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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Review: Jingle Buns

Jingle Buns
By Judy Mays

Daniella Becker should have a great life. The pastry shoppe, Jingle Buns, which she owns with her closest friends in Chicago, is a great success. She’s young, pretty and attracts the interest of more than a few men -- attracts their interest but then loses it because of small birth defect, an enlarged clitoris, that frightens them away. Her heart has been broken often enough that she’s sure she’ll spend her life alone.

Her friends, however, refuse to give up and decide to find a man who will appreciate her natural endowment. And there just happens be a tourist from Germany who’s discovered their pastry shoppe, Maximilian Arnalt. They’re sure he’ll be perfect for her. After all, everybody knows many Germans like kinky sex.

The one thing they don’t know is that Maximilian is a vampire.

I knew, just knew that this story was going to be one I could sink my teeth into.
When I read the blurb for Jingle Buns, I was in a lather to review this book. It was worth the wait.

When we first meet Danielle, I wanted to give her a BIG hug. Especially after what that jerk did to her. Even worse is what he did to her later and at that point, I wanted to dump him into a big vat of itching powder.

What the author did when she wrote this story is bring to the fore something I've heard of; women with enlarged clitorises. But I never thought it was that big a deal, that it could subject those women to rejection and ridicule. To be emotionally traumatized by rejection about something so natural blew my mind. Yet, I accept that there will be guys out there who will reject women who aren't their ideal and unfortunately, aren't very nice or considerate in making those refusals.

Thank goodness Maximilian came onto the scene. Now he's my perfect ideal for a vampire hero. He's alpha in a big way (his job demands it), hard of body, strong in determination, clever, graceful, debonair, hot, sexy and he's hot. *grin* I enjoyed seeing him be first perplexed by Dani and then fall fang over heels for her. I figured it was perfect that he found her enticing, seeing as how he's lived so long -- he knew the value of the kind of person Dani was. The author's little tell-tale signs that Dani is more than Max suspects is unique and refreshing. And what's a good vampire romance without a good Bite scene? Judy has Max deliver and oh, how I wanted to be Dani right then. Yummy.

I also was impressed with how Judy introduced me to the intricacies of the world in which Dani and Max live. The Loremaster is an interesting touch. I even got teased with vampyre politics and potential conflicts for future stories. I'm intrigued enough to want to learn more, to read more about this world. What a delight.

Bet you are going to enjoy the secondary characters too, Penny and Teddy. They're great friends and the verbal interplay was adorable. I found it refreshing that these people were so open about their lifestyles - you get to enjoy the teasing, the laughter and the warmth they all had for each other. Makes you feel good.

The dialogue flowed naturally, the scenes were well written, editing was great and time zipped by so fast that I couldn't believe it when I got to the end. The ending wasn't mushy or an over dramatized romance - it was pure Daniella Becker.

Jingle Buns will have you celebrating romance,love and hunky vampires.

And Judy Mays is going to tease you with something at the end too. A pleasent surprise is in store for you,the reader. Talk about a sweet ending!

Rating:

Reviewed by Xeranth

BTW - if you check the site to buy this book? You'll notice the blurb there has Danielle named Gabriella Becker. Do you realize that is the ONLY typo I found? LOL

Review: Christmas Cookies: Yule Tied


Christmas Cookies: YULE TIED
by Marteeka Karland

Ilyia has worked for Da’Main and Son Shipping on the planet Solum for over a year. During that time, she has admired the handsome and sexy as sin “Son”. While she thinks him totally fuckable, she’s a little leery of the rumors she’s heard about his sexual play. Specifically, she doesn’t like the idea of being bound and helpless before any man, including the hunky Dalion De’Main.

Dalion could give a damn if Ilyia is tied and helpless beneath him, as long as she’s beneath him -- or over him, or beside him -- but he has a feeling the voluptuous vixen protests bondage just a little too much for it to be believable.
Oh well. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it…

I enjoyed the complete other world that was created for this short story. The titles and descriptions of other-worldly things and places were very well done. I also enjoyed how the author used expressions to further immerse me into this world.
I was convinced early on through Da’Main’s thought process that he sees Ilyia as much more than the pleasure they could share together. I liked that it was a priority to both Da’Main and the author to bring that across to the reader and not just make it about the sex.

