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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Warrior



Warrior by Angela Knight
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Sci Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Length: Full
Other: M/F
Review by Hibiscus

In the 24th century, time travel is no longer just a flight of fancy. Tourists, historians, and criminals can leap through time at will. To police the time jumpers, the Temporal Enforcement Agency has established a precinct in time, tucked away in the Georgia mountains.

Galar Arvid, a genetically altered Warlord and agent, has been sent back to 2008 to save a pretty Atlanta artist from a Xeran time traveler who intends to kill her for profit. What Galar doesn’t count on is the powerful desire Jessica Kelly ignites in him. But could a romance between them ever work? A three-hundred-year chasm separates them and, even if they dart through time, there’s still a maniacal killer on their tail...

Warrior is a fascinating look at time jumping and Time Enforcers. It opens a new series called Time Hunters that is spun off of the book Jane's Warrior. There is so much going on in this book that I found I had to concentrate to get all the different characters, aliens and worlds set straight in my mind. This was easily accomplished as I found the descriptions of the worlds and the characters are very detailed and I could picture everything clearly in my mind. I really enjoyed this Sci-Fi/romance.

I liked the character of Jessica Kelly, an artist in 2008 who is targeted for murder by what appears to be someone from the future. Jessica is saved by Galar Arvid and transported to the twenty-third century to keep her safe. Jessica takes everything that happens to her very calmly once she realizes she is in the future. From implants to alien DNA in her brain matter, she adapts very well to her new life. I found her easy acceptance a little unbelievable and wished she'd showed a little more resistance after her initial outburst. But having Galar next to me twenty-four/seven would calm me considerably.

Master Enforcer Galar Arvid is a genetically engineered human. He hunts time injustices and corrects them if they are committed by a future being. When he saves Jessica, his boss assigns him the job of not only protecting her but acclimating her to her new world. Galar was betrayed previously by a lover and now I feel he is what I consider the walking wounded. He cares for Jessica but is afraid to open up in case she is also a traitor. His scene in the jail where Jessica is being held had my heart breaking in two.

There are a plethora of minor characters. Charlotte, Jessica's roommate, is an enigma. She is an Xeran who betrayed her father to embrace the Sela and protect the T'lir but she also infects Jessica and puts her in danger. Charlotte is worthy of a book of her own. Then there is Freika, originally from Jane's Warrior. His one-liners are great and he adds a little zip to each scene he is in.

I loved the idea of time travel as an industry in the future. I could see myself time jumping just as easily as I hop on an airplane. Aliens, traitors, time jumping, death and destruction along with a very hot romance had me reading Warrior in one sitting. I can't wait to see what's next for the Time Hunters.

The Wolf in the Mansion



The Wolf in the Mansion by Gracie C. McKeever
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Paranormal
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Review by Hibiscus

Still mourning the death of his wife, recluse Lincoln McCabe's life is forever turned off-kilter by a chance meeting with McCabe Associates' newest hire, Deja Hamilton, an almost a physical replica of his dead wife, Dahlia.

Five years after starting at McCabe Associates, personal secretary Deja has worked her way up the ranks to a coveted account executive position. What she hasn't been able to do is eradicate the haunting blue eyes of Lincoln McCabe from her memory despite her best efforts.

When Lincoln and Deja are reunited five years after their initial meeting, the conditions are neither ideal nor romantic. But Deja is determined to make the best of the situation nursing Lincoln back to health and helping him snare whoever was behind the attempt on his life and the looming takeover of his family's company.

The Wolf In The Mansion had a solid storyline that had me cheering for Deja and Lincoln through the entire tale. I enjoyed how witches and shape-shifters blended in the making of the characters of Lincoln and his family. It put a new spin on what I always thought of as straight werewolves.

Lincoln McCabe is a shape-shifter who lost his spouse, Dahlia, a year ago. He was still grieving despite the time that has passed. Unfortunately, he is the major shareholder in his families company and someone is trying to force the sale of it by fair means or foul. Someone tried to murder him and Lincoln fell off a cliff in the middle of changing from wolf to human. Deja happens to see Lincoln fall and rushes to help. I felt so bad for Lincoln when he discovered that his memory of what happened and past events were not all there. With Deja helping him out, I was relieved that someone who truly cared for him was taking care of him.

