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Friday, May 15, 2009

Tomcat Jones by Willa Okati



Tomcat Jones by Willa Okati
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (150 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Intercourse
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Cactus

T.J. Jones never believed in love. A shape-shifting tomcat, he's had problems with one-night stands involving men who were horrified to find out what he was. After getting burned one too many times, he decides he'll shoot instead for becoming a grouchy lifelong bastard of a bachelor. That's before he runs into MacGowan, a smoking hot beach boy with an open heart and a sweet smile.

MacGowan, a ingenuous, open-hearted sex bomb, wants T.J.'s body, his love, his friendship, and his trust. T.J. doesn't dare tell MacGowan that he's a tomcat on the inside, but soon finds he has no choice when MacGowan's developing wizard's powers force the issue. Not only is he unwittingly MacGowan's familiar, but MacGowan's powers make him unable to control his shape-shifting.

A relationship's hard enough for an easy-going beach boy and a grumpy, closed-off bachelor. But what's a man to do when he's literally a tomcat?

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, male/male sexual practices.

Imagine if your hot new neighbor and one nightstand suddenly turned into a tomcat over night, literally. TJ Jones has bad luck in love and who can blame him when the subject of his affections has to suddenly deal with a purring housecat instead of the lover they went to bed with the night before. Well TJ blames them and is skeptical when MacGowan shows an interest in more than just a one-time encounter. With TJ afraid to reveal his kitty nature and MacGowan experiencing some paranormal activity of his own, these two have more than a few obstacles to get through if they’re determined to be together.

This is a slapstick and humorous story that shows the strength of the author’s quirky style and witty dialogue from the wide cast of characters to the stop and starts relationship attempts between TJ and MacGowan. The characters are engaging and funny, even if the author doesn’t explain why or how everyone came to be in the same place, it almost doesn’t matter. You’re easily swept along on a wild ride that doesn’t stop and moves incredibly fast. The various characters move in and out of scenes and conversations at a quick pace so be sure to pay attention as one laugh is delivered after another. Although the plot depends heavily on the big misunderstanding trope and thus is slightly predictable with the action and outcome, the various men keep the story fresh and entertaining regardless.

The characters aren’t very well defined or involved beyond a brief introduction and the author lets the dialogue establish most of their depth. While this creates some mystery around all the characters, the humor of the situation and obvious comedy allow for a less thorough presentation and still work within the story. MacGowen and TJ as the main characters are fun and complimentary, enjoyable to read, and delightful with TJ’s inner commentary as both a cat and a man. Both Arden and Shavey are intriguing, setting up possible mentions in the future (hopefully!) and there are a lot of fun possibilities to these two hot men. Between psycho kitty Sur Lune and Mr. Jontan, even less is explained but they add a delightful mix to this outrageous comedy.

The final outcome was predictable but that doesn’t take away from the sweet romance, adding a satisfying happy end to a really funny and entertaining book. Allow yourself to get swept away with the author’s unique brand of humor and this will turn into a light hearted romp with great, sexy characters with more than a few laugh out loud moments. It’s certainly easy to believe in magic and romance when presented by the humorous and talented efforts of Willa Okati. Be sure to get this book, you will love it.

Within These Stone Walls by Desiree Lee



Within These Stone Walls by Desiree Lee
Publisher: DCL Publications
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (149 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Tiger Lily

If walls could talk…

Danica Heuer gave her word to her Uncle Arthur on his deathbed. She would take her inheritance and buy a castle. The remark was flippant at the time, but now that Uncle Art is gone, she is honor-bound to keep that promise.

The castle Danica buys turns out to be the boon she needed to lift her spirits. Majestic and dignified, she falls in love with her new purchase immediately. The steward is helpful and very informative about the castle's rich history and lore. Things are perfect. Or are they?

Danica's dreams become tumultuous. Strange sounds in the night wake her. The longer she stays, the more hushed whispers she hears in town about her castle.

What will Danica do when she discovers the terrifying truth about her castle, contained deep Within These Stone Walls?

She’s been responsible all her life and still felt like an outsider. He’s pent up in a castle with a crazy man. When Danica and Andreas meet, it’s not conventional, but it’s magic! Want to know more? Read Within These Stone Walls.

Ms. Lee writes a captivating tale. She grabs the reader from page one and allows her characters to run the gamut of emotions until the very end. Her use of descriptions and settings is fantastic. It’s like you really are there within the castle with Danica.

The characters are original and fun. I especially loved Nana. She’s the grandmother figure we all wish we had. As for the hero, Andreas doesn’t disappoint. He comes to Danica in the only ways he knows how and sweeps not only her, but the reader as well, off her feet. I liked Danica’s headstrong nature and her sensibility. She is the type of heroine readers can look up to.

And the love scenes? Woo! You’ll need a cold shower, but you can definitely feel the passion flowing between them. You can’t help but root for them to conquer the evil and end up together.

