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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Rookery Cove: Ocean's Call


Rookery Cove: Ocean's Call by Dawn Montgomery
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short
Other: M/F, M/M, M/F/M, Menage, Multiple Partners
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Review by Lotus

What’s a sexual therapist to do when she finds herself bored with sex?

An invitation to Rookery Cove Aphrodisiacs may be just what the doctor ordered. No worries, no regrets, just relaxation in one of the most beautiful northern coves in the world. But when two delicious men come calling, can Nikita keep things from blazing out of control?

For Connor, watching his mate spiral into darkness is tearing him apart. Nikita brings a breath of fresh air into their lives, reminding Connor of life and love. Now he just has to convince Draven to fall for the doctor…past or no past.

As captain of Rookery Cove’s sole water travel vessel, Draven has it all. No worries, no regrets, no reason to face a history long dead, but it’s a half life. Every day puts him closer to the edge and his lover is at his wit’s end. Nikita’s arrival awakens a dark yearning deep within, one filled with shadows and memories he’d rather never face, but with her soft touch and sexy smile, he’s lost before he knows it.

For the bisexual selkies, Nikita may be exactly what they need.

When the three get together, the heat flaring among them sizzles the night, but when morning comes can it be enough to keep them together? Or will their personal demons tear them apart?

Nikita has been offered the chance of a lifetime: come to Rookery Cove and bask in the rest and refreshing sensuality the hidden resort has to offer. But Nikita is a sex therapist who’s tired of sex. She decides to make the trip, but without much hope that it will do any good. That is, until she lays eyes on the two lovely men who’ll be taking her there. Draven and Connor are selkies, shape-shifting children of the sea. It isn’t long before they both take an interest in their passenger, but Draven’s past and Connor’s pain may stand in the way of the three finding happiness. Red-blooded lust may be enough to bring them together, but there are more than enough forces moving to drive them apart.

It becomes very difficult to be critical and objective when you’re getting swept away by a story, and Rookery Cove: Ocean’s Call has every intention of sweeping you away. Dawn Montgomery spins a lively tall tale that is infused with past troubles, lusty tumbles, and the call of the sea. The trouble with triad love stories is that often one character gets neglected, and when there are two beautiful men involved, it’s usually the woman. Lucky for Nikita, that isn’t the case here. She’s in a rough spot when you meet her, but Nikita’s problems are introduced and dealt with without wallowing in her atrocious situation. Montgomery expertly avoids the traps a less skilled author would have fallen into, giving us just enough angst to build tension without drowning us in it. And even better, this means that we are very quickly introduced to her delicious leading men. Connor and Draven act like men who happen to be in love—not women in drag or the caricature of homosexual men seen in some fiction. It’s a very warrior concept, and really refreshing to see. To top it all off they are sinfully gorgeous, and very funny when left to their own devices. Happily, Nikita is more than a match for them. Ocean’s Call contains what is probably my favorite case of sexy foreshadowing:

“Your company sells adult toys and novelties. You’re very successful and you create high quality products.” She should know, the Double Dragon was her go-to favorite. Double penetration did far more for her than any of the other toys.

And this is just as well, because Connor and Draven test that preference in every way they can think of. It’s been a long time since I stopped reading a sex scene and thought, “Really? That works?” There are few things more pleasant than being surprised by sex. Montgomery allows her trio to be creative with their lovemaking, but the language she uses in these scenes is one of the problem areas in her writing. Her action scenes are intense and well wrought, but she seems to have difficulty with her descriptions of anatomy and sex, a cardinal sin in an erotic story. Using “the selkie” more than once or twice in a sex scene is tedious and mood-killing. Repetition is a constant problem, and one that could have been fixed with a little more care and craft. Perhaps this is just the result of awkwardness or poor editing, but it is a distraction nonetheless.

Despite all that, however, you can forgive a lot from a story that winds up as tight as this one does, pulling you in as it tightens. The ending came faster than I’d like, and I can’t help but think that this would have been an entrancing novel. As a novella, it’s a bit of a tease. Really though, when my biggest complaint is that I wish I could have spent more time with this story and its characters, Dawn Montgomery must be doing something right.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Resisting Command


Resisting Command by Jennifer Leeland
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full
Other: M/F, BDSM
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Viscaria

Welcome back to Asberek where a fledgling colony struggles in the isolated reaches of space. Danger stalks the colony and two people, thrown together by circumstances, may hold the key to survival on this distant planet.

Dr. Jenia Carstairs' job is to study the chemical that permeates the atmosphere on Asberek. But Synthetic Endorphins Xstasy (or S.E.X.) is a problem. It creates increased sexual desire in humans, driving them wild with tantalizing erotic fantasies that beg to be explored. Dr. Carstairs is not immune to its effects and suddenly finds herself consumed with lust for an enigmatic stranger.

Tribunal soldier Paul Lestrano hunts a Rogue Tribunal who escaped to Asberek after an attempt to destroy the colony. His pursuit leads him directly into the path of a woman who holds both the future of the colony and Paul's needs in her hands. As the chemical drives them to greater heights of sexual fantasies, Jenia and Paul explore each other's most intimate sexual desires and find the taboo secrets locked in themselves. Their journey brings them to the brink of destruction, but self-discovery and ultimate desire are often found wrapped in the haze of sex.

This book was an impulse buy, and I am so glad I followed that impulse. Resisting Command was well worth it, and I will definitely be looking forward to more by this author. As a matter of fact, I have the books before and after this one on my Wish List!