Deja Hamilton is the mother of a teenager and is a very strong character. She is a look-a-like for Dahlia, Lincoln's dead wife. Deja is a witch who is able travel to astral planes along with communicating with otherworldly beings. Deja has had feelings for Lincoln since she was hired with McCabe Associates five years previously. When Lincoln is hurt, Deja's maternal side comes out and she takes care of him. I enjoyed the way in which Deja sneaks up to the “bad guy” in order to help Lincoln.

I very much enjoyed The Wolf in the Mansion. I found it to be a good paranormal who-done-it ala the television show, Columbo. I knew who the villain was, but I loved how the main characters went about catching the “bad guy”. Lest I forget, the story had very hot romantic scenes as Lincoln and Deja discover a passion that had simmered for five years. A wonderful read that I highly recommend.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Winning Virgin Love



Winning Virgin Love by Destiny Blaine
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full
Other: M/F, Ménage a Quatre, F/M/M/M, M/M, Multiple Partners, Spanking
Review by Hibiscus

It's time for another vampire bride and three sexy-hot rogues are ready to give one beautiful vixen an erotic ceremony she'll never forget.

Almonzo Spenser's lifemate is living under his roof. Not only is Tabitha pure hell in a short skirt but she also has some very dangerous secrets. Almonzo isn't surprised when he finally discovers the woman he's chosen for his life partner has a deep connection with a very dangerous clan of vampires.

Darian Sabbat is a vampire with mobster connections. He's created a designer drug that will completely wipe away generations of vampires using the blood of one of their own.

To make matters worse, Darian will be permitted to become a part of the ménage a quatre ceremony that includes one of his most hated enemies and the lovely Tabitha whom he desperately wants to take and mark as his own.

I found Winning Virgin Love to be a fascinating story about a very complex family and their unusual way of discovering their loved ones. The story gets very complicated and many story lines unfold in this second book of the Winning Virgin Series.

I loved the character of Almonzo, who is the older twin of Orlando from the Winning Virgin Blood book. Almonzo saw his perfect mate, Tabitha, at the end of book one. Tabitha, is the little sister of Natasha, Orlando's mate. Almonzo takes his role as future head of the Spenser family seriously. I saw how he tried to work out another second for Tabitha when the elders had made their determination. When Richart stepped in as the additional second, I loved that Almonzo showed his jealousy of the man he picked. I found Almonzo to be very loving and gentle to those he cares about. I could see the care he took in letting Tabitha take three months to make up her mind before he took matters into his own hands for the good of the family. Almonzo was everything I expected from a dark, handsome immortal.

Tabitha is a very complex character. I could see the love she had for Almonzo in everything she did, but she fought loving him because I think she did not believe she was deserving of his love. Natasha held Almonzo at bay for three months before he forced he hand. She tried everything she could to get him to not want her. Tabitha played an important part in the development of a poison to be used against vampires but she is also a key to helping the elders determine what had happened that they did not yet know. I found her to be a likable character when she let loose with all her secrets.

Darian Sabbat is a minor character who is made out to be a bad guy in the story. I believe he was a misunderstood character who cared about Tabitha in his own way and I do not think he is as evil as the story leads me to believe. There were many more detailed characters in the story. The entire Spenser clan and their love of Tabitha and each other are thoroughly written about in this second book. I saw how the family members watch out for and protect each other throughout the story.

Once again, I am left hanging with some things I wanted to know but I believe they will be cleared up in the third installment of this fascinating series that I highly recommend reading.

Warrior



Warrior by Cheryl Brooks
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy
Length: Full
Other: M/F
Review by Xeranthemum

Even near death, his sensuality is amazing...

Leo arrives on Tisana's doorstep a beaten slave from a near-extinct race with feline genes. As soon as Leo recovers his strength, he'll use his extraordinary sexual talents to bewitch Tisana and make a bolt for freedom...

She has only one chance to tame him...

Tisana, whose healing powers are legendary, already knows Leo's the one who can help her fulfill her destiny... she can't let him get away now. Forced together on a dangerous journey, Tisana must reveal all of her powers, and Leo must give all of himself to gain his freedom...

Warrior is a fast paced rollercoaster ride which hooked me with its ability to make me laugh, swoon, pant and blush, and laugh some more. The conflict was interesting and served as a backdrop to allow for the adventures a homebound witch always yearned for but never thought would happen.

