Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jewels of Desire Duo #1 - Erica Lucke Dean with Elise Delacroix

I was provided an ARC by NetGalley for an honest review.
Overall: 3 stars

This is a duo novel featuring two erotic novellas featuring the Callaghan family and their involvement in a diamond heist. Book one is titled Diamond Duplicity and book two is titled Ruby Ransom. I reviewed the novel in two parts, as I think each novella can be read as a standalone.

As an extra note of caution, I do not frequently read erotic novellas, I am a true fan of developed plot lines when it comes to erotic novels. Yes, I jumped in with Fifty Shades, like many others, and found myself in the world of awesome authors like Sylvia Day. Unfortunately, I was not aware these were novellas and it did change my review, at least for the first novella, significantly.

Diamond Duplicity
2 stars

Let me just put it out there right now that this is not at all what I expected it to be. I expected smut, hello the name is Jewels of Desire, but I did not expect a novella of pure smut.

expected this:
"Lucy Matthews can’t believe her crazy luck. While she’s on a date with Mr. Wrong, her evening tilts from merely unfortunate to downright surreal when his attempt to sneak them into a club lands them in the middle of a diamond heist.

When gorgeous Max Callaghan discovers a hot and disheveled Lucy clutching his bag of diamonds at the crime scene, he brands her with a fiery kiss. His gang wants her dead, so Max rescues her by claiming her as his girlfriend. Lucy soon realizes with sudden, pulse-pounding clarity that she needs Max for another reason entirely, but their passionate ruse might not survive the intense pressure of a high-stakes mob war."

got this:
Lucy's date is fun, but not treating her like the princess she is. Enter hot man who she thinks is a cop, but really isn't. When she find out he's not a cop, but really involved in a diamond heist, she still has no problem letting him touch her and bang her in front of all his friends multiple times in one night.

What? I was totally cool with having smut mixed in with a diamond heist, in fact I loved all the minor characters and the plot. The commentary was hilarious and there really could be a full length novel in there, somewhere. It just could have been done differently or you know, branded differently so I knew what I was getting into. Instead, mid-read, I made some terrible noise and screamed, "what am I reading?!" I wanted more from this for sure and I feel a bit duped that it wasn't clear this was a novella. Now if Erica Lucke Dean decides to make this a full length novel, absolutely keep the smutty scenes, just give me some context. I've never met a girl who witnesses something illegal and then is 100% cool with sex in a car, hotel, club, outside, elevator, etc. The writing itself is done very well and I didn't find any errors. I'll let you know how I fare with book two.

Ruby Ransom
3.5 Stars

This novella was much better than the first Jewels of Desire, Diamond Duplicity. There is a real plot here and the two main characters actually seem to be people, rather than just sex addicts. In this case, the summary provided on Goodreads and on NetGalley was perfect.

"Romancing the ruby…

Red Callaghan climbs into bed after a wild night of clubbing… and wakes up with a gun to her head. Fortunately, she knows more about weapons than her would-be kidnapper, and she manages to disarm him then turn the tables by seducing him.

When shy chemist Will gets roped into settling his father’s gambling debt, he thinks the ruby he’s tasked to steal is a precious stone. He soon finds out it’s actually the daughter of a rival crime lord.

After striking a compromise, Red and Will collide in one explosive sexual encounter after another while executing their plan to teach both sides a lesson."

Sure, it's a smut novella, but in this case the summary was very clear about what you're getting into with this book. On top of that, the characters are actually really awesome. Ruby Callaghan is beautiful, strong-willed, and tired of this diamond heist game her family is involved in. Will is apparently a ridiculously good looking chemist, really good at sex, and watching out for his mom. This book was not just sex, thank goodness. There's a real story here and the characters fit their roles perfectly, even the sex scenes make sense for who the characters are. I didn't feel like I was reading about a virginal girl on a chance meeting, no these are two adults who were thrust into a not so great situation and took advantage of their time together having fun and formulating a master plan to put a stop to the ridiculous heist they've been roped into. Their personalities fit the actions they take in the book and they come out on top.

If erotic novellas are your cup of tea, this is a fairly good one. I think Erica Lucke Dean writes very well and if instalove is not for you skip the first Jewels of Desire, as this book could easily be read as a standalone.

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