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Saturday, February 2, 2008

Review: Torrid Teasers Volume 43: The Whole Enchilada & Lust Desserts

Torrid Teasers Volume 43: The Whole Enchilada & Lust Desserts
by Meagan Hatfield

THE WHOLE ENCHILDADA:
Owning his own franchised Mexican restaurant isn’t the dream job Dale Jennings had hoped for. The rigid menu and atmosphere stifles his creativity, and it doesn’t take long before he finds himself at the taco shop across the street, enjoying the authentic cuisine of his drop-dead gorgeous business rival, Lina Sanchez. But, even though her food is damn near as hot as her sun-kissed body, dale is determined not to let anything stand in the way of his success. Especially not some California girl’s enchiladas.

LUST DESSERTS:
As her best friend Lina puts it, Samantha Logan needs to get laid. Coming off a bad relationship, Sam is not eager to jump on the commitment bandwagon. But when an edibly handsome stranger catches her attention at the local bar, Sam can’t deny the intense attraction, and decides to give into the moment and satisfy her unfulfilled desires.

I loved these stories! It was a case of two great stories for the price of one. Both of these stories were HOT, HOT, HOT and yet sweet at the same time. At the end of each story I found myself wishing for more.

In The Whole Enchilada, Dale and Lina are competitors and feel that their attraction to each other can only lead to disaster. When Dale decides he’s done waiting for Lina to make the first move, he takes matters into his own hands. His dare that he can make her a dinner that would rival any that she could put on her menu leads to an unforgettable night of passion and a promising future together.

In Lust Desserts, Sam and Ben meet in a bar and follow a reckless impulse and share an incredible interlude. With both of them determined to keep their rendezvous anonymous, they try to convince themselves that it’s better this way. The problem? Neither one can get the other off their minds or out from under their skin. A chance sighting on Ben’s part leads to another night together and an even deeper and unmistakable connection. Can they get past their fears from the past?

My only regrets as far as these stories went – I wanted more! Even though both stories were short, I felt a connection with the characters and loved their witty byplay. I would love to see a story down the line where we get to revisit these two couples and see how much hotter it could get. Ms. Hatfield has a definite talent for interesting situations and loading on the heat. She’s definitely one to watch for.



Reviewed by Viscaria

Friday, February 1, 2008

Review: Menage

Ménage
by Emma Holly

When two handsome young grad students move into Kate Winthrop’s Philadelphia townhouse she’s thrilled to think she’ll be sharing her living space with a couple of potential admirers. Then she comes home from work one day to find them in bed… with each other.

Joe – a sensitive composer – is mortified. Sean – an irrepressible bad boy – asks her to join in. So begins a complex three-way adventure that is destined to be fraught with confusion.

This was an intense, sensual journey told from Kate’s perspective. I have long been a fan of Ms. Holly’s and this is one of my favorites of hers. When (not if…I’m very optimistic) you pick this one up, hang on to your seat, because this one will pull you along on one of the most erotic trips you’ll ever have the pleasure of taking.

Kate is a confident, strong-willed woman who knows herself and is content in her life, if not completely happy. She works hard in a business that she loves, and is sure in her sexuality. When she lets her two spare rooms to the young grad students, she has fantasies about both of the hot young men. She’s well aware that the two of them have a relationship with each other, but she’s seen the looks Joe casts her way when he thinks she isn’t looking. When the opportunity presents itself to enjoy the two virile men, she grabs it up. What follows is an incredibly erotic time spent enjoying each other, while she finds herself falling for the sensitive Joe.

Joe is almost painfully shy, and highly sexual. He thoroughly enjoys his relationship with Sean but finds that he is incredibly attracted to his older landlady. When the opportunity is presented to indulge in his fantasies, despite his nerves he jumps at the chance. Now, as he finds he’s falling for Kate, he has to convince her that it doesn’t matter that she’s older than him, and she’s not standing in the way of his dreams. I just fell in love with Joe, he’s so sweet in how shy he seems to be, but as he finds his footing in his relationships with both Sean and Kate we get to see a more dominant, sexy side that just makes your hormones hum.

