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Friday, September 25, 2009

Droit de Seigneur by Alice Gaines



Droit de Seigneur by Alice Gaines
Publisher: Red Sage Publishing
Genre: Historical Erotic Romance
Length: Short Story (60 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Cherokee Rose

After the atrocities of the Crusades, Guy of Bournwood has returned home to nurse his wounds and manage the estate he inherits unexpectedly. His heart is heavy, and his dreams are soaked with the blood of those he slaughtered.

Only the pretty young woman he hears singing in the village brings him any solace. Her fresh beauty and joyous purity act like a balm on his tormented soul. His eyes search for glimpses of her sweet face. His ears are attuned to her lilting melodies. His heart aches with unsatisfied desire, but this suffering is a welcome replacement for the pain of his uncleansed sins.

But Claire is to be married to a village man, and so Guy must face the unthinkable. Another man will take her innocence, a youth so unworthy of her that his merest touch would forever defile Claire.

Guy's only choice is to take for himself what is too precious to waste on her betrothed. He will exercise his droit de seigneur, his right of first night, and Claire's virginity will be his to claim.

If only this single night could last a lifetime...

With all of the bloodshed and horror Guy has experienced on the battlefield as a knight, he feels void and lifeless inside. As though in some ways he no longer has a reason to live. The actions he’s taken in the name of king and his country weigh heavily on his soul. That all changes when he hears Claire, a village girl, sing. The sound of her voice brings joy to his soul.

When he finds she is about to be married he is distraught. Her innocence will be ruined, her radiance snuffed out by the cruel realism of life. If she is to be introduced to the hard world, he will be the one to do it.

Alice Gaines takes us to a time and place where life is hard. Either you were born into wealth or you fought and received rewards for your efforts and your loyalty. Guy has gained a lot of financial security, much for the loss of his soul but finds he is discontented with wealth. Believing himself sinful and unworthy of anything good, Guy takes the advice of his squire and commands Droit de Seigneur, which is his right, to save himself from the anger he would feel if Claire is taken by her rightful husband.

Claire is naïve and has no idea what Droit de Seigneur is but she soon finds out. Still Claire is gentle in nature and has a loving spirit, she accepts Guy without conditions and shocks him with her kindness. Their joining becomes more then either of them ever thought it could be, but they understand it is only for one night, or is it? Can they do the impossible to be together?

Ms. Gaines delivers an emotionally moving short read. I read this story in a totally spellbound state. The dilemma facing Guy and Claire is heart wrenching. This isn’t my first Alice Gaines story, but it is definitely one of my favorites. A larger-than-life romantic read I would recommend to readers.

Wicked Desire by Tory Richards



Wicked Desire by Tory Richards
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, Torrid
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (224 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Fern

Maggie’s on the run, leaving behind a marriage gone badly, a dangerous ex-husband, and one of the most crime infested neighborhoods in Maine. She isn’t looking to replace any of it, until she runs into Matt Dillon. A prime example of an alpha male, he’s big and tough with an attitude to match. The only problem is he’s determined to ignore the instant attraction between them.

Matt’s running away, too. He’s hoping a new beginning in a small town will help him get on with his life without the woman he loves. What he hadn’t counted on was meeting someone like Maggie Myers. He knows as soon as he runs into the curvaceous redhead that she’s nothing but trouble, and she proves it time and time again. Trying to ignore her is impossible, and before long passion explodes between them, sealing their fate.

Wicked Desire is a story that hits the ground running, and it doesn’t let up until the last word on the page. Tory Richards has crafted a wickedly delightful tale with a plot and characters you will simply adore. From the moment you meet Maggie, her ankle biting poodle, and the oh-so gorgeous Officer Matt Dillion, you’ll be hooked.

The plot here is excellent (as is the subplot involving an abusive ex-husband), especially as it's written so as not to focus on the tragedy that prevents Mathew from loving another woman, but rather his inability to place himself in a position of vulnerability. The journey takes us on an emotional roller coaster for the protagonists without that element of angst so many writers prefer. In choosing to present the story this way, it makes the experience all the more powerful. Though Matt is distant and pushes her away, Maggie is ultimately confident enough in who she is as a person and what she wants. You won’t find her stomping her foot, issuing ultimatums, or shedding tears for the cause. Instead you’ll see her acceptance and its ability to pull Matt from the cruel hands of loneliness.

Beautifully written and a pleasure to read, be sure to check out Wicked Desire.




Kaydana and the Ruby of Beguilement by Nyki Blatchley



Kaydana and the Ruby of Beguilement by Nyki Blatchley
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Inc.
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (45 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, Multiple Partners
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Snowdrop

How do you choose between love and desire?

Young sorceress, Kaydana, is caught in a darkly dangerous romance with King Makreth...one she longs to free herself from even while she enjoys it, and Makreth won't let her go without a fight.

Attempting to escape, she's seduced by an enslaved winged woman, and loses her magical staff in the process.

Emmerin offers to recover the staff in return for Kaydana's help, but will that deal come with a price she's not willing or able to pay? And how will she escape the dark desire when forced to face down Makreth again?

An action packed, scorcher.

Kaydana and the Ruby of Beguilement is just that: an action packed scorcher. Kaydana the sorceress is rather confused, she's always been independent and self-sufficient so discovering she has a submissive streak is disconcerting for her to say the least. This self-discovery prompts her to escape. As a fantasy fan I found this to be an interesting twist on the fantasy plot line. Seeing how Kaydana was treated along with how she is excited, and yet repulsed at herself for being so. Her confusion gave an interesting depth to her character.

Because this was only a forty-five page story, it moved along at a fast clip. Unlike some shorts the speed of the story didn't detract from the plot or my interest, but added to it, keeping me on the edge of my seat and deeply involved. I read it through in one sitting wanting to know how it ended. Although the second book in the series it can be read as a stand alone, but after reading it you'll probably go back and read the first one.

Nyki Blatchley is a very talented author and I look forward to reading the next installment of Kaydana's story. I'd recommend this book to anyone who's a fan of erotica and fantasy as this book is a good mix of both.

Extra Cream 2: Hot Tin Roof by J. Hali Steele



Extra Cream 2: Hot Tin Roof by J. Hali Steele
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Short Story (64 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Holly

Leron Wilder is a jaguar of the Kind species, big cat shifters infected with vampyre blood. Nothing has gone right for Leron since his best friend Jag mated with the owner of the local coffee shop. Stuck training a new cat shifter who's a badass wannabe, Leron stops by the coffee shop to seek his ex-partner's advice.

Corinne Nelson loves her new home and her new job as a waitress at the Coffee Swirl, and she's really hoping she won't have to move on this time. Life's finally looking up -- until the hottest man she's ever met walks into the shop -- and licks her hand?

Mating is not something Leron is looking forward to. Yet the minute he tastes the new waitress, he knows he's in serious trouble. She's a flavor he could find addictive. But she's not who she says she is, and everything's falling apart around them. He's starting to feel like a cat on a hot tin roof...
The Kind: a species of big cat shifter infected with vampyre blood. Leron Wilder is a Reign warrior, protector of the compounds that house the Sovereign Kind. He becomes a jaguar, and is a lone cat. Until the day he walks into the coffee shop owned by his former partner’s mate and meets the new waitress, Corinne Nelson. He accidentally spills hot coffee on her hand, and like any cat, licks it to make it better. With that one taste, he’s lost, and knows Cory is his. Being around her is like being a cat on a Hot Tin Roof. But Cory has secrets, and is hoping to hide them and her past. Can he convince her that he is the one for her? More importantly, once she sees what he is, can she accept him, and will she survive the transformation necessary to make her Leron’s in every way? And will Cory’s past return to keep them apart?

J. Hali Steele has created a species unlike any other. Hot, sexy and gorgeously furry. There is a sense of danger behind her bad boys, but also a sense that they can be the most loyal of beings. I loved that although Leron’s partner has met his mate, the mind link between the two men is as strong as ever. The mystery is an added bit of interest: who is Cory and why is she running away?

The characters are fully developed and beautifully complex. The attraction between Leron and Cory is intense and almost immediate, and the scene in the kitchen of the coffee shop is as hot as any I’ve read. I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone who wants to visit these exotic cats and their friends. But be sure to take plenty of cold drinks and keep the a/c on high. Do Cory and Leron have the happy ever after they are looking for? You’ll have to read J. Hali Steel’s Hot Tin Roof for the answers.

Boys of the Bite edited by Cecelia Tan



Boys of the Bite Anthology edited by Cecelia Tan
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Vampire
Length: Short Story (190 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Voyeurism
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Magnolia

Vampires are ever young, ever beautiful, and ruled by the cravings of the flesh. In Boys of the Bite, the gay male side of the vampire's legend is explored in every erotic possibility. From historical settings where vampires move through high society to modern vamps you find at the all-night laundromat, these lusty men know how to hunt, whether for love or just a midnight snack.

Mixing stories by gay male authors like R. R. Angell and Bob Panadero with some of Ravenous Romance's stars of m/m romance like Keta Diablo and Ryan Field, Boys of the Bite gives every reader plenty to get his or her blood pumping.

Wanting Needing Having by R.R. Angell-This story wasn’t my favorite of this anthology. The lead character tells this story in first person. He works in a clinic for vampires, which is the backdrop for the story as he tells of the vamps he meets there and at the clubs and the one person he can’t get out of his head. This probably would’ve been a good story had it not been so cheesy. The references to a bus called the Red Line, the clinic located on Howl Avenue, etc. was just too much to take the story seriously, and it’s not intended to be funny either.

I’m really surprised this story was place first in the anthology because generally a book like this isn’t just judged by its cover, which is pretty hot, it’s also judged by the first story. Am I going to continue reading this book based on this story? If I wasn’t reviewing it, I would have scrolled through and picked another story to read.

To Be Beloved by Pepper Espinoza-Told from the journal of William May, this is a hypnotic, well told, erotic, mesmerizing tale of seduction. While at his aunt’s home, Will meets the beautiful Miss Florence Harker whom he has a flirtatious, platonic relationship with because he knows he’s too old and poor. However, it is Miss Harker’s cousin, Taylor, who draws Will’s attention. There’s just something kind of spooky about the man and Will isn’t sure what it is. As the relationship develops, the author draws the reader into Will’s mind, his doubts, concerns and ultimately, his submission. A fabulous story that should have been the first in this anthology.

Lost In Translation by TammyJo Eckhart-The title says it all for this story, as I was totally lost during the first couple of pages. Cornelius is an ancient who keeps books and records in a cave. Jack is a surfer dude who has a degree and wants a job with Cornelius. I didn’t like Cornelius. He was overbearing, and self-centered, with a really over-inflated sense of self-importance. I loved Jack with his surfer dude speak and attitude. He made me laugh. Pairing the two together was like inviting a beggar to a tea party, totally out of place, but for the most part, it worked and the story had a conclusion that I liked in spite of myself!

The Love Of A Faithful Servant by Teresa Noelle Roberts-When a man lays on his deathbed, it’s only natural for him to think of his life and all the wrongs he’s done. Somewhere between life and death, Viscount Carrington is doing just that, as friends come and go, though he really can’t distinguish their words, he catches snippets of conversations. When his valet is finally allowed to see him alone, death is gone forever and Anthony becomes undead. This is a really well written story and I liked it very much. Unconditional love transcends rumors, time and death, and isn’t that the kind of love we’re all looking for?

The Cold Color of the Heart by Eric Del Carlo & Amber Jayne Dodd-Gabe and Svar are best friends, with girlfriends, but they’re also lovers. This is an intriguing, wonderfully told story that I truly enjoyed and found the sex scene just smoking hot. Maybe it was the men, maybe it was the camera, maybe it was the voyeurism—or the combination. Whatever it was, it worked. Sometimes a co-authored piece doesn’t always flow seamlessly because of the authors’ different tastes and styles, but Eric and Amber write as one and this is a great story!

The Sin Eater’s Prince by Keta Diablo-Owen, a sin eater, is saved from death by Andras, a vampire. Little does Owen know their connection goes much deeper than he could imagine. This story is about two people who are from very different worlds, yet they love one another. As much as Owen would like to be with Andras permanently he has made an oath to his father, but so has Andras. Keta Diablo tells a wonderful little story that is really more of an encounter that could actually go on to tell a much deeper tale of love and I hope this does turn into a novel, or at least few more shorts that continues this love story.

The Conservative Dark by Conner McKay-This story of a nerd and troubled vampire was kind of plain and didn’t really offer anything exciting or new, but it had its moments of cute and sweet. I really laughed when Dylan was talking to his BFF, a lesbian named Sonja, and told her how he wanted to have sex with Mike until they “drive up the price of lube in a total bastardization of the supply-and-demand principle.” Yeah, I remember when I was that young, too! Overall, not a bad story, entertaining with a nice ending.

The Last Brother by Ken Panadero-I loved this story! A Vampire Monk from the Order of St. Leodegarius is the storyteller in this tale of blood, death, war, life and love. Told with humor, frankness, and passion without the too-sweet romance that often accompanies m/m stories when written by females, Ken Panadero has written a story the way I like them. The maleness of the style and language gives this tale a masculine edge that really appealed to me. From the descriptions of killing an animal and drinking its blood, to the humor of (yes, humor) telling how a cannon ball takes off a man’s head, to the edgy sexual scenarios, I was quite enthralled to the last word.

The Devil’s Half Acre by Ryan Field-From the title I expected this to be a gothic horror story of some sort, but it’s simply the name of the old haunted house Gio buys when he winds up in New Hope, PA quite by accident. The house is supposedly haunted, but Gio buys it anyway. Being a vampire, he needs his privacy. I really got the feeling this story was more for the sake of sex between Gio and Colin than for any story line purposes, but if you like hot male on male sex, this is for you.

VAMMP: Conquering Dissension by Bryl R. Tyne-This is a totally different story than I expected, and one that I really enjoyed. The classic story of wanting someone you can’t have, or someone who doesn’t want you, or someone who does but won’t because duty and honor come first—such a way to go. I loved the tension between Darrel and Alan, and I loved the fact that they’re both not-so-good-guys. They’re military with a special mission, and the fact that they want to screw each other senseless isn’t exactly in the ops, but makes for a really good story. Bryl Tyne did an excellent job bringing this story around from a rough jeep ride to the country to a rough ride in the sack conclusion. What a way to end this anthology and I hope this author writes more stories along this line.

Around the World by Jade Falconer



Around the World by Jade Falconer
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (35 pgs)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 3.5 Cherries
Review by Cactus

Dumped by his lover for a younger man, travel writer Stephan retreats to his flat to nurse his wounds. Along the way he runs into his neighbor, the handsome and hip Patrick. Stephan is instantly smitten, yet realistic. What would a gorgeous young thing like Patrick want with a tired old globetrotter?

Stephan’s bad day takes a turn for the better when a hot, young thing moves in nearby. Stephan may be twice as old as the beautiful, young Patrick but the irrepressible flirt doesn’t seem to notice. Stephan can’t believe someone as gorgeous as Patrick may be interested in him, but thankfully Patrick doesn’t give up on the seemingly clueless older man. When an opportunity arises, Patrick makes sure Stephan knows just how interested the younger man is in Stephan.

This sweet and lovely story has a very European flair to its benefit. The setting and characters are interesting from the start as the May/December romance starts to gain momentum. The casual flirting and obvious signs of attraction are thwarted somewhat by Stephan’s lack of confidence, but the two men have obvious chemistry. Both Stephan and Patrick are delightful characters, full of energy and whimsy. As this is a shorter story, there is not enough space or time to fully develop the characters but what is presented will be sure to please. The flirtation is a nice change of pace from jumping into bed immediately but also shows that the two men have common interests outside of the mutual attraction.

The one brief sex scene at the end is hot and won’t disappoint any readers who want that bit of erotica in their romance. The pace is quick and makes for a pretty fast read with a lot of British accents for those who love dashing international men. The over the top personality of Patrick is entertaining and outrageous but also has intelligence and charm, thus making him more than a pretty young boy toy. Together Patrick and Stephan have chemistry that fairly leaps off the page. Their final scene together will definitely leave you wanting more.

Fans of the author will definitely want to pick up this sweet but delightful short tale while those new to Falconer will start off well. The witty dialogue and casual setting will have this short story ending far too soon for most readers. I recommend enjoying with a glass of wine and some pasta, perhaps it’ll work as well for you as it did for Patrick and Stephan.




Thursday, September 24, 2009

Imperfection by Aubrey Leatherwood



Imperfection by Aubrey Leatherwood
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (131 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Cholla

Perfect love, perfect commitment...perfect sex.

As their 25th wedding anniversary looms, Candace and James Baker Russell take a look at their life together. On the surface it's a picture-perfect marriage, but still waters run deep. They've successfully raised a daughter, advanced in their chosen careers, have a steady and raucous relationship with friends and family.

And rumor has it they have the best sex on the block!

A perfect veneer can hide the imperfections that make life worth living.
So you think that the spark should have fled after twenty-five years of marriage? Not so with Candace and JB Russell. For them, each year just continues to get better and better, and hotter and hotter. Despite your usual marital hurdles, they cling to one another and persevere.

I had a serious love/hate relationship with Candace at times. She’s a very modern woman and I have a bad habit of being a tad old-fashioned. However, with that out in the open, she is a wonderful woman who knows exactly what she wants; not to mention where, when and how. She’s successful and beautiful as well as proud and determined. Candace is well-balanced by her easy-going rock of a husband, JB. He always seems to know where she’s coming from and what she needs, both physically and emotionally. They are a true couple – they have their fights, their flaws, and their laughs, but more than anything, they have a real relationship between them. In addition to their obvious love for one another, they are totally addicted to each other’s bodies, instigating some extremely sexy and steamy love scenes.

A truly wonderful story that everyone can relate to, married or not, Imperfection is one of the most true-to-life love stories I have ever read. The Russells will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions as they celebrate their twenty-fifth anniversary and remember their lives together. If you need proof that love can survive, this is the story for you.




Yellowstone Wild by India Masters



Yellowstone Wild by India Masters
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (112 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Spanking, Anal Sex
Rating: 4 Cherries
Review by Fern

Libby Wild is a world famous photographer, working for an upscale travel magazine and living the good life. A firm believer in the credo, "You can never go home again," she's horrified when she’s assigned to do just that, go home to Wyoming and do a photo spread on Yellowstone National Park.

Identical twins Bodie and Ty Cade lived with a secret shame that prompted them to torment camera toting Libby Wild all throughout high school. Ten years later, feeling guilty over their treatment of her, they want to make it up the best way they know how: by giving her more pleasure than any woman has ever experienced.

But Libby’s not interested, or so she says. Fortunately for them, Libby’s body says different. It’s not hard to manipulate her situation to their advantage and convince her to accept them as backcountry guides. And, if the twins have their way, they’ll show her that Yellowstone’s scenery isn’t the only thing that will leave her breathless.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, Domination/submission, ménage (m/f/m, twin brothers sharing partner), spanking.

Two hot cowboys, one girl, and the glorious backdrop of Yellowstone – do you really need more?

Yellowstone Wild is an unabashedly hot ménage story that holds nothing back. You’ll get the heat, the passion, the lust…and then some. The sex scenes are scorching hot to the point of causing the words on the screen to melt into the cyber oblivion. You’ll wriggle and you’ll squirm, but in a good way. While the emotional development of the characters is clearly not the general focus of the story, its lack didn’t deter from the overall enjoyment of the work. This is erotica at hand. It’s just not a wholly romanticized version of it. That’s not to say there isn’t a good reason behind the motives of the characters. Learning the reasons behind the twin brothers' treatment of Libby was unexpected but forthcoming and made the resolution in the end believable.

This is something to pick up if you want something hot, fast, and oh so naughty. I absolutely enjoyed Yellowstone Wild.

Her Chosen Wolf by Renee Michaels



Her Chosen Wolf by Renee Michaels
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (88 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, Menage
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Cherokee Rose

She chose the wolf she needed and got the man of her dreams.

The Were Chronicles, Book 1


Sent to live in the city long ago for her own protection, Saffa has always longed to return to her mountain home. She is a multimorph, and women of her rare bloodline are highly prized by those who aspire to supreme power over the pack. The last thing she wants to be is anyone’s stepping stone—especially Bardo Redmaven’s. Justice Ambervane would be her first choice…if only he’d stop holding her at arm’s length.

The wolf within Justice would eagerly take Saffa as his mate, but for secret reason of his own, his human conscience has always resisted. He can’t believe Saffa risked coming out of hiding, even to warn him of the disturbing activities of the power-hungry Redmaven clan. She’s dangerously close to her first breeding cycle, and giving in to her irresistible scent makes him a marked man. And Saffa even more of a target.

What he needs is backup, and there’s only one wolf he trusts enough: Drew. As the coming fight backs all three of them into a tight corner, the heat explodes into a passion that Justice wonders if he’ll live to regret…

Warning: Quick, erotic tumble with a frisky trio.
Saffa has wanted Justice for as long as she could remember, but Justice would never give in to her. When she is sent to live in the city because of much needed protection, she detests it. Yet, Saffa is important for a lot of reasons. The main is she is a multimorph, and women of her rare bloodline are highly prized by those who aspire to supreme power over the pack. Because of this less than savory characters desire her. Saffa doesn’t care. Justice would be her first choice…now if she could just get him to agree.

Justice wants Saffa as his mate, just as badly as Saffa wants to be it, but for secret reasons, he has always resisted. When Saffa risks coming out of hiding, to warn him of the disturbing activities of the power-hungry rival clan. She’s dangerously close to her first breeding cycle, and giving in to her irresistible scent makes him a marked man. And Saffa even more of a target for him—and the unsavory character’s that want her.

Still, Justice knows this situation is dangerous and needs backup. There’s only one wolf he trusts enough: Drew. As the coming fight backs all three of them into a tight corner, the heat explodes into a passion that Justice wonders if he’ll live to regret…

Ms. Michaels does a wonderful job of developing strong characters in a brilliant plot. Justice is a true alpha wolf, but Saffa and Drew hold their own as well. When this trio comes together in this attention-grabbing tale the results are explosive and leave you panting for more. There are twists and turns in this story that will leave the reader on edge but satisfied. I am looking forward to the rest of this series. I am officially a fan of Ms. Michaels.

Her Chosen Wolf is a great read! This short novella is one you won’t be able to put down once you start reading. I would highly recommend this book.

Death, The Vamp and His Brother by Lexxie Couper



Death, The Vamp and His Brother by Lexxie Couper
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (197 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review bu Holly

When it comes down to love or duty, pick a side—and pray your heart survives.

Death exists for one purpose and one purpose only: to sever the life-threads of the living. She does her job with pride and an unwavering commitment. Nothing ruffles her. Until she encounters Patrick Watkins. The Australian lifeguard pushes all her buttons—and makes her tailbone itch like crazy. And when her tailbone itches, it means trouble is brewing. Big trouble.

Ven’s gut tells him that Death is taking aim at his kid brother. He should know—he died and was turned vampire while trying to prevent another failed murder-attempt eighteen years ago. Patrick is meant to do something important in the world, and Ven will do anything to keep him safe. Even take on Death herself. In more ways than one.

As far as Patrick’s concerned, the whole thing is a load of bull. But what if everything Death tells him turns out to be true? How is he expected to save mankind from the worst fate of all—the Apocalypse? Especially when all he can think about is how quickly he’s falling in love with the most feared Horseman of them all…

Warning: This book contains enough heresy to shame the Devil, more scorching sex than one person can handle, Oh, and lots of Australian colloquialism. A bloody lot of Australian colloquialism.

The title characters in this book are not what they seem. Death prefers to be called Fred, and she is trying to do her job. That job is to sever life ties and preserve the Order of Things. She lets nothing bother her, and takes great pride in her work. Until she encounters Patrick Watkins, an Australian lifeguard who is able to push her buttons where no mortal before ever has. Patrick and his older brother Steven have always been close, even after Steven, or Ven, “died” at the hands, or rather fangs, of a vampire some eighteen years before. The First Horseman, Pestilence, is hatching an evil plot to cause an early onset of the Apocalypse, and the only obstacles to his plans are Death, The Vamp and His Brother. Can Fred convince Ven she means no harm to Patrick? Can these three find the way to stop Pestilence? And exactly what are Patrick and Steven Watkins, because Fred knows they are more than mere mortals, or in Ven’s case, immortals.

Lexxie Couper has created a marvelous adventure into the world of the supernatural, with a number of surprises in store for the reader. I loved the descriptions of the Australian beaches where Patrick and Ven spend their time. I found a wicked sense of humor in this as well, and enjoyed the interaction between the three title characters. She kept me guessing throughout the story: was Fred going to be with Patrick or Ven? Could there be any kind of happily ever after with Death involved?

The world building and research that Ms. Couper put into this book is fascinating, and I also loved that not all of her characters were beautiful people. Pestilence was made to be a totally despicable character, and I wanted to see him get what he so richly deserved. There are three big surprises in this one that I didn’t see coming, and one of those really was shocking. The attraction between Death/Fred and both brothers is hotter that fire, and the almost episode with Ven and Fred keeps you guessing. The title is what originally caught my interest, but I sincerely enjoyed every minute I spent with these characters, and I hope Ms. Couper will revisit this world to give us a view of the future with these three.



Dawg Town: Chip and Dale by Mary Winter



Dawg Town: Chip and Dale by Mary Winter
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (25 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, Menage
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Review by Cherokee Rose

Back from getting a degree in animal biology, Tusa returns to her fiancé, Chip, and -- she hopes -- his brother, Dale. She doesn't realize that Chip has already made plans for their wedding, and for his brother to also be with the woman he loves. Usually a prairie dog colony is one male with several females. This time, it's going to be the other way around, and Tusa wouldn't have it any other way.

