Limecello’s Duckies Do Series reviews of The Awesome Foursome Series by Susan Lyons
Erotic romance published by Aphrodisia Feb 06 – Apr 08
Ever finish a book, where after you bask in the afterglow of the ending, you want to jump up and make everyone you know read it? If you haven’t, or are looking for more, have I got four (yes four) suggestions for you! The books Susan Lyons writes are sexy, smart, and have real humanity. I read each of the Awesome Foursome books in 1-2 sittings, staying up til 4 AM to finish them. (And I did the exact same thing the second, and third+ time around.)
The Awesome Foursome is a group of women who meet through yoga. They bitch about class in the locker room, and decide they’d all rather be eating and hanging out than exercising. Suzanne Brennan is a veterinary student, Jenny Yuen is a journalist, Ann Montgomery is a harried lawyer, and Rina Goldberg is a professional musician. All the men Suz, Jen, Ann, and Rina end up with are equally as diverse and fun. I’m so glad we’re doing the “Duckies Do Series” reviews, because this is the perfect format for the Awesome Foursome.
Champagne Rules (Book 1)
Released 1 Feb 06
Suzanne Brennen, the girl next door, and Jaxon Navarre, over worked litigator, have a host of issues to deal with. Suzanne lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Jaxon lives in San Francisco, California. More importantly, they haven’t had any sort of interaction during the past four years, and before that, only one afternoon while they were (separately) vacationing in Crete.
Suzanne and Jax reconnect over the Internet – and end up having lots of steamy cybersex. They agree to meet, resulting in Jaxon going to Vancouver for a visit. The chemistry is instantaneous, but both play it safe. After all, what do they really know about each other? Suzanne and Jax come up with rules – their arrangement is purely physical. No emotional ties, no demands, none of the heavy stuff. They’re just like champagne – if you drink it every day, it gets flat. Thus, the Champagne Rules are born.
The distance forces Suzanne and Jaxon to be creative with their love life, although they don’t have any compatibility issues in the bedroom – or out of it. More visits and conversations lead to another important factor – life goals. The relationship forces introspection on both Suzanne and Jaxon, and in the end, a revision of their rules.
What really impressed me specifically was the fact that Jaxon is Black, and an eminently believable character. Normally, stereotypes come out of the woodwork – where it seems the author wanted to address racism, but didn’t really know how to go about dealing with it, making the issue fall flat. Not so here. Racism is serious, and Ms. Lyons treats it very respectfully, but it never bogs down the book. She weaves different concerns and controversies together artfully, where each one works to support the plot, not distract from it.
RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW
When Suzanne Brennan met Jaxon Navarre, she ad yet to experience the ultimate in pleasure.. but his tender initiation made her wildest dreams come true. Their brief, passionate affair had nothing at all to do with … forever. Four years later, the same rules apply. Keep it light. Keep it simple. And keep it sexy. Very, very sexy. In Jax’s bed, Suzanne finds that desire goes deeper than she ever imagined and erotic pleasure has a whole new meaning. But when it comes right down to it, she’s ready to break every rule in the book for him…
Read an excerpt here.
Hot in Here (Book 2)
Released 1 Aug 06
Jenny Yuen is a very interesting character for a myriad of reasons. First of all, she’s about 5’, 100 lbs, with long gorgeous black hair – but her personality is about twice her size, and as outrageous as her parents would like her to be demure. Jenny lives at home, because of her family, and has to deal with their demands that she marry a nice Chinese boy, and follow their rules. Jenny finds their involvement chafing, but stays out of love and respect for family. (I got the impression that Jenny is Cantonese, but I could be wrong.)
Scott is a firefighter, and in a way he has the same issues as Jenny. He loves what he does and it’s his dream job. Unfortunately his family doesn’t approve of his career choice. They’re German immigrants and farmers, and they want Scott to carry on the family business. I loved that Scott was serious about Jenny first, and that he was the one that took the first steps into making sure they had a real relationship.
The way Scott and Jenny experience pressure from their loved ones is something that brings them together, although they deal with it in very different ways. Because Jenny knows Scott is not someone her family would approve of, she thinks a relationship would be doomed from the start. However, Jenny can’t deny the off the charts chemistry, and is unwilling to give up their sexy trysts. Taking her cues from Suzanne and Jaxon, Jenny creates a set of rules for herself and Scott. Fantasy rules. Each time they get together, they’ll take turns acting out a fantasy one of them has. Thus, they’re both satisfied, but won’t expect anything beyond mutual, physical satisfaction.
