Whaddup readers, it’s time for another Fancast/Dreamcast post, and this time it’s for what has to be the spiciest, steamiest, sexiest set of books I’ve read this year! Neve Wilder totally gained a fan in me with how hot these books got, they’re seriously some of the best MM new adult romance I’ve read out there, not that my list is incredibly extensive in this regards, but someday!
BEWARE OF SPOILERS IF YOU HAVENT READ THESE YET
Each book featured a different couple, and book 1 actually started off as a collection of short stories in a newsletter that gained major popularity before being brought together and published as one full length novel. Nate and Eric star in book 1, Chet and Mark star in book 2, and Sam and Jesse star in book 3!
If you want some spicy MM romance action, I can’t recommend these books enough!
To see my review of book #1 – Want Me – Click HERE
To see my review of book #3 – Show Me – Click HERE
Here is my Fancast/Dreamcast for the Extracurricular Activities Trilogy:
Nate: Ryan Ball
Ryan is a model that is total eye candy on Instagram, and exactly how I imagine the down to earth and slightly awkward Nate to look like in book 1. If he looked like this, I can see why Eric became so into him!
Eric: Charlie Matthews
Eric is described as being dark haired with green eyes and a hot build even if he’s on the slimmer side, so this model Charlie Matthews is immediately who I thought of to play Eric!
Mark: Zane Phillips
I’ve recently discovered Zane Phillips, and I’m obsessed…He might be the only reason I have to check out The Legacies on the CW network, even though I believe The Vampire Diaries DID NOT need a second spin-off show! It also helps that he’s gay in real life too, so he’d be perfect for a role in these books if they were to make it into a film/show!
Chet: Eric Guilmette
I’m basically making this fancast into a men’s appreciation catalogue, but honestly who’s complaining??? I don’t remember much of what Chet is described as, but I’m obsessed with Eric over on Instagram, so I honestly just pictured him as Chet in my head. This one may or may not be all that accurate, but hey, I’m good with using Eric to my imagination with these books!
Sam: Matt O’Brien, or Andre Lamoglia
Sam is basically described LITERALLY as a human golden retriever/yellow lab, and whoever would play him needs to look the part! Matt is guy I found on social media who I imagine Sam looking like, BUT there’s also a new hottie named Ivan on the Spanish Netflix drama, Elite, who’s played by Andre, and I get serious heart-eyes whenever he smiles, just like how I’d imagine I would for Sam!
Jesse: Alex Espenshade
Jesse is a sassy skinny ginger who was also really hard to cast! No one came to mind right away for me as to who I could picture playing him! This male model has an adorable look to him that I could see Jesse as, but consider this a place holder until I find someone who I deem more perfect!
***Warning! This book contains spoilers for the previous books in the series, so continue reading this review at your own risk! You’ve officially been warned!***
To see my review for book #1 – Want Me – Click HERE
To see my review for book #2 – Try Me – Click HERE
Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars
You’re ridiculously simple at times and incredibly complex at others. I can’t pin you at all.”
– Neve Wilder, “Show Me”
What It’s About:
The official blurb:
Two Roommates. One Camera. A whole lot of action.
I get crushes the way some people get seasonal allergies. And sharing a house with four hot roommates is like being stuck in permanent spring. Too bad I keep getting friend-zoned.
But it’s senior year now, and I’m done pining for the impossible. Time to live it up and go out with a bang. Or a lot of bangs.
And I’m definitely, definitely not getting attached to anyone. Especially not my straight, gym-loving, football-player roommate Sam whose impressively large… smile I caught a glimpse of once. Or several times.
That’s why, when Sam asks me for help with a very special, very NSFW project so he can make a little cash, of course I agree. In the name of friendship.
And if it turns out that Sam’s more than just muscles—that he’s sweet, and smart, and a little bit filthy, and a whole lot less straight than I thought—well, that’s neither here nor there, because this time I’m gonna be smart. This time, I’m friend-zoning myself.
We’ve got a list of deliciously hot scenarios, a camera, and Sam’s huge… smile. What could possibly go wrong?
