Reader’s Edyn

I always felt like I could do something more than just read. Finally, I have found both a creative outlet and a chance to do something meaningful with my reading. This blog was created in appreciation of and tribute to all of the authors who have brought me joy through their books. These reviews are my way of giving back to authors and providing recognition for the hard work that each one completes every day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review (ARC): Checking It Twice by Jodi Redford

       Title: Checking It Twice
       Author: Jodi Redford
       Release Date: November 27, 2012
       Publisher: Samhain Publishing
       Category: Contemporary Romance/Menage (M/F/M)
       Type: Kindle

’Tis the season for double seduction.
The only item on Jana Colton’s Christmas list this year is Kevin Monahan. Preferably naked in her bed. The delicious, hunky chef has been resisting her forever, but she’s pulling out all the sexy stops this holiday. Especially since his acceptance of an out-of-state job threatens to nix her quest to rock his boxers off.
Jana has always been Kevin’s personal Kryptonite, but giving in to her isn’t an option. Relationships are a four-letter word in his book. He cares far too much for Jana to let his emotional baggage ultimately break her heart.
With the arrival of his best friend, Nick Pappas, the balance of temptation shifts. From their past history of sharing women, Nick knows every dirty trick it takes to lead Kevin astray, and he’s not afraid to use them. Particularly since Nick’s convinced that Jana is exactly what Kevin needs to be happy and whole.
Their game of seduction quickly snowballs into something that feels an awful lot like love—in triplicate. But with Kevin dead set on leaving Michigan, there’s a real possibility it could be a blue Christmas for them all.
Warning: This book contains an extremely tormented voyeur, a very naughty and not so saintly Nick, a liberal application of candy cane-flavored body paint, a buzzing butterfly, and enough raunchy fun on a sex swing to melt a snowman…or two.  

Before his sanity took a complete nosedive, he escorted her outside and led the way to Jana’s old Mustang. She plunked her purse onto the hood and dug for her keys. A strong wind whipped through the lot, catching the ends of her shoulder-length, wavy strands. She shivered, and he resisted the urge to bundle her into his arms. He compromised by shielding her from the next oncoming gust with his body.
A second later she held up her key ring. “Found ’em.” Jingling the keys, she gifted him with another of her megawatt smiles and unlocked the driver’s side door. She carelessly tossed her purse inside the vehicle and plopped into the driver’s seat before turning her key in the ignition. A series of dull clicks broke the silence. Catching her bottom lip between her teeth, she peered up at him. “Oops. I must have left my dome light on.”
Her expression was too innocent to be taken seriously. His suspicions buzzing, he gripped the doorframe and eyed the hood. “I’ll give you a jump.”
Jana’s full, glossy lips curved upward in a wicked grin. “I’d love for you to jump me.”
Damn it, he’d stepped right in to that one. Heat crawled up his neck and pooled low in his groin. A sultry sparkle dancing in her gaze, Jana draped her fingers over the gearshift and idly stroked it.
God save me. Dragging his attention from the erotic sight of her giving the gear stick a hand job, he cleared his throat. “I’ll bring my car over. Jumper cables are in the back.”
“How are you going to reach my engine?”
Plowing a hand through his hair, he gave the cars blocking the Mustang in on all sides his frustrated attention. “We’ll have to wait it out until someone leaves.”
“That could be all night. Why don’t you just take me home, and I’ll have Bram give me a lift here in the morning and charge my battery?”
He’d been on the receiving end of too many of Jana’s seductive schemes not to recognize an attempt in the works. Still, it was either risk whatever she had up her sleeve during the ride to her place, or try to survive what could possibly be an hour or more in the close confines of his car without giving in to the temptation of those long, sleek legs and mouthwatering breasts.
Sending up a silent prayer for strength, he released the doorframe. “All right, I’ll take you home.”
“Thanks, I owe you one.” Leaning sideways, she flipped open the glove compartment and fetched a CD. She caught his frown. “Road tunes.”
He knew her musical tastes enough to be worried. One glance at the label confirmed his worst suspicions. “Making me sit through the Chipmunks’ Christmas album is beyond cruel, Jana.” Then again, he couldn’t find a better boner killer than being serenaded with squeaky rodents.
She hopped from the Mustang, and after securing the lock, crooked her arm through his. “Where is your yuletide spirit?”
Grumbling in response, he led the way two rows over to his Lincoln Navigator. He assisted her into the passenger seat, desperately trying to concentrate on anything but the sweet, feminine scent playing havoc with his senses while she took her time unbuttoning her coat. A moment later, he dashed to his side of the vehicle and buckled himself in before pulling out of his parking spot.
Soon enough, he discovered caroling chipmunks weren’t nearly as much of a libido buster as he’d hoped. Not when they were up against the potent allure of Jana in full-scale-seductress mode. Every shift of her long legs and jiggle of her breasts within the confines of her too-tight sweater murdered another of his brain cells. It was a damn miracle he wasn’t reduced to a mindless, drooling fool by the time he pulled into her driveway.
“Can I entice you into coming in for a nightcap?”
His dick eagerly bobbed against his fly, giving a resounding Hell yeah to the invitation. “How about a rain check? I’ve got an early morning ahead of me.”

Dialogue Highlight:
Wiggling her toes, Jana inspected the tiny pink and purple stars decorating her newly buffed and polished toenails. Her expression properly chastising,
Lucinda, the nail tech, tapped Jana’s ankle. “Smear my beautiful masterpiece, and I’ll strap you down next time.”
“Promises, promises.”
Lucinda rolled her eyes before replacing the top on her bottle of OPI ChicaGo Get a Manicure nail polish and lifting from her seat. “Can I trust you alone for a few minutes?”
“Of course. I’ll pass the time rearranging your workstation.”
Lucinda’s eyes narrowed. “Touch my polishes and there will be no place safe enough to hide from my wrath, babeakins.”
“You’re a sick woman with an unholy obsession with color-coordinating polishes. You need help, Lucinda.”
“Says the woman who apparently likes to be tied to chairs.” Lucinda wagged her index finger warningly. “I mean it. There’s a flatiron in that drawer over there, and I’m not afraid to use it.”
Lucinda’s statement brought a flush of heat to Jana’s skin. She didn’t know about chairs, but she’d certainly liked being tied up on Kevin’s lap. So much so, she couldn’t wait to do it again. Not that it looked like she’d be getting that opportunity anytime soon. The past three days he’d been avoiding her like crazy, which was driving her nuts.
While Lucinda strode off, Jana grabbed one of the nearby fashion magazines and flipped it open, hoping it’d distract her from her frustration regarding Kevin. It didn’t. Less than thirty seconds later, she was already bored. She really needed to reiterate the importance of stocking Cosmo to Lucinda. How else were the salon customers supposed to learn fifty moves to blow their lover’s mind in bed, on the couch and the always popular cramped shower stall? Hell, she could easily come up with eighty moves guaranteed to blow a certain hunkalicious chef’s mind…in or out of a cramped shower.
She immediately backtracked to their erotic encounter on her couch and the bone-melting orgasm he’d given her. She shivered, a deep pull of desire clenching low in her tummy. There was no way in hell she could live the rest of her life never experiencing that level of pleasure with him again. She was done making do with her vibrators, damn it.
Twitching her nose, she rubbed the spine of the magazine and pondered her predicament. She’d managed to break this far through Kevin’s stubborn resistance. Surely a little more effort would wear him down. Saturday night she’d wear her sexiest dress. Her red strapless satin number always made his eyes bug out, and with any luck, it’d remind him of her naughty-elf costume.
Pair it with her skull-and-crossbones fuck-me stilettos, and…he damn well better rock her nonexistent panties off again—this time with his cock buried inside her—or she was giving up the ghost and joining a convent. For the sake and sanity of all nuns, she needed to get laid. That was all there was to it.
The sound of dogs barking to the tune of “Jingle Bells” erupted from her cellphone, earning her strange looks from the patrons and stylists in the neighboring workstations. Ignoring them and their obvious lack of musical taste, she freed her phone from its clip on her purse and glanced at the caller ID. A familiar jolt of excitement skipped through her when she spotted Nick Pappas’s number. The electrical sizzle was almost immediately counteracted by the rush of guilt that washed over her.
It was beyond stupid to continuously straddle this tightrope of attraction and guilt where Nick was concerned. For cripes’ sake, she had no reason to beat herself up over the long-distance flirtation that’d slowly evolved between her and the owner of Eros Edibles for the past year. But the truth was she felt massively conflicted every single time her pulse ratcheted in anticipation of Nick’s weekly calls. She’d never been the type of woman to be interested in two men at the same time. Yeah, she’d be a damn liar if she said she hadn’t thought about being with two men at once. God knows she’d shuddered through countless orgasms courtesy of her vibrator and the wicked visual of riding Kevin’s cock while Nick fucked her mouth or ass. It’d taken some creative license on her end, since she had no idea what Nick looked like, but that certainly hadn’t hindered her from coming like crazy. Still, that was only a sexy fantasy, whereas the reality of her blazing mutual attraction for Kevin and Nick wasn’t so simple. Not for a woman who considered herself a one-man woman. Of course, she wasn’t even that. More like a zero-man woman.
Sucking in a fortifying breath, she punched the talk button. “Hello?”
“Hey, beautiful.”
She shivered as Nick’s deep, whiskey-smooth voice caressed her ear. “For all you know, I’m a hideous sea hag. With buck teeth and a sixth toe.” Nick had no clue what she looked like. The one time he’d suggested they video chat, she’d chickened out. Remaining merely voices on a line or words on a computer screen lightened her guilt somewhat. Besides, it was kind of refreshing not to have appearances get in the way of their…well, whatever the hell it was they had.
“I’m okay with the sixth toe. Just one more for me to suck on.”

Kevin, poor baby. He has had a hard life of judgment. And as commonly happens, if you hear it enough, you start to believe it. Well Kevin believes with every fiber of his being that his sexual proclivities are born of evil and that indulging in them with someone he cares about would be punishment toward that person. Consequently, he walked away from a budding relationship several years ago and has since never allowed anyone to get close enough to repeat the mistake. At least a mistake in his mind. But his intense attraction to Jana is making it increasingly difficult to deny her; especially when she turns on the seduction act. So he does what he does best … plans to make a clean break and start over.
Jana is hopelessly, madly in love with Kev and has been for some time. She has pulled out all of the stops to entice him into her bed and hopefully more in the way of a relationship, but so far nothing has worked. She knows her window is closing, but she also knows that she affects Kev as much as he does her. What can a girl do except keep trying? But despite her hopeless infatuation with Kev, Jana also has a guilty pleasure named Nick. Her weekly calls to Nick are beyond exciting. Even not knowing what the rep who supplies her store with all sort of goodies looks like doesn’t stop her from fantasizing about him. And it isn’t long before she is fantasizing about having them both following an unexpected visit from Nick.
Nick has come to town for a couple of reasons. To meet Jana who has been the object of his deepest desires for over a year. And to reconnect with his best friend Kev who walked out on him and their “partner” after he realized they were getting too close. Nick knows why Kev reacted the way that he did, but it doesn’t stop his annoyance with Kev. When he discovers that Jana and Kev love each other but that Kev has refused to acknowledge such, the wheels start turning. In no time Nick falls hard for Jana. Knowing how badly Kev and Jana need each other and how much he needs them both to be happy, he sets out on a mission to conquer and destroy all of Kev’s personal blockers; and hopefully bring the trio some well-deserved happiness.
Oh Ms. Redford, how I have missed you. *sighs* We really should not spend so much time between books. Seriously you guys, this author has an awesometastic way of describing the best sex scenes and she doesn’t skimp either. You can bet that if you are reading a book by Ms. Redford, you will be beyond satisfied with the multiple creative scenes she provides. This book is actually a second in a non-existent series. I say that because I couldn’t find anything indicating such. I only know this because I read the first book, THE NAUGHTY LIST last year. Jana is Bram’s little sister and Kev is Ry, Bram, and Lacey’s chef at the restaurant. Other than that connection, the book is in no way dependent on the first book. Of course they both have some pretty fantastic ménage scenes. *wink*
I really enjoyed getting to know Kev, Jana, and Nick. Each knows what they want. I liked that Jana refused to give up even when Kev tries to shut her down. Nick was a necessary component to this story that both brought knowledge and rounded out the relationship. His sexual tendencies were, for the most part, opposite Kev so the two together basically created the perfect man. And I liked that Nick realizes right away what Kev is about to walk away from and launches a no holds barred assault to get Kev to see the truth of what is standing right in front of him. Kev gets props for remaining true to character. He really does need a good knock in the head to break through all of the personal barriers he has erected over the years. Another great addition was the appearance of Ry, Bram, and Lacey. More so Lacey, but it was fun to see how much she had grown as a character in confidence since the previous book.
I liked that rather than all ménage like the first book, this book changes it up with a couple of M/F scenes so it is not all ménage. Not saying anything against ménage! No way! Just saying it is nice to have variety. And the wit in the story absolutely kills me! Some of the crazy phrases are the best. You will absolutely love the personality Ms. Redford brings to the story. The characters are real. Their happiness, sadness, and fears palpable. And as before, the questionable reality of such a relationship remains, yet somehow Ms. Redford just makes it work. If you loved THE NAUGHTY LIST then this is hands down a MUST read. And the same I will say of Ms. Redford’s fans. Those of you who have yet to experience this book and/or author are missing out! For serious! Spice up your holiday season with CHECKING IT TWICE. Better yet, get TWICE the fun and read THE NAUGHTY LIST too. I promise you will NOT be disappointed!
(ARC eBook copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review.)

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