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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Executive Decisions: One Night Only


Executive Decisions: One Night Only by Marteeka Karland
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short
Other: M/F/M, Menage
Rating: 4 cherries
Review by Gardenia

Nothing in Sophie's life matters as much as caring for the woman who'd taken her in as a child. She'd do anything for Mrs. Grinnich, a fact the older woman puts to good use when she sends Sophie on a vacation.

But not just any vacation. Sophie is to spend one night with an escort from Executive Decisions. When that "escort" turns out to be two escorts, and not just any escorts, but Mrs. Grinnich’s sexy as sin twin grandsons, Sophie must face the attraction she's always felt for the two men.

Raven and Hawk are wary of the job their grandmother assigned them, but they'd never refused her. But when the door to the cozy cabin in the woods opens to reveal Sophie, the woman they both want, the two wizards resolve to win her heart.

Unfortunately, there are more powerful wizards and witches out there, and the twins have one night only to prove how much they love her.

Grandma Grinnich knows what’s best for her twin grandsons and Sophie, the woman she has raised since childhood. But grandma doesn’t play favorites, nor are her methods orthodox, even when it comes to love. She is confident that she can make one night of passion happen for the three younger people, even without the use of her witchcraft.

Everything has been arranged for Sophie’s vacation. All she has to do is call the agency and they will escort her to the location of her choice. Sophie is wary, and rightly so, but I have to tell you, this gesture sounded so good, I was ready to pack my toothbrush and await an escort.

While Sophie packs, Grandma has a heart-to-heart with Raven, her grandson. She reminds him of the one important item he lacks in his pursuit of heading the Council of Magic within the Coven. His brush-off is met with a knowing smile as she asks that he and Hawk, his twin, do her a favor. Both men are briefed of all details, except one. Let me just say, the way Ms Karland describes these men with muscled bodies and dark hair, one would have been enough, but she gives us two! Yum.

What happens when the three realize they are sharing the same vacation is not to be missed. I really enjoyed this story, but the main thing that stayed with me afterward was that I felt there were unanswered questions. Sorry, these are spoiler related, so I won’t go into detail about them. But, if these issues had been addressed, I would have achieved that ‘ah’ feeling Ms Karland was building to. I wonder if this was done intentionally in anticipation of a sequel. I’ll watch for it because I’m ready for more of these characters.

Ms Karland does a great job of creating characters you can feel and share in their emotions. I appreciated Grandma’s concern for her grandsons as well as her charge. The attention and care Sophie has for the older woman is genuine and heartfelt. And the mix of emotions the young woman and the men hide from each other…well, this brought back some bittersweet memories that I thought were long gone. If you are anything like me, ONE NIGHT ONLY will have to be extended for a longer stay.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hot-Blooded


Hot-Blooded by KyAnn Waters
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Xeranth

It’s hot as hell in Southern California, and Kelis LeBrun is having a bitch of a time keeping his focus and his fangs off the delicious looking Ms. Loni Soleil. Perhaps if it weren’t so bloody hot, he’d be able to stave off the hunger pangs. But the only way to do that is hot, sweaty sex…something he’d swore he’d never have with Loni. He couldn’t let her know he was a 300 year old vampire.

However, when they become trapped on an elevator during a rolling blackout Kelis discovers Loni has a few secrets of her own.

The one thing I look for in a vampire romance is a good bite scene and Kyann Waters knows how to deliver the goods. "Hot Blooded" is sensual, seductive and contains a surprise at the end that simply made me smile in delight. Actually, I think I said, “Cool!”

Kelis is a man who is resigned to the isolated life he lives, if living is what he does. He has no friends, no one he can trust and his character tapped into my inner nurturer. Kelis is a vampire I wanted to see happy.

Loni is the surprise. She is his ultimate temptation. Her character is sweet and earnest yet I could tell there was something about her that had me suspicious. I really can’t say too much more because the POV in this story is from Kelis’ view point. To Kelis, Loni is everything he wants but can’t have. The push/pull inner conflict Kelis wages within himself allowed me, the reader, to connect and care about what happens to him.

The sexual tension spikes to incredible heights when the elevator stops and darkness embraces them. Kelis is hungry for more than just blood and more than just sex but can Loni give him what he needs? Does he dare take the chance? Why isn’t Loni afraid of him? Based upon one very intriguing comment she makes about the library, she’s not and that had me wondering all sorts of things.

