All three of these are spicier reads
Christmas in Coconut Creek by Karissa Kinword
Narrated by Jaclyn Kelso and Blake Lockheart
I picked up Christmas in Coconut Creek because I live in the town next to Coconut Creek, FL and drive through it every day! This was such a strange town to pick for a book because it’s not a tourist place. The first hotel was just built, there is no beach (though it’s only 15 minutes away), and it’s mostly a small residential community, but there is a casino and Butterfly World which are discussed in the book. All of my local bookish friends are like “What? Coconut Creek? How strange.”
But let me tell you, this was fun, very spicy, and though it takes place over Christmas, it can be read anytime. Fun fact: I met my husband (8 years older than me) while I was visiting the town next door to Coconut Creek over Christmas break and fell in love immediately, so the instalove here was fine with me!
Ophelia and Frankie matched on a dating app and in person on a flight from Colorado to Florida even though he is 9 years older. Ophelia is a teacher visiting her college roommate for 3 weeks, and Frankie is an ex-fighter pilot coming back home from an interview. Turns out her best friend and his best friend are a couple, so after playful banter on the plane, they ended up being thrown together for the full three weeks, and let me tell you, nobody was complaining!
I loved the banter and the dirty talk so much! This was probably my spiciest holiday read this year. There were a LOT of sex scenes, and they were all pretty spicy! Honestly, for me, they went on a little too long, since after 18 years of reading smut, I have started to tune out sex scenes, but I must say, his dirty-talking helped keep my interest.
The pacing was a little off in the book, it had about 150 pages too many, and got really slow in the second half when nothing happens then wrapped up too quickly, but still, I enjoyed this hometown read and look forward to more from this author.
Funny notes: There was mention of taking a date to Jacksonville, that’s 5 hours each way! Also, for the masses: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS HEAT LIGHTNING, and for a pilot to say that is just embarrassing. It’s just a far-off thunderstorm.
Rating: 4 Stars, 4.25 heat, 5 narration
Scrooge-ish by L.B. Dunbar
Narrated by Stella Hunter & Teddy Hamilton
Eva is a scrooge. Childhood trauma made the holidays have bad memories for her. She is the manager of a department store and works her butt off during the holidays while everyone else celebrates, and to top that off, she’s 40 and alone.
She attends a high school reunion and meets up with the guy she had a fling with between high school and college, Zebb Scruggs. Since then he’s played in the NFL, became a firefighter, and is now a single dad. Eva has worked.
Zebb loves Christmas, and he is determined to show Eva the magic of the holiday with the help of his daughter who has prosthetic legs (very briefly touched on, I loved how it was treated very matter-of-factly). There was a lot of sex in this book, and I love me some smut, but found that I was eager to get past it and back to the story, even though I love the message that sex and passion is plentiful at any age.
Scrooge-ish was a subtle take on A Christmas Carol. I had planned on listening to Naughty-ish after this but ended Scrooge-ish needing a break and never got back to it.
The Narration was fabulous and made the book even better.
Rating: 3.75 Stars, 4 heat, 5 Narration
Yes To The Holidays by April Berry
Narrated by Eliza Summers
Yes To The Holidays was a great little short-ish sexy Christmas romance and one of my favorites this year. Janie is about to finalize her divorce from her cheating ex who she found with another woman in the office they both work at. Not feeling the holiday vibes, she heads to a local Atlanta bar and meets Odin, a tall, hot Viking in town for business.
Janie and her ex were hired for her company as a team and they are both pretty successful, but now she has to deal with him every day at work, so when this gorgeous Viking asks her to show him around Atlanta she couldn’t think of a better distraction, until work the next week when they realize that his business in town is buying her company!
Sweet, spicy, and the perfect length of an instalove holiday romance, Yes To The Holidays wasn’t all that memorable, but there was nothing I didn’t like about it. I really enjoyed all the characters and I will be looking for more books from April Berry.
The narrator, Eliza Summers, was fabulous. I hope to hear a lot more from her.
Rating: 4.25 Stars, 4 Heat, 5 Narration