Beginning January 1, 2013

Stop by the new site and take a look around.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Blindfolded By Lust by April Vine



Blindfolded By Lust by April Vine
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Short (95 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Hibiscus

A blindfold of silk to heighten all senses, adding sultriness to pleasure, mystery to identities…

Five years ago, Kelly Paton's friends devised a New Year's resolution to relieve her of her virginity and catapult her platonic relationship with David van Wyk into a mind-blowing passion-fest. But not only did the blindfold conceal Kelly's vulnerability, it also masked the identity of the virile man who took as he pleased.

Nothing could have stopped Adam van Wyk from the blindfolded beauty dressing his brother's bed. After all, she was only David's present to himself, a dalliance while he waited on the virgin heiress he was in love with. Or was she?

Five New Years' later, David once again has Kelly within arms' reach but the wounds of betrayal aren't quite healed. Can Adam resist reliving the tempting memories and put his brother's happiness before his own, or will he risk it all and finally claim the one woman he's ever loved?

I found Blindfolded By Lust to be a riveting tale! A tale of a planned deflowering, an accidental automobile accident and a love triangle between two brothers and an heiress.

Kelly Paton at first seemed like a spoiled little heiress who was looking to gift her boyfriend with her virginity since they seemed to be an item. As I got to know her, I found her to be a very caring person. She left David five years previously as she felt terrible over what happened with his brother and did not get back together with David until one month previous to New Years present day. I saw how much she cared for the van Wyk family when she stayed to help Adam's mother with the party even through she had packed and was ready to leave. Kelly ran a successful business in South Africa and did not need her family's money in order to survive.

Adam van Wyk was a responsible, hard-working family man. He built his successful business, van Wyk Technologies, to take care of his mother and brother. He put his younger brother, David, through school. I could see he loved his family when he came to their New Years Party after five long years. I didn't believe Adam did anything wrong when he had first met Kelly. His assumption was a reasonable one: that she was his present from his brother.

David van Wyk is a caring man who once held Kelly's heart. He stayed friends with her over the years and again is within reach of his goal with her. His character is not as well fleshed out as Adam's in the story but he does make a good love interest for Kelly, given their past history in this story.

I liked that Kelly believed that Adam didn't know who she was. It was a very cute plot twist. I also liked that Adam bows out because of being in the exact same situation as he'd been in with his brother years previously. When history repeats itself in several ways, the fireworks flew. The ending has a cute twist that again refers back five years.

I really liked this story of two hot brothers and the girl that they both love. I know I wouldn't mind being the present for either David or Adam.

Gingersnaps: Sophie's Present by Anne Kane



Gingersnaps: Sophie's Present by Anne Kane
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Short (27 pgs)
Other: M/F, Bondage
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Hibiscus

As one of Santa’s elves, Dandy’s job is to make sure no one is forgotten at Christmas. So he made his list and checked it twice. He found Sophie at the top of his list of forgotten do-gooders, and when he checked her out he knew just what to do to make her Christmas the merriest ever.

When Santa made his rounds Christmas Eve, he dropped off a fantastic hunk at Sophie’s house, gift-wrapped for the occasion. Nickolie is a sex demon, and once she gets over the shock, Sophie has a wonderful time unwrapping her present and making sure it gets a good workout before it expires on Boxing Day.

Sophie Thomson is a very sweet woman. I believe she is someone who people overlook because they are always counting on her to help out and relying on her to do things for others. She never expects to receive anything for herself and that is why I loved this story. I thought that receiving a special gift just for herself to indulge in is unique.

Nickolie is perfect as Sophie's present. He is so cute and cuddly when he appears as a blue fuzzy dust bunny, so Sophie just had to welcome him to her home. Then when he becomes himself, I wanted to change places with Sophie. He is a very believable sex demon and does his job fantastically.

Being as Nickolie explains he is only Sophie's present for forty-eight hours, I understood the lack of true emotion between the main characters. Sophie was enjoying a special gift and Nickolie is doing what he, as a sex demon, does best. I could tell they had fun and really enjoyed playing with their food. When her brother stopped by to bring Sophie to their mother's house, I could not help but laugh.