Tusa Riverwell has spent four years attending college to obtain her degree in animal biology. Now she is going to fulfill her promise and return home to her fiancé. She is looking forward to marrying Chip Muskatoni. Only she isn’t expecting the surprise that awaits her when she returns.

Chip has patiently awaited the day that Tusa would graduate and return home—so has his brother Dale. Chip plans to marry Tusa as soon as possible, but Dale is also in love with her—and he hopes Tusa will accept him in her bed as well. However, what they propose is uncommon. In prairie dog colonies, it’s common for one male to be with several females. Regardless the choice is Tusa’s.

With a few twists that I didn’t see coming, Chip and Dale, is a humorous fast-paced story that kept my interest through every page. Trying to figure out what was going to happen between this trio was entertaining. If you are looking for a naughty yet witty read, then I’d recommend this one.

Danni’s Boy by Crista McHugh



Danni’s Boy by Crista McHugh
Publisher: Phaze Books
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Length: Short Story (30 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 5 Cherries
Review by Cherokee Rose

Danni comes home to find her boyfriend has left her for a man. When her friends take her to a bar to cheer her up, she is instantly attracted to a handsome stranger named Ryan. One night of passion not only helps her rebound from her heartache, but also gives her the confidence to start something new.

What would you do if your boyfriend leaves you for a man? This is the plight of Danni. She comes home to find her boyfriend has left her for a man. Her friends’ remedy is to take her out to cheer her up. When her friends take her to a bar, she is instantly attracted to a handsome stranger named Ryan. One night of passion with Ryan puts her on the right path to rebound from her heartache, but the morning after brings even more doubt.

What I liked most about this short story is the fact the main characters, Danni and Ryan, are “real” people. They both have a lot of baggage to deal with. It was refreshing to read about everyday characters that most if not all readers can relate to on some level. I also like how the story was broken down. The book was well paced and the plot well developed. It hardly felt like I was reading a short story.

It is highly engaging and enjoyable. Do yourself a favor and pick up this character-driven romance. You’ll understand why Danni falls in love with Ryan, because I bet you fall in love with him, too! I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jennifer’s Wager by Tigra-Luna Lemar & D. M. Dulton



Jennifer’s Wager by Tigra-Luna LeMar & D.M. Dulton
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, Torrid
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (150 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5
Review by Fern

Can a man who has lost it all learn to love again? Can a woman who left her family take the responsibility she once left behind?

After getting adopted and having a little sister, Little Sydney Bouvier figured nothing else could go wrong in her life. She was wrong. Now a grown woman, Sydney is a photographer to the stars and estranged from the only person she considers family, her sister Jennifer. A letter from Jennifer forces Sydney do to one last favor for a dying sister; take care of Jennifer’s husband and new born son.

After losing his wife, Maximillian Durant, finds himself in the painful position of being a single father. When he discovers that Jennifer made preparations for their family without his knowing, he wonders if he ever knew his wife at all. When the new nanny shows up, she’s nothing like he imagined. And he quickly finds himself falling for her. Torn between loyalty to his dead wife and falling in love again, Maximillian and Sydney are forced to confront the secret that could destroy it all, before it even begins.
Jennifer’s Wager merges past and present using flashbacks throughout. It’s a story of losing your way, trying to make peace with what you can’t change, and looking toward the future.

When Sydney receives a letter from her sister Jenn, she’s both shocked and wary. They’ve not been close in the last few years, and the contact is most unexpected. After reading the missive, she soon discovers her sister is dying of cancer and, as a dying wish, wants Sydney to care for her young son and husband upon her death. Knowing she has to fulfill the request, Sydney travels to meet her nephew and brother-in-law, determined to do right by her sister one last time. Once there, things take an unexpected turn. Max might be a grieving widower, but the attraction that flourishes between them is anything but deniable.

While I enjoyed the Jennifer’s Wager, the timeline wasn't very clear and I had to go back several times along the way to make sure I was at the right place in the story. Because of that, the relationship between the protagonists comes across as rushed. Another issue is with the events in the past that provide the foundation for the story itself. You are told things are the way they are but you are never really shown why.

Aside from this, the conflicts of being in an interracial relationship are touched upon, as are the eccentricities of falling in love following the loss of a spouse. The theme of Jennifer’s Wager carries an underlying emotional context throughout, and you’ll experience it as you get to know the characters. This makes it a worthy read.