If you want a fun and sexy read, then Within These Stone Walls is the novella for you! I give this work 4 ½ cherries!

Saddle Up 'N Ride! by Remmy Duchene



Saddle Up 'N Ride! by Remmy Duchene
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (31 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Lilac

Rusty Hunter and Jack Malone have been pen pals for years; seventeen years to be exact. There isn’t much that happens in each other’s lives that the other doesn’t know about. The first person Rusty came out of the closet to was Jack and vice versa.

When Rusty’s letters stop, Jack feels alone and rejected. When he drops everything to visit the Charro Ranch to check on Rusty, he gets more than he bargains for. Rusty’s reason for stopping writing is nothing but chivalrous, but what if Jack doesn’t want to be protected?

Rusty Hunter knows that even though he’s been friends with Jack for so long, he must let Jack go. For the past two years, Rusty finds himself wanting more from his long distance friend than friendship. He’s been having some rather steamy dreams of the handsome Texas Ranger, so when Jack shows up on his doorstep Rusty knows he really is in trouble.

In this short erotic tale two longtime pen pals discover a passion that cannot be denied.

After years of friendship and writing to one another, rancher Rusty Hunter finds himself fantasizing and longing for more than friendship from his pen pal of over seventeen years, Texas Ranger Jack Malone. Confused by his feelings for his good friend and fearing rejection, Rusty stops writing to Jack causing Jack to wonder what he did to push his friend away. Jack hops on a plane to Canada to visit Rusty and when they finally learn to be honest with one another, they discover a passionate and erotic relationship that moves them beyond friendship into something more.

This was a quick, but entertaining read that I enjoyed a great deal. I was very touched by the bond and relationship between Rusty and Jack and could feel the passion that the two radiated. Their fantasies and scenes together heated up the pages in some very rough and erotic sex scenes, yet you could really sense the caring and concern they had for one another. The story had a lot of sex, but it also had emotion.

I will say that I wish there had been a bit more background given on the two men and their friendship as I found myself curious as to how a rancher from Canada met and became friends with a cop from Texas. It seems like their friendship started when they were quite young and they really helped one another through some rough times. And I would have loved to have known more. The story was almost too short and I didn’t want it to end.

I felt that this was a very fast-paced and enjoyable read about two men giving into a passion that steadily grew as their friendship did.

Gym Dandy by Storm Grant



Gym Dandy by Storm Grant
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (193 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Intercourse
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Review by Lilac

Mixed signals or glitchy gaydar? After a first kiss gone horribly wrong, out and outgoing personal trainer Victor Brighton settles for friendship with handsome new client Douglas Newkirk. But is Doug in denial? Each time the boys get close, something or someone interferes: ex-wives, ex-boyfriends, bitchy bosses, even the cable guy. Will our guys work it all out? Read Gym Dandy and find out.

Gym Dandy is a little erotic and a lot entertaining, featuring clever plot twists, engaging characters, and a happy ending. There's even a dog!

Gym Dandy is a fun story full of humor and surprises.

Personal trainer Victor Brighton is attracted to his new client, Doug Newkirk and keeps receiving mixed signals from the handsome man even though Doug insists that he is straight. Victor, however, has his doubts and as the two form a friendship, he is a bit surprised by all he learns about his new friend even as he begins to fall for him.

This story was a fun read filled with humor and heart. Each chapter brought something new as the story and relationship between Victor and Doug took a new turn. Charming, bisexual, and a bit immature and scattered with his thoughts, Victor is an interesting character. As is Doug, who comes across as very prim and proper and a bit clumsy because of his nervousness around Victor. Victor is very patient and understanding when it comes to Doug, which I found touching. It was interesting to learn more about each man and to watch their friendship develop despite all of the things they run into which include a spiteful employer, ex-wives, old friends, and some interesting secrets which really added to the story.

In addition to the relationship between Victor and Doug, there is also a secondary storyline involving steroid sales at the gym. Victor is asked by his employer to investigate it a bit and I must say I was surprised at the outcome of this part of the story. There’s an interesting twist that goes a long way in explaining some of Victor’s behavior and really added to his character.

Despite my overall enjoyment of the story, there were a few things I wish had been a bit better. While in third person, we only get Victor’s point of view, and I must confess that I would have loved to know what was going through Doug’s head. Also, at first Victor’s thoughts were a bit scattered and I found it hard to get into the story. I also couldn’t understand the attraction he had for Doug at the beginning, a man that is almost his complete opposite and who keeps sending out mixed signals. The ending came a bit too soon for me and I wish there had been more. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed getting to know both men and watching the story progress.

Overall, this was a fun and touching story about two men who learn a lot about themselves and about each other as they deal with an inconvenient attraction.

Tempting the Darkness by Shiela Stewart



Tempting the Darkness (Book Five in the Darkness Series) by Shiela Stewart
Publisher: Linden Bay Romance LLC
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (206 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 cherries
Review by Tiger Lily

If you’re afraid of the dark…you’re screwed.

The Darkness, Book 5

For twenty long years, Cooper Hawthorne has kept the brightest light in his bleak existence a deeply hidden secret. All this time, his beloved Gabriella has slept safely in cryogenic stasis, awaiting the day he finds a cure for her terminal cancer.

As love blooms amidst the Darkness, and still no cure in sight, loneliness drives Cooper to drastic measures. He awakens Gabriella and breaks his last promise to her—by turning her into a vampire.

Gabriella’s sense of betrayal weighs heavily on her attempts to deal with what Cooper has done to her. Pushing him away, she turns to his friends for support—and finds she isn’t the only one hurt by his actions.

Cooper fights the temptation to use his powers to wipe her mind of the damning memories. But, when he comes face to face with the monster that created him, he knows what he must do.

Will Gabriella be able to save him before it’s too late? Or will the Darkness swallow him whole?

Warning: This book could induce intensely heated flesh, rapid pulse, and panting. Should be read in the company of a man who can turn your temptations to delights.

This man and this woman shall not part until death or a cure for cancer. How do you hold your emotions in check for twenty years? How do you forgive after an ultimate act of betrayal? All these questions and more are answered in Tempting the Darkness.

Ms. Stewart writes an intriguing series. Darkness enfolds the town and the vampires are on the loose to fight each other and take human blood slaves as they see fit. But all is not what it seems. Ms. Stewart’s descriptions are rich and her characters draw you into the story. You can’t help but root for the vampires to overcome the darkness that helps them live.

In this installment of the series, Cooper Hawthorn is surrounded by love, yet the one he loves is beyond his reach. Gabriella Hawthorn, his wife, lies in a cryogenic state until he can find the cure for cancer. From page one, the story tugs at the heart. The strife of the couple is something that many readers can relate to. Whether it’s cancer or another form of loss, we all experience times in our lives where we cannot save the ones we love.

If you want an emotional read that’s packed with action, heartache, love, and redemption, then Tempting the Darkness is the novel for you. I give this novel 5 cherries.

Claiming Cullen by Tara S. Nichols



Claiming Cullen by Tara S. Nichols
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (129 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/M/F, M/M/F/M/M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Lilac

Five guys and one hot woman, shacked up in a cabin for the week, was not what Cullen had in mind when he pictured his relaxing week away. Especially when that woman was Tess, Cullen's best friend's girlfriend. To make matters worse, Rael, a sophisticated and very much male acquaintance, is along for the ride, and seemingly content to stir up Cullen's long since suppressed curiosities.

Wound up from the sexy ride over, Cullen finds himself the center of a rather sexy competition, as Tess and Rael jockey for position to see who will get to lay claim on Cullen.

Stunts involve a raunchy game of poker with a live sex act, a game of chase in the kitchen that ends up in bondage and a spanking, an orgy of five guys and one woman in a hot tub, and a lot more frisking, teasing, and tantalizing.

Warning: Contains public exhibition, light bondage and voyeurism


Claiming Cullen is a hot read that pushes the boundaries as a young woman gets to know her boyfriend’s friends quite well.

All Cullen wanted was a week away with four of his best buddies so he can finally get over his recent break-up. But when Adam, one of the guys, unexpectedly invites his girlfriend, Tess, along, things take a turn toward the steamy as free spirit Tess charms and entices the group of men. Cullen finds himself fighting an attraction for the beauty, but to make matters even more interesting he also must deal with his attraction to Rael, a male friend who has also come on the trip. Tess and Rael both want Cullen and soon find themselves competing see who can claim him. But Cullen doesn’t want to choose and soon neither does Tess or Rael.

This was definitely a hot read with scenes that I am still fanning myself over. The story is told in first person, but from the point of view of the three primary characters, Cullen, Tess, and Rael. It was a bit confusing at first as the story made a transition from one character to the next, but I soon became lost in the story and was able to follow along. The use of first person helped me to understand the characters and their motivations a bit better.

The characters were quite interesting and really made this story for me. Cullen finds himself a bit confused by his attraction to both Tess and Rael. They both represent the forbidden for him…a girl who is spoken for and a male, something Cullen has never tried. He cannot deny or resist the temptation that is Tess and Rael and soon finds himself feeling things he never expected for the duo, which makes it very hard for him as he doesn’t know how to choose.

Rael, on the other hand, goes into the week knowing what he wants…Cullen. But Tess’s appearance and behavior throws a kink into his plans and he finds himself fighting off some jealousy when she seems to be getting closer to Cullen, but he also finds himself unexpectedly attracted to Tess.

As for Tess, she is a bit of an exhibitionist and is definitely not shy as she flirts with and pleasures the five men on the trip, but lately her sex-only relationship with her boyfriend Adam has felt a bit empty and she longs for something...or rather someone…else…Cullen. This all makes for an interesting love triangle and story that I enjoyed a great deal as these three are great characters that seem perfect for one another.

The sex in the story was definitely scorching and a bit unexpected as I was surprised by Tess’s willingness and lack of hesitancy with the men. However, it fit her character as Tess entices the five men in an erotic poker game as well as an interesting erotic encounter in the hot tub. I do have to say that I was a bit put off by how her “boyfriend” uses her and doesn’t seem to care that she is with other men as he seems to find pleasure and pride in sharing and watching, but it added to Tess’s character and the story as others take notice of his lack of concern and she realizes she wants something more out of a relationship and decides to pursue it.

I would have loved to have seen what comes next for these fascinating characters, but overall this was an entertaining and sizzling read. It is definitely not for the prudish, so reader beware!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Scentsual by Victoria Blisse



Scentsual by Victoria Blisse
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (42 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Spanking, Anal penetration
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Azalea

Scents, Sex and Sea, what else could a girl want?

Kelly escapes to the comforting scent filled haven of Scarborough to find respite from her busy career. She doesn't expect to find romance but when she bumps into the young plumber Rob she cannot help but be attracted to his masculine scent and his gorgeous body. They fit together perfectly. His submissive nature is a delight to Dominant Kelly who enjoys using him for her pleasure whilst pushing his sexual boundaries to their very limits.

Who says the Brits are reserved? The happenings in this little English seaside town will have you peeling off your knickers in record time begging to indulge in sexual antics like the heroine, Kelly. This is a woman who knows what she wants and will not be denied.

Kelly is a dominant female who happens upon Rob, a very compliant, submissive virginal young man who soon falls prey to Kelly’s sexual machinations. Dominance is her game and in Rob, she’s found a very willing partner. The sex scenes were described in graphic detail with graphic language and I found myself wanting Rob to really enjoy everything Kelly had to offer.. But what I really liked was the fact that Kelly was not a young girl; she’s 36, not that far from 40, and she doesn’t have a perfect body. She has flaws that one expects as women approach middle age and she discusses them honestly.

Competing with the sex scenes, although to a lesser intensity were the wonderful descriptions of food. From the Lemon top ice cream served at a favorite ice cream shop, to a wonderful Italian pasta repast, one could almost smell the garlic and tomato sauce, all the de rigueur scents of an Italian restaurant. I enjoyed the sex scenes and enjoyed the food descriptions which I was not expecting. It actually made me salivate for some good Italian cooking, followed by good sex.

I did not like the book cover! The vision of the girl on the front carried through for the first several pages until I got more into the character and was able to discard the image. But the depiction of the girl appeared to be more of a very young girl creating a slightly pedophilic image, and not that of a 36-year-old woman. I realize this is not the author’s fault but it still bothered me.

I learned something from this book too about strap on dildos. I was quite surprised. Maybe you’ll be too.

If you like visions of the English seaside, hot, kinky sex and good food, this book is definitely for you.

Wildhearts by Ann Vremont



Wildhearts by Ann Vremont
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal, Futuristic
Length: Short Story (47 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Review by Tiger Lily

Shaped by his creator in the form of the ancient god Cernunnos, Herne knew only the cold metal of a cage and the sharp blades of his master until he escaped into Tahoma’s forest. Now, as the first winter storm of the season gathers, a hunter has entered his woods, bringing a bound and blindfolded woman as game.
Until tonight, Neva had survived as a healer in a gospel town where the monsters walk on two legs and the women do as they are told. “The Girl Who Said No,” she finds herself at the mercy of a jilted suitor and his brutish friends, with the woods her only chance of escape.

Welcome to the future. Seattle lies in fog-shrouded ruins. Fantasy has become reality. Science is the new magic. The year is 2270, and it's time to meet the real beauty and the beast.

She doesn’t want to be a wife to a man who doesn’t cherish her for her own talents. He’s part human and part deer and not at all at ease within his own skin. Both end up in the forest on their own. When Wild Hearts meet, anything can happen.

Ms. Vremont writes an interesting new fairy tale. In her world, fairy tales are the new reality. Very clever. I loved that the heroine knew how to save herself. Many times the heroine’s come off as wimpy, but not Ms. Vremont’s Neva. She’s a great character to relate to. If you want something, go for it. If not, then make your own trail. I liked Herne, even though he tended to be a bit tough to take. His growth through the story was touching. The concept that different isn’t always bad was equally clever.

If you want a sexy short read, packed with powerful characters, then Wild Hearts is the short story for you. I give this short 4 ½ cherries.

Who Wants to Be the Millionaire's Mistress? by Peggy Hunter



Who Wants to Be the Millionaire's Mistress? by Peggy Hunter
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (112 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Hibiscus

Maxwell Barton realized he’d bitten off a lot more than he could chew when he signed on with the reality game show, Who Wants To Be the Millionaire’s Mistress? But one look at Lacey Masters and he knew what he wanted.

Lacey had an agenda of her own, one that didn’t include Max. She’d signed on to be a contestant on the popular game show for the money. The very last thing she wanted was to be Maxwell’s mistress. So when he chose her, she intended to make his life hell. Unfortunately, she hadn’t expected to come alive in his arms…

Who said reality television isn’t true to life? I loved this story that is a unique blend of The Dating Game and The Bachelor. Who Wants to Be the Millionaire’s Mistress? is something that I believe could really happen and be an actual television show. Stranger things have happen in real life. Take the case of the millionaire that was hit hard by the economic downturn and had a contest to decide which four of his five mistresses to give up. But I do like the idea of competing to be with someone, after all, that is what everyone does one way or another in life.

Lacey Masters is a petite woman with long auburn hair. I get the impression that Lacey is beautiful looking as she was the mistress of one millionaire and came on the game show to earn money when he split up with her. Lacey has no intention of winning the contest and is honest to a fault. I loved when Max asked her why she was bouncing around on the set and she answered, “My panties are wedged between my butt checks.” Her honest and witty comments kept me in stitches through the entire story. I also loved how the press twisted everything that Lacey said. I could not stop laughing at times.

Maxwell Barton is the perfect man. Tall, dark hair, great teeth and loaded. He seemed to be a nice person but he also played people. I think he knew all along that Lacey was his rival Zachery Billings, ex-mistress. He had Lacey investigated and knew she had nothing and used it to his advantage. It is that quality that makes him a fantastic businessman but sometimes made me wonder if he was a little too hard. When Max told Lacey that her friend was not really a friend but did not explain, it made me mad at him as I thought he was prodding Lacey.

There were a lot of minor characters who all helped the story along. Bruce, Maxwell’s chauffeur, was a riot. I loved him when he was in the bar with Lacey and Rachael. Zachary Billings was a pretty well fleshed out character. I felt that I knew his motives when he went head to head with Max. I would like to read more about Zachary and Rachael, Lacey’s best friend in the future.

I found Who Wants to Be the Millionaire’s Mistress? a humorous, contemporary story that is a must read, not only for reality television junkies but also for those of us who loved the old Dating Game television show.

Buckskins And Brocade by Amber Carlton



Buckskins And Brocade by Amber Carlton
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand, Inc.
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (266 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Lilac

Olivia Raines travels to Kansas in 1890, headed for her first assignment as an investigator for the federal government. Her mission is to solve the mystery of boys that have arrived on the Orphan Train and vanished.

Out of her element in Kansas and thoroughly unprepared for an assignment of this nature, Livvie's horrified to discover two facts: Her cover is to play the new schoolmarm in town, and she's been assigned two bodyguards - a pair of devastatingly handsome twins.

Connor and Desmond McBride are perfectly suited for this mission and perfectly suited to win a girl's heart, but they hold secrets that will surface and threaten their success.

Livvie's determined to solve the case and claim both of the McBride brothers for her own. She is, after all, Jessie McGee's daughter and takes after her mother in more ways than one.

In this fantastic sequel to Kentucky Woman, a young woman discovers a passionate relationship with the twin bodyguards assigned to protect her.

Having been raised in an unconventional, but protective family with two fathers and one mother, Olivia Raines is determined to prove herself and becomes a spy for the First Lady. Assigned to investigate the disappearance of some boys from the Orphan Train by going undercover as a schoolmarm, Livvie is not prepared for what’s to come. She is definitely not prepared for the handsome twins assigned to protect her, Connor and Desmond McBride, but she cannot deny her attraction to the men and soon she doesn’t have to.

This was such a wonderful and absorbing story that I didn’t want to put down. I especially loved the characters of the story. Livvie really surprised me as despite her confidence and background, there is a naivety and innocence about her. At times she displays a vulnerability which really is quite touching. However, she is a little spitfire and is constantly surprising the brothers with her honesty and daring. I found myself just as taken with Livvie’s infectious personality and couldn’t help by smile at the things she says and does.

As for the brothers, they made great heroes and were perfect for Livvie. Haunted by a horrific past, Connor and Des have their own reasons for getting involved with the mission to save the boys from the Orphan Train. Life definitely hasn’t been easy for the brothers, but with Livvie both of them begin to feel a bit of peace and happiness. However, they didn’t grow up in a family like Livvie’s and feelings of jealousy crop up as they fear that Livvie could never love them both, something I could understand and which really added to the realness of the story and the relationship. However, Livvie is just what the brothers needed and I really enjoyed watching their relationship progress.

As for the missing orphans plot, I thought it was quite interesting and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next with the investigation. Each new character and revelation added to the story and kept my interest. I really enjoyed how things played out, however, I did feel that the ending was a bit too quick for my tastes. I would have loved to learn and to have seen a bit more regarding the bad guys at the end. I also would have enjoyed another glimpse at Cutter, Billy, and Jessie (Livvie’s parents and the characters from Kentucky Woman).

Despite this, I loved this story a great deal. With fabulous characters and a fascinating plot, this is one I was glad to have read.