Sophie's Present had me wishing for a blue fuzzy dust bunny of my very own, especially one I could keep forever.

Surrender: Tales of Erotic Submission by Eden Bradley, Eliza Gayle, Reese Gabriel and Alessia Brio



Surrender: Tales of Erotic Submission by Eden Bradley, Eliza Gayle, Reese Gabriel and Alessia Brio
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short/Anthology
Other: BDSM, M/F, F/F, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Review by Lilac

Three Phaze Bestselling BDSM stories, plus a bonus award-winning short!

Breaking Skye by Eden Bradley: Skye Ballard has always wanted to experience her fantasies of sexual submission. She craves to be commanded, taken over. She is convinced that all it will take to purge this yearning from her system is one night. Skye searches out the perfect Dominant for the job-it must be a man who is powerful, attractive, and naturally dominant. But when she meets Adam Dunne, she finds a man beyond her wildest dreams. Adam convinces her one night will not be enough for what he sees as a process, rather than a single experience. Skye soon discovers that being with him only makes her crave more. And while he begins with the idea of training her to be the perfect submissive-for someone else-soon all he can think of is making her his, making her yield. All he can think of is breaking Skye-and keeping her for himself.

Submissive Secrets by Eliza Gayle: After eight years of searching for him, Carli's ex-fiancee, Aidan, shows up naked in her bed. Finally she has her chance to show him she regrets leaving him on the eve of their wedding and get him back. But will she have the nerve to tell him the truth about herself and why she ran? Will her childhood sweetheart understand and accept her true needs as a sexual submissive? Forced to return to Carli on a mission, Aidan just wants to get the Intel he needs from her and get the hell out of town. Maybe with this reunion he can rid himself of her once and for all. Until a thorough search of her home unearths some secrets that shock him to the core. Was there more to her abandonment than he thought? With this new information, a plan formulates and he is determined to learn how far she will go when she loses her prized control.

Cupid's Captive by Reese Gabriel: John Cupid has no use for love. Domination is his thing, carefree flings with willing submissive females who crawl in and out of his bed like clockwork. When he is roped into taking his law partner's little sister Steffy out for Valentine's Day, he couldn't be more annoyed. He expects a night of baby sitting, but Steffy is all grown up now and she knows what she wants--a chance to be tied down and ravished in the bed of the man she used to call Uncle John. John tries to resist, but the little beauty proves to be the perfect slave for him. Could it be he is about to be hit by one of his name sake's infamous arrows?

In this scorching anthology, four couples find more than they are looking for as they learn to surrender.

In Eden Bradley’s “Breaking Skye,” believing that one night will help her get over her secret fantasy of sexual submission, Skye Ballard places an ad hoping to find the perfect Dominant. She’s in for a surprise when she meets Adam Dunne. Adam set out only to train Skye, but soon finds himself longing to keep her and hopes to convince her that one night of submission will not be enough.

The relationship between Skye and Adam is fascinating as two almost-complete strangers find something they didn’t know they were missing when they both learn to let go of their control. Their encounter changes them both and their passion heats up the pages in this steamy tale of learning to trust.

“Submissive Secrets,” Eliza Gayle’s steamy entry in the anthology, features a private investigator who is shocked to find her ex naked in her bed. Aidan needs Carli’s help to find her brother and is surprised by what he learns about Carli as he searches for clues to her brother’s whereabouts. Carli craves domination and Aidan is determined to provide it for her as he never quite got over her. Their hot encounters and Aidan’s reappearance bring up past feelings as the couple comes together in this quick read.

This was a very enjoyable story about two people reconnecting as they rediscovered a love that never died. I really liked the characters of Aidan and Carli and the fact that they had a past relationship. It added depth to the story and their current encounter. The storyline involving the brother was left unfinished, but other than that it was a good read.

In the third story of the anthology, “Cupid’s Captive” by Reese Gabriel, cynical John Cupid finds more than he bargained for when he is forced into taking out his partner’s little sister. Steffy has grown up and changed from the teenager that John remembers and when she asks him to teach her to submit he is stunned. John tries to resist, but the feelings Steffy stirs in him are just a bit too much for him and soon their relationship heats up.

