs cold on the inside and in molten on the inside. 
The reason THE LIST wasn’t a solid 5-cauldron for me is because ACalhoun held off of Tilda’s backstory until almost the end. So for most of the story, I’m left on the ledge, wondering WHAT Tilda’s problem is. It wasn’t a dramatic revelation and Tilda’s history wasn’t that bad, and I liked that it wasn’t over the top. Just normal baggage that snowballed into something bigger as time went by which resulted to Tilda lacking skills to deal with strong emotions such as love. Overall I recommend THE LIST to romance lovers and readers. I can’t say enough how beautiful this novel is.

Life happens Tilda. You don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing until later.
Life’s going to come at you. You have to take the joy when you can.