My review is posted at Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/undercover-lovers-antho
“Consumed” by Dee Carney
It’s almost Restaurant Week, the premier event for Denver’s foodie crowd. Chef August Jaeger is used to his rivals trying to discover what he’ll be serving during Restaurant Week, so when his staff notifies him that there may be a spy in his restaurant, August puts his guard up. Except the possible spy – curvy beauty Saffron Burton – is too delectable a dish for him to resist.
Saffron is no spy; she’s a food journalist. August’s distaste for the press is well-known, so she goes undercover when she visits his restaurant in the hopes of writing an incredible article on the chef. What Saffron doesn’t expect is the sizzling attraction that ignites between herself and August. But what will happen when August finds out why she was really in his restaurant in the first place?
Food and sensuality make for a delicious first course in this anthology. “Consumed” is a tasty treat, as one might expect for a book with a chef as a hero. The connection between August and Saffron is instantaneous, but Saffron’s deception and August’s concerns about her motives shadow the beginning of their relationship. As one might also expect from a chef hero, August is a touch temperamental, which was realistic but not quite my cup of tea. Still, I enjoyed “Consumed” overall; it was fast-paced and entertaining.
“Conned” by Chloe Cole
Once, Tucker Lamb was a successful con artist. He’s turned his life around, and for over a decade has been on the up and up. He’s replaced cons with chemistry and is content playing the slightly shy, mild-mannered professor. There’s just one problem: Human sexuality professor Cricket Malloy. Cricket is a bold, brilliant woman with a flamboyant teaching style and a taste for bad boys to match. And Tucker wants her like he’s never wanted any other woman. When the pair team up to do a joint experiment on aphrodisiacs to present to their students, Tucker can’t resist letting some of his old self slide through. It’s a risk, but for a chance with Cricket, Tucker is willing to bring out his inner bad boy.
“Conned” is one of my favorite stories in this anthology! Chloe Cole writes foreplay hot enough to burn. And I do mean burn. Tucker may look harmless, but boy, oh boy, when he unleashes his naughty side…get an industrial-sized fan. Cricket doesn’t know what hits her when the real Tucker emerges, and I found myself grinning at her reaction, even as I envied her. I loved Tucker’s natural mix of good and wicked and Cricket is a refreshingly candid and charming heroine. The two are wonderful characters that Ms. Cole made me care about. I practically devoured “Conned” and each successive re-read has been equally voracious. “Conned,” with its two endearing protagonists who have fantastic chemistry, should not be missed.
“Conquered” by Cari Quinn
Emma Donegan’s a good girl ready to go bad and have a one night stand. The sexy stripper dressed as a cop is the perfect candidate and, to Emma’s delight, the attraction is mutual. Too bad for her the man actually isn’t a stripper…
PI Shane Madison will do anything to make a go of his investigations business and if that means he has to pose as a stripper for a case, well…a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do. But a case of mistaken identity leads Shane not to his target – his client’s fiancée – but Emma. Shane knows something’s not right, but he’s too distracted by his sexy supposed mark to question if she might not be his client’s fiancée but someone else entirely. What will happen when the truth is revealed?
“Conquered” is a surprisingly sweet story with two adorable protagonists who are both out of their comfort zone. I had to laugh over Shane’s comical attempts at being a stripper; thank goodness the man’s more capable in the bedroom. Emma, too, is somewhat awkward as she steps out of her comfort zone to take control of her sexuality. The undercover plot/mistaken identity storyline in “Conquered” wasn’t quite to my taste. I just wasn’t a fan of how Shane continued to do something he thought was wrong (sleeping with a suspected madam that was engaged to his client). Still, even though it wasn’t really my kind of story, I liked Cari Quinn’s writing style and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.
“Convicted” by Dee Tenorio
Ex-Marine turned sheriff Cade Evigan knows better than to get involved with a woman who runs with a biker gang. But Katrina Killian gets under his skin like no one else ever has and the time they’ve spent circling around one another tempts Cade to break every rule he’s ever written for himself. And when Trina shows up on his cabin doorstep, bruised and bleeding, all hopes of keeping his distance from her come to a halt.
Trina, an undercover DEA agent, has just had the case she’s been working on for two years come crashing down around her ears. Someone has blown her cover and it’s not just her that the leader of the gang she infiltrated wants to kill. Trina will protect Cade to her last breath…but once she’s in his cabin her breath is completely taken away by the sexy-as-sin sheriff.
“Convicted” is my other favorite story in this anthology. Dee Tenorio delivers a potent combination of sexiness, sassiness, and danger in this explosively hot romance. The sexual tension has been building between Trina and Cade for some time, so “Convicted” starts out on a high note in that respect and only gets higher – or rather, hotter – as the pair give into their mutual attraction.
Trina is a kick-ass heroine with a quick mind and an even quicker mouth. Cade, in turn, is a case of still waters running deep with passion. Together, they are a couple you can root for and I was absolutely invested in their romance and their fight for survival against the tale’s villains.
On a lighter note, Ms. Tenorio is fast on the draw with the one-liners and I had to laugh at the smart humor she infused the story with. Aside from the dialogue, the emotions and the heat that rapidly escalated between Cade and Trina kept “Convicted” moving at a fast pace. “Convicted” is such a delightfully well-rounded romantic suspense tale that I didn’t want it to end. Trina and Cade’s story showcases much of what I love about Ms. Tenorio’s writing. I finished “Convicted” a well-satisfied reader and I cannot wait to see what Ms. Tenorio comes up with next!Undercover Lovers
features four very different stories that work together as a whole. The combined talents of Dee Carney, Chloe Cole, Cari Quinn, and Dee Tenorio make Undercover Lovers
a must-buy for readers who love their erotic romance with a dash of undercover intrigue. I enjoyed this anthology immensely and I hope this dynamic quartet considers working together again!