This was a good story, but at times Steffy annoyed me and I found the relationship between she and John hard to believe. However, I really liked the premise and plot of the story, which helped save it for me--as did the sizzling sex scenes.

“Listen to Me” by Alessia Brio, the final entry of the anthology, is a quick and brief short story told in first person from the point of view of a female Domme with a female submissive. The story read like a foreplay scene and ended rather abruptly leaving me wondering what would happen next in this fiery read.

While some stories were stronger than others, overall, Surrender is a good anthology with each story providing readers with an interesting look at a Dom-Sub relationship or encounter.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hard at Work by Cherie Amour



Hard At Work by Cherie Amour
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Lilac

Just when James Colfield wants to get away to mend his broken heart, a gorgeous brunette literally falls into his lap. Before he knows it, he's smitten with Miss Amazon. The problem is she's his new supervisor who has a huge chip on her shoulder and an extreme hatred for men.

Elizabeth Rivers can't believe her boss hired a new senior editor behind her back. What's more, she can't seem to take her eyes off the new dashingly handsome and smug employee.

The attraction between these two is scorching hot and they find it hard to concentrate on their jobs and promising careers. When they get stuck in an elevator alone together, whatever inhibitions they have seem to disappear. Will they give in to their wanton desires?

James Colfield has accepted a new job in Toronto hoping to mend his broken heart. En route he meets a gorgeous woman who sits next to him on the plane, but who wants nothing to do with him. Imagine his surprise when he learns that his new boss is none other than the tall brunette from the plane.

Career-focused Elizabeth Rivers is furious that her boss hired a new editor without consulting her. She also cannot believe that the new hire is the handsome man from the plane. Having been hurt in the past and determined to keep her career first, Elizabeth is reluctant to give in to the attraction she feels for James. But things heat up when the two get trapped in an elevator. They decide to keep their budding relationship a secret so it doesn’t affect their work. However, Elizabeth’s insecurities and inability to trust could ruin things between the two when problems arise on the job.

Hard at Work is a truly enjoyable and fast-paced story. Elizabeth is a woman whose defenses are firmly in place and James is determined to break through those walls she has put up to protect herself. At first Elizabeth came across as harsh and difficult to like, but once we learn more about her and her past, it is easier to understand and like her. You can’t help but root for James as he is a charming and highly likeable character. He is a great contrast to the work-focused Elizabeth and I felt they made an interesting pair as they both help each other grow and heal from past hurts.

And while I would have liked to have seen a few of the scenes that were only alluded to, overall this was a great story.

From This Night by L. E. Bryce




From This Night by L.E. Bryce
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short
Other: M/M
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Lilac

Two young men are forced to wed as the result of a drunken oath foolishly made by their fathers. What effect will their union have on the rest of their lives?

From This Night is a touching story about two young men forced into marriage because of a pact made by their fathers during a night of drunkenness. When Agamo promised his next-born child in marriage to Khanis’s son, he never anticipated the child would be a boy as he only had daughters. Now years later there is no way out of the deal thanks to the priests, so Agamo’s son Suryo must marry Khanis’s son, Alasson. Both young men are angry and bitter over the arrangement, but know they must do their duty. Once a year has passed arrangements will be made and Alasson shall marry Agamo’s daughter. But soon a friendship grows between the two men and Alasson knows it will be hard to part ways with Suryo.

This was a highly emotional and touching story as I really felt for these two men. You can sense the changes that they go through as they get to know one another. They go from bitterness to acceptance to sorrow over their inevitable parting. At first they are both reluctant and angry over the arrangement as they face ridicule and teasing from those that are aware of the marriage. But as they grow closer and more intimate with one another, things change between the two young men and their relationship not only fascinated me, but really pulled at the heartstrings.

My only complaint is that while told in third person, we really only get Alasson’s perspective and it would have been nice to know a bit more about what was going through Suryo’s head as he has to take the role traditionally reserved for females in his culture and is the one who stands to lose all once the arrangement has ended.

However, despite this the author brought these characters to life and my heart ached for them from the very first page to the emotional conclusion.

