Julia Kent, Sara Fawkes, Lauren Hawkeye, Cathryn Fox
Spring Fling Anthology
Harper Collins / March 11, 2014 / $1.99 digital
Party Spring Break–style with four bestselling romance authors, including Julia Kent and Sara Fawkes, as they dish out sexy tales of romance in the Big Easy!
Share Me by Julia Kent
Emma Barton has just been dumped—for being boring. Now she's letting loose and reclaiming her inner bad girl with not one, but two sexy strangers! Double the pleasure means double the fun, right?
Shake Me by Sara Fawkes
Determined to forget her cheating boyfriend, Cassidy Dupre agrees to a night out with playboy Travis Dean. But when she finds herself wanting more than she bargained for, this evening could spell desire … or disaster!
Show Me by Cathryn Fox
Eva Parker wants a lesson in seduction … from her brother's best friend. When teaching becomes tension, will they be able to keep it professional? Or will friends forever become something much hotter?
Shock Me by Lauren Hawkeye
Callie Gilmore is determined to break out of the friend zone with Ryder Hawkins. Donning a mask and making her move seems easy, but when fate throws a curveball, Callie must choose: turn and run … or embrace the night.
With spring break right around the corner, it's that time for the perfect beach read that's all about the travel, the parties, young love and letting go. With a common thread featuring heroines who all need to live a little and find their inner confidence —and what better place to do that than in New Orleans?—Spring Fling is a sizzling New Adult anthology from authors Julia Kent, Sara Fawkes, Cathryn Fox, and Lauren Hawkeye, whose stories have New Adult colliding with the erotic, all with some of the best themes in romance.
Julia Kent starts off with a bang with good girl Emma, whose shaken confidence at being dumped by her college sweetheart and fiance right before graduation leads her to forsaking any inhibitions when she meets not only a sexy Greek guy on the plane to a spring break blowout in New Orleans at Mardi Gras, but also his hunky Irish friend. They are more than enough for her to work out her revenge and the focus here is right where it should be, but somewhere along the way the hot scenes also become emotional, and this menage novella is very well done.
“Where are you lovely ladies headed?” Miki asked, eyes burning into Emma.
“Wherever the fun is,” Melissa giggled.
In bed, Emma thought.
Five sets of eyes suddenly flicked her way. Shit. Had she said that aloud?
Miki's eyes went wolfish and predatory.
So did David's.
And they only had eyes for her.
Sara Fawkes slows it down a little with a sweet-but-not-too-sweet story about unrequited love on the hero's part, a welcome twist from the typical trope, which finds Travis ready to make his move when he's unexpectedly thrown together with Cassidy on a last-minute spring break trip to New Orleans. Childhood friends who grew apart, Travis and Cassidy clearly have a background story that lends itself to instant chemistry when they're finally in a place, alone together, where they can confront what always lay between them.
For her part, Cassidy has waited a long time for the right guy, and when she realizes he's been in front of her all along, the temperature cranks right up as they become friends again and finally lovers.
He moved slowly, levering himself up and over her. She drew her knees up to straddle his hips, and trembled as he settled himself above her. He made a small tilt with his hips, pressing his hard length against her core, and it was Cassidy's turn to gasp. All rational thought fled her mind as her body ignited. It was hard to believe something she'd always been taught was wrong could feel so right.
"Tell me to stop, Cassidy baby, and I will.”
His words, said in almost a painful whisper, rocketed through her. “Travis...”
“I need you so bad it hurts,” he murmured, running the back of his fingers down her cheek. “I want to touch every inch of you, feel every part of you against me, fuck you so hard you scream as you come.” His forehead came down atop hers as he rasped, “God, Cassidy, I need you so much...”
Cathryn Fox builds energy with a brother's best friend/little sister story, a theme that couldn't have a better fit than here in New Orleans, where temptation is everywhere and the forbidden is especially sweet. Smart girl Eva is tired of being the tall, skinny, gawky one who doesn't know how to get any guy, much less her brother's friend Luke. Of course he's the one she's always wanted, but also the one who's out of reach. Until there's nothing to lose when it's spring break in a party town.
There's also some of the lessons in seduction theme present here, which gives Eva and Luke all the push they need.
She looked at him, her eyes full of heat and want. “If not them, then who, Luke?”
The soft way she said his name unleashed something wild inside him. His nostrils flared, and while everything in his gut told him to walk—no, run—the other way, he knew he was fighting a losing battle. He grabbed her hand, tugged her close and purposely put his mouth to her ear.
She gave a little gasp when he suddenly hauled her through the crowd, dragging her out to the sidewalk, where he put his arm around her waist and pulled her hard against him. Bodies bumped against theirs, the crowd alive and full of energy as they drank and partied in the streets. The mood intensified everything he was feeling, and had him breaking all the rules where his friend's kid sister was concerned.
Finally, Lauren Hawkeye's story is completely unpredictable, just as spring break in New Orleans should be. Callie goes on the trip thinking to step out of her comfort zone and make a move on her best friend, perfect guy Ryder. But this quickly becomes a strangers-turned-lovers story, as the man behind the mask at a party isn't quite the one she planned on.
My mask was torn away. The mattress dipped as the woman slid off of it. I heard the click of the knob on the bedside lamp before golden light bathed the room.
“Oh my God. You're not Ryder.”
“Ah... no. I'm his brother.” As the dark fled and our features came clear, we both sucked in a breath and stared at the other, though for different reasons.
She was staring at me with horror, plain on her face, because I wasn't my brother.
I was staring at her because she was the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen in my life.
Callie and Liam, the brother of the guy she wanted, are the perfect example of how sometimes the right guy on paper just doesn't work and how sometimes there's no way to explain where you find that connection. Sometimes all you need is the right time and the right place, and this universal truth ties all of the stories together. And the one recurring character throughout the anthology, Madame Ysabeau, reminds these young people that “life is short” is a powerful motivator and fate's hand will have its way when they really go after what they want.
Learn more or order a copy of the Spring Fling anthology, out now:
Tiffany Tyer is a writer and editor who loves reading and analyzing all things romance. She also works as a vocalist, a tutor, and a non-profit ministry assistant, and she loves it that way. Her book reviews can be found at Happy Endings Reviews, a blog she co-founded.