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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Blog Tour/Review - Sex on the Beach (#giveaway)

Before You by Jenna Bennett

March 4, 2014
New Adult Contemporary Romance
One of the “Sex on the Beach” Novellas


It’s all fun and games

I had a simple plan for spring break.

Sun, sand, and a hot guy. Sex on the beach, with no strings attached.

A chance to get rid of this pesky virginity once and for all.

And when I met Tyler McKenna, I thought I had it made.

Until someone gets hurt

But then girls started turning up at Key West landmarks. Girls who looked like me, but with one crucial difference: They’d all been drugged and relieved of their virginity.

The virginity I still have. The virginity Ty refuses to take.

And now I’ve begun to wonder whether there isn’t more to him than meets the eye.

Suddenly, sex on the beach doesn’t sound so good anymore...



Review by Wendy

3 Key West, Spring Break Mystery Stars * * *

Before You by Jenna Bennett is part of the Sex on the Beach group of quick novels which all reference each other. They follow 3 best friends; women who are in college, all searching to have some fun during Spring Break in Key West. Each of these novellas can be read alone or in the order with this being the last.

As we have seen, all of the three girls have come to this Spring Break with a put it bluntly ... to get laid. Now seems to be the time for Cassie, the quieter of the three to figure out how to get rid of that pesky V card. She is cute, smart and there is absolutely nothing wrong with her... she just hasn't found anyone she really felt like being with in that way. As she looks around the bar, she checks off what she is not interested in... no Ivy Leaguers or jocks...

She gets tapped on the shoulder and offered a drink by Tyler, a looker who doesn't fall into any of those categories... he is this guy who is kinda cool with a t-shirt that says "FBI in big letters and then underneath Female Body Inspector". He just seemed right... not arrogant or full of himself, with green eyes and dark blond hair... he was not bad at all in the looks department... the jeans also hung just that way to make a girl drool. 

As Cassie and Tyler banter, she learns of him going to school in D.C. Cassie gets a little close to being drunk... she has let him know she is very interested in taking him back to her room and the hotel. Tyler walks her back to the hotel but passes on the coming up to the room... says he would not want to take advantage of a tipsy Cassie... would want her to remember him...

The next day Cassie is walking down by the beach early in the morning and runs into Tyler... and they discover a girl who has been attacked. She has the same hair color as Cassie and was down for spring break, too. The police are called; both Cassie and Tyler are questioned. This event does not seem to be isolated as there may have been others last year at this time. 

From this point forward we have an additional elements to the book. We get a murder mystery, travel and history guide of Key West and a sort of sweet romance.

We learn women are being drugged and attacked... they look like Cassie and the local police are very upset. They cannot nail the guy and are having all of the police out in force at night to try to stop it. Cassie has a very active mind and seems to keep ending up in places where bodies are found. She also has Tyler hanging out with her too. She really likes him but something is just off with him... can she trust him?

This is the last book of the series and it ties everything up for the other couples. I did have a few issues with this, though. As interesting the history of Key West was... and it was... there was an awful lot in this short book. I also figured out who was the attacker and the mystery surrounding Tyler quite early. My friends tease me and call me Nancy Drew when buddy reading so... it could be my expert detective skills from all of the crime and mystery reading from my past. The other thing which really had a serious bearing on the rating was the relationship of Cassie and Tyler and how it was left at the end of Spring Break. It didn't feel right, but again that is just me.

What really did work was the friendship of the women; the important message of personal safety during any time out there and finally never be pressured to do anything by anyone. All of those elements have meaning and to get them while reading about hot guys with cute smart girls works for me.

A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review. 

 Author Information

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jenna Bennett (Jennie Bentley) writes the Do It Yourself home renovation mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime and the Cutthroat Business mysteries for her own gratification. She also writes a variety of romance for a change of pace. For more information, please visit her website,

BETWEEN US by Jen McLaughlin

March 4, 2014
New Adult Contemporary Romance
One of the “Sex on the Beach” Novellas


I’m just a girl…
I’m a famous country star who’s spent her life cultivating a good girl persona to avoid bad press, but I’ve reached my limit. I’m going away for spring break with my two best friends from college, and we’ve vowed to spend the vacation seeking out fun in the sun—along with some hot, no-strings-attached sex. The only thing I needed was the perfect guy, and then I met Austin Murphy. He might be totally wrong for me, but the tattooed bad boy is hard to resist. When I’m in his arms, everything just feels right.