Sean is the consummate bad boy, and as such no one expects that he has as much depth as he really does. His feelings for Joe run deep, but he knows that Joe is fascinated by their landlady. He decides that in order to keep his relationship with Joe he needs to get Joe and Kate together in such a way that he’ll be included in the relationship. While some may think he’s too manipulative, I found that his feelings ran so deep that he couldn’t bear to be excluded from Joe’s life, and in time Kate’s either. While not sweet, per se, like Joe, Sean has his moments of vulnerability that endear him to us. Not to mention the fact that he’s pretty hot, as well!

I don’t have anything bad to say about this book. I loved it, and was even moved by it. Emma Holly’s grasp of love and relationships, no matter how hot, is amazing and I never want her stories to end. Menage was no exception, as the book drew to a close I found that I wanted to know more. I wanted to find out if it continued in the way that Emma hints at. I’m sorry, I can’t tell you more without ruining the story, but I can say that you will love this book! Emma Holly is a fabulous writer of erotic romance and this is one that I highly recommend.



Reviewed by: Viscaria

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Review: Into His Keeping

Into His Keeping
by Gail Faulkner

She became the air he breathed. Her passionate gift of surrender matched his dominant soul. Then she was gone. He’d never accepted that she’d wanted to leave. Ensuring she could find her way back to him was the drive that shaped him. Fifteen years later it was way past time to accept she’d chosen not to return.

Second chances were wishful thinking. Jill wasn’t looking for one. She didn’t have time for pipe dreams and she had no illusions about the stranger Holdin had become. Famous, rich and now retired from football, he might not remember her. If he did, he might not care to hear what actually happened so long ago. She desperately hoped she had something he would care about though.

A second chance was all Holdin needed. Ensuring possession of Jill was a battle he intended to win.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… Gail Faulkner knows how to write an erotic romance! This book comes from my backlist of faves, and I just had to pick a Faulkner, as this is one that I’ve reread a couple of times and plan on reading again. I love this book!

Jill is an amazingly strong heroine, and I found that I had nothing but admiration for her. When life threw her for a loop, she picked herself up, never complaining and moved forward. When she’s finally able to return to Holdin, she’s not expecting him to welcome her with open arms, but she needs him to do something for her. When Holdin is determined to make a new start with her, she’s determined to make him understand why it wouldn’t work. Little does she know that Holdin is just as determined to make her understand why it would.

Holdin is one hot male, and that’s definitely a trademark of Gail’s. She sure can depict a dominant male! I loved how Holdin could be so dominant when it came to certain aspects of his relationship with Jill, and yet he would be so careful of her health and needs it was so touching it brought me to the point of tears. His determination to prove to Jill that no matter what that they had a future together, and his love for Jill were amazingly poignant. Who doesn’t love to see a strong man helpless in the face of one small woman?

This tale is a poignant and sensual tale of love lost and second chances that keeps you hoping and in the end leaves you with a smile. Not only are the love scenes incredibly hot, they show the depth of emotion felt by these two characters. I’ll say it again, I love this book! Not only is this a recommend, but it’s a “keeper shelf” recommend that I hope you will add to your list.



Reviewed by: Viscaria

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Review: Passion Unbound: Wicked Nights

Passion Unbound: Wicked Nights
by Tawny Taylor

If you could be kidnapped by any man, who would it be?

And thus it was from the beginning of time. Two knights. One bride. They whispered their story to The Chosen, a human endowed with the gift of Hearing… The Chosen wrote the story and released it into the human world. The bait was set. The spell was cast. And then they waited… -- An excerpt from the lerd Kimeno, the sacred text of the Twelfth Knight Brotherhood

Freelance writer Cheryl Witte loves her romance novels as much as the next girl. Her favorite – Dangerous Knights, the story of two dominant, sexy vampires, Cy and Maksim. To be possessed by two dark and dangerous Masters? One word, yum! But that’s just fantasy. It could never happen in real life… right? She wouldn’t want it to.

Then again maybe it could… and maybe she would.

Cheryl is onto the story of the century, about a portal that allows real men – dangerous and barbaric ones – to travel into the human world and kidnap unsuspecting women. You bet she’s willing to take her chances for that kind of story. A paper cut and a few muttered words could make all her wishes come true, including a cover story in the NY Times. Not to mention bring the men of her fantasies, Cy and Maksim, to life.

She sets up some cameras, arms herself with a tranquilizer, and waits. And waits… until… one minute she’s sleeping, the next she’s dragged into a world of her imagination, to face her darkest desires… and most shocking secrets.

Cy and Maksim have their own challenges to face. But nothing can stop them from introducing their fiery new bride to the rapture of complete submission.

All I have to say about this author is, “Wow!” She sure knows how to build the tension and suspense. I kept hoping that she would hurry up and get to the good stuff… then I’d stop and reconsider, because the build up WAS the good stuff! I find that I’m going back to get the story before this one and then I want to get Ms. Taylor’s entire back list… in time. *wicked grin*

Cheryl is a modern, independent woman who thinks she knows what she wants from life. She wants to be a somebody! A somebody who gets the big story, who has it all together and knows where she’s going and isn’t afraid to take the chances to get there. She can’t seem to admit to herself that she’s lonely and a workaholic. When she sets out to capture men that she considers barbarians, she thinks she’ll finally be a somebody, that she’ll get the recognition she wants and she’ll stop these men from “enslaving” another helpless woman. So, when she’s caught unawares and pulled back into Cy and Maksim’s world, she’s a bit put out to find that she really doesn’t know herself as well as she thought. It’s not long before her two men melt her resistance and gain her heart.

Cy and Maksim are polar opposites in every way, except in their dominant natures. They’re none too happy to find that they will be bound to each other when they come to claim their bride. As the decision of who is to mate comes directly from their goddess, they know that they have no other choice but to make the best of the situation. They are both equally surprised to find that they are falling for their feisty bride and for each other. While the issues they need to work through seem insurmountable, they both agree that Cheryl’s health and welfare come before their own discomfort and set about training her and hoping that she will want to be their bride, otherwise, life will get pretty miserable for them all.

The only issue that I had with this story was with Maksim and his seemingly silly objections to why he couldn’t let himself fall for Cheryl and Cy. I can’t say that they always made a whole lot of sense to me, but it didn’t really detract from the story enough to curb my enjoyment of the overall tale. As he eventually comes around, it all works out in the end.

This was a sensual journey into a fascinating world of mythical beings and dominant men who appreciate women in all forms. The true awe conveyed by the author on the part of Cy and Maksim for the beauty of their bride, despite her imagined shortcomings, was beautiful and made me sigh. The “training” of Cheryl was hot and kept me guessing as to how she would react and if she would rebel or submit like she truly wanted to. The build-up of the tension was almost palpable and I have to recommend this one. I would recommend this to anyone who can appreciate the intricacies of Dominance and submission, and who has a love of the paranormal.



Reviewed by: Viscaria

Review: Cat O' Nines 3: Cat's Cradle

Cat O’ Nines 3: Cat’s Cradle
by Lia Connor

While the cat’s away…

Tony likes to think of himself as a good guy. Nothing special, but a decent enough man. He has his kinks and he likes it kinda rough, but outside of the bedroom he treats his women with respect and makes a good buddy to his friends. And his life, as a result, is in serious need of some sizzle.

He’s about the get lucky.

With his sisters Gabriella and Marnie carried off by the Catkind to protect them against hostile humans, Tony’s left to run their bar, Gatos. He won’t be alone, though – a couple of misfit “alley cat” Catkind named Samaelle and David have joined forces with him and won’t be parted from his side. Or stop coming on to him, either of them.

So what’s a good guy gonna do when he’s saddled with two stubborn sexy Cats? For one thing, learn how to play when the bigger cats are away…

This was a deliciously naughty romp through a rather interesting world that made me want to go back and start at the beginning of this series (which I am in the process of doing!). As a short story it was wonderfully detailed and a fun read.

Tony is your all-around regular nice guy. Which may be his problem, he’s nice, he takes care of everyone and lets everyone take advantage of him, although he’s been burned in the past. He’s a proud man who has taken care of his three younger sisters on his own for a long time, and has kept their bar running despite the fact that it’s in the middle of nowhere and nothing fancy. Although he’s on the lookout for Ms. Right, he keeps attracting Ms. Right-Now and he’s getting rather frustrated. Until he meets Samaelle and David. What do you do when two Catkind come to mate? Enjoy every minute of course.

Samaelle and David have had their share of disappointments and heartache. They have grown up as outcasts among their own kind for no other reason than slightly less than regal genetics. When they found each other, they found part of their mated triad, but they knew they wouldn’t be complete until they found their third mate.

Samaelle is a delightful, naughty, and wicked Lady Cat, who knows that Tony is the third person in their triad. She is not ashamed of her sexuality and has quite the way of making anyone in her vicinity want to join in the naughty fun. Her internal dialogue is enough to make one hot, and like any cat she has a very playful side that makes her even more entertaining.

David is the more taciturn of the two Catkind, and no one can really blame him considering his own painful past. As with Samaelle, David is just as comfortable with his sexuality, whether with a man or a woman. In fact, the usual triad has two men and one woman as female Catkind are so very rare, so he’s never had a problem with loving a man, it’s just the finding of the right one that’s giving him fits. He’s content to follow Samaelle’s lead when it comes to “sniffing” out their third mate, but when she makes a major misstep in dealing with Tony, he knows he has to step in and mend the break.

Now, a bit of a warning, this tale is not for the faint of heart. The sex is rather graphic and earthy, but it is hot and appropriate to the story. Some may find the language a bit coarse or offensive, but I found that it didn’t detract from the story and in fact helped us to understand the characters a bit better.

All in all, I had fun reading this one, and even went so far as to find the previous stories so that I could meet more of the Catkind. They seem like such a sensual and wicked race and I just have to know more. I am also looking forward to any upcoming Cat O’ Nine stories as there are some unresolved issues set up in this story that I would love to see the conclusions to. As I said, a delicious, delightful and naughty read that will leave you wanting more.



Reviewed by: Viscaria

Monday, January 28, 2008

Review: Skin

Skin
by Bernadette Gardner

Her body is his canvas.

When Makena Brady walks into SkIntense Body Art, she expects nothing more than a little prick, and a small tattoo to satisfy her quest for independence from her “good girl” lifestyle. What she gets instead is a sensual awakening.

Darq Stone is an artist and Makena’s body is the perfect canvas. He works his magic on her, bringing her to the edge of reason with a temporary tattoo airbrushed on her inner thigh.

Enthralled by the excitement of lying nearly naked while he paints on her, Makena yearns for more, but can she handle the real thing? Darq is much more than he seems and once he brands her with a permanent mark, she’ll be drawn into his world forever.

What’s a girl to do when she wants to break out of her conservative shell and live? How does she start? Why, she gets a tattoo, of course. This extremely sensual story flows so well, you find yourself at the end long before you’re ready to see these characters go. All I can say is that I hope we get to see them again!

Makena Brady is so tired of being the “good girl”, of worrying what other people think of her, of how others think of her. She’s just waiting for something to break her out. Little does she know that walking into SkIntense Body Art will change her life, and fulfill the naughtiest of fantasies that she never knew she had.