Tyger’s Lilly by Marteeka Karland



Tyger’s Lilly by Marteeka Karland
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (31 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Menage, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 cherries
Review by Tiger Lily

Lilly is a Flower Faery in the Magical Forest. Her job is to coax the flowers and other fauna out of their winter sleep and into full spring bloom. She's made it her life's work to see healthier and more beautiful plants every year and nothing or no one will distract her. No matter how sexy. Or yummy. Oh, my!

Darren and Jayden Tyger are weretiger twins and have made it their personal mission to capture the heart of the hard-working, single-minded Flower Faery. The Tyger twins know the secret, one Lilly has overlooked. Because as powerful as she is, as much good as she's done for the Magical Forest, she's missed the most important element to her power.

Two feisty weretigers are about to show the Flower Faery that true and abiding love is the greatest magic of all.

She’s a Flower Faery in charge of waking the fauna for spring. They are a pair of weretigers. What happens when they get together? Lilly just might find she likes being Tyger’s Lilly.

Ms. Karland’s writing is full of action and sweet passion. Even when the moment’s HOT, she keeps the emotions just as powerful. I loved the characters. Lilly is independent and hard charging. She wants things done and does what she needs to in order for that to happen. Darren and Jayden, twin weretigers want the sexy Faery for their own. I liked that they never gave up and that they came to her when she requested. I love a woman in charge!

If you want a sexy fantasy short story, guaranteed to warm a chilly spring evening, then grab a copy of Tyger’s Lilly. I give this story 5 cherries.

Taming The Wolf: Animal Attraction by Michelle Houston



Taming The Wolf: Animal Attraction by Michelle Houston
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (19 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Lilac

Gay werewolves just didn’t happen naturally. Ben had accepted that he would quite possibly live the rest of his life alone. Then one day Nathan, another rogue-made werewolf, turns up on his doorstep. Ben finds that maybe there is a mate for him after all, if he can teach the younger man how to tame his inner wolf.

Taming the Wolf is a highly passionate and enjoyable story despite its short length.

This short and quick read has werewolf Ben helping newly-turned werewolf Nathan adjust to his transition. As Ben attempts to teach Nathan to control his beast, Ben cannot help but be attracted to the young man. As they work together, they discover that their mutual attraction just might be the key to helping to learn control.

As I mentioned, this is a really short and quick read…almost too short. I loved the story and concept and felt that it had great potential to be a full-length story. I adored the characters and enjoyed what little we learned about them. I was curious about their pasts and enjoyed the little glimpses we get as Ben thinks about his own transition. However, I would have loved to learn even more about these great characters. Ben is such a caring and patient teacher having gone through much of the same things that Nathan does. He had given up on ever having a mate as gay weres are very rare when he met Nathan. As for Nathan, we don’t learn a whole lot about him nor do we get his point of view, but he is a very trusting young man who seems perfect for Ben. They have an interesting chemistry and I’d love to know what happens beyond the end.

As a whole, this is a great short read that kept my interest throughout and one that I didn’t want to see end.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Reluctant Dom by Tymber Dalton



The Reluctant Dom by Tymber Dalton
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (344 pages)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Multiple Partners, Spanking, Voyeurism
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Hibiscus


Love hurts...if you're lucky.

Kaden knows he's dying, but before he goes, he has one problem he needs to solve - he must ask his oldest friend Seth to take over as his beloved wife's Dom and Master after his death. Seth has always seen himself as the perpetual screw-up and Kaden as the strong and steady one, so his friend's request rocks his world.

Now Seth finds himself immersed in a role he's far from comfortable with: inflicting pain to provide emotional comfort for the woman he's secretly loved for years. Can he deal with his crushing grief and learn the skills he must master in time to become THE RELUCTANT DOM?

Warning: m/f/m menage, anal sex/play/toys, BDSM, bondage, D/s relationship, and the lesser-known "normality" of the world of BDSM.

Let me start off by saying that I loved The Reluctant Dom. It gives a true picture of a Master/slave 24/7 relationship. Kudos to Ms. Dalton for all the hours of research she did to accomplish such a real life portrayal. I learned a lot about the art of Japanese bondage and also about flogging and whipping. I never realized that there were so many types of floggers and whips nor moves to maneuver them.

The story is about the relationship of a husband, Kaden, and his wife Leah and their best friend Seth. Kaden finds out he is dying of cancer and there is nothing he can do to stop it from ending his life. He decides to go out with strength and dignity instead of doing the rounds of treatment which would weaken him and only delay the end. Leah is a submissive who needs what Kaden gives her in order to keep from hurting herself. With his death on the horizon, Kaden asks his best friend to take care of Leah after he is gone. What can Seth say but yes. Seth then learns of Kaden and Leah’s lifestyle and reluctantly begins his training on how to care for Leah.

Keep a box of tissues handy as you will most likely need them. I will admit that I shed more than a few tears while I read this deeply moving story. Do not let the length of this book deter you from reading this story. I felt that every word was necessary and did not notice the length as I was so caught up in the story. I loved how The Reluctant Dom told of not only a D/s lifestyle but of the end of Kaden’s life and the story of the loved ones he would leave behind.