Tisana is an interesting character. She is wise in the area of her expertise-- healing, but is innocent and naïve about the world beyond. She’s always wondered about life away from her humble home but she felt trapped by duty and family history and a prophetic pattern she felt powerless to change. So, she accepted with good grace her role in the community. I liked how that little spark of rebellion simmered beneath her surface. All it needed was a spark to ignite a conflagration in her soul and it came one snowy evening in the form of an almost dead man named Leo.

Leo is, for lack of a better word, yummy. He’s an alien who suffered immense tragedy and loss of a scale so encompassing, it is amazing he has a sense of humor at all. Ms. Brooks treated me to a rather unique and sexually intriguing male at the same time Tisana first got a good look at Leo’s assets as she tended him. My goodness! The heat factor exploded to a steady thrum from that point on. I wanted to see him in action and Ms. Brooks wasted no time in delivering. My favorite part about Leo is his ability to purr. The author succeeded in making that one of the most sensual and erotic weapons in Leo’s arsenal and Leo put it to good use with Tisana. Leo is also a hunky alpha and when he gets to do and act as he truly was meant to do, he inspired some wistful sighs and carnal yearnings.

My funny bone got a good workout too. Tisana has a special talent for mentally communicating with animals. Her furry menagerie included a cat with attitude, a horse that reminded me of Groucho Marx, a nut throwing squirrel, a heroic puppy and a bird that drove her nuts by talking in riddles. Ms. Brooks blended Tisana’s talent seamlessly into the plot resolution and by the end, I felt a few of the animals’ characterization complete enough to call them furry people. I liked them. There is another alpha character named Rafe. He’s the guy that used to get it on with Tisana but it didn’t work out. He is the reason for the conflict coming to Tisana’s door and I found it fascinating that a man who is all alpha ended up being a complete turn off. He was such a jerk. Oh, don’t get me wrong, he has his good points but after reading about him during their journey, I kept scratching my head. What in the world did Tisana ever see in him? That gets revealed along the way too. The great thing about their journey is not only do things get revealed but Tisana’s character evolves and she discovers strengths that she never knew she had. My view is that Leo is basically the silver lining in the dark cloud called Rafe. And Tisana is the flower that blooms to fruition from the effects of that storm. The end result is a passionate love that defied the odds and traditions.

Another point in this book’s favor is the fact that, although this is the second book in the series, not having read the first one, Slave, did not detract from my enjoying Warrior. This book stood proudly on its own with ne’er regret for missing the first. I was greatly amused by Ms. Brooks’ clever epilogue. In it I found an undeniable hook that not only guarantees my obtaining the previous book but garnered a fan for the future books in the series. Ms. Brooks masterfully combined Sci-Fi fantasy, paranormal elements, hot and sensual alien attributes and hilarity with characters that wiggled their way into my heart and dreams. My advice is to rush out and grab a Warrior of your own.

The Secret She Keeps



The Secret She Keeps by Jennifer Leeland
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short
Other: M/F, F/F, BDSM
Review by Hibiscus

Tessa Aden has it all...a great job, good friends, and a fantastic boyfriend. She just has one problem, she's never had an orgasm during sex. When Zac misinterprets an Instant Message from a friend as a complaint about his technique in the bedroom, she'd rather let him walk away than admit her dark desires.

Fearing she wouldn't understand his dominant nature, Zac Shandler gave up the BDSM lifestyle to be a part of Tessa's vanilla life. Yet he seems to be losing her anyway. Will Zac put his heart on the line to claim Tessa's love and finally force her to reveal the secret she keeps?

BDSM is a lifestyle that is based on mutual trust. It is often misunderstood and is something that people are at times, ashamed of. That is the case in this story. Tessa needs more but having been considered strange by a previous boyfriend, she is afraid to voice what she wants. Zac, a dom, is afraid to be himself as it has driven off a previous girlfriend and he does not want it to happen again with Tessa.

Tessa was a nice girl who to me seemed a little afraid to ask for what she wanted. In a world of vanilla ice cream, she was rocky road. She faked sexual satisfaction in order to make Zac think she was happy. Tessa loved Zac and was willing to give up her physical happiness to be with him. A chance letter on the computer causes a rift in their relationship.

I really liked the character of Zac. Zac did not give up on being with Tessa, even when he thought he'd lost her. I liked that he kept calling her on the telephone and even went where he knew she would be. He truly cared for Tessa as evidenced by how he waited a week for her to really think about what she wanted and to give her time to make sure she was certain.

I enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the rooms in David's home along with what goes on in them. I loved how Tessa's expressions were captured in words when she and Zac were in the basement of the home. I could feel Tessa's disappointment when Zac took her home that evening and dropped her off with just a stapled stack of papers.

Ms. Leeland gave me a thrilling tale of love and a lifestyle that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Mr. Right



Mr. Right by Lara Santiago
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday (Halloween)
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Review by Lilac

Lonely Melisa agrees to meet a blind date at a Halloween party.
An unexpectedly delicious, masked vampire greets her at the door. Once into the party, David whisks her upstairs after she trips and tends to her skinned knee.

Has she finally met Mr. Right?

David hasn't made time for the "right" kind of woman in his life until an unwanted blind date falls into his arms on All Hallows Eve.

Is she the one he's been waiting for to share his life?

When Melisa agrees to meet a blind date at a Halloween party, she isn’t sure what to expect, but she is determined to make this date work. All she knows about her mystery date is that he’ll be dressed as a vampire so when she literally stumbles into a sexy man in a vampire costume she thinks her luck is finally changing. David didn’t want the blind date that his friends set up for him, but when he meets Melisa he finds her refreshing and very attractive…she’s definitely not what he’s used to. Soon the two are getting to know one another a LOT better.

Mr. Right was a short, sexy, and fun read about two strangers finding romance and some steamy sex at a Halloween party. Things do move pretty fast after their first meeting as Melisa and David find themselves in his bedroom as they go from strangers to something more, but since this is a short story the fast-paced relationship development works. Melisa and David make an interesting couple who haven’t had the best of luck in the romance department so it was nice that they were able to find each other and their scenes together simply sizzle. The author did a wonderful job at making me feel the instant chemistry the two share.

There was also an interesting twist ending that I don’t wish to spoil, but that I really enjoyed. And while it might have been slightly predictable based on clues throughout the story, I enjoyed how the author handled it and added her own twist to it.

I really enjoyed Mr. Right and look forward to reading more in the series.

Mercury's War



Mercury's War by Lora Leigh
Publisher: Berkley Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Action/Adventure
Length: Full
Other: M/F
Review by Hibiscus

There's trouble brewing at Sanctuary. Someone has been slipping secure information to a pharmaceutical company. Now it is up to Ria Rodriquez to pose as a clerk and uncover the leak. And she has no idea of the danger she's about to encounter.

Years ago, Mercury warrant – who, according to his file, is one of the greatest Breeds ever created – thought he lost his mate, and he's had to live with the idea that he'll never know true bonding. Then he's tapped to protect the mysterious Ria – and finds himself falling in love.

But Ria is a woman of many secrets, and she fears being consumed by her feelings for Mercury. Little does she know that she has every right to be afraid. Because the woman believed to be Mercury's true mate is back from the grave, and she's not about to let Ria – or anyone else – get in her way....

This book was fantastic! So many interesting stories going on and characters that I've loved from the first story in the series. Everything about the Breeds and their stories are layered. The more you uncover, the more you find still to learn. Not only are there so many different Breeds, known and those yet to be revealed, but there are now Hybrids. A whole new layer added to the amazing mix of characters.

The main story features Mercury Warrant. He is a riveting creature who tugged at my heart with every glance I took in his eyes. He thinks he must live his life alone and has turned himself into the prefect Enforcer. Many at Sanctuary are worried that he is losing his grip on his human side, especially Dr. Morrey who is always ordering tests and blood work done on Mercury. When Mercury meets Ria Rodriquez, he feels a tug inside and thinks he is falling in love. Since he believes his mate died years ago and none of the normal mating signs are occurring, Mercury is certain she could never be his mate.

Enter Ria Rodriquez. A chameleon in the truest sense of the word. Hair in a bun and shapeless frumpy clothes, no one would take a second look at her so well does she blend into the background. Except Mercury takes a second and a third look. Sent from The Leo's compound by Dane, the simple clerk is trying to ferret out a spy. Ria also appeases her curiosity about Mercury. Her strength shows not only in the work she does at Sanctuary but in her willingness to step aside when Alaiya returns from the dead. My heart bled with the sounds of Ria's cries that day.