From the author of Want Me comes the third new adult college romance in the Extracurricular Activities series. Expect low angst, high heat, plenty of laughs, a flustered redhead, a gentle giant of a football player, and enough BDE to power a mid-size city.
Sometimes you just need a book NOT because it’s some literary masterpiece or because it’s the latest trending title on social media or because it’s some epic, grand adventure with an exciting plot…readers like me sometimes just seek out books for the hot sex scenes! I have no shame in admitting I’m a spicy smut reader, and this trilogy has been just a total delight in this sense! Neve Wilder is now one of my go-to’s when it comes to me looking for sexier books that I know will have some absolutely scorching scenes to enjoy.
If you liked the first two books of these, you most likely will appreciate this one too, and I personally thought the author didn’t disappoint with this final installment into this college romance story.
This final book revolves around Jesse and Sam. There’s a prequel scene at the beginning of the guys back in freshman year, and Jesse discovers his boyfriend in a compromising position with someone else…thus making him to believe he has the absolute worst luck in love…It makes him twice as snarky, and The Great British Bakeoff fan vows to have a smutty good time when it’s back to present day, senior year, and all the other guys in the house have surprisingly all gotten in serious relationships but him. Then there’s Sam: large, boy next door, football player, seemingly straight, and literal human golden retriever who has a secret of his own that Jesse finds out about…
I especially enjoyed both Sam and Jesse equally, I think they both felt fleshed out and had great personalities that fit each other well. There was definitely some chemistry there from the get go that only becomes more obvious as they keep hanging out and become closer as friends and more.
Was this book as strong as the other books? Yes and No.
The sex was hot as all the other scenes, but if I’m being a little critical, the actual relationship didn’t feel as strong as Nate/Eric’s and Chet/Mark’s. There wasn’t as much actual ROMANCE involved or tender hearted moments to make you swoon. I’m not saying this is a bad thing at all, and like I said Sam and Jesse defs have some chemistry between them, I guess it’s more that the author just doesn’t really show it as well this time around. Heck, even some moments only fade to black in the back half of the book which didn’t make the most sense.
I would say as far as content goes: this book is right up there with the others in terms of spice rating (which it gets a 4 peppers from me), but if you’re someone who likes to see deeper connections and have your heart feel like its fluttering out of your chest and want to read relationships that make you think true love is real…this might not be the one.
Personally, I didn’t have a problem with that in this story because by this point I knew what to expect in the overall tone of these books, but I can see other readers maybe turning away because out of them all this feels like the weakest of the connections.
I guess you’ll have to read it yourself to see what you think! Besides the fade to blacks, I immensely enjoyed this book!
“You’re the first person I look for in any room. I hear you louder than anyone else. Even when you’re quiet. Sometimes especially when you’re quiet. I’ve never wanted to be with someone else as much as I want to be with you. Making you happy makes me happy. I’ve never felt that way with someone else either. Everything about you makes me feel impulsive and excitable, and it’s both scary and exhilarating as hell.“
– Neve Wilder, “Show Me”
What I Liked:
Neve Wilder Writes Really Good Smut! This author skyrocketed up my list of authors whom I know will add the fire and steam to their stories! And the fact that it’s MM makes it even better! If you’re looking for hot, graphic scenes between younger and eager college age guys, these are an excellent option!
Sam is Total Book Book Boyfriend Material! I totally adored Sam in this book! I’m a sucker for the big muscles, bigger smile, slight himbo jock vibes that he gives off and how he’s probably one of the most easy-going characters I’ve ever come across…I didn’t think much of him when he was a background character in the previous books, but once the spotlight shined upon him, oh did it ever shine so brightly!
Surprisingly No Angst About Queer Self Discovery! With Sam being so go-with-the-flow and super chill about literally everything, he was even this way during his journey of self discovery. Before him and Jesse start going at it, he’d never done anything with another guy or really even thought of it, but then he realized he had feelings and just kind of shrugged and went “Well… I guess I’m bi or whatever.”