I’ve always had a fascination with Ms. Dalton’s stories and I can say that The Reluctant Dom is, in my humble opinion, her greatest work to date.

Three for the Rodeo by Luxie Ryder



Three for the Rodeo by Luxie Ryder
Publisher: Siren Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short (76 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Lilac

Sadie wants to be just like the guys. She longs to join them in the rodeo ring, riding the broncos and bringing down steers. But her friends, Kyle and Gabe, have strong objections. Unable to understand why they refuse to help her, Sadie's frustration boils over, resulting in a wild night in the bar that forces them all to reassess their relationships with each other. Embarrassed by her behavior, Sadie is shocked to learn that rather than ruin the friendship, she has simply reignited the sexual interest they've had in her since the day she arrived in Hurley.

Learning how to ride a bull is the last thing on her mind while she has her hands full with two sexy cowboys. She's determined not to let their relationship with her return to a platonic state.

One sassy woman. Two rugged cowboys. Three for the Rodeo!

When a young woman gives into the temptation that her two good friends represent, she discovers passion and something unexpected in this great read.

Sadie, Kyle, and Gabe work together at a rodeo and have become good friends since meeting. But when Sadie turns down Kyle and Gabe’s sexual advances one night, it seems to change the dynamics of their friendship and confuses Sadie. She is attracted to both men and they aren’t ones to give up easily. Soon Sadie finds herself giving into the attraction and sharing a passionate night with the two men. But that encounter does change everything and issues of jealousy and jumbled feelings could ruin their friendship and whatever could exist.

This was a very interesting and entertaining read with great characters. It seemed to be a very character-driven story as their relationship is what drives and makes up the plot. Sadie is a great character who longs to be a rider in the rodeo. She has a great friendship with the two men, but her attraction and feelings have confused her and she fears losing two very good friends and her dream of being a rodeo rider. Gabe, meanwhile, is a kind and caring character who is very attracted to Sadie and is a bit jealous when it comes to her relationship with Kyle. His feelings for Sadie along with the jealousy are something he didn’t expect and which confuse him. Gabe’s feelings were an interesting element to the story and the relationship and led to some interesting moments. As for Kyle, he is a laid-back guy who is attracted to Sadie and doesn’t want to lose Sadie or Gabe as friends. The three have an interesting chemistry and dynamic to their friendship. Each character brings something different to the table and definitely helps to make this a wonderful read.

I won’t spoil things, but I will say that I was very pleased with the ending of the story and felt that overall it was a very satisfying conclusion to the story and relationship. As a whole, this was a great read that I enjoyed immensely.

The Fifth House by L. E. Bryce



The Fifth House by L. E. Bryce
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full (114 pages)
Other: M/M
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by: Phlox

First in the Water Lovers of the Islands trilogy, the follow-up series to the bestselling The Water Lovers of Sirilon!

For years Dyas has been unlucky in love. So when the brilliant yet outspoken servant of the Lady of the Waters is sent to the Seaward Islands to establish a new house for the LadyÆs sacred consorts, love is the last thing he expects or wants to find. Will Dyas survive the culture shock and finally find the man of his dreams among the islanders?

Dyas has always endured a life of lonely frustrations and now the priests send him away, to what seems to him an exile brought on by his inquisitive, meddlesome nature. In this return to the world of Sirilon, Bryce takes us away from the Blue House on the mainland to the islands, a culture she has only hinted at in previous Sirilon stories. The islanders have traditionally sent their talevé, the sacred consorts of the Water Goddess, to live on the mainland. They have grown tired of the mainlanders’ demands, though, and want to keep their talevé where they belong – in the islands. Dyas is tasked with establishing a new Blue House there, sent with two companions, far from home and everyone he has ever known, with no prospect of ever returning.

The three mainland talevé are shocked by the rustic conditions, the provincial attitudes, and the lack of ceremony and decorum when they arrive. These talevé live among the people, anyone may speak to them, they roam wherever they please and they work, all unheard of and rather scandalous to mainland sensibilities. But the islanders are practical people. They have no time for nobility or armies, war or the slave trade. The business of living takes all their time. ‘Everyone works’, Dyas is told with some surprise. The island talevé are rather puzzled over what their mainland counterparts do all day if they are shut away and forbidden to work.

Dyas struggles daily with the culture clash, carefully navigating the jagged shoals of compromise between what his new hosts believe is right and necessary and what the mainland priests have told him must be. It becomes clear early on, to the reader, if not to Dyas, that he had been chosen for this task because of his temperament and diplomatic skills, his ability to see where the rules might be bent. No one else would have been right for the job and the reader aches to tell him so.