Getting Naked At The Hilton by Dee Dawning



Getting Naked At The Hilton by Dee Dawning
Publisher: eXtasy Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full
Other: M/F, M/F/F, F/F, Ménage, Voyeurism, Forced Seduction
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Hibiscus

Meeting in a Las Vegas bar and grill, Rachel Cooke, is extremely attracted to the handsome Scott Rader, as he is her. As the night moves on their attraction grows. Rachel takes Scott up on a casual remark he makes that like her, he too, is only interested in getting to know her and if she happened to be sitting naked next to him, he wouldn’t lay a hand on her.

This leads them to spend a sexless night, fully naked in her Hilton hotel suite, a test of his resolve and character. In reality, Scott has no idea of the sexual adventuress that lies beneath Rachel’s demur, delightfully perky persona and after a wet hot passionate interlude in the shower, the following morning, all hell breaks loose and they wind up making love everywhere. Even in the depths of Hoover Dam.

Getting Naked At The Hilton is a sizzling hot story of not just lust and greed but of love and family. Yes, the love scenes are hot enough to burn down a hotel but they are also loving and tender. There is a very good story in this book that had me contemplating reverse prejudices, trophy women, show business and the recording industry.

Scott Rader is a good man who gets stood up for a date and accidentally meets Rachael Cooke. I could see the whole scene as they meet really happening. Then the whole being naked and not doing anything bet was so good. Of course he goes along with it. He shows what he is made of and his true character not only that night but all throughout the story. He is a man that I feel deserves the best there is. I wavered on whether Rachael was the best for him but I was glad that everything worked out the way it did for Scott at the end.

Rachael Cooke, is a wild child. Rachael seemed like a sweet girl and cared about her relationships with her family and with Chloe. She is a great singer but I also thought she was a nymphomaniac. All she wanted was sex, sex and more sex. I enjoyed many of the situations that she got herself into with Scott, all of which were her doing.

There were a plethora of sub characters in this story, all of whom were well fleshed out and played important parts in the story. Tiny aka Cedric Coombs is Rachael's uncle and a former NFL player. His verbal retorts added to the conversations that he was a part of. I enjoyed his character and his club. Chloe Carney played an integral part in the story. Her relationships with Rachael and Lester were riveting reads for me. Lester Wilkins is the agent of CC and Cooke. From his description, I could not imagine a more sleazy person. He considered Rachael and Chloe his exclusive property and figured he could use them any way he wanted. As he story unfolds, I saw him for the slime ball he was and I cheered as he finally gets his comeuppance.

From realistic situations and characters I could believe to sexual scenes that burned the pages, Getting Naked At The Hilton is one scorching hot story that I found impossible to put down once I started reading it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hot River: Noodlin' for Nadine by Kate Hill



Hot River: Noodlin' for Nadine by Kate Hill
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Shape-Shifter
Length: short
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Hibiscus

Brady’s number one pastime is noodling. He loves the thrill of catching magical catfish with his bare hands. Imagine his surprise when he’s feeling for catfish beneath the waters of Hot River and gets a handful of womanly curves instead.

Nadine is just a water nymph lazing about in her favorite underwater cave when she feels a pair of pleasantly rough male hands rubbing her in all the right places. She knows this is too real to be a daydream. It’s more like the man of her dreams has found her, but is their love strong enough to cross the boundary between water and land?

Noodlin for Nadine is another great book in the Hot River Series by Ms. Hill. The hero is Brady Earl, who is a cousin to and works for the wonderful Princeton triplets we earlier met in Triple Shot Tracy. They make a cameo appearance in this story. The heroine is Nadine, a water nymph who Brady stumbles upon while noodling.

I loved the vivid descriptions of not only Hot River but of the land below the water where Nadine is from. I could visualize her cave and the surrounding aquatic life as if I was experiencing everything first hand. And the description of Nadine was spot on to what I would have imagined. From her flowing blue hair to the tip of her tail, she is a paranormal being that I would love to get to know better.

I found the story to be a riveting tale of love and the obstacles that many can face in trying to achieve their hearts desire. This point was especially brought home as Brady and Nadine tried to solve the problem of one lives on land and the other lives in the water. As they traveled through the Wicked Wild searching for Devil Fins, my heart was in my throat hoping that they would find her. I knew that Brady and Nadine were meant for each other when they spoke with the Spirit of the River.