What I Didn’t Like:
Either Needed to Be Shorter or It Needed More Conflict… If I’m going to be critical–I’m a Gemini and we ALWAYS have something to say–I would say maybe this book could be a little shorter, or if not shorter, maybe it could’ve actually added more angst or conflict to the story. I’m good if it’s not about gay discovery since Sam seemed actually pretty chill about all that, but maybe Neve could’ve added more drama with Jesse’s ex or something to maybe push the story a little faster?
Later Sex Scenes Were Fade to Black…the first chunk of the book is phenomenal, but then the last bit feels a little rushed in this sense and the spicy scenes start to fade into the background, literally…for some of the scenes, it felt like a real missed opportunity.
There’s Not Much Actual Romance…While there is a LOT of sex–no complaints there–there’s not actually a whole lot of softer moments that make you really believe that its a deeper, more serious relationship…Personally I didn’t mind this too much, but I can see other readers being disappointed by this.
Overall, this was another great addition to a smokin’ hot MM college romance series that Neve Wilder has come out with! Sam was an absolute favorite of mine, and Jesse was a great fit with him too with his sassy snark. It couldve ended on a stronger note, but I think this book is still perfectly fine for what it is: a spicy new adult college romance.
Neve Wilder has totally gained a fan in me for these books now, and you can definitely bet I’m going to be exploring other titles too!
Alright fellow booklovers, I’ve got another fancast/dreamcast that I’m excited to share with you all, this time it’s going to be for a lesser known title, but is brand-spanking-new as I type this casting up, and is definitely worth checking out all the same! I finished this book shortly prior to the making of this post, and its a fun debut novel that fans of Sarah J. Maas, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Holly Black, and Danielle L. Jensen will surely enjoy too.
When a princess with the ability to absorb and transfer life force energy discovers her mother, the queen, is manipulating her, she works with unexpected allies to steal the throne, battling magic-induced anxiety and unexpected attractions along the way.
Astrid is a vygora—a rare being that can absorb one’s life force energy and transfer it to another with a touch. Only two people know what she’s truly capable of: her best friend, Ilona, and her mother, the Queen of Hakran, a powerful myndox.
When foreign royalty and their handsome guard, Dashiel Dargan, show up unexpectedly with the ability to mute myndox manipulation, Astrid discovers she’s been a prisoner to her mother’s power her entire life, and she’s not the only one. Faced with a lifetime of memories built on lies, she’s caught between the story she thinks she knows, and the one she doesn’t remember.
But when she can’t trust anyone, how can she figure out which story is true?
To see my full review of book 1 – These Wicked Lies – Click HERE
Here is my official Fancast/Dreamcast of the “These Wicked Lies” series:
Astrid Sylano: Lauren Jauregui
Lauren may be known more for her vocal chords than any acting chops; she was one of the members of the popular girl group, Fifth Harmony. She’s gone on to singles success, but with a Cuban background in her family history, she could also fit the role for Astrid if a tv show or movie ever came out so long as she’s cool with cutting her hair to a pixie cut, but I think she’d rock that look!
Ilona Palmetto: Madeline Ford
Madeline has the perfect sweet and innocent vibe that Ilona gives me, but you can also tell there’s a tiny spark of mischief in her smile that I think Ilona also has. Madeline is a model and actress who’s best known for being in Chicago Fire.
Queen Enira of Hakran: Salma Hayek
Okay….who doesn’t know who Salma Hayek is??? If you don’t, Google is your best friend.
Dashiel Dargan: Merayad
Yep, I’m turning to social media influencers for my fancasts now, I’ll give you a second to roll your eyes and moan in annoyance…………..so glad that’s over with! This guy, who’s full name is not known at the moment but I respect the privacy, and he definitely came to mind as I got to know Dashiel in this book. He is suave, he is smooth, and he is red hot both in photo and video form! Lets turn him into one of my new book boyfriends too!
King Emman Vannyk: Taye Diggs
Taye Diggs has got a smooth AF voice that is just so nice to listen to, and I pictured the King looking like him with all smiles and calm, smooth voice and being the voice of reason. Taye Diggs is another actor who’s been around for quite awhile, and should be fairly well known.
