I just had to read No Dress Required by Car Quinn since book #2 No Flowers Required was just released on August 23rd and boy am I happy I did.
NO DRESS REQUIRED
After years of ho-hum dating, Noelle Gregory is tired of fooling around. There's only ever been one guy for her—Jake Conroy, her best friend's older brother. Now that Jake's back in town, she's headed to his sister's New Year's Eve party to make her move. Purse full of condoms? Check. Sparkly dress guaranteed to show Jake the sexy woman she's become? Check. Carjacker that makes off with both two hours before the party? Check.
When Jake finds Noelle stranded on the side of the road—looking sexier than ever in her striped socks and silly holiday shirt, damn it—he’s glad for the snowstorm that cancels his sister’s party. His and Noelle’s friendship has tormented him for years, and now, Jake wonders if he should dare to sample what he’s always wanted...and if he’ll be able to walk away when it’s over.
Cari Quinn’s No Dress Required was a very nice change of pace for me since I normally read novel length books. It was the perfect in-between, light read, and once I started there was no chance of putting it down. I was swept away, caught up in Noelle and Jake’s adorable story. This comical pair are thrust together by the winds of fate after Noelle’s carjacking and the New Year’s party cancellation. In the arms of Jake, finally, Noelle is no longer shocked about losing the perfect dress and Jake could care less about a dress that would just end up rumpled on the floor. They are hesitant—yet anxious—to fulfill their fantasies dreamt up many years ago.
Laugh out loud passage: “She’d always thought of Jake as a long, lanky gulp of man licorice, sort of happy-go-lucky, but friendly and protective, careful to never cross the line between friend’s brother and more. Even if she did voodoo chants to ensure he would.” Man licorice? Yummm. Voodoo chants? I’m smacking my hand against my forehead on that one… Why the hell didn’t I think of doing that when I was a teen?
Overall, this was a cute, flirty and funny story that had just the right amount of steamy sexy scenes in it—what more could I ask for in a 61 page book?
NO FLOWERS REQUIRED
He'll give her everything she desires...except his identity.
Flower shop owner Alexa Conroy had it all before the recession hit and her customers fled to cheaper shopping grounds. Desperate to make ends meet, she sells her dream home and moves into the rundown apartments above her shop. When she spots six feet of sexy distraction—complete with muscles, piercings, and tattoos—ripping up flooring, Alexa knows the karmic windfall she’s due just landed on her doorstep.
And the attraction’s definitely not one-sided.
Dillon James, reluctant heir to the corporation about to foreclose on Alexa’s shop, is not about to jeopardize their scorching chemistry by admitting he’s not the building’s handyman. But with only weeks until her business goes under and his identity is revealed, Dillon must find a way to convince Alexa cooperation isn’t a dirty word, help her save the shop from his brother’s greed, and persuade her that he’s not the enemy...or risk losing the only woman who’s seen the real him.
The ease with which this relationship began and Dillon’s omission of truth in identity is a sure sign that the proverbial dung is going to hit the fan and boy is it going to be messy!
Alexa is a strong willed woman, determined to make things right with her shop to save it from going belly up, and Dillon—the “handyman” at her new tenement—is a pleasant distraction. He also proves to be quite insightful into how she can drum up business and increase her cash flow, something Alexa finds a little odd since he is just a handyman. With her life in somewhat shambles, he couldn’t have shown up at a better time. He brings back a spark in her that fizzled under the stressors in her life. The most important bit of information he holds back from telling her is the one thing that can rip them apart—the fact that his family business is her competition. With so much at stake he buttons his lips and continues to fall for this sexy woman, this seductress that has awakened a part of him that was slumbering while he busied himself with renovations and charity work.
Cari Quinn’s a witty author and had me laughing out loud into the wee hours of the night. (Thankfully my hubs is a sound sleeper.) Here’s a culprit of one of my LMFAO moments: “You know, I think we just might get along, Alexa Conroy.” She had only a moment to panic at his knowledge of her full name—first which apartment was hers, now her name, what was next?—before he flashed a dazzling grin that bumped up his looks from intriguing to holy hell, Batman, too bad these panties aren’t flame-retardant.
One of my favorite parts—without giving it completely away—is their note game. No Flowers Required was packed full of sexy encounters (sometimes sweet and sexy, and sometimes worthy of calling the cops); this book is a definite recommend!