Review: Turn It Up by Inez Kelley

Turn It UpDr. Bastian Talbot and self-proclaimed sex goddess Charlie Pierce heat up the air waves with their flirty banter as radio hosts Dr. Hot and the Honeypot. Off the air, they’re best friends…but Bastian wants to be so much more. He wants Charlie—in bed, and forever.

Problem is, Charlie doesn’t do commitment. Sure, she’s had X-rated fantasies of Bastian, but he was always just a friend—until he impulsively proposes and unleashes the lust they’ve been denying for years. Charlie’s willing to explore where their wild chemistry leads, but she won’t marry him. And he won’t have sex with her until she accepts his proposal, despite her seductive schemes.

What are Dr. Hot and the Honeypot to do? Ask their listeners for advice on how to tame a sex kitten and turn a perfect gentleman into a shameless lover. The Race to Wed or Bed is on…who will turn up on top?

I don’t often read books twice. There are so many books available for reading, who has the time to go back for seconds? But I am a fan of Inez Kelley’s books and so when I got this book months ago, I read it immediately. Knowing I wouldn’t be posting a review for quite some time I procrastinated as I have a tendency to do sometimes. Then, later when I sat down to write a review I realized I was going to need some refreshing. So I grabbed my Kindle with the intention of doing a little skimming and ended up reading the whole book again. Dr. Hot and Honeypot had me at “s’morgasm”…both times.

“Did you just have an orgasm?”

Charlie’s pink tongue darted over her lips, whisking away the trace of white. A satisfied moan caressed the night. “Better…a s’morgasm.” She bit into the s’more and delight softened her face.

Something akin to jealousy drilled into Bastian’s gut. Things hardened further south for him. Snaps and pops from the small fire filled the silence. Beyond the tree line, another campsite blared hillbilly rock. The throb of music was too low to make out, but it vibrated the night with bass.

Another catlike purr emanated deep in her throat.

“All right, that’s enough. Much more of that and I’ll have to slap a triple -X rating on the marshmallow bag.”

Charlie held out her treat with sugary flirtation. “Want a bite?”

Charlie Pierce is a free-spirited radio talk show host who’s on air alias is Honeypot. She’s rocking the Betty Boop look and the attitude to match. The blurb says she doesn’t “do” commitment but I think she does in her own way. She is totally committed to her friendship with Bastian. So much so that she doesn’t want to risk losing his friendship by taking their relationship to a new level after he confesses that he’s in love with her.

Bastian is a divorced doctor who moonlights as Charlie’s sex advice talk show co-host, Dr. Hot. He has been friends with Charlie during his marriage, during his after marriage recovery stage and now he’s realized that Charlie is the one for him. He’s serious. He doesn’t just want her in bed, he wants a full on commitment and he’s not likely to give up until he wins her over totally.

Dr. Hot and Honeypot mix it up and have a lot of fun on the air. Their banter is laced with innuendos and sexual tension and their genuine affection for each other really adds to their on-air appeal. As a reader, knowing they have romantic tension off-air makes their interaction that much better. The author creates an atmosphere during these scenes that is filled with sexual tension and the playful giddiness that one feels during the early stages of romance. Charlie and Bastian have been friends for some time, but they’re experiencing these emotions in full force now that the relationship bar has been raised and it’s quite entertaining watching them dance around coyly—and sometimes not so coyly—flirting their way into somewhat uncharted territory.

I say somewhat uncharted territory because at one point we learn that their deeper attraction to each other is not totally new. This is my only issue with this story. During Bastian’s marriage Charlie and Bastian share a kiss at a holiday party. Bastian quickly shuts it down which implies it was not all that innocent, and Charlie wants to know if he ever told his wife about the kiss. Bastian believes that it wasn’t cheating. His marriage was already on the rocks, it was something that  just happened, and telling his wife would only make things worse. I really wish this scene had been left out altogether. I was put off by the kiss and the implication that it was accidental and then using the excuse that the current relationship was already strained. I thought Bastian and Charlie had enough chemistry to carry this romance without having to give them a history of romantic tension while Bastian was married.