Queen Josselyn Vannyk: Adina Porter
I pictured the queen kind of being this tall but quiet presence in her scenes, but I sensed a calculating and observant mind beneath the surface. Just because someone doesn’t say much, doesn’t mean they’re not a threat! I love this actress who’s been in a lot of seasons of American Horror Story and kills it every time!
Prince Zale Vannyk: Lucien Laviscount
Lucien has a fantasy-esque name in itself, and he could totally pass off as a royal prince if he wanted to! He’s even got a British accent to boot too! He’s been in season 1 of Scream Queens, and even now can be seen in the Netflix show, Emily in Paris!
Gianna: Bianca Santos
There wasn’t a whole lot of description of this character, but she does make quite a few important appearances in the book, so she’s definitely worth mentioning! With the lack of description given, choosing a face for Gianna is a little more up in the air, but Bianca is a Brazilian/Cuban actress who’s best known for being in the show, The Fosters.
Cedrik, The Healer:Daniel Sunjata
Okay this guy (the actor) has been all over the place and has actually been in quite a few shows. I’ve seen him in Grey’s Anatomy, Graceland, and he was even in The Devil Wears Prada! I was forgetting any particular descriptions if they were mentioned pertaining to this character, so I could be way off on this one!
Callan: Giovanni Bonamy
Let’s add some shirtless male eye candy to this fancast, and I pictured this French model was who I imagined when Callan entered into the scene. If he looks like this, hopefully we see PLENTY more him in the next book *wink*wink*
Loisia (a.k.a. “Lo”): Urassaya Sperbund
Urassaya is a Thai-Norwegian actress and model I discovered while looking into this character and who I could picture playing her! I’ve personally never seen her in anything and I’m not sure if she even speaks English as a language, but I can for sure say that she is stunning and looks like how I imagined this character.
Sora: Kenta Sakurai
Kenta is a Japanese-Mexican model who’s also been on Mexico’s edition of Survivor, and when Sora was described as having incredibly sharp cheekbones, Kenta was exactly who I pictured him looking like.
Jamell: Woody Harrelson
I could be totally off base with this one, but once Jamell was described as having a toothy smile, for some reason my mind went to him looking like Woody Harrelson. I have no other way to describe this, just a friendly reminder to laugh and possibly ignore this one!
Lex: Alfredo De la Cruz
The hair, the eyes, the body……yeah, this model fits the look of this character PERFECTLY in my mind! If he wanted to make his facial hair even more present, I suppose I’d be okay with that too…
So there you have it FOR NOW! This is based off just book 1 in this series, so expect more characters to be added as the sequel releases! Be sure to check back when that happens and I’ll have this updated ASAP!
That was the scary thing about love. It was unpredictable and unfathomable, and when you were walking a tightrope in its throes, the only thing that mattered was how much you trusted the person walking it with you.”
– Neve Wilder, “Try Me”
What It’s About:
The official synopsis:
Two rivals. One law internship. A whole lot of objectionable activity.
It wasn’t always this way between us. We were best friends growing up. Competitive? Yeah. Ruthless? Definitely. Neither of us liked to lose.
But the intense chemistry? That’s new. The hatred in his eyes? That’s new, too.
I should let it go. There’s too much bad blood between our families. Between us. But I can’t. I don’t think he can, either.
Now we’re gunning for the same internship. If he thinks I’ll back down, he’s dead wrong.
Once upon a time, I lost everything. I won’t let it happen again.
Go ahead. Try me.
From the author of Want Me comes the second new adult college romance in the Extracurricular Activities series. Expect drama, snark, feels, egregious misuse of private property, a guy who’s way more heteroflexible than he realized, and a semi-sorta reformed bad boy who loves to test him.
