I enjoyed both novellas so much purely for their smut factor. Neither is overwhelmingly emotional (although the characters do have some baggage) or wastes too much time with the build up before the MCs get down and dirty. Would I have liked there to be more character development and more overall story? Yes, please!!!! That being said, if the purpose here was to burn up my e-reader and leave me hot and bothered, these two authors more than achieved their goal and the high rating is well-deserved.
Kenna & Beck by Tessa Bailey
There’s was a straightforward story — boy and girl meet, there’s instant attraction, they waste very little time fighting said attraction and BOOM – LOVE! This was an insta-love story at its finest. Usually I just eye roll incessantly at MCs falling in love at first sight, but Tessa Bailey made it work for me in this case.
Kenna is a reformed bad girl, edgy, independent, and very much in control of her sexuality. Kenna’s also got a soft, gooey center.
There was a fantastic role reversal with Beck being the sexual novice while Kenna initiates Beck into the ways of the flesh. Don’t let the fact that Beck is a 26 year old virgin fool you though. He’s still very much an alpha male and a damn fast learner.
Beck, surprisingly, is the perfect man to tame Kenna’s wild spirit. Together, Beck and Kenna might just be THE dirtiest hero/ine of Tessa’s I’ve read yet. And anyone who’s read Tessa’s books knows that she can write some dirty as f**k scenes that will have you sweating while standing in the middle of a January blizzard. My only qualm with Kenna and Beck’s sexy time was this moment…
“I know everything you need. Everything.” His chest aligned with her back, pressing her down into the leather table, his stubble rasping over her ear. “I’m your daddy now, Kenna.”
I was rocking with that scene until Beck threw in that line. It’s a matter of personal taste for me…just not my cuppa. (By all means, roll with if it turns your crank!) Furthermore, it came out of left field and didn’t feel authentic to who Beck was without some explanation as to why he’d go to that kinky place.
I could have easily read a hundred more pages of Beck and Kenna. I do hope Tessa gives readers more of them in the future.
Cullen & Huntley by Sophie Jordan
I’ll just say it, I hated the name Huntley.
Now that I got that out of my system…let’s get to the heart of the matter, shall we?
The set up was more plausible for a story with such a fast pace to smexy town as Cullen and Huntley have been close friends for years. We’re told of their long term friendship and unrequited lust for one another instead of shown and I was okay with that for such a short story.
Where the story lacked for me was that Huntley was too insecure and played games to get a reaction out of Cullen, yet wouldn’t tell Cullen how his actions made her feel; frankly it annoyed me. And “Sullen Cullen” didn’t fully convince me he could be in a serious relationship so quickly by the end considering all his baggage. I’m never a fan of couples who don’t just talk it out…going back and forth in their heads under the guise of creating tension in the story.
Unfortunately, I didn’t love these two MCs as much as Beck and Kenna. Though I did like how this story seamlessly connected to the first one without being formulaic. I barely noticed any significant difference in the writing styles; surely not enough for these two stories to feel disjointed, which sometimes happens when two authors collaborate on a book.