Dr. Jenia Carstairs was a brilliant woman and I found so much to admire about her. She was wonderful to get to know, and I just loved her personality. The fact that she no longer fights her sexual leanings and even embraces them, despite how amazed she is at the ease with which she embraces them, just endeared her further to me. I loved that when she realized Paul had tried to pull a fast one on her, she went with it, and didn’t let her newness to the workings of Dominance and submission stop her. Jenia has become one of my favorite heroines, you just have to love a powerful woman who can still be feminine. I look forward to seeing more of her in the future.

When it comes to the hero of this story, I really fell for Paul Lestrano, and I’m sure you would feel the same way. He was an intriguing man, who was so very strong and kept me hot and bothered through the entire tale. Paul was a remarkable man who fought his sexuality tooth and nail until he met Jenia. I just adored watching how his mind worked as realization of what he needed slapped him upside his head. As he was pulled into a much different relationship than he had previously been in, or ever thought he would enjoy, I fell even more in love with him right along with Jenia. Paul’s emotional journey as he fought to save Jenia and the colony, all while discovering so much more about himself was fantastic to watch, especially considering his background.

The cast of supporting characters was engaging and added quite a bit of color to an already appealing read. I enjoyed seeing a “bad” guy get his beginning start at redemption, and have to say that I would just love to see more of Donny. Just for the sheer joy of getting to know all of these individuals better, I do feel the need to acquire the previous book or books in this series. If for no other reason than this, I have to recommend Resisting Command.

Jennifer Leeland has a truly marvelous take on Erotic Romance that has to be experienced. I thoroughly enjoyed Resisting Command with it’s intricate storyline that kept me guessing to the very end. I’m adding Ms. Leeland to my auto-buy list, and would recommend you do the same.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Huntsmen 2: Bareback


The Huntsmen 2: Bareback by Amber Green
Publisher: Loose-Id Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full
Other: M/M
Rating: 4 cherries
Review by Chamomile

Bare is back without brother. Brian is a huntsman, born a twin warrior but raised solo, a bareback, a weak link among his kind. Leaving his overprotective family, he moves to a booming town that had once been very comfortable as the belly-button of nowhere, isolated amid the wetlands and cattle country of central Florida. Sexually facile, Brian anticipates no real difficulty finding a feeder to keep him brimming with the sexual and emotional energies a huntsman must feed on to remain human. He finds Joe.

Joe's a straight-up straight cop standing fast in the moral heart of that once-small town. He's well-liked, well-respected, and oblivious to the rotting core of his police force. When the dark side of the police -- a band of vigilantes gone pure outlaw -- converges with the dark side of the huntsmen -- hydes who have lost their humanity and now feed on the terror and pain of their victims -- Joe has to decide what price he'll pay to save the innocent.

In the blood-drenched, condo-cluttered Florida landscape, a hero takes a stand, and a man loves a man.

Ms. Green has a quirky style of writing, but it works! Her voice is easily recognizable and translates well to the types of adventures she pens.

Joe is a police lieutenant with heavy muscles and a stature that is built for intimidation. He is a tough cop, but the way he cares for his family — even though he knows that something is not quite right about them — endeared him to me. I think his initial reaction to Brian has the perfect mix of vulnerability and open-mindedness, and it makes sense, given his position and earlier beliefs about himself. When he surrenders to his feelings for Brian, they come together with tenderness and passion.

Brian's true nature is somewhat mysterious through most of the story, with only bits of his life is sprinkled here and there. The teasing kept me turning the pages to find out more about him. I sensed a goodness about him that held true as more of his history came to light. I like that he is small and lean compared to brawny Joe and the physical differences between them enhance their intimacy.

I was left with a couple of 'why's about the climax, but overall, I thought the paranormal aspect was creatively original. A couple of suspenseful moments had me biting my nails wondering what would happen next. There are also remarkable secondary characters that strengthen the plot and heighten the mystery.

It is the romance between Joe and Brian, however, that steals the show for me. The slow progression of their relationship from tentative exploration to mutual devotion is a joy to experience. I enthusiastically recommend it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Rookery Cove: Pixie's Prisoner


Rookery Cove: Pixie's Prisoner by Lacey Savage
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story
Other: M/F, BDSM
Rating: 5 Cherries

Who says pixies are nothing more than mischievous tricksters? Not Laela Léa. She's a scientist. A scientist with a mission -- to prove that the Cum-a-Chameleon formula she's been working on for the past eighteen months actually works. But to do that, she has to find a real chameleon on which to test the formula's decadent effects.

Plagued by memories of endless experiments in dark rooms, ex-Marine Nathaniel Alexis wants nothing more than to be left alone. In solitude, he can dream about the woman who saved him -- the one who wrapped her long legs around his waist and took him to the edge of paradise the night before his life changed forever.

Now he can do more than dream. Because she's back -- and sexier than ever.

Problem is, Laela needs him as a test subject. And while Nathan would gladly let her do anything she wants to his body, he's vowed to never again be experimented upon. Not even in delicious, erotic ways. Not unless he's the one in control…

This is a story about two individuals with histories that have colored their respective view of life and love. It isn't until they find one another that they can put the past behind them and envision a future together, filled with tenderness and passion.

Laela is a scientist with confidence in her abilities, but she has plenty of insecurities to go along with it, making her multi-faceted and that much more interesting to me. Driven to succeed and determined not to let a man pull her down, Laela's bewildered reaction to Nathan is true to her personality and I couldn't help getting caught up in her arousing dilemma.

Nathan's paranormal ability is so totally unique; I absolutely loved it! He is a Marine and because of his special gift, and he's been betrayed by his government and suffers from the scars of the abuse. He has this whole brooding, angry thing going on so my nurturing side was kicking in with this guy – who wouldn't want to comfort him?! When Nathan and Laela hook up after a long interval, his suspicions and resulting actions are perfectly timed and the execution inspired.

Steamy and delectable from beginning to end, Pixie's Prisoner is pure entertainment.