His other struggle is more personal, having to do with the handsome and somewhat stubborn Adarrel, one of the island talevé. No one has ever wanted Dyas for anything more than a bout of sex. Tired of meaningless encounters, he hesitates and backs away from Adarrel’s rather sweet courting of him, inventing more and more excuses for why giving in would be a bad idea. (It won’t last, the difference in their ages is too great, the cultural differences too vast and so on.) The conversations between these two are one of the best parts of the story, Dyas, refined and educated but with so much inner turmoil, Adarrel, rough and sometimes coarse but sensible and confident.

Of Bryce’s Sirilon stories, this is perhaps the one with the quietest, most intimate feel. There are no kidnappings, no riots, and no attempted suicides, just the trials of a man trying to do his job well and adjust to living where he feels he will never belong. The language, as always, is beautiful and flowing, the dialogue crisp and believable, and the reader will be swept away in the romance without missing the high drama. My only issue with this lovely, rippling story is the length, with an ending that struck me as perhaps a little abrupt. It gives the reader hope, though, that Bryce will return to the Fifth House in future stories since one is definitely left wanting more.

At First by Alessia Brio and Will Belegon



At First by Alessia Brio and Will Belegon
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Historical (recent, 1963)
Length: Short (36 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by: Azalea

By popular demand, the story behind the story of ArtiFactual. On an historic day in DC, meet Erotique's eccentric curator--Senor Eduardo "Eddie" Rojas Aguilar--as a young archeology student and his dear departed Vivian Long, long before she left this realm.

What happens when a gentleman from Chile with old world manners collides with a modern day sexually liberated American woman? Plenty!

Eduardo and Vivian run into each other – quite literally on a busy street in Washington, DC. A huge crowd had gathered to listen to a young charismatic speaker and Eduardo was rushing through the crowd oblivious to the beautiful woman in the yellow dress…that is until he collided with her knocking her to the ground. Determined to make amends for his unchivalrous behavior Eduardo invites Vivian to a small café for some Cokes to quench their thirst on this steamy DC Afternoon. However, Eduardo is once again embarrassed by his behavior as he inadvertently spills a Coke on Vivian’s sundress.

Coming to the rescue is Lupe, the waitress at the café and Eduardo’s friend. Lupe suggests Vivian and Eduardo retreat to his apartment where Vivian can wash the sugary concoction off her dress. Arriving at Eduardo’s apartment the sexual tension mounts and Vivian finds herself orchestrating the pas de deux much to the amusement of Eduardo who is not used to the more open sexual mores of American women.

I was a bit befuddled about who the dynamic speaker was that Vivian found so enthralling. The authors never explained. Could it be Malcolm X who Vivian casually mentions later in the story? I felt if the authors went to the trouble of setting this scene of dynamism, they could have let the reader in on who they were referring to.

I did learn a new Spanish word – chupadita - which was interesting and self-explanatory. I thought the sex scenes were hot and very well described. Eduardo and Vivian learn that love and sex are the same in all languages.

Their chance encounter leads them to discover they have much in common despite their disparate backgrounds. The language of sex, however, is universal which they both discover on a steamy Washington afternoon. A good story.

The Red Sash by L. E. Bryce



The Red Sash by L. E. Bryce
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short (47 pages)
Other: M/M, Mild BDSM
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by: Phlox

The nobleman Tamasin owns a lush seaside villa and three handsome young catamites. Each one vies for the right to wear the red sash, which marks him out as the master’s favorite for the night. But when disaster strikes Tamasin will discover that only one of his lovers is truly loyal to him.

This heated erotic story, simple on the surface, bristles with jagged emotions and dramatic irony. At first glance, Tamasin appears no more than a rich, overly comfortable man, spoiled, somewhat vain and selfish. Everyone should have his problems, having to decide which of the three beautiful young men he owns to choose for the evening, his choice signaled by which one receives the red sash. Ah, but life is never so simple.

Bryce devotes a chapter to each of the three catamites, painting them in vivid detail through their reactions to their owner and their approaches to lovemaking. The dialogue is so convincing, each young man’s voice is clearly audible, no mistaking one for another. Urrit is a trained pleasure slave, skilled in pleasure but unable to let go of formal training, Elagan is confident and jaded, manipulating his master’s responses and insisting on complicated lovesport, while Semoy is shy and reticent, willing to please but unskilled. Tamasin begins to unfold for us as a person as he interacts with these three very different personalities. As their owner, he has no need to care about how they feel, and yet he does. He wants them to be happy and he desperately wants one of them to have feelings for him beyond obligation.

This is a tightly-woven story with fully realized characters and a fully realized society told in less than fifty pages with plenty of steamy sex scenes to satisfy the most jaded reader of erotica and plenty of rich detail and emotional depth to satisfy the most world-weary literary reader. While the reader will know the answer to Tamasin’s struggles long before he does, the dramatic irony only makes his dilemma more poignant. The red sash, the symbol of his approval, of his choice, gets to play its own part in a deliciously ironic final scene that left me smiling. But I won’t give it away – you’ll have to read this little gem for yourself.