Read with: iBooks for iPad
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Love Required, #3
Publisher: Entangled Publishing: Brazen
Hero: Cory Santangelo
Heroine: Victoria Violet Townsend
Date of Publication: August 12, 2013
Started On: August 31, 2013
Finished On: September 2, 2013
She was his, had always been his, and now they both knew it.
Ever since I read No Flowers Required, book 2 in the Love Required series by Cari Quinn, I’ve been sending “gentle” and “subtle” reminders Cari’s way to remind her that at least one fan of the series was in high anticipatory mode to read Cory’s story. It would be an impossibility to read No Flowers Required and encounter Cory Santangelo and Victoria Townsend (Vicky) and not “feel” the vibrancy of the chemistry and fire that is between them. Maybe because I had such high hopes for the book or maybe too much time has passed since I read book 2, I found myself a wee bit disappointed with how No Romance Required turned out.
Cory and Vicky have a shared history that goes way back into their childhoods. Cory is driven to the point of losing himself with a resolute absoluteness in his work that leaves little room for any time to loosen up and let go. Vicky on the other hand is a woman whose life is full of vibrancy, someone who refuses to let even a moment of her life pass by without enjoying it to the hilt. Though Cory might never understand why Vicky chooses to live as she does, the one thing that he cherishes and looks forward to is their weekly meet up to discuss Value Hardware’s lifestyle magazine which Vicky handles.
No Romance Required begins right where No Flowers Required ends and it is during that fateful evening that both Cory and Vicky are caught in a compromising position on camera which gives Cory the perfect “excuse” to get his parents off his back and enjoy his time playing fake boyfriend with Vicky to the hilt. Vicky might have a reputation of being a bad girl but when it comes to Cory, Vicky knows that none of her usual tricks would work for a man whose tastes run a bit darker and edgier than anyone she has been with. Vicky knows how ruthless Cory could be on her emotions if she lets him in and that is exactly what happens which gives the story its dose of angst together with the heat of the scorching variety that is always a part of Cari’s romances, which is one reason why I enjoy them so much.
I think the bit where this book didn’t work for me as I thought it would was perhaps because the banter between Vicky and Cory that was evident in No Flowers Required and what drew me towards Cory and Vicky failed to materialize much in their own story. I love a little bit of darkness with my heroes which I am betting is no surprise to anyone who reads my reviews. But I kind of missed on what it was exactly that turned Cory into who he was. Cory came out as a ruthless bastard in No Flowers Required and I thought that he would keep going along his track record some more before actually succumbing to his own happily ever after.
Vicky was a splendid heroine. Her zest for life hides behind the pain of abandonment, all the while harboring a secret from her siblings that could break the fragile bond she has with them. All Vicky longs for and has longed for for a long while is for Cory to notice her and make her his. Thus it comes as no surprise when Vicky grabs with both hands the one chance she has to play make believe with the man of her dreams even though she knows she might end up with a broken heart that would never heal.
From the way things were left as book 3 concluded, I am hoping that Vicky’s brother Bryan would get a story of his own because there seemed to be something of that sort in the works. I did miss out on an epilogue though I think the ending was pretty good with a little bit of groveling on Cory’s side to tie it all up.
Recommended for fans of the series and fans of Cari Quinn. But mind you, read No Flowers Required first because I think otherwise you might not get a feel for Vicky and Cory’s characters which I believe is a must if you are to enjoy the 3rd installment in the series.
Final Verdict: Great addition to the wonderfully erotic and humorous Love Required series.
“Victoria.” His guttural use of her name caused her to still. “This will change everything.”
Then his mouth crushed down on hers.
Its weight was a brand, forever stamping her with the memory of this night. Of stars in an inky black sky. Of his heart racing against hers.
Of wanting him more than she cared about the consequences.
When she stood before him in just her bra and lacy thigh-high hose, she stepped back until her spine hit one of the support columns that extended to the exposed beams of the ceiling. She wrapped her fingers around the wood above her head, stretching herself up like his very own unwrapped gift. Then she spread her legs and invitingly rocked her hips.
Her lips parted though she made no sound. He exhaled as her snug, drenched sheath enveloped his dick again and again, the scrape of her nails against the wood a strangely exciting accompaniment. Her nails could’ve been on his shoulders, on his back, for all the effect that noise had on his body. He drove into her harder, faster, wanting to hear her torturing the wood, that unconscious tell more revealing than her glazed whiskey-colored eyes.
There, she still held some control. But with her hands, with the ripples of her sex around him, she restrained nothing.
That was what he wanted. Her, totally mindless. Unafraid. His.