STEAMY MINI-REVIEWS ~ Oops, I caved? [Protecting Our Virgin, Gretel and Merry Inkmas]

It’s a fact I’m not afraid to dwell in different genres than YA contemporary and fantasy, but it’s not often I actually dive into anything smut-ish or steamy. Now that I think about it.. It’s usually around December I start dwelling into those genres? Which is just a little bit funny, right?
Anyway. Since those novels are often short ones, I decided to do some mini-reviews!

Review

Protecting Our Virgin (Our Virgin #1)TITLE: Protecting Our Virgin
AUTHOR: Charlie Hart

RELEASED: June 25, 2017
PUBLISHER: Amazon Digital Services
FORMAT: eBook

GENRE: Reverse harem / erotica
GOODREADS RATING: 3.70

TRIGGERS: Explicit sexual scenes, mental abuse, attempted rape

SYNOPSIS
It was supposed to be a dream vacation … until I found myself stranded on the beach in a foreign country––helpless, broke and in tears. When a group of ripped and rugged athletes find me and bring me to their waterfront mansion, I know I’ll be safe for at least one night. It quickly turns into so much more. Not only do these men get me hot and bothered … they know what they want. Me.
I’ve already been through so much … and I’m scared of getting hurt. They promise to protect me … but it’s my heart I’m frightened for.

Standaard

I don’t read these kinds of books often – being reverse harem – but sometimes I just can’t help myself. I couldn’t sleep and.. simply started reading. It took me less than two hours to start and finish this novel and I enjoyed it, in some ways but..

Being this short, the characters definitely aren’t fleshed out. You’re thrown into the mix and barely get any explanation as to what exactly happened before. It’s as if the author was a bit too eager to get to all the sexy stuff.
On top of that.. I can’t really see myself, as a woman [let alone a virgin] who’s just been abandoned by a person she thought she could trust, going along with two strange men to their house. Like.. I’d rather freeze on the beach? Then it took literally no time at all for said woman to get down on her knees for all four men.

Nevertheless, if you want to read some smut and like reverse harem, this might be your thing. I’m simply used to more fleshed out characters with more of an introduction to things instead of just jumping in there for the sake of it.

3

Gretel: A Fairytale RetoldTITLE: Gretel
AUTHOR: Niamh Murphy

RELEASED: July 5, 2013
PUBLISHER: NIM Publishing
FORMAT: eBook

GENRE: Fairytale retelling, LGBTQIA+
GOODREADS RATING: 3.89

TRIGGERS: Explicit sexual scene

SYNOPSIS
Starving and lost, Hans, and his sister Gretel, are saved from a pack of bloodthirsty wolves by a woman, who seems to ask for nothing in return. Seduced by her kindness and beauty, Gretel grows closer to her, while Hans becomes ever more suspicious of her motives. Torn between her brother and a woman she has just met, Gretel soon learns she must make a choice between long-held loyalty and newfound love.

Standaard

I wanted a short read and with 76 pagesGretel is exactly that. Throw in how this is a retelling of Hans and Gretel but with a lesbian aspect and a bit of smut, and I was sold. Definitely a good option if you want about an hour / an hour and a half of reading pleasure.

Of course, the characters aren’t fleshed out properly but that’s hardly something you can expect with a short novel like this. It didn’t even bother me either since their characteristics were made very clear from the start and that helped.

The built-up towards the romantic / sexual scene was done very nicelyGretel might be described as fast-paced, but I still felt like it wasn’t over-the-top fast. A pleasure to read, really!

I was different… I had the misfortune of falling in love with the wrong person.. I was loved back, but sometimes love isn’t enough. You need courage as well.

4.5

Merry InkmasTITLE: Merry Inkmas
AUTHOR: Talia Hibbert

RELEASED: December 1, 2017
PUBLISHER: Nixon House
FORMAT: eBook

GENRE: Steamy contemporary romance
GOODREADS RATING: 4.12

TRIGGERS: Explicit sexual scenes, domestic violence, homelessness, intrusive thoughts

SYNOPSIS
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.

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?

Standaard

This is easily my favorite read of the three – easily. With a little over 200 pages, it’s also the longest one so maybe that has something to do with it. On the other hand, I firmly believe it has way more to do with Talia Hibbert’s writing, the themes she tackles and the diversity in this novel than anything else.

Her writing is right on point. Each character has his/her own way of talking and it shows in how they say things, how they think when you’re in their POV. Not to mention their voices are truly different compared to another.

In saying that, can I just say how much I love Bailey? She has her past and it made sure she wants to be her own woman. She wants to handle things on her own without depending on men. She knows she can do it on her own and fights to prove just that. I respect that; I truly do. Men, still, too often think we need them to succeed at life while we don’t. I admire her and.. Well.. Definitely a female character I could see myself falling for!
When it comes to Cash.. Skies.. Give me dark, brooding and inked any time of the day. Even though he makes mistakes, he still feels so.. precious to me and I couldn’t help but fall a little bit in love with him along the way as well.

The themes? Amazing. This is, like stated above, a steamy romance but there’s still so many diversity present, so many serious issues mentioned and challenged. I loved every bit of it. Not only is there a gay side character, there’s also a clear presence of feminism, of survivors of domestic violence, of the consequences of it. Oh, and Bailey is a POC – which is the cherry on top, no?

Actually, no. The cherry on top, for me, was the way our two main characters – Bailey and Cash – are so broken at the start of this novel and heal throughout it, by unconsciously helping the other. I absolutely loved seeing that. Add in their chemistry and some steamy events to top things off and.. Well, if you combine everything I just mentioned, this can only be an amazing read, right?

five stars

I enjoyed reading all three these novels / novellas, but if I had to recommend one? I’d definitely go with Merry Inkmas, no doubt about it!

Is there a genre you tend to only pick up at a certain time of year? Which one?
Would you pick up any of these three books yourself?

Nametag

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5 thoughts on “STEAMY MINI-REVIEWS ~ Oops, I caved? [Protecting Our Virgin, Gretel and Merry Inkmas]

  1. Gretel sounds interesting. So does Merry Inkmas. I might have to look into both of them.

    I stay away from the reverse harem novels now. I read one or two and can’t ever figure out how, when there are four or more men, the men NEVER ONCE TOUCH EACH OTHER. I mean, you don’t have to get down and dirty but dude… you’re just going to watch? Maybe I’m jaded but… 🙂

    Like

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