Darq Stone isn’t looking for a long-term relationship. As a matter of fact, a long-term relationship could be rather dangerous for him and the woman involved. How do you tell someone that you may have to leave at any time, that assassins could be showing up at your door? All that changes when Makena walks through the door of his shop. From the moment he sets his eyes on her he feels a connection that he wasn’t expecting and isn’t sure he should pursue, but his instincts take over and he’s helpless to do anything but pursue this one woman.

As someone with body art, I found Ms. Gardner’s take on the experience fascinating and downright erotic. I kept wondering where Darq was when I was looking for an artist! This intensely sensual and erotic story was so mesmerizing and just kept me guessing as to what Darq next had in store for Makena and her sensual awakening. I loved this couple, and I absolutely fell for Heath (yes, we meet another mysterious hottie… *sigh*). I really hope that we get to see Heath’s story some time soon, and maybe get to check in on Darq and Makena in the future. What better recommendation for a story is there, than wanting to see the main characters again? Needless to say, I commend the author on a job well done.



Reviewed by: Viscaria

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Review: A Delicious Taboo

A Delicious Taboo
by Jennifer Cole

What do you get when four gay hunks, set out to seduce and lay claim on an unsuspecting straight girl? A sexually explosive weekend complete with intense passion, unimaginable pleasure, delightfully wicked exploration; ending with one very big misunderstanding, that’s what.

Committed to one another and their union, Van Dansk and Calen Maxwell decide to spice things up by bringing a third into their bed. They intend to invite the lovely straight barmaid from the local gay/bi night club, to join them in a ménage a trois. Their equally committed gay friends, Philip Weston and Jake Welland have the same intentions.

Melanie Drake has been secretly lusting over the seductive, teasing group of friends for six months. She’s not delusional however, she knows her infatuation with the two homosexual couples in completely one-sided and is content to keep her ‘love affair’ with the four hunks exactly where it belongs – in her mind.

One night of alcohol indulgence leads the four men to proposition Melanie into going home with one lucky couple. She can’t choose one couple over the other, because in her fantasies Melanie has all four me in her bed, together.
But that’s just a fantasy, and fantasies aren’t real.

Or are they?

Content warning: this title contains explicit sex, graphic language, ménage a trois’, hot naked man-love; some sex scenes include multiple partners.

When I first saw the blurb for this one, I wasn’t real sure how the author would make it work, but I was intrigued. It was actually a very interesting story, and done with a clever balance of humor and insight. Nothing about the story made one feel dirty for reading it, except in the sense of being a naughty fly on the wall. And who hasn’t wanted to be one of those?

Melanie was a sweet, passionate young woman that has had some seriously bad experiences in her life that have soured her toward letting anyone get too close to her. Somehow the four men she sees several times a week have wormed their way into her heart and her fantasies. She feels rather safe in her fantasies as the men are all involved in committed relationships and she’s not a man. Little does she know that they do find her desirable and all four men are more than ready to pursue a relationship with her.

The four men: Van, Calen, Philip and Jake are each distinct, attractive and fascinating in their own individual ways. They are more or less content in their respective relationships, and in fact share a deep love for their partners, a fact that I appreciated. They weren’t looking for some cheap thrill, and in fact put a great deal of thought into how adding another person would impact their relationships. They didn’t expect their friends to have the same thoughts about the same woman. When Melanie treats their proposition as a joke, rather than the serious question intended, they realize that they will have to try a different tact. They’ll have to share her.

I found that once I started this story, I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to see how this unique situation was handled, and I have to say that it was handled quite well. I didn’t feel that any of the love scenes were awkward or made me feel uncomfortable, which in itself is quite a feat considering the subject matter. The men are incredibly sensitive to Melanie's needs and a certain scene where they find out just how terrible her past has been illustrates this perfectly. That alone made me want to snuggle up to them! The sex scenes kept me panting for more, and Ms. Cole definitely delivered. As the warning stated, the subject matter may make some people a bit uncomfortable, but I felt that it was handled quite well and made for a hot and interesting story. You’ll need something to cool you off after you finish this one, but it’s so worth the effort.

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Reviewed by Viscaria