Review: Undercover Lovers – Anthology

 

 

Four ultra-sexy stories by four great authors, with one theme.

Who’s undercover?
Shane Madison – Dead sexy private eye posing as a Strippendale’s dancer
Tucker Lamb – Smooth as butter former conman posing as nerdy professor
Saffron Burton – Sensual food critic posing as just another customer
Katrina Killian – Brazenly sexual cop posing as a gang member

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Conned by Chloe Cole - Nerdy science professor Tucker Lamb is hot for human sexuality professor Cricket Malloy, and they’re about “collaborate” on an experiment involving aphrodisiacs. Things might get a little out of hand when Cricket realizes her nerdy professor is pretty hot under that awkward facade. But Tucker has a secret. He is in the witness protection program and has a past that could put his future in jeopardy.

This story had a really cute premise. I’m always a sucker for nerdy heroes who become superman in the sack; it just works for me. I loved seeing the self-assured human sexuality professor derailed by her nerdy professor as he seduced her one aphrodisiac at a time. The flirting was filled with tension and lead to some very hot sex scenes. The undercover conflict came fairly late in the story though and I thought the heroine’s reaction was a little dramatic since she wasn’t yet deeply invested in the relationship. I can see her being disappointed but she seemed downright crushed when she found about Tucker’s past. Still, this was a fun romantic story that I enjoyed.

*****

Consumed by Dee Carney - Chef August Jaeger and his staff are preparing for Restaurant Week. His competition would stop at nothing to find out what he’ll be serving so they can upstage him and this has made August a bit paranoid. When sexy solo diner Saffron Burton shows up in his restaurant asking questions he’s suspicious of her but can’t deny the physical attraction he feels. Saffron (really cute name for the love interest of a chef) is a food critique and her boss has told her to find out what’s on August Jaeger’s Restaurant Week menu or her job could be on the line. She’s not entirely comfortable with her deception, especially since the physical chemistry is smoking hot and things get a little out of hand.

I really liked this story. Thanks to a few television cooking shows, I tend to think of chefs as really intense personalities and totally focused.  That translates well for a romance hero since those qualities are desirable in in the bedroom. You just can’t go wrong! August did not disappoint me, he was passionate, emotionally intense and super sexy. The heroine was cute and I thought her personality was a great compliment to August’s intensity. She was no pushover, but sort of a gentle rain to his thunder and lightning.

I liked the undercover conflict in this story. Nothing too dramatic but still I could see how the conflict and deception put both the hero and heroine in an uncomfortable position both professionally and personally as their romantic attraction to each other grew. Since this was a novella I was glad there was no unbelievable declaration of love, but we’re left with the excitement of a new budding relationship and the prospect of things to come. Well done. I will add this author to my list of authors to read more from.

*****

Conquered by Cari Quinn – When Emma Donegan attends the bachelorette party of her good friend she catches the attention of a the only stripper in the place that can’t dance. Just her luck. Still he’s cute, and she’s ready to break out of her good girl mold and have a good time. A really good time. Unfortunately, the clumsy stripper is actually Shane Madison, fledgling private investigator who has mistaken Emma for the woman he is supposed to be investigating. Shane’s reputation as a PI hinges on a successful investigation and hooking up with the fiance of his first client won’t do much to further his new career, but she just might be worth it.

This was such a fun, crazy romance. The hero was absolutely adorable with his complete discomfort in his role as a stripper (at Strippendales) and the fact that he couldn’t dance made me laugh out loud. Fortunately for Emma, he’s quite skilled at dancing horizontally and he and Emma really steam up the pages. I loved the conflict and how several misunderstandings presented roadblocks for these two fun characters but in the end they managed to overcome the craziness of their situation and find love.

I’m already of fan of Cari Quinn’s writing style and the way she makes her quirky, awkward heroes transform into sexy beasts. She successfully does it again in Conquered, combining humor, smoking hot sexy scenes and really fun characters. I really enjoyed this novella.

*****

Convicted by Dee Tenorio – There is no denying the attraction and need between Cade Evigan and Katrina “K.K.” Killian. She rocked his world once upon a time but he walked away leaving them both hurt. But Cade is a former Marine with a law enforcement background and he knows better than to get involved with a woman who is very likely be involved in illegal activity. But when Katrina–or as Cade calls her, Tee–shows up on the doorstep of his secret hideaway beaten and bloody with a confession that she is an undercover DEA agent everything could change. With both of their lives in danger, they make the most of their time together until danger finally catches up with them.

This was by far the most intense of the novellas in this anthology.  Dee Tenorio did a fantastic job of telling a full satisfying story in this format. We have a couple that has had a romantic history that have been reunited under very dangerous circumstances. Although the their time together takes place within a short amount of time and is limited to the confines of a hidden away cabin, we get a good feel for their relationship, history, conflict and plenty of opportunity for some really intense bedroom scenes.

While it appears that Katrina seeks Cade out for help, she is actually trying to protect him. Cade may not actually need protecting but I loved that they made such a good team and they worked well together when things got dangerous. Cade is my kind of hero: gruff, tough, sexy and morally sound. Katrina is self-assured, and able to take care of herself and Cade if need be. There is an emotional connection between Cade and Katrina that  creates a level in intensity that could be felt throughout the entire story all the way up to the climactic ending. The epilogue, although short and quite simple, left me fully satisfied and with a huge smile on my face.

Five Hearts

*****

I really enjoyed Undercover Lovers.  It featured two authors I already like and introduced me to two more that I will most certainly be reading more from . All four authors did a fantastic job writing romances around one theme that kept me turning the pages…or clicking the page-turn button. :)

If you hurry, you can steal purchase this novella at a bargain price of 99 cents at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Hurry though, I’m not sure how much longer it will be on sale.

 

Undercover Lovers – Anthology
May 17th 2011
Contemporary Romance
GoodReads Reviews
Amazon || Barnes & Noble

Comments

  1. says

    Great review, Sophia! I’ve been waiting to hear what you thought of this one. I’m not an anthology fan usually, but these sounds pretty cute. Besides, that cover really makes me want it–it seems so fun.

  2. says

    Great review Sophia! I think it’s so funny how sometimes we agree completely on a book, and other times we thing VERY differently. But like you, I really enjoyed the anthology overall!

  3. j3nny says

    this looks good :) and at 99 cents a damn bargain! The first story though reminds me of the Pleasure Game Series that Cathyrn Fox writes.

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