Hot River is a fascinating land with paranormal beings living side by side and with the occasional human thrown in. I enjoy visiting Hot River and found Noodlin for Nadine a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Vertical Climax by Tessa Rae



Vertical Climax by Tessa Rae
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Hibiscus

Eve Brennan's life sucks. Tendonitis is crippling her Broadway career and her fiancé left her for a woman half his age. Thankfully, Eve's best friend has the brilliant idea that all she needs to jumpstart her life is the gorgeous young cowboy from down the hall and a broken elevator.

Shay Douglas can’t believe his luck when his apartment elevator breaks down, leaving him alone with his sexy next door neighbor. Shay seizes the opportunity to prove he’s no greenhorn and give Eve the ride of her life via vertical climax.

Vertical Climax was everything I was looking for in a seriously hot short story. It told the tale of Eve, an aging, out of work dancer and Shay, a young Texas cobbler. What I really liked about the story was that it didn’t go for forever; it gave me the story of now and the possibility of the future.

I loved how Eve plotted with her friend Angie to trap herself in the elevator with Shay. It could have gone either way depending on how Shay felt about Eve. Luckily, Shay was also friends with Angie. I thought it was cute how Angie was really the mastermind with the initial encounter between Eve and Shay.

I found Shay to be a shy, young man with those he doesn’t know well. Once he got to know someone, I saw his true character come out. He loves his family and family business as shown by his staying in New York and selling boots even after weeks of rejections. He seems to be very loyal and does not give up. I saw this when he did not stop after one encounter and came after Eve again. Even though he is twenty-four, he knows what he wants in his life and right now, that is Eve.

Tony-winning Eve has connections, but also has tendonitis. Shay notices her limp and helps her out with his boots. The story takes a cute twist with the "one hand washes the other" theme. I just loved how Eve and Shay are good for each other both in bed and out.

Vertical Climax took May/December romances to a new, realistic level. I know I will look at elevators in a new light.

Big, Blooming & Wild: Tied And Tempting by Tuesday Morrigan



Big, Blooming & Wild: Tied And Tempting by Tuesday Morrigan
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Review by Dandelion

Yahara does not do nature. She does not hike. She does not do trees. She does not do anything remotely green or natural. As far as she is concerned, Central Park is all the green the world needs. She likes her concrete-filled city just the way it is. But as the leading ad “man” at her firm, she’s given the incredible job of creating the new magazine spread for a clothing line that’s totally green.

Her big break!

It just might be Yahara’s chance of getting one of her ads in a high paying fashion magazine. She’s more than willing to trade her Manolos for hiking boots.

Kauri does not like humans. They are selfish, self-centered, and careless. They care nothing about the world that is their home. But he must mate. And with a human. Once his gaze catches sight of the tall, dark-skinned full figured woman that is Yahara, he decides humans aren’t so bad.

His big break!

Now, if he could just get her to stop threatening to burn down his forest whenever he makes her angry… He just might have to pull out the whips, chains, and handcuffs for Yahara.

This hero and heroine are naturally at odds, since Yahara’s on a working vacation in New Zealand to scope out nature (which she detests) and Kauri’s there because it’s his home – literally. As a Botan, he is a strange sort of shape-shifter who is both tree and man, but as soon as he sees Yahara, he knows she is meant to be his mate.

Before long, though, these two are enjoying some hearty sex, in just about every position and location you can imagine. The love-making descriptions are vivid and definitely HOT, plentiful and various with a little bit of bondage thrown in. Hero and heroine fall for each other in a matter of days, which surprises them both, especially Yahara, who finds it hard to believe that any man as gorgeous as Kauri would be attracted to a plus-sized black woman like herself. Their physical attraction is believable, though the emotional attraction is a little less so. The multiple sex scenes in this story are great, but that means the rest of the plot – Yahara’s ad campaign, Kauri’s need to mate, and the fact that she’s only in town for two weeks – take a back seat. Too much back story opens chapter one, and many later elements of the story aren’t as developed as well as they might have been.

There’s built-in conflict from the start, which does rear its ugly head late in the story, and Kauri’s brother turns out to be a nice minor character that shows up on the scene to try and save the hero and heroine’s relationship. Again, though, the plot resolves itself a little too easily, and before you know it, we find ourselves at a happy ending. Nothing wrong with happy endings, of course – I just wish Yahara and Kauri had to work a little harder to get there!

Still, “Tied and Tempting” is a pleasant afternoon read with plenty of sex, so if you like male-female loving with a little bit of BDSM and shape-shifting thrown in, you’ll find this an entertaining story.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Spaceport: Incognito by Cat Marsters



Spaceport: Incognito by Cat Marsters
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy, Futuristic
Length: Full Length
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Menage
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Bittersweet

Jal is a bounty hunter. Kali is his quarry. When he finds the former socialite disguised as a cheap whore, turning tricks on Spaceport Adana, he can't believe his luck. All he has to do is return her to her fiancé, and he's rich. So what if he's sampling the wares on the trip home? It's not as if it's the first time she's traded in sex.
Except that there's a reason why Kali ran from her privileged background, and once Jal hears it, he's faced with a dilemma. Previously, knowing his skip was facing certain death would never have bothered him, but this time all the money in the 'verse won't compensate for it. Can he send her home, knowing she'll be instantly killed, or should he believe her story and help with her mission -- which might end up getting them both killed?

Besides, it's very possible that Kali knows the secret to finding the one thing Jal has been searching for all his life…

I can’t stop smiling, I just can’t stop, and all because of Cat Marsters and Spaceport Incognito. I’ve never been into space stories and alien beings, but now I wonder what more have I been missing?

The story was a bit confusing at first with all those new terms and extraterrestrial beings: Blyat, Nil Raja, haang-jui, the people with blue hair, blue eyes, strange markings on their skin, but my quizzical glance only lasted a few pages. The concepts as well as the alien creatures became quickly familiar and turned Spaceport Incognito into an addictive drug for my plan was to read a few chapters and stop; I couldn’t. I even forgot to eat my afternoon snack!

An amazing plot: a brother looking for a lost sister, a prostitute that’s not what she seems, disappearing children, adorable Kitaliis, a killer fiancé, a blooming love and lot’s of very hot sex all of it perfectly interlaced and woven. Add all that and then throw in some great descriptions, some characters which you can’t stop thinking about even after finishing the novel (did I mention that I’ve spent all day remembering my favourite bits of the story? Kali getting Jal turned on, the trio with the Antillan man, several turning points which got me on edge -in both ways-…) and you end up with Spaceport Incognito and aching cheeks from smiling so much (I’m grinning just from the thought of it).

This novel is a definite must read!! I’m keeping it and already rereading it!

How to Ruin Christmas for a Vampire by Crymsyn Hart and Dahlia Rose



How To Ruin Christmas For A Vampire by Crymsyn Hart and Dahlia Rose
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Hibiscus

A hot and feisty next door neighbor leads Jarreth to decimate the gingerbread men with gumdrop buttons littered his lawn. The cold of many lonely winters has frosted his eternal heart, until Diana strolls in with her garish Christmas music, which he can't stand. He denies his feelings for her, until he finds Diana is threatened by his old vampire flame.

Throwing aside the vow never to love again, Jarreth steps in and saves her only to find out he could lose her one again.

How To Ruin Christmas For A Vampire is a classic example of a love/hate relationship. I just loved reading this story. Jarreth is my perfect vampire except for his allergies to wool, and Diana Kringle is what I consider to be the perfect holiday character taken to Clark Griswald of Christmas Vacation level.

How to Ruin Christmas For A Vampire has several stories contained in its small size. I learned about Diana's childhood and her reasons behind her holiday celebrations. There is the story of Jarrath's loyality and his exile by the vampire council along with his relationship with Dominique. Then we have the main story of Jarreth and Diana.

I enjoyed how Jarreth and Diana fought over her Christmas decorations. I loved the descriptions of how Jarreth's house is lit up at night from the lights in the decorations at Diana's home across the street. The petty things that they do back and forth had me rolling with Christmas mirth. I thought gluing down the welcome mat was fantastic! Jarreth's temper tantrum is what I expected of a two-year-old, not a being two hundred plus years old.

