Congratulations to my critique partner on the release of her contemporary romance VIBRIZZIO!
Lyssa Bates doesn’t need a man. Not when the world is fully-stocked with double A batteries and a wide array of options in Amazon’s health and sexual wellness category. After yet another failed relationship, the twenty-six-year-old investment analyst is convinced that real guys aren’t ever going to live up to her expectations—so why should she bother with them? She’s determined to keep her dating life purely electronic…though she occasionally fantasizes about Hayden King, the delicious new associate she just got partnered with at work.
While Lyssa manages her romantic risks by deleting men from of the equation, the ever-charming Hayden protects his heart by diversifying his love life across multiple women. As the two young professionals travel together around the country for business, their flirty working relationship develops into a close friendship that hurtles toward something more. Between hot tub confessions in Baltimore, an accidental kiss in Dallas, and an all-nighter in Chicago, Hayden proves himself to be better than any fantasy.
Vibrizzio by Nicki Elson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Funny, Heartwarming Romance
Nicki Elson has a talent for writing humorous, engaging characters, and Lyssa Bates is my favorite so far. Lyssa’s an investment analyst in her twenties who dates a cute, skinny nerd named Keith.
He was a runner and also dabbled in martial arts and whatever else was the current rage in nerd culture.
Keith buys her a vibrator to spice up their sex life, and Lyssa likes her new toy. A lot. Lyssa likes her vibrator so much that she nicknames it Vibrizzio, her sexy Italian lover.
Keith isn’t so enamored of Vibrizzio, especially when Lyssa always insists on a threesome. That’s gotta be a new low when a boyfriend is jealous of a lil’ machine.
Meanwhile, Lyssa get assigned to an important account at work: Project Pineapple. Heading the team is the gorgeous Hayden King. He’s a rising star in the company, confident and competent. He’s curious about Lyssa, but she seriously doubts his interest in her.
Hayden learns about Vibrizzio in an unfortunate airport incident. Damn the TSA! Lyssa tries to play the vibrator off as a flashlight. Later, at a dimly lit restaurant:
He nodded and squinted. “This lighting’s pretty dim. I’m having trouble seeing my choices—do you have that flashlight handy?” His handsome features stayed perfectly composed as he narrowed his eyes further and tilted his head to the side. “Can I borrow it for a sec?”
Lyssa stared at him, hard, and didn’t say a word. Flicking his eyes up, he held her gaze while the corners of his mouth twitched.
“Having fun?” Lyssa asked.
He shrugged. “Not as much as you apparently plan on having later.”
Lyssa disdains the plentiful women Hayden seems to attract. After one of his trysts, they chat.
”That woman has an ass that won’t quit.”
Lyssa wrinkled her face. “What exactly does that expression even mean? An ass that won’t quit? Think about the primary function of an ass—I’d think that’s the sort of thing you might want to quit.”
Lyssa’s sister is rather bitchy, but Lyssa dishes it right back:
”How’s the big bad city treating you,” Jessica asked, pulling back and holding her hand to her sister’s face, running a thumb over her cheek. “Yikes, all those exhaust fumes are hell on the pores, I see.”
“The city’s great, Jess. Too bad you never got a chance to live there.”
“Well, some of us move on with our lives and can’t stay stuck in the party-party atmosphere of the college years forever.”
“True. And some of us feel the need to experience life before bending to the will of an arcane society.”
I would hate a judgmental sister like that.
I could feel the romantic tension building between Lyssa and Hayden, but it’s tough for her to see. When the idea arises of Hayden dating Lyssa’s friend Trish, Lyssa tries to be okay with it.
He pursed his lips. “Normally this is something I’d be all over, but I haven’t been feeling normal lately.” He leveled his eyes at her.
“Is this something you should talk to your gynecologist about?” Lyssa asked.
He grinned. “You’re extra sassy today, which means you’re using humor to divert your discomfort. I think maybe you’re not as okay with this as you claim to be.”
Hayden knows Lyssa well.
This story had me beaming and cheering at the end. HIGHLY recommended!
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I’ve had the pleasure of reading book two in the series, Revirginated, and it is equally awesome!
Writing wasn’t something Nicki set out to do; it just sort of happened when she realized writing reports was by far her favorite part of her investment consulting position. She traded stock allocation and diversification for story arcs and dialogue and now weaves her creative writing time in with the other activities of her busy life with her family in the Chicago suburbs.
Nicki writes with two goals in mind: #1 to keep the characters realistic, even when their circumstances are anything but, and #2 to make the reader feel. Watch for her new title Vibrizzio, coming in 2015 from Swoon Romance. Her published works include Three Daves, a light-hearted romantic romp through a 1980s college campus, Divine Temptation, a romantic novel of angelic proportions, and Hans & Greta: a Twisted Fairy Tale Novella. Her published short stories include “Sway” (available as a single), “I Don’t Do Valentine’s Day” (part of A Valentine Anthology), and “Impressionism 101” (included in the debut issue of Insatiable: The Magazine of Paranormal Desire).
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