The sex was hot, but parts were also much more tender than I thought they would be, based on the title and description. It added nice depth to the story and to their relationship.



Reviewed by Aster

Friday, December 21, 2007

Review: Chloe's Christmas: A Cinderella Story

Chloe's Christmas: A Cinderella Story
by Kayla Janz

Chloe Anderson had a passionate encounter with a gorgeous blue-eyed stranger on the last night of her tropical vacation. The next morning, she slipped out of his bed, hopped on a plane and headed for home. No harm, no foul, right? Wrong.

As Skyler packed his bag, he found a size six flip flop under the bed—Chloe’s sandal. With a quick change to his itinerary, he’s off to Denver to find her.

If his plan comes together it will be a perfect Christmas…Chloe’s Christmas
.

After spending a wonderful time on vacation and meeting the sexiest man of her dreams, Chloe vows to not think of him again and remind herself that he was the one night stand she always wanted. Or was he? The insanely hot sex they had keeps haunting her every thought and dream.

Skyler follows her three thousand miles to her hometown just to see her again, all the while pretending to be who he claimed to be the night they met. He can’t seem to find the right time or thing to say to tell her the truth. But you can’t help but fall for Skyler in the same way that Chloe did. Self-assured, sexy, gorgeous blue eyes – what’s not to like? His only downfall is the lie to cover up who he truly is. He does his best to make it up to her and even prove how much he really loves her. A perfect ending for Chloe’s Christmas.

There are quite a few steamy scenes in this book that had me wanting to keep reading just to get to the next hot part. Warning though - there is a scene involving anal sex, although it is not too deeply detailed, just enough to be a passionate scene.



Reviewed by Snowdrop

Review: Uniform Desire

Uniform Desire
By Layla Chase

Rikka is fighting her secret desire for guys in uniform, even if the fire department had been called four times since moving to Arroyo, a small west Texas town. They’re just accidents that keep happening. Newly installed Captain Malloy arrives to investigate the incident and observes her fascination with the working crew. Sparks fly and they succumb to the lust until interruptions pull them apart. After another interaction ends similarly, Connor makes a plan to explore their feelings. Can he convince Rikka the sparks between them are more than her fetish?

This was such a fun read, I found myself flipping back to the beginning to start it over. I found that I wanted to experience it all over again. All I could think was, “Well, how cool is that?”

Rikka is a hilarious heroine who had me snickering from the beginning. By day she’s a modest school teacher, by night--well any other time actually--she’s obsessed. With what? With men in uniform. It doesn’t matter what kind of uniform, although she seems to have a preference for firefighters. Who can blame her, really? At the beginning of this story she has decided that she will overcome this… weakness, and behave herself. That is until a glorious mishap, something she is notorious for, brings the fire department to her backyard as well as the new Captain of the Fire Department to her door with routine questions. Suddenly, her good intentions go out the window!

Conor is the new Captain of the Fire Department and he is determined to find out why Rikka seems to be so accident prone. Entirely routine, of course. Can he help it if he has a weakness for redheads with green eyes and freckles? He goes along for the ride when Rikka gets all hot and bothered by his authority mixed with his uniform. He soon finds, though, that he doesn’t want to be another in her line of “men in uniform”, and decides he’s going to stake his claim.

This short story was fun and had me laughing at Rikka’s over-the-top behavior. Knowing you have a problem and being truly willing to do something about it are two different things, and the riotous situations that emerge kept me extremely entertained. The sex was hot and fulfilling, not to mention believable. The sequence of events was entirely believable, which is unexpected in such a short story. Not once did I find myself wondering how we had come to that point. This was a very enjoyable read and I would recommend it for a quick, fun read that will raise your temperature.

Book Rating:

Reviewed by Viscaria

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Review: Fool Me Twice

Fool Me Twice
By Beverly Rae

Jane Riggins, like all the other women working at Barton Enterprises, secretly lusts after the very sexy, very wealthy Brandon Barton, but believes she has no chance with him. When she meets cute and likable Charlie Hinderman, she sets her sights on the mediocre salesman, giving up her dreams about the debonair Brandon. But Brandon’s finally noticed her, even as her two best friends rig the charity event drawing, making sure one of them will win a date with the billionaire.

