I have a weakness. Eye candy. I’m not ashamed and if you want I will sing it from the rooftops. Ali loves lickable, lovely, sexified, manly, yum yum bits! I had posted that I was looking for authors who had novels coming out in July or August who would allow me to banners of their novels to my carousel; Charity sent me an email. I looked at her book covers and despite the fact her book was coming out at the end of May I immediately tried to find a loophole to my own rule because the cover of her novels were so delicious and the synopses made me want to snack on them.
I haven’t been great about reading and reviewing in a long time because being in pain has left me flipping from book to book a bit like flipping through channels on the tv. I’m uncomfortable and I can’t seem to find comfort in novels for the first time in my life. Self-medicating through reading isn’t doing it’s job against chronic pain. But I read these two books and here we are with the sexy book cover addition of Tongue Wagger.
There is no more loathed location in the world than the friend zone; it’s populated not because people want to visit but because are stranded there. Mandy and Rhys have been caught in the friend zone for years even though it’s assumed by everyone, including Rhys, that once he gets his crap together there will be a happily ever after. What Rhys doesn’t know is… well, Rhys doesn’t know quite a bit because he is wrapped up in his own BS he hardly notices what is going on with Mandy 80% of the time. It would be safe to say his head is so far up his ass that he is taking account of his intestinal fortitude and due to a weak stomach he can’t get his life in line to do right by the girl he claims to love more than anything.
Knox has watched his little brother screw up and screw around where Mandy is concerned long enough. When he sees Rhys’ brand of protection leaves her open to abuse from their brother Dane he steps in to take care of her; never letting the fact that she is Rhys’ far from his mind. He’s wanted her for so long, to see her hurt by Rhys’ carelessness and selfishness has him wanting to show her how well she should be treated and loved. And the words his friend Drew suddenly become true, “There [is] no low he wouldn’t stoop to in order to have her…”
Charity is a kinda, sorta meanie. She did this thing where she made me think the jerk was the good guy. She made him sound loving and sweet and perfect and then she brought in Jacob Black and I was like, “INTERLOPER, INTERLOPER”, my inner hate alarms went off. Then she showed me Mr. Perfect was a jackass, I was Team Jacob, and I wanted to go to the supply closet with Knox too. I’ve never really encountered many books like Unsurpassed and Undaunted, they were really strange-different-good to read because the plots are so uniquely approached. You don’t meet the hero and get swept off your feet right away, you met Mr. 70%–who could’ve given you a decent life with mediocre happiness first.
If I can take a moment to talk about the characters in both No Rival books, Unsurpassed and Undaunted, the thing that is great about these characters is that they aren’t above regretful oopsies. Sometimes you just make a crazy and then you sit back and you say to yourself, “Self, WTF did you just do?” when the consequences catch up to you. Charity’s characters do this and there aren’t any magical beans that grow into bean stalks or Fairy Godmothers that redeem those mistakes. Friendships go to hell and people you trust prove unfaithful; Charity doesn’t do the everyone gets the cake and gold star endings, it’s refreshing.
The one complaint I do have is that I feel there is a great deal of internal fragmentation of the main characters that is never resolved. Not to mention that there are a great deal of missed opportunities in the stories where it feels like the ball is dropped. That happens in books and life. Mandy happens to go through a very emotionally stressful and painful event alone but there doesn’t seem to be much discussion about the emotional trauma, but rather the financial burden. Drew and Max have a lot of undercurrents in the first book but the only backlash has to deal with Aubree instead of their discovery. There should have been a much greater “payoff” in book two if all the things Max implied about his family life in book one about their connection were true. I can’t say it outloud or I will spoil the plot line and I don’t want to do it because she has such a great twisty turny curvy thing going.
The only novel I can recommend for this is that you read the first novel and because they are somewhat episodic it’s really a good idea to read the first No Rival before the second anyway.
Charity Parkerson’s Web Tracks:
Charity Parkerson on All The Things Inbetween:
Charity Parkerson’s Books:
Aubree is infatuated with two men, Max and Ryan. The two former Marines have been her close friends ever since she made her first misguided attempt at joining their kickboxing classes. When the pair invites her to join them at a weekend party thrown by Drew, a famous MMA champion, she has no idea what they have in mind. After spending one hot ménage night with the pair, Aubree learns the men’s intentions are not all about her. Feeling betrayed, Aubree turns to Drew who is also tugging at her heart. She must choose between the two men who have been the center of her fantasies, and the one man who could make all her dreams come true.
Inside Scoop: This sexy tale includes a ménage and male/male encounters that may leave you wishing for an alpha male fighter of your own.
A Romantica contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
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