Author: Stephanie Julian
Rating: A, 4.5 Stars
What I’m Talking About:
The second story in Ms. Julian’s marvelous Salon Games series begins with the New Year’s Eve party scene from the first book, By Private Invitation, when Kate Song meets Tyler Golden–only this time we see the scene from Kate’s point-of-view (POV). Kate is attending party with BFF Annabelle while Kate’s finance, Arnie, stays home. Soon enough, the book jumps to present day, which lines up with the conclusion of the first book. This is where we discover Kate telling Tyler that she’s broken off her engagement.
Tyler Golden owns one-half of the lush Philadelphia hotel, Haven, along side his brother, Jared (hero from By Private Invitation). After his fiancée died two years ago from a brain tumor, Tyler hasn’t felt a big attraction to any woman, until he meets Kate.
I’m just going to come out and say that No Reservations is another wonderful story from Ms. Julian’s Salon Games series and one of the best erotic romance stories of 2013. The author knows how to write amazingly erotic sex scenes with tender romance and real emotions at the heart of the story. Tyler and Kate experience an immediate and intense attraction, which they readily explore right from the start. The pair wants to explore and be free with one another, but also to get to know and understand one another. Even with a few reservations, they allow themselves to go after what makes them feel good.
I admire that Ms. Julian allows their relationship to grow and progress almost too smoothly right from the start, only tossing in the occasional realistic bump like “is it too soon to call her or have I waited enough time.” There are no huge road blocks preventing the couple from falling fast, which they do. Experiencing the tale from both Kate and Tyler’s POV, we explore their fears and hopes, which seem to mesh so well. Yet, their story isn’t conflict free as Tyler must make a major decision on the future of his career, and likewise, Kate looks to explore her life-long dream of costume design. Overall, their situations and relationship are handled so beautifully.
One of the best things in the story is the development of the characters’ emotions. They build organically and without hinderance. The characters mature and grow in such a way that allows me to be part of their world and brought along for the journey. They both endure an array of emotions, the depths of which I experience right along side of them. This is where the story excels… Emotional grit without contrived baggage or problems.
The only slightly negative thing I can say of this story is that I felt the balance between sex and story was ever so slightly tipped to too much sex. It is amazingly hot, passionate and erotic, and some of the best sex scenes I’ve ever read. I just wanted a little more on the issues surrounding Tyler and his decision to take over his dad’s hotel chain and Kate’s decisions over going to NYC. Let me assure you, I did not want less sex, just more of the other! Ms. Julian writes both aspects so well, honestly, I could have continued reading for another couple hundred pages.
There were a few other minor points that felt a little off to me when reading them, but they all occur fairly early in the story, and once the book was in full swing, those little details were far from my mind.
Overall, I just loved No Reservations. Although it truly can be enjoyed as a stand alone story, the first book, By Private Invitation, is one of my favorites. Ms. Julian weaves a tale of sensual exploration and play with a core of sweet love and romance. Other than a few minor perceived inconsistencies that didn’t detract (and that may have been cleaned up with final edits), the story flowed smoothly. I highly recommend the Salon Games series to fans of erotic romance.
4.5 stars: Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)
About the Book:
Tyler Golden is all about control. It’s an attitude that helped him and his brother build Haven, a boutique hotel in Philadelphia. The only thing Tyler couldn’t control was his fiancée’s death. It left him emotionally guarded, and willing to go only so far with women: satisfying his sexual needs.
Kate Song knows the feeling. Her sole focus is her dream to be a lingerie designer. She’s not about to be distracted by any man. No matter who he is. Or how demanding. Or forceful. Or captivatingly sexy. Or so she thought.
Tyler has the power to make her dream come true. Who can say no to such a dominating personality? Who would want to? Not Kate. Offering her body for submission is one thing. But giving her heart and soul is another. Now Tyler may discover that the one woman who taught him to love again is the one woman he might not be able to keep.
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Series: Salon Games #2
Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance
Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley
No Reservations (Book 2)
Reviews in the Series:
By Private Invitation (Book 1)