This book was a great surprise to me! Book 1 was smoking hot with the focus solely on Nate and Eric and their smoldering relationship that formed, but one thing it kind of failed to do was make me care about any of the side characters. Mark was a notable character, but he was more an antagonist sort of with how he was confronting the two of them about why they were sneaking around, but he didn’t do much else besides just knowing him as one of Nate’s fraternity brothers and friend. When he had a fight with Chet, whom you don’t really meet in person in the book, part of me was wondering why I should care…but then I started this book and found out why.
This second installment in this MM college romance story now revolves around Mark and Chet, who have some interesting history that leads up to this book. They’re childhood friends who had a falling out and lost touch. There’s a ton more to that story, but you gotta read the book to get all that info! We’re gonna jump back to the present to when they get into a fight at Nate and Eric’s housewarming party, but then discover they’re fighting for the same law firm internship. Can they keep things professional and not let their history get in the way???
It’s a new adult romance novel and they’re the main characters, so of course they can and just like book 1, it’s total flame emojis….
I was surprised how much the author made me care about these characters, especially when Chet wasn’t even in the previous book…but oh yeah, I was rooting for them from page 1!
This book was a little more of a slow-burn in comparison, there isn’t a sex scene in EVERY chapter, but oh man is the spice awesome once again!
It also helps that this book had two perspectives telling the story instead of just one. It made the story feel deeper and more layered depths to it. I really think that helped in this book, especially with all the history between Mark and Chet.
But don’t let that deter you…the author still kept it pretty hot and steamy and dirty between these guys….it makes me jealous that all these hot, non-straight college males all live in the same house and I got nothing even close to that in my not-so-long-ago college days…
Mark Farrow, the boy I’d crushed on before I even knew what a crush was. The first guy I’d ever jacked off to. The first guy I’d ever wanted to kiss. The first guy who’d ever touched me exactly the fucking way I’d wanted to be touched. The only guy I could never have.”
– Neve Wilder, “Try Me”
What I Liked:
The Spice Continues! This book gets a 4-pepper rating in my system, it was filled with some extremely hot moments just like the previous book. It didn’t start in the first chapter this time, but oh man was it still a spicy read!
Duo-Perspectives! I liked that the author switched it up and made both characters narrate the story. It added some complexity and more side-plots to the story. Both Mark and Chet got equal amount of time, and each an awesome side to this story!
What I Didn’t Like:
Parents Suck….I was NOT a fan of Mark’s dad, and not just because he’s kind of the villain/antagonist in this story.
Overall, I once again really enjoyed this book and am continuing to become a fan of this author REAL quick! Neve Wilder writes some hot-as-hell MM spicy romance and I want to learn all this authors other titles too!
Highly recommend if you’re into MM romance with a lot of spice as well as fluff, but mostly spice! Also if you’re into college romance stories, that’s an added plus here!
‘Lady of Starlight,’ he murmured, then stepped so close she could count the gold flecks in his eyes. ‘My fire heart. Live for me, and I will lay a kingdom at your feet.’“
– Emma Hamm, “Fire Heart”
What It’s About:
The official synopsis:
They handed her a sword and bid her to take a throne…
Lorelei is half elf in a kingdom where that bloodline is synonymous with “slave”. The Umbra King holds everyone captive with his pet dragon who knows no mercy. She hides in the shadows and steals to stay alive, until a rebel group gives her an offer she can’t refuse.
The King seeks a bride. If she can get close enough, she could drive a dagger into that wicked man’s heart. But the bridal games are more difficult than most. Lorelei must prove herself not only beautiful, but talented, poised, and deadly as the king. However, the closer she gets to saving her kingdom, the more she realizes a singular problem stands in her way.
The King’s bodyguard is more than a slathering beast. He’s a man. And the longer she’s near him, the more she realizes that perhaps the king isn’t the most dangerous person in the kingdom. Perhaps she had to guard not only her body, but her heart. For a dragon mates for life, and they’re hard pressed to give up their treasures.
It’s always disappointing when a book that has all the variables, all the tools, all the story aspects, or whatever you want to call them…it’s disappointing when a book has all these that you love in a book, but it doesn’t end up being as good as you’d hope it to be.
