Updated: Jan 24
The Naughty List
by Kayla Wren
Published by Black Cherry Publishing
It all starts with a magazine article. The Naughty List: a bucket list for bad girls.
All her life, Addie Miller has been good.
The dutiful daughter. The supportive best friend. The helpful tenant.
And where has it got her? Alone for Christmas, working in an elf costume and cleaning the little Russian old lady’s apartment upstairs. Addie’s only selfish pleasure is tormenting the prickly, gorgeous guy next door.
Well, no more.
It’s time to say no. Time to grow a pair. Time to be bad.
And time to tempt her hot, grumpy neighbor out of his apartment and into her life.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Romance Fun
The Naughty List by Kayla Wren is one of my picks for my holiday line up, AND a great use of that kindle unlimited subscription I have. The Naughty List is a two-person POV of Addie, a young woman who is run down because of her people pleasing tendencies, and her inability to say no, and Lucas, a highly successful man in the tech field, who is ... well, he doesn't "people" well. Addie and Lucas are neighbors, and don't get along very well. That is, until Addie and her best friend decide to make a "naughty list", a list of all the bad things they want to do, but would never usually do. Somehow, Lucas ends up helping Addie, and as the two get closer, and bicker, feelings begin to grow.
The Naughty List was cute. Not in a bad way cute. Wasn't overly fluffy. Just ... cute. The characters were enjoyable, the story was fun. It kind of reminded me of Big Bang Theory. While Lucas isn't exactly like Sheldon, he definitely has some Sheldon-like tendencies. The budding romance between the two leads was sweet and adorable. My only complaints are, there were quite a few typos, which yes, bother me, and the sex could have been a bit more descriptive. The sex is hot (love a good enemies to lovers trope), but I swear it's like the author did everything possible to avoid labeling female anatomy.
Side note romance authors: If you can say cock, dick, and penis, you can say clit. Just saying. If you don't like that word, use the overly-used, and much distained "bundle of nerves". There is a part in this book where Lucas is putting his hand down her jeans and makes tight little circles. Where? On her thigh? I know it's assumed it's her clit, but it's a pet peeve of mine.
Ladies ... we all have one. Just say it. Or in this case, type it.
That was a long side rant. Yikes.
We don't get a whole lot of characters like Addie in romance. Too nice. Chronic people pleaser. Perky. And I have read prickly men before, but Lucas is definitely high on that list. I think one of the things that makes him stand out to other characters I have read, is that he seems to have always been kind of a jerk. Even as a kid. No reason for it. He is just not a people person. So for someone like Addie to get under his skin, equally annoying him and making him fall for her as well, it's fun. I also loved the whole sexy nerd thing going on. I say that as someone who, admittedly, has always had a thing for the geeky/nerdy guys.
The Naughty List is a short read (Less than 200 pages), so if you are looking for a quick romance that happens around the holidays, and enjoy a little steam, you will like this!
Addie inviting Lucas out to complete a couple of the items on her list.
Their first kiss
Lucas cleaning her apartment to help her out
The laundry room
The first time they make love
Lucas taking care of Addie after she broke her wrist.
Lucas's video call with his grandparents
Addie finally standing up for herself with the landlord
Where to Buy
Addie: "There's nothing bad I want to do."
Mira scoffed, spraying crumbs
Mira: "Bullshit. Everyone has stuff they secretly wish they could do."
Images of my hands tightening around Lucas Murphy's throat flashed across my brain.
Addie: "I could choke the asshole next door."
Mira: "Whatever you're into, you little perv."
Addie: "You could have warned me."
Mira: "Warned you that tattoos hurt? Sorry, I didn't realize you were a dumbass."
Addie: "You're always so damn grumpy, Lucas."
Lucas: "Because you annoy me."
She nudged my ribs
Addie: "You annoy me, too."
Addie: "You missed a bit."
I slid her a look
Lucas: "You missed your entire apartment."
Addie: "You've gone weird. What's wrong? Is it that raisin? I'm sorry I threw snack food at you."
It was selfish, keeping her to myself like this. The world needed to see how gorgeous a grumpy Addie Miller could be.
There were nicer places, sure, and I could pay for them without trouble.
But they didn't come with a fiery, gorgeous neighbor.
No. I'd decided to stay for a while, and I was glad now that I did. After all, the asshole next door was growing on me.
Addie: "Are you trying to seduce the truth from me, Murphy?"
He hummed, running a fingertip up my throat
Lucas: "Would that work, do you think?"
Addie: "What can I say? I'm a natural. A pigeon seductress."
Mira: "I can't believe you ravished the nerd."
Addie: "You look at me funny sometimes. Like you want to kiss me stupid and you're mad about it."
I cracked a proper smile for the first time in two days
Lucas: "That about sums it up."
Lucas: "Are you going to disappear again after this?"
Addie: "Maybe. Is that okay?"
Lucas: "As long as you come back."
Lucas: "Actually, I'd rather you say the word."
Addie: "For fuck's sake. Yes, you adorable idiot."
Lucas: "Please don't say orgasmic, Grams. I already need therapy."
Grams: "Don't be a snob, Lukie. Older people have sex drives, too."
Grams: "Is that a friend, Lukie? Invite her in!"
I leveled a flat look on Addie
Lucas: "Enter at your own risk."
Lucas: "You think I want to be friends, Miller?"
She stuttered, eyes darting over my face.
Lucas: "You think I don't sit here in my apartment - lie in my bed - going out of my fucking mind with how much I want you?"
A blush spread over her cheeks and down her neck.
Lucas: "I'd take whatever parts of you I could get. I'd be friends if that was what you wanted, and I'd consider myself lucky then, too. But if you think you can offer more, Addie Miller, and anyone in their right fucking mind would say no ..."
She walked me back to the bedroom as we talked, my hip banging against the dining table.
I widened my eyes
Lucas: "Don't destroy my apartment just because it's nicer."
Addie: "Bigger doesn't mean better."
I smirked at her
Lucas: "Hold that thought."
Addie: "Have I told you I love you?"
Lucas' cheeks blushed pink. He didn't look over.
Lucas: "Once or twice. Though it hardly counts in bed."
Lucas: "That wasn't very helpful, Miller.
Addie: "I'll tell you a secret, Pumpkin. I'm not nearly as nice as I seem."
Lucas: "That's no secret. You've always been an ass to me."