The descriptions in the story were so detailed, I felt that I was right there. All their antics seemed so real I could not help but smile almost the entire story. There is a villain in the character of Dominique and a few moments that I held my breath wondering what would happen to Jarreth and Diana. The sex when it happens is explosive.

How To Ruin Christmas For A Vampire did anything but. Reading this story made my day brighter and my Christmas merrier.

Gingersnaps: Serendipity 7C by Lexxie Couper



Gingersnaps: Serendipity 7C by Lexxie Couper
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Hibiscus

One lost Australian tourist. One mischievous Christmas sprite. One magical apartment complex. One Christmas gift to be remembered for a lifetime.

Welcome to Serendipity Estates, where accidental meetings, a little magic, and a bit of hot lust are a recipe for love ever after. We hope you enjoy your stay.

Jack McKenzie is an Australian who is visiting his cousin for the Christmas holiday. I just felt terrible for Jack. His girl dumped him, the airlines lost his luggage, and his cousin is not where he is suppose to be. It seemed like everything that could go wrong does. But being that it is Christmas, a little magic is always in the air, especially around Serendipity Estates.

A beautiful woman named Holly is where Jack's cousin said he lived. Holly is a very seductive nymph who goes above and beyond to extend a little Christmas cheer into Jack's holiday. There was a cute beer joke involving Foster's and Miller along with a Hitchcock like shower scene. All of which I found very funny.

The story moved at a good clip but never seemed skimpy. For a short story, it was very detailed and held my interest from beginning to end. I know if a hunk like Jack were to show up on my doorstep on Christmas, I would welcome him as Holly did.

Serendipity 7C is another good story taking place in the Serendipity Estates Apartment Complex. I know I will look forward to reading more about Charlie Texas and Serendipity Estates.

Monday, January 19, 2009

With or Without You by KyAnn Waters



With or Without You by KyAnn Waters
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Violet



The best mistake she ever made…

Tessa Brooks is dated. Not dated as in going out with men—having dinner and light conversation in poorly lit restaurants in hopes of finding someone with whom she can get naked. No, Tessa is dated. And the year she seems stuck in is 1988. The year her life changed.

With her twenty-year high school reunion coming up, Tessa’s daughter has surprised her with a makeover on the Jade Star television talk show. However, that’s not the only surprise. Enter Matt Toler, the best mistake she ever made. Tessa might not feel a ribbon of panic tightening around her neck if Matt had spoken to her again after their one-night sexual encounter…and if knew he had a daughter.

Tessa's Daughter Brianna contacted the Jade Star Show to get her mom a makeover as she has been stuck in 1988 , the year that her life changed. The makeover is not the only thing Brianna has as a surprise for her mother, she intends to reunite her mother Tessa, with the one who got a way, her high school crush, Matt Toler. With their twenty year high school reunion coming up, is Tessa ready to reunite with the one man who stole her heart one day and has never spoke to her since? How could she possibly keep the truth from Matt?

The characters in the story piqued my interest from the very first paragraph. Matt was witty, charming and drop dead gorgeous. Tessa had always been beautiful but when she went on the Jade Star Show, she was absolutely breathtaking. I enjoyed picturing the meeting between Tessa and Matt and I found myself rooting for the two throughout the entire story.

With or Without You really captured my attention and I found myself transported back twenty years to my own graduation. I could relate to the subject matter and because of that it drew me into the story line just that much more. With or Without You took a humorous look into a relationship that was anything but conventional. Delving into their sexual escapades made this book highly erotic. The fact that they knew each other intimately in high school added that special something to the sex scenes. What started out as a strong hunger for each other lead to a greater awareness as to who they were as a couple.

Kyann Waters did an exceptional job writing With or Without You and it is a book that will stay with me for a long time. Ms. Waters very skillfully weaved desire, deceit, loyalty and love in a story line that took my breath away. I was left with a very hopeful outlook that, in this life, anything is possible as long as there is love. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a happily ever after with a twist.