This book is not just the story of Ria and Mercury but also of the many Breeds who live in Sanctuary, their mates, children and those who are connected to it in one way or another. There is a great sub story about Dr. Elyianna Morrey, who tells Sanctuary chief Jonas Wyatt about her fears for Mercury and that he has been off his medication for seven years. Eli is afraid Mercury will become feral and do a great harm to those who live in Sanctuary. The graphic descriptions of his original rampage in the labs in Argentina had me believing I witnessed all that had happened. I am also learning more about Jonas Wyatt and no longer find him to be the hard character that I've always believed him to be. I hope there is a story regarding he and his mate soon. There are stories involving the companies outside of Sanctuary and of spies who are within. It is easy to kept track of all the action going on in this well written romance.

Ms. Leigh writes fascinating stories about genetically alter beings who live among us. I love the details that are given in every book to such a degree that I feel as if I am living the story along with the characters in them. I highly recommend Mercury's War and look forward to the next Breed book.

Desire for Three



Desire for Three by Leah Brooke
Publisher: Siren Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full
Other: M/F/M, Ménage, BDSM, Multiple Partners
Review by Lilac

With her fortieth birthday approaching and a bad marriage behind her, Jessica Tyler wants a fresh start. Marriage left her an emotionless shell and she vows never to get involved with a man again. Giving in to her sister, Jesse agrees to visit her in Desire, Oklahoma.

But Desire is a small town unlike any other. Dom/sub and ménage relationships are the norm in a town where ranchers and cowboys adore and protect their women in ways that leave Jesse…fascinated. She’s first intrigued, then alarmed when two gorgeous over-protective brothers, Clay and Rio Erickson, rush to claim her for their own.

Yanked from her protective shell, threatened by her ex, Jesse is determined to stay strong, even as her two formidable lovers are intent on possessing her.

Will her independence be smothered or will love give her the strength to change all three of their lives forever?

Jesse Tyler has come to the unusual town of Desire, Oklahoma to visit her sister. Upon her arrival she is surprised to learn that the town was founded for those that chose to live in alternative relationships such as dom/sub relationships and ménages. She is even more surprised to find herself attracted to the Erickson brothers, Clay and Rio. Used to relying on herself, Jesse is reluctant to get involved with the two obviously alpha males, but Clay and Rio have been waiting for a woman like Jesse for years and are determined to make her theirs.

Filled with passion, suspense, and fabulous characters, Desire for Three is a wonderful book that I enjoyed immensely. I was immediately intrigued by the concept of a town where ménages and dom/sub relationships are the norm and where men protect all women no matter what. The author did a fabulous job of depicting life in this town and made me want to know more about all of the characters. In fact, the town is just as much a character in the book as the heroes and heroine are.

Speaking of the heroes and heroine, I absolutely loved Clay, Rio, and Jesse. The ups-and-downs of their relationship helped keep me interested in the story and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen. Jess is a strong heroine that I really admired. Having been in a bad marriage, she is used to doing things on her own and has many trust issues with the male species. Clay and Rio are determined to gain her trust despite her resistance. They have their work cut out for them as a series of misunderstandings as well as Jesse’s ex threaten their newfound happiness and budding relationship. The author brought these characters to life and made me care about them and their relationship. I could feel their pain as well as their joy as I read the story.

Their relationship is also filled with passion and heat. At times the story could be a bit explicit, but as an erotic romance that was to be expected and it really added to the story. The heat of the story starts almost on the very first page as Clay and Rio are at a local “club” and continues throughout so it is not for the weak of heart. But there was also a nice amount of emotion thrown in as well. It wasn’t all about sex, but about three people finding love and trust with one another. The emotion of the story was just as good as the heat and, as I mentioned, the author did a wonderful job of making me feel as I read this wonderful story.

It’s rare that I find a book that makes me feel not only the emotions of the story but also the heat or passion. Desire for Three is one of these books and provided a nice blend of the two. I was drawn into the lives of these characters and I couldn’t wait to read more. This touching story took me on a rollercoaster of emotions and I didn’t want the ride to end.

Desire for Three is a fabulous start to what promises to be a great series!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bound by Love



Bound by Love by Wendy Stone
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Fantasy
Length: Full
Other: M/F, F/F, BDSM
Review by Bittersweet

The story of the people of Daring Castle. Adrianna was an independent woman, living on her own in New York City. That was until she came home to find two huge barbarians in her home. Taken from not just her home but her world, she was transported to a new world controlled by huge warrior men who thought women should be sex slaves. Left chained to a bed, a shadowed warrior came to her, stealing away her good intentions before disappearing before the first light of day. Could she escape his fiery touch or was she forever Bound by Love?