While Bastian and Charlie have a fun relationship, it’s not all fun and games for them when it comes to romance. Their relationship goes through it’s paces before they get to their happily every after and they both have some emotional walls to break down before they are fully ready to commit to each other. I think Charlie’s journey appealed to me most as she struggles with her fear of emotional intimacy while joyfully celebrating her sexuality. She is a ray of light in this romance and I completely adored her.

Love was risky but sex was safe. She was good at sex, not love. She could talk orgasms and foreplay all day, but commitment made her bones itch and her throat close.

This is a fun, light romance but Inez Kelley adds just the right amount of emotional angst for her characters to grow and make their happily ever after very satisfying.  I’m adding this one to my 2011 recommended reads list.

Favorite Quote:

Charlie: “Tsk-tsktsk. You can’t neglect yourself. All work and no self-play makes Doc a grumpy boy. Find a few minutes to take care of business, will you?” A vampish smile curled seductively. “Let me know if you need a hand.”

Bastian: “You’d need both.

 

Rating: A-
Turn It Up by Inez Kelley
August 1st 2011 by Carina Press
Contemporary Romance
GoodReads Reviews

Stop by later today. Inez Kelley will be here with a fun interview and she is giving away some books! 

Comments

  1. says

    This sounds pretty good–except for the kiss that is cheating. I really like friends-to-lovers books. They seem to have a much deeper connection together and built in believability in their relationship.

    I don’t often read books twice. There are so many books available for reading, who has the time to go back for seconds?

    *gasp* Blasphemy!

    • says

      This one is good because the genuine affection between the characters comes through so strongly. They are very flirtatious and the sexual tension is thick, but you are always aware of the friendship first. I really liked that.

      As far as the kiss scene, it was a very brief memory but I would have preferred not having that knowledge.

      I do re-reads on audio, that counts right? lol

      • says

        That does count. You’re luck, missy.

        Speaking of that, I just joined Audible and got my two free audiobooks! Woot. The hubby is going to listen to them with me. :D

        • says

          Oh awesome! I started with the basic membership but ended up upgrading when I realized how much I liked audio books for housework LOL. What are you going to listen to first?

          • says

            I got an email from Amazon offering two free books with the Gold membership. It’s $14 – $15 per month, so I’m going to see how it goes before deciding to keep that level of membership.

            I got Slave to Sensation and Ill Wind as my two free books, Dead After Dark because they were offering it on sale for under $5 and Soulless at regular price because I wants it.

            I listened to samples with the hubs and got some of the books where he liked the way they sounded. That’s also why most of them are PNR/UF. More likely to interest him. :)

            I wanted to get Angels’ Blood but the way the reader pronounced words and the way she did guys’ voices in the sample completely turned him off. Too bad. lol.

              • says

                I’d heard good things about it, so it was the first one I sampled. But hubby looked bored by my story summary so I got different ones. I caved and came back later and got it for full price. I’ll just listen to that one on my own. ^_^

  2. says

    @Sophia:

    I think this will be a really nice way to reread. I don’t think I could easily listen to it as a first read, but that’s just because I fear missing something I wouldn’t notice without seeing the page myself. I’m afraid I’ll zone out for a sec and miss something.

    Thanks for the good idea. Before you know it, my house will be spotless and I’ll be partway through a reread!

    • says

      I definitely wouldn’t do a review book in audio format, but I dont’ mind doing first reads in audio on occasion. Souless is a good example of a book I think I probably enjoyed more in audio than I would have if I read it. The narrator really made that story for me.

  3. says

    Cheating is usually a hot button issue for me, but for some reason the kiss in this book didn’t bother me.

    I really liked this one. I think it’s funny we both chose completely different sections to quote from. There were SO MANY I wanted to include, but I had to narrow it down.

    • says

      I had a ton of quotes marked for this review. I it was hard to narrow it down.

      The kiss didn’t ruin the book for me by any means. I just didn’t think it was necessary. Charlie and Bastien had such great affection for each other and when it turned romantic it was totally believable. The past tension only caused me to have thoughts of sympathy for the spouse.

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