And I’m just a guy…
I’m just a bartender who lives in Key West, stuck in an endless cycle of boredom. But then Mackenzie Forbes, America’s Sweetheart herself, comes up to me and looks at me with those bright green eyes…and everything changes. She acts like she’s just a normal girl and I’m just a normal guy, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. My past isn’t pretty, you know. I did what I had to do to survive, and she’d run if she learned the truth about my darkness. But with her, I’m finally realizing what it’s like to be alive. To laugh, live, and be happy.

All good things must come to an end...



Review by Wendy

 3.5 Country Star, Spring Break, Wish Fulfillment Stars
*** 1/2

Between Us by Jen McLaughlin is part of the Sex on the Beach group of quick novels which all reference each other. They follow 3 best friends; women who are in college, all searching to have some fun during Spring Break in Key West. Each of these novells can be read alone, in different order or in the order with this being the first.

In this novella, we have a couple of situations to address. The first being a massive country star who started young; she was in the spotlight while growing up. She never had a chance to learn or experience anything without the eyes of the world watching her. Her parents divorced... it was ugly... she has secrets to hide from it... and she is hounded constantly. 

In today's world... it isn't just gossip columns or some flash photographer getting a shot of you.... no now it is everywhere if you make an error in judgement... its everywhere ...Facebook, Websites, 250 TV channels... it goes on... and everyone has an agenda... cel phones are the tool of choice and no one but those who you met and vetted years ago can be trusted.

Mackenzie Forbes wants to have a moment... she has had it with being judged for things she hasn't done... she wants to experience the freedom of being just a college kid on Spring Break and she thinks she is going to do with her besties. They are in Key West with all the other thousands of kids... she has dyed her hair brown from her natural and famous blond; she is wear a huge hat which shields her face (she thinks) so perfect cover... right, hide in plain sight... well not maybe...

These gals are at the bar checking out all of the guys and they all have one main goal... they all want to hook up, have fantastic sex with a terrifically smokin' guy and then go home to Chicago and back to school. Shouldn't be difficult....

Mackenzie is checking out the scene, spots the a tattooed bad boy at the bar, decided he is the one and goes in for the kill. She has had a few too many drinks named Sex on the Beach... so all of her inhibitions are not reigned in... no, she is ready to go.... and flirts shamelessly with Austin Murphy. She practically throws herself at him because she is determined to get rid of that pesky VCard... and since he has not figured out who she is....ding ding ding... it is a go in her book...

Or has he...

Austin Murphy is hot.. he is the type you would go for... and he has deep dark secrets galore.... but he also seems to have a heart. Although he knows who little Mackenzie is... knows she would be a huge payday for him...and boy he could use it... he decides to take her back to the hotel and not cash in her card while she is drunk. He leaves her at the hotel; safe and sound with the option of tomorrow being their play time...

All the novellas cover the ways things can get crazy when you do not communicate with those you want to know. It also shows how hard it is to trust others today and not feel betrayed. This couple had complications which most never will... they were exaggerated because of her fame. Through this week,we went through all of the stages of their romance. 

I know Spring Breaks happen all of the country and kids are out there spreading their wings. My wish for all of them is to please be careful... not just with their hearts but with their persons. These books do address this issue to a degree, and I think it is commendable.

The three books were very enjoyable... and Jen McLaughlin started this series on just the right note. She gave us characters which were appropriate for their ages... lifestyles and circumstances wrapped in the beauty of Key West and frenzy of Spring Break.... all with the refreshing zing of the famous drinks, Sex on the Beach.... I think I will have to try one.  

