If you need a break from overused cliches, angst, evil villains, or tearjerkers, dip into this series!
I read the first book, Trucker, a long time ago. I remember at the time thinking I would save these for when I needed a break from angst and difficult reads. I really needed that break after The Sainthood series! I’d been in gangland with murder and raunchy sex for too long. I needed something nice and sweet. So I binged the rest of the series. It was just what I needed. They are all so cute! I had plenty of laugh out loud moments.
They are feel-good reads without being over the top or sugary. They are like real vanilla, not the cheap imitation stuff, with deep notes of true flavor. When I’ve been having a lot of Rocky Road and other complicated or sour flavors, it’s just so refreshing to savor something so genuine and real. If you need a break from overused cliches, angst, evil villains, or tearjerkers, dip into this series!
They are all SAFE – NO: cheating, sex scenes with Other People, love triangles, abuse, non or dubious consent, or cliffhangers! They do contain occasional foul language and graphic sex scenes, which are very hot. These are emotional. People make love in these books.
I especially love that the author turns cliches around. A familiar situation comes up, but the characters react to it in a different, usually saner, way.
Each book is written in 1st person past tense with about half the chapters from each of the two main characters.
They are all very well edited. I only found a few errors in each.
Alright is not a word! It’s all right. I swear!
Travis picks Angel up when she starts to hitchhike across the country.
This was so frigging cute. It’s a light-hearted, feel-good read. I loved that both the leads are virgins. Travis’ horror date stories were hilarious. I laughed out loud several times while reading this.
The only thing I didn’t like was the OW drama. It was just another woman that wanted Travis, mean girl stuff, no touching at all between H and OW. Very cliche, but at least it was over quickly!
Angel was naive and far too trusting, but she’s very young (17/18). It’s nice to see that life hadn’t beaten that out of her already.
Brielle “Ellie” and Colton were best friends as children until Colton moved away when they were seven years old. Now in their early twenties, Brielle is a cage dancer in a nightclub. Her clothes stay on. She is a single mother, having gotten pregnant as a senior in high school. We met Colton in Trucker. He is Travis’ roommate and also a mechanic like Travis. Colton has been having erectile dysfunction, performance anxiety. But that magically clears up when he sees a certain cage dancer performing, and he has to meet her.
They aren’t virgins in this one, but they haven’t been promiscuous either.
Colton’s autocorrect texts are hilarious! I’ve been to webpages that list these things and laughed so much, so it’s like having one of those sprinkled throughout. He talked about wanting to get his phone fixed, and I yelled, “No! No fixing Colton’s phone!” And Brielle’s kid is fabulously funny as well.
“Did you ever think maybe you just didn’t like her? I mean, maybe your dick knew better than you,” he joked, making light of the situation.
Me: My dad is a nympho gopher.
Me: Dammit! A nosy gossip.
Me: Where spank tits tomorrow?
Ellie: Are you talking dirty to me?
Unfortunately, I got mixed results. Apparently when your internet search contains ‘giant balls’ you need to be prepared for anything.
Mackenna is a reclusive song writer who recently moved next door to Beverly, the fantastic old lady that we first met in Trucker. Beverly is Jimmy’s grandmother. He moves in with her for the summer after failing his first year of college.
If I have to choose, this is my favorite. There is so much humor in this. We have Beverly, where all my favorite quotes below come from. Then there is Sweet Pea, the cussing parrot who poops everywhere. And finally we have Jimmy himself with his tightie camouflage underwear.
Mackenna had an abusive boyfriend in high school and stayed away from men after that. She isn’t interested in dating anyone, but Jimmy is hard to resist. I loved how their relationship slowly progressed, starting with just holding hands. It was very realistic and just what Mackenna needed. So sweet!
Beverly Louise Johnson was the coolest motherfucking lady in the entire world. She was brutally honest, didn’t take anyone’s crap, and swore like a sailor. On more than one occasion, my parents had said they thought I inherited my wild streak from her.
“Rule number two,” she continued. “No hanky panky in the hot tub. I’ve never broken that rule and neither will you.”
I made a face. “Grandma. No offense, but gross.”
“Well I’ll be damned, Jimmy,” she said, looking misty-eyed. Then she motioned toward my chest again. “What about the piercings? Did that hurt?” Looking down at her housecoat, she added, “Maybe I should get some.”
A rude sound escaped at the awful suggestion. “Grandma… no. God, no.”
“Seriously. I think Ernie might like it.”
Mortified, I ran a hand over my face. “Please stop talking.”
Jimmy, I’m shacking up at Ernie’s for the night. Be nice to Sweet Pea and give him a peanut. There’s a bag in the pantry. P.S. Don’t you dare tease me about doing the walk of shame in the morning. -Grandma
Ezra is Jimmy’s little brother, whom we met in Dropout, and Kayla is his classmate. The story starts at the end of their senior year in high school. Ezra is a little overweight and walks with a limp. He has been bullied and teased his entire life. Kayla is very interestingly mixed race and always gets asked, “What are you?” It turns out they have both been crushing on each other for a long time.
They are both virgins in this.
I loved Ezra’s service dog, Pierre. He wasn’t comic relief. He’s a very serious fellow with a job to do! There is still a lot of humor in this. Kayla was adopted by a gay couple, and they are hilarious.
Clearly, she’d been both afraid and impressed by my size. I knew I wasn’t small down there. It wasn’t something I ever flaunted, because my dick wasn’t anyone’s business. Except Kayla’s. It could be her business anytime she wanted it to be.
5. Magic Man
We met Jay and Casey briefly in Dropout. Casey was 16 and knocked up by Mackenna’s psycho ex. Jay got busted for meth dealing that night of the fight. Jay is just recently out of jail and doesn’t think he is worthy of Casey and her son, Gus. Casey is an adult now and concentrating on taking care of her son.
This one had more angst and sadness in it but not too much. It’s not a tearjerker. Still a feel-good story with a HEA. We have a case of a character being an idiot, but it at least it didn’t go on too long, and there was no cheating or OP involved.
Gus was a very cute and funny toddler. I loved that they let him play with jewelry and wear princess dresses since that’s what he wanted. They didn’t judge or worry, even in their thoughts. Kids want they want, and it doesn’t have to be traditionally gender-assigned toys and clothes. Gus might change his tastes as he gets older, and he might not. Either is fine. He might grow up to up be straight, gay, or anything in between, and all of that is fine. They are letting him be who he is and not worrying about it, which is very refreshing in a novel.
I had a lot of nicknames for my little dude. Buddy. Bud. Bubbie goo. Mister buddy goo goobie goo man. Sometimes I got a little obnoxious with it—I even had made-up theme songs just for him.
Jay: Not having anything to contribute to a conversation about birthing large objects, I stuffed my hands in my pockets while they went into some of the nitty gritty details of labor.
“I brought you a funnel cake,” he announced, clearly pleased with himself. As he should be. If I hadn’t already been planning to jump his bones, I certainly would’ve been now.