Monday, December 25, 2017

Jen's Double Review: Merry Inkmas and Bad for the Boss

Merry Christmas! I hope you have a wonderful day in general, whether you celebrate or not.

Today Jen has two reviews for you, both from the same author: one is a Christmas romance and the other is one I talked about on a recent podcast (I enjoyed the book too!).

I dumped Kindle Unlimited a few months ago, but then I re-upped for a month because some of the books in the #ReadRChat awards were available there...and Ruby Dixon’s Ice Planet Barbarians series, which I’m woefully behind on. I also saw some books that looked good by a new to me author, Talia Hibbert, and downloaded a few of those, too. ROMANCELANDIA, THEY’RE SO GOOD. Basically, Talia Hibbert crafts well-plotted stories; she writes interesting, dynamic characters living in a fully inclusive world; and they’re unabashedly sex-positive. I swear, there is nothing better than discovering a new author that rings all your bells.


Merry Inkmas by Talia Hibbert
Publisher: Nixon House (December 1, 2017)
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Enjoy another Dirty British Romance by Talia Hibbert, author of Bad for the Boss. Christmas just got sexy…

"There's a beast inside of me. I keep it caged. You drive it wild.”

Cash Evans has come a long way since his troubled childhood, but all the wealth he's earned as a tattoo artist can't fix the hole in his heart. He knows that the sweet barista who haunts his dreams is off-limits... But life doesn't always go to plan.

”There isn’t a man on earth who could ruin me.”

Bailey Cooper is determined to learn from her mother's mistakes. She's seen how cruel love can be, and she's not about to sacrifice her self-respect for a relationship. But when a bad boy with a heart of gold comes to her rescue, she finds herself wondering if this beast might just be her Prince Charming.

Will these two lost souls find a happy ending under the tree this Christmas?

Or is their love doomed to wither with the mistletoe?

Merry Inkmas is a steamy Christmas romance starring a brooding, bad boy hero and a Black, BBW heroine. Be warned: this love is hot enough to melt any winter frost!

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Jen's Review:

I wish I would have read this one before I made my list of holiday romances, because this definitely would have made the final cut. Cash is a tattoo artist with a crush on the local barista, Bailey. I love it when the hero has a crush! She's in her mid-20s but working in the coffee shop part time while finishing university. One night they save a homeless man, she gets fired, and then goes to work for him. I will say this, Talia Hibbert is not afraid to jam lots and lots of plot into her romances, and I think it mostly works. Both Bailey and Cash have good reasons to take care of others, and it doesn’t feel heavy-handed at all, it feels inspiring and sweet.

Cash has a terribly abusive father, and he’s determined not to follow down that path. He won’t allow himself to date a woman for more than 90 days, thinking it will prevent him from becoming unhealthily attached. Meanwhile, Bailey’s Mom would fall in and out of love, following any man who struck her fancy. The fact that both of them have troubled families-of-origin makes them both a little prickly and defensive, and I liked watching each of them battle their own fears on the way to love.

Cash is a great hero, but Bailey is a wonderful, strong heroine. She is so frustrated by Cash’s hot-and-cold behavior. Rather than moping, she calls him out and demands to know what’s going on. She’s a believable mix of fierceness and vulnerability. The conflict felt real, the writing was great, and I liked the way it wrapped up.

4 1/2 STARS! 

Bad for the Boss by Talia Hibbert
Publisher: Nixon House (November 3, 2017)
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book One of the Just For Him series. These Dirty British Romances will have you gripping the edge of your seat! 

What a way to fall from grace…

Theodore Chamberlain is notorious for his razor-sharp focus, his terrifying temper, and his anti-social tendencies. What most people don't know is that the powerful businessman is just as demanding in the bedroom as he is at the office.

So when model employee Jennifer Johnson stumbles into his life, Theo turns his infamous intensity towards a masterful seduction. The plus-sized knockout may be the office's angel, but only Theo sees the flames simmering beneath.

Jen knows better than to risk the job she desperately needs for a relationship that can't last. But when a threat from her dark past surfaces, Theo overturns her protests to protect her from the danger.

Can he save Jennifer from the evil that stalks her, or is time running out for this happily ever after? 

And will Jen remain a good girl with a rebel's heart... Or will she give in to her desire and be bad for the boss? 

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Jen's Review:

I basically jumped right into another book by the same author. You know how some people binge watch TV? Well, actually, I guess most people do that, but I binge read. Anyways, now that awkward confession time is over, let me tell you about Bad for the Boss.

Jennifer is at her desk trying to avoid the creepy sexual harasser in her office by firing off an email to her friend to come save her. The email accidentally autofills to one of the owners, Theo Chamberlain. They exchange some appropriately flirty emails and meet in person. I’m semi-ashamed of how much I love to read office romances considering I am downright horrified by them in real life. But Theo is not her direct supervisor, there’s lots of talk about consent, and he is outraged by her sexual harasser. Jen and Theo strike up a sexy romance, and he also helps her when she becomes the target of a stalker.

This book is both real about the struggles of sex, work, and romance in modern life and also completely sex-positive. Theo respects her boundaries and listens to her when she refuses to reveal the workplace harasser. Nevertheless, he takes harassment seriously and encourages her to do the same. But my favorite part of this book is when Jen’s roommate gives her the best sex advice I’ve seen in any book ever, so much so that it should be printed on bags and t-shirts. Aria tells her:

“Don’t let him fuck you raw unless you have his test results. That’s rule number one....Rule number two is don’t put in any effort for at least the first five times. Make him do all the work. You just focus on chasing your own orgasm. Otherwise they get all lazy and entitled and you’ll never come at all...the third and final rule is this: nothing you do during sex is bad. As long as all parties are wholeheartedly up for it, don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad for whatever it is you end up wanting.”

I mean, can I get an amen? Don’t you think everyone deserves to hear that speech before they have sex for the first time? Go out and tell it to the youngsters in your life, I’ll wait.

Bad for the Boss tries to do a lot at once and mostly succeeds. The cool thing about reading this one so quickly after Merry Inkmas is that I could see the notable improvement in the author’s craft. Bad for the Boss was written first, and it’s not quite as assured. There’s some rougher transitions than I would have liked between the romance plot and the stalker plot. I still enjoyed it, but it was definitely choppy. In Merry Inkmas, the romance and family drama plots are married together a little more smoothly. This makes me very excited for Talia Hibbert’s future books, because if she’s improving this fast from one book to the next, she’s going to be a goddamn powerhouse in a year. This is an author to watch!


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Jen read these from KU.

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Thanks for the reviews, Jen! I completely agree, and cannot wait to read Merry Inkmas -- and more books from Hibbert in the future!

Remember, since Merry Inkmas is a Royal Pick, come back on December 28th for a chance to win an ecopy of your own!


Until Next Time,

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