First of all, in case it is not perfectly clear, this is a collection of erotica. Not intended for audiences under the age of 18. If you do not want to read about explicit sex, this is not the book for you. I hate to see negative reviews about erotica because they contain explicit sex and language.
That out of the way, I guess I also need to include that I was a beta reader for this collection, so yes, I did receive a copy without paying for it. I also preordered a copy because I believe in supporting independent authors.
I believe that takes care of all the formalities do we can get down to the business of why I am giving this book a five star review.
This is the second volume of Naughty & Nice, with the same 4 authors contributing. I have read both, and hope that the future will include many more volumes. These authors, all of whom are quite talented on their own merits, have a spectacular chemistry when they bring those talents together. Though the book is erotica, each author brings a story in their novella, and they weave a common thread through the stories better than any other grouping of authors I have read in other collections.
Naughty & Nice 2: Single’s Night brings together four tales of lust, and some potential beginnings of love, all originating at an advertised single’s night at posh club, Elixir. The club and event serve as a well described nucleus for four very different tales that have something for almost every taste when brought together under one steamy cover.
Marisa Oldham’s What You Deserve kicks of the book and the night by introducing us to more than slightly insecure recent divorcee Lucy and her best friend Claire she has talked into going/dragged along for moral support. Lucy is perhaps the most relatable character throughout, extremely conscious of the extra baby weight and feeling out of her element, or perhaps unsure what her element is, on her first night out after the demise of her marriage to her college sweetheart. Though we will see more of her best friend Claire later in the evening, Marisa’s story also serves as a characterizing introduction. You can’t help but root for Lucy to not only get laid, but also something a bit more.
Next up is S. M. Rose’s aptly titled Jaded, just in case Marisa brought just a little too much nice to the single’s night stage for your taste. We first meet Claire in What You Deserve, and get a feel for her, well, jaded views on love and dating. Jaded is Claire’s night, and just what Claire needs. After Lucy leaves with Ryan, Claire gets soaked in alcohol in the midst of an overinebriated patron being escorted from the establishment. Since this serves as the perfect way for her to meet sexy vixen Jade (as well as subtly tie in to other tales of the evening) no hard feelings come from our feisty friend. Personally being straighter than any line I can draw even with the help of a ruler, I was almost surprised at how much I enjoyed the tale of Jade and Claire. Claire has never given any thought to the appeal of the same sex, but cannot deny the attraction to unapologetic lesbian Jade. The steam between the two is almost palpable, but the realizations that come to Claire make the story as intriguing as the sex is hot.
Next up is Noah Wilde’s To Mend a Broken Heart. Before I review the story itself, I have to mention what a brilliant move it is to include a male voice in this collection. His smooth, deep voice only adds to the effect I mentioned of this anthology having something for every one. His Liam, still shattered from recently being dumped, in a three sentence text, by his girlfriend of six months, strikes a new chord to sympathize with. His best friend, Greg, fills all the stereotypical male qualities women despise, which brilliantly makes Liam that much more appealing by contrast. The chivalrous way he steps up to help the bartender get rid of the intoxicated Neanderthal harassing her not only works to tie in his story with Jaded and Last Call, it also gives a touch of humor (chivulter still cracks me up) and shows him to be that all around good guy every woman dreams of. His relationship with his guy friends, and the girlfriend of one of the guys give cues that there is a bad boy under that nearly perfect surface. This gets more obvious and more fun as he meets Morgan and Kari. Have I mentioned something for almost every taste? Noah’s story brings a lot of options to the table, with BDSM (I’ll mention as either a warning or a teaser, depending on how you look at that.)
The anthology is closed out with Emma Payne’s Last Call. Although it is hard to choose as favorite as all four stories are excellent, I think this one may be my favorite in this collection. Presley is the overworked and overstressed bartender we have caught glimpses of throughout the book. Though her taste in men may be questionable – the obnoxious drunk Neanderthal who needed escorting out of the bar is her ex that she is supposed to meet up with after her shift – she has a great sense of humor, and great chemistry with the clientele (if not her coworkers.) The tall, sexy man in the suit jacket with jeans that she runs into while running back to the bar after an oh so glamorous check of the restrooms caught my attention much as he did Presley’s. When we find out Luke (aforementioned hunk) is the one who assisted Liam, he gets those coveted chivalry points. Oh yeah (sorry for the slight spoiler – I’ve tried to avoid them) we later find out that we can list his profession as “rockstar”. If you’ve read many of my other reviews you will know that is always my weakness, but he is a great character and has fantastic chemistry with Presley even without that tidbit. Calling his mom to answer a question Presley throws at him is adorable without making him seem like a Mama’s boy. The way he handles the entire Billy (aka loser Neanderthal) is so sweet and understanding. Dream guy all around, and Presley is very likeable even though for whatever reason I didn’t want to like her at first.
All four authors do an outstanding job of writing the erotic scenes. If I had to sum the book up in one word it would undoubtedly be HOT! But there is no shortage of erotica on the market right now, and at least 95% of it is written better than 50 Shades. So it takes a lot more than the sex scenes for me to give erotica 4 stars, let alone 5. It is also rare for me to give an anthology so many stars. This book truly stands apart from the crowd by the way the four stories are woven together to form one coherent whole, the strengths of all four authors, the fact that all four novellas have true stories going on outside of the erotica, and the skilled writing of the erotic parts themselves. It is fantastic through and through.
Contact Marisa Oldham:
Contact S.M. Rose:
Contact Emma Payne: