Stepbrother with Benefits (The Masons: Book 2) by Hazel Kelly

Stepbrother With Benefits: An Opposites Attract Romance (Mason Family Book 2) by [Kelly, Hazel]

4 Stars


Date of publication: February 3rd, 2020

Genre: Romance

Series: The Masons

My Best Friend’s Sister—Book 1 (review here)

Stepbrother with Benefits—Book 2

Where you can find Stepbrother with Benefits: Amazon

Book Synopsis:

The first time I laid eyes on James Mason, the world stood still.

Unfortunately, the tether ball I’d just spiked didn’t, and when it ploughed into the back of my distracted head, I bit my tongue so hard I tasted blood.

I don’t know why I was so dumbstruck. All he did was ride up on his skateboard and call my best friend’s name.

Perhaps it was his confidence that roused me. Or the funny cowlick at the front of his dirty-blond hair. Or the way his jeans sagged on his hips… Not that I’d ever noticed the way a boy’s jeans fit before.

But it wasn’t my name he called that day, and it never will be.

Because guys like James Mason don’t fall for bookworms like me. And even if they did, that farfetched dream died the day he became the stepbrother I never wanted.

Not that I don’t want him.

I love the idea of him wrestling me to the floor and pinning me down with the weight of his body. But there’s nothing familial about the way I wish he would pull my hair, the way I wish he would pull me close.

I’ll be taking that secret to the grave, though, because our families have been through enough.

Besides, he doesn’t see me that way.

So I keep biting my tongue. As hard as it takes to keep my secret.

And only when I’m alone do I ever imagine that it’s him.

First Line:

The first time I laid eyes on James Mason, the world stood still.

Stepbrother with Benefits by Hazel Kelly

My Review:

Stepbrother with Benefits is book 2 in The Masons Series. I keep going back and forth if you can read this book as a standalone. In some sense, yes, you can. But if you want to understand the dynamics of James and Brie’s combined family, then I would highly recommend reading book one first. It explains the backstory to the series better than this book does.

I am going to throw up a trigger warning. A professor sexually assaults Brie in the middle of the book. It wasn’t rape but a combination of grabbing (breast and genitals) and threats made against Brie. It was a direct reference to the #MeToo moment. If this triggers you, I suggest picking up another book to read. The author did a fantastic job of showing how raw Brie was after that and how she dealt with it.

Brie and James had some serious chemistry going on in this book. Even before they had sex, their encounters were sexually charged. When they had sex, it was flipping amazeballs. One of the best sex scenes I have read to date. Even I was left feeling fulfilled by reading it!!

I didn’t get the “Ewww” factor with Brie and James being stepbrother and sister. One reason: They weren’t blood-related. Another reason: They weren’t raised to think of themselves as siblings. Brie was Maddy’s friend way before James’s father, and Brie’s mother got married. So they knew each other. If anything, I thought that it was a sweet romance. It was evident that James loved Brie. I guessed that right from the beginning.

I liked Brie, and I had an instant connection with her. She was quiet and didn’t bother anyone. She was loyal to her best friend, to the point where she backed off when she thought her friend was interested in James. But, she was also a fighter and a survivor.

I loved James in this book. He had come across as uptight and controlling in Maddy and Quinn’s story. So to see him unbend in this book was excellent. What I loved is that he acknowledged his feelings for Brie reasonably early in the book, and he spent most of the book trying to win her over. The most telling scene was when he went after the professor but refused to do anything. I had tears streaming down my face. If only all men (and women) could act like that when a loved one had been harmed. I loved that he also fought for her. He started reading Harry Potter, and that scene in the ice cream store was sweet.

I will say that both Brie and James dealt with the backlash about their relationship fantastically. I loved how James put various people in their places.

The end of Stepbrother with Benefits was terrific. Not only did it set up Maeve’s story perfectly, but the way it ended with James and Brie was perfect. Put it this way, they both deserved the HEA that they got.

I would give Stepbrother with Benefits an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Stepbrother with Benefits. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

The Other Brother: A Billionaire Romance (Beta Brothers: Book 4) by Hazel Kelly

The Other Brother: A Billionaire Romance (Beta Brothers #4) by [Kelly, Hazel]

4 Stars


Date of Publication: July 4th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Beta Brothers

My Best Friend’s Ex—Book 1

Friends with Benefits—Book 2 (Review Here)

Professor with Benefits—Book 3 (Review Here)

The Other Brother—Book 4

Where you can find The Other Brother: Amazon | BookBub

Book synopsis:

I never imagined I’d hit rock bottom. 

To be honest, the only thing I expected less was him. 

From the moment our eyes met across the zucchini, something woke in me and started dusting away the cobwebs I’d let gather around my heart

Not that there was anything loveable about the guy. He was gentle as a scorpion when I met him, and his venomous words stung me more than once. Which was fine. Really. Detesting him made it easier to do my job. Easier to sleep at night. 

But it was all a front, a costume, a lie. He’d simply been a beast for so long he didn’t know how to stop stomping around his castle, his grudges clanging behind him like a rusted ball and chain. 

Yet even the most hardened men can change. Even the most stubborn can learn to admit when they’re wrong. 

Not that Ash was wrong very often. At least, not when it came to me. 

And now I feel hopeful again. Beautiful. Enchanted. 

All because of a beast. 

First Line:

I’d never felt less beautiful.

The Other Brother by Hazel Kelly

My Review:

The Other Brother was the last book in a weeklong romance binge. Yes, I binge-read a ton of romance novels over the past week. I thought that The Other Brother would be the perfect end for this marathon. And it was. I enjoyed reading it.

The Other Brother’s plot was simple. Piper is a chef who is down on her luck. Forced to drop out of culinary school, she works two jobs. One at a sleazy diner and the other for a catering service. Due to circumstance beyond her control, she is forced to live with her ex-fling, who is the diner owners son. He abuses Piper. Piper meets Ash at an upscale grocery store she goes to unwind/escape. After that humorous encounter, Piper meets Ash at an event she’s catering for. Ash makes Piper a job offer that she can’t refuse: Become his live-in chef. What both Piper and Ash don’t expect is them falling for each other. Can their love overcome everything that life throws at them?

I liked Piper. She was trying her best to go forward in her chosen career, but it seemed life was determined to keep her down. She endured so much in those first few chapters. She was working horrific hours to pay bills and keep herself fed. Her roommate emotionally and physically abused her. She was starving. So I was glad when she remet Ash at the function, and he offered her a job. I was thrilled that she had a safe place to live and she could eat!! I liked that she wasn’t afraid to tell Ash where to go. I was surprised at specific things that were revealed about her, later in the book. My heart broke for her.

Ash was a grump the entire book. At first, I was put off, but as the book went on, I found out that there was a reason for his grumpiness. Ash had been hurt by his ex-fiance and best friend. He figured the best way to deal with his pain was to shut everyone out, which worked fine until he met Piper. His grumpiness, which did bother me at the beginning of the book, became an endearing character flaw.

Piper was Ash’s chef. He tried his hardest not to blur the lines. I loved watching him fall for her. The deal was sealed when he came to her aid at the supermarket. That was when I knew he had fallen for her. Piper falling for Ash was as impressive. Like Ash, she tried her hardest not to blur the employee/employer lines. She didn’t want to lose her job if things fell apart.

Ash and Piper had major sexual chemistry. From the moment they first met, it was crackling between them. So, I wasn’t surprised when that chemistry translated into hot sex scenes. I had to put my Kindle down a couple of times; they were that hot!!

The Other Brother can be read as a stand-alone book. The author does have the characters from the other books make an appearance in this one. But, and this is important, she doesn’t have those characters overwhelm the book. Instead, they make small cameos and then leave. I loved it!!!

The end of The Other Billionaire was great. I loved that Piper was able to achieve her dream and Ash was able to let the past go. It was the perfect ending for the book.

I would give The Other Brother an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Other Brother I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Professor with Benefits (Beta Brothers: Book 3) by Hazel Kelly

Professor with Benefits (Beta Brothers #3)

4 Stars


Date of publication: May 30th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Where you can find Professor with Benefits: Amazon

Book synopsis:

Sadie’s no princess, and she doesn’t appreciate being treated like one. As far as she’s concerned, women who don’t wear ridiculous shoes don’t need to be swept off their feet, and the last thing the world needs right now is one more hopeless romantic maiming one more unsuspecting daisy.

But when a handsome, young professor takes an unprofessional interest in her mossy green eyes and muddy attitude, she can’t help but enjoy the sparkly feeling his attention stirs in her. And the more he lays on the charm, the more she fears she’s not as attached to her loneliness as she once thought. 

Too bad he’s off limits. Then again, limits have never really interested Sadie.

But dreamy professors with penetrating blue eyes and sinfully sexy stubble? That’s a subject that’s about to make her senior year very interesting indeed… 

When I read the blurb for Professor with Benefits, I knew that I needed to read it. The blurb screamed easy to read with hot sex scenes. After the month I have had, I needed something that I could enjoy and lose myself in. Fortunately, with Professor with Benefits, I was able to do that.

What I Liked About Professor with Benefits:

Sadie: She was introduced in Friends with Benefits as Nina’s older cousin. She caught my attention from the minute she was introduced in the book. When I saw that this was her romance, I was pleased. Her character in this book was nothing like I thought it would be. She had mental health issues stemming from the suicide of her younger sister. Her mental health became a focal point of the book. I loved seeing her transform from this damaged young woman who needed to be handled carefully to someone who was working on her issues.

Kellan: I liked him from the minute Sadie puked a rainbow all over his shoes. He had his issues. I loved that Kellan realized how fragile Sadie was. While he did push in some areas, he let her call the shots in their relationship. He understood Sadie’s grief and he understood her issues. I loved how smart he was too. He owned his nerdiness. That made him even more hot to me.

The author’s realistic take on mental illness and grief: Sadie was traumatized from her sister’s suicide. I believe that along with deep depression, she had PTSD. Sadie was self-medicating before she met Kellan. Her record at school reflected that. The author didn’t gloss over Sadie’s issues. Instead, she made them a part of who Sadie was.

The sex scenes: Sadie and Kellan’s sex scenes were some of the hottest that I have read to date. But, even before they had sex, their chemistry was off the charts. There were points in the book where I had to put it down and fan myself.

The end: I am not going to say much about the ending except that I loved how it turned out. The epilogue brought tears to my eyes.

What I Disliked About Professor with Benefits:

Sadie’s landlady: I couldn’t stand her. She was unlikable and treated Sadie like dirt. The whole “you need to leave as soon as possible” scene made me want to reach through and smack her upside the head.

Thomas’s dropped storyline: I was enjoying Sadie’s interactions with Thomas. He added a much-needed bit of humor to the storyline. But, he went poof after the bar fight. What happened to him?

Dean Schwartz: Another character that I couldn’t stand. She seemed to have it out for Sadie. The infractions that Sadie got in trouble for were silly. Except for the alcohol one. I also understood why she made Kellan make a choice. But still. She was cold and heartless.

I would give Professor with Benefits an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Professor with Benefits. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Friends with Benefits (Beta Brothers: Book 2) by Hazel Kelly

Friends with Benefits: A Steamy College Romance (Beta Brothers #2) by [Kelly, Hazel]

4 Stars


Date of publication: August 8th, 2018

Genre: Romance, New Adult

Series: Beta Brothers

My Best Friend’s Ex—Book 1

Friends with Benefits—Book 2

Where to find Friends with Benefits: Amazon


Carter’s been crazy about Nina since the first time he saw her emerald eyes, but his fratastic reputation landed him in the friend zone before he even had a chance to say, “How you doin’?”

So when Nina suggests they become friends with benefits, he can’t believe his luck. 

After all, once he’s gotten in her pants, winning her heart should be easy… right?

**This is a full-length, standalone romance novel with no cliffhanger, no cheating, and a heart-swelling HEA. 

My review:

I am guilty of judging this book before I even read it. I thought this book was going to be all sex and minimal plot. The blurb and the cover didn’t add much to the opinion I formed. Then I read the book. I gotta tell y’all, I was surprised and pleased!! I love it when a book turns out to be the exact opposite of what I thought it was going to be.

I enjoy it when I read a romance where the main characters have some sort of friendship of sorts. Nina and Carter know each other through their best friends, who are dating. Their relationship was friendly for months before they hooked up. Their friendship made their transition into FB’s pretty easy.

Nina and Carter’s sexual relationship was hot. I did laugh when she was amazed by the size of Carter’s package. I would have had the same thoughts. I also liked that the sexual tension and attraction didn’t fade as I read the book. The author did a fantastic job of keeping it hot until the end of the book. 95% of the romances I read have the sex scene fizzle out after the first time.

I liked Nina and I agreed with Sadie after reading the first couple of chapters. She needed a FB. I understood why she didn’t want a relationship. If I had been treated that way by my exes, I would have the same feelings. I also understood why she had rules when she instigated to FB arrangement with Carter. She did kind of annoy me at points in the book. She got jealous way to easy. She was willing to believe that Carter was seeing other people besides her. She was too stubborn to see that Carter cared about her. Why else would he have brought her dinner (with cheesecake!!) on Valentines Day?

I loved Carter. He was perfect for Nina. I liked how he took things slow with her. He had feelings for before she approached him to be her FB. It was like Christmas and his birthday rolled into one when that happened. When they broke up, even though he instigated it, he was as hurt as she was. I loved seeing a guy who was in touch enough with his feelings to admit that.

The book ended on a positive note. I liked that everything was resolved. I liked that future plans were made. I can’t wait to see Nina and Carter in other books. I can’t wait to see how their relationship progressed.

I would give Friends with Benefits an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is some mild violence. There are triggers. They would be alcoholism. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Friends with Benefits. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author for allowing me to read and review Friends with Benefits.

All opinions stated in this review of Friends with Benefits are mine.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**