It was nice to see how both characters grew throughout the book, and the crazy sexcapades they get into were also quite enjoyable. Not to mention how they met. And everything in between, with the subtle “public service announcements” and banter between the characters. You have to read this book.
Journalist Jenny Yuen lands a very steamy assignment: cover a firefighter calendar competition. Her personal favorite? Mr. February. Also known as Scott Jackman. Also known as hot…
Read all about it: the sexy rookie is the man of Jenny’s dreams – her wildest dreams. She’s up for a wickedly sensual game if they play by their very own set of rules: No taboos. No holding back. No commitment. But the desire they feel is impossible to control… and even harder to resist…
Read an excerpt here.
Touch Me (Book 3)
Released 1 Sep 07
Ann Montgomery and Adonis Stefanikis are as different as black and white. Ann is a career driver lawyer, and feels as plain and straight laced as her name. Adonis, by all accounts easily lives up to his namesake, the male beloved by both Aphrodite and Persephone. Adonis also isn’t concerned with what a “modern man” might cherish. He’s a healer, and a gifted masseur, and is happy to travel the world, following the warm weather. Adonis isn’t concerned with material wealth, and has few possessions, refusing to put down roots.
All of this seems tame, but the story is spiced up with all that tantric sex Adonis practices with Ann. Aside from all the fun there, this angle is legitimate, and works in the story. Adonis’s application of tantric sex fits into his personality perfectly – not only him being laid back and taking things slow, but how and where he learned it. And it’s a major factor in helping Ann slow down. There’s also a minor love triangle of sorts, and I love a little competition in romance.
As usual, the couple has a set of rules – they take turns being in charge. Ann is very goal oriented, and for Adonis, it’s the journey that matters. Applying that rule to their encounters results in a good thing, either way.
SKIN TO SKIN
Rub me down. Love me up. Ann Montgomery can’t get enough of Adonis, her new massage therapist. He’s hot, he’s hard, and his big, warm hands are melting away every one of her inhibitions. Naked on his table, needing all he can give, Ann surrenders to his sensual touch in intimate sessions that have her begging for more…
Slowly, skillfully, Adonis unleashes a wild side of her – and a fierce desire that will never be satisfied in just one night…
Read an excerpt here.
She’s on Top (Book 4)
Released 1 Apr 08
I literally danced around my house when I saw that this book had arrived, and with good cause. Rina Goldberg a gifted musician, a beautiful person inside and out, but has a number of body image issues. Giancarlo Mancini is a music video director, but he met Rina at a music camp in Banff when they were both only seventeen. They reconnect after Rina’s boyfriend (not Giancarlo) proposes to her, which ends up being a very good thing.
I loved following the developments of Rina and Giancarlo’s relationship. The way they learn about each other, and how facets of their personalities are revealed. It was nice to see them dealing with issues, with Rina and Giancarlo truly discussing their reservations. Most novels simply skip past that, or end before such an occurrence.
As usual, there were the Foursome lunches, dinners, and emergency meetings. It was nice to get the updates and cameo appearances by the previous three heroines. I re-read this book most recently, and was squeeing to myself near the end.
Music is Rina Goldberg’s passion and she can never forget the sensual rhapsody she experienced in the arms of Giancarlo, her first lover. Ten years later, Giancarlo is sexier and more romantic than ever. His masterful fingers still know how to create the most intimate melody and pleasure and he understands every nuance of a woman’s sensuality. And Rina is the only woman he wants. Their passionate encore takes her to a glorious, unforgettable climax… and there’s more where that came from. Much more…
Read an excerpt here.
I loved every one of these books. There’s something that every reader can relate to in each story, and see parts of themselves in Suzanne, Jenny, Ann, and Rina. I think it’s fantastic how Ms. Lyons manages to effortlessly weave important, serious topics together with such sexy dialogue and heat. She doesn’t beat you over the head with her themes, but they do get you thinking. The friendship, the setting, concerns and emotions just leaped off the page and gripped me. I felt that I really got to know the characters and their personalities. The writing is impressive I’m refraining myself from all the gushiness that wants to well up, because this are just a fabulous books. Terrific.
My only complaint about the series is I wish it were longer. I finished each book thinking “I want more” after turning the last page (especially after She’s on Top, when all the characters meet). There’s so much to each story a simple review doesn’t do it justice, there’s a depth and complexity to Ms. Lyon’s writing that few authors achieve with such effortless and engaging prose.
Overall Grade: A+
With her deliciously tempting Awesome Foursome Series, Susan Lyons introduced four friends who broke every single one… and found out just how much fun it is to be bad. And the fun never ends…