Saturday, February 7, 2009

Review: Sex for Beginners Series - Stephanie Bond

I'm going to start this out saying that I don't normally read series romance novels. I just never feel like there's enough page time for me to really connect to the characters. However, every once in a while there comes along a series book that I proves me wrong, and I really enjoy. In this case, I got three.

The Sex for Beginners Series by Stephanie Bond are published under the Harlequin Blaze line. I was recommended these by Kat. And as she doesn't usually steer me wrong, I went and had them delivered to my Kindle right away.

Watch and Learn is the first in the series. Although truthfully, they can be read in any order. There is no connection between the novels, other than the main catalyst - which only gets the story going.

Gemma is a woman going through a huge change. Getting a divorce is never easy. But when she opens the mail one day, and recieves a letter from herself describing her most intimate fantasies - she decides it's time she got a life again.

Lucky for her, Chev, her sexy new neighbor, is all for enjoying the shows that Gemma's venturing to put on. Because Gemma's fantasy is to be watched.

But when Chev wants to make it more personal, will Gemma be able to open herself up to something more?

I really enjoyed this book. Gemma's a great woman, that I have a lot of respect for. It's not easy going through such a devastating change, but she does it. And manages to find herself in the process. Chev is handsome, kind, and wonderfully hot. I really loved seeing these two dance around each other, and towards each other.

A good fun read, with great characters that jumped off the pages. Gemma's motivations, and fears were easily understandable. As was watching her go through the process of discovering herself. I never felt that it was rushed, and everything moved at a believable pace for me. The book just made me happy.

Grade: B

In a Bind is the second book in the series, although it's the last one I read.

Zoe is an international flight attendant, doing her last flight to Australia before her impending wedding, when she recieves her letter from herself. Her fantasies? Bondage. Which she's never gotten to experience, and it's unlikely she ever will with her fiancee.

Colin is a passenger heading home on the same flight. Colin's a sexy corporate cowboy, more than willing to fulfill Zoe's fantasies.

Will Zoe be willing to risk it all for some mind-blowing sex? Or is there more there for them?

I absolutely loved the chemistry between the characters. Loved Colin. But I had a couple of issues with this one. The fact that Zoe is cheating on her fiancee rubbed me wrong. It doesn't always in novels, so I'm not sure why it did in this book. But I could never quite get past the fact that she'd promised herself to another person, and still proceeded to have the affair. It was a small thing in the overall scheme though. Because I truly felt that Zoe and Colin were great together. Very well matched.

The other small thing I had an issue with, was the safe words that they chose. They just pulled me out of the story. Safe words are meant to be used in a certain way. That's why they're safe words. And the way they were being used - although it's how the characters directed that they be used - isn't consistent with that.

Like I said, two very small things. Overall I really liked this book though. Again the actions and motivations of the characters were real, understandable, and convincing. And Colin is incredibly sexy.

Grade: C+

No Peeking is the final in the Sex for Beginners series, to this point. This is my favorite of the series.

Violet is a work-a-holic. But owning your own business will do that. She's extremely self-reliant. When she recieves her letter, she's reminded that she's never found that person that's been able to make sex good.

Dominick is a client of Violet's. But he'd like to be so much more. And when he invites her to Miami for a working holiday, he plans to do everything he can to get that.

Violet knows she won't be able to withstand his sensual attack for long, and of course she doesn't. Dominick seems to know just how to touch her. Knows just what she wants and needs.

Will they be able to continue this mix of business and pleasure? Especially when Violet finds out that Dominick's been keeping a secret...?

I don't think I can do this book justice. Violet is someone I'd love to be friends with. Dominick is someone I'd definitely love to do some extreme sports with (which is his business). Watching them fulfill something in each other, and learn something about themselves was truly a joy.

This is a great trilogy, and I find myself hoping for more in the series. There is one recurring character in the trilogy, that made me smile every time she showed up. And I'd really like to learn more about her, and her sister.

Grade: A-

I'll definitely be looking for more from Stephanie Bond.

Watch and Learn, In a Bind and No Peeking... are all available here.

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