“Bound by love” is not for the feeble hearted. The story of Adrianna and Kaden is intense in all possible ways. It begins with a kidnapped Adrianna, whose mind is unwilling to submit to the slavery that is enforced upon her, but whose body screams out the contrary at her captor’s touch.

Love grows between slave and master, as the story unfolds and other characters come into play along with an evil sort of magic which threatens all.

Wendy Stone easily trapped me into her erotic fantasy with well described scenes and credible characters. Sometimes, the imagery becomes almost too intense and crude at times, like when the women are almost raped. At other times, it is in advantage, for example, when the lovers get together to satisfy their swirl of passion.

All the characters are true to their time and place, built with great reality according to what the author tells us of their home. Not only did I grow fond and worried for the future of Kaden and Adrianna, but secondary characters like Tia, Damian, Raven, Jetta, Castor…were all so perfectly woven into the story that I worried about their fates as well. As for those that portrayed an evil role in this fantastic world, well, Ms. Stone was capable of making me feel pure hatred towards them (and a little awe too).

“Bound by love” created in me a mixture of feelings beginning with anguish, anger, disgust, excitement, arousal, laughter, sadness and great joy (it had been a while since a book was able to make my eyes prickle with unshed tears), it’s a novel that I will keep close by for rereading.

Pick of the Litter



Pick of the Litter by Wendy Stone
Publisher: Phaze Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full
Other: M/F
Review by Hibiscus

A night out has an unexpected ending for Marissa Spencer. Ending up on the wrong side of town, she stumbles into a bar and is attacked by ten men. When all hope seems lost, a dark stranger saves her and sweeps her away to his huge estate and into the midst of a world she'd never thought could be real. How could she have known that her savior was, in truth, a shape-shifter? Who would have thought that the gorgeous black panther with the golden torq was really the man of her dreams? She could only hope that she'd found the Pick of the Litter.

Pick Of The Litter hits you right off with our heroine, Marissa Spencer, being attacked by eight men in a filthy bar on the wrong side of town. Gang rape was what they had in mind but with the appearance of our hero, Lukah Alexandros, Marissa was only raped by one man. This scene plays an important part to the entire story. These ne'er-do-wells show up later in the story to again confront our heroine.

Marissa Spencer showed herself to be a very strong but also very scared woman. When she refused to report the rape to the police, I was angry at her. I could understand her not doing so as many are not reported but I did not like her show of weakness by not doing so. Another thing that bothered me was her physical interest in another man within hours of her attack. With a sexy hero like Lukah saving her, I could understand the instant attraction and so forgive her this reaction. Marissa showed inner strength when she was confronted with the panthers in Lukah's house.

I loved the character of Lukah Alexandros. Lukah is a very strong, sexy male animal. He took on eight men single handedly to save Marissa in the bar. Then her takes her to his home to care for her with no intent of doing anything else. His strength and caring is also shown when he broke free of his family and started a new clan of his own. And many of his family come to him for help, as Nashe did when he arrived. Lukah is cute when he realizes her overwhelmed Marissa with the gifts the next day and then he does little gifts from then on. I felt that he would do anything to keep her with him.

I liked the characters in this story. Not only were the main characters well fleshed out, but I felt I knew the minor characters and their stories pretty well from the vivid descriptions given. One of the antagonists in the story is Lucinda, who believes herself to be in love with Lukah and tries to keep anyone else from getting close to him. There is also a story about her intended mate, Marshal and the taming of Lucinda. Marissa's friend Terry and Lukah's cousin Nashe were very interesting in this story. I hope that a follow up tale on these two characters is in the works.

I really enjoyed Pick Of The Litter. I found it to be an intense and at times disturbing read so be warned that some of the subject matter is not for the faint of heart. I can't wait to see if Ms. Stone will have more books about this fascinating clan of shape-shifters.

Madam Periwinkle's Erotic Delights: Better Than Chocolate



Madam Periwinkle's Erotic Delights: Better Than Chocolate by Lacey Savage
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Length: Short
Other: M/F/M, Ménage
Review by Cholla

Silvana McCurdy is losing her mind. She hasn't had a good night's sleep in six weeks, all because of a dream lover who insists on playing out every one of her sexual fantasies -- even the kinky, bold, and disturbing ones. If only he was real... she could figure out a way to deal with him then.