Living Doll 1: Make it Real by Carlanime Bligh



Living Doll 1: Make it Real by Carlanime Bligh
Publisher: Changeling Press
Length: Short
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Type: M/F
Rating: 4 cherries

After Delle decides not to accompany her friends on a “sun, sea, sand, and sex” vacation, they chip in to buy her a sex doll. Delle thinks that was mean, but she’s too softhearted to throw the doll out with the trash, and reluctantly decides to find it a place in her collection.

The doll refuses to stay on its feet once she gets it to the bedroom, which is how he winds up in her bed -- but she has only herself to blame when she takes advantage of the opportunity that night.

Delle doesn’t realize it, but Lexan’s no mere plaything…

I think Carlanime Bligh might be something of a find for Changeling Press, but maybe I’m just biased because she seems to be writing stories specifically designed for my enjoyment. Living Doll 1: Make it Real is a silly title for a book with a silly premise that turns out to be a complete surprise, in content, depth, and willingness to deal with deeper issues.

Delle is a fairly standard romantic leading lady: she’s hardworking, self-assured, and firmly off the dating market. She’s also really, really good at dealing with unfortunate, impossible, and annoying situations. When her friends buy her a sex doll, she’s more forgiving than I would have been. When said sex doll seems to come to life and passively seduce her, she’s willing to come up with excuses for why such a thing may be and, when faced with the reality of a living sex doll who wants nothing more than to be with her, she doesn’t run screaming into the night.

Lexan is… Well, he’s hilarious. Bligh does not make the mistake of taking her premise too seriously, and she gives her smoking-hot living doll some of the funniest moments in the story. The sweetest part is his delivery: he is able to be annoying, unnerving, and comical without saying a word. In another scenario, Lexan’s character would seem sorely underdeveloped, but in this context he is perfect.

With Lexan and Delle, Bligh sets up a scenario that isn’t usually dealt with outside of BDSM fiction: ownership. What is startling about Bligh’s approach is that, not only is this story not BDSM, but it deals with a kind of possession more complete than the kind experienced by even the most thorough of lifestyle submissives. Lexan is a possession. He was bought and given and now belongs to someone. Delle’s reaction to this is to be understandably shaken and frightened at the prospect, but in the end her choices are much more positive. Shy and unassuming as she is, Delle turns out to have the mettle and ego required to accept this intimidating gift, and that’s something rarely seen in fiction. This is why Make it Real should be read: beyond the fact that it is a delicious, pitch-perfect fantasy, it is a story grounded in provocative and ageless themes.

Christmas With Holly by Dana Littlejohn



Christmas With Holly by Dana Littlejohn
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary Holiday
Length: Short
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherry
Review by Hibiscus

Running away from her problems wasn’t something that RaKeesha ‘Holly’ Black usually did, but she needed time alone to work this one out. She headed for the peace and solitude of her parents' cabin in Vermont and hid, licking her wounds thinking the pain would never go away. Then a snowstorm came along and trapped her inside with just what she needed for her healing to really begin.

I loved the story of Christmas With Holly. It had me right from the first pages as RaKeesha took her Uzis and blew away the decorations in the church and the bride's dress right off her body. It wasn't real, of course, but the feelings that RaKeesha expressed through her actions in her mind were so vivid that I could relate to her pain at having her ex dump her and marry someone else.

Rakeesha Holly Black ran away to her family cabin in Vermont to escape being in town for the wedding. When she decides to return home right before Christmas, she winds up being snowed in in Vermont. I could understand Holly's distrust of men and her New Years resolution to swear off them.

Logan Street is an artist who has rented the Black family cabin for the past couple of years and he finds out that Holly is still in residence. Logan is everything that I look for in a hunk; tall, dark eyes, curly hair and the requisite dimple in the chin. Just too handsome for words. Logan sets about changing Holly's mind about men in general and himself in particular.

Their conversations are witty and sharp with a few one-liners that made me laugh out loud. Then when Logan sets about romancing Holly, my heart melted. I know I would love to be coddled and treated like a queen.

Yes, love does happen at first sight. Christmas With Holly showed me that true love will never die even when it is unrequited. I really enjoyed this heartwarming story and find that I will read it again and again.