With Charlie’s help, she double crosses her friends’ scheme. But fate—or is it magic?—steps in when she wins the drawing and is whisked away on a romantic midnight date with her former fantasy man, Brandon. Jane, torn by her attraction to both Brandon and Charlie, can’t understand why the two men seem so much alike. From their smoldering eyes to the black stone necklace they wear, each man drives her crazy—emotionally and sexually. When she finds out they’re the same man, she has to decide. Does she love the illusion of Charlie more than the reality of Brandon?


What a fun romantic tangle this story turned out to be. Fool Me Twice is a delight to read and has many wonderful moments for a reader to enjoy.

Brandon is quite different from many rich guys you read about. Unlike the stereo-typical alpha billionaire that arrogantly rides roughshod over the target of his interest, be it money or women, Brandon is a softy at heart. His early experience in the African wilds permits him an unusual defense from the corporate world where it's the women who are more fiendishly clever and aggressive than any dealings he has in the trenches of the boardroom. However, like the best heroes, he's ripped, rich and packs a serious tool. *ahem*

Jane is a fun girl. I enjoyed reading the parts with Jane. There I was, thinking she's a 'good' girl, sighing over her someday meeting her prince when I find out she's just as comfortable taming a wild bronco as the next femme fatale. I found myself grinning a lot when I read Jane's POV. She was down-to-earth, confident yet not, and a clever mixture of sincerity and spice. Her friends are a hoot and quite liberated in their thinking, if you know what I mean. And yet ... when it comes to love, true love, Jane ends up surprising me with her truly traditional views. It was so sweet.

When Jane and her heart's desire get together, watch out. Sparks fly as do the cuffs. But, you have to read it to find out who cuffs who. *wink*

Then there's Charlie. What in the world is she going to do about Charlie? Well, the reader knows. Heck, even Brandon knows. I've seen this ploy used before but Beverly had fun with it; pushed the envelope and created memorable characters that made it seem fresh and new.

The dialogue flowed well and the the editing seemed tight and perfect. The repartee between characters, the humor, fun and mystery - at least for Jane- as well as the HEA, all came together to present me with a wonderful story worth staying up late until I finished. The only thing I wished were different about this story would be the addition of an epilogue. I want more. I want to go to their wedding. I want Ro to get side-swiped by Stan. I want to see Mel meet a man she couldn't wrap around her finger. I want all those nasty women in that office to get green with envy as the rest of Jane's friends get thier HEA. That's how fun this story is ... I want to go back and visit. Isn't that great?

Rating:

Reviewed by Xeranth

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Review: A Cry in the Night

A Cry in the Night
by Paula Calloway

Long before man knew of their existence, a bond formed which allowed Vampires to protect the Bitten and destroy the Beast so the Were and Humans survived.

His bitten beloved turned Beast and murdered by a cold Hunter, Talen continues as a Gatherer. When a Bitten stirs his heart, moves his soul and ignites his blood, he fears a repeat of the past, but fate tightens his grip.

Liana longed for someone who would love all of her, plumpness included. Never in her wildest dreams did she ever imagine something like the handsome boss her company stuck her with.

A Cry in the Night is an interesting bit of worldbuilding. The prologue helped me figure out what was what instead of reading it all in the story and trying to extrapolate the differences.

This story is well thought out as to character relationships, political hierarchy and how everything works within the cultures of the world that Paula has created.
Not an easy thing to do but the author has sprinkled the story with well written 'showing' so that the reader can easily follow the Gatherer and Hunter differences.

In this story, we first meet Talen at a much happier time in his life. There's a bit of foreshadowing that quickly comes true and we understand his POV as he continues on with his life. He seems to be a vampire who's only reason for living is his job - a Gatherer. A workaholic vampire. Not much of a life, is it?

His duty brings him into contact with a new Bitten, and his heart takes notice, much to his shock. Liana is a character that I enjoyed reading about. She's on the plump side and yet she doesn't get mired in self-destructive thinking. She has a brief visit to her own pity party but it passes because she knows her self-worth. She is just frustrated because no one seems to get it; to see HER, the woman and mind within. I thought it was adorable that Talen comes from a time when ladies like Liana were all the rage.

I noticed that Talen seems stuck in his own time - his choice of addressing Liana seemed out of sync with the current time he resides in. But then again,living as long as he, I suppose he could chose any manner of being; he's seen enough to figure out that all modes of societal mores is fleeting. I guess being a long-lived vampire, he can be what feels right to him and to heck with everyone else. Wish I could do that.