But he is real. And when Silvana meets Rafael, she's shocked by the tumultuous effect he has on her. Just by touching her, he threatens to unleash the dragon that lies dormant inside her soul. And that's a risk she's not willing to take. So she runs away from the man who's slowly ruining her life and takes shelter inside Madame Periwinkle's Erotic Delights shop.

Yet the surprises don't stop there. Madam Periwinkle offers Silvana a solution in the shape of a perfectly crafted chocolate dildo. Too bad magical dildos don't come with instructions. Silvana has no idea whether she should she eat it, insert it, or dangle it in a circular pattern before her eyes like she's seen hypnotists do on TV. Still, she's willing to try anything, even if it means she has to risk exposing her deepest secrets... and her heart.

A shop of magical erotic delights? What more could a girl ask for? Aside from a good night’s sleep, Silvana certainly could give you a list. Being a shape-shifting dragon is hard enough, but it’s so much harder when you can’t maintain your human form during orgasm. That makes for a rather long, lonely life as far as she’s concerned. Enter Rafael, the man from Silvana’s dreams. Each stunned that the other is real, neither is quite sure how to react.

Happy to have found a shifter story dealing with something other than a feline or wolf form, I eagerly delved into Better Than Chocolate with high expectations. And Ms. Savage does not disappoint. She delivers a very unique, entertaining story hot enough to melt the chocolate dildo of Slivana’s! She has a knack for developing her characters fully in just a few short pages and bringing a story together. If you are looking for a steamy story with appealing characters, a fun plot, and more sex than you can handle, Better Than Chocolate is it!

Hot River: Second Chance Charity



Hot River: Second Chance Charity by Kate Hill
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal
Genre: Short
Other: M/F
Review by Hibiscus

Charity, Queen of the fierce Hot River Werewolf pack, has reason to hate men. Enslaved by one as a child, turned by another as a woman, she's got issues. But being a werewolf isn't one of them. She's been making the most of her cursed existence, until a run in with the man who turned her makes her question the path she's chosen.

Deep in the Wicked Wild, she meets Shane. Half Elf, half Wildman, Shane makes her question everything she thinks she knows about men -- and sex. The attraction between them is electric. In spite of his origins Shane had a tender side that's hard to resist, even for the Werewolf Queen. Can he convince Charity to take a second chance at love?

This is the third book in the Hot River Series by Ms. Hill and revolves around the Werewolf Queen, Charity. Charity was abused by the master wizard Egan as a child and was cursed by Hugo to become a werewolf. The entire pack she rules was changed by Hugo who is now repentant and he is mated to Charity's wolf daughter, Sadie who won a challenge against Charity to save Hugo's life.

I liked the character of Charity. I think she felt unworthy to rule the pack when she lost the challenge and so left to find peace within herself. Wandering in the Wicked Wild, Charity is saved from Wildmen by Shane who she comes to care for. Charity shows her reluctance to leave Shane at both the cave and the wizard's abode and jumps at the chance to visit his homes. I loved how Charity breaks free of the past in the wizards house. It was a very symbolic scene.

Shane is half Wildman and half Elf. I have never read about such an unlikely hero. Shane does not fit my idea of tall dark and handsome--he's more like tall, dark, and hairy. By being half elf, his body is smooth but he has long wild hair and a beard. I discovered that Shane is very gentle with Charity, and I admired him as he teaches her about foreplay and refuses to cause her pain of any kind. He again shows his compassion in a scene with the dragon. I believe he truly cares about Charity and I loved when he took her to meet his mother.

I enjoyed this short tale of gentle love and freeing oneself of the past. Hot River is a place I find myself longing to return to again and again and hope you do too.

Demon's Fire



Demon's Fire by Emma Holly
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Genre: Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full
Other: M/F, M/F/M, M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, BDSM
Review by Hibisicus

Desperate to escape the routine life her family has planned for her, Beth Philips joins an archeological dig with her long-time friend, Charles. The desert city of Bhamjran is the perfect place to explore desires–including Charles's secret yen for a Yamish demon. And as he and Beth are soon to discover, some Yama find humans just as irresistible.

Once a sexual captive, Prince Pahndir now exploits his talents as proprietor to the most successful brothel in Bhamjran. Hoping to find his own erotic fulfillment, he believes these two young humans may hold the key to his long-frustrated demon needs. His seductive ways lure Beth and Charles into a passionate triangle, one that will redefine pleasure's limits . . . and challenge all their understanding of what love means.

I loved Demon's Fire. It took me into Ms. Holly's Yamish world, a world that I thought of as Earth in the late 1800's to early 1900's with superior beings who would be a little more advanced than us with our technology in Victorian Era Earth. The setting takes place in the city of Bhamjran and around the archaeological site of Hhamoun and the tomb of Tou-Hhamoun.

Beth is a young sweet woman who is fascinated by both Prince Pahndir and Charles. When Lord Herrington takes her to the Old Kingdom and into the tomb of Tou, strange things happen and Beth is inhabited by the spirit of Tou. Beth seemed to come out of her shell after this had occurred. I enjoyed her character more and loved how she handled both Pahndir and Charles throughout the story.

Prince Phandir is a character from several of Ms. Holly's earlier works. I felt sorry for all that had happened to him in his life up to this point. Losing his wife, sold into slavery, declared dead by his family. I wanted to do whatever I could to give him a small measure of comfort. When his cousin, Muto comes to him to accuse him of wanting to reassert his place in his house, I wanted to strike Muto for being so evil. Phandir's attention to both Beth and Charles draws them into the attempt on his life and he is forced to rely on their help to save himself.

The character of Charles is not as developed as either Beth's or Pahndir's is but I could feel the draw that he had for the Yamish people. He was a prostitute when he was young before he was adopted by Roxanne and Adrian Philips, who are Beth's brother and sister-in-law. He never sold his essence but craves just that in the story. His attraction to both Prince Pahndir and Beth is explored in various scenes and I felt at times that he was just a third wheel to Pahndir and Beth as opposed to an integral part of their threesome.

I found Demon's Fire to be an enjoyable read, and was delighted to see several characters from previous books making an appearance. This story can be read on it's own but I was able to understand subtle nuances of the Yamish culture and the alternate world of Victorian Age Earth easier from having read the previous books in the series. There were many twist and turns in the story and numerous sizzling sex scenes of which Ms. Holly writes so well. I enjoyed Demon's Fire and highly recommend you give it a try.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Art of Sensuality



Art of Sensuality by Jax Cassidy
Publisher: Parker Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full
Other: M/F
Review by Violet


Art was not only a passion of Machiko Barrett, but also a destiny…a way of life she has known since her talent was discovered at three years old. Caught in a turbulent storm of celebrity, scandal and corruption, she disappeared from the art world only to re-emerge fifteen years later as an au pair to the two young children of renowned Parisian gallery owners. Her sheltered existence is disrupted when she is lured back to her one true passion: painting.

While Machiko struggles to find her own identity through her art, she encounters Caleb Holden, a sexy, unpredictable and irresistible neighbor with a penchant for collecting art, and women. As he discovers the girl within the woman, the secrets of Machiko's past return to haunt her, revealing scars she never knew existed. She must learn to conquer her fears and allow him into her heart or risk slipping back into a cold, lonely world that once held her spirit captive. Through Caleb's determination to educate Machiko about trusting herself and her abilities, he opens her eyes to the art of sensuality, and awakens the woman buried deep inside the broken girl.

Machiko was an artist, and a child prodigy at that. She has an awful secret that she is trying to run from but when she meets Caleb, her defenses are broken down.

Machiko Barret (Mac for short) was a confused woman It was either hot or cold with her, no in between. She shut herself off from the outside world and did not deal with people very well. At least not until she met Caleb Holden. Caleb was the quintessential gentleman until he was overcome with passion for Mac. And then, he was a downright smoldering man with needs that could only be met by one person--Machiko! Caleb intends to help Machiko get over whatever it is she needs to get over using the "Art of Sensuality." Just when things start running smoothly, the story gets positively scandalous. Throw in a scorned ex-lover and watch the drama unfold.

Art of Sensuality is a bold, witty and humorous look into the lives of two extremely strong characters. Their relationship was explosive, sensual, comical, unpredictable and intense. I found Mac's character a wonderful combination of sexuality and naïveté. I loved Caleb's reaction to the paintings he found in Mac's house, especially what comes from that finding. I really found myself absorbed into getting to know these two characters. Caleb's character was sexy, funny and just downright yummy. And Jordan, oh my gosh, could I hate anyone any MORE than I did her. When it comes to eroticism, this book does not disappoint. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants an exciting, emotion grabbing and unpredictable read. Jax Cassidy earned my 5 cherry rating with this book and just became an auto-buy author. Truly excellent work.