Once again, I find that I cannot tell you any more. I want you to be as astounded and surprised as I was by the ending. It’s a sweet and very satisfying HEA but what happens in nothing like you’d expect from a vampire romance. I believe Ms. Waters to be a master--or is that a mistress?--story teller. In "Hot Blooded", she has taken the stereotypical vampire romance and turned it on its ear, presenting readers with a fresh and novel ending sure to please and amaze.

Ms. Waters knows the proper way to write a vampire bite for full sexual impact, how to save a tortured hero and how to give a reader a refreshing, exciting and unique HEA. It’s all wrapped up in a short story aimed at the best of what vampire romances are known for -- a happily ever after you can sink your teeth into.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The Lady Prince


The Lady Prince by Toni L. Milleur
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy
Length: Short
Other: M/F, M/M, M/F/M, BDSM
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Review by Gardenia

Born into a society where women are possessions, Lyra refuses to become property to any man. She defies all odds and survives the trials for becoming a Lady Prince, a title that gives her the same rankings and privilege as a man. Intent on helping other women seek the same status, she often risks her life to give them freedom.

On one fateful night, a betrayal puts her in the precarious position of losing her freedom and identity forever. Lyra has but one chance at hope, which lies in the hands of Daene, a handsome and notorious thief and whispered murderer.

He has but one stipulation, which Lyra finds both rebellious and tempting…

Let me say, I am not typically a sci-fi/fantasy fan. However, the blurb for this book was too good to pass up. Once I began reading, I quickly realized this was an exceptionally, well-written story. Halfway through the story, I had to remind myself that this was fantasy, and I realized, that was fine by me.

Lyra has no desires to become a wife. Who can blame her after seeing the torment her sister has endured? Lyra’s brother, at her insistence, secretly tutors her in self-defense and weapons usage. She takes the title of The Lady Prince and makes it her mission to help women escape before they are forced into an unwanted marriage. I’m not sure what the significance of ‘Prince’ in the title means, but that mixed with the character’s short hair and spunk gave me a Katharine Hepburn image.

When duped by a woman more interested in the reward on Lyra’s head then her help, Lyra finds herself in a marriage cage awaiting a groom. Daene, a murderous thief, offers to help her escape, but at a price…his price. Later, Lyra learns why Daene chose her to help him and his reason is nothing compared to what Lyra discovers when they witness the Wife Choosing Ceremony.

Ms Meilleur has a writing style that is enveloping yet tantalizing, and the characters are fantastic. When some of Daene’s secrets are revealed, I didn’t know if I should slap the fool out of him or take him in my arms and comfort him. While I sat fidgeting with indecision, Lyra handled the situation perfectly.

I know this story has a hot, spicy rating, but Ms Meilleur tells the sex scenes in a very classy manner and with much creativity. They were hot, but oh, so nicely done.

One thing I really admired about The Lady Prince is that it was a very refreshing story. I never knew what to expect next and I was never disappointed. If you like fantasies, you can’t miss this. If you aren’t a fantasy fan, this is the one to start with.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Moonlighting


Moonlighting by Kris Eton
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Lenth: Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries
Review by Poppy



Kara just wanted to buy the sexiest dress she could find to wear to her divorce hearing. Instead, she finds herself alone in a department store with Jack, the most gorgeous security guard she's ever seen. What starts out as a misunderstanding, leads to the hottest sex of her life. Will fate bring them together again or will this just be a one-night stand that leaves them both wanting more?

Hot, hot, hot! Who hasn't fantasized about hot sex with an even hotter stranger? And Ms. Eton does a fabulous, stimulating job showing this reader just how exciting a forbidden rendezvous like that might be.

Kara starts the evening simply looking for a sexy dress to make her soon-to-be-ex-husband eat his heart out. But she loses track of the time, and ends up staying in the store after it closes. When Jack, a cop moonlighting as a security guard, finds her half-clothed in one of the dressing rooms, he assumes she's a shoplifter. Ready to haul her off to jail, he's surprised ... and turned on... when Kara accidentally drops her hold on her dress. I could completely picture her getting frustrated and throwing her hands up in annoyance without remembering that she had hold of her bodice. Whoops!

Kara, too, is all hot and bothered, and suggests to Jake that she might need to be frisked. One thing leads to...the hottest sex either has ever had. Jake wants her number, but Kara is mortified and just wants to escape.

This was a very well-written erotic tale with plenty of heat, and surprising humor (wait until you see what happens to the ex!). I had only one complaint--and it will sound ambiguous in an attempt to avoid a spoiler--but in my opinion the hero's...hmm...behavior jumped the gun a bit at the end. Still, that aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. If you're looking for a fun, steamy, well-written erotic romance then I highly recommend "Moonlighting". In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I ran to check if the author had any more stories available!