As for Liana? I personally felt she could have put up more of a fight in accepting Talen's explantions however, since she was HIS Happy Ever After,I wasn't too bothered by it. It was enough to appreciate her wit (she had quite a few clever lines) and her saucy thoughts when she viewed Talen's assets. I liked her spunk.

I will tell you that I found myself enjoying A Cry in the Night and reading about Talen and Liana's heated romance as well as the world that Paula built for them to live in. However, I have to warn potential readers about some serious editing issues that compromised this story enough to effect my rating of it. Some terminology was repetitious and verbs tended to be in the wrong tense. If you can expect these editing burps, then the story won't lose its impact for you. If it weren't for the editing, this story would have been perfect.

Other than that, A Cry in the Night is well worth reading for fans of werewolf and vampire romance stories. Paula has introduced many unique elements that made this a fascinating read. She also introduced a character named Ditmyer who absolutely hooked me. I went from not liking him to being curious about him because towards the end, Paula injected Ditmyer with some intriguing personality cues. If A Cry in the Night is the first in a series then I am more than willing to visit again. The story is that good.

Rating:

Reviewed by Xeranth

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Review: An Honoured Wife

An Honoured Wife
By Viola Grace

One male Xarit, An Honoured Wife, a death, and two new husbands? Sounds like quite a week for Emily.

Emily has been abandoned by the Alliance on a planet inhabited by a race so alien it is toxic to her. Despite their differences, she has become the honoured wife of their chief.

When a shuttle caught in a comet’s tail falls to the planet, it is up to Emily to rescue the inhabitants. Her talent for precognition is a liability as she foresees the inhabitants of that shuttle becoming her mates. Both of them.

Will she leave her status behind to become the mate of two men she doesn’t know? Or will she remain on the planet to stay An Honoured Wife?


I have to say right off that this story had a decent storyline and was entertaining. It was set in a sci-fi fantasy world where Emily is content, if not happy, in her role as Honoured Wife to the tribal chief of the Xarit. As the Xarit are not physically compatible with humans, or Terrans (they are in fact poisonous to humans) the title of Wife is in name only. Her precognitive abilities are not very strong, but they do give her glimpses enough of the future that she knows to expect the two men she knows are her true mates.

The two male characters, Tabor and Vallej, are twin brothers of a race that is compatible with Terrans, and therefore with Emily. They had been sent to rescue her, but find themselves caught in the same comet tail that originally crashed Emily’s ship. They also knew beforehand that they were destined to be mates with Emily, if they could successfully rescue her from the planet she had disappeared on. When all three meet, the bond is unmistakable, and they set out to fulfill that bond.

I did have issues with this story. I felt the writing didn’t flow as well as it could have. In some areas it seemed rather stilted, and more informational than inspired. The love scenes between the three (yes, I said three) of them were definitely hot, and read a little easier. I realize that when the story is so short it is rather hard to get enough detail and descriptive phrases in to satisfy ones creativity as well as needing to get the information across that is needed to further the story, in that aspect it was well done.

However, despite the bumps, I enjoyed this story. It was entertaining to see how Tabor and Vallej reacted to the differences between their culture and Emily’s. It was touching how the two men were willing to bend over backwards for Emily when they felt she was upset. I really loved the concept of being so attuned to someone else, as the three of them were, and that it was actually a ritual and part of their culture to bind themselves closer than just physically. All in all, I enjoyed this story and would recommend it to any lovers of paranormal romance looking for a quick, fun read.

Rating:

Reviewed by Viscaria

Monday, December 17, 2007

Review: Captive Fantasy

Captive Fantasy
By L. Rosario

Seraphina Scala has just confessed she’s never had an orgasm and now her friend has the perfect solution, a night spent at Captive Fantasy, a club that guarantees to fulfill every deep, dark, secret desire. Sera would rather admit she’s a vampire than join her friend at such a place, but she doesn’t, and she finds herself surrounded by ravenous women and drop-dead gorgeous men. One in particular steals her attention.

