Formats available: ebook, audiobook
Genre: Contemporary erotic romance
Series: Long Shots, #1-3
Length: 244 pages
Publisher: Carina Press
Date Released: September 3, 2012 (collection)
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Welcome to Pulled Long café, where the coffee is hot, and the sex is hotter! Meet your hosts:
Sadie Long has been lusting after her friend Paul for years, and when she visits him at Mavericks, the sex club where he works, she’s suddenly fantasizing about being with Paul and his sexy boss Josh—at the same time.
Paige Long can’t help but be attracted to gorgeous firefighter Carter, especially once she learns he’s a Dom. But can she trust in her own desires and submit to happiness?
Ian Long doesn’t want to be the rebound guy for a brokenhearted man—even after a little exhibitionist play with Jeff satisfies desires he didn’t even know he had…
Anthology includes Double Shot, A Shot in the Dark and Pulled Long.
The Long Shots series of erotic romances by Christine d’Abo center around the cafe, bakery and catering business with the wonderfully punny name “Pulled Long” and the sex club across the street with the equally evocative name, “Mavericks”.
The Long siblings own Pulled Long. Sadie runs the baking and catering, Ian does the coffee, and Paige manages the business end of things. In spite of the long hours and the extremely early mornings, it’s way better than their old day jobs used to be. But the one thing that running their own business doesn’t do is leave any of them much time for a love life. Or even much of an occasional sex life. And that’s where Mavericks comes in to each of their lives.
Sadie’s story, Double Shot, is basically a hotter than average friends-into-lovers story with a threesome as the opening sex act. Or possibly as the handoff. That works better than it sounds. Double Shot is really a classic story, with a kinky twist. Sadie and Paul have been best friends for years, because they met when he dated her BFF. By the time it would have been okay for her to go after him, the friendship was too good to risk. Ten years later, the seemingly unrequited lust is driving her insane! Of course she has no idea he’s in the same bad way, until he hands her a major catering job at Mavericks, and the costume to go with it.
While in one sense, the climax of the story is the threesome between Sadie, Paul and Josh, the owner of Mavericks, it really is Sadie and Paul’s romance. Josh is there to make sure the two lovebirds don’t chicken out on the way to their happily ever after, not that he doesn’t enjoy himself. But it’s bittersweet for him because he’s definitely giving his best friend away to someone who will monopolize his attention. Josh is doing the right thing for the right reasons but he’s closing a chapter in his own life. (d’Abo gets back to Josh in Calling the Shots.)
Escape Rating for Double Shot: B
Oldest sister Paige Long is the one most involved with Mavericks. Or at least she used to be. A Shot in the Dark is the story of Paige taking back control of her life by finding someone with whom she can give up control in the bedroom. Paige, who is the business manager for Pulled Long, is a submissive in the BDSM scene who has been unable to let herself acknowledge that her first and last Dom was an abusive asshat who slapped her around and ignored her needs and boundaries.
So this is a story about love and trust. It’s also very steamy. But what this story does is let the reader take a walk into Paige’s lifestyle in a way that makes the BDSM aspects about the romance and not the titillation for titillation’s sake. Even if it’s not the reader’s cuppa tea, you leave the story seeing why it’s Paige’s. And cheering when the asshat gets his head handed to him by the man who turns out to be the right man (and Dom) for her.
Escape Rating for A Shot in the Dark: B
Finally, Ian’s story. He’s last because he never lets himself take any time off from the store. He works extra long hours so he really doesn’t have time for a love life. His story even has the same title as the name of their shop, Pulled Long. And his lover had to walk into the store, because Ian lives above the shop. There wasn’t anywhere else they could have met.
Ian’s fallen for a man he only knows as “Blue Eyes” for eight months. He’s a customer that Ian flirts with, talks with, but can’t manage to cajole a name out of. It’s a game they play. Jeff knows perfectly well that Ian is asking for his name, but he’s enjoying the game too. And he’s waiting for his divorce to be final before he starts dating anyone else. And that’s the problem. When Ian discovers that Jeff is finalizing his divorce, Ian breaks off their game. He’s been a straight guy’s rebound experiment before, and he does not want to go through that heartache again. Jeff knows perfectly well that he’s not straight, he’s bi, and right now, he wants to pursue a relationship with Ian because he really enjoys the friendship they’ve developed and wants to find out how far it can go. But between Ian’s long-term guilt issues, insecurity issues, and Jeff’s mistrust issues, there’s a question whether they can manage to take their relationship beyond some very hot one-night stands in risky places, or whether they’re both too screwed up to work out the best thing that’s ever happened.
Escape Rating for Pulled Long: B+