I was made aware of this book when it was chosen as the adult book for Bookish Box–a monthly subscription box for fantasy and paranormal romance genres–under their adult box from earlier in 2022. The premise drew me in, and it sounded like a good enemies-to-lovers fantasy-romance title from an indie author who upon doing a little research, had quite a following!
I eventually got my own copy with the hopes of reading it ASAP because I was really drawn to this story by the premise that had me excited because it sounds right up my alley, and the gorgeous cover to boast too! It was giving me Throne of Glass vibes with the badass blonde heroine on the cover with a ferocious dragon just behind her.
I’m not saying this is a bad book by any means, I never say a book is outright bad unless the author does something that is so tone deaf that I wonder how their book ever got published…but that isn’t the case here. The author knows how to write and she obviously knows her craft; her following especially on Amazon reviews show for it, but I just didn’t connect with this book anywhere close to what I was hoping I would. The story just had too many clichés that I couldn’t look past, the characters felt so stiff and wooden to me that I didn’t connect with them either, the villain was very one-dimensional, and there just didn’t really feel like there was a sense of urgency in this story at all either.
I go more into these reasons why later on in my review.
I’m also trying to not judge the book too harshly…it is the first book in a series, and as a fan of many YA Fantasy title, I have seen many times before where the first book is usually the weakest book in a series because it’s merely setting the scene and then the series grows and becomes its own thing as you keep reading. Case in point, the Throne of Glass series. I can see readers not wanting to read on because of that book and the many things that are considered cliché in that book, and those of us who have read that series know that SO SO SO much happens after that, so here I am hoping that this may be the case for this series as well too.
You are a thousand questions and a million truths just out of my reach.”
– Emma Hamm, “Fire Heart”
What I Liked:
An Interesting Premise! The synopsis gave me much hope I’d really like this book! I mean, an enemies-to-lovers fantasy romance book with elves and dragons?! Yes please!
A Twist I Did NOT See Coming! I’ll admit the author added in one twist that I didn’t see coming at all, and I’ll happily point it out whenever an author manages to do this! I won’t give any spoilers, but just remember that not everyone is as they seem…
What I Didn’t Like:
A LOT of YA Fantasy Clichés…nameless mean girls, the competition to win the heart of the king, the one-dimensional villain king, the “I’m not like most girls” mentality of the main character, instalove…I don’t know, but the clichés definitely overtake any original ideas this book had, I think this is why I found myself so bored with this book.
Characters Felt Very Stiff and Wooden…I really did not connect with anyone at all. They all felt so one-dimensional and stuck within the familiar character archetypes that I’ve seen before. There was hardly any personality shown, or really any slower scenes to merely show them as actual people. the plot merely drove them forward without really giving them a chance to really breathe and show them as actual people in my opinion.
The Enemies-to-Lovers Could’ve Been Stronger…The fact that instalove happened between Lore and Abraxas made it feel like a very weak Enemies-to-Lovers storyline…this could’ve been drawn out for their romantic feelings to happen later, and maybe not feel so forced…
The Stakes Could’ve Been Raised…I didn’t really feel a sense of urgency with this book as Lore infiltrates the castle and tries to kill the king. Very little consequences happen with what happens in the book, and I think this also adds to why I struggled with this book.
Overall, Fire Heart was an underwhelming book that I didn’t connect with, much to my disappointment. It had all the things I love in my favorite books, but just didn’t deliver as strongly as I was hoping it would. I was just bored a lot of the time, and the list of clichés with a lack of adding much of anything new to the table made me not excited to keep going with the book.
As for right now, I recommend this book for someone who’s maybe not as familiar with fantasy genre books and wants something to ease into it before diving into much heavier, and more dense material. It’s a good beginner level fantasy read for someone just starting out in this genre.
However, I want to take all this negativity towards the book with a grain of salt and keep going because I’ve seen several instances where the first book in a series is the weakest, and the story gets much more engaging as it develops with each and every book. Plus, I already preordered the next book because I’m a sucker for pretty book covers, so I’ll at least give book 2 a try before I decide to bench this book series.