Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Synopsis for Shameless (from Goodreads):
People say I’m shameless. They’re right.
I like my sex dirty. It takes a hell of a lot to tilt my moral compass, and I always follow when it’s pointing at something I want. That goes double when it points straight at the one girl in all of Chicago who’s not dying for a piece of me.
She’s all I can think about, and that’s a problem, because she wants nothing to do with me. But I’ve seen her deepest secrets, her darkest fantasies, and they match mine to a fucking T.
I want her. Bad.
Now I need to show her how good it can feel…to be shameless.
Series: Playboys in Love
Author: Gina L Maxwell
# of Books: 3 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Connected
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Erotica
Heat Rating: Hot (Kink: mild | BDSM: light)
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: May 2016 – ongoing
Source & Format: Publisher–eARC; Owned–Kindle (#3)
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I had actually never heard of this series until I was asked if I wanted to review book 2, Ruthless. I’m not a huge erotica fan per say but I do like to read adult contemporary romances from time to time. This series sounded like it was the perfect in between, bordering on the New Adult spectrum but with an adult erotica spin.
It’s not mentioned in the synopsis, but this series follows a bunch of male strippers who strip for fun (aka they have other day jobs) and how they meet their match in some special girl. The concept is a lot of fun, it reminded me of the movie Magic Mike but focusing on individuals and not the whole troop. It also reminded me of the Walk of Shame Series that shares a similar idea but this series isn’t as overly dramatic though it shares the kink factor.
Which brings me to the kink factor. It isn’t as extreme as say, a Maya Banks series, but it is definitely present and provides for lots of sexy times. I think if someone is looking for a nice bridge into the erotica genre, this is a nice gateway. It’s well done.
I would say that this series is more focused on the romance and the sexy times than it is with high dramatic antics. Which I really appreciated because I hate when the drama is soap opera-esque. Of course you have some typical tropes thrown in there but otherwise, you get a pretty linear plot.
I will say that the plot had a much better balance in book 2, Ruthless. It actually had more substance to it than sexy times and worked on the character and romance development.
All these characters are very likeable. The females are strong and independent. I never found them losing themselves in their relationships or conforming to be something other than more self-confident.
I also liked the guys. Even though I’m not a huge alpha hero fan, I definitely liked these male leads. They (like the ladies) have great character development throughout the story.
I found the romance to be much stronger in Ruthless (#2) than in Shameless (#1). For me, the romance in Shameless was more insta-love because things move so fast and all seems rooted in instinct rather than emotional connection. I like my romances to spell things out for me when it comes to the romances and it just didn’t work in Shameless for me even though I could see, in theory, how they would work.
Which is why I enjoyed the romance in Ruthless so much more. Thanks to the balanced plot, we actually get to see these two interact in moments other than sex scenes. You see the emotional connection form and you can’t help but root for them.
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
I definitely know what characters I want to see get their own story next. We get just enough of a taste of each of the male leads to get you excited to see what their story is going to be!
–May 15, 2019– Book #3: Merciless
The great thing about a series like this is that you can jump back in at anytime. While I don’t think the leads here were the exact leads I wanted to read about, I still enjoyed their story.
Like the other books in the series, this story had a great balance between the sexy times and the plot. There is substance to this story and not just the needed context to get to the sexy times. I think I could have used a little more development from the romance but there was enough to satisfy me for this quicker read.
Series Rating: 4/5
Shameless 3.5/5 | Ruthless 4/5 | Merciless 3/5
If you like books with plenty of sexy times and just a dash of kink, this is a great one for you to read! The perfect series to bridge the NA and Adult erotica gap.
Read if You Like: erotica, books with kink, quick reads
Avoid if You: dislike erotica
- Sladeby Victoria Ashley (Walk of Shame Trilogy #1)
- Sweet Surrender by Maya Banks (Sweet Series #1)
- Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning (Sinners on Tour #1)