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That's What I'm Talking About

I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent. 


Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.


A+  Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A    Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A-   Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+  Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B    Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B-   Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+  Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C    Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C-   Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D    Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E    Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish


updated July 9, 2015

Currently reading

Operation: Endgame (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Book 6) (English Edition)
Philippa Ballantine, Jeanne H. Ballantine, William Morris
Just You and Me (A Contemporary Romance Collection)
Fiona Miers, Caitlyn Lynch, Liz Durano, Deelylah Mullin, Cate Farren, Jacquie Biggar, Vicki Batman, Kate Richards, Brenna Zinn, Dalton Diaz, Tierney O'Malley, Desiree Holt, Nicole Morgan, Ashlyn Chase
Bitter Bite: Elemental Assassin, Book 14
Audible Studios, Jennifer Estep, Lauren Fortgang
Progress: 27 %

Review: Do Not Disturb by Stephanie Julian

Do Not Disturb (A Salon Games Novel) - Stephanie Julian

Dane Connelly is obsessed with his best friend’s (Jared “Jed” Golden) fiancée, Annabelle. We originally met this trio in the first book of the series, and three books later we learn that Dane continues to frequently participate in an M-F-M menage with the pair. He loves both Jeb and Annabelle, not romantically but as close friends, and he hasn’t found another woman who interests him like Annabelle.


Talia Driscoll is a career-driven event planner, who is organizing Jared and Annabelle’s upcoming nuptials. She is hiding a long-kept secret about her family that no one, not even her closest friends Annabelle, Kate, and Sabrina, know. Whatever it is, it keeps Talia from making close ties to any man. So when she feels an itch for some hot lovin’, she knows playboy Dane will do just fine for a one-night stand.


Oh Dane, poor Dane. I immediately fell hard for this sexy man who is emotionally confused and has so much love to give, as he watches all his best friends each find love and pair off. He knows he doesn’t love Annabelle or Jed as more than good friends and is aware that his relationship with them is preventing him from moving on with his own life. Not that he’s looking for any sort of romantic relationship, but with the pair getting married, he recognizes it’s time to move on. I love that he’s so self-aware and confident, making him a three-dimensional character rather than just another rich playboy. Yet when it comes to Talia, he has an edge of uncertainty as he gives her all of himself. It is refreshing to see the male lead putting himself out there without assurances that the female lead will reciprocate. 


Because the author does such a good job developing Talia’s character as a closely-guarded, self-reliant woman, I didn't connect as deeply with her as I did with Dane. Tally has valid reasons to keep her secrets, and her fear of any sort of relationship with Dane is well-founded. Knowing how difficult it is for her to let down her guard makes the times she does all the more rewarding. Additionally, knowing that her secrets would eventually have to come out created a level tension to the overall story. I really enjoyed Dane and Tally as a couple. Tally is perfect for Dane and knowing she's one of Annabelle's best friends added an edge of uncomfortable tension that kept me reading, worried yet hoping for the best.


The eroticism of the overall story kicks up a notch in Do Not Disturb with the reintroduction of the Salon - a private sexual playground for Dane, Jed, and others. While the book isn’t overly sex-heavy or crazily kinky, there is some exhibitionism and light bondage. There was even a “sex” party the night before the wedding, which had me on edge. First, because it is shared from Talia's POV, and she's excited yet apprehensive about what will happen. This translates well onto the page emotionally, giving the scene an easy tension. However the fact that Talia is unaware of Dane’s sexual relationship with Annabelle makes the entire scene over the top. I was apprehensive, worried what would happen when/if she finds out. However, overall, the scene is erotically charged and probably the most sexual of the series. The only slightly off-putting part for me was the introduction of several members at the Salon, which felt like the author setting up future books. It just felt like the wrong place/time to meet these people and learn about their problems, when we haven’t met them in previous books.


Overall, Do Not Disturb is a highly sensual and erotic love story, rounded out by a well-developed ensemble of characters and a captivating, tension-filled storyline. My biggest complaint is that the book was over before I wanted it to end. I enjoyed watching Dane fall hard and fully embrace his feelings for Talia. Do Not Disturb could be read as a stand alone; however, the entire Salon Games series is simply wonderful, and the fact that we meet Dane in the first book, By Private Invitation, I highly recommend readers start at the beginning. Regardless of where you begin your journey, Do Not Disturb is one of my top reads for 2015.


My Rating:  A, Loved It

Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

Review copy provided by publisher