Friday, January 24, 2014

ARC REVIEW ~Bare Essentials by Jill Shalvis and Leslie Kelly~

Title: Bare Essentials
Author: Jill Shalvis and Leslie Kelly
Release Date: January 28, 2014

My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Naughty But Nice
by New York Times Bestselling Author Jill Shalvis

Lingerie model Cassie Tremaine Montgomery intends to have her revenge on the citizens of her hometown—starting with seducing the sheriff, Sean "Tag" Taggart. Tag, however, isn't cooperating. He's more than willing to set the sheets on fire with her, but he's asking for more than just sizzling sex…. He knows Cassie's not as tough as she pretends. And he knows she cares about him—even if she won't admit it. So he'll just turn up the heat until she concedes there's more between them than this red-hot passion.

Naturally Naughty
by New York Times Bestselling Author Leslie Kelly

Kate Jones, the girl from the wrong side of the tracks, is home. And she's got an agenda. To get revenge on the man who humiliated her mother, Kate's going to seduce that man's son—the town's golden boy, John Winfield Jr.—and then leave him drooling in a puddle of lust. However, when she finds herself seduced by a sexy stranger named Jack, little does she guess that the tables have just been turned….
Naughty But Nice
The first story in the Bare Essentials duo begins with Cassie who is running back to her hometown to escape a stalker. Hilarious, because ten short years ago she was running from said hometown because of the stigma that the Tremaine women carry. So, she's back with big chip on her shoulder and hell bent on wreaking havoc among the townsfolk that had once made her life hell. Of course, the only one who can steady her speeding, and music blaring is Sheriff Taggart. A different Taggart than the one who inflicted emotional damage on the night of Cassie's prom but, his son none the less. Everywhere Cassie turns Tag is there. Trying to be helpful but, also hoping to explore the connection they have made. But Cassie is gun-shy in this town and can't justify letting her guard down until Tag gives her no other choice. And since she is staying in town to open up a upscale sex shop, Cassie will be having to deal with Tag on a regular basis.

Naughty But Nice is the same quirky, light-hearted, fun read you usually expect from Ms. Shalvis. The chemistry is steaming and the dialogue is quippy. Cassie is a hell-raising, stubborn heroine trying to prove her worth. And Tag is teaching Cassie a thing or two about preconceived notions. They have a lot to prove but, more to each other than to anyone else. I think my favorite parts were the scenes in the store. It was hilarious to see Tag confronted with abnormally large dildos and the like. But of course that also lead to the hottest sex in the book. These two did have a complicated journey to explore but, in the end it was a good story with equal parts hilarity, sweetness and heat. Meanwhile...

Naturally Naughty
The second part of this duo happens simultaneously. Kate Jones is a Tremaine woman by blood. Which means she was held to the same low standards as her cousin, Cassie. Kate has her own revenge to seek in her hometown. After the townspeople ran out her mother for having an affair with the married mayor for several year, which only came to light at his death, Kate has nothing but contempt for this town. Imagine her surprise when her first day back she falls into a stranger's arms and they steal a quick tryst before parting ways. So... why can't I find a hot guy like this? Totally, not fair. Anyhow, Kate returns back to Chicago not expecting to hear from Jack (yes, she did get his name!), even though he said he would call. Not the least bit surprised when he doesn't Kate doesn't dwell on it, until she returns to help her cousin open another branch of Bare Essentials. And this is where she gets the biggest surprise. She and Jack have just started their rough road, and there is no light at the end of the tunnel so far.

The story is much like the first. The female lead is hell bent on exacting some type of revenge on the town that mistreated her so much, although Cassie and Kate seem to be just fine with showing off their success and then leaving the town behind. If one it were that easy. For Kate, their new store and her budding relationship with Jack entice her to stay a little while. These two have some of the hottest escapades... let me just say one thing: Public orgasm with no touching. Yes, you're rushing to one click this right now. It was the best scene of Kate's book.

These are both full length books. So you definitely get a fully developed story with each. They are both funny, and light romances. Perfect for quick reading and enjoyment. These are the books that fall under the category enjoyable but, not captivating. While they held my attention and I loved reading them, I probably won't keep them on my re-read shelf. And they won't make my beat reads list either. But in between those angsty, emotionally draining books that I love so much, Bare Essentials is perfect! It's a great duo that just helped me escape for a little while, without totally getting lost in my head. So, I do recommend Bare Essentials if you're in the mood for a fun, steamy romance with a lot of humor thrown in. It definitely does the trick of making you laugh and swoon.

Happy Reading!
*ARC provided by the publisher/author through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
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