Valentino was literally created to make fantasies come true. He's used to the eager women who flood into Captive Fantasy every night to take what he offers, but when he meets the shy Sera, he knows he has his work cut out for him. Something about her strikes a chord deep inside, and he soon realizes he wants more than just a breathy thank you for a "job" well done. Valentino awakens a side of Sera she's kept locked away for nearly three centuries, and now she must confront her past, her present and her future. Doing so won't be so bad with Valentino by her side, but will he want her once he realizes what she really is? Or will his secret be the one thing they cannot overcome?

The first thing that comes to mind when trying to describe this book is, “Whew!” I know, not really a word, but hey, spell-check didn’t flag it! I felt like I was on a roller-coaster ride the entire time I was reading this story, and I do love roller-coasters. The slow, but tantalizing climb to getting to know our main characters a bit--their meeting each other as we wait to see how they will react--then that desperate plunge into a hot and heavy relationship. Just throw your hands up and squeal through the ride.

I found the two protagonists well-defined and emotionally accessible. I never doubted why they were doing what they were doing, or feeling what they were feeling. I loved this book.

Seraphina “Sera” Scala is a shy, reserved librarian who has never really had an orgasm, and especially not one during sex. She is also a three-hundred year old vampire who has never really felt she was cut out to be a vampire, so you see her frustration. She is beginning to think that it’s just not possible for her to reach a sexual peak during intercourse when her closest friend suggests she visit an all-male review club with her. Sera’s not so excited to tag along but allows herself to be talked into it, only to come face to face with some of them most gorgeous men she has ever laid eyes on. It isn’t long after entering the club that she finds out it’s not just a strip club… it’s a sex club. The gorgeous men are there to fulfill every woman’s fantasy, and that includes sex – much to Sera’s chagrin.

Valentino is a “performer” at the club, Captive Fantasy. He was literally created to fulfill any and every woman’s fantasy. It’s all he’s ever known, but lately he finds he is restless, and uninterested in the many gorgeous women vying for his attention. The problem? An attitude like that could get his employment “terminated”. All that changes when Seraphina walks through the door and into his life. He finds he is desperate to keep her in his life, but with no real understanding of how to make that happen. When Valentino discovers Sera’s reason for coming to the club, he knows he’s up to the task. The only obstacle is that he doesn’t want to let her go once he gets her into his arms.

This story had an interesting, if not fully creative take on the vampire story. Some of the elements were those that we see in many other vampire novels. The politics and unknown agendas behind the actions of those in the Vampire Coven are an interesting storyline, even if it did seem I’d read or seen something similar before. I do, however understand that there have been so many vampire stories written that there isn’t a whole lot out there that one can add to. It did not detract from the story in any way. In fact, it made it easier to follow along with the main characters and not try to wrap my brain around new theories and behaviors. We also get to meet supporting characters that have me looking for their stories, as well as a villain who’s not really a villain and who I would seriously love to see redeemed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and will be adding it to my keeper pile. The way Sera and Valentino react to each other and their differing worlds kept me guessing as to how they would resolve their conflicts in order to find their Happily Ever After. The love scenes between the two were so hot, I found myself looking around to make sure no one else could see how hot and bothered I was just from reading about them. This book was a fun and exciting take on the classic vampire tale and I would recommend it to all lovers of vampire lore or anyone else looking for a HOT romance.

Book Rating:

Reviewed by Viscaria

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Review: Take Me Again, Sam

TAKE ME AGAIN, SAM [Destination Pleasure 5]
By Megan Kerans

Belly dancer Dove Rickland travels to Casablanca to improve her dancing. But she never expects to receive hands-on lessons from sexy restaurant owner Samir Macias, or that they'd be so pleasurable.


I really enjoyed Dove and Sam’s verbal foreplay in the beginning. Sam’s combination of control and impulsiveness was really well-done and added to the steaminess of the scene.

The dance instruction-turned-foreplay was so incredible erotic. I could practically hear the escalating beat of the drums as the scene progressed. The lounge chair scene – especially the first part – was an exceptionally creative and erotic moment by the author. Totally hot.

The story was seamless, and the sex hot, hot, hot. I thought the ending would creep up on me in such a short story, but it all fit really well and left me very satisfied because Sam’s feelings at the end were communicated so well.

This story is not about a deep relationship, but it is about a connection that could lead to something more. Coupled with the outstanding sex, it’s a fabulous little romp in a far off land.

Book Rating:

Reviewed by Aster