Author Information 

Jen McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She writes steamy New Adult books for the young and young at heart. Her first release, Out of Line, came out September 2013. She also writes bestselling Contemporary Romance under the pen name Diane Alberts.Since receiving her first contract offer under the pen name Diane Alberts, she has yet to stop writing. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.
Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, a cat, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she’s not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

Beyond Me by Jennifer Probst

March 4, 2014
New Adult Contemporary Romance
One of the “Sex on the Beach” Novellas


Spring break in Key West with my besties was supposed to be casual fun. But I never expected to meet James Hunt. Sex and frolic? Yes! A relationship? No. But his hot blue eyes and confident manner drew me in. And when he let me see the man behind the mask, I fell hard, foolishly believing there could be a future for us. Of course I never considered our relationship might be based on lies...or that his betrayal could rock my foundation and make me question everything I believed in...    

The moment I saw Quinn I knew I had to have her. She hooked me with her cool eyes and don’t touch me attitude. I had it all, money, social status, and looks. I could get any girl I wanted...until her. When my friends challenged me with a bet to get her into bed by the end of the week, I couldn’t pass it up. But sex wasn’t supposed to turn into love. She wasn’t supposed to change me, push me, and make me want more for myself. She wasn’t supposed to wreck me in all ways. And now, if I can’t turn my lies into truth, I just might lose her forever. 



Review by Wendy

4 Sex on the Beach, Tasty, Steamy Stars * * * *

Beyond Me by Jennifer Probst is part of the Sex on the Beach group of quick novels which all reference each other. They follow 3 best friends; women who are in college, all searching to have some fun during Spring Break in Key West. Each of these novellas can be read alone, in different order or in the order with this being the second.

In this story we have Quinn, the focused, organized, hard working student. She never cuts loose as she expects herself to do what needs to be done. Having survived an alcoholic father, Quinn is now studying to be a rehab specialist and works a couple of jobs while doing it. She is there to have that break her girlfriends encouraged... to have a fling... enjoy the moment and then go back to Chicago to finish school.

Both of her friends are doing their spring Quinn goes to a house pool party she learned of from a flyer. As she is checking out the mansion... seeing bodies in all degrees of dress and undress.... she spots a gorgeous guy across the way checking her out. She knows she is ok in her mind... not a 10 but not a 2 either. He on the other hand is something... built but not bulky, dark hair, light blue eyes and staring not just at her but through her. She is startled by it and turns away.

James Hunt is not having it... he is not losing the vision. He is annoyed she turned away from him... his friends tease him... goading him about not having his charm and way with the ladies anymore... words are said back and forth... pride is at stake and a bet is made... James is pushed to the mental wall and it is either put up or shut up... he get's art lessons with a painter whom he worships if he beds her in the week... if not he loses his prized, one of a kind motorcycle. 

We learn he is the one the house belongs to...he has a history of always doing these parties for spring break. His circle of friends expect him to provide all of the entertainment and fund their fun... because that is what he does...what is always expected of him. His parents expected him to join the company business... be everything they needed to look good with their peers... James, though, wanted to pursue painting. He was never encouraged to be the real artist he dreams of being... he hides these feelings and plays the carefree playboy.

He tracks Quinn down and they start up a conversation... things are going well for James as they both are attracted to each other... until she finds out he is the owner of the house from one of his friends... you see, Quinn has a hardcore rule... no lying of any kind... her father would lie... promising things to her and then because he would be drunk... never come through. She learned how to protect herself and this was the only way.

As the story goes, her friends convince her to hear him out. She does and the romance blossoms for both. She feels for him and encourages him to really be himself and paint. He starts to have real feeling for her and tells the guys the bet is off.

While there romance continues with the ticking time bomb of the bet in the background, there are other things happening on Key West. Women are being drugged and we hear about it from the other characters.

This is a strong story of obligations .... when is it time for people to live for themselves and not others.... when is it time to cut friendships which are actually not friendships at all....

I liked the way everything worked... it was a sweet story with steam and ideas; it worked as part of this series.

A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review